Our Journey as Imperfect Vegans

How being perfectly imperfect is better than doing nothing at all
Black and white image of a couple having breakfast at a bistro table

People sometimes fear going vegan because they feel they can't be a perfect vegan. Let us remind you that being perfect is not the goal, and being an imperfect vegan has many positive impacts.

To be vegan is to take a stand against the cruelty of meat and dairy industries, and to recognize that consuming animals and animal byproducts is unnecessary and potentially harmful. To be vegan is to make choices that align with our moral and ethical principles. Indeed, this leads to not buying animal products, products tested on animals, avoiding activities that mistreat animals, and so on; but if you're reading this as a non-vegan, you're probably at least a little vegan-curious.

Any time you make a decision to buy something you are voting with your money. This is one of the largest ways individuals can make a change. If you're interested in starting to make some small changes for the greater good of the animals, the environment, and your health, then we encourage you to be an imperfect vegan- because really there is no such thing as a perfect vegan and any change in the right direction is good!

Being vegan is less about a diet and more about having compassion for all sentient beings.

Times We Were Imperfect Vegans

We believe all people can relate to being imperfect. Especially when you're first starting something out. The good news is that no one is really perfect.

There are a ton of products that many people would assume are vegan, when in reality they are not. Have you ever read the ingredients of a product and noticed carmine listed? Well, carmine is a red food dye made of insects. Weird, right?

For the longest time we had no idea some wines aren't vegan. Who would even think that there would be animal products in wine!? But now we know that some wines contain isinglass, which means fish bladder enzymes. Therefore, we now try to vote with our dollar by buying brands we know are vegan.

Note: Barnivore is a great source for finding vegan alcoholic products.

Another time we were imperfect vegans was during the 2020 lock-down. We had groceries delivered and found that they substituted our requested bread with one that contained dairy. We reached out to the grocery store that made the mistake, but instead of being able to return the item (due to lock-down), we just received a refund and were able to keep the bread. Left with this bread, we decided it makes more sense to eat it than to toss it out. Would we have done the same with meat? Absolutely not. We are more forgiving with ourselves keeping it vegetarian. A little butter that was used on the bread is not the end of the world. The point is, you can stick to what you're comfortable with.

Image of hands spreading vegan cream cheese over toast

Do We Still Believe We Are Vegan?

Yes, absolutely. Most people, especially those who aren't vegan, tend to define the word incorrectly. Here's a more accurate definition of veganism by The Vegan Society (est. 1944).

"Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals."

The Vegan Society
image of a person reading at a bistro

Veganism is Not a Diet, It's a Philosophy

Simply put, animals shouldn't be killed for our benefit if it's not necessary. Just because we can eat meat, doesn't mean we have to. In return we help innocent animals from not living a horrifying life of torture, help reduce animal agriculture's production of green house gases (which is one of the largest industries contributing to our global crisis), and we get to introduce our body to healthy plant based foods that have many positive benefits to the human function.

Just to be clear, we understand that some people live in food deserts or have other situations that don't allow for a balanced vegan diet. Nonetheless, we don't expect everyone in the world to be vegan, but if you can, maybe just consider having a few vegan meals throughout the week. Dip your toes into what vegan food can really be like, you might be pleasantly surprised with the abundance of tasty recipes out there. Just switching to a vegetarian diet once a week would help reduce your negative impact on the world.

The Trolls

Vegan - a word that triggers many, especially the trolls. In case you are unfamiliar, trolls are individuals (many on the internet) that purposely provoke or harass others for the sole purpose of causing controversy, seeking attention, or for the simple pleasure they get from distressing others. Although online trolls thrive on the anonymity and lack of accountability provided by online platforms, trolls still exist in our real world. You can identify them as the individuals who are disruptive and provocative for the sake of upsetting someone else. They can spread misinformation and use any opportunity to push buttons.

Society tends to have a negative attitude towards vegans. Just the word itself can be triggering, especially to those that disguise their underlying guilt. Don't let trolls get under your skin. Their hate is a reflection of them. If you're tempted to respond to the trolls, below are some tips we think help.

Dealing with Trolls is Tough, But Here are Some Tips to Help:

  • Stay informed: Knowledge is power. The more educated you are on a topic, the more you will be able to confidently defend your point and respond to criticism.
  • Lead by example: Show compassion and understanding, even when the trolls try to provoke a reaction.
  • Have a sense of humor: These are serious topics that mean a lot to the compassionate vegans, but eventually someone will come along to make fun of your "rabbit food" or offer ice as their only vegan ice cream option. In these situations, we find it's best to laugh.
  • Don't feed the trolls: Some trolls are better to just ignore. Protect yourself and set boundaries.
  • Practice self-care: It can be emotionally draining to deal with trolls. Make sure you are making time to relax and do activities that bring you joy.

To Conclude

Being vegan doesn't mean being a perfect vegan. No one can be perfect, all we can do is try and make conscious decisions around our values. In the end, it's better to be an imperfect vegan than not.

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besitos, J & R