Depending on whom you ask this question will determine what your answer will be. There are people who will argue that a vegan is a tree hugging hippy forcing a lifestyle on others. Some will tell you a vegan doesn’t eat anything with a face or only foods with no animal products in them when in fact veganism goes much deeper than that. Does only our choice of what we eat determine who we are? Do we have to be labeled at all?
My husband and I are vegans, some might say to the extreme, some might say not extreme enough. We live our lives mindful of all living beings and do our very best to bring no harm to any living creature and yes, that includes creepy, crawly insects. If our only purpose was to eat healthier then I would classify us as plant-based eaters. We don’t wear, buy or furnish our home with leather; we don’t wear or use wool or silk and we buy cosmetics and cleaners that don’t test on or use animal by-products in their products. We inform people as to why we are vegan but we aren’t militant about it and we will eat in restaurants that serve meat (though we wish they didn’t).
I am pretty vocal about my vegan choices but try not to be confrontational about it and my husband is more passive though occasionally he will speak his mind too. We try to educate people about it without locking them out of our world. If we invite someone to dinner, they will get a yummy vegan meal with no animal products in it and if they wear leather, they are still welcome! You see I have learned that education is the key with veganism and militancy will simply put people off, often making them dig their fork into meat just for spite.
Aside from the knowledge that we can’t save all animals, we are doing our best to be kind to all living creatures and spread the word about our choices. Not that long ago, veganism was an underground way of life and like most people, we too envisioned sickly, crazy people as the participants. But now as it is becomes more mainstream, we see vegans in a different light. As humanity evolves, it is becoming apparent that our individual choices affect much more than ourselves and every action we take has a ripple effect. Labels separate us when in fact we are all connected; every single living being is connected to you in one way or another. Violence and destruction are not working to save our planet so perhaps peace and kindness will.
Susan is our resident vegan. She’s been a vegetarian for 20 years, and a vegan for 3. She has researched both lifestyles extensively and is constantly exploring new recipes, add her own twist. She is a long time SPUD customer, and now our very own resident vegan blogger!