What is a Vegetarian and an Aspiring Vegan?

So why do I call myself a “Vegetarian and an Aspiring Vegan?”

            In order to begin explaining this seemingly new title, I have to explain the difference between Vegetarianism and Veganism:

Image result for difference between vegetarian and vegan

From the diagram you can see that vegetarians do not eat meat or seafood. In addition to not eating meat, Vegans do not eat any animal by-products including dairy, egg, gelatin and some alcohol products.

During my transition period, I identified as a Vegetarian because I still had some dairy products like condensed milk and other items in my pantry. Once I  managed to consume and dispense of these items, I began my attempt at being a Vegan. I was successful for a while, until I learned that I was inadvertently consuming products that contained milk and milk proteins in it such as Tostitos chips! This was disguised by terms such as “whey” and “casein.” In Special K, a cereal that I frequently bought, there is Vitamin D3, which is derived from Lanolin, or wax secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals.

Image result for tostitos lime chips  Image result for special K

 

In the United States, dairy products are pretty prevalent. Before too long, I realized that I was inadvertently consuming cow milk and eggs under the guise of other names, which made me want to reset my “Vegan clock.” I realized that I needed to continue educating myself about the aliases that milk products and animal-byproducts generally were classified. See the list below for other ingredients you should avoid in order to become a Vegan.

vegan list

Now, I have interacted with other Vegans who have expressed their own food difficulties. They have suggested that I do not restart my clock for the few occasions when I mistakenly ate food that contain animal by-products, and just stick with the date that I first intended to adopt a vegan lifestyle. I understand that viewpoint, but then I also think about how one does not acquire a master title until one is a master. For example, one cannot accurately claim to be a Sensei, or a martial arts master until that person has acquired the requisite knowledge and practiced her craft. As I am still learning about this lifestyle change, I do not feel comfortable identifying as a full Vegan. I am however, comfortable with self-identifying as an “Vegetarian and an Aspiring Vegan.” When I feel that I have acquired a sufficient level of intelligence about being a Vegan, meaning that I can understand and distinguish  ingredients without a “This is a Vegan product” label, then I will shed my Vegetarian status and identify as a Vegan. So for now, you will see posts that discuss my experience thus far as a vegetarian and someone who is constantly taking strides to learn about being a vegan.

 

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One Comment Add yours

  1. pieor2 says:

    I’ve completed a similar blog to this and found this very enjoyable.

    Like

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