Many companies are starting to not use the term Vegan due to the horrific stigma that comes from the word, and even animal rights organizations such as Mercy For Animals is using terms other than vegan for a lot of their rhetoric. And I think I am going to do the same.
Instead of just vegan, I will try to incorporate more terms such as Vegetarian and Plant-based into my discussions. Vegan will also be used, but not to the same extent as it has been.
The main issue I personally have with using the term Plant-based, is that Plant-Based is not synonymous with Vegan. For one, vegan’s do not add to the use and exploitation of animals for clothing, food, etc, as Plant-based ONLY refers to one’s dietary choice. Another is that plant-based does not even mean a diet devoid of animal products. According to the acclaimed documentary Forks Over Knives:
“A whole-food, plant-based diet is centered on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. It’s a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes or minimizes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.”
Excludes or minimizes… which means that you can have a diet that is mostly vegan, but also contains some cheese, and a small piece of chicken once a week and still be plant-based. You can also have a diet completely devoid of these products and still be plant based. Some people claim that in order to be plant-based, you MUST eat vegan, but this is honestly not true. A non-whole food but still plant based diet can contain processed foods and oil, but reducing them is pretty beneficial. I still eat veggie burgers though.
Starting tomorrow I will be Vegan again. I don’t wear wool, or leather, or silk, or eat gelatin, or anything of the like. I will be as vegan as I can be. But I am not sure I am going to call myself vegan… I am going to call myself plant-based, and vegetarian. I might consider myself vegan from time to time, but I really don’t want to be associated with all of that drama and crap that has been going on in the vegan community. I do not want to connect myself with these overly dramatic hateful pseudo-scientific people that make up the most popular of the vegan community right now.
I am going to eat far more vegetables and fruit than before, and a lot more beans, which I am going to buy dry to save on some money. Mostly frozen vegetables, fresh and canned fruit, and the like. So wish me luck again!
But personally, I think steering away from veganism and focusing more on reducing meat consumption and stepping away from the elitist a-holes is better in the long run for both MY sanity, as well as for animal welfare and advocacy. Just remember, the animals come first.