I didn't get my waiter to check if these sweet potato fries were made with any dairy or egg ingredients in their coating.
While watching a movie, I had a bite of my partner's KitKat Chunky chocolate bar just to remember how it tasted.
I bought second hand shoes that, I'm pretty sure, have a small piece of leather in the lining.
I 'let' my almost two-year-old son eat a local market egg (from the Mennonite family).
I still have honey in my tea.
And worst of all, I got a coffee from Tim Hortons with MILK in it! (bows head in shame)
I can hardly call myself a vegan.
But yet, I do. I call myself a vegan. And I mainly keep these little secrets to myself, but today I feel like sharing them. I can tell you now that I have made fully conscious choices to not stay true to my values and ethics which veganism stands for. I have cheated. And I'm not talking cheese pizza, an ice-cream cone, or consuming flesh. I'm talking about 1 oz of milk in my coffee 2 time in the last year.
What do you think of me now?
When I first became vegan there was nothing that could weaken me. I was building myself up, I was learning and socializing and cooking and certainly obsessed with the positive implications of veganism on the planet, our health and the animals. And to be honest, I still am! But time has passed, I share a life with a non-vegan, and we have a son, who at 22 months, has yet to decide whether he'll use this food and diet label as a symbol of his ethical choices and social responsibility.
But I admit, I have 'unfollowed' and 'unfriended' people who went public with their transition to an omnivorous diet from a vegan diet. I had no respect for that. I have even spoken aggressively with people who said they're vegan but then reached out for a non-vegan cookie being offered. They have a responsibility to be a model of what it truly means to be vegan, I said.
But I have been humbled- humbled simply by time and life. I now see the value in not trying to be perfect. My eating and lifestyle follow the definition of veganism 99%, and just because I can tell you exactly when those 1% time-to-burry-my-head-in-the-sand moments occurred doesn't mean that I am not still vegan. And if it does, I guess I don't really care. Knowing when the right time is to be kind and gentle to myself, and finding peace between the loneliness of veganism and the many spectrums and styles of diets and lifestyles out there, now holds some value for me.
Being vegan is such an incredibly selfless act, and I commend and respect anyone who has made this decisions. But I just need you to know... when I was pregnant, I ate sour cherry blasters.