Here is why you will never be a 100% perfect vegan and why that’s ok.
Recently there was an uproar within the vegan community over a popular vegan Youtube star who admitted to eating non-vegan candy bars every so often because she enjoyed them. As you can you imagine, vegans were not happy.
Her idea was that in order for the vegan movement to continue to grow, we need to open the door to non-vegans by agreeing it’s ok to ‘slip-up’.
By accepting that some vegans can eat animal products every so often would make veganism seem more attainable to the masses. This would increase the number of people moving to a diet that is less focused on animal products. Essentially, flexitarians that would label themselves vegan.
This poses a serious problem though. Vegans would have to sacrifice their true beliefs in order to allow veganism to grow. But, is it even veganism if people are eating animal products on various occasions? I would have to say no.
A flexitarian diet is already a pre-existing method for reducing animal products in your diet and acts as a solid stepping stone to a plant-based diet. This could then lead to a vegan lifestyle. I have always seen a strong support from vegans for those that adopt a flexitarian diet.
Having a ‘slip up’ as a vegan is totally acceptable. The problem is, going to a store and buying a candy bar which you know has come from an animal with the intent to enjoy it is not a ‘slip-up’.
There is a difference between consuming an animal product by accident and purposely buying an animal product and enjoying it.
Vegans sometimes accidentally eat or drink an animal product by mistake. I have consumed milk and fish sauce by accident numerous times on my travels because of the language barrier. I think most vegans would agree that this happens and we wouldn’t condemn each other when it does.
I can safely say that I avoid animal products to the best of my knowledge but the reality is sometimes you can ‘slip up’ or be unaware of an ingredient in something. Most vegans accept this and do not believe we are perfect.
We know bugs and small animals probably die in the process of our vegetables being farmed. This is very different from eating something that is literally a dead animal. Should evidence come out to suggest the food we are buying does cause the death of animals, vegans are most likely to be the first group of people out there calling for change or boycotting the product completely.
I agree that claiming vegans are perfect and 100% harm-free does make the lifestyle seem unattainable. However, I’m yet to see any vegan out there who is advocating we are 100% perfect.
Most vegans accept we aren’t perfect. We’re simply living a lifestyle that tries to avoid harming animals in the best way we can.