Ethical Veganism - Page 2 - VeggieBoards
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#31 Old 09-01-2015, 02:33 AM
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no i didn't - i said "ethical dietary vegan" not "Dietary vegan" & i don't care what you conveniently subbed out in order to misquote me for the benefit of trying to substantiate your rather verbose response(s)

'm trying to decide whether you're just a common compulsive 'showboater' or simply someone confused by the banality of their own rhetoric?
Unless I'm missing something, Dave is aware that you said "ethical dietary vegan," and that's precisely the phrase he's talking about above.
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#32 Old 09-01-2015, 06:04 PM
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Unless I'm missing something, Dave is aware that you said "ethical dietary vegan," and that's precisely the phrase he's talking about above.
no way jose - your friend dave might be aware that i said "ethical dietary vegan" but that's not the phrase he's "precisely" referring to in his comment.

unless i'm missing something i see "Dietary vegan" conveniently quoted as the basis of his argument.

i'm sure dave can speak for himself & doesn't need you as his babysitter.

anyway this has developed into a real time-waster that i will not participate in further.
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#33 Old 09-02-2015, 12:23 AM
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no way jose - your friend dave might be aware that i said "ethical dietary vegan" but that's not the phrase he's "precisely" referring to in his comment.

unless i'm missing something i see "Dietary vegan" conveniently quoted as the basis of his argument.

i'm sure dave can speak for himself & doesn't need you as his babysitter.

anyway this has developed into a real time-waster that i will not participate in further.
Um... Here's a screen shot clearly showing that your original post was correctly quoted and that Dave's argument was about the redundancy of placing words like "ethical" and "dietary" (and, in particular, both) in front of the word "vegan." I'm wondering if you haven't realised you've made a mistake and are too embarrassed now to admit it? Sometimes it's better to just say "oh, I must have read that wrong" and move on.


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#34 Old 09-02-2015, 09:14 AM
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Perhaps, but what I'm saying is: say someone switches to the lifestyle and foregoes meat, dairy, and egg for the green or health benefits, and doesn't immediately assign themselves to getting rid of their leather couch, or stop supporting zoos. When the waiter asks them their dietary restrictions, are they supposed to say, "I'm a non-ovo non-lacto plant-based, honey-free vegetarian", or should they be able to say "I'm vegan" with some sense of pride, regardless of the reason. I feel that to say "vegan" is reserved for a certain set of ethical standards is non-inclusive to people that could be swayed to our way of thinking provided we stop telling them, "Oh no, you're PLANT BASED. You're not a vegan."
I actually agree with this because not everyone goes straight towards ethical veganism. When I first became a vegetarian, I had no intention of even becoming vegan, but I slowly did increase my awareness. When I was vegetarian, I was at a zoo in Michigan and I was seeing lions and tigers there, and that didn't settle well with me. Did I first become vegan for ethical reasons, no. I went vegan for other reasons, but I did increase my awareness. I did avoid products with animal ingredients to the best of my ability, but I'm not perfect. I still have lotions with honey in them and make up tested on animals that I hardly use, but it is a stepping stone. I don't plan on buying more of those products, nor do I want to.

As far as in a restaurant goes, when are ethics involved in ordering food? A person can't call themselves vegan when ordering food because why? It's not like the plates they eat off of are made of leather, so whether they avoid animal skins or testing shouldn't impact what they say in a restaurant. If they want to call themselves vegan in a restaurant? The waiter won't know and neither would you if you were there with them. By saying they are vegan, it shows more demand for vegan products in restaurants, so it shouldn't be something to critique over in the first place.

If a person who is following a plant based diet, why should we say "Well, technically, you're not a vegan because you don't follow the lifestyle, so you should call yourself plant based." Why can't we say "I'm glad you're making this change in your life, but have you considered the ethical reasons for going vegan? This is why I did it." and the you educate them. To push a person by saying "you're not actually part of the club" does not accomplish anything. You're saying that they still can't call themselves vegan even though they have gone through the very hard task of eliminating all animal products from their diet when it is not socially normal, and sometimes not accepted, but you deny them the right to call themselves vegan? Veganism isn't an elitist club, but the way some of you go about it make it seem like it is.

