Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lactovegan? Looks Like Someone's Yanking Chains

For those of you who follow Hungry Hungry Veganos on Twitter, you'll have read about this already today. It seems that someone has taken it upon himself (or herself) to set up a blog called which is self-described as representing "compassion and consciousness". Supposedly born of the blogger's frustration with constantly having to explain himself while eating out and trying to describe his lacto-vegetarian dietary preferences, the blog instead introduces a completely contradictory and confusing term into the mix. What's that old saying? Two wrongs don't make a right?

You don't take a situation where to correct confusion over a term used to describe you, you introduce an even more confusing (and, by definition in this case, impossible) term to try to correct it.
As is described in the blogger's initial post back in February:

Why invent a new term? In American society, the term vegan is very well understood. But, everybody has their own definition of vegetarianism. Depending upon indivdual [sic] interpretation, a vegetarian food may include dairy, eggs or fish. To overcome this vagueness in description of individuals who do not consume meat, eggs, fish etc. but do consume veggies and dairy, we use the term lactovegan.
Um, right. The term "vegetarian" isn't open to individual interpretation to the point where it includes eating animals (i.e. fish). Neither is the term "vegan" open to interpretation. If someone applauds the fact that in American society "the term vegan is very well understood", why would that person then feel compelled to go out of his (or her) way to co-opt the term to misrepresent and mangle it and make it "vague" as well?

Maybe I'm naive, but I can't help but think that this person's just out to yank chains. Then again, more stupid things have happened.


Stephanie E. said...

Exactly. I remarked on this to him (her?) on Twitter (@lactovegan "Why invent a new term?" You *did* invent a new term. "Lactovegan" is a made-up contradiction). Didn't get a response.

The newest post at the blog isn't helping my confusion over whether the person is dense and seriously trying to coin this word or is just messing with people:

Adam Kochanowicz said...

This is overwhelmingly ironic. The reason why "vegetarian" has so many alternate descriptions is because people kept modifying it to "pescatarian" and such. In fact, the reason why the word vegan was invented is because vegetarianism (which originally meant what veganism means now) was modified to "lacto-vegetarianism"

Yeah. Sound familiar? This writer is doing precisely the same thing to veganism that destroyed vegetarianism.

The reason why veganism is more specific is because we've worked hard to protect it from idiots like this person.

The excerpt basically sounds like "oh, veganism has a pretty strict definition, let's ruin it."

amelia said...

i think lactovegan does not understand the terms which they claim others do not understand. a real vegetarian knows what it means to be vegetarian, and a real vegan knows what it means to be vegan, and if you have to explain it to others then do it. don't spread ignorance by inventing a contradictory term to make it easier, or in this case even more confusing.

ps i just started following your blog - i really like it :)

Claire said...

There already is a term for this - lacto-vegetarian. Sheesh, how hard is that?

I think this is sincere, unfortunately. I know how it is to explain about fish and eggs, but making up a new word, one that doesn't even make sense, is counterproductive.

x said...

Oh dear, calling yourself a lactovegan is just going to confuse more people. Please don't attempt to invent words to suit yourself.

I echo what everyone else has said above, the term vegan means a lot to everyone who is one, so ppl should't muddy it by adding lacto in front of it.

M said...

Stephanie: I'm still not convinced that it's not just someone messing around, either.

Adam: I couldn't have said it any better.

It's funny how the ridiculousness of what this person is attempting to do is completely obvious to everyone who's left a comment, yet the blogger in question seems oblivious to it.

M said...

Thanks, Amelia. :-)

Anonymous said...

It is very annoying. Especially since the person is doing to Vegan what others have done to vegetarian 9and that is the persons complaint). So they are being a hypocrite by doing the thing they are against

It is possible it is a fake blog/idea made to get people riled up,but I doubt it. Thee are multiple posts with different dates (which could be manually changed but still work involved), links, things on the side bar,etc.

Unknown said...

Is this the same guy/gal?