Talk:Veganism/Archive 6

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I could use help with demographics. I found a good careful study and just added that information. However in another source, I was not able to confirm it, and it was indirect (not on the website of the organization whic found the statistic) so I did not add from this second source. The second source is: which asserts, "According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, more than 10% of females under 25 now claim to occasionally practice vegan eating." If true this would be remarkable, since the general population in the US has been reported to be between 0.2% to 0.5% in more recent (the 2008 study I just added) and thus 10%, even if restricted to under-25 females doing so "occasionally" would be very significant: between 20 to 50 times the general population rate. Unforutnately I see no contact information for the author ( J. Hugh McEvoy) nor could I find a page right on the vegetarian resource group's page to confirm this statistic. If you can find it, that would be great (if you can, go ahead and add it to the demographics section, I don't need to be the one doing it :-) --Harel (talk) 01:01, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

This seems like puffy industry journalism rather than useful demographics. KellenT 01:32, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
"puffy industry"? Well that's about as helpful as replacing "Garden of Eden" with "Seventh Day Adventists" or "Eat vegetables" with "Substitute for meat". Suits this article lovely but where's the best place to put it? Donald Watson was not a jounalist was he? What is a "puffy journalism"? It's not a reference to some vegetable is it? ~ R.T.G 12:30, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
That was really supposed to be in good humour and provoke an explaination of what "puffy" journalism is. I thought that replacing those things as such was taken with a pinch of salt. I guess taking that view with a pinch of salt would be one step closer to adding the proper facts about religion and replacing much of the articles meat with veg? I was so sure there was a door in this wall. ~ R.T.G 16:45, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Animal Products

"Although some vegans attempt to avoid all these ingredients, Vegan Outreach argues that "it can be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming to shun every minor or hidden animal-derived ingredient," and therefore that doing what is "best for preventing suffering" is more important than identifying and excluding every animal ingredient.[28][29]"

This is badly worded, first the 'some' vegans is a weasel word, suggesting a minority. Secondly the 'Vegan Outreach argues that' part seems to suggest that the opinion of the aforementioned vegans is wrong. Vegan Outreach are not 'arguing', it is their opinion. Other vegan organisations support the avoidance of such products yet this is not mentioned. Muleattack (talk) 01:56, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Isn't it wrong to say that a collection of people may be vegans or not and right to say they are vegan or not? I see the word vegan as a description of vegetation. In the vegetable colour. Weighing up what one person eats and another eats, that's political. That's a human meat brained brush. That's individualising hence the frequent use of vegans. It could say "Followers of vegan society Vegan Outreach are told that..." or "The Vegan Outreach society advocte...", and so on without "he's a tot je suis un tot...". If those who sang the blues went around saying "We are the blues! I am a blue, he's a blue..." or Judge Dredd, "I am the law!" Would he then say, "Hershey is the law, we are the laws.", or, "...we are the law!"? It is certainly more neutral to avoid individualising when possible. ~ R.T.G 17:28, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Poorly planned vegan diets

"Poorly planned vegan diets can be low in levels of calcium, iodine, vitamin B12, iron and vitamin D."

Obviously poorly planned vegan diets (and any other diet for that matter) can be low in anything and everything so why are these mentioned in particular? The sentence has no citation.

Muleattack (talk) 14:53, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

I don't know what section you are referring to but in this section: Veganism#Specific_nutrients, a repititon of the same information appears cited painstakingly. ~ R.T.G 17:57, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, it's in the opening paragraph. The reason I brought it up is it's been added to twice recently with no justification for the additions, the first time with protein and today with iron, both now reverted. Muleattack (talk) 18:12, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Also Cow

This dose not have anything to do with the cow picture your talking about but another cow picture on the page. Im not an expert but Im just throwing this out there as some food for thought. The caption reads something to the effect of how cows produce large amount of green house gases, there for supporting the idea that a reason to not eat meat is to be more environmentally friendly. Im going to assume the green house gases being refered to are methane. How ever this leads to a some what of a conundrum, every vegetarian and vegan I have met eats rice. Rice is grown in swamps and because it is the staple diet of the most populous countries on earth. Is on of the highest methane and green house gas producing factors on the planet. So I don't really think its fare to condemn cow eating because it produces methane unless you also say the same for rice. (talk) 01:47, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

So what you are saying is that you shouldn't condemn something if there is a worse example of a similar thing. So you shouldn't condemn thieves because there are murderers. Yeah, makes total sense... Muleattack (talk) 18:13, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
The point to be understood is that on the single choice of becoming vegan in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, going from eating cows to eating rice doesn't help. At current agricultural levels of production rice accounts for minimum 6% (to 30% higher estimates) of planetary methane production whereas cows (and I mean only domestic cows) account for about 10% worldwide. The total population of domestic animals only account for about 15% (to about 40% high estimates) of methane production. Of course rice is no replacement for meat, they've very different nutritional content. However, if in the future we're all vegans and eat lots of rice I doubt my grandkids will ever get to build a snow fort. August B. (talk) 20:26, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Not only does every vegan you meet eat rice, but also every... person... you have ever met... Most of the world actually eats meat products on top of rice, so dropping the meat does not equal the same greenhouse gasses due to foods, it is half that. Actually why is this section not archived yet? Bah, seems quite moot. Eddie mars (talk) 16:08, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Eating Disorders

I recommend that this section of the article be removed, as it has nothing to do with the actual vegan diet, nor does it have to do with vegan lifestyle. I would even go so far as to contend that this section poisons the neutrality of this article, in so far as it introduces a link between eating disorders and vegetarianism wherein the vegan diet and lifestyle is not the cause of said eating disorder. It certainly does not belong under the heading "health concerns," since the concern is eating disorders and not the vegan diet and lifestyle itself. If this information belongs in any article, it should go in eating disorders, not veganism. Nic01445 (talk) 02:23, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, did you read the section? It says that a "vegetarian diet does not lead to eating disorders". The section is relevant and cited. Those citations directly link the subject of veganism to the subject of eating disorders (though not veganism itself to eating disorders). KellenT 08:40, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

I did read the section, and I stand by my previous claims. Cited or not, eating disorders are in no way relevant to nutritional concerns of the vegan diet. I'm not claiming that there is no link, I'm claiming that the link is irrelevant to the article, in the sense that it does not describe veganism, but rather it describes eating disorders. Nic01445 (talk) 20:09, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

People may be coming to this article wondering what the relation is between veganism and eating disorders; it may very well be a nutritional concern in their mind. This section would be informative and enlightening to such people. The main section is called "Nutritional concerns", not "Legitimate, scientifically valid nutritional concerns", and I don't think anyone reading the section will read it as "veganism causes eating disorders" when it says the opposite... but if people do, we should word it more clearly.
On the other hand, it is talking about vegetarianism, not veganism specifically, so it would probably be more relevant at Vegetarianism than here. -kotra (talk) 20:28, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
It's also talking about veganism, so it's valid here. The quote is from the ADA position which includes (as many such dietetic association statements do) veganism as a type of vegetarianism. KellenT 21:54, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough. It's at least as appropriate at Vegetarianism, though, so I've added it there as well. -kotra (talk) 22:41, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
But if most vegans are anti-eating disorder, which they are with all the nutritional benefits, that's "appropriate" enough isn't it? ~ R.T.G 07:23, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
I do see that you have listed many reasons as to why this section is relevant, and yes it is cited well... however I am also of the opinion that this section feels extremely out of place, and I strongly feel that even the cited research seems to be grasping at straws, speculative etc. I'm not about to convince that it be removed quite yet, as it really is more a gut feeling I have when reading this, but I wanted to put it out there that as I was reading this article that section really stood out like a sore thumb to me, and I was not reading the article looking to edit or critique, just reading it for reading sakes. It's not even that I am against the correlation of veganism and eating disorders, I think that this information should be included in the eating disorders wiki. Also, to respond to this: "People may be coming to this article wondering what the relation is between veganism and eating disorders", I feel that this assumption is just as valid (or invalid?) as saying "People may be coming to the page on the Atkins Diet, wondering what the relation is between that and eating disorders". I think honestly if I was curious about eating disorders and their relation to anything I would simply go to the eating disorder page. Eddie mars (talk) 16:47, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Conflicting information on B12

The paragraph that Veganmer added on the possibility of B12 from bacteria in the soil on unwashed vegetables conflicts with a claim made in the next paragraph that "organic produce, soil on unwashed vegetables" cannot be relied on for B12. How should we deal with this inconsistency? --N-k (talk) 13:58, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Veganmer should read the other sources and not add bullshit to the article. KellenT 15:31, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

So much for Kellen adhering to policies about politeness while avoiding personal attacks....... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:06, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Calling bullshit bullshit isn't a personal attack. If Veganmer had read the other source s/he'd see that "Vegan Health", a project of Vegan Outreach, are the ones saying that there's no evidence vegans can obtain adequate B12 from unwashed vegetables. Veganmer (you?) has also been editing pretty disruptively, asserting that his/her inserted statements don't need sources, etc. This is a pretty extensively cited article. At least take the time to read the citations in the area you want to edit. Not so hard. KellenT 08:27, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
So should that paragraph be removed? --N-k (talk) 12:17, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
I removed it. To my surprise, I found a citation. The statement I removed was:
B-12 is produced by bacteria in soil, and would likely have been supplied in sufficient quantities to nearly everyone with a garden before the mass production of food in the 20th century. The absence of B-12 in plant foods, therefore, is not a indication of an inherently unhealthy diet. Although modern home-grown fruit and vegetables which are contacted by healthy soil likely contain B-12, concerns about safety and contaminants preclude relying on soil as a reliable B-12 source.[1]
Which doesn't actually say that people can/should get B12 from soil nowadays (which is what I objected to above), but is instead commentary on whether or not B12 deficiency indicates a diet's healthfulness and by implication whether or not the diet is "natural". In any case, it doesn't really say anything about veganism, is distracting from the (otherwise terse and useful) B12 section. If there's some serious discussion of B12's bioavailability changing over time, it can be relevant to the B12 article rather than here. KellenT 12:28, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

If Kellen considers him/herself the barometer of what is/is not relevant to veganism, gosh, I will surely notify all the vegans of the world. I don't think they got that memo. Kellen's opinion may be "bullshit" (that's not a personal attack, in your words), but he/she is entitled to it. Actually, anyone who obsesses over something like a wiki page like Kellen does has misplaced priorities. That's my opinion, and I'm entitled to that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Veganmer (talkcontribs) 00:59, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

You're entitled to your opinion, Veganmer, but perhaps you should keep it to yourself when it violates Wiki policy. I read the talk pages to see what positive changes can be made to articles, not whether one editor thinks another obsesses or any garbage like that. Kellen could have been more succinct rather than term your contribution bullshit, but continuing to attack each other doesn't help the article. Apparently there is conflicting info about B12 sources, which can certainly be referenced and mentioned. Let's stick to that and leave the personal stuff behind. Bob98133 (talk) 14:44, 16 April 2010 (UTC)


The sentence "Abortion is a topic vegans avoid but are avidly criticized for because some fetuses experience pain, but they aren't used for food" is floating around on its own without any citation. Because I am a vegan I am totally opposed to abortion, so that disproves the sweeping universal statement immediately. It's reasonable to have a section on abortion but this isn't a good start. Salopian (talk) 00:52, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Induced abortion of no-sentient animals is not contradictory with veganism. If there is no mind there is someone they can hurt.Regards.Xxxzenicxxx (talk) 08:41, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
It's an academic point now as it's been rightly removed, but sentience is *not* part of the definition of veganism so that is not true. (That may be part of your own philosophy but that is not the same thing.) Also, I don't follow your second sentence at all. Salopian (talk) 15:51, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

I removed that sentence less than an hour ago. I apologize for not checking here first; I'm not completely accustomed to Wikipedia etiquette, although I'm learning. I, too, thought that the statement was inaccurate due to the sweeping claim it made. Also, the grammar was confusing and, like you mentioned, it was not supported with any further argument or citation. Advocateofveganism (talk) 04:43, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Agreed - that sentence was not referenced or relevant. Bob98133 (talk) 13:22, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Vegetarian diet, lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, ovo vegetarian diet, etc

Not exist vegan diet for health reasons. Exist the 100% vegetarian diet for health reasons. Veganism is not a diet. Veganism is a philosophy and a lifestyle based on respect for sentient animals that includes a 100% vegetarian diet.Xxxzenicxxx (talk) 02:16, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Which sources specify that veganism is not a diet? Gabbe (talk) 08:08, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
The UK Vegan Society defines veganism as "a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude - as far as is possible and practical - all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment." ( )Xxxzenicxxx (talk) 00:08, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
Certainly a person can follow a vegan diet with or without ascribing to a particular lifestyle. While veganism is usually meant to include the philosophy, it doesn't seem to exclude those who only follow the diet. Part of the problem in referencing this is that several groups have established varying definitions. So maybe Xxxxzen.. is right based on the definition he uses, but for the article being that restrictive limits other practices that should be included. It has been a similar issue with "semi-vegetarian" in the vegetarian article, with some editors arguing that the term is paradoxical although it is widely used and people identify with it. Bob98133 (talk) 16:58, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
The strict or pure vegetarian diets have always existed. I understand that now popularly call them vegan diets, but what is clear is that veganism is not a diet: The veganism includes a strict vegetarian or vegan diet.Xxxzenicxxx (talk) 23:06, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
XXXzen... -please put your comments at the bottom of the talk section. I can't figure out who you are replying to or about what. In any event, you're wrong about veganism being purely a philosophy. If some people refer to themselves as vegan, they may only be talking about their diets, not their philosophy. Please respond BELOW if you have some referenced material to support your view and not just your opinions or beliefs. Thanks Bob98133 (talk) 12:59, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
Bob98133: Veganism is a philosophy and lifestyle that included a strict vegetarian diet (also called a vegan diet). The UK Vegan Society defines veganism as "a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude - as far as is possible and practical - all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment." ( )An example: It is inconsistent to call themselves vegan and wear fur (contradiction), anyone can follow a "vegan diet" and not being vegan. Called "vegan diet" to the strict vegetarian diet is popular but is a misconception. Xxxzenicxxx (talk) 03:56, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Based on what you say above, it would be wrong for someone who follows a vegan diet, yet wears fur, to call himself a veganist (or a follower of veganism). However, that person can certainly refer to himself as a vegan, meaning a dietary vegan. While it is important to state and reference the expert definition, it is silly to deny the reality of how people self-identify; just as I said about semi-vegetarian - which I'm sure you'll agree is inconsistent, yet part of the vegetarianism article. If a Christian kills someone, however justified, he has violated a basic tenet of that religion, so is he no longer Christian? I'll agree with you that veganism is a philosophy (or an ideology) but vegan also describes anyone who follows a diet that fits within the definition of veganism. This could be explained within the article rather than dismissed as inconsistent which makes the article less inclusive. Bob98133 (talk) 13:49, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

By definition, an unbaptized person is not Christian (Ideology). If this person goes to church still not a Christian, although it calls itself so. With veganism is the same. I can understand a person says they follow a vegan diet, but not that person says it is vegan and uses skins. A person who wears leather and vegan calls itself creates confusion and lies.Xxxzenicxxx (talk) 03:42, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
No. Christianity is learning about Jesus *Christ* and believing in what you learn. Similarly here you might be left to feel that you would need to focus on animals to be vegan but in fact the term veganism was coined owing to the same problem with vegetarianism. Its meaning was become corrupted. Veganism/vegetarianism is about vegetables, not being baptised or learning about the devil. Quite the opposite. As it is so closely related to the other it becomes too easy for people to presume of you that the other is required. "Diet" does not only include those things which you put in your mouth. ~ R.T.G 10:49, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Xxxzenicxxx - if it wouldn't be too much trouble, perhaps you can present changes that you would suggest, with references, for the article, so that we can discuss concrete changes to improve the article instead of your personal beliefs about veganism and religion. Thanks - Bob98133 (talk) 13:10, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Animal products

What do vegans have against using animal products like milk and eggs? You don't have to kill a cow or chicken for those things. Milk is there as natural food/drink. Emperor001 (talk) 23:20, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Please see the article, it explains this. -kotra (talk) 23:28, 30 April 2010 (UTC)


Throughout the article, there seems to be a recurrent assumption that animals experiencing pain is the basis for veganism. This may be the case for many vegans, but the problem is that there is then a kind of scornful tone to comments about how honey can be non-vegan or vegans can be in favour of abortion. All of these issues depend upon why/whether someone is a vegan in the first place. (Using insect products is a consistent position that can be argued validly, but that doesn't amount to it being a type of veganism.) Salopian (talk) 00:53, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

I only find pain mentioned 3 times and then mostly in quotes. The lede is pretty clear about reasons people might choose veganism. References to honey refer to the capacity to suffer, not pain specifically. That said, I don't think there is a problem as you describe. Perhaps I'm missing your point. If so, pls clarify. Thanks. Bob98133 (talk) 13:26, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
O.K., sorry. I meant pain and/or suffering &c. My point is that my (and many others') veganism is not based on any practical point of view about animals' quality of life. It is based entirely on not using animals out of pure principle. The abortion sentence (now deleted) did focus on how much pain is involved, but this is the honey reference that I had in mind (in a note): "In particular, they question whether insects have the capacity to suffer and whether the harm done to bees during honey production is any worse than the harm done during production crops or production of other sweeteners." The wording "they question whether" has the unavoidable implication that vegans who don't use insect products (i.e. actual vegans) assert that insects do have this capacity. I, *for example*, make no such assertion: my veganism is not related to that issue. Secondly, it assumes that the important issue is the total harm done rather than whether that harm is done directly or for reasons of exploitation. It's valid to think that, but it shouldn't assume it as a tenet of veganism. Further, the production of crops or other sweeteners is a separate issue to be considered on its own merits. Not eating honey does not imply that one will consume more of other sweeteners or miscellaneous "crops". Salopian (talk) 16:09, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
OK, I see your point. I think it should be included, but I'm not sure it isn't already. Re-read the lead, and the beginning of the Ethics section. In both places, a wide variety of reasons are given, not just pain/suffering. These are referenced in the lede. Pain/Suffering might appear more prevalent since those are discussed more in the philosophical section. A philosophy based solely on a belief or pure principle will likely only have references similar to religious beliefs - they can be stated but not always proven or referenced, which makes them somewhat less encyclopedic. Not to demean the beliefs, just that articles here depend on reliable refs which beliefs do not always have. Bob98133 (talk) 17:15, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
I would just like to reiterate that this article is top heavy on slaughter and science yet low in menus and religions. If veganism is something to celbrate about food, the cuisine should be the section almost top of the list. If this is a health and food safety warning with heavy focus on philosophical remodelling, it should remain structured as it is. I would much prefer to see some more of the food and habit approach. I don't know why I post here. It is questionable to have little about religion but it is truly pathetic to have cuisine at the bottom of the page. If cuisine is not the major feature of veganism, why is there a picture of it at the top of the page and not the picture of a cow getting ripped open or stuffed? O well. Stuff that. It takes the conviction out of me posting here. Nobody comes along and says, "Yes cuisine and spiritual well being are very important!". Boo. ~ R.T.G 10:13, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Religion is of course a good thing to describe. However, does religion have a lot to say on the topic? I've tried to research what religion has to say on veganism and I've only been able to find a few minor sects that actually prescribe veganism (as opposed to merely vegetarianism), mostly branches of Seventh-Day Adventism and other obscure sects (Order of Nazorean Essenes, Universal Equalitarian Church). I'm not sure how much else could be said about religion, except perhaps religions that specifically prohibit veganism (of which there appear to be also surprisingly few). Cuisine would also be good to expand but I'm not sure if it's really the main aspect of veganism, which is really about exclusion of certain foods, not inclusion of others. Since it's about exclusion of certain foods, there needs to be a fairly large proportion devoted to explaining why these foods are excluded. -kotra (talk) 00:16, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Judaism prohibits veganism or at least makes it impossible through ritual and the bible creates man as vegan race. The article doesn't even hint about any information and I brought some worthy sources about a Christian insitution causing an uproar by portraying the Garden of Eden TRex as a vegan in a museum. In fact I spent some hours searching out online sources all of which was rubbished as inconsiderable because it was about religion here on this talk page. Cuisine is not notable because one thing about food or another thing about food? Cuisine is merely a fancy word for prepared food and I am sure there is a myriad of online info about popular or traditional dishes. That's funny because the last time I checked veganism didn't exclude any food whatsoever but I guess that depends on what you see as food. The sections on religion and cuisine are ridiculous. We need to ct down on psuedo science and repetitive jargon but plain old facts? The more the better wether they are about religion, cuisine...? I can't really think of anything else that this article lacks aside from the improvements in wording and definitions which seem to be ongoing. How can you list half a dozen religions and not write half a sentence about one of them? How can you write an article about food and then put a "food" section with nothing in it? Some of Jesus disciples claimed to eat only things like olives and bread. Hitler and Ghandi also descried themselves as vegan. Lot's of people do not like Hitler, Jesus or ghandi, it even sounds like some bad pub joke putting their names together but those are some big names. I do not see Hare Krisnas on the page either who are well known for their veganism, cuisine and religion. ~ R.T.G 03:48, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Hey, RTG, I think you're getting a little free and loose with definitions and what content should be in this article. I am unaware or any restriction against veganism in Judaism. I do not think that food and diet is the primary feature of veganism, although that point is confusing. The Society for Krishna Consciousness (Hare Krishnas - which is probably a derogatory term) are not vegan. No problem discussing what should or shouldn't be in the article, but let's at least start with things that can be referenced. Bob98133 (talk) 12:33, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

