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#61 of 117 Old 05-09-2007, 10:03 AM
 
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I tell people I'm a vegetarian even though I eat certain kinds of fish (there are arcane rules) a few times a year. What I do NOT do is eat fish in front of people who I know will be confused or make annoying comments, because I don't want to contribute to the confusion about the whole topic. I also don't want people to think they can serve any old fish to me, because there are lots of fish I'd never touch for environmental reasons.

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mean really, how much more work is it to say:
"I eat a *mostly* vegetarian diet, but I also eat fish"
instead of:
"I'm a vegetarian, and I eat fish."
It's not a good idea for me to say this for the reasons above.

I guess I'm a closeted semi-pescatarian.

Anyway, I want to make the point that I have been 98% vegetarian for 15 years now, and it's vaguely irksome that some folks seem to want to take away my membership card because I have sushi on New Year's eve. If I go around telling people I sometimes eat certain fish, I'd have to deliver a 30-minute explanation as to which fish and also explain that I consider even that an occasional treat...it's really much easier to say I'm veg.

I notice that, generally speaking, the longer someone has been veggie, the less likely this topic is to get their knickers into a twist. Many people eat semi-veg or go in and out of some kind of veg. I don't feel the need to insist they can't be in my "club." I do understand the annoyance at "But you eat fish, right?" because it used to annoy me when I didn't eat fish at all. It's a fairly reasonable question, though, given how many people do do this.

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#62 of 117 Old 05-09-2007, 11:13 AM
 
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I tell people I'm a vegetarian even though I eat certain kinds of fish (there are arcane rules) a few times a year. What I do NOT do is eat fish in front of people who I know will be confused or make annoying comments, because I don't want to contribute to the confusion about the whole topic. I also don't want people to think they can serve any old fish to me, because there are lots of fish I'd never touch for environmental reasons.



It's not a good idea for me to say this for the reasons above.

I guess I'm a closeted semi-pescatarian.

Anyway, I want to make the point that I have been 98% vegetarian for 15 years now, and it's vaguely irksome that some folks seem to want to take away my membership card because I have sushi on New Year's eve. If I go around telling people I sometimes eat certain fish, I'd have to deliver a 30-minute explanation as to which fish and also explain that I consider even that an occasional treat...it's really much easier to say I'm veg.

I notice that, generally speaking, the longer someone has been veggie, the less likely this topic is to get their knickers into a twist. Many people eat semi-veg or go in and out of some kind of veg. I don't feel the need to insist they can't be in my "club." I do understand the annoyance at "But you eat fish, right?" because it used to annoy me when I didn't eat fish at all. It's a fairly reasonable question, though, given how many people do do this.
But the difference is that you're not intentionally confusing people AND you know what the words mean. When you request a vegetarian meal, you know what you're asking for. The fact that you call yourself a vegetarian, eat vegetarian in front of people, but eat sushi once a year (or whatever) doesn't get me riled up--but the people who confuse the issue so that I get served "vegetarian fish" or "vegetarian soup with chicken broth" do, frankly, bug me. Though, again, I really really don't see what's so hard about speaking precisely: "I eat a vegetarian diet most of the time, although I do eat fish a few times a year on special occasions." I had a friend who ate a vegetarian diet, but ate turkey at Thanksgiving. She said so. It's not about being in or out of "the club"--it's about not making life even MORE difficult than it already is for vegetarians and vegans who just want food they can eat!

I've been vegetarian or vegan for 16 years, BTW.

When people ask me, I say: "I eat a vegan diet at home and a vegetarian diet when I'm out." Because I do. I DON'T say that I'm vegan and then order an omelette (and, in fact, I'm careful to say that I eat a vegan DIET, not that I AM vegan, because I do buy wool and wear leather shoes purchased before I learned about veganism).
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#63 of 117 Old 05-09-2007, 07:08 PM
 
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About 18 years ago, when I was 11 I stopped eating "meat". I still ate fish and dairy, and occasional eggs. At first my reason had no real political or animal rights backing. I was doing what felt right for me. I am from a very small town, I certainly wasn't impressing anyone. As time went on, and I got older I was introduced to politics and social activism.

