Talk:Vegetarianism/Archive 17

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Physiology

Some edits by User:Mrt3366 are affecting POV. The qualifier to the human classification as an omnivore lacks references. Some opinions are not enough to challenge this clasification. It is to be expected for omnivores are not as well adapted to a particular food as a specialised animal. The editor also implied ("some") that are nutritional experts contesting that humans evolved to eat meat, but there are no references for this change. The paragraph about some particular early hominids, australopithecines, don't belong here, maybe in their Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australopithecine The reference for plant food diet comes from a promoter of his own diet, not a reliable source: http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/nov/b12.htm Dr McDougall is quite criticised: https://www.enlita.com/node/50 The last paragraph is redundant, it just repeat the information in the first one. Since there is hardly any worthwile information in this edit I propose to revert it. BTW, yesterday there was a dispute with this editor about the reclassification of humans as herbivores on the Herbivore page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Herbivore#Humans.27_similarity_to_Herbivores --Mihaiam (talk) 19:06, 19 March 2012 (UTC)


Statements like, "Some edits by Mrt3366 are affecting POV.

The qualifier to the human classification as an omnivore lacks references." are flagrantly inaccurate.

Please check my edits honestly before getting swayed by the lies of this user.

Mihaiam (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · page moves · block user · block log) —this user has been stalking me and reverting all my comparatively larger edits without providing enough reason. One example, just because one of my sentences contained one slightest (but I'm not too sure if it was incorrect at all) scientific inaccuracy he rashly reverted the whole edit when he could have enriched the article by simply correcting the inaccuracy with good sources.
I sincerely think he is starting multiple edit wars at once. He thinks just because I don't have many administrator friends he could revert my changes. His primary claim is that none of my sources are reliable but his/her sources are. Just look at his contributions. His contributions are mostly deletions of the edits he doesn't like. Also his activity is mysteriously sporadic. He might as well be a sock (he also claims that whoever supports my position is my sockpuppet).
I'm really flabbergasted by this sort of behaviour. Please someone help me. :) --"DrYouMe"→"Mrt3366" (Talk?) 03:12, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Please refrain from ad hominem attacks. You have to offer reliable sources (such as published scientific papers) for your contributions, especially when said contributions run contrary to the scientific consensus. If a disputed concept is not accepted in an article is not a good ideea to slip it in another article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mihaiam (talkcontribs) 07:58, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

This section as presented at this date appears to have little relevance to the subject - VEGETARIANISM. The evolution of hominids takes up more than half this section, and almost nothing is said of the physiology of vegetarianism. Ptilinopus (talk) 08:14, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Off topic material

The entire section "Animal-to-human disease transmissions" does not make any effort towards relevance to the subject: Vegetarianism. It is related, in that it may be one reason many people choose vegetarianism (it is one reason I am vegetarian). But there is nothing in the context that suggests that. It looks like a copy from some other article, and inserted here with no comment or connection. In any case, it would appear more appropriate to create a section "Reasons people choose vegetariansim", and make Animal-to-human disease transmission one of the reasons - with a link to another article on that subject, than to include all this data here.

The same applies to the Food safety section. It clumsily indicates that non-vegetarianism is more prone to disease transmission than vegetarianism, but only by indicating that contamination from animals may be responsible for some outbreaks linked to vegetable foods (1st paragraph). In the second paragraph it appears to be trying to say both diets may have food safety issues, without really going anywhere - a loosely linked collection of food contamination problems. In the 3rd paragraph, the BSE sentence as is has no relevance to the subject, other than the unstated thought that vegetarians may avoid the problem... And the 4th paragraph re Foot-and-Mouth, BCEs, mercury, dioxin, artificial growth hormones, antibiotics, lead and mercury (the last a duplication!) is all non-vegetarian related, and would appear more suitable in an article on non-vegetarianism, unless it is tied in as a reason to choose vegetarianism... The article does not really address food safety in vegetarianism, and appears again to be an insert from an article on food safety issues copied and pasted without attempt to make it relevant. It needs rewriting, removing much that is there, and addressing food safety for vegetarians, if that is considered necessary. Ptilinopus (talk) 08:49, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Poorly summarized studies removed

I have removed the following: "In 2012, the Medical Journal of Australia (open access) published eight peer-reviewed studies showing the health benefits of vegetarian diets and debunking several myths about dietary inadequacies in the vegetarian diet (Iron, B12, protein, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, etc)<ref>[https://www.mja.com.au/open]. Medical Journal of Australia Open, 2012, Vol. 1, Supplements 1 - 8, pages 7 -45 (PDF) . Retrieved on 2012-06-08.</ref>"

Essentially, the summary presented seems to be heavily slanted toward reading the source presented as being entirely pro-vegetarian, omitting and reversing several issues noted.

A couple of examples:

  • "debunking several myths about dietary inadequacies in the vegetarian diet (Iron..." while the source makes clear that numerous other sources raise this as a concern. While the source in question argues against the consensus conclusions, this is far from debunking a myth. In summary, they state, "Well planned vegetarian diets provide adequate amounts of non-haem iron if a wide variety of plant foods are regularly consumed." (emphasis mine). Those quilifiers disappear in "debunking (a) myth".[1]
  • "debunking several myths about dietary inadequacies in the vegetarian diet ...B12..." Far from "debunking" this as a "myth", the source emphasizes the concern in each of the six points in the abstract.[2] In part, "B12 is ... a nutrient of potential concern for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet", "(vegetarians) should have their vitamin B12 status regularly assessed to identify a potential problem", "Fortification of a wider range of foods products with vitamin B12, particularly foods commonly consumed by vegetarians, is likely to be beneficial, and the feasibility of this should be explored by relevant food authorities."

And so on.

If anyone would care to undertake a balanced summary of this article, feel free. - SummerPhD (talk) 01:43, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

The "Not to be confused with veganism" distinguish tag

I object to this tag. Veganism is a part of vegetarianism, as this article and the Veganism article states. Besides rejecting the use of animal products for any purpose, it's simply a very strict vegetarian diet. Flyer22 (talk) 20:54, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

I just thought readers and editors would get confused between the two. For myself, I didn't distinguish between the two, I thought they were the same. I'm not opposed to removing the tags, feel free to do so. I just thought readers would be confused. -- Luke (Talk) 22:12, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
That may be something that needs to be addressed in the lead of this article. For example, we mention the fact that pescetarianism is commonly considered vegetarianism and therefore, if going by the definition that vegetarianism excludes fish in addition to other white meat and red meat, the two topics are confused. So it seems reasonable to mention in the lead (where we note a vegan diet) that the terms are sometimes used synonymously, but that one can be vegetarian without being a vegan. However, I believe that it's already clear in the lead and at the lower part of the article that one can be a vegetarian without being a vegan. And it doesn't go vice versa because, as I stated, a vegan is a type of vegetarian. Flyer22 (talk) 22:51, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Concern about including spinach as a source of iron

I am a little concerned that the article lists spinach under the list of vegetarian foods rich in iron. This is true, spinach does contain iron, but:

(a). It does not include as much iron as was at one time believed, as the German researcher who thought he had calculated how much iron was in spinach got the decimal point in the wrong place; (b). Even the iron that in spinach is not absorbed so quickly into one's bloodstream as other sources of iron, due to the presence of oxalic acid in spinach.

