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Why It’s OK to Be Vegan ‘ish’


Yes, you could say that being vegan ‘ish’ is like being pregnant ‘ish.’ You could also say that it’s better to go 100 percent vegan so that your taste buds more rapidly acclimate to plant-based foods.

These points are valid, but life isn’t black or white.

Some people may have only just come across the concept of being vegan. They may be attracted to it, but find the idea intimidating, especially if it’s dramatically different to their current eating habits. They may feel that they can handle one or two changes, but be a bit apprehensive about going the whole nine yards.

Isn’t it better to try and make small, positive lifestyle shifts, than none at all?

To be clear, I’m talking specifically about eliminating one or a few animal products, as opposed to being vegan for a part of the day or week. The impact made (both ethically and health-wise) by eliminating an animal product altogether from a diet is arguably more quantifiable than just reducing consumption of it by what would be, in effect, a highly arbitrary, immeasurable amount.

It is very likely that after experiencing better health and wellness from getting rid of some animal foods (and replacing them with delicious alternatives!), the inspiration and will to go 100 percent plant-based will follow. Even if this doesn’t happen, we need to remember that any reduction in animal product consumption is positive, and it is smart to be encouraging and supportive to anyone who does this on any scale.

Less animal product consumption always means less cruelty to animals, less environmental destruction, and if done carefully, better health.

Maybe you are thinking of altering a few eating habits, and are wondering what to change in order to feel the most benefit, and have the most positive impact on your environment?

Here are a few ideas:

-The number one thing I recommend even if you feel you can’t do anything else is to ditch dairy.

This is hands down the best thing you can do for your body (dairy has been linked to many chronic diseases – cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity as well as conditions such as acne, asthma and allergies) and the dairy industry is just as cruel as the livestock industry, so this one change is massive.

-You could also try eliminating eggs. They are very high in cholesterol, and have also been linked to cancer. The egg industry is also super cruel, discarding all unprofitable baby male chicks by gassing them to death, or putting them through a shredder alive.

-If you feel you can give up one meat product, consider making it chicken. Poultry intake is also linked to, you guessed it – cancer, and more chickens are killed per day for meat than any other animal.

I encourage anyone toying with the idea of trying a plant-based diet but feeling a bit overwhelmed, to try giving up one or two of the above products. Make sure you replace them with lots of tasty, nutritious alternatives, and ignore any vegetarian or vegan who tries to shame you for not doing enough. You are doing plenty.

Image Source: Low Fat Vegan Silken Tofu Omelet 

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109 comments on “Why It’s OK to Be Vegan ‘ish’”

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Ashley Tukiainen
3 Months Ago

Thank you for this article. I\'m writing a piece on this exact topic and you came up in my search. I completely agree and consider myself "Vegan-ish" as well. Excellently written.

Lloyd E. Harrington
4 Years Ago

Brooke, I, for one, am soooooo proud of what you are doing. Keep it up!! You know your body is.......... Love you, Granny Mae

Stephanie Kim
4 Years Ago

Veganish better than nothing. I don't think tiny bit if animal products will kill you. However, I don't believe we have nutritional requirement for animal foods, so why bother? Just save few lives.

Chris Liota
4 Years Ago

If veganism is about reducing animal suffering and humans are animal how does a vegan know the source of the pineapple or rice etc? Does every vegan grow all their own grains? Fruits? Spices? How do "they" resolve the suffering of fellow humans that provided their fruits?

Jonli Water Services ~ Service D'Eau Jonli
4 Years Ago

love it! going to use that Veganish!!

Laurie Lyons
4 Years Ago

Plant based eating is great! But Veganism is an ethical stance and more than a diet- the message of veganism is so important- please do not dilute it. Veganism is about animal rights to not be used as property/ resources. If someone wants to reduce animal suffering then veganism is the baseline. If one wants to gradually change their diet to get there..GREAT! But please be clear when you speak of veganism. Promoting Veganism means we do not promote using animals. Promoting a plan of action for those interested in becoming vegan can be widely debated. For me. As soon as I saw animals as equals I could no longer exploit them and began to seek out alternatives for every choice- Food is the easiest! though not always convenient- but I would not eat a human so I would not an animal. That's how it works for me today. 11 years vegan many years vegetarian before that. Today we have alternatives to most every animal product!! SO GREAT! Peace and Beauty.

Clay Pot
4 Years Ago

Mara I agree. This talk of moral high ground is scary.

Mara Aslan Cummings
4 Years Ago

I think all of us must be kind to each other regardless. People who choose not to eat meat and animal products deserve respect, people who choose to eat meat an animal products deserve respect. The thing is that the truth is somewhere in between. There is so much research that suggests both pros and cons to both sides. It is important to do a wide research and it is even more important to go with what specifically works for you. A lot of grain and legumes doesn't work for me for example. I get sick. A lot of meat doesn't work for me either. So my diet consists mainly of vegetables and fruit, less meat and some grains and legumes. I grew up outside US eating all organic and I grew up eating lamb meat. My country has a Transcaucasian region whose people are very famous for their longevity. Many live up till late 90s and quite a few live to be over 100. Lamb meat is an important staple of their diet. But there are other factors that add to it too. My problems started after I moved to US and was ignorant to its food industry ways. It got better when I became more aware. Although Paleo diet didn't work for me, it helped me to learn a lot of new things and made me feel much better! And that is given that before Paleo I still was eating all organic. It wasn't a shift from garbage to organic. I will not cut out meat because it doesn't work for me and my health is very important. It saddens me to see that so many vegans have "better than you" and "holier than thou" attitude and often resort to insults towards meat eaters. Well you know, we start going down to that level when our argument is weak. The truth is somewhere in between.....

Melissa Bastian
4 Years Ago

There are a lot of folks on this thread talking about morals and ethics. So I submit this for you to ponder: if you are a strict vegan who never, ever strays, are you morally superior to someone who still eats animal products but never, ever buys anything made in a sweatshop, refused an engagement ring because it was a conflict diamond, and spends his/her free time lobbying for living wages? If veganism is to be a moral or ethical high ground, it must be a piece of a much larger effort at conscious consumerism. If I have one more vegan tell me how much better they are than meat-eaters while standing in their chuck taylors, my head just might explode...

Julia Feliz
4 Years Ago

It's the media's fault for shaming vegans and misquoting the word in the first place (where do you think all these crazy vegan stereotypes come from...) then using it erroneously to describe celebrities that eat plant-based diets for a week. It's a difficult image to fight off.

Melissa Bastian
11 Feb 2014

Unfortunately Julia, there are lots of vegans giving vegans a bad name. They tend to be young and loud, and they also tend to move on to another "cause" within a few years, because it was always about ego and never about the cause to start with... Honestly I think that NICE SUPPORTIVE vegans (such as yourself) need to get louder!

Mara Aslan Cummings
11 Feb 2014

I have never seen Media bashing vegans. There are a lot of articles and research against veganism or vegetarianism, but that is not different than articles ad research against eating animal products.

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