Last night, I had trouble sleeping. My cat kept sneaking in to chew on the plastic grocery bag I had in my bedroom. Short story shorter, I had plenty of time to ponder the appeal the bag held for my cat. Turns out, my plastic bag is likely not vegan.
True story! Many plastic bags are manufactured with chicken fat as a “slipping agent” (see My Plastic Free Life). Furthermore, I should have been more concerned about getting the bag away from her because animals are dying all the time from eating grocery bags! (No worries, guys, she hasn’t yet ingested any. I think she mostly just chews on it for the taste. This doesn’t mean I won’t be more careful in the future.)
Upon seeking answers on the appeal the bag had for my cat, I also came upon more information about every day items that contain animal products. Products I wouldn’t have even considered such as bike and car tires as an article put out by TreeHugger reports: 9 everyday products you didn’t know had animal ingredients.
Am I 100% Vegan?
Yes and No.
On the “No” front, I’m still so unaware of so many issues. Sometimes, I choose to wear out or use up non-vegan items (like my expensive vegetarian prenatals), before replacing them with something more appropriate. Sometimes, I choose to go with “good enough” (like when I was at Moe’s and saw the guacamole had sour cream cross-contaminated in it).
On the “Yes” front, The Vegan Society uses this definition of Veganism:
Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.
This “seeks to exclude” phrasing points to Veganism as a process not a destination. I am actively seeking to exclude this exploitation. I will make mistakes, I will be temporarily ignorant of facts, but I am trying.
I think this is an important realization because I have made mistakes in my past and surrendered “being vegan” because of some slip up or another. Perfection is hard.
How about you? Do you consider yourself 100% vegan? Why or why not?
Until next time, keep that talk walking!