I think I have to write about veganism and what I think of the terms in using plant based eating, morale and ethics. My personal view might not match other people’s view of being vegan, vegetarian or any other term used when regards to eating primarily plants. The inspiration for this post came from this video below from the great YouTube channel Footsoldier. He does great videos about a “vegan” who’s called herself Unnatural Vegan (UV for short) on YouTube and she is really (in my world and others) really, frickin’ unnatural and I do not believe for one second that she actually is vegan. Footsoldier says she’s a shill for the meat industry, and he might be right. Something does not add up here. Anyways… Let’s get on with the post – but watch the linked video below, first.
My opinions regarding this mess:
I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian. That means I do not consume any kind of animal based meat, but I do consume dairy products and egg products. I eat honey(rarely, do not like it), but some lacto-ovo vegetarians might choose not to. I do not eat gelatin, but it’s very easy to miss it since it’s mostly found in candy and medicine. Many people refer being vegetarian as being lacto and/or ovo vegetarian, so if I just write vegetarian from now on in this post, that is what I’m referring to. Not being vegan.
A vegan in my book can be a vegan for many reasons. For the animals, for health, for the planet. No matter what – I personally agree with saying that your vegan if you do it for these different kinds of reasons. Anything is fine, really. If you are considered a vegan, that means in my very personal book of terminology, that you do not eat any kind of animal products. However, I am a bit unclear regarding if honey is considered vegan or not. My closest vegan friend consumes it (as far as I know) an still calls herself vegan, and that’s fine in my book. A vegan for me is based on what you eat. If you’d like to add to that, that you do not buy any animal products of any kind, you don’t go to the circus, or have leather shoes etc – that’s fine too. In my book, you’re still vegan – because you eat vegan foods and not any animal products. You’re still vegan. You are also still vegan if you still use your leather sofa at home, because you bought it when you were not vegan, and you are still vegan if you use a shampoo with animal products in them or they have been tested on animals. Remember, I’m basing veganism on what you eat, not your moral beliefs.
Being plant based is a term that’s come up lately as well. It’s mainly for those people who “just eat vegan”, but might care or do less in regards for the animals. In my book, I call these people vegan – because they are vegan. At least according to me. It’s fine to call them vegan, and not just “Plant Based”. If you’re eating a WFPB (Whole Food Plant Based) diet, which is the healthiest kinds of diets, than that’s great – but I’d still consider you being vegan. There should not be any shame in that. However, many people refrain from calling themselves vegan because they are never “vegan enough” according to some people. My reasons for saying this is explained in this very long “documentary” from VegSource that you see below:
In this video, we’ll get to know the history behind veganism and it actually began with just eating a vegan diet. Aka, just food from plants. The animal rights part came much later and today veganism is defined as:
Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.
If you consider yourself being vegan for the reasons in the quote above (fetched from The Vegan Society), then that’s fine too. You’re vegan. Congrats!
Vegan vs. cruelty-free.
There are many products out there (or practices) that call them self vegan. Lab grown meat, just to mention something new. In my view – any kind of meat derived from animals is not vegan, since it’s real meat. However, I’d consider that being cruelty-free instead, since no animals have to die in order for us to get meat. It’s a great way to get meat, without hurting animals and destroying the planet in the process. I also believe that any kind of lab-grown meat should primarily be used as pet food, since cats and dogs + other pets we might own are carnivorous and should not eat carbohydrates. I am of the opinion that humans are herbivores. Not omnivores!
The impossible burger and the beyond burger is vegan, because they are derived from plants. So is any other normal vegan product that label themselves vegan, such as soy patties. Some quorn products are not vegan, because they contain egg. They are ovo-vegetarian. It also says so on the package. Another amazing company that is trying to change the world into becoming perfect (for being a lazy, somewhat unhealthy vegan) is Perfect Day. They’re trying to make dairy products without the cow. Not like any other dairy substitute either, like soy milk. Nope, these people are creating dairy milk that acts, looks and tastes like the real thing and they’re doing it with yeast. It’s absolutely amazing. If it will be healthier than original dairy products remains to be seen, but it sure will help with many people going vegan.
