You want to go vegan and do all that you can for the animals, for your health and for the environment. You have been hearing a lot about it and how rewarding it is since it has been all over social media especially with the recent events unfolding with Fair Life Farms. (My thoughts on that in another blog.) You have some friends who are vegan and some that are vegeatarians, too. You also might be surprised that you don't know that some of your friends are vegetarians or vegan. You might be seeing these amazing transformations and how folks have lost a ton of weight and|or reversed their diabetes. Folks getting a new lease on life and feeling great and getting off their medications. You love animals and don't want to see them suffer. The more you learn about it, the more you want to do it. But some things are still holding you back.
Look, I totally get it. You think that once you go vegan you then have to tell all of your friends and neighbors about it. Shout it out on the rooftops. Getting out your megaphone and blasting it on Facebook and Instagram and now taking photos of your vegan dishes will be your everyday norm. You're thinking that you have to throw out all of your leather items that you've already bought over the span of 20, 30 or even 40 years. You are now recruited as an animal activist and marching with your picket sign, doing undercover investigations at factory farms and attending conventions. You have to "like" every Facebook related page. This is what is required, right?
Here's the short answer - NO.
Only if you want to.
I want to go vegan, but I don't want to tell everybody and make it my cause.
I am here to tell you that you don't have to, you don't need to and you don't have to feel that pressure. Only if you want to. If you want to go vegan, then do it. In deciding to take that step you do not have to constantly fight for the vegan cause or mission. Simply becoming vegan and living life that way is better than not. It doesn't have to be that all or nothing mentality with a set of guidelines and rules from a playbook. Going vegan is just that - making the decision to stop consuming animal products that are meat, dairy, eggs, seafood and honey and breaking that chain of supply and demand. If you want to take it further, that is entirely up to you.
If you know my story, and some of you know me in real life, and most of you that know me probably didn't even know that I was vegetarian all those years. Or you knew that I was vegetarian at the time but it wasn't discussed, or was even an issue. The only time it had been mentioned was if I was coming over for dinner or partaking in some sort of event. My point is that you have control over your decisions and that it doesn't need to be or evolve into something that you don't want it to. Don't let that vegan label turn you off in terms of what others will think of you or in terms what will now be expected of you. No need to succumb to those pressures.
I want to go vegan, but I don't want to stop wearing leather.
I am here to tell you that you don't have to, you don't need to and you don't have to feel that pressure. But you can if you want to. I get it. You want to be vegan, but you have some leather pieces that you have had over the years and you want to continue to wear them. Then wear them. I am sure that there are others who will disagree with me on this, and that is fine, but I would hate for you to not take the first step out of fear that you have to change everything about your life. I am looking to the bigger picture here and that is you taking the initiative to making present choices that will affect now and tomorrow. Making the decision to become vegan is commendable. Now is the right time to start and it's never been easier. We all have a story and are on our own path, and by not consuming any animal products but still wearing the belt or jacket that you purchased twenty years ago, or even last year is still a step forward. It is up to you, and you alone as to how far you want to go. You do not have to answer or explain your decisions to anyone.
I presently don't buy any new products that are leather or animal sourced. Even while out shopping and I was looking at dry body brushes, the label said "natural bristle brushes". Experience knows that natural bristle brushes are boar bristles, which is animal derived. Even though the package was labelled as cruelty free, that doesn't mean that it is vegan. But this is just an example and my individual choice. Where there is demand, there will always be supply. You have the power to take it as far as you want to go, with no need to explain.
I want to go vegan, but I don't want to be an activist.
I am here to tell you that you don't have to, you don't need to and you don't have to feel that pressure. But you can if you want to. Not everyone is born to be an activist. I can't fathom to watch those videos or apply to work on one of those farms. I may not know exactly what goes on, but I know enough. Honestly, I am super sensitive and those images will be seared into my memory for days, weeks, and even months. I won't be able to escape it and will lose a lot of tears and sleep over it. But if you think that going vegan means that you have to be an activist in that sense and play a certain role, think again. If it is not your thing, then you will make a lousy activist. If it is not in your heart to do it, then there is no need for you to do it. However, on the flip side if you find that being an activist for animals rights is deep inside and you want to be that voice, then by all means - do it. Do what you are led to do. That is what happened to James Aspey and Earthling Ed. They were very much meat eaters not too long ago and are now prominent animal rights activists speaking up for animals everywhere around the world. Do what you are driven to do and if that means being a quiet vegan - then be a quiet vegan. If you want to be more vocal, then be more vocal.
What does going vegan come down to?
What it comes down to is doing what is in your heart to do, no more and no less.
A brief word on the term vegan. I am not big on labels or labeling someone as this or that, but for the purpose of this blog post or website, I am using this term for its defining purpose as such.
It is my hope that by bringing current animal agriculture practices to your attention, you will be more informed of what is truly happening. By bringing attention of what it means to be vegan and that by adopting a vegan lifestyle and eating a WFPB diet, you will reap the benefits in doing so.
We have been raised on the SAD diet (standard american diet) and just because we have been raised this way, doesn't mean that we should continue this way. Our history and norm need not dictate our future and certainly not have to continue to be the mainstream and status quo. It comes down to individual choice and what you choose to do and how you choose to live. It is my passion and what I feel in my heart to do, to bring awareness. It may not be your thing to do on your end - and that is okay, too.
I understand that vegans get a bad rap at times, some are so "passionate" about the cause that they become the vegan police, monitoring another vegan's every move. Labeling them as vegan or not vegan enough. What I can say in response to this is to not let that keep you from making your decision to go vegan. If it is your desire or in your heart to do so, then I encourage you to take that step as it is a step in the right direction to compassionate living, and better health.
This is my opinion and just my thoughts on this topic. I am sure that there will be some that disagree with me, but I think it's important for someone who is looking to go vegan or is being pulled in that direction should be able to do so without fear or judgement. If you are reading this and this sounds like you, I would like to encourage you to just take that step. I am always here to help, not judge.
Have you gone vegan yet or not gone vegan because of what you think is expected of you? Let me know.