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Contrary to popular opinion, vegans are not the Arnold Schwarzeneggers of self-discipline. Like everyone on the planet we have our battles with our inner brats and sometimes the brats win.

No, I’m not talking about the food. For a lot of vegans it took but a few days to become completely disgusted by the thought of eating animal flesh and/or animal secretions. Vegan food can be really great (except for Boca-Burgers.) I dare anyone to say that cow’s milk tastes better than almond milk!

I’m talking about the other stuff that can trip up even the most dedicated vegan, namely me: This is my confession.

First off since going vegan nearly six years ago, I bought two, not one but two down vests. Yes, I didn’t know at the time that the ducks raised for down are treated as cruelly as any other factory farmed animals. But like the vast majority of meat eaters I didn’t investigate the issue too deeply. In fact, I didn’t investigate it all.

I also bought was a stupid pair of red leather shoes and a stupid wool sweater. In those instances I KNEW animals had suffered egregiously in the process of making those things. But well, I thought I NEEDED them. You see, I had a wedding to go to and my shoes need to match the dress and the sweater? Well, it was on sale.

Obviously I didn’t really need them! I needed them in that spoiled American diva sort of way, the way that’s wrecking the planet. Whoops! The way that’s already wrecked the planet.

Of course, at this point, the sweater’s already gone to the Good Will and the shoes sit unworn in the bottom of my closet. I’d always had this idea that red shoes are happy shoes. It’s not true! Those shoes cry and moan.

I have three or four more vegan misdemeanors: I take a prescription drug in a gelatin capsule (the drug was probably tested on animals) and I eat organic fruits and vegetables, which according to Will Tuttle in his “World Peace Diet,” says, are fertilized by the manure from factory farms. I have a cat that eats cat food with meat, dairy and eggs in it.

Yes, I’ve done these things; some I hope to never do again like the shoes, the vests and the sweater; others I know I will do again, like eating organic and taking the medication. I’m OK with it.

I practice Vicious Veganism at the level that makes sense to me. And I understand it’s the same for others. Maybe the best for you right now is simply Meatless Monday and meatless leftovers for Tuesday.

Go vegan; go vegetarian; go Meatless Monday and whatever part of Tuesday you can manage!

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —