A Vegan Who Eats Meat - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-31-2014, 12:19 PM
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A Vegan Who Eats Meat

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I've been vegan for 15 years, and I've been eating meat the entire time. I've also been drinking milk and baking with butter.

Not mock meat. Not fake butter. Not imitation milk.

I eat real food based on real ingredients. I don't consume substitutes, alternatives, analogs or replacements.

I grew up conditioned to believe that animal-based meat, dairy and eggs are the barometers by which all other comestibles should be measured. Thus, we're told, anything that doesn't come off of or out of an animal is considered an alternative.

The marketing arms of the meat, dairy and egg industries have no doubt shaped our thinking in this area. The National Milk Producers Federation has been trying for years to forbid plant-based milk companies from using the word "milk" claiming they have proprietary ownership of that word. Try telling a lactating mother she has to say breast beverage.

Hence, I drink milk. Although water is the only beverage for which we have a physiological need, beyond our own human milk when we're young, it is certainly convenient and tasty to be able to make creamy, nutrient-rich milk from nuts, grains, legumes and seeds.
Read the rest here: http://www.kqed.org/a/perspectives/R201407220735

This is a very thought-provoking piece by Colleen-Patrick Goudreau.

What do you think? Do we need to change the way we talk about vegan food?
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#2 Old 07-31-2014, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Werewolf Girl View Post
This is a very thought-provoking piece by Colleen-Patrick Goudreau.

What do you think? Do we need to change the way we talk about vegan food?
Although I can understand what CPG is saying, I think that vegans trying to claim/reclaim the words meat, milk and butter may be sowing the seeds of confusion for prospective vegans.
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#3 Old 07-31-2014, 01:44 PM
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I agree with leedsveg - it will be too confusing! I prefer to use labels that clearly show that I am eating something other (better!) than meat/dairy/eggs.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#4 Old 07-31-2014, 02:51 PM
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I don't think that saying that vegans eat meat, butter, or milk, is a good idea. As others have said, that would really confuse a lot of new vegans and people trying to accommodate vegans.

That being said, I DO think we need to change the way we talk about food. A lot of vegans talk about eating fake and imitation products, and it makes it seem like our food isn't very good, so we have to imitate what omnis are eating. That isn't what we generally mean when we use words like fake or mock, but I think that is the impression we give when talking to people who aren't familiar with the vegan lifestyle.

So I agree with the article, that we need to stop acting like our food is nothing more than an imitation of real food, and start talking about it like it IS real food, because real food is exactly what it is. Fake food is the plastic toys we give kids to play with. What we eat is real. I think it's a matter of just avoiding a few words. For example, when talking about the many "meat alternatives" on the market, I always say I cook with "veggie crumbles" instead of "mock ground beef."
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#5 Old 07-31-2014, 04:38 PM
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I never gave it much thought, but when I'm with people who know I'm vegan I always call what I'm eating by the "regular" name. If someone asks me what I'm eating when I'm having almond milk and a chickpea tender sandwich I just tell them it's milk and a chicken sandwich. They know I'm not eating what they would consider milk and chicken, but they know that I'm eating what I consider to be milk and chicken.
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#6 Old 07-31-2014, 05:05 PM
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Very interesting- and a pleasant surprise. (I was afraid the author was one of those flexitarians or vegans-before-6 who mostly eat plant-based, but still eat pretty much everything else too now and then.)

I don't know if non-vegetarians will buy it, but it makes a statement that veg*ans aren't necessarily denying themselves the pleasure of eating delicious, healthy food.

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.
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#7 Old 07-31-2014, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by amhappy1 View Post
I never gave it much thought, but when I'm with people who know I'm vegan I always call what I'm eating by the "regular" name. If someone asks me what I'm eating when I'm having almond milk and a chickpea tender sandwich I just tell them it's milk and a chicken sandwich. They know I'm not eating what they would consider milk and chicken, but they know that I'm eating what I consider to be milk and chicken.
I guess I do that too. I always use the word butter when I mean vegan butter, and I say hamburger when I mean veggie burger, and sometimes when I'm with people who know what I'm talking about I'll say meat when I mean something that isn't meat but serves the same purpose (like vegetarian chicken or beef from the freezer section). I try to be careful talking to people who aren't familiar with veganism, or at least give them a heads up that I mean vegan stuff when I forget to specify.
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#8 Old 07-31-2014, 06:32 PM
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This made me think of the stand up routine of Jim Gaffigan. He says he's a vegetarian.....except he does eat beef......and chicken......and pork.....etc.

Good thing this was actually different.

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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#9 Old 08-03-2014, 09:26 AM
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Considering they are generic words that refer to texture, or simply food. Meat once meant all food. Butter, for instance apple butter, is something creamy thick and spreadable. Milk as a blend of solids and water that is drinkable. Its kind of funny why industries would want to trademark common words. The auto industry can't trademark the would car or auto. Levis can't copyright or trademark "blue jeans" and Pantene can't copyright "shampoo" and Campbells can't copyright "soup."

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#10 Old 08-03-2014, 08:37 PM
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I like it!

I've been listening to her podcasts recently, I love the way she talks about words (and food, omg, I get hungry listening to her!)

