People who say they are vegetarians but eat meat - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-24-2014, 11:36 AM
 
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I know people who eat turkey, chicken, pork and seafood - and call themselves vegetarians. My question is, if you eat a lot of meat how on earth can you be a vegetarian?   Simply by excluding beef? That is not a vegetarian at all. They also insist that only beef qualifies as "meat". That one really gets me. If turkey, chicken and seafood are not meat, then what are they -plants????

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#2 Old 01-24-2014, 12:08 PM
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Of course they are plants :)

 

*excited at the opportunity to use these pics again*

 

 

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), default quality

 

 

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#3 Old 01-24-2014, 06:42 PM
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Never sure if these kinds of 'vegetarians' are trolling or confused.
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#4 Old 01-24-2014, 08:44 PM
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This is a little different from the other answers here but did you think that maybe these people want to eventually be vegetarian? Before I was vegetarian (when I was like 14)  I was scared to make the leap and I called myself a "white meat vegetarian" and only ate chicken and fish. That made me feel like I was doing something even though I really really didn't understand what I was doing at all. Maybe they feel helpless, judged, and insecure and need someone to talk to. Maybe they need some information about how all animals are hurt and not just cows or pigs. A lot of people start becoming vegetarian slowly and usually by cutting out red meat first. Personally, I would take an education approach to the situation and tell them that chickens and fishes are slaughtered just as cows and pigs are. Maybe you can open some eyes. 


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Just because we always have, doesn't mean we always have to.

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#5 Old 01-24-2014, 10:26 PM
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This makes me so annoyed.  I posted about my mother-in-law in the relationships section because she does this.  Or tells people she's a part time vegetarian.  Just because you didn't eat meat Wednesday and Thursday last week doesn't make you vegetarian... :brood: I'd like to believe she's actually serious about becoming vegetarian but I think it's more that she wants the respect and health benefits my brother-in-law and I have gained from being Vegan... just quickly with no effort.

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#6 Old 01-24-2014, 11:48 PM
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There is seriously people who believe only beef is meat, but this usually comes from uneducated people, in my family I've heard from someone who didn't finish school that I could eat fish because "these animals without blood, like fish and snakes, they don't have meat, just muscles"
:rolleyes:

Anyway if the person you speak of was a little bit engaged in a serious way about vegetarianism, (s)he wouldn't need more than two minutes to know better.

Sounds like someone just wanting to be "trendy" calling itself vegetarian.
 

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#7 Old 01-25-2014, 12:32 AM
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Anyway if the person you speak of was a little bit engaged in a serious way about vegetarianism, (s)he wouldn't need more than two minutes to know better.

Sounds like someone just wanting to be "trendy" calling itself vegetarian.
 

 

^^ This. 

 

JanikaY, who are your friends talking to?  Other vegetarians/vegans or omnis?  If they're calling themselves vegetarian to omnis maybe they just want to easily adopt a label and hope they won't ask questions, if they're telling vegetarians perhaps they are hoping for help to become vegetarians.  

 

Or maybe they have no idea what a vegetarian is.

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#8 Old 01-25-2014, 01:54 AM
 
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I remember when I was 8 during school lunch, a teacher came up to me and said she was a vegetarian too, but she ate chicken....

 

"Well you're NOT vegetarian then, are you?"   :notvegan:

 

Annoys me that my mum is getting into the habit of eating occasional fish, sausages yet still calls herself vegetarian.

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#9 Old 01-25-2014, 08:53 AM
 
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It's the distinction people draw between a personal label/identity and a practice.

 

This problem exists for all identities that have associated practices.

 

People want to use the label, and they identify with it, but they aren't necessarily prepared to follow through with practice.

 

 

Vegan identity, but eat honey, wear leather, occasional sausage, etc.

Vegetarian identity, but eat fish and chicken, and probably the occasional meat binge

Raw foodist identity, but binge on potato chips when people aren't looking

Democrat identity, but uses tax shelters and panders to big business for political backing

Republican identity, but votes for industry subsidies and expands the power of the federal government

Specific Muslim identity, but drinks and eats pork, and doesn't pray as required or give alms, etc.

Catholic identity, but doesn't go to confession or believe in Papal authority

etc. etc.

 

Whatever.

 

There's not a single broadly sited concept associated with personal identity that doesn't have its own oblivious claimants who insist they belong in the group despite obviously not by any standard definition, and when challenged suggest instead that the definition should be broadened to include them, or rationalize the behavior away in some sense.

