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(I apologize in advance for my "good" English - it's not my native language)<br><br>
Sorry if it was asked before, but what is your general opinion on vegetarians eating by-products from dead animals, such as gelatin, rennet from cheese or whey, isinglass, carmine (bugs are animals, too), refined sugar (bonechar) etc.?<br><br>
Do you think that if a person willingly consumes those products they can't call themselves vegetarians? What if it's not clear whether given food contains one of those by-products or whether this by-product is vegetarian (like whether the rennet is from a calf or micribiotical, or whether the bonechar was used in the refining process) and they don't care enough to find out or can't find out?<br><br>
I, myself, am not sure where I stand on this one. On the one hand, I understand that these things do come from dead animals. And that when you avoid these products and get the vegetarian alternatives you increase the demand for animal-free ones jada-jada. But on the other hand... they are still BY-products. Calves aren't killed for their rennet and pigs aren't killed for gelatin. It does profit the slaughterhouse, I know, but if they didn't use it, it would be just thrown out. At least they use the animal to the maximum. Besides all of these products have vegetarian alternatives, that are almost the same, like microbiotical rennet or sugar that isn't refined with bonechar. And not all brands of beer or wine have isinglas and not all jellybeans have gelatin. But meat is meat, there's no real alternative to it. You can't have a vegetarian steak or vegetarian lamb chops. Yes, there are veggie burgers and faux meats, but let's face it, even though they are delicious, they don't taste like the real deal. So a person understands that if they are giving up meat, they are giving up meat. There are no options. This is what people should know about vegetarians. No animal flesh. Other products always have alternatives. I don't know if it's clear what I'm trying to say... My point is, if our goal is to "convert" someone to vegetarianism is to show them that the only thing that they really have to give up is meat (and fish).<br><br>
Which brings me to a bigger issue: how do you define the term "vegetarian"? "A person, that doesn't eat any animal flesh", or "a person that doesn't eat anything that comes from a dead animal"?<br><br>
I think I'm leaning towards the first defination of a vegetarian: no animal flesh. Because if we all use the second defination, than it'll turn out that more 80% of people who call themselves vegetarians aren't actually vegetarians at all... And if we really exclude all of the foods that contain or may contain animal by-products, than being a vegetarian would be almost as hard as being vegan. Also, should we all avoid other by-products that come from dead animals such fish oil capsules, medications with gelatin, non-vegetarian skin care products and of course, leather and silk? They all come from dead animals, don't they? With this way of thinking ethical lacto-ovo vegetarianism loses its whole point...<br><br>
Aside from it being hard, it also makes vegetarianism even less attractive to non-vegetarians.That makes them think that 1. vegetarianism is very hard or almost impossible to follow and 2. vegetarains are just a bunch of crazies. Believe me, I've been a vegetarin only for like 3 months and I've got this reaction a few times. Just recently I told my sister that I had gone vegetarian. She looked very friendly and curious and started asking questions. She asked me why I'm a veggie. I told her it bothers me how the animals are treated and she agreed. Then she asked me about eggs and dairy and I told her I'm trying to eat less of those as well or find the eggs from more humane farms etc. I also said I try to avoid gelatin and stuff like that. Then we stopped talking. I thought to myself: wow, she was so understanding and even curious. A few hours later we got back to this discussion and it turned out she thought I was crazy and that I was following some sort of a cult or something. This is how crazy i sounded to her.<br>
What I'm saying is that it only makes the distance between vegetarians and non-vegetarians bigger. Of course, ideally veggies should avoid all animal products, but this is what vegans are here for! Most vegans were vegetarians at first. First they only gave up animal flesh. Then they found out about other animal products and why they are bad.<br><br>
I can judge from my own experience. You know what made me make the final decision to go vegetarian? A good example. I made some new friends on an exchange programm to Germany. Two of them were ethical lacto-ovo vegetarians. One of them said she would sometimes even eat fish (I know, I know...) if there are no other options. And her dad is a hunter, so she said if he brings some game home, she sometimes eats that too (a couple of times a year). Both eat cheese, without thinking about rennnet. I didn't ask them about gelatin, though. So you know, what struck me, is how "normal" and cool they were! They didn't preach, didn't seek out to "explain" their diet. They just did what they do. And it was easy. I sometimes had lunch with them at the university cafeteria and chose the vegetarian option (usually with cheese or eggs) . They called us over to dinner and we tried their delicious vegetarian lasagna (with cheese). And that what made me think: "hey, it's not hard at all! I could do it, too!". And a couple of months later, I went veggie myself! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Now I know about gelatin and rennet and stuf and try to avoid them, as well, but if I eat cheese with rennet I won't feel too bad about it, I guess.<br><br>
So, what is your opinion on the subject!<br>
(Sorry the post is so long)
 

