Talk:Vegetarianism

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Clarification on animal byproducts[edit]

By animal byproducts, I mean items besides meat, such as leathers, silk, wool, honey, drug hormones derived from animals and other such items. The article could be a little more clear on the general consensus of vegetarian attitudes toward these byproducts.

My understanding is that vegetarians would generally avoid any items that involve animal slaughter — e.g. leathers — but they wouldn't necessarily be opposed to honey, wool or any other such byproducts that arguably don't result in harm to the animal(s) under ideal conditions. Vegans on the other hand seem to be much more strict, avoiding animal byproducts altogether, regardless of whether or not those byproducts are derived from slaughter. In fact, it seems vegans also try to avoid brands that have a reputation for animal labor or testing.

That said, I'm not sure the statement about vegans in the opening section is very accurate:

  • "Some vegans also avoid animal products such as leather for clothing and goose-fat for shoe polish."

Only some vegans? I thought this was supposed to be one of the distinctive differences between vegetarians and vegans. The only exception I've personally encountered was a vegan woman who would occasionally buy leather shoes or clothing from thrift stores because she felt it was a more economical approach, and she wouldn't actually be increasing the demand for animal slaughter since the items were purchased from second-hand vendors. 98.86.117.67 (talk) 18:11, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

See Talk:Vegetarianism/Archive 17#By-products of slaughter, specifically gelatin, which documents the most recent discussion, before this one, about animal by-products and vegetarianism. Basically, the thing is: "As many vegetarians are unaware of certain animal-derived products hidden in their foods or do not care if they consume them [as long as they don't think of the animal products as meat], and others are vegetarians not for ethical reasons, it was decided that [... we] should not definitively state that vegetarianism excludes by-products of animal slaughter. We based this on WP:Reliable sources noting that many vegetarians aren't aware of or don't care what type of cheese they eat and on WP:Reliable sources mentioning that some vegetarians (whether one simply wants to call these people self-identified vegetarians or not) do consume by-products of animals slaughter. For example, many vegetarians chew gum, which may have a by-product of animal slaughter in it. And, of course, many vegetarians eat eggs, which may or may not be a result of animal slaughter (though eggs often are not classified as a by-product of animal slaughter). So, no, not all (and perhaps not most) vegetarians generally avoid (or always avoid) any items that involve animal slaughter. As the lead notes, there are different reasons for being vegetarian, even health reasons; in other words, not all vegetarians are vegetarians because of animal ethics (animal rights). As for vegans specifically, see the lead of the Veganism article, which notes that distinctions are sometimes made between types of vegans. A dietary vegan, for example, only avoid animal products when it comes to consumption, but may wear a leather coat. By contrast, an ethical vegan avoids the use of animal products for any purpose. That is why the wording "Some vegans also avoid animal products such as leather for clothing and goose-fat for shoe polish." is more accurate than "Vegans also avoid animal products such as leather for clothing and goose-fat for shoe polish." Flyer22 (talk) 19:54, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
As for distinguishing vegetarianism and veganism, I think it's always best to keep in mind that veganism is an aspect of vegetarianism, like the Vegetarianism article notes. Flyer22 (talk) 20:26, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Murky definition[edit]

Vegetarian means you just eat plants/don't eat animal products. Vegan is a newer word that means you try to avoid anything to do with animal (ab)use, not just when it comes to food, like wearing leather.
You have to prefix vegetarian if you're going to use it and still eat animal products, otherwise you're misusing the word or just being dishonest.
The prefixes I know of are lacto/milk, ovo/eggs, meli/honey, porcine/pig, ovis/sheep, bovine/cow, pollo/chicken, and pesco/fish (pescetarian for short).
A bit of history on the word: http://iheartar.com/2012/06/07/the-shifting-definition-of-veganism/
Damian Pound (talk) 04:22, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Hello, Chinoto1 (Damian Pound). Why did you create this section? As for you stating "Vegetarian means you just eat plants/don't eat animal products.", see the #Clarification on animal byproducts section above. Vegetarianism does include animal products (not all animal products, of course). For example, your "lacto/milk" prefix relates to animal products that vegetarians may consume. And as for veganism, like the Veganism article notes, some people (dietary vegans) follow the vegan diet only; this means that they don't follow the vegan philosophy of avoiding all animal products, such as leather. Flyer22 (talk) 05:28, 17 July 2014 (UTC)