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Switch to Forum Live View Do you eat rennet and gellatine?
10 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2008 - 1:08AM #1
desolatedheart
Posts: 8
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rennet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelatin

Animal derrived.  I do not eat them, and neither does my mother.  I have a friend who doesn't eat gellatine, not sure for rennet.  I find that it depends, person to person.

Thoughts?  Is it vegetarian?
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10 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2008 - 5:30PM #2
solfeggio
Posts: 10,753
Yes, both rennet and gelatin are animal products, and so vegans do not eat them.

As a committed vegan myself, I have found that you have to read labels on processed foods to be sure that the manufacturers have not slipped something into them that comes from an animal.  For example, I have noticed recently that some brands of potato chips have whey in them!  Soy yogurt sometimes has dairy added, too.

Gelatine and/or rennet would be considered vegetarian, because most vegetarians consume dairy.
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10 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2008 - 6:16PM #3
ManzanitaBear
Posts: 947
[QUOTE=solfeggio;626999]Gelatine and/or rennet would be considered vegetarian, because most vegetarians consume dairy.[/QUOTE]

But gelatin and rennet are meat.  They're parts of slaughtered animals' bodies.  How much more can something be meat?

Yes, they get snuck into dairy products, but dairy products that have gelatin or rennet are not truly vegetarian.

One way to make sure you're avoiding them is to buy kosher dairy products.  Mixing meat with dairy in any way, shape, or form isn't kosher--so kosher cheese is not made with animal rennet, kosher yogurt is not made with gelatin, etc.
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10 years ago  ::  Jul 16, 2008 - 5:24PM #4
solfeggio
Posts: 10,753
Manzanitabear -
Good point about the rennet and gelatine being meat.  Since we never eat them, I had not really given it any thought, but of course you are correct.

And yes, a vegetarian could avoid this by buying kosher cheese or yogurt.

I suppose that honey could be considered vegetarian, though, because the honey is not actually part of the bee's body.  However, it is my understanding that bees are killed when the honey is extracted from their hives, so this might be construed as a cruel industry.  This is why our family does not use honey.
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10 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2008 - 12:40PM #5
ManzanitaBear
Posts: 947
I am a vegetarian, and I do use honey.  I don't keep sugar around the house, but I like a little honey to sweeten my coffee, and occasionally bake with it, too.  Perhaps somewhat influenced by the fact that a good friend of mine, and former roommate, runs a honey distribution business.  Thanks to her, I know something of the industry--much honey is actually produced on a small scale; it's one of the more sustainable types of business.  I do want to support that!

Harvesting grain always kills a few animals, too.  And if you eat dairy and/or eggs, they're unavoidably connected to the meat industry.  So how vegetarian can anyone be?  It's a balancing act, maybe an even greater one for those who think about it.
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10 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2008 - 4:44PM #6
solfeggio
Posts: 10,753
You're right that trying to live as compassionate a life as possible can be a balancing act. 

We've had many discussions about this on the AR/AW board over the last few years, and we came to the conclusion that we can only try to do the best we can.  Making the switch from eating meat is certainly a big first step.  And then becoming vegan is another move in the right direction.

How vegetarian can anyone be?  Well, generally speaking, I think living as committed vegans is a good thing, not only for our health, but for the animals, of course, and for the environment.

And you have to consider that this is not a perfect world by any means.  Cruelties happen in nature all the time.  For example, some animals kill and eat others, which we may deplore but which is a fact of life.  And, then, too, if you have cats living in your house, they have to eat meat, which means that at some point some animals had to die.  But cats have a right to live, too, and it isn't their fault that their bodies require a meat diet.

You're right that harvesting grain does kill small animals and insects, and grain-based foods are not really a natural food for humans in the first place.  However, surely it is true that even eating 'unnatural' foods like bread and pasta, or pizza or soy burgers, etc. causes far, far fewer deaths of other species than eating KFC or beef roasts or spare ribs.

And yes, I do think about this a lot, which is why I am so careful about reading labels, and why I try to eat as much of the basics like raw fruit and vegetables as I can.
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