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Cheat days?

I was wondering what you guys think of "cheat days" people who are veggie every day of the year except...

Their mom's famous clam chowder
When they go on vacation

I can be totally honest and say that I have cheated.  I'm always vegetarian, but I have cheated here and there and ate things that weren't vegan.  While I don't want to ostracize people, and I think if you are veggie 90+% of the time, way to go! I still find the concept kind of odd.  Not "cheating", but planning on cheating.  I wonder why people do it, if it's because they think it's too hard to be veggie while traveling, or because they eat with family and their family doesn't approve, or if it's because they miss the old food and want to have it.

On the few times I have cheated, I have done it out of hunger, and I have been disappointed.  It didn't taste as good as I remembered.  And I think it would be hard for my family to take my veganism seriously if I had days off.  They would want me to cheat every day!


I say good for them for being veg 350 days a year.  I would prefer they didn't call themselves veg*n, but people's egos need to be coddled, regardless of merit, so I suppose they will.


I get really perturbed when people aren't honest about their veg*n status, ONLY because it makes life harder for other veg*ns.

If someone calls himself a vegetarian, but then has a little bit of turkey because it's Thanksgiving, then Aunt Sue thinks it's okay for all vegetarians to eat a little bit of turkey, or have stuffing made with chicken broth, or whatever. If you're a "vegan" but sometimes eat cheese, then some other vegan looks like a jerk when they don't appreciate the cheese pizza ordered especially for them at the office pizza party. The worst are "vegetarians" who eat fish. If you want to eat fish, go ahead, I won't judge *at all*, until you describe yourself as a vegetarian. Because now my boss thinks the office fish fry will have plenty of food for me and won't let me bring a sandwich (yes. for real.).

Gosh, that turned into a rant. I hope that the flexitarian term becomes more popular because accurate words are important. Or, at least go with "I follow a mostly veg*n diet" if you intentionally eat animal products occasionally.  I think it would be far, far better to be a truthful flexitarian than a dishonest vegetarian.

(Oops- looks like "flexitarian" isn't catching on. Spell Check suggests "phlogiston" as a correction.)


Why would you want to cheat on something you are choosing to do?! Accidental "cheating" is one thing, but purposely doing something not veg*n is..well....not veg*n.


I like accuracy in terms, hence my name.  I tell people who ask about my eating that I eat "mostly vegan".  I am lactose intolerant so have not had significant dairy in my diet for 30+ yrs.  High cholesterol runs in my family.  My dad died of a heart attack in the 60's when he was in his early 40's before they knew about such things.  I will use eggs in baking but rarely eat them directly (I get them from a small family farm, free range and I have had to shoo chickens out of the way while there.  they think they are lap pets!)  My DH and DS still insist on meat so I do make sure what I buy comes from the most ethical farms I can find.  I may eat a bit or two on occasion, but in general don't.  I would concider using the term "flexitarian" for myself if it seemed anyone knew what I meant.  It takes longer to explain that than "mostly vegan". 

The one that gets me is when I ask for vegetarian menu items without cheese.  I get asked if I am allergic.  I come from a medical family.  I get nagged for accuracy.  No, I do not have an allergy.  I will not break out in hives, have my throat swell shut, go into shock, etc.  I would perfer not to fart on everyone if it just a mild case.  Thank you.  If I eat more, it gets worse from there.

I like accuracy.  If any of you all came to visit, I would definitely take the most restrictive definitions of any term used so as not to accidentally offend.  You don't know how many young students I have overheard at the local community college call themselves vegetarian while eating jello.  I just cringe.  NO!  An animal had to die for that.  Not vegetarian!  If you want your jello, call yourself something else! 


I saw on the vegan 100 list for vegan cadbury eggs of the idea of "cadbury vegans," who'll break vegan for cadbury eggs around easter. It made me wonder - is this a thing that people do? I kind of get the nostalgia aspect of wanting to have something from your childhood, but of all things to "break vegan"... something that's essentially chocolate-coated frosting?

I get it if you actually cannot find vegan food to eat. Planning out food vacations is kind of weird to me, though. I think it takes having the perspective of veganism as a diet/health kick/purity thing than an ethical choice.


I get it if you actually cannot find vegan food to eat. Planning out food vacations is kind of weird to me, though. I think it takes having the perspective of veganism as a diet/health kick/purity thing than an ethical choice.

That makes sense to me.  If it was a totally ethical decision for me, I would not eat the few animal products I do eat. 


Yeah, I get it as a "diet," like if you're someone who tries to eat low-carb, but will not restrict yourself on holidays or at parties, etc. I think many vegans get offended by the idea of willingly "cheating" because of the idea of someone being like "omg, eating animals is evil! except when that cake looks really good!" ... which does happen, but imo it's different if someone's in it to lower their cholesterol or something.


Everything I thought about saying has already been said. I just don't get it. If someone needs to cheat, why do it at all? Nobody is forcing you to do it. Because it's a cool club? I can't argue with that. :)


Veganism only consists of eating delicious meals with no meat, eggs or milk in them. That's all.
There's substitutions everywhere. You need to show that to your family to that theres substitutions everywhere so they can help and be supportive. You have to familiarize them with a vegan diet.


Gah, don't get me started.

Don't care; words are words, actions are actions, sometimes they overlap and sometimes not.

Call yourself whatever, do the best you can; omnis are going to be confused regardless, or else they wouldn't be omnis.

The veg community alienates more potential members with shit like this than any other single quoteunquote issue, imo.

