I’ve had too many people ask me to talk about this vegan secret to keep it under wraps anymore.
We vegans must be open and honest about our “shortcomings” – own them and be shameless! We will not hide our imperfect behavior anymore! We are people too!
Ok, here it is.
Sometimes, a vegan hits the booze too hard and this is a really fun night.
Alright, it’s not just a fun night. Alcohol can break our resolve and make us all footloose and fancy free, for good and for bad.
Hey! It happens to you non-vegans too!
Anyway, sometimes these freewheeling nights are when these vegans transform, werewolf-style, into fleegans.
FLEE•GAN (flee+vegan): a vegan whose veganism sometimes flees in particular situations and they end up eating non-vegan food.
There are vegans out there who let their veganism just fly out the window once they start drinking. The willpower goes down, the cravings go up and, before you know it, there is a slice of cheese pizza folded in your hand.
In the morning, it’s back to avocado toast and tofu scrambles. These fleegans might have a pang of shame as they spy the greasy box in the recycling from the local House of Pizza but they move on. Maybe they even blend up a smoothie to repent.
Why are vegans behaving so non-vegan?
It’s similar to when a vegan is stuck at a wedding or traveling or a guest at someone’s home and just wants some damn food without any fuss. There is no vegan option, they’re sick of trying harder than others to eat in times like these and they let that veganism flee for a bit.
Drinking as a vegan is another tough spot and drunk fleegans are just a more tipsy version of a fleegan :). They’re stuck with pub food, their willpower is clouded by alcohol and they’re feeling lazy.
This can be the life of a vegan in this, once again, NON-vegan world.
Fleegans all vary in how they feel about eating this way. Some beat themselves up about it, some let others beat themselves up about it, some take it easy and allow it to happen and some work on safeguards to avoid doing it again (put in place while they’re still sober).
How Vegan Are You?
The question you might be asking is, “Wait, are these people even still vegans then?”
What percentage of a person’s diet needs to be plant-based for her to be considered a vegan? 100%? What about 99.9%? That’s awfully close to 100%. Yes? Then why not 95%? 85%?
Get a bird’s eye view of the situation for a moment. The world is going out of control for meat and animal products. It’s unsustainable and it’s hurting our health.
Wouldn’t it be great if everyone chipped in to be more vegan? I’m not going to pick a bone with a fleegan who is doing more than her fair share.
At Plenty Vegan, these fleegans are welcome with open arms as fellow vegans. This is a potential situation for a vegan to live the Plenty of Plenty Vegan.
I am always curious about vegan standards. Who determines degrees of veganism? Where is this ruling body?
Guess what. THERE ARE NO SET VEGAN STANDARDS.
Your standards are your own. You got into eating vegan for your own unique reasons and how close or far you are from a “pure” vegan is up to you.
Drinking as a Vegan? Own It.
For those of you practicing some degree of fleeganism (or interested in practicing it) and not looking to give it up anytime soon, how you feel about yourself is up to you.
Hot tip: people can’t mock fleegans if they call themselves fleegans first!
When you know yourself and embrace it, it’s pretty hard for people to give you a hard time – you simply have fewer vulnerabilities and insecurities to jab at.
When you beat people to the punch, they can’t take a swing.
When they’re giving you the side eye as you take a bite of those cheesy nachos at the bar, you can be like, “Mmm, I love cheating on veganism every now and then. Back to cashew cheese tomorrow but they don’t have that at this dive, now do they?!”
And, when you are being a very good vegan, be sure not to be so high and mighty about it. If you are, it’s guaranteed that when you morph into your fleegan self before people’s eyes, you’re going to get flak from people. They’ll be confused as to why you were giving them such a hard time about eating ice cream and they will in turn give you a hard time about being so obviously hypocritical.
Be cool about your veganism, be open about your fleeganism and people will give you the room to be yourself with all your glorious contradictions.
How To Stay Vegan
Now, some of you are like, “I didn’t get into eating vegan just to inhale a quesadilla after a couple of margaritas.”
You don’t have to fold before Bacchus’s mighty powers. If you don’t want to embrace a fleegan lifestyle, don’t!
You want to be vegan, goshdarnit, and I got you.
3 Steps To Take To Avoid Fleeganism
- Know your weaknesses.
- Be proactive.
- Remember why you eat vegan.
Know Your Weaknesses
Maybe you aren’t a drunk fleegan – you don’t drink or you’re happy to make up some boxed vegan mac & cheese when you want to eat some junk after you’ve been “over served”.
But… maybe your weakness is that you are a social fleegan. You want to fit in with new friends and coworkers. You don’t want to have the vegan conversation at certain times so you quietly and shamefully swallow a bite of that grilled cheese.
When do you find yourself straying from the plant-based path? Know those situations and then…
Arm yourself, vegan!
If you are a social fleegan, be the one to pick the restaurant so you can scope out one with vegan options. Learn how to order at non-vegan restaurants. Make the meal. Bring snacks for all.
Also, learn to deal with people giving you a hard time or being confused or feeling like they can’t relate to you. Get some tactics (get in touch if you want some specifics!).
If you are a drunk fleegan, make sure you always have vegan junk food on hand or know of places with vegan junk. You can usually stick to the fries to satisfy that junk craving!
Remember Why You Eat Vegan
Why are you giving up veganism in fits and spurts, fleegan? Is it something more than convenience? Are you acting out against your veganism?
Don’t put so much pressure on your veganism. It is not who you are and it is not you rebelling against the world.
If your veganism is on shaky ground, motivation-wise, it’s not going to stick with you during these tough times.
I love the rainbow of veganism. The concept of fleegan cracks me up and if it makes you raise your nose, vegan snob, what are the chances you are going to lead total omnivores to veganism?
Love those who are giving it a real go! (even if they “slip” every now and again)
If the idea of flexible veganism interests you, check out the Plenty Vegan Plan – start with the free stuff and see if you want some more resources by getting the whole shebang.
What is veganism like for you? Are you a total omnivore or are you so vegan you won’t even eat figs? Are you a fleegan? Share below and tag @plentyvegan on Instagram to connect!
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