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Why do you think people say they are veg*n when they aren't?

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Old 07-09-2008, 10:04 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Taurie View Post
they should really just say... "my diet is mostly vegan/vegetarian"
I think that would serve their purpose and the veg*ns as well!
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:05 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by betsysunqueen View Post
Their desire to be thought of as a certain type of person is stronger than their desire to actually BE that type of person.
Well, when it's "distilled", what's left is that, for whatever reason that may be.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:11 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Suzanne 3FC View Post
I really like and appreciate Amanda's response

I pick up and read every package carefully to make sure it doesn't contain any form of animal product. I quiz restaurant staff when placing my orders. I lecture friends and family on the brutalities of the industrialized meat industry, as well as how it greatly contributes to global warming. I've reached a point where I physically gag when I smell meat cooking and have to mentally prepare myself before going family dinners or some restaurants.

But I will never, ever be able to say that I am a vegetarian. I take fish oil capsules. I've weighed the pros and cons of plant based vs fish based omega oils and how our bodies utilize them, and I have made the decision that for my current health and heart condition, I need fish oil. Period. So there you go, I'm not a vegetarian and I guess I never will be.

I LOVE the Sneeches pic!!!

I GET it and am not trying to cause a "division" or incite any "derision".

Suzanne, not that my opinion matters ultimately, but I just wanted to point out that many consider a person taking a necessary supplement/medication that may not be veg*n to *still* BE veg*n, because otherwise, where would they be?

A diabetic needs to take their medication, and no suitable alternative to a product containing animal products is available.

When a medication/supplement is needed to SURVIVE and be healthy, it needs to be taken!!!

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Old 07-09-2008, 10:22 AM   #19
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I'm NOT veg'n of any kind.

But it annoys the ever living *#@*$^ out of me when someone says "I'm vegetarian but I eat ... [insert animal here]".

Then, sweetie, you're not a vegetarian.

I ate mostly veggie when I was in college because my roommate was veggie and it was easier (and cheaper) for us to eat the same meals together. The only time I ate meat was when I ate out. So I'm very familiar with the veggie lifestyle and with veggie foods (which I love and can cook pretty well, if I do say so myself).

I know it can be hard to say "I don't eat ..." and then list a bunch of foods, but I do feel it's more honest.

Then again, I'm a big believer in the power of words and in using the right word with the right meaning when you communicate. Some people might call it playing semantics or hair splitting, but I just like people who are precise.

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Old 07-09-2008, 10:25 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by PhotoChick View Post

Then again, I'm a big believer in the power of words and in using the right word with the right meaning when you communicate. Some people might call it playing semantics or hair splitting, but I just like people who are precise.

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Wow! That is 100% me!!! I like precision, accuracy and logic.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:58 AM   #21
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I like the new term "Flexitarian" - A person who usually eats a plant based diet, but occasionally makes an exception.
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:04 AM   #22
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This has been a very enlightening post. I don't normally visit this thread but I'm glad I read this one.

As a non-veggie, I have always assumed (and we all know what they say about "assume" so I should have known better ) that there was a difference between *vegetarian* and *vegan*. That being that a vegetarian would consume animal products such as eggs and milk - just not flesh or organs (which actually does sound pretty ewwey when put that way), whereas a vegan would not use any animal products whatsoever.

I also have to admit to being guilty of going along blithely thinking that *seafood* didn't qualify as *meat* (doh, slaps forehead ) so it never bothered me if an acquaintance who claimed to be vegetarian ordered fish when we ate out. Maybe people who have chosen to avoid meat from land animals for health reasons only should start calling themselves *veggie-piscatarians* to avoid the confusion

Thank you for giving me a much better insight into the vegetarian/vegan point of view
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:29 AM   #23
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Eh... a lot of people, including the Catholic Church, don't consider fish "meat" (hence you can eat it on Friday's during Lent).

For about 4 years, I was a strict vegetarian -- no meat, no fish, no creatures of any kind, be they of land, sea or sky. I was never vegan, however. MOST of my decision to eat this way came out of concern for the animals and disgust with the factory farm system. When my fiance arrived in the US, I began to "open" what I would eat a bit -- he LOVES fish (much more than red meat/poultry) and fish was the "meat" that I missed the most. Eventually, I started eating it a bit as well. Occasionally. My diet is still 90% plant-based, aside from dairy. But if we are at a restaurant and the shrimp looks good and I really want it, I will have it. If we go to his aunt's house and she makes fish, I will have a piece. But I won't eat her lamb kebab.

I do still consider myself vegetarian, I would describe myself that way and I don't always tack on "but I do sometimes have some fish" to the end of it bc the assumption is usually, "OMG SHE EATS FISH MAKE HER FISH!" even when I'd be more than happy with vegetables and/or tofu.

