Making sense of the meaning
pragmatic definition of "vegetarian" is:
A person who does not eat fish or meat or any food product containing
ingredients derived from animal slaughter. Our definition continues
by including those who do not wear or buy products made from slaughtered
If those two conditions apply to you then you can check yourself
in as a vegetarian on the moral grounds of compassion, in what most
moderates should accept as a balanced, unarguable ethos. This means
that being a "vegetarian" by our interpretation is someone
whose lifestyle excludes meat, fish and clothing / consumer products
associated with animal slaughter. This dots the i's and crosses
the T's to give solid meaning to the definition of vegetarian. If
this can be adhered to then additional extensions of vegetarian
such as "ovo" and "lacto" become unnecessary,
leaving "vegan" to become more defined as a personal preference
on a dietary level, while still representing a movement who abstain
from any form of animal exploitation. There is a for and against
argument to this and to other points which we raise below, and we
will expand on these in future site updates; explaining further
why we feel that the long-established Vegetarian Society and the
Vegan Society need to update their principles - for ethical clarification
reasons on one hand and environmental reasons on the other.
tries hard to stand for everything that's simply natural about being
veggie without falling into the segregation trap... something which
can often denigrate even the most sensibly balanced ethical preferences.
In fact, in an ideal world, we would
chuck out all "veggie" and "arian" type descriptions
altogether - That is if humanity was a cruelty-free society. But
until then, we'll have to make do with old-fashioned terms that
dissect the ethics of compassion. Of course, we will always take
our hats off to the old regimes who originally pioneered the vegetarian
ethic and who still do provided very practical information, but
unfortunately today, even the word "society", (which could
be defined as the gathering of self-righteous stereotypes) makes
vegetarianism sound separatist, dull and elitst.
Why can some vegans seem so sanctimonious?
Not our words, but the type of question
often implied during a meaty / veggie discussion.
There is certainly an extreme element of self-righteous veganism
which points fingers at vegetarians; inferring that they are "no
better than meat-eaters". VeggieGlobal does not condone that
line of thought and instead considers a mode of pacification, brought
to you through sensible discussion and information. This helps you
breathe easy and pace yourself as you find your own path towards
a compassionate lifestyle ... an overall improvement for the planet
as well as yourself.
Bizarrely, the word "vegetarian"
originally evolved from mouth to mouth and then into the written
word without its principle meaning ever being properly clarified.
People who don't eat fish and meat but still wear the skins from
their slaughtered bodies - have always been able to proclaim "vegetarian"
status, courtesy of this shaky, half-baked word, which doesn't really
know which direction its moral compass is pointing. "Vegetarian"
solidified into grammatical approval during the 1800s when it was
adopted by an embryonic "Vegetarian" Society, who to this
day still seem unperturbed by its flawed ethical interpretation.
So, its no wonder why some vegan schools of thought assert the Vegetarian
vs. Vegan argument, surmising that a high percentage of vegetarians
are still wearing or using goods made from slaughtered animals.
A vegan will also abstain from
all dairy products, eggs and honey. Their arguments for doing so
are largely justifiable, because on a general consumerists level
these products often originate from farming processes which still
cause animal suffering, and besides this, the principles of veganism
anyway means no exploitation of living creatures.
VeggieGlobal feels that as long as a vegetarian makes reasonable
efforts to only buy animal-friendly non-vegan products which don't
cause detrimental harm, such as unfertilized organic eggs from free
range hens living a full life - or dairy products from full-lifespan
animals who are not subjected to treatments which enhance their
milk yields - or honey harvested from hives using no-kill methods
and are actually helping to repopulate bees, then you should not
feel any less worthy than a vegan. You are doing your bit to alleviate
animal suffering in a manner which can eventually encourage better
ethical practices within the wider food industry. You are making
a difference by striking a balanced and accessible target, which
a wide spectrum of the populace can easily aspire to and adopt for
Being a real vegetarian as defined by VeggieGlobal is a lifestyle
choice which doesn't carry moral baggage, meaning anyone with a
conscience can't fail to warm to its simple, "coalecent"
Being a real vegetarian is not even remotely an extreme lifestyle
choice and is completely achievable in a consumer society teaming
with animal-friendly options - and with locally and homegrown crops
on the increase you might even find yourself becoming even more
ecologically tuned in than your trendy vegan neighbour who might
still be buying soy products sourced from rainforest-destroying
In fact, in the wider consensus of animal protection, vegans are
certainly no more "purer" than your average vegetarian
or even meat-eater. Why? People of any dietary persuasion can plead
guilty of consuming products containing ingredients which are destroying
the few remaining natural areas of the planet and therefore the
wildlife that lives in it. With such a high percentage of food products
containing palm oil or soy, sourced from plantations which are created
by completely destroying rain forests and all its inhabitants, we
are ALL indirectly responsible for the killing and shear devastation.
