Cruelty Free Lifestyle. My introduction to cruelty free diet – the vegan diet – was initially with health rather than animal rights. I had never really considered myself as an animal lover or given much thought to what, or rather who, I was eating. I discovered veganism when searching for ways to lose weight, despite already being underweight as my relationship with food was far from healthy.
Luckily veganism taught me how to love food again and maintain a healthy lifestyle. It was then that I discovered the ethical issues behind animal-derived foods. In fact, I started to feel very strongly about the issue and decided to make the change and go vegan.
Just a diet or a cruelty free lifestyle?
Nowadays, I would define myself as a cautious and conscious consumer. In the last few months, I have been trying to distance myself more from fast fashion, as well as unnecessary plastic usage.
I’m trying not to stress too much about being perfect, but just implementing small changes to become more sustainable. At the end of the day, I have to remind myself that I didn’t become vegan overnight and toyed with the idea for around a year.
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Despite often being labeled as restrictive, veganism appears to me as far more flexible than typical diets. As it is less focused on losing weight and more about living compassionately as long as animal products are being avoided. Regardless of the food being high in carbs or fats, or being the perfect definition of healthy – it is still vegan.
For me, this has resulted in a more healthy and balanced relationship with food where although I try to be generally healthy it is okay to allow myself to have treats and desserts. Additionally, veganism is more of a lifestyle than a diet. It extends beyond what we eat to encompass also what we wear and use.
Make Your Wardrobe More Sustainable
Initially, it was the documentary producers and creators of content that promote animal rights who helped me start my journey towards sustainability and sustainable fashion.
YouTube has increased the exposure of this kind of information which was previously largely hidden. And I think that is brilliant! More recently watching the content of Kristen Leo has gotten me more interested in sustainable and ethical fashion.
After my first encounter with sustainable fashion, I was not overly impressed. It seemed to conflict with my desire to be fashionable and trendy. Despite this, I later discovered how amazing sustainable fashion is when it involves dedicated designers.
Thrift shopping became more fun! I was excited to discover unique items that I would never find in fast fashion stores. Moreover, before every purchase, I’d ask myself if I’d wear a particular item many times or not.
Many people equate the notion of sustainable fashion with having to give up the beloved practice of shopping. However, this isn’t true! Instead, it helps you gain creativity and learnt more about styling.
Vegan and sustainable fashion should not be framed as a sacrifice, but an opportunity to express creativity and learn new skills.
The Cost of Cruelty Free and Vegan Lifestyle
There is a notion that a truly cruelty free lifestyle is rather expensive. In the case of food, there are some expensive cruelty free and vegan food products appearing in supermarkets and restaurants. However, if these are too expensive then there is no need to purchase them.
The cheapest and probably most healthy vegan diet is a whole-foods one. Making food bills cheaper can involve careful planning and meal prepping, but it is possible. And many people are successful in practising it.
Similarly, ethical brands tend to be more expensive because they pay a fair wage to their workers, and produce high-quality products. However, there is no need to buy excessively or only buy new clothes when second-hand ones are an option.
Also, when we think more carefully about our clothing purchases, they’re a good investment in our vegan and cruelty free lifestyle; even if a product is more expensive, it’s good quality, which means it will increase the likelihood of us using it for years to come.
The Problem With Vegan Labels
Prior to being aware of greenwashing, I was very excited to see vegan labels pop up on familiar brands and products. However, now I am more cautious than before. And I try not to approach products too negatively.
I believe that even if a brand has a very strong marketing strategy focusing on increasing their sales, it’s somewhat of a positive sign as it shows the demand towards more sustainable products is growing.
However, with a quick online search, information about various companies’ commitment to vegan and sustainable principles is quickly revealed. I think investigating these kinds of things is the hardest with fashion brands and cosmetics.
Indeed, the production lines are often more complex than that of food. However, more and more websites and apps like Good On You and Cruelty Free International are popping up. In turn, this makes it easier to identify which products are truly vegan and sustainable.
As you can see, starting a cruelty free and vegan lifestyle doesn’t have to be very complicated. There is a lot of small changes that you can implement into your daily life. These, in turn, can have a huge positive impact on various industries, and of course, our whole planet!
So, I’m gonna leave you with a few tips that can help you start your cruelty free and sustainable journey: use reusable coffee/tea, bring a foldable, reusable bag with you for groceries, limiting fast fashion purchases and try eating fewer animal products. Now go and be sustainable! 🐾
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