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Thread: There is no such thing as a dietary vegan

  1. #1
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default There is no such thing as a dietary vegan

    As most people know, vegans avoid animal products as much as possible, not only in their diet: veganism is not only about food.

    The term 'dietary vegan' has been used at least on one occasion, on one page of the site of a vegan organization.

    I've also used the term myself, in the past, to distinguish between vegans and people who live on a plant based diet. Then I realized that if I use the term 'dietary vegan' to describe people who eat vegan food, but are not really vegans (they may eg. be hunters), I just achive the opposite effect of what I want.

    Why?

    Because I give the impression that there are two kinds of vegans, which again gives the impression that the vegans who are not a vegans are also vegans.... .

    Let me explain:

    When people add the word 'dietary' before the vegan, it is because they know that even if you are living on a plant based diet, you don't need to be a vegan. If vegan would mean 'living on a plant based diet', there would be no need to call someone a 'dietary vegan', right? If 'vegan' only was about diet, the word 'dietary' wouldn't need to be there at all. The word 'dietary' is added because vegan is not only about diet.

    So the intention behind using the term 'dietary vegan' was good. But it has a built in, negative, side effect. It creates an idea that both vegans and dietary vegans (who are not vegans) are vegans.

    If 'dietary vegans' are vegans too (which users of of the expression 'dietary vegan' obviously didn't mean, since he added the word 'dietary'), at some point some people will use the word vegan about people who eat plant based food, but who might go hunting in the weekends.

    So, while I, and everybody else who knows a little about the history of veganism, agree that 'vegan' is NOT only about diet, let's not attack vegan newbies for misusing the word 'vegan'. It's better to contact that organization, and try to discuss the situation with them.

    Are there people in that organization who want to change the meaning of 'vegan' to something else that it has always meant? I don't think or hope so. Therefore, IMO it would be a lot better to avoid the term 'dietary vegan', because it can create the idea that there are two kinds of vegans, which again in the future will mean that the word vegan can be used about people who don't fit with the original and - by far - the most common used definition of the word.

    We had a poll in 'Veganforum 1', which showed that less than 1 out of 10 used the word 'vegan' about someone who was living on a plant based diet only, which confirms that the original meaning of the word is well known and used. I'm originally from a small town in a small country without any vegan organizations at all, and even in that little town, many years ago, people knew that veganism was about more than food, it was about respect for animals.

    Let's not change that.

  2. #2
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    This is written by Joanne Stepaniak, writer of The Vegan Sourcebook and many other books about veganism and vegan food:

    The neologism "dietary vegan" has been used to describe "total vegetarians" - people who avoid all animal products in diet only. This term is problematic because it distorts the meaning of "vegan" by narrowing it down to issues related solely to food. Veganism is not about food; it is about reverence for life. By minimizing it's substance, we diminish the word's value. With this fandangle term, "vegan" loses its defining characteristics and ultimately becomes meaningless. What, then, differentiates "dietary vegan" from "total vegetarian" or "total vegetarian" from "vegetarian"? Suddenly we have a confusing, oxymoronic set of useless vocabulary that confounds all who hear it. Not surprisingly, the misinformed masses emerge, vigorously defending the language they believe is accurate and fitting.
    http://www.vegsource.com/jo/essays/namegame.htm
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    Melissa assilembob's Avatar
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    FYI - For most non-vegan peeps in the US Vegan IS just about diet and it's very frustrating. I haven't figured out how to go about changing it on the whole yet...At a picnic with my boyfriend someone asked me about being vegan and I said yes. Later a conversation was begun about laundry and I said something about how I hadn't been able to do any since I didn't bring any detergent with me. His mother got upset and said there's a brand new box of tide in the laundry room. It was difficult to not sound rude when explaining that I will not use that stuff...and some of the people in his family are "vegetarian" and "Vegan" supposedly!!!!

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  4. #4
    Pilaf
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    I still own some old clothing products with animal products from before my turn to veganism..but I only wear them around the house. I won't be buying any more.

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    The label thing is a big ball of snakes.

    I have some leather DM's I've had for absolutely years, and it would be a waste to get rid of them, but to wear them technically makes me not vegan.
    However, when there's a work AGM or something and we have to tick menu sheets, I'm not about to write anything other than vegan on it.

