When I became a vegan over two years ago, I never imagined the pressure and guilt that would come with it. The strive to become a perfect vegan laid heavy on my shoulders and still do to some extent.
I was a vegetarian before and had been for 20 odd years. Along with not eating meat, I didn’t wear leather, fur and avoided duck down products. To be honest, apart from buying some products not tested on animals, I thought I was doing quite well. Then I made the switch from vegetarian to vegan, against both my doctors and partner’s wishes for health reasons. So why did I still make the change? Well, it was becoming increasingly important to me and I knew that being a vegetarian alone was no longer enough. After watching a few documentaries, such as cowspiracy and earthlings, my decision to become vegan was confirmed.
Like most things I enter into I do a lot of research and it was only then that I began to realize just how much non-vegan-friendly products my life and house contained. Items such as makeup, beauty and cleaning products. This is when I realized how much change I would have to make.
NOW IN AN PERFECT VEGAN WORLD
Should I have been expected to have gone through my house removing all non-vegan items and throwing or giving them all away? Only to restock with suitable products.
Now, for nearly all of us, that option is not possible. First of all, can you imagine the cost factor alone? It is certainly way beyond mine and most people’s budget to be able to do that.
So what did I do? Well, I made the switch slowly, food products I changed almost straight away apart from cheese which took longer. All the other products in my house were switched slowly. When I next needed make-up and cleaning products I bought vegan-friendly. According to the militant vegans, that was not good enough. Maybe militant is too strong a word, there are in the vegan world, as there are in every walk of life a group of people who strive to lecture you and put you down. For no other reason apart from that, they can. They believe you are not doing something perfect enough or quick enough in their eyes. Why should we be afraid to hold our hands up and say, I’m trying to become the best vegan I can possibly be but I am struggling or I can’t afford to change certain items yet?
IN A PERFECT VEGAN WORLD
We should celebrate each vegan step, for every little step helps. Bullying or pushing people to be like you is never the way, whether it is about religion, losing weight or becoming a vegan.
There are also though who deride vegans who buy plant-based products made to resemble meat. Surely they are missing the point, which is they are not eating meat. Anything that helps us make the switch to stop eating animal products, to me is a good thing.
IN A PERFECT VEGAN WORLD
We would recycle everything, we would buy food without excess packaging, everything would be eco-friendly. We would all buy organic food and never buy cheaper throwaway clothing. We have to remember that we as individuals are not perfect,
IT IS NOT A PERFECT VEGAN WORLD
We buy the vegan food that we can afford, we strive to make the changes we can. As vegans we are all on the same side, we have the same goals. So what if it takes some a little longer. Be kind and encourage those who are trying to change their lives and tolerant of those that do not wish to.