Now for almost my entire life I have had to deal with Labels. Personally, I am not a fan of labels. I just found out today that I am in fact a *picky eater* and not a "Lacto Pesco ocasional Ovo Vegetarian" I didn't set out to have a special name tag, and I certainly didn't realize that I have been offending people my whole life for using their special name. I was under the impression that we were all doing what felt right for us. I always knew that there were men and women out there with massive amounts of more conviction then myself, I didn't know that they for the most part thought I wasn't deserving to call myself *some word*.

I have always answered the naysayers who have told me that I am not a real "vegetarian" because of what I eat this response. "Then, please don't call me one, I could care less" This until today had only happened with what I guess is called "omni"s.

Sorry for ticking you people off for the last 18 years, and maybe starting today I will just tell people "I am socially and politicly a picky eater" I don't think anyone is using that label yet! :
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#64 of 117 Old 05-09-2007, 07:20 PM
 
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Fairly relevant to this thread, I just got this message from my MIL in response to me asking what I should bring to a birthday party for my FIL she is having on Friday. Now keep in mind that I have repeatedly told her that I do not eat or use any animal products - she is well aware that I won't eat anything with dairy or eggs in it, that I won't buy wool or leather, etc. She makes a big deal about me not eating Turkey at Thanksgiving.. etc. I offered to bring something to share and said I would bring something for me to eat and asked what she was making for everyone else. She sends me this:

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I'm going to cook steak tips and potatoes on the grill. You can bring a salad if you like. I'll have hot dogs if the kids want some.
What will you eat?? Fish?? Chicken???
: Does she honestly not think fish or chicken qualify as animals?

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#65 of 117 Old 05-09-2007, 08:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by maranapanda View Post
About 18 years ago, when I was 11 I stopped eating "meat". I still ate fish and dairy, and occasional eggs. At first my reason had no real political or animal rights backing. I was doing what felt right for me. I am from a very small town, I certainly wasn't impressing anyone. As time went on, and I got older I was introduced to politics and social activism.

Now for almost my entire life I have had to deal with Labels. Personally, I am not a fan of labels. I just found out today that I am in fact a *picky eater* and not a "Lacto Pesco ocasional Ovo Vegetarian" I didn't set out to have a special name tag, and I certainly didn't realize that I have been offending people my whole life for using their special name. I was under the impression that we were all doing what felt right for us. I always knew that there were men and women out there with massive amounts of more conviction then myself, I didn't know that they for the most part thought I wasn't deserving to call myself *some word*.

I have always answered the naysayers who have told me that I am not a real "vegetarian" because of what I eat this response. "Then, please don't call me one, I could care less" This until today had only happened with what I guess is called "omni"s.

Sorry for ticking you people off for the last 18 years, and maybe starting today I will just tell people "I am socially and politicly a picky eater" I don't think anyone is using that label yet! :
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Sigh...did you read the posts? People have been reiterating, again and again, that it isn't about being "deserving enough" or joining a "club." It's about people misusing terms so that it becomes increasingly difficult for vegetarians and vegans to get food they can eat (or increasingly likely that they will accidentally eat "vegetarian" food that isn't such).

In my example above, my beef (as it were) was not that the waiter's girlfriend ate chicken broth, but that she told him that it was vegetarian (which it isn't) and that he therefore served it to me (hidden in a dish), telling ME it was vegetarian, and I ate it--something that I find ethically wrong. What about if I called myself kosher, but said I ate lobster broth (which isn't kosher), b/c broth doesn't "count"--and then the person I told served that to someone who keeps kosher?

Finally, why is using terms properly dismissed as "labeling." The words "vegetarian" and "vegan" have fairly clear and consistent definitions, several of which have been quoted in this thread. If you look them up in three dictionaries, you won't find much discrepency. If I call my chair a chair am I just "labeling" it? The thing is what it is.

