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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

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I can go weeks without eating any products that have some sort of animal product in it (eggs, powdered skim milk.....) Ive been a vegetarian for almost 2 years now so when I exclude the animal based products for a couple of months at a time does that make me a vegan?

Also, I heard this was debatable when referring to honey. Can you be vegan and use honey and if yes is it bought from a farm where the consumer knows that the bees are not harmed?

Responses (22)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by kindlizard at 03/19/08 18:38:59

    If your state of mind is that you are merely on hiatus from dairy, animal products, than likely you are a veggie person that has not had dairy in two months. If you don't eat animal products and don't foresee yourself having it down the road, than you likely have become vegan. Go down to the river and throw in a stone or something.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Tatiana at 03/19/08 21:18:29

    Yeah, I don't think there's a time period after which you can consider yourself vegan. If you decide one moment you are vegan, then you are vegan.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by gr8vegan at 03/20/08 03:27:39

    Here's what I read when I realized Honey wasn't vegan.

    You are definitely not vegan if you contribute to animal suffering and agriculture by occasionally consuming animal products. Its kind of the like the death penalty. You can't be against it and then execute people every 2 months.

    But I commend you on your progress. Its an evolution of understanding. Every year you walk down the veggie path you read a new book, pick up new information and become "more vegan". Enjoy the road you've got ahead of you!

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by kindlizard at 03/20/08 16:34:00

    That article is all over the place with not one point following the next. Really? That is the kind of mumbled garbage I discourage anyone from reading and makes vegans look like insane ramblers. Yikes, schizophrenic minds unite.

    This is classic:
    "So in addition to crustaceans, if honeybees don't merit respect, that would also leave earthworms vulnerable to dissection in biology classes"

    What?! Back to Writing 101, please.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Tatiana at 03/20/08 16:51:02

    Here is the definition of vegan from the American Vegan Society:

  • auungbong's avatar
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    Posted by auungbong at 03/21/08 20:32:19

    Hmm Tatiana,

    thank you for the web article, I wear leather so Im guessing Im out in that case. I have met vegans who eat eggs only from family farms around the area but I guess they are not vegan as well then.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by kindlizard at 03/22/08 11:49:14

    Just don't go out and buy new leather if that's what trips you up. Do what you can. Don't let your lifestyle be defined by a weblink either, and don't ask for judgments. If you want to be vegan, stop eating and eating from animals. The leather you wear would be worse off in a landfill than being worn, it can be cost prohibitive to remake your wardrobe, too. Do what you can where you can and don't go looking for approval from a judge. If you want to call yourself vegan, go ahead, just try to focus on what you want to do from here on out.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Tatiana at 03/22/08 12:14:29

    kindlizard - That is some EXCELLENT advice! So many people are worried about what others think of them, or fitting exactly into a mold. I'd say more, but your comment just sums everything up so perfectly! I think it's very inspiring, thanks so much for posting that!

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by gr8vegan at 03/22/08 12:42:38

    I think most people who have been vegan for even 10 years have leather around (dress shoes/old belts/furniture). Its not something you should jump to replace. Just don't buy any new ones. I've taken home a coat and noticed it had goose down in it and freaked out about it and returned it.

    What I took from the Honey Bee article is that they are highly evolved, intelligent, have memory and reasoning and experience emotions such as fear. I just felt bad about them being robbed of their food and killed in the process. I don't look down on anyone eating honey, but Agave is just as good so why bother with it. Let the bees do their own thing. I don't think its a bad thing to let animal compassion extend them. If a creature can sense danger and run away I'll do my best to avoid it.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 03/23/08 23:22:36

    If HappyCow adds a "plant eater" category for members I will choose it in preference to "vegan".
    By choice I eat plants.
    I no longer eat honey out of respect for bees.
    I no longer wear silk shirts (unless they are made from "Ahimsa" silk) out of respect for silkworms.
    However today I am wearing a gorgeous pair of purple leather boots which I had made in the 90's & which have been repaired / resoled numerous times (I do not color-coordinate my underwear with my boots).
    Here on HappyCow we do our best to "classify" eating places / stores.
    I live & work in Asia - many restaurant owners in Asia "miss" the whey powder, honey etc. listed in the ingredients of some mock meats - whenever I point it out to them I get grateful responses & sometimes they stop using those products.
    Even where HappyCow lists an Asian restaurant as being "vegan" I always double check ingredients when I visit & send in updates when I consider that they would be better described as "vegan friendly".
    Get into the habit of "adding" a new Business / Restaurant / Review / City Note to HappyCow every few days!

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by gr8vegan at 03/26/08 10:52:43

    Totally agree with Johnny. Good post!

    I just ran across this on Peta2 -

    Honey—Sure, honey tastes sweet, but you'll get a bad taste in your mouth when you learn how it's "harvested."

