More about vegan terminology…

After my post I wrote about vegan terminology I felt that even though I said a lot, I have even more to say about it. First of all, is it really that important to use the terminology for everything? I mean, if you’re a meat eater, you generally do not have a term for it. You just eat food and probably do not care about where it comes from, if you eat an animal like a cow or a pig or that your shampoo has been tested on animals as well. I mean – who cares, right? The same thing should also apply if you’re vegetarian in some shape or form. As long as you eat a certain vegan-ish way that should mean that everything is fine, right?

Life was certainly a lot easier back then when I knew nothing about my food. I just ate it and felt as good as I possibly could, even though I’ve been sort of sick my whole life fro fibromyalgia, IBS and the like. I did not think about the consequences that my food choice made on the planet or my health. It was just food. Today it is so different and I’m not perfect, but today I think it is really important to use words correctly in order to not mislead or confuse people. Especially since so many people still do not care about what they eat and how it affects health, animals and our planet. That is why terminology is important to me, and why the term for vegan(ism) has to change.

What I have learned now, going back since like 2012 when I first got to know a vegan personally and watched documentaries like forks over knives has really changed my life. I have learned that us humans are somewhere between herbivores and frugivores, that animal agriculture is the leading cause alone to climate change. I’ve also learned that it is possible to reverse a lot of diseases and prevent basically every single one of them as well by eating a healthy vegan diet. That is why I feel that the correct information regarding all of this needs to get out there, even though I am not yet a vegan by its terminology. Like you’ve probably read – I’m vegetarian that consumes eggs, dairy and sometimes honey. And I’m lazy and eat a lot of processed crap! But I’m striving towards being vegan someday and I hope it will be possible for me to be a vegan within 5 years or so. By the end of 2018 I at least hope I’ll have the habit of being a somewhat semi-vegan eating primarily WFPB for health reasons, but if I’m being realistic that will only work for weeks or maybe a few months at the time since I’m so lazy and have like zero energy most days. But I’m trying my best!

Anyways, on with the post. What I wanted to write about today is more about the whole thing of not being vegan enough. Like it is against the law to call yourself vegan if you do not do it for the animals. I AM SO SICK OF THAT!!! Like I mentioned in my earlier post, I base being vegan on what you eat, regardless if you eat WFPB or vegan junk food or perhaps a mix of both. YOU ARE VEGAN IF YOU EAT VEGAN FOOD!

The main reason I wanted to say something more about this whole thing that’s going on is because it feels like if you are only (and I mean only) vegan for the animals, that would mean that lab grown meat is your ultimate goal. Because then you could eat meat without worrying about the animals. Since it’s coming from real animal flesh and muscles and bones, but no animals had been killed or hurt in the process – you’d all go back to eating meat when there is a final product out there, right? Because – who cares when no animals are killed or hurt, right? Meat is vegan if no animals were hurt or killed for it, right? Even though meat is defined as an animal product? It has to be vegan if no animals were hurt or killed in the process, right? It is only vegan if you think about the animals, right? And if you are vegan for the animals you do not think about your own health, because there is no need to, right? If you are vegan, you cannot possibly also eat healthy foods as well, because then you’d be plant based and never considered being vegan, right?

I think that is such wrongness to use the word vegan for. It makes me feel like you think of cows like walking carrots with feelings. Don’t get me wrong, I have heard people say this, and regard animals as plants, when the food (or animal) itself is not being anywhere vegetarian. An animal is defined as an animal and plants are defined as plants. At least I know that much. You can combine the two and eat a somewhat omnivorous diet, but as being a vegetarian, still consuming eggs and dairy it is important to know that the animal products are still animal products. They complement the plant foods you’re eating. The egg is not a vegetarian product, nor is the dairy. By saying that, it’s totally fine to eat like an omelette if you’re vegetarian, but that does not mean you’re eating plants by just consuming the omelette. See what I mean?

People for real counts eggs as being a fruit or something, fish and chickens for beings without emotions and dairy as a magical formula that just pours out of the cows for no reason that we as humans also must consume to help save the cows. All vegetarian, of course if you’d consider yourself being one. Like, WTF?!

Ok, you might think I’m overreacting here and I wish I was, but I’ve thought about this for a while now and I’m only getting more angry over the whole thing. The video linked above to GojiMan on YouTube enhanced these feelings for me even more. He says in the video that it’s great to be vegan for the animals (and I agree), but he ultimately concludes (or something) that all vegans who do it for the animals only eat junk food. That cannot possibly be right? I think talking about veganism in that matter only makes the whole thing about “you’re not vegan enough” crap that’s spreading like wildfire on YouTube, especially, a whole lot worse.

Let’s get one thing straight, though… I know there are so called junk food vegans out there and that is totally fine. I also am well aware about the Plant Based movement as well, but to automatically suggest or claim that vegans can only call themselves vegan if they ONLY do it for the animals is so sickening and it is not helping the vegan movement at all. Of course it is really important to think about the animals when you’re discussing or talking about veganism or vegetarianism. It matters! Their lives matters! But our health matters as well and so does the planet’s health. So it is important to go vegan for all reasons and to relax and accept all vegans for their reasons to go vegan. As long as they eat vegan food, everything should be fine but apparently it is not. Like WTF?! I also think it’s fine (like I’m trying to do) to take your time to get rid and switch the animal products in your home in the time and manners that suit you. Like switching to vegan/cruelty-free make-up products and shampoo and next time you need to buy a new sofa, you do not buy a leather one. Just because you go vegan (for whatever reason)doesn’t mean you have to change everything over night. It can be a process over time. And that’s fine! The most important thing is to start with what you’re eating and eat vegan defined foods.

As another example, I watched this video yesterday or something and I think it’s like pure harassment that people who are vegans (for the animals, of course 😉 ) hate her and say that she can’t call herself vegan because she’s doing it for other reasons than the animals? I mean, WTF?! Ok, in the video she says that she sometimes eat fish, like on Christmas eve or something and a few other days of the year. Otherwise she eats vegan. I’d personally call her a semi-vegan and I understand her reasons for making it easy when she orders stuff in restaurants to say she’s vegan, because she primarily eats like that 99% of the year. At least that’s how I interpreted her. I might be wrong. What is wrong is other vegans hating on her because she does not do it for the animals! It is so crazy. She says herself in the video that nobody cared when she ate meat, but when she’s vegan – but not for the animals, then there is war!

I don’t know… it is all so silly. I wish that things will go back to normal and being vegan – no matter for what reasons is ok, and that it is okay as well to be a junk food vegan or being a healthy WFPB eater. Thinking that the vegan word does not only have to mean it’s all about the animals will do a whole lot more for the vegan movement I think in the long run. Being a vegan ultimately starts with your diet!

What about you?

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Vegan terminology.

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!