The word "vegan"

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The word "vegan"

Postby brec » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:45 pm

I noticed that Dr. McD. and some simpatico others, such as Dr. Esselstyn, eschew the word "vegan". Because "vegan, no oil" seemed an economical way to describe the dietary regimen, avoiding "vegan" seemed strange to me until today when I consulted the dictionary.

I had thought that "vegan" meant simply a person who ate no animal products. But it actually means more than that: per the American Heritage 4th Ed.: "A vegetarian who eats plant products only, especially one who uses no products derived from animals, as fur or leather. [emphasis added]" So now I understand, and will stop using "vegan" as part of my food choice description.
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Re: The word "vegan"

Postby chris87 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:52 pm

I think the actual reason Dr. McDougall (and others) avoid the word vegan has more to do with the composition of the diet. There are many so-called "junk food vegans," who subsist on highly processed food that is devoid of nutrition. Saying that you are vegan can mean so many different things. You could be someone who eats vegan sausage at every meal, but that is certainly very different from the McDougall WOE. I believe that is why Dr. McDougall prefers the phrase "starch based," since it clearly describes the dietary focus.
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Re: The word "vegan"

Postby rickfm » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:13 pm

You can stuff yourself with Pepsi and potato chips and call yourself a vegan.

I eat starch based, whole plant-foods, no oil. That's really it in the simplest form.
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Re: The word "vegan"

Postby rijman » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:22 pm

Yes, being a vegan encompasses more than diet. Being a vegan is not just eating a diet free of animal based products, it is a lifestyle free of all animal based products including belts, shoes, purses, coats, etc. Also, as previously stated, our top plant based doctors do not recommend a vegan diet, they recommend a stricter diet which also eliminates free oils and focuses on whole food plant based foods. Our plant based doctors aren't just concerned with what we don't eat (vegan) but they also put an emphasis on what we should eat (WFPB).
I may be naive.
But I still believe the truth will be revealed if enough light is shined on the subject.
Right now we are dealing with massive ignorance.

John McDougall, MD
(McDougall Discussion Board, posted 7/2/13)
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Re: The word "vegan"

Postby JohnLarson » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:26 pm

"Vegan" seems to be a curse word.
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The McDougall Program is not a "diet," and it was not designed primarily for weight loss – however, loss of excess body fat naturally results as people regain their health. - Dr. John McDougall
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Re: The word "vegan"

Postby Salley » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:37 pm

I called myself vegan long before I actually identified as vegan... just makes life so, so much easier. I'm so grateful that food labeling doesn't seem to share this odd concern over identification... I'm pretty certain the McDougall foods that are all labeled 'vegan' aren't actually vegans, yet there seems to be no issue calling them that, so the fact that some would go out of their way to avoid using the term strikes me as highly offensive.... 'wouldn't want anyone thinking I was vegan, that would just be so terrible wouldn't it?' ... even if the issue was just one of concerns about confusion over what is healthy or not it could still be labelled no oil, whole foods vegan... there are 'plant based' diets that include some minimal amounts of animal foods, this is not one of them, it is vegan.
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Re: The word "vegan"

Postby Debbie » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:28 pm

Salley wrote:Ihighly offensive.... 'wouldn't want anyone thinking I was vegan, that would just be so terrible wouldn't it?' ...


Do not flog me for my views.

To me, it is terrible to be called vegan. NOT because I dont want to but because I am not good enough to be called one. I do not have the conscience to be a full vegan. I do not think eating meat is bad in and of itself. WE certainly dont need it, but there certainly has never been a full long life fully vegan society either. But I do think it has its place in certain circumstances. Ive heard "real" vegans say even if they had absolutely nothing they would not eat an animal. I can not and would not say that.

I had a cookie recipe emailed to me. It was healthy cause it was vegan. It was full of vegan oil, sugar and vegan chocolate chips. It was no healthier than a stanard cookie recipe.

This eating plan is not vegan. If it were then Dr. M would say NO FEASTING EVER on an ounce of turkey or whatever. He certainly would not indulge in a Babe Ruth bar while taking his grandson trick or treating, as he said during the 2011 fall ASW. I believe he said something like "I love taking my grandson trick or treating and you better believe there will be a babe Ruth candy in it for grandpa".
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Re: The word "vegan"

Postby Salley » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:21 pm

well I don't think the occasional 'sin' ever stopped anyone from calling themselves christian... the fact that there are unhealthy vegan diets doesn't mean vegan=unhealthy and it also doesn't mean that this isn't a vegan diet... it excludes more than just a vegan diet would. I've got to admit, even when I wasn't vegan I wouldn't dream of eating a babe ruth bar!... but just because Dr.McDougall might choose to eat one doesn't make this way of eating unhealthy (but, yeah, I don't think anyone would try to argue that a babe ruth bar is healthy!)... there are no 'acceptable, on plan' foods in this way of eating that are not vegan, all animal (nonvegan) foods are excluded. Of course this doesn't mean that anyone (including Dr.McDougall) can't choose to eat those animal foods as much or as little as they would like... but I still don't think you are going to be finding any meals in the newsletters, books, or McDougall foods that aren't vegan.... they don't just happen to be vegan, it's an intentional eschewing of specifically animal based foods. While some certainly consider veganism beyond diet, most dictionary definitions, including medical, define it as a strict vegetarian that consumes no animal food or dairy products and therefor it can be said this is a vegan (by definition) diet. I can't for the life of me understand why it would make anyone happier or feel better about themselves to try to suggest it isn't. Eating vegan may not make you a vegan, but not being a vegan doesn't make a vegan meal not vegan.

