When you begin to live a vegan lifestyle, you start to over think a lot of things, like: how will my family and friends react? What will I answer when people ask me why I’m vegan? Can I still go to a normal restaurant with friends and actually find something to eat, or will I be forced to undergo a water-diet? Where will I find vegan cosmetic products? What will I do with my old, but beloved non-vegan clothes?
I believe many people who pursue a vegan lifestyle are able to give away their non-vegan clothes without batting an eyelid. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. I am not proud of it. Over the years my wardrobe slowly started to fill with many clothes made from leather. I also still own cashmere and wool pullover. I feel like they are the only things keeping me really warm in winter. Do I have to get rid of them as a vegan? My gut tells me yes, I should. Can’t I just wear them until they fall apart?
I believe there is a thin line that separates wrong from right.
Eating vegan food turns your whole life situation around. Like I said in the beginning of this article: you start to over think. Every single thing. Yes, it can lead to stress, but we need to handle this situation calm and relaxed with a focused mind.
Every body needs to decide for themselves if they only want to eat vegan food, but want to wear animal products, or if they want to live a vegan life as good as they can. I wrote: as good as they can, because it is so hard to live 100% fully vegan. There are so many ingredients made from animals in our everyday life, that there is almost no possible way to avoid them completely.
My goal is to create as less harm as possible. I decided to wear my old non-vegan clothes until they fall apart. They already do. I will not buy leather products in the future, so I will probably buy a few clothes made from sustainable garments like alpaca. It will definitely cost me more, but I will buy less and wear it longer.
Oh! Please help me to get rid of my never-worn and beautiful non-vegan clothes. If you don’t like them, maybe your friends do! So tell them about it. Just click here to take a look at my wardrobe.
Photograph: © Julia Stegner by Greg Kadel for Vogue-Germany February 2012
I grew up loving dairy products, but I wasn’t loving meat, or eggs. I was a child that loved drinking cocoa in the morning before school. Truth is: as a child, you don’t think about where the milk you drink, or the meat and eggs you eat are coming from. And normally your parents don’t mind telling you how cruel and violent most of the industry deals with animals. Probably they don’t want to think about it or even say it out loud themselves.
It is interesting to know that if you explain to children where the meat they are about to eat it coming from, they will most likely refuse to eat it. I think the reluctance to harm animals is our natural feeling as a human, but after being conditioned for years of our lives, it seems we learned to suppress our conscience.
Before I started to live vegan, I was a vegetarian for two years. Being a vegetarian, I thought I would create less violence in this world, because I no longer eat meat. But I was so wrong. Little did I know that the dairy and meat industry is working as one. How?
It’s a pretty simple and cruel procedure : a cow only gives milk, when she had a baby. To prevent the calf from “stealing” the milk he deserves (but the industry thinks differently about it), they separate mother and calf right after birth before they are able to get in contact. Can you imagine the screaming and crying of the mother cow when it is separated from its baby? After I saw several videos of these cruel separations, I can’t get the sound of the mother cow out of my head.
Some of you might say that the following thing I write is a big difference to the cow-situation, but how would you feel about the situation if a woman is separated from its baby right after birth without being able to touch it before it has to leave? Why do we allow the industry to be so cruel to animals, and why does the society seems to be blindfolded?
Again, the answer is simple: we allow them to do it, because we buy the products and don’t want to analyse the situation. It’s not a coincidence to see products of meat and dairy printed with happy cows, chicken, and pigs on it… But I am no longer falling for it.