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definition of veganism definition of vegetarianism

Could someone please give me the exact definitions of both.

Sourced.

My understanding is one denotes a diet (vegetaranism) whilst another denote a life style based on an ethical code (veganism).

However, in a debate I'm being told that veganism does not denote a set of ethics.
Furthermore I've been told it's just a diet.
Whilst I can accept perhaps it does not involve a set of ethics, it clearly goes beyound diet.

And the vegan society definition doesn't seem to be the same on the website and on the wikipedia page (as in there is a wikipedia definition, a vegan soc definition on wikipedia and a veg soc definition on http://www.vegansociety.com/ which is different to both on wikipedias)

tacky websites tell me that veganism is a diet.

Also a fully written down word for word original definition from Donal Watson if anyone has it would be great. I scan read the first newsletter, but couldn't find it (perhaps I missed it).
I've seen inturrpretations of it around the internet. But no word for word definition.

to me...

vegetarian: not eating the flesh of any animals as well as not using any products that killed the animal.
strict vegetarian: someone who has a vegan diet, but not a vegan lifestyle.
vegan: someone whose lifestyle is based upon not exploiting animals. i do think the term vegan and ethical/lifestyle implications.

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I think they're both lifestyles, not just diets.
I mean, unless they're vegetarians or vegans for health reasons rather than ethics, it'd be hypocritical of any vegetarian or vegan to say they don't want to eat animal products, then go out and buy a leather couch.

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I think they're both lifestyles, not just diets.
I mean, unless they're vegetarians or vegans for health reasons rather than ethics, it'd be hypocritical of any vegetarian or vegan to say they don't want to eat animal products, then go out and buy a leather couch.

Well here's where I disagree, I've met vegetarians for health reasons, vegetarians because they don't like the taste of meat or fish. However if someone is vegan then their life style aims to avoid animal products, by definition. Although you do get people on a vegan diet, that surely doesn't necessarily make them vegan?

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I think they're both lifestyles, not just diets.
I mean, unless they're vegetarians or vegans for health reasons rather than ethics, it'd be hypocritical of any vegetarian or vegan to say they don't want to eat animal products, then go out and buy a leather couch.

Well here's where I disagree, I've met vegetarians for health reasons, vegetarians because they don't like the taste of meat or fish. However if someone is vegan then their life style aims to avoid animal products, by definition. Although you do get people on a vegan diet, that surely doesn't necessarily make them vegan?

could it possibly be both a diet and/or a lifestyle - depending on the individual.  

If there's such thing as a hard/fast definition of vegan or vegetarian (putting aside the notion of who really gets to make this definition? what if one group agrees with the definition but another group chooses to define something differently) - but that aside, let's say it's a perfect world and the whole world has unilaterally agreed upon and accepted what is means to be "vegan" and what it means to be "vegetarian".  So you might have some people who abide by these definitions for whatever reason but do nothing else outside the scope of the definition - so, again for the sake of extreme simplicity, these people are then "vegans" or "vegetarians".

But what happens when you have people that go outside the scope.  What happens when you have people who don't completely live within the the scope of the wordly accepted definitions but do many other animal-cruelty-free related things that the "vegetarian"or "vegan" doesn't themselves do?  Are they then, while not a technical vegan (per'se) but still trying to live a "vegan lifestyle"?  what defines if someones is living a "vegetarian lifestyle" vs "vegan lifestyle".

For me, the only way these concepts makes sense is to forgo the labels and let us determine for ourselves who/what we are - which is always subject to change.

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I think people complicate this question a lot, when it is actually pretty simple.  

Vegan actions or items--things which don't include animal products
Vegan people--people who avoid non-vegan products when at all possible

So, you can have a vegan meal, for instance.  And a person who eats vegan meals all the time is also vegan.  That person would also avoid non-vegan products such as wool, fur, and leather when at all possible (and it usually is possible).

There are some instances when vegan people partake in non-vegan actions in some way or another--for instance, having animal products in your laptop.  This is where "when at all possible" from the definition comes into play--abstaining impedes livelihood.