I have a lot of vegetarian/vegan friends and I've seen them be EXTREMELY fascist ab the labelling -- this one friend professed to being vegan and then, i think, someone 'caught' him putting milk in his coffee once (no soy milk available) and he got in "trouble" with the other vegans, accused of hypocrisy and worse. Not exactly kind or compassionate.

I don't think these things need to be so strict or so black and white. Labels are often just convenient ways to describe something -- for the most part -- without annoying others with the exact particulars of a person's character and habits.
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:38 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Suzanne 3FC View Post
I like the new term "Flexitarian" - A person who usually eats a plant based diet, but occasionally makes an exception.
Oh, I don't like it at all, and none of my veg*n friends do either, because it isn't clearly defined...Is an omnivore who has hummus and pita as a snack a "flexitarian"? I mean, there are very few people who ONLY eat animal products.

If "flexitarian" were TRULY a term to describe a mostly plant-based diet with an occasional foray into animal products that would be one thing, but more often than not, it's just another label for a "selective omnivore" (which is great, being selective and incorporating more plant-based meals is good for everyone!) and describes an omnivore who occasionally eats veg*n (which is just about EVERY omnivore, so why create a new label?).
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:52 AM   #25
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Thanks for an interesting discussion, all!

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Originally Posted by KLK View Post
Eh... a lot of people, including the Catholic Church, don't consider fish "meat" (hence you can eat it on Friday's during Lent).
Well, Spirituality and Religion aside, the reality is, that a fish is in the animal kingdom, is made of flesh and bleeds. It's "meat" in every logical and true sense of the word. They aren't "mammals" but they are animals.


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Originally Posted by KLK View Post
I don't think these things need to be so strict or so black and white. Labels are often just convenient ways to describe something -- for the most part -- without annoying others with the exact particulars of a person's character and habits.
On the flip side, it's "annoying" to say the least to be served animals and animal products because someone using a universal label incorrectly eats "*" (insert non-veg*n item here).

The term "vegan" was a label created with the intent of describing a person who adhered to a certain philosophy and lifestyle that included dietary choices.

There's nothing "convenient" about others misusing labels that result in veg*ns being offered things that aren't veg*n, because of the common misconception has been fed that "other veg*ns eat it".
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:56 AM   #26
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I don't think these things need to be so strict or so black and white. Labels are often just convenient ways to describe something -- for the most part -- without annoying others with the exact particulars of a person's character and habits.
The problem is that I totally disagree with this. (cordially, I hope you know).

When we start saying that a label is just a convenience and shouldn't be held to a solid definition, then why have a label at all. What's the MEANING of a word if the attitude is "oh, well that word can mean whatever you want it to mean when it's convenient".

What if you told me that you were allergic to shellfish and I served shrimp. You would say "but i told you I was allergic" and my response would be "oh, I don't consider shrimp to be shellfish - that's just a label."

See the point? If language isn't precise, then it has no value as language. If it's just a "guideline" or "convenience" then there's a lack of communication. I especially feel it's important on message boards, in email, in chat, etc. - where we can't see language cues like facial expression, body language, and so forth. It's even more important that your language be carefully chosen and PRECISE AND ACCURATE ... otherwise, who are you really communicating with?

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Old 07-09-2008, 11:57 AM   #27
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I am glad you visited this thread too.

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Originally Posted by yoyodieterinvegas View Post
This has been a very enlightening post. I don't normally visit this thread but I'm glad I read this one.

As a non-veggie, I have always assumed (and we all know what they say about "assume" so I should have known better ) that there was a difference between *vegetarian* and *vegan*. That being that a vegetarian would consume animal products such as eggs and milk - just not flesh or organs (which actually does sound pretty ewwey when put that way), whereas a vegan would not use any animal products whatsoever.
Well, you are RIGHT!!! You've got the definitions down. There are many types of vegetarians: lacto, lacto-ovo, ovo, strict (those that eat vegan only food but don't eliminate all animal products such as leather or honey) and vegan (already defined as one who eschews all animal products in diet and lifestyle choices).

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Originally Posted by yoyodieterinvegas View Post
I also have to admit to being guilty of going along blithely thinking that *seafood* didn't qualify as *meat* (doh, slaps forehead ) so it never bothered me if an acquaintance who claimed to be vegetarian ordered fish when we ate out. Maybe people who have chosen to avoid meat from land animals for health reasons only should start calling themselves *veggie-piscatarians* to avoid the confusion

Thank you for giving me a much better insight into the vegetarian/vegan point of view
Some people do call themselves "pescetarian" when they eat fish and sea creatures but no other meat/flesh.
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:02 PM   #28
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Vegan had no meaning, until it was coined. Perhaps "Flexitarian" just needs to be established to have that meaning you described, so people who are in this "I eat mostly one way, with small exceptions" situation can have a way to express what they're eating without using words that have different meanings and modifying them.