That latter point is not merely something I have learnt from reading (including internet resources], but something which a professional dietitian once pointed out to me. I wonder whether this article, if it is continue to include spinach as a vegetarian source of iron, should add some qualifying comments. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 09:58, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Is spinach covered by the sources? If so, and the sources are reliable, the only thing that can be done is to add a reliable source/text (beside the inclusion-of-iron text) asserting that it does not include iron. Flyer22 (talk) 16:21, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
The loosely cited source for that section in "Optimal Vegan Nutrition" at goveg.com. As goveg.com is PETA, it is a) discussing veganism, not vegetarianism (the topic of this article) and b) not a reliable source for nutritional information. - SummerPhD (talk) 17:19, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Summer. Flyer22 (talk) 21:50, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

India labeling graphic

Not sure why someone re-added the India labeling graphic here, but they added the "wrong" (inaccurate) one. I hunted down the oldest version of the "right" graphic and replaced it. For those that don't remember why brown is better than red, here's the old "discussion" about it. Try not to get lost in the cobwebs there... -kotra (talk) 04:18, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Peanut butter?

"While dairy and egg products provide complete sources for ovo-lacto vegetarians, the only vegetable sources with significant amounts of all eight types of essential amino acids are lupin beans, soy, hempseed, chia seed, amaranth, buckwheat, peanut butter, and quinoa." My first response to reading that, is "what nonsense is this". Put less abruptly, why does that sentence refer to whole foods, and then include peanut butter, rather than peanuts? 46.65.13.55 (talk) 19:20, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

I have no clue. However, I believe it's wrong anyway. While peanut butter is high in protein, and has all but 3 of the essential amino acids in high amounts, I haven't seen any sources that say it has enough of all of them to be considered a "complete protein". However, my cursory research has not turned up a detailed breakdown of peanut butter's (or peanuts') essential amino acid profiles, so this is just my personal understanding. I've tagged it with a citation needed, but "peanut butter" can be removed by anyone at any time, since it's not sourced. -kotra (talk) 00:14, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
For an amino acid profile of peanuts and peanut butter, see e.g. here: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3126/2 and here: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4452/2 (Click on "More details" in the "Protein & Amino Acids" section.) The site has data for lots of other peanut products as well. TheLastNinja (talk) 12:52, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! I forgot about that website. The second link you provided is peanut butter, and it gives an amino acid score of 55. It says a score of 100 or higher indicates a complete protein. The wording in this article is vague, "contains significant amounts of all eight types of essential amino acids". But all of the other food sources that are listed there have a score of 100 or more according to that website (soy, chia seed, amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa), except for lupin beans and hempseed which I couldn't find on that website. So my best guess is that "100 or higher" score, or "complete protein" is what was meant. Therefore, I'm removing peanut butter from the list as it doesn't approach being a "complete protein" according to that website, even though it does contain all 9 essential amino acids to varying levels. I'm also adding citations for the food sources that are listed on that website. -kotra (talk) 23:12, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

While we're at it, would it be worthwhile to add avocado, spirulina, and potatoes to the list of complete proteins? To be honest I'm surprised about potatoes, so I wouldn't object to requiring multiple sources for some of these. -kotra (talk) 23:38, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Rearranged Page

Hi, I thought it was time to reorganize some of the content on this page. Specifically, it looks like the section on vegetarianism and religion had grown organically (no pun intended) and so I put the religions in alphabetical order as per normal practice. I also moved the section on classical Greeks and Romans as none of this content was related to religion per se. I moved it instead to "Ethics" but am not really comfortable with that either (the Greek part is really more about health than ethics), and consider it only a slight improvement. We could consider eliminating it altogether but I would personally prefer to see a separate section devoted to Vegetarianism in Antiquity that would also include entries from other ancient cultures as well. One more (preferable non-Western) culture would be good enough to start with I think. Anybody have any ideas as to where we could find suitable content? Or do you have a completely different and better idea altogether? Cheers, Dave (djkernen)|Talk to me|Please help! 19:55, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Would a "History" section be appropriate? I'd imagine it would be pretty sparse at first, with much of its content already more appropriately found in the religion sections. But your adjustments sound good to me too. Sorry I'm not more helpful. -kotra (talk) 01:07, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
Kotra, we already have a History section. So what would the History section you envision entail? Including other historical information as one or more subsections of the preexisting History section? The "Classical Greek and Roman philosophy" section would obviously fit there as a subsection. I don't feel that the "Religion and diet" section should be made a part of it, not unless the History section is titled History and religion. Flyer22 (talk) 17:53, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
Above, I stated "not unless the History section is titled History and religion" because the Religion and diet section is not just a historical matter, so it doesn't fit under the umbrella heading of simply "History." But "History and religion" is not a good heading for some or all of the subsections that would come before the Religion and diet section, seeing as it could be taken to mean that each section is about both history and religion (you know, until people actually read the sections). Flyer22 (talk) 18:05, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Update to initial definition of the lead (intro)

In January-March 2011, we had an extensive discussion about how to initially define vegetarianism. See Introduction is wrong and The lead: "with or without the inclusion of grains, nuts, seeds". It was suggested that we define it, just the initial line, by what it excludes instead of what it includes. I was against that, and, altered the initial line to where it mentions what vegetarianism generally includes and excludes. But I am now okay with the initial line only mentioning the exclusion of meat, and therefore approve of the lead that was recently implemented by Rsquire3,[3][4][5][6] although I did tweak it. I'm mentioning this here in case editors who weren't a part of the previous discussion(s) want to look over that and/or comment on the recent changes to the lead. It might also be better to move mention of the different vegetarian diets from the second paragraph and place them in the first paragraph, after the initial line. After all, they were in the first paragraph at one point (I think). Flyer22 (talk) 01:33, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Looking at this 2009 version of the article, the lead's initial line used to be defined by what vegetarianism excludes anyway. It refreshed my memory of how the lead used to look at one point in time. Flyer22 (talk) 01:49, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
Rsquire3, somewhat reverted my "tweak," but I also had to revert his removal of defining meat...per the reasons stated in that edit summary about it. Flyer22 (talk) 15:39, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Request to move Adolf Hitler's vegetarianism to Adolf Hitler's diet

Your comments would be appreciated at Talk:Adolf_Hitler's_vegetarianism#Requested_move. Nirvana2013 (talk) 08:27, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

meat consumption causes lying and sex crimes

The BBC reported that an Indian textbook reported this. Other WP users supported this and improved on the text. One user removed it saying that it is a fringe theory.

This is not true. I was not reporting that it is fact. I was merely reporting that the BBC News reported the event. We do not say that meat actually causes sex crimes and lying. In fact, one user said it was discredited.

