Assumptions vs. Ingredients / practicing excellence

I’ve been vegetarian since last October, when I began my slow foray into veganism. I’ve now been strictly vegan for just over 6 weeks, minus accidentally eating some butter-laced shortbread, and some rebellious “I’m sick and can eat whatever I want”  cookies that contained egg.

During the transitional period I would examine the menu of any given bar or restaurant I was at, trying for vegan options but not stressing about it. When the food contained something that might or might not be vegan (bread, bun, etc), I would generally assume it was vegan, because it was easier than pestering the server everywhere I went.

I also applied my vegan assumption in very unlikely cases, and several times when I was told explicitly that something was not vegan. Cookies and brownies and cupcakes, oh my.

Over time, though, as I practiced being a proper vegan, reading more and more ingredient lists and bravely asking servers to check with the chefs as to the contents of buns and sauces and whatnot, it got easier, just as resisting junk food has become easier over the past couple of years. By giving bags of Doritos a mental middle finger every time I walk by them, I no longer even see them as something edible, let alone “food.”

I’ve now flipped the assumption on its head, such that I assume something isn’t vegan until proven otherwise. This is very handy in an office that usually has a plate of cookies or donuts out on the counter. Every now and then some sugar-laden goodie on the counter is still in its packaging, though, and I get curious and read the ingredients, and if I find its actually vegan I suddenly find my mouth full of it. SUGARRRRRRRR!!!!!!!! AAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

When I come out of my sugar-coma, I remind myself of my favorite quote…

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle Will Durant
(I’ve been attributing this to Aristotle for a while, but that is incorrect. It was Mr. Durant’s summation of Aristotle’s ideas)

… and then I get back to practicing being excellent.

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