I’m excited to announce a new blog in relation to a major project I am working on. The blog is called “Vegan. Practically.” I just published the first post yesterday: “Welcome to ‘Vegan. Practically’.”
The blog is going to explore what I call “imperfect veganism” from a philosophical, ethical, strategic, and practical perspective. I have been vegan for ethical reasons since 2011, vegetarian for quite some time prior to that. But, as I explain in “Welcome to ‘Vegan. Practically.” I am not 100% perfect at it. Many people both inside and outside the vegan community think of it as an all-or-nothing undertaking, that you can not be “properly vegan” if you ever falter. That has never seemed right to me, and as a philosopher I have been mulling it over for a long time.
I have blogged here a bit about veganism: “Veganuary, Anyone?”, “Veganuary: Not Just for Vegans,” “Vegan Is Not a Fad Diet,” “Can an Ethical Vegan Gain Muscle? Yes!”, “Trending Now: Plant-Based Eating,” and “On He-gans and She-gans: The gendering of a plant-based diet,” to name a few. But I have a lot more to say than is appropriate for a feminist fitness blog, even if Fit Is a Feminist Issue is a big tent.
The book-in-progress, and its new blog companion “Vegan. Practically.” will carve out a space for a principled approach to veganism as an ethical practice. I emphasize the idea of practice because I think that is a great way of understanding the ongoing, but sometimes flawed, effort, much as we do in other practices, such as yoga, meditation, religion, even physical training in athletics from hockey to running.
I started the new blog because as I’ve been writing the book over these past few months, I’ve had some challenges hitting the right note in terms of tone. I want to be inviting, offering these reflections not just to vegans, but also to anyone who might be curious, or anyone who might be more than curious but feels convinced veganism is “too hard.” I don’t want to be scary, combative, strident, or (overly) self-righteous (tough to navigate when you’re taking an ethical stance on something, but I don’t see that as a productive way for me to be). I also don’t want to evangelize or preach. I’m a philosopher, so argument, commentary, and analysis are my go-tos, with some personal narrative thrown into the mix. Hopefully it’ll be inherently interesting subject matter presented in an approachable and engaging way (a women can dream!).
As a writer I can sometimes overthink things like tone, but I know that I when I blog I feel as if my authentic voice comes through. I tried to approach some parts of the book “acting as if,” that is, pretending I was blogging. But I guess I’m not such a great pretender. Why not just do it for real?
As I was grappling with this question of tone and the possibility of blogging for real, I felt a bit of resistance because a blog is a commitment not to be undertaken lightly. Then my writing coach (Daphne Gray-Grant, The Publication Coach), whom I’ve been working with for a few months, said that a blog is an excellent platform for making a success of the book. I know from my experience with Fit Is a Feminist Issue and the book, Fit at Mid-Life: A Feminist Fitness Journey, that I co-authored with Sam, that this holds true. We did much better with the book because of the blog — indeed without the blog there would have been no book.
I plan to start modestly, with one to two posts a week on a range of topics from the various reasons in support of veganism to Veganuary pros and cons to cell-based meat to my favourite vegan recipe sites (I won’t be offering much if anything in the way of recipes). The photography will be my own (I’m intensely into photography so this is a way of showcasing some of my work).
Unlike this blog, I have no plans to expand the author-group, at least not for starters. I would love to find readers who are interested and curious. No need for readers to be vegans or ethically-guided eaters of whatever kind. I’m not focusing on health, though there are actually some compelling health reasons for following a plant-based diet and I might sometimes mention it.
Please check it out and ask your friends to do the same.