This morning I logged into Facebook and as I scrolled down my timeline a post jumped out at me from a point of negativity.
The person who posted this particular link questions whether Erika Awakening was ever a vegan. The article Erika Awakening’s Break-up with veganism appears to be a veg-a-rific target for wound up vegans and vegetarians alike. Now let’s recap:
From Wikipedia the definition of veganism is: Veganism /ˈviːɡənɪzəm/ is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, as well as following an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals. A follower of veganism is known as a vegan.
Why do vegans get so defensive about other people’s lifestyles? The way I see it, it can be hard enough to entertain a vegan lifestyle without having to resort to online mudslinging to prove that you are a good vegan. It’s a day-to-day process for many of us who have only the best intentions and for some it’s simply not a sustainable option. Why should the claws come out that point?
Looking back to before I turned vegan I can compare the way two different vegans interacted with me. Both were nice enough, yet the one was just a little judgmental about my choices. It was that thought that made me realize that perhaps Erika was in a not so unique situation. Having invested so much time, effort and resolve to remain vegan, that when in the end she found herself (for whatever reason) unable to healthily sustain the lifestyle she became angry. I think many people would find themselves in the same position.
In all fairness there are so many different factors to take into consideration when attempting to figure out if things could have been different.
What if vegans were never seen as dietary extremists? Or as no-good hippies? What if veganism entered the mainstream at a much earlier point in time?
I came across the term vegan for the first time in a health and beauty book by Vogue. the ethical considering was glossed over for the most part, and only the health benefits were expounded. That’s why I became a vegan initially. That’s why I made my return to it after many years. Does that make me a ‘bad vegan’. Does the fact that I felt deprived during the first period make up for returning to a more inclusive lifestyle. Does the fact that I am better equipped this time round make it any better? Does the fact that I live a mostly vegan life, but look the other way when it comes to my medical treatments make me a fake vegan? How many people are even aware or take note of the fact that anesthesia is in fact egg based? How many vegans would really turn their back on life changing medical treatments because the anesthetic the doctor would use is not vegan? That is the crux. Would you go against all medical advise to the contrary, remain vegan and risk the worse case scenario.
I don’t think it’s as overly dramatic as it sounds as for many people a 100% vegan lifestyle is comfortable and sustainable. For others it’s simply not a long-term option. We can’t judge someone for choosing one road over the other. In her article Erika takes us through a very thorough reasoning process. Long term it didn’t work for her. At least she did something. That’s more than many people can say.
One day at a time people. Just one day at a time.