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Friday, August 11, 2006

Have your say on what VEGAN means!

As vegans, we all know the meaning of the word, which according to a pretty accepted definition runs like this:

"a vegan is a person who rejects to use any animal derived products in their diet: meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, and often honey. A vegan also rejects animal byproducts, such as whey, casein, gelatin and they do not wear or buy any clothes or furniture item made with fur, leather, silk, wool".

However, it is the general impression not all vegans are the same. Some of us may care just for Meat+Fish+Poultry+Eggs+Dairy. For many others the list may run way longer. And I even met vegans who would wear not only leather but fur as well and they were just avoiding cancer inducing ingredients! (ok, I almost killed her...I confess!)

Some time back, investigating about vegan travelling, I found out about SelectWisely, a company selling multi-language cards with dietary prescriptions to be shown in restaurants in foreign countries when travelling. Many food allergies card are available as well and all cards have images specifying which foods are off limits, for extra clarity.

Since they sell a vegetarian card, but do not have a vegan card in production, I emailed them and suggested one should be created. The reply was a positive one, but they are unsure what to write in it. This is SelectWisely reply email:

Thank you for your interesting and informative email. I have thought about creating a vegan card and have discussed this with other people via email and such. The challenge is one of standardization. In the world of food allergies, people have very specific requirements...'can't eat nuts' for instance. In the world of vegan, the choices are not so standardized. There are so many different variations it's hard to come up with one set of foods that satisfies the majority.

If you were to list the foods that 80% of vegans want to avoid, what would that be?

Best regards,

Jim


Ok, this is our chance and our challenge: these cards, given their small size, do have limits to the amount of to-be-avoided foods they can list. But we do have limitations ourselves about what we eat when travelling, checking about foods we eat in tiny details. So have you say about what VEGAN foods exactly should be on your list: the three-five items which are absolute no go and whatever else it is important to you but not to capital (think of food colourants which may be animal based for example).

The results will be shown back to people at SelectWisely and hopefully a vegan card is soon to be created!
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7 Comments:

Blogger Kelly Hutchins said...

Great idea, I think the list should be the basics, typically the obvious things we think about when we first become vegan

Meat
Fish
Eggs
Dairy

When I travel or eat out my main focus is to do the least harm, sure sometimes som e trace animal product may make it into my food but I concentrate on avoiding the big four.

7:01 pm  
Blogger Debbie said...

Such a thing already exists, see the Vegan Passport (as well as many other sites). Not sure what it says, though, as I don't actually own it.

11:29 pm  
Blogger JessieGirl said...

Speaking of defining vegan I just saw the movie Barnyard and there is this incredibly cute scene in the movie where the animals talk about veganism and what it actually is. Granted it could be argued that it could cause a bit of confusion as to what a vegan actually is but I think that getting the word out there and not having it be such a foreign concept is a great thing.

8:57 pm  
Blogger KleoPatra said...

Interesting!!! Thanks for the head's up on this.

7:38 am  
Anonymous TheHolyV said...

Hi Debbie: we extensively covered The Vegan Passport a long time ago.
You can read what we wrote on our June 19th entry.

This is an additional, more compact service.
Also, I think it can be interesting for the community to discover what others care for and how they do it.

5:16 pm  
Blogger Danielle said...

The fur-wearing "vegan" probably came about when Andre 3000 of Outkast designed a line of fur clothing. He's a strict vegetarian (the diet sans the lifestyle), but a narrowly focused idiot for thinking looking fashionable means putting dead animals on your back.

10:58 pm  
Blogger t. said...

Actually thanks a lot for the info Danielle! I had no idea Andre' 3000 was such an idiot: you just gave me another good reason to dislike him!
And I even think he was a runner up for PeTA sexiest vegetarian sometime last year or the one before...

11:25 pm  

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Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. Anatole France