From an animal eater looking in and seeing vegans critiquing each other about how they're "not vegan enough", why would they want to decide to become vegan? I wouldn't want that and it only deters people from becoming vegan or vegetarian. Every little bit does count, so why can't you congratulate people for making such a big step in their life rather than saying they're not part of the "club"? I would much rather have a lot of dietary vegans than fewer vegans as a whole, because there's no progress otherwise!I would personally be glad that people are stopping cruelty at their plates and worry about testing later because we don't need to isolate vegans into smaller groups, because it helps nothing but uphold someone's standard.
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#35 Old 09-02-2015, 10:00 AM
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As far as in a restaurant goes, when are ethics involved in ordering food? A person can't call themselves vegan when ordering food because why? It's not like the plates they eat off of are made of leather, so whether they avoid animal skins or testing shouldn't impact what they say in a restaurant. If they want to call themselves vegan in a restaurant? The waiter won't know and neither would you if you were there with them. By saying they are vegan, it shows more demand for vegan products in restaurants, so it shouldn't be something to critique over in the first place.
Nobody in this thread has expressed a problem with someone using the word "vegan" when ordering food. I don't consume dairy products of any kind, so in restaurants unfamiliar with veganism, it may be easier for me to say that I am lactose intolerant. Saying it in a restaurant still doesn't make it so. It has nothing to do with a "club." It's a simple definition. Either you believe that it's wrong to exploit animals and you try to adjust your life accordingly, or you don't. Either you have a physical allergy to dairy, or you don't. I can't understand why this is a point of contention.

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You're saying that they still can't call themselves vegan even though they have gone through the very hard task of eliminating all animal products from their diet when it is not socially normal, and sometimes not accepted, but you deny them the right to call themselves vegan? Veganism isn't an elitist club, but the way some of you go about it make it seem like it is.
What do you mean when you talk about the "right" to call oneself vegan? Why is that label something to be coveted by people who genuinely don't care about animals?

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From an animal eater looking in and seeing vegans critiquing each other about how they're "not vegan enough", why would they want to decide to become vegan? I wouldn't want that and it only deters people from becoming vegan or vegetarian.
Who bases important moral decisions on the attitudes and tactics of other people? If someone genuinely wants to stop exploiting and abusing animals, the general attitude of vegans isn't going to change that. Veganism is the only moral sphere where people use this ridiculous excuse, I think because animal products are a bit of an addiction for some. You hear it with smoking, too: "I would quit, but nonsmokers are so self-righteous!" Come on. Nonsmokers aren't the reason you won't quit. You won't quit because you're addicted to nicotine, because it's difficult, because you're scared. There isn't a smoker in the world who does it purely out of spite for nonsmokers. It's just an excuse. Meat eaters who blame vegans' attitude are exactly the same.

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Every little bit does count, so why can't you congratulate people for making such a big step in their life rather than saying they're not part of the "club"?
Every little bit does count, and that's why I actively congratulate those who adopt a plant-based diet. Why does not using the word "vegan" read as disrespectful to you? Veganism has absolutely nothing to do with the ego of vegans. It isn't about social status or trends. It's about recognising that animals are sentient creatures undeserving of commodification, exploitation, and slaughter for human convenience or profit. That's it. It's that simple. If someone wants to "join the club" so badly, fantastic! All they have to do is recognise that animals are sentient creatures undeserving of commodification, exploitation, and slaughter and they will receive their membership card immediately.

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#36 Old 09-02-2015, 12:14 PM
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This ^^^
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#37 Old 09-02-2015, 08:25 PM
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Um... Here's a screen shot clearly showing that your original post was correctly quoted and that Dave's argument was about the redundancy of placing words like "ethical" and "dietary" (and, in particular, both) in front of the word "vegan." I'm wondering if you haven't realised you've made a mistake and are too embarrassed now to admit it? Sometimes it's better to just say "oh, I must have read that wrong" and move on.

no way jose, but thanks anyway for going to the trouble of a screenshot - a simple "original" unedited quote would have sufficed without the need to include such a pretentious overload..

"too embarrassed" or "read that wrong" - as a fanboy of dave you should ask yourself those same questions and then "move on".

as far as i'm concerned i stand by what i've said & retract absolutely nothing.

btw try using fewer words as you tend to smokescreen the issue with far too much waffle.
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#38 Old 09-03-2015, 02:26 AM
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no way jose, but thanks anyway for going to the trouble of a screenshot - a simple "original" unedited quote would have sufficed without the need to include such a pretentious overload..

