I appreciate your candidness. I have been a strict vegetarian since 1989 and became an imperfect vegan in 2004. I am becoming more comfortable every year with the perimeters I set for myself in this lifestyle and, in turn, feel less of a need to defend myself to those that think I have to be a perfect vegan to carry the label. All of my personal products, vitamins, etc are vegan. I don't buy any food that isn't vegan. I do, however, buy and wear USED wool and leather. I work for a caterer that provides a free lunch everyday. If there are cooked vegetables I don't ask if they've been cooked in butter or oil before deciding to eat them. On occasion I will eat a sandwich without making sure the bread is vegan. And I buy eggs from a friend who has pet chickens. They are cage free, organic fed, with no rooster. I do make a strong effort to support vegan friendly businesses. However, I am human and have weak moments and make weak decisions sometimes. I believe, though, that proclaiming myself vegan and educating interested people on the movement, while admitting I am a cheating vegan, is still benefitting the cause and helping the movement to grow. I applaud anyone who incorporates any aspect of a vegan lifestyle into their daily routines. I know that every vegan choice I make benefits animals and the environment and I don't have to be perfect to make a difference. It's about progress - not perfection.
Thank you, Jim, for your kind defense. To VeganMarr: I appreciate your opinion and your strong convictions. I had never posted a public comment on any blog before but felt moved enough by this strand of conversation to jump in. As I am currently trying to transition to a raw diet, I felt the community involvement would be helpful. I do not use the term "vegan" casually as you have asserted. I have been an animal activist for nearly 20 years. My diet and lifestyle is about 98% vegan on a daily basis and I will go four months at a time without slipping at all. I feel very comfortable with calling myself vegan and know that I have opened many people's minds to this lifestyle while admitting I'm not the posterchild for the movement. I am continually evolving on my personal journey and hope the same for all vegetarians and vegans, at whatever stage they happen to be at.
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I would simply say that you eat a nearly vegan diet.
Hi Jim, I feel most comfortable with the term "plant-sourced" since I'd rather people ask me what it means rather than recoil from me thinking I'll attack their tastes/values/comfortable existence. I use "vegan" in restaurants because the server doesn't have the time or inclination to ask me about my lifestyle. I like "veg*n vagabond" though! Mind if I borrow it?
I don't nitpick over whether someone is truly vegan or not. Some people change their lives completely immediately and others pace themselves. Most get to the same place in the end.
I have to thank all of you, again, for all of your support and feedback. Since posting this, I have been 100% vegan with my diet. I don't think I have been even slightly tempted. :)
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