Friday, January 14, 2011

The Take-It-Easy-on-Yourself Appraoch

Okay, I plan to show off our attempts at self-sufficiency here, and to post some funny media and travel pictures from a vegan perspective, but veganism itself is the focus. You know, pursuing a vegan life, cooking vegan, etc. So maybe I should make a little statement here. This is a subject I'll be returning to.

I think of my approach to veganism as the take-it-easy-on-yourself method. I mean, you're doing something good, so don't beat yourself up about it. You're just fine as you are. Focus on the positive. There are no lapses, there are only some twists and turns on the road you're taking. As long as your destination is out there ahead somewhere, you'll make it.

I became vegan a couple of decades ago, when it was still fairly radical, and I had an experience that may be pretty common to this day: the meat anxiety dream. I'd wake with a start, the imagined flavor still in my mouth. The worst thing was when I dreamed that I enjoyed it! When I returned to the diet later in life, I knew that, since I was older and not likely to make as many changes, it would be for life. Strategizing better this time, I looked back and realized that the stress had been hurting my commitment.

I got interested in Carrie Nation around the time I first changed my diet. I kid you not. 'Nuff said...

She's Gonna Getcha!

When I returned, I allowed my body to lead me in the process. If I craved something non-vegan, I just ate it. Eventually, only vegetable matter felt like food to me, and my digestive tract started reacting unfavorably to anything else. I called it the cheating method, and I owe a Cuban Rastafarian I once met, and his laid-back Caribbean attitude, for the inspiration. I do think that "the take-it-easy-on-yourself approach" sounds better though, don't you?

We all come from different backgrounds, and we've all learned to approach things in our own ways, so I ask for tolerance here. If you jumped into the diet from the first day with no trouble at all, more power to you! However, please let's not have any comments of the "you're not vegan if you eat honey, the end" type. We're all pursuing our own paths in our own ways. If I find any judgmentalism here, it will be gently corrected. To me, being vegan is about gentleness and caring, though they may occasionally require some firmness in enforcement.

So that having been said, on with the show...

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