There are so many things in this world that I would love to study more. Human psychology is one of those things, particularly how we rationalize and justify our decisions! We, at The Jealous Vegan, have many discussions about the motivations for human decisions. Our most recent conversation was about the term “vegan.”
When I tell people about The Jealous Vegan the number one question I get is: “Are you vegan?” Ninety-nine percent of the time my response of “no” is met with an equal amount of confusion and relief. It’s then that the thought always crosses my mind, “Why are people relieved that I’m not the thing they thought I was.” I’ve noticed a very different reaction when I say I’m a plant-based eater. Since starting this blog, I have become very aware of the negative association that has become synonymous with the term vegan. But why does a term that should be used to identify a plant-based, animal by-product-free diet spark so many negative emotions? Quite simply, it’s because “vegan” is not defined as such. “Vegan” has become a term that is synonymous with “elitist, meat-hating food snobs.” It has also inaccurately become the universal label for “healthy”. To say “I am vegan” is often understood to mean “I care about the animals and the planet and I’m a health conscious eater.” That’s a false assumption. Unfortunately, in today's society, “vegan” food does not have to be a whole, plant-based food. Vegan foods can be full of synthetic substances that are technically not derived from an animal. That doesn’t mean that they are good for you. Oreos..... are vegan!
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. On the other hand while a “vegan cookie” will not contain milk, eggs, or butter, but it may contain Vanillin (a synthetic flavoring agent). It is possible to be a vegan and not be a health conscious eater. A unhealthy way to be “vegan” would be to eat processed foods instead of a diet of 100% whole foods, drink soda, eat chips and take pre-workout supplements while not drinking enough water. You could have no idea that you are allergic to certain food and be ignorant to the wisdom of listening to your body. The funny part to me is that many who claim to be vegan don't even really know what it means. Butter, gelatin, honey and whey are just a few things that come from animals that vegans might eat all the time. The age of technology has brought much good and plenty of harm. The best part is that we now have the ability to access all sorts of information at our fingertips at anytime. So, make sure that you are informed before assuming the “vegan” designation. In my opinion, the most harmful thing technology has brought is the inability to be bothered to take the time - the time to have a conversation with someone to find out about them. Just give me the quick version…”I’m an urban millennial vegan”! What did that tell you? Check, check, check. Vegan has become a way to quickly state your environmental stance and possibly give the impression of elitism.
The Jealous Vegan team invite you to resist the use of all labels that don’t holistically describe you or your choices. Why? Labels can be very loaded and lose their meaning quickly. Labels are meant to give you a short answer that will allow you to quickly identify which box to check off for someone. We, as humans, are far more complex than that. I am not a box, I do not fit neatly and completely into any particular group. I am (and so are you) a unique living being with a complex chemical and biological makeup. What fuels you may not fuel me. One thing we can be sure of though is that whole plant-based foods are what fuel us all, nourishing and healing us. If you want to know about me or what I believe in or to which diet that I subscribe, please pull up a chair and be prepared to stay a while. There is not, nor will there ever be, a short answer that sums up me!
Free yourself to peel back the intellectualized, overgrown fear and JUST KNOW that you are THE ONE. The One who needs to bring you - the unique, authentic, only-one-you-in-all-of-time - to the world. You deserve to be heard, seen, felt, known for just how boss you are. This intensive is about freeing your authenticity, freeing you from the barriers that keep you small and in hiding, so you can create YOUR DREAM LIFE. Learn to let go and SHOW UP for your life in a powerful, never-been-seen like this, way! You are so powerful and so strong. The world needs what you are bringing. Don’t hesitate to claim this opportunity to invest in you and the mark that you will leave on your world. We’re waiting. ❤️
For Community Discussion:
What does the term “vegan” mean to you?
Join The Jealous Vegan Private FB group and let’s discuss how to get present to your own needs and live your best life!
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