"too embarrassed" or "read that wrong" - as a fanboy of dave you should ask yourself those same questions and then "move on".

as far as i'm concerned i stand by what i've said & retract absolutely nothing.

btw try using fewer words as you tend to smokescreen the issue with far too much waffle.
Dude, what are you even talking about? What is "the issue"?

I don't even know Dave. It's just bizarre to me that you've been going on for days about how he misquoted you when anyone reading this thread can plainly see that he didn't. It's absurd. It's as if I were to suddenly start accusing you of calling me Susan, vehemently insisting that you'd called me Susan when it's plainly obvious that you called me by my username. All you have to do is scroll up! It's just an odd thing to make up, and it baffles me.
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#39 Old 09-03-2015, 02:27 AM
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no way jose, but thanks anyway for going to the trouble of a screenshot - a simple "original" unedited quote would have sufficed without the need to include such a pretentious overload..

"too embarrassed" or "read that wrong" - as a fanboy of dave you should ask yourself those same questions and then "move on".

as far as i'm concerned i stand by what i've said & retract absolutely nothing.

btw try using fewer words as you tend to smokescreen the issue with far too much waffle.
There is no need to belittle others with terms such as "fanboy" or "babysitter" when making your points. There are respectful ways to approach the subject and disagree with another person without name calling. Name calling is against the rules on Veggiboards.

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#40 Old 09-03-2015, 02:49 AM
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back to the topic, let me ask:

does anyone believe that becoming vegan is the most important ethical decision an individual can make in life, as it were?
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#41 Old 09-03-2015, 06:00 AM
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back to the topic, let me ask:

does anyone believe that becoming vegan is the most important ethical decision an individual can make in life, as it were?
That's a good question. I certainly think it's a big one! Many other big ethical decisions are sort of no-brainers for most of us (don't murder, for instance) but eating animal products is something we likely were taught to do from a young age and had to make a conscious decision to stop, often at the risk of facing ridicule from friends and family--so, yes, I think going vegan was one of the big defining moral choices of my lifetime.
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#42 Old 09-03-2015, 07:29 AM
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back to the topic, let me ask:

does anyone believe that becoming vegan is the most important ethical decision an individual can make in life, as it were?
Yes, on balance, for the average person, I think being vegan has the most far-ranging ethical consequences of all the life choices we can make.
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#43 Old 09-03-2015, 07:23 PM
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Every little bit does count, and that's why I actively congratulate those who adopt a plant-based diet. Why does not using the word "vegan" read as disrespectful to you? Veganism has absolutely nothing to do with the ego of vegans. It isn't about social status or trends. It's about recognising that animals are sentient creatures undeserving of commodification, exploitation, and slaughter for human convenience or profit. That's it. It's that simple. If someone wants to "join the club" so badly, fantastic! All they have to do is recognise that animals are sentient creatures undeserving of commodification, exploitation, and slaughter and they will receive their membership card immediately.
see, and this is why I claim elitism. "you cant be considered vegan because my code of ethical standards is what I consider the definition of veganism." where as two dictionaries state being vegan as: a person who does not eat any food that comes from animals and who often also does not use animal products (such as leather). But fails to go into your intensive description.

I eat honey from time to time. I still consider myself vegan. I have tattoos that I didn't verify that the ink was vegan. 'Still consider myself vegan. I have seven entomological displays in my house. Still consider myself vegan, and no person that says "No, vegan means this to me!!" is going to tell me I cant, or that my reasoning is less valid than their own.

Yeah, I think people who switch over from the traditional western diet to just foregoing the food element and not throwing out their couch should be able to proudly say they are vegan. If you started biking to work in the morning and then carpooling home at night, or shortening showers by a few minutes, you wouldn't be entirely David Suzuki green, but I'd say you should be proud of those efforts to be greener. If dr Suzuki told you it wasn't enough, I'd tell him to stuff it, too.

Veganism isn't a club and its not just one set of ideals. Its a way for people to identify themselves, their lifestyle, and yeah, a lot of times their personal ethical code, but to say "its ethics or gtfo" is still elitist in my book.
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#44 Old 09-03-2015, 08:44 PM
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Why is that label something to be coveted by people who genuinely don't care about animals?
Yeah, that puzzles me too.

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does anyone believe that becoming vegan is the most important ethical decision an individual can make in life, as it were?
That's not an answerable question. It assumes a hierarchy of ethical decisions, with one at the top. I don't think such a hierarchy exists.

