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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Nobody’s Perfect

If you’re one of my non-vegan friends (and let’s define all strangers as friends we haven’t met yet), you might have found things a little intense here on the blog last week. I’m still processing all that I learned at Main Street Vegan Academy, and I’m aware that I may be coming off a bit strident in my vegan-themed posts of late.

Please let me emphasize that I’m not trying to make you feel guilty for the way you are living your life right now. As I wrote to my friend Jen the other day, half of my purpose in vegan blogging is to psych myself up to do better, and the other half is to psych you up for a whole new world of possibilities. I feel so vibrantly healthy and happy as a vegan, and I want everyone else to feel this awesome along with me!

Regarding the first part–psyching myself up to do better–it’s important for me to note that I am NOT holding myself up as some perfect model of ethical living. I generate trash. I don’t always buy organic, and sometimes I forget to read labels. Every now and again I just assume a veggie burger is vegan. And sometimes I am a moody, judgmental priss.

P1070796_2I’m still wearing my “pre-gan” woolen sweaters. As I knit vegan replacements, I will be phasing out the old ones. But yes, for right now, I am a vegan still wearing wool. (As fun as it would be, vegan or no, most people can’t afford a whole new wardrobe all at once!) Also, I’m sure there are still items in my wardrobe that were made in sweatshops, or at least way-less-than-ideal factory conditions. This is why I want to make what I wear, but I’m a rather slow knitter and seamstress.Here’s something else I try to keep in mind (again with the “try”!): I was a meat eater for the first twenty years of my life. I still consumed animal secretions (yucky word, I know, but it is accurate) for ten years after that. Yes, I wish I’d had that “aha” moment back in childhood like some of my vegan friends did, or that my parents ate like hippies instead of just looking like them for a summer or two back in the early ’70s. I wish I could have been ready that much sooner.

But I wasn’t ready, and that’s okay. I don’t feel irritation or resentment when I look back on who I used to be, so it wouldn’t be fair to have those feelings toward somebody else who is still eating meat and dairy. Of all the wise things Jamey said to me at Sadhana Forest, maybe the wisest is this: “We’re all doing the best we can at any given moment.” Some would argue that’s a cop out, and I see where they’re coming from; but what Jamey meant is, just because someone is intellectually aware of the better choice doesn’t mean they are equipped–emotionally, psychologically, or otherwise–to act in accordance, at least not at that point in time.

I don’t know that there are any “perfect” choices in this world, only better choices. That goes for humans too. We will never be perfect people, but we can become better versions of ourselves through even the simplest choices we make.

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.