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Terminology about vegetarianism and veganism has been co-opted. People have been using our language for things that are not about veg*nism. We all know about the raging debates amongst vegans about whether or not there's such a thing as a "dietary vegan" but that's not what I'm talking about here. Instead, I'm talking about outright lies. Take a look:

About half of all people who claim to be vegetarian actually eat animals. The Humane Research Council states, A small proportion of U.S. adults (1-3% of the population, or 2-6 million adults) are actual veg*ns, though about twice that number (4-6%) consider themselves vegetarian when asked by researchers.
source: http://www.humanespot.org/system/fil..._Are_There.pdf

Some people with eating disorders use vegetarianism as an excuse. The American Dietetic Association says, "Being vegetarian does not cause disordered eating as some have suggested although a vegetarian diet may be selected to camouflage an existing eating disorder"
source: http://www.eatright.org/WorkArea/lin...id&ItemID=8417

Many people call themselves "ex-vegetarians" when they increase their meat-consumption even though they often weren't ever vegetarian! In a recent small study about the motivations of ex-vegetarians, the study authors stated that Most participants ate some meat when they were in their vegetarian stage
source: http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/23384159

Do you have any other examples of nonveg*ns and anti-veg*ns appropriating our terminology?
 

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There seems to be an ever increasing group of "part time vegetarians" (flexitarian-type diet). Okay to eat meat when it's Thanksgiving, or if it's free, or if you really, really want it
. I'm glad that people reduce meat consumption, but if you go around eating turkey and free samples of bacon pop-tarts, then don't refer to yourself as veg*n.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

Do you have any other examples of nonveg*ns and anti-veg*ns appropriating our terminology?
Yeh. People who are actually strict-vegetarians calling themselves vegan.


That whole thing about "as far as possible and practical" in the vegan society philosphy is starting to be used as some kind of escape clause by people who can't be bothered being consistant WRT the vegan ideology and lifestyle.
 

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I don't have any specifics but I've heard non-vegetarians calling themselves vegetarians (ie: your first example) it doesn't bother me though as in my experience most people (non-vegetarians) know enough to call them out on it and point out they aren't vegetarian at all.

For your second point, I think it's just sad that people suffer with eating disorders and go to such lengths to disguise their illness, it doesn't bother me "as a vegetarian" though - I think it's the lesser issue really. Although actually in all the cases I can think of, those people were vegetarian, just for poor reasons.

I've never heard someone claiming to be an ex-vegetarian when they weren't! That's new to me.
 

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Lierre Keith is one of the more prominent "ex-vegans" currently blabbering about how sick veganism made her, even though the whole time she tried to be vegan she was binging on cheese and eggs.
 

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Riot Nrrrd
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I guess I'm just not much of a labels guy. I understand (I think
) but it ain't me.

Or at least not in an identity sense. For practical purposes it'd be nice if I didn't have to list ingredients all the bloody time. But it's safer, so that's what I do.


Generally I use whatever term a person uses for themself unless I can think of a good reason not to. At least when that term could be argued to make objective sense.

I do get concerned with the tendency for identity terms to become us/them affairs, with all the crap that can lead to. I fairly aggressively resist exclusionary language.

I also deal with this issue outside the realm of dietary and ethical choice. Ever want to see a discomfiting conversation? Read a thread about the terms gimp, disabled, disabled person, and person with disabilities. Heck, I get uncomfortable and I AM a person with a disability!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomebodyElse View Post

Lierre Keith is one of the more prominent "ex-vegans" currently blabbering about how sick veganism made her, even though the whole time she tried to be vegan she was binging on cheese and eggs.
I read the first couple chapters of her book and regretted it.
 

