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-   -   Define Vegetarian please? (https://www.veggieboards.com/forum/57-transitioning-vegetarian/90469-define-vegetarian-please.html)

Twiggy_Mar 11-20-2008 09:09 AM

Sorry if this has been asked, I did look through and couldn't see it.

But I'm having trouble making out the difference between vegetarian and vegan.

I know that if you still eat eggs and drink milk you're a lacto ovo vegetarian and that many erroneously call themselves vegetarian but still eat fish (and maybe chicken). This I know is pescetarian (not sure how to spell it, nor even pronounce it).

I know that vegans are those who refuse to consume or use any kind of animal derived product, reading all labels and making sure that their beliefs are upheld.

But vegetarians? Do they not eat any meat and then meat products (like rennet) but still consume things like the additives (like E120) that are animal derived? Do they still eat other things with eggs and milk in it (not dairy but things like cupcakes and other things) ?

I'm asking because I'm slowly making the transition to lacto ovo vegetarian though I don't eat the eggs and drink the milk in its raw form (I have fortified soy milk), I still consume cream cheeses and things like that (but no rennet in my cheese, I'm slowly cutting out all the bad stuff).

I really think that going vegetarian won't be that hard, (it's the mindset isn't it) I just want to know what I "can" eat and what I "can't" as I don't want to be walking around all happy as I haven't caused the death of some sentient being and then be told "oh no you've been eating cow's feet! Yup! In your chocolate milk there's cow's feet!" (I know that's probably not possible but animal parts seem to be everywhere these days)



Please help ?

rejey 11-20-2008 09:38 AM

A vegetarian doesn't eat/wear/use anything that contains 'dead' animals...so no meat obviously, including fish, then no stuff that contains dead animals like sweets with gelatine, cheese with rennet, no additives like cochineal, no wearing leather. 'Vegetarians' that are lenient about these things aren't really vegetarians, although it's good they're doing something I spose, but they can drink milk, eat cupcakes with eggs in and so on.



Then vegans don't eat/wear/use anything containing animal derivatives, including eggs, milk, butter, food with whey in it, and so on.



There's loads of stuff you wouldn't realise is either dead animal or somehow involves animal exploitation. There's a good list here http://www.vegansociety.com/food/criteria.php

Basically you have to read labels and be careful, but it's not the end of the world if you slip up

vigilant20 11-20-2008 09:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rejey View Post

A vegetarian doesn't eat/wear/use anything that contains 'dead' animals...so no meat obviously, including fish, then no stuff that contains dead animals like sweets with gelatine, cheese with rennet, no additives like cochineal, no wearing leather. 'Vegetarians' that are lenient about these things aren't really vegetarians, although it's good they're doing something I spose, but they can drink milk, eat cupcakes with eggs in and so on.



That is not true. Vegetarianism applies to diet only. The things you listed as animal derived are by definition avoided by vegans.

Fromper 11-20-2008 09:58 AM

Actually, rejey's definition is stricter than usual.



Basically, a vegetarian doesn't eat or drink any part of any dead animal. That's it. Milk and eggs aren't part of the animal, so consuming them, either alone or as ingredients in something else, is considered acceptable for vegetarians. Some vegetarians don't know about things like gelatin or rennet, or aren't concerned about them, but technically, those things are not vegetarian.



I'm not sure why rejey included clothing items like leather in the definition, since the word vegetarian is strictly a word to describe a diet, and nothing else.



As for vegan, that's pretty easy to define, too. Vegan is a non-dietary term for someone who doesn't eat/drink/use anything that comes from any member of the animal kingdom in any way. This includes milk, eggs, honey, fur, leather, silk, etc, or any products including even trace amounts of any of these things.



But the most important thing to remember here is that the label isn't important. If you want to be a lacto-ovo veg, which means you still consume eggs and milk and things made from them, then that's ok. If you want to eliminate milk, but keep eggs in your diet, that's your decision, and that would be called an ovo-vegetarian. Many people here are leaning towards vegan, but not quite there yet.



The most important thing is making the transition go smoothly so you don't get frustrated and give up just because you broke one of the "rules".



