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redlentils
Aug 22nd, 2004, 09:15 AM
Here is a relevant site:
http://www.thevegetariansite.com/ed_nolonger.htm
"What is a vegan? It's a label, just like vegetarian, republican, gay, senior citizen, christian, and democrat are labels. We are people; we are not the label we place on ourselves. The boundaries of whatever definition we assign to "vegan" are flexible. For me, it's about compassion. It's about reducing the amount of suffering in the world, especially for those who do not have a voice. I choose to follow this path through my food and product choices. "


excellent article. i too am happier to talk about eating vegan food or wearing non-leather shoes than to label myself as "vegan". What really brought this home to me was when a few years ago i bought some green beans from a supermarket. later i noted they were from zambia. i few days after that i read a harrowing report written by a member of the buddhist community i belong to about their experience in supporting a primary care outpost in zambia at a time of famine when many many people died. i know that i have been at times i have looked down on people whose diets are macdonald-esqe yet none of us is perfect. it is about leading as compassionate a life as possible. relieving the suffering of all sentient beings as best we can.

szyxwvut
Oct 16th, 2004, 02:23 PM
This is not meant to offend anyone but...

I can't believe that so many people on this forum do not at least consider it important to be strict dietary vegans. I have to agree with most of what St George says. On a dietary level you are either a vegan or you are not a vegan. Those who consider "lapses" in any form okay should consider themselves vegetarian. It really is that simple. Vegetarians surely have their own forum?!

Vivisanctor
Nov 14th, 2004, 07:19 AM
"i am Christian,but i worship satan once a week"

no, it's like saying "I'm a Christian, but I am a sinner as well"

PinkFluffyCloud
Nov 14th, 2004, 12:35 PM
"i am Christian,but i worship satan once a week"

no, it's like saying "I'm a Christian, but I am a sinner as well"

Yeah, Reality Check! ;)

Andie
Nov 15th, 2004, 03:26 PM
Conscious,
Have you read "Living Among MEat Eaters?" While your having issues with vegans and vegetarians, some of the same dynamics explored in Carol Adams' book may be going on. Good luck.

As for your question, I occasionally cook omni food for hubby. I take medicines that aren't vegan and haven't thrown away wool and leather items. Restaurants are iffy places for me. I'm not comfortable asking too many questions about hidden ingredients.

Does that make me unvegan, not sure. I really don't care about labels.

Andie
Nov 15th, 2004, 03:29 PM
I must ammend that. Labels are important to some degree. They help us know what is and is not. I have gotten aggrivated at people who say they are vegetarians and eat fish and chicken. I think some people want the vegan or vegetarian "status" without giving up stuff.
Or what about the folks who say "I don't eat a lot of meat" What's their point?

ConsciousCuisine
Nov 15th, 2004, 04:03 PM
Conscious,
Have you read "Living Among MEat Eaters?" While your having issues with vegans and vegetarians, some of the same dynamics explored in Carol Adams' book may be going on. Good luck.

As for your question, I occasionally cook omni food for hubby. I take medicines that aren't vegan and haven't thrown away wool and leather items. Restaurants are iffy places for me. I'm not comfortable asking too many questions about hidden ingredients.

Does that make me unvegan, not sure. I really don't care about labels.


I have read the book. I agree that often when people call themselves vegan but eat rice at restaurants without checking to be sure it has no chicken broth or eating rolls that are slathered in butter it is for many reasons, some of which are brought up in the book. I have asked vegans questions about this and have to say that it is an even divide: half of the people are strict/pure and the other half do the "don't ask/don't tell" thing at restaruants or friends houses or eat honey or other animal products while calling themselves "Vegan".

It is confusing to me. :(

ConsciousCuisine
Nov 15th, 2004, 04:04 PM
I must ammend that. Labels are important to some degree. They help us know what is and is not. I have gotten aggrivated at people who say they are vegetarians and eat fish and chicken. I think some people want the vegan or vegetarian "status" without giving up stuff.
Or what about the folks who say "I don't eat a lot of meat" What's their point?


