Everyday Laurali Star

Life As a Solitary Green Witch!

Laurali
Hi, I'm Laurali! I live in a tiny, seaside fishing village in Florida where I nurture my plants, go hiking in the woodland, and wear flowers in my hair.

My Super-Sweet Vegan Lifestyle: Wabi-Sabi Style Veganism

Avocado Toast Recipe + Stuff on Toast
Welcome to my super-sweet vegan lifestyle: wabi-sabi style veganism!  It's where I talk about my diet and what I'm eating every week, for inspiration and motivation.  If you'd like to learn more about becoming a vegan, try my Vegan Starter Kit for a cruelty-free living!

A lot of people get confused between what a plant-based diet is over a vegan label.  I prefer the term plant-based and you can read about why I live a plant-based lifestyle versus the vegan label.

The reason this has worked so well for me is because of the flexibility of it.  Lately, I've been thinking maybe I should just lean into my super-sweet vegan lifestyle and go with that.  So, what's the difference?

Plant-based means eating a plant-based diet of mostly unprocessed, whole foods that don't necessarily follow all the healthy attributes of the vegan lifestyle as a whole.  The vegan lifestyle, on the other hand, consists of eating a strict plant-based diet with no animal-based products and where your entire lifestyle is based on not using animal byproducts. 

I realize that this can be confusing to newbies or those interested in exploring the labels further.  In my case, I live a vegan life as a whole (not wearing or using animal-based products as a whole) and I eat a plant-based diet with some flexibility.

I've decided that thanks to all the judgment I receive from random strangers, neighbors, etc. to be a role model and to do my part.  Like it or not, I've somehow become the poster girl for the vegan lifestyle on my blog and even in my personal life. 

So, what does this mean for me?  It means that I'm converting back to a vegan label, as it is less confusing to people.  I honestly thought that being a plant-based eater would give me more leeway in people's judgments of me, but that has proven to not be the case.

I know it sounds strange that I would change something based on something someone said or how they made me feel, but I'm kinda glad I was judged because it's only made me want to buckle down further to represent my cause.  I care about the planet and I care about animals so much, so why am I running away from my role as a vegan lifestyle coach?

These last few years, I've been mostly good but I've given in to the pressures of family and friends and in some ways even my own expectations when it comes to food and diet.  I have higher expectations of myself than I do others and I wasn't meeting those expectations. 

I've since come to realize that those expectations, no matter how out of reach they may have seemed, were holding me in place.  So, I'm going to start converting back to calling myself a vegan and living the lifestyle of one. 

I mean, just to be clear, I live a vegan lifestyle and I eat a plant-based diet.  I'm far from perfect, but as a role model, people expect me to hold true to my values.  All of this being said, I'm a vegan in my heart. 

It's a cause I care deeply about and people aren't going to take me seriously if I don't adopt it fully, the way I used to.  The hardest thing about being vegan for me was always my fears about messing up. 

If you claim to be a vegan and mess up, people call you out on it more, and that's where I slowly began to call myself a plant-based eater.  I thought maybe it would subvert people's expectations of me.  It turns out it didn't.

I've decided to fully accept my role as a vegan and to stop being afraid of it.  At the end of this blog post, I'm going to share with you why I ended up using the plant-based label in the first place. 

I'm going to talk about why I sometimes feel like a crappy vegan.  I can tell you that being a vegan or plant-based eater, or whatever you call yourself, comes with a lot of pressure to be perfect. 

That perfection has caused me to have an eating disorder in the past.  This is why I sometimes prefer the flexibility of a plant-based life label. 

When I talk about why I sometimes feel like a crappy vegan, hopefully, you can relate.  People in the world expect us to be perfect, never making mistakes, always on our best behavior.

Vegans are flawed human beings too.  We're doing more than most people for the planet, for the animals, yet we're judged the harshest.  I don't get it.

If you're stuffing your face with meat from an animal that once was a living, breathing creature, who are you to judge me?  No, seriously.  I eat 95% vegan the majority of the time and I still get judged by family, friends, and perfect strangers.

I guess it's safe to say that I'm sick of it.  I never meant for this post to become a rant, but maybe that's how change happens.  We have to stop judging each other, people. 

I have tons of meat-eaters in my life.  I might have opinions about that, but do you think I'd ever intentionally make them feel bad for having a steak?  Nope.

Why?  Because that's a place of change that they have to come to on their own.  I know that people are in different places in their journey and that's perfectly okay.

Why can't people offer me the same human kindness?  Oh, I forgot, I'm a vegan so I have to automatically be perfect. 

It's not just meat-eaters that do this to me either.  I've even had people in the vegan community call me out for not being perfect, for not meeting that other 5% where I sometimes mess up. 

Here's what I want to say to that.  I am a flawed human being and I've never claimed to be perfect.  I do the best I can every single day to be the best human being and vegan that I can be, whether it's using a plant-based label or not.

Veganism is a strict diet to live by.  People are going to make mistakes sometimes, whether accidentally or intentionally. 

It's insane to me that people put such high expectations on the vegan diet when they themselves aren't living it.  To be honest with you, I'm offended by all the judgment I've gotten from meat-eating people, as well as strict vegans.  At least we're trying!

I also want to point out that my vegan life is more than just the mostly raw vegan foods I put into my body daily.  Veganism has an entire lifestyle built around it from the ground up. 

It's the shoes you wear on your feet.  It's where your clothing comes from.  You might like to read, Wearable Nature: Hand Me Downs and Vintage Clothing Energy to learn more on the topic.

