With my recent project on veganism (a magazine piece that I will link to or post when it's published), a lot of people have been asking me if I am vegan. So here it is, my complicated explanation.
I have been vegetarian for six years. My original reason for going vegetarian was because meat really freaks me out. I don't see the difference between eating an animal and chewing on human flesh. I am also lactose intolerant, so I rarely, if ever, eat dairy. So why am I not vegan? Well, to a certain degree I am. I eat vegan for many meals, but if something was made with a slight bit of whey, milk, or other animal products, I will still eat it. I will also eat desserts or other items made with eggs.
I have recently been exploring vegan alternatives to many of these items, and although I have mostly cut out butter from my daily meals, as of right now I don't see myself going completely vegan (although I do not use products tested on animals or buy things made out of animal products when I can avoid it). It is too frustrating to not be able to eat something because it has a small amount of an animal product in it, or make people feel horrible when you are a guest in their house and you can't eat anything they made. It is already such a struggle for friends and family to be able to meet my dietary needs, and to add one more thing in would cause a lot of problems.
To all of the vegans out there, I completely admire you, and perhaps one day I will go completely vegan, but for now I am happy the way things are. I will continue to eat as little animal products as possible without sweating the small stuff.