Once you get in to this whole vegan thing you soon realize that following the true lifestyle isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Of course it all depends on your level of commitment.
For some, veganism must be adhered to – to the letter and at all costs. From the start I took a more relaxed approach aiming to do the best I could.
You don’t automatically think about the things around you in your home and everyday life being affected by your vegan conversion. If you really want to make a commitment to a totally animal free lifestyle then, sooner rather than later, you need to take a long hard look at the things that you use.
When I first started to look around the home for animal products I realized that I would need to take a more relaxed attitude and aim to improve things over time. This was based on very practical reasons – I couldn’t afford to suddenly get rid of all the stuff that needed to go, not right away. I did however resolve to make that transition as quickly as possible.
What Animals are You Using?
They are not always that obvious but here are some ideas to get you thinking.
Let’s start with the leather and animal skin products not counting the bearskin rug and the moose head above the fireplace!
I bet most of your shoes, belts, purses and wallets are made from leather.
Those crocodile shoes have got to go – what were you thinking in that past life!
Leather products are all around us, so much so that we don’t even register that these things are made from animal skins. So much fuss is made about fur products – what’s the difference really?
The leather sofa and chairs – gone, as soon as you can afford to replace them of course.
Check your carpets – pure new wool? Things aren’t always obvious at first but you need to be honest.
Cosmetics – tested on animals? You need to look at ways to ethically source all
natural, vegan friendly cosmetics. Make sure they have been tested on innocent vegans.
Don’t forget that shampoo with honey and lemon, stealing from the poor bees.
Any feathers in those very comfy pillows – stolen from birds?
Silk bed sheets are another obscure one, again stolen from animals.
Pearls are another unusual example – not immediately one which comes to mind but when you apply the vegan rules, it makes sense. You don’t want to eat the oyster so leave the pearls where they are.
How many woolen jumpers or socks are in your wardrobe?
Leather picture frames, wool insulation in the walls, animal hair shaving brushes, toothpaste containing milk, beeswax furniture polish…. The list goes on and on. The more critically you look at the world around you the more you will find.
What’s a Vegan to Do?
As I said, even with the best will in the world I wasn’t in the position to just replace everything in one go. You can’t deny your previous non vegan existence and I think it is unreasonable to expect perfect adherence to vegan principles right from the start.
Get rid of the stuff you can do without and then start working on the rest.
Everything you buy from now on should be checked – has any animal suffered for you to have this product?
The good news is that when it comes to buying vegan friendly products you have lots of alternatives. Shopping online makes it even easier and of course you can check out all the vegan websites for some great information.
You are not on your own with all of this. No matter what commitment level you choose to take there are vegans just like you trying to do what is right and what is right for our world. Do your best!