I understand the concern about confusing new vegans, or even new vegetarians, with using words like 'meat, butter and milk'. But from what I've gathered of what she's trying to do, is get people to acknowledge what and who is on their plate. I don't think she's saying vegans should just refer to their food as meat, butter and milk with no little amendment to say "Oh hey, this doesn't contain someone". I think she's trying to get us, as a community, to talk about our food in terms of being "real food" rather than a knock off version.

So, instead of just saying 'meat', you can say "I have some veggie meat" or "I don't eat animal meat". It's a way of pointing to who is on someone else's plate, without being too confrontational about it and I like that approach.

Plus, it kind of helps when someone talks to me about how they could "never give up meat", I just respond with "Me either. Good thing not all meat comes from animals, hey?". Then we talk about seitan and it's awesome.
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#11 Old 08-04-2014, 12:32 AM
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This sort of semantic claptrap doesn't change the fact that many vegan/vegetarian products are imitations of animal based products.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Crochetlove View Post
That being said, I DO think we need to change the way we talk about food. A lot of vegans talk about eating fake and imitation products, and it makes it seem like our food isn't very good, so we have to imitate what omnis are eating.
But many vegan products and recipes imitate what "omnis are eating" so is it the language that needs to change or the dietary practices? For example, regardless of what you refer to mock chicken as its still going to be a product that imitates the taste, texture, look, etc of chicken.
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#12 Old 08-04-2014, 01:11 AM
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I think the writer is blonde.

My usual answer: I have never heard a convincing reason to eat meat.
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#13 Old 08-04-2014, 02:10 AM
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Interesting...

But then it seems like just changing the definition of words.

What she is saying isn't wrong, but it only serves to make her crazy statement make sense.. Kinda pointless.
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#14 Old 08-04-2014, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crochetlove View Post
I don't think that saying that vegans eat meat, butter, or milk, is a good idea. As others have said, that would really confuse a lot of new vegans and people trying to accommodate vegans.

That being said, I DO think we need to change the way we talk about food. A lot of vegans talk about eating fake and imitation products, and it makes it seem like our food isn't very good, so we have to imitate what omnis are eating. That isn't what we generally mean when we use words like fake or mock, but I think that is the impression we give when talking to people who aren't familiar with the vegan lifestyle.

So I agree with the article, that we need to stop acting like our food is nothing more than an imitation of real food, and start talking about it like it IS real food, because real food is exactly what it is. Fake food is the plastic toys we give kids to play with. What we eat is real. I think it's a matter of just avoiding a few words. For example, when talking about the many "meat alternatives" on the market, I always say I cook with "veggie crumbles" instead of "mock ground beef."
This is what I took from the article. I don't think we should go around being deliberately confusing but I do think words have power and it's better to use positive terms than terms that have negative connotations.
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#15 Old 08-04-2014, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Diesel View Post
Interesting...

But then it seems like just changing the definition of words.

What she is saying isn't wrong, but it only serves to make her crazy statement make sense.. Kinda pointless.
I think it's closer to 'reclaiming' words, than changing their definitions. Especially given that 'meat' in it's original form didn't actually mean "animal flesh" but more "stuff that we can't drink". It was only recently (few hundred years) that we changed it to just refer to animals.
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#16 Old 08-04-2014, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logic View Post
This sort of semantic claptrap doesn't change the fact that many vegan/vegetarian products are imitations of animal based products.



But many vegan products and recipes imitate what "omnis are eating" so is it the language that needs to change or the dietary practices? For example, regardless of what you refer to mock chicken as its still going to be a product that imitates the taste, texture, look, etc of chicken.
But they're more like substitutes for WE have grown up eating.
If you grew up eating cookies pies and cakes and later found you had diabetes
Or, grew up with pasta, breads and cookies and found you were gluten intolerant
Or found all the high calorie food you grew up with you now want to quit to lose weight...
You find substitutes. You learn to bake with different sweeteners, different techniques
You learn to choose gluten free. Learn to eat without calorie dense foods. You still call them "cookies, cakes, breads, pasta and chips"
The whole "faux" meat thing is sooooo elusive. Some would call my bean burger mock meat. Some consider tofu an imitation meat. Even the ones that truly try to mimic meat like Beyond Meat are made of pea protiens
Remember when turkey products came out and there was turkey bacon, turkey ham... so what's so different about vegan ham, vegan bacon (or soy or what have you)

I don't take the article as literal as many others have, but more of a stream of conscienceness type of thing.
Personally I just want foods that don't contain animal products to be labeled as such
What I eat is far less dramatic than any flesh food.
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#17 Old 08-05-2014, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tiger Lilly View Post
I think it's closer to 'reclaiming' words, than changing their definitions. Especially given that 'meat' in it's original form didn't actually mean "animal flesh" but more "stuff that we can't drink". It was only recently (few hundred years) that we changed it to just refer to animals.
Exactly.

I eat nut meats, avocado flesh and almond butter and none of those things are from an animal. It's basically using the proper grammar we were, I hope, all taught in grade school. How many times do you feel frustrated when someone walks up and asks "Do you know what time it is?" (a closed question) instead of properly saying "What time is it?" when they want you to tell them what the time is? There is also another one of my favorite gaffs "Can you tell me where this is?" instead of the correct "Where is this?" when they want to know where an item is in the store where I work. My first and automatic reaction is always to say yes or no, I often have to pause and remember that they are stupid/lazy/poorly educated.
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