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 —
5 thoughts on “A TRUE CONFESSION”
The T-shirts look great. I will probably get one or two for my vegan ex-boyfriend for his birthday, which is at the end of May. I enjoyed the latest post which felt like a lovely extension of some of our dialogue in our most recent packet exchange. Practicing our own level of ethical behavior to the degree that is doable to each of us is important and, of course, that is also dynamic and continually in flux. The important thing is not to beat ourselves up about our inconsistencies, or our fellow voyagers on the boat that we are all in.
Thank you so much Sharon for reading all these posts! And thank your for your interest in the T-shirts. And above all, thank you for your wisdom.
This is great — thanks!
This is a great topic.
I’m a 1 year vegan, and I too have made mistakes, and I’ve considered making a post like this. Maybe I will.
Here are mine:
I bought a used Prius with a leather interior. There are some mitigating circumstances: we initially went to a used car lot to see a non-leather Prius, but it smelled of smoke, so we saw what else they had. And hey, it wasn’t a new car, and they no longer make a Prius with leather, so that counts for something right? In any case, I felt ok about it at the time, but felt bad about it the day after.
I also bought rock climbing shoes that had leather. This came after I’d decided not to drop out of activities where vegan gear isn’t available. (The rationale is that withdrawing from activities means you interact with fewer people, decreasing your sphere of influence.) However after buying them, I learned that synthetic options are available, and I felt really bad about it.
I regret both of these, but no one is perfect, and I’m genuinely trying.
As for manure as fertilizer — any (plant) food you buy may have been grown using manure. Eating non-organic doesn’t mean you’ll avoid manure fertilizer, and organic isn’t required to use fertilizer at all.
In my opinion, this is essentially not an ethical choice, since there really isn’t a choice to make. You can’t generally avoid manure. Plus, manure is a true byproduct, and since CAFO’s are not required to treat manure before allowing it to seep into the environment, putting it on fields for organic farming is probably the best one can make of that situation.
“Veganics” is sometimes used to mean organic without animal-based fertilizer, but it’s very rare.
In any case, I eat organic whenever possible, mostly because of environmental concerns about pesticide use.
Thanks Ed, I think we vegans are pretty hard on ourselves. Thank you for all you do for animals and the environment. The vegan world is lucky to have you!