Vegan and Proud of It

Someone recently said to me they don’t identify themselves as a vegan. They don’t like labels. Instead they eat a “plant-based” diet. I hear this a lot these days, but I like labels. They give me a direction and perspective. Saying you eat a plant-based diet is also a label. Perhaps people find it gentler than the term, vegan. I find it less committed.

I’m proud to call myself a vegan and here’s why: I gave up meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy, honey, leather, fur, silk, wool, down and products tested on animals to take a stand against what I thought needed to be changed in this world. I didn’t do this to be perfect or judgmental of others. I didn’t do this to be healthier. I didn’t do this to be “green.” I’m not a radical — far from it — although I have been called one. I did this because it felt like the right thing to do. Simple as that.

My decision to go vegan wasn’t entirely altruistic and I didn’t do it over night. It took years, but there came a point in my life when I knew I could do better. I could no longer live with myself knowing what I knew about animal abuse. This one decision and act of commitment to give up — as much as possible — all animal products freed my mind from guilt. Seven years later I’m certain it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

What about you? Are you a proud vegan?