The one thing keeping me from going vegan for real is dairy products. In Sweden we have something called Creme Fraiche. It’s like sour cream, but fattier and tastier. Creme Fraiche and heavy cream keeps me from going vegan, basically because today there are no products that replicates the taste and the function of the original made-from-cow dairy products that we consume today. Oatly has an iFraiche, but it is way to sweet and taste like apples. I do not like. I do love their cooking cream, iMat and their yoghurts.
Vegans who consumes any kind of animal based product on a regular basis, like eggs (vegg-ans? such crazy shit!) or meat because of a mistake the restaurant made are not vegans. So called vegg-ans that eat eggs sometimes are in my book ovo-vegetarians (or semi-vegans). If you’re considering yourself to be a vegan, but sometimes knowingly eat animal products (like for the explanations in the video with UV and Footsoldier), I’d call you a Semi-vegan. Or an “off and on” vegan. If you’ve by mistake consumed meat products, I’d still call you vegan, because you did not know you were eating animal products. The difference is if you knowingly eat animal products or not.
It’s also perfectly fine to have a laid-back attitude towards being vegan. For example, if you momentarily share a spoon or a fork with somebody who just ate animal products (without clear animal products being on the fork), it’s not the end of the world. I myself have a laid-back attitude on being vegetarian. That means, for me that I’m nice to meat eaters and I do my best to spread the word of veganism without shoving it down their throats or complain about their bad habits of still eating animal products. I also do my best to not spread false information, unlike UV on Youtube.
A Semi-vegan is a person who eats vegan, but sometimes rarely consumes animal products. Whether it’s a steak once a month, or some Christmas ham every year, or even eats lacto-ovo a couple times a month, I’d call you a Semi-vegan. I myself earlier this year could practically call my self a semi-vegan, because I ate like 95% vegan for many weeks in a row. My weeks back then were based on vegan breakfasts and lunches and sometimes the dinners contained a tiny amount of cheese, milk and/or egg products.
I wish I could go back to eating that way, because it made me loose weight without doing any real exercise. Eating that way, I basically without hassle ate around at least 40-60 grams of fiber per day! A typical day looked like this:
- Oatmeal for breakfasts with berries or granola with vegan yoghurt. Around 15 grams of fiber per serving.
- Lentil Stew with various veggies and spices. At least 20 grams of fiber per serving.
- Vegggie packed dinner, like roasted root vegetables with oumph, potaoes and a sauce with tiny amounts of dairy and/or eggs. At least 25 grams of fiber per serving.
- Snacks during the day were based on fruits (sometimes dried) or berries. At least 10 grams of fiber per serving.
I have since then put back on a few inches around the waist, since I’ve gone back to eating a lot more dairy and egg products, but I’ve gone down a pant-size. My goal is always to eat as much WFPB as possible, but it’s hard when you do not have the energy required to cook the food in the first place. Being vegetarian is also so easy, and especially being an unhealthy one since there’s dairy and eggs in like every packaged food out there. If I’d go vegan, I’d probably by default become much healthier and I’d eat more plants, because you’re basically forced to, even though there are plenty of unhealthy vegan options out there.
Being a semi-vegan is also a huge goal. I’d love it if I could eat basically all of my breakfasts, lunches and dinners vegan. Heavily focused on being Whole Foods Plant Based, packed with fiber and all the nutrients, and still have cheat days, where it’s ok to eat cheese, candy and chocolate milk that contain dairy and/or eggs.
There are many different kinds of terms you could use if you’re somewhere on the plant-based-eating-spectrum. Now you know a little bit more of where I stand.
And I’ll continue writing about this later. No matter if nobody reads my blog or not!