The term "Vegan" is relatively new, given language evolution. Certainly if we give "Flexitarian" enough time, the meaning will become clear and well known.
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:04 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by PhotoChick View Post
The problem is that I totally disagree with this. (cordially, I hope you know).

When we start saying that a label is just a convenience and shouldn't be held to a solid definition, then why have a label at all. What's the MEANING of a word if the attitude is "oh, well that word can mean whatever you want it to mean when it's convenient".

What if you told me that you were allergic to shellfish and I served shrimp. You would say "but i told you I was allergic" and my response would be "oh, I don't consider shrimp to be shellfish - that's just a label."

See the point? If language isn't precise, then it has no value as language. If it's just a "guideline" or "convenience" then there's a lack of communication. I especially feel it's important on message boards, in email, in chat, etc. - where we can't see language cues like facial expression, body language, and so forth. It's even more important that your language be carefully chosen and PRECISE AND ACCURATE ... otherwise, who are you really communicating with?

.
Yes, yes, YES!

Again, you are speaking my language!!! I am so glad to have your input here, especially since you aren't veg*n, because it's the principle of the thing, ya know? It's not about causing a division on a hierarchy (I'm not a snobby Sneech!!!) it's about being accurate so that there's consistency, so that others have an easier time being understood and having their needs met.

Next subject:

In regards to the entire thread, and because I feel the need for a disclaimer is building...I truly wish everyone the best on their own path to wellness, health and with eating whatever works best for YOU as an individual, be it animal, vegetable or mineral.
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:18 PM   #30
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Well, in honesty I'd hazard a guess that different people have different reasons for saying "I'm a vegetarian/vegan
I can understand how this could be irritating to people who ARE vegan or vegetarian, especially since it has an impact upon strangers' expectations of what they will be happy to eat. And because it's so often a moral choice, and from that POV somebody appearing to allign themselves with your dietary habits and then saying 'Oh, but I'll eat fish' is missing the point of what vegetarianism means to you. But to them it's being used as a shorthand, I think. If one is NOT part of a larger vegan or vegetarian community, but chooses to eschew some meat products for whatever reason, it's a little difficult to explain one's picky eating gracefully, and this is a quick way of explaining what you DO eat, rather than what you don't eat.
I totally agree. I was a strict vegetarian for 12 years. For the past 2 years I've been eating fish, but I'm quite picky about it (I could go on), and I'm also allergic to shellfish. Now, we're on a forum discussing this. But your average wait staff, friend of a friend hosting a dinner, whatever, may not want to have an extended chat about my food politics, and I'm not simply not going to profess that they should have no choice in the matter because 1) my beliefs are so important to everyone else or b) for the benefit of vegetarians and vegans the world over. Most people JUST DON'T CARE what YOU choose to eat or not eat.

I dismiss out of hand the idea that I'd ever call myself vegetarian to impress people. In fact, I'd question the motives of someone who reveres the label over the lifestyle. Who might you be trying to impress? Like someone else said, if more people are refusing to eat factory farmed meats, isn't that more important than whose calling themselves what? Would you prefer that I ditch the convenient label and become a typical consumer creating more environmental damage?



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Originally Posted by PhotoChick View Post
The problem is that I totally disagree with this. (cordially, I hope you know).

When we start saying that a label is just a convenience and shouldn't be held to a solid definition, then why have a label at all. What's the MEANING of a word if the attitude is "oh, well that word can mean whatever you want it to mean when it's convenient".

What if you told me that you were allergic to shellfish and I served shrimp. You would say "but i told you I was allergic" and my response would be "oh, I don't consider shrimp to be shellfish - that's just a label."

See the point? If language isn't precise, then it has no value as language. If it's just a "guideline" or "convenience" then there's a lack of communication. I especially feel it's important on message boards, in email, in chat, etc. - where we can't see language cues like facial expression, body language, and so forth. It's even more important that your language be carefully chosen and PRECISE AND ACCURATE ... otherwise, who are you really communicating with?

.
I see what you mean, but when you're talking about people and beliefs, it's just not that simple. For example, I'm Jewish. What does that mean? Does that mean I eat a kosher diet? Does it mean I cover my hair? Does it mean I believe in God? Or that I'm a member of a particular cultural group? An Orthodox Jew would not consider me Jewish. Does that mean I can't use that label even if I identify as Jewish?

So what if after 12 years as a strict vegetarian, with a diet that is still 98% vegetarian and a preference for vegetarian proteins, I still identify as a vegetarian? Am I not allowed?
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