If anyone has read my About section you’ll know that I am actively working towards living a life devoid of any animal based products. This is a personal decision, for me. Yet I feel like in that statement lies a major contradiction because as much as I want this decision to be a personal choice I find myself talking about it almost every day.
We all have probably experienced the stereotypical ‘angry vegan’ and although I feel their passion I never want to morph into their mindset. I don’t talk about being vegan with the intention of converting people, it’s more I find myself having to consistently explain why I’ve made this choice and almost justifying my decisions. I’m not a saint in terms of Veganhood. I grew up eating meat, my family eat meat (bar one Vegetarian cousin), my friends eat meat and so does my boyfriend. I’ve not been doing this for years, in fact I’m still relatively new to this whole thing and trying to ease myself into the change from a Vegetarian diet. In this sense it’s only natural that those I love and care about question my choices or may jokingly remind me of that time I had milk with my coffee 6 months ago.
Then you have the ‘Vegan police’ who ironically enough are not usually vegan and will quickly point out the things that you do that are ‘not vegan’. In my case it’s leather and probably my initial yo-yo attempts at sticking to this diet. The thing with leather is complicated and one I find myself justifying a lot. I do own a leather jacket, shoes and a handful of leather bags that I’d purchased or received as gifts before I made this decision. There is nothing I can do to save those animals now and quite frankly I don’t have the money to replace my wardrobe so yes I have kept them and still wear them. That said I am not going to buy any new leather and when the leather possessions I own have finally wore out I’ll replace them with non animal based materials.
I think as I’m still new to all of this I find myself to eager to please these ‘vegan police’; if I say I’m having a cheese sandwich I feel the need to point out it’s vegan cheese, if I have chocolate I make a point of saying it’s dairy free. Which honestly probably comes across as obnoxious but if people weren’t so quick to say ‘I thought you were vegan’ I wouldn’t have to do this.
Another reason I find myself talking about it so much is to do with the complete lack of mainstream vegan choices when it comes to dining out in my city. Yes there are a few places that offer good choices but they usually require travelling outside the city centre where my friends and I live or going to a specialist vegan/vegetarian restaurant that, understandably, my meat eating friends don’t always feel like going to. So if someone asks if I want to go to a certain restaurant I have to tell them I need to look at the menu first or that I can’t go cause they just don’t have the right options. My choices are limited so if I find out somewhere has new vegan options or a new vegan cafe has opened then yeah I will get excited, I will talk about it so please don’t rain on my parade! 🙂
All this said sometimes I do just want to talk about it too and I’ll honestly admit that. My intention isn’t to convert you but honestly when you watch the videos and educate yourself you’re suddenly filled with this information that has enlightened you. So you do want to just talk and talk and talk about it. To the point where I think okay Abbie and breathe. Yet, again, this isn’t in an attempt to convert you I’m just like a little kid who has just had an amazing lesson on dinosaurs and they want to tell everyone they meet how amazing dinosaurs are.
So I guess ultimately my point is that not all vegans are out to brainwash you. We’re just on a journey that isn’t yet completely main stream. It’s new and exciting and we want to talk about our passion just like anyone else with a passion does. Sometimes we need to just simply explain why we can’t go eat at said restaurant or why we still own leather shoes. We’re not all those angry cliches and you can still be friends with us! I’m having fun on my personal journey and ever working towards being 100% free of animal based products and hopefully you’ll encourage me to have fun on this journey too 🙂