Drop the ‘strict’

Words are not simply neutral  expressions of how we experience or want to describe reality. They shape and give meaning to our thoughts and ideas, and even though we think we are giving an objective account of reality, our choice of words often has a very subjective interpretation.

Here are a few texts about veganism (or a vegan diet).
Note the use of ‘strict’.

Carrie Underwood reveals secret to staying trim... and why she's not worried about breaking strict vegan diet from time to time

The reduced or even (in some extreme cases) non-existent levels of vitamin B-12 in a strict vegan diet are of particular concern to Keller. Vitamin B-12 has many implications for the smooth

Malnourished baby dies after parents fed him insanely strict vegan diet

5. Strict Veganism Prohibits Any Use of Animal Products Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, not only in diet, but also in the use of every-day products. Distinctions are made between dietary

 

The repeated use of the word ‘strict’, portrays veganism (even more) as something extreme and hard. Don’t make it sound more difficult than it is, and drop the use of the word ‘strict’.

Vegan products are vegan or they are not vegan: they contain animal products or not. There are no non-strict or non-pure vegan products, so no need to ad ‘pure’ or ‘strict’ as an adjective. By doing so, it gets a very restrictive and limited connotation, and it makes veganism sound difficult, extreme and even radical (but maybe that is exactly the intention of the authors?).

Veganism, as a way of life, is not about ‘pureness’ or ‘being strict’, but about justice and respect for animal rights. There is no ‘non-strict veganism‘.
Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purposeThe definition of veganism as such – with the insertion of ‘as far as is possible and practicable‘ – leaves room for unavoidable situations or products (for example the use of animal products in cars, in househould apparatus,  …).

The repeated use of the word ‘strict’, portrays veganism (even more) as something extreme and hard. Don’t make it sound more difficult than it is, and drop the use of the word ‘strict’.

Screenshots are fragments from:

Animal rights groups shouldn’t push veganism, Maya Itah, March 21, 2012, Daily Trojan.
Carrie underwood reveals secret to staying trim… And why she’s not worried to breaking strict vegan diet from time to time, October 11 2013, Mail Online.   The Pros and Cons of going vegan, April 6, 2016, Self.
Manourished baby dies after parents fed him insanely strict vegan diet, May 19, 2017, AOL.
Veganism, 5 things you need to know, November 1, 2017, Global Animal.

Previously published on my other blog Graswortels in Dutch (with other examples): Strikte vegan producten bestaan niet.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. YES!!! Completely agree!!!!!! I bristle at 100% vegan… as if… what you’re only 20% pregnant???

    1. trudi_bruges says:

      Thanks for your feedback Emi. Justice is indeed undividable.

  2. I completely agree! This is so true 🙂 ❤

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