A Cruelty-Free Week… Or Was It?

I nearly didn’t write about this. I nearly decided that I was going to be really optimistic about Veganuary, and ignore the bad bits. I nearly lied to you all. But I’m not going to do that – because what is a blog if not self-aggrandising and painfully truthful?

Because the truth is, I slipped up. I ate some stuff that was probably not vegan, and decided not to look it up so that I didn’t have to know whether I’d eaten animal products or not. I visited some old friends on Friday, and accepted some wine without even thinking to ask if I could see the label. And, at another friends’ house, after not having had dinner, I ate some biscuits which I thought could perhaps be dairy-free, just because I was hungry.

And, last night, I had a dream that I was at a massive Christmas buffet (seasonal, I know) with multiple vegan options, but I still mourned over the chocolates and other dairy products. In the dream, I made my friend chop off the end of her dessert and discreetly give it to me. I also wept over the mulled wine, which apparently has melted butter in it in Dreamland. The fact that my subconscious was telling me that I was hating the Veganuary lifestyle made me even more embarrassed, and even less willing to write about it here.

Who cares, right? In none of these cases did I actually buy animal products, so I haven’t supported the industry. And it’s only a small amount – probably a drop in the ocean compared to what most people eat. And what does a dream tell you, really? But still, I wasn’t going to write about it. I thought, ‘if I just ignore that that happened, I can pretend that I’m still fully vegan, and that I haven’t broken my Veganuary resolution. The internet doesn’t have to know.’

What changed my mind was seeing the lovely, encouraging, and truthful posts on Facebook by fellow Veganuary-ers, telling like-minded people about their slip-ups. Some hadn’t realised that the crisps they’d bought had animal product in them, and some just had a bad day and ate some chocolate. All received positive responses of “don’t beat yourself up!” and “you’re trying your best!” It made me realise that it’s fine to mess up a little, to make mistakes or ‘cheat’. I’m still helping the environment, animals, and my own health by choosing to eat mainly vegan, and changing your lifestyle is always going to be hard.

So this post has no recipes or reviews, just an update on my life. I hope this resonates with some other Veganuary-ers, and maybe even provides some comfort to other people who have slipped up. Keep going guys, we’re doing the best we can!

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