Therefore, the report should be there. Auchansa (talk) 04:05, 20 November 2012 (UTC)


A controversial Indian textbook which is "full of factual inaccuracies", states that there are behavioural benefits of vegatarianism, claiming those that eat meat "easily cheat, lie, forget promises and commit sex crimes". In response, academics are urging the government to exercise greater control. Janaki Rajan of the Faculty of Education at Jamia Millia University in Delhi said the book "is poisonous for children." [1]

Improved version

The BBC News reports that a controversial Indian textbook which is "full of factual inaccuracies", states that there are behavioural benefits of vegatarianism, claiming those that eat meat "easily cheat, lie, forget promises and commit sex crimes". In response, academics are urging the government to exercise greater control. Janaki Rajan of the Faculty of Education at Jamia Millia University in Delhi said the book "is poisonous for children." [2]

As far as objections because of fringe theories, it is NOT suggested that we write: Meat may cause cheating, lying, and sex crimes (reference: Indian textbook).

That would be fringe theory coverage. Auchansa (talk) 04:14, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

Correction: I did not "supported this and improved on the text". I corrected some POV omissions from the text. The original, heavily POV version stated, "A textbook from India reported the behavioural benefits of vegatarianism. Those that eat meat "easily cheat, lie, forget promises and commit sex crimes", according to school textbook written by David S. Poddar." Note that the text says "reported the behavioural benefits of vegatarianism(sic)". The source makes it quite clear that the academic consensus is that this is a load of crap. The text further claimed that meat eaters "easily cheat, lie, forget promises and commit sex crimes". Again, the academic consensus is that this is a large pile of steaming turds. The objection to the text is that it is a fringe theory which the source makes abundantly clear is the case. If, however, you'd like to start a section covering the absurd claims made in attempts to support vegetarianism that have been repeatedly debunked, this might be worth a mention. - SummerPhD (talk) 04:42, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
I think there are no reliable sources to refute the Indian claim. I personally think the Indian claim is garbage but Wikipedia demands reliable sources. The most reliable source we have is the BBC which says it is controversial. Therefore, there may be a place to say that the BBC reports that there is a controversial Indian textbook. Auchansa (talk) 03:54, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, there is a controversial Indian textbook and one source discussing it briefly. If we were writing about Indian textbooks, one source mentioning it wouldn't be enough. Instead, we have one source mentioning that another unreliable source (the Indian textbook) said something unreliable. That is trivial clutter. If there is substantial coverage about the bizarre, absurd claim in multiple sources, we might have something to discuss. As it is, this is not a significant aspect of the topic (which, remember, is vegetarianism). Including this here would be similar to discussing a single report of someone's drunken stupidity in an article on alcohol. - SummerPhD (talk) 04:06, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Based on what I have read here I would agree that this is unencyclopedic material and has no place in the article. Jusdafax 04:23, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Eating nothing but molecules

If we can manufacture our own food (artificial food, from non-living materials such as minerals as well as other things), would it be possible to become a Nothingtarian? In other words, a vegetarian who also abstains from eating plant life, fungal life, and so on. A person who eats nothing except artificial nutrients created from non-living sources. I always found it odd why some people decide never to eat meat (because they don't like killing animals) yet they somehow feel it is okay to kill plants? Don't they understand that plants are also living creatures? Living organisms? Why don't plants have the same rights as all animals? --Carrot Lord (talk) 17:06, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Ha ha. Very good. Where do you imagine that the energy and complex proteins in this nothing-food would come from? Plants gather the sun's energy by photosynthesis, and animals (including us) get our energy by eating plants, or by eating other animals that have eaten plants. Anyway, for this to be of use in improving this article, per WP:TPG we will need some reliable sources that discuss the matter before there's any point in continuing this discussion. WP:NOTAFORUM --Nigelj (talk) 20:45, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes good point indeed Carrot Lord! To further your logic, I'd like to point out how odd it is that some people decide never to eat humans, yet somehow feel it is okay to eat other living beings. What a crazy world! Wikidsoup [talk] 17:32, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

The definition of vegetarianism in the lead yet again, with by-products of animal slaughter again being an issue

124.248.208.2 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has been making changes to lead that I feel are either redundant or know to be inaccurate. The changes that I feel are redundant are the additions of adding game and insects. Adding "game" is especially redundant because this is already covered by red meat and poultry. However, I kind of see his or her point about leaving in "insects," since, indeed, it's not classified as red meat, poultry or seafood.

Two additions that the IP seems to have backed off on adding are "fish" and "shellfish"; I pointed out that those additions are redundant because they are covered by the mention of seafood.

Another addition that the IP seems to have backed off on adding is asserting that vegetarianism must include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter, such as animal-derived rennet and gelatin. In three recent edit summaries, including to a different IP[7][8][9][10] (though the salt mention was a mistake on my part, as I noted in a different edit summary, and that third diff-link is not something I meant to remove), I pointed out why that assertion is not true. Again, vegetarianism is not veganism (though veganism is an aspect of vegetarianism), and as the hidden note pointing out that this has been discussed on this talk page before states, "As many vegetarians are unaware of certain animal-derived products hidden in their foods, and others are vegetarians not for ethical reasons, it was decided that 'may also abstain,' or some variation of that, is the most neutral and more accurate wording for this information." Basically, as this Serious Eats source notes, "Some vegetarians are OK eating cheeses made with animal rennet, but many will seek out ones made with vegetarian rennet, especially since the latter are quite prevalent nowadays." It also states, "So, in a sense, cheese can never be vegetarian because it leads to the indirect slaughter of animals for their meat." There is also this source by vrg.org, which states, "Many vegetarians don't consider that some of the cheeses they are eating could actually contain unfamiliar animal ingredients." This source by vrg.org also states, "One of the most frequently asked questions is: Why are some cheeses labeled as 'vegetarian cheese'? Why wouldn't cheese be vegetarian? What is rennet?" This source by the Vegetarian Times states, "Just as many vegetarians are willing to overlook the rennet (an enzyme from cows' stomachs) in their cheese, most vegans don't worry about the insects killed during vegetable harvesting." And as this source, Slim and healthy vegetarian, states, "In practice, many vegetarians do eat animal-rennet cheeses." Further, there are other -- many -- reliable sources stating the same thing or similar.

So this (the above information about it) is why assigning "abstention from by-products of animal slaughter" to all vegetarians is inaccurate. Those who don't eat meat, but do eat by-products of animal slaughter and/or certain products that may contain unfamiliar animal ingredients are still called vegetarians, especially regarding those who have no idea what animal rennet is and/or that it's in most cheeses and that unfamiliar animal ingredients are also included in a lot of sweets (such as candies, even gum). They are not called semi-vegetarians or fake vegetarians. And I once again mention that there are those who are not vegetarians for ethical reasons; the lead very clearly mentions that vegetarianism may be adopted for different reasons, including for health reasons; the usual concern of those who have adopted vegetarianism for health reasons is abstaining from consumption of meat, not abstaining from by-products of animal slaughter. My main point about this is the following: A lot of vegetarians simply are not that careful, or don't care at all, about consuming unfamiliar animal ingredients; as long as it's not explicitly defined as meat, they either are not concerned or are not very concerned with what they may be eating (such as ordering a cheese pizza from a restaurant). Because of this, and especially because this topic has come up again after years of using "may also abstain," I will, at some point, add more sources to support the "may" part for the "It may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter" line.

