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jhodgski
Jun 26th, 2005, 12:46 AM
If I was asked to described myself, 'vegan' would be one of my first few words, but I feel it's such a crap word... It sounds like I should be one of the extras on Star Trek, or maybe the freak offspring of hippy-librarian parentage...

Can't help thinking that the chap (sorry, can't remember his name) could have come up with a better term when he thought it all up. Maybe 'pure vegetarian' (or even 'non-hypocritical vegetarian'!) would have been better.

But 'vegan' lacks relevance and meaning, which is probably why so many people don't have even a clue whether we eat fish or not...

gertvegan
Jun 26th, 2005, 11:02 AM
If I was asked to described myself, 'vegan' would be one of my first few words, but I feel it's such a crap word... It sounds like I should be one of the extras on Star Trek, or maybe the freak offspring of hippy-librarian parentage...
Our Members are pronounced individualists, not easily scared by criticism, and filled with the spirit of pioneers

Can't help thinking that the chap (sorry, can't remember his name) could have come up with a better term when he thought it all up. Maybe 'pure vegetarian' (or even 'non-hypocritical vegetarian'!) would have been better.

But 'vegan' lacks relevance and meaning, which is probably why so many people don't have even a clue whether we eat fish or not...
'Non-dairy' has become established as a generally understood colloquialism, but like 'non-lacto' it is too negative. Moreover it does not imply that we are opposed to the use of eggs as food. We need a name that suggests what we do eat, and if possible one that conveys the idea that even with all animal foods taboo, Nature still offers us a bewildering assortment from which to choose. 'Vegetarian' and 'Fruitarian' are already associated with societies that allow the 'fruits'(!) of cows and fowls, therefore it seems we must make a new and appropriate word.

Pilaf
Jun 26th, 2005, 11:06 AM
It works just fine for me. It has a mystical, occult feeling to it. I'm into that kind of thing and I always thought the term "Vegan" sounded very cool. It is sort of hard around the edges and mysterious..a powerful word.

Korn
Jun 26th, 2005, 01:35 PM
But 'vegan' lacks relevance and meaning, which is probably why so many people don't have even a clue whether we eat fish or not...

I think the word works fine in most cases, probably because after 60 years, a lot of people have heard it in many areas of the world... it would be a disaster to have to start from scratch because someone doesn't like the sound of the word.

Since the various variations of the word 'vegetarian' is associated with diet, I think it's good that it sounds a bit different.

Some people don't have a clue whether 'vegetarians' eat fish or not, because the word has been polluted by people who call themselves vegetarians even if they eat fish or chicken, but I think those who have heard the word vegan, knows that vegans don't eat fish.

If they don't, the same think could happen again with a new word, just like another word for someone who avoids all kinds of animal products as much as possible, also could get the hippy-librarian parentage association.

I don't agree with the great old Watson about 'fruitarian' sounding like someone who eats the fruits of cows and fowl, but I think he did a pretty good job in establishing a new word.

Here are some of the other words they discussed back in the 1940's:
Allvega
Total vegetarian (better than 'Strict vegetarian, but sounds like it's about food only, and a bit totalitarian)
Neo-vegetarian (neo, meaning new, would loose it's meaning a bit when it isn't new anymore)
Dairyban (they decided that not eating honey would be part of being vegan, so dairyban would be a bad word, it doesn't imply avoiding meat or leather either)
Vitan (sounds like vitamin supplement to me)
Benevore (vegan sounds better!)
Sanivore (sounds a bit like something one would buy in a pharmacy)
Beaumangeur (would be hard to pronounce in many languages)

One negative thing that could be said about 'vegan' (pronounced vee-gn), is that there sometimes is a little confusion about how to pronounce it, which could make people avoid using it. But that will disappear when it becomes more known.

sugarmouse
Jun 26th, 2005, 02:55 PM
good questionand very good answers!!

ppl bend the 'rules' i agree..which confuses ppl

i never thought abou the word vegan though.i define myself as..i dont consume anthin from an animal, ass i feel it is not natural and not ethical...and if you tink i m wrong, then good for you!lol

words are not alwyas good at describing wht they mean.but i dont tink it really matters.i rarely say im vegan..i siimply tell them the above.as long as i harm none, i will do waht i want:)

Cryospark
Jun 26th, 2005, 04:25 PM
nothing stops you from using whatever term you want.
I've refered to myself as a vegesaur before that's just jurassic park derived mehehe

what lamer names they had back then
where is
floravore, vegavore, botanivore, verdurist
cognizant vegetarian hehe
enlightened masticater

Seaside
Jun 29th, 2005, 06:14 AM
Beaumangeur (would be hard to pronounce in many languages)
I like that one! :)

Tombstone
Jul 10th, 2005, 02:57 AM
I think the word isn't very good, basically because 'vegans' vary wildly on their beliefs and morals. So when I say 'I'm vegan' it doesn't necessarily get interpreted in the way that I mean it, given that the person hearing me say it has probably met other 'vegans' who are totally different to me. The dictionary definition of a vegan is flakey. There should be a more solid word in existance which covers specifically what the deal is. I just use the word 'vegan' because it is the best word that there is to describe my morals and behaviour. But really, the dictionary doesn't even comment on animal testing and stuff like that, it makes it sound like a strict vegetarian basically.