I've said in the past that if my children were zombies I would probably become a Dexter (from what I've heard about that show... he only gets the bad guys, right?) to feed them, so I guess maybe I'm not a 'real vegan' either, but for now at least I'm totally buying into Dr.McDougall's dietary suggestions and therefor raising my kids vegan.
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Re: The word "vegan"

Postby Debbie » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:37 pm

Salley wrote:there are no 'acceptable, on plan' foods in this way of eating that are not vegan, all animal (nonvegan) foods are excluded.

Honey. Honey is considered an animal food. And it is certainly acceptable on plan.

And someone eating a feast day of any meat or dairy, while not on plan, is not technically off plan either for Dr. M says it is allowed. Obviously it is the daily use of feasty foods thats at issue.

I used the cookies as an example. But in no way meant it as the argument for vegan vs McDougalling. Vegan is vegan and McDougalling is McDougalling. Its been said here that being vegan a McDougaller it does not make. But a vegan and McDougaller one can be. I cringe when people call this a vegan diet.
"It's the food" It's always been the food.
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Re: The word "vegan"

Postby Salley » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:48 pm

Debbie wrote: I cringe when people call this a vegan diet.


Seriously? Why? Do you cringe when you see a meal that fits within this way of eating labelled 'vegan'? I'm just trying to understand this extreme prejudice going on here.

Good point about the honey... I know so many vegans that use honey it's not something I even think about, but there are also plenty that do not use honey and in order to be labelled vegan a food item can't include it.

Everyone I know irl calls this a vegan diet when I describe it... so glad it doesn't make me cringe!
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Re: The word "vegan"

Postby Norm » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:55 pm

I do not use the word vegan to describe my diet because:

A) The word implies more than just dietary choices, and
B) The word doesn't adequately describe my diet, and
C) I have no problem using Honey, while vegans, by definition, do.


I also have a respect for my vegan friends and don't want to pretend I've reached their level of commitment in this area.


Am I a vegan? I'm moving that direction. I might be a closet vegan. 6 months ago I wasn't opposed to the occasional bite of meat or fish even though it didn't happen often. Today I choose not to eat it, ever, and don't mind if I never do again. 6 months ago I used the occasional egg and milk when making bread for others. Now I do not.
I see being a vegan in my future, but I still wont describe my diet as vegan simply because it doesn't adequately describe my diet.

-Norm
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Re: The word "vegan"

Postby Debbie » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:05 pm

In my reality, when I've used the word vegan to describe this way of eating people shut down. Youve come in with an agenda, then think peta cause that's all they know about vegan people. Even when you say vegan diet, they get stuck at vegan. They don't even get to the food.

Even Jeff doesn't called this a vegan diet. Just like it's not raw but raw is allowed. Or fruit based but fruit is allowed. It's more than vegan and vegan is more than mcdougalling.

However, when I was in the hospital I had to order my food as vegan then add theno added oils to it. Apparently kitchen staff are too stupid to know what starch based, animal based free with no added oils means. :|
"It's the food" It's always been the food.
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Re: The word "vegan"

Postby Salley » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:10 pm

Norm wrote: I see being a vegan in my future, but I still wont describe my diet as vegan simply because it doesn't adequately describe my diet.


So if someone asks if you have any special dietary requests or needs you won't say vegan? I mean this all just seems so silly and overboard to me to go to such lengths not to use a term that is so helpful in getting us 95% of the way easily in so many social situations... sure, it's not completely adequate and in most cases more information will be needed, but it sure is a lot easier to say vegan and then go into the finer points... that's actually how I came to ever hear the term myself was in trying to order foods for myself people would respond with something along the lines of "oh, you're vegan, okay I get it now..." and after enough times hearing that or having it written down on my chart somewhere, I was more than happy to have discovered such a simple way to explain so much! (although I do admit it's frustrating that 'vegetarian' isn't enough since so many seem to think the term automatically includes ovo-lacto and sometimes even fish and fowl).
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Re: The word "vegan"

Postby Salley » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:16 pm

Debbie wrote:Even Jeff doesn't called this a vegan diet. Just like it's not raw but raw is allowed. Or fruit based but fruit is allowed.


But cooked foods and vegetables are also allowed whereas animal foods are not, so that doesn't really compare.

I admit, I've never had anyone think I was vegan just because I was eating a vegan diet so perhaps I would feel differently otherwise... but I doubt it because I have had people automatically have a lot of prejudgment and stereotypes about what people that eat vegan must be like and knowing someone that does and does not fit their prejudice is always a good thing in my book... if I was to attempt to distance myself from that definition it would be like I was affirming their stereotypes.
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Re: The word "vegan"

Postby janluvs2heel » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:16 pm

Debbie wrote:In my reality, when I've used the word vegan to describe this way of eating people shut down. Youve come in with an agenda, then think peta cause that's all they know about vegan people. Even when you say vegan diet, they get stuck at vegan. They don't even get to the food. :|


I think that is the biggest reason why I will not use the word vegan, because of the association with PETA & other organizations like that. Since I am in the dog world, a trainer & owner of dogs & even on occasional breeder, the word vegan comes from my mouth & I am immediately associated with PETA. And I just do not want to go there. And besides, I have a few things that I will never give up, such as leather leashes so I don't feel I have the right to call myself a vegan either.

Does it make a difference what word we use. I prefer to use low fat, starch based diet. If I am out & I need to explain further, I will do so. :nod:
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