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I think the whole disconnect between hardcore carnists calling themselves "pro animal" or "animal lovers" is far more explicit and striking. Vegetarianism is something the average person seems very confused about, more so than a century ago when if a person claimed it it was pretty much a given they are no animals at all. It's almost like the general public's awareness on this issue went way down instead of up until fairly recently.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomebodyElse View Post

Lierre Keith is one of the more prominent "ex-vegans" currently blabbering about how sick veganism made her, even though the whole time she tried to be vegan she was binging on cheese and eggs.
I read the first fourteen pages and couldn't stop laughing. Unfortunately, anti-veg*n types are going to use this tripe against us.


http://www.lierrekeith.com/vegmyth.htm
 

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Riot Nrrrd
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An interesting ongoing blog about The Vegetarian Myth can be found at http://vegetarianmythmyth.wordpress.com/

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The first co-opt was probably the word 'vegetarian'' itself, although it seems to have been a friendly takeover. Everything I know about the word indicates to me it denoted a plant-only diet 1842ish-1847. All of the first uses of the word are associated with a group which did not consume any animal products. (The rationale seems to be primarily ascetic reasons) In 1847 the Vegetarian Society was founded. The word 'vegetarian' was used, but the definition altered to include optional dairy and egg consumption.
Anna Kingsford follows the Vegetarian Society a bit (she was only 1 year old in 1847), but her insistence that she was not a true vegetarian because she used dairy suggests knowledge of the earlier definition.
 

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I was looking at veg cookbooks on my local online bookstore and her book came up amongst others in a search. There are voting stars next to it and I made sure I gave it one star as I was passing.
 

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My cousin is a fish-eating "vegetarian." Drives me nuts. I used to eat only fish too, but I didn't call myself veg while doing it. Unfortunately, a lot of people (esp non-vegetarians) believe the definition of vegetarian includes some meat. I actually had someone tell me this weekend that her parents were vegans, but they ate meat and cheese every once in a while!

I am trying to stop letting these things bother me as we will never be able to eradicate incorrect usage from the earth. At least hopefully some of these people are eating fewer animal products, which is good.
 

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I've known my share of fish-eating vegetarians.
I've heard of those who call themselves vegetarian because they cut out beef.

My first ex's mother called herself an "animal rights activist."
I was a meat-eater at the time, but I worked with animals.
She told me this while she was cutting up chicken.
She ate all forms of meat, used products tested on animals, loves the circus, and does absolutely nothing for or about animals in her life.
She has two dogs and likes to watch nature shows... and that makes her an "animal rights activist?"
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post

She ate all forms of meat, used products tested on animals, loves the circus, and does absolutely nothing for or about animals in her life.
She has two dogs and likes to watch nature shows... and that makes her an "animal rights activist?"
 

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Vegan Very Metal
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Presenters/commentaters on wildlife programmes and documentaries who insist on calling herbivourous animals "vegetarian" really gets on my nerves.
 

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Riot Nrrrd
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Quote:
who insist on calling herbivourous animals "vegetarian" really gets on my nerves.
Indeed! I was searching in Google books to find pre-1944 uses of the phrase 'strict vegetarian' (I wasn't convinced that was how vegans were described before 'vegan' was a word). A fair number of hits were articles about natural history describing herbivores ... More described actual human proto-vegans, but even that usage wasn't universal. A 1917 (if I recall) article on various dietary regimens defined 'strict vegetarian' as someone who ate meat fewer than 2-3 times a year! I wonder how often not-so-strict vegetarians ate flesh?
 

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I really dislike the term "strict vegetarian." I know it's the correct term, but it just sounds so joyless and severe.
 

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Don't get me started on the 'flexitarians!!!' You are an omnivore who is choosing to eat less meat. That's it. End of story.

They wonder why we often get defensive about it - well the reason is two-fold:

1) People going around saying they are vegetarian and eat chicken make others think that you can eat chicken and be a vegetarian. Then we, the ACTUAL veg*ns have to deal with the mis-information.

2) We have all worked hard to make changes, stay on track, and are devoted to our health and wellness and the well-being of animals (majority of us) and after all that hard work, to have someone eating a chicken breast and saying how vegetarian they are is just a slap in the face.

I argued with my boyfriend's boss about this very topic. He called his mom a vegetarian because she eats lots of fruits and vegetables...but 'only' eats seafood. I informed him she is a pescetarian, and he still kept trying to call her a vegetarian (eye roll). Why? because she goes around re-enforcing this.
 

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My cousin is a vegetarian who sometimes eats fish. But I dont want to argue with her about it. So I will keep my mouth shut if I end up discussing the matter with her.
 
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