Letters to the Editor

Vegetarian, vegan not the same thing

As a vegetarian for more than 20 years, I find it necessary to explain vegetarianism and veganism. To simplify, a vegetarian is someone who does not eat flesh from any creature, from cows to clams. The only word for someone who sometimes eats chicken or beef is a meat eater. A pescetarian only eats fish and seafood. Simple.

A true vegan is someone who does not eat, use or wear any byproduct from any creature (including in supplements or as ingredients). That would include dairy, eggs, honey, fish oil, carmine (insect derived), casein (in cheese), cochineal (insect derived), gelatin, isinglass (fish derived), lanolin, lard, shellac (insect derived), tallow (animal fat), rennet (in cheese), whey, yellow grease (animal fat), beeswax, bone char, bone china, silk, leather, wool and fur.

If it came from an animal and you use it, wear it or ingest it, you are not a vegan.

Having been a vegan for three years, I know it is possible, challenging and very rewarding. Labels are sometimes used as a way for people to feel righteous and can often be very misleading. Being either is amazing, admirable and important, and I do not discredit people who try.

I do wish people would educate themselves before they espouse something to the public incorrectly. It also would be commendable for people to educate themselves before choosing either diet and lifestyle as ignorance discredits a truly righteous movement. I hope this clears this up for your readers. It is commonly misunderstood.

Stella-Lee Anderson

Hilton Head Island