There is a lot of ritual in Jewish food in a way that rules veganism out. If the Garden of Eden story were written about that rest of it would become relevant. Certainly diet can be no less than a primary feature of veganism. It is the most obvious and definitive. "Veganism, the beginning and end of vegetarianism." Hare Krisna is not a derogatory term. It is the line of a prayer to Krisna which the ISKCONs encourage and spend a lot of time singing and chanting. It means something like God is love or praise God and it is their main line of prayer. Maybe if writing them into an article a better term can be found but the only ones I know are Krishna devotees of the International Society of Krishna Conciousness or Krishna devotees following the teachings of AC Bhaktvedanta Swami Brabhupada which are a bit of a mouthfull and not so instantly recognisable. ~ R.T.G 18:29, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
A lot to cover in your statements, RTG! Firstly, ISKCON encourages lacto-vegetarianism, not veganism (though some members are vegan). Secondly, Judaism does not prohibit veganism, although there are a couple holidays that may encourage some animal product consumption out of tradition (Shavuot, Pesach, Hanukkah), but these are merely customs, not strict religious observances. As you mention, humanity's original diet as described in Genesis was vegan. But as far as I can tell, Judaism doesn't explicitly prohibit or encourage veganism (more info here). Anyhow, I agree that information like this (as well as the other religious aspects I mentioned) would be appropriate to include. I encourage you to go ahead and add it with references, if you would like to see it in the article. Thirdly, I'm confused by your statement "the last time I checked veganism didn't exclude any food whatsoever but I guess that depends on what you see as food". The definition of veganism is a diet and practice of excluding all animal products. Could you clarify how meat and other foods with animal products are either not "food" or or not excluded by veganism? I may be misunderstanding you. Regardless, more well-sourced information about cuisine is certainly welcome, and I encourage you to offer any new additions you see as relevant. Lastly, I am not seeing where Hitler, Gandhi, or Jesus are mentioned in Veganism or List of vegans. If I am overlooking something please let me know. -kotra (talk) 19:18, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Okay Kotra you ask Bob if the Passover is a vegan-friendly ritual. I must apologise because my experience of Hare Krisna food is more in what they practice than what they teach. Excluding some pop music figures, Hitler and Ghandi are easily the most famous proponents of veganism and animal welfare of modern times, try the articles Ghandi and Animal Rights. The reference on hitlers diet used on Adolf Hitler claims that he was a "practically vegan" vegetarian who became a "true vegetarian" later in life [1]. Ghandi claimed to have lived purely on nuts and fruits for 6 years [2] which he broke to drink milk and seemed to spend the rest of his life complaining that eating milk was wrong. No Kotra I am not encouraged to be bold. I have added stuff before and not one sentence of it remains. Not one reference. And, "Veganism is the beginning and end of vegetarianism." that is what that guy, I cannot recall his name now, who started off the word veganism said. Do we need some convincig that vegetarianism and therefore veganism is primarily about food? Some of Jesus disciples claimed to only eat olives and bread. I will start to produce sources again if it appears that the information will be considered. So far all I see are the same questions from the same people who would not consider the bible for referencing the diet of Adam and Eve. In that sense, if it matters, the bible is not a primary source. God did not write it. Adam did not write it... etc. References can be found argueing that the translations of the bible claiming that animals are a dominion which we rule over are misrepresented from saying that we are supposed to be some sort of custodians who would tame the animals. References can be found of God and jesus in the bible that a human should not harm an animal that it should be the same as harming another human whereas references can also be found that God told Noahs family they could eat animals and Jesus feeding fishes to people. ~ R.T.G 20:57, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Regarding Passover: matza, maror, and wine are the only three foods with true religious significance, and are all vegan (if it's a vegan wine). The other foods commonly eaten during Passover (including non-vegan ones like matza brei and gefilte fish) aren't part of the ritual, they're just traditional foods (like egg nog on Christmas, or candy on Halloween). So unless I'm missing something, we haven't so far found any significant conflict between Judaism and veganism. Concerning Hitler, he was usually vegetarian (though he still ate meat occasionally), but not vegan; the source you mention says he was "practically vegan" as a child out of poverty... this doesn't mean he was vegan, and certainly doesn't imply it was a conscious decision, so Hitler can't really be used as an example of a notable vegan (or everyone who has been too poor for meat some time in their life would qualify). With Gandhi, he followed vegetarianism for most of his life, and though you're right that he was vegan for a short period, I'm not 100% sure if that merits a mention, since he fairly quickly reverted to lacto-vegetarianism (I believe you are misinterpreting Gandhi's "Six years of experiments have showed me that the Brahmachari's ideal food is fresh fruit and nuts.": he didn't say he lived purely on them for 6 years, he only said he experimented for 6 years). I don't have strong feelings about him, so if you want to add a well-sourced sentence explaining his foray into veganism, I wouldn't be opposed.
I'm sorry to hear that your additions have not remained; but this is a wiki and while everyone is encouraged to be bold in adding content, we are also encouraged to be bold in editing and removing content... this is the double-sided coin of wiki editing, but it's my observance that content that has gained consensus, is well-sourced, relevant, and well-written usually stays. Regarding "veganism is the beginning and end of vegetarianism", I'm aware it is the source of the word "veganism". It's in the article already... why do you mention it? I'm also not following the precise connection between veganism being primarily about food (which I think, to some extent, is true), and the idea that we must then make the Cuisine section the first and the most prominent. The cuisine itself, let's be honest here, is not why most people become vegans (although I have known a few). The philosophical, ethical, environmental, nutritional, spiritual, and economic reasons are more prominent. It is certainly a perk that there is diverse and appetizing cuisine available to vegans, but I have only rarely experienced that to be the primary reason. This is only my own experience, but I would wager you and everyone else who has asked a vegan about their choice would report the same. If you want to see the Cuisine section earlier because you think that plates of delicious-looking food are a better motivators to veganism than pictures of people, slaughterhouses, and nutritional pyramids, you're probably correct, but that is not Wikipedia's purpose, which is to be merely descriptive of the world as it exists.
Concerning Jesus's disciples, I'm not sure how notable the diets of the disciples are unless they have brought rise to actual dietary doctrines or practices in Christianity... but that's just my take and others may have different opinions. Unfortunately others are right in saying scriptures like the Bible are considered primary sources; regardless of if they were written by people from direct observation of events or if they are simply transcribing oral lore, they are the first and primary sources available, upon which all others are based. In Wikipedia we must cite notable secondary sources that interpret the meaning of scriptural passages; otherwise we, Wikipedia, find ourselves in the uncomfortable role of interpreting it ourselves... which always opens a huge can of worms and endless religiously motivated, heated disputes. However, you do mention a number of biblical stances that are worth exploring at Vegetarianism (as they are mainly about killing and eating animals, not all animal products); and if you can track down some notable stances on the topic from whoever are considered "experts" on the topic, or historical examples of sects that have based their vegetarianism or veganism on their own interpretation of biblical passages; go for it. Hunting down suitable sources is nearly always the most difficult thing about adding content and has given me a headache more than once, so I can understand your frustration... but it does result in a more verifiable, reliable encyclopedia. -kotra (talk) 00:54, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
I can't accept that food is not a primary motivation to vegans. Other animal products are rarely recognisable for what they are. Perhaps for those who have been *convinced* to become vegans but for those who just prefer to stick to those things food is most likely the first thing. A vegan is more likely to make use of something leather than they are to stick a cow in their mouth, in my opinion. Anyway, as for Hitler and Gandhi, these are big figures in history. Why quote some more obscure philosphists and then query the sincerity and notability of someone like Gandhi? And being that half his time was spent reching non-cruelty it is hardy fair to claim he did not eat steaks because he was too poor. There would have been no richer man in his country if he wanted it so. He had plenty of time to seek that out and he wasnt interested. As for Hitler, he would have you gassed or worse for being cruel to animals, something he is not often known for, and there is no more than rumour that he "ate meat on occasion". I recall a discussion like this before and it was found that one aide or maid of his claimed that he ate a German sausage once. He would spend his mealtimes with his SS officers trying to make them puse for what they were putting in their mouths. So, as for Jesus disciples and the fact that God supposedly instructed man to eat vegan, Christianity is the most practiced religion in the world and that means something like 1 in 3 or 4 people of the world. A small paragraph about them is hardly uninteresting, even if it is only to point out the ways which they are not vegan. Oh and the Passover... if you were Jewish you would cut a lamb open and put it's blood on your door. when the lord would go around killing people he would pass over your door then. Vegans would probably have used a bit of paint instead. What is that kosher thing? Hardly vegan and certainly practiced. Same for Islam. Definitely not vegan at all. what is that passage about riding flesh, eating it and sticking yourself into it? Mohammed was keen on flesh. The parts I aded before were reverted within minutes and I spent some time discussing it on this talk page. There was no way that anything about religion was going to be included. I don't even know when I was last in a church but I don't see the value in that sort of attitude. Primary sources can be used. there is no reason they cannot just that it is best to use third party sources who have studied and conjectured and to avoid unsourced conjecture. I had a source here from the American Physical Society about a Christian museum in America which caused controversy when it portrayed the TRex as a vegan in accordance with the bible. There is definitely something in it rather than nothing so we should make at least a start. ~ R.T.G 19:53, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
RTG - could you please concisely state what you think should be included in this article, without what you are willing to accept or not. Above it sounds like your additions about some religions not being vegan were removed because they were off-topic for this article. Bob98133 (talk) 14:26, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Popular foods instead of only recommended foods. People like Gandhi and Hitler and other popular figures instead of just some obscure modern philosophy professors that nobody ever hears of or even wants to. Topics such as religion where it bears relevance rather than just the doctrine of the Vegan Society where it cannot escape relevance. And so on. People here seem to feel that veganism was something you learned off a professor about moral conduct and nutrition. It would be much better to place the topic within civilisation rather than only within society which is the current aspect. You can get soceity by hanging around the place. Stuff about: What did Gandhi think? What does Carl Lewis think? Where can I find veganism further back in history? These are good features. There is no size limit on this article as regards items of note. It can become huge and branch of into multiple articles. There is a tool to create books from Wikipedia content. The book on veganism today would be nothing more than a leaflet. Change that without any preconception about what is on topic or not. If it is related to veganism in any way it is on topic. If it is of note, include it wether it is bible bashing, nazism, free love, that is how you create the neutral point of view. Being extra carefully selective is not. Simple as that. ~ R.T.G 14:28, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

RTG - since you are unwilling or unable to concisely state what you think is missing or should be changed in this article, I am not longer participating in this discussion. Bob98133 (talk) 15:42, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

RTG, sorry about the slow response. Bob's terse responses above are probably more mature and productive than mine, but against my better judgment, I feel the need to address each of your points. I agree with you that veganism is primarily about food (see what I said above). I think you also seem to have misunderstood what I wrote about Gandhi and Hitler: I said that Hitler was the one who was "practically vegan" in his childhood only out of poverty, not Gandhi (the source you cited originally bears this out). It doesn't really matter if Hitler ate meat on occasion or not; he wasn't vegan, which is the topic of this article. I agree that Gandhi was probably vegan for a time. My issue is that Gandhi's promotion of veganism was brief and restricted in scope, far eclipsed by his Indian independence movement, his fasting and marches, his nonviolent resistance, etc. People do not typically point to Gandhi as a vegan, they point to him as a political and social leader and a visionary of nonviolent resistance. The obscure philosophers you mention are only used as sources for ideas they espoused: the ideas are the more notable part. But like I said, I do not feel strongly about including something about Gandhi. If you want to propose something about him, it could be fine. Concerning Christianity: you're making a logical leap from some of Jesus's disciples being vegan and humankind's original diet in the Bible being vegan to "Christianity preaches veganism". Obviously if that were a significantly held view, there would be much more veganism today. Passover: erm, that hasn't been done for centuries. Can you imagine if Jews put lamb's blood on their doors every year in this day and age? Kosher and Halal describe what can be eaten and how it should be prepared. They don't say what you should eat. I can't say I know what passage you refer to concerning "riding flesh, eating it and sticking yourself into it"... but regardless, prohibition of veganism isn't explicitly part of Islam either; though there are traditional Islamic customs that involve slaughter, how "Islamic" these traditions are is debated within Islam. Regarding primary sources, please see WP:RS which describes how and when primary sources can be used. When a Bible passage is directly quoted, we must be extremely careful that we are not couching the quote within our own interpretations or judgments. That is the job of reliable secondary sources. If you feel it is a lost cause to propose any specific wording, then I can't force you to offer anything. But, much as I would love to continue debating these topics, if there are no specific additions to be proposed, then I'm afraid I'll have to agree with Bob in that we shouldn't clutter up this talk page further. -kotra (talk) 21:32, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
As regards the bible and Jesus desciples, practicing veganism is just as relevant as calling yourself a vegan and much more important. Is the topic vegainism on the whole or veganism as a new club? As regards the like of Hitler, Gandhi, Carl Lewis... does it not strike you a bit odd that no popular figure is mentioned on this article? I really do not see the point in wording anything when these questions remain apparent but it is obviously still important to continue suggesting the additions. The article is currently about those who have joined a modern club and yet the topic is about so much more. There is philosophy but only from those who can be tied into this club or some sort of university faculty. there is food but only from the perspective of medical advice or environmental protection. A PR disaster where nobody important was invited to save room for all the important people. ~ R.T.G 04:17, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Please, do what Bob says. Write down specifically what you want changed, and provide adequate sourcing yourself. Otherwise nobody has time or energy to read your essays. Your opinion, without sources or specific textual proposals, is worthless. KellenT 04:26, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
People do not study Donald Watson before behaving in a vegan way. I refuse to accept that veganism did not exist before it was renamed in the 1940s, that influencial thinkers are only found in universities, that feeding is only by doctors prescription, or, that ancient literature is anything less than the atom of modern civilisation. We need no source to first get over these blocks. When we get over them, then we will need sources and prepared additions. Whilst crouching behind those blocks, sources and prepared additions are of no use to us. Everything else is already there methinks. ~ R.T.G 11:50, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
It sounds like you are erecting straw men... these "blocks" you describe do not really exist as you're describing them. Historical context is good of course, we just need reliable sources to provide that context. If you don't feel up to unearthing these sources and composing some text that's fine (neither do I to be honest), but then there's nothing productive for us to discuss. -kotra (talk) 05:19, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
"Six years of experiment have shown me that the Brahmacari's ideal food is frsh fruit and nuts. The immunity from passion that I enjoyed when I lived on this food was unkown to me after I changed that diet." - Gandhi[3]. He goes on to tell us more about his experience and its conclusion. As for the New Statesman article on Hitler[4], it says that he was vegetarian out of neccesity in his youth, that he became an obsessed "true vegetarian" later in life but that he "chewed sausage and herring with the worst of them in prison in 1924". It is a poor source because it shows no attempt at neutrality although it is used on the Hitler article, but, aside from the snide remarks, it is a fact that Hitler was a staunch vegan/vegetarian and he is always going to be credited for his animal rights charter be he demon or whatever. A better source could be found eventually. If philosophy is to be included, the views of figures of such note can hardly be disregarded. We are not short on space. And I would seriously suggest including Carl Lewis the fastest and longest jumping man in the world on that list who would argue that his vegan diet was a bonus to his athleticism. Those and a few others I am sure. Gandhi and Carl Lewis at least have ample sources. Mention of Gandhi should be in the philosophy section and Carl Lewis, in my opinion, should be in the nutrition/health area. It may seem rather trivial but aside from Donald Watson himself, there is not one personality mentioned on this article to my knowledge who isn't significantly less trivial. ~ R.T.G 03:10, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Allow me to echo what others have said before me. With no disrespect intended, I must remind you that this isn't a forum. There's no need to make these long-winded arguments about your personal viewpoints. Just propose some text, with reliable citations, to add to the article. --N-k (talk) 18:14, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I am just discussing what the article lacks not writing at the moment. I am suggesting broadening the whole article not just overhauling or adding a single sentence. I won't be rewriting the whole thing but when it seems relevant that vegaism is a long established English language word rather than just its etymology in Donald Watson and the Vegan Society, I will point out that this article does not reflect that, if it does not. If you want to discuss that I will do my best be it short sentences or long winded boring stuff. This was obviously the intention of Donald Watson to a major degree of success. This article would, to any person without prior knowledge of veganism especially, make it appear an obscure failure with too long an article. I think that every advert on Wikipedia is an advert for its subject and this one almost assasinates its subject. ~ R.T.G 22:01, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
It's just that the article seems to tell us that Donald Watson did something recently that resulted in a well connected group following his teachings. Like a religion. The facts tell us that Donald Watson was a key figure in helping to preserve and nurture something much bigger and longer involving all sorts of groups and individuals from all sorts of places, religious, athiest, respected individuals, hated monsters etc, etc. The representation of something that is part of the human identity rather than a recent school of thought based upon it. Jesus was a Jew. He'd tell you to be nice and he'd try and save your soul but his religion went way back and without it he would mean nothing. Vegetarianism was under threat and Donald Watson and Co. were driven to preserve it. they expanded the old rather than creating the new. ~ R.T.G 12:33, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
"The facts tell us..."? Give us some sources and then we'll talk about facts. --N-k (talk) 14:59, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

By the way, my last comment wasn't meant to discourage you. If you can find any reliable, clear sources about pre-Watson vegans, that information would be worth adding. --N-k (talk) 15:09, 15 May 2010 (UTC)


The section I have made is very reasonable. You have already put a warning on it saying you think it's a "synthesis". So whatever bad you think might come of it is protected against. Why don't you let it stay there and get people's reactions to it, see if THEY think it's a synthesis?

Wikipedia's guidelines advise against casually reverting other people's edits.

I took out the Steven Zeisel quote, that's unnecessary if there is the list of the choline contents and calories of foods. I think it is a very good section and it should be left in peace for a while. Puffysphere (talk)


User Uncle Dick or Puffysphere or whoever you are - Please discuss, as asked, why you believe the inclusion of recent material about choline and vegan diets is not WP:OR and WP:UNDUE in reference to your recent edits. Bob98133 (talk) 15:53, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

I agree with Bob98133 that the recent edits on choline probably violate WP:OR and WP:UNDUE. --N-k (talk) 16:21, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I would agree that the section on Choline could stand to be trimmed a bit, particularly the details of choline content in certain foods. I've made some edits to reduce the total length of the section. Uncle Dick (talk) 16:40, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't agree. It's OK to include routine calculations. See

All the calculations in of the choline content of foods are from reputable sources, and I gave solid references for the data they use. The reason I included those lists of choline content is that I wanted to give vegans a good perspective of how much choline their diet is likely to include. I've seen many websites where plant foods are listed as good choline sources, when they aren't. For example, many websites list nuts or peanuts as good choline sources. They aren't, for the reason I gave, that nuts and peanuts don't have enough choline for the calories. I'm trying to correct a misconception people might have from websites online.
Also, that choline is an essential nutrient is not a minority viewpoint! The Adequate Intake was set by the Institute of Medicine. There's no RDA yet defined for choline, but I've read that the Institute of Medicine recommends that USDA set an RDA for choline the next time it reviews the RDA's. I undid the deletion of the material I included, since I think it's helpful and objective. Puffysphere (talk) 17:26, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

ps If you think it's a minority view, can anyone show me published scientific research contradicting my statements? I'm trying to be objective, but I haven't seen any such research. Puffysphere (talk) 17:26, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Puffysphere - very passionate argument about choline. However, the point of this article is not to advise vegans whether or not they can, in your opinion, garner sufficient choline from a vegan diet, or to correct peoples' misconceptions. I don't know that much about this, but I've seen the B12 need of vegans discussed considerably and it seems in that case that vegan groups, as well as mainstream medical sources, expressed some concern, which was easily referenced. Your argument that nuts have too much fat for the choline is obviously original research unless the FDA has established guidelines for fat-to-choline ratios. No one is arguing whether or not choline is essential, just whether it merits so much space in an already crowded page. Bob98133 (talk) 18:10, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

No, I'm not saying that nuts have too much fat for the choline. What I said is that you would have to consume a huge amount of calories of nuts to get a significant amount of choline from them. That is a simple calculation from the published data.
Why do you think that the article shouldn't correct common misconceptions - or give people an impression of how much choline is available from different styles of vegan diets? I think both of those things are legitimate things to do.
Yes, the article is long already. I'd be willing to create a separate article if people think that is appropriate. Maybe it would be a good idea to move the entire section on "nutritional concerns about vegan diets" to a separate article.
Choline is a rather obscure nutrient. It was only declared an essential nutrient in 1998. Vegans are just as unaware of it as other people, and I think it's important to include a good deal of info about it, because vegans are especially at risk for choline deficiency.Puffysphere (talk) 18:57, 18 May 2010 (UTC) The reason for the common misconception about nuts being a good plant source of choline, is that there's an easily accessible database showing the amount of choline per 100 grams of a food, ranked by the amount. Nuts are high on that list. But 100 grams of nuts is a heck of a lot of nuts! It would be useful if there were a database showing amount of choline for a standard serving of a food, but there isn't any that I know of. Puffysphere (talk) 19:23, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
There are three basic reasons that people adopt a vegan diet, that I know of: health, concern for animals and concern for the environment. Perhaps those should be three separate articles. The health article could include both the nutritional advantages and the risks of deficiency in a vegan diet. That would give it a more balanced feel than an article just about deficiency risks Puffysphere (talk) 23:20, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Puffysphere - Your three basic reasons for someone becoming vegan do not include dozens of other reasons from religion to workers' rights. You have no reference for claiming that these are the three basic reasons. You also appear unable to stay on topic - this particular topic is about whether your edits about choline were appropriate. If you are interested in creating some other articles, please go for it. If you are interested in improving this article, please indicate how and supply references to support your position, not original research. Bob98133 (talk) 03:23, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Bob - It isn't original research, it is referenced a LOT. I cited the Dietary Reference Intakes, the Linus Pauling Institute, and several published scientific papers. One can do basic arithmetical calculations in Wikipedia. I can put the exact calculations into footnotes if you like, and anyone can check them.
The choline to calories ratio is also not a concept that's new with me. Dr. Steven Zeisel used it in one of his papers. That's basically what I used in this section.
I suggested splitting the article on veganism into several sections, because people brought up "the article is too long already" as a reason to delete information I wrote. Yes, it's long and maybe it would work better, split up.
I edited my choline section, to try to avoid giving the impression that I'm "telling vegans what to eat"; and to give more information on what the Adequate Intake means.
One caveat to this whole choline thing is that many people will be fine even though they aren't getting the Adequate Intake.
But the problem with getting less than the AI is that there isn't yet a test available to doctors to tell you if your body is choline deficient. So getting less than the AI is taking a risk.
Please stick with discussion and don't just delete what I wrote. It's important information, and it's very verifiable. I'm sticking strictly to the facts, and presenting a balanced view. I am responsive to people's feedback, I changed my section because of it. Puffysphere (talk) 15:40, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

