Beyond a Vegan Diet: Embracing a Vegan Lifestyle
While diet might be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term “vegan”, it can also apply to clothing, cosmetics, and more! Animal Place promotes ethical veganism. This means a person’s choices and lifestyle seeks to avoid cruelty and suffering at all practical costs. Living compassionately just takes a little know-how.
Clothes, shoes, and bags: Ditch leather and exotic skins for ethically sourced vegan leather made from materials like recycled nylons, cork, or other plant-based materials (mushroom or pineapple leather, anyone?).The leather industry contributes to the needless suffering of sentient beings, and the tanning process involves chemicals that create hazardous waste and pose health risks to nearby communities. Say “bye” to wool, cashmere, and angora with organic cotton, hemp, or bamboo alternatives. Opt for vegan faux-fur but buyer beware! Some labels that say “faux fur” or “fake fur” may contain a blend of real and fake fur.
Beauty products: A bunny logo on packages lets consumers know the product is less cruel…but is it vegan? Not necessarily. The bunny means the final product was not tested on animals, but it does not mean the product is animal-free. Tallow (rendered animal fat) is in many cosmetics, while carmine (extracted from cochineal insects) is in some eye-shadow and lipstick. Shop from the expanding market of alternative beauty products, ranging from sunscreen to nail polish — even tattoo ink!
Household products: Laundry detergents, soaps, and carpet cleaners — add these to the list of things that might not be vegan.. Many of these products are tested on animals and/or contain animal-derived products like lanolin (from sheep’s wool) or beeswax. Household products can also include harsh chemicals that can make their way into waterways causing harm to the ecosystem. There are many alternatives made with vinegar, essential oils, and baking soda instead.
Entertainment: Circuses with animals, marine parks with whale and dolphin shows, local fairs with pony rides are just a few examples of entertainment that exploit animals. Try a circus where the only performers are human (e.g. Cirque du Soleil). Or, attend vegan events that benefit your favorite non-profits, like comedy shows, galas, and fun runs.
Check out Animal Place’s Vegan Lifestyle Guide for more information on ethical living!
Written By: Rachel Barrington