Definition of vegetarian? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-25-2016, 02:46 PM
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Definition of vegetarian?

Sorry if this is a silly question. But do any of you eat eggs or fish? Ive read some places that veg is no meat at all. But some its ok to have fish.some ok to have eggs. I guess it dont really matter but jw.
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#2 Old 02-25-2016, 03:11 PM
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The definition of vegetarian is no meat at all. Some vegetarians will eat products taken from animals -dairy and/or eggs.

There is a term for those that limit their meat to fish-pescatarian.

Veggieboards is just for vegetarians/vegans
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#3 Old 02-25-2016, 04:49 PM
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The 'classic' definition is 'a diet free of flesh, fish, or fowl, with or without eggs and [dairy] milk'. This definition is still used today.

Here's some history. A brief account, although many folks would argue with my calling it 'brief'

The word 'vegetarian' was coined after 1838 (my assumption) but before 1842 (first time it was used in print) by a community associated with the Concordium (a school/boarding house/intentional community later renamed Alcott House). They were involved in dietary reform, and they created the word 'vegetarian' to describe their diet - no animal food of any kind! The first vegetarians ate a vegan diet.

But, they were not the only group interested in dietary reform. A group in the north of England followed a similar diet that eliminated meat, fish, and poultry but included eggs and milk. In 1847 the two groups came together and formed a society to promote vegetarian diets. At this conference they unanimously voted to adopt the classic definition of 'vegetarian' - no fish/flesh/fowl with or without eggs and milk.

I have two theories on why some folks insist fish and/or poultry are suitable for vegetarians:

1) The 'meatless' confusion: People commonly call diets free of mammalian flesh 'meatless'. Think of people giving up meat for lent - they replace it with fish and sometimes poultry. Confusingly, vegetarian diets are often referred to as 'meatless'. It's easy to mix up different diets when one term is used to describe them even though they're different.

2) The 'macrobiotic' confusion: In the mid-late 60s macrobiotic diets were all the rage in health food stores. Macrobiotic diets are similar to vegetarian diets, but include fish. One of the well 'horror stories' about people dieing while following a vegetarian diet was about someone following a macrobiotic diet, which is evidence the two were being confused
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#4 Old 02-25-2016, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in MPLS View Post
I have two theories on why some folks insist fish and/or poultry are suitable for vegetarians:

1) The 'meatless' confusion: People commonly call diets free of mammalian flesh 'meatless'. Think of people giving up meat for lent - they replace it with fish and sometimes poultry. Confusingly, vegetarian diets are often referred to as 'meatless'. It's easy to mix up different diets when one term is used to describe them even though they're different.
I have a similar take on Dave's #1, which is the 'red meat' thing. Some people give up red meat because of its associated ills, such as colon cancer and high cholesterol, but continue eating FLESH--turkey, chicken, fish, etc. So the 'meatless' concept Dave mentioned comes into play, and if you say you "don't eat meat," someone might assume you *DO* eat chicken, fish, etc. because they're assuming you mean RED meat.

To touch on the OP's actual question, in my world, "vegetarian" means not eating/buying/using/wearing any product that is obtained from a dead animal, therefore, no flesh, no leather, no gelatin, etc. Eggs, milk, cheese, and other products obtained from LIVING animals are allowed, if the person wants them. (I use virtually no dairy products, but still stick to the label "vegetarian" because "vegan" is something I'm not 100% careful about.)

Also, note that there are different types of vegetarians--for example, my best friend in college, a Hindu, could not eat eggs; according to their beliefs, anything that had a soul could not be used/killed/eaten.
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Last edited by VeggieSince88; 02-26-2016 at 11:06 AM.
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#5 Old 02-25-2016, 08:48 PM
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Not sure how to quote. But dave.... Thanks that was very informative. Very helpful.
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#6 Old 02-25-2016, 08:51 PM
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This is my first no meat week. But i did see a post about fish directly below mine. Hence the confusion. Lol. Thank you both for answering me. Much appreciated.
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#7 Old 02-26-2016, 01:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeggieSince88 View Post
I have a similar take on Dave's #1, which is the 'red meat' thing. Some people give up red meat because of its associated ills, such as colon cancer and high cholesterol, but continue eating FLESH--turkey, chicken, fish, etc. So the 'meatless' concept Dave mentioned comes into play, and if you say you "don't eat meat," someone might assume you *DO* eat chicken, fish, etc. because they're assuming you mean RED meat.

To touch on the OP's actual question, in my world, "vegetarian" means not eating/buying/using/wearing any product that is obtained from a dead animal, therefore, no flesh, no leather, no gelatin, etc. Eggs, milk, cheese, and other products obtained from LIVING animals are allowed, if the person wants them. (I use virtually no dairy products, but still stick to the label "vegetarian" because "vegan" is something I'm not 100% obsessive about.)

Also, note that there are different types of vegetarians--for example, my best friend in college, a Hindu, could not eat eggs; according to their beliefs, anything that had a soul could not be used/killed/eaten.
I agree with most of your post, but could you maybe not use the "obsessive"'word about vegans? Thanks, we hear that a lot on the "outside".
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#8 Old 02-26-2016, 04:00 AM
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The best description of being vegetarian is one of a friend:

"I won't eat anything that had parents." I'm still not sure of how she thinks of eggs though.
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#9 Old 02-26-2016, 06:59 AM
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I always said "I don't eat anything with a face"

Because I would always get people asking me if I ate fish. Because the whole thing confused some people.
But then I also had a friend of a friend who said she was vegetarian (which I was really excited about because no one else around me was veg) And one day she was eating KFC... because apparently chickens are OK...

Explaining that I didn't buy leather was baffling to others also. Because it wasn't like I was eating it?!?!

Basically if something came from a dead body I didn't want anything to do with it.

(past tense because I'm going vegan)
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#10 Old 02-26-2016, 07:51 AM
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Vegetarians don't eat anything that poops

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#11 Old 02-26-2016, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post
I agree with most of your post, but could you maybe not use the "obsessive"'word about vegans? Thanks, we hear that a lot on the "outside".
Sorry about that. I truly didn't mean anything insulting by it!

I meant "obsessive" in terms of being 100% sure, not "obsessive" like in "obsessive compulsive disorder" or something similar.

PS Fixed it.
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Last edited by VeggieSince88; 02-26-2016 at 11:07 AM.
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#12 Old 02-26-2016, 11:51 AM
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I neglected to mention WHERE any of the things I described happened, other than a quick reference to 'England'. More specifically: the Concordium was in West Ham, 'north England' means Salford, and the 1847 conference was held at Manchester.

Not that any of that matters in any real sense, but I probably should have mentioned it.

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