keeping the future ... shades of green
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VeggieGlobal's Introduction ...
Part Two ... The New Ethical Horizon

VeggieBite ...
The amount of land needed to produce a one-year food supply for a person on a meat-eating diet is 3.25 acres. The amount of land needed to produce a one-year food supply for a pure vegetarian is just 1/6 (0.16) acre.
From: "Diet for A New America" by John Robbins

Making sense of the meaning

VeggieGlobal's 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 animals.
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.

VeggieGlobal 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 themselves.
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" ethics.
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 plantations.

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 meat-eaters.
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 message.
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 collections

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 VeggieGlobal 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.
Since VeggieGlobal 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 little else.
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 attention.
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!

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