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Wishin986
May 31st, 2006, 04:41 PM
I was wondering where people draw the line when it comes to Veganism vs. Strict Vegetarianism.

I personally think one can say they are vegan if since they decided to go vegan they have abstained as much as possible from buying any products, be it food or other material goods, that contain animal products for themselves. I say buy because I do not include old items that someone wants to get the most use out of them that they can as to not waste them.

I would call people who only follow a "vegan diet" and do not think twice about buying leather or occasionally "cheating" on said diet a vegan but I would call that person a strict vegetarian. I would call them a strict vegetarian because the only are concerned w. dietary factors and animal treatment doesn't necessarily interest them. An example I have is that there is someone who claims to be vegan who doesn't think twice about buying leather goods and just the other weekend was seen in a local restaurant splitting a brownie and ice cream dessert and also using cream in coffee. I would say that is almost a strict vegetarian - assuming that they actually do follow a mostly "vegan diet" other than restaurant incidents.

I thought I would spark up this debate because I stated something on the levels of veganism thread and I don't think I accurately articulated what I meant so I figured I would start this thread so people can say where they personally draw the line.

Cherry
May 31st, 2006, 05:09 PM
I'd call a strict vegetarian somebody who never ate meat, gelatine, cochineal etc... I think it would be an insult to someone who was mostly vegan to be called a strict vegetarian - I'd probably say they were 'almost vegan'. Good for them though, better to be almost vegan or a dietary vegan than not at all :)

Cumin
May 31st, 2006, 05:49 PM
Wishin,
I'm not sure that the dietary Vs purchase distinction is the deciding point. Having been a strict vegetarian for several years, I think the distiction is merely about which products are intentionally excluded.
I'll try to clarify this:
A strict vegan would obviously try to exclude meat, silk, honey and gelatine, leather etc.
A strict veggy would try to exclude meat, leather and gelatine, but not honey or dairy.

I agree with Cherry. What you describe (lapsing, cheating and buying leather) would be neither veggy or vegan but 'nearly' one or the other. I think the label (veggy or vegan) comes from what they are trying to achieve, not from how successful they are. If a person lapses into omni world, I don't think they drop a rung down the ladder (as it were) to strict veggy. They just lapse (or cheat).

phew!

moonshadow
May 31st, 2006, 05:56 PM
i would say someone who buys leather goods but is otherwise vegan or vegetarian is a dietary vegan or dietary vegetarian.

i'd say a strict vegetarian may eat honey or dairy/eggs in foods but wouldn't eat them on their own (omlette, ice cream, cheese)

bryce is ovolacto, and won't wear leather. he'd agree that someone who wears leather should be a dietary vegetarian. he would say that person shouldn't be considered a strict vegetarian.

twinkle
May 31st, 2006, 07:01 PM
Living in Leicester, where there are a lot of "strict vegetarian" restaurants, I've come to associate it with a lacto-vegetarian diet, no eggs.

Wishin986
May 31st, 2006, 07:23 PM
I realize that society has changed the meaning of the word vegetarian in the vernacular to mean someone who does not eat flesh from meat or gelatin etc. However, definitively there is a distinct difference between vegetarianism and veganism and thats the lifestyle.


Vegan:
Pronunciation: 'vE-g&n also 'vA- also 've-j&n or -"jan
Function: noun
Etymology: by contraction from vegetarian
: a strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy products; also : one who abstains from using animal products (as leather)
- veg·an·ism /'vE-g&-"ni-z&m, 'vA-g&-, 've-j&-/ noun

it says ALSO abstains from using animal products (as leather)


Vegetarianism:
Pronunciation: -E-&-"ni-z&m
Function: noun
: the theory or practice of living on a diet made up of vegetables , fruits, grains, nuts, and sometimes eggs or dairy products

SOMETIMES eggs or dairy products - there are also entries on Merriam Webster Dictionary Online for lacto-vegetarian and lacto-ovo vegetarian making a clear distinction.

according to Britannica online vegetarianism:


Theory or practice of eating only plants.

