* Ominous Music *
The fierce battle between Vegans and Vegetarians is finally here!!!!!!
Just kidding. No battling people, this is a non-violent site after all. Nope, I’m doing this post because as I have lived my vegetarian life, I’ve noticed I get a lot of questions on what I eat versus what a vegans eats.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve said something like, “I love eggs!” Only to be meet with a smug look from a meat-eating friend who responds, “Ohhhhh! So I guess you’re not really a vegetarian then are you!”
Followed by a long debate of, “Yes I am” “But you eat eggs!” and then explaining that it’s a vegan that doesn’t eat eggs. Then having to explain that eggs are NOT meat because they are unfertilized yo! On the rare occasion I have to explain what unfertilized means and that just makes me feel like I’m in my freshman health class…
So to avoid further awkwardness here’s a guide on Vegans and Vegetarians for all of you omnivores out there!
Vegans do not wear, eat, or use ANY animal products or byproducts. This means no:
Now some of you may be thinking, “What the heck. You don’t kill animals for wool, silk, eggs or dairy so why give it up?” You are right that we don’t necessarily kill them but that doesn’t mean that we are very nice to them either.
The fact is that milk produced by cows (or any other animal) is made by basically keeping them in a state of breastfeeding. This of course increases their risk of mastitis, which is extremely painful and can honestly lead to death. It’s also not very natural.
Speaking as a woman who breastfeed a child for almost two years I can honestly say I feel a bit for the animals. Breastfeeding was all-good but I was able to stop when I wanted to. These animals don’t have that option and vegans take this into consideration when making their consumer choices.
Chickens don’t fair much better in the whole laying eggs departments. Specially particularly at huge factory farms (Tyson I’m looking at you) chickens are often kept in inhumane conditions, such as multiple hens in a cage, and it is not uncommon for their beaks to be removed because of the fighting such lack of space causes. On top of that laying eggs becomes a top priority. If a hen isn’t doing her job producing enough eggs she’s sent to slaughter. It’s as simple as that.
If you’re really interested in more on this subject I suggest checking out this post by PETA 21 Things the Egg Industry Doesn’t Want You To See
The same justification is used for wool, silk, and honey. Basically as humans we consume too much and our animals are suffering for it. There’s a big difference from the Laura Ingalls Wilde days when a family owned a few sheep and sheered them by themselves VS now when we have multiple animals shoved together and trying to use them as quickly as possible.
Frankly it has just become all too easy for humans to abuse animals without facing any repercussions. Instead of animals being appreciated for the resources they can provide for us they’re being taken advantage of which has lead to rampant abuse. I’m talking cases of (for instance) a sheep shearers being caught punching, kicking, and stomping on sheep while hitting them in the face with electric clippers in order to get them to hold still while shearing.
For more information on the pitfalls of wool check out this post by Gentle World and their post What’s Wrong With Wool
Are all animals subject to this type of torture in the industry? No. However how do we tell? Your wool sweater doesn’t come with a tag saying, “FYI this sheep was treated inhumanely in order to obtain this wool. Enjoy.” Which is how vegans came to be. They would rather avoid it all then risk even one animal being mistreated.
Personally I think that’s really cool.
Vegetarians will not eat ANY animal products and don’t wear products that caused death to an animal. This means no:
Again this goes to the conditions in which animals are kept before slaughter and the simple fact that they are killed. For me I realize that I can survive just fine without meat/fish so what’s the point? Also once again we are not consuming meat the way we use to in the good ole days. We’re factory farming it and that is having huge environmental consequences.
Look I’m terrible about taking long showers, there are many times I could walk/bike instead of drive (and I don’t), I constantly forget to turn the water off while I’m brushing my teeth/washing my face, and I’ll admit I’m not always on my A-Game when it comes to recycling but I can stop eating meat/fish ❤ Which is a pretty big win for the environment.
ChooseVeg.Com does a really good job showing the benefits of the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle for our planet.
You may also encounter some vegetarians who like me, have vegan tendencies. I may eat eggs and honey but I’ve been reducing my dairy by a lot. My goal is to someday have a few chickens of my own and when (and if) they lay eggs I’ll just eat them. No pressure chickens 🙂 you lay eggs on your own time! I know I still have some improvements to make with the way I’m consuming food but I feel like I’ve come a long way!
So there you have it! The difference between Vegans and Vegetarians ❤ I hope you all enjoyed it and learned about things. Have any questions or would like to add anything please comment below. This is not a hatefest on either side or against omnivores so please keep comments respectful. We’re all here to learn and we’re all doing our best so let’s remember that!
Much love Grimms!