Every day, we wake up and are faced in a world full of choices. We choose what we wear, where we go, and what we consume. Over one million Americans choose to have a vegan diet: no eggs, no dairy, no meat, no animal products. Of course the strictness of this rule varies from person to person. For example, honey is still one of our topics for discussion. I am new to the vegan world, almost seven months, and have been vegetarian for around 2 years.
I am in no way a perfectionist, I am not an all or nothing kind of person by any means. And although this mentality does come with its difficulties in regards to school work and other aspects of my life, it also allows me to be less anxious. I was not going to let my diet take over my life. Although I do have to go out of my way to maintain it, if I really want some cheese...I will have some cheese.
Although I have not eaten meat/poultry in the last two years, I know it is simply because I was never a huge fan. For a week or so I became a 'seagan' because I was away with my family and there was nothing for me to eat other than fish and meat. So I took the fish route.
I have eaten a bite out of a Krispy Kreme donut without feeling guilty, or eaten a dish that I simply 'don't ask' if it has cheese/eggs. My best friend is a vegetarian, and sometimes she craves a hamburger, so she goes out and eats a damn hamburger. It keeps us sane.
We should not take anything that we do to the extreme, and there is no need to be fanatic. The times I cheat on my veganism are the times that it makes me stronger to continue this diet that I find to be the most ethical.
My stomach hurts after I have dairy, and on the last day of my trip I got a little bit of food poisoning from the fish I ate. It helps me get rid of my urges, and hopefully allows me to continue being the best vegan I can be.
We are not perfect as humans. I am not going to allow myself to feel bad if I don't take this lifestyle to the extreme level. I do what is comfortable and I try everyday. If I even manage to be vegan 90% of the time, I am proud of myself.
I feel like the vegan and vegetarian community should encourage the concept of cheat meals more, especially to people starting out. Take it one step at a time. The idea that one milkshake "breaks" your whole lifestyle is unrealistic. Just try your best and treat yourself from time to time.