Mozbee
Jul 10th, 2005, 04:18 PM
I know what you mean Tomb', I'm afraid I was (whoops, I still am) jumping on any chance I got to declare myself "a vegan" I was so proud and relieved by the feeling I got, it's like a drug (I feel at peace with all animals, mmmm but there is that odd species which really gets up my nose ofcourse! ;)).

Vegan is good because it's succinct and unlike omnivore, herbivore or fruitarian, vegetarian it doesn't follow the pattern, it's a breakaway from the mould, it doesn't conform which is representative of "vegans" themselves I'd say. Thumbs up!

NorVegan
Jul 10th, 2005, 04:24 PM
To say “I am vegan” in a small place in Norway leads to a bit of explanation.

So most of the time if someone asks, I say something like this: “I am vegan, and a vegan is someone who don’t eat/drink/use anything that cones from an animal, including milk/egg/honey”

It takes 10 seconds, and if I am lucky most people either give up to try to feed me things that contains egg/milk, or it will go on to be a longer debate ;)

Mozbee
Jul 10th, 2005, 04:33 PM
Ofcourse due to Jodie Foster's 1989 film Contact people might think we're a bunch of ETs from the planet Vega!

sugarmouse
Jul 10th, 2005, 07:58 PM
lol!! i find it better to say i dont eat animal products...saying im a vegan conjures up all sorts of different assumptions and they do vary too much :)

Mozbee
Jul 11th, 2005, 12:24 AM
lol!!! ;) ;) nudge nudge no what I mean sugarmouse!

sugarmouse
Jul 11th, 2005, 10:34 PM
lol!!! ;) ;) nudge nudge no what I mean sugarmouse!
lo, mozbee my mind is far too far down the sewer to reply to that comment right now!! :p :eek:

essence_uk
Jul 11th, 2005, 10:37 PM
I think it's a shame the word was needed, when we call other animals "herbivore/vegetarian" it goes without saying they don't eat the eggs and milk of other species. Ideally vegetarian/herbivore would have sufficed for any purely plant based diet and the sicko hypocrites could be "ovo-lacto-vegetarians" at a push.

Slightly interesting fact: Did you know the letters removed from vegetarian to get vegan spelled forwards is "irate". Just a fluke? hehe

DoveInGreyClothing
Jul 12th, 2005, 12:35 AM
I agree with essence uk above.
It reminds me of the Vogons from hitchhikers' guide to the galaxy!

Mozbee
Jul 12th, 2005, 12:58 AM
Maybe we could rebrand the hypocritters (veggies) geviratenas! ;)

AbFab
Jul 12th, 2005, 01:24 AM
I think it's a shame the word was needed, when we call other animals "herbivore/vegetarian" it goes without saying they don't eat the eggs and milk of other species. Ideally vegetarian/herbivore would have sufficed for any purely plant based diet and the sicko hypocrites could be "ovo-lacto-vegetarians" at a push.

I also agree with Essence on this.


I think the word isn't very good, basically because 'vegans' vary wildly on their beliefs and morals. So when I say 'I'm vegan' it doesn't necessarily get interpreted in the way that I mean it, given that the person hearing me say it has probably met other 'vegans' who are totally different to me. The dictionary definition of a vegan is flakey. There should be a more solid word in existance which covers specifically what the deal is. I just use the word 'vegan' because it is the best word that there is to describe my morals and behaviour. But really, the dictionary doesn't even comment on animal testing and stuff like that, it makes it sound like a strict vegetarian basically.
Maybe we could split the definition then, so Dietary Vegans are those that simply don't eat any animal products, and AR Vegans are those that also are active in reducing animal suffering in the form of testing/zoos/farms etc. But what of those who consume no animal products but wear leather/silk/wool etc, or those that consume no animal products but DON'T wear the above? It just gets too confusing. Stick to plain vegan I suppose, but know that we are all different as are all other people, and we have different places where we draw our lines.
I always thought vegan was a strict vegetarian anyway, and those who are also towards the AR side of things are just vegan but with an AR twist.

