Wednesday, June 30, 2010

When do you compromise?

So last weekend was a true test to my convictions as a vegan, I was kindly sent this article and this was pretty much my ethos when I first went vegan.  When I initially announced it to family, I got the usual, "what about your health" and "oh its too hard"etc.  But I think most of them kind of got that this time I was sticking to my guns and I was going to do it. 

On the weekend we drove down to beautiful Bunkers Bay, we stopped off for a coffee break and while I went out to get some gas my BIL bought me a coffee.  Only after did SIL remind him that I only had soy did he realise, and apologised profusely.  I had no qualms drinking it, I decided that I was not going to make a fuss and that it was a genuine mistake and there was no way I was going to demand another coffee from the very busy cafe. 

We then stopped off at a gorgeous winery that served German food, with Markus and BIL being of German background Markus set aside his vegetarianism for lunch.  Then we were left with me...what was I going to eat????  So after a squize at the menu I realised that I had to do some tweaking and eat the least offensive dish.  I chose the pumpkin gnocchi with out the feta which was part of the dish. 

While I did not feel guilty about having to make these exceptions, I got thinking about how lenient is too lenient and what kind of message am I sending if I will compromise so easily.  I would never have eaten meat if there was nothing else on the menu, how far is too far? How many times do I compromise before I become a plastic vegan.  On the other hand do I dig my heels in and stubbornly refuse to eat anything that has animal products in it no matter what the situation?  Is there a fine line you cross each time?

I would appreciate any comments and feedback on the situation.  I am a new vegan and I am still finding my way.


  1. Did you see the FAQ on that site:

    Wow, it's awesome. The one on my blog is soooo long-winded and pompous by comparison, lolz. Except I would have gone with random abuse of companion animals instead of child abuse in the comparison in question one.

    Otherwise, you probably know my take on the whole personal purity thing already. :-)

    But I think what people should really think about is this: how would they feel about compromises if they were "small compromises" involving something that *THEY* find unacceptable? Rat's milk in their coffee? Small amount of dog meat stock used to make their soup? Couches made of dog and cat leather from euthanased animals from shelters? (None of these things are really any worse than what society at large currently finds acceptable.)

    Point being - these vegan impurity compromises mainly look "small and insignificant" because they involve foods and products which are socially acceptable in the mainstream collective consciousness. As soon as you step away from widely socially acceptable products, "purity" suddenly looks like a VERY reasonable position.

  2. I adore that piece of writing, it's so inspirational isn't it!

    From my personal point of view it comes down to the people you're with and the opportunity to affect change. For example if I'm with people who aren't regually around other veg/vegan people (eg: the people I work with) then I'll be a little more relaxed (I'd never eat meat, or drink cow milk but might just order the vege burger without asking what's in the bread for example) as I feel like I'm almost an advertisement for the veg/veg lifestyle and I want to start a POSITVE discussion about why I'm not eating x, y or z; I want to dispel any myth I can (especailly about it being hard to eat out!)

    If I'm with friends, or like minded folk then I'll be more strick - as they already know the background.

    Wow, that was a little waffly (sorry!) Adrian, I LOVE you example about rat milk/dog meat, I'm going to use that one next time I have the opportunity! I guess we each have to find our own approach as to what works best, but as long as we are even thinking about this then we're doing a massive amount of good!


  3. Thanks guys, I guess it all comes down to doing the best you can.