Being Vegan: Beyond the Food
Taking a look at popular vegan products, it becomes easy to forget that veganism extends beyond just food. According to the Vegan Society, “veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose”. Unfortunately, animal exploitation is not just present in the meat and dairy industry, but the good news is that more and more vegan and ethically minded businesses are creating non-food vegan products every day. Let’s take a look at some other ways you can support veganism beyond your dinner plate.
The most common animal product used in fashion is leather, and contrary to popular belief, this material is not a by-product of the meat industry. Leather is also devastating to local communities, which includes both the people and surrounding environment, because of the harmful toxins used in the production process. Wool is another animal product used in the fashion industry, generally for socks or coat linings. The inhumane shearing process and the fact that these animals will eventually be sold for meat is why vegans avoid wool altogether. Some new vegans choose to wear out their old products, while others use it as an excuse to update their wardrobe! There are a plethora of vegan fashion alternatives on the market, from small vegan businesses up to large-scale designers.
The beauty industry isn’t glamorous for everyone. Most make-up users today are aware of the cruelties of animal testing and opt for products that do not test on animals by choosing products with the Leaping Bunny logo or PETA’s cruelty-free bunny logo. Vegans also avoid products that use animal by-products, for example, beeswax, honey, and lanolin. Monthly beauty boxes are a great way to test and introduce new animal-free products to your routine, as well as purchasing sample sizes from vegan beauty companies. More and more vegan make-up, skin, and hair care products are becoming available in large-scale department stores as well. Beauty doesn’t have to be painful – for the animals at least!
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