By Erin Trauth
In a recent Huffington Post blog post by Sasha Turgman, a student at New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute, Sasha, makes the claim that she is a “mostly vegan.” She explains that she “…decided to become a vegan for health reasons and I promised myself I wasn’t going to feel bad if I slipped up or changed my mind…It’s about listening to my body and being healthy[;] if I eat butter or cheese one night, who cares?”
We posted Sasha’s explanation of her “mostly vegan” lifestyle to the iEatGrass Facebook page and garnered nearly 40 comments from readers, varying from the stance that there is no “mostly” – it’s all or nothing – to a more accepting take on Sasha’s philosophy on the vegan lifestyle…and everything in between (check out our page for the many interesting responses!). We got so much of a response, in fact, that we decided to keep the convo going — here’s my take:
Here at iEatGrass, we are obviously all about veganism, popular culture, and living life to its fullest. For each of us, veganism is a pretty solid lifestyle choice. Whether for health or ethical reasons, I’d guess we’re all strict with our own diets and lifestyle choices on an everyday basis, and I would make the claim that no one writing for iEatGrass is what would qualify as a “mostly vegan.” I’m a 100 percenter, myself, and Ayinde has been vegan his entire life–born and raised.
But, no matter our personal choices for being an “all the way” vegan, what I know we’re even more about here at iEatGrass is spreading the love to vegans in all forms. Call it what you will for whatever purposes you want – whether veganism is your personal weekly switch, movement, diet, or life-long lifestyle – my take is that vegan eating in all its forms, at the end of the day, is a step in the right direction.
Sasha eating a whole lot less cheese? Cool. I like it.
Schools offering vegan side options to kids, if only but on Fridays? Dig it.
The “all the way” vegans that don’t touch animal anything? Thumbs way up.
The young woman changing out her daily coffee creamer for almond milk? Good stuff.
The father adding a Meatless Monday dinner in for his children once per week? Nice.
An older couple going vegan on weekdays to help lower their cholesterol? Bravo.
The overweight teen seeking to try a vegan breakfast options for the first time? I applaud them.
Veganism is a lifestyle and not just a diet. However, not everyone is ready to take the lifestyle on full swing, but that doesn’t mean we should give them a cold shoulder. Whether these people are just trying a vegan switch or partially vegan or mostly vegan or vegan all the way, at the end of the day, all of these choices ultimately mean less animal product consumption, a smaller carbon footprint, and a healthier population.
While there’s some merit to the “all the way or nothing at all” argument, the fact of the matter is that veganism is not yet wholly mainstream. Those new to vegan eating may face difficulty finding available products in their local supermarkets, they might not be able to afford to shop at Whole Foods for the best selection, or they may have family members opposed to the whole issue altogether. They might just find it hard to give up the lifestyle they’re used to. But the fact of the matter is, they’re trying it, and, in my book, that’s a good thing.
One poster made the point that if we were collecting donations for a cause, we would not shun the donator who only had one dollar bill to offer. Would we say to him, “give us twenty bucks or give us nothing at all?” Hell no, we wouldn’t. We’d say, “thank you for your donation. Next time, see if you can give us one more.” It’s called encouragement, people.
So, my friends of the vegan or halfway vegan or trying-it-out vegan kind, do what you can, as much as you can. We’re right here with you, and we like what you’re doing. Keep it up.