I’m far away from being perfect. In fact, there is no such thing as a perfect vegan, right? I wanted to bring up this several times on my social media but I was and I’m still scared of showing up my thoughts or feelings about it. And also, I just don’t want to offend anyone. I know that this topic is very close to the heart but I would like to show somehow that it’s better to be an imperfect vegan than giving up completely. Because as humans, we tend to go to extremes, right?
After 3 years without eating meat, I think it’s finally time to explain to you a little bit about my journey.
As you all know, I’m from Spain and I didn’t question what I was eating growing up because everyone I knew ate the same way. I used to eat meat in every single meal, including tea time. Two big slices of bread with jamon serrano, salchichon, whatever. One litre of cow milk every single day easily too.
One day, 5 or 6 years ago, my sister who has always been very passionate about animals, started eating vegetarian. At that time, I didn’t understand why she wanted to give up ”everything.” What was she going to eat, right? I’m not proud of my attitude at that time. I started to question everything she was doing. I didn’t understand why she stopped eating meat but she was still using non cruelty-free makeup products, for example.
Also check out: The truth about animal testing for cosmetics.
She is not doing that anymore and I still don’t understand why some people do that, but that’s not the point. Instead of encouraging her to keep going, to follow her heart and beliefs, I was trying to push her down. And that’s wrong people.
Should I go vegan?
Lower consumption of meat and dairy is essential for the food supply, climate change and biodiversity. There is an undeniable need for cutting consumption of meat and dairy and we shouldn’t turn our backs on the problem because protecting the planet is everyone’s responsibility.
None of us needs to go quite all the way unless we want to. There is no need for extremism here, just moderation and a broadening of choice. I prefer to promote veganism in a healthy way because if not, on the contrary, I can turn people off and that’s even worse – in my opinion.
First steps on my vegan journey
I started to open my eyes when I was doing my internship at Webedia working for L’Oreal Professionnel because a lot of people asked us all the time if the brand was cruelty-free. And part of my job was copying and pasting the same answer that you can find on their website 4 years later. So, I started reducing the amount of meat I was consuming.
Then I moved to London, being harder than I expected, and I watched the famous documentary Cowspiracy. And since that day, I couldn’t eat any more pork, chicken or beef. No cow milk as well. I thought I loved animals but I was really only showing compassion to pets while supporting some very cruel industries. And even then, I didn’t stop eating fish. I don’t know why I found it so difficult to empathize with fish. Even now that I don’t eat fish anymore, I can’t emphasize with them as much as I do with a duck, for example. And I feel bad for it. This is one of the things I’m ashamed to share with you.
Now, thinking about it with a little bit more perspective, I think that the main reason behind this is that I turned vegan because of the environment and my health rather than the animals. But becoming mainly plant-based makes me empathize with animals and loving nature more than ever. Does this make sense or am I just crazy?
Being vegan for health reasons
I was diagnosed with a small illness a couple of years ago and that’s when I took refuge in veganism. I wasn’t eating any meat, I can count with two hands how many times I ate fish in two years and keeping eggs and cheese to the minimum.
I started to take care of myself because only my immune system could fight the disease. Nothing else. And yes, I’m sure that some of you are thinking that I’m less vegan because of that, that I made a “selfish” decision. However, because of that “selfish” decision, I’m who I am right now. My last blood test was great, better than ever before, I still need to take vitamins and supplements, although the last test was negative and it never crossed my mind to start eating meat again. I know people who are mostly plant-based and they don’t mind eating meat once in a while, but… I just can’t. Not after everything I’ve seen. I can’t just close my eyes again. Because veganism brought me peace of mind. I know that I’m doing the right thing here.
4 years ago, I hated hiking, going to the mountain, eating pepper or aubergines, I’d never been a huge fan of animals in general, my parents can assure you that and I loved eating duck at the earliest opportunity. And now, it makes me uncomfortable when I see someone eating meat.
I’m not a perfect vegan and that is absolutely ok
I’m not perfect. I have to learn much more about veganism. I’m learning something new every day and that’s so cool. Believe me. I feel like I’m slowly getting better at trying to find the best version of myself.
However, being completely honest with you, I wanted somehow to avoid this conversation because it’s a delicate topic. I’ve never liked to use etiquettes because I think I’m more than that. More than a simple etiquette.
But, maybe I can turn etiquettes on my side. Maybe, just maybe, telling my story and calling myself imperfect vegan, I can encourage people to do the same. Because it’s better than nothing. I encourage you to be an imperfect vegan. I really mean that. Just try eating less meat on a daily basis, think twice before buying new leather products, change to coconut or almond milk, or stop buying cruelty makeup brands.
And please, if you don’t care about any of this, ok, I respect that. My partner still eats meat from time to time. However, don’t wait for me to answer or debate with you if you haven’t done your research first and you’re going to answer me with cliches like “but we need meat to survive”, ”plants feel pain”, ”tofu is killing the planet” and more.
I would love to read all your thoughts about this and your story too. Lots of kisses.