    To a point, I think people should have more freedom to call themselves what they want, without recrimination. I think it's odd when someone says they're 90% vegan or something, as they are basically saying that to do non-vegan things is the norm for them, not an unusual event. However, what am I?
    If I ticked vegetarian, I'd get dairy, and so what to do?

  6. #6
    Raskolnikov
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Quote Nivvie
    I have some leather DM's I've had for absolutely years, and it would be a waste to get rid of them, but to wear them technically makes me not vegan.
    Precisely the same story with me! I've been musing as to whether I should donate them to charity and buy a vege-"leather" pair of boots instead, but I can't really afford to at present. I may have to hang on until a birthday rolls around.

  7. #7
    Tombstone
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    I agree Korns, the term dietary-vegan doesn't make sense, given that veganism extends further than diet. It would make more sense for someone to say that they follow a vegan diet wouldn't it? Then they are not claiming to be vegan, they are just eating what a vegan eats (for whatever reason).

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    There's just one point, brought home to me recently as I read Pamela Rice's book "101 reasons why I'm a Vegetarian". She is writing for omnivores, and although she is a vegan herself, somehow I think it would muddy the waters by raising the subject of veganism. First get them to stop eating meat, then move on. If she pushed the vegan barrow, which is not a dietary matter, it's going to be too complicated for many newbies.
    Eve

  9. #9

    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Personally, rather than say dietary vegan, it would maybe just be better to say "strict vegetarian" or "vegetarian". Unless, well, there's a problem w/ that.


    To a point, I think people should have more freedom to call themselves what they want, without recrimination

    Nivvie--I really do agree w/ you. I think this was the number one problem my husband had when I decided to stop eating or using animal. He holds one particular view of what veganism means and what perhaps other people think of vegans. I feel that I don't want a label or whatever to be a limitation of myself in the way others see me but I also want freedom to use the label to at least partly define what I believe in. I believe that we shouldn't eat or use any product derived from animals. Those may be competing concepts, but, well, look at my name I'm always trying to find balance in my life and others.

  10. #10
    essence_uk
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    The term is okay by me, it simply states that diet is the only aspect of their life in accordance with veganism. Quick and simple to the point that they may well wear leather etc and have no ethical reasoning behind their choices, only health/diet selfish concerns.

  11. #11
    realfood neil
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    When I turned veggie and was still wearing leather boots I asked myself what I would do if I was wearing the skin of a human, I would definitely give them a burial. This is one of the standards I use to see if I am doing the right thing. I remember that leather is made from animal skin and the animal deserves respect even after its death no matter how long after.

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    I'm extra evil.
    I'd wear human boots. We remove cadaver skin (donated, or course) to use on burn victims, I'm quite used to the stuff. I know the animal didn't donate it, but I suppose my feelings about death ceremonies is that they are for the living, to help them.
    I have left strict instructions for my funeral, but the chances are the living will ignore them.
    I wish I could sue from beyond the grave....

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Quote Nivvie
    I have left strict instructions for my funeral, but the chances are the living will ignore them. I wish I could sue from beyond the grave....
    Interesting! Would it be impolite to enquire further?

    Anyway... Back to topic, I don't see anything wrong with the term 'dietary vegan'. It does exactly what it says on the tin, possibly even more, but it's clear they don't want to consume anything animal-derived. I wish we could just say vegetarian, and the lacto-ovo-people can get a new name for THEMselves. Even though the term vegan does incorporate all aspects of non-animal exploitation, I think primarily it came from the term vegetarian, and as such, the most important feature of veganism IS diet. I mean, for me, I would be far more upset if I inadvertently consumed a food item that contained something animal in it than if I accidentally wore something made of something using some animal by-product, for example. I hope this does not make me a bad vegan.

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    I think that the society that shall be nameless coined the term for new members for precisly the reason others have identified: many may make the choice to "go vegan" but still have a large wardorbe of shoes, belts, pullovers, scarves and jackets that are not vegan, including presents from friends and relatives that have sentimental value etc. so they can't decide whether or not to wear them out, sell them or give them to charity or whatever. They may also not have enough money to go out and buy a complete wardobe all at once. Likewise they could be delaying things while working out their own decisions regarding any compromises between vegan clothing and biodegradability etc. I can imagine the society not wanting these people to be in limbo, having traditionally always been a support and information organisation (a role that's easier for them now thanks to Viva! taking up the campaigning banner); so they left the door open for "dietary vegans". Also, as AbFab says, the terms does what it says on the tin, even implicitly suggesting one might want to go further and take things to their logical conclusion by removing the "dietary". It's certainly a better compromise than the very sticky solution adopted regarding honey in the past.

