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What's in a name? vegan vs. plant-based

Discussion in 'General' started by Plant Muncher, Apr 26, 2018.

  1. Plant Muncher

    Plant Muncher Guest

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    Survey: “Plant-based” sounds more appealing than “vegan”
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    Kate Bernot

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    Plant-based and vegan generally mean the same thing: They indicate that something is made without the use of animal products. But the term “plant-based” is a newer phrase that consumers apparently find more appealing than “vegan,” which they are more likely to perceive as restrictive.

    Food industry news site Food Navigator reports on the results of a survey of 1,163 American adults last summer that found they overwhelming vote “100 percent plant-based” as more flexible, better tasting, and healthier than “vegan.”



    “Consumers tend to see plant-based as a positive dietary choice, whereas following a vegan diet is seen as a lifestyle associated with serious commitment, deprivation, and allegiance to a ‘cause’ that defines them,” said Barb Stuckey, president of food development firm Mattson, which conducted the survey, in a presentation to the Plant Based Food Innovation Summit. “‘Vegan’ is about deprivation, it’s about saying no, no, no.”

    Part of the preference for the term plant-based may be the rise of “flexitarian” diets, Food Navigator speculates. A third of the respondents to the survey indicated they’re reducing the amount of meat in their diet but aren’t going completely vegan or vegetarian. That’s a big chunk of consumers, and are part of the reason even fast-food chains like White Castle have introduced plant-based meat substitutes. It’s no longer just the hardcore vegans who are choosing veggie patties; it could be anyone.

    As plant-based foods expand their customer base beyond strictly vegans, they have some choices to make. Do they want to be seen as a replacement for meat for those who refuse to eat it, or just as a healthy alternative that’s appealing to meat-eaters and vegans alike? “Plant-based” may be the key to roping in both.
     
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  2. Plant Muncher

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    Something I have been saying since becoming vegan. I say plant-based diet rather than vegan. Nobody ever looks at me funny nor do they seem to judge me from the git-go.
     
  3. Bruce

    Bruce Member

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    im a little confused, wouldn't being vegetarian fall under plant-based as well?
     
  4. Plant Muncher

    Plant Muncher Guest

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    How about dairy?
     
  5. Bruce

    Bruce Member

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    If you're mostly eating vegetables and fruits and nuts but include an egg or two or cheese... it's still plant-based. Because the base is plants, and the dairy are just small additions. That's what I think anyway when I hear plant-based -- both vegan, vegetarian.
     
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  6. Plant Muncher

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    I understand but including either eggs or dairy would preclude it from being vegan entirely. Vegans don't eat eggs or dairy products.
     
  7. Consistency
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    Consistency Active Member Banned

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    Plant based isn't synonymous with vegan.
     
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  8. Emma JC
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    Emma JC Active Member

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    Plant based does not include eggs or dairy. Plants are plants and include items made only from plants. The more common term is whole food plant based aka WFPB.

    In general, people that are WFPB came to this way of eating for health reasons and the ethical parts of veganism take second place. Many do come around to the understanding of how good for the animals and for the environment it is and it may take longer for them to stop buying leather goods, and other animal based goods that aren't food.

    Vegetarians eat eggs and dairy.

    Vegans do not eat or wear or use any animal based products, to the best of their ability.

    Many plant based people also use little to no oil.

    Emma JC
     
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  9. NapaValleyVegan
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    NapaValleyVegan Member

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    I don’t agree that plant based and vegan are always the same thing. What many don’t realize is that there is a definition for the word vegan that was created by Donald Watson in 1944. He created the Vegan Society that’s goal is to not exploit animals for food, clothing, entertainment, etc. whenever it is possible. If someone has chosen to stop eating meat for their health, to lose weight or to save the planet; they are still doing a good thing but would not be considered vegan & should use plant based to describe themselves. I am vegan and am very proud of that. I do use the term plant based in my blog but I never shy away from the word vegan! I am 100% vegan for the animals. All the other positive extras like looking younger, feeling better & keeping a healthy weight are all just a lovely side effect of loving animals!
     
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  10. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member

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    If "plant based" is seen as "less restrictive" based on the definition provided and preferred because of that I strongly suspect it's appeal has something to do with a compromise (in diet, mind you, leaving out clothing for a moment) somewhere down the road. Like someone else said...vegetarian could still be considered "plant based" based on percentage intake compared to meat eaters (and that's just assuming they aren't having eggs/dairy often).

    Right now it means no animal products in the diet. Later it is likely to be a term people call themselves that are eating 80% vegan diet. Or 70%. And I don't mean transition, but long term.

