So often when we think about veganism, it’s such a strong black & white topic. We think its all or nothing and if I cant toss out literally everything in my life that contain animal products, then why even try right? I was right there with you. I stayed in vegetarianism for a long time and even then I bounced around with eating or using animal products on occasion.

What I’m about to say may piss off a million vegans out there, but its ok. Its ok to have gray areas.

Its ok to not be 100%.

Food is not a religion, but it can feel that way sometimes. Veganism can be dogmatic in a sense. Its very strict and very all or nothing and comes slathered with so many rules that the average joe says nope! no way. I cant do all that, I’ll just stay over here eating my carne asada burrito because it’s easier.

Veganism is one of those things that gets people riled up. And I get why. Its hard to see what the impact of eating animals and using animal products is doing on the environment and our health without being upset about it. But the biggest reason I see people being so passionate about the abstinence of animal products is because of the animals.

It’s hard to unlearn what you see once the marketing veil is lifted and you see the truth of what these animals endure and how wrong it is. I struggled for a while with this part and still do sometimes. Once you gain the knowledge of what is going on, everything comes with a huge amount of guilt, like a weighted blanket.

I don’t know about you, but as an empath myself, I feel all the pain happening and I have to literally distract myself or try to ignore it so I don’t spiral into a depression from feeling all this pain and suffering on a mass scale and not being able to stop it immediately.

My car has a leather interior.

I owe $19k on it still, in all transparency. I purchased it before my transition and no, I don’t plan on going into financial turmoil and being upside down by turning my car in because it has animal products in it.

There has to be a point where you understand, realistically, that once you decide to make the transition, you’re not just going to ravage through your house throwing things in the trash. And personally, I feel like it’s more of an insult if you already purchased the product and now throw it away, it’s like the animal died and suffered in vain. I feel like it is at least a little more respectful of the animal if you’ve already purchased it, to use it as long and as much as possible so that animal didn’t die for no reason.

I also owned chickens. 11 of them.

And chickens lay eggs every single day.

Contrary to popular vegan belief, eggs are not all baby chickens. They’re not chicken fetuses. It’s just an egg. I have eggs that I pass every month. Am I a murderer? No. There is no life there. We didn’t have a rooster, so the eggs aren’t fertilized and therefore they sit on them long enough for them to rot when they realize there’s no baby chick and they kick it out of their nest. I don’t know about you but if you’ve ever smelled a rotten egg, it’s gross.

So every morning we would go out and collect the few eggs that were there because, hello, there’s not going to be any baby chickens anytime soon. Now, I get that there’s a lot of controversy over whether or not eggs are good for you and the mass conventional farming or CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operation) eggs are horrific in terms of what they’re doing to the animals and what is done to the eggs before you get them, especially to the male chicks.

But if you must eat eggs, I see nothing wrong with going to your local farmers market and purchasing a dozen or so from a reputable farmer that allows their hens to roam free and doesn’t shove large quantities of them in small pens. I personally stopped eating eggs because they gave me horrible gas that would peel the paint off the walls, but each and every person is different, so if eggs work well for you, I see no issues if they’re purchased properly.

What happens if you’re at a party or event and they have non-vegan food?

what happens if your family brings over non-vegan food to your house or family events?

what happens if you’re in the middle of moving and you’re hungry and in the middle of nowhere and the only vegan options are the apples up front?

The point is that shit happens.

Life happens.

And the best thing you can do is just forgive yourself and keep trying. Because nobody is perfect. I know vegans that draw the line at honey and bugs. I know vegetarians that swear by eggs. I know omnivores that are adding in one meat-free meal a week to try to shift. Its all okay, wherever you’re at. The point is to be mindful, love yourself, and keep trying. 

I think we all reach this point where we are trying to transition to a healthier lifestyle and it comes with so many reasons:

  • to lose weight
  • to save money
  • to save the animals
  • to help the environment
  • to cook for a child with allergies or restictions
  • to avoid taking medication for a health problem
  • to gain energy

whatever your reason, however you got here, you’re here. And thats huge, but now what? Now you’re slapped with so much fear and doubt and insecurity and guilt and shame every time you eat that you forget to live life. You stop eating as much because you don’t know what to eat. You beat yourself up every time you put on your favorite pair of shoes or get in your car or go out to lunch with friends and get your favorite latte with your favorite dish and now you feel like you have to give it all up because of xyz reason and you don’t know if you have it in you to quit cold turkey.

Good news. You don’t have to. You can still have the latte, just get the almond milk creamer instead of milk. You can still have the tacos for lunch with your girlfriends, just get the vegetarian version, or if you’re lucky, the vegan version. Make simple small shifts, don’t stop, stay mindful, and most importantly,…

FORGIVE YOURSELF.

Because beating yourself up over slipping when you’re in the beginning phases of your journey isn’t going to save any animals. It’s going to stress you out, raise your cortisol levels, put your body in a fight or flight response where you stop your digestive system, your reproductive system, your endocrine system… and then you gain weight, you’re sad, you stress eat, have zero energy, cant have babies (if that’s your goal), and it completely negates the entire reason behind why you started on this journey in the first place.

If you don’t know who I am yet, my name is Heather Carvey. I am a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and I specialize and am obsessed with helping women make the transition to a whole-foods, plant-based diet and lifestyle.

If you need help, accountability, the know-how, guidance, tools, resources, etc with your transitioning journey, I’m your girl.

I have 10 spots available currently for one-on-one coaching and 8 spots available for my pocket coaching program. Also, if you haven’t joined my free Facebook group, Naturally Badass Momma, I am hosting a scholarship contest to get a free space in my upcoming 30 days to mealprep mastery program launching next month.

Check out the work with me section on my website or reach out to me directly for more details and sign up links.

Love & Light,