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Vegans: Why not vegetarianism?

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  • saintor1saintor1 Member Posts: 314 Member Member Posts: 314 Member
    Dairies & eggs are probably the biggest difference between vegetarianism and vegans. I still consume some but it was greatly reduced. In my case this was to lower my total cholesterol as much as I can. No more milk at home, only almond milk for my smoothies and recipes. I buy only egg whites, again for recipes, and occasionally some Feta. For the lunches at work, most of the cheese has been replaced by tofu and meat has been replaced by hummus. I still eat some 'high quality' meat 1-2x /week. I have done this for 4 years. I think it paid off; based on my lab results earlier this year, my doctor told me that I was among the lowest risk of coronary disease of only 4%.
  • sugaraddict4321sugaraddict4321 Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 13,623 MFP Moderator Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 13,623 MFP Moderator
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Veganism is an ethical choice that goes well beyond diet. Vegans do not consume or use animal products or products that are tested on animals, etc....no leather or wool...certain cosmetics are off limits, etc.

    I think it can be both a nutritional choice and an ethical one with varying degrees of what the person knows or is willing to consider. A friend of mine chooses to eat only plant-based foods, but still owns a leather jacket. He feels physically better eating vegan, but it doesn't disturb him that his jacket is made from animal skin.

    In fact, I'd argue it is pretty challenging to be 100% vegan in the sense that you don't buy anything with animal products in it, or that has been tested on animals, or that has an impact on animals. The global supply chain is so huge that you need to spend a lot of time investigating every product you buy.

    Examples of foods you might think are vegan but aren't always: beer, wine, and some fruit juices.

    Examples of other things you might buy that are not vegan: clothes, shoes, linens/bedding, furniture, the upholstery in your car, medications, vitamins/supplements, cosmetics including obvious ones like red lipstick but also soaps, perfumes, sunscreens, etc.

    Some vegans won't watch movies that have animals in them, won't visit the circus or zoo, and won't have pets at home. There's a whole range of veganism.
  • aokoyeaokoye Member Posts: 3,497 Member Member Posts: 3,497 Member
    I think there's also this assumption that "all vegans do this and if they don't then they're not vegan" which is simply not the truth. There's no one definition for the word or lable "vegan" and language changes, including the meanings of words and phrases. I know numerous people who will use animal products that they've bought used and/or come from farms that they trust in regards to animal husbandry.
    In fact, I'd argue it is pretty challenging to be 100% vegan in the sense that you don't buy anything with animal products in it, or that has been tested on animals, or that has an impact on animals. The global supply chain is so huge that you need to spend a lot of time investigating every product you buy.
    I couldn't agree with you enough on this one. Between the fact that farming produce has an impact on animals, the production of clothes has an impact on animals (it's not exactly the cleanest of industries in terms of pollution and that affects wildlife), the clear cutting of forests which has a major effect on animals, the trialing drugs and medical procedures that are vital to one's health... I could go on but I'll stop there.

    I get that it's a give and take situation. No one can do all the things to try and save the earth and its inhabitants. That said, my buying wool products (primarily in the form of socks, raw fleece, and yarn) is likely not more negatively impactful than buying cotton (organic or conventional).
  • TheVeganVetNurseTheVeganVetNurse Member Posts: 2 Member Member Posts: 2 Member
    I went Vegan for ethical reasons after having been Vegetarian for years and doing my research on the dairy and egg industry. It was a no-brainer for me.

  • 2baninja2baninja Member Posts: 461 Member Member Posts: 461 Member
    Dgil1975 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Why did you choose to be vegan over being a vegetarian? Was it a gradual shift?



    Veganism is an ethical choice that goes well beyond diet. Vegans do not consume or use animal products or products that are tested on animals, etc....no leather or wool...certain cosmetics are off limits, etc.

    I agree with this.

    I eat whole food plant based, when people ask me about what I eat because of the weight loss and I say whole food plant based, the response is “so your a vegan”.

    My answer is no, as vegan is an ethical stance, with much more than a way of eating involved, and while I agree that factory farming is deplorable, I personally don’t have any issues with people eating meat, or dairy. I did it specifically for health.

    This, I like the idea of being vegan, but it's only the eating part of vegan.....
  • lpina2milpina2mi Member Posts: 457 Member Member Posts: 457 Member
    I was a pescatarian who is transitioning to WFPB. Although I cannot vouch for the cheese (~4oz/wk) I eat, I do know the farmers of my eggs(~1/wk) and milk (~1/2c/wk).
    For animal rights and environmental footprint reasons I gave up leather goods and mammal flesh abt a year ago. Prior to that I was an omnivore in the Pollan & Kingfisher mode of plants primarily for decades.

    I will continue to weigh sustainability against vegan substitutes for traditional omnivore foods. For example, I am making oat milk for my morning coffee rather then almond milk, on account of monocropping of almond trees. It's bad for bees (trucked-in) and bad for water resources.

    I see myself continuing to wear wool and eating honey. I know where my honey comes from. Perhaps my next challenge is know where my yarn comes from too.
    edited May 2019
  • aokoyeaokoye Member Posts: 3,497 Member Member Posts: 3,497 Member
    lpina2mi wrote: »
    I was a pescatarian who is transitioning to WFPB. Although I cannot vouch for the cheese (~4oz/wk) I eat, I do know the farmers of my eggs(~1/wk) and milk (~1/2c/wk).
    For animal rights and environmental footprint reasons I gave up leather goods and mammal flesh abt a year ago. Prior to that I was an omnivore in the Pollan & Kingfisher mode of plants primarily for decades.

