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  • 17-05-2014 2:28am
    Registered Users Posts: 11,028 ✭✭✭✭

    Who is this forum for?

    This forum is for everyone regardless of whether you've made the choice to become vegetarian or vegan yet. Everyone is welcome here; vegetarians, vegans, the 'veg curious', anyone with an interest in vegetarianism/veganism and their related issues such as animal welfare, environmentalism, sustainability, health and ethics. This is a supportive community for vegetarians and vegans and those curious about and new to the lifestyle.

    What is a vegan?

    A vegan is someone who chooses a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to animals for food, clothing, entertainment and any other purpose. This includes but is not limited to the avoidance of meat, dairy, eggs, honey, fur, silk, leather, wool. A vegan diet consists of only plant-derived foods.

    What is a vegetarian?

    A vegetarian is someone who abstains from the consumption of meat products and by-products; food, clothing and otherwise. Many vegetarians are "ovo-lacto" which means they do not eat meat but do eat eggs and dairy, this is of course down to personal preference. Like vegans, many vegetarians choose to follow a lifestyle that seeks to exclude animal cruelty as much as possible.

    What is a pescetarian?

    A pescetarian is someone who follows a vegetarian diet but also consumes fish. A vegetarian does not consume fish.

    Why vegan?


    Vegans recognise that animals are sentient beings, that is, they have the ability to feel pain and suffer. It wouldn't be considered ethical to discriminate against disabled humans or children that have inferior intelligence or lack the ability to reason, so there is no reason why welfare rights should not be extended to non-human animals. Just as it is unethical to exploit, enslave, cause pain and suffering to, or kill another human, it is just as unethical for non-human animals.


    More than 150 Billion animals are slaughtered every year for the meat, dairy, egg and fish industry. By living vegan you can break the demand-supply chain, by no longer paying for animals to be slaughtered on your behalf, thereby directly affecting the numbers of animals killed for food and other products.


    A vegan diet contains all the protein, vitamins and nutrients you could ever need from plant sources. There are added health benefits too since diseases like cancers, heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes are conclusively linked to animal protein consumption. High cholesterol, excessive fat and trans fat are also linked to animal protein. For an extensive overview of vitamins and minerals, please read "Vitamins, Minerals, and Other Nutrients" here. A vegan diet is associated with better health and longer life.

    -the environment

    While environmentalism is more typically focused on demonising the automobile industry and promoting renewable energy sources, animal agriculture is actually the biggest cause of environmental destruction. It is the number one cause of deforestation, air pollution and water pollution. Raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the cars, planes, and other forms of transportation combined. In Ireland 30% of our greenhouse gas emissions are from agriculture, a much higher percentage than our European neighbours. Going vegan is the biggest action you can take to help prevent global warming, rainforest destruction and pollution, while saving water and other precious resources.


    We use far more water, land and energy resources through animal consumption than anything else. Factory farming and animal consumption are not sustainable. Going vegan is the biggest action you can take towards supporting sustainability.


    We live in a world of plenty but 40,000 people are starving to death every single day. This is not because there is a lack of food, but because we are wasting grain on animals so that we may eat meat, dairy and eggs. The Earth could only support 2 billion people on a meat and dairy based diet. There are nearly 7 billion people in the world today, it is imperative that we consume less animal products in order to feed more people. In the US, 70% of the grain grown is fed to farmed animals. Imagine how many people we could feed with that food.

    -1lb of meat requires 2500 gallons of water
    -a gallon of cow's milk requires 750 gallons of water

    The animals we raise for food use most of our water, eat most of our food and then poop it out contaminating our air. We are in a situation where we are filtering water and food resources through animals in order to consume meat, dairy and eggs. The food input is far greater than the food output, this is totally illogical and unsustainable, therefore a vegan lifestyle is in the interest not only of non-human animals, but humans too.

    -the planet

    The choices we make have a global impact. By going vegan we make choices which support animals, people and the environment. These choices are in the best interest of the future of our planet.

    Why vegetarian?

    For some or all of the same reasons above.

    Veg Dictionary: explanation of common terms


    Short for vegetarian and/or vegan.




    While vegan/vegetarian often relates to a lifestyle, 'plant-based' more often infers diet, a 'plant-based diet'. It can also be used to refer to a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle by saying 'plant-based lifestyle' but it does not imply veganism or vegetarianism alone.


    The ability to feel, perceive or to experience subjectivity, this includes the ability to suffer. All animals, human and non-human, are sentient.


    Speciesism is a prejudice based on species alone. That is, human animals are differentiated from non-human animals purely because they are human. It is comparable to racism and sexism in that the treatment of individuals is based on morally irrelevant physical differences.

    non-human animal

    The term 'animal', which originates from a latin word meaning 'having breath", is incorrectly used to exclude humans, even though humans are animals. It is then more accurate to use the term 'non-human animal'.

    faux (leather)

    Faux/fake/mock leather, suede, fur, etc refers to non-animal products.


    Mostly used in the beauty industry to mean not tested on animals. It does not imply that the product is entirely cruelty-free since it doesn't imply that the product doesn't contain animal-derived ingredients, so it does not imply the product is vegetarian or vegan.

    free range

    May apply to meat, eggs or dairy. Generally means that the animals are allowed outdoors for part of the day, but the term is also specific to the country it's used in and its laws, so it is a legal term and it's meaning varies. The outdoor area may be an enclosure, the dimensions of that outdoor area may be so small as to negate the value of free range in terms of animal welfare. The culling of male chicks and many other cruel practices still take place in free range egg farming. It is often just a marketing ploy. In some countries the legal standard for free-range is non-existent. See Food Safety Authority of Ireland for understanding what free-range means in Ireland.

    Dept. of Agri. Guidelines on Free Range Production


    Fairtrade is a certified label, it supports fairer trading conditions and sustainability.


    Food produced from organic farming, a farming method which prioritises sustainability. It is associated with concern for animal welfare but does not imply free from animal cruelty. Like 'free-range' it is a legal term that varies with country. Synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers are forbidden.


    Tofu is basically soy bean cheese. It is produced from soy milk.


    Tempeh is a soy product that is made by fermenting soy beans into a cake-like form.


    Seitan (say-tan) is a high protein meat substitute made from wheat gluten.


    Refers to products made from soy beans. For more detail, read "The Truth-And Falsehoods-About Soy" here.


    Nothing to do with friendliness or friendship, simply refers to something being suitable for vegetarians or vegans i.e. no animal-derived ingredients.

    Useful Threads

    Veg*n Bargains/Special Offers Thread
    Things that are surprisingly veg*n/non-veg*n
    DIY Vegan
    Ethical Treatment of Dairy Animals in Ireland
    Veg News
    Off-Topic Chat
    Recipes and Links
    Pictures and Places
    Here's what I had for dinner last night
    Documentaries and Movies
    Vegan friendly restaurants in Ireland
    Local Veg*n Groups in Ireland

    (thread in progress, if there's any other threads you think should be added pm)

This discussion has been closed.