Welcome to Go Fucking Vegan.
My mission is not only to convince you to go vegan, but to give you solid advice on how to live a manageable vegan lifestyle. It’s not about all about perfection.
As somebody once said, every little helps.
First Thing's First...
What is Veganism?
Veganism is a philosophy and 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; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.
There's a notion that you have to be 100% perfectly vegan.
One of the important points here that is seldom discussed when talking about veganism, is the notion that individuals should be vegan as far as is possible or practical. The idea of perfectionism when it comes to the subject is one that has, unfortunately, been perpetuated for decades. There is no list of set-in-stone rules when it comes to following a vegan lifestyle; it’s simple. Do as much as you can to help out and play your part.
It doesn’t require professional expertise or long, in-depth studies to reach the conclusion that if 80% of the world’s population were to adopt a largely vegan lifestyle, it would achieve far better results for the planet than if 10% were to be “perfect” vegans. This idea of perfectionism is one that has been pushed and stretched to the point that it is completely fucking boring. The blame here lies between vegans and meat-eaters alike, and don’t get me wrong, I’m not speaking for the entirety of either party in saying this.
How often have you heard someone being condemned for not being perfect?
How many times have you heard vegans condemn others for living a life that isn’t 100% vegan? Similarly, how many times have you heard an out-and-out carnivore condemn a vegan for slipping up? For something like asking for cheese on their chips when they’ve had a few too many craft IPAs on a night out? Far too many times is the answer, at least for me. I certainly dished out my fair share of shit to vegans when I used to eat meat, and the likelihood is that at some point, you have, too.
You wouldn’t go to run a 5K, and deem the run a complete waste of time, just because you had a bad day and fell a few hundred meters short. You wouldn’t listen to your favourite album and then declare you’d had a shit time in doing so, because you had to head out before it finished. Likewise, you wouldn’t eat a meal and then say that it was pointless, just because you were too full to finish it. Veganism is no different: making any changes to your lifestyle in order to help protect the environment, to be compassionate towards animals or to better improve your health, are changes well made.
For the vegans reading this, who may disagree with the “hypocrisy” and reductionist nature of the narrative I’m waxing: I feel you. If you believe in the principles behind veganism whole-heartedly, it does indeed contradict with not leading an entirely vegan lifestyle. However, the goal here is for as many people as possible to reduce their intake of animal products as much as possible – to become “plant-based”, if you will. If this information helps any number of people significantly reduce their intake, but not entirely remove it, who gives a fuck? Baby steps, guys.
I will also mention that the long-term goal is, of course, to convert as many omnivorous diets to vegan diets as we can.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint. We do need to run that marathon with some urgency, however.
You might be sat there thinking “I could never be vegan”, “I don’t think I could even be vegan one day a week”, or just simply think that veganism is a load of bollocks. You are the reason that I am writing this. There is no denying that making changes like cutting all the meat from your diet, cutting all the dairy from your diet, and even changing the clothes you wear, are quite drastic. Most meat-eaters have followed that same diet for their entire lives because it’s the norm. Because their parents, family, or friends brought them up to do so; because it makes you stronger; because it helps with this; because it helps with that; because it has always been the case.
That last point hits the nail on the head because THAT is the fucking problem. By definition, the rate at which the population of our planet is consuming meat and dairy is unsustainable, and we simply cannot afford to continue doing so. The science, facts and figures are all out there, and I’m not about to start bombarding you with them. I’ll leave most of that for those that are far better versed, more educated, and well-read on the subject than I am.
I’ve been “fully” vegan since early 2020, vegetarian/largely vegan for 3 years and omnivorous for the preceding 22 years. By the standards of many, I’m a complete rookie on the subject. They might be right, but that puts me at ground level to help you make these positive changes in your life, because it’s not so long since I did, myself.
Want to go completely vegan? Amazing. Want to significantly reduce your meat or dairy intake, but still smash an 18oz rib-eye when you’re out for a meal? That’s fine, too. Want to go flexitarian? Sweet. Want to give “meat-free” Mondays or “Veganuary” a go? Nice. Or even, want a little guide to help make your vegan lifestyle even better? Great.