Many people will be able to answer that question even though they see the same problem with hierarchy that I do. The difference is they see veganism in holistic, all-encompassing terms. I do not (and neither did Watson, based on interviews he gave). Vegetarianism once was thought of the same way.

The problem is easy enough to solve, as I've mentioned IIRC. We all agree that a "vegan diet" is a thing right? A thing that is ONLY about diet? Why not just say "vegan diet" when you're talking about diet? "Would you like cheese on that?" "No thanks, I follow a vegan diet." Easy peasey.

The reason vegans are touchy about who claims that identity is because of what happened to the word vegetarian. It was depoliticized and appropriated. We don't want that to happen to 'vegan'. Veganism is a political action, not a dietary preference. I don't understand why people who have a preference for a vegan diet resist simply saying so.

(I'm glossing over quite a bit in the above, but it's at least a fair summary.)
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#45 Old 09-07-2015, 09:08 AM
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MOD POST- This thread is now reopened.

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#46 Old 09-07-2015, 11:27 AM
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see, and this is why I claim elitism. "you cant be considered vegan because my code of ethical standards is what I consider the definition of veganism." where as two dictionaries state being vegan as: a person who does not eat any food that comes from animals and who often also does not use animal products (such as leather). But fails to go into your intensive description.
My personal code of ethics has nothing to do with it, nor is it an "intensive" definition. It's a very simple definition as outlined by the Vegan Society, who coined the term:

"Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose."
https://www.vegansociety.com/try-veg...ition-veganism


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I eat honey from time to time. I still consider myself vegan. I have tattoos that I didn't verify that the ink was vegan. 'Still consider myself vegan. I have seven entomological displays in my house. Still consider myself vegan, and no person that says "No, vegan means this to me!!" is going to tell me I cant, or that my reasoning is less valid than their own.
OK. Who's said anything even remotely similar to that? Because I certainly haven't. The only defining characteristic of a vegan is the belief that animal exploitation and cruelty are unethical. That is literally the definition of the word. Do you believe that animal exploitation and cruelty are unethical? Do you seek to exclude, *as far as possible*, all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty? Then you're vegan. It is the easiest concept in the world to understand.

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Yeah, I think people who switch over from the traditional western diet to just foregoing the food element and not throwing out their couch should be able to proudly say they are vegan. If you started biking to work in the morning and then carpooling home at night, or shortening showers by a few minutes, you wouldn't be entirely David Suzuki green, but I'd say you should be proud of those efforts to be greener. If dr Suzuki told you it wasn't enough, I'd tell him to stuff it, too.
Again, you are the only one reading some kind of value judgement into it. Vegan doesn't mean "good enough" whereas plant-based means "not good enough." I genuinely don't understand why you insist on inventing that distinction. Nobody else is using those words that way. Vegan is an ethical philosophy whereas plant-based is a diet. That's it. Neither one is inherently more valuable than the other. They’re just words with different meanings.

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Veganism isn't a club and its not just one set of ideals. Its a way for people to identify themselves, their lifestyle, and yeah, a lot of times their personal ethical code, but to say "its ethics or gtfo" is still elitist in my book.
No, it's not a club, which is why I don't understand why you keep talking about it as though it were. Most importantly, it is definitely not about human identity, lifestyle, or ego. It's not about humans at all. It's about trying not to hurt animals as badly as we've been hurting animals. If you genuinely view veganism as something that's about you rather than about the animals, then no wonder you make it sound like some kind of high school clique.

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#47 Old 09-07-2015, 12:09 PM
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My personal code of ethics has nothing to do with it, nor is it an "intensive" definition. It's a very simple definition as outlined by the Vegan Society, who coined the term:
"Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose."
https://www.vegansociety.com/try-veg...ition-veganism
That is one definition out of many. What makes that definiton any more significant than any other definition? The only difference is that you hold that definition in higher regards to others. This definition isn't "special", it's just a definition. I can find another one that's just as important to me, but you don't see that one as important as yours. If I find a definition that only says "a person who doesn't eat or use animal products" and I can follow that definition and refer back to that one as much as I want. I'm still following that definition of veganism. You have an issue because I'm not following YOUR definition of veganism, therefore I'm not vegan in your eyes. So, yes your personal code of ethics does matter when you say "you're plant based and not vegan".