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I'm intrested to know what vegetarians think about this too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br>
from what i understand, vegetarians stop only eating meat... I could be wrong though! I know there a lot of variations of the veg*n diet!
 

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Here is the definition of 'vegetarian' from The Vegetarian Society' in the UK:<br><br>
"<b>What is a vegetarian?</b><br>
The Vegetarian Society defines a vegetarian as: "Someone who lives 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 <b>by-products of slaughter.</b>"<br><br>
*Shellfish are typically a sea animal covered with a shell. We take shellfish to mean;<br><br>
Crustaceans (hard external shell) Large e.g. lobsters, crayfish, crabs, small e.g. prawns, shrimps<br><br>
Molluscs (most are protected by a shell) E.g. mussels, oysters, winkles, limpets, clams, etc. Also includes cephalopods such as cuttlefish, squid, octopus.<br><br>
There are different types of vegetarian:<br><br>
Lacto-ovo-vegetarians eat both dairy products and eggs; this is the most common type of vegetarian diet.<br><br>
Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy products but avoid eggs.<br><br>
Vegans do not eat dairy products, eggs, or any other products which are derived from animals.<br>
Eggs: Many lacto-ovo vegetarians will only eat free-range eggs. This is because of welfare objections to the intensive farming of hens. Through its Vegetarian Society Approved trade mark, the Vegetarian Society only endorses products containing free-range eggs."<br><br>
When they talk about slaughterhouse by-products, they are talking about gelatine and animal rennet. So no, vegetarians don't eat those.<br><br>
However, the word 'vegetarian' is just a label. If you were the sort of person who decided that they couldn't be a vegetarian because they couldn't give up gelatine, then I suggest you forget the official definition and cut out meat fowl and fish. I would hate for someone to NOT stop eating animals because they couldn't go the little step further.<br><br>
This argument comes up regularly in the vegan community: how vegan is vegan? Some vegans aim for complete purity, others just do their best, and maybe reach 99% vegan living (there are animal ingredients in lots of other products apart from food: toiletries and cosmetics, clothing, car tyres - many vegans won't use non-vegan products, others will use as little as possible, others are dietary vegans so don't worry about anything apart from food).<br><br>
At the end of the day it is just a label. You have to do what is best for you - cut out as much as you personally can. Ultimately any decision you make that saves animals lives is a good one.
 

