About the name Staying Vegan – part one

September 10, 2010

Let’s try something new:

Our site’s name confuses people sometimes – they say they could never go back to eating animals, but then why does the vegan population stay the same size? I think we choose to stay vegan more often than we choose to go vegan – a lot more often.

Spend 3 minutes with me to talk it over, and then let me know what you think in the comments!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

MollyG September 11, 2010 at 8:35 pm

For me it was a switch. Sure I had to think about it for the first few months, but the reason I went vegan was enough reason for me. It is still the reason I am vegan 5 years later. I went vegetarian when I was ten because I thought hurting animals was wrong and unnecessary. When I learned that dairy and eggs were just as bad, if not worse I was all in. I could never go back because my reason is strong. I think that’s the key.

Another Molly September 12, 2010 at 2:09 am

I’m still pretty new at this, though I don’t anticipate going back… ever. But I hear and read stories frequently of those who have, so I know it’s very possible. At this point in my life, I want more than anything to STAY vegan, and I’m doing everything I can to do that, including holding that switch up against the wall sometimes.

Emily B September 12, 2010 at 10:25 am

i would definitely like to think that I will never go back, but there’s really no way to KNOW that. Generally now I think meat and eggs and dairy are gross and i wouldn’t even want to eat them, though every once in a while something will look/smell appealing. But I don’t think I’d every break my veganism just because I wanted something. I think right now the hardest thing is the transition from having total control over what I was eating to having food prepared for me, often without labels and sometimes without very many choices (I just finished my first week of college). Anyway, while I don’t foresee ending my veganism I realize it’s a possibility and I always try to learn new tips to help me carry on (I’ve only been vegan for a little over a year and a half after all). So I appreciate where you’re coming from and the name of this website.

steph September 12, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Glad to have you back, Jason. I *think* I saw your family today at the Food Fair, but I’m only going on old T-shirt ad pictures. Hope all is well with you!

Tom M September 13, 2010 at 7:25 am

Cool clip, Jason. Nice to one-way meet you. My thoughts advise that distinct ongoing choices alternate with those times of ‘status quo’ vegan thinking. Some times and places engender a bit of strain and pull on tough, little decisions (hungry view of a leftover corner bite of spouse’s toast which has butter on it rather than the vegan spread?), while other, and likely the most, occasions we run on veganism like the seemingly no-thoughts of driving a car down the interstate. Maybe this ratio of thinking and non-thinking veganism varies with each of us. I guess we all strive for the highest percentage of the non-thinking/non-choice daily living. Regards.

Jason September 13, 2010 at 8:05 am

Molly (1&2), Emily, and Tom, thanks for the feedback! These are the things I’m going to let simmer for future posts, really appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts!

Steph, sorry I missed you! People call the Vegetarian Food Fair vegan christmas, but I think of it more like vegan new years’, with lots of opportunities for new resolutions, like getting my butt in gear and posting again! Hope you had a good time even if it didn’t include chatting with me 🙂

Sayward September 13, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Welcome back! I was just wondering if we’d ever hear from you again. =)

No pressure of course – baby trumps all! But as you’re obviously occupied, have you considered accepting contributors? It’s something I’ve seen a lot of blogs doing during m/p-aternity leave . . . I for one would be interested in submitting something!

Sami September 13, 2010 at 4:36 pm

A really good point, I have had moments when I’ve questioned it and when a handful of those moments creep up together I’ll always remember some advice I read a long time ago. If you ever have any doubt that it’s worth those (few) moments of hardship, just re-visit a little of the research you did originally and you’ll be more determined than ever.

While I don’t find Veganism a chore I do recognise, and think it’s important to recognise, the moments when I make the choice to stay vegan. Like when half a dozen people return from holiday and there’s chocolates and sweets all over the office, you’re sweet tooth misses out and you may even feel left out of the fun. The solution? Have a massive bake-up and treat the rest of the office to friendly, sweet, delicious cakes.

But my point is that the moments when you find Veganism a challenge (be it because the store is out of Pasta or because that cheese sandwich smells amazing) are the moments you can really feel proud to be going against the grain for what you believe is right.

Jason September 14, 2010 at 9:32 am

@Sayward, I’m big on delegating (out of necessity) but I’ve found that co-ordinating guest contributors can be more work than I can handle. Hopefully the new video format will work out for a while at least, gonna shoot a few more today – it used to take me an hour or so to write a decent post, but I can rehearse the videos during the times I’m holding the baby so it makes better use of the time.

@Sami, thanks for sharing – I need to do a “when is it hard” survey (though I’ll probably phrase it in a way that doesn’t trigger my inner 12 year old joke reflex) so we can find some points we all have in common and ways to deal! Probably in a few weeks once everything’s running again.

James September 14, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Hey, Jason, I like this topic because I’ve always liked the title of the website.

I really think it’s the same as the can’t/don’t thing. When you say you “can’t” eat X you imply that you are a different variety of human, who has different choices. You flipped a switch once and that switch is now stuck.

When you say “don’t,” though, you are a lot closer to the truth, which is that you are the same as anybody else, and that each of your choices is independent – you COULD take the offered cheesecake this time, but you won’t. You won’t because you have reasons and are making that little choice this time, not because you made a big choice once and then you were done.

James September 14, 2010 at 9:17 pm

…however, I will add that the switch analogy can be useful. It’s hard to make a million decisions a day, so you imagine that you’re not making them: you imagine that you’ve “drawn a line” and everything on one side is good, on the other is bad.

This is fine, most of the time, and it’s the only way to free up your mind to do better stuff. But you can’t take it for granted.

Jason September 15, 2010 at 8:35 am

Thanks James! Sometimes I think about how we actually do make a bazillion choices every day, and then I get kind of dizzy 🙂

Everyone else, the can’t/don’t thing is explained further here (unless James is talking about something completely different!): http://stayingvegan.com/2010/01/cant-wont-or-dont/

Colleen September 16, 2010 at 12:22 pm

For me, the mental, when the internal switch was flipped it felt like it was “welded” on. But figuring out how to be vegan, practically speaking, took time. I was in a smallish town with no support and made a lot of mistakes in the beginning!

Something changed in me, and I felt certain that I was no longer capable of unknowing what I knew. But humans, self included of course, have an appalling capacity for self-deception and denial, and realizing this, I figured out early on that I needed to consciously focus on my choice, every day. I did this by learning to play with and enjoy food and keep an open mind about it; I had to be really gentle with myself over my many early mistakes; and when thinking every day about why I was vegan, I had to choose to focus on the positive aspects of the why – i.e., I’m vegan because I love animals not because people are shitheads for harming them. It’s too exhausting, in my experience, to be angry and upset all the time; being excited and love with the world and all its residents, however…much easier, and very motivating!

I still think every day about why I’m vegan and having gotten into a positive habit of mind about it, it’s 99% of the time easy and enjoyable for me.

Rick Health January 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm

I’ve been thinking about making the switch and slowly cutting back on my “old” lifestyle. Thanks for the words of encouragement, I will continue my efforts.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: