I don't want to be labeled a "vegan". Many vegans choose not to eat OR wear any animal products because they don't think animals should be killed or milked for our benefit. I am not of the same philosophical mindset. Vegans can also eat all the sugar and refined carbs they can stand which means their diets can still be quite unhealthy. That's not my focus.
I don't have an issue with eating dairy or meat or sugar. If there's pesto on a veggie sandwich that's being served at a luncheon, I'll eat it because, well, I love pesto. I don't make traditional pesto anymore and I probably wouldn't eat pasta that's laden with it. But as a spread on bread? Seems okay to me. If there's a bit of honey or sugar in a dressing, I'll use a little bit of it if I don't have any of my own dressings on hand. And I have no qualms about eating kalbi (my one meat indulgence to date). I won't go out and search for it but if it's on your plate and you offer me a piece I might take you up on it. There really isn't any rhyme or reason to how I pick and choose.
Bottom line, I don't have any objections to eating things I used to eat in abundance like ice cream, brie, prime rib, pecan pie. But those are the same foods that got me to a place I didn't like to be in, namely obese, sluggish and just plain old disappointed in myself. I don't necessarily seek those foods out for a meal and I can generally do without sweets (like the Haagen-Daz ice cream bars that were served at our meeting yesterday), but I'm not a fanatic. And I never will be. I put no restrictions on myself and DEFINITELY don't judge what you put on your plate. We all make our own choices.
I'm not sure what the best response is to people who ask if I'm a vegan. Maybe just tell them I'm plant strong and I try to stick to fruits, veggies, and beans. But then I feel like I should give some credence to the nuts, seeds, and whole grains I consume. And then recommend they read Eat to Live and watch Forks Over Knives. And tell them about all my friends and family members who are no longer taking drugs for diabetes or high cholesterol and blood pressure.
How do you respond to the question "Are you vegan"?