Yes, I know it’s World Go Vegan Week and I should be touting the benefits of a vegan lifestyle and there are many. For today I want to talk about why I’m not ready to call myself a vegan yet. This past summer I decided to give up eating fish, at that point the only animal products in my diet were fish and honey. I thought that if I stopped eating both I’d be vegan just like that. I was wrong It isn’t that simple.
Let me back up by saying that when I started eating mainly raw foods my intention was not to eventually become raw vegan, it was never a goal. I found that the more greens I ate foods like chicken, coffee, and processed snacks just naturally fell away. Red meat was out of my diet before I started. The only food I had to consciously give up was cheese.
I feel like maybe I rushed into making such a big deal about giving up fish. I put undue pressure on myself by thinking I should become vegan. Being a vegan is more than giving up eating animal products. Vegans don’t wear any animal products and I bet they don’t prepare animals for their family like I do. I do struggle with cooking animals, but it’s not my place to tell my husband to stop eating them. He has no interest in the vegan diet at all. Telling myself that I needed to be vegan brought so many emotions to the forefront, many that I’m not prepared to deal with right now.
I look in my closet and I see leather handbags that I love and don’t want to get rid of, I see leather shoes that I want to keep. I like clothes, but I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with fashion. I will admit I’m slightly obsessed with handbags especially leather ones, definitely not vegan.
So you see becoming a vegan wasn’t as simple as not eating fish and honey anymore. It meant a big lifestyle change. One I don’t want to make right now. This may happen naturally just as giving up coffee did, but right now it feels like it’s forced. Maybe I’ll feel a lot better when I stop wearing leather. I certainly did when I stopped drinking coffee.
One of the problems with telling myself I needed to be vegan was that it made me focus on what I couldn’t have anymore and that has never worked for me. I was telling myself to not only stop eating fish and honey, but to also get rid of all my leather and silk products too. I don’t want to do that right now.
The reason it’s pretty easy for me to be raw until dinner and sometimes through dinner is because I don’t put restrictions on myself. When I first began eating mainly raw I was raw all day and at dinner I ate whatever cooked food I wanted. As a result I ate healthy and I never felt deprived. Now suddenly I do and I’m not sure what it is that I feel deprived of. Is it the fish? I know my husband would be happy if I went back to eating fish. Do I really want to go back to eating it? I don’t know. I do know that I don’t want to tell myself that I need to be vegan anymore. I may eat a vegan diet, but I suppose the rest will come naturally when I’m ready and right now I’m not. As with anything in life it’s best not to obsess too much about any one thing “not too lose, not too tight” as the Buddhists say and I’m totally paraphrasing, but you get the idea.