Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Labeling Ourselves

Once I told a friend that I was vegan for a while in the 1990s.  She asked me, "Did you eat honey?"  I told her yes.  She said, "Then you weren't really vegan."

I still remember the flood of color rising to my cheeks.  I said, "Well, I was vegan except for honey."

Another time, a vegetarian friend told me she never eats anything with a face.  Later she said she would make an exception at Thanksgiving, if the turkey was organic, free range, and raised humanely.

I felt confused.  Does that mean she's still a vegetarian?

Does it matter?

Kevin Gianni, author of "High Raw," defines high raw as a diet of 75% -95 % raw, ripe, uncooked whole foods.  The remaining percentage is whole cooked foods.  He doesn't necessarily recommend supplements or super foods.  His main point is to eliminate processed foods.  We are definitely meeting the definition of high raw most days.

So my question is, can you still call yourself a vegan if a small percentage of your diet is animal based?  Can you still call yourself a vegetarian if a small percentage of your diet is flesh?

I've seen this debate rage online.  Some people flat out say "No!"  One person wrote, "If you call yourself a vegetarian and you occasionally eat flesh, then you are not a vegetarian.  You are a fraud."

I snorted when I read that.  Just like we can choose what we wish to eat, we can each choose to call ourselves whatever we want, and it's nobody's business but our own.

Last night my family and I visited a long time friend.  She served us a delicious cheese and prosciutto tortellini in won ton wrappers.  We enjoyed the meal and her company.  I don't know what gives me more pleasure - her cooking or watching her transform over the years from teenager to an accomplished woman with the world at her feet.

But we ate that tortellini, and savored every bite.  So maybe I can't "really" call myself a vegan.  It doesn't matter.  I can definitely call myself seven pounds lighter, as of this morning.  Woohoo!

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So what do you think? Have you tried raw vegan food?