My husband eats fish and so he doesn't call himself a vegetarian. Why would he? He eats animal flesh. Similarly, he wouldn't call himself a Republican, a Buddhist, or an environmental activist, even though he subscribes to SOME of the tenets that those people subscribe to. He isn't any of those things, so he doesn't say he is. I don't get what's so offensive about asking people to use the words "vegetarian" and "vegan" correctly so that they don't water down or alter their meanings and make it that much harder for the rest of us to eat.

I don't call myself a vegetarian because I want a "special name tag." I call myself a vegetarian because I AM a vegetarian. What I DO want is for the "vegetarian meal" that I'm served at a restaurant, a wedding, a family gathering to not contain animal flesh or its derivatives. Because those things are not, by definition, vegetarian.
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#66 of 117 Old 05-09-2007, 08:58 PM
 
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Similarly, he wouldn't call himself a Republican, a Buddhist, or an environmental activist, even though he subscribes to SOME of the tenets that those people subscribe to. He isn't any of those things, so he doesn't say he is. I don't get what's so offensive about asking people to use the words "vegetarian" and "vegan" correctly so that they don't water down or alter their meanings and make it that much harder for the rest of us to eat.

I don't call myself a vegetarian because I want a "special name tag." I call myself a vegetarian because I AM a vegetarian. What I DO want is for the "vegetarian meal" that I'm served at a restaurant, a wedding, a family gathering to not contain animal flesh or its derivatives. Because those things are not, by definition, vegetarian.
I would say many people consider themselves a member or allied with a certain group even if they don't agree with 100% of the beliefs. I can think of many Catholics who use birth control or environmental activists who own a car. I would identify myself as a Democrat though there are certainly places where I disagree with the party.

As a vegetarian of over 20 years it would never occur to me to ask "is this dish vegetarian?" because I know that many people don't know what that means or they have no idea that it would mean I don't want chicken stock. And, I've learned that even asking specific questions, the server often doesn't know the answers or care about the answers anyway. I suppose I could blame that on the small percentage of people who say they are vegetarians but eat fish, but honestly I don't has much if anything to do with it. Some places I've lived and traveled I may be one of the very first vegetarians a person has ever met. The guy in Japan who argued with me that the dish only included organs and organs aren't meat wasn't saying so because a vegetarian came into the restaurant and said they'd eat organs. Rather, it was just a new idea to him entirely and he just didn't understand it.

My child has a peanut allergy. I've seen the exact same difficulty for many people in understanding the idea that by absolutely no peanuts we mean none, no oil, no peanut butter, etc. I don't think there is a band of people out there say "I have a peanut allergy" but what they really mean is 5% of the time I eat peanuts. So, who do I blame this lack of understanding on?
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#67 of 117 Old 05-09-2007, 09:21 PM
 
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I would say many people consider themselves a member or allied with a certain group even if they don't agree with 100% of the beliefs. I can think of many Catholics who use birth control or environmental activists who own a car. I would identify myself as a Democrat though there are certainly places where I disagree with the party.

As a vegetarian of over 20 years it would never occur to me to ask "is this dish vegetarian?" because I know that many people don't know what that means or they have no idea that it would mean I don't want chicken stock. And, I've learned that even asking specific questions, the server often doesn't know the answers or care about the answers anyway. I suppose I could blame that on the small percentage of people who say they are vegetarians but eat fish, but honestly I don't has much if anything to do with it. Some places I've lived and traveled I may be one of the very first vegetarians a person has ever met. The guy in Japan who argued with me that the dish only included organs and organs aren't meat wasn't saying so because a vegetarian came into the restaurant and said they'd eat organs. Rather, it was just a new idea to him entirely and he just didn't understand it.

