A Tale From A Practicing Vegan
I am a practicing Vegan. I am going to be completely honest and I am unable to call myself a “straight-up” vegan. Veganism is a personal practice that I try to uphold when I eat at home. But when you are out with friends, family, or for business it can be more of a challenge. When faced with these challenges you want to be able to enjoy the social fun that comes with eating food. Therefore, you must be able to adapt to your environment.
When you choose to go against the grain you need to be able to accept that there will be push back.
The argument out there is that it is more sustainable to eat less meat and follow a more plant-based diet. The argument is sound and my whole heart agrees that if the world were to eat less meat, and animal products, our internal and external environments would benefit. However, I do not agree with the mentality of identifying as a vegan. Veganism has become a some sort of dogma, where one is either fully in the club or unable to call themselves a vegan. Therefore, some people have termed me a “reducetarian”.
When you choose to go against the grain you need to be able to accept that there will be push back. You are the one that needs to be willing to accept that you are different. Do not push your beliefs on to others.
When I made the decision to adopt a Vegan lifestyle I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I saw the stereotypes, preconceived judgements, and negative comments arise in my every day life. Now, you would assume that it is a one way street where it is just meat eaters that hate on vegans. However, I found that Vegans hate on meat eaters just as much. I think that this is absolutely absurd!
I had an interesting interaction at a Local Vegan Restaurant. They were asked to contribute to a local promotional cookbook. However, they would not participate because there was going to be recipes in the cookbook that had animal-products. These savvy business owners were critical and decided to not support their fellow local businesses because of alternative beliefs. Witnessing this made me feel embarrassed to be a practicing vegan….So here is my proposal:
Every person is different and everybody reacts differently to a diet change. Some people believe that they cannot go a day without eating meat and that is okay. Others are happier with a low carb diet or people adhere to a more Paleo lifestyle. Each type of eating style has its benefits and it is key for each individual to find what works for them. It is key to acknowledge that it is all about mindset.
No one has the power to change another person’s beliefs except themselves. Even if your arguments about going Vegan are valid it is not fare to press judgement on someone else for making different choices. Whether it is about diet, exercise, or spiritual practices. We are already so critical on ourselves. If you become a person who passes judgement and helps reinforce the negative self-talk that goes on in each of our minds then you are not helping better the lives of those around you.
Being a Practicing Vegan
Most people in my life know that I am a practicing vegan but I make sure that I am explicitly clear that I am flexible. I love restaurants as much as the next person, and when I am flexible I will normally stick to being a vegetarian. Letting people around me know that I am flexible takes the pressure off from feeling judged. There is no need to sit at a restaurant and get angry at the staff because they are unable to cook a vegan meal for you. When you choose to go against the norm you need to be able to accept that there will be push back.
You are the one that needs to be willing to accept that you are different rather than trying to pressure your beliefs on others. We no longer live in a society where we must push spiritual beliefs on others. So why would we do the same with food preferences?
“You cannot change anybody but you can inspire everybody”
This quote is a great reminder that actions speak louder than words. All you need to do is stay true to yourself. Other people will decide on their own what life choices they would like to make. Other people have the ability to inspire us. Also, you can be an inspiration to someone else. If someone wants to continue eating meat and other animal products then that is their choice. I, nor does anyone else, have the right to pass judgement on someone because of the choices they make.
Nourish your mind by learning new information.
Nourish your body by eating food that makes you feel good.
Nourish your soul by practicing love and support for yourself and others.
Just another Millennial on the search for a happy, healthy, and sustainable lifestyle ♥