I'm an "80/20 Vegan," and I Think That's Okay



When I first went vegan two and a half years ago, invigorated by the teachings of a few enlightening documentaries and YouTube videos, my first move was to write about it on Byrdie. This shocking newfound information about the harm America's mainstream meat and dairy industry was causing animals and the environment consumed my thinking, and (gently, because nobody likes an aggressive vegan) it was all I wanted to talk about. I put myself in this mindset that meat and dairy weren't even food. They were like plastic or bleach, bad for the planet and unfit for human consumption. Surely, I thought, if everyone knew what I knew about veganism, anyone who wasn't a total immoral sociopath would do it. I just had to show them the light. Here on Byrdie, I made it my mission to debunk the most commonly believed myths about veganism: I wrote about how affordable the vegan diet can be, how my decision to go vegan had nothing to do with wanting to lose weight or be a health nut. I wrote about the overwhelming environmental benefits of renouncing meat and dairy. Going vegan was easy if you knew the consequences of not doing so, I determined, especially in a place like Los Angeles. So why wouldn't I? Like anyone new to an unconventional lifestyle, I was militant in my beliefs and behavior. If I wanted to sleep at night knowing what I knew, I could never eat meat or dairy ever again, I resolved.