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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

My friend and I are both vegan, she believes that bugs (insects) are not mammals or reptiles and therefore not animals. So she will eat honey, use carmine products ect. I don't really think that is true veganism. When I dared comment it was like a major conflict.

So what do you all think, should insect consumers have the title vegan? Do you think insect consumption is vegan? Or should they have a cool prefix to indicate they are not strictly vegan?

Responses (6)

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    Posted by Tatiana at 04/01/09 08:50:40

    From the definition of animal on Merriam Webster:
    "any of a kingdom (Animalia) of living things including many-celled organisms and often many of the single-celled ones (as protozoans) that typically differ from plants in having cells without cellulose walls, in lacking chlorophyll and the capacity for photosynthesis, in requiring more complex food materials (as proteins), in being organized to a greater degree of complexity, and in having the capacity for spontaneous movement and rapid motor responses to stimulation"

    So the obvious answer, per that definition, is yes, bugs are animals.

    and from the same site, definition of vegan:
    " a strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy products ; also : one who abstains from using animal products (as leather)"

    So if a bug is an animal and vegans don't eat animals products, then a bug eater is not a vegan.

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    Posted by Geekasaur at 04/01/09 13:45:52

    Was looking more for opinions. Everyone knows bugs are animals. I did outline specific quesitons. Please reply to those not something I already stated.

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    Posted by Tatiana at 04/01/09 15:12:23

    Hmm, I don't think I stated anything you already stated, but here are my answers to your questions.

    So what do you all think, should insect consumers have the title vegan? This is a touchy subject. A lot of people call themselves vegan who aren't 100% by the strictest definition. If your friend's overall frame of mind is vegan and she would like to call herself that, then I don't think it's a big deal. Many would argue you can't call yourself vegan unless you 100% follow the strict definition, but there are a lot of people who consider themselves vegan who aren't strict (use animal derived skin care products, use products with carmine, etc). In the grand scheme of things, does it matter? I think that is totally up to the individual. If she wants to call herself vegan really that's her right.

    Do you think insect consumption is vegan? In the strictest sense of "vegan", no. See above question for more.

    Or should they have a cool prefix to indicate they are not strictly vegan? Some people who use honey are referred to as "beegans", haha.

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    Posted by JohnnySensible at 04/02/09 08:38:12

    Vegan Society - Donald Watson - from England!
    Interviewer : You were instrumental in the formation of the Vegan Society. Can you tell us about how that transpired? How have the goals of the group changed over the years?

    Donald Watson: Inspired people can do much individually, but can do more with like-minded people. So I gathered a few such people together whom I knew would not waste time arguing for the sake of it. I know as a propagandist that many people do not argue to reach right conclusions but to defend their interests and religious shibboleths. We did not need a committee of such people. Of course, we did not always agree on everything. We argued for a long time about whether members should sign a pledge, before deciding against it. We also debated for a long time about the case of honey but again decided against it.
    The Society soon widened its aim to include all animal exploitation, in brief to work for a new relationship with the rest of sentient creation in a symbiotic relationship if possible, to live and HELP live rather than to just live and let live.
    Read the full Donald Watson interview - at -
    Tatania - it is not a touchy subject - honey is not vegan - bee's are highly intelligent creatures.
    See -
    I suggest the following possible titles -

    + Bee-killer

    + Bee-abuser

    + Bug-abuser

    + Thief

    + Bully

    Honey is a highly addictive substance / a cruel "junk food".

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    Posted by sunsetluv at 06/01/09 09:00:36

    Labels are stupid. The person is 99% vegan..why can't we be happy that they're at least that? Personally, I'd consider the person vegan. When you get to the nitty gritty details like that, aren't we being a tad snooty? Besides, I personally believe every persons choice to take their compassion for animals to whatever extent they can (whether vegetarian, vegan, semi-vegetarian, the guy who has guilt but doesn't know how to be full veggi so he slowly cuts out animal flesh till he gets it right) is to be commended!

    Its the persons decision to eat or not eat. Its not up to anyone else to label, or question that persons decisons. The journey to veganism is personal. To each his own.

    As for adding a special prefix - I think its dumb.

    On another note, you attract more with honey rather than vinegar (har har har) - so rather than dispute the point of using honey, you might get farther to swaying your friend by sweetly suggesting Agave as a good sub.

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    Posted by Vegeplay2000 at 07/06/09 08:39:13

    >>Or should they have a cool prefix to indicate they are not strictly vegan? Some people who use honey are referred to as "beegans", haha.

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