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Part-Time Vegans

Part-time vegan, sounds like an oxymoron, like awfully good and deafening silence.

I think we can thank Kim Kardashian for this latest wave of discussions on part-time vegans.

Here's my thought, I am 100% behind people who are reducing the amount of animals they consume, what I am not behind is using the word vegan to describe what they're doing.

Here's why:

Vegan is a philosophical and moral approach to life, a social justice movement, it is not simply a diet. While it does include what we eat everyday, what we eat is influenced by our ethics, as is every other decision we make.

Kim almost has it right when she calls herself a flexitarian (which is really nothing, just a word created to give a label to people who want one, as flexitarians are omnivores, i.e. non-vegans.) Where she biffs it is when she says she's vegan sometimes and other times she's not. She could have said she's plant-based sometimes, or, sometimes eats vegan food, but to claim to be vegan sometimes, and other times not, is impossible.

Sometimes, people think I'm being too precious with the word vegan. That I shouldn't discourage someone from calling themselves vegan if they're eating more plants and less animals. I disagree. Think about a moral stance you hold. Maybe you believe it's morally wrong to abuse a child or the elderly. Do you ever feel like it's okay to do those things? My guess is no, you don't. It's the same with veganism.

My point is, I want people who are reducing the amount of animals they're consuming to talk about it, they just don't need to label themselves as vegan. If veganism is your goal (hooray!!) talk about that, talk about what you're working towards. Muddying the word so you can have a label now does us all (humans and animals alike) a disservice. If you plan to stop eating animals but not make changes in other areas of your life, the term plant-based works really well here. It helps others understand how to feed you without removing the moral piece behind veganism.

Here's the definition of veganism:

"Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals." - The Vegan Society

Is there a word that you feel has been co-opted and lost it's original meaning, or could lose it's meaning if it is continued to be used the way it is now? What do you think about this idea of a part-time vegan? Tell me in the comments below!


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