Imperfect & Aspiring Vegan, Total Vegetarian, or Conscious Consumer?

I’ve been asked why, even though I promote this thing called the Global Vegan Waffle Party, I’m sometimes hesitant to use the word “vegan” to describe myself. Why do I often say “aspiring vegan,” “total vegetarian,” or sometimes even “conscious consumer?” Even though I’m not advocating using me as a role model (in fact, I’m begging you not to—please do your own homework!), I feel like I owe a bit of an explanation to those who are curious. For those who are not, it may seem like a long philosophical rambling.

Behaviorally, I’ve been probably at least 98% plant-based for the last several years. While home cooking is 100% plant-based, I don’t always worry about trace amounts of things (for reasons that will become clearer below), and I probably eat a veggie burger that has some egg or dairy once a month or so. I’ve eliminated animal-unfriendly products in many areas outside of diet. And, of course, I’ve put countless hours into a vegan website, event resources, and cookbook. But behavior is only a part of full-fledged veganism, as I understand it.

I hope to illustrate that you don’t need to have all the questions answered in order to do kind things for the world. You can throw an event celebrating completely animal product-free food, or do other things to increase awareness in this area, even if you’re not comfortable saying, “I’m a total, committed, lifelong vegan.” Because the truth is, I wasn’t totally there for very long myself. I’m very far from having all the answers. Continue reading