All in Facing It

The term vegan no longer refers to a healthy diet. Instead it gives you a reference for what you will not find in the ingredients list. “Vegan” in front of something could signify that you had better not get too excited because the contents might not be real and might not taste that good. It’s a warning label. A disclaimer. Is this the definition that we mean to express with the word “vegan”?

Are we afraid to try something new because we don’t think we can ’stick to it’? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve mentioned the Jealous Vegan to someone and their immediate response is ‘I can’t give up chicken’ or ‘I love cheese too much to be vegan’ and maybe that’s sincerely how they feel.   But why not take a moment to consider the possibilities of something and determine what steps we can take toward our goal? What’s the harm in trying, even if we discover we ‘failed’.

Somehow, what started out as a loving effort had made me feel like I had forsaken a large part of my independence and that my very identity was now called into question…I was ashamed that my parents lived with me. I was ashamed of how others might see that.  I was ashamed that I had started to see my parents as an object of frustration rather than truly wonderful people deserving of honor and whom I love.  I was ashamed about how I felt about my shame.  

When I peruse the gluten-free portion of the menu and take out the items which contain dairy, I'm usually left with scant options that are appealing to me or that align with my plant-centered food choices.  On my list of prohibited items: gluten, meat (by choice not biology), many sauces, all forms of dairy, eggs, and three kinds of beans (black, kidney, and navy). This makes me both sad and angry simultaneously…

When I peruse the gluten-free portion of the menu and take out the items which contain dairy, I'm usually left with scant options that are appealing to me or that align with my plant-centered food choices.  On my list of prohibited items: gluten, meat (by choice not biology), many sauces, all forms of dairy, eggs, and three kinds of beans (black, kidney, and navy). This makes me both sad and angry simultaneously…

“I break out often and I scar easily. I’m left with hyper-pigmentation issues that really bother me…I wish I had that beautiful, blemish-free chocolate-colored skin you see in every ad ever. But I don’t, so until I do, I’ll have a permanent makeup budget and a lifetime Sephora rewards card.”  Whoa! I stand in disbelief that I even said all those things out loud to a person I’ve never met.