To be or Not to be a Vegan.

It may appear weird to many of you that I am not a vegan despite being an environmental supporter and a blogger for sustainable living. A few months back on world Earth day I had announced myself vegan and I had followed it successfully for the entire month but just couldn’t sustain it for long. Here are certain things one should know before surrendering to a vegan lifestyle. Also, how and why I failed to be a vegan. The ideas I am sharing are not just personal but taken from many around me.

What is veganism?

Veganism means to follow a vegan lifestyle which restricts the use or consumption of products acquired  from animals. The restricted list includes meat, dairy, honey, leather, wool and other products obtained from animals.

Why people adopt veganism?

  • For health
  • For environment
  • For animals
  • As a trend

The reason can be any of the above and there is plenty of material on the Internet to support each of the theory. One can choose according to what suits them best.

Why did I think of being a vegan?

Love for environment and animals was always there in a corner of my heart like you guys have currently but never did I thought of doing anything about it. The day when I decided to do something about it I started to look for solutions which would be on the individual level. That’s how I adopted minimalist lifestyle and started blogging about it. Before searching solutions on the Internet, I was completely unaware of these zero waste and sustainable communities. Similarly, I had heard about veganism but didn’t know that this was something people did for the environment or for animals. Yes, I said animals because even if you are not consuming meat directly there are animal products like dairy, leather, fur and etc which is used by us. They are obtained by most cruel ways possible most of the time. And all of this I came to know only after I began my search. It became a torcher to watch animal cruelty videos again and again. I was watching it most often than others, as I was connecting with more people on daily basis from different countries who were in green business or in some way, were associated with green living. Me being an environmental blogger as well as a non-vegetarian all this made me think about my moral responsibility of considering veganism as a part of my environment-friendly lifestyle. Meanwhile, I came across yoga training which motivated me to take up the step of giving up meat. Later came the weight of quitting dairy which I could not and hence, I REDUCED dairy instead of quitting it. Currently, I am a happy vegetarian. Even if I am not a vegan I am doing my bit by quitting “meat”,  “reducing” on dairy products by finding alternatives whenever possible and “completely banning” leathers and all such animal cruelty goods.

Is veganism going to save the environment?

No, alone it cannot.  Saving the environment is a big task that comprises of many steps that together can save the environment and veganism is just one step towards that. We can only be happy about awareness and some reduction in the exploitation of resources.

We are also not really saving the environment, we are saving ourselves from getting suffocated by co2, getting poisoned from chemicals, getting drowned in water due to global warming, from acquiring diseases associated with animals, animal meat, and animal products.

Why I failed to be a vegan?

Simply could not avoid dairy. I don’t want to give excuses just accepting the truth. But I have replaced dairy with vegan alternatives whenever possible and I have stopped labeling myself based on the type of diet I have.

Should everyone become vegan?

No, this is something you can do only if you are conscious about the way you live and for most of the people out there they are still trying to quit drugs. Without love and passion for your own body, environment, and animals you cannot take this step. And this is not the ultimate way of saving the environment. I don’t want to discourage environmentalist by saying you are useless because you are not a vegan or a vegetarian. We need to stop spreading hate.

Also if I say yes, all should be a vegan I think it hardly matters as I am not the supreme power of this planet :p. One should try in their own small ways to help our planet and ourselves.

Few common question people ask a vegan or for that matter even to vegetarians…

  • Why do you eat vegetables and plants, they too are living and have emotions?
  • You are killing microorganisms right now while you talk, what about them?
  • Other animals eat meat, how do you stop them?

Let’s go back to the time when our planet had balanced ecosystem and it was happy, in that time period no one would question your diet or clothes but not eating animals would actually disrupt the food chain as human population was an important part of it. Now the balance is gone and we are not a part we are the KINGS of food web exploiting all that we have and this is proving to be harmful to us. Other animals are doing what is required not without exploiting the resources. What vegan and vegetarian are trying to do is repair the mistakes of past and trying to be a better human. I am thankful to all the vegans, vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians who are environmentalist and are doing their part for the environment. Everyone who is taking even a small step in this direction is a Green warrior.

Why veganism is not becoming mainstream?

In India many people are vegetarian but because they belong to a particular religion and not because they understand the benefits of it. If we spread the Idea that eating vegetarian is overall a good thing then this tradition will not be restricted to a religion. And this change is happening slowly. The Same way we need to stop associating vegan food choice to people who have adopted veganism. Hence, veganism should not be restricted to those who are an environmentalist or animal lovers anyone should eat vegan food and should try it out of choice. This is the only way of making vegan alternatives mainstream rather than restricting it to those who have quite meat and dairy.

Did you like the article? do you agree with the points I discussed above? I Hope that those reading this can decide for their own whether to be or not to be a vegan. Please comment to share your ideas, Like and share if you agree.

Thank you 🙂

-Pooja Navale