This was meant for Wednesday.....but I did not have Internet access that day!

One thing I have come to realize about myself (and for that matter about others) is that when you try to do something to an extreme, problems can arise. An extreme in the vegan conversation we are having can mean a "strict" 100% vegan in every single aspect of their life (i.e. they eat vegan, dress vegan, and only use vegan products). The other extreme is someone who eats a typical what I call "Middle American" diet of LOTS of protein (i.e. red meat), lots of carbs/starches (i.e. potatoes, rice, pasta, etc), and fast food regularly. I, personally, have no desire to live with a Middle American diet....it does not suit me, is not in line with my beliefs, and in fact disgusts me when you look at the health of people who consume this diet. The 100% vegan extreme actually appeals to me, except that I don't feel that I have the strength and conviction to lead that path. For me it seems like a difficult name to live up to.

I do see others who live that life who do so with grace and dignity. Colleen Patrick Goodreau comes to mind, who is a vegan cookbook author from the Bay Area who touts "Compassionate Cuisine". Also, Crafty Vegan Sister, is pretty darn vegan herself. She has found herself being able to, for the most part, live that life. Alicia Silverstone (my personal hero.....just kidding......sort of) lives by the Kind Diet and is a tireless advocate for veganism and for animal rights. These people I identify myself with, but I don't put myself in their category.

I sometimes find myself with a blue cheese crumble in my mouth, or with a spoonful of vanilla bean ice cream in my mouth, or wearing a pair of leather shoes that have been in my closet for years.

I am finding more and more that moderation works best for me. I still have my beliefs about veganism.....I believe it is a healthier diet than a diet with animal protein in it....I still believe deeply in animal rights and that we as humans should have compassion for animals....I just don't find myself comfortable calling myself a 100% vegan.

And I feel like I am not alone. I frequently meet people who are at different levels of calling themselves vegetarian, flexatarian, pescatarian, vegan, etc.

Can't we all just get along?

I'll be back next Wednesday with my review of Eataly, Mario Batali's new Italian marketplace in NYC!

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