I’m not a perfect vegan. But then again, neither are you. I can say this even though I don’t know who you are, where you live, and how you practice veganism.
It’s a matter of definition.
Wikipedia says, in part:
Veganism is a philosophy and lifestyle that seeks to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. Vegans do not use or consume animal products of any kind.
The British Vegan Society defines veganism in this way:
[T]he word “veganism” denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practical — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.
Notice in both definitions the words “seeks to exclude”. This because it is impossible to assure that everything you eat, everything you wear, every part of how you live is completely free of cruelty to animals. The tires on your car – or your bike – were probably created with the assistance of animal by-products. The organic food you eat might well involve the deaths of many little insects. The materials used to build your home may include some products that involved the use of animal products in their production.
I think it’s useful to remember the definition and to point it out the next time someone accuses you of somehow being “inconsistent” in your veganism. You may be somewhat loose, as I am, allowing some non-vegan foods to creep in when you eat out. You may be as strict as you know how to be, “keeping vegan” as others keep kosher. No matter where you fall on that vegan line you aren’t perfect, because there is no such thing. And that imperfection is in the definition.