IT'S OFFICIAL! I've received the Trademark Registration Certificate from the US Patent and Trademark Office for IMPERFECTLY VEGAN! As more and more of us move toward plant-based diets without being absolutist, we can harmonize in being 'Imperfectly Vegan.'
Why I created this term:
· A vegan diet is healthiest for both humans and the earth.
· A traditional vegan diet is too extreme for most people to want to attempt.
· Even the most committed vegans will falter, whether consciously or not.
· Vegetarianism can be vague, but keeping our focus on a plant-based diet is clear.
· Following a vegan diet most of the time is realistic and provides huge benefits to health, to animals, and to the planet.
· Using a term that includes the word “vegan” keeps the focus on a plant-based diet.
· Being Imperfectly Vegan makes sense and is fun!
I first came up with this term in response to people asking me about my lifestyle. “Are you a vegetarian?” Well, not exactly. And then I’d have to explain in which ways I was or wasn’t a vegetarian. “Are you a vegan?” That felt close, but I never felt comfortable calling myself a vegan because there are times when I do consume animal products, both consciously and not. And so, I began to respond by saying that I am imperfectly vegan. I noticed that people seemed to understand what I meant without my having to explain anything. At more than one event when I have unveiled this term, I have even heard a collective sigh in the room. Imperfectly Vegan piques people’s curiosity, with many seeming interested to locate themselves within that definition; it feels doable, and represents a clearer step toward plant-based eating than vegetarianism; it engenders a sense of peace, ease, and hope in people who are interested in following a vegetarian diet but who are unsure whether they can successfully do so; and it seems to make sense to those who already practice a vegan lifestyle but admit to consuming small amounts of animal foods from time to time.
Being Imperfectly Vegan is about making a commitment to all of life. It also allows for a dose of reality. The degree to which someone is Imperfectly Vegan depends on his or her personal level of commitment, experience, and circumstances, all of which may change at different points in time. While the health advantages of a vegetarian diet compared with those of a non-vegetarian diet are well documented and highly significant, when it comes to giving up eggs and small amounts of dairy, those differences are not as significant. Being Imperfectly Vegan thus offers all the health advantages of being vegan without undue pressure to be absolutist or extremist. Being Imperfectly Vegan is a lifestyle, not a destination.
Being Imperfectly Vegan is a lifestyle,
A sustainable lifestyle for ourselves and the planet.