If you want to find out more on this read "Palm Oil - Ape Killer"
on our sister site Looking-Glass by browsing the animals pages.
Having to label ourselves as Vegetarian
or Vegan .... Isn't there a better option?
As we have mentioned earlier, we would
rather steer away from terms such as vegan and vegetarian, which
can induce all kinds of stigmas, depending on your social surroundings.
First of all, if VeggieGlobal removed the term "vegetarian"
and "vegan" from this site you would never find us through
search engines etc.! So we need to stick to what most of the world
recognize as a term to differentiate between meat-eaters and non
However ... VeggieGlobal has come up with a far less stigmatic label
to describe a fish and meat free diet. ... And that's basically
it ... "FM-Free", which simply means "fish and meat
free". Start using it in conversation and maybe it becomes
the norm just to say "I'm FM-Free", rather than the joke
inducing "I'm a vegetarian" and thereafter the inward
sighs and smirks from your meat-eating counterparts. We are not
claiming that the term "FM-Free" is actually a better
way to quantify your dietary preferences, because it might not cover
the finer detail, but we do think that on a social level it doesn't
give out such a "separatist" vibe amongst your social
clique - Another faddish term perhaps, but at least it doesn't sound
so flaky or sanctimonious ... and maybe it even sends out an aspirational
Everybody uses the term GM-Free for describing foods that are not
genetically modified, so perhaps FM-Free might catch on one day.
In case you are wondering, the reason why fish comes first in "FM-Free",
is because we always emphasize the importance of abstaining from
eating wild fish as the first dietary step in helping to bring our
planet back from the brink of oceanic catastrophe. Adding the word
fish also helps to ensure the message gets across that you don't
eat any form of living ceature. I.e. how many times have you as
a vegetarian been asked "Do you eat Fish?".
NOTE: If you are looking for a piece
of jewellery which can emphasize your vegan / veggie commitment,
the planet's most environmentally friendly ethical goldsmith Kerstin
Laibach handmakes-to-order veg*n inscribed jewellery pieces... See
Here ... Kerstin Laibach, the world's first pure vegan goldsmith
Whichever your preferences for describing
your dietry activity and as long as it has a positive effect on
the living world and our environment, we hope you can begin or continue
to live life with the feeling that one little thing like being a
veggie DOES make a difference.
Where does VeggieGlobal fit in?
On this web site, vegetarianism goes
hand in hand with concern towards the environment and also links
with humanitarian issues. So here's a run down of how Veggieglobal
draws together the paths towards global compassion:
In 1998 we wrote on our sister site
Looking-Glass: "... join these on-line activities that will
turn the media on its head, as the issues and actions raised here
become the primary consideration of 21st century lifestyle and communication.
A bridge from street level to the natural world has been built for
the first time ..."
By the late 2000's, creating
media and public awareness about the importance to make significant
changes to our lifestyle for the sake planetary survival, had become
a familiar maxim of our everyday lives.
The first significant turning point
towards global realignment for the sake of the world's ecology more
or less began with the protests at the 1999 World Trade Fair Organization
in Seattle USA and the IMF / World Bank conference in Washington.
This gave a clear indication that a shift within main business infrastructure
towards environmental considerations was becoming dangerously overdue.
Such protests and many since are proving that the few who struggle
to keep the natural planet breathing are now having a small but
significant effect on the way the general public learn to adopt
a more greener lifestyle.
So is there a flicker of light
at the end of a long smog filled tunnel? And if so, can the web
continue to help us edge closer towards it? As
we have done in previous incarnations since 1995, VeggieGlobal
continues to guide you towards a future full of the shades of green
that most of us dream of ... a new ethical horizon.
