To me, this is a no-brainer. Veganism isn't a religion I have to follow. I draw no sense of self-worth from being vegan.
Rather, eating vegan is merely one tool for helping animals. If not being vegan were to help animals more -- either for one bite or for the rest of my life -- then I definitely would do that.
In other words, I don't judge opportunities or questions based on whether they are "vegan." Rather, I make decisions based on what will best help animals -- which option will lead to the least amount of suffering. (How could I possibly justify making a choice that led to more suffering?)
This is, I believe, the only consistent, moral way to live my life.
I was reminded of this when I saw this recent blog post by my friend Tobias:
Would you eat meat for a lot of money?**
He answers it perfectly:
I wouldn’t hesitate. I’m not vegan for the sake of being vegan. My main reason to be vegan is to help animals and do my thing to make the world a better place in general, for all beings. If someone offers me a good amount of money to eat a steak (which is not the same as offering me money to kill an animal, which I wouldn’t do), I would take it. More than that: I would feel guilty if I didn’t. I would not want to put my own ideological or physical purity above the practical implications of accepting that sum.
|*Not that I'd like a non-vegan burger --|
there are amazing vegan burgers out there!
**Be sure to read the full explanation: the money would then be used to advocated for animals, convincing many new people to stop eating animals.