To everyone who thinks I’m still vegan, no I am not.
And I haven’t been for a while now. It’s not a secret, I haven’t been hiding it. But my recipes are all still vegan, so I understand the confusion.
Maybe it’s the fresh-start feeling of new year that motivated me to share this today. It’s been more than a year since I made the decision to not be vegan, but a year ago I wasn’t ready to write this post. I wasn’t sure enough in my own choice and reasons.
Or maybe it’s because I’m tired of having to explain myself in the comments every time I post a recipe on instagram that uses collagen or a video with an egg option. I’m tired of the small but ever-present sense of judgement I feel, and instinctual urge to defend myself to those that disagree or take offense.
I don’t have a perfect response to every emotionally-fraught animal cruelty video and plant-based documentary out there. But I’m not here to speak on behalf of everyone who isn’t vegan. I’m not here to preach any diet to anyone. I’m here to be me and share authentically, but I feel like I can’t do that with this hovering misconception in the way. And sometimes authenticity means speaking a truth that I know some people don’t want to hear.
I wrote a post called Things Change last year when I decided to no longer be vegan. I still stand by all the reasons in that post, but my perspective and reasons have broadened a lot since then. At first it was mostly about physical well-being but a year later the mental well-being piece is SO much bigger to me.
I truly believe many people are vegan for all the right reasons—the animals, the environment, because it makes them happy. I also believe many people are vegan for the NOT right reasons—weight loss, identity, a respected excuse to avoid foods. I went vegan for the right reasons, but eventually it became the wrong ones. It became this safe identity to avoid eating out and birthday party cupcakes and the majority of pre-packaged foods.
It’s awesome to be different and stand up for your values, but not if it’s done from a place of fear. Fear of the unfamiliar, of judgement, of having to admit you were wrong if/when things change. At the time it didn’t feel like fear for me, but in retrospect I know it partly was. And for me it took a big shift to break out of that place.
It still shocks me every time someone says they can no longer watch my recipe videos or follow my blog since I am not vegan even though my recipes all still are. Not will not, but CANnot—as if it’s not a choice. Maybe it shouldn’t shock me, but it does. It also makes me wonder if there was a time when I was vegan and would’ve done or said the same thing. I honestly don’t now, it’s impossible to put myself back in that mindset when my perspective has since shifted so much since. But I like to hope I always remained open-minded to the fact that there is no one perfect way to approach food.
Often I will receive a comment or email about a recipe or substitution, and I can sense a very relatable fear underneath the words. Fear of caloric content or high fat ingredients or sugar. I’ve been there, I know those worries well. And that is EXACTLY why I have started posting more recipes with nut butter and coconut milk and sugar and collagen even.
Because life isn’t supposed to be spent worrying about cookies, and cookies taste a helluva lot better when you don’t worry about them. Two things I know to be true. But two things it personally took broadening my diet to include all foods for me to KNOW truly.
This post isn’t meant to be defensive or judgmental, I just wanted to share my thoughts and have a place to refer to that explains why I am no longer vegan better than I can in a comment reply.
Ultimately it’s your diet, your decision, your story, your cookie—just be sure you are choosing it for the right reasons. And please don’t judge someone else for choosing chocolate chip even if you choose snickerdoodle. Unless it’s those absurdly crunchy mini chocolate chip cookie rocks, then go ahead and judge.
Thank you for reading ♡
New non-metaphorical cookie coming soon!