Sometimes in life we can be thrown into obstacles that we didn’t expect, we can discover things, experience things or find ourselves somewhere we never imagined we would be. For me, veganism was one of those unexpected life changes. The day I decided to become vegan it was like opening my eyes for the first time all over again, I never expected that my entire worldview would change overnight, but it did. At first I wasn’t sure what would happen or where I would end up, and in all honesty I still don’t have those answers. Some people believe that everything happens for a reason, but I am of the mindset that we control our own destiny, what tomorrow looks like is up to us.
If you come to veganism from a life of eating animal products and using animal products the change can be complicated and difficult to understand and sometimes to handle, but what you need to know is that the way you feel is okay. Finding it difficult and making mistakes does not make you any less other person or a vegan, the fact that you decided to make this change tells me that you can’t be all bad. Regardless of whether you started this journey for health reasons or otherwise, either now or one day in the future it is likely that you will experience similar ethical changes in your mindset.
So, let’s talk about making mistakes. Growing up I was always told that you will learn from mistakes, and it couldn’t be more true. It’s one of the few things I was told that I still standby today. If you pick up a product that isn’t vegan, and it was not your intention to do so, I do not see you as any less of a vegan and neither should you. There is no starting fresh, there is no going back to the beginning, rather we learn from these mistakes and we discover new things and new ways in which to become better people. This applies in all areas of life, and however big or small our mistakes may be they can provide important lessons that we can carry through the rest of our lives.
There isn’t much about life that is easy, and changing every aspect of your lifestyle most certainly is not easy. I have made mistakes, and if you’re reading this perhaps you have too. With every mistake I made I have learnt how to do whatever it is better next time, and I have also learnt that I am the only one that can make myself feel good or bad about the choices and mistakes that I have made. You are the captain of your own life, and it is by accepting this that you can take your mistakes and move on from them and become a better person tomorrow.
I could keep sprouting more of the same, but at the end of the day this is what I have to say: by becoming a vegan you already made a huge difference in this world, you have brought new compassion, much needed compassion to this world, and you are a part of a community that for the most part will support you and have your back. Mistakes happen all the time, it would be great if they didn’t. I would love to be perfect and I would love for you to be perfect too, but that is not how life works. We have to accept ourselves and each other, and work every day to be the change that we want to see in the world – you might recognise that saying by now if you have been hanging around in the wider vegan community, they are words that I hope can help you and comfort you when you feel like your mistakes or choices have let you down.
Thank you for reading today, I would love to hear any and all of your stories about mistakes that you have made that might help comfort new vegans as they start their adventure into the vegan world.