 

It's just a thing people do.

 

Jehovah's witnesses and Scientology are the only groups I can think of offhand that try to fight that tendency on hardcore psychological and legal grounds (through control of the IP and trademark law) respectively, but we all know how that goes.

 

If you allow it, your shared identity gets watered down into meaninglessness.  

 

If you fight it, you end up coming off litigation happy (where it's fought by rule of law) or down right hostile (where it's fought by shunning)- and in both cases you risk abuses associated with cults (whether you think those groups are cults or not).

Probably not the best idea ever.

 

Kind of a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

 

Our best weapon is education, but that's not going to stop people from making erroneous claims because they want to be on trend.

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#10 Old 01-25-2014, 03:47 PM
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You are either pregnant......or you are not.

 

You are either a vegetarian......or you are not.

 

Any questions?  :D


All animals should be respected & should have the ability to lead a natural & enjoyable life. This means not eating them, or abusing them in any way.
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#11 Old 01-25-2014, 05:36 PM
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If we're talking about people who routinely eat meat, then they are wrong to call themselves vegetarians.

 

It's the person who rarely eats meat that I have mixed feelings about.  That used to be me, when I was being treated for cancer and had to travel a lot for work. I'd eat whatever was provided to me, and once in a while that meant meat if nothing else nutritious was available. I didn't have the energy to function in life, let alone prepare my own meals.  I just didn't.  I wasn't going around calling myself a vegetarian for attention.  I just used it as a label that most closely described me, only when it came up in conversation (very rarely).

 

Frankly, my cats are carnivores (not omnivores) but sometimes they eat vegetables, herbs and grass. I don't get on their case about it. ;)  If calling cats carnivores is the correct term, it follows then that the same eating pattern with rare meat usage should be called vegetarian.

 

Going back to the thing about me, I received some really bad hostility online from vegetarians who insisted, "You can't call yourself a vegetarian. You just can't."  And I pointed out there is no law against it, I'm not going around proclaiming or even openly eating meat (thus causing anyone to be confused what the word means). That hostility made me stop wanting to be associated with vegetarianism, because I don't believe in hostility and bullying.

 

It is annoying that people confuse pesceterians with vegetarians, but let's put it in the context of human social development.  The Church taught (teaches?) that fish don't have souls, therefore they're not animals. It is ok to eat fish when you are giving up meat for Lent or Fridays.  Human society simply does not change quickly. It might take a few more millenia before that silliness gets purged from our collective bank of assumptions.

 

*shrug*


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#12 Old 01-25-2014, 05:55 PM
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Isn't the term 'flexitarian' used to describe people whose eating habits are predominantly plant based but occasionally eat meat in certain situations?
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#13 Old 01-25-2014, 06:35 PM
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Isn't the term 'flexitarian' used to describe people whose eating habits are predominantly plant based but occasionally eat meat in certain situations?

It would be if it was actually used that way most of the time. Most flexitarians I have met (what few I have, including my former self) like the term but tend to just eat a tonne of meat. It is just yet another label that seems to carry little meaning. Afaic, flexitarian is just another word for omnivore.
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#14 Old 01-25-2014, 06:48 PM
 
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Frankly, my cats are carnivores (not omnivores) but sometimes they eat vegetables, herbs and grass. I don't get on their case about it. ;)  If calling cats carnivores is the correct term, it follows then that the same eating pattern with rare meat usage should be called vegetarian.

 

 

Cats in the wild are obligate carnivores (not in captivity, where they can have supplements and be vegan), in that they have to eat some meat in the wild, not that they can only eat meat.  Carnivores do not have to exclusively eat meat- they just mainly eat meat in their wild state.

 

Likewise, many herbivores in the wild can eat some animals on occasion, they just aren't particularly adapted to it, aren't very good at it, and don't make it a major part (or a necessary part) of their diets.

 

I mean, many deer will eat eggs or baby birds if they find a fallen nest on the ground.  They'll eat mice, and just about whatever if they're hungry and it's there.  Same with just about every animal you ever thought was a vegetarian- because they aren't vegetarians, they're herbivores, and there's a difference.

 

If they eat too much meat, they might get an upset stomach, but they don't have anything against it, and very rare is the animal in the wild that doesn't eat any other animals if the opportunity presents itself.

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#15 Old 01-25-2014, 06:54 PM
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Frankly, my cats are carnivores (not omnivores) but sometimes they eat vegetables, herbs and grass. I don't get on their case about it. ;)  If calling cats carnivores is the correct term, it follows then that the same eating pattern with rare meat usage should be called vegetarian.