Tombstone
Jul 12th, 2005, 04:03 AM
Maybe we could split the definition then, so Dietary Vegans are those that simply don't eat any animal products, and AR Vegans are those that also are active in reducing animal suffering in the form of testing/zoos/farms etc. But what of those who consume no animal products but wear leather/silk/wool etc, or those that consume no animal products but DON'T wear the above? It just gets too confusing. Stick to plain vegan I suppose, but know that we are all different as are all other people, and we have different places where we draw our lines.
I always thought vegan was a strict vegetarian anyway, and those who are also towards the AR side of things are just vegan but with an AR twist.

Well the issue to me isn't very important, I don't care about words really, either way. If someone says 'I'm an astronaut!' but they're a postman, I am not going to lose sleep over it. But to me, saying 'I'm a dietary vegan' is still saying that you are a 'vegan' and that it's to do with diet. This contradicts itself. To say that you are on a vegan diet is not a contradiction however, because it implies nothing else about yourself. The word vegan applies to things beyond diet. So to say you're a dietary vegan (someone who is vegan because of diet) yet you still wear leather or whatever, you aren't vegan at all, you just follow a vegan diet. But like I say, it doesn't matter to me, it's just a debate on use of language. Someone says they're a dietary vegan, I know what they mean, I wouldn't argue with them. And I might even be wrong about all of this.

EDIT: no words are needed for any of it. Like saying 'what's the word for someone who gives 1,000 to charity each year? Well what's the word for someone who gives 2,000 to charity each year?' Just seems like self-satisfaction, and look-at-me value. People shouldn't try to earn a title or whatever.

veganfever
Nov 24th, 2006, 01:59 AM
I just read a book “Thinking Points. Communicating Our American Values and Vision” and am in a process of reading “Don’t think of an elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate”, both by George Lakoff.
In my opinion, these two books are of tremendous importance for us here, on this forum, because, I would venture, we are mostly “progressives”, even “super-progressives” if you ask me, but also, and this is even more important, because these books can teach us how to reframe how we are perceived by the population and how we can convey our understanding of progressiveness and our values to the general population.
Is anybody here familiar with Mr. Lakoff? If yes, I would like to hear your opinions about his teachings and his books. It would also be interesting to discuss how to apply this knowledge to our cause.
For example, what if we stopped calling ourselves “vegans” and start calling ourselves “super-progressives”? Of course we wouldn’t do it, I understand that, but do you see how it changes the “framing” of our cause? How we got rid of all the negative connotations that we have accumulated over the years, associated with framing that we didn’t formulate, the framing that people who hate us came up with and built upon it over the last few decades? ( you know, the negative connotations I am talking about, don’t you? The weirdoes, the radicals, the angry, the fighting vegans, etc? ).
This is the power of framing.
Any thoughts on this? Do you agree that this knowledge could help our cause?

veganfever

twinkle
Nov 24th, 2006, 02:09 AM
I think you'd just get a whole load of new negative connotations associated with whatever you chose to call yourself as a non-animal-product-eater, because it's such an alien concept to the majority of people, just not because of the negative associations they've built up (though clearly some people do judge based on that).

I know a lot of people who have never even heard of the word vegan and are still hostile to it.

fiamma
Nov 26th, 2006, 11:59 PM
I hate the word vegan and rarely use it, instead I tend to say that I eat nothing that comes from animals (Irealise this encompasses only the dietary aspect, but if people are interested or ask for more info then I am happy to explain more). I think the word vegan is ugly and brings a lot of negative stereotypes with it, and think in this respect it might be interesting to find another word. But this has been discussed before, and I don't think the real problem is veganism itself, rather the negative feelings that other people have and how they choose to react to the concept of veganism. But in finding another word we simply create another label, and we should be about actions and not words that we stick on one another.

kirnon67
Dec 14th, 2006, 05:51 AM
The word Vegan is one to be proud of, for me it stands for unity and not just for animals but people to. Vegan is a word that sets us apart from the so called norm its not just a "dietary" thing, its about giving a voice to the voiceless its about taking a stand against unjustified Murder, its about humanity growing up and understanding the deepest level of right from wrong. Vegan is the next evaluation of humanity.

wmenke
Jan 14th, 2007, 09:36 PM
On more than one occasion I have had someone tell me that everytime they hear the word vegan, it makes them think of vampires. Now, obviously we are not going to be the ones going around and sucking people's blood, but I find it a little hillarious. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the word vegan. It sounds kind of harsh or scary to me.

Korn
Jan 14th, 2007, 09:51 PM
It sounds kind of harsh or scary to me. I wonder why... can anything me less scary that a bunch of people who aren't even willing to harm a mouse? :)