It’s a new year and around this time people start making their new year’s resolutions. A common resolution is to eat better, especially following the holiday season. For some people now is the time to go vegetarian or vegan, a great way to start off the new year. Unfortunately, new year’s resolutions have a reputation of being short-lived, with a lot of enthusiasm for the first month and as the weeks go by commitment falters.
Something I’ve commonly heard from those who stopped being vegetarian is that they made a mistake and didn’t feel justified calling themselves a vegetarian afterwards. After that it’s easy to give up. Others feel like they could be vegetarian but they could never give up chicken, so what’s the point.
This comes down to our need to fit a label, to justify our choices with a name that summarizes them. Too often I hear that someone could never go vegan because they simply couldn’t give up cheese. To that I respond that they should do so! If you can give up everything except cheese, that’s a huge step and you’re still saving many lives. Just because you can’t call yourself “vegan” doesn’t mean you aren’t taking steps to affect the lives of others.
So for those of you who are recent vegetarians or an omnivore that could give up everything except chicken, I challenge you to ignore labels and make choices based on your own comfort level and values. If you slip up, get right back in there! No one (who matters) will judge you for trying.
Good luck to you all!