I don't want to derail your thread but...
Vegetarians don't eat anything that an animal had to die for, that includes all sorts of meat and fish and theoretically insects too. They could do this for all sorts of reasons, for pitying animals, for (arguably) environmental reasons, but also for spiritual reasons. Whatever, the good thing imo is that people are at least more conscious about their health and what they eat. For amusement you can argue veggies to death about whether they wear leather or eat cheese that contains rennet and other small details. Some veggies avoid eggs, others don't.
Vegans are people who don't eat anything produced by animals, period. They claim that cow milk is for baby cows (even though cows produce more milk than the calf needs) They'd claim honey is for bees and they eat nothing but organic vegetables and sourdough bread. They are usually kind of insane, even most veggies I've spoken with agree to that. The thing is that it's impossible to argue that being vegan is healthy. There is no other way for humans to absorb enough calcium than through diary products. The only alternative is to eat vitamin pills and those things are arguably unhealthy too. For amusement you could ask a vegan if a coprophiliac could be a vegan.
Anyway, I'd expect hipsters to eat clear green hemp lollipops with an insect inside it. And no, I'm not vegetarian in case you're wondering.
I think its inevitable that a discussion breaks off into subtopics.
I was a vegan for 5 years, and vegetarian for a year before that. Do you know if cows inherently produce more milk than a calf needs? Most of the time, dairy cows are injected with hormones that allow them to produce extra milk. Without the hormones I'd be surprised if they produced more milk than a calf needs. I do agree though that Vegetarianism and especially Veganism opens the door for an obsession about food and ingredients. Some are more obsessive than others.
Regardless, all vegetarianism and veganism can accomplish is LESS reliance on animal products, it can never completely abolish it seeing that everything includes some exploitation or harm toward animals in some way. It is somewhat arbitrary to decide where in the spectrum someone wants to be as far as their contribution to animal cruelty. I never met another Vegan, but for the most part, any vegetarians I met were not really any more annoying than any other person I've met.
I'm not a huge fan of milk (I'll drink it if thats the only thing available), but I still eat cheese. Biologically, humans are designed to use milk from the mother for food, and are able to break it down with the lactase enzyme. As we start transitioning to solid foods, many people stop producing the lactase enzyme because they are able eat solid foods, and don't need the mothers milk. A few thousand years ago, as people started domesticating cows, they started drinking the cow's milk, and over time, our digestive system continued to produce the lactase enzyme past infancy. Lactose tolerance varies amongst ethnicities though. Those of Northern European decent are best capable of digesting milk passed infancy, while asian and african societies are less able in general.
Also, societies such as western europeans and north americans have the most osteoperosis compared to countries that consume the least dairy milk. I think I'd prefer plant based sources of calcium over dairy.
Admittedly I'm no expert on the matter, but the bees don't die in the production of honey... maybe switch the word "vegan" with "vegetarian" then. It's never easy.
Is mass production they do. Queen bees are also a commodity and are shipped around to fill in colonies where the queen was worn out or killed.