    From a former beekeeper: "[T]ypically, beekeepers are gloved and netted to avoid stings (nearly every bee who stings will die due to her entrails being pulled from her body attached to her stinger.) Then the hives are opened as quickly as possible and the bees are ‘smoked.' Smoke from a smoldering fire carried in a ‘smoker' is pumped into the hive and the bees are ‘calmed.' In spite of this, the combs are pulled quickly and many bees are crushed in the process. When a bee is hurt, she releases a chemical message that alerts and activates the hive members who proceed to attack the intruder—giving their lives in the process."

  • Rafael's avatar
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    Posted by Rafael at 03/28/08 05:20:20

    Unfortunately bee's are being "stolen" in CA - here is a video report -

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 03/28/08 05:30:05

    I saw the same vid -
    Crazy news!

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 03/29/08 01:20:30

    Warning - "Big Brother was here" - this thread has been edited really badly - really, really badly - perhaps 60% of the "l;ively" has been cut out.

    kindlizard had done a very good job of hammering me - there were no serious profanities.

    Notes that "The Webmaster does not support this posting" would have been very acceptable - not this dissection / "sanitization".

    I enjoy more freedom of speech here in China!

    Guys - do you really want a "squeaky clean" & sleep inducing HappyCow Forum?

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 03/29/08 01:31:52

    I meant to write - perhaps 60% of the "lively" content has been cut out.

  • Gorgeous's avatar
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    Posted by Gorgeous at 03/29/08 06:06:20

    I also conclude that there was certainly an outbreak of "over righteous" editing yesterday.

    Everyone makes mistakes! - what is done is done!
    I fully agree with Johnny that adding a "plant eater" category is important.

    Wiki extract -
    "Herbivory is a form of predation in which an organism, known as a herbivore, consumes principally autotrophs such as plants, algae and photosynthesizing bacteria. By that definition, many fungi, some bacteria, many animals, some protists and a small number of parasitic plants can be considered herbivores."
    Yes - this is my natural group - "fungi, bacteria, many animals & me".

    I would be much happier wearing that label -
    "plant eater" or "herbivore".

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by webmaster at 03/29/08 07:28:51

    Hi Johnny (and Kindlizard),
    Sorry that you feel you've been censored. The responses were removed because they were off topic, offensive, and contained personal attacks.
    We're always happy for a lively debate, however you and kindlizard had overstepped that and were bringing nasty arguments in discussion topics that were started by members looking for an answer or response to their questions, not to hear you two rant.
    Like all off-topic responses, and those that cross HappyCow's TOS: (see: "Unacceptable Content") they were removed. (As so too will this and the post above it likely be removed in a couple days)
    It's true that a couple good points were lost in the process, but in reading through, the responses given really do contain clear answers to the original question.
    If you feel to respond to this message, please start a new thread here:

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by gr8vegan at 04/01/08 03:46:19

    this is "Happy"cow after all! I felt I was tied into the chaos of this thread, too, but decided to tune it out a bit and just post w/o emotion. Its tough! When it comes to vegan discussions can always get heated :) Its personal attacks when you talk about someone's food :) We all know that talking to carnivores! Sorry things got off track! I respect everyone's opinion and will read any referenced information someone posts in opposition with an open mind!

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 04/12/08 08:24:38

    Leave the honey for the bees - they work so hard to produce it!

    Today's news - an grim but interesting read.


    Flowers Losing Smell
    Fri Apr 11, 3:25 PM ET

    Spring's bloom may not smell so sweet anymore, as pollutants from power plants and automobiles destroy flowers' aromas, a new study suggests.

    The finding could help explain why some pollinators, particularly bees, are declining in certain parts of the world.

    Researchers at the University of Virginia created a mathematical model of how the scents of flowers travel with the wind. The scent molecules produced by the flowers readily bond with pollutants such as ozone, which destroys the aromas they produce.

    So instead of wafting for long distances with the wind, the flowery scents are chemically altered. Essentially, the flowers no longer smell like flowers.

    "The scent molecules produced by flowers in a less polluted environment, such as in the 1800s, could travel for roughly 1,000 to 1,200 meters [3,300 to 4,000 feet]; but in today's polluted environment downwind of major cities, they may travel only 200 to 300 meters [650 to 980 feet]," said study team member Jose D. Fuentes.

    With flowers no longer advertising their presence over as large an area, pollinators are forced to search farther and longer to pick up the hint of their scent. They may also have to rely more on their sight than what they smell.

    Bees depend on flower nectar for food, and if they have a hard time finding the flowers, they can't sustain their populations. Other studies, along with the experiences of farmers, have indicated that bee populations are dropping in places such as California and the Netherlands. Fuentes and his team think air pollution may be the reason.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by treehugger at 04/13/08 06:04:06

    I've never considered the production of honey as exploiting the Bees........

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 04/13/08 06:21:24

    Commercial bee-keepers tend to justify it by telling of how they are "benefiting" the bee's - presenting it as a "symbiotic" relationship - almost like benevolent landowners & their sharecroppers.

    I see it as a purely parasitic relationship in which the human's "benefit" while the bee's are harmed - so I no longer consume honey.

  • KellyVeganGirl's avatar
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    Posted by KellyVeganGirl at 06/18/08 10:47:39

    Honey isn't vegan since it comes from bees.

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