--Fromper


Blobbenstein 11-20-2008 10:04 AM

vegetarian=someone who doesn't eat food with parts of dead(or living) animals in it; although they can wear leather

codemonkey 11-20-2008 10:16 AM

Some vegetarians avoid leather but it's not part of the definition of vegetarian.

rejey 11-20-2008 10:30 AM

That's interesting, I didn't know vegetarian was only dietary. If they're doing it for ethical reasons it seems a bit contradictory to not want to put the cow in your mouth but not care about wearing it; the cow was used and died either way.

dormouse 11-20-2008 10:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rejey View Post

A vegetarian doesn't eat/wear/use anything that contains 'dead' animals...so no meat obviously, including fish, then no stuff that contains dead animals like sweets with gelatine, cheese with rennet, no additives like cochineal, no wearing leather. 'Vegetarians' that are lenient about these things aren't really vegetarians, although it's good they're doing something I spose, but they can drink milk, eat cupcakes with eggs in and so on.



I think this is a pretty strict definition. While I do not understand why someone would be a vegetarian and still buy new leather products or not be concerned about things like gelatin, I don't feel like these things are intrinsic to the definition of vegetarian. While it is my philosophy on vegetarianism to try to avoid all parts of dead animals, I think the classic definition of someone who just doesn't eat meat (including fish) is still acceptable. After all, there are many reasons to be a vegetarian and not all of them have to do with animal abuse.



Whenever I mention that I'm a vegetarian, people more often than not ask for more details. It's then that I define myself as someone who doesn't purchase or consume the parts of dead animals.

icreep heather 11-20-2008 10:51 AM

Quote:

A vegetarian is someone living on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with or without the use of dairy products and eggs.



A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, or slaughter by-products.





Types of Vegetarian

Lacto-ovo-vegetarian. Eats both dairy products and eggs. This is the most common type of vegetarian diet.



Lacto-vegetarian. Eats dairy products but not eggs.



Vegan. Does not eat dairy products, eggs, or any other animal product.



From: http://www.vegsoc.org/info/definitions.html



Quote:

Vegan Basics

Question: What's the difference between 'vegan' and 'vegetarian'?



Answer: A vegetarian person chooses not to eat foods which come from dead animals, such as meat, gelatine and rennet. A vegan person doesn't eat anything that comes from living animals either, like milk and eggs. Vegans also try to avoid using any animal products, like leather or wool, for clothing or any other purpose.



From: http://www.vegansociety.com/newsroom...lugin/faqs/1/2





Not to sound like a broken record

Indian Summer 11-20-2008 11:03 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rejey View Post

That's interesting, I didn't know vegetarian was only dietary. If they're doing it for ethical reasons it seems a bit contradictory to not want to put the cow in your mouth but not care about wearing it; the cow was used and died either way.

Yeah, but they might not be doing it for ethical reasons. It could be e.g. for health reasons.

rejey 11-20-2008 11:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indian Summer View Post

Yeah, but they might not be doing it for ethical reasons. It could be e.g. for health reasons.



Hence why I said 'If they're doing it for ethical reasons.'

PlaybackGuru 11-20-2008 11:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rejey View Post

Hence why I said 'If they're doing it for ethical reasons.'



But if they were doing it for ethical reasons, would they still drink milk, eat eggs or cheese?

Twiggy_Mar 11-20-2008 01:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fromper View Post

Actually, rejey's definition is stricter than usual.



Basically, a vegetarian doesn't eat or drink any part of any dead animal. That's it. Milk and eggs aren't part of the animal, so consuming them, either alone or as ingredients in something else, is considered acceptable for vegetarians. Some vegetarians don't know about things like gelatin or rennet, or aren't concerned about them, but technically, those things are not vegetarian.



I'm not sure why rejey included clothing items like leather in the definition, since the word vegetarian is strictly a word to describe a diet, and nothing else.



As for vegan, that's pretty easy to define, too. Vegan is a non-dietary term for someone who doesn't eat/drink/use anything that comes from any member of the animal kingdom in any way. This includes milk, eggs, honey, fur, leather, silk, etc, or any products including even trace amounts of any of these things.



But the most important thing to remember here is that the label isn't important. If you want to be a lacto-ovo veg, which means you still consume eggs and milk and things made from them, then that's ok. If you want to eliminate milk, but keep eggs in your diet, that's your decision, and that would be called an ovo-vegetarian. Many people here are leaning towards vegan, but not quite there yet.