    The OP seems a little too concerned with public perception and almost ashamed of being Vegan. If you want to be the change you want to see in others I do not understand why hiding behind another more socially approved term is preferred.

    Unless you like to wear leather or something?
     
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  11. Sally
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    Sally Active Member

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    I'm not ashamed to be vegan but increasingly saying you are does sound a bit like you are a fashion victim. It can be embarrassing as you can feel people looking at you like they are thinking, "Oh, God, another one on the bandwagon." I keep thinking of the idiot chap on a dating programme I was unfortunate enough to see for ten minutes, when he ordered halal meat and explained to his date that he wasn't Muslim but that he liked the idea of the fact that it had a ceremony involved with it. He had no idea of what the ceremony was. There are many vegans like that I think. I know they are to thank for the increase in the availability of vegan food, but when the fashion is over we will probably be back to baked beans on a baked potato and black tea as there will no longer be a call for plant-based stuff.

    As long as people are eating plant-based food for their health or to be trendy, not the health of the animals, there is potential for all this seemingly expansion of awareness to come crashing down. It's a fad, not a sign of awareness.
     
  12. poivron

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    I think that this focus on the name -- in particular, the attitude, "I'm vegan, but this or that person shouldn't be allowed to claim the vegan label" -- is a major reason why veganism is still a fringe movement. Successful movements are inclusive. They want to take over the world, and they recognize that in order to do so, they need to accept and include people who come from different backgrounds and philosophies. Too many vegans, in contrast, behave so as to keep veganism as pure, as exclusive, and, as a consequence, as small as possible.

    The idea that someone who is vegan for health reasons should not be called vegan ignores the reality that people change. A person who stopped eating animals for health reasons is much more likely to recognize and embrace the ethical and environmental aspects of veganism after six months of avoiding animal products than a person who ate meat for those six months. Telling that person that they don't get to use the vegan label alienates them and makes them less likely to embrace the other aspects of veganism. Allowing that person to use the vegan label does not in any way make me less vegan or in any way decrease my concern for animals and the environment. Vegans don't need to feel so threatened by other people less pure and less perfect than they are using the vegan label.

    When I went vegan, I did so for the animals. I wasn't concerned about my health, which I thought was excellent. What disturbed me was factory farming. I didn't have a problem with the idea of eating animals, if the animals were "treated well." But since animals were not treated well, I didn't eat them, and I did my best to avoid using them in other ways. Over time, my views shifted gradually, at an almost imperceptible rate, so that at some point, I no longer saw animals as a source of food. The whole idea of eating animals began to seem unnatural and wrong. Similarly, in my early days, since I was focused on avoiding harming animals, I didn't have a problem with eating animal products once they had been served. If I had ordered a vegan spaghetti without cheese, and it came with cheese, I would eat it because the harm had already been done, and sending that spaghetti back would only harm the environment further by causing waste. It was after I came to recognize the health reasons for veganism that I got to a point where I would be very reluctant to eat that spaghetti. The different aspects of veganism fit together. A person may come to veganism from one angle or another, but in the end, all vegans end up in the same place of love and compassion for all living beings.

    I don't even have a problem with someone who eats meat once a year calling themselves vegan. And the reason for that is that I have more confidence in veganism than most vegans. Those who would refuse to call that person vegan are conceding that there is something good and desirable about eating meat. I do not. As Peter Singer has said, if eating meat once a year is going to keep someone vegan for the rest of the year, that is good for animals and the environment. Moreover, that person who didn't eat animal products for a year is not going to want to eat meat on the occasion where he is allowed to do so. It's not going to taste good; it's going to make him sick; it will seem unnatural and wrong. And who wins as a result? Animals do.

    For a long time, I avoided the vegan label because I did not want to have anything to do with the purist, self-satisfied, and exclusive aspect of the movement. This caused a lot of confusion because the public doesn't understand why a person who doesn't eat dairy and eggs is not a vegan but only a vegetarian. Trying to explain it to them only gives them the impression that vegans are crazy. After years of calling myself "vegetarian", "strict vegetarian", "plant based", "vegan but not like the vegans you're thinking of," I finally decided that I cannot let the self-satisfied purists who care more about themselves than they do about animals define veganism. In the end, this is about the animals, and animals don't care why you're not exploiting them and what you choose to call yourself.
     
  13. Sally
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    Sally Active Member

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    That isn't what I said.
     
  14. poivron

    poivron Member

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    I'm not sure why you think I was referring to you. I composed my post before you posted your much shorter one.

