Only mostly vegan
After close to 4 years, I can no longer truly call myself a vegan. Over the past year, I have experimented with a more Mediterranean diet by occasionally including wild line caught fish and organic, free range eggs. My hope was that it would help increase my energy levels, build some lost muscle mass (which unfortunately occurs as we age) and help with some depression I had been experiencing, as some studies suggest.
As it turns out, including these items on occasion, has been somewhat helpful for me (in all three areas). While it is my intention to eat a mostly plant based diet, I may on occasion, include these items if my body sends signals it needs them. (I’m a firm believer in trusting our own intuitive guidance, not what anyone else says we should do). So, in my integrity, I can no longer call myself a vegan. That’s a respected title reserved for those refraining from using or consuming any animal products whatsoever.
I originally went plant based for health reasons so this shift in eating habits may seem justified to some. But, having been part of a beloved vegan community (and being a yogi wanting to practice non violence), it is not an easy thing for me to admit. I apologize to those I may let down, especially my vegan tribe. And to others, my hope that is instead of coming across as a hypocrite, I can offer a more “flexitarian” approach to mindful consumption.
I still will tell others (and now remind myself) that you don’t have to be 100% vegan to reap the benefits of a plant based diet. Just having a “plant slant” i.e. being mostly vegan or following Michael Pollan’s advice to “eat food, not too much, mostly plants” can have a significant and positive impact on your health, the health of the planet and to a more compassionate way of being.
So, while this feels like a humbling post to write, it is my truth, my imperfect path. Fortunately, I believe much of life is more about progress than perfection. Here’s to all of our imperfect paths!