This (adding in two more packaged or processed foods that often contain unfamiliar animal ingredients) is also excessive, but I can live with it. I also have no problem with there being mention of what else veganism is about. But an editor had removed such information, concluding that this article should remain focused on the diets. Flyer22 (talk) 17:44, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

No, not compromise wording at all. Flyer22 (talk) 19:44, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Hi, I was asked to comment here. For any definition, it's best to stick to the vegetarian societies and other reliable sources, and simply offer whatever definitions they use, without comment. They can be attributed in the text if there's space, or if it's in the lead, the attribution with a quotation can be left in a footnote. Regarding the byproducts of slaughter such as rennet:
  • The British Vegetarian Society says a vegetarian is "someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with, or without, the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or by-products of slaughter." [11]
  • The North American Vegetarian Society says: "Vegetarians are people who abstain from eating all animal flesh including meat, poultry, fish and other sea animals. An ovo-vegetarian includes eggs, a lacto-vegetarian includes dairy products, and an ovo-lacto vegetarian includes both eggs and dairy products." [12] They also say: "Surprisingly, some people who consider themselves vegetarian continue to consume products that contain remains of slaughtered animals such as gelatin (made from ground-up skin and bones, found in Jell-O, supplement capsules, and photographic film) and rennet (made from the lining of calves 'stomachs, used to coagulate hard cheese). Some of these people may be unaware that these hidden animal ingredients even exist. Others know about them but feel that they are just minor components of a product, and that their presence is therefore not important." [13]
  • The International Vegetarian Union says vegetarianism is "a diet of foods derived from plants, with or without dairy products, eggs, and/or honey." [14] It also says: "Rennet is like gelatin in the sense that it's a common food additive but the foods containing it are often considered vegetarian." [15]
I would also look to see what major manufacturers do in countries with strict food-labelling systems. Do they label something as "vegetarian" if it contains gelatine or rennet?SlimVirgin (talk) 22:18, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for weighing in, SlimVirgin. The first source you listed, which is already present in the article, and is slightly different than the version you used, lists the "by-products of slaughter" part in its second definition. They also make it clear that those are their definitions. The second and third sources confirm what I've stated above. Like I noted, and as was noted and agreed upon years ago, it is inaccurate to state that all vegetarians abstain from consuming by-products of animal slaughter, or, specifically, animal-derived rennet and gelatin. The sources I have provided above also show that. There are simply too many reliable sources that only define a vegetarian as someone who abstains from eating meat; these sources never categorize rennet and gelatin as meat. There are too many vegetarians who either don't know about animal-derived rennet and gelatin, don't know about it being in so many foods, or simply don't care (such as when eating ice cream, yogurt, or candy). And there are too many people who are vegetarians only for health, not ethical, reasons. So I can't agree with The North American Vegetarian Society that it's surprising that such people identify as vegetarian; all of these vegetarian types are common in my experiences and interactions with vegetarians other than myself.
I see this issue the same way as what has gone on at the Veganism article, with some people wanting to define veganism strictly as someone who avoids consuming and using any animal product; these editors don't believe in dietary veganism and rather believe that veganism always extends to the vegan philosophy (not just the vegan diet). They have also used vegan society sources, such as the Vegan Society (also known as the British Vegan Society) and the American Vegan Society, to argue their points. But like you stated in the linked discussion of this paragraph, "The British Vegan Society is not in control of the way the word 'veganism' is used, nor is any other society. The word has passed into the language, and it's a living word, which means it is defined by its use. And there's no question that some people (including reliable sources, and people on the various vegan discussion boards) use it to describe adhering to a vegan diet, even if they don't ascribe to a broader vegan philosophy." It's similar regarding vegetarianism; there's no question that some people (including reliable sources, and people on the various vegetarian discussion boards) use the term "vegetarian" and "vegetarianism" without thought to by-products of animal slaughter such as animal-derived rennet and gelatin. This is why I feel that "may" should continue to be used when speaking of by-products of slaughter, as in "[Vegetarianism] may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter, such as animal-derived rennet and gelatin." I could understand if this were a matter of stating that vegetarians may eat fish (pescetarianism), because of the reliable sources out there that state that fish is not meat and that therefore vegetarianism includes fish-eating, which has also been extensively discussed on this talk page, but that's not what this discussion is about. I don't know of any valid vegetarian society that considers people who eat fish to be vegetarian. But there are valid vegetarian societies, like your third source, that consider people who eat animal-derived rennet and gelatin to be vegetarian (especially if they don't know that they are eating it). The source even states of kosher gelatin that "since the gelatin product is from hides or bones - not real flesh - and has undergone such significant changes, it is no longer considered 'fleishig' (meat) but 'pareve', and can be eaten with dairy products," though they do state that eating gelatin is not vegan.
Addressing some of my other notes about the lead, what do you think about "game" and "insects" being there in the first line or in the lead at all? I stand by what I stated about it above. I'd also remove "royal jelly" from the "by-products of animal slaughter" line because it's not supported by either of the sources behind it. "Jelly" is mentioned in this source that is in the lead, though. But to reinforce what I've been stating, there are so many vegetarians who will eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without a second thought. Flyer22 (talk) 23:48, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree that "[Vegetarianism] may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter" seems fine for the lead. You may want to go into a bit more detail in the body of the article, but that seems like a fair summary.
For the first sentence, if I were writing it I would not include game, because that seems to go without saying, but I would also not say "meat". I would say that vegetarians avoid eating animals, then I would list the most common examples of animals used for food. I probably wouldn't include insects as examples in the lead. I also wouldn't include the last paragraph about semi-vegetarianism, which isn't vegetarianism in any sense. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:01, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the tips; I'll definitely keep those in mind. I hadn't considered not using "meat" to define vegetarianism. And regarding going into further detail about the "by-products of animal slaughter" aspect lower in the article, it's already covered lower in the article (though there is, of course, room for expansion). As for including the paragraph about semi-vegetarianism, there's been consensus to keep it (a consensus that I've largely been a part of) because so many people do think that semi-vegetarianism is vegetarianism, especially pescetarianism; it's why the Vegetarian Society has even spoken out about it. If you do a Google search about vegetarians eating fish, you'll see what I mean. Even looking at the current status of the Pescetarianism talk page shows that debate. It's also why I was originally for mentioning that vegetarianism may be defined as including the consumption of fish, as though it's a valid definition of vegetarianism. It has also been defined by Merriam-Webster as "a vegetarian who eats fish," and later as "one whose diet includes fish but no meat"; the latter fact can be seen in this Merriam-Webster link, where enough people in the comments section complained about its definition of "pescetarian" and therefore compelled Merriam-Webster to change its definition (at least on that site) from including the words "no meat" to including "no other meat." Pescetarianism being thought of as vegetarianism is such a common belief, and is also covered lower in the article, that it's important to mention and dispel this belief in the lead so that we are complying with WP:LEAD. Flyer22 (talk) 00:35, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Fair point about keeping the paragraph on semi-vegetarianism. If it's a common view/misconception, it's worth explaining. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:15, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Okay, I have made tweaks to the lead...per our above discussion. Given the rennet/gelatin and other by-products of animal slaughter aspect, I wasn't comfortable with wording such as "abstaining from the consumption of animals"; rennet, gelatin and some other by-products of animal slaughter are obviously parts of animals. That stated, "abstaining from the consumption of animals" doesn't have to mean "all animals" or "always," but it's still more accurate to state "abstaining from the consumption of meat – red meat, poultry, seafood and the flesh of any other animal" instead and it's clearer that we mean "all meat/animal flesh" without adding in "all." In either case, I'm sure that most people know that we mean it's a constant thing and not a part-time thing like semi-vegetarianism, especially since the details on semi-vegetarianism are mentioned in the final lead paragraph. The standard "no meat" definition also fits better with the semi-vegetarian paragraph. Of course...rennet and gelatin are considered flesh to some people, but the definition of flesh usually doesn't include those things. And again, The International Vegetarian Union touches on that aspect.
While tweaking the wording, I also noticed that The North American Vegetarian Society also addresses the "vegetarians who are not vegetarians for ethical reasons" aspect I noted above. It states: "Many people who do not eat meat for ethical reasons do use animal by-products that are obtained while the animals are still alive." And also, "Some vegetarians who purchase items containing animal by-products believe that it is okay to do so because animals are not specifically raised for their by-products." It goes into more detail on those aspects, and it's good to have a vegetarian society source discussing those things. Flyer22 (talk) 14:03, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Removing False Health Concerns