The section you've inserted about choline is more than twice as long as the section about B12. It is poorly sourced and contains original research. It is WP:UNDUE. This discussion is nonsense since all you seem to want to do is rant about choline and how your original research isn't OR. I'm gone, but I'll revert your nonsense first chance I get, if another editor doesn't do it first. Bob98133 (talk) 15:50, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Bob, You haven't been answering the things I've said. It's OK to make "routine calculations", see
They are simple arithmetic. Anyone with a calculator can check them.
I have been presenting a neutral viewpoint. As I said earlier, if anyone can show me published research that contradicts what I said, do. If you can convince me that many scientists who know about choline disagree with what I said, do.
But I think when the Institute of Medicine established an Adequate Intake for choline, they were looking at the research on it. They're a good objective source!
—Preceding unsigned comment added by Puffysphere (talkcontribs) 16:58, 19 May 2010 (UTC) I included that information on the calories of plant foods you have to eat to get the AI of choline, because there's a common misconception that "oh, leafy green vegetables, soy, beans have a lot of choline - so a vegan doesn't have to worry about it".
I went on a vegan forum a few months ago, talking about choline, and that was the sort of thing people said. It's important to be quantitative about it, to avoid that kind of rationalization. And I'm using this information to illustrate both sides of the issue: yes, you can get enough choline in a vegan diet, without taking supplements. But, it is a serious challenge since so many plant foods are low in choline. I calculated the choline content in some sample vegan diet plans - Mcdougall plan, with no empty calories - and it came out far below the Adequate Intake.
I'm not bashing veganism. I'm almost entirely vegan myself. What I wrote is extensively referenced, and it shouldn't be deleted. Puffysphere (talk) 16:53, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Ok so to try to halt the back-and-forth edit warring, I've placed a {{synthesis}} tag on the section until we work this out. This compromise should serve to warn readers to make their own minds up about the content until we can find consensus on the content. I personally haven't had time to scrutinize the sources and wording yet but I will shortly. -kotra (talk) 19:12, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Firstly, the first sentence doesn't entirely match its citation, which says (paraphrasing) that vegans may be at risk for choline deficiency and may benefit from choline supplements; this is not as strong as "vegans are at risk, full stop". I've adjusted the wording accordingly. -kotra (talk) 19:26, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Sentient lifestyles

A lifestyle cannot seek anything. See lead section. Is that even a copyvio? ~ R.T.G 22:01, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Agree. Made change. Feel free to discuss or change if not acceptable. Not sure what you mean by copyvio, but hope problem is solved. Bob98133 (talk) 22:11, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
It was almost word for word to the Vegan Society Memorandum which is reffed and that would most likely be copyvio. It is now referred to as a who! ~ R.T.G 23:23, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Even if it was a verbatim quote (which it actually used to be), this would also be covered by fair use since it's pretty clearly cited. Don't stir up trouble where none exists. KellenT 00:00, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
This isn't entirely accurate; non-free (fair use) text is only allowed if the text is clearly denoted as a quote. Citing really doesn't mean much in terms of copyright violation (though it does in terms of verifiability of course). But this particular text has been modified from the original enough that it's probably not a copyvio. -kotra (talk) 19:06, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
What Kellen suggests requires that the be all and end all of veganism is in what the Vegan Society does. What is more to the truth is what Donald Watson thought up: vegetarianism was no longer defined in the same way hence a word was required. It's funny that the bible cannot be quoted as creating humans under strict vegan rules but the Vegan Society doctrine can be not only quoted but copied to define veganism is a who. It's all good not only some of it. ~ R.T.G 01:21, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Traditional Method of calculating Choline content

The USDA uses amount of choline per 100 grams of food. [5]. They do this to avoid confusion and nonsensical comparisons, such as I've removed. Can the editor who placed this please provide a reference in which food quantities which provide a particular amount of choline are listed? I say we go with the USDA figures since they are a normal, widely accepted method of reporting choline content of foods. Bob98133 (talk) 19:52, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes, while I do think illustrating the practical quantities of foods necessary to meet the AI could be useful, laypeople calculating these quantities based on the "per gram" amount strikes me as problematic and falling into original research. We need reliable sources to make these calculations for us. -kotra (talk) 20:29, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
The USDA nutrients database does this for you. You enter the quantity of a food and it gives you the choline and calories content. It isn't necessary to do the conversion yourself. I was doing the calculations with a calculator - I'm good with numbers and I'm sure they're accurate. But that isn't necessary (it was only less work for me!) Except for the calculation of choline content of soy lecithin. I didn't find a source saying that, so I had to do a calculation.
It's important to have that information about soy lecithin in there, though. I did find the label of a soy lecithin supplement online. It says that a tablespoon gives half the DV of choline. That should be reliable - it's also similar to my figure.
I'm trying to illustrate to people the quality of these foods as choline sources, with factual information. Can you just nibble on peanuts sometimes and assume your choline requirement has been met? NO. It would take 4600 calories of peanuts! Giving the amount to achieve the AI (for women) is a vivid way of illustrating the difficulty.
However, I decided it would be better to use more normal quantities of food, and give the choline content ... Like, suppose you ate a cup of peanuts, a large amount that someone might actually eat- how much choline do you get? And how many calories at the same time? Would you be full for the day?
It would be nice if research had been done on the choline status of vegans, but it hasn't. Without that, the best one can do is to give quantitative information to people that might give them an idea of whether they're getting enough choline. Puffysphere (talk) 20:17, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
The USDA Nutrient Database is probably fine to use and cite. However, any description we can provide of what quantities of food are "enough" will only rely on the estimated AI, which, though it comes from a reliable source, is not yet an authoritative figure. It seems too early to be able to even imply to readers that certain quantities of food are necessary to meet nutritional requirements when they're based on that figure... we should probably wait on that for the USDA, FDA, or another governmental source (WHO, Food Standards Agency) to decide on a RDA or equivalent. Considering this and the points below, I recommend we strip down the section to something like this:
Vegans may be at risk of choline deficiency and may benefit from choline supplements.[2] Choline has many functions in the body, and choline deficiency may cause a number of health concerns.[3] The Institute of Medicine has set the Adequate Intake of choline at 425 mg (milligrams) per day for women and 550 mg/day for men[4][5], but the Estimated Average Requirement for choline has not yet been evaluated and dietary intake requirements of choline are not yet fully understood.[6][7]
-kotra (talk) 00:45, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Conversely, "It is possible to obtain the Adequate Intake of choline from a vegan diet." is also unsourced and based on original research; and should be removed. We must find sources that actually say that in order to include it. -kotra (talk) 20:43, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I had also decided that before reading this. I do get the AI of choline - from a very unusual vegan diet - but that's no reason to think that someone else will, or that they would actually adopt a similar diet. And no sources to support such an statement, that I've ever seen.Puffysphere (talk) 20:17, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Ref # 124

This reference [6] is used to support the need for choline. However, the source states "Choline or betaine supplementation in humans reduces concentration of total homocysteine (tHcy). It appears that this reference to betaine has been intentionally left out of the article to support the position that choline is essential for reducing homocysteines. It appears from a quick reading of the reference that the interaction of these two chemicals is more important than MDR of choline. Either this has to be corrected or removed. Bob98133 (talk) 20:02, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

No, I didn't intentionally leave out the part about betaine. It is true that choline supplements reduce homocysteine concentration. That doesn't imply doesn't imply that's the only way to reduce homocysteine.
But it seems ok to me to say "choline (or betaine) supplementation" rather than just choline. I looked at another reference that specifically investigated how choline and betaine interact in lowering homocysteine, and it was choline+betaine rather than either one alone. Puffysphere (talk) 19:49, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Regarding all of the health problems with choline deficiency, Veganism is really not the place to discuss them: it's Choline. If people want to learn more about choline deficiency, they will see Choline linked and go there. After a brief sentence describing what choline is and does, we should probably just stick to describing how it relates to veganism. -kotra (talk) 20:34, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I think that's a good idea. I'll just put something in there saying that choline deficiency can cause serious health problems, and link to the Choline page. Puffysphere (talk) 19:49, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Neural tube defect - ref#125

The reference used to support this [7] states that "Several nutritional factors have been implicated in the occurrence of neural tube defects (NTDs). Foremost among those factors has been the role of periconceptional intake of folic acid." Changing this to imply that choline alone may protect against this is misleading. The closest the ref says is that choline may be involved or may be a factor. This material should be removed or changed to reflect the actual content of the source. Bob98133 (talk) 20:07, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

That isn't true. The reference says:
Some research indicates that choline and methionine intakes may be factors in reducing risk of NTDs as well, independent of folate intake from food and supplements.5,6 The inhibition of choline uptake and metabolism in mouse embryos results in NTDs.15
Shaw et al.5 found that women in the lowest quartile for dietary choline intake had four times the risk of giving birth to a child with a neural tube defect, compared with women in the highest quartile of intake. Decreased risks of NTD-affected pregnancies were found for higher periconceptional intakes of choline for all NTDs as well as for spina bifida and anencephaly separately. The association remained strong after adjusting for maternal pre-pregnancy weight, height, education, race, ethnicity, periconceptional vitamin use, dietary folate intake, dietary methionine intake
I underlined the part that specifically shows choline has an effect independent of folate. Or methionine. Puffysphere (talk) 19:32, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Adequate intake

Wikilinking to Adequate intake, then supplying a reference defining it is redundant and unnecessarily bloats the article. I suggest that this sentence and its reference be removed. Bob98133 (talk) 20:12, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Rereading, the entire ph with this info is redundant since it does not address veganism but instead talks about the general public. Since the claim is that vegans are particularly susceptible to choline deficiency, the references should specifically mention vegans, not the general population. Bob98133 (talk) 20:14, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

The reason I put that in there is that people should know that they aren't necessarily going to be at risk for health problems if they aren't getting the AI of choline.
It would be confusing to people, to hear all those things about possible problems caused by choline deficiency, and how vegans probably aren't getting much choline - then they think about the vegans they know, and themselves, and think - they're perfectly healthy! I don't want somebody writing it off as bunk on that basis. Not getting the AI might mean that some people will have problems - not all.
Some perspective on the AI is needed so that it all makes sense. I also want to give people the caveat on all this: Nobody has done enough research yet to define an Estimated Average Requirement for choline. The AI is a tentative estimate for the RDA, before it's set. This talk about whether you get the AI or not from a vegan diet needs to be put into perspective. Puffysphere (talk) 20:31, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Puffysphere - it appear that you are editing this article with the intent of preventing vegans from having nutritional problems. Perhaps this is the problem I have with your edits re. choline. The purpose of this article is NOT to alert or advise, but to present reliable information about a topic. For example, the beer article does not say "Do not drink beer and drive a car," although that would certainly be valuable, life-saving information. Whether readers think they are healthy or not, in danger of nutritional deficiencies or not, is not the purpose of the article. Simply stating the daily requirement for a nutrient is sufficient without beating readers over the head about how much of whatever they'd have to eat to get that amount. Perhaps if you grasp that, you will reconsider the undue emphasis you have placed on this section. Bob98133 (talk) 22:19, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
That might be sensible if information about choline content of foods were widely available. It isn't, though. It's quite hard to use the USDA Nutrients Database to find choline content. I've been told that people's nutrient tracking programs don't give them info about choline. That's why it is important to give people a quantitative sense of how much choline they might be getting in their diets.
When I went on the vegan forum, people thought - oh, I can get choline from this and that plant food - listing "good sources" of choline. Almost every plant food has a little choline. Just like nibbling on some peanuts now and then won't give you your choline, although people might think so.
That it has been an obscure nutrient is reason to give it more space and detailed information. B12, iodine, etc. are FAR better known. The section doesn't need to be a particular length. Length is no reason to cut information out of an article. Puffysphere (talk) 23:59, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Obstructive editing

I have found editor Puffysphere's reversions of material that go contrary to the concensus of other editors to be obstructive to improving this article since he does not seem to stay on track and reverts material without concensus. In an effort to address problems with his edits, I have broken them down into my specific objections (aside from WP:OR and WP:UNDUE, both of which I still believe to be true. Perhaps Puffy can stay on one topic at a time and discuss each of these objections separately. Bob98133 (talk) 20:18, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

You should give a basis for the allegations of OR and UNDUE. I'm not being biased. If you think I am, come up with research on Medline that disagrees with what I've said. You've been drastically editing what I wrote without consensus. That could be considered disruptive.

Puffysphere (talk) 20:34, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

First off, when you discuss an item, add colons to offset your remarks from previous remarks. Other editors concur re WP:OR and WP:UNDUE. I don't care if you're biased, I'm saying that you appear unable to conform to accepted editing standards and prefer to wheedle and argue rather than address the issues. For example, above I accuse you of not staying on topic and you reply that I'm supposed to go to medline and refute something you've added. That is not staying on topic. I've discussed this enough with you and believe that further discussion will not be productive. If a vote is called for, I will vote against your edits, but otherwise, I'm gone. Bob98133 (talk) 22:25, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Let's focus on discussing the content, not the contributor, unless actual disruption occurs (personally I haven't seen it yet). The choline section covers a topic that is relevant and useful to this article, so I thank Puffysphere for contributing it. Now we only need to finish bringing it in line with Wikipedia's style and requirements, and everyone's views will be helpful in building consensus. -kotra (talk) 01:01, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

New Choline section

I changed the Choline section. It can be viewed at user:Puffysphere.
Puffysphere (talk) 22:59, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for working on this, but I don't think your version addresses the concerns about undue weight others have expressed. I have also offered a version above that I invite you to check out and give your input on. -kotra (talk) 01:04, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Kotra, no - The Adequate Intake is what the Institute of Medicine recommends that people aim for. It isn't something to ignore. Vegans need to be able to evaluate whether they're meeting it. I said at the end that not meeting the Adequate Intake doesn't mean that you're necessarily at risk for problems. That should be enough to give people a qualification about it.
It is also very easy for people to get the AI of choline. Choline supplements don't cost very much. People who've adopted a vegan diet need to know that choline might be important.
When I read on Medline about choline, the bad effects that choline deficiency can have are genuinely scary. It would be shortchanging vegans not to know that they're at extra risk for this.
The perspective I have expressed is NOT a minority opinion. That idea needs some kind of backing. Just saying that you think it gives "undue weight to a minority opinion" without justification doesn't work. Nobody has come up with any research contradicting what I've said. The research is quite clear!
A watered-down version like that isn't OK with me.
Choline is a very obscure nutrient. That doesn't mean it's unimportant. It is obscure because there's been so little data available. Not because it isn't important!Puffysphere (talk) 23:48, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
I vote for Kotra's version. It is concise, well-referenced, encyclopedic and does not contain original research or add undue weight to this minor part of the article. Bob98133 (talk) 23:53, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
It is not original research! Simply information that people badly need. There's a lot of misinformation about choline, that's why it's important to give this information about choline content and why vegans are at risk of deficiency. Puffysphere (talk) 00:03, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
By the way, raw vegans are even much less likely to be getting enough choline. Unless they are truly eating a lot of raw vegetables, they are going to be way under the AI. Puffysphere (talk) 00:05, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
When choline supplements cost maybe $10 a month, and might prevent problems like birth defects in children, etc., not giving people detailed information to counteract the misinformation around, just is not OK. Puffysphere (talk) 00:07, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
To address your objections, Puffysphere: firstly, I'm not seeing where AI is ignored in my version. The AI sentence remains virtually the same as you wrote it. If your objection is the following bits ("...but the Estimated Average Requirement for choline has not yet been evaluated and dietary intake requirements of choline are not yet fully understood."), these are facts backed up by the IOM source cited. The IOM source does not list RDA values for Choline in the column designated for them and it says "Although AIs have been set for choline, there are few data to assess whether a dietary supply of choline is needed at all stages of the life cycle, and it may be that the choline requirement can be met by endogenous synthesis at some of these stages." This tells me exactly what I wrote: the intake requirements are not yet fully understood. Regarding the possible effects of choline deficiency: I agree. They are scary and serious, which is why I added "choline deficiency may cause a number of health concerns." I considered more scary wording like "...a number of serious health problems" but that seemed unnecessary... if you want to change it to something like that I won't object. But yes, the effects of choline deficiency are serious. However, so are the effects of B12 deficiency, iron deficiency, calcium deficiency, etc. Yet we only briefly mention each of them in the Veganism article, because a full description of each would be beyond the article's scope. This is what we mean by undue weight. It's not that your opinions are in the minority, or that you're following pseudoscience or fringe science or something. It's only that the section goes into too much detail for this article, giving undue weight to this particular nutrient. The topic of veganism is broad and we do not have room to flesh out the important details of every important yet tangential related topic; that's why we have articles dedicated to those individual topics, like Choline. These important details are welcome in that article, and readers know they can find them there. There is no shortchanging vegans here; the basic information (vegans may be at risk for health problems if they don't get enough choline) is up-front, and the details are readily available in the linked articles and references. So I hope this addresses your objections... if not I'd be happy to discuss them further. As we try to work by consensus (not voting), your views shouldn't be at risk of being steamrolled over. -kotra (talk) 02:24, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Kotra, the Institute of Medicine recommended adequate intakes for choline. They are suggesting an amount at which they hope almost nobody will have problems.
That no EAR has been established doesn't mean the research on choline is weak. I put a lot of things in Choline#Health effects of dietary choline. I don't think an RDA or EAR has been established for potassium either, and it's been known to be essential for a long time! So it is not good to give people a prejudicial impression that "no EAR has been established" therefore the research is weak.
The EAR also doesn't belong in the Veganism article. The EAR isn't relevant to people trying to evaluate their diets. Maybe half of people would get sick if they get only the EAR of a nutrient.
If I were to guess what's going on with not having established the EAR - it would be that choline content for a lot of entries in the USDA nutrients database isn't available. Researchers in some of these studies make reasonable guesses about choline content from the choline content of a similar food. And that maybe isn't good enough for a large population study trying to determine what the average and standard deviation of people's choline needs.
I did say at the end of the section that people won't necessarily have problems if they don't get the AI of choline. And there are more details on that in the Choline article.
Anyway, I am ok with the version that I posted. I don't think there's any violation of wikipedia standards in it. Lots of pointers to the Choline article. Puffysphere (talk) 21:21, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
I think there is a bit of a misunderstanding. My version says "...but the Estimated Average Requirement for choline has not yet been evaluated and dietary intake requirements of choline are not yet fully understood." (emphasis added) There is nothing that implies that because the EAR has not been evaluated, the research on choline is weak. They are two separate concepts, and are worded as such. Regardless, perhaps you are right that the EAR is not relevant anyway; you're correct that none of the other nutrient sections mention EAR. They do not mention AI either, but I don't think it would hurt to stay. I would agree to remove the bit about EAR if you think it is irrelevant. However, the part about dietary intake requirements not being yet fully understood is factual and well-borne out by the references we have cited, and is necessary to show that our understanding of choline is still not completely reliable. You yourself said "[Choline] is obscure because there's been so little data available" and you're aware of the reports that some people who consume above the AI exhibit deficiency and some people who consume below the AI do fine, so I'm struggling to understand your objection to statement that encapsulates it all.
On that note, your sentence about people not necessarily having problems if they don't get the AI is a useful point. But "the dietary intake requirements ... are not yet fully understood" takes care of this, more concisely. We can even use the citation at the end of that sentence to reference the new one.
The pointers to Choline in your version are fine, but the swaths of text spent explaining in detail how a vegan diet can (or can't) meet the AI of Choline is still there. This is the main objection we have to it. It is far too much detail for this article, giving undue weight to one nutrient. The place for such detail (if anywhere on Wikipedia) is on Choline, which we link to prominently. People who are interested will find it. So I'm not sure why you seem to be intractable on this, as it shouldn't make any difference from your viewpoint... but our patience isn't unlimited and eventually we'll have to go with a version that meets the greater consensus of Wikipedia's guidelines. -kotra (talk) 01:10, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Discussion seems to have stalled, so if there are no policy/guideline-based objections, I will change the Choline section to the version I proposed above, which has broader support. -kotra (talk) 17:30, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Please do. Bob98133 (talk) 22:30, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Sorry about the delay. It's replaced now. -kotra (talk) 23:41, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Gary Varner

I'm a graduate student of Gary Varner's here at TAMU. He's not a vegan, but is a pesco-vegetarian. I've corrected it to reflect that fact. Everyone may now go about their business. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:30, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Thank you! There was nothing in the source cited that said he was a vegan, so I assume the editor who added that was just confused. Although, strictly speaking, a pescetarian is not a vegetarian either (vegetarians eschew all meat), and it's not particularly relevant information anyway, so I've removed the reference to his diet. -kotra (talk) 00:27, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Mental health benefits

It looks like the person who placed the mental health benefits section under nutritional concerns made a mistake. I'm not quite sure how to correct that.--Bloody Rose 02:59, 11 July 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by BloodyRose (talkcontribs)

Thanks, I have moved it. If you click "edit this page" at the top of the page, you can select an entire section and cut/paste it to a new location. Klubbit (talk) 04:17, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, with the new layout, it just says "Edit". Also, you can sign your comments with four tildes. i.e., ~~~~ Klubbit (talk) 04:20, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Veganism vs a vegan diet ?

