Why Vegans & Vegetarians Just Can’t Get Along

My brief response to an article by Brian Kateman entitled “Can’t vegans and vegetarians just get along?

During the 70s, the 80s and even the 90s I was a vegetarian. Not because I ate eggs or cheese, not because I drank milk or even had the occasional bit of fish, because I didn’t. I was a vegetarian because that was the term you used back then. I now know that I was actually a vegan, but if anyone asked, I was a vegetarian.

I became a vegan when I was four or five and it was difficult. I survived for the most part on bread, potatoes and baked beans. Eating out was tough, if chips weren’t a thing I’m not sure I would have survived!

I knew a few other vegetarians back then, most of them did it because it was in some way cool to do so, none of them lasted past their early 20s.

I can understand why back in the day people chose not to eat meat but continued to eat eggs and dairy. The information wasn’t available, it’s hard to imagine now but there actually was a time before the Internet existed! What the hell did we do with ourselves?

Nowadays though not only is the information everywhere but also you can get a vegan version of almost everything you would ever want to eat. With vegan options becoming ever more plentiful in shops and restaurants, there really is no justification for being vegetarian other than personal preferance and that stinks of slefishness.

The dairy and egg industries are in many ways even more cruel than the meat industry, eating these items are not healthy and the production of them contributes to the massive environmental damage caused the animal agriculture industry.

We as individuals have a responsibility to do all we can to protect our fragile planet and those that we share it with; going vegan is one of the most effective statements you can make as an individual. We simply can’t rely on our leaders, on our governments to do the right thing.

Personally I would like to lose the word vegetarian from the English language as I feel it’s basically obsolete. You’re either a vegan or you eat animal products. In saying that, I can accept people being vegetarian in the short term so long as they use it to transition to veganism. It doesn’t really need a label though.

Nick Bean

Environmentalist, activist, writer and public speaker. Decided to "Go Vegan" at the age of four.

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