The most important thing is making the transition go smoothly so you don't get frustrated and give up just because you broke one of the "rules".



--Fromper




Thanks for the help Fromper and everyone else, Rejey's explanation was helpful but it really just sounded like vegetarians and vegans were one and the same and that confused me a tad. I really love all animals and feel sorry for any of them that get mistreated in any way. I'm a bit too young, and I'm allergic so I can't help animal cases. I am also interested in eating healthy so going vegetarian is something I really want to. I have read lots and lots in strong hope of never becoming "that girl" in the oh-so-typical "My aunt's niece's best friend's cousin's daughter was vegetarian but then her hair fell out, her nails went black and she became anemic so she had to start eating meat again"

Thanks all !!

clarita osita 11-20-2008 03:24 PM

I didn't realize vegetarian meant only dietary. I see it as lifestyle as well. Well, either way, as I think Fromper said, just do your best and do what you feel is right and you'll be fine. Oh, and welcome!

mbellek 11-20-2008 03:51 PM

You know, I kinda just posted about this in a thread on the vegan board... I think there needs to be something in-between vegetarian & vegan...



For example, my dietary habits probably technically fall under the category of "lacto/ovo-vegetarian" because I'm not 100% unwilling to eat foods with dairy or eggs in them. I'd say these foods only make up about 5% of my overall diet, but most vegans would crucify me if I called myself vegan -- even though I put considerable effort into ensuring that the non-edible products I buy don't contain animal ingredients & aren't tested on animals. I jokingly call myself a "flexible vegan" sometimes, but I wish there were an actual WORD for it.

sb729 }i{ 11-20-2008 07:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbellek View Post

You know, I kinda just posted about this in a thread on the vegan board... I think there needs to be something in-between vegetarian & vegan...



For example, my dietary habits probably technically fall under the category of "lacto/ovo-vegetarian" because I'm not 100% unwilling to eat foods with dairy or eggs in them. I'd say these foods only make up about 5% of my overall diet, but most vegans would crucify me if I called myself vegan -- even though I put considerable effort into ensuring that the non-edible products I buy don't contain animal ingredients & aren't tested on animals. I jokingly call myself a "flexible vegan" sometimes, but I wish there were an actual WORD for it.



I agree. I don't eat eggs or drink milk "straight", and do my best to avoid any animal by-products. The foods that do contain the lacto/ovo only make up a very small percent of my diet as well. I know I'm not vegan, but I do check labels on everything to make sure there is no gelatin, rennet, enzymes whatever that are animal derived.



I thought up until now that all vegetarians did that? (as far as not consuming anything that is a by-product ingredient....) I take it that is not the case? Do some vegetarians simply just not eat meat and that's it? For example, fries that have the beef by-product, I avoid. Is that typical of vegan only? I thought both vegan and vegetarian would not eat that?

I guess I am surprised to think, or rather just assumed.

Digger 11-20-2008 08:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbellek View Post

I think there needs to be something in-between vegetarian & vegan...

Please, no! Look at all the confusion created by just the TWO terms.

ashlend 11-20-2008 08:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbellek View Post

You know, I kinda just posted about this in a thread on the vegan board... I think there needs to be something in-between vegetarian & vegan...



For example, my dietary habits probably technically fall under the category of "lacto/ovo-vegetarian" because I'm not 100% unwilling to eat foods with dairy or eggs in them. I'd say these foods only make up about 5% of my overall diet, but most vegans would crucify me if I called myself vegan -- even though I put considerable effort into ensuring that the non-edible products I buy don't contain animal ingredients & aren't tested on animals. I jokingly call myself a "flexible vegan" sometimes, but I wish there were an actual WORD for it.



Ehhhh...



I'm the same, but I'm comfortable with "vegetarian." "Vegan" doesn't fit me right now, and I accept that (I am hoping someday it will.) I don't feel like I need a special word until the day it does. When someone asks me about eggs and dairy, I just say I do my best to avoid them or I'm working towards veganism.



Ash

bluegold 11-21-2008 12:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlaybackGuru View Post

But if they were doing it for ethical reasons, would they still drink milk, eat eggs or cheese?



Depends on your concept of "ethical" they could be lacto for karmic reasons .

