"I'm not a vegan". Its a great blog, I can relate to it quite a bit. I started to think about myself getting hung up with the term "vegan". When I decided to do it, I jumped up, declared I was a vegan,... and then I had to ask what that even meant. I quickly adopted the label, before I began to think about what went into it. Unlike Neven, I started with the label and began to work backwards from there. I could have just cut items out of my diet, but that wasn't good enough, because I couldn't identify that with a label. Start with a label, then figure out how to fill in the blanks. (Its my mantra)
I've always been of the mindset that as soon as you can identify what you are, you have made the first step in identifying what medication you can take to get rid of it. Ok, maybe thats a bit extreme, but the label is important to me. I'm not that shallow, I may identify with the label, but I also have the tendency to rock that label to its core. I'm very loyal, I'm like a Golden Retriever (a rescued one, not from a breeder,.. just sayin). There are many labels I have enjoyed over the years; Employed, Married, Divorced, Father, Single Dad, Cancer Survivor, Donor, Bi-Polar, Tri-Polar (ok, thats an inside joke), Vegan!!!!!
So there I am,.. I am a vegan, no... I'm a Vegan. And here I am trying to figure out what that means. I never considered a lot of things. I never considered anything other than food. I never thought about what my shoes were made of (I assume like everyone that they were made by kids in Bangladesh), where I got my dog (I don't know actually, my ex just came home with him), nothing like that. My friend Noelle asked me this week if I was an "ethical" vegan. I had to think about that for a second. We soon determined that I was not ethical (in the vegan sense). I believe some other terms were thrown around; immoral, evil, hateful,.. ok, FINE,.. but I got her point. She indicated to me that most people become vegan for ethical reasons, otherwise eating meat or dairy every once in a while would be fine. Right? Well I was pretty bent this past week when I found out my Pumpkin Spice Latte was not vegan. (granted it was more the ineptness of the Starbucks worker to not realize that non-dairy meant no whipped cream either). It took me a while to figure out why I was upset by it. I got over the Starbucks ineptitude, but the next day I was there, I opted for my classic Soy Latte (Mom was buying this week, I never spend that much money on sbux ,.. thanks ma). I didn't want to consume something that I knew was not vegan. I didn't save any animal by skipping it, but it was important to me. Label or not, it bothered me.