I see where your logic is coming from....

But carnivore is a scientific term. It denotes those with digestive systems that are suited to eating mostly, or solely, meat.

Your cats can choose to eat as many leafy greens as they like. They will always be carnivores. Maybe if all cats chose to only eat vegetables, future generations of cats would not be carnivores because there might be a change in how they evolve that would lead them to become omnivores or herbivores. But for right now, cats are carnivores and it has nothing to do with what they choose to eat.

Just like all humans are omnivores. Even though we can eat meat and plants, we (as vegetarians) choose to only eat plants. Our systems, with varying degrees of success, can still digest meat. But we choose not to eat it.

Put simply-

Carnivore is a scientific term.

Vegetarian is an ethical/moral term. Or, if you disagree with it being an ethical or moral term, it is at least a term that denotes a certain degree of choice not biological function. Maybe that's why I like the term 'carnist' over the term 'omni' when describing those who eat meat, it strikes more at the fact that it's a choice, not a biological thing.


Our cat sometimes eats tofu. We don't give it to him, but if you leave it on the plate or it falls onto the floor when preparing a meal, he'll eat it. I don't know that it's that great for him. But he eats it. Cats are WEIRD! (I love them).

As for your cancer.....

 

First, congratulations on surviving! I think that's awesome!

I don't know what I would have done in your position. I think I would have just refused to eat meat, or refused to call myself a vegetarian during that time. But, it's a lot easier to do the 'right' thing in a hypothetical situation than it is to actually do that thing in real life.

 

Either way, I'm glad you made it through to the other side!
 

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#16 Old 01-26-2014, 11:02 AM
 
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Quiet Vegan, I love those pictures! Especially the one with Gene Wilder (Willie Wonka if my memory serves me correctly).

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#17 Old 01-26-2014, 11:05 AM
 
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This is a little different from the other answers here but did you think that maybe these people want to eventually be vegetarian? Before I was vegetarian (when I was like 14)  I was scared to make the leap and I called myself a "white meat vegetarian" and only ate chicken and fish. That made me feel like I was doing something even though I really really didn't understand what I was doing at all. Maybe they feel helpless, judged, and insecure and need someone to talk to. Maybe they need some information about how all animals are hurt and not just cows or pigs. A lot of people start becoming vegetarian slowly and usually by cutting out red meat first. Personally, I would take an education approach to the situation and tell them that chickens and fishes are slaughtered just as cows and pigs are. Maybe you can open some eyes. 


I've tried explaining that fish and turkeys don't grow on trees so they are not plants.

 

It doesn't seem to work.

 

The one and only thing I can concede, is that it is the person's freedom of speech (of course) to call themselves what they want to. 

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#18 Old 01-26-2014, 02:41 PM
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veg·e·tar·i·anˌvejiˈte(ə)rēən/
noun: vegetarian; plural noun: vegetarians
1.
a person who does not eat meat, and sometimes other animal products, esp. for moral, religious, or health reasons.
 
 

Ethics is only one reason.  Others include personal preference (I don't like the taste or idea of meat), health reasons, budget.

 

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I think I would have just refused to eat meat, or refused to call myself a vegetarian during that time.

 

I just don't believe that was possible. I traveled frequently for work to rural areas, and lunch was provided to me by others. Restaurants, etc. were not often available. I'd ask ahead of time for a vegetarian meal, hence the necessity to discuss it at all. Often (as we all know), they'd forget it, they'd put out the veg meal with all the others and the other people would swoop in on it, or it really wasn't a veg meal. And now I needed to eat just to stay awake and safely drive home at the end of the day, and no other food was available.

 

I believed them when they said they'd provide me with a veg meal, and then was stranded.  I did presentations in front of groups. I had to function to keep my job. I could barely make it through the day as it was.

 

Keep in mind, at that point I'd had serious surgery that made digesting meat and some other things nearly impossible. Even if I had first become veg for ethical reasons, I now had a strong physical motive to avoid it. I wasn't just shrugging my shoulders and saying, "I'll do the right thing tomorrow."  It wasn't about right or wrong then.

 

This happened more than you might think, sadly.  Anyway, I wanted to eat vegetarian meals all the time, and given a choice, I would have. I didn't call myself any label unless there was a specific purpose for it (i.e., request a meal). 

 

And still some vegetarians had a big problem with this. I pity people who make up fake scenarios (i.e., it's impossible to have any excuse to eat meat ever) because they're so desperate to feel morally superior. The people on that forum were douchebags and bullies.