    Anyway that's my tuppence-worth in my first post.

    Is there anyone here in contact with anyone from the old Vegan Cafe in Kentish Town back in the seventies: Sue, Malcolm, Keith, Marijke, Richard, Cat? It would be nice to hear how they're getting on.

    Cheers

    Michael

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Why would the society remain nameless?

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Quote Realfood Mary
    Why would the society remain nameless?
    I didn't name them (with what I thought was a little tongue-in-cheek humour) out of respect for Korn's decision to focus more on the term than the organisation; (he wrote "The term 'dietary vegan' has been used at least on one occasion, on one page of the site of one vegan organization in one certain country").

    I don't think the organisation actually wants to be nameless at all

    My main point was I suppose to agree with what Korn wrote ("people knew that veganism was about more than food, and about more than the vegan itself, it was about respect for animals"), since I believe "dietary vegan" makes it clear that vegnaism as a whole is about more than diet. At the same time I attempted to try and explain why at least one organisation (which may or may not be the same one Korn was thinking of) uses that term as a means of categorising whether new "subscribers" are vegan members or non-vegan supporters, namely to include people who have at least taken the first step. I combined the two because it seems to me to indicate the term has more than one positive aspect to it, while I nevertheless agree with Korn's caution (as does the literature of the organisation itself).

    I hope that's clearer, though if anything it now seems more contorted. Obviously time for my dinner...

    Michael

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    berta_the_aspie's Avatar
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    I am a dietary vegan. The most important thing for me is not eating animal products. Not wearing animal products is important too, but a little tricky.

    I don’t know how to stop wearing wool in the winter(30 minus celcius), because then I would have to wear synthetic fabrics, wich aren’t as warm(or are they?)

    I have no pets, and I have never gone hunting. But I also feel that I have no connection with animals what so ever, so I just tend to leave them alone, and hope that they leave me alone. I am also afraid of dogs and other animals, so that’s a reason too. I don’t hate animals, but I don’t love them either.
    Trying to eliminate ALL animal products in the household or whatever/daily life is of course something I would like to do, but first I need to figure out ways to be a dietary vegan.

    I think dietary vegans should be allowed to call themselves vegans in situations such as ordering food at restaurants, and with people who only have “vegetarian” and “vegan” in their vocabulary. I dont even know anyone familiar with the term vegan, they don’t even respect my wish to be a vegetarian…

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    (Ab/i/gail) AbFab's Avatar
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Hi, Berta the Aspie

    I too think the most important thing for vegans is to refrain from eating all animal products. I have not found it too difficult to stop buying other items, such as clothing and accessories/footwear that contain any animal products either, but I appreciate that it’s easier for some of us depending on where we live, and our own personal circumstances. I don’t think England ever gets as cold as minus 30 degrees Celsius, but in the winter, I’ve found a good fleece (synthetic, obviously, not wool!) and lots of layers keeps me warm and snug. I also have a couple of coats that I describe as my ‘sleeping-bag coats’ that are not made of wool, but are soooooooooooo warm sometimes I am baking inside! Lovely, when it’s cold and rainy/snowy outside.

    Anyway, for many of us, it is one step at a time, and a continuous learning curve, so start with the diet (it can be hard enough to manage that, let alone anything else) and then take it from there.


    I just wanted to say that I for one have no problem with anyone who considered themselves primarily vegan in a dietary sense to state that they were vegan, as it does make life easier in restaurants (when they even know what a vegan is, which sadly they still all don’t) and other situations regarding food and your diet.

    Best of luck.
    Stay warm!
    Vegans go all the way.

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    To be perfectly honest I think the term 'Dietry-Vegan' is fine as it clearly states that the person is NOT completely vegan, and is only vegan in the dietry sense, which is therefore not calling themselves a vegan. It is also much simpler to say than ' a-person-who-doesn't-eat-anything-with-anything-to-do-with-animals.'

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    I see nothing wrong with the term 'dietry vegan' either.

