Confessions of a Part-Time Vegan
Guys, I have a confession: I'm not a vegan at the moment.
I know, I know, someone call the plant-based police... it's real. I've kept you guys in the loop throughout my veggie journey; for anyone out of the loop, I originally said adieu to meat at Christmas 2015, and switched to veganism during the summer of 2016. I made the switch primarily because of the environmental benefits of avoiding the meat and dairy industries and found myself slowly empathising more with the traditional animal protection values as I went on.
While living as a vegan, I was keen to avoid falling into the pitfalls that originally put me off going veggie for so long. The trouble with the message I'd been told before giving up meat and dairy was that the narrative was so centred around guilting non-vegans into making the switch. There seemed to be two assumptions made: that non-vegans simply needed more information of the horror their selfish lifestyles inflicted, and that once pressured into absorbing this information, they should then be shamed into changing their lifestyles.
I respect that the passion directed into promoting a cruelty-free diet was coming from a good place, but I sincerely believe that the way to encourage others to change not by making them feel they should be ashamed. If anything, I'd say the only way is to simply do what works for you, and focus on ways to make reducing meat and dairy consumption easier and more appealing to those who might be curious.
I really enjoy plant-based food, but I personally have found a full-time approach was getting restrictive, especially when I was struggling with severe anxiety this spring. My hometown is slower on the uptake of anything cool; though meat- and dairy-free options are easy to find in big cities, it ended up being too much to research and ring ahead before every meal out, or to expect friends to accommodate at short notice.
Currently I'm back to being vegetarian, with plenty of my vegan faves, when I cook for myself; when I'm out and about, I'm going with whatever I fancy on the day. I'm open to going vegan full-time again if the time is right, but for now I'm just wanting a chilled-out way forwards, and it seems to suit me okay.
I'd love to hear from you guys: are you vegan or plant-based? And have you ever felt there was a different way to promote veganism? Come to the comments and share with me!