I came across this term as I was reading an interview with Bruce Friedrich, the VP of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and it really resonated with me. To me they are just two words, but they seem to embody so much of what I believe in. I also think that "compassionate eating" is a non-threatening term. It says that you value the lives of animals and their existence. You value their lives enough not to participate in their killing simply for the satisfaction of your taste buds. The term "compassionate eating" I think can also be used to mean more than just compassionate to animals. By eliminating/reducing animal products from your diet, you are being compassionate to the Earth. Likewise you are being compassionate to your own body. I think it is a very peaceful and calming term and I intend to use it more often.
In the interview, Friedrich also brought up an interesting observation. He noted that when the term "vegan" is brought up to people they get a little scared. Most people respond with "I could never be vegan!" or "I could never give up cheese!". Whereas when the term "vegetarian" is brought up, people seem to be interested. They usually ask you questions and want to know more about being vegetarian and might respond with "I don't eat that much meat anyway".
I can say that I encounter these same responses as well. People seem to be a little nervous about the term vegan. They think it is something so unfathomable and not even on their radar. I remember thinking that becoming a vegetarian was NEVER going to happen. My excuse was that I could never give up proscuitto. Well, I'm coming up on my one year vegetarian anniversary and I can say that I don't miss Mr. Proscuitto at all.......we had some good times in the past.....carried on a great relationship, but I can comfortably say that I have ended that unhealthy relationship. He was no good for me....and I knew it, yet ignored it. I am glad to say he is out of my life. Happy Wednesday!