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#19 Old 01-26-2014, 05:34 PM
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@imagineaa That is a difficult situation, and it's unfortunate that veg*n meals weren't available. I imagine it might have been confusing for the hosts to have a vegetarian meal prepared when it is not part of their normal serving repertoire. Is there anything in hindsight that would have made it easier to have veg meals available for you during that time?
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#20 Old 01-26-2014, 06:17 PM
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@imagineaa--the idea that your health suffered from eating meat makes it so horrible!

I've often used the excuse of allergies when at restaurants to be taken seriously and not compromised. 

It's awfully rude of anyone to judge someone when it's not their choosing.


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#21 Old 01-26-2014, 07:48 PM
 
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Seriously? I never knew there are some bunch of people call them vegetarian while eating meat. That's disgusting and not acceptable. What I think is a true vegetarian can't eat eggs as well.

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#22 Old 01-28-2014, 07:00 PM
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I actually think the term vegetarian should ideally be used to refer to someone who does not eat animal products, including dairy or eggs. That might sound like the same as a vegan, but veganism implies so much more, which frankly I don't buy into. Vegetarianism doesn't imply a particular ethic, which veganism does. So it would be more accurate to call myself vegetarian, and people who don't eat meat but do eat eggs and dairy ought to refer to themselves as ovo-lacto vegetarians. That said, any of these kinds of labels are arbitrary. If someone might eat eggs or dairy once every few months, why should they identify as ovo-lacto vegetarian? Or why should someone who eats dairy or eggs on a regular basis call themselves a vegetarian, but someone who eats little to no dairy or eggs, but eats an occasional piece of meat, no longer a vegetarian? Veganism is more of a philosophy, but I see vegetarianism as more of just a way of conveying to people what type of diet you have, rather than espousing any values or beliefs. Similarly, I could be on Weight Watchers, but eat a donut every now and then, and still be on Weight Watchers. 

 

I don't eat animal products myself, and I think it's pretty clear that I'm not a vegan, because I don't believe in what vegans appear to believe in, namely that it's inherently wrong to end the life of an animal somewhat prematurely to use it for food, shelter, or clothing. I do, however, have many issues with what animal consumerism has become, and 99.9% of animal products available to me on the market do not fit my ethical criteria. Yet I follow a way of eating that is vegan, which by itself, doesn't tell you a thing about my diet, other than that it excludes animal foods. 

 

My point is, if I live 363 days a year not eating animal foods, yet have a piece of fish twice a year, it doesn't make sense to stop calling myself a vegetarian, because the only point of calling myself that is to convey to other people the idea that I do not wish to consume animal foods, or at least as the term vegetarian has come to be understood, I do not wish to consume meat. It was suggested to me that I use the term "strict" or "true" vegetarian to convey that not only do I not wish to eat meat, but I also wish to not eat eggs or dairy. But if there are occasions, rare though they may be, where I decide to have an egg or a piece of fish, or a piece of meat, I will not cease to be a vegetarian, because I still want to convey the message to people that I don't want to include animal foods as a part of my diet. It's not a matter of wanting to be part of a club. If that seems confusing or hypocritical to some people, that's their problem. But as someone who has a vegetarian diet, or what's better understood in the vernacular as a vegan or now perhaps a plant-based diet, I wouldn't stop referring to myself as such, because I don't want friends or relatives or work colleagues to start ordering animal foods. If I choose to eat it, it will be a decision I make at a particular time, with various factors involved. 

 

If someone consumes meat on a fairly regular basis, then I would question why they would want to consider themselves a vegetarian. But I think it's perfectly legitimate to eat it occasionally, and still consider yourself vegetarian, because being vegetarian doesn't necessarily imply adhering to a rule of never eating meat, as I understand it. Ultimately, I think it's up to the person to define their way of eating. Someone pointed out to me in another post, you can't really go vegan for a day, because veganism goes well beyond diet. You can, however, go vegetarian for a day, or strict vegetarian (no animal foods) for a day. You can be a vegetarian for lunch. You can be a vegetarian for a week. And I'd say you can even be vegetarian while eating a piece of fish, if you know that the fish is an anomaly in your diet, and you'll just go back to eating plant foods. 

 

If you think this doesn't make sense, and you either are or you aren't vegetarian, period, no questions ask, then I would suggest that you're not examining the issue in very much depth, and you might want to consider asking yourself why you're not vegan. 