My child has a peanut allergy. I've seen the exact same difficulty for many people in understanding the idea that by absolutely no peanuts we mean none, no oil, no peanut butter, etc. I don't think there is a band of people out there say "I have a peanut allergy" but what they really mean is 5% of the time I eat peanuts. So, who do I blame this lack of understanding on?
Fair enough--my example was a bad one. Although I would still argue that the word "vegetarian" has a pretty clear and simple definition, while the words "Republican" or "Democrat" do not.

WRT travel, yes--I too have had to go to great lengths to get veggie food in different countries--but I think we can leave that aside for the purposes of this discussion.

And, yes, I am often specific in my questions--"I'm a vegetarian. Does this contain chicken broth?" But the fish-eating vegetarian phenomenon, in particular, is pretty widespread and while I don't think it's to "blame" for all the misconceptions about vegetarians, I do think it makes things harder for the rest of us. How many times have you said, "I'm a vegetarian" and heard, "But you eat fish, right?" When I became a vegetarian 16 years ago, I never heard this. Now, I hear it all the time.

The Oxford English Dictionary, on "vegetarian":
a person who on principle abstains from any form of animal food, or at least such as is obtained by the direct destruction of life.

Merriam-Webster:
consisting wholly of vegetables , fruits, grains, nuts, and sometimes eggs or dairy products <a vegetarian diet>

Dictionary.com:
a person who does not eat or does not believe in eating meat, fish, fowl, or, in some cases, any food derived from animals, as eggs or cheese, but subsists on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grain, etc.

Wikipedia:
Vegetarianism is the practice of not consuming the flesh of any animal (including sea animals) with or without also eschewing other animal derivatives, such as dairy products or eggs.

All of the definitions--and every other definition I've ever come across--are broad enough to include veganism, but NONE of them includes the eating of animal flesh. I just don't think it's a grey area.
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#68 of 117 Old 05-09-2007, 10:29 PM
 
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True, that is the definition of vegetarian every where you look. And if you read further, it also includes "types of vegetarians..." Not only in the dictionaries, other online resources


"What are the different types of vegetarians?

* 1) Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian: does not eat meat, fish or fowl. Eats dairy and egg products.
* 2) Ovo Vegetarian: does not eat meat, fish, fowl or dairy products. Eats egg products.
* 3) Lacto Vegetarian: does not eat meat, fish, fowl or eggs. Eats dairy products.
* 4) Vegan: does not eat any animal products including meat, fish, fowl, eggs, dairy, honey, etc. Most vegans do not use any animal products such as silk, leather, wool, etc. as well."
Vegetarian Recource Group


"Main varieties

There are many different practices of vegetarianism. The following table summarizes the practices of various different types of vegetarian diet:
Foods allowed in the main vegetarian diets"
Wikipedia

"Often broken down further into OVO-LACTO, and LACTO. Vegetarians may or may not try and minimize their non food use of animals like vegans."
International Vegetarian Union (IVU)


You can find the same examples of being a vegetarian listed all over the place.


And yes I read the posts. If what I said in my post didn't apply to your experience in the restaurant, I probably wasn't referring to it.
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#69 of 117 Old 05-09-2007, 10:34 PM
 
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I wonder if this is a regional thing. I went to Europe with a friend who is vegetarian. We would go to cafés or restaurants and announce her eating status before they seated us. Being assured they had many vegetarian options. Then they told us all about the poultry and fish selections they had available.
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#70 of 117 Old 05-09-2007, 10:40 PM
 
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My MIL often says she is veggie but she eats things like BACON and pepperoni pizza - I actually have wanted to shake her but instead I just make fun of her You know, bacon - the other tofu

And, the fish thing bugs me not so much because you are not a veggie if you eat animals (which I believe) but because it makes others think eating fish is somehting veggies do so they constantly ask and assume. That is the annoying part. Sometimes when people ask if we eat fish, I say "no, we are actually vegitarian."

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#71 of 117 Old 05-09-2007, 11:09 PM
 
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Admittedly, it's confusing for people to say their veg or vegan when they really aren't. Then again, sometimes it's easier to use the label so you won't get served a pot roast or end up at a steakhouse. Some people are just plain dumb & don't understand the meaning of the words they use or like being perceived as being part of a certain group b/c it seems right. Personally, the older I get, the more I hate labels.