It's about how you live and working animal-based products out of your life.  It's so much more than just the food you ingest.  It's everything in a nutshell. 

The diet portion of veganism is only a small part of the whole story of what makes up a vegan lifestyle.  It's about being a conscious consumer in the world we live in and being aware of what we are partaking in on a global scale.

Plant-Based Lifestyle + Cruelty-Free Living and Veganism

My Super-Sweet Vegan Lifestyle: Wabi-Sabi Style Veganism

Why do I sometimes feel like a crappy vegan?  Honestly, because other people make me feel that way.

I will say the majority of vegans and vegetarians I've met along my vegan journey have proven to be kind, flexible people.  Even my mom, a meat-eater at heart, still tries to be understanding and supportive of my beliefs. 

She even defended me on a Facebook post that was talking about how if you don't eat meat then you're not an American.  Even she thought that was an ignorant statement.  What does being vegan have to do with being an American?

I was born in the United States of America and have been here my entire life and have never left the country, not even for a vacation.  So, I think it's safe to say that I'm an American citizen that just doesn't partake in eating meat. 

That day was when my mom realized all the prejudice against vegans, vegetarians, and plant-based lifestylists.  She even told me it seems like meat-eaters go out of their way to start trouble with the vegans.  I have to say that I have found this to be true.

This all plays a part in why I've decided that I'm going to wear the vegan label proudly.  No, I didn't ask to be a role model for the vegan movement.  But, like it or not, I am one. 

I need to use this as an opportunity to represent my people.  My people are the people in the vegan community and plant-based communities. 

For example, if someone settles on vegetarian over the vegan label, why not offer them support?  They are still doing a good thing. 

They are still doing better than the majority of the population.  Better in what way?  Being vegetarian also reduces your carbon footprint and it still makes a difference in the world.

I personally commend their efforts.  I think we should all be supportive of one another instead of being judgemental or cruel to one another for not being perfect. 

I also want to clear up another misconception in my vegan rant today.  If someone is eating at least 90% raw vegan then it's safe to say they can call themselves a raw vegan, right?  Why doesn't that same courtesy apply to veganism? 

I eat probably 95% vegan and live a purely vegan lifestyle yet because I'm not 100% perfect, I have people pointing out my mistakes.  It's ridiculous.  Percentage matters when it comes to a raw vegan lifestyle or a vegan lifestyle. 

Not to mention, outside of what I eat, I am living a vegan life on a daily basis.  Again, it's important to note that a vegan lifestyle consists of more than just a plant-based diet. 

Why do it if I get so much flack?  I care about mother earth and I'm against animal cruelty.  I think that the ethical treatment of animals should be something that aligns with everyone's values. 

I don't however, feel a need to shove my beliefs down people's throats.  Instead, I prefer to be a living, breathing example of the truth.  I prefer to be a role model for the vegan and plant-based movement. 

What is that truth?  The truth is that animals are being mistreated and abused around the world and the only way to put a stop to it is one person at a time.  One person can make a difference!

The truth is because of animal abuse and the state of our planet, we should be making adjustments and changes to the planetary climate.  We can do that by being a conscious consumer and being aware of what we put into our bodies and what we wear in our daily outfits. 

We can do that by using vegan beauty products that haven't been tested on animals.  We can put our money where our mouth is by purchasing cruelty-free products that are sustainable and longlasting. 

It's the little things we do that matter.  If you have a fridge full of vegan meals and organic produce, you're already on your way.  It's not about being perfect, it's about doing your part each day and standing the test of time. 

Veganism is a slow burn.  Jumping into it you're going to make mistakes and that's okay.  That's how you learn and grow as a person. 

Veganism is a wabi-sabi style diet and life that you make a choice to live each and every single day as you further your cause.  It's okay to make mistakes and not be the picture-perfect vegan every moment of the day. 

You're doing more than most people so don't let other people make you feel bad about yourself.  That's what happened to me the other day.  I allowed someone to make me feel bad because he saw me with a muffin my mom gave me one day. 

He remembered it and decided to point out that there was animal fat in it.  I thought about it and he may be right about that.  So?

I messed up.  I'm not perfect.  I guess the other 95% of the time doesn't matter if I mess up one time.

I'm not going to feel bad anymore.  I'm not going to let other people make me feel unjustified in my food choices either.  Sometimes, even the most perfect vegan or plant-based eater will screw up or have a moment of weakness. 

It's called being human.  Humans are inherently flawed beings by nature.  Why am I expected to be so perfect?

Think about it.  Is it because I try?  I will not be giving people like this the time of day anymore, not ever again. 

All of this has made me want to do a vegan rant.  I'm going to hold my head high and reclaim my veganism. 

I'm still going to use the plant-based labeling for some things since it goes with the natural flow of veganism, but I'm going to wear my vegan label proudly.  It seems to me that no matter what label I choose, people expect me to be perfect and that's an expectation that I can't live up to. 

This is me sharing my super-sweet vegan lifestyle with you, wabi-sabi style.  I'm going to be careful to only eat vegan baked goods from now on and try not to mess up, but I would never be able to promise perfectionism, not even to myself.

What I pledge to veganism is to do the best I can every single day and to always keep animal rights in the back of my mind.  This is the moment where I use my platform to spread messages of hope to vegans and plant-based people everywhere. 

I'm going to be the change I wish to see in the world.  I'm going to do it by not being afraid of the vegan label anymore.  I'm going to wear it as a badge of honor and if I'm not one hundred percent perfect, then so be it!

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