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What is the True Meaning of ‘Vegetarian?’ And Does It Matter?

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Mar 20, 2013

Eater Grey in Anchorage, AK called in to last week's Sporkful to express frustration with people who call themselves vegetarians but still eat fish, and to ask how to politely call such people out on it. (Listen to the phone conversation above.)

Her essential point is, words mean something and if you use that word it should mean what people think it means.

I agree in principle, but later in the episode guest L.V. Anderson of Slate, herself a vegetarian, argues that we shouldn't get so hung up on labels, and that some of these terms are effective as shorthand, even if they aren't 100% accurate.

Listen to the show here and tell us what you think!

Photo: Flickr CC / richard_north

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