When I turned vegan ~6 years ago, my conformance was slightly less than 100% initially. This was largely to keep domestic peace without compromising the core principle. For example,

  • Palak paneer, a popular dish when dining out, couldn’t be messed with. So I’d focus on the palak while they’d monopolize the paneer
  • While eating at home, I’d occasionally get a ghee smeared roti thanks to miscalculation by one of the boys
  • It was incredibly hard for my boys to process why I’d refuse even a small piece of cheese pizza or milk shake. So I obliged for a few birthdays

For most of my life, chocolate didn’t hold a special place in my heart but living with this family (especially in the past 10 years) has inexorably changed that. I finally get why chocolate is a big deal to so many people. While I restrict myself to dark chocolate and I don’t succumb easily, milk solids are involved in any non-vegan chocolate so there… I’ll probably return to 100% in due course but I’m not losing sleep over it.

As I track the amazing progress of the vegan movement (in Europe, US, and shockingly closer to home in India), I’ve started asking this question: Could the imperfect vegan be better for the world than the perfect vegetarian with a high dairy chowprint? The following tweets are illustrative:

soooo….i’m sitting next to this dude at a vegan restaurant who’s saying he’s been vegan for 12 years and i was like wow that’s impressive and then he’s like yeah the key is to not be too strict, so if you really want something non vegan just eat it…..


— gina kokonut Ⓥ (@ginakoko6) March 1, 2019

Better to have a world full of non strict vegans than a small percentage of the world fully vegan ? Why are labels so important

— kc (@kaitlincasey18) March 2, 2019

I find myself vigorously agreeing with Kaitlin – better to have a world full of non-strict vegans than a small percentage of the world fully vegan.