    Some dietry vegans don't see themselves as vegitarians because vegitarians can eat battery eggs and dairy milk and still be called vegitarian. Also I found when I called myself vegitarian before I was totally vegan (because I was still giving into cravings occasionally) people kept giving me food with eggs and milk. This happened less when I told people I was vegan.

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    Kiva Dancer's Avatar
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    I don't have problem with the term "dietary vegan"

    But I do have problem with people who believe people who are veg for health reasons are selfish.
    It's vegan, which means it's vegetarian which means there's nothing unheathy in it. -- my guy trying to explain vegan junkfood.

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Surely being a vegan for health reasons is better than not being vegan at all?

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    I eve's Avatar
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    I don't think that 'health' vegans are selfish, but if they follow a vegan diet for health reasons, someone could then persuade them that eating fish twice a week will do wonders for their health, then what? I guess it depends whether vegan diet or health wins the argument.
    Eve

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Back on the World Vegan Day forums (RIP) this subject of what is vegan and who is really vegan and who is not really vegan just won't stop comming around.

    We all have to come to terms that none of us are pure vegans. We all compromise our veganism and will always have to all the time we live in a society that use animals.

    Someone else's 90% vegan is no more an act of hypocrisy than your 98% vegan, or his 99.999% vegan. (The computer you are using stop you being 100% anyway).

    A "dietry vegan" is not a non-vegan or a definition of a vegan - it is a minimum requirement. In the same way a Christain does not have to do all the things a Christain should do, they just have to abind by the minimum requirement of believing in the divinity of Christ. Dietry veganism is our baseline. None of us are going to be an absolute vegan, its impossible, so we have to draw a practical line somewhere.

    Of course, if any of you want to change the VS requirement for joining the society, then by all means put a new statement forward to it. Perhaps "diet and clothing", perhaps "diet, clothing and cosmetics" but you will still end up with a term like "a dietry, clothing and cosmetic vegan".

    We could go along the lines of stating veganism as an aspiration (which is how I see it), but as a practical definition it very problematic without a baseline requirement. It would be easy for a soley aspirational vegan to say "well, am a vegan and I do eat beef, it just I have not got very far along the road to pure veganism".

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Quote eve
    I don't think that 'health' vegans are selfish, but if they follow a vegan diet for health reasons, someone could then persuade them that eating fish twice a week will do wonders for their health, then what? I guess it depends whether vegan diet or health wins the argument.
    Suppose thats possible. Depends how Gullable they were. Before I became vegan mum said I should be eating 12 eggs a week. To make up for the lack of dead animals. I was also told last time I tried going vegan that I needed more calcium that was only found in milk. As I wasn't really informed at the time. Not online at the time and their isnt much about Animal rights at all in braille and hardly anything about veganism. Plus being surounded by meat eaters sure didn't help.

  26. #26

    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    "The term is okay by me, it simply states that diet is the only aspect of their life in accordance with veganism. Quick and simple to the point that they may well wear leather etc and have no ethical reasoning behind their choices, only health/diet selfish concerns."

    "To be perfectly honest I think the term 'Dietry-Vegan' is fine as it clearly states that the person is NOT completely vegan, and is only vegan in the dietry sense, which is therefore not calling themselves a vegan. It is also much simpler to say than ' a-person-who-doesn't-eat-anything-with-anything-to-do-with-animals.'"


    thank you everyone for agreeing. and also, when you say you are vegan, someone asks "what that?" and you respond you dont eat meat, dairy, eggs or any animal by-products. the diet is the first thing you point out and more than often don't get the chance to tell them about leather, fur, products tested on animals, circuses, zoos, etc. the term strict-vegetarian is a little shady because to me just saying strict vegetarian means you are simply a strict vegetarian who makes it certain to avoid consuming meat. we all know there is more to veganism than just diet. the only aspect of veganism to them is their diet and nothing else.

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    If someone said "I don't eat meat, eggs or dairy" and another person responded "are you vegan" and they replied no "I just don't like eating those things". I think that's the proper way to respond to the question.

    When someone asks me "are you vegan" after they found out I don't eat any animal products, I follow it up with saying I don't support animal cruelty in any part of my life.

