There comes a point where you just have to stop being neurotic. When I eat out I get vegan food, but I don't quiz the waiter like a psychopath, so I'm sure I've inadvertently consumed animal products without realizing it.8
Wow.....do I know how you feel. I think you just said EVERYthing I have been feeling for the past few months. It is soo much work and extremely hard to stay on track when you are surrounded by people who hardly think about what they put into their mouths. For instance...if you read my honey debate post, I was glad to be informed, but that means a whole list of things I have to eliminate from my daily life...I don't use honey a whole lot...I never really cared for it, but it means another 30 products I can't buy at the store. And I know I'm not FORCED to give it up, but I don't want to lie and say I'm something I'm not. But it is just easier to say "I'm vegan" if someone asks, than going into detail about what my diet consists of--what I do and don't eat and why...I have gone as far to replace all of my "beauty" products, cleaners, paper towels, etc...to organice, natural ones. They really aren't that much more expensive, and it really does make a difference in my daily life. I feel more balanced integrating my diet and beliefs into every aspect of my life. You can get some great things (shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, etc...) that work much better than all of the processed, chemical infused crap you find at the grocery store. There is a great website....(I think anyway) Gaiam.com...It also depends on your choices for going vegan. Is it for ethical/environmental reasons, and/or for animal welfare issues? My reasons are purely, environmental and animal welfare related. Not only is our lifestlye great for the lives of animals, but it is good for the whole environment.
When I do feel frustrated, as you seem to feel I try to pick up one of my books and read. It inspires me and reinforces my reasons for doing this in the first place. Don't be so hard on yourself if you do "cheat." It is your perogative, and everyone has bad days. Sometimes that soy cheese just doesn't stand a chance next to fresh mozzarella...
But, look at everyday as a new beginning and a chance to start over. Hey, you've come a lot farther than most people, and you should feel proud for having such strong beliefs to to make an extreme change in you life. Read, read, and read....It always makes me feel better! Some great books....The Mad Cowboy, Fast Food Nation, Ishmael (not necessarily a "vegan" book, but a great book none the less), The Food Revolution...I could go on forever, but this post is long enough. Don't give up! And know that everyone feels that way, or at least I do!