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Again, you are the only one reading some kind of value judgement into it. Vegan doesn't mean "good enough" whereas plant-based means "not good enough." I genuinely don't understand why you insist on inventing that distinction. Nobody else is using those words that way. Vegan is an ethical philosophy whereas plant-based is a diet. That's it. Neither one is inherently more valuable than the other. They’re just words with different meanings.
You don't seem to notice how that can come off as rude. It is a fact in your mind, but I can tell someone their fat in the US and it's not socially acceptable. I was telling the truth, but it is rude to say that. By saying "you're not vegan, only plant based" may be a fact in your mind, but it's telling someone that they haven't done enough or that they're not good enough. They haven't done enough for the animals in your book so they can't be vegan, because they don't follow your definition. So, you are making a distinction, because someone isn't doing enough by changing their diet so they can't call themselves vegans.

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No, it's not a club, which is why I don't understand why you keep talking about it as though it were. Most importantly, it is definitely not about human identity, lifestyle, or ego. It's not about humans at all. It's about trying not to hurt animals as badly as we've been hurting animals. If you genuinely view veganism as something that's about you rather than about the animals, then no wonder you make it sound like someone kind of high school clique.
You can use your words any which way you want, but you are saying that only changing your diet doesn't make you vegan. Everyone has to follow your definition or they're just plant based. You are making the distinction on your own, but I'm just pointing it out. You are implying that you have to meet certain criteria to call yourself vegan. You are making it a club by telling people that they're not vegan enough. I follow your vegan criteria (don't eat meat, use animal products or things tested on them), but I don't do it for the animals, so I'm not vegan in your eyes, right?
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#48 Old 09-07-2015, 01:15 PM
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That is one definition out of many. What makes that definiton any more significant than any other definition?
That definition is significant because it's the definition of the word given by the people who invented the word, precisely because there was previously no existing word in the English language to describe the concept of someone who attempts to avoid, wherever possible and practicable, the exploitation of animals for human pleasure and convenience. The Vegan Society invented such a word. That word is "vegan."

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You have an issue because I'm not following YOUR definition of veganism, therefore I'm not vegan in your eyes.
It's not my definition. It's the definition of the people who coined the term "vegan." It has absolutely nothing to do with either of us. Do you find it offensive that dogs are called "dogs" but cats are called "cats" even though you might personally prefer that the word "dogs" refer to any furry creatures which walk on four legs? Is the fact that cats aren't called "dogs" a value judgement on cats? Is it a way if saying that cats are somehow less significant than dogs? These are merely words with set definitions, like all other words. They say nothing of the inherent value of the concepts they describe. I could almost follow your argument if, for example, the word "plant-based" carried with it a negative connotation as the word "stench" does. To say that I have a scent whereas you have a stench would be unfair to you, although both words describe a smell, since the word "stench" carries with it the connotation of an unpleasant smell. The word "plant-based," though, carries no such negative connotation. It is a neutral word, as is "vegan." This is why I find your assignment of values onto these words utterly baffling. Can you explain why you read the word "vegan" as a compliment and the word "plant-based" as derogatory when they are clearly not intended to be?

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You don't seem to notice how that can come off as rude. It is a fact in your mind, but I can tell someone their fat in the US and it's not socially acceptable. I was telling the truth, but it is rude to say that. By saying "you're not vegan, only plant based" may be a fact in your mind, but it's telling someone that they haven't done enough or that they're not good enough. They haven't done enough for the animals in your book so they can't be vegan, because they don't follow your definition. So, you are making a distinction, because someone isn't doing enough by changing their diet so they can't call themselves vegans.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, no, I am not making any judgement whatsoever on whether a person is "good enough." Nowhere in the definition of the word vegan is there anything resembling a value judgement. You are inserting this into the conversation yourself, pulling it out of thin air for reasons completely unfathomable to me.

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You can use your words any which way you want, but you are saying that only changing your diet doesn't make you vegan. Everyone has to follow your definition or they're just plant based.
Why do you say "just" plant-based, as though it's inferior to eat a plant-based diet? I have repeatedly praised plant-based diets. Plant-based diets are excellent. You are the one speaking as though the term is insulting, and again, I have absolutely no understanding of why.

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You are implying that you have to meet certain criteria to call yourself vegan.
Of course you do. You have to meet certain criteria to call yourself anything. That’s how words work.