I was a veg for a long time & decided that an omnivorous diet is healthier for me & just plan easier in the long run. Animal products are a small part of my diet & I absolutely do not support factory farming. I must say that I really resent the comment from a PP who said that isn't good enough. Being a responsible omnivore is not a bad thing.

Reality check: Let's not forget than humankind evolved over a long period of time eating an omnivorous diet. If we did not ingest animal products our brains would not have developed as they did. That is not to say, with today's food choices, we cannot be healthy on a veg diet. Also, it is completely unrealistic to say that being veg/vegan is the gold standard. In many countries where there is a not a climate in which to grow the plants needed to sustain a veg diet (or a Whole Foods), people would starve if the "no meat" standard was applied to them.

There is just way too much judging going on here. Being veg has a lot of benefits & certainly being a big carnivore is not a responsible or smart way to eat. However, I do not believe that being a responsible omnivore is as evil as some of you make it out to be. We each need to make the best decision possible for ourselves while being mindful of our responsibility to the earth & other living creatures. Some of the veg/vegans really need to lighten up. I could make another religious analogy....many Christians believe the only way to salvation is to accept Christ, many veggies believe that the only virtuous diet is a veg/vegan one. Narrow-minded is narrow-minded, no matter how virtuous or how liberal you think you are.

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#72 of 117 Old 05-09-2007, 11:25 PM
 
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Some of the veg/vegans really need to lighten up.
The reason many of us are veg is because we are appalled by the exploitation and murder of animals for human use, this is something that is very important to us and weighs heavily on us each and every day. I'm not going to "lighten up" about people eating animal products and frankly I am sick to death of meat eaters coming into the VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN LIVING threads to talk about how glorious it is to eat meat and that all us vegs should chill out.

I wouldn't go into the Christian section of the board and tell them to lighten up either, it's totally disrespectful.

I am not trying to single you out here awallrising - even though I quoted you - but every thread that I've read in here today has been like this and it's extrememly frustrating.

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#73 of 117 Old 05-09-2007, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't remember seeing anyone say that being an omni is bad or that ALL people in the world should be vegetarian or vegan.. It's been reiterated time and time again that our problem is with people who SAY they are one thing and DO another, thereby confusing people. To use the religious analogy again, it's like someone who says they're a Christian and then prays to Buddha. By definition, a Christian does not pray to Buddha. Period. If someone prays to Buddha and then proclaims themselves a Christian, it's going to confuse those who are not entirely familiar with Christianity and they're likely to think that ALL Christians pray to Buddha.

You say that a lot of vegetarians and vegans on here are judgmental. I say that a some omnis are overly sensitive and looking for something to be offended about. I can't tell you how many times I've heard an omni complain about a vegetarian or vegan being judgemental when all they did was mention that they were vegetarian or vegan. A lot of omnis assume that ALL non-meat-eaters think choose not to eat meat because they believe that doing so is wrong and that they look down on omnis and want meat-eating outlawed, which is so not true. I can't think of a single veggie that has said something harsh about an omni simply for BEING an omni, but I've heard a lot of omnis say all kinds of mean stuff about veggies just for BEING veggie, based on their assumption of the veggie's attitude.

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"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."- Albert Einstein

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#75 of 117 Old 05-10-2007, 02:02 AM
 
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This particular issue mattered more to me when I was VEGAN. Meaning, it was what I was, and not just what I did or didn't eat. It definately was about being part of something bigger than myself and I did take offense when people threw the term around lightly because it was a big freaking deal to me, and I think that this is why it bugs most of the people here in spite of what they might say (just my opinion though, feel free to argue with me on this)... though I wouldn't belittle people that feel that way by referring to that experience as being a part of a "club". I think the idea that the reason this is so offensive to "real" vegans or ovo-lacto vegetarians is because it makes it harder for them to order dinner in restaurants is just plain silly. Quit going to restaurants that serve meat. Ask more specific questions. The problem is not the semi-veg people out there confusing people, it's the fact that the vast majority of people out there don't care (at all) to learn the difference. It simply doesn't occur to them to even think about it. Meat eating is good and normal to them, so why would they? When I was strictly vegan and eating out with family, it became apparent that they understood me better if i lied and said that I was deathly allergic to eggs and dairy. Allergy they understand. Ethical dietary choices, no.