Blobbenstein 11-21-2008 12:28 AM

what about 'vergan', ie verging on vegan.

aminahc1 11-21-2008 06:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sb729 }i{ View Post

I agree. I don't eat eggs or drink milk "straight", and do my best to avoid any animal by-products. The foods that do contain the lacto/ovo only make up a very small percent of my diet as well. I know I'm not vegan, but I do check labels on everything to make sure there is no gelatin, rennet, enzymes whatever that are animal derived.



I thought up until now that all vegetarians did that? (as far as not consuming anything that is a by-product ingredient....) I take it that is not the case? Do some vegetarians simply just not eat meat and that's it? For example, fries that have the beef by-product, I avoid. Is that typical of vegan only? I thought both vegan and vegetarian would not eat that?

I guess I am surprised to think, or rather just assumed.





I agree. Where's the term for that, a person who doesn't really eat eggs or meat or milk on purpose but isn't a vegan?

Blobbenstein 11-21-2008 06:53 AM

strictish vegetarian.

Fromper 11-21-2008 10:20 AM

I usually just go with "lactose intolerant vegetarian". It's true, too. I refuse to tolerate the cow abuse that goes into generating lactose for human consumption. Oh, and it makes my stomach hurt, too.



--Fromper


Digger 11-21-2008 10:52 AM

I've heard these three terms used:



Vegetarian (diet only, may consume eggs and/or dairy)

Strict Vegetarian (diet only, no animal products of any kind)

Vegan (diet + lifestyle, no animal products of any kind)

thalestral 11-21-2008 11:05 AM

Strict vegetarian can stand for various combinations that fall in between vegetarian and vegan

Digger 11-21-2008 11:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thalestral View Post

Strict vegetarian can stand for various combinations that fall in between vegetarian and vegan

Kinda takes the meaning out of 'strict' then doesn't it?



One thing I've gleaned from reading this thread, is that we can never be upset with meat-eaters, waiters, waitresses for not knowing what vegetarian/vegan means, because apparently lots of vegetarians are confused as well.




ashlend 11-21-2008 12:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger View Post

I've heard these three terms used:



Vegetarian (diet only, may consume eggs and/or dairy)

Strict Vegetarian (diet only, no animal products of any kind)

Vegan (diet + lifestyle, no animal products of any kind)



I agree with these definitions.



I call myself a vegetarian. I don't eat any meat or meat byproducts like chicken stock or gelatin. I eat a relatively small amount of eggs and dairy (I don't use either one in my cooking at home, but sometimes succumb when I am out or at someone else's house.) I don't always check the source of the rennet in my cheese when I am out. If the only otherwise vegetarian entree on the menu has questionable cheese in it, I will eat it. I don't consider myself any less of a vegetarian for that, but I appreciate that some here may disagree.



I don't buy any clothing, bags, shoes or other wearing apparel that contains wool or leather or anything like that, although I still have some of these items from before I became a vegetarian. I don't buy any toiletries that have been tested on animals, and most of my toiletries are free of animal ingredients as well.



So... "vegetarian" fits for me, at least in my mind. Labels are always imperfect but at least they give us a place to start.



Ash

pinkwolf 11-21-2008 04:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by icreep heather View Post

From: http://www.vegsoc.org/info/definitions.html







From: http://www.vegansociety.com/newsroom...lugin/faqs/1/2





Not to sound like a broken record



This was my understanding as well.

sb729 }i{ 11-21-2008 06:14 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger View Post

I've heard these three terms used:



Vegetarian (diet only, may consume eggs and/or dairy)

Strict Vegetarian (diet only, no animal products of any kind)

Vegan (diet + lifestyle, no animal products of any kind)



Oh..yeh, that does sound familiar now that you mention it. I'm glad there's a somewhat of a differential....b/c there can be a huge range from just not eating meat, to not eating any animal by products, and rarely eggs/dairy (me).

GhostUser 11-21-2008 11:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by codemonkey View Post

Some vegetarians avoid leather but it's not part of the definition of vegetarian.



Very True...I am a Veggie and I dont wear Leather or Fur anything animal based and I dont eat Gelatin and stuff like that...I call Myself a Strict Vegetarian.



Peace Love and Happiness

Please Recycle...Go Green!!..Cause Green Is Sexy!!



Jenn


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