Vegan-ish: Why I Am (Mostly) Vegan.

Via on Nov 1, 2013

vegan

To say I am vegan would be untruthful, so I’m inventing a new word.

I am “vegan-ish”.

Vegan-ish types like me believe in veganism for the same strong reasons that regular vegans do; we want to reduce suffering and lighten our footprint on the planet.

Veganism has become a much more important personal and political statement over the last 20 or so years with the advent of factory farming. Factory farms are truly an evil which, once eradicated, will be looked back upon by future generations as akin to Nazi death camps and American slavery.

Prior to factory farming, (and still today, on small farms run with a conscience) I believe, though many would disagree, eggs and milk and honey were okay things to eat, as long as the cows and chickens and bees that made them were treated humanely. Really humanely…not allowed to “run” outside in a filthy one square foot slab of concrete which is the egg industries interpretation of free range.

Though that is the case, I still have a taste for honey, for dairy, and also for fish, which disqualifies me from veganism.

Let me be plain: I avoid these foods and eat them only rarely, but I do eat them.

I try to think of my diet in terms of percentages. If I eat vegan and healthy (which are not necessarily the same thing) 95% of the time, then I’ve gone a long way towards sustaining my body and my principles. If I slip below 90%, I start asking myself some hard questions.

It could be strongly argued that being vegan-ish is just as bad as not being vegan at all. I mean, if I’m willing to eat the flesh of a fish, then why not the flesh of a cow? Or my dog?

I guess I’m succumbing to my carnal desires and my animal roots. I love eating vegan, but every now and then, if I don’t eat an egg, heads are gonna roll. And not chicken heads either. Human ones.

I am copping to the truth of my vegan-ishness for a very important reason. I don’t want to be like the priest who preaches monogamy and heterosexuality and then goes and gets a blow job from a transgendered hooker in a public bathroom. Or worse, gives a blow job to a little boy behind the alter.

I think when people preach extremes, they deny the fact of their humanity, and are driven to worse trespasses than they ever would be otherwise.

In other words, if I wasn’t willing to say what I’m saying, I think I might end up in the closet with a B.L.T, heavy on the B. But when I do say it, all those cravings are allowed to be addressed and be released, mostly harmlessly, into the atmosphere.

I resent when anyone professes to be something they are not. I see it a lot of that where I live, in the affluent suburbs of middle America. And I see it a lot in the yoga community too. Everyone is loathe to admit they’re imperfect, or makes mistakes, or sometimes have contradictory views.

Well allow me to hoist the torch of imperfection here. I’m trying awfully hard to do my best, and sometimes I don’t manage it, but you can be sure I’ll cop to it either way.

In the final analysis, honesty, not slogan shouting, self punishing or finger pointing, is what’s going to get us where we need to be.

 

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Ed: Bryonie Wise

 

 

About Erica Leibrandt

Erica Leibrandt is a certified Yoga instructor, Reiki practitioner, student of Buddhism, vegan chef and mother to six heathens who masquerade as innocent children. She aims to apply the principles of Yoga to real life. Between teaching Yoga, holding vegan cooking seminars, writing and cycling she spends her time as a taxi service to her children, being walked by her dogs, and trying to dream up an alternative to doing the laundry. If she occasionally finds herself with a fried egg on her plate or dancing until dawn, she asks that you not judge her. Life is short, she knows the chicken that laid the egg, and you can never dance too much. You can connect with Erica on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

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13 Responses to “Vegan-ish: Why I Am (Mostly) Vegan.”

  1. Catzzmeifyoucan says:

    What you described was great. It reminded of a philosophy article I've read, by Holmes Rolston, on how there are two ethics constantly in play: the "vital ethic" and the "humanistic ethic." By acknowledging that there will always be a "humanistic ethic" in play, I feel that we are therefore also acknowledging that we are human and imperfect.

  2. karlsaliter says:

    Nice one, Erica.

  3. Carolyn says:

    Great article

  4. Heather says:

    Thanks for being real. Showing your honest self is just so refreshing.

  5. slywlf says:

    Thank you! This spoke right to the heart of my own lifestyle! I will probably never go totally vegan, but by making carefully chosen, compassionate and rational decisions I am both eating healthy and keeping my footprint – and conscience – free and clear!

  6. Dan says:

    I think you've touched upon a vitally important point that truthfulness and intent are more important than labels. Ahimsa, after all, is primary for a reason…

  7. Auki says:

    I'm kind of a vegan wannabe too. Unless you are an excellent vegan cook and organic gardener it is challenging to practice strict vegan-ism. According to the the documentary, Forks Over Knives, vegan-ism greatly reduces human suffering. The physicians behind FOK aren't referring to external suffering ~ such as the suffering of animals ~ they are citing health studies which demonstrate that vegan-ism greatly reduces personal suffering by increasing one's health & vitality.

  8. Randa says:

    DI-TTO I'm on the same boat regarding vegan-ishism! I personally think that the fact of being aware of our 'tuned' veganism is key to the whole issue and in the decisions we generally make in life. Sure I love being a vegan and not only for its cause but simply because I ENJOY it. I do however love honey, parmesan cheese and some fish and can't agree more with slywfl :)
    Great post!

  9. Lalana says:

    Great Article! Will be sharing because so many go with that all or nothing mentality and wouldn't it be a better world if some would even just have meatless Mondays more often? On a global scale each person doing a little better would be an awesome thing:)

  10. Florian says:

    That is sooo true… To hear myself saying to a kebab guy: "Falafel, yes… On a second thought, though, mutton will be great". It happened twice or 3 times, and apart from trying not to go down the same route on my next Turkish food excursion, the hard work is not getting into Remorse. "Self-serving bas….rd." Well I am a bit of it, but working on it. The day I stop would be – well – a chance to start again. It's a long and winding road. So a big NO THANKS to the good ole Christian "mea culpa".

    Thanks for the grat article.

  11. Florian says:

    That is sooo true… To hear myself saying to a kebab guy: "Falafel, yes… On a second thought, though, mutton will be great". It happened twice or 3 times, and apart from trying not to go down the same route on my next Turkish food excursion, the hard work is not getting into Remorse. "Self-serving bas….rd." Well I am a bit of it, but working on it. The day I stop would be – well – a chance to start again. It's a long and winding road. So a big NO THANKS to the good ole Christian "mea culpa".

  12. Michelle Kolbeck says:

    Thank you!! I have tried so hard, but I'm the only one in my family doing it (I'm a mom of 3 kids), I have MS (so it's really hard for me to cook anything that requires more than 15 mins!) and I really enjoy having cheese pizza once a month or so with my family. I have a brother who is so strict and ends up being pretty judgemental, I find myself getting nervous around him and I actually lie about having that pizza once in awhile. Crazy, but your article helps! Thanks!

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