Instagram has given me a lot of headaches, mainly because I never seem to stop comparing myself to some hot bikini model that travels the world, but mainly it has given me headaches because I see screenshots of Tweets that I thankfully miss when I am on Twitter.
You can never escape stupid people.
The screenshot that I saw a few days ago showed a Tweet that was made by someone who claimed that if you take medication or buy products that contain palm oil, well, that you are just not a real vegan. Those types of vegans make my blood boil because they are petty and irresponsible, and quite frankly, they are the definition of someone who is privileged.
If you are privileged to be healthy and have no need to take medication – and calling someone privileged for being healthy is coming from someone who judges people who blame their genes for everything – but if you are privileged enough to not take any medication, how dare you call a vegan whose life is dependent on pills a fake vegan?
I had epilepsy for 10 years and for a decade I had to take 2 pills twice a day. That is 4 pills a day. If I didn’t take them I had a seizure and let me tell you something, having an epileptic seizure is not fun. I wasn’t vegan back when I had epilepsy, but if I would have to take those 4 pills today, I would; and I would continue calling myself a vegan.
Just like I continue calling myself a vegan even though most of my cleaning products are not vegan. Yes, I am a vegan who buys a detergent and a shampoo that was tested on animals. I talked about that many times, but in short: I rarely go to the city and I live in a small town in the countryside with a few thousand people. I can’t buy all vegan and cruelty-free products, as much as I would love to and as much as it kills me knowing what I am paying for.
Veganism is not about perfection. It has never been about perfection. Veganism is about reducing the suffering animals go through. Veganism is about doing the best that we can with what we have.
There is a difference between buying meat and buying a non-vegan washing detergent because there are always plants that you can purchase at the store, but there aren’t always vegan cleaning and beauty products.
And if we look at the vegan police who claim that buying products that contain palm oil is not vegan, I have to ask you something:
- Would you rather have a person buy vegan products that contain palm oil or would you rather have a person turn away from going vegan because they don’t want you to come after them because they, God forbid, bought vegan-friendly cookies that have palm oil in them?
Yes, palm oil is bad and it does contribute to deforestation and the death of orangutans. Yes, white sugar is bad and it is not always vegan. Yes, medication is tested on animals and yes, animals do suffer in laboratories.
But is veganism about perfection or about doing the best that we can?
Most people are just trying out veganism to see how they will feel and how they can transition, they are not looking to be judged because they are not zero-waste, clean eating vegans who buy second hand and rely on weed instead of pills.
People are going vegan slowly. People are taking little steps. Let’s encourage them, shall we?
None of us will ever be perfect, ever.
p.s. – If you are interested in learning about some ways that you can help sea animals, read my post here.