“Being vegan isn’t about being perfect, and it’s not about being pure. You do not get a certification of 100% purity when you become vegan. Being vegan is about intention. It’s about doing the best we can to not cause harm when it’s practical and possible and it’s not always practical and possible.”
Admittedly, this was said in response to a question from someone who needed medication that had been tested on animals, but I felt it really sums up what I’ve been feeling and thinking about.
The more I learn the crazier the world seems. I keep thinking this is a twisting, sinking tunnel that just goes down and down, deeper and deeper with no end in sight. We use animals in everything and for everything – most of it is horrific.
This is our system, a way of thinking and behaving so legitimised and embedded in our culture that it pervades everywhere and contaminates everything – even the good things. It is practically and psychologically impossible to separate ourselves from this system.
For a while, I have been wondering when I will know enough and be doing enough to call myself vegan. Every day I find out more, and my thinking keeps shifting and sliding faster, twisting and turning around more contradictions and backtracks than I can keep up with. I become more and more aware of what I don’t know and how so much of how I behave has to change. I can’t do it all at once. I doubt I still even know what half of ‘it’ entails.
My intention is to change and to learn. My intention is to “do the best (I) can not to cause harm”. I just don’t know enough; I haven’t been living with this awareness long enough yet to get it right. But my intention is to be vegan. I find it difficult to imagine that I could ever be anything else ever again. So I keep pushing blindly forward – hoping my intention is enough to move me through this, even when I am getting it all wrong.
* Said during an interview I was listening to on youtube. The recording is about an hour, so I didn’t include the whole video.