Lighten up, people: eat less animal junk, do the best you can, if you're not where you wanna be on the veg spectrum keep trying... IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS YOU SHOULD CALL YOURSELF. Embrace the community, by whatever name, and take your own damn food to potlucks like any sensible veg*n, so it doesn't matter WHAT Aunt Sue thinks you eat.

'Cheating' implies external locus of control; I cannot cheat on rules that I, myself, decided upon. I eat plants because I think it's a good idea; if I decided it was NOT a good idea, I would eat other things, but I wouldn't be 'cheating' at anything because no one else is in charge of me. I either decide to eat it, or I do not.

That is all.


hcm i see your point on how absurd the arguments can get, and i agree that doing your best is a hell of a lot better than being a sheepole but as YF states it just mucks everything up for people who actually eat vegan... hence the obvious, i wanna punch peeps in the face type questions if i EAT CHEESE OR FISH?! NO I DON'T MORON, I'M VEGAN!

i like the statement "I try to eat mostly vegan FOR HEALTH, but eat animal products on occasion"


but then, assuming you're gonna get in an argument about the health part cause peeps are protein obsessed robots, you can leave that part out and just say "Cause it makes me shit rainbows and unicorns happy/ feel good"


"'Cheating' implies external locus of control; I cannot cheat on rules that I, myself, decided upon. I eat plants because I think it's a good idea; if I decided it was NOT a good idea, I would eat other things, but I wouldn't be 'cheating' at anything because no one else is in charge of me. I either decide to eat it, or I do not.

That is all."

Well said HCM!  This could apply to many areas of life too, not just a particular diet. 

Still, I get irritated when people claim to be ethical vegans (especially those that brag that they have eaten this way for years) and then later mention that they eat eggs or fish on occasion.  It's not that I am judging a person who chooses to eat eggs or fish, but then why call yourself a vegan?  It is what it is. You are either vegan or you arent.  Why not just say you are eating a more plant based diet?  I think people respect honesty more than how well you live up to (or hide behind) a title.


Yeah, I hear you, and I know it's annoying. The fish thing especially-- in what world is 'fish' not an animal?! The fact that omnis always and forever ask VEGetarians if they eat fish just proves: they will always not get it and ask you silly things, no matter who calls themself what!

I don't think you guys are wrong to roll your eyes at people who use words the way you wouldn't; but to me, people get so wrapped up in the NAMES of things that they lose sight of the SUBSTANCE of things. That's backwards, and alienating to new veg-heads or veg-curious folk, who label themselves by what they do mostly. I'd much rather have them self-identify as part of the veg community, even if not 'perfect' at it -- that makes it more likely they'll stay, and get more consistent over time.

But I hear what you're saying, and love you all even though I see this issue differently... you all make me shit rainbows and unicorns, even when we disagree.  ;)


Another factor is people who are trying to be vegetarian or vegan, but don't stay on the wagon 100% of the time. If someone wants to be 100% but isn't quite doing so, it's not really helpful to call them out or be disdainful... It's better to give support. At the very least, people who are partially "vegan" or "vegetarian" are still eating fewer animals & their products than the average person, which is pretty much the goal.

While it's annoying that someone can seem to have so much conviction but is then like OMG I LOVE CADBURY EGGS I HAD SO MANY LAST EASTER, especially if they, too, get all self-righteous about it, some people's "cheat days" aren't a point of pride and a matter of disappointment, and probably something that's more common than we think considering the reaction most of us seem to have.


Well, I'd also prefer a coworker not assure me non-vegan food was vegan because her friend's daughter is vegan and eats "vegan" animal products (i.e., organic).  I don't care if other people eat human babies, just as long as they don't perpetuate misunderstandings.  I've always maintained that if someone wants to call themselves vegan and eat animal products, I prefer they eat them by themselves, not when a slew of people are gathered to maximize the "vegans eat animal products on special occasions" message.

I'm not going to go around and call people child molesters, or racist, or rapists, or wife beaters even though those are just words, too.  I know people are going to call themselves vegan regardless, but it's not OMG EVIL VEGAN to wish they didn't.


Fee bing chair golden pizza hairs.

Ehhh, they're just words!


For the record, if you told me we were going to have pizza, and then served rice, I'D BE PISSED.


I'm sorry, did you say SUPER EXCITED? I didn't pay attention to the meaning of your words, because nothing mattersssssssssss.

eta: but seriously, I don't think there's anything "alienating" about wanting people to use the correct terms to describe something important to me. Very glad you are not eating red meat, but that doesn't mean you are vegan. Doesn't make that 1 action any less substantial, but that's the truth.  ............but what is truth, you ask.....


nihilist  <- which I like, because it's almost like Neil(Young)ist, which I am



I know you guys are annoyed when people use 'the wrong word.' I get it, I just don't think it matters. No offense.

Most of the time when this comes up, it's not someone saying 'i'm vegan but i love steak.' Mostly we're talking about the difference between 100% (effort-wise, of course; no true perfection to be found) and 99.5% planteating habits. I'm just saying this is a stupid thing for us to bicker about. I think it's more productive to tend our own gardens, and quit being all up in the tomato vines of the gardens of others.

Say, 'well that's not how I define it, thanks,' and move on.

I don't think your annoyance abatement is of equal value with unity of purpose and community among imperfect veg*ns. I will bow out, as we veer here over well-trampled ground, and potential for consensus seems negligible.

But that's surely how it looks to me.

Peace and love and such... Carry on.



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