Awareness and Repair
Perhaps controversial on occasions
and often pragmatic - but VeggieGlobal
always aims to be levelheaded through commonsense and even a fun
approach. It aims to push boundaries, expose hypocrisy and get straight
to the point ... No peeling grapes around here. VeggieGlobal
also generates awareness supported by a strong philosophical foundation
- It throws questions and considerations directly at the consumer
as well as encouraging the commercial sector to explore alternative
and even more honest / hype-free methods of global management. It
evolved from one of the very first online resources for animal rescue
/ welfare and vegetarianism back in the mid 1990's, and in a commercial
sense has remained in the shadows as a low-profile resource found
by chance or word of mouth. Throughout the years it has become one
the world's most popular independent websites of its kind. It may
be because our carefully researched editorials are unique, digging
deep into the truth - revealing myths and misinformation. For example,
we steer clear of most Wikipedia-based resources, which are so full
of mistakes caused by people uploading wrong information. Even the
creator of Wikipedia has said its now "broken beyond repair"
because of an "often dysfunctional" community. Indeed
we have found many mistakes on Wikipedia relating to vegetarian-based
info. Grossly distorted "facts" and fictions on other
rogue veggie web sites, forums and blogs is another irritant we
could do without. To compensate, we do what we can here to try and
set the records straight and repair the damage, and while we do,
we make sure we serve you unbiased information to ultimately give
you an informed choice. We are also of a nonpartisan nature and
keep a long distance from any extremism relating to animal protection
or vegetarianism etc.
A Pigeon Amongst the Fat Cats
We provide resources, research, editorials
and campaigns which, although realized by us, commonly reflects
the consensus of the general public. We also aim to strike an altruistic
balance by providing info and links only to worthwhile organisations
with whom we have specifically verified the authenticity / balanced
perspective of their mission.
What you may now have also gathered, is that the moral path which
and it's sister site Looking-Glass follows is devoid of capitalization.
Charity-style capitalizing out of global suffering is something
we don't advocate, and instead trustworthy reciprocation fits better
into our philosophy. We are also a website free of Google ads -
i.e. no irritating, irrelevant adverts vulgarizing our web pages.
Unfortunately a virually ad-free idealism in an over-enterprising
web-world means we continue to work on a shoestring.
formed into its current incarnation in 1999 lots of new veggie /
animal welfare sites have sprung up. Some are good, but sadly others
are proving to be less than reliable and even dishonest; copying
editorials from quality sites for example (maybe changing it just
enough to avoid legal action!) Although imitation may be the sincerest
form of flattery, don't be fooled into thinking that every veggie
/ animal based site is an altruistic haven of wisdom. We have lost
count of the pushy emails we get from lively sounding veggie sites
asking us to advertise their "products" for free. When
there is no reciprocation offered, we won't entertain such organisations,
whose priorities seem to be the selling of products for profit and
As you may have gathered, we steer clear of the bonanza-grabbing
world of big charities (and even the occasional smaller ones) We
can't even write here a more disclosing explanation as to why -
because of legal reasons. (Yes, some of those big, self-serving
and therefore self-protecting charities out there can be that ferocious!)
Elsewhere, media attention on vegetarianism in accord with animal
welfare has been the pilgrimage of a handful of celebrities; often
pampered, slightly delusional and tiresomely self-righteous. A focus,
which does not cut across cultures at street level. In fact, we
wouldn't have any time for a veggie organization who hacked together
ill-conceived campaigns to boost their status and fill their pockets,
while surreptitiously linked in with a celebrity vying for personal
Promoting vegetarianism and animal welfare should not highlight
differences in social status or lifestyle choice towards the common
person. Nor should it seem that such "idealism" is a luxury
privilege for the rich and famous. (In fact being vegetarian will
save you a fortune!)
We plan to start useful services
or properly promote our current ones when it's financially viable,
and provide minimal product placement ads to help support our work
and the causes we represent.
We are committed to keeping this resource active and effective,
particularly as our visitor stats show that we are helping to turn
thousands of people vegetarian each week, which in turn reduces
animal suffering by the millions. So while we continue to hobble
around the moral and ethical maze while remaining a world away from
the trail of the green bandwagon, we hope this site will strengthen
your best hope of seeing yourself and your surroundings survive
over the next 25 years ... yes, probably in your lifetime!
Now the fun begins ...
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