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You are making it a club by telling people that they're not vegan enough. I follow your vegan criteria (don't eat meat, use animal products or things tested on them), but I don't do it for the animals, so I'm not vegan in your eyes, right?
I have literally never used the words "vegan enough" in my life. I wouldn't, as I don't see how there could possibly be gradients of veganism. You might as well say that pears aren't "apple enough" in my book. What does that even mean? Either it is an apple or it's a pear. Why would anyone even want to call a pear an apple? Why would things that aren't apples be considered less than, or not apple enough? The entire framework on which you're building your argument is incomprehensible to me.

If you don't care about animals, why is the word "vegan" something to covet? It's like the word "pious" in that if you don't care about the concept it symbolises (God), then it really shouldn't bother you that the word isn't used to describe you. I may be reading this wrong, but it seems as though you think the word "vegan" will award you some level of respect that you seem to think you deserve, but in reality the word only commands the respect of those who care about animal exploitation (if that). If you want a word that means that you don't use products tested on animals although you definitely don't care about animals, then invent one! I don't think the English language currently has such a word, and to be honest you're the first person I have ever met who does that. Out of curiosity, if you don't care about animals, then why DON'T you use products tested on animals?
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#49 Old 09-07-2015, 02:14 PM
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That definition is significant because it's the definition of the word given by the people who invented the word, precisely because there was previously no existing word in the English language to describe the concept of someone who attempts to avoid, wherever possible and practicable, the exploitation of animals for human pleasure and convenience. The Vegan Society invented such a word. That word is "vegan." It's not my definition. It's the definition of the people who coined the term "vegan." It has absolutely nothing to do with either of us. Do you find it offensive that dogs are called "dogs" but cats are called "cats" even though you might personally prefer that the word "dogs" refer to any furry creatures which walk on four legs? Is the fact that cats aren't called "dogs" a value judgement on cats? Is it a way if saying that cats are somehow less significant than dogs? These are merely words with set definitions, like all other words. They say nothing of the inherent value of the concepts they describe.
The original word for "meat" meant 'food of any kind' at some point in time, but now it's used for talking about the dead flesh of an animal. The word "gay" originally meant 'happy', not homosexual. The definition of a word changes. I don't go around and criticize people for their misuse of words that have evolved to have different definitions. Veganism can evolve to include a variance in definitions.

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I could almost follow your argument if, for example, the word "plant-based" carried with it a negative connotation as the word "stench" does. To say that I have a scent whereas you have a stench would be unfair to you, although both words describe a smell, since the word "stench" carries with it the connotation of an unpleasant smell. The word "plant-based," though, carries no such negative connotation. It is a neutral word, as is "vegan." This is why I find your assignment of values onto these words utterly baffling. Can you explain why you read the word "vegan" as a compliment and the word "plant-based" as derogatory when they are clearly not intended to be? I am not making any judgement whatsoever on whether a person is "good enough." Nowhere in the definition of the word vegan is there anything resembling a value judgement. You are inserting this into the conversation yourself, pulling it out of thin air for reasons completely unfathomable to me. Why do you say "just" plant-based, as though it's inferior to eat a plant-based diet? I have repeatedly praised plant-based diets. Plant-based diets are excellent. You are the one speaking as though the term is insulting, and again, I have absolutely no understanding of why.
My whole point in saying this in the beginning is that in the beginning of this thread, you essentially said that someone who plant based is not vegan and kept it at that. I may have understood your intent, but it came off as rude. Instead of just saying "then you're not vegan, you're just plant based", you could have talked about what it means to be vegan and inspire them to be vegan for the right reasons, but you didn't do that. You put out the whole idea that it isn't enough for your definition. I would much rather take the time to educate people and gain a new vegan by the definition you follow than turn them off by just saying "you're not vegan". No, I'm not trying to make a distinction, but by doing that, you're only making vegans a smaller and smaller number, even though they are helping the vegan cause by not eating animals. Why not educate people and spread more awareness than being so strict on a definition?

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I have literally never used the words "vegan enough" in my life. I wouldn't, as I don't see how there could possibly be gradients of veganism. You might as well say that pears aren't "apple enough" in my book. What does that even mean? Either it is an apple or it's a pear. Why would anyone even want to call a pear an apple? Why would things that aren't apples be considered less than, or not apple enough? The entire framework on which you're building your argument is incomprehensible to me.
Why do we need a special word for absolutely everything? Why should someone have to call themselves plant based when they follow a diet that helps the vegan movement? A little still helps a lot! Why must you be so black and white about it? Do you believe that there is no spectrum of sexuality? Is there only heterosexuals and homosexuals and there's nothing in between? If you do, then your point about veganism is completely valid, then only vegans should be called vegans if they follow a very specific, strict definition. The thing is, there is a spectrum in sexuality, so I'm not understanding who you are so black in white in this matter when animals are still benefiting from a plant based eater not eating them. There can be variance.

