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 Post subject: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:45 pm 
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I know this is discussed ad nauseam and I was going to hijack another similar thread but once I started typing I thought it might be a bit much for a hijack.

I had a discussion with a friend recently about the vegan label and I'm interested in the PPK's opinion.

If someone is a vegan for a many years (our specific example was 5 years) and they intentionally eat non-vegan trace ingredients (nothing blatant like having a steak or ice cream but more like eating bread with dairy in it) and then they don't consume any more vegan products, can they still say they've been a vegan for 5 years?

What if they continue to occasionally eat trace ingredients on really rare occasions? My friend reasoned they could call themselves vegan because every time they decide to stop eating non-vegan products they would be vegan. He questioned if someone wakes up today and says, "I'm done eating animal products and am going to be a vegan from now on" how is that any different from the vegan who occasionally eats something non-vegan and then afterwards says, "Okay, I'm going back to being a vegan now." He said that in this scenario they should both be equally vegan because veganism is a 100% all or nothing thing and that at the time of their declaration they'd be 100% vegan.

I have to admit, I was kind of caught off guard and didn't really know how to respond. I suppose part of me understands his "logic" but in my heart it doesn't seem right.

What do you think?

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:47 pm 
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GreatGarbanzo wrote:
He questioned if someone wakes up today and says, "I'm done eating animal products and am going to be a vegan from now on" how is that any different from the vegan who occasionally eats something non-vegan and then afterwards says, "Okay, I'm going back to being a vegan now."


Resolve.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:57 pm 
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I've sort of wondered this too. I guess my conclusion is that if you intentionally eat something non-vegan then you have to reset. So your time starts over. I ate 80% vegan for a couple months, then 97.9% for a few weeks but it wasn't until I was 99.999% (cuz of possible traces and stuff) that I started "counting".


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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:59 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:00 pm 
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Laser Ox wrote:
GreatGarbanzo wrote:
He questioned if someone wakes up today and says, "I'm done eating animal products and am going to be a vegan from now on" how is that any different from the vegan who occasionally eats something non-vegan and then afterwards says, "Okay, I'm going back to being a vegan now."


Resolve.

Sure, but his point was that at that point they both would have been vegan for the same amount of time so technically they would have the same resolve.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:05 pm 
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I think that falls under the heading of "megavegetarianism."

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:10 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:11 pm 
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I think that being nit-picky about who's a "real" vegan is not vegan.

I'm not just being facetious. The point of veganism is to help animals, not to win a purity contest. Going around being like "Oh, I'm a better vegan than you are, you're not really a vegan because blah blah blah," makes people not want to be vegan. Turning people off to veganism is ultimately going to cause more harm to more animals than if someone eats an egg once in five years or doesn't always check for trace ingredients. If you want to do more for animal rights, why not go volunteer at a shelter or sanctuary, do some vegan outreach, pass out vegan cupcakes, donate money to your favorite animal rights organization...ANYTHING but nit-pick about who's a real vegan.

</soapbox>

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:14 pm 
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Fee wrote:
Is it vegan to make my brain bleed?


Mine too!

I think it depends on the circumstances. If someone is sitting at home and launches into non vegan pancakes I see that as very unvegan, if they're on a long road trip and there is nothing else to eat I think it can fall into the "as far as possible and practical" part of veganism.


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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:17 pm 
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choirqueer wrote:
I think that being nit-picky about who's a "real" vegan is not vegan.

I'm not just being facetious. The point of veganism is to help animals, not to win a purity contest. Going around being like "Oh, I'm a better vegan than you are, you're not really a vegan because blah blah blah," makes people not want to be vegan. Turning people off to veganism is ultimately going to cause more harm to more animals than if someone eats an egg once in five years or doesn't always check for trace ingredients. If you want to do more for animal rights, why not go volunteer at a shelter or sanctuary, do some vegan outreach, pass out vegan cupcakes, donate money to your favorite animal rights organization...ANYTHING but nit-pick about who's a real vegan.

</soapbox>


*round of applause*

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:18 pm 
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When I first went vegan, I struggled a bit with nonvegan ingredients in items that weren't blatantly animal products. I would say I slipped and was working on being vegan but that I wasn't perfect. I had other issues as well going on. At the time I wasn't calling myself vegan and really rarely do I still say "I'm vegan".

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:22 pm 
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If it's trace ingredients on rare occasions, who cares? We all eat trace ingredients all the time. Saying that you're vegan is a convenient way to describe your beliefs and your diet but when you put any of us under a microscope none of us are perfect. Getting caught up in vegan minutiae doesn't seem to serve much of a purpose.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:23 pm 
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Orrrr what choirqueer said.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:35 pm 
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Edited because I may have misinterpreted some comments.

This was a purely hypothetical conversation I had with an omni. I felt like he was essentially saying that anyone can be a vegan whenever they feel like it, as long as they make that declaration which made me feel like he was discounting veganism in a way. I'm pretty certain my friend will bring this up again so I was just tying to get your opinions on it so that I might be able to hold my own a little better the next time and not sound like a bumbling idiot.

I guess, it's not really important though because I just decided that in the future I'm not going to participate in these kinds of conversations with him.

Thanks for your help!

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Last edited by GreatGarbanzo on Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:39 pm 
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Yeah, vegan is just a word. You can go on and on about it being a lifestyle, but at the end of the day all is really is is a word.

That being said, I think there's a difference between saying 'I'm going to stop eating animal products now, and hence be vegan from here on', and living a predominantly vegan lifestyle but intentionally eating trace animal products. The difference is the intent. If you intend to 'slip up' and eat dairy products, then why bother with the label? The first person seems that they're making a change, with no intent to stray from it.