The vegetarian diet includes grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts; it excludes meat, poultry, and fish, but some vegetarians eat dairy products (lactovegetarians), egg products (ovovegetarians), or both (ovolactovegetarians).

I read an interview w. Donald Watson a bit ago and he talked about how he wanted to create the word Vegan to incorporate the lifestyle factor because the word vegetarian wasn't enough since it only dealt w. dietary issues not product issues.

I feel in some ways the danger of calling people who look at veganism as solely a diet and something to "cheat on" is that it is now engrained in society. Most people I know when I explain I'm a vegan and that I don't eat or buy animal products including leather, silk, wool most say that they always just thought it was a food issue bc they know people who are vegans but dont know anything about or dont do anything about the lifestyle part of veganism besides the dietary factor. I personally would cease to label myself a vegan if I went out and ordered something that was most definately without a doubt not vegan until I decided to adhere to those values again. A lot of people always tell me well just try this (eventhough its usually a baked good w. some form of dairy or egg product involved) I won't tell anyone - to which I respond I do this for myself and its part of my moral values you not telling anyone doesn't mean that Im not going to know and thats whats important.

I do think that almost vegan and almost vegetarian can be good terms to use at times. I do realize that society has somewhat distorted the original meaning of vegetarian so that veganism has come to mean the elimination of dairy and egg products from what most people think is a vegetarian diet. Maybe I'm just a stickler for definitions - I was always that girl running to look thing up in the dictionary when we would get into debates over ethics - so maybe I'm interpreting too strictly but thats my personal interpretation of these terms.

madpogue
May 31st, 2006, 11:10 PM
I'd call a strict vegetarian somebody who never ate meat, gelatine, cochineal etc... So "strict vegetarianism" is like virginity? Once you've eaten something non-veg, it's "all over"? I know this is changing as time marches, but esp. among my age peers (and being a global westerner), just about every vegan I've met was raised omni. Not that it really matters much to me, as I don't use the term "strict vegetarian", but I guess it's really a function of how one was raised, right?

eclectic_one
May 31st, 2006, 11:52 PM
I think that what she's saying is that they have chosen not to eat meat, dairy, eggs, honey, etc...not that they always avoided those products. Think how few of us there would be if it meant that you could never have eaten or used those products:eek:

madpogue
Jun 1st, 2006, 01:26 AM
That's why I was (and still am) wondering about the "never ate" phrase.

Lorrs
Jun 1st, 2006, 01:29 AM
I would consider a strict vegetarian to be someone who is concerned about gelatine, ensures they eat vegetarian cheese, avoids wearing leather etc.

Someone who says they are a vegan but wears leather is a person following a vegan diet - a dietary vegan.

Someone who cuts out all animal products from their life would be referred to as living a vegan lifestyle.

UrbanVegan
Jun 1st, 2006, 02:01 AM
I've had a vegan diet for three years and until I joined this forum I've never heard of the phrase "strict vegetarian". I was having cookies with my parents this past Sunday at Whole Foods. (They make the best vegan cookies). My dad eats fish but does not eat any other meat or dairy/eggs. I mentioned to him about some conversations I had on this forum and asked what he thought. He was shocked that someone who has a vegan diet would not be considered a vegan. He has the same definition of veganism that I have.

Personally, I still see a strict vegetarian the same as a dietary vegan. And I think dietary vegan is much clearer for people to understand. When it comes to diet, vegetarian and vegan do not mean the same. Because of where I live I have no doubts that if I called myself a strict vegetarian and then was asked to explain I would be told that's being a vegan.

I have come to realize that the word vegan really does have different connotations depending on what part of the globe you live on. It means different things to different people. I realize down in the southern United States when I say vegan it means a specialized diet. But if I were to go to Europe people would assume that when I say vegan I have a no animal product lifestyle based on an animal rights precept.