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Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
If you don't care about animals, why is the word "vegan" something to covet? It's like the word "pious" in that if you don't care about the concept it symbolises (God), then it really shouldn't bother you that the word isn't used to describe you. I may be reading this wrong, but it seems as though you think the word "vegan" will award you some level of respect that you seem to think you deserve, but in reality the word only commands the respect of those who care about animal exploitation (if that). If you want a word that means that you don't use products tested on animals although you definitely don't care about animals, then invent one! I don't think the English language currently has such a word, and to be honest you're the first person I have ever met who does that. Out of curiosity, if you don't care about animals, then why DON'T you use products tested on animals?
I don't care what I get from using the word vegan. I use the word because non-vegans understand what the word means, but I don't use it to feel morally or ethically superior. I personally don't understand how people have to fit a special definition to mean something. I can be what I want to be and no one should label me for it. If you automatically respect me more by me being labelled something like vegan, that's a reflection on you, not me. I think it's absolutely stupid to make up a new word just so it fits myself.

What I said should have been rephrased, but it was a hypothetical question. I see myself as a person who is aware of terrible things around me, such as animal cruelty, and I adjust my life to benefit others than myself, such as the environment or animals, but I don't think I should fit myself into a mold of a definition solely on animals. What does it matter what I call myself if it benefits your cause regardless? Why should I make a special word for myself because I went vegan for other reasons than animals? To be so black and white solves nothing. I'm vegan because I want to be. Why should I be not considered vegan because I didn't go vegan for the animals if I don't partake in animal cruelty?
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#50 Old 09-07-2015, 04:02 PM
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Veganism can evolve to include a variance in definitions.
There already exist two perfectly good words to describe someone who doesn't eat animal products: plant-based or strict vegetarian. If you need a word to convey the concept of a person who eats only plants, you have those two to choose from. Essentially, what you're proposing is that we eradicate the only word in the English language which means "a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose." Do you not feel that we need a word with which to succinctly convey this idea? If the word "vegan" no longer means what it currently means, won't we need to invent an entirely new word to describe a way of living which seeks to exclude... etc.? And to what end are we eradicating the definition of the current word and replacing it with a new word-- to spare the feelings of a very small group of people who feel unreasonably excluded from the definition of the first? It all sounds like a ridiculous exercise to me.

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My whole point in saying this in the beginning is that in the beginning of this thread, you essentially said that someone who plant based is not vegan and kept it at that. I may have understood your intent, but it came off as rude.
Technically, someone who is plant-based *may* be vegan. All vegans are plant-based dieters but not all plant-based dieters are vegan, just as all dogs are mammals but not all mammals are dogs. I still fail to understand how any of this could come across as rude, and I hope I've subsequently made it quite clear that I imply nothing derogatory about plant-based dieters. I am, after all, a plant-based dieter myself (and a vegan.)

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Instead of just saying "then you're not vegan, you're just plant based", you could have talked about what it means to be vegan and inspire them to be vegan for the right reasons, but you didn't do that.
I honestly don't remember what i said in my first post, but I imagine that I would have explained that veganism by its very definition necessitates an interest in the ethics of animal exploitation. I don't consider it my duty to "inspire" plant-based dieters to consider the ethics of animal exploitation, although I'm always happy to talk about it if the subject comes up.

I can't help but notice that you've used the phrase "for the right reasons," which strongly suggests that you feel that eating a plant-based diet for reasons other than ethics is "wrong" somehow (or that you believe that I feel this way, for some reason.) In fact, it's worth noting that you are the one using all of the emotive language to describe the difference between vegans and other plant-based dieters. I haven't used these phrases because, again, I don't necessarily assign a value judgement to these words.

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I would much rather take the time to educate people and gain a new vegan by the definition you follow than turn them off by just saying "you're not vegan".
Again I'll ask you to kindly explain why not being described as a vegan would turn anyone off, particularly someone who has no interest in animal welfare and is eating a plant-based diet for other reasons. If you're avoiding dairy because it makes you gassy or avoiding meat because of the impact it has on your cholesterol levels, why would you be concerned with whether or not people describe you as an animal rights activist? You aren't, by your own admission, so why is it surprising or offensive not to be described as such?

