And no, I don't mean The "V" Word, which is a lovely blog full of tempting recipes that one day its author will turn into a delightful cookbook. Right, Rhea? ;)
I mean the word vegan of course. I've thought about it before, but it really struck me yesterday as I watched the segments of the Dr. Oz show discussing The China Study and The Engine 2 Diet without once referring to veganism. Not surprising I guess since the show is more about diet and health, but I wondered if only using the phrase plant-based diet was deliberate. And in a sense because they were only talking about veganism in terms of the diet aspect and not about the other essential parts, plant-based diet was probably appropriate, but still. To be vegan IS to follow a plant-based diet, so it was a little odd not to hear about the philosophy behind the food choices. Mind you, the Dr. Oz show tends to be hyperkinetic with shorts bursts of rapid-fire information so no topic gets more than a superficial treatment in the time allotted.
But I still wonder if they intentionally avoided using the word and if so whether that was wise. As an ethical vegan (although I don't really like that terminology either) I have no problem with labeling who I am and what I eat as vegan, but if the main goal is to reduce suffering and eliminate use, then does it matter what words are used? If the phrase plant-based diet is easier to digest, so to speak, then is my preference of the word vegan important? If people find it easier to adopt and say they're on a plant-based diet than to label themselves vegan, and if a real reduction of animal use occurs, should we focus more on results than labels? Because in a sense I'd rather that 100 people actually adopt a "plant-based diet" than 10 people to identify as vegan. In the end, I guess I wonder which strategy is more effective: getting more people to greatly reduce consumption or getting fewer to eliminate it completely.
I don't know. What do you think?