Why I am not going to be fully vegan on my trip to Europe

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Image via designlovefest

This time next week my lover and I will be in Paris. I can’t wait to walk the streets, to post up at a little bistro and people watch, to see the Eiffel Tower all lit up at night. Honestly, I get goosebumps thinking about this trip. I have wanted to travel to Paris for my entire life and next week it’s going to happen for me. I am so beyond excited and am so grateful for this opportunity.

One topic I wanted to address here in this blog space is the fact that I am not planning to be vegan while I’m in Paris. In fact, over the past few weeks I’ve been slowly introducing a little bit of cheese back into my life so that I do not get super sick when I go to Paris. I still plan on seeking out delicious vegan food. I also plan to avoid meat most of the time since it’s really hard for me to eat it anymore, but I do plan on dropping down to vegetarian for most of my trip.

I think the idea of 80 Percent Vegan is so important in the context of trips like these. I have searched my heart quite a bit and I just know that I will not be content if I go to Paris and don’t have a chance to eat croissants and crepes and cheese. The food of the place is critical to my experience there. I know full vegans will find it insulting that I could even type those words. They will say that I am hurting the movement because I cannot commit and because I feel like my taste buds and my desires are more important than animal welfare. I understand their perspective. I do. It works for them to think that way and I do not judge them.

It comes down to this for me: right now, the best I can do is to be mostly vegan. I know that me just being vegan most of the time has a huge impact. I can’t quite commit yet to going on the trip of a lifetime and not being able to try the food associated with the culture. I can’t fathom it. It’s just too hard for me right now. I know that if I tried to be fully vegan while in Paris, I would feel so uncomfortable and disappointed. I would resent my veganism. It would feel like a huge sacrifice. It would bring negativity into something that has been pretty much purely positive for me thus far. And, I know that it would probably lead to me starting down the path of being just so frustrated with the experience that I would eventually quit. Me eating cheese and butter for one week isn’t worth the potential to give up veganism for life.

For me, I think that the vegan movement really discounts how important food is. How it is synonymous with culture and society and sustenance and family. All of these things are super important. Maybe it’s okay if we just occasionally or sometimes eat meat or animal products. I don’t think it has to be black or white. A lot of life happens in the grey areas and if we cannot be flexible enough to understand that, where is the compassion of the movement anyway?

What do you think?