When I was younger, I always used to always think that Vegetarians and Vegans were the same thing. Ah, how wrong I was. With the growth of veganism there seems to be a growing barrier between the two, but why isn’t vegetarian enough?
Why not vegetarianism? Isn’t vegetarian enough?
Don’t get me wrong, I was vegetarian for six months before I turned vegan, so I have nothing against people who are in that phase of their life. That however is how I view it, as a phase of life. It’s a transitioning period to veganism, one which truly helped me and has helped so many others. I found the jump from omnivore to vegetarian harder than from veggie to vegan, so for all those recently turned veggies out there, good on you!
However, the issue of why vegetarian isn’t enough begins here.
What irritates many vegans are the veggies who are content with sticking veggie, that is, they still consume dairy and eggs.
Although when I was vegetarian I hadn’t yet educated myself as to why consuming this was cruel and damaging to the environment, it is those who do not want to educate themselves/don’t really care about this side of animal agriculture that piss off vegans.
It could be argued that the dairy industry is in fact more horrendous than the meat industry. Not only are dairy cows killed when they’re no longer useful, they are exploited their entire lives. Whereas animals used for meat have short lives in confined environments, dairy cows have to endure all of this as well as forced impregnation and having their baby ripped away from them. Again, and again, and again, until they can no longer do it anymore.
As a veggie, I can honestly admit that this came as a shock to me. That’s why, if you’re a recently turned veggie, I have no issues with it at all. By being veggie you are still doing more to help the animals and the environment than the majority of the population, but you should make sure that you use it PURELY as a transitioning phase.
A process, not an end goal
If vegetarian is your end goal, you really need to go and educate yourself a little further. Being veggie does make an impact, but by just removing a few products from your lifestyle you get to make such a larger change. So, isn’t vegetarian enough? No. But it’s a good start.
By no means do I want vegan vs vegetarian to be a thing.
I want those who are already vegans to help out veggies, as they’re already on the right path and are clearly people who are open to change and willing to do their bit for the animals and the environment. It can just be a simple part of their transitioning phase, or they may not know enough for themselves.
Frustration is only acceptable when a veggie clearly says that they have no ambition nor goal to eventually go vegan, as this means that they are okay with the rape and enslavement of cows and chickens.
Should vegans oppose vegetarians?
Pick your fights. In my opinion, it’s better to focus your efforts on the larger issue at hand. There are much more meat eaters than there are vegetarians, and these veggies have a high chance of transitioning to veganism in the near future anyway. Give them the tools that they need, if they’re able to cut out meat because of its impacts, it’s simply a case of educating them about the rest of the industry too.
Take it from a former veggie, I didn’t know the true consequences. Whether that’s because I honestly didn’t know, or because I didn’t want to know, is a whole other story.
Why isn’t vegetarian enough? Being veggie still contributes to so much pain and suffering, and that’s where the frustration comes from. You have come so far, and could achieve so much more by just removing a few products. Educate yourself on the dairy and egg industry properly, and you’ll turn vegan straight away.
Vegetarians are not the enemy.
Sure it may be extremely frustrating sometimes that they’re not vegan yet and are still inflicting pain on others, but there are still so many people out there that don’t give a single shit about the environment and the animals in it. Those are who we should focus our efforts, not those who are working towards veganism. As long as you’re improving upon your vegetarianism, ‘isn’t vegetarian enough’ shouldn’t be an issue you have to deal with.