The time we spend debating these things could be far better spent making cookies or something, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:47 pm 
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Yeah, I try not to get caught up in those "gotcha conversations". I tend to ask whether we're just engaging in a theoretical exercise for mental stimulation or is there a point to be made.

The idea of a true vegan or x% vegan initially deterred me from veganism. While the labels are helpful, they can cause more harm than good.


Last edited by blizzful on Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:50 pm 
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I disagree that it's just a word. I mean, words mean something. I was just saying, getting caught up in gray areas is mishegos.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:57 pm 
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IsaChandra wrote:
I disagree that it's just a word. I mean, words mean something. I was just saying, getting caught up in gray areas is mishegos.

OMG is mishegos vegan?

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:10 pm 
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IsaChandra wrote:
I disagree that it's just a word. I mean, words mean something. I was just saying, getting caught up in gray areas is mishegos.


Of course, and it's one that I identify with as well. I mean, I wouldn't be here if I didn't. But I would live the same lifestyle that I do if we didn't have this overarching categorisation of 'vegan'. And it bothers me to see people flailing about worrying if this or that isn't vegan. Why don't we just focus on how it fits into our own ethical standards for ourselves?

I had to Google 'mishegos', but that's totally what the minutiae are. Less focus on 'what am I?' and more focus on 'am I living my life the way I think is ethical?', I guess.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:19 pm 
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abbierae wrote:
choirqueer wrote:
I think that being nit-picky about who's a "real" vegan is not vegan.

I'm not just being facetious. The point of veganism is to help animals, not to win a purity contest. Going around being like "Oh, I'm a better vegan than you are, you're not really a vegan because blah blah blah," makes people not want to be vegan. Turning people off to veganism is ultimately going to cause more harm to more animals than if someone eats an egg once in five years or doesn't always check for trace ingredients. If you want to do more for animal rights, why not go volunteer at a shelter or sanctuary, do some vegan outreach, pass out vegan cupcakes, donate money to your favorite animal rights organization...ANYTHING but nit-pick about who's a real vegan.

</soapbox>


*round of applause*


Exactly. My housemate bought noodles the other day, and they put egg in them even though he asked for them to be without egg. Instead of taking them back, he just picked most of the egg out because he didn't want the food to get wasted. I don't think that makes him any less of a vegan, even though I would've taken it back because the idea of eating egg kind of makes me want to throw up.

He does tons of great stuff for animal rights, and I think that is more important to whether I consider him a vegan than whether he may have eaten a tiny bit of egg in his noodles on that one occasion.


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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:23 pm 
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Fee wrote:
Is it vegan to make my brain bleed?


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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:27 pm 
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schwa wrote:
abbierae wrote:
choirqueer wrote:
I think that being nit-picky about who's a "real" vegan is not vegan.

I'm not just being facetious. The point of veganism is to help animals, not to win a purity contest. Going around being like "Oh, I'm a better vegan than you are, you're not really a vegan because blah blah blah," makes people not want to be vegan. Turning people off to veganism is ultimately going to cause more harm to more animals than if someone eats an egg once in five years or doesn't always check for trace ingredients. If you want to do more for animal rights, why not go volunteer at a shelter or sanctuary, do some vegan outreach, pass out vegan cupcakes, donate money to your favorite animal rights organization...ANYTHING but nit-pick about who's a real vegan.

</soapbox>


*round of applause*


Exactly. My housemate bought noodles the other day, and they put egg in them even though he asked for them to be without egg. Instead of taking them back, he just picked most of the egg out because he didn't want the food to get wasted. I don't think that makes him any less of a vegan, even though I would've taken it back because the idea of eating egg kind of makes me want to throw up.

He does tons of great stuff for animal rights, and I think that is more important to whether I consider him a vegan than whether he may have eaten a tiny bit of egg in his noodles on that one occasion.


Yeah, I don't judge on that sort of thing. It happened to me a few weeks ago and I gave it back and witnessed them dumping the whole plate in the garbage, it made me sad and feel guilty. Its a huge gray area.

I was just bisqueing to someone about a vegetarian I know who fishes, so I'm feeling pretty cool about this sort of thing I guess XD

It depends on the scenario. If you plot "I'm going to eat chocolate tomorrow that has milk in it! Mwhahaahahahaha!" I don't think you're being a good vegan. If someone makes you something and the ingredients are suspicious but you eat it anyway because they made it for you, well what else can you do.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:33 pm 
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Erinnerung wrote:
IsaChandra wrote:
I disagree that it's just a word. I mean, words mean something. I was just saying, getting caught up in gray areas is mishegos.


Of course, and it's one that I identify with as well. I mean, I wouldn't be here if I didn't. But I would live the same lifestyle that I do if we didn't have this overarching categorisation of 'vegan'. And it bothers me to see people flailing about worrying if this or that isn't vegan. Why don't we just focus on how it fits into our own ethical standards for ourselves?

Yeah, totes.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:48 pm 
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choirqueer wrote:
I think that being nit-picky about who's a "real" vegan is not vegan.

I'm not just being facetious. The point of veganism is to help animals, not to win a purity contest. Going around being like "Oh, I'm a better vegan than you are, you're not really a vegan because blah blah blah," makes people not want to be vegan. Turning people off to veganism is ultimately going to cause more harm to more animals than if someone eats an egg once in five years or doesn't always check for trace ingredients. If you want to do more for animal rights, why not go volunteer at a shelter or sanctuary, do some vegan outreach, pass out vegan cupcakes, donate money to your favorite animal rights organization...ANYTHING but nit-pick about who's a real vegan.

</soapbox>


This x 1,000,000. Well put.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another vegan label thread.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:49 pm 
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