Something has been bothering me lately about some things I read about some 'vegans' and one 'vegetarian' I was reading about a few weeks ago...
Ok so what's with the being vegan at home, but eating vegetarian outside of home? I thought vegan is never consuming vegetarian safe foods such as dairy, eggs, and honey all the time no matter where you go? They say they are vegetarian outside of home bc they can never be sure about foods and or don't want to be an inconvenience or be inconvenienced. I can understand these feelings, I really can, but reading this made me think I was being some sort of a diva or something because I always ask these things when I'm out to eat:
(I'm not embarrassed to ask these things either, never have, never will be)
1. No cheese
2. Beans made w/ lard?
(Sometimes I can taste pork from even a thoroughly cleaned pot if it cooks vegan food, but has once cooked pork. Like say pressure cookers for example... And I take this into consideration.)
3. Rice made w/ chicken broth?
4. Butter in pasta? Because I can taste it.
5. Eggs or dairy in the bread/breadsticks?
6. Is that liquid smoke or bacon?
7. There's no honey in this tea is there?
It's also my line of thinking that dairy and eggs is meat. <-just thought I'd share that opinion even though it's not scientifically true.
Ok now for the other thing that was bothering me:
I've noticed a few people who call themselves vegan saying they indulge in a glass of milk, piece of cheese, or honey once in a great while.
Uh... I don't and never will. Does that make me an oddball? Am I not doing it right b/c I'm supposed to cheat a little tiny bit? Reading things like that make me feel like I'm being super-human strict and or it's not the norm. You know what I mean?
And one girl calling herself lacto-ovo vegetarian saying she has, quote on quote, "fish relapses", but despite that, she says she's been vegetarian for (then she proceed to add up the years ignoring the "fish relapses" and bask in the glory.)
The other lacto-ovo vegetarian I was talking to said she had been vegetarian for a year now despite eating meat on two occasions for being pressured by family members and "got very sick upon doing so, etc..."
These kinds of "vegetarians" are meat eaters IMO. What do you think?
Oh and bouncing back to veganism, I've also heard this a few times:
"I've been a vegetarian for X amount of years, most of those years a vegan."
Um, do you see what's wrong with this statement?...
I was at a restaurant with my hubby and friends last week and my hubby was trying to order something and was getting all huffy about it being such a pain (granted, he had been awake for 36 hours and was very cranky). He wanted pasta, but they put chicken broth in their marinara sauce (seems it's either that or cheese, all the time)...etc, etc.
Anyway, I said, "What is the point of having principles if you only stick to them when it's convenient for you?" And really, that's what it boils down to, doesn't it? As Americans we are so socialized to want/"need" convenience...it's actually pretty ridiculous. We are lazy.
Honestly, my opinion is that it's not a big deal. If that keeps them vegan most of the time, it's better than not being vegan at all. Maybe they don't want being vegan to be their total identity and consume every decision. We all take different paths and some might just give it up completely if they were going to be as strict as others. I eat many meals at home so I have a lot of control and it's easy. Also, I live in NYC so it's very easy to eat vegan. HOWEVER, if I lived somewhere where I was forced to eat an iceberg lettuce salad every time I wanted to socialize at a restaurant I might not be so committed.
In my opinion, if people eat vegan at home, but vegetarian outside of the home (for whatever reason), then they are vegetarian, end of story. Nothing wrong with that, they are still doing a lot of good, but I wouldn't consider them vegan. Now, if they were in a foreign country or something and there was no option whatsoever and they had to eat dairy or eggs, that is a very different matter.
Came across another example of this today and it's irritating me more than usual for some reason. A couple of "vegans" I only know on the internet use this protein shake with whey protein in it. I say they aren't vegans then, they're vegetarians...right? I hate to be one of those "sanctimonious" vegans people complain about, but really...don't call yourself a vegan if you're eating dairy products. It's no wonder people are confused about what "vegan" means!
I've found that some people don't actuallly know that whey is dairy!
I don't worry too much about how other people define themselves. I agree with catgirl on this; I also live in NYC and really it's pretty easy for me. When I visit my sister in Maine it's much, much harder and I find I have to take my own food EVERYWHERE. That gets old pretty quckly. I'd like to think I'd be as strict if I lived in a remote area but I don't know.
I agree with catgirl as well... I live in the middle of West Virginia and it's very hard to go out to eat in "meat country". EVERYTHING is cooked.. smothered.. basted in animal products. I am allergic to dairy (which is a blessing) so I have to be a very careful what I ingest. Also.. I can't find many dairy alternatives in this area. I just have to do without.. I can tell you it's a full time job eating consciously in this area.
Yeah, it's not easy eating vegan here in podunk Michigan either. Most Italian places either use cheese or chicken stock in their pasta sauce so I usually can't even find a simple pasta dish to eat. And I've never met another vegan. :(
But getting back to the not-knowing-whey-is-dairy point...these people actually do know it is dairy but said they eat it anyway.