No Labels · 15 January 2013

My wife is trying to free me from labels. I should be grateful. Instead, I keep trying to tell her that I am eating almost vegan while she keeps insisting that I am not.

She is right, of course. I am admittedly not a vegan. I wear leather and I eat fish. Plus, I will have eggs and dairy if they are in cookies, bread, pastries, or other treats. But it is so much easier to label myself as eating almost vegan. People can understand that even if it is not entirely true.

Then again, there is a big problem with labels. We label people in certain ways and somehow that label decides a multitude of characteristics. For instance, we think if a person is a vegan, he must be a fanatic about animal rights. If a person is a vegetarian, she must be pale and sickly. Labels are misleading, often give the wrong impression, and lead to stereotypes. We do not need labels. Or stereotypes. Labels might help to convey part of a message, but that message is always incomplete.

When I first started writing about God’s conspiracy against me and my healthy journey, I never figured I would eat almost vegan let alone bump up against stereotypes, biases, and labels. Nor did I think I would ever try to label myself. Or defend that label.

I really should stop saying to myself and the world that I am almost vegan. After all, I do not cut out all the foods or even come close to living the lifestyle. And I really should be thankful to my wife for trying to free me from labels.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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