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#23 Old 01-28-2014, 07:08 PM
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You are either pregnant......or you are not.

 

You are either a vegetarian......or you are not.

 

Any questions?  :D

 

I disagree. I don't see any reason why someone couldn't be mostly vegetarian. Someone who says they're mostly vegan, that would be problematic. Vegetarianism refers to diet, veganism refers to a belief system. That's the way I understand it. Vegetarians, the way I see it, tend to not be true vegetarians at all, with all the eggs and dairy they tend to consume. You can be ovo-vegetarian or ovo-lacto vegetarian or lacto-vegetarian. Can you be different kinds of pregnant?

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#24 Old 01-28-2014, 07:14 PM
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I know people who eat turkey, chicken, pork and seafood - and call themselves vegetarians. My question is, if you eat a lot of meat how on earth can you be a vegetarian?   Simply by excluding beef? That is not a vegetarian at all. They also insist that only beef qualifies as "meat". That one really gets me. If turkey, chicken and seafood are not meat, then what are they -plants????

You're right, they should just say they don't eat beef or red meat. That's simple. Saying they're a vegetarian doesn't convey the message that want conveyed, and if they ask for a vegetarian meal, they'll just be disappointed if it doesn't have any chicken or fish.

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#25 Old 01-28-2014, 07:24 PM
 
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Vegetarianism refers to diet...

Correcto! A diet which does not include the flesh of other creatures... one apparently that you do not adhere to.

You eat sea creatures occasionally? There's a name for that. Call yourself a pescatarian.

You seldomly indulge in the flesh of land creatures? There's a name for that too. Flexitarian.

I usually don't get involved in threads like this but this is the umpteenth time I've seen a post by you talking about eating animals. You do it, fine, but nobody here really wants to hear about it.

Call yourself whatever you darn well please if it makes you feel better about yourself but please stop talking about it already!
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#26 Old 01-28-2014, 07:44 PM
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I disagree. I don't see any reason why someone couldn't be mostly vegetarian. Someone who says they're mostly vegan, that would be problematic. Vegetarianism refers to diet, veganism refers to a belief system. That's the way I understand it. Vegetarians, the way I see it, tend to not be true vegetarians at all, with all the eggs and dairy they tend to consume. You can be ovo-vegetarian or ovo-lacto vegetarian or lacto-vegetarian. Can you be different kinds of pregnant?


Because being vegetarian is like being pregnant, you can't be 'mostly' pregnant. You are, or you're not.

Vegetarianism does refer to diet, but that's not to say we don't have a belief system around that too.

I'm not a vegetarian because I don't eat meat, I'm a vegetarian because I don't think it's right to eat animals and I act on that conviction. My vegetarianism brings my politics to the table, as much as it does  vegans or a carnists. Though, as a vegetarian, it allows me more 'grey' areas in other parts of my life.


This part though, I have to say....annoys me-
 

Quote:
"Vegetarians, the way I see it, tend to not be true vegetarians at all, with all the eggs and dairy they tend to consume".


The prerequisite for being a vegetarian is you don't eat meat. That's like the only hard and fast rule of being a vegetarian. Everything else, is up to the individual after that.

And as you don't know how many of those 'vegetarians' are actually still eating eggs and dairy, or the amounts that they actually consume it....I don't think it's a very fair statement to make. Especially on the vegetarian side of the forums. I'm sure you don't mean to be combative/insensitive but it's coming across that way.


As for different 'kinds' of pregnant? Yeah, I guess you can. I mean, there's different trimesters....

Maybe that's what lacto-ovo-, ovo-, lacto, vegetarian is.

Though, I prefer to think of it all as a spectrum, than stages.

Edit-Because I can't grammer good all the times.

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#27 Old 01-28-2014, 10:42 PM
 
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I don't eat animal products myself, and I think it's pretty clear that I'm not a vegan, because I don't believe in what vegans appear to believe in, namely that it's inherently wrong to end the life of an animal somewhat prematurely to use it for food, shelter, or clothing.

 

 

That's not what we believe, though >_<  I feel like you might have missed my point.  I addressed this in the other thread; you might have missed my post there (perhaps because the thread went to page 2)).

 

Please check the other post, but I will clarify here too:

 

Some vegans believe it's always inherently wrong, no matter what.  This is a minority of a minority.

 

Many vegans believe it's wrong when you have a choice in the matter (which meshes with the bulk of professional uses- e.g. organizations), making exceptions for need- hardly anybody wishes to malign native people's lifestyles who don't have access to the first world comforts we enjoy.