Anyway, I was very strictly vegan for a very very long time. I recently started eating local organic eggs and raw milk, and I do eat fish that I catch myself two maybe three times a year. I do not, EVER, eat eggs or dairy or fish outside of my own home. I would not touch factory farmed anything with ten foot pole and I sure as heck wont eat most seafood. I wouldn't call myself a vegan or a vegetarian anymore because it just isn't true. But I wouldn't refer to myself as an ovo-lacto-pescatarian because that isn't exactly true either, though I will eat those things in very limited amounts as long as my personal ethical standards are very strictly met. My diet is something like 90% vegan. I am just Lisa.
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#76 of 117 Old 05-10-2007, 02:22 AM
 
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but every thread that I've read in here today has been like this and it's extrememly frustrating.
I'm about to up and leave the boards because of this. Three threads I just checked all had omnis going on about the need for slaughtering animals for their own use. In a veg and vegan living area!
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#77 of 117 Old 05-10-2007, 02:25 AM
 
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I am just Lisa.
This is something I totally get
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#78 of 117 Old 05-10-2007, 02:44 AM
 
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I guess I'm a closeted semi-pescatarian.
hahahahahah
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#79 of 117 Old 05-10-2007, 02:58 AM
 
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Everytime I get involved in this conversation I hear Kurt sweetly singing in my ear. . ."It's ok to eat fish 'cause they don't have any feelings. . .".
laughup - My seafood-eating DH self-deprecatingly quotes that all the time.
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#80 of 117 Old 05-10-2007, 08:38 AM
 
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The reason many of us are veg is because we are appalled by the exploitation and murder of animals for human use, this is something that is very important to us and weighs heavily on us each and every day. I'm not going to "lighten up" about people eating animal products and frankly I am sick to death of meat eaters coming into the VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN LIVING threads to talk about how glorious it is to eat meat and that all us vegs should chill out.
ITA. I'm totally sick of this. New rule for me: every time I see a post in the Veg Living forum advocating meat I'm going to Report it. I've brought it up before that this is supposed to be a safe space and I'm tired of it being violated.
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#81 of 117 Old 05-10-2007, 09:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by maranapanda View Post
True, that is the definition of vegetarian every where you look. And if you read further, it also includes "types of vegetarians..." Not only in the dictionaries, other online resources


"What are the different types of vegetarians?

* 1) Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian: does not eat meat, fish or fowl. Eats dairy and egg products.
* 2) Ovo Vegetarian: does not eat meat, fish, fowl or dairy products. Eats egg products.
* 3) Lacto Vegetarian: does not eat meat, fish, fowl or eggs. Eats dairy products.
* 4) Vegan: does not eat any animal products including meat, fish, fowl, eggs, dairy, honey, etc. Most vegans do not use any animal products such as silk, leather, wool, etc. as well."
Vegetarian Recource Group


"Main varieties

There are many different practices of vegetarianism. The following table summarizes the practices of various different types of vegetarian diet:
Foods allowed in the main vegetarian diets"
Wikipedia

"Often broken down further into OVO-LACTO, and LACTO. Vegetarians may or may not try and minimize their non food use of animals like vegans."
International Vegetarian Union (IVU)


You can find the same examples of being a vegetarian listed all over the place.
Yes--there are many types of vegetarians. Do any of those types eat fish? Read your definitions. Nope. Fish is ANIMAL FLESH. Vegetarians don't eat it.
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#82 of 117 Old 05-10-2007, 10:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post

