I’ve been thinking lately about what it means to be a vegan. Note to the Vegan Police: STAY AWAY! I don’t have any time for that mess. (Side note: to those who don’t know, the Vegan Police are those that feel it is their duty to advise vegans when they are not being vegan enough. Right.) As a baby vegan, it has taken me almost an entire year to wrap my brain around the food aspect of eating vegan. How far do you take it? Do you ask the waiter at the Mexican restaurant if the veggies are grilled in the same area as meat? I still struggle with eating out sometimes. For me, it seems to be safer to eat at a vegetarian/vegan restaurant or at a place where it is clearly labeled vegan.
How about clothing? Shoes? Nail polish? What about products that are vegan and cruelty free and yet are owned by companies that test on animals? What about things I owned before I became a vegan? You see, the rabbit hole of veganism is wide and long and terrifying at times and indeed overwhelming. But I find it comforting that I am not alone in my journey. I believe wholeheartedly in the mantra: progress not perfection. If I accidentally eat something that is not vegan, I do not beat myself up for it. I move on and learn from the experience. When I learned that Tom’s (the maker of toothpaste and deodorant, not shoes) was owned by Colgate, and that Colgate tests on animals, I finished the toothpaste and then moved on to a cruelty-free vegan brand. I recently went through all of my shoes and donated the ones that had animal products in them, then I bought myself a kick ass pair of these bad boys. I have now learned that Aveda products, while vegan, are not entirely cruelty free. This makes me wonder where I can get my blonde highlights done now. (edit: after some light Googling, I may have a few new places to try!)
I am not perfect. I don’t want to be perfect. Perfect is stupid and lame and not possible. I want to be the best I can be, and to lighten up on the things I cannot control. I don’t ever want my friends and family to think veganism is about restriction or what you DON’T have, because I want to make it clear that we live a great and full life filled with delicious foods and no judgments. Maybe baby steps is the way to go? I’m just doing what feels right for me.
On a different topic, some new and exciting things will soon be happening at The Veg Abides! My good friend Holly is awesome and is going to help me revamp my site to make it cleaner and streamlined and beautiful. I also will be starting an interview portion for the blog, and I cannot WAIT to tell you guys who I have lined up. Also, I am honored to have been asked to be the monthly blogger for Full Circle Farm Sanctuary! If you know me at all, you know how dearly I hold this Sanctuary in my heart, and this truly is a privilege for me. I’m looking forward to growth and healthy change soon!