I removed this sentence, and this change was then reverted by SummerPhd:

"However, vegetarians are frequently deficient in vitamin B12 and often show weakening of bones and depression."

I am removing it again, because the sentence is not backed up by the sources (and is also poorly written and unencyclopedic, but that's a separate issue.)

1) The link to the first clause, "vegetarians are frequently deficient in vitamin B12 and often show weakening of bones" is a dead link. In addition, that source is a website called "fyiliving.com" with this disclaimer: "This website is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment." Sorry, a dead link to an unreliable source is not good enough.

2) The second clause states that vegetarians frequently "show depression." This is also not justified by the linked source. The article makes zero claims about either the frequency of depression among vegetarians or the frequency of low B-12 among vegetarians. The relevant statements in the linked article are these:

"Older adults, vegetarians and people with digestive disorders such as celiac disease or Crohn's disease may have trouble getting enough B-12."

"Low levels of B-12 and other B vitamins such as vitamin B-6 and folate may be linked to depression."

"Keep in mind, the role of B vitamins in depression isn't clear."

The statement that "vegetarians frequently show depression" due to low Vitamin B-12 is nowhere to be found in this article. At best, the claim is OR, but even so, the claim cannot be logically deduced from this article, and the author intentionally does not make such broad claims, as the current research does not support it. PeaceLoveHarmony (talk) 17:37, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Although I agree that "fyiliving.com" is a dubious source for such a statement, the site is actually up (not a dead link as far as I can tell) and furthermore the original paper that article is based upon, can be accesed here. The paper states that "Vitamin B12 deficiency and bone fractures are common in vegetarians. However, a direct relationship between vitamin B12 status and bone metabolism in vegetarians has not been tested sufficiently." and concludes that "Low vitamin B12 status is related to increased bone turnover in vegetarians".
Keep in mind thought that searching through PubMed you can find papers making ludicruous claims such as "Vegetarianism produces subclinical malnutrition, hyperhomocysteinemia and atherogenesis." (that's the title! [16]) based on a study of mearly 24 men from Chad, a very poor and troubled country. So papers making such grandiose statements should always be taken with a pinch of salt.
So as a compromise what we could include is something along the lines of:
  • According to some studies, a vegetarian lifestyle can be associated with vitamin B12 deficiency and low bone mineral density[3]
The bit about depression is definitely WP:OR and should not be included. What do you think PeaceLoveHarmony? Regards. Gaba (talk) 01:43, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

OK, that link is working for me now. The problem is that the statement made by this source is contradicted by a number of other studies. For example:

This study, "Bone mineral density of vegetarian and non-vegetarian adults in Taiwan", found no statistical differences in bone mineral density between vegetarians and non-vegetarians of either sex: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18364334

In this study "Incidence of osteoporosis in vegetarians and omnivores", "the bone density of vegetarians compared with age- and sex-matched omnivore controls was carried out. A significant difference was noted in vegetarians, which suggests that they are less prone to osteoporosis than omnivores." http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/25/6/555.full.pdf

This study discusses how animal protein inhibits bone formation and found that bone formation was significantly less in omnivore women than in vegan women: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/ar/archive/mar03/osteo0303.htm

This study found no association between plasma B12 levels and meat, poultry, and fish intake: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2000/000802.htm

How about something saying something like this:

The relationship between vegetarian diet and bone health remains unclear. According to some studies, a vegetarian lifestyle can be associated with vitamin B12 deficiency and low bone mineral density. However, a study of vegetarian and non-vegetarian adults in Taiwan found no significant difference in bone mineral density between the two groups.[4] Other studies, exploring animal protein's negative effects on bone health, suggest that vegetarians may be less prone to osteoporosis than omnivores, as vegetarian subjects had greater bone mineral density[5] and more bone formation[6]. PeaceLoveHarmony (talk) 17:52, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Something to keep in mind here is the WP:MEDRS guideline. Primary sources for medical information, explained in that guideline, should typically be avoided. For more on why that is the case, see, for example, this and this discussion where WP:MED members explain the matter. Flyer22 (talk) 18:16, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
PeaceLoveHarmony that is a nice edit, good job putting it together. Flyer22 I think we're very much in line with the WP:MEDRS guideline on primary sources, secondary sources would of course be better but the edit introduced by PeaceLoveHarmony is clear enough that I don't think anyone will complain about WP:UNDUE or WP:OR. Cheers. Gaba (talk) 20:01, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
For record of the edit here on the talk page, I'm leaving this link (fyiliving.com counts as a secondary source, though it's of course a mediocre or poor health source to use). Flyer22 (talk) 20:06, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
Also, it's also worth noting that the debated paragraph had been removed and restored two weeks before PeaceLoveHarmony removed it.[17][18] Flyer22 (talk) 20:41, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Health benefits and concerns

I think this heading title is NPOV. 'Benefits' refers to things that are understood to be beneficial, 'concerns' refers only to things that may be thought to be bad.