And, yes, I am often specific in my questions--"I'm a vegetarian. Does this contain chicken broth?" But the fish-eating vegetarian phenomenon, in particular, is pretty widespread and while I don't think it's to "blame" for all the misconceptions about vegetarians, I do think it makes things harder for the rest of us. How many times have you said, "I'm a vegetarian" and heard, "But you eat fish, right?" When I became a vegetarian 16 years ago, I never heard this. Now, I hear it all the time.
Maybe...but with the peanut example, I'll say that we hear all sorts of variations of this too. A person we know who is a NURSE suggested that our son could just eat around the peanuts in a dish. "He can have a few right?" I really don't think there is a band of people going around saying they are allergic to peanuts but that they still eat them. I think this just reflects an ignorance on the part of many people to dietary restrictions. The bottom line for me is that I don't want to ingest critters and I don't want my son to die from eating peanuts...so, I'm not going to trust anyone else to get the short labels. It would be nice if everyone did but the stakes are too high to rely on it.
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#83 of 117 Old 05-10-2007, 10:08 AM
 
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I would love to see some kind of clarification or posting from the moderator about the rules of this forum. Is it a support forum and if so how come there are so many pro meat eating posts. I have zero problem if folks who eat meat post here and want to learn more about vegetarianism or ideas for healthy eating, but the meat is healthier we are supposed to be eating it posts seem out of line.
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#84 of 117 Old 05-10-2007, 10:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Roar View Post
I would love to see some kind of clarification or posting from the moderator about the rules of this forum. Is it a support forum and if so how come there are so many pro meat eating posts. I have zero problem if folks who eat meat post here and want to learn more about vegetarianism or ideas for healthy eating, but the meat is healthier we are supposed to be eating it posts seem out of line.
Ditto that.

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#85 of 117 Old 05-10-2007, 11:07 AM
 
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Maybe...but with the peanut example, I'll say that we hear all sorts of variations of this too. A person we know who is a NURSE suggested that our son could just eat around the peanuts in a dish. "He can have a few right?" I really don't think there is a band of people going around saying they are allergic to peanuts but that they still eat them. I think this just reflects an ignorance on the part of many people to dietary restrictions. The bottom line for me is that I don't want to ingest critters and I don't want my son to die from eating peanuts...so, I'm not going to trust anyone else to get the short labels. It would be nice if everyone did but the stakes are too high to rely on it.
Yes, I see your point. I think the reason I was dwelling on the whole "ordering in restaurants" thing is because of the sentiment behind it, not the event itself (especially b/c I AM very cautious about how I order when I eat out or go to a wedding or whatever). It's because when I'm served a "vegetarian" dish that contains fish or chicken or whatever, the implication is that those are somehow lesser animals or that it's okay to kill some animals but not others. That's what I think the real message of fish-eating "vegetarianism" is and that's why it bothers me so much. When I say I'm a vegetarian and someone says, "But you eat fish, right?", they are implying that fish don't feel pain, that they are not animals (b/c vegetarians, BY DEFINITION, don't consume animal flesh), that because they're not furry and cute they take on the status of objects, not living creatures.

I'm both shocked and not shocked that a nurse that a nurse suggested your son could just "have a few" peanuts. After all, how many medical professionals have told people that they have to supplement with formula if their milk doesn't come in on day 2, that breastmilk is worthless after a year, etc. etc.
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#86 of 117 Old 05-10-2007, 06:01 PM
 
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It's because when I'm served a "vegetarian" dish that contains fish or chicken or whatever, the implication is that those are somehow lesser animals or that it's okay to kill some animals but not others. That's what I think the real message of fish-eating "vegetarianism" is and that's why it bothers me so much. When I say I'm a vegetarian and someone says, "But you eat fish, right?", they are implying that fish don't feel pain, that they are not animals (b/c vegetarians, BY DEFINITION, don't consume animal flesh), that because they're not furry and cute they take on the status of objects, not living creatures.
I believe this hits the nail on the head for me as well. I was thinking about it after the last post regarding people wanting to be part of a club and not truly worrying about food at a restaurant. Neither of those felt right to me. I may not come across that way here, but am pretty tolerant. Dh is omni and cooks meat for himself at home. I do believe that we all have our own paths. I would rather he not eat meat, but I don't harrass him and I don't love him less b/c he does.