    Becoming a vegan was the best thing I've ever done in my 20 years of living so far and I take great pride in that.
    ▼Laurin▼

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    I actually replied to this thread when it was started but still haven’t changed my feelings toward this. People don’t seem to understand me and my dietary vegan label. I don’t see how a dietary vegan would (as stated by korn in the initial post) “go hunting on the weekends”, that sounds like 1% of all vegans, probably the ones with heart problems, who HAVE to eat vegan, prescribed by their doctors, but who doesn’t know or care for anything and doesn’t know that there is a vegan word and a movement.

    I don’t think people get my (dietary) veganism. I am vegan because when I wasn’t I felt like a cannibal. I can’t eat animals just because they are believed to be a little dumber than people.(Except birds, dogs and dolphins) I don’t think they should be killed just cause they aren’t an intelligent species, just like I don’t think people with downs and such should be aborted JUST cause of their diagnose. I think ALL beings have the same worth, and I don’t get vegans who are pro sex/diagnose selective abortion, that just seems hypocritical to me. ( I am pro choice though, I just don’t wanna eliminate all autistics, downies and women…) I don’t love animals, just like I don’t love all people.

    It also seems weird to care more about animals than about humans, especially those in need, but I guess you gotta start somewhere.
    You can’t be 100% vegan. It’s impossible. You can’t know that EVERYTHING you buy didn’t harm an animal, child or the environment. To me it seems like there should be a balance, vegans should care more about human rights and the environment (make statements specially right now with everything going on and no one mentions that going vegan helps the environment) and vice verca.

    I challenge you to find these vegan items:

    Old school telemark boots
    Hiking boots
    Hiking baselayer shirt and tights that is warm when it’s wet, doesn’t stink, doesn’t give allergies, lightweight, organic, environmentally friendly, can’t be made by children/slaves
    I thought I’d try Patagonias shirts but Im not sure they fill all the requirements (anyone tried it?)

    Those are the only things I still wear that aren’t vegan
    det e bedre at den e dyr - enn at den e døde dyr

  29. #29
    cobweb
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    ^ well hiking boots are very easy to get from Vegetarian shoes, Animal Aid and probably lots of other places online. I don't know about the other stuff but would have thought they'd be easy enough.

    Anyway, Berta you're doing so much more than the average joe at least, I do kind of get your label, everyone has different cut-off points I suppose, as no-one can be '100% pure vegan' .

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    yeah well they have to be PERFECT hiking boots not just so-so. im picky
    det e bedre at den e dyr - enn at den e døde dyr

  31. #31
    cobweb
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Hmm, I expect the Cow was thinking that when she donated her skin

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    that they'd have to be perfect ? sure she was thinking that. but yeah. and i cant buy shoes online. im veeeeeeery picky
    det e bedre at den e dyr - enn at den e døde dyr

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    i always say im a herbivore at the dinner table. i get a much better response than when i say i'm vegan , i think people think veganism is a weird dark religious cult or something ...they always seem to go quiet. but when i say im a herbivore people tend to inquire and i can get a conversation going. herbivore sounds cute !! lol.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    right... people i know have no clue what veganism is let alone herbivoreism, they'd just be more confused
    det e bedre at den e dyr - enn at den e døde dyr

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    herbivore is a more recognisable, well most people around the uk know what one is. its mentioned on tv quite allot on nature programs. i prefer the name. vegan sound to much like being mr.spock or a religious thing. i'm sticking with herbivore

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    I think the term is ok as it specifies a minimum standard.
    Many of us go further, and that is very good. But how far?
    No one should be calling themself vegan if they eat any animal products, I think most vegans agree on that.
    But as far as the rest goees there are so many degrees.
    For example, do we have some cushions on our second hand sofa which contain wool/feathers? Do we have some leather trimming on our car steering wheel? Do our non leather shoes contain some animal derived glue? Do our carpets contain some wool? Maybe we don't know, if the carpet was there when we moved in? Perhaps we have no choice on carpet if renting a furnished room?
    When in the pub do we carry a list of vegan beers/wines etc?
    What about the shell necklace our friend gave us? Or items in our wardrobe from pre-vegan days? Some life saving medication we have been advised to continue taking?
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    ->I think the term is ok as it specifies a minimum standard.

    kinda.

    herbivore is a softer/lighter way to explain my diet at the dinner table.
    and it works really well....ive been veg*n for 14 years . 2 years vegan
    and since ive used herbivore as a term for my diet, its sooo much nicer and brighter.

    i shouldnt have to mention or go in depth that i don't wear leather shoes or purchase animal by products when asked what i would like for my main course.

    simplify!

    it works for me. after which if the people seem interested go more indepth.

    toodelypip.