We should either have, 'Claimed health benefits and concerns' or 'Health benefits and harms'. Martin Hogbin (talk) 16:30, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

What's wrong with just having Impact on health? Dusty|💬|You can help! 19:45, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
I personally do not like it much but it is NPOV, which is better than we now have. Martin Hogbin (talk) 21:06, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
For any Health benefits section, we do not use "Claimed" in front of the "health" part, unless the claims are dubious. You can ask WP:MED for confirmation of that. I don't feel that using "claimed" in this case is WP:Neutral, and it is one of the Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Words to watch under the WP:CLAIM redirect. "Claimed" is not neutral because the section is, of course, going to include health aspects that have been proven to work. We take care of health aspects that have not been proven to work (claims) by making that clear with the text. And I don't see what is wrong with using "concerns"; that can refer to things that may be bad and things that are bad. Flyer22 (talk) 16:06, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Agree with Flyer22, I don't see any NPOV concerns with the current title. Cheers. Gaba (talk) 17:21, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
You do not see the fundamental difference between the words 'benefits' which implies 'factual' and 'concerns' which suggests 'possibilities'? Martin Hogbin (talk) 18:58, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
I do not see that fundamental interpretation in this context, no. If you make a Google search for health benefit and concerns you'll see it's a widespread statement used with several foods/diets/etc. Does something like "Health benefits and risks" sound more appropriate to you? Regards. Gaba (talk) 12:28, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree, Gaba. I also agree with using "risks" in place of "concerns." A lot of our Wikipedia articles have a "Benefits and risks" title (or vice versa) or the wording in non-title text. Flyer22 (talk) 12:41, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Also agree that "concerns" is POV. "Risks" is better. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 03:35, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
I think 'risks' would be better although they are still not exact opposites in meaning. 'Benefits' carries not only the implication of being factual but also the implication of certainty. In other word to say that a certain diet has health benefits implies that an individual will improve their health by adopting this diet. On the other hand 'risks' implies that they might make their health worse by adopting the diet.
How about something along the lines suggested by Dusty Relic like 'Health effects', or 'Effects on health'. Martin Hogbin (talk) 09:05, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
The section does include facts about benefits, just like other Wikipedia sections about benefits do (except for sections that are only full of claims, which, then, should have a title indicating that the information is dubious and/or should have the text in the section make that clear). Wikipedia sections about risks include facts as well. The word risks is saying "These things can harm you," just like benefits is saying "These things can benefit you." Therefore, I do not see how benefits is any more problematic than risks. I do not view either as problematic in this case. And like I stated above, "[w]e take care of health aspects that have not been proven to work (claims) by making that clear with the text." I don't understand your quibbling over the title in this case. Like I pointed out above, "Benefits and risks," or "Risks and benefits," is standard heading practice on Wikipedia. Even Health effects titles on Wikipedia are often divided into a subsection about benefits and one about risks. If a Health effects section becomes long to the point where division makes for easier reading, then creating such subsections is more of a likelihood. Sometimes...such subsections are created simply because the editors and/or readers want a clear indication as to what information is about benefits and what information is about risks. Flyer22 (talk) 14:26, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Shouldn't it be "veganism"?

I have not made any edits but Vegetarianism is not the proper term, would not the proper term be Veganism? Ranleewright (talk) 06:07, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Hello, Ranleewright. What do you mean? Also, veganism is an aspect of vegetarianism (as shown in both the Vegetarianism and Veganism articles). Besides that, per WP:Verfiability, we go by the sources. If the sources use the term vegetarianism or vegetarian, so should we. If the sources use the term veganism or vegan, so should we. Flyer22 (talk) 06:20, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

There are two different topics here:

  • Vegetarianism - a human diet excluding meat & fish but generally including eggs & dairy (milk, cheese, etc.)
  • Veganism - a human diet excluding meat, fish, eggs and dairy. - SummerPhD (talk) 06:26, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

That does not seem to be the definition given in the header information in this entry on vegetarianism. It seems like it would be closer to the definition for veganism the only thing it lacks is animal products like leather and such, I was a vegan many years ago but I guess the definition my have changed by now. Ranleewright (talk) 06:43, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

I'm still not sure what you mean. The lead (introduction) states that vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat; that is what vegetarianism is. Then there are varieties of it, what it includes and excludes, which the rest of the lead and lower body of the article go over. But keep in mind that the lead, per WP:LEAD, is only a summary of the article's contents. Both vegetarianism and veganism are the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat, which is why veganism is a subset of vegetarianism; the only difference between them is that veganism excludes all animal products, which the lead notes...including the mention of clothing. However, like the Veganism article states, the term veganism sometimes only applies to the diet of abstaining from all animal food products...not also the philosophy of opposing the use of animals or animal products for any purpose. Flyer22 (talk) 06:56, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
And if you are speaking of the "may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter, such as animal-derived rennet and gelatin" part, yes, a lot of vegetarians avoid those products. Therefore, it's not only vegans who do. Flyer22 (talk) 07:10, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

OK, I see the definitions must have changed in the last ten years or so, it used to be more restrictive. Ranleewright (talk) 07:32, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Considering that you seemed to indicate that the definition of vegetarianism is wider by stating that "[this article's definition] seems like it would be closer to the definition for veganism," I'm now confused by what you mean with regard to more restrictive. In other words, it seems to me that you were stating that this article's definition of vegetarianism is as strict as the definition of veganism. Flyer22 (talk) 07:43, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Do you mean that you feel that the definition of veganism used to be stricter, as in not only sometimes simply referring to the diet? Flyer22 (talk) 07:53, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Sorry don't mean to cause confusion, I'm a 55 year old man I can remember when Vegetarianism ment plant life and everything else some times, fish, beef, chicken, eggs, etc in small amounts was ok for most vegetarians and most Vegetarians wore, used animal based products leather clothing, shoes, lard (animal fat) in cooking, animal based cosmetics. The term Vegan was was considered a separate group of people altogether they only eat and used plant based products in and on their bodies, plant based fiber shoes, clothing, they cooked with plant based oils, restrictive I should have said in the vegan way of living. The newer definitions of these words have become looser now I would guess or Vegan has been combined with Vegetarianism. Ramblings of a old man, don't pay any attention to me, the past is the past. Ranleewright (talk) 08:02, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Semi-vegetarianism is discussed in the article, but I wouldn't state that it's ever been the standard definition of vegetarianism. This source from the Vegetarian Society pretty much shows that it wasn't. And let's keep in mind the history of vegetarianism and how veganism became a subset of it. Some dictionary definitions (such as some versions of the Oxford English Dictionary) include fish in the definition of vegetarianism because sometimes fish (significantly more often than poultry) is not considered meat (which this article notes and is why SummerPhD stated "meat & fish" above), but vegetarianism is usually defined as excluding meat; it's always defined as excluding meat (including fish) by authoritative vegetarian groups (such as the aforementioned Vegetarian Society). As for wearing any clothing derived from an animal's body, many vegetarians won't wear such clothing...but that is significantly more of a vegan aspect. Flyer22 (talk) 08:58, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

I don't know anything about the definitions the British give things, I'm American. Ranleewright (talk) 09:37, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

I'm American as well. And what the Vegetarian Society states isn't simply the British definition of vegetarianism; there is no such thing as "the British definition of vegetarianism." Flyer22 (talk) 09:46, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

To be truthful I have never heard of them until now, The Vegetarian Society is a British registered charity established on 30 September 1847 to "support, represent and increase the number of vegetarians in the UK. Ranleewright (talk) 09:50, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

The Oxford Dictionary is copy righted and published in London England, the're is also a electronic form now online, one of the most well known dictionaries of the English language, indeed it has a British definition for vegetarianism. a person who does not eat meat for health or religious reasons or because they want to avoid being cruel to animals: Ranleewright (talk) 10:09, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

