Time to put my money where my mouth is. My business is cruelty-free interior design, so my lifestyle needs to align with that. This sentiment is not a new idea for me- taken as a whole, my lifestyle largely reflects my values. But not completely enough. Dairy is my downfall, my gateway drug. If I cut out cheese, I will have successfully cut out most of the animal products I consume. But first cheese.
As a self-proclaimed cruelty-free advocate, I'd give myself a B, instead of a B+/A-. Not aiming for an A because, well, I'm a realistic idealist. People grow in stages. If I seek out perfect and fall short, I tend to reject "perfect," along with the pressure that always accompanies it. And there really is no pressure to love animals and detest all of the unnecessary cruelty they experience- there is just the real pressure that my choices accurately reflect my beliefs.
Having grown up consuming bacon, organ meats, and enough milk to raise a herd of orphan calves, I have roots that are about as far from vegan living as one can get. Although I've lived as a vegetarian for decades now, its been a long pilgrimage toward my ultimate vegan ideals. The closer I get to my vegan values, the farther I feel from my original home. I have to trod slowly and take advantage of a few rest stops, in order to appreciate how far I've come. To carry me along on this pilgrimage, "realistic idealism" is my mojo.
Today, I've rented a bungalow on Vegan Island, which, by breaking up with cheese, is going to be a lot easier to maintain a residence on, as well as get back to when I take short trips away from the island. Because Vegan Island is an island, it's necessary to sometimes take quick side trips to the mainland of Other Food, but the need for these short trips diminishes significantly, if one doesn't need to go to the mainland for cheese.
Anyway, the healthy bottom line is that I should be getting high from running, not melted cheddar.