With all of the hype about going Vegan or becoming a Vegan you may wonder, what does it all really mean? Some people think it means just not eating meat or dairy products, but being a Vegan is a lifestyle choice that goes much deeper than that. For example, did you know that strict Vegan’s don’t eat honey? Also, did you know dedicated Vegan’s also don’t wear or buy any animal products?
So, no leather shoes, handbags, belts, coats, wallets or silk? That doesn’t mean you have to ditch your clothes, shoes, etc. right away. Being a Vegan means making responsible lifestyle choices, so moving forward, you will rethink these clothing options.
If you want to go all the way with your choice now, at least donate these items to someone who can use them. After all, the deed has already been done and you don’t need to contribute to the garbage dump (and contribute to other environmental concerns) if someone can make use of it.
What vegans avoid:
· Eat meat, poultry, fish, dairy products or honey
· Eat food that has been cross-contaminated with meat, poultry, fish or dairy products
· Do not wear or use animal products-leather, bone, feathers, reptile skins or silk
· Do not use products that contain collagen, lactose, stearates or gelatin
Vegans also lean in the direction of their pets being Vegan (since they are part of their household) so they avoid animal-based products in their diets and products.
For all of the history buffs- the term “Vegan” was coined by David Watson in 1944. Vegetarian was coined much earlier in 1839. The first Vegan society was co-founded by David Watson in the United Kingdom in 1944 as well.
In 1951 the Vegan society evolved its philosophy further into not exploiting animals. You will see some of the terms such as “strict Vegan” meaning banning all animal, dairy and honey products, “ethical Vegan” which goes farther into eliminating the exploitation of animals for ethical reasons, and “environmental Veganism” which has a belief that the use of animals is not only unethical but an unsustainable method for farming and providing food.
“Environmental Veganism” is perhaps the most interesting and logical branch of Veganism from a purely scientific and mathematical viewpoint. Look at how many farms have started using enormous amounts of antibiotics and other chemicals they never used even 20 years ago.
Farmers are doing this because of the uptake in our society’s belief system that we have to be able to drive through a fast-food line and get a cheeseburger, or chicken sandwich or nuggets at all hours of the day. A couple of generations ago this was simply not true-it was more of a treat to go to a drive-through. In the past few decades, people are cooking less at home and getting convenient food.
The reasons for this are a whole other topic of the changes in our society, but because of this paradigm shift we have gone through, the meat and dairy products have been forced to keep up with the demand.
Let’s not forget our world population has been constantly increasing as well in addition to other countries wanting the same fast and easy food options. When you take a step back and really analyze the growth and change in society, it’s clear we cannot sustain this type of meat and dairy intake for the whole planet.
You will also notice all of the organic food and farm-to-table emerging restaurants, products and grocery stores that have sprung up over the past decade-especially here in the US. Some of the big pharma companies, i.e. Monsanto, have been in the spotlight, again, for artificially modifying our food to meet the consumption demand.
The farmland is getting used up and not having a chance to replenish the minerals. Some good basic farming practices, such as proper crop rotation, need to come back into play so the farmlands stay good for use for generations to come.
There is an Exciting Future for Veganism
There are also a lot of exciting and emerging opportunities for hydroponics for growing food. Indoor hydroponics is a great way to control the environment of the food and keep everything clean and managed without having to employ harsh chemicals to treat insects and other outside predators that can damage a crop.
Indoor hydroponics is a great way to have crops growing year-round with temperature control. With many of these retail stores closing up, I see a lot of opportunities to convert some of these vast empty buildings into food growing facilities. Without healthy food that is packed with the proper nutrients, life is unsustainable. This is an issue that everyone should have a vested interest in.
Being a Vegan isn’t for everyone and we certainly don’t want to promote it if you have certain health issues or concerns. If you are interested in moving in the Vegan direction and you have certain health issues that you feel are concerning, by all means, talk to your doctor and/or nutritionist to get the answers you need.
Maybe you want to start by just cutting back on meat and dairy products and see how that goes first? One popular way people are doing this is by doing #meatless Mondays. Once you start there, you can try adding another day of going Vegan. Before you know it, you will be able to only have maybe one day a week that you have meat, poultry or fish.
There really are some fabulous recipes out there-and yes, deserts too, that will not disappoint. You will be surprised how you start to feel and how well your clothes will fit. There is Vegan junk food too-so don’t be fooled. Always look at the ingredients of what you are buying-remember “less is more” with ingredients. If you can’t pronounce the ingredient it is probably not good for you or it is fake food.
Also as a Vegan, you should not judge others who are not making the same lifestyle choice you have made. We have enough polarization in our society today, and as we all know, the more we push against something, the more we get it. It is a basic law of attraction and law of the universe. However, if you promote a positive message, aura and attitude with others that is the way to better attract their interest. Hence wearing one of our whimsical t-shirt designs or carrying one of our fun water bottles from our “Vegan Lover” collection.
Also, some people may not be able to go Vegan all the way, but they are making an effort to cut back. Isn’t that some progress? We call that Vegan-forward thinking and feel that is o.k. too. At least they are making an effort for the good of the animals and for their own health.
So if you are on the fence, why not start today? Check out our website for more fun designs that you feel good wearing and that promotes a positive message.