That's not the British definition; it's simply the general definition of vegetarianism, except more restricted because it doesn't list the other reasons for vegetarianism that this article mentions. But then again, a dictionary usually does not go in-depth with regard to a definition. Flyer22 (talk) 10:23, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Also take note of the how the term vegetarianism developed/why the Vegetarian Society is considered an authoritative source on the matter. Like the Etymology section of this article states, the Oxford English Dictionary "writes that the word came into general use after the formation of the Vegetarian Society at Ramsgate in 1847, though it offers two examples of usage from 1839 and 1842." Flyer22 (talk) 10:31, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
My understanding is that vegetarianism is a general, wide ranging term that includes veganism to those who may use animal products, eat eggs, cheese, milk and even fish, whereas veganism would entail total abstaining from all animal products. So, essentially, veganism is one end of the spectrum of vegetarianism.Wzrd1 (talk) 12:53, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
That's basically what I stated above, except that I was clearer about the fish aspect. Flyer22 (talk) 13:04, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Deleted post by obvious sock of blocked user Ranleewright.Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 07:46, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Considering that I watch the Homosexuality article and was familiar with you before you even showed up at this article, before I ever interacted with you, as Ranleewright, I know that you are Ranleewright. Flyer22 (talk) 05:15, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Deleted post by obvious sock of blocked user Ranleewright.Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 07:46, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

By-products of slaughter, specifically gelatin

Given the subject matter, I am assuming this is a hot button issue, but I just read this and it does not seem to follow logically.

Specifically, I can't help but note that there's a logical disconnect between the inclusion of gelatin in a vegetarian diet and the fact that Wikipedia's own article on gelatin defines it as being made from animal flesh. I believe that rather than the current definition given that implies that vegetarians may abstain from these products, I believe it would be more accurate to state that some semi-vegetarians (already a term defined in the article) do not abstain from by-products of animal slaughter despite these not being vegetarian in the strictest sense. This would line up with the definition provided by The Vegetarian Society, who are not only the oldest vegetarian society in the world, but are arguably responsible for mainstream usage of the word 'vegetarian.' Once again, I apologize thoroughly if this ends up kicking up dust here and starting a bickering match, I have just been doing a considerable amount of research for a book being written and the apparent logical contradiction here stood out to me. 108.32.85.226 (talk) 18:23, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Logical disconnects frequently occur in ideologies/"lifestyle" diets. That said, I note that we seem to cover this in the article in both mentions of gelatin: "... it may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter, such as animal-derived rennet and gelatin" (that one's in the lead sentence), "Some vegetarians also avoid products (such as)... gelatin (derived from the collagen inside animals' skin, bones and connective tissue)...while other vegetarians are unaware of or do not mind such ingredients". The sources bear this out: "Rennet is like gelatin in the sense that it's a common food additive but the foods containing it are often considered vegetarian." IVU, "Surprisingly, some people who consider themselves vegetarian continue to consume products that contain remains of slaughtered animals such as gelatin..." NAVS, etc. Thus the common definition of "vegetarian" will include people who eat foods that are not vegetarian in the strictest sense. - SummerPhD (talk) 18:43, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
IP, we already went over this extensively more than once, including recently; see Talk:Vegetarianism/Archive 17#The definition of vegetarianism in the lead yet again, with by-products of animal slaughter again being an issue for the most recent discussion (negating this one). For me to state any more on this topic would be repeating some, or most of what I stated in that discussion, but here goes: The Wikipedia article on gelatin states "a translucent, colorless, brittle (when dry), flavorless solid substance, derived from collagen obtained from various animal by-products." I have not come across many sources that define that as meat/animal flesh. And that goes double for rennet, which the Wikipedia article defines as "a complex of enzymes produced in any mammalian stomach, and is often used in the production of cheese." Furthermore, not all by-products of animal slaughter equate to meat consumption. We go by the WP:Reliable sources on this matter, and WP:Neutrality. Like WP:Verifiability states, "When reliable sources disagree, present what the various sources say, give each side its due weight, and maintain a neutral point of view." We state "may abstain" in the lead because, as the hidden note beside that line points out, "See the sources and past talk page discussions for the addition of by-products of animal slaughter. As many vegetarians are unaware of certain animal-derived products hidden in their foods or do not care if they consume them, and others are vegetarians not for ethical reasons, it was decided that 'may also abstain,' or some variation of that, is neutral and more accurate wording for this information." We should not definitively state that vegetarianism excludes by-products of animal slaughter...when that generally is not the case, including with regard to most definitions of vegetarianism (at least the ones I have come across, which is many). Flyer22 (talk) 18:52, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
The first sentence of the "composition" section of the wikipedia article on gelatin describes gelatin as being made from "...collagen extracted from the skin, boiled crushed horn, hoof and bones, connective tissues, organs and some intestines of animals such as domesticated cattle, chicken, pigs, and horses." This is clearly contradictory to the most basic definition of "vegetarian". However, I don't mind giving both sides their due weight, though, which is why I raise this contradiction in the first place. The wording of the article as it is written today implies that the most accepted definitions of "vegetarian" allow for eating of by-products of animal slaughter, and that the opposing cases are the exception, while this is simply not borne out in any sources to cited to date. The Vegetarian Society flat out rejects the idea of slaughter by-products being vegetarian, NAVS only states that "some" people who "consider themsleves" vegetarian eat these things, and the IVU link sourced doesn't even say anything about gelatin not being vegetarian, but instead the text cited to defend the concept of gelatin being vegetarian was ironically enough written to warn readers that kosher gelatin is not necessarily vegetarian as it could be made from animal products.108.32.85.226 (talk) 19:48, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't read it like that at all. We must remember that this is not an article about what we would hope vegetarianism to be, but as people have said above, it is about what the most reliable sources say it is. I don't think there is any statement of 'most accepted' and 'the exception' in the present opening wording. It says "Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat[...]; it may also include abstention from by-products [...]" How about if we change that to "Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat[...] and may also include abstention from by-products [...]"? I see set and subset expressed in both cases, but maybe the latter has less of the connotation you are seeing? --Nigelj (talk) 20:21, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
The various vegetarian societies and organizations that exist are not independent sources. They do not represent a cross-section of those who consider themselves vegetarians. They represent the views and opinions of their funders. Thus, "Surprisingly, some people who consider themselves vegetarian continue..." The horror: they aren't towing the ideological line. Additionally: "IVU does not promote the use of any animal products but understands that many vegetarians include dairy products, eggs or honey in their diets."[19] Yes, IVU, many vegetarians use dairy, eggs and honey. That's why the word "vegan" exists.
We could, and IMO should, use a definition supported by independent reliable sources. You know, the whole NPOV thing. WebMD says, "a diet free of meat, fish, and fowl flesh." Princeton.edu comes up with, "a diet excluding all meat and fish". Dictionary.com gives us "does not eat or does not believe in eating meat, fish, fowl, or, in some cases, any food derived from animals, as eggs or cheese, but subsists on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grain, etc." and so on. Instead, we have a version Frankensteined together from various interest groups. The whole gelatin, rennet, etc. question should be mentioned in the article as an issue that various vegetarians haven't agreed on. We aren't here to define vegetarianism or state what vegetarians should/shouldn't eat. Instead, we should state the common understanding of the word, explain the diversity of beliefs and practices of those who self-identify as vegetarians and state what the appropriate academic disciplines say about the diet's possible advantages and risks. Instead, the vegetarians rule, so we explain that if everyone were a vegetarian, everyone would live forever in a paradise full of daisies and frolicking puppydogs. Disagreements between vegetarians? Perish the thought! Dietary shortcomings? Nonsense! The need for, gulp!, artificial supplements and consultations with actual MDs? OMG, no! - SummerPhD (talk) 20:25, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
I was actually with you regarding citing independent sources followed by explaining differences in practices and beliefs, but you lost me when you decided to take this conversation downhill. Please don't do that here, it's not appropriate even if this is just the talk page. 108.32.85.226 (talk) 20:31, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
I was merely explaining why an independent definition either won't happen here or won't last long if it does. - SummerPhD (talk) 20:37, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Because of the big drama it would have the potential of causing, SummerPhD is correct that independent reliable sources would not last long here for the initial definition of vegetarianism, not unless the source is like this MedlinePlus source, though (for the "cheese may contain animal rennet" aspect) we do currently use this Serious Eats source in the lead (including for the first paragraph). One reason SummerPhD is correct about independent reliable sources not lasting long is because some sources include fish as being vegetarian because fish is often not considered meat. To most vegetarians, at least most of the ones I've come in contact with, eating fish is non-vegetarian. That has not been my experience with regard to gelatin and rennet (for most vegetarians), however, as I've come in contact with many vegetarians who consume products such as Jell-O, marshmallows, chips, chewing gum, etc. without any thought for what animal ingredients those products may contain. The first two are a gelatin matter (in most cases anyway). Also, again in my experience, only some vegetarians (the minority in my case) look out for all or most of these ingredients. I've witnessed that type of carefulness as being significantly more of a vegan practice. I buy vegetarian cheese, but many vegetarians don't and instead eat cheese that likely contains animal rennet. Because we often go by authoritative sources on Wikipedia, such as in some cases of medical topics with regard to the World Health Organization (WHO), I would better understand your point, IP, if all the authoritative sources on vegetarianism (and the Vegetarian Society is one) defined vegetarianism as excluding by-products or as specifically excluding by-products of animal slaughter...but all of them don't. The Vegetarian Society even gives two different definitions for vegetarianism.
The only "most accepted definitions of vegetarian" that I know of is the exclusion of meat. But even what is considered meat varies, as the lead of the Meat article shows; that's also why the lead of the Vegetarian article, like the hidden note about this matter states, points out what we mean by meat. Like Nigelj, I don't believe that by using "may also abstain" means that "The wording of the article as it is written today implies that the most accepted definitions of vegetarian allow for eating of by-products of animal slaughter." But indeed most definitions of vegetarian or vegetarianism, let's say based on Google searches (in case someone were to state that I can't know what most of the definitions are), mention nothing of by-products of animal slaughter. And The North American Vegetarian Society, in addition to what you stated says, "Some of these people may be unaware that these hidden animal ingredients even exist. Others know about them but feel that they are just minor components of a product, and that their presence is therefore not important... Many people who do not eat meat for ethical reasons do use animal by-products that are obtained while the animals are still alive." On top of that, I don't conclude what you have from the International Vegetarian Union source; it mentions nothing abut irony and instead states, "However, OU pareve certified ingredients can have animal products, such as fish, eggs, and gelatin, in them. 'Kosher Gelatin Marshmallows: Glatt Kosher and 'OU-Pareve',' an article that appeared in Kashrus Magazine, explains the distinctions. A quote from the article is as follows: '...since the gelatin product is from hides or bones - not real flesh - and has undergone such significant changes, it is no longer considered 'fleishig' (meat) but 'pareve', and can be eaten with dairy products.'" It then goes on to explain that gelatin is not vegan (it does not state that it is not vegetarian) and also states, "Rennet, traditionally used as a coagulating agent in cheese making, is derived from the digestive juices of slaughtered calves. Rennet is like gelatin in the sense that it's a common food additive but the foods containing it are often considered vegetarian."
But again, these aspects were already gone over extensively, with various WP:Reliable sources, including in the aforementioned recent discussion. I feel the need to repeat what I stated in that most recent aforementioned discussion: For example, I stated that there are simply too many reliable sources that only define a vegetarian as someone who abstains from eating meat; these sources never categorize rennet and gelatin as meat. There are too many vegetarians who either don't know about animal-derived rennet and gelatin, don't know about it being in so many foods, or simply don't care (such as when eating ice cream, yogurt, or candy). And there are too many people who are vegetarians only for health, not ethical, reasons. So I can't agree with The North American Vegetarian Society that it's surprising that such people identify as vegetarian; all of these vegetarian types are common..." Also see, for example, in that discussion where I pointed out a similar case with regard to veganism: Some people want to define veganism strictly as someone who avoids consuming and using any animal product, but, like [SlimVirgin] stated in the linked discussion of this paragraph, "The British Vegan Society is not in control of the way the word 'veganism' is used, nor is any other society. The word has passed into the language, and it's a living word, which means it is defined by its use. And there's no question that some people (including reliable sources, and people on the various vegan discussion boards) use it to describe adhering to a vegan diet, even if they don't ascribe to a broader vegan philosophy." Flyer22 (talk) 21:27, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Just to add my $.02, the reason this debate has resurfaced (and will do so again in future) is that the term vegetarian is so ambiguous. Some people (i.e. me) consider "vegetarian" to be the correct term for "vegan", but rendered unusable by people who are too lazy to say "lacto-ovo-vegetarian" (a term much older than vegan btw). Others believe vegetarians can consume any non-meat animal product as long as no harm to animals is involved. Others aren't interested in preventing harm to animals as much as they are interested in adhering to the tenets of their religion, or to their doctor's instructions, or they just think meat is gross. That's before you even get into nitty gritty details like gelatin and rennet. WP cannot define vegetarianism because there is no consensus on the definition. Rather than try, we should document the mess that is, which is what this article does a pretty good job of doing already IMO. Peace, Dusty|💬|You can help! 21:36, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

