I am writing this second post immediately to force myself through the dreaded second post blogger’s block – something I have definitely encountered in past blog-lives! N.B. (I didn’t post this straight away as planned; the number of grammatical errors grew as the number of hours until work the next day diminished!)
I am now in my fourth month of being vegan. I was about to write ‘completely vegan’, but alas there have been a few occasions where I have unwittingly ‘broken’ my personal pledge. There was the time early on when I took a vitamin pill, after which I read ‘not suitable for vegetarians’ on the packet (I was still getting used to THOROUGHLY reading every label), one possible non-vegan margarine baked potato mishap at a family meal around Christmas time, then recently when my air-quote ‘vegan’ housemate made a satay sauce using fish sauce – claiming later not to have realised it contained fish (he doesn’t try very hard), and the other night when the Chinese we ordered came as egg-fried vegetable rice and I only realised after eating a mouthful and tasting a horrible after-taste (the egg!).
As I write this, owning up to these occasions feels important to me; they’re like dirty little secrets that make me feel a bit guilty whenever someone asks if i’ve managed to stay true to the new diet and I answer yes (consciously I have, so the guilt is silly). I need to accept that whilst I have made the decision to forgo all animal products, life and those in it don’t always comply – and that’s okay! I should count myself lucky that I’m not actually allergic to anything and am not in constant danger!
One of the biggest motivating factors for me when I first became vegan for health reasons was an absolute vow to myself to not break my veganism, even in the slightest, in order to feel the best results. I knew I would have to completely eliminate and cleanse my body of all animal products. Over time I have realised that it’s very hard to be 100% animal product-free if you’re eating anything processed or prepared out of sight. I am not at that level of veganism yet – I hope to be one day, but for now I am content with occasional chips, biscuits and newsagent samosas (SO good), whilst I continue to find my footing in this very restrictive (but rewarding!) diet.
So I must forgive myself and others if dietary slips like those above happen; and whilst I abhor the idea of animal products entering my system because it feels like it’s ‘ruining’ my cleansing diet, I need to accept that this will happen and in the grand scheme of things won’t affect me that much. I’ve also realised that even as a vegan, I have been selfish in my thinking; ‘my’ diet has been compromised, ‘my’ vow has been broken, and not always remembering the other reasons why being vegan is awesome – beautiful animals won’t suffer on my account and I hurt the planet a little less each day.
More coming up on how turning vegan is altering my mindset on animals and the environment soon,
Hope you keep feeling awesome!