    I will continue to weigh sustainability against vegan substitutes for traditional omnivore foods. For example, I am making oat milk for my morning coffee rather then almond milk, on account of monocropping of almond trees. It's bad for bees (trucked-in) and bad for water resources.

    I see myself continuing to wear wool and eating honey. I know where my honey comes from. Perhaps my next challenge is know where my yarn comes from too.
    If you're making the clothes from the yarn you're buying, it's actually not all that difficult. It's even easier if you're spinning the wool. PM if you want more suggestions on how to figure that sort of thing out.
  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Member Posts: 5,695 Member Member Posts: 5,695 Member
    Can a vegan explain to me what vegans think is ethically wrong with honey?
  • xtinalovexoxtinalovexo Member Posts: 1,411 Member Member Posts: 1,411 Member
    I was a vegetarian 7 years due to my unhealthy addiction to dairy. I have a high history of disease in my family and watching my dad pass from heart disease and my mom have breast cancer two times led me to switch to vegan. Ethics were a partial reason, but health was the primary.
  • kimwilding1979kimwilding1979 Member, Premium Posts: 3 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3 Member
    I went plant based because of my health, I was hit really badly with fibromyalgia about 4 years ago, not the struggle through your day kind, but the bed bound - lost the ability to speak kind. It has a massive impact on my cognitive function, and I was like someone with alzheimer's. We tried a lot of medication, some of which I'm still on, but nothing was making a dent in it, and someone suggested a vegan diet, within about 2 weeks my head started to clear up. I am by no means cured, I still can't work because of my illness, but I am significantly better than I was.
    Being attached to the vegan world made me delve into some subjects that I wouldn't have before, I'm definitely a full on vegan now, but for me it's an environmental thing almost more than the animals. So yeah, came for the health benefits, sticking with the ethics.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 22,504 Member Member Posts: 22,504 Member
    I spent three years in vegetarian yoga communities, had lots of vegan friends, and was exposed to a lot of education about veganism. I would attribute any health benefits I may have received during this time to my active lifestyle, rather than not eating animal products.

    While I do believe it is ethically superior to not exploit animals, veg* was not for me. My compromise is to buy animal products that were raised more humanely than conventional practices. My vegan friends would consider this a cop-out, but it's the best I can do at this time.
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Member Posts: 1,198 Member Member Posts: 1,198 Member
    Cholesterol is dangerous because it clogs the arteries with fatty buildup and can lead to a heart attack or stroke, and that’s not good!

    I'm not trying to negate your entire viewpoint here, but this is false information. All recent peer-reviewed research has pretty much unanimously shown that LDL cholesterol is NOT a causative factor in heart disease. Cholesterol is a basic building block that our bodies use to create active compounds, such as Vitamin D and our hormones. If you want to understand why cholesterol has been demonized for so many years, read up on the United States sugar producers lobby.

    I'm reeeeaaaally skeptical of your claim that "calcium neutralizes acids" and that the calcium we consume from milk is "all used up" by neutralizing acids. This sounds like woo without some kind of peer-reviewed study backing it up.

    (Source: I have taken graduate-level human & animal nutrition classes. Am currently in grad school to become a medical professional and work full-time in biological sciences.)

    Interesting take on the state of the literature for LDL, particularly given how statins still remain common treatment to reduce cholesterol as a preventative.

    I think if one wants to get into a nuanced discussion of the current pathology, I believe for atherosclerosis, LDL or perhaps VLDL is necessary but not purely sufficient condition. That they attach to pockets of inflamed vascular tissue that happens as they become stiff.
    I don't think the sugar industry really has the lobbying power that they've pushed big Pharma into making statins. I also think it is self-defeating reasons to cast those aspersions - if we're looking at motives, the people most broadly attacking sugar are people promoting low-carb / keto diets as cures for the obesity problem and its knock-on effects.

    Calcium from bone is definitely a buffering mechanism in controlling blood PH. It is correct though that we don't use up our calcium in doing so. That part is kind of the acid-ash hypothesis that spawned alkaline diets but is pretty strongly out of line with observations of diets versus bone health.
  • sakurablossoms82sakurablossoms82 Member Posts: 41 Member Member Posts: 41 Member
    I'm vegetarian and for me that's good enough. If I want to become vegan I also can't buy leather shoes while it's best to buy leather shoes for my foot issues. And due an other health condition I tend to be feeling cold a lot during winter and wool keeps me warm better. I became a vegetarian due health benefits and all else is a plus.

    Also I noticed that being vegan used to be a trend among YouTubers. It annoyed me because they kept promoting it and such but then in the next vlog you saw them buying a Gucci leather bag or the latest sneakers which are made out of leather.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 24,034 Member Member Posts: 24,034 Member
    I'm vegetarian and for me that's good enough. If I want to become vegan I also can't buy leather shoes while it's best to buy leather shoes for my foot issues. And due an other health condition I tend to be feeling cold a lot during winter and wool keeps me warm better. I became a vegetarian due health benefits and all else is a plus.

    Also I noticed that being vegan used to be a trend among YouTubers. It annoyed me because they kept promoting it and such but then in the next vlog you saw them buying a Gucci leather bag or the latest sneakers which are made out of leather.

    Of all the reasons not to be vegan, I think "I noticed a vegan on YouTube doing it wrong" has got to be one of the weakest.

    Veganism is about your ethical position on animal exploitation, not about YouTubers. If you object to animal exploitation, no YouTuber on earth is going to make you change your mind and decide you're okay with it.
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