Posted by: conradvisionquest | July 1, 2010

Unrealistic purity… or weakness?

In my struggle to be a “pure” vegan, I’ve decided to give myself a break.  Especially now since my kitchen is packed up and I am not in as much control of my food as before.  Yes, I have had some cheese recently, even though I know the evils of the dairy industry.  However, I choose to not think of myself as the devil.  I have to do what is right for me, and although I would love it if 100% of my meals were vegan, sometimes I have to settle for vegetarian.  This is a topic of controversy among vegans and non-vegans.  But, if I am going to stick with this and not give up entirely, I can’t put unrealistic goals on myself.  Check out this article from Vegan Outreach that echos this sentiment.

We leave for our road trip Friday morning.  AAAHHHH and YYYAAAAY!

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Responses

  1. Every time I read my new issue of VegNews magazine, I feel guilty for not being the “perfect vegan” if there is such a thing. But, like you, I have to do what is right for me, and sometimes that means I eat cheese. I like to tell people that I’m “vegan with vegetarian tendencies.”

    Have a wonderful and safe trip!! I’m looking forward to reading about your journey. You are truly inspiring!!

    • thank you for the support, Amanda! i also feel guilty sometimes, but i do the best i can, and at least now i am aware and don’t have blinders on. i certainly don’t eat like i used to.

      i can’t wait to start posting on the traveling circus! there are some wild times ahead, for sure…
      😉 w

  2. DON’T beat yourself up about it; you’re doing the right thing by giving yourself permission to make the occasional concession. The VO article you linked has some great comments on the issue, so I won’t rehash them here. Besides, we all have our veg issues.

    The hardest thing for me to admit to other people was that I let my formerly 100% vegan-raised daughter eat eggs. Most vegans shut down right there and refuse to hear how we came to have laying hens in the first place. The facts are, we adopted several hens with almost no notice, invested time and money to make their new home as comfortable and safe as possible, and we didn’t get them with the intention of having our own eggs; we adopted them because they were headed for the broiler! Then one day they all started laying eggs, and when Nina asked if she could try one, I couldn’t find a reason to say no. We know how they are treated, we know what they are fed, we pet and hold them daily – and spoil them rotten. In fact, I think that by having her own pet chickens, Nina is learning about the ethics of animals-for-food in her own way, without watching footage of factory farming, etc (which I would never show her, as she is only 3 years old). It’s led to some interesting conversations about ‘why’ a rooster needs to be present for a chick to hatch from an egg, and I was rather proud when she started connecting the dots about fertilized eggs (she’s only 3) and seeing her grapple with whether or not she would eat an unfertilized egg.

    She knows that we don’t eat meat, and since she has her own pet chickens she has drawn her own conclusions about that and has never questioned it. She knows we don’t eat dairy, but we’re waiting until she is a little bit older to get into the grim facts on that. (I have hypertriglyceredemia, so even if ethics didn’t matter enough for me to change how I eat, I would still be vegan. For the time being, we just reinforce the health aspect of being vegan, since it plays a major role in my long-term health.)

    • thank you for the support. and also your perspective. i think i would do the same as you if i were in your shoes on the egg thing. and what a learning opportunity for your daughter! sounds like being a thoughtful vegan doesn’t always mean “purity.” there is no such thing. i am still discovering my own way through this experience, and i so appreciate everyone’s feedback and stories. thank you so much for sharing! 😉 w

  3. I suspect that many, many vegans feel guilty about not being ‘pure’ enough at various time. I know I do! There will always be something more than I can do in terms of helping animals or the environment, or whatever. But we can’t do absolutely everything.
    You also have a life to live which includes many, many things and doesn’t revolve around the monodimensional fact that you’re a veg*n. Some people live their entire lives for veganism, for animal liberation, and look – I really respect that, but it’s not me. Don’t feel guilty for having a life.

    Have a great time on your trip, too.

    • thanks for your supportive comments. it’s much appreciated.

  4. Oh I hope you’re having a wonderful and safe trip!!!! Please don’t beat yourself up over cheese…or whatever else you put into your body.
    Your body.
    Your decisions, your needs, your life.
    Your doing what you need to do right now.
    …and that…my bloggie friend is coming from a fellow vegan who understands that life is just not black and white.

    • thanks so much for that. really, if i had total control over our meals right now, of course it would be vegan. it’s just easier sometimes on the road to just get a cheese pizza. thanks so much for your comment. it really means alot. you rock!
      ~w

  5. Oh, wow. This hits home for me. I am struggling a bit with the 100% vegan…okay, more than a “bit” I suppose.

    I was at a conference with colleagues who are not vegan (though some are vegetarian) and meals were so hard. We were in a different city and it seemed that I was outvoted a lot – and ate a lot of salad.

    I now have accepted the fact that sometimes, especially when meals are out of my control, vegetarian will do. Sometimes, you just have to do the best that you can do!

    • yeah, when i first started i was striving for perfection. i’ve loosened up a bit. thanks for commenting!
      ~w

  6. I try my hardest to eat a plant based diet. In fact, I think I do. Like that “hazelnut-dark chocolate from Germany” a friend fed me yesterday… if I read the box – and it was in English! – I might have seen milk in it somewhere. But you know what, I didn’t read the box, like I do when I’m by myself and shopping for dark chocolate, I just ate it and enjoyed it, and I felt NO guilt of what was in it.

    Enjoy your journey…

    Carolyn

    PS – making your blackbean burger recipe tonight and this choco-blueberry cake. yum.
    http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2010/07/chocolate-blueberry-cake.html

  7. It is ok to have cheese sometimes when you cannot help it. AT least you are trying to do the right thing. I have been Vegan for around 2 years and have had cheese occassionally when there was nothing else on ofer.

  8. It is walking the razor’s edge isn’t it! I’ve been vegetarian for over 25 years, macro, raw, Ayurvedic, and the past 2 yrs vegan. It was astrologer (Vedic) who said meat should ever touch my lips again. That was a confirmation to me. No eggs, even unfertilized… I have a very easy time eating vegan at home, but on the road isn’t almost impossible if you want to live basically on salads or oatmeal! I’m also gliadin-intolerant, so no wheat! When I travel I always make sure I have nuts or nut butters around as well as fruit. It is hard isn’t it?! But it can be done. If I have to compromise depending on the situation I will eat cheese, but no eggs or any flesh. I just can’t go back there.

    Have a great trip, do the best you can knowing that it’s only temporary and you might find it’s not as difficult as you imagine it will be! Depending where you in the country or abroad the world is much more accepting of vegetarian (less so vegan) lifestyles. My SAD friends still don’t understand and I have very few vegetarian/vegan where I live.

    We all do the best and hopefully compassionate thing everyday. Safe journey!


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