All or nothing; the mentality that I used to have surrounding veganism. Once I made the connection that we didn’t need to consume animal products in order to obtain every necessary nutrient in our diets, it was as if a light had switched. It was suddenly so blatantly obvious. Yet I didn’t make the switch overnight. I went vegetarian for a few years and slowly made the transition to veganism.
Like so many new vegans two things happened:
I had an “all or nothing” mentality and somehow forgot that I ate meat and dairy for a large majority of my life
I scoffed at people who were vegetarian or were trying to reduce their consumption of meat. I could not wrap my mind around the fact that people were still eating meat and drinking milk. I figured they didn’t care about animals or the environment.
Thankfully I quickly realized just how foolish this mentality was. In fact I realized it was these exact thoughts that made vegans so unpalatable to mainstream society. No one enjoys being ridiculed and it is very rarely an affective form of communication. No wonder shoving tofu down peoples throats doesn’t magically make them vegan.
I am well aware that from an outsider’s perspective veganism can be quite daunting; don’t eat meat, dairy, eggs, or honey, stop buying and wearing leather, wool, and silk, get rid of everything you own that is made of animal products, and while you’re at it you should probably invest in a Vitamix blender, a high power juicer, and a dehydrator, start drinking smoothies made of kale and 5 bananas, eat salads eight times larger than you’re used to, and cut out all processed foods from your diet…simple right? Ahhh the misconceptions of veganism. I do not deny that there are vegans out there who have this mentality, unable to wrap their mind around the true meaning of veganism; COMPASSION.
Heck if I thought that this is what I had to do to start living a vegan lifestyle I probably wouldn’t have made the switch. To me veganism is striving for progress NOT perfection. I don’t think it’s a surprise that EVERY human can benefit from eating more plants, less meat, less dairy, and less processed food. Maybe that does mean you move towards a plant based vegan diet, or maybe it means you work on going meatless one day a week, subbing your latte for a soy one, or making sure you have a fruit and veggies everyday. Like I said it’s all about progress not perfection.
I whole heartedly believe in the benefits and abundance that a vegan lifestyle can bring. So much so that it has influenced me to pursue a career in helping other people, like YOU, with their health. The core value of veganism is compassion, not just for animals and the planet but for other individuals and meeting them where they are at. There will always be someone to tell you that you’re not doing enough, that if you’re not 100% vegan then you’re inherently a bad person…and that is absolute bull shit.
I remember being worried about wearing a pair of leather boots I owned after becoming vegan. What would someone say if they saw me? I couldn’t post a photo online, good lord the hate I could receive. Or what if I accidentally ate a granola bar with honey in it? Well I might as will give up all efforts and eat strictly meat and cheese.
Some people (and mind you it is very few) are able to make the switch to a fully vegan lifestyle over night. Yet this should NOT diminish every other individual who is striving to live in a more conscious way.
I am vegan and proud of it, but I no longer have the “all or nothing” mentality towards other people’s lifestyles. Like I said before this way of thinking often makes the idea of veganism daunting and down right scary to many people. I remember that I was not always vegan and that for 19 years of my life I ate meat. But I have experience first hand, time and time again, how insanely incredible veganism is. To me veganism is a way of living based on compassion, aimed at causing as little suffering as possible; to animals, our planet, our bodies, and other humans. We could all do more in order to live consciously and I am no exception. Collectively we CAN make a positive impact and I whole heartedly believe that we WILL.
Whether you go vegan, vegetarian, or start having meatless Mondays your efforts matter, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Interested in transitioning to a plant based lifestyle? Send me a message under "WORK WITH ME" to take all aspects of your health to the next level. I can't wait to chat!