Vegetarian is a descriptor term for people who don't eat flesh.  It doesn't necessarily imply anything about lifestyle, based purely on observation of people who call themselves vegetarian.  Who knows where/when the term originated.

Note that the definition of a vegan item says nothing about good/bad or other ethics.  It is descriptive, not judgmental.  It has no inherent tone--it is neutral.

Also, there is nothing to interpret--it's not as if we are translating some original text.  

Occam's razor--the simplest explanation is probably the best. ;)

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Vegetarian is a descriptor term for people who don't eat flesh.  It doesn't necessarily imply anything about lifestyle, based purely on observation of people who call themselves vegetarian.  Who knows where/when the term originated.

You probably are far more educated on this than I am, but I'd just like to point out that calling a vegetarian 'someone who does't eat flesh' is not a very accurate definition... for one, flesh is a broad term. Fruits have flesh. As I am a vegetarian myself, and not vegan, my definition is someone who will not consume any animal products that the animal had to die for- not just meat. I will not eat gelatin, chicken broth, etc.

But as sirdidymus said- labels aren't always the best and we should make the choices we want to make by ourselves, regardless of what our 'label' says about us. There probably are vegetarians out there who eat gelatin and chicken broth. But... are they really vegetarians then?
And back to the whole label thing, it's just easier to say "I'm vegan", rather than "I don't consume or purchase/use animal products". Or, "I'm a vegetarian", rather than "I won't eat food that an animal had to die for, but I still eat eggs and dairy products". Or whatever the situation is.

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As I am a vegetarian myself, and not vegan, my definition is someone who will not consume any animal products that the animal had to die for- not just meat. I will not eat gelatin, chicken broth, etc.

I would encourage you to do some research on factory farms, and the dairy/egg industries in general. Many animals do die as a direct result of these industries' actions. Many cows are killed after just 3-4 years on dairy farms, and then used for ground beef. Also, veal is a direct result of the dairy industry. Male calves cannot be used for milk, and are therefore slaughtered for veal. That's why it is said that "there is a hunk of veal in every glass of milk."

I'm not judging you, or your vegetarian choice, I only say this because of the definition that you gave for your vegetarianism.

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Oh, I meant animal flesh, naturally, not fruit flesh and the like.  I just went by what I have observed vegetarians to be like--very few of the vegetarians I know abstain from gelatin or the like (though chicken broth, yes).  When I was vegetarian I didn't make any of those deeper connections.  Vegetarian is more tricky because it doesn't have many of those unifying characteristics like vegan does--just going on observation.

Maybe it is akin to the misconception that vegans eat fish or something,  I don't know.  Again, vegetarianism isn't as much of a cohesive cause as veganism is.

Like AC said, most people who DO make all the connections go vegan.  The distinctions between meat and leather and gelatin and milk and eggs are artificial.  That's why it's impossible to define an underpinning philosophy.

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That's true, vegetarianism is flexible and full of exceptions. I guess you can't really set one concrete definition for the word.

I'm quite aware of the inhumanities and cruelties linked with the egg and dairy industry.. I've read about it, seen photographs and videos and the like. And I definitely have been considering going vegan in a later point in my life, but as a junior in highschool and a vegetarian for but three weeks, I'm not quite ready to make the switch. I have my reasons - not much time to cook for myself, wanting to enjoy certain foods with my friends, etc... but by being a vegetarian, at least I'm making more of an effort to promote animal rights than most.

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hey earthbounder,

it goes without saying that there's always "more" good we can do in the world, right?  no matter how much we do - there will always be something else we can do in addition to....  That having been said, i wanted to offer my congrats on your change in the past 3 weeks.  Sometimes people worry so much about what someone is "not" doing - that they forget to take time to applaud the positive changes that people are making. 

It sounds like you've entertained some very positive changes - give yourself time to enjoy the changes you have made.  When/if you decide to take additional steps - don't worry, it'll happen when it's meant to happen - for now...kudos to you!

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