I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve heard someone say
“Veganism is NOT a trend. It is a Lifestyle”
Look, I get it, we gotta do what we gotta do to change our current habits and make Veganism a stable force in our life. It takes hard work, determination- and balls.
Let’s be honest, Vegan Mantras on repeat in your car, while devouring a bag of doughnut holes and a Venti Oprah Chai Tea Latte, as you scurry in late to work- is NOT what Veganism is. I know, I know- you cheated on your Vegan diet because it has been forever since you ate anything ‘bad’- so what is this one tiny thing going to hurt?
Trend vs. Lifestyle
There is a hellova lot of debate, both within the Vegan Community and within our society as a whole, regarding the status and even the validity of Veganism. One of the biggest struggles within the Vegan community is the way society perceives Vegansim, even today.
This challenge presents itself as we seek support from our friends and loved ones who believe we are in a ‘phase’ or the schools who refuse to work with or even acknowledge the needs of Vegan parents and children, the constant judgement, mockery and ridicule from online forums and comment boards and the endless ‘health and wellness’ sources who continuously promote, reproduce, distribute and teach that Veganism is unhealthy, dangerous or harmful.
The world percieves damn near everything in black and white. So when someone asks you
“Are you Vegan”
they expect a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Yet, we all know life is never that simple.
If you ask yourself this question right now, what would your answer be? Can you answer this question with a solid, resounding “Yes!” without thinking back to the last time you ate meat or dairy products? And what about the makeup products you use or the clothes, shoes and accessories you purchase? Do you own a car, with leather seats? Do you have a pet, support your local zoo’s or go to the circus when they are in town?
In order for us to move forward we must understand what Veganism is.
The Importance of Making A Choice
If the definition of Veganism just blew a crater sized hole into your perception of reality- let’s take a few steps back. Let’s start with something simple:
– Determine if you are a following a trend, defining a lifestyle or striving for something in between.
– Analyze your thoughts, habits and your actions- Set achievable goals to improve each area.
– Focus on your mindset- make the choice, here and now, to achieve alignment with the definition of Veganism.
The biggest difference between following a trend and adopting a lifestyle really comes down to one simple thing:
How bad do you really want what you are trying to achieve?
- Those who follow the Vegan trend will do what is necessary only when it is necessary. The same does not ring true when they are behind closed doors or when they only have themselves to answer to. For the trend followers, Veganism becomes a social status where the focus is to remain current or fashionable. They are more focused on how others perceive them than how their actions alter or effect the world around them. Those who follow the Vegan trend will attend sponsored events and activists movements with the goal of updating their social media accounts to ‘prove’ just how Vegan they truly are.
- Those who commit to a Vegan lifestyle have a completely different approach. Their time is spent studying, researching, learning; always remaining in a constant state of conscious awareness and self reflection. Every aspect of their live is analyzed, monitored and altered to ensure their commitment to Veganism is upheld in all areas. They are not concerned with the opinions of others because they know damn well they are their own worst critic. Those who commit to a Vegan lifestyle are willing to fight for what they believe in- they are the determined activists who lead entire movements, marches and sit in’s; they are the ‘crazy’ ones who sneak into factory farms to rescue animals at 3AM- knowing damn well they have no-one to bail them out of jail and they are the shy, quiet ones who lead silently by example- touching lives by their unyielding commitment to something greater than themselves.
There are many Vegans who may to not fall into either of these extremes, but one thing is clear- Veganism is much more than a diet, a social status, a topic for heated debate between keyboard warriors or endless pictures of vegetable smoothies –
Fulfilling Your Role To Achieve The End Goal
Once you make the decision to adopt a Vegan Lifestyle you will discover a powerful Vegan Movement, full of inspirational souls working tirelessly to achieve the incredibly ambitious goals they have already set into motion. Your choice to become Vegan automatically places you on the front lines; surrounded by strong, determined, motivated badasses who take action every single day to make a difference in the world. You have the opportunity to make a choice, take action and be part of something that will positively effect millions of sentient beings and transform the very lives of future generations.
The people who follow the trend, who only do what they have to do to save face- end up doing more harm than good by creating additional challenges for the Vegan Movement as a whole and for those who commit to a Vegan Lifestyle.
When you take a look at your life, your actions, your habits and your motivation- if you realize that you aren’t exactly where you want to be on your journey- use this awareness as fuel to push you forward, to motivate others and to make a commitment to hold yourself accountable for your contribution to the world.
Whether you are an Aspiring Vegan who is learning, growing and working hard to move forward on your journey or maybe you are a Lifestyle Vegan who is ready to join the fight, take a stand and leave your own unique imprint on this world- know that you have the power to alter the very fabric of our existence in ways you couldn’t even imagine.
I can’t wait to see who you will become.