Should the first paragraph of the article aknowledge that people may exlcude animal products from their diet without aligning themselves to a particular philosophy? 33gsd (talk) 13:14, 26 August 2010 (UTC)33gsd

It is odd that Strict Vegetarianism redirects to veganism and then doesn't get a mention, it should somewhere. Muleattack (talk) 22:49, 26 August 2010 (UTC)


Why, if criticism of veganism must be locked away in its own section, is that section primarily given over (75%?) to criticism of those criticisms? That is, if the one can be mixed with the other, why can't the other be mixed with the one?

...what's good for the goose, etc...

Last time I checked, the actual guideline was to include criticisms throughout rather than devoting an entire section to them in order to afford those criticisms greater context and to contribute to an overall neutral point of view. Setting one against the other naturally encourages editors to take sides and necessarily disrupts the flow of ideas as readers are forced to transition through concepts repeatedly in order to understand both sides of any controversy.

J.M. Archer (talk) 19:15, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Hmm... I think the Davis, Matheny & Lamey bit could be axed. Is the whole "veganism actually kills more animals" argument especially prevalent among reliable sources? To me it seems like a minor point, and should therefore be dealt with much more concisely than the three paragraphs currently devoted to it. Is this bit really in line with WP:DUE? Gabbe (talk) 08:35, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Since there was no reply to my last post, I've moved the paragraphs here in order to discuss them:

Steven Davis, a professor of animal science at Oregon State University, argues that following Tom Regan's "least harm principle" may not necessarily require the adoption of a vegan diet because there are non-vegetarian diets which "may kill fewer animals" than are killed in the intensive crop production necessary to support vegetarian diets. In particular, Davis calculates that a diet partially based on large grass-fed ruminants like cows, would kill fewer animals than a vegan diet.[8]

Davis's analysis has itself been criticized, such as by Gaverick Matheny, a Ph.D. candidate in agricultural economics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and by Andy Lamey, a Ph.D. student at the University of Western Australia. Matheny argues that Davis miscalculates the number of animal deaths based on land area rather than per consumer, and incorrectly equates "the harm done to animals … to the number of animals killed." Matheny argues that per-consumer, a vegan diet would kill fewer wild animals than a diet adhering to Davis's model, and that vegetarianism "involves better treatment of animals, and likely allows a greater number of animals with lives worth living to exist."[9]

Lamey characterizes Davis's argument as "thought-provoking", but asserts that Davis's calculation of harvesting-related deaths is flawed because it is based upon two studies; one includes deaths from predation, which is "morally unobjectionable" for Regan, and the other examines production of a nonstandard crop, which Lamey argues has "little relevance" to the deaths associated with typical crop production. Lamey also argues, like Matheny, that accidental deaths are ethically distinct from intentional ones, and that if Davis includes accidental animal deaths in the moral cost of veganism he must also evaluate the increased human deaths associated with his proposed diet, which Lamey argues leaves "Davis, rather than Regan, with the less plausible argument."[10]


  1. ^ The Vegetarian Way: Total Health for You and Your Family (1996), Virginia Messina, MPH, RD, & Mark Messina, PhD p. 102
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference vegancholine was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference linuspauling was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ "Dietary Reference Intakes for ... Choline". Institute of Medicine. 
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference USDA-DRI-Choline was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ "Dietary Reference Intakes: Vitamins". Institute of Medicine. 2001. 
  7. ^ "USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference". USDA. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  8. ^ Davis, Steven L. (2003). "The Least Harm Principle May Require that Humans Consume a Diet Containing Large Herbivores, Not a Vegan Diet". Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. 16 (4): 387–394. the LHP may actually be better served using food production systems that include both plant-based agriculture and a forage-ruminant-based agriculture as compared to a strict plant-based (vegan) system. 
  9. ^ Gaverick Matheny (2003). "Least harm: a defense of vegetarianism from Steven Davis's omnivorous proposal". Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. 16 (5): 505–511. doi:10.1023/A:1026354906892. While eating animals who are grazed rather than intensively confined would vastly improve the welfare of farmed animals given their current mistreatment, Davis does not succeed in showing this is preferable to vegetarianism. First, Davis makes a mathematical error in using total rather than per capita estimates of animals killed; second, he focuses on the number of animals killed in ruminant and crop production systems and ignores important considerations about the welfare of animals under both systems; and third, he does not consider the number of animals who are prevented from existing under the two systems. After correcting for these errors, Davis’s argument makes a strong case for, rather than against, adopting a vegetarian diet. 
  10. ^ Lamey, Andy (2007). "Food Fight! Davis versus Regan on the Ethics of Eating Beef". Journal of Social Philosophy. 38 (2): 331–348. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9833.2007.00382.x. Retrieved 2009-02-22. To start with, the scientific studies on which Davis relies actually document two different forms of harm to field animals: there are those directly killed by harvesting equipment and those that become the prey of other animals. ... Davis also overlooks philosophically significant forms of harm to human beings that are present in beef production but not vegetable harvesting. Finally, he bases his argument on the implausible assumption that there is no difference between deliberate and accidental killing—either of an animal or a person. 

Now, these three paragraphs are sourced and attributed, so they fulfill WP:A. But are they in line with WP:DUE? Obviously this article should include sourced criticism of Veganism, but in doing so it should stick to the most prominent and prevalent arguments brought forth. The above seems like a lengthy and detailed discussion of what seems to be a minor point. Any thoughts? Gabbe (talk) 07:19, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree that it's hard to balance WP:DUE here, but I think this particular criticism is important because (a) it actually addresses the philosophy of veganism (b) it does so in a careful way rather than being sound-bite based, like most criticism (c) there's high-level discussion around this specific critique. The problem is, of course, balancing what Davis said (not very complicated) and the responses to it (more complicated, because they rest on technicalities). I am responsible for the phrasing of the sections above, which I wrote to be as terse as possible while still retaining the crucial points of each argument. It's possible someone can find a better way to compress the critiques, but I suspect these will end up being more like "Davis says X, but some other people criticize his conclusions", which I feel is not especially helpful to readers. KellenT 22:28, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
Other comments? I'm inclined to add this back to the article. KellenT 08:28, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
I am pretty much near to hating the article and this section slots into that nicely. I think I get depressed every time I look at it. I have been watching it for months and have never read it from one end to the other. Will this section fix that? I suggest forgetting about this section for a few minutes and trying to write something that a casual reader will read from one end to the other. That is one of the criteria for a featured article if it matters. Some of it is pretty good but then it goes into demographics and animals and just wanders away to some other place without returning. It is not purely a criticism, your section here, it is a rationalisation, a comparision, a study, a journal of research produced by a person who was trying to be original. As most of it belongs on some other article I would remove most of it for that purpose and expand things not which appeared to have been lit up by somebody important but where they appeared to be dimmed down. How intellectual can you get for this article for instance? :'-( ~ R.T.G 11:43, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
There is no other article besides Tom Regan where this could be relevant. It's a critique of Regan's conclusions and therefore a critique for a philosophical basis of veganism. KellenT 07:20, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
I searched the page for the word "Regan". I got 14 hits. The Ethics section tells me that the ethics of this subject is something that was made of the thoughts of this Regan man and two other men. It should skip over the ethics unless they are paricularly hard to understand. The innards of the animal are not the most aesthetic choice of decor or the killing or exploitation of it the most pleasant, ethics in a nutshell. It's nothing to worry about and you would probably get hungry, critcism, start to finish. If I can't read the whole thing, and I would read nearly anything if I kept looking at it, probably it is not a smooth read. AWB tells me there are 7,219 words on this aticle today and my own reckoning tells me that 60% of that is surplus with another 30% or so portion uncovered. The parts about nutrition are also very lengthy but they are probably a good part of the article. There is no cuisine which is the major factor of this subject and for this piece, "Some small..." the citation reads like this,
Extended content
Misconceptions About Eating Meat - Comments of Sikh Scholars," at The Sikhism Home Page Sikhs and Sikhism by I.J. Singh, Manohar, Delhi ISBN 9788173040580 Throughout Sikh history, there have been movements or subsects of Sikhism which have espoused vegetarianism. I think there is no basis for such dogma or practice in Sikhism. Certainly Sikhs do not think that a vegetarian's achievements in spirituality are easier or higher. It is surprising to see that vegetarianism is such an important facet of Hindu practice in light of the fact that animal sacrifice was a significant and much valued Hindu Vedic ritual for ages. Guru Nanak in his writings clearly rejected both sides of the arguments—on the virtues of vegetarianism or meat eating—as banal and so much nonsense, nor did he accept the idea that a cow was somehow more sacred than a horse or a chicken. He also refused to be drawn into a contention on the differences between flesh and greens, for instance. History tells us that to impart this message, Nanak cooked meat at an important Hindu festival in Kurukshetra. Having cooked it he certainly did not waste it, but probably served it to his followers and ate himself. History is quite clear that Guru Hargobind and Guru Gobind Singh were accomplished and avid hunters. The game was cooked and put to good use, to throw it away would have been an awful waste. Guru Granth Sahib, An Analytical Study by Surindar Singh Kohli, Singh Bros. Amritsar ISBN :8172050607 The ideas of devotion and service in Vaishnavism have been accepted by Adi Granth, but the insistence of Vaishnavas on vegetarian diet has been rejected. A History of the Sikh People by Dr. Gopal Singh, World Sikh University Press, Delhi ISBN 9788170231394 However, it is strange that now-a-days in the Community-Kitchen attached to the Sikh temples, and called the Guru's Kitchen (or, Guru-ka-langar) meat-dishes are not served at all. May be, it is on account of its being, perhaps, expensive, or not easy to keep for long. Or, perhaps the Vaishnava tradition is too strong to be shaken off.
It is an odd balance in most places. That probably should translate as precarious. I'd like to just give up. The subject is particularly easy to understand and the article should reflect that. It's a simple topic that everybody can understand the wny. Some people have difficulty with the how, but the why is always simple. Why is it made so difficult on this page? ~ R.T.G 11:00, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

I restored some material on Steven Davis's critique of veganism due to animals being killed in the cultivation of vegan food. Davis's position is important, as evidence in the fact that his argument has been covered in cover stories in Time magazine and The New York Times Magazine. I've mentioned this fact to give a better sense of the importance of the debate Davis set off. Porphyry Jones (talk) 15:17, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

I had no idea that this argument was mentioned in both Time and The New York Times. If that is the case, I think we should leave a citation to those two sources as well, to show that these notable magazines found the argument interesting, as opposed to just some random Wikipedians. Gabbe (talk) 08:47, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
The citations for sihkism recently got expanded by someone with a vested interest in order to portray veganism inside sihkism as marginal, which this article never took a stand on one way or another. These citations should probably be excised as redundant. As for your other commentary, could you please try to write more clearly instead of pretending we're having a chummy conversation down at the pub where i can pick up all of your pauses in speech and segues? If you want to try to write a better cuisine section, do so. The things you complain about the article are actually the least offensive to me; have you not noticed that the entire "Resources and the environment" section is pretty rambling in tone? that the first two paragraphs of nutritional benefits are pretty weak? that the phrasing around the crits of Jarvis' POV is pretty sloppy and defensive? KellenT 12:41, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
I told you, there is hardly a part of the article I do not want to change completely. I tried a bit before and was told not how we would do it but how it was not going to be done. Who died and made Jarvis Jarvis? It is a complete yearning for the scientific, almost top to bottom. There is nothing, for instance, about growing your own food. Oh well, don't mind me you put your new science section in. ~ R.T.G 17:56, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Keep in mind that Davis' argument is especially stupid seeing as how 60-70% of the corn, oats, and some other grains grown in the US are fed to livestock, not humans. So even if harvesting that grain kills animals, it is then fed to livestock, which, as you might imagine, leads to even more deaths. But this is only relevant if you entertain his grasping-at-straws argument. Also keep in mind that he is a professor of animal science... (talk) 13:27, 1 July 2010 (UTC)askantik

Besides all that, looking at the first question raised on criticism, how much more relevant to criticism can you get than criticism of criticism? ~ R.T.G 21:20, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

China Study in the introduction

I would like to revert, to leave my quote in. (a) The China study is not mentioned below, but only Colin Campbell, with a reference to the China Study. So you'd have to be pretty determined and well informed to get at this clear, international scientific evidence off site. (b) I put it in the introduction, since the previous post had inserted 'may' have health benefits whereas I think a more positive, still neutral statement, is more informative for readers.

Comments welcome, otherwise I shall revert.

TonyClarke (talk) 20:37, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

The China Study, if mentioned at all, should absolutely not be in the lead. The lead is a SUMMARY of the rest of the article, and is not the place to introduce such material. Put it in the appropriate subsection. KellenT 23:29, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

I am returning the "may." There is at present no consensus that the vegan diet is healthier than other diets, and the more cautious phrasing accurately reflects this uncertainty. The more recent of the two references given for the passage itself uses the qualifier "may." The China Study is only one of many studies that address this topic. As Wikipedia's own entry on the China Study shows, its conclusions are disputed by many. Citing only this one study gives it more weight than it merits.

The best solution would be to add a new section that discussed the evidence for and against a vegan diet providing protection from various diseases. Short of this, the statement that a vegan diet may provide such protection is an accurate and unbiased summary of current thinking.Struvite (talk) 02:47, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Well, it really isn't unbiased if you think about it. I don't know of any study which shows clearly that a vegan diet doesn't protect from various diseases, or of anybody promoting that position.Some have found no evidence for it, many more have found that it does. So 'may' is judgemental, whereas quoting one international respectable study is not. Down to the naysayers to find an opposing study?

TonyClarke (talk) 20:55, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Do not do this. As I said in two different edit summaries, the things which are called out in the lead are extensively cited later in the article. "May" is not an honest representation of the data; it's weasel wording. KellenT 23:29, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
UM, no. "May" is appropriate for ANYTHING that is not a definite or is not universally recognized. It is not judgmental. Until ALL studies and the vast majority of scientists agrees with a position, then MAY is the correct wording. And requiring a study that shows that the Vegan diet doesn't protect from diseases?? Seriously? That's like having the article say that the Vegan diet cures cancer, and then saying that it's a valid claim because there haven't been any studies saying that it DOESN'T cure cancer. The onus is on the claimant to prove a claim, not on anyone to disprove it. Science does not work that way. This whole article reads as particularly biased. On the entire page there is but one tiny section critical of the concept. That fairly smacks of biased authors and/or article watchdogs.

RyokoMocha (talk) 07:02, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Recent picture change attempt

here This was great. Pamela Anderson, for instance, turning "over a new leaf" is infinitely more representative of the "Philosophical foundations" of veganism than slaughtering cattle is. I've never heard of vegans who slaughtered cattle and in fact I would be comfortable with the idea that the cattle slaughter picture here was not associated with veganism in any way besides here on this Wikipedia page. Isnt it one of the more frequently used images on slaughter-related articles? I have seen it once or twice on articles that are nothing vegan whatsoever. A long time ago images of a slaughterhouse finally convinced me that something was a neccesity rather than an ideal but you can be sure that the almost cute picture here does not represent that even remotely save for the fact that I am led to believe it was a slaughterhouse. Bring back Pammie Anderson. Bar the slaughter house. There is no place for veganism in a slaughter house and no place for a slaughter house in veganism. ~ R.T.G 21:17, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Barnard citation

I removed:

Dr Neal D. Barnard has also shown that a low fat vegan diet can treat Type 2 diabetes better than the ADA guideline diet.[1]

Because the phrasing seemed a bit suspect. I unfortunately can't access the full text of the article (Nirvana2013, maybe you can) in order to get a full view of its contents, but from the pubmed description, it seemed likely that Barnard personally showed nothing (that is, did no research) but instead published a synthesis of existing research. That's okay, it's what PCRM does, but the line here seems like a mischaracterization. Can someone cite the actual text of this article in order to confirm (or not) this? An additional issue is that there is already a section devoted to diabetes, and it seems likely that this addition would be redundant to that one. KellenT 21:24, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

He's published many articles and several books detailing his research. Like the other doctors he is worthy of note in the article. I have added him back in with a more suitable reference. Nirvana2013 (talk) 20:02, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for improving the references. Could you add relevant quotes to the citation tags? These help in showing precisely which sections of the original articles support the text in this article. KellenT 18:26, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
You're welcome. I have added a quote (in fact the chapter title). Nirvana2013 (talk) 10:48, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Similar diets and lifestyles

In the section titled Similar diets and lifestyles, I propose to delete the following sentence:

«Some small Sikh sects have lacto-vegetarian lifestyles.»

After all, this article is about veganism, not lacto-vegetarianism. Any objections? TheLastNinja (talk) 18:58, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Yup, bin it. I'd actually scrap the whole section tbh, it's mostly off-topic. Muleattack (talk) 19:22, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
It was in a pretty good state about a year ago. That is to say it consisted of a single, well-cited sentence. KellenT 19:52, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Credibility of sources

Much of the content of this article relies on the Vegan Society website and other sources that advocate for a vegan diet, and thus do not qualify as unbiased. For example, the claim that vitamin B12 deficiency is rare in vegans is supported solely by a reference to "What every vegan should know about vitamin B12," an article posted on the Vegan Society website. This claim is contradicted by several studies that have found widespread B12 deficiency in vegans, and even earlier in the article, where the higher rate of death from ischemic heart disease in fish eaters than in vegans is attributed to B12 deficiency in vegans. I probably will remove some the claims based solely on biased sources, but I want to give a heads up first to give people a chance to back them up with credible references. Struvite (talk) 19:00, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

I suggest following the WP:MEDRS guideline when it comes to statements in this article related to health. Gabbe (talk) 09:49, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Don't remove them. You can identify the sources if you want. Most of the things from the Vegan Society and Vegan Health actually cite other studies, so if you really want to improve the article and not just go around screaming POV! POV!, you'll dig up those articles and cite them directly, with quotes. It's also worth noting that just because something comes from the Vegan Society or Vegan Outreach doesn't mean it's biased. And to directly respond to the B12 issue you raised; the citation specifies "clinical B12 deficiency" which is a distinctly different thing than "low levels of B12". I also made this mistake when that specific piece of information was added to the article. KellenT 11:22, 11 December 2010 (UTC)


As choline is abundant in plant sources and as I've not once in my research encountered any other source that claims choline deficiency to be a problem for vegans, I suggest the removal of this section. In its place we should include a section on omega-3 deficiency, which is a problem for vegans who don't eat a balanced diet. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:51, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Nutritional Concerns about Poorly Planned Diets

It might be helpful to reorganize this article, too, so that we can highlight which nutrients beginner vegans need to pay attention to and ensure getting enough of VS. which nutrient deficiencies are of particular concern for vegans who don't eat balanced diets. Right now, these two things seem to be blended together, which gives the misleading impression that there exist nutritional concerns about planned vegan diets. I don't currently have time to reorganize the article better, but perhaps others do? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:51, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

As this is a encyclopedia, we should avoid writing the article as if it were a guidebook or manual (see WP:NOTAMANUAL). Depending on how it was done, it might be inappropriate to "highlight which nutrients beginner vegans need to pay attention to" separately from other nutritional concerns. Differentiating nutritional concerns based on order of severity or rarity, however, might be a good idea. Gabbe (talk) 09:41, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

References to Child Deaths Biased/Misleading

I'd like to suggest the removal of references to the child deaths at the hands of parents who are vegan, which is overly-weighty for the length of the entry. Untold numbers of children die annually in the care of omnivorous parents from diabetes and other diseases, and these deaths are not mentioned, let alone listed and detailed in the article on human omnivorism. Nor should they be-they are not the result of omnivorism, but of parental neglect. Such is the case with veganism.

Different standards of relevance shouldn't be applied to veganism's entry simply because it's less popular. -- (talk) 06:10, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

"Two objections to criticism"

  • I recently received a message from user:Andyjsmith as follows: I understand where you're coming from but you simply cannot make unsupported statements about dietary planning and you must not misrepresent the sources that you use. The reference you gave simply does not talk about the consequences of an unplanned diet.

Please explain what is meant by "I understand where you're coming from"? Where exactly do I come from and why does it matter. Do I have to specifically come from somewhere? And where exactly do you come from? Its the genetic fallacy (logical fallacy). I find this conduct offensive, intimidating and hurting. WP:PERSONAL

  • The article is giving an impression that inappropriately planned plant-based diets are deficient in nutrients whereas inappropriately planned meat-based diets are not. This criticism is inappropriate. Any diet, by definition, that is not appropriately planned, will be deficient. This is why its called an "inappropriately planned diet". Animal-based diets are not automatically balanced.
  • Another of my edits were removed in which I wrote: Even in a society where all human life is considered of equal value, humans are killed or allowed to be killed for the reasons of self-defense or uninterrupted functioning of the society, to the "criticism": "ideologic vegetarians," whom he claims believe that "all life is sacred" and that "all forms of life have equal value," saying that these beliefs "can lead to absurdities such as allowing mosquitoes to spread malaria, or vipers to run loose on one's premises."