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Why not educate people and spread more awareness than being so strict on a definition?
How does erasing the marked emphasis on animal rights which is a crucial part of the word "vegan" and stretching the word to mean merely a type of diet plan raise awareness of animal rights issues? It seems to me to have quite the opposite effect.

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Why do we need a special word for absolutely everything?
Because that's the entire purpose of words: to succinctly convey meaning. We need a word which refers specifically to the ways in which we exploit and commodify animals because this is an important ethical issue which is largely invisible. It seems to me quite ironic and typically human to alter the word "vegan" so that it says more about us than it does about our victims. That’s the issue at the crux of the whole thing, isn't it, that animals only really matter to the extent that we can use them to define ourselves?

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Why should someone have to call themselves plant based when they follow a diet that helps the vegan movement? A little still helps a lot!
I'd just like to point out that here you have used another unnecessarily emotive turn of phrase by suggesting that a person "has to" call themselves plant-based, as though it is some chore imposed upon them from above, and also that plant-based dieters are only doing "a little" to help. (To help what, exactly, the animals? Non-vegan plant-based dieters aren't particularly interested in animal welfare anyway, so why would they want to be reassured that they're helping a lot?)

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Why must you be so black and white about it? Do you believe that there is no spectrum of sexuality? Is there only heterosexuals and homosexuals and there's nothing in between?
Quite the contrary. There are a lot of sexual identities to choose from, and blissfully we have a whole host of words with which to describe them: heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, asexual... What you are suggesting is, essentially, that we do away with specific definitions and just call everyone "sexual" rather than risk anyone feeling excluded, which I think would make it unnecessarily difficult to explain to someone who you're interested in dating! I have honestly never encountered a gay man who feels offended that he isn't described as "heterosexual" simply because he has no sexual or romantic interest in women. Most people seem to accept that this is, in fact, the definition of the word.

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I use the word because non-vegans understand what the word means, but I don't use it to feel morally or ethically superior.
Which makes perfect sense to me. As I have already said a few times now, if someone finds it easier to use the word "vegan" when ordering food or something, I take no issue with that. It doesn't change the meaning of the word, just as my saying that I have a dairy allergy doesn't make me lactose intolerant.

The reason why it seems that you are assigning a certain superiority to the word is because you continually use emotive language when speaking about it. You want the "right" to "proudly" declare yourself vegan rather than "just" a plant-based dieter because you feel you are "good enough" to "join the elite club." This is your language, not mine.

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I personally don't understand how people have to fit a special definition to mean something. I can be what I want to be and no one should label me for it.
Do you really object to definitions on the whole, or just in this particular instance? Do you not understand, for instance, why you couldn't be accurately described as a snow leopard, a lamp, or a planet? Do you feel unfairly limited by society's tendency to label you "human" or "mammalian"?

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If you automatically respect me more by me being labelled something like vegan, that's a reflection on you, not me.
I believe I have made it quite clear that I don't.

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I think it's absolutely stupid to make up a new word just so it fits myself.
If what you are is some new thing that has yet to be described, then it makes a lot more sense to invent a word which accurately describes you than to hijack an existing word.

"A person who is aware of animal cruelty, and adjusts my life to benefit animals" sounds like a vegan to me. Is your objection that you ALSO care about things beside animals? Because nothing in the definition of the word "vegan" prevents you from caring about a multitude of issues simultaneously. The definition stipulates only that you have a moral objection to the exploitation of animals and seek to minimise your participation in it to whatever extent you think practicable. It is, like, the least demanding criteria imaginable.

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I'm vegan because I want to be. Why should I be not considered vegan because I didn't go vegan for the animals?
Is wanting all it takes? In that case, I'm a bunny rabbit! Why should I not be considered a bunny rabbit just because I'm technically not a bunny rabbit? I have ears and I enjoy carrots...

Last edited by no whey jose; 09-07-2015 at 04:07 PM.
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#51 Old 09-07-2015, 04:09 PM
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I guess for most people, ethical reasons make it easier to stay vegan in the long run.


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#52 Old 09-07-2015, 05:42 PM
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I accidentally deleted my post.

What No whey jose said.
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#53 Old 09-08-2015, 07:33 PM
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I accidentally deleted my post.

What No whey jose said.
sorry to hear that - just be careful in future.
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