A while back, probably about a year ago, I went almost vegan. I say almost because I would describe myself as a cruelty vegan. This means in the normal world I’m vegan, in the vegan world I’m not. I will eat honey and eggs if they are cruelty free/free range, and I’ll buy leather shoes/boots second-hand. As it’s impossible for dairy products to be cruelty-free, they are always a no-no. When I took the step from vegetarian to cruelty-vegan, I was also gluten-free due to a still-undiagnosed problem. When people found out I’d taken this extra step, they kept saying things like “it’s going to be difficult finding food you can have” and “you’ll miss cheese.” These seemingly intelligent people didn’t seem to grasp one simple concept- I knew this already. That’s the point. It’s not taking a step if there isn’t sacrifice, otherwise it’s how you already live your ordinary life, and has no affect on anything. I’m not going to tell you to do the same, it’s up to you. If you are thinking about it, I would say one thing- you WILL fall off the wagon at the start. You may even do it again later. It’s OK. These aren’t laws you’re breaking, merely self-imposed guidelines. So, if you have a Mars Bar, it’s fine. There are a lot of vegans that are vegan every day except Xmas Day. Fair enough. Don’t beat yourself up about it. I’ve always found it weird that vegans and veggies, whilst adopting an accepting and understanding stance gastronomically (towards the animals, not the food), find it hard to carry these values into social situations. Tell a vegan you used to be a vegan, but grew out of it, or that you’re a vegan and slipped on Tuesday when you simply had to have a milkshake. They’ll explode and start telling you how you’re not a real vegan. They’re wrong, don’t worry about it. Ask them if they take medicine when ill- it’s illegal for medicine in this country to go on sale without having been tested on animals first. Obviously not all vegans are like this, and I’m generalising to get my point across, but there are a lot of them like that. Just do your best and remember that even if you had one thing non-vegan every day, it’s still a massive improvement and helps a hell of a lot, and that’s what really matters, not scoring points about who can be the veganest vegan of all. I haven’t fallen off the wagon, but have come close on occasion. I also know that at some point in the future, I’ll take the final step to full veganity. But not yet- i’m not ready to. And that’s how it should be. It’s my choice after all, and I haven’t signed anything to say I must do it. So, I don’t do animal products. Maybe you don’t either. maybe you gave up meat. Maybe you eat only meat. It doesn’t matter.It’s your choice. It’s just that I’m right!