I can remember when I didn’t know what it meant to be vegan and, to be honest, it wasn’t that long ago. Nowadays almost everyone knows at least one or two vegans and veganism is probably just as common, if not more so, than vegetarianism.
I didn’t used to understand why people wanted to be vegan. I used to (naively) think that if an animal wasn’t killed for their produce then they weren’t harmed at all. Obviously I now know that I was completely wrong in thinking that and I’m ashamed that I ever did.
But I guess the first step to becoming vegan or making more conscious choices is to educate yourself and learn the facts and that’s where I’m at right now. So here are a few other things I’m doing to try and make the world a better place.
I’m being more considerate of what I’m wearing
When it comes to jackets, handbags and shoes I always used to think that nothing was better than real leather. But that just isn’t true. Manmade materials have become so sophisticated that it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between real and artificial leather. Plus they all do the same job! As long as they look good and are practical then why should an animal lose their life just so that we can wear their skin? When there’s perfectly good alternatives out there I don’t know why anyone would go out of their way to purchase real leather.
I’m choosing vegetarian options more often
I’ve never been a massive meat eater but my family are so it’s just what I’ve grown up with. However I’m starting to notice just how many meals I choose that don’t contain meat. I hadn’t noticed it before because it’s not important to me that every meal contains at least one portion of meat. If I don’t really really want meat on my meal or if it doesn’t improve it in anyway for me then I’ll avoid it. Sometimes I choose to eat meat but, more often that not, I’ll choose a vegetarian option instead.
I’m separating the facts from the opinions
I personally think the vegan community as a whole has quite a bad reputation. As always, the actions of a few tarnish people’s views of the majority of the community. A lot of the information out there, especially posted on social media, isn’t wholly accurate so it’s important for me to research and separate the fact from the fiction. Topics such as animal testing laws in China and the big brands that sell their products over there are always being discussed on Twitter. Obviously opinions should be considered but they should sometimes be taken with a pinch of salt and always considered alongside the facts.
I’m thinking more about the implications of my actions
I’m spending more time thinking about where things come from and how animals are treated in order for us to have the things we want. For example, I bought a massive tub of gummy bears from Home Bargains a few weeks ago. I brought them into the office to share around and we really enjoyed them. But I couldn’t help but think about how every single gummy bear was made using the bones of animals. I didn’t think about it when I bought them but, in future, I will look for vegan or vegetarian alternatives. Animals shouldn’t be harmed for something as simple and unnecessary as gummy bears, even if they are delicious!
I’m making myself aware of how things are made and where they come from
I’ve never really given much thought to it before, but I’m thinking more about how things are made and where they come from. From jackets, handbags and shoes to gummy bears, it’s important to me to learn how my actions affect the world around me. Once I know that, I can work on limiting my impact on the environment and the animals that live within it. We all start somewhere and every positive change, no matter how small, is still a change for the better and can make a difference.
I’m listening to and learning from vegans
Who better to learn about veganism from than vegans themselves? I’m paying close attention to my vegan friends and vegans who I follow on Twitter and Instagram to learn about their way of life. Even if I wanted to, it would be impossible for me to become vegan overnight. But, by learning from others, I can make small changes which eventually turn into bigger changes which can improve the world we live in and the animals’ lives of which we live alongside.
Leave me a comment and let me know whether you are vegan, vegetarian or neither. I’d love to hear about your lifestyle choices and the reasons behind them. Also if you have any advice about moving over to a more vegan or cruelty free lifestyle then please share it with me! I’d like to learn as much as I can.