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The Vegetarian Society didn't invent the word "vegetarian," so I'm not really sure what makes them the sole authority for defining it. To me, "vegetarian" is defined by the people who use it.<br><br>
From my experience, I would say that all vegetarians do not eat meat (including fish and shellfish).<br>
Most vegetarians also avoid meat ingredients like meat broths and animal fat (some may be more or less stringent about checking at restaurants, for example).<br>
Many vegetarians also avoid meat by-products like gelatin and animal-derived rennet in cheese (again, some might be more or less stringent as above).<br>
Some vegetarians also avoid non-food products that require the death of animals such as leather, pearls, or bone.<br><br>
Vegetarians on internet forums do not seem to be representative of real-life vegetarians (at least those in my are) on several of these points.<br><br>
Some vegetarians also avoid eggs and/or dairy, or they might eat those items only when they know the source.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>RunnerVeggie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2836127"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
The Vegetarian Society didn't invent the word "vegetarian," so I'm not really sure what makes them the sole authority for defining it. To me, "vegetarian" is defined by the people who use it.<br><br>
From my experience, I would say that all vegetarians do not eat meat (including fish and shellfish).<br>
Most vegetarians also avoid meat ingredients like meat broths and animal fat (some may be more or less stringent about checking at restaurants, for example).<br>
Many vegetarians also avoid meat by-products like gelatin and animal-derived rennet in cheese (again, some might be more or less stringent as above).<br>
Some vegetarians also avoid non-food products that require the death of animals such as leather, pearls, or bone.<br><br>
Vegetarians on internet forums do not seem to be representative of real-life vegetarians (at least those in my are) on several of these points.<br><br>
Some vegetarians also avoid eggs and/or dairy, or they might eat those items only when they know the source.</div>
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I think the UK Vegetarian Society is a good, basic and clear defininiton. Regarding then 'invention' of the word, from <a href="http://www.ivu.org/history/renaissance/words.html" target="_blank">http://www.ivu.org/history/renaissance/words.html</a><br><br><i><b>Vegetarian<br><br>
The term "vegetarian" was in informal use by 1843. It was first formally used on September 30th, 1847, by Joseph Brotherton and others, at Northwood Villa in Kent, England. The occasion being the inaugural meeting of the Vegetarian Society.<br><br>
For many years prior to 1847, non-meat eaters were generally known as adhering to the 'Vegetable System of Diet' - or as Pythagoreans, adhering to the "Pythagorean System", after the ancient Greek "vegetarian" Pythagoras.<br><br>
The original definition of "Vegetarian" used by the Vegetarian Society was "with or without eggs or dairy products" and this is the definition still used by the Vegetarian Society today. Most vegetarians in India, however, exclude eggs from their diet as did those in the classical Mediterranean lands, such as Pythagoras.</b></i><br><br>
The rest of the article is interesting and it is worth reading in it's entirety from the link above, rather than the excerpt I have provided.<br><br>
Having said that, I agree with you: the term 'vegetarian' is used to cover so many variations, it has become almost meaningless.
 

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One of those people doesn't sound very vegetarian to me.<br><br>
As a vegan, I reject animal products in general and therefore don't feel a need to focus much on distinctions between them. The same applies to convincing people and presenting arguments: I think a consistent vegan philosophy makes the most sense, so I don't worry about whether "no flesh" or "no flesh + no slaughter by-products" is more effective.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>angie54321</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2836482"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Having said that, I agree with you: the term 'vegetarian' is used to cover so many variations, it has become almost meaningless.</div>
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I bet the word vegetarian was first used much before 1847. What I'm saying is that it is not like the word vegan, which was both invented and defined by Donald Watson in 1944. The word vegetarian already existed when the Vegetarian Society decided to define it. You might say that's semantics, but I think there is a real difference there. I feel the definition of the word "vegan" is rigid, while the word "vegetarian" can be culturally defined.<br><br>
I don't think the word vegetarian is meaningless. I think it means "people who don't eat meat." I just think the meaning is much more broad than a few very vocal vegetarians on internet forums would like to believe. If I were cooking for someone and all I knew is that they're vegetarian, I would err on the side of more stringent, but I think that even people who eat gelatin and animal-derived rennet cheese should still be considered vegetarian if they don't eat meat.
 

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It depends on the vegetarian.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>RunnerVeggie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2836618"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I think that even people who eat gelatin and animal-derived rennet cheese should still be considered vegetarian if they don't eat meat.</div>
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I agree with this.<br><br>
I personally am in the process of transitioning to veganism though, as I've gotten to a point where I just don't want to be involved with any animal products at all. For me (and I'm speaking ONLY for myself), this has been a relief in a way, as it's saved me from a lot of the mental gymnastics I used to go through as a vegetarian regarding what was and wasn't acceptable.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>RunnerVeggie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2836127"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
The Vegetarian Society didn't invent the word "vegetarian," so I'm not really sure what makes them the sole authority for defining it. To me, "vegetarian" is defined by the people who use it.</div>
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If it was defined by the people who use it, then fish would be a part of a vegetarian diet.<br><br>
The definition of vegetarian I use is the one laid down by the vegetarian society. It's the one that dictates what gets labelled as vegetarian in the food industry over here, and it's the definition of vegetarian I stuck to with my diet. But I don't tell people they're not real vegetarians for eating rennet with cheese.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>AeryFairy</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2836844"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
If it was defined by the people who use it, then fish would be a part of a vegetarian diet.<br><br>
The definition of vegetarian I use is the one laid down by the vegetarian society. It's the one that dictates what gets labelled as vegetarian in the food industry over here, and it's the definition of vegetarian I stuck to with my diet. But I don't tell people they're not real vegetarians for eating rennet with cheese.</div>
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You're right: vegetarian labelling is pretty good in the UK, with the major companies and supermarkets all using the UK Vegetarian Society definition, and the the Veg Society themselves providing approval. I'm not sure that this is the case in other countries - I have heard (mainly from people on here) that labelling is not nearly as good in countries like the USA.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>AeryFairy</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2836844"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
If it was defined by the people who use it, then fish would be a part of a vegetarian diet.</div>
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This might be different in the US than in the UK, but I would say only a very tiny portion of the people who claim to be vegetarian actually eat fish, and most vegetarians do not think eating fish should be considered vegetarian. In my experience, the people majority of people who think vegetarians eat fish are omnivores (not pescatarians).
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>RunnerVeggie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2836994"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
This might be different in the US than in the UK, but I would say only a very tiny portion of the people who claim to be vegetarian actually eat fish, and most vegetarians do not think eating fish should be considered vegetarian. In my experience, the people majority of people who think vegetarians eat fish are omnivores (not pescatarians).</div>
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Of the people I know that call themselves veg*ns, almost half of them eat fish. Although it's not in the typical UK definition, if you go to places such as France, fish dishes are labelled as vegetarian. And if a word is defined by its use, surely the omnis that think we eat fish are also using the word, and have a part of making up the definition.
 

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There doesn't seem to be a universal understanding of the word vegetarian. I've gone to restaurants that lable something vegetarian because it doesn't contain flesh, but the veggies were cooked in chicken broth. Some folks that eat fish call themselves vegetarian, which adds to the confusion of this word. The catholic church asks its followers to observe a meatless diet during certain times and says that you can eat fish during these times because it doesn't count as meat, so I can see where the idea of fish eating vegetarians has support.<br><br>
I think that at the end of the day anything that reduces animals in the diet it a good thing and should be supported.<br><br>
Lables are just lables and will never accurately reflect the specturm of diets that people engage in. What is in your heart is based on your unique experience and to try to classify it into a black and white system just doesn't work perfectly like some expect it to. Lables cannot universally explain or define the myraid of reasons, intentions and ways of reducing/eliminating animal products in our lives. Lables are useful as a starting point in a discussion of your individual experiences and limits but for someone to live their life by a lable does not do justice to to them as an individual. If eating rennet is OK with you then eat it. If it isnt' OK with you, then don't eat it. To eat rennet just because you call yourself a vegetarian and someone has provided a definition that vegetiarians eat rennet is not right. Regardless of what lable you chose to use for yourself, you will have to define exaclty where you are on the spectrum for most of the population anyway.
 

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I as a Vegetarian eats dairy products and eggs and Geletine some times. However, I despise the Catholic Church for saying its ok to eat fish and seafood and its animals in the ocean called Marine life animals. I am still working in alot of areas but, we have limited alot since I joined Vegetarian Boards a year ago. I am proud of myself for slowly going into a better life.<br>
I agree the Vegetarian name is just label for a plant base diet.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">The Vegetarian Society didn't invent the word "vegetarian,"</div>
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Actually they did for what it's worth. It was first used formally and defined by the first vegetarian society in Manchester England. The current UK Vegetarian society is directly descended from this group.<br><br>
The 1843 'use' of the word is probably incorrect. The document the word appears in wasn't actually published until 1863 AND the manuscript may have been shown to friends of the author (the work was written by actress Fanny Kemble) who were familiar with social reform movements then current in England and had heard the word used. For more than you probably want to know see <a href="http://www.ivu.org/history/kemble.html" target="_blank">http://www.ivu.org/history/kemble.html</a><br><br>
'Dietary' or 'health' vegetarianism seems to be a more recent distinction, dating to maybe the 1920s or 30s. Health and morality were seen as interdependant even into the modern era.<br><br>
What it boils down to is words are just labels, nothing more. Work out what is most consistent with your concerns and follow that path. Definitions are useful so we can understand each other, but ultimately there isn't a rulebook.
 
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