  38. #38
    berta_the_aspie's Avatar
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    i've been a vegan for 2 years as well! gosh, how to i translate herbivore to norwegian tho? isnt it the same as saying planteater?
    det e bedre at den e dyr - enn at den e døde dyr

  39. #39

    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Quote herbwormwood View Post
    For example, do we have some cushions on our second hand sofa which contain wool/feathers?
    Gave them to an omni.
    Quote herbwormwood View Post
    Do we have some leather trimming on our car steering wheel?
    Nah it's all plastic. I'm no Clarkson.
    Quote herbwormwood View Post
    Do our non leather shoes contain some animal derived glue?
    Not if you buy them from a vegan supplier.
    Quote herbwormwood View Post
    Do our carpets contain some wool?
    Gave them to an omni.
    Quote herbwormwood View Post
    When in the pub do we carry a list of vegan beers/wines etc?
    I just stick to German lager. Vegan brewing is the law.
    Quote herbwormwood View Post
    Or items in our wardrobe from pre-vegan days?
    Ironically, all sold off in animal welfare charity shops on day one..

    Being vegan is frequently a question of opportunity and access to information but the above choices were easy enough to make and this is an area that many snidey omnis like to poke around in to make themselves feel more comfortable and I don't like to give them the satisfaction.

  40. #40

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Quote berta_the_aspie View Post
    i've been a vegan for 2 years as well! gosh, how to i translate herbivore to norwegian tho? isnt it the same as saying planteater?
    yeah herbivore = plant eater

    wow your english is good ! I admire people that are multilingual.

    peace
    freqz

  41. #41
    fighting mouse Shells's Avatar
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    I totally agree, and your analysis is really strong! I just call dietary vegans "strict vegetarians" and then use plain old "vegetarian" for lacto-ovo people.

    That's just what I've always learned, and I don't even know any other vegans/transitioning vegans (I'm still the latter - but getting better every day!).

  42. #42
    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Good for you Shells Keep on soldiering on.....it's all worth it!

  43. #43
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Quote Korn View Post
    As most people know, vegans avoid animal products as much as possible, not only in their diet: veganism is not only about food.

    The term 'dietary vegan' has been used at least on one occasion, on one page of the site of a vegan organization.

    .........snipped.......

    .......people knew that veganism was about more than food, it was about respect for animals.

    Let's not change that.
    That's interesting; I'd never considered that 'vegan' could mean anything other than a whole lifestyle outlook, of which diet is only one, albeit important, aspect.

    I totally see your POV on this - they are *not* vegans maybe they should be referred to as 'herbies' - like herbivores, or some other term that would distinguish the fact they are are only following a non-animal diet but *not* a vegan lifestyle for vegan principles.

    I actually think this is a crucial point for the propagation of vegan principles, so how about the Vegan Society & this so-called 'Vegan' society, comes up with a suitable name for their diet & doesn't pollute the true meaning of the word.

  44. #44
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Quote freqy View Post
    i always say im a herbivore at the dinner table. i get a much better response than when i say i'm vegan , i think people think veganism is a weird dark religious cult or something ...they always seem to go quiet. but when i say im a herbivore people tend to inquire and i can get a conversation going. herbivore sounds cute !! lol.

    I say herbivore as well. It makes the conversation light and people seem more willing to listen than to write me off as a crazy Peta person. (nothing against Peta this just has been my experience with both the terms vegan and vegetarian)

  45. #45
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Quote chrissy View Post
    I totally see your POV on this - they are *not* vegans maybe they should be referred to as 'herbies' - like herbivores, or some other term that would distinguish the fact they are are only following a non-animal diet but *not* a vegan lifestyle for vegan principles.
    Out of curiosity, I just googled some terms that already exist just to check how often they are used on internet...


    Vegitan (found 12,200 times)
    Strict vegetarian (113,000)
    Herbivore (1,010,000)
    Plant eater (45,300)
    True vegetarian (12,700)
    Pure vegetarian (143,000)
    Inconsistent (16,700,000)


    The word 'vegan' was found 24,6 mill times.

