Let's have vegan brunch at 2-ish! It means we'll plan to get together at 2 o'clock, but nobody's going to get wigged out if it's 2:05 or maybe even 2:15, right? When you say "ish," it doesn't have to be EXACT.
That's how I like to approach veganism. It's veganish-ism (yikes).
How about just "vegan ... ish." I like it!
I've been mostly vegetarian for more than 10 years and have considered myself vegan for more than 7 years. But in truth, I've never been 100% vegan, only vegan ... ish.
True, I shop and cook vegan and choose restaurants with vegan options, so theoretically I should always have something vegan to eat. BUT ... I'm not always in charge of things. (Believe it or not!!) I tried being a strict vegan ("no animal products, no matter what"), but it didn't feel right to me. Being very particular or picky about my food did not fit my personality, and I didn't see how it was helping the animals, to be like that. Therefore, although I want there to be no animal products whatsoever in my food ... I'm flexible, depending on the situation.
Example: If the extended family chooses a buffet place, and it's not a veg-friendly place .... I'll put together a bright and colorful platter with all of the vegan-looking vegetables, beans, stuffing, rice, bread, etc, without asking if these items were cooked in butter or made with chicken broth. (I DON'T get things that are clearly made with animal products, like macaroni and cheese, "vegetarian" lasagna, quiche, meat dishes, cream-based soups, etc). In a situation like this, I have a wonderful meal, one that looks vegan (and very abundant) to the other people at the table. Is it exactly vegan? No, probably not. I call it "vegan ... ish."
The above photo is from Christmas this year; brunch with the family at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco (not something we chose, as you can see from Jeff's happy expression, ha ha). I found three winners for my vegan-ish platter: the roasted vegetables (butternut squash, spaghetti squash, pearl onions, carrots, and broccolini), the cranberry cornbread stuffing, and the veggie sushi. It was delicious!
Vegan ... ish. I started this blog to share my adventures and philosophy and hopefully spark some healthy discussion and debate. Meanwhile I would like to encourage people to go as vegan as they want to be, without fears of judgement from themselves or from others. It is possible to make plant-based, earth-friendly, local, compassionate choices whenever and wherever you can, without stressing out about the times when nothing is available that lives up to your standards.
What is important, I think, is that you keep making the effort ... keep doing the best you can, and keep continuing to help others to do the same. If everyone did that, I believe it would make a huge difference for the animals, and it would do wonders for the human spirit.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
See you again soon!