If you read my “About“ or my first blog post, you already know that I am the only vegan in my family. As with so many things in life, I am sure that there are people who are judgemental about this, and claim that I’m not a “real” vegan if I let my husband and children consume animal products and even prepare them for them.
Don’t get me wrong here. I used to be pretty radical when it came to my beliefs and opinions in the past. For example, I used to breastfeed my youngest son until he was already walking in and out of Kindergarten (please don’t faint American friends, the German Kindergarten starts at age 2 and not, like in the US, at age 5 :)) and I held this negative opinion about bottle feeding, and Moms that did anything but exclusively breastfeed for at least the first year. I was so convinced that “breast is best” that anything else to me wasn’t right or “the real deal”.
But over the past couple of years, I learned (maybe I matured, finally) that it is ok. It is ok to not do things 100%. That there is not just black or white, but instead that there is also grey, and many shades of that (not referring to a certain bestseller for grown up folks, promise!).That you can still practice Attachment Parenting while having your children vaccinated. Or be interested in Buddhism while enjoying a shopping spree on the weekend.
“To be honest, I don’t care much anymore if I’m a real vegan, a real buddhist, or a real nurse. What I do care about is real happiness, real peace of mind, and real love. And those things, luckily, can’t be measured by some criteria met or not.”
My son Noah is autistic. He is what they call an “atypical autist”. You bet I had people say “Well, he’s not a real autist then!”. While I can smile about it now, it used to bug me quite a bit when he was younger. Why did it matter? What difference did it make for him? Why do people always have to put a clear label on everything, and why, if not all “criteria” are met, it’s not “real” all of a sudden? To be honest, I don’t care much anymore if I’m a real vegan, a real buddhist, or a real nurse (I’m not a “real” one in the US, my nursing degree is a German one, haha). What I do care about is real happiness, real peace of mind, and real love. And those things, luckily, can’t be measured by some criteria met or not.