09 May 2012

Opinion piece: Confessions of a vegan cheater

I’ll be honest -- I’m a cheater. As a longtime, self-proclaimed vegan, it is not something that I am proud to announce to the world, but it’s the truth.

Vegetarianism has been a major part of my life for nearly a decade. After cutting meat out of my diet, I adopted a vegan diet, abstaining from all animals products for over five years.

Then one day, I snagged a salmon-avocado roll from my boyfriend’s sushi plate. Instant guilt! I felt like a horrible hypocrite for going against one of my core values. I was a vegan. Did I just lose my identity?

Most would say yes, absolutely. You are no longer a vegetarian. You’ve moved over to the shameful realm of pescetarianism -- just another omnivore.

Keep in mind, this is an opinion piece.

Does one eating one tiny bit of fish override all of my other herbivorous habits? I don’t think so. I still refer to myself as a vegan because 97% of the time, I am.

Veganism is a commitment, but so is any diet choice. Sometimes you screw up, eat the “wrong thing,” and then get back on track.

If you could be vegan, but can’t live without cheese – then have a piece of cheese once in awhile. It does not make you a “bad person.” After awhile, you may not crave it any more.

I have respect for any individual who acknowledges where food comes from and makes the conscious decision not to eat an animal product for the right reason. Even small steps, such as cutting out red meat or dairy products, do make a difference.

Happy and healthy eating, everyone!

Kaitlyn Munro | Tumblr |Facebook | @kaitmunro
Buffalo, New York Kaitlyn is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and minor in Women’s Studies. She worked as a barista at a vegan cafĂ© before landing a job as assignment editor for a TV news station in Buffalo, New York. She's trying to be a “runner" and just signed up to run her first half-marathon in May. Also, she loves food - especially vegan cupcakes.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/nearnearfuture