It is true that the definition of a word can change from one locale to another.

eclectic_one
Jun 1st, 2006, 02:06 AM
I think it's even more localized than that. Where I live (in a SMALL Southern town), they have no idea what ANY kind of vegan is...I actually think a few thought I was a Satanist or something when I used the word! Even after I explained (only) the dietary part, they seemed shocked that I hadn't fallen dead a second after I became vegan. I certainly hope that you don't feel "put upon" by the different descriptions of what vegan means and continue on your evolution to be the "best" vegan you can be:cool: That's what I'm trying to do in my own life:)

VeganJohn
Jun 1st, 2006, 02:07 AM
If I were going to define what 'being vegan' is, then I would look to the Vegan Society's definition. After all, they (or more specfically Donald Watson) are the ones who invented the term and what it stands for back in 1944 are they not?

To me, it certainly isn't about just diet, although strict vegetarian could be a useful term in situations where you have to explain your dietary preferences, where the term 'vegan' may not be correctly understood.

UrbanVegan
Jun 1st, 2006, 02:51 AM
I think it's even more localized than that. Where I live (in a SMALL Southern town), they have no idea what ANY kind of vegan is...I actually think a few thought I was a Satanist or something when I used the word! Even after I explained (only) the dietary part, they seemed shocked that I hadn't fallen dead a second after I became vegan. I certainly hope that you don't feel "put upon" by the different descriptions of what vegan means and continue on your evolution to be the "best" vegan you can be:cool: That's what I'm trying to do in my own life:)

It's all good :D Once I got past the culture shock when I joined this forum then I realized it was just that a cultural difference of the understanding of veganism.

I realize we must do what we can to make a difference in the community we live in. If a vegan diet gets more vegan restaurants to open or more vegan choices on the menu that's awesome. That's my vegan focus. To help people eat healthier. I realize that veganism encompasses different elements from diet to animal rights to environmental issues. And each vegan goes vegan for their own reasons. Not all vegans become vegans for animal rights and not all vegans are vegan for simply health reasons. But we all contribute to the betterment of our societies and that's a major positive achievement. If some people focus on animal rights then the animals are helped. If others are focused on diet then human beings are helped. That way no one species declines due to the other.

UrbanVegan
Jun 1st, 2006, 02:54 AM
If I were going to define what 'being vegan' is, then I would look to the Vegan Society's definition. After all, they (or more specfically Donald Watson) are the ones who invented the term and what it stands for back in 1944 are they not?



Maybe then there is the concept of a vegan traditionalist and a vegan contemporary. A traditional vegan goes by what was defined in 1944 while a contemporary vegan goes by the evolved meaning of today.

Wishin986
Jun 1st, 2006, 03:19 AM
UrbanVegan - since you originally thought the term vegan was strictly a dietary term and your personal motivation behind veganism is a healthier lifestyle have you since (after visiting this forum) eliminated animal products in your material goods that you buy? (this is not meant to be an attack or anything I'm just curious is all as we are getting into how the term vegan has evolved and that kind of thing)

Seaside
Jun 1st, 2006, 06:24 AM
Maybe then there is the concept of a vegan traditionalist and a vegan contemporary. A traditional vegan goes by what was defined in 1944 while a contemporary vegan goes by the evolved meaning of today.
No. There is no evolved meaning. Its the same as it always has been. It has to be, because of all the myriad ways people want to interpret it to suit themselves. If we acknowledge that since 1944, veganism has changed to include those who use animal products in clothing, especially if the articles of clothing were given as gifts or extremely expensive, in another decade or two it will evolve to include those who want to call themselves vegan and still eat ice cream, cheese, or fish.

Being vegan isn't about the evolution of a label, or getting permission from a "committee" of some sort to call yourself a vegan when you are what you perceive as 85%, 90%, or 99% vegan. The definition of what veganism is is simple, easy to understand, and easy to live up to, if what you really want is to avoid exploiting animals.

terrace max
Jun 1st, 2006, 07:29 AM
The definition of what veganism is is simple, easy to understand, and easy to live up to, if what you really want is to avoid exploiting animals.

I agree emphatically, and I'd emphasise that 'want' bit. Once you've made the irrevocable change in your heart to treat all other animals as you'd want to be treated yourself...then the labels, the 'lifestyle' posturing, become redundant.

eve
Jun 1st, 2006, 09:26 AM
I agree with that, a vegan is someone following a vegan lifestyle, not just diet, and certainly not cheating! Who are they cheating if not themselves and the animals they are supposed to avoid exploiting.

