What are the differences between vegetarians and vegans? Of course, besides the obvious — vegetarians eat eggs and dairy and vegans don’t. Here’s my list:
Vegetarians have friends and vegans have comrades.
Waiters love vegetarians, vegans? Not so much.
Vegetarians have no idea how many animals are slaughtered for food every year. Vegans know it’s 10 billion land animals in the United States.
Vegetarians think you have to properly combine proteins in order to survive, vegans think you can live happily on pomegranates for the rest of your life. (Both wrong. Read “The Starch Solution” by Dr. John McDougall.)
Vegetarians tend toward the “different strokes for different folks” philosophy. Vegans can get, well, vicious, if they see somebody eating a hot dog.
Vegetarians don’t get too upset about chicken broth hiding in the minestrone soup, vegans DO get upset about chicken broth hiding in the minestrone soup.
Vegetarians don’t worry about their feet going to hell if they wear leather shoes. Vegans have learned to, if not love plastic and canvas footwear, at least get along with it.
Vegetarians hold on to the hope that “cage free” means chickens happily running about in a barnyard. Vegans don’t approve even if your companion chicken is a rescue and you feed its eggs to hungry school children.
Vegetarians look at ice cream and see, well, ice cream. Vegans look at ice cream and see a male dairy calf confused and crying for his mother in the corner of a darkened veal stall.
Vegetarians can go to dinner parties where meat is served without making a big deal out of it. Vegans go to dinner parties where meat is served and do make a big deal out of it, while trying really hard not to make a big deal out of it.
OK enough with the differences. What about the similarities between these two factions of the animal liberation movement?
Both vegetarians and vegans care about animals. Both vegetarians and vegans care about personal and public health. Both vegetarians and vegans care about the environment. And when you think about it, meat-eaters also care about animals, personal and public health and the environment.
Vegans and vegetarians forget that we, too, ate hot dogs, bacon and burgers before giving them up.
Vegans forget that most of us consumed Jamoca Almond Fudge ice cream, Cheez-its and egg nog long before giving those up.
And meat-eaters forget that their vegan and/or vegetarian friend is actually a nice person underneath all that damned proselytizing.
Vegetarianism is REALLY important to the movement. Vegetarianism allows people who have concerns about the animal foods industry to still make a BIG contribution. They save animals and lessen global warming. And even your basic meat, cheese, fish and egg eater can even make a BIG contribution just by refraining from meat on Mondays.
Go vegan! Go vegetarian! Go Meatless Monday!
— A Vicious Vegan blog post —