 

Many other vegans (I would guess somewhere between 10%-60% [yes, as many vegans as I know, it really is that huge an error margin, mostly due to variety and inconsistency in belief]) believe it's not wrong or immoral to use animals for those purposes,  even when not essential to survival, but they make a personal choice not to do it out of their own convictions- but never judge other people for it.

 

The only consistent factor is that they don't do it, except for the middle case's exceptions.

 

Our discussion was dipping into the territory of associated moral systems related to some of the principles behind veganism (though not to the rule based system itself, in strictest terms).

 

 
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Someone pointed out to me in another post, you can't really go vegan for a day, because veganism goes well beyond diet. You can, however, go vegetarian for a day, or strict vegetarian (no animal foods) for a day. You can be a vegetarian for lunch. You can be a vegetarian for a week. And I'd say you can even be vegetarian while eating a piece of fish, if you know that the fish is an anomaly in your diet, and you'll just go back to eating plant foods. 

 

 

Well, if you're a kid or a flake, you could go vegan for a day.

 

Make a life long commitment in the morning, and then give it up before dinner time.

 

Actually I'm sure a lot of people do that.  And I'm sure many are probably sincere when they do.  People can change their minds.

 

Veganism is like a state of mind, wherein one has no intention to ever use such animal products in those situations (beyond practical necessity).

 

But you can go vegetarian for a day with the intent to stop being vegetarian at the end of the day.

 

You can't be a vegetarian while eating a piece of fish unless you didn't choose to eat it (such as if it was an accident, or if somebody physically made you do it, you're still a vegetarian under duress).

Will power based slip-ups are a grey area (seemingly accidental lapses that you wish you didn't do).

 

But vegetarian doesn't have all the same exceptions veganism has: if you start eating fish for survival/to save your life on your own in some kind of extreme circumstance, barring force, then you're no longer vegetarian for that period (but you might still be vegan in principle).  In that case, you chose to end your vegetarian diet for that time period due to circumstances.  Then you might take it back up once conditions allowed.

 

So there seem to be possible rare cases where you might be vegan, but not vegetarian.  Or you could be vegetarian but not vegan.

 

If you ate fish one day, then you weren't a vegetarian that day (or for the entire of the day- you might have been vegetarian half the day).

 

As far as personal identity, vegetarian is a shaky one, because it isn't necessarily a permanent commitment in the sense that veganism is.  It's a general dietary descriptor.  Now, somebody could make it a permanent commitment- but it isn't usually (in most of the world).

 

It's kind of like saying "I'm on a diet", but you might slip up and eat a doughnut.  If you did it for lack of willpower, then that was a slip up and you're still on the diet.  But if you elected to end your diet for the purposes of eating the doughnut (rather than it being a matter of deficiency of will) then you're not on the diet.

 

In practice, you're a vegetarian now because there aren't any animal products that satisfy your requirements- they aren't part of your diet because they're not part of your environment now- but if you came into a situation where there were, you might end your vegetarian diet in order to choose to eat them.  Then if you moved out of that golden land of animal welfare idealism, you might take your vegetarian diet back up again.

 

Now, if it happened in the middle of the year, you couldn't say you were vegetarian all year, but you could say you were vegetarian for most of the year, and are now.

 

An easy way to look at it is:

 

Vegetarianism is the question: Do you eat meat?

Not "Would you eat meat if...."

If the answer is currently no, then you're a vegetarian (a person who believes in or practices a vegetarian diet for some reason)

 

Veganism, is more the question: Would you use animal products for personal pleasure/without necessity?

This is regardless of the reason why you are vegan (it could be personal preference, whim [I know some people who are vegans on whim], ethics, spite [I heard of somebody who was vegan out of spite, because somebody told him he couldn't be vegan for that reason so he did it to spite them] etc.)

Veganism cares less about what you're currently doing than about your general commitment and the circumstances you're in.

 

 

It's a complicated matter, for sure.

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#28 Old 01-28-2014, 11:14 PM
 
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Because being vegetarian is like being pregnant, you can't be 'mostly' pregnant. You are, or you're not.

 

 

Right.  And you can be pregnant for a little while, with the desire to not be pregnant in the future.

 

Veganism isn't like that.  With veganism, it's more of a commitment- you can't really choose to be vegan for a day with the understanding that you'll stop after that day.  That's a diet thing.  Veganism is closer to a philosophy- but it too can be committed to for any number of reasons (usually, but not always moral reasons- though people who are vegan without moral reasons are pretty confusing).

