Confessions of a Bad Vegan

I’ve been a bad vegan. I’m not going to lie: I slipped and had dairy and fish and I feel horrible about it. It all started with my brother’s wedding the week before last. It was a destination wedding, which required a very quick, 10-hour trip down to Destin, Florida. The trip started out well. I actually planned ahead and made food for the entire duration of our quick, four-day trip, with the exception of dinner because we knew we’d eat out with the wedding party. I made pumpkin muffins, eggless egg salad, roasted vegetable sandwiches, and brought chips, a dark chocolate bar, and some lemon cookies for snacks. Everything was vegan.

We weren’t even a few hours on the road before we made our first offense. We had to stop to get gas and noticed a Cracker Barrel across the street. Now, Cracker Barrel is bad for a number of reasons that I won’t go into, but we ended up going in and each ordering the vegetable plate. I ordered mine with the fried okra, baby carrots, coleslaw, and the mac and cheese. All vegetarian, but not at all vegan.

For the rest of the road trip we behaved, eating only what we had packed in the cooler, and it was delicious. The roasted vegetable sandwiches were taken from a Vegan Yum Yum recipe and were out of this world! So simple, but very flavorful.

Our second offense came the first night we were in Destin. Instead of going out to eat with the rest of the wedding party, we opted to run to the grocery for dinner and stay at the condo so I could finish some work. We ran up to The Fresh Market and ended up with a horribly bland margarita pizza and a salad. Once again, both vegetarian, but not at all vegan.

Our third offense came when we went out after the wedding. The Irish pub-style restaurant we went to had no vegetarian entrees, and I have a problem with consuming nothing but fries and salads for dinner, and not to mention that we needed something substantial to soak up the alcohol we had already consumed on an empty stomach. I broke down and had crab cakes, and my husband had the catfish. Neither vegetarian, nor vegan.

But our bad eating habits didn’t stop with our trip. Since coming home, I’ve had no problem sticking to my vegan diet while at home, but not so much whenever I’ve eaten out.

Now, I say all this not to shame anyone for eating dairy, or even meat, but just to show that no one is perfect. Regardless of the diet you adhere to, mistakes happen, but you can’t beat yourself up over them. All you can do is to try to make better choices the next time around. And that’s what I’m going to do. Despite my slip-ups, I love being vegan and have no plans to change anytime soon.

2 thoughts on “Confessions of a Bad Vegan

  1. right on! as you know, i have also slipped after being a strict vegan for about 6 months. and it’s the same with me, vegan at home, but on the rare occasions we eat out i may have a shrimp dish or something with cheese. but, we are aware of the issues (unlike most people) and are doing what we can to not participate in animal cruelty. i am secure in that. and you are so right, no one is perfect. i think in the beginning i was so rigid with myself, but that is not sustainable. eating a diet that is as cruelty-free as you can comfortably make it will have the best chances at longevity, and that will do the most good for the animals; rather than 6 months of rigid “perfection,” then giving up. great post and thanks for making me feel like i am not alone! xoxo

    • Wendy! It’s great to hear from you! I hope all is well.

      You definitely can’t beat yourself up for not being the “perfect” vegan. I think you definitely hit the nail head on the head when you said that “eating a diet that is as cruelty-free as you can comfortably make it will have the best chances at longevity … ” Being aware of the issues is the most important part. I commend those that can maintain a 100 percent vegan lifestyle in terms of their food choices, and I really hope to be one of them one day, but I also commend anyone that is at least aware of the issues and tries to incorporate veganism into their life in their own way.

      And the thing is, I like the vegan food that I make and prefer it over the “real” thing. Whenever I do slip up, even if it tastes good at the time, I often feel gross after eating it. But you just have to take it day by day, and that’s all you can do.

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