Vegans feel the same way about those who eat gelatin/chicken broth/honey etc. and say they are "Vegan".

foxytina_69
Nov 15th, 2004, 04:17 PM
my definition of vegan is to not harm animals in order to live. i do prepare animal products sumtimes for other people, and i do have a couple wool/suede coats. i think it makes more sense to keep my coats and use them instead of throwing them away, as long as i dont purchase anything else that an animal was harmed for. im happy aslong as im not consuming or buying anything with animal products, and im not using any hygeine products with animal products in them.

ConsciousCuisine
Nov 15th, 2004, 04:35 PM
Making use of (by wearing or giving it away) non-vegan clothing that was acquired prior to becoming vegan is a healthy part of "doing the least harm"...it is wasteful to *not* use what one already has, IMO.

veganblue
Nov 16th, 2004, 10:07 PM
to what extent do you question the waitstaff? Say I'm ordering a veggie burger.... How much more in depth would you question them? -JK

I guess a rule of thumb would apply to what you would be prepared to eat with the offending item in it. Sometimes when I am eating bread or toast I can not be 100% certain it does not contain a small amount of a milk by product. While it feels awkward, I continue and just do what I can to avoid those circumstances in future - it *will* happen again...

On the otherhand if I suspect shrimp in the sauce or beef fat in the fryer I don't want to eat that so if not satisfied I politely move on or choose something else.

Your intentions are no less *vegan*; it not really about that at all, I feel that it's about what you are prepared to consume from lack of knowledge about the ingredients.

We are fortunate to have good labelling laws here since there is so much fear of litigation due to allegic reactions - everything has ingredients panels - even water has a panel saying what the sodium count is...!

It looks like you are going to a good deal of trouble to find out and that's great! You may feel like a bother but you are helping educate the staff not only about the ingredients but that there are people that want to know in their customer base.

I have to agree with CC that is is dissapointing when eating out when what is prepared is not a scratch on what you could make yourself! Fortunately this only happens occasionally. :) (at a vegan restaurant no less!)

veganblue
Nov 17th, 2004, 12:20 AM
I was thinking about the idea of degrees of veganism and how some people can judge the levels of veganism against themselves or against a set definition. I would have to say my veganism has evolved over time; as I learn more; appreciate the impact I am having more; as I become more relaxed about things as I get older.

The analogy I was thinking about this morning was of a colour - let's say "red" for example. There are many shades of red; crimson, blood, brick, rose, scarlet, but we all agree that the colour is red, not blue. In living out our lives as vegans we not only will not all match, each individual will go through a range of shades throughout their lives but are still consistant to that colour.

I think the same is true for vegans; no matter what shade of vegan we are our intentions and our effect all belong to the colour vegan and it is not terribly important what shade is the 'best'. What is important is the impact each individual is having in their lives, upon the lives and welfare of the animals we are all so keen to protect.

...my two cents worth anyhow :)

eve
Nov 17th, 2004, 07:00 AM
I don't think in terms of degrees. Once I decided on a vegan lifestyle, that was it. No evolving. I live my life accordingly. Eating out is impossible for me as there are no restaurants in the town where I live, that have a clue. Having a soyaccino is the only item I consume out. If in Brisbane, there are alternatives, but I only go down there once a year!

PinkFluffyCloud
Nov 17th, 2004, 07:18 AM
That's funny, Veganblue, I have a chart in my head, like a litmus paper - I don't judge people their worthiness by it, it's just like a game which I apply to everyone.
At one end of my scale is people who are animal abusers who eat meat, going through to those who eat meat but 'love' animals, through to vegetarians who want to not support cruelty but are, maybe unwittingly.
Then there are 'Health Vegans' who eat Vegan for health reasons but don't think deeply about the philosophy - and at the end of my scale, Vegans who are prepared to go the 'whole way' towards liberating animals, whatever the personal cost.
Well, that's just my little 'scale' - I don't always like the human race, but I do find them fascinating - what makes us all who we are, etc.

