It feels like I’ve become a vegan therapist lately. There have been a rash of people who have come to me with concerns that they are not 100% vegan … people who used to be 100% vegan but now slip up with some regularity, people who are married to vegans but only want to be vegetarian, people who have written vegan cookbooks but don’t always eat vegan, people who love animals but haven’t yet been able to give up real creamer in their coffee, etc, etc…
These people, in general, seem to feel very guilty and suffer a lot of angst because they aren’t eating a perfect vegan diet. It always makes me sad because it seems they are only able to focus on the very small percentage of what isn’t right with their diet, and are unable to see the huge percentage that is right.
Instead of focusing on the 5% (or 0.5%!) of your diet that isn’t vegan, why not focus on the 95% (or 99.5%!) that is vegan? With all the choices you do make that are vegan, you are saving countless animals from suffering, cruelty and death; you are helping to reduce our world’s massive carbon footprint, you are doing great things for your health, and perhaps most importantly, you are setting a great example for everyone you know and meet. Just by saying, “I really strive to eat a vegan diet and am about 95% of the way there,” you show people that you care to do your very best and are making a big difference.
So, today I’d just like to give a tribute those of you who aren’t 100% vegan. Whether you’d like to be vegan, but haven’t yet made the final leap, whether you used to be vegan but have recently fallen to temptation, whether you are getting pressured to be vegan but really prefer to be vegetarian … you are still saving hundreds of animals from suffering and death. Could you save a few more? Perhaps. Is it worth feeling like a failure over? Absolutely not. If and when the time is right for you, you will go vegan. In the meantime, honor all the good that you are doing, and know that – even if you aren’t 100% vegan – you are still making a big difference and setting a great example.