“I think ‘vegan’ is a beautiful word. It is more than just a description for our diet. I see it as a visible template for an ethical, healthy, responsible, and rational life. Because it describes our character, it says we do not take the life of another living being to satisfy our wants.” Phillip Wollen
Let me first say one thing, your diet is your own decision and this post is not about telling you or me that how we choose to live is “wrong”. After all if there is no guidebook to life then how can one possibly ever live wrongfully? We can make decisions that change the course of our lives and the direction we are travelling but we cannot make a decision that makes our life “wrong”. That is the beauty of human existence, it is a journey and it is something you carve alone therefore your direction is never the right way nor the wrong way, simply “your way”, as corny as it sounds, so please bear this in mind as you read.
I grew up with a vegetarian mother and a meat-loving father in a family where whatever your decision about food it was accepted no questions asked. In this respect I was very lucky and I was a vegetarian, a pescatarian, a meat eater, dairy free… throughout the first 18yrs of my life and so when I first broached the idea of veganism it was accepted like any other decision I had made. Let’s get one thing straight; although this post seems to hint towards me declaring myself a vegan publically, this is not the case. You see my family also instilled a core idea in me from a young age of flexibility in your beliefs. They showed me that the right way to live was too accept everyone’s belief however far from your own and to be open-minded in your own understanding of the world. Both sides of the vegan/meat-eater debate are highly passionate about their beliefs and whilst I think this passion is beautiful, I cannot take a side. I highly despise animal cruelty and the way the meat and dairy industry operates and therefore I choose not to eat these products 99% of the time because to finance their production seems to contradict my beliefs but I will never attack the diets of my friends and family for not choosing to do this. I am not a vegan, I choose to eat a plant based diet for the large majority of my meals because that is what works for my body, my body functions better on plants than it ever did on cheese or milk or meat and for me I feel that the cruelty of the animal product industry is not something I wish to fund. Yet my dietary decisions are not “the right way” nor are they better than a vegetarian, better than a meat-eater, they are simply better for me. The vegan community is highly passionate and welcoming and supportive and I admire their drive and enthusiasm. However I have found a way of eating without labeling it, perhaps one day I will make the public transition but for now I eat to nourish, to enjoy, and to feel strong and fit and beautiful and there is no dietary label that can fit that decision. So you may call me a flake, uncommitted or a fake but I belief that you can be agnostic in your dietary and lifestyle decisions. I will always praise a highly plant-based diet because I truly believe it has positively impacted my health but the choice is yours. Please share your comments on the ingredients for a balanced, happy life.