 

Quote:
Vegetarianism does refer to diet, but that's not to say we don't have a belief system around that too.

 

It's precisely to say that, as a group, there is no belief system around that.

 

Individuals may form their own particular belief systems incorporating vegetarianism as parts of those systems- but vegetarianism itself is just a practice of eating a strictly plant-based diet.

 

 

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I'm not a vegetarian because I don't eat meat, I'm a vegetarian because I don't think it's right to eat animals and I act on that conviction. My vegetarianism brings my politics to the table, as much as it does  vegans or a carnists. Though, as a vegetarian, it allows me more 'grey' areas in other parts of my life.

 

It is technically correct to say you're vegetarian because you don't eat meat (in a situation where you have the option to).  That's all it takes. :)

 

But maybe the reasons you don't eat meat is because you don't think it's right to eat animals- so that belief leads to vegetariasm for you.  But for other people, they might have totally different reasons.

 

I don't think it's your vegetarianism that brings politics to the table so much as the beliefs that cause you to decide to be vegetarianism.  I think the same can be said for veganism- which is very often, but not inherently political or moralizing either.

 

What do you mean, when you say it allows more grey areas?

 

 

Quote:
The prerequisite for being a vegetarian is you don't eat meat. That's like the only hard and fast rule of being a vegetarian. Everything else, is up to the individual after that.

 

True/pure/strict vegetarians don't eat any animal products- pure plant based diet.  Lacto, ovo, or lacto-ovo vegetarians may incorporate milk, eggs, or both into their diets.

 

Some people consider True-vegetarians, Lacto-vegetarians, Ovo-vegetarians, etc. to all belong to a bigger group which is just 'vegetarians'.  Some people also consider Pesco-vegetarians (Pescetarians) to fall into this larger group.

 

Personally, I find the assumption that "vegetarian" includes fish, milk, or eggs equally troubling when they are not specifically added to the term using a prefix.  

 

As long as something is consistently prefixed on, rather than left for people to assume, it's unlikely to lead to any confusion for the general population, and that's what's important.

 

As far as trying to actually group things by type, taking some and excluding others, I think that kind of categorization is inconsistent and bound to cause problems no matter how you try to slice it.  There's no neat way to Venn diagram it, or try to make some kind of hierarchy, without making a huge mess.

 

It's probably better for everybody to try to avoid categorizing, and just use the entire terms when there's anything prefix-like added. :)  It avoids a fight by avoiding the contention entirely (hopefully)

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#29 Old 01-28-2014, 11:16 PM
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Because being vegetarian is like being pregnant, you can't be 'mostly' pregnant. You are, or you're not.

Vegetarianism does refer to diet, but that's not to say we don't have a belief system around that too.

I'm not a vegetarian because I don't eat meat, I'm a vegetarian because I don't think it's right to eat animals and I act on that conviction. My vegetarianism brings my politics to the table, as much as it does  vegans or a carnists. Though, as a vegetarian, it allows me more 'grey' areas in other parts of my life.


This part though, I have to say....annoys me-
 


The prerequisite for being a vegetarian is you don't eat meat. That's like the only hard and fast rule of being a vegetarian. Everything else, is up to the individual after that.

And as you don't know how many of those 'vegetarians' are actually still eating eggs and dairy, or the amounts that they actually consume it....I don't think it's a very fair statement to make. Especially on the vegetarian side of the forums. I'm sure you don't mean to be combative/insensitive but it's coming across that way.


As for different 'kinds' of pregnant? Yeah, I guess you can. I mean, there's different trimesters....

Maybe that's what lacto-ovo-, ovo-, lacto, vegetarian is.

Though, I prefer to think of it all as a spectrum, than stages.

Edit-Because I can't grammer good all the times.

It has been several years since I've eaten any animal foods at all. I'm just offering a different perspective. No problem if you don't agree with me, but some readers may appreciate hearing a different point of view. 

 

I have a vegetarian diet. I guess that makes me a vegetarian. I also have a vegan diet, but as it turns out, that doesn't make me a vegan because of some central tenets of the philosophy of veganism that I don't believe in. At least most of the vegans I've consulted with have led me to believe that I'm not actually vegan.

