|Vegan cheese. Yes or no?|
How do you do vegan? We we each choose our path on the vegan road, don't we? Not all vegans are alike, just as, not all omnivores are alike. Surprise! But the biggest surprise to me is how cruel other vegans can be to vegans who are not on their path. Compassion is our mantra. Kindness is our thing and yet, a few of us don't project that to our fellow vegans.
For instance, what is your take on vegan meat and cheese? Do you do it or not do it? How about vegan processed foods? Yes or no? Is it merely your diet that's vegan or do you choose vegan everything (clothes, shoes, etc.) Have you become completely vegan yet or are you progressing toward becoming vegan, like myself?
Do you make your own vegan meats and cheeses or purchase the store-bought kind? Are you as 100% vegan as possible or do you bend a bit with the branches of society? Do you pass on the vegan “word” at every given opportunity?
Do you educate others or refrain from the reactionary melee? Do you attend protests? Do you speak out regularly, even at the risk of losing friendships or do you choose to remain silent and simply live your life as an example to others?
And here's my point:
My personal opinion, for what it's worth, coming from this tiny grain of sand in an infinite universe, is this; All vegans are OK with me. And by the way, maybe I don't agree with their lifestyle, but all those other people are too. We have to support each other, you guys. All of us have to help and guide each other with love and kindness. Otherwise, what's the point in being vegan at all?
So, my vegan friends, back to the subject at hand. Do you look down on other vegans because they eat processed food, “fake” food or because they still haven't made it to their goal? Or do you lend them your support and offer a hand up if they want one? Do you judge people, vegan or not, because they're not living the exact way you feel is right?
Because, you guys, whether you know it or not, that's not exactly compassionate, is it? That's not vegan at all. That's not what we're fighting for. It's not kind or compassionate. It's not understanding and frankly (once again from this inconsequential speck of sand in an infinite universe) it just doesn't feel right.
Be the kind of vegan you wish to be. Celebrate the fact that you are making progress or have reached your goal. Absolutely. But most of all, please, do vegan your way and give others the same opportunity, consideration and appreciation. Because the more encouragement and the less belittlement people receive, the more likely they are to stick to their goals.
Yes, it's that simple. Respect begets respect. Example is the best teacher. And every kindness multiplies.