    I feel I made some important points in my post. I spent a long time thinking about it and composing it. "That is not what I said" is not a helpful response, even if my post had been in response to yours. It is facile, and it contributes nothing to the discussion. It dismisses my points without bothering to respond to them. I suppose I should be grateful, since every time this happens, I am much less likely to spend that much time on a post again.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  15. Sally
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    Sally Active Member

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    Sorry, my mistake. But it certainly gives the impression that you are replying to my post. Just a coincidence then. Had you been replying to my post my comment would have been a valid response, not facile. I don't see how eating cheese on a pizza even though you ordered no cheese would help the movement. I managed to get the menu changed at our local Debenhams by refusing a meal since I could not choose the elements of it. My husband is not vegan, and I ate his beans on the plate the dry toast was delivered on. This was noted and the next time I was able to order items of meals separately so that I could have a fullsize plate of food and they could make money. It's no good saying you are vegan and then not being consistent, this undermines the whole thing in my opinion. But if you don't have a problem with part-time or temporary vegans that is up to you. I think it devalues my commitment in the eyes of others. I went vegetarian and subsequently to vegan for the animals and no other reason.
     
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  16. poivron

    poivron Member

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    My beef is not with you or with any single vegan; it's with certain attitudes I have observed in many years of reading and watching the vegan movement.

    I fail to see how someone else's reasons for going vegan, or for reducing their use of animal products, devalues your personal commitment in anyone's eyes. If you only care about animals, what people think of you or your motives shouldn't matter. If anything, trying to impress people with one's moral superiority turns people off and ends up ultimately hurting animals. Because explaining to someone that your motives are purer and better than theirs (as you did with me just now, by the way), is another way of stating that they are inferior to you. No normal human would go away from such an interaction impressed with how great you are and how they should be more like you. They would go away thinking you're pompous, arrogant, and wrong. They would be less likely, not more, to reduce their exploitation of animals.

    I think that you are worried unnecessarily. As the original article in this thread explains, the reason more vegan options are being offered by restaurants and by food manufacturers is not because more people are vegan. The people who are providing us with wonderful options at cafes, restaurants, and grocery stores are the very ones vegans love to look down upon: people concerned about their health; people who are trying to minimize their environmental footprint; people who are trying to do better. I, for one, am grateful to them, because life as a vegan is easier now than it was when I went vegan five years ago, and a lot easier than when I first tried to go vegan sixteen years ago. To think that this is a passing fad reveals a lack of confidence in veganism. The world is slowly moving in the direction of veganism, not because it's fashionable, but because it is the right, natural, civilized, and healthy thing to do. It is my belief that if the vegan movement manages to get past its obsession with purity and exclusivity, it will move even faster.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  17. Consistency
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    Consistency Active Member Banned

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    This thread was created by the OP to justify his immoral behavior. Essentially trying to justify cooking meat for others. Logically he can't call himself a vegan since his actions contradict what veganism stands for.

    My observation of people is that there are just loudmouths that can't sit still regardless of whatever they follow. It's not veganism that makes people offensive. It's those specific people's attitude towards the injustice of animals. Being reactive instead of proactive.
     
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  18. Plant Muncher

    Plant Muncher Guest

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    I am happy to call my food consumption plant-based rather than vegan. It draws far less ribbings and jabs from non-vegans and if it makes the Nazi purists among us happy to not count me among their ranks, all the better. Don't really care. I don't need or care an iota about their approval or disapproval. My self-worth doesn't depend on them or their opinions. I feel anyone that even approaches veganism to any degree is helping the planet and should be commended for their efforts not attacked for not being pure enough. That is what a supportive vegan community would do. Not sure what this community has turned into lately. I've never seen a thread get locked before today. At least the majority of folks here are supportive. I thank them.
     
  19. Consistency
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    Consistency Active Member Banned

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    There's no such thing as moral superiority or purity. We either have moral or we don't.

    Are you done crying wolf?
     
  20. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Yeah he acts like a troll, he's constantly insulting vegans, and I think it has something to do with him being a humanist (i.e. the belief that everything we do and everything on earth should maximize human happiness, no particular interest in other species or the right for living things to exist on earth who aren't human) ...I say this because his entire motive seems to be to socially shame vegans calling them "morally superior" and other nonsense. If there is anyone on this forum who comes across on a high horse, ironically, it's probably him, because he's always looking down his nose at people who are more vocal or who are activists.

    Of course the term "plant-based" is more appealing to the general public. The general public can still consume flesh a few times a week but be on a "plant based diet" nothing here to see, just a gratuitous display of white middle aged male ego.
     
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