Similarly, if ALL human lives are considered equal, it "can lead to absurdities such as allowing thieves to steal, or murderers to run loose on one's premises."

This is not a valid criticism. And I do not think that Wikipedia is a place to debate veganism. If this is debated in the actual article, then rebuttals should also be allowed. Otherwise, the readers will only get one side of the story and a biased view. This criticism itself is not an WP:NPOV. I propose the criticism to be either removed, or a fair ideological rebuttal allowed. Since the criticism is not of scientific (but ideological nature), no scientific sources can be sited and the rebuttal itself can only be of ideological character. Manujchandra (talk) 09:07, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

  • The article is not about dietary planning. And your statement that "any diet, by definition, that is not appropriately planned, will be deficient" is simply not true. Says who? Please give a reference to show that it is true.
  • Nor is the article is about the sanctity of human life so your comment about human lives being equal is totally irrelevant. It is also unreferenced and to many people untrue. andy (talk) 10:57, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
  • This message is misleading and may cause harm to people. Many people assume that an animal based diet is automatically balanced and may hurt themselves by holding this non-scientific belief. This is basic nutrition science 101. I am anyways gathering the studies to stick this fact. If someone is just eating meat and potatoes, that person is liable to be deficient in some nutrients and its illogical then to go on and imply that this deficiency is caused due to a meat-based diet. Deficiencies are caused due to not eating a balanced diet, not by a _____ based diet. Manujchandra (talk) 11:36, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Your edit did not say a "balanced diet" it said a "planned diet". Different things. Also, this is an article about veganism, not nutrition. andy (talk) 12:22, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
The whole purpose of "planning" a diet is to "balance' it. And if this article is about veganism and not nutrition, then why does it make it look like vegans are more susceptible to nutritional deficiencies when the science is completely opposite? A non-vegan is just as likely to get deficient if not more, and they are more succeptable to the top-most killers due to lifestyle. Manuj Chandra (talk) 08:16, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't matter what you write here. If you can't find WP:RS to support your argument, it's moot. KellenT 16:41, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Manuj Chandra (talk) 09:35, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Humans are also animals and for the last 200 years we have been trying to fight real hard to view all human lives as equal, even if they are handicapped, mentally challenged, or infants etc. Again, this is a philosophical and ideological issue, so no scientific references can be sited either way. I stand by my original stance. Just because all life is revered, this does not mean self-defence is not allowed. This is the logical fallacy of Accident (dicto simpliciter ad dictum secundum quid). Its a known and documented fallacy and it has no place in a work of science and logic. Book Reference Manujchandra (talk) 11:36, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

The criticism section needs to be cleaned. Known logical fallacies needs to be either addressed or the fallacy removed. The nutrition section is criticizing the vegan diet with the following line of reasoning: " IF a vegan diet is not properly planned...". Its a big hypothetical IF with no basis in modern scientific literature, and is applicable to an animal based diets too. For eg, both vegans and non-vegans will suffer the same consequences of vitamin B-12 deficiency. Yvonne Bishop-Weston a leading UK Nutritionist says, "In UK clinic I rarely find vegetarians with significant B12 and Iron deficiencies, they tend to be more aware of failings in our modern diets. More often than not meat eaters are lulled into a false sense of security that the Standard American Diet (SAD diet) of Meat, cheese and processed carbohydrates stripped of nutrients and fibre provides them with all the vitamins and minerals that they need". Manuj Chandra (talk) 08:16, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

  • "The criticism section needs to be cleaned. Known logical fallacies needs to be either addressed or the fallacy removed. " An argument or a fact can be included if it is relevant and notable. If it is flawed in some way then you have to find a reliably sourced counter-argument to add to the section. You can't remove material just because you don't like it or because in your opinion it is fallacious. andy (talk) 14:11, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
It is not fallacious :"in my opinion". Its a known logical fallacy. And wikipedia is not a debating forum. I am not opposed to any kind of criticism. But it has to be logical. There are positives and negatives to everything in the world and the negatives must also be discussed. But not a fallacious one. Manuj Chandra (talk) 06:00, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Sandboxed article

I made some changes in a sandboxed version of the article, and request that you go over it. See edit summaries for reasons. You're welcome to edit that page. I hope we can gain a consensus for a better version of the article it and then insert it. BECritical__Talk 01:33, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Good work so far (and a great initiative)! I like the suggested lead. If it were expanded to, say, three or four paragraphs there would be a point to mention people like Donald Watson and possibly Peter Singer, and to further differentiate "animal rights" versus other rationales for veganism, etc. At present I am concerned about bringing up Steven Davis so prominently in this one-paragraph lead. Currently, he is the only person mentioned by name in the intro, yet he (and his argument) have relative little influence in any debate over veganism. True, the lead should mention "notable criticism or controversies" (per WP:LEAD), but the way it is currently written is a bit lopsided in favour of Davis. Gabbe (talk) 14:51, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks (: If I paste the lead in here will you help me work on it? BECritical__Talk 21:31, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I can't promise that I'll have the time for the kind of in-depth makeover that this article deserves, but I'll definitely be keeping an eye on it. Gabbe (talk) 03:59, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Well besides expansion of the lead, what else would you include in that makeover? See recent edits to sandbox. BECritical__Talk 04:57, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
So shall I put it in? BECritical__Talk 23:11, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Okay, no objections, putting it in. BECritical__Talk 21:35, 7 January 2011 (UTC)


The statement that there are many vegans in India is incorrect. Veganism in India is virtually unknown.

India are the largest consumers of animal milk in the world. The vegetarians in India follow a lacto vegetarian diet, which includes lots of dairy products. The word "vegan" is not common in India. A 'pure vegetarian' in India, means a person who consumes milk and milk products, but not meat and eggs. Kelly2357 (talk) 22:59, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Right. BECritical__Talk 03:50, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

A quick search turns up a few recent articles that suggest that this is likely an interesting topic to revisit at some point in the future - e.g., a a November 28, 2010 article states that "a growing number of middle-aged people in the city insist that sticking to a vegan diet is neither a fashion statement,nor a fad.""The Rise of the Vegans". The Times of India.  It also notes that "Their clan (vegans) is growing in the city and so are the number of restaurants and shops that cater to their needs." (I had to click and hit escape and backspace carefully to be able to read the article without annoying sign-in requests, YMMV.) Unfortunately, the article has no quantitative numbers about the popularity of veganism in india. In support of the data from the article above, the Times article also notes that "many vegans lament that sourcing organic food and eating out on a daily basis continues to be a challenge". Another recent (September 2010) article suggests a similar trend of "small but growing": DavidAndersen (talk) 03:07, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Get terms straight

The article says "Vegans endeavor to never consume or use any animal products of any type." But then goes on to say that insects are sometimes okay. Animals include insects, indeed any "multicellular, eukaryotic organism". The article needs to either exclude from the definition of veganism people who so much as eat bugs, or else stop defining veganism so strictly. It can't be both ways. It is obvious that the sources must mean "higher" forms of animal when they speak of "animal." But the article doesn't make that distinction clear. BECritical__Talk 21:03, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

I've reverted your edit per WP:BRD. First of all, "exploitation" is a loaded term, "use" describes the situation just fine. Secondly, in defining the term "veganism", this article should follow the definition given by reliable sources. If that definition is wrong or inconsistent, this article is not the venue to come up with a "better" definition. Whether vegans strive only to exclude sentient animals or not is further explicated on in the article. I think it's better to leave it at just "animals" in the intro. Gabbe (talk) 21:16, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Well sure it's a loaded term. But it's completely accurate relative to the vegan POV. It's simply untrue that they don't want to use animals. There are many uses of animals which vegans are fine with. They would use them as models for pictures. What they attempt to do is avoid exploitation. Using the word "use" would be fine, if it weren't inaccurate. I see what you're doing relative to RS, and agree with that. But here's what the source says:
"In this Memorandum the word "veganism" denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practical — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment."
I can't see how using the same word as the source could be incorrect here, especially given that the current wording is obviously incorrect.
Further: the quote above makes it plain that the object is to eliminate "cruelty." Thus, using the word "sentient" is totally justified per the source. So I think you should reconsider accepting my edit. BECritical__Talk 21:30, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
As for the word "exploitation", you're right when you say that it's completely accurate relative to the vegan POV, but that, by itself, doesn't justify it's inclusion in the article. By saying that "vegans seek to exclude the exploitation of animals" we tacitly implicate that there is such a thing as "an exploitation of animals", which can strike readers as taking a stand in favor of a certain POV. And when you say that "because the source talks of 'cruelty' it refers to sentient animals" you're making a novel synthesis. If you want the article to say that vegans only seek to exclude the exploitation of sentient animals, you should provide a source which unambiguously declares so. Gabbe (talk) 22:15, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, if you are going to base the lead on that source, you have to follow that source. The phrasing in the lead now re the word "use" is novel synthesis, as it doesn't appear in the source, or at least the one I can read. At any rate, either find a source which says "use," or eliminate that word, since it's not accurate. Also, saying we tacitly implicate that there is such a thing as "an exploitation of animals" is incorrect, since we are actually saying what vegans seek to do; thus we are not implying anything. It is a novel synthesis to go from cruelty to "sentient," re the current source, but here's another that uses that word, per your request [8]. To put it succinctly, if the article is going to purport itself to be representing the POV of vegans, as it does in the current lead, it has a duty to get it right. BECritical__Talk 23:09, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Reading the "definition" section, it becomes very clear that the word "use" is wrong here. It's simply incorrect, factually wrong. Using the word "philosophy," however, is POV, as it is a glorification of veganism based on an in-universe definition, and the word "ideology" or "doctrine" could be verifiably substituted. In addition, if "an agreed-upon definition is hard to come by," why is one given in the lead in an unqualified way? This is a mess. BECritical__Talk 00:08, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
If our article on Al Qaida opened with "Al Qaida opposes the rape of Islam by Western countries", then that would also be inappropriate. It would be completely accurate relative to Al-Qaida's POV, but it would tacitly imply that "Islam was being raped by Western countries", which is an inappropriate thing for a Wikipedia article to state bluntly, even if it could be sourced to the subject of the article. I can see a compromise which avoids the word "use". For example, we could say "vegans seek to exclude what they see as the exploitation of animals" or somesuch. I wholeheartedly agree that this article is a mess, and I'm honestly interested in hearing your suggestions for improving it (besides the ones I've already expressed my objections to). Gabbe (talk) 11:19, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
I tried to avoid this specific conflict previously by using a quote from the Vegan Society in the intro, but then different people complained about that. Working on this article is an endless chain of people who complain about semantics and never bother to cite or source anything. KellenT 20:33, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Well Gabbe found phrasing that would work okay, and I'm not someone who refuses to source. I think we can make progress here if you two are willing to give it some time and a consensus is hard to break once well established and sourced. Now personally I think the lead starts out fine, saying "whose adherents seek," and after that framing I think it's quite acceptable to speak of "exploitation," since we've already established that what we're saying is from their POV. However, it's also acceptable to double-frame it by saying "whose adherents seek to exclude what they see as the exploitation of animals for food..." So that's a good compromise. How about that? My next problem is with the word "philosophy," which should be replaced by "belief," "doctrine," or some such. BECritical__Talk 20:47, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
It implies that non-vegans wouldn't see it as the exploitation (its definition is "the action of making use of and benefiting from resources") of animals now. What would they see it as? Isn't it also like saying "according to what people see, we live on earth and not mars" in a wikipedia article? I believe that the "what they see as" part must be removed. Your al-Qaeda example is an exaggeration while the previous version of this article was neutral.--Bloody Rose (talk) 01:16, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Mortality Rates

I noticed that the meta analysis concerning vegan mortality rates was removed by becritial.

There may have been some other stuff missing but I was interested in this line but had to review history to get it:

A 1999 meta-study of five studies comparing vegetarian and non-vegetarian mortality rates in western countries found the mortality rate due to ischemic heart disease 26% lower among vegans compared to regular meat eaters, but 34% lower among ovolactovegetarians and among those who ate fish but no other meat — Preceding unsigned comment added by TimMony (talkcontribs) 22:10, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Without looking at what I did, I am guessing that it was about vegetarians, not vegans per se, and so would belong in the Vegetarian nutrition article not here. Correct me if I'm wrong. BECritical__Talk 03:51, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't know. The part I mentioned above specifically mentions statistics on vegans. TimMony (talk) 15:46, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
I noticed that this is missing to:
Doctors Dean Ornish, T. Colin Campbell, John A. McDougall, Caldwell Esselstyn and Neal D. Barnard claim that high animal fat and protein diets, such :as the standard American diet, are detrimental to health.[93][94][95] They also state that a lifestyle change incorporating a low fat vegetarian or :vegan diet could not only prevent various degenerative diseases, such as coronary artery disease, but reverse them.[96][97][98][99][100]TimMony (talk) 18:02, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
I would have taken that out because it belongs in Vegetarian nutrition. The nutrition aspects are separate and that article specifically includes vegan. BECritical__Talk 20:44, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Highest proportion of vegans

The article currently states that veganism is the most popular in Britain, but later says that it's even more popular in Sweden (0.25% versus at least 0.27%). What's the explanation?--Bloody Rose (talk) 02:08, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

From the article: "The population of Britain has the largest proportion of vegans, where 0.25% of the population self-identifies as vegan. In other countries the proportion ranges from 0.20% in the United States to between 0.27% and 1.6% in Sweden."

Both of these can't be right. If Sweden is 0.27% to 1.6%, then Sweden has the largest proportion of vegans. Bigpeteb (talk) 15:35, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Where does it say that? I can't find the text in the article.Muleattack (talk) 19:58, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
It's in the first paragraph. It doesn't use the word "popularity" but means it.--Bloody Rose (talk) 00:57, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Looks like it ought to be changed. BECritical__Talk 02:48, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

In case anyone wants to check the cited reference for the Swedish figures, here's a translated excerpt from the book;

According to the Swedish Vegetarian Society, there are about 250 000 vegetarians in Sweden. Vegan Society in Sweden estimated that about 10 percent, thus 25 000, of them are vegans. Swedish Vegetarian Society relies primarily on two studies in his estimate of the number of vegetarians in Sweden. A study of Eureka Research, on behalf of Health Food Council, which, in June 1993 in which it appeared that 3 percent of those surveyed, about 225 000 people, said they eat vegetarian more or less regularly. The second source is a report published in Dagens Nyheter 96-04-01 where Research Group Social and Information Studies notes that 5 percent of Sweden's population said they were vegetarians. Some studies in the late 1990's, confirmed the figure of 250 000 vegetarians, and in the number of vegans has recent studies sometimes pointed to significantly higher numbers than the previous that estimate of 25 000. A study conducted by the telemarketing team on behalf of The union animal rights (former Nordic Society Against unfortunate Animal testing) showed that 1.6 percent of those polled were vegans and 3 percent are vegetarians. (15) The study had a large shortfall and is therefore subject to uncertainties. If this result is transmitted to the entire Sweden's population, it would mean that there are approximately 136 000 vegans and vegetarians around 255 000 in Sweden, measured at 8.5 million inhabitants. Another study from 1996 showed that 1 percent of the respondents were vegans. (16)

Translated Vegetarian Society website -

Translated Vegan Society website -

Muleattack (talk) 13:25, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm trying a change to remove a statement about "the highest proportion" entirely and to just list the numbers - this seems more correct anyway, because, first of all, it's hard to directly compare all of the numbers (different years, different methods), and second, we don't know the numbers for every country in the world anyway.DavidAndersen (talk) 14:02, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

There shouldn't be any statement about the "highest proportion" since there's not enough research anywhere in the world to make such a conclusion. Anything other that simply stating the numbers is wishful thinking. KellenT 21:23, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

NPOV, again

Hate to bring this up, but the nutrition is horridly one sided, infants for example are not better off on vegan diets, or even vegetarian ones for that matter. Additionally, vegan diets are chronically low in absorbed iron; that is, the iron that is actually absorbed by the body. Plant source iron is not nearly as well absorbed as animal source iron, owing to factors of biochemical similarity (a human has much more in common with a cow than with a soya plant), and bioavalibility. In addition plant proteins are often upwards of 30 percent less bioavailable than animal ones (will post refs on request, I'd have to hunt them down), though egg whites are the best source of protein (which is why ovo vegetarians are often able to achieve adequate levels of protien intake) Furthermore, there are few reputable, uncontested studies that show that animal protien (in moderation, especially with red meat) is in any way harmful, again, with the notable exception of red meat (which is something I personally don't eat). Ronk01 talk 00:20, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Hi, Ron - I'd like to add some citation needed tags to your comment above to find a path to being able to present the issue more clearly - for studies about chronically low iron, etc. The article seems to be to be making the point that a "properly planned" vegan diet (emphasis on properly planned) can meet nutritional demands. Many of the cited articles make the point that this is the case despite reduced bioavailability from non-heme iron (eat more) and proteins (eat more). Perhaps what the article needs is more clarification on what it means for a vegan diet to be proper? I think this might make a great addition to the nutritional concerns section. But re the one-sidedness, right now the article has citations to several organizations that say that a vegan diet is acceptable and to the swiss and german organizations that caution against it for children. The "health" subsection says that a vegan diet is "appropriate", not that it is "better". Am I missing the part in the article you're referring to? There's an un-sourced sentence in there that says "Vegetarians avoid the negative health effects of animal protein including red meat" which would definitely benefit from a supporting citation or, additionally, a bit more wording to add nuance to the statement, since that's one of the first places where there's a claim in the article about negative health effects from animal protein.DavidAndersen (talk) 02:37, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

I note also that some of this was discussed above, and the information is expanded in great detail in the Vegetarian nutrition article; there were objections raised above to having excessive nutrition discussion in this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DavidAndersen (talkcontribs) 03:21, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps then it should be noted that proper vegan diets require higher protien and iron intake (from plant sources, of course) to meet dietary needs, I personally am a semi-vegetarian (organic eggs, dairy, fish and poultry only) for health reasons, and I find it interesting that one study (can't seem to place it, I think it was refed in the vegetarianism article somewhere) noted that vegans are just barely above total omnivores in terms of longevity, while the various, less strict forms of vegetarianism tended to show extreme differences (upwards of 15-20 percent longer lives in some cases) This has often been attributed in medical literature (I'm an MD/PhD, if that explains anything) to higher (that is, of course, existent) levels of cobalamin in their diets, of course, cobalamin can be stored for upwards of 30 years, according to some research. Additionally, higher vegan mortality may be attributed to diets that are not properly balanced, (very difficult to do, a few of my patients tried, and eventually reverted to ovo-lacto vegetarianism) and the fact the vegans must consume significantly higher amounts of nearly traditionally animal sourced nutrients in plant form. (Humans (like our closest ancestors, the chimpanzees) did not evolve for veganism, in fact recent studies suggest the so called "Mediterranean diet" to be the ideal form of nutrition for most humans) Perhaps we remove the sentence stating that all animal protient is toxic ans replace it with red meat can cause colon cancer, ans actual, supportable, medical fact. Ronk01 talk 16:01, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
That would be very interesting to include if it's a WP:RS and you can find it. Where does it say animal protein is toxic? BECritical__Talk 17:43, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
"Studies show that the health of vegetarians is better than that that of non-vegetarians.[91] Vegetarians avoid the negative health effects of animal protein [in reality, no respectable study has concluded that any animal protien, in reasonable amounts, causes significant health detriment, with the exception of red meat.] including red meat [an uncited claim]." essentially implies that animal protien is toxic (in fact, there is some rather compelling evidence for soy protien being rather toxic due to nitrate content) Additionally, this sentence is misleading when placed in an article on veganism, which is the extreme end of vegetarianism (the health benefits of a diet composed primarily, but not entirely of plant material are unquestioned). This this sentence does not accurately reflect veganism, so much as it does vegetarianism as a whole. Ronk01 talk 21:09, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Agreed, I removed the sentence. BECritical__Talk 00:57, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
I wanted to "ditto" Becritical's reply: Do you have sources for a lot of those? One possible source: the book "Becoming Vegan", co-written by two registered dieticians (Brenda Davis, Vesanto Melina, published 2000 by Book Publishing Company). It has a discussion in chapter 2 summarizing research on vegan nutrition intake and status, noting "care must be taken to ensure sufficient energy, vitamin B12, and vitamin D ... Other nutrients that may require attention include protein, essential fatty acids, riboflavin, and certain minerals, particularly calcium, zinc, and in places where salt is not iodized, iodine." then noting that "many of the nutrients of concern are now being added to foods commonly consumed by vegans (i.e., calcium, riboflavin, and vitamins B12 and D to symilk, and iron, zinc, and vitamin B12 to meat substitutes"). Interestingly enough, the studies it cites mostly show that vegan diets were overall good on iron, despite the popular perception to the contrary. I'd be interested in pointers to the study you mentioned re the "Mediterranean diet". I'll also note that while claims abound about "the way" humans evolved to eat, I have yet to see non-conflicting and credible evidence beyond pointing to a wide range of potential omniverous behaviors, from "mostly vegan" with rare, opportunistic consumption of insects and animals, to "maybe ate lotsa insects and meat". If you have more recent and precise studies to add, that'd be quite useful. (If it helps clarify my POV on all of this, I've been doing a bunch of digging lately to try to figure out what the best diet is from a health perspective. I've settled on "eat lots of plants, legumes, and whole grains, and avoid refined flours and sugars", but the question of, e.g., grass-fed meats and fish within that diet has proven harder to resolve, and I'm still interested in learning more.) DavidAndersen (talk) 01:56, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps I should make clear that I'm a Cardiothoracic surgeon, not a nutritionist. However, Iron and B12 are problems in unbalanced vegan diets (balancing a vegan diet is extremely difficult, some of my patients have tried) Soy is another interesting case, with all of the conflicting research flying around, I tend to direct patients away from soy until more conclusive research is published. With regards to the Mediterranean Diet, I believe Wikipedia has an article on it with some great sources. In terms of human evolution, many anthropologists believe that the early hominid (i.e. Australopithecus) diet would have been similar to that of modern chimpanzees, with strong emphasis on fruits, and with vegetable matter, insects and meat in descending proportions. (Grains were absent from, or rare in, the human diet until comparatively modern times) It has been posited by many anthropologists that the cranial capacity of early hominids was allowed to develop through the consumption larger amounts of protien than typical of modern apes (neural tissue is very demanding to construct). Well managed vegan diets however, tend to fall just above omnivorous ones in terms of health, with the various, less strict forms of vegetarianism coming in higher, along with those diets that include regular, but sparing consumption of proteins like organic poultry and fish [Our own vegetarianism article]. I personally follow a diet composed of about 60% plant matter, 20% grain, and 20% animal protien (that is, poultry, eggs, fish and dairy). I also recommend a similar diet to my patients. In terms of legumes, the primary issue is bioavailability of the protein, you need to consume substantially more to equate the amount of protein acquired from animal protein sources (egg whites are best) [Merck Manual]. With regards to grass fed meats, I would recommend lamb/mutton over beef, owing to lower cholesterol levels (avoid pork like the plague, nothing redeeming about that stuff). If you're interested, I can dig around for the nutritional research if you are interested though. Ronk01 talk 04:49, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

To add to this, here are two other parts of the article's heading alone that violate NPOV and display a clearly subjective pro-Vegan prejudice:

  • "Properly planned vegan diets are healthful and have been found to satisfy nutritional needs, and offer protection against obesity, heart and renal diseases, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis [...]" No references are provided for any of these claims.
  • "[...] but as with any diet, a poorly planned vegan diet can be deficient in nutrients such as [...]" The highlighted part is providing no clear objective information, and its sole purpose in the article is to provide an unsupported and vague defense against the criticism that a poorly planned vegan diet is bad for your health. This is not NPOV. (talk) 20:28, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
There are references, [18] and [19].Muleattack (talk) 20:38, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
A quick review of the sources for V and RS is in order. Ronk01 talk 20:42, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out. However, there's even more to this. Let's look a t this sentence a little closer: "Properly planned vegan diets are healthful and have been found to satisfy nutritional needs, and offer protection against obesity, heart and renal diseases, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, but as with any diet, a poorly planned vegan diet can be deficient in nutrients such as vitamin B12,[11] iron,[12][13] vitamin D,[14] calcium,[14][15] iodine[16] and omega-3 fatty acids.[17].[18][19]" The part that claims health benefits, is very strong in its wording, using verbs have been found and are in them, as well as the vague and subjective word healthful. However, when it gets to other side of the argument, the claims are worded using the very weak verb can. And this is on top of the defensive and subjective disclaimer but as with any diet that I pointed out above.

I suggest changing the wording of this sentence to make it more factual and objective. Something like the following:

"Studies suggest that properly planned vegan diets might satisfy nutritional needs [provide ref], and offer protection against obesity [provide ref], heart and renal diseases [provide ref], cancer and rheumatoid arthritis [provide ref], while other studies suggest poorly planned vegan diets might be deficient in nutrients such as vitamin B12,[11] iron,[12][13] vitamin D,[14] calcium,[14][15] iodine[16] and omega-3 fatty acids.[17].[18][19]"

The following changes are made:

  • Both sides of the argument are worded using the same verb "might".
  • The vague, inexact and subjective word "healthful" is removed.
  • Both arguments provide references as needed for the factual statements they make. (talk) 20:48, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

The text is taken from the sources provided, 'are' and 'healthful' are in the references, it's not an editors wording. The other side uses the word 'can' because it's the correct word to use. Muleattack (talk) 21:25, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
I found the following two sentences. I highlighted some relevant aspects:
  • "It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases."
  • "A vegetarian, including vegan, diet can meet current recommendations for all of these nutrients."

Note that the papers themselves present those views as their positions. These are not facts, and the Wikipedia article should not be stating them as facts, and rather state that they are the ADA's position, just as the references do themselves.

Also, please address the inclusion "but as with any diet" in the sentence. I maintain that it is not providing anything factual is not found in any of the cited articles for that sentence. (talk) 21:53, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Very bold claims, no citation number [89]

The article references citation 89 a bunch, in many places to justify very very bold claims such as: "Nonetheless, well-balanced vegetarian and vegan diets can meet all these nutrient requirements and are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence."

However, the text under 89 is: "Cite error: Invalid ref tag; no text was provided for refs named ada; see Help:Cite errors/Cite error references no text"

This article can be used a perfect example of why Wikipedia is not a good source of objective information on controversial topics. (talk) 19:56, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Just a small fault, fixed now. Muleattack (talk) 21:38, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Recent edits

This article could use some work, and has deteriorated since I last saw it. It's overlinked, over-referenced, and repetitive. The references are not great, often primary sources. There's no need to add a ref for every point (such as a ref that soya milk is used instead of dairy, and another ref that almond milk is used, etc). The list-defined references make it hard to combine references, which contributes to the abundance of footnotes.

We should try to focus on secondary sources, and academic sources wherever possible. I've started removing some links and unnecessary references, and I've tried to re-arrange a little, but it needs more. Above all, we should try to lose the advocacy tone, whether for and against. I know it's hard with an article like this, but a disinterested description of what it is, plus the benefits and disadvantages, would be much easier to read. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 11:31, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

We also shouldn't have a situation where we have multiple refs for each point. For example, the sentence "Poorly planned vegan diets can be deficient in nutrients such as vitamin B12, iron, vitamin D, calcium, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids" has eight references. It should need only one. Splitting the sentence up to require eight separate references risks OR creeping in. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 12:50, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
There's been almost a decimation of this article in the last few weeks. I can't see who did it, but there's no discussion on talk that I can see, so I've restored a fair bit of it (e.g. some of the health subsections, and the animal products section, both of which are useful). We do need to go through it to add some more secondary sources where we can, preferably academic sources, in addition to the primary sources. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 16:44, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
The last year has been unkind to the article. Reverting to the December of 2009 might improve it, overall. The references for almond/soy milk were added several years back in an effort to pare down the cuisine section to those things which could actually be cited and not 1000 random facts that people think they know. Seems better to me to cite as much as possible to set the standard high for would-be editors. KellenT 23:16, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree that the "1000 random facts" approach is not helpful. It was always a problem with this article. :)
I went into a version from last year and retrieved some material that had been removed. I've also moved the refs back into the text, because the list-defined refs were making editing awkward, and were increasing the number of footnotes by making citation bundling impossible. I've fixed some dead links, removed some unnecessary or repetitive refs, and reduced the parameters in others. People were filling in as many parameters as they could on the citation templates. Someone had even added the name of the publisher of the New York Times, and several citations linked to the original URL, the Internet Archive URL, and had the date of access to the original, date of access to the archive etc. Also, the number of templates was slowing down load time.
Basically, we should be trying to reduce reliance on websites and other primary sources, and focus more on secondary sources that give an overview. We also don't make clear the difference between some of the people we cite as vegans, even though they are significant differences between their approaches. I'll try to add something about that. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 09:46, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
By the way, I want to clarify in case my earlier post looked like criticism of filling in too many citation parameters, it's the templates I blame for that, not the editors. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 12:55, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your interest in improving this article. You appear to be a qualified editor. I hope "veganism" really gets better and the russian wikipedia (that's my main project) will get a proper version to rely on as well, since I like to translate english articles for having a better quality in general.--Bloody Rose (talk) 05:25, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm just tidying for the most part, but I may to add some more text too. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 18:57, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Did you add back in a lot of the nutrition information? I seem to remember eliminating most of it. I did that because it wasn't related to veganism as separate from vegetarianism, so I thought that it belonged in the vegetarianism nutrition or cuisine articles. Looks like you're doing a lot of good stuff (: BECritical__Talk 21:47, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I've added back some of it, material that seems to relate directly to veganism, e.g. the need to take supplements in some circumstances. What I'm doing is firming up what was already there, either in this version or an earlier one (fixing refs, checking dead links, tweaking writing, tightening). And once that's done, I'm going to try to re-source some of it, and find good secondary sources instead of some of the primary ones we use—though some of them are okay as they are—and make sure that our text says what the sources say. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 21:52, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Lots of work (: BECritical__Talk 01:11, 4 February 2011 (UTC)


I'm having trouble confirming what we say about the DRI for choline:

The American Institute of Medicine has set the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) of choline at 425 mg (milligrams) per day for women and 550 mg/day for men.[2]

  1. ^ Trapp CB, Barnard ND (2010). "Usefulness of vegetarian and vegan diets for treating type 2 diabetes". Curr Diab Rep.: 152–8. PMID 20425575.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  2. ^ "Choline", taken from Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline, Institute of Medicine, 1998, p. 390.

Can anyone see those figures in the sources we cite? SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 12:01, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Okay, I'll remove them for now. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 21:43, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Statement condracting source [4]

It says in the article "Well-planned vegan diets have been found to offer protection against obesity, heart and renal diseases, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis." However, in one of the sources it says: "Studies of cancer have not shown clear differences in cancer rates between vegetarians and non-vegetarians." I know that one of the other sources say that there are indeed a difference, but given these contradictions and uncertainties, I think it would be appropriate to exclude cancer from the list mentioned in the article. I would also like to note that the sources commenting about the nutrition, are talking about vegetarians, which means that their conclusions may not apply to veganism. Not directly related, but I think the article should be more neutral, it feels like a one-sided promotional article.Benjaminsf (talk) 19:36, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Biased article

It looks to me that the prominent people are only prominent in part of the english speaking world(and latin america), although i'm not really that well informed. (talk) 17:01, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Human milk

Wikiman, what is your point here? [9] Are you arguing that vegans would oppose the drinking of human milk by human babies too? Or something else? (Also note, we don't do dictionary definitions; we use reliable sources who have written about issues.) SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 21:27, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

I'm not making an argument either way on that, its quite irrelevant. What I am saying is that reliable sources do not say "non-human animals," the vegan society simply says animal products as do other advocacy groups. Don't try to define vegans without reliable sources to do it as anything but what they call it. Unless you have reliable sources to show otherwise, self definition is the way to go. WMO Please leave me a wb if you reply 21:50, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
It's obvious that it's non-human animals, not all animals, WM, and there are lots of sources in the articles who may that clear (not that it needs to be made clear). SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 21:58, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
It's not obvious to me. Vegans wouldn't go eat this ice cream. WMO Please leave me a wb if you reply 22:13, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
Ethical vegans would almost certainly eat it if they knew it had been donated with informed consent and no exploitation. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 22:33, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
Can you find a reliable source for that? WMO Please leave me a wb if you reply 23:12, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
Probably but I haven't looked, because it's not needed. Ethical vegans argue against humans using the bodies of other animals who can't give informed consent. They would use human breast milk if they could be assured the consent was real (and if they wanted to use it, which is a separate issue). Continuing to question this isn't going anywhere; it's like asking whether Paris is the capital of France. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 23:15, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
No, actually this isn't. I realized this was the case because people were complaining about wikipedia being inaccurate onn the Vegan list I subscribe to as a Vegan. It is not backed up by reliable sources. WMO Please leave me a wb if you reply 23:53, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
Which list is that? SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 00:00, 27 February 2011 (UTC)


This is a term coined by those who are ex- or as they see it, 'recovered' vegans. Some members of this small, but increasingly large group describe themselves as orthorexic, or having an unhealthy obsession with the purity or righteousness of their diet. Chief among their concerns is that those who insist on dietary purity or ultra restrictuve healthfood diets, develop feelings of disgust or contempt towards those who do not follow such a dietary regime. This is a syndrome similar to those who become members of extreme religious or New Age cults. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:51, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

If this was a legitimate psychological disorder, it would be mentioned in the literature or diagnostic manuals of that field.

If it described a passionate belief opposing strict dietary purity or superiority complexes developed from such, it wouldn't indict veganism specifically.

If it described the state of being non-vegan in contrast to a vegan past, the term "ex-vegan" is more than sufficient.

The term doesn't meet Wiki's standards of legitimacy. -- (talk) 01:37, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Personal opinion

I'm encountering the problem again that has plagued this article for years, namely editors wanting to impose their personal opinion about what veganism really is. Kelly2357, strongly anti-veganism/animal welfare/rights, wants to remove that Clinton is a dietary vegan because he occasionally eats fish, even though the sources are calling the diet vegan, and the diet he's following, T. Colin Campbell's, is clearly vegan. On the other side, Xxxzenicxxx (I suspect strongly pro-vegan) has been arguing that dietary veganism isn't real veganism, and has been editing the lead to remove it from the second sentence.

Wikipedians can't add their own opinions; we just follow what the sources say. They say that there is such a thing as dietary veganism. The sources call those diets vegan even if people break them from time to time by eating something non-vegan. The situation is not black and white. Some people want it to be, but desire is not reality. All we do here is follow the sources, and use common sense. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 22:05, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

How immature and rude of you to accuse me of being anti-veganism/animal welfare/rights, you do not know anything about my private life and what I do to help animals. Just because I follow topics that are related to these subject does not make me "anti".
A vegan is a vegan, simple as that. If Bill Clinton occasionally eats red meat & fish, he is not a dietary vegan. It has nothing to do with personal observation or opnion. Please look up the definition of a vegan or a vegetarian - they do not eat animal flesh! If the media are stating he is eating a vegan diet, then state "the media have reported that Bill Clinton..." Kelly2357 (talk) 23:16, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
It's not as simple as that, though, clearly. If Clinton says he's following a vegan diet, and if the diet he's following calls itself vegan, and if The New York Times calls him a vegan, then he's a vegan. Someone following a low-fat, low-sugar diet isn't suddenly not doing that because they break down one day and eat a tub of Haagen Daz. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 23:51, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
The New York Times is not an authoritative source of definition. More importantly, while the plant-based diet T. Colin Campbell advocates IS vegan, Bill Clinton, as someone who consumes meat, is not even a vegetarian under the most liberal of definitions. At most, one might say that Clinton USUALLY or FOR THE MOST PART follows the plant-based diet Campbell advocates. To call a meat-eater a vegan of any stripe is wholly incorrect. Someone who follows a low-fat, low-sugar diet is not analogous because neither of those terms is defined as total ABSTENTATION from consumption of the substance in question. Words are meaningless if they don't have agreed-upon definitions. One who consumes both plant foods and meat has an OMNIVOROUS diet. -- (talk) 01:35, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
What 74. says seems reasonable to me. Though no one is absolutely 100% pure (there will always be traces of gelatine and so on, and an occasional worm in the salad), I don't think that someone who intentionally eats food specifically made of animal parts is vegan, or vegetarian. I'd be OK to say that Bill Clinton eats mostly vegan food, but not that he is vegan. David Olivier (talk) 20:26, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
That's what it currently says, that he adopted an almost-vegan diet. It doesn't say he's a vegan. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 06:06, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Let's Change the Vegan Info Box Picture

Is the current picture for the vegan info box really the best we can do? It just looks like someone showing off some fancy vegan dish they made. I feel like something akin to vegetarianism (minus the dairy products) would be much better. I seem to recall a similar picture on this page a while back. --MosheA (talk) 00:16, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

We used to have a picture of vegetables and fruit, but it was pretty dull. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 17:29, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
I think it's fine, if you had one like on the vegetarianism page but without the dairy products it would just be a big pile of fruit and veg, better suited to the raw veganism page. It's going to be near on impossible to encapsulate the full spectrum of vegan foods in a picture that size so an example dish seems sensible to me. I don't think it looks fancy at all by the way, I have pictures of much fancier fare. I'm more worried about the picture of a burger half way down the page, it looks like a rodent with diarrhoea has crawled over it. Muleattack (talk) 13:02, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
I think the diarrhoea is mayonnaise. :) SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 18:32, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
The real issue is whether rodent diarrhoea obtained by letting free-living rodents freely crawl over a vegan hamburger can be considered vegan. What does Gary say about that? --David Olivier (talk) 16:39, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

I've never heard of "ethical veganism"

Hello. This article's introduction, splitting veganism into "ethical" and "dietary" veganism is bunkum. I'm a vegan, and lead a vegan group, but have never heard it being split out in this way. All vegans I know (and I know many) avoid the use of animal products in any way, shape or form, whether that's food, clothing, or anything else. I wouldn't expect anything else.

I suggest you take the definition from the Vegan Society in the UK: "Promoting ways of living free from animal products for the benefit of people, animals and the environment." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:42, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

I kind of agree with you. "Ethical veganism" implies that there is also an "unethical veganism"!! I believe what the article is trying to do is differentiate those vegans whose primary motivation is personal health versus ethics. There are a growing number of dietary vegans (mainly in the US) whose primary motivation is health (eg Steve Wynn) rather than animal welfare. Later on, once they have experienced that they can be as healthy/healthier on a strictly plant-based diet, these vegans will probably become aware how pointless the meat/dairy industries are and embrace the ethical side too. Nirvana2013 (talk) 15:09, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
dietary vegans = strict vegetarians Regards.Xxxzenicxxx (talk) 06:40, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Hi 78, we don't base Wikipedia articles on our personal knowledge or experiences, or on primary sources from 1944, but on modern secondary sources. The source we use, Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare, clearly describes ethical veganism. We can't hand over the definition to the one proposed by the Vegan Society, a primary source, 67 years ago. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 02:18, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
"Ethical" veganism only makes sense here so it can be distinguished from so-called dietary veganism. However, the mere mention of a related term (dietary veganism) in a handful of sources is not enough justification for the term to appear in the lead of the article (veganism). To me this seems like a case of undue weight being put on a marginal term / relatively small phenomenon. If dietary veganism is to be mentioned in the lead, why shouldn't we also talk about AR veganism and environmental veganism? And what about about other motivations for veganism? Based on these issues I suggest to remove dietary veganism from the lead. TheLastNinja (talk) 09:52, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Ethical v. dietary veganism is a well-known distinction; I'll post more sources to the article shortly showing their use. For example, Robert Garner and Gary Francione use those terms; they are both academics specializing in this area. Francione calls himself an ethical vegan, and Garner calls himself a dietary vegan. See the first footnote for the citations here.
It's important that we stick to what reliable secondary sources say—academic sources wherever possible—and not judge the issues based on our own personal opinions. Not everyone agrees that vegans must stop using animal products entirely; we have a discussion in the article about the so-called Paris exemption, for example. Finally, it's dietary veganism that is currently proving popular, not ethical veganism, though the former could lead people to the latter.
Nirvana, I'm going to restore the cuisine section to its previous position, so that the diet-related material is together. I'm also going to add dietary and ethical veganism headers, and put the environmental arguments in their own section. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 17:05, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I have revised the sections as vitamins/minerals etc are all part of "Health aspects." Nirvana2013 (talk) 08:26, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Just a point to note on the ethical versus health motives. Dietary veganism may entail more than just still using animal products in clothing. For example, T. Colin Campbell has followed mostly a vegan diet since the early 1990s and done much work encouraging people onto a plant-based diet. However, he does not identify himself as a vegetarian or vegan as this infers something that he does not espouse, such as anti-vivisection.[10] There are however medical professionals, such as Neal D. Barnard, Michael Greger and Michael Klaper, who do class themselves as vegans and embrace both the health and ethical sides. Nirvana2013 (talk) 08:08, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Though there clearly is a conceptual distinction being made between the concepts of founding veganism on an ethical case against nonhuman animal use, or an ethical case against some forms of nonhuman animal treatments or a case for a vegan diet out of health concerns, it is rather hard (if not impossible) to find a neutral terminology for the subject… Basicly all the secondary sources (And Beckoff's, which by the way does not contain the phrase „ethical veganism“) take a distinct stance within the discourse.
„Ethical veganism“ for instance is clearly abolitionist terminology. Singer or Garner would probably call it „dogmatic veganism“ or „absolutist veganism“ --goiken 05:17, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
The term "ethical veganism" is indeed in the Beckoff article, [11] which was written by Francione; Beckoff is the editor. But sources outside the AR movement use the term too, e.g. [12] It would be good if you could read the sources the article uses, particularly footnote 1. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 13:08, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Ah, ok… I only searched the 1998 Copy of Bekoff, that does not contain an article on the AA. My bad. --goiken 14:36, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
This discussion reminds me of one over on the vegetarianism article. We have all probably come across people who call themselves vegetarian but eat fish (in fact this makes up the majority of "vegetarians" I know!). The vegetarianism article makes it clear that even though this is common practice, they are not actually vegetarians but pescetarians/semi-vegetarians. The reason the article holds to this view, even though eating fish is common practice amongst "vegetarians", is because of the Vegetarian Society definition.[13]
In the same way it can be argued that veganism should hold to the Donald Watson and/or UK/US Vegan Society definitions. I suppose the question is where do we draw the line and how/if we should represent individuals who only follow a strict plant-based diet but do not avoid all violence/enslavement/testing on animals. Maybe this can be answered by understanding the individual's primary motivation i.e. animal welfare, personal health, the environment, simple living or spiritual gain. However, as I pointed out earlier, secondary motives may become as equally important to the individual over time.
Should we start another article called plant-based diet with dietary veganism redirecting to it? After all this is the term doctors like Colin Campbell use, as they know that veganism is not just a diet but a philosophy. Many of the doctors promoting, and adherents following, a plant-based diet for health reasons do not even call themselves vegan. Another article should stop the dilution of this article and vegan philosophy/idealism. Nirvana2013 (talk) 09:02, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
The problem there is that it would be a POV fork, Nirvana. This article shouldn't uphold vegan idealism, or knock it down, but only try to describe the way modern secondary sources, particularly academic sources, use the term, and how they define and describe the practice. Most of this article is about ethical veganism, so I'm not sure there's much dilution occurring anyway. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 13:08, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
A problem this article has always had is that people have wanted to base it on their personal experience of being a vegan. It leads to a situation, which is seen all over the animal rights movement, of certain groups being excluded: "You're not really a vegan because ... you own a leather sofa." "You're not really an animal rights advocate because ... you want KFC to provide bigger cages." It's this approach that people like Peter Singer speak out against.
I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with any position here. I'm arguing only that this article must rely on the views of modern secondary sources—not Donald Watson, a primary source, writing in 1944 (though of course we include his view), and not the experience of any particular group of Wikipedians, not least because that will keep changing as the editors attending to the page change. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 13:18, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
I hear what you say. Nirvana2013 (talk) 14:45, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
I think what we're witnessing is the slow success of a revolutionary movement. Veganism is no longer a fringe issue, which means other people have clambered on board (for good and bad reasons) and are changing what it means, making it less pure, perhaps even unrecognizable to its traditional adherents—who may feel a tendency to invoke "no true Scotsman". But these things shift, and may shift back again. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 14:57, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
I'd disagree. The mere labelling of exploitive practices with terminology of a revolutionary/abolitionist movement does not constitute a "slow success". Quite the opposite is true in my analysis. --goiken 16:21, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
I also disagree but not for the reasons given by goiken. I believe that the reason veganism (dietary or otherwise) is taking off has little to do with various Vegan Societies, their philosophy or the existing vegan movement, but much to do with numerous doctors (T. Colin Campbell etc) now proving that a plant-based diet will not only prevent cancer, heart disease and a host of other degenerative diseases, but reverse them. For veganism going mainstream listen to this radio show posted on the American Vegan Society website.[14] As Michael Klaper said back in the 1990s, a plant-based diet is an idea whose time has come. This plant-based diet movement will gain even more momentum when the documentary Forks Over Knives by Lee Fulkerson, featuring T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn and Neal D. Barnard, is released in the US next month.[15] Please note, I personally have no problem with individuals calling themselves vegan and only adhering to the diet. I am pleased these individuals find better health and less animals are being slaughtered for food, even if they do not embrace the philosophy fully. It may not be perfect but it is a leap forward. Nirvana2013 (talk) 17:42, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

This article simply does not reflect reality

Hello. I'm the guy who posted the note above about there being no such thing as "ethical veganism".

