Sunday, May 25, 2008

who i am, and why i'm doing this...

Hi, my name is Kitty, and I'm a vegan. I'm incredibly bashful. I don't like to stand out. This idea of blogging is a huge step for me, so please bear with me as I learn to open up to the world.

Vegan doesn't mean exactly the same thing to everyone, so here is my personal, brief description: I don't eat meat, dairy, eggs, honey, gelatin, or anything that comes from an animal. I don't wear leather, wool or silk. I try to avoid using anything that comes from an animal or is tested on an animal. However, I am not perfect. I make mistakes. To me, being a vegan means doing the best you can. It means causing as little harm as possible, while still living a (relatively) normal life. There's no such thing as a perfect vegan. (I hear there are actually some small animal-derived parts in home computers!) Each vegan has to decide where they will draw the line. I do the best I can, remember that every little bit makes a difference, and try not to beat myself up when I don't live up to my own expectations..

A lot of people think veganism is rather extreme. And, in a way, I suppose it is. It's certainly not "mainstream". It sets a person apart from the norm, and in many social situations, can cause a person to stand out. It can also make non-vegans uncomfortable - perhaps because they don't understand it, or perhaps because they feel the need to cater to the vegan's needs and don't know how.

And that is the real reason I hesitated from becoming a vegetarian, and later, a vegan. I thought about it for a LONG time before I actually took the plunge. I didn't want to stand out. I didn't want to make other people uncomfortable. And most of all, I didn't want others to feel as if they had to modify their routine to fit my needs. I was bashful LONG before I was vegan. I don't want to be special, or different, or weird. I just want to blend in.

But I also want to be happy, and I want to be true to myself. In the end, my need to go vegan outweighed my need to fit in. Now, I am 100% committed to this lifestyle. I won't make compromises to what, for me, is an ethical decision, just to make other people feel better. But I will do whatever I can not to inconvenience others, or make them uncomfortable. And that's why I don't talk about this much.

But I'm not the only vegan. And maybe I'm not the only vegan who struggles with the dilemma of fitting into a meat-eaters' world. So I am starting this blog - to share my thoughts and ideas on veganism, and everything else that makes me *me*.

Perhaps another bashful vegan can benefit from my experience. Or, perhaps a non-vegan can learn to be a little more comfortable with a vegan acquaintance, friend or family member.

If you have any questions, thoughts or ideas, please let me know. I want this to be a place where we can share ideas, and help each other.

Bright blessings to all.

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