 

There are different ways of looking at what it means to have a vegetarian diet. In my view, and in the view of a many other people, vegetarianism means, or at least I think should mean, not eating animal foods as part of your diet, for whatever reason-- ethical, environmental, religious, or health reasons, or all of them, or none of them. It could be a period of mourning, or it could be a superstition. The motivations are irrelevant. Then there are ovo-lacto vegetarians, which to me means eggs and dairy make up part of your diet, but not meat, or ovo-vegetarian means eggs make up part of your diet but not dairy or meat, or lacto-vegetarian, to mean that dairy, but not eggs or meat, makes up a part of your diet. If an ovo-vegetarian had a piece of cheese once a year, do you think they should then start referring to themselves as an ovo-lacto vegetarian, even though they don't want their friends to start ordering them cheese pizzas? I don't think so, and the same reasoning should apply for meat. 

 

The general understanding that many people have about vegetarianism is that it is something that does excludes meat, but can can include eggs or dairy. I just don't think that's the best way to define it. I am not judging anyone who choses to eat eggs or dairy, I'm simply giving you some information about different understandings of the definition of vegetarianism. But don't take my word for it, feel free to look it up and look into it more.

 

Now back to me-- like I said, it's been a long time since I've sat down to eat anything animal-derived, and I don't really have plans to, but I wouldn't discount the possibility that I might at some point on a rare occasion, and only an animal food raised under my strictest criteria. By my definition of vegetarianism, meaning a diet based on plant foods, which excludes meat, dairy, and eggs, if I intentionally eat a piece of meat for whatever reason, I will not magically cease being a vegetarian. Just as if I were paleo, but I had a few beans or grains, but then went on with my paleo diet of no beans or grains, I wouldn't just stop being paleo. If I had a way of eating that excluded refined sugar, but one day decided to have a snickers bar, but then went on with my life not eating sugar, I'd still have a sugar-free diet. Now, if it were more than just a blip, and actually became a recurring part of my diet, I would then no longer have a vegetarian diet, and would no longer be vegetarian, for the simple reason that it would be inaccurate. It's not like keeping kosher, or halal-- it's not a religion. If I haven't eaten animal foods for five years, then intentionally have a piece of meat one day, and then go back to my regular diet of not eating animal foods for another five years, would I no longer be a vegetarian just because I had that piece of meat? What do you think is the requisite amount of time you'd have to abstain from meat before you're allowed to call yourself a vegetarian again?

 

Referring to myself as vegetarian is just a tool to express to people around me what I do or don't want to eat, but it doesn't dictate what you can eat. For all intents and purposes though, it's easier to tell people I have a vegan diet, even though I'm not vegan-- it would be more accurate though, to say I'm a vegetarian by this definition: http://www.happycow.net/vegetarian_diet.html. And for my purposes, it's inconsequential whether or not I eat a piece of meat once in a blue moon. But I guess if my referring to myself as vegetarian is really that offensive to so many people, I could just not refer to myself as one. I don't see why it would offend though-- people ought to build their own values, rather than fitting themselves into the values of an arbitrary system. 

 

Or, as I'm starting to come to realize, if anyone asked, I could just describe my diet to anyone who asked, because a single world is probably pretty useless anyway.

 

As for the question the original poster asked, I think it's just confusing for the people around them if they called themselves vegetarian, when in fact, the only thing they don't eat is red meat, but they eat all other classes of meat on a regular basis.

 

Those are my thoughts, and I have nothing more to add.

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#30 Old 01-28-2014, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by pandiculationco View Post

 

As far as personal identity, vegetarian is a shaky one, because it isn't necessarily a permanent commitment in the sense that veganism is.  It's a general dietary descriptor.  Now, somebody could make it a permanent commitment- but it isn't usually (in most of the world).


For the most part, Pandiculationco, I agree with what you're saying for the most part.

Except for the above point because, from my perspective, you do seem to be downplaying what it is to be vegetarian. I don't know if you mean it this way, but it's almost as though you're saying that if someone chooses to be a vegetarian for ethical/moral reasons and sticks with it for those reasons, that they're more an anomaly than the norm.

As far as 'permanent commitments', when comparing veganism and vegetarianism I think most of the success and fail rates for either vegans or vegetarians are at least equal. It would also be worth noting that most vegans, at least on here, were vegetarians for a fair while before they became vegans so that would also point in some way to the commitment status of vegetarianism, which can then feed into the commitment of veganism for an individual if they chose to go that way.


Either way, that's just something I wanted to point out.... because I don't think I'm an anomaly in the vegetarian world because I'm firm in my conviction that eating animals is wrong.

And I think I should also point out, that while I don't agree with you on this point, I think your other posts on the other thread in the vegan section of the forum were very helpful and informative.



 

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