vegetarian and vegan

While eating lunch at a riverside café yesterday, I pondered that there’s no unambiguous way of distinguishing a vegan menu item from a vegetarian one using any abbreviations, because all the letters in ‘vegan’ also occur in ‘vegetarian’, therefore, any abbreviation of ‘vegan’ might also mean ‘vegetarian’. On the other hand, ‘vegetarian’ has several letters that ‘vegan’ doesn’t, so VGT or VT can only mean ‘vegetarian’, while VGN or VN might mean ‘vegan’ or ‘vegetarian’. From what I have found on the internet, there is no universal solution to this. If in doubt, ask the waitstaff. 

This is more important to the vegans than to the vegetarians, because vegetarians can eat vegan food, but not vice-versa. What’s more, omnivores can eat vegetarian and vegan menu items, and indeed, my wife and I both ate vegetarian meals, and they were delicious and healthy. 

In my previous post I mentioned Australia and Austria. The Olympic code for Australian is AUS, while the one for Austria is AUT. See also Niger and Nigeria, India and Indonesia and (probably less crucial) Mali and the Maldives.


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