To help keep this debate from coming up more often than it does (though it only comes up infrequently anyway), I'm thinking of removing "such as animal-derived rennet and gelatin" from the lead, and rather letting the Varieties of vegetarianism section, which already goes into detail about that matter, handle specific mentions of that. Many people pay more attention to the lead than the rest of the article, and it's been stated by Wikipedia sources and non-Wikipedia sources that most of our non-editor readers only read the lead. Sure, the lead (as pointed out above) is supposed to summarize the article's contents (especially its most significant aspects), but the wording "may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter" summarizes the rennet and gelatin matter; readers can click on the By-products and Animal slaughter articles, click on or hover over the references, or skip down to the Varieties of vegetarianism section, for specific details on these matters. Either that, or adding "leather" and a comma in front of "animal-derived rennet and gelatin" (the "and" should be an "or") could help because it's easier to understand that, while some vegetarians consciously abstain from consuming (purchasing) leather (which is a by-product of animal slaughter), some vegetarians consume leather. Or maybe adding "leather" wouldn't help because of the misconception that, with regard to vegetarianism, avoiding leather is only a vegan aspect (no matter that veganism is a subset of vegetarianism). Flyer22 (talk) 00:52, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

After a few days of waiting for commentary on this matter, I went ahead and removed mention of rennet and gelatin from the lead. Flyer22 (talk) 17:41, 11 August 2013 (UTC)