Korn
Nov 17th, 2004, 02:03 PM
[Restaurant posts moved here. (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1599&page=4&pp=10) ]

gothic_ana
Dec 30th, 2004, 02:14 PM
for me being vegan is to do the best i can to stop or reduce the pan and suffering they go through.
my parner eats meat and his family raise cows for meat so i cant get away from that ijust do the best i can to know what i am doing is good enough even though im only 1 person - every little bit counts.
i dont buy or consume animal products (im a "new" vegan so im still learning what is and isnt a animal product and by product and how to get around that.) also its about helping nature and all its parts cos if people just stoped and looked what eerything dose to everything eles they would understand. or mybe they wouldnt but thats co sthey are ignorant to open there mind even if they dnt chose but just to look andsee is a great start.
COMPASSION FOR EVERYONE & EVERYTHING, ALL RACES ALL ANIMALS ALL LIFE :)
we all havediffrent meansings cos we all are diffrent, yes we all suport the same cause but we all also have diffrent curcomstaces :)

take care

eve
Dec 31st, 2004, 07:47 PM
hello gothic_ana - I'd love to read your post there, but the colour doesn't show up. What's wrong with normal black type? :)

gothic_ana
Dec 31st, 2004, 11:18 PM
sorry eve, i didnt know it was so hard to read ;) I might be gothic but i love typing in color it adds some degree of fun and i think just typing in black can get boring if u read it time after time :D

for me being vegan is to do the best i can to stop or reduce the pan and suffering they go through.
my parner eats meat and his family raise cows for meat so i cant get away from that ijust do the best i can to know what i am doing is good enough even though im only 1 person - every little bit counts.
i dont buy or consume animal products (im a "new" vegan so im still learning what is and isnt a animal product and by product and how to get around that.) also its about helping nature and all its parts cos if people just stoped and looked what eerything dose to everything eles they would understand. or mybe they wouldnt but thats co sthey are ignorant to open there mind even if they dnt chose but just to look andsee is a great start.
COMPASSION FOR EVERYONE & EVERYTHING, ALL RACES ALL ANIMALS ALL LIFE
we all havediffrent meansings cos we all are diffrent, yes we all suport the same cause but we all also have diffrent curcomstaces

take care

Korn
Mar 25th, 2005, 10:55 PM
There is no such thing as a "dietary vegan."

According to the vegan society (http://www.vegansociety.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=25&products_id=105) there is. Who am I to argue? :)

I think that the reason TVS use that definition, is to just distinguish between people who eat vegan food on one side, and all the others on the other side. It's easier to put 'dietary vegan' into a pop-up menu that 'I'm either a vegan or one that eats only vegan food'.

If they would mean that a 'Vegan' is a person who just eats vegan food, there would be no need to use the expression 'dietary vegan'. The fact that they use this expression just shows that they distingush between vegans and dietary vegans, meaning that - a vegan is something else than a dietary vegan.

But as you wrote earlier, why not just agree that there are people who are vegans, and there are people who eat vegan food. There are also people who are Italian, and people who eat Italian food. I have used the term 'dietary vegan' in the past myself, but it is a self-contradiction, just like 'dietary hindu' would have been. I also know that there are negative reactions on that The Vegan Society use that term, and you may have noticed that they are being criticized for focusing to little on ethics.

For me, a vegetarian means one who eats plant-based food, as opposed to a lacto-vegetarian, who eats plant based food + dairy products.( http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=271&highlight=definition ) For others, the word vegetarian is meaning many different things. We have discussed this several times before, and I think most vegans agree that it's better if the word 'vegan' doesn't loose it's meaning, the way 'vegetarian' has. Because if it does, we need to invent a new word for people who don't eat or use animal products, and that would not be a good solution. It's already invented a term for people who eat vegan food, but are not vegans, 'vegitan', - but few people use it either because they haven't heard of it or because it sounds a bit funny. I don't know.

People who use the original meaning of vegan (90% or more vegans?) don't deserve to be forced to invent a new term for people who are against using animal products (not only in their diet, but as much as possible), now when the meaning of 'vegan' finally is becoming known.