There's clearly been a lot of discussion above about this, and the article has been reverted to stating that all vegans split into two camps: ethical and dietary.

This simply does not reflect the reality out here in the real world. I know nobody at all who calls themselves an 'ethical vegan', and I run one of the largest vegan groups in the UK. I'm really sorry if this clashes with your views, and I realise you can provide lots of sources to prove me wrong, but I'm basing my views on reality.

This article is clearly trying to set an agenda. Somebody coming to it to learn about veganism will not learn the truth, but a distorted, constructed version of the truth.

To make this clear:

Veganism: Rejecting all animal products for any purpose (from food to leather seating) Strict vegetarian: Somebody who doesn't eat meat or consume any other animal product, but sees no issue using animal products elsewhere. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:46, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

We hear you, but the problem is that Wikipedia's articles have to be based on sources, and not on our own experiences or even reality itself. Please see WP:V and WP:NOR. Gabbe (talk) 13:19, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm not aware of reliable sources that explicitly reject this distinction. Can you name any? Then, i guess, we could add this view.-goiken 15:01, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
That would be shifting the burden of proof. We shouldn't ask ourselves "Are there sources that disagree with this view?" but rather "Which sources back up this view?". Lack of opposition from reliable sources is, by itself, an insufficient criteria for inclusion. Please see WP:ONUS. Gabbe (talk) 16:03, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I was addressing the IP and I was asking him/her for sources that back up the claim that there is no distinction. --goiken 05:00, 26 April 2011 (UTC).
Ah, I see. Sorry! :) Gabbe (talk) 12:45, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Photograph inappropriate

Why is there a photograph of "Lard from pigs" on a plate in this article? How is it relevant? It seems like it was posted just to be provocative. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

In what way is it provocative? SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 17:42, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Veganism is a philosophy, not a diet.

I changed the content of the article to correct the common mistake that veganism is a diet, when it is in fact a philosophy, and that the word "dietary veganism" is nonsensical use of vocabulary, and that "strict vegetarianism" fills that role quite fittingly.

From the wiki on Donald Watson, "founder of the Vegan Society and inventor of the word vegan." [1]:

"From his early conversion to vegetarianism, he later came to view the abstention from the use of all animal products as the logical extension of this philosophy. A committed pacifist throughout his life, he registered as a conscientious objector in the war, and faced the harshest challenges to his ethical position[5]. It was at this time that the need for a word to describe his way of life, and a society to promote its ideals, became apparent; together with his wife, Dorothy, they decided on the word ‘vegan’ by taking the first three and last two letters of "vegetarian," - "because veganism starts with vegetarianism and carries it through to its logical conclusion," and the Society was founded in 1944[2]." [2]

From >

"The Vegan Society defines veganism as "...a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing and any other purpose."[3]

In other words the term was precisely coined to distinguish between a vegetarian diet to a philosophy including a strict vegetarian diet, with an implicit ethical stance, seeking to exclude the use of all animal products.

Interstates (talk) 23:28, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

The sources supplied in the first reference used in the article make it quite clear that "dietary veganism" is a commonly used concept and definition with multiple sources that attest to this. What the word meant when it was originally coined is interesting and worthy of note but what is more important for us is how it's used today. Wikipedia is not here to promote any belief over any other, we're here to report on what reliable sources state and in this case the reliable sources confirm the use of dietary veganism. SQGibbon (talk) 00:25, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think there are sufficient sources for the usage of "dietary veganism" to warrant the mention of dietary veganism in the lede. I think it's fine to mention it in the article, and to list a few examples of celebrities who have followed a vegan diet, but the vast majority of people who consider themselves vegans would follow a definition closer to that given by the Vegan Society. The term is currently given undue weigth in my opinion. TheLastNinja (talk) 13:08, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

I recently learned that there are people that include vegans in an eating disorder called orthorexia nervosa (those obsessed with eating healthy food). Since veganism is a philosophy - not a diet - I am hopeful that this term never ends up on Wikipedia’s veganism page.— Preceding unsigned comment added by GlassLadyBug (talkcontribs) 1 April 2011

The term "vegan" was coined in England by Donald Watson, who founded the British Vegan Society in 1944, motivation was ethical to sentient animals:

"We can see quite plainly that our present civilisation is built on the exploitation of animals, just as past civilisations were built on the exploitation of slaves, and we believe the spiritual destiny of man is such that in time he will view with abhorrence the idea that men once fed on the products of animals' bodies". ( )

— Donald Watson, Vegan News, nº1, November 1944.

Xxxzenicxxx (talk) 02:56, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Images: It does not seem right the first image, it gives the false idea that veganism is just one type of food. Would be more appropriate image of a human petting a non-human animal in a sanctuary.Xxxzenicxxx (talk) 21:39, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

There are vegans who don't particularly like animals but are either averse to their suffering or eschew animal products for health reasons, so I think an image of a human petting an animal would be more obscure. It might make some omnivores touchy or defensive as well if they think it implies that only vegans like animals (not as far-fetched as it sounds).
I don't think there's anything wrong with the current image. It may be a philosophy to the majority of vegans, but the primary image should be both clear and central to the topic, which I think this one is. – anna 00:18, 28 April 2011 (UTC)


Nirvana, I'm going to restore H.Jay Dinshah to the lead and how he linked veganism to the concept of ahimsa, as that seems quite important and central to the movement, and it's what the source says. [16] SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 13:34, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

I have no problem with the information, it is just that the sentence is worded very clumsily. It currently reads like that both he and Watson coined the term, rather than just stating his link of veganism to ahimsa. Perhaps the sentence is too long and needs to be split into two. Nirvana2013 (talk) 17:33, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
It currently says: "The term was coined in England by Donald Watson, who founded the British Vegan Society in 1944, and in 1960 H. Jay Dinshah started the American Vegan Society, linking veganism to the Jainist and Buddhist concept of ahimsa, the avoidance of violence against living things." I don't think that suggests Dinshah coined the term too. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 17:38, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Nirvana, it would sound better if it were split in two. It's just too long at the moment. TheLastNinja (talk) 20:56, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Recent edits

Hi Nirvana, can you say what you're looking to achieve with the edits? For example, I can't see the point of pointing out that vegan is the first few and last few letters of vegetarian, because it's obvious. Ethical veganism isn't just about animal products but about animal use. The vitamins subsections are part of the "vegan diet" section. Dietary veganism is about eating a plant-based diet; how strict it needs to be is an open question, as the article explains. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 18:42, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

I disagree that the term "vegan" being derived from vegetarian is obvious, the article should say it. Vitamins are part of health aspects. Adult dietary veganism is about eating a 100% plant-based diet, it is not an open question. The only thing I believe some vegans may argue over is honey. Nirvana2013 (talk) 20:22, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I can't imagine that anyone seeing the word "vegan" can't also see that it's derived from "vegetarian." Yes, vitamins are part of "health aspects," and both are part of "vegan diet." I'll tweak the subheads further if you like. And how strict it has to be is indeed an open question; e.g. products derived from insects and the Paris exemption. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 21:22, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Nirvana about the word vegan - it's not at all obvious how the word was created. I'm not sure about the strictness of so-called dietary veganism, but if the question is whether a food is vegan or not, then there are no exceptions. (A person who identifies as vegan might still eat non-vegan foods, e.g. by accident, due to ignorance or because they're somehow stuck in Paris with nothing else to eat.) TheLastNinja (talk) 22:19, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
The point is that it's not invariably 100 percent plant-based. Some vegans, perhaps most, allow insect products to be used. So the question "is honey vegan?" will be answered differently by different people. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 23:59, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
What do you mean by insect products? I am not aware of vegans eating any insect products other than honey.[17] I would disagree that "perhaps most" vegans allow insect products to be used.[18] When you say "used" do you mean eaten or used in other ways? We are discussing diet here. Nirvana2013 (talk) 07:11, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Carmine, perhaps. – anna 12:37, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I doubt there are many/any vegans out there that knowingly consume crushed insects. Happy to be proved wrong though. Nirvana2013 (talk) 13:51, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
No need to prove anyone wrong on my part, just commenting that I have seen confusion over it, even on the part of vegans. I doubt most are unaware or apathetic, but I don't think either of us are qualified to make sweeping judgments on that without numerical data. Less murky than honey, more than most other ingredients. – anna 14:22, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Nirvana, if you read the article here, it explains. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 04:07, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
SlimVirgin, I'm a bit confused: are you proposing to change anything, or are you defending changes you've already made? FWIW, going by the references in the paragraph you just linked, it doesn't seem to me that any of the organisations mentioned (VS, AVS, VA and VO) are outright stating that honey and other insect products are considered vegan foods or that they should be labelled as such. VA and VO are merely saying some vegans might still choose to consume such foods. Just saying. TheLastNinja (talk) 21:04, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Vegan Outreach says:

So is honey vegan? Our best answer is 'We don’t know.' If one is concerned about doing harm to insects, it’s not clear that the production of honey involves any more pain for insects than the production of most vegetables or alternative sweeteners, since the harvesting and transportation of all crops involves some insect deaths. ... Saying that honey is a significant ethical issue brings in a range of other issues that people can easily dismiss veganism, reducto ad absurdum. Can't eat honey? Can't kill cockroaches? Can't swat mosquitoes? Squashing flies with your car is the same as eating veal? ...

And this brings us back to the original question of what is a 'vegan'? Perhaps instead of defining a vegan as 'someone who does not use animal products,' we should define a vegan as 'someone who reasonably avoids products that cause suffering to nonhumans.'[19]

Given that some of the vegan organizations take this approach, this article has to be careful how it defines "veganism" in Wikipedia's voice. That was the only point I was making. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 21:56, 5 May 2011 (UTC)


The original Vegan Society defined veganism very early on as “the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals”, and now defines it as “a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing and any other purpose.” So it’s clear from just about the beginning, that veganism differentiates itself from vegetarianism in that it’s about avoiding exploiting animals, as opposed to just avoiding killing them.
Honey is made from human exploitation of bees. It should be as clear to anybody that honey is not vegan, as it is that eggs, milk and wool aren’t. (All four of these involve human exploitation of animal biology and behaviour without killing the animal.)
Here is the Vegan Society’s current position on honey:
That some vegans eat honey does not mean that honey is vegan, it means that some vegans are more lax than others in the practical application of their vegan philosophy, or that they are simply ignorant of the fact that honey is not vegan.
Enjoying honey is different from enjoying plant products whose “harvesting and transportation involves some insect deaths” in that it’s possible to raise plants without intentionally killing insects, whereas honey production intentionally exploits insects.
Taking the same logic about as far but with a little left turn, to say that using bees as pollinators in plant agriculture isn’t necessarily nonvegan, would be wrong – farmers are typically agnostic about what bees are pollinating their crop; their relationship with the bees is a kind of symbiosis rather than exploitation. — TheHerbalGerbil(TALK|STALK), 13:10, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Archiving talk page

I am not sure what is happening here, but from Archive 7 to Archive 15 is blank. It seems the archive system, automatic or otherwise, is not working. Nirvana2013 (talk) 18:19, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

I've just noticed SlimVirgin has already taken this up (see here). Nirvana2013 (talk) 18:28, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

(ec) Per SlimVirgin's request at User talk:Misza13, I have consolidated the archives and the current one is #6. The others are there for the moment pending someone to doublecheck my work and they need to be deleted for housekeeping. If you check the index, you will see that it is current with all old threads excepting the one that was just archived (will be indexed within 24 hrs.) Nothing is awry.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 18:27, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Veganism - prevention and treatment of disease

Why was my edit reverted? [20] The references say it. Nirvana2013 (talk) 08:19, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Because you removed "Well-planned vegan diets have been found to offer protection against obesity, heart and renal diseases, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis." You added instead that vegan diets have been found to "treat" many degenerative diseases, without saying what you meant, when that is somewhat contentious. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 08:35, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand. The references point to not only preventing but also reversing many degenerative diseases. It may be contentious but that is what the research concludes and sources point to. If you want to keep the list of diseases (which I don't think is necessary in the introduction, as they are covered in more detail under "Health arguments") then it should read "Well-planned vegan diets have been found to offer protection against and treat obesity, heart and renal diseases, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis." I praise you for what you have done for the article, but also caution that more discussion is sometimes called for in the WP:BRD cycle. Nirvana2013 (talk) 12:46, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
You stated it in Wikipedia's voice, though it's a claim that few medical sources make in such stark terms. It's fine to attribute it, which we do later on in the article. I don't mind removing the list of diseases; it's the word "treat" that's problematic. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 15:13, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I removed the list as you suggested, so it now reads: "Well-planned vegan diets have been found to offer protection against many degenerative conditions, including heart disease." Is that better? "Offer protection" is something few sources would argue against, so it's safe to put it that way. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 15:17, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
That is better but still does not resolve my main issue. I do not know why the issue of a vegan diet treating disease is too controversial to state in the introduction, it is what the sources say. This somewhat goes against your Wikipedian philosophy of editors just being neutral conduits of information rather than filtering to their point of view. The majority of the sources are about treating and reversing disease. It is much harder to prove that diet prevents or "offers protection against" disease (as how do you know the subject would have gone on to develop the disease) than it is treat a subject that already has the disease and publish the results. Sources:
  • Prevention = "China-Cornell-Oxford Project On Nutrition, Environment and Health at Cornell University", Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, accessed February 2, 2011.
  • Treatment = Campbell TC, et al. (Oct 2002). "Medically supervised water-only fasting in the treatment of borderline hypertension". J Altern Complement Med. 8 (5): 643–50. doi:10.1089/107555302320825165. PMID 12470446.
  • Treatment = McDougall, J. et al. "Effects of a Very Low-Fat, Vegan Diet in Subjects with Rheumatoid Arthritis", J Altern Complement Med, volume 8, issue 1, February 2002. doi:10.1089/107555302753507195
  • Treatment = Esselstyn CB Jr. (Aug 1999). "Updating a 12-year experience with arrest and reversal therapy for coronary heart disease (an overdue requiem for palliative cardiology)". Am J Cardiol. 84 (3): 339–41. doi:10.1016/S0002-9149(99)00290-8.
  • Treatment = For a paper about the health effects of certain lifestyle changes, including a vegetarian diet, see Ornish D, Brown SE, Scherwitz LW, et al. "Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? The Lifestyle Heart Trial", The Lancet, July 1990, 336:8708, pp. 129–133. doi:10.1016/0140-6736(90)91656-U
  • Treatment = Trapp, C.B. and Barnard, N.D. "Usefulness of vegetarian and vegan diets for treating type 2 diabetes", Curr Diab Rep, volume 10, issue 2, April 2010.
If a medical journal publishes results challenging the above then this can also be noted. Nirvana2013 (talk) 15:50, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
You don't know what my point of view is on this issue, Nirvana, so you can't reasonably say that I'm filtering it through my POV. And you would need to quote from your sources so we can see what they say that supports your edit. You would also have to produce secondary sources. See WP:PSTS.
It also depends what you mean by "treat". If you mean "reverse," that's very contentious. I can think of one physician who advises people not even to eat honey in order to reverse diabetes, but it would be extremely unusual to find a doctor giving that advice, so we can't state it in WP's voice. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 16:26, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
You are quite right and I apologize for my assumption, I do not know your POV on this issue. Nirvana2013 (talk) 08:19, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, and no worries. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 13:28, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
As far as I can see you have two issues with including the word "treat". Firstly I would need to quote from the sources. The title of the studies are self-explanatory in terms of disease treatment, but if you need more quotes then these can be added. There are many secondary sources, such as the The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. "Doctors like Dean Ornish and John MacDougall have discovered that plant-based diets have the power to reverse heart disease, diabetes, even cancer" (page 7). However, I doubt incorporating secondary sources from celebrities adds much weight to the article. I think this is one case where primary sources suffice. Nirvana2013 (talk) 18:20, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
You would have to quote from the sources to show that they support what you're saying; the titles alone don't tell us that. You would also have to find secondary sources, medical or scientific ones, or otherwise authoritative; the sources you produced are all primary sources. See Wikipedia:MEDRS#Respect_secondary_sources. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 18:25, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
So a peer review of the clinical trials/published studies would be needed as an authoritative secondary source? I am not sure this exists yet, but perhaps another editor has more knowledge in this area. Nirvana2013 (talk) 18:49, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
If you want to state a medical issue in Wikipedia's voice, you would have to show that it's mainstream and relatively non-contentious, following the source recommendations at MEDRS. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 19:04, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

"Veganism is the practice of eliminating the use by human beings of non-human animal products."

The way this reads is that veganism involves stopping others from using animal products rather than it being a personal endeavour. Muleattack (talk) 01:09, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

It also seems to exclude dietary veganism from the definition of veganism — which is fair, given the many sources that defines veganism that way. But the next sentence of the lead then looks a bit strange. TheLastNinja (talk) 06:19, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Sorry if my previous comment was a bit off-topic to the issue you are raising. I propose to rephrase the sentence to say: Veganism is the human practice of eliminating one's use of non-human animal products. TheLastNinja (talk) 08:03, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree. It also sounds a bit clumsy. I prefer "Veganism is the human practice of eliminating the use of non-human animal products" or "Veganism is the personal practice of eliminating the use of non-human animal products." Nirvana2013 (talk) 08:11, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I like Nirvana's second proposal, so I'd be happy to use that. TheLastNinja (talk) 11:06, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Nirvana's second proposal would be fine with me. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 13:27, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I also concur and have made the change, hopefully without anyone's objections. BernieW650 (talk) 16:57, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
It was Nirvana's second sentence that people were agreeing to, Bernie, so I'm just going to tweak your edit a bit. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 17:31, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, SlimVirgin! I agree its even better now. BernieW650 (talk) 17:37, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Dietary and ethical veganism

Hello. Me again. I'm the person who says that this article is incorrect in splitting out veganism into dietary and ethical distinctions. Well, I spent a few minutes searching Google Books for definitions of veganism, and have pasted them below. NONE OF THEM define "ethical veganism". NONE OF THEM define dietary veganism as something separate from the philosophical belief of veganism.

To be honest, I could keep searching forever and find hundreds of similar examples. But these will do for now.

Will somebody please edit this article? I would do so, but it would get reverted by the individual who believes they own this article, and who I believe is trying to set an agenda.

Here are the definitions:

"Veganism is a practical philosophy oriented toward living without directly or indirectly harming or exploiting animals and actively seeking to end that harm and exploitation where it exists."

- Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism

- Margaret Puskar-Pasewicz

Note: Just noting here that the above does, in fact, make the distinction on p. 242. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 08:06, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

"Veganism is a philosophy and lifestyle whose adherents seek to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose."

- Veganism: The History, the Ethics, Nutrition, Cuisine, and Groups

- Emeline Fort

Note: Here is a list of Emeline Fort's book. It appears to be a publishing-on-demand name, and I think some of the text you cite may have come from Wikipedia. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 10:06, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Noting that this book was indeed copied from Wikipedia. See here. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 17:23, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

"Someone who follows a vegan diet avoids eating, drinking, wearing, using, or otherwise consuming anything that contains animal ingredients or that was tested on animals."

- Living Vegan for Dummies

- Alexandra Jamieson

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:36, 9 May 2011 (UTC), I agree with you that the distinction is dubious. Few (just one? (an old issue of Vegetarian Times)) of the sources SlimVirgin has provided seem to make this distinction. I therefore hold that this distinction is given undue weight and borders on a type of original research known as synthesis of published material that advances a position, which is a no-no. That said, I like what SlimVirgin has done for the article in many other respects, so I hope this issue can be resolved amenably. In light of this I would like to propose that the following sentence is removed from the lead:
Ethical vegans reject the commodity status of animals and the use of animal products for any purpose, while dietary vegans or strict vegetarians eliminate them from their diet only.
If the above issue is not addressed, I will go ahead and modify the lead as proposed. TheLastNinja (talk) 17:50, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I've now removed the sentence as 24 hours went by with no objections to my proposal above. The distinction seems to be made other places in the article as well, so we will have to go over and fix that. TheLastNinja (talk) 19:38, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
You removed it along with a large number of sources supporting it (see footnote 1), which is a clear violation of WP:V and WP:NPOV. We report in the article what the reliable sources have written, not what we personally agree with. Please don't remove it again. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 01:33, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I understand what Wikipedia is about, and I'm glad you do too. As I said, it seems to me that you are in violation of WP:SYNTH and WP:UNDUE by giving undue weight to a distinction that has extremely slim support in the sources you have provided, and by combining sources to advance the position that this is a prominent distinction. As far as I can tell, only one of the 15 sources you provided seem to support this distinction. (A 1989 edition of Vegetarian Times.) I removed the sources because they did not support the sentence(s) in the article. Unless you address these concerns I will revert your edit. TheLastNinja (talk) 06:37, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
What is your objection to the other sources I provided? These include Robert Garner and Gary Francione, two very prominent academics specializing in animal advocacy, one of them saying he's a dietary vegan and the other an ethical vegan. Are you saying they and the other sources are not reliable enough? SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 07:10, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
My main objection is not against any of the sources on their own, it's the synthesis of sources that is my main concern. Francione and Garner are both relevant and fine. I'm not saying you don't have sufficient reliable sources to say that dietary veganism is a term that is occasionally used. My main objection is you don't have sufficient reliable sources to claim that an important or prominent distinction within the vegan movement is that between "dietary veganism" and "ethical veganism". Just your VT'89 source talks about both dietary and ethical veganism, in all the other ones they are discussed on their own.
Your sources for "ethical veganism" are not using that term to distinuish it specifically from dietary veganism (as they don't even use that term), but from other motivations for veganism in general. In most sources I've seen the ethical concerns are at least part of the motivations for veganism. But by making a distinction between ethical veganism and dietary veganism, you are in fact changing the most common definition of "veganism". By using multiple sources to back up each term on their own, you are in violation of WP:SYNTH which says: Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources. TheLastNinja (talk) 09:59, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
But this distinction is explicitly made by the sources. WP:SYNTH isn't intended for examples like this.
I assume you're discussing this without having read the sources. I first had to cite them, then I had to find links for them, then I had to type out what they said in a footnote. Then I had to restore them when you removed them, and now I'm having to type them out on talk, which isn't really fair! :)
A selection:
International Vegetarian Union, 2011: "Dietary Vegan: follows a vegan diet, but doesn't necessarily try to exclude non-food uses of animals." [21]
Gary Francione, 2010 (scholarly secondary source): "Although veganism may represent a matter of diet or lifestyle for some, ethical veganism is a profound moral and political commitment to abolition ..." [22]
Robert Garner, 2010 (scholarly secondary source): "I have been a vegetarian all my adult life, and I am currently a dietary vegan, and I do not wear leather." [23]
The Virginian-Pilot, 2006: "People adopt dietary veganism—a strict form of vegetarianism that avoids meats, eggs, dairy and honey all of the time and sugar some of the time—for a variety of reasons: health, ethics, religion ..." [24]
Lucas, Sheri in Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, 2005. "It is not ethical vegetarianism or veganism, but these rigid dietary habits and the goal of spreading them—especially dietary veganism—across the globe that [Kathryn Paxton] George attacks." [25]
Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, 2000: "Be assured that it is possible to be a dietary vegan, and it gets easier each day to find alternatives for a host of animal products." [26]
Joanne Stepaniak, 2000: "'Dietary vegan' is one way to get around the sticky issue of those who consume no animal products but do not extend animal-free philosophy beyond diet, but I'm not sure it is the best choice ... To put a qualifier before [the word] dilutes [its] meaning ..." [27]
Gail Barbara Davis, 1998: "A strict vegetarian, or dietary vegan (pronounced vee-gun) has eliminated all products of animal origin from his or her diet ..." [28]
Beard, Christine, 1996. "Vegan or Dietary Vegan: A person who does not eat meat or meat by-products, dairy products, or eggs. .... Ethical Vegan: A person who is a strict dietary vegan and who also avoids animal products in non-food items such as clothing ..." [29], p. 15.
Lawrence, V. in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, 1993: "McQueen, a vegan, joined the TVA [Toronto Vegetarian Assocation] in the mid-1970s. He says dietary veganism is only one stage in his progression but pure veganism, his final objective, is much more difficult to achieve ..." [30] (p. 1002)
Vegetarian Times, 1989: "Webster's dictionary provides a most dry and limiting definition of the word 'vegan': 'one that consumes no animal food or dairy products.' This description explains dietary veganism, but so-called ethical vegans—and they are the majority—carry the philosophy further." [31]
In addition, the term "ethical veganism" is common in academia to distinguish ethical and dietary vegans for various reasons: e.g., for legal reasons related to vegans' rights in prison.
Finally, go to any vegan forum and you'll find discussions like this. Some people argue "dietary veganism" is a meaningless term (along the lines of No true Scotsman), and others invariably reply: "But I'm a dietary vegan!" And ask whether they're not allowed to call themselves vegans just because they still wear the leather shoes they bought some time ago. We can't transport that debate to Wikipedia, so we simply note that the two approaches exist. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 14:31, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Just to make sure you understand what I meant:
1) You claim there is a term "ethical veganism" and provide sources to support that view. Fine, I agree this term is used sometimes.
2) You claim there is a term "dietary veganism" and provide sources to support that view. Fine again, I agree it's a term which is used. It's a contentious claim, but you have provided ample sources so it's fine.
But then comes the synthesis:
3) Given the above, you claim that "veganism" can be divided into two categories: "ethical veganism" and "dietary veganism".
A few of the sources you have provided do actually make this distinction explicitly. The 1989 article from Vegetarian Times and Christine Beard's vegetarian cookbook (1996). However, I hold that these are not sufficient support for making this distinction in the lead of the article.
Francione doesn't use the term "dietary veganism" explicitly. He could well be taken to mean that those who see veganism "as a matter of diet or lifestyle" are mistaken, and he's using the term "ethical veganism" to be explicit about what veganism really is or should be. After all the chapter is called "Veganism" but talks almost exclusively about "ethical veganism".
Sheri Lucas' piece was not in your original footnotes, so you must forgive me that I didn't see this one before. The link only takes me to the first page, and I'm unable to search for anything without being logged in apparently.
Some of the sources you have provided seem to argue against the distinction, or that "dietary veganism" even is a valid term:
* IVU defines "dietary veganism", but then also provides a definition of "veganism" that seems to exclude "dietary veganism".
* Joanne Stepaniak puts "dietary veganism" in quotes, and doesn't seem to recognise it as "proper" veganism.
With the mountain of sources that define veganism as a practice which is at least partly motivated by ethics, I feel that it's inappropriate to give so much weight to this categorisation that it can be part of the lead of the article as there is only minor support for the distinction in the sources. It would be better if "dietary veganism" was mentioned and discussed only later in the article.
I did read briefly through the sources you provided before, but there are limits to how much you can see without purchasing the books. Typing them out above helped, so I thank you for this.
I'm familiar with a few vegetarian/vegan Internet forums, and the consensus on there is that "dietary veganism" is a misnomer and that the proper term is "strict vegetarianism". TheLastNinja (talk) 20:37, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Francione and Garner wrote their book together, The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition Or Regulation? (2010), and the book does make the distinction. They have a discussion, in the book, about veganism. One says he's an ethical vegan, the other a dietary vegan. Just as one says he's an abolitionist, the other a protectionist.
The sources mention only these two kinds of veganism, not a third, so it's not SYN to say there are two. I've looked at the vegan forums, and I can't find any such consensus. I see people regularly objecting when told they're not really vegans because they still use some animal products. But even if a consensus for that did exist there (in either direction), we couldn't be guided by it.
This debate reflects the division within the AR movement between abolitionism and protectionism. Just as we include both perspectives in the article about animal rights (prominently and equally)—even though some members of one side say the other aren't really animal rights advocates—we have to do the same here with dietary and ethical veganism, even though some members of one side say the other aren't really vegans. See WP:NPOV. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 23:15, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
IMHO "dietary veganism" being in the lead is giving undue weight. Veganism is well defined, dietary veganism is not, it is a secondary term that relies on the definition of the first, hence why the article is called "veganism".Muleattack (talk) 01:19, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with you, Muleattack. I think dietary veganism should be mentioned in the article, but discussing it in the lead is giving undue weight to a minority view of the definition of veganism itself. It would probably be more appropriate for the lead to mention different motivations for veganism (of which health is one) than to state a minority view. As it stands now, if we can't agree to remove it from the lead, then I feel we at least need to add content and sources that give the majority view for the definition of veganism as well. TheLastNinja (talk) 22:09, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Muleattack, you might want to bear in mind that veganism was founded as dietary veganism: that's all there was, at first. The current philosophy began with the elimination of animal products from the diet, not the other way round. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 22:32, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
What it once was is not the issue. My point stands. Muleattack (talk) 12:14, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with you SlimVirgin. It seems veganism was founded based on following a vegan diet for ethical reasons (non-dairy vegetarians, as Watson put it) and later was expanded to include the rejection of all animal products. Perhaps the issue here are the actual terms, as "ethical vegan" and "dietary vegan" are fairly recent (and not in mainstream usage?). Perhaps it would be better to tweak the lead to say, "There are vegans who do not use animal products for any purpose due to ethical concerns, while there are others who eliminate them from their diet only" or "Vegans do not use animal products for any purpose due to ethical concerns or eliminate them from their diet only", for example. The article can then refer to the terms ethical/dietary vegan and the various motivations (animal welfare, personal health, environment etc) later on. Nirvana2013 (talk) 07:07, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
But the terms are used, and that's going to increase as more people become dietary vegans without embracing the whole philosophy; and it has always been the case that people choose to stop eating animal products but don't go any further (except for the obvious things that are easy to avoid like not buying a fur coat or a race horse). I cited above a mixture of vegan writers, vegetarian groups, and mainstream media using the terms. I also cited The Animal Rights: Abolition or Regulation? (2010), in which Robert Garner identifies as a dietary vegan and Gary Francione as an ethical vegan. These are not two minor academics. They are two of the leading academics in the field of animal rights theory. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 16:31, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree both the terms are used. Other than the recent coining of these terms, the other issues are whether they are: a) comparing like with like, and b) distinct. Ethical vegan describes motivation versus dietary vegan which describes practice. Presumably one could be both a dietary and ethical vegan i.e. one who follows a vegan diet for ethical reasons (rather than a dietary vegan for health reasons, for example). Other than Become a vegetarian in five easy steps! by Christine Beard (1996), do any other sources compare the terms in the same book? If not, should the distinction and comparison be stated in "Wikipedia voice" during the lead? Nirvana2013 (talk) 07:05, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
We can see that Vegetarian Times used the terms in 1989, and they didn't indicate that they had just invented them. Is that what you mean by recent? As for the rest of your point, that's your own interpretation; I haven't seen any source say what you said. And yes, the sources use the terms in the same book or article. Did you read the sources I supplied above? SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 20:17, 14 May 2011 (UTC)


Yes I have read your text from the sources above. The other sources which seem to mention both terms are Vegetarian Times, 1989 and Sheri Lucas in Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy. On another point and not actually my position on this matter, but perhaps this source supports the issue that other editors are having with the terms dietary/ethical veganism: Being vegan: living with conscience, conviction, and compassion (2000) by Joanne Stepaniak (page 9 and 10). Stepaniak would not like to see the meaning of the term veganism diluted in the same way as vegetarianism (i.e. the public now believe it is normal for a vegetarian to eat fish and chicken). She believes that veganism should be kept for those who follow the full philosophy. Those who only follow the diet should use the terms "total vegetarian", "pure vegetarian", "strict vegetarian" or "transitioning to veganism". Since 2000 there is a further term which has come into use which is "plant-based diet". Nirvana2013 (talk) 08:05, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

I don't think you can be reading them, Nirvana, because several of the sources make the distinction explicitly, and the rest implicitly. Also, plant-based diet has been around for a while. I'm curious as to what happened in 2000 to make you say it was first used then.
I understand Stepaniak's point. I realize that several writers wish the two terms (dietary veganism versus ethical/lifestyle/pure veganism) did not exist, because there's a feeling that using the term veganism for dietary veganism dilutes the force of it. But the distinction does exist, and those terms are used. As I said, we could add a section about the debate. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 18:09, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
On the text you supplied, I can only find three sources that compare both the actual terms. But that is fine, this is enough. At first I could only find one such source (my mistake). I only said 2000 because this is the date of her book. She did not list "plant-based diet" as an alternative. I think it would be useful to add a section about the debate, as there are editors of this page who share her convictions. Nirvana2013 (talk) 18:20, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
The phrase "plant-based diet" has been around long before 2000. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 10:06, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
There are more than three on the list that make the distinction: Francione and Garner, International Vegetarian Union, Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism, Sheri Lucas, Christine Beard, Valerie Lawrence, Vegetarian Times.
I'm fine with having a section about the debate, assuming enough sources exist for it. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 18:33, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
SlimVirgin, you are clearly reading more into most of those sources than what is obvious to others. The IVU does not make a distinction between ethical and dietary vegans, as I have pointed out earlier. As for Francione and Garner's book, can you please write out the section where they make the distinction and discuss the terms in context? Sheri Lucas, Valerie Lawrence and Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism are not among the sources for the article. TheLastNinja (talk) 20:18, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Francione and Garner - agreed, International Vegetarian Union - does not list "ethical vegan" ("vegan" versus "dietary vegan" only), Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism - cannot find this listed as a source, Sheri Lucas - agreed, Christine Beard - agreed, Valerie Lawrence - does not list "ethical vegan" ("dietary vegan" versus "pure vegan" only), Vegetarian Times - agreed. Nirvana2013 (talk) 07:50, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
In over six years of editing WP, I don't think I've experienced this kind of unwillingness to read the sources. Ninja, I've linked to the Francione/Garner book on this page and in the article, so you can read the discussion there. Nirvana, the sources listed are clearly making the distinction between "dietary veganism" and a veganism that is all-embracing ("ethical," "lifestyle," "pure"); see Talk:Veganism/ethical and dietary sources. The Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism, which you weren't able to find:
Margaret Puskar-Pasewicz. Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism. ABC-Clio, 2010, p. 242:
"Vegans are divided into two sub-categories: lifestyle vegans and dietary vegans. Lifestyle vegans eschew all animal products in their diet and life ... Dietary vegans exclude animal products only from their diet." [32]
SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 10:06, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree that the Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism refers to the difference. Is the Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism in the actual article? I cannot find it. Also are Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy and Valerie Lawrence in the Canadian Medical Association Journal listed on the article? If not, should they be (I believe this was LastNinja's issue)?
The reason I looked for both terms within each source is because the article is not stating that there is just "vegan" and "dietary vegan" (as per the International Vegetarian Union source), but also another term called "ethical vegan". Hence it seems correct that some of the sources also compare "dietary vegan" to "ethical vegan" which, as I now acknowledge, plenty do. Should there be a further section on the reference titled "For ethical and dietary veganism:" detailing those sources which compare both? Or was your intention to have these sources on Talk:Veganism/ethical_and_dietary_sources to save space on the article? Nirvana2013 (talk) 13:10, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
It's only on Wikipedia's most contentious articles that long lists of sources saying the same thing are added to footnotes; it's not good practice. I started to do it because you and Ninja continued to contest the material, then when I realized you weren't reading the sources anyway—and when Ninja actually removed them—I stopped adding to them, and placed the list instead on a talk page for future reference. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 07:28, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
This is a long discussion that I don't really have the time or patience to wrap my head around but here are my views in brief on the subject.
1) Dietary veganism is a term that is commonly used and should be included in the article.
2) Ethical veganism is only used when differentiating between regular veganism and dietary veganism. The article is called 'veganism', not 'ethical veganism' or 'types of veganism' and 'The Vegan Society' is not called 'The Ethical Vegan Society'. As such, dividing the group in to two in the first paragraph is giving undue weight to the term 'ethical veganism'. Also, since veganism is already defined in the first sentence there is no need to specify 'ethical vegans' when defining 'dietary vegans'. So I would suggest that instead a sentence is used such as 'those who choose to follow only the diet but not ethical approach to veganism are commonly referred to as dietary vegans' thereby avoiding redefining veganism as 'ethical veganism'. Muleattack (talk) 13:56, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
"Ethical veganism is only used when differentiating between regular veganism and dietary veganism." Not so, as the sources show. I can only ask again that people ignore their personal opinions and personal experiences.
Lots of dietary vegans call themselves vegans, period -- Carl Lewis, for example, whose book I was reading a couple of hours ago. He writes that he became a vegan in July 1990. By that he means a dietary vegan. Gary Francione calls himself an ethical vegan: "Ethical veganism is nonviolence in action; it is dynamic harmlessness. ... A world that moves toward ethical veganism will be a world that moves toward greater peace and justice". [33] Lots of people do. Again, the sources are what matter for us, not personal views. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 14:10, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
So Gary Francione calls himself an 'ethical vegan', how many others do? Is it common for people to refer to themselves as 'ethical vegans'? I don't think it is. The term is most commonly used when differentiating between vegans and dietary vegans.Muleattack (talk) 14:22, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
I've posted some sources -- see above for the link to the page -- and there are more available on Google and in libraries. Yes, people refer to themselves and others as ethical vegans. Do you have a source for what you're saying? SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 14:34, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Well that's the thing, you can post some sources showing individuals referring to themselves as 'ethical vegans' but when you look at the vegan society website or vegan action or other such groups they do not refer to themselves as 'ethical' vegan groups but that is what they are. Muleattack (talk) 14:49, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Not all the societies assume that. For example, Vegan Outreach: "Plant-based diets can be very healthful. In fact, many people initially choose to go vegan to benefit their health." [34] That's a description of dietary veganism, but they just call it "going vegan."
Look, I can't keep arguing this point. The sources make the distinction, and so we do the same. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 15:08, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
The sources don't give the undue weight though. A smattering of individuals referring to themselves as 'ethical vegans' should not give the term enough weight for it to be in the first paragraph. Not when large groups such as the vegan society and vegan action do not.Muleattack (talk) 15:22, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
You're claiming undue weight but you've offered no sources to support that; and no secondary sources at all. Even the sources who wish people wouldn't split veganism into these two camps acknowledge that the camps exist.
I think this has to be my last post on the issue. Sorry, I don't mean to be rude, but several people are posting here on the basis of personal opinion and what a couple of vegan societies say, without having read the secondary literature, which is what the article must be based on. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 15:30, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Purpose of Wikipedia

As I wrote earlier, this article has been plagued for a long time—more than most—with the problem of editors adding their own opinions, and removing material they personally disagree with, no matter how well-sourced it is. To do that is to misunderstand what Wikipedia does. Our articles are simply supposed to document what reliable sources who have written about veganism have said, preferably secondary sources. That is, we offer an overview of the relevant literature. See our three core content policies: WP:V, WP:NOR, and WP:NPOV.

We must, per WP:NPOV, offer a neutral overview of this, which means we include views that we agree and disagree with, the majority- and significant-minority views of the reliable sources. It's a violation of the neutrality and sourcing policies to remove views simply because we don't like them, or because they don't fit what we personally believe "veganism" is or ought to be. For Wikipedia, veganism is defined by the reliable sources who write about it, and we simply tell our readers what those sources have said.

As for the issue of "dietary veganism" and whether it exists, of course it does, and always has. There are committed animal rights advocates who self-identify as dietary vegans (e.g. Robert Garner, source, plus he avoids leather). To deny this is to fly in the face of significant evidence. I understand that some vegans feel dietary restrictions aren't extensive enough to earn the label "vegan," and I respect the reasoning behind that. But it's personal opinion, and it simply isn't borne out by the sources, so it's not a view Wikipedia can adopt.

We can, of course, include reliable sources who say dietary veganism isn't really veganism, if such sources exist. But that would involve the addition of a view, not the removal of the view that dietary veganism is real. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 01:46, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Agree that this is a particularly problematic issue for this article. KellenT 18:09, 17 May 2011 (UTC)