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From: Jo Stepaniak (
Subject: Re: hating the label, need to vent
Date: January 31, 2006 at 5:55 am PST

In Reply to: hating the label, need to vent posted by katie on January 30, 2006 at 7:26 pm:

Hello, Katie. Yes, I did get to the end! :-) My firsts reaction to what you wrote was: lighten up! I mean that in the kindest way. Veganism is not a badge or a cloak of perfection that we wrap ourselves in. I've been vegan for 25 years, and I think the longer you're vegan, the less rigid you become about it. This doesn't mean that you abandon basic vegan principles, but there's less of a stringency and stridency about it. The bottom line is that you need to do what you want to do -- whether it's tasting the food from another culture because you think it's just something you "have to do," or being less hard on yourself for minor "indiscretions." The only one putting pressure on you is YOU. It's not the label, or the meaning of the word, or the fact that being vegan is such an imperfect and imprecise way of life. YOU are the one who is causing yourself to suffer over it, and your anger about it does you (and others) more harm than probably anything else related to your being vegan.

I wrote an essay regarding labels that perhaps you might find helpful. I've put the link below.

Feel free to vent all you like -- but be aware that your angst is being generated internally, not externally.


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