Okay... let me just start out by saying that I consider myself to be a dietary vegan. This means that I eat no animal products, but I am not a strict vegan outside of diet. Meaning... there is beeswax in some of my beauty products, and I'm not sure how many of my cleaning products were tested on animals, nor am I 100% sure whether or not there is leather in my running shoes.
As far as the diet goes, I do still occassionally eat some things with honey in the ingredients (Nature's Own light wheat bread has trace amounts, and I do eat that!) and I do eat some things that have disclaimers about being made on equipment that also processes milk, as long as there aren't any animal products in the actual ingredients.
So... many people would look at my diet and my life and tell me that I am not vegan. And it's true, by some definitions, I am not vegan.
So why do I feel the need to label myself VEGAN...???
Mostly because it's easier than saying, "I don't eat meat (including fish), dairy, eggs, or anything derived from an animal, except for the occassional product that contains honey, which does come at the expense of bees, so I guess I'm not really vegan, but please don't serve me anything with lots of or trace amounts of meat, fish, dairy, eggs, or anything that comes directly from a mammal, bird, or fish."
By my own definition, I am vegan, because my defintion of "animal product" doesn't include honey. And yet I do try to avoid honey, the only exception that I make is on my favorite light wheat bread.
Anyway, my point here is that dietary labels aren't everything. Dietary labels don't make or break any one of us. And I'm pro-choice with most things, including diet. If you eat mostly meat, great! If you eat no meat, also great! If you choose to eat only nuts and fruit, good for you! If you eat a bit of everything, great! If you have moral reasons for eating the way you eat, fabulous! If you have no moral reasons behind your diet of choice, also fabulous!
We all have to do what best for ourselves, and call ourselves whatever we want to call ourselves. I will probably say that the person who eats mostly meat shouldn't call themselves "vegetarian" but... if they really want to, is that hurting me? No, not at all. ;-)
My label is "vegan". And for whatever reason, I love having that label. Don't try to take the label away from me, it won't work, because I own it.
By the way, this post was inspired by a rather heated MFP forum debate that I somehow got myself into... I hope that no one was offended by it!