The old title has been replaced for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the new title contains my name and if you hadn’t noticed yet, I tend to be a bit vain. Some might even suggest that I’m using the title to give people the impression that I am like the Ancient Greek hero, Jason. That is a complete and total falsehood. I am saying in straight-forward, plain words that I am like the Ancient Greek hero, Jason… brave, committed, good… but much, much more about me later.
Watch Me Lose 150 Pounds …while I end world hunger, fix the global economy, and save the polar bears. This was a great title when I began documenting the 180 degree turn from meat eating Atkins dieter to vegetable chomping plant-based dieter. Health, weight loss, and longevity were the primary reasons I made such a drastic change. Stabbing chest pain is one hell of a motivator.
In the time period that followed, however, I evolved into more than an herbivore. I’ve spent eight months trying to live the life of a vegan. It has been surprisingly easy to adapt to a vegan diet, free of meat, cheese, milk, and even honey. That doesn’t mean there weren’t a few slip-ups, accidents, and honest mistakes along the way, but those were minor blips on the vegan radar compared to some of the non- diet related animal product mistakes and concessions I’ve had to make in order to adapt to the new life.
These animal based transgressions can seem like blemishes on an otherwise spotless record. I’ve heard from many people that were “trying to be vegan” but kept slipping up and making mistakes until they finally gave up and went back to their old lifestyles completely. These are the saddest stories to hear about. These people are like wandering refuges trapped somewhere between the label of omnivore and the label vegan activist, with no way to identify their lifestyle choice without adding a lot of asterisks and explanations.
For instance, “Hi, I’m Jim and I’m a vegan, except I accidentally ate an egg roll with a shrimp in it and I didn’t spit it all out, and I got a coffee from Starbucks and I think the barista used milk instead of soy, and also I use drier sheets even though they contain animal product, but they smell so good.” It’s OK Jim, It’s going to be OK.
This brings us to the second part of the new title for the blog as well as the label that I now bestow upon myself: veganaut. I’m sure the definition will be edited and cleaned up a bit before it is added to Webster’s Dictionary, but here is a first draft we can work with.
ve-gan-aut /VEE-gun-ot/ (n.) 1. a person who is exploring the rewarding vegan lifestyle without actually meeting all of the vegan tenets all of the time. 2. someone who lives like a vegan but makes occasional allowances for transgressions without giving up the vegan lifestyle afterwards. 3. any omnivore who is experimenting with plant-based eating or vegan living. 4. a person who is sick and damn tired of defending their own personal brand of veganism and prefers to have a label nobody can argue with. An example sentence: Sarah is a veganaut because even though she is almost always vegan, she wears leather shoes and eats cheese fondue once a month with her Mother-in-law and has some turkey on Thanksgiving.
Labels are important. People are apt to have exceptions and shortcomings to admit to when they talk about their vegan label. Veganauts, on the other hand, are more likely to be reveling in their accomplishments and victories when they are discussing their label. If I had to pick between being an almost successful vegan or a wildly successful veganaut, the choice would be easy. Jedi Master Obi-Won Kenobi teaches that our “focus determines our reality.” I always prefer to focus on the things that make me feel like a winner. That is the reality I choose.
*Cue the theme song to Cheers
The new mission of the ole’ blog is to encourage, support, empower, and cheer for veganauts everywhere. Don’t worry, I’ll still be sharing weight loss success stories (an upcoming post has some exciting news) and commenting on my explorations as a veganaut- how could I possibly stop talking about me? However, anyone brave enough fight the meat related brainwashing and dairy related cravings so they can explore a green, cruelty-free, healthy life needs a place where they can go for an occasional sanity check. Many, many people have shared that after reading my posts they feel much, much more sane. They must mean I am like a therapist or something, right?
Also, this is the last blog post that will have the day count included in the title. I’m still 99.7% vegan, just not counting the days anymore. I think you count days when you are in jail waiting to get out. You don’t see many people counting the days while they are on vacation. They just sit back and enjoy the experience, hoping it lasts forever.
Whether you are a vegan, a veganaut, a plant based-dieter, a Meatless Monday Mom, or a curious carnivore, I am honored and excited to have you reading along as I share the epic adventures of Jason and the Veganauts.