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Half the questions on this site are tagged with and I think that's a problem.

Looking at a few other sites on Stack Exchange, we can see that it's highly unusual for a single tag to feature so prominently. In most cases, the most popular tag is used only about 20% more than the second most popular tag. But here on our site, Vegetarianism.SE, the tag is used three times as often as the second most popular tag.


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Our site is clearly an outlier, but what evidence do we have that there is a problem?

  • There isn't a great tag for people who follow a strict vegetarian diet (ie. "plant-based") but aren't interested in other aspects of a vegan lifestyle. These people are not well served by our current tag structure. At one point we had but that was synonomized to way back in early 2017. Update: Actually we do have

There is definitely an odd mismatch between which describes only a diet pattern, and which can mean many different things beyond describing a diet pattern.

It seems the fundamental problem is that is really grouping together several different concerns under a single tag. Veganism can be a totally encompassing lifestyle, or it can be apply to diet. It's also possible to consider products and services in isolation, without thinking about a whole lifestyle pattern.

If we agree that is too big, what should we do about it? Maybe some questions can be split off into smaller, more descriptive tags. Maybe the tag should be entirely replaced. Put your suggestions into an answer for this question!

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What makes or breaks a tag is whether it is useful. In this case I think “veganism” is still informative, not only because we can identify which questions pertain specifically to veganism but also because it is clear which do not. It would be inappropriate to recommend dairy or egg products on a question tagged with veganism but otherwise it would be acceptable. Considering this, I still think the tag is valuable to the community.

Furthermore, removing it would cause a lot of confusion. Perhaps separate tags should be used for the vegan “diet” and lifestyle: ethical, philosophical, or activism aspects for example. However, it appears that this decision has been made a long time ago. It is far too late to go through a massive number of questions to edit the tags into subcategories.

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