Serious Stuff: A Note on Leaving Veganism
I normally stay away from some of the drama/politics in the vegan community because I feel as though it gets covered enough on other blogs. As much as I am an activist in real life, my blog is a place for me to talk about vegan food and to share my new creations and sometimes a bit about the restaurants I eat at.
I save most of my activism-related stuff for events, Twitter, and personal conversations. However, I’ve been reading a fair bit lately about people who have decided that veganism is no longer for them – some cases being more extreme than others. What concerns me more than the people who consider themselves ‘ex-vegans’ are the actual ‘vegans’ who have attacked and demeaned those who are simply being honest with themselves and the community.
What it comes down to in the end is if you don’t like what you are reading, then don’t read it. If you are upset with someone’s choice, then you can choose to leave their blog and never come back. Rather than act in the respectful and adult way, some have taken it upon themselves to become judge and jury in the comments. I took to Facebook to give my two-cents, but I thought it needed repeating here:
‘While it makes my heart heavy every time I hear of someone going away from a totally vegan diet, I feel that judging those who do is completely against what vegansim is about (at least for me). Veganism is much more than what we put in our mouths, it’s about showing compassion to all living things, including other people. People make their own choices because of their own reasons and whether or not we agree with those reasons we should still support our fellow beings in their decisions.
It’s easy for us to say that people should be stronger and that their reasons for going away from vegansim are selfish or weak, but the truth is that WE should be stronger. This should light a fire within us to work even harder to make it that much easier to be a vegan and to stick with it for a lifetime. It should make it clearer to us that even though veganism is more mainstream now that there’s still much work to be done to help spread the word of compassion to our local & national restaurants and businesses.For me, I will remain vegan because of something JL Fields said – “Once you know something, you can’t not know it.” Those who go back to being vegetarians or omnivores still know the horrors of the industry, it’s just no longer a priority for them 100% of the time. Who’s to tell them what their priorities should be? Not you, not me. All we can do is work that much harder to make the lifestyle more accessible. The more judging that we do, the less people will want to try it out and the more they will feel like veganism is synonymous with elitism. So think before you speak and keep fighting for what you believe in.’
Sorry for the seriousness of this post, but it’s something that I needed to say. I’ll be back tomorrow with a new Sandwich Queen post – it’s a goodie!