I have also gotten the routine down to a 'T' at restaurants where I rarely encounter mistakes. However, I am always astounded my the people who understand that I don't eat dairy or eggs and possibly even why, but who still ask if I eat fish. It does diminish aquatic animals to something lesser than sentient beings. They are no less animals than are my dogs. They also have some amazing personalities as I have seen with my large bala sharks who live in a 72 gallon aquarium in my living room and whom my dds love to feed. They come and nibble the food out of your fingers; there's a definate "pecking order" among the fish, etc. I appreciate them as living beings with the right to live which is, ultimately, what led me to a vegetarian and then vegan lifestyle.
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#87 of 117 Old 05-11-2007, 08:49 AM
 
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Just to add. There is a restaurant callen Ling and Louie's near by and they have a vegetarian section which unless you ask has 1 meal in it with fish broth. Shocked I said, but fish isn't vegetarian. Reply: Oh well we have had countless vegetarians tell us fish broth isn't bad so we added it. WTF

I'm vegan and spoke directly with the owner and he is the one that told me this as he is explaining what they can make vegan or gluten free. Tell ya, didn't make me want to eat there again because I couldn't be 100% sure that the meal I was getting was really going to be vegan by my standards or someone else's.

I appreciate that people take baby steps and are eating less and less animal flesh. That is certainly something to strive for in our world. And I think it is great! But, I don't appreciate it when other people speak for me (vegetarians who say fish broth is okay) because then I don't get taken seriously. It would be very hard for me to go back to that restaurant and speak with the owner and tell him that fish is flesh and so is fish broth because who is to say that he would listen to me as opposed to countless other vegetarians that say fish is vegetarian.
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#88 of 117 Old 05-11-2007, 11:17 AM
 
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What I DO want is for the "vegetarian meal" that I'm served at a restaurant, a wedding, a family gathering to not contain animal flesh or its derivatives.
See, but I want this too. I really do. I am very wary of telling people I eat certain fish very occasionally, because they will then assume I'd love to sit down to some nice Chilean seabass, or even a steak. If you don't say "vegetarian," you are in forpeople pushing it, IME. "Vegetarian," even though some people do not get it, is a lot simpler for people to understand and respect than "Sometimes I eat certain fish in certain circumstances."

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#89 of 117 Old 05-11-2007, 11:27 AM
 
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i don't understand it either forgive me if i'm wrong but i thought people were vegetarian because they didn't like the idea of eating a dead animal , am i wrong in my thinking? fish are still animals, liveing creatures being killed for food right?
i'm not actually vegetarian so could be way off, but don't fish have the same right to life as say cows or chickens?

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#90 of 117 Old 05-11-2007, 11:39 AM
 
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i don't understand it either forgive me if i'm wrong but i thought people were vegetarian because they didn't like the idea of eating a dead animal , am i wrong in my thinking? fish are still animals, liveing creatures being killed for food right?
i'm not actually vegetarian so could be way off, but don't fish have the same right to life as say cows or chickens?
People eat a vegetarian diet for a wide range of reasons. Health reasons; environmental; sustainability and world hunger; a desire to avoid handling raw flesh and greasy pans.

I'm an example of someone who prefers a vegetarian diet for a combination of all the reasons above; however, (and I do not wish to offend) I believe that the food chain is the way it is for good reason. Humans happen to be at a certain position on that food chain, of no fault of our own, and there is nothing wrong with killing animals for food, IMO. Death in nature is not pretty; animals of all kinds are pretty much doomed for a painful and horrific death no matter by man's hand or nature's. That's not to say I don't care, I feel for them; but it's just a fact of life (and death).
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