    The word vegetarian (which should have a different meaning than "lacto-vegetarian") was found 60 mill. times

  46. #46

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    To me, "strict vegetarian" just sounds like someone who is vegetarian all the time instead of most of the time. I like the term "dietary vegan," except I don't trust that the wait staff at non-vegan restaurants have any idea what that means.

  47. #47
    fighting mouse Shells's Avatar
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Thanks Roxy - and I know it's worth it. The biggest thing for me is changing my mindset totally, and not just setting up labels and limitations for myself (I have compulsive issues and I know what not to do with my eating habits, and that's anything drastic or restrictive). The trick for me is to make sure my mental framework is not in the mode of restrictiveness. I mean, getting rid of meat was really easy, I just didn't want to eat it ever again and still don't. Milk came (left?) really easy, as did ice cream. Eggs are quite nearly there - Woot!

    I know it's not hard to be a vegan, but it's hard to make the mental leap - it's a process of undoing: undoing all the work that advertisers have been doing for hundreds of years - alienating the product from the source, the elite (west) from the modes of production, humanity/culture from nature. Some people are gifted in their associative powers and others have to work at the reassociation process. It's not easy to undo the dissociation because it's drilled into us since birth.

    So maybe "dietary vegans" are just working their way in - they've mastered the reassociation of food, but it's a lot harder for them to really connect the ideas with soap and shoes.

    But then again, I still don't call myself vegan until I'm really animal product free, which will take me God knows how long (I pretty never throw shoes away. It wasn't too long ago my mom had to pry a pair of broken down sandals from my hands - I'd had them since middle school!) so I might be wearing leather for a long time. I can't justify buying new shoes to replace once that are still all whole and not falling apart, it just feels wasteful to me.

    I don't call myself a dietary vegan either - and won't, even once I kick the last remnants of lacto and ovo food from my diet. It's a process of first mourning the item, and then retraining my brain to realize thar mourning them is a total waste of time because ick, who'd ever want that in the first place (milk, my old shampoos, silk). But ah, this week I'm still a little bit in mourning of peppermint patties and hershy kisses. My brain is still blocking the fact that they have milk and/or egg whites in them. Reassociate, brain!

    Any way, to me, veganism is totally principle based, so the term "dietary vegan" is nonsensical. Veganism isn't a diet plan - the health benefits are totally tertiary (ecofeminist vegan ideals first, environment second, shrinking waistline super bonus perk for having a consistent ethics), so to be a dietary vegan sounds... like a fad. Like the zone diet or something. I mean, it's hugely helpful to the environment especially, so I'm not saying anything snide, I just think if you're going to operate in a certain framework of ideas, there comes a point when the over particularization of labels/signs can be detrimental, and I think this is a case of that.

    If you're a diety vegan because you're transitioning, using that label makes it seem like you've hit and end point and might stop your momentum. It also confuses non-veggies as to what the real point of the vegan ideal is.

    I'm rambling. This is what happens when you don't sleep.
    "Happiness, not in another place, but this place, not for another hour, but this hour." ~Walt Whitman

  48. #48
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Quote Shells View Post
    .....
    Any way, to me, veganism is totally principle based, so the term "dietary vegan" is nonsensical. Veganism isn't a diet plan - the health benefits are totally tertiary (ecofeminist vegan ideals first, environment second, shrinking waistline super bonus perk for having a consistent ethics), so to be a dietary vegan sounds... like a fad. ........
    ........
    A wonderful analysis

  49. #49
    Alex ALexiconofLove's Avatar
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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    Quote berta_the_aspie View Post
    I think dietary vegans should be allowed to call themselves vegans in situations such as ordering food at restaurants, and with people who only have “vegetarian” and “vegan” in their vocabulary. I dont even know anyone familiar with the term vegan, they don’t even respect my wish to be a vegetarian…
    I agree with this. If you want a meal without meat, eggs, dairy, or animal products in it, shouldn't you be able to get that without going into a long explanation about your diet choice? "Vegan" is understood more readily (IMO) than "strict vegetarian" or "herbivore" or anything like that.
    "Lovers, givers, what minds have we made/ that make us hate/ a slaughterhouse for torturing a river?" ==AF

  50. #50

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    Default Re: The problem with the term 'dietary vegan'

    I just wish the muppetts who are so fond of saying, ad nauseam that 'Hitler was a Vegetarian', would read this thread.
    From Sutton, Surrey, (or Greater London when they want to fleece me for the Olympics)

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