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From: digital girl ( -
Subject: don't worry about it
Date: September 3, 2005 at 7:24 am PST

In Reply to: what would be appropriate? posted by VWhippie on August 31, 2005 at 7:47 pm:

How would anyone know? Most people are not aware that wines and beers are sometimes not vegan. Most even don't know that gelatin isn't vegan. Those that do know may ask you more detailed questions. You mention that until you are absolutely strict (and you'll never be perfect, no matter how hard you try... ) it would give vegans a bad name to call yourself vegan. I don't think that's true at all. The preachy vegans that feel the need to convert every other person and pass judgement on others' choices are the ones that give vegans a bad name. There are far fewer of those people than many non-veg people think.

After the typical "what do you eat, where do you get your protein.. " etc.. questions, and questions about my boyfriend, can I be around it, etc.. I often get "You're not like some vegetarians. Some of those people.... you're much more open." You get the point.

All I'm trying to say is that don't worry about what you call yourself and what others think of that label. You don't want animal products so when asked, I think it's just fine to say you're vegan. Most people I've met don't care about vegans that might not be perfect... they care about vegans that preach and are hypocrites (because no one can be perfect). If you make it about personal choice and keep an open mind and educate when asked (i.e., not lecture) and just try to live by example, I think you'll be just fine. You're not giving veganism a bad name at all.

And I find it more difficult to explain to people my person choice - I am not vegan but I do eat a near-vegan diet. Most of the time, I don't even use the word... I just tell people I avoid consuming all animal products in my diet.. (which of course leads to "what about eggs? do you eat cheese? where do you get your calcium?"... but that's ok) Depending on context, I might say I'm vegan or not. I sometimes find that to be much easier. It gets the point across and doesn't entail a huge discussion (well, always a small one).

Maybe instead of "I'm vegan" you can state "I try to eat a vegan diet." .... that's it. It's true, it gets to the point. You're not going to be perfect even when reading every label.

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