So, it's been about 14 months now - and while it's been relatively straightforward, I can't actually say it's been easy. By that I mean, while it's easy to know what to eat, it's not so easy to find it in every situation, in fact some situations have been nightmarish.
So, in the last week I've really considered breaking my veganism, probably more so than I did when I began...
This week (as already shared) I've been in Poland, and while the hotel staff bent over backwards to accommodate me, the amount of fuss it involved really impacted on my experience of the place.
And I really hate making a fuss, and when I was merely vegetarian I didn't have to - I could always find food, even in the most awkward of places and rarely had to make an issue of it. More than anything I just don't like having to discuss my diet with people (unless I choose to), deal with the questions or contend with the sheer lack of options.
I think that cutting out dairy has done some good, but I'm not convinced that veganism has made me healthier overall - I've had a much harder job of balancing my nutritional needs than ever before. I've had issues with weight gain, oh and hairloss that I've only been able to resolve from supplementation in the form of B12 and Iron.
Oh, and flatulence!
By wearing cotton I'm contributing to a pesticide-intensive industry, by wearing synthetics I'm contributing to the petrochemical industry - I'm not entirely convinced that avoiding wool is actually helping anyone (not even the sheep really)
Yeah I could wear hemp I suppose, but unlike some people I don't actually want to look like a hippy all the time! :p
Not all eggs and honey (for instance) come from cruel sources - yes a lot does, but there are plenty of grey areas around food production that don't involve nastiness.
Personal pleasure / hobbies etc.
I used to do a fair amount of film photography (which I believe is superior) that I've stopped because of the gelatin in film, I've missed out on other things because of a mere smidgen of animal product ... for instance, trying to find a car that didn't have leather around the gearstick gaiter proved to be another bloody nightmare.
I honestly think I've sent myself mad with this!
So, with all that in mind, I wonder if I've just become a little too fixated on the "vegan" label to the point of ignoring issues like conservation, the environment and, of course, my own health (including emotional health).
I'd love to hear the experiences of other vegans, ex-vegans and vegetarians - If you've been vegan and gone back to veggie-ism, what were your reasons for this?
I'm not really interested in hearing the opinions of meat eaters.
Or, if you've remained vegan for many years, how did you address the issues above without turning into a strange axe-grinding alien being who constantly tuts at labels and menus?