By Published On: 22 March 2014518 words2.7 min read

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Keeping the Vegan Faith

By Linden Mackey, Guest Contributor

[fusion_dropcap color=”” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”1px” class=”” id=””]A[/fusion_dropcap]t the risk of eye-rolling, brow-raising dismissal as a fringe dweller, the practice of veganism occasionally calls to my mind the single-mindedness of an ardent religious (a small factoid about me known only to a few very old friends is that I once longed to become a cloistered nun) – pursuing a level of compassion capable of transforming daily life to reflect a divine essence.

But high purpose in life doesn’t even begin to make us noble or infallible. It’s sheer hubris to imagine that no matter how great the passion it will be easy to follow every day, traveling on little more than a worn, crooked dirt path amid the towering, choking rain forest of agribusiness of the worst abuse, buttressed by cultural traditions and snare trapped by the loving offering of Grandma’s chicken and dumplings.

And some days I just get tired of belonging to a tiny minority, even if it is for a righteous purpose.

I get tired of going to grocery stores where the vast majority of goods sold are not ones I will eat. I get tired of going to three or four stores every week to obtain the various vegan products that I can and do like to eat.

I get tired of going to restaurants where I can’t eat anything on the menu except salad or French fries. Just like carnists, vegans enjoy opening a menu to a plethora of dishes all sounding delectable and pleasantly agonizing over choice.

I get tired of explaining to my office manager that I can’t eat the vegetarian entrée served on the buffet at the employee recognition luncheon because it’s pasta in cream sauce and I don’t eat any animal-generated products.

I get tired of trying to figure out how to transform my extensive and sentimental pre-vegan sheave of recipes into reasonable animal-free facsimiles – although I have found dozens of delicious vegan recipes I never before would have prepared.

I get tired of worrying about the pairs of Dansko clogs I still wear because my pre-vegan self bought them in an attempt to quell my debilitating Morton’s Neuroma and these were the only shoes I could effectively walk in… should I learn to walk with pain in each step as a sort of corporal mortification?

I get tired of worrying about using sugar because it is refined with bone char; drinking wine, which I only recently learned more often than not uses animal products in the filtering process (isinglass/fish bladder; gelatin; egg whites); keeping meat in the house for my husband’s and boys’ consumption.

But – the gift of sleeping each night knowing that to the best of my ability I have not harmed any living creature – that is the higher calling I strive to fulfill each day.

So I rise again, renewed at the many surprising and uplifting rewards discovered along the way:

Journey continued.

Photo Credit: David Gallagher

By Published On: 22 March 2014518 words2.7 min read

Share This Story!

Keeping the Vegan Faith

By Linden Mackey, Guest Contributor

[fusion_dropcap color=”” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”1px” class=”” id=””]A[/fusion_dropcap]t the risk of eye-rolling, brow-raising dismissal as a fringe dweller, the practice of veganism occasionally calls to my mind the single-mindedness of an ardent religious (a small factoid about me known only to a few very old friends is that I once longed to become a cloistered nun) – pursuing a level of compassion capable of transforming daily life to reflect a divine essence.

But high purpose in life doesn’t even begin to make us noble or infallible. It’s sheer hubris to imagine that no matter how great the passion it will be easy to follow every day, traveling on little more than a worn, crooked dirt path amid the towering, choking rain forest of agribusiness of the worst abuse, buttressed by cultural traditions and snare trapped by the loving offering of Grandma’s chicken and dumplings.

And some days I just get tired of belonging to a tiny minority, even if it is for a righteous purpose.

I get tired of going to grocery stores where the vast majority of goods sold are not ones I will eat. I get tired of going to three or four stores every week to obtain the various vegan products that I can and do like to eat.

I get tired of going to restaurants where I can’t eat anything on the menu except salad or French fries. Just like carnists, vegans enjoy opening a menu to a plethora of dishes all sounding delectable and pleasantly agonizing over choice.

I get tired of explaining to my office manager that I can’t eat the vegetarian entrée served on the buffet at the employee recognition luncheon because it’s pasta in cream sauce and I don’t eat any animal-generated products.

I get tired of trying to figure out how to transform my extensive and sentimental pre-vegan sheave of recipes into reasonable animal-free facsimiles – although I have found dozens of delicious vegan recipes I never before would have prepared.

I get tired of worrying about the pairs of Dansko clogs I still wear because my pre-vegan self bought them in an attempt to quell my debilitating Morton’s Neuroma and these were the only shoes I could effectively walk in… should I learn to walk with pain in each step as a sort of corporal mortification?

I get tired of worrying about using sugar because it is refined with bone char; drinking wine, which I only recently learned more often than not uses animal products in the filtering process (isinglass/fish bladder; gelatin; egg whites); keeping meat in the house for my husband’s and boys’ consumption.

But – the gift of sleeping each night knowing that to the best of my ability I have not harmed any living creature – that is the higher calling I strive to fulfill each day.

So I rise again, renewed at the many surprising and uplifting rewards discovered along the way:

Journey continued.

Photo Credit: David Gallagher

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  1. Linden April 3, 2014 at 11:16 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the comments and support!

    Although in some circles, the concept of following a conscious (and perhaps therefore restrictive) manifest can be offensive, in this life that we have chosen, it is also liberating — not just for us, but for many.

    “This road that we travel, may it be the straight and narrow…” (This Road/Jars of Clay) — this is what I continue to find compelling about the choice to uphold life in all its forms.

  2. Connie March 24, 2014 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the post. Being vegan does invoke feelings of isolation from time to time. It can be a challenging path alone, but together I believe we are making a difference.

  3. pat March 23, 2014 at 7:36 am - Reply

    Yes to all of the above. I also get tired of all of the comments about how “restrictive” the way I eat is. I envy those who live in cities with vegan or even vegan friendly restaurants. I’m pretty creative both with cooking and creating meals at restaurants but it’s not always easy and I would LOVE to have more than a couple of choices at restaurants. Even in my vegetarian, pre vegan days I wouldn’t eat the pasta and cream sauce veg option because it just was never well prepared or particularly healthy so I ate before or after most work events. Not fun. Thanks for the post nice to be reminded there are others out there who feel the same.

  4. Camilla March 22, 2014 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    Linden,
    Thanks for this inspiring post and I look forward to trying Gracias Madre!