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Old 01-11-2011, 09:30 PM   #16  
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If someone eats animals, even only occasionally, of any sort.. they are not a vegetarian. Fish are animals just as much as cows and chickens and pigs. Perhaps if someone can cultivate a fish tree, fish will no longer be classified as animals but plants instead, and then "vegetarians who eat fish" will be correct in calling themselves vegetarians, but until then...

For clarification, I'm not judging or saying anything is wrong with pescetarians, which is a perfectly valid term to describe people who eat just plants and fish, but I don't see why so many of them feel the need to describe themselves as vegetarians when, simply, they are not. It's unnecessary and confuses people.. and, for that matter, makes it a bit more difficult for true-to-the-word vegetarians being told they can eat fish or worse, served it to eat.

Also, I've noticed the term "semi-vegetarian" being mentioned a few times in this thread. Would that not simply be an omnivore? Couldn't any person who eats animals and plants call themselves a "semi-vegetarian"?


If someone wants to reduce their consumption of animal products but remain an omnivore, I say great for them! You don't necessarily need to fit under the vegetarian or vegan label to make a difference, whether that difference is intended for your health, the environment, or the animals(or all of the above), but if someone chooses that path, it would be best for everyone if they didn't call themselves vegetarians or vegans either.

(Note: This post wasn't specifically directed at the OP anyone else, just a summary of my thoughts on the subjects being discussed in this thread)
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:37 PM   #17  
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+1 to just about everything Horo said. Words have meanings for a reason.
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:53 AM   #18  
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Horo - I'm not sure I completely agree with your definition and here is why:

Alicia Silverstone is a vegan activist, but has admitted that - despite her hatred toward the dairy industry - she has occasionally eaten a piece of cheese here and there (usually after a few drinks).

Does that mean she is no longer vegan? As you said "If someone eats animals, even only occasionally, of any sort.. they are not a vegetarian."

What about the occasional "mistakes" that happen throughout the year? Does that mean one should not call oneself a vegan/vegetarian if they mess up from time to time?

Do we have to earn the right to call ourselves vegans or vegetarians? Just curious....
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:11 AM   #19  
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Bonnie - I think Alicia seems to be a reduce animal suffering type person, I've never heard her described as a vegan activist although she does seem to think a vegan diet is ideal. I don't know enough to say whether or not she is vegan and of course things fluctuate. Last I heard she occasionally eats cheese and possibly other things that may contain eggs/dairy in them. I think if you say to people "I'm vegan but I still eat cheese", you aren't vegan. If you say "I'm vegan but struggle with cheese and sometimes I slip but recognize that isn't vegan", then it seems like you are vegan.

Natalie portman is another one who advocates a vegan diet but last I heard says she isn't vegan. I think she says she is vegetarian because of the occasional non-vegan things she eats.

I personally have food issues and those are longstanding issues. I have 'slipped' in the past. It wasn't that I was still accepting those things in my life and calling myself vegan. It is just saying I'm human and I follow a vegan diet and have knowingly ate non-vegan things. Of course the incidence of those things are pretty rare, in the first year, I probably ate non-vegan things less than 10 times. It has become less as time has gone on. Part of it was learning new habits, navigating certain situations, etc. I took it all as a learning experience.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:50 AM   #20  
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Thanks for everyone's responses. I was thinking about how I stopped eating meat originally for healthy reasons but pretty quickly I became educated on the ethical reasons. And that's what kept me from eating meat and then going vegan. I wonder if, for me, if just health reasons would ahve been enough to STAY vegetarian or vegan. I think if I only look at it from a health stand point, eating meat, even if infrequesntly, will probably happen. It would be like equating meat to sweets, its not really good for you, but every now and again is ok...but ethically, for me, cheating wasn't an option...until I got pregnant, and then my cravings far out weighted anything else.

So I guess I need to ask myself if I am still very concerned about the ethical implications of eating meat...and would I then feel better if I were buying say, free range chickens? Even so, I really don't like chicken. But for the once or twice a month I eat it, would I feel better if it were free range? So many questions! I don't like to commit to things then quit. I still feel bad that I was so commited to being vegetarian then vegan then just stopped. No matter what the reason was.

As for the tattoo, lol, it just my husband is into more conservative women. And I'm kind of like that. Before I met him I had a few simple piercings. A few in each ear, and my belly button, but I took then all out before he and I even started dating, for no reason. I've thought about getting a tattoo several times over the years, but never did. But I think I really want to get one. You only live once and its something I want to try. I'm thinking about getting a phoenix with other designs (personal stuff related to things in my life) I think on my back. Its not like I'm close to getting it since I'm not even 100% sure on what I want. My husband is 100% supportive, but I cant tell he's not thrilled! lol, he keeps assuring me its me body and I can do what I want, and he has not said he wouldnt like it, but I've been with him 10 years...I know he's not over joyed about it!
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:00 AM   #21  
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Well I'd look into 'free range chicken' because honestly, free range chicken doesn't mean anything. Most free range chickens never step foot outside into the sun or on dirt, ever. You could look for pasture raised although that is an informal designation at this point so anyone could label their meat as pasture raised without any implications. There is a farm near me that you can visit where they have pasture raised chickens and eggs from the chickens. When I was buying eggs for my dogs, I bought from them.

The triad of eating vegan/vegetarian is ethical, health and environmental. There are various environmental factors to eating animal products and those might be worth looking at as well. Ethical being how well animals are treated or the actual killing of animals for food when it isn't necessary. Also, things like eggs and dairy are probably crueler than just eating meat. At least animals used strictly for meat are killed fairly quickly.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:12 PM   #22  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonnnie View Post
Horo - I'm not sure I completely agree with your definition and here is why:

Alicia Silverstone is a vegan activist, but has admitted that - despite her hatred toward the dairy industry - she has occasionally eaten a piece of cheese here and there (usually after a few drinks).

Does that mean she is no longer vegan? As you said "If someone eats animals, even only occasionally, of any sort.. they are not a vegetarian."

What about the occasional "mistakes" that happen throughout the year? Does that mean one should not call oneself a vegan/vegetarian if they mess up from time to time?

Do we have to earn the right to call ourselves vegans or vegetarians? Just curious....
I personally think there's a big difference between the person who aspires to a completely vegan or vegetarian diet but occasionally slips up for one reason or another(even if the slip up had to do with self control and was knowing), and the person who follows a veg*n diet sometimes but intentionally includes non-veg*n items here and there and has no qualms about it or plans to do so again.

For instance, just the other day I had discovered that some bread crumbs I'd been using had whey powder in them.
I usually read the label for everything but I guess I thought at some point "well they're bread crumbs! What could they possibly put in bread crumbs?" and didn't think about it beyond that. I happened to look at the label for the caloric content the other day, so I could calculate a recipe I was making, and noticed- crap, there's whey in them! (And then thought "Why the heck do bread crumbs need milk in them!? " ) But regardless, I told my mother she could use the rest of those bread crumbs and decided to make them myself from now on so I can assure they're vegan.

Do I consider myself
not a vegan anymore because of that? No, I most definitely do not think that. It was an honest accident and I fully intend to never use or purchase anything with whey in it again.

On the other hand, let's say the person in question is a "vegetarian" and the non-vegetarian food chicken. If that person were to intentionally include chicken in their diet here and there, and think to themselves "Well, sometimes, I will eat chicken", I wouldn't consider that person a vegetarian. An omnivore with a mostly plant-based diet, yes, but not a vegetarian. And back to my own example, if I were to think to myself, "Well, sometimes, I will eat things with milk in them", I would no longer consider myself a vegan.

Why? Well, in short, I strongly believe that both of those terms would lose all of their meaning if most of the people who defined themselves by them didn't actually live by their definitions, and had never had any intention of doing so. The person who plans to have, say, chicken in their diet and does so with some regularity is neither living by the definition of what makes a person a vegetarian nor do they intend to.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:35 PM   #23  
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And I think it is important to say that it isn't a judgment to say someone isn't vegetarian or someone isn't vegan. Its not a badge you earn for good behavior. Its just a statement of how you eat and/or live.

I think I was vegan a year before I actually said I was vegan. I was vegan for about 3 or 4 months before I said I was vegetarian. And I was eating meat about once a week for a few months prior to becoming vegan.
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:31 PM   #24  
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I guess for me, as far as making a difference, the labels aren't important unless they are stuck to. What I mean is, if someone is an omnivore but only eats meat for one meal a week, but eats this way for 50 years, they are resulting in far less animal cruelty than someone who tries to go strict vegan and quits after two years because they can't handle having no meat (and goes back to eating meat regularly). The one who was never vegetarian in the first place still would have consumed FAR less meat in the long run.

So in my opinion, it's not the label that matters, but what you're doing to make a difference. If by eating a little fish you are in the long run able to eat less meat because you can stick to your diet longer, that's better than being a vegetarian for a short time, as far as I'm concerned. I do agree with nelie that the egg and dairy industry can be far worse, which is why I've been trying to only eat dairy as a treat and use milk alternatives the rest of the time. I wouldn't be able to be vegan that way, but I know I'm far more likely to quit if I don't allow myself an occasional treat. Consider me Coldstone addicted.
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:49 PM   #25  
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Megwini - The flavors may be somewhat limited but in terms of ice cream, hemp milk ice cream (by Tempt) is one of the best things I've ever eaten There is also coconut milk ice cream and cashew milk ice cream, both of which are really good. Cashew milk ice cream is $$$ though. I've only tried it once. Although if Coldstone is your addiction, I don't think I've ever had Coldstone so I can't compare but generally I'm not a fan of 'things' in my ice cream.
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:53 PM   #26  
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Quote:
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Megwini - The flavors may be somewhat limited but in terms of ice cream, hemp milk ice cream (by Tempt) is one of the best things I've ever eaten There is also coconut milk ice cream and cashew milk ice cream, both of which are really good. Cashew milk ice cream is $$$ though. I've only tried it once. Although if Coldstone is your addiction, I don't think I've ever had Coldstone so I can't compare but generally I'm not a fan of 'things' in my ice cream.
I don't love it for the 'things', I love it because it's so soft and creamy. I actually rarely get things mixed it. It's the same reason why my other favorite 'ice cream' is frozen custard, since the eggs and butterfat make it so creamy. Soft serve is my next favorite. If my ice cream isn't super soft, I won't like it. I tried So Delicious coconut ice cream, and the taste was good, but since it was regular hard ice cream and not soft, I lost interest.
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:34 PM   #27  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megwini View Post
I guess for me, as far as making a difference, the labels aren't important unless they are stuck to. What I mean is, if someone is an omnivore but only eats meat for one meal a week, but eats this way for 50 years, they are resulting in far less animal cruelty than someone who tries to go strict vegan and quits after two years because they can't handle having no meat (and goes back to eating meat regularly). The one who was never vegetarian in the first place still would have consumed FAR less meat in the long run.

So in my opinion, it's not the label that matters, but what you're doing to make a difference. If by eating a little fish you are in the long run able to eat less meat because you can stick to your diet longer, that's better than being a vegetarian for a short time, as far as I'm concerned. I do agree with nelie that the egg and dairy industry can be far worse, which is why I've been trying to only eat dairy as a treat and use milk alternatives the rest of the time. I wouldn't be able to be vegan that way, but I know I'm far more likely to quit if I don't allow myself an occasional treat. Consider me Coldstone addicted.
Well said!
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