As to the term strict vegetarian, for those who apparently eat honey etc, why bother, why not just refer to yourselves as vegetarians, after all veggies can eat anything including fish, eggs, chicken, cheese, honey, etc. One person I know says she is a vegetarian who only eats white meat!

This is a vegan forum, and surely we know what our lifestyle comprises? Why complicate matters by straying from the definition given by the Vegan Society or by Donald Watson?

DianeVegan
Jun 1st, 2006, 03:42 PM
I've referred to myself as a strict vegetarian in certain restaurants because some people can't wrap their minds around the concept of veganism. And I'm sure I've eaten animal products when not preparing food myself - I've worked in restaurant kitchens and even if your server understands veganism it doesn't mean the chef will. So the food aspect of veganism is simple - if you always prepare your own food or only eat in establishments that understand veganism.

But when it comes to medicine, travel, transportation, bedding (in other homes or hotels), soap in public restrooms, furniture and all the other aspects of life that we can't control - well then it's about doing the best you can. Certainly if I were a new vegan with little financial resources I would not feel welcome being told that I'm not vegan because I still have old leather shoes and can't afford new ones. Or that I have a donated rug or furniture with wool or feathers in the cushions because I can't afford to purchase these items.

I don't agree with levels of veganism or being "mostly" or "almost" vegan if you are making vegan choices when you actually have a choice. None of us are able to control the processing or ingredients of all the products we use in our working lives or personal lives. Therefore it's always about making vegan choices when possible.

applecrumble
Jun 1st, 2006, 04:05 PM
Well if you're strict then this is for you http://veganerotica.com/

Korn
Jun 1st, 2006, 04:25 PM
I've referred to myself as a strict vegetarian in certain restaurants because some people can't wrap their minds around the concept of veganism. For the same reason I sometimes say 'I only eat vegetarian food - not lacto-vegetarian.', and make sure I mention the word vegan too, in hope that my grandgrandgrandchildren won't have problems ordering vegan food... :)

UrbanVegan
Jun 1st, 2006, 05:45 PM
UrbanVegan - since you originally thought the term vegan was strictly a dietary term and your personal motivation behind veganism is a healthier lifestyle have you since (after visiting this forum) eliminated animal products in your material goods that you buy? (this is not meant to be an attack or anything I'm just curious is all as we are getting into how the term vegan has evolved and that kind of thing)

I have not changed how I shop for non-food items. I have not bought any clothes, shoes, our household furniture since I've been on this forum. I'm buying tennis shoes within the next week and I'll see how that goes. I have stop buying Burger King onion rings. :D

UrbanVegan
Jun 1st, 2006, 06:23 PM
Being vegan isn't about the evolution of a label, or getting permission from a "committee" of some sort to call yourself a vegan when you are what you perceive as 85%, 90%, or 99% vegan.

True it's not about permission or appeasing the "vegan police". We each have to live veganism in our lives as we choose and make a difference in our own community. I know that I make an impact on my co-workers with my vegan diet and every now and then they make a vegan food choice and come to me with excitement of what they either cooked or tried while out dining. I'm glad they made that one adjustment and I feel good they want to tell me about it. "Each one reach one" is my motto. And if calling my diet vegan (which it is) helps others try an animal free food choice then I'm more than happy to call myself vegan. It has never occurred to me to stop calling myself vegan or consider myself a non-vegan.

When I'm in the grocery store and someone overhears my conversation on a vegan diet and others look at what I'm buying then I'm making an impact. I've worked hard to overcome eating animal products and to change the way I shop for food and how I view going out to eat. So I have no issues what so ever calling myself vegan and I do so proudly :D

UrbanVegan
Jun 1st, 2006, 06:36 PM
I've worked in restaurant kitchens and even if your server understands veganism it doesn't mean the chef will.

That's the truth. I've had food come to my table and the waiter says "but I told him no dairy". And I"m thinking why did he bring this to the table then :confused: