Veganism Is More Than Eating Vegan Food
Implementing a vegan diet is an amazing way for us to make an impact every day, every time we eat! Once you have mastered the steps of eating a vegan diet try diving into the other ways you can live a vegan lifestyle.
The Use of Animal Products
There are animal products in so much of what people use daily and it’s important to know what they are so you can make conscious choices to use otherwise. Here is a list of items that are often made with or contain animal products that you may not be aware of:
- Clothing and accessories
- Supplements and vitamins
- …and more
There are currently vegan options for every single one of these items. It just takes a little extra research before making a purchase that will contribute to so much good instead of the unnecessary suffering of animals. Because of this, living a vegan lifestyle can sometimes be challenging but the more demand we create for vegan products, then the more options we will get!
Steps to Living a Vegan Lifestyle
In addition to not supporting the supply and demand for animal products through food, here are ways to help you live a vegan lifestyle!
1. Buy vegan furniture
This one could be expensive if you try to make a vegan transformation all at once. Don’t be hard on yourself and think you need to get rid of everything in your home. Just know that moving forward, as you need a new piece of furniture, make purchases mindfully. Buy from either vegan brands or from companies that allow you to customize to a vegan option.
At our house, we started with our mattress and we chose a company that allowed us to customize it with vegan and organic materials.
2. Email companies
When you want to buy a product but it isn’t vegan so you pass on it, let that company know. My husband has gotten really good at doing this and I’m working hard to get better at it. Anytime he comes across a product he is interested in but is made with animal products, he will email the company. He always does so in the nicest way and explains why he believes that it isn’t necessary for the product to contain animal products and that it would be so cool to have the vegan version. Give it a try. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
3. Buy a vegan car
You might be asking, why is a car not vegan? There may be a few different animal products used in your car but most commonly comes down to the leather interior. One of the main things to focus on is not getting a car with leather products. Not only the seats, but the dashboard, middle console, steering wheel, etc… Two to three cows are killed, skinned and used in just one vehicle. Sad, right?
This one isn’t easy to navigate so you will need to do a little research and not be afraid to ask questions before you buy. If you need help you can see my post about our journey to buying a vegan car.
Check out this article by PETA on car companies offering vegan interiors.
4. Don’t eat honey and save the bees
Honey isn’t vegan? But why?
Being vegan means going above and beyond to protect animals and all living creatures from being used, abused, exploited, or killed. There are many cruel practices involved in beekeeping such as clipping the wings and legs of the queen bee so she isn’t able to fly to create new honeycombs.
Also, many beekeepers take honey from the bees and replace the honey with a manmade sugar syrup that eventually depletes the bees of nutrients that they rely on from their hard earned honey. The list goes on with the issues involving humans’ effect on bees and why we should try to avoid honey. If you want to read more on this topic take a read of this article on veganism and honey by the Vegan Society.
5. Choose cruelty-free
Seeing cruelty-free labels on products means that the company did not test their products on animals. This applies to everything from shampoo, to makeup, to even botox!
So many innocent bunnies, mice, dogs, cats, monkeys and more are tested on, burned, disfigured, injured, or even killed for testing products made for humans. These companies are using and abusing these beings with no regard for their life and the pain that they feel.
To make sure your products are vegan and cruelty-free, check the labels. Look for a bunny symbol representing cruelty-free and a “V” symbol for vegan, meaning no animal products were used. If you are still unsure of a product being cruelty-free check out the websites I will list for you below.
Resources for cruelty-free and vegan brands
6. Look for vegan clothing, shoes, and accessories
Leather, glue, suede, fur, feathers, and more can be found in our clothes and accessories. Always check the tags on the items you are interested in before purchasing! Many animals are killed every day to make clothing and accessories. The way I see it is that if there are other options, why would we choose to kill for it?
Read this handy guide on vegan clothing brands.
7. Choose vegan vitamins and supplements
Unfortunately, something like vitamins and supplements that are supposed to protect and improve our health is among the sneakiest at hiding information on the nutrition labels.
Example: Trending collagen supplements. Most people don’t know that these are made from skin and bones of cows and pigs, fish scales, and more. Be sure to look at the ingredient label to check for animal products.
Also, know that if gelatin was used in the product (although it doesn’t explain what’s in the gelatin), then know that it is made using a flavorless food derived from animal body parts. If you are unsure, dig a little deeper. This is another case where using animals is not necessary and there are plenty of other options.
Keep a look out for supplement brands that openly advertise their vegan products, or buy from fully vegan supplement brands.
8. Educate others
Talk to your friends and neighbors about alternative options to the items they buy that are filled with animal products. Try to do so without judgment. We all started from somewhere and were raised with certain beliefs, meaning it is sometimes hard to wrap our brains around alternative options.
Are You Ready to Start Your Vegan Lifestyle?
I know some of these things are time consuming and we are all busy. But if you are serious about making a difference for the lives of animals and for the future of our planet consider taking the extra time. You’ll feel so proud that you did!
As you can see here, there are many ways to support animals and save our planet so with teamwork and consistent effort, we will make a huge impact on our future and generations ahead.
Looking to change your diet? Read my guide on transitioning to a vegan diet.