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Proposal: Veganism and Vegetarianism

Some of the questions being proposed are asking about what people are 'allowed' to eat and what really counts as vegetarian/vegan. For example:

As a vegetarian, can I have poultry?
As a vegetarian, can I have fish and seafood? (including crabs, lobsters, etc.)

These are trying to get at a specific definition of vegetarianism, which could be provided but I think would be a bad idea. Here's another example of what I think would be problematic:

I am preparing food for a vegan friend; can I use cookware that's previously been used to cook meat?

This answer really would just be "it depends on your friend". The previous two questions could only be answered with "It is your choice what you eat".

I think that questions seeking to have an answer on what vegetarianism/veganism are, or seek a rigid set of rules or definitions should be disallowed. The site can't be a repository of information on the 'correct' way to be vegan/vegetarian, because there's no such thing. Having questions that are asked on that basis will only muddy those waters.

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I think the second question could be re-worded as 'Do Vegetarians eat fish?' and be valid as it's a common misconception (could possibly throw in a mention of pescetarianism in there although that isn't really on-topic). I agree that the third question is primarily opinion based and would be off-topic.

"The site can't be a repository of information on the 'correct' way to be vegan/vegetarian, because there's no such thing."

I think there could be a canonical post outlining the "standard" different types (e.g. Lacto-ovo-vegetarians vs Lacto-vegetarians) while mentioning what actually groups them all together (in the case of Vegetarianism, this being not eating sentient beings).

Unless stated otherwise (in the question or using tags such as fruitarianism or raw), anything diet-related would be answered purely from that shared meaning. Ethical questions would be off-topic as they would attract personal-opinion questions/answers as well as negativity.

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I would suggest having a Canonical Question for this like daniel mentions, with an answer providing the essential definitions and also noting that there is room for interpretation. An example excerpt (which could be better written and would benefit from references):

Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism is an umbrella term covering many diets that focus primarily on plant/vegetable matter and products. It often refers to ovo-lacto-vegetarianism (eating eggs and dairy but no meat). However, it ranges from strict veganism (no animal products whatsoever) to pescetarianism (which allows consumption of fish) or even diets that only exclude red meat.

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    Yes, because other questions along the line will inevitably come up, and then we can mark them all as duplicates. – Turion May 12 '16 at 9:21

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