Spiral
Mar 25th, 2005, 11:40 PM
It's already invented a term for people who eat vegan food, but are not vegans, 'vegitan', - but few people use it either because they haven't heard of it or because it sounds a bit funny. I don't know.
I've not heard the term before, but it makes sence to have another word to describe those who eat a vegan diet but may wear leather etc. Now I know the term, I'll use it. We live and learn :)

When I first joined the UK vegan society over 20 years ago, I'm pretty sure they stipulated then that anyone wanting to be a full member was a vegan. I haven't been a member of the society constantly throughout those 20 years, and joined again fairly recently when they used the term 'dietary vegan' instead of just vegan, which I thought was a bit odd, but assumed they had their reasons. I don't know when they changed the criteria for membership, but it's probably a good idea if they changed back to just using the term vegan. Perhaps they wanted to encourage vegitans to join when they otherwise wouldn't :confused:

Mr Pearcore
Mar 26th, 2005, 12:56 AM
My definition hasn't changed over the years, and I'm not flexible, even with the honey that "beforewisdom" is neutral about. If someone else wants to eat it (sometimes referred to as bees vomit), that's up to them, but I'm vegan.

Theres a Self Righteous Brothers song that is about being vegan and it has the line: "I wont use the honey thats made from masturbating bee's" :D

God, I love them guys.

Mr Pearcore
Mar 26th, 2005, 01:09 AM
I may have replied to this thread already, but Im not sure. But my definition of the term VEGAN, is someone who does everything within their will to not use, exploit, condone etc animal products and animal cruelty in anyway. By this, I dont mean someone who tries not to eat a vege burger with egg on it, but just has to because they love egg so much. I mean a vegan is someone who does all they can to not use animal products. Because we all use animal products, theres apparently animal products in rubber, thats car tires and alot of other things. And cars use alot of greese and other shit that us non mechanic or whatever folk dont know about which Im sure would contain animal products as everything else seems to, so why not them? Aswell, I read an article once where the argument was what I am saying (which was by a vegan). They said noone is a perfect vegan or even a vegan at all, as everyone uses toilet paper etc. toilet paper is from the cutting down of trees which birds live in etc. so you can get down to even the most anal (no pun intended) theories, and we still somehow at the end of the day are using anmial products. But all we can do is do our best to do whatever we can to cause the atleast amount of harm to other living creatures as we can.

I dont consider someone who drinks a non-vegan beer on occasions as a vegan. You cant be half-arsed. Thats not doing your best. but on the same token, you are doing better than most.

So basically all Im saying is a vegan is someone who does everything within their means to not use or condone animal products and cruelty in anyway, without being homeless in the street, naked eating weeds and grass.

Kelzie
Mar 26th, 2005, 02:02 AM
I got a lesson in the vegan definition from my omni sister of all people. :rolleyes: She drove me out to an Amish farm two weeks ago, all proud because I had explained to her the ethical reasons I had for not eating eggs, and she had found a place where I could eat them. I SAW the chickens. They were strutting in the yard, rolling in the dirt, just being chickens. Now I'm no expert on the state of mind of chickens, but those chickens were not unhappy in any way, and the eggs were just a by-product. My sister said "see! you can eat those eggs!" I explained to her that I was uncomfortable eating eggs, because vegans don't eat eggs. She looked at me and said "you can't just live the definition". And she was right. So I had some eggs two weeks ago. Was I a vegan two weeks ago? No I wasn't. Do I believe I was still living ethically two weeks ago? Yes I do.

Now I know people have different reasons for becoming vegans. To the people that became a vegan because they believe it's wrong to consume any animal product, I've probably committed a horrible sin. To the people, like me that became a vegan because they think it's wrong to harm a creature just to eat, what I did was probably fine. But, I wouldn't have called myself a vegan that day, because I didn't fit the definition. But then again, life so rarely does. ;)

Mr Pearcore
Mar 26th, 2005, 03:20 AM
I still do not eat free-range eggs, as I dont agree with exploiting animals for profit.

Kelzie
Mar 26th, 2005, 04:10 AM
Like I said, different people have different reasons for being vegan. Personally, I think the chickens could care less if their eggs were sold. But if you think that the chickens feel exploited, that's fine. I was just saying that we shouldn't base our choices on some definition. If there's no belief behind it, the definition's worthless.