So at the start of the year I made the decision to go vegan 🙂 and I have not looked back since! Prior to this I had been vegetarian for 7 years, mainly because I don’t like the taste/texture of meat, but also because I was made aware of the ecological and climate-related impacts of meat production whilst at uni. I finally made the decision to go vegan because I sat down and thought about everything I was eating and doing and I believe that every effort, however small, made to save the environment and protect animals is beneficial to our planet – and going vegan is a big positive effort.
However, I do appreciate that going ‘full vegan’ isn’t possible or desirable for some people which is why I thought I would write a post on some easy ways to reduce the impact of consuming/using animal products for if you are thinking of going vegan or if you just want to contribute to the cause!
Even having a few vegan days per week is beneficial if you can’t go cold turkey from meat and dairy! There are so many vegan meat substitutes out there now, including tofu, seitan, tempeh and vegan quorn (some quorn contains egg so make sure to check before buying) and shop-bought puff pastry is now made with butter substitutes so you can easily whip up a tart for dinner!
If you want to reduce your dairy intake there is now a huge range of vegan milk such as coconut, almond, cashew, rice milk and oat milk, on top of the classic soy milk. I like to try different ones to see which are best and also if you are being price-conscious, most supermarkets do their own brand of soy milk which is normally cheaper than the same amount of cow’s milk!
Also a lot of dark chocolate is vegan and doesn’t contain any milk so you don’t have to forgo your sweet tooth! But if you like your sweeter chocolate varieties there are lots of vegan brands which taste great, such as mini moo which you can buy in most supermarkets!
The economy works on supply and demand so if we reduce our consumption of animals and animal products, the production of them will fall in response. So any reduction in your spending on animal products does help make a difference!
A surprising amount of makeup brands are cruelty-free, to name a few: GOSH, Barry M, Makeup revolution, Sugarpill and Urban decay. Superdrug, LUSH and the Body Shop all offer own brand cruelty-free products and are pretty affordable as well. You can see a more extensive list at www.crueltyfreekitty.com which can point you in the right direction!
Also many cruelty-free brands will have the leaping bunny logo which means they don’t use animal testing on their products and you can see the list on their website www.leapingbunny.org
Leather and suede are a by-product of meat production and as such are undesirable if you want to go cruelty-free but there are so many faux-leather accessories available now on the high street that you can easily avoid them! However, if you simply must have a designer bag/purse made from leather I would say go for one which is going to last you years and years and that suits a majority of outfits and seasons as you are then contributing less demand to the industry!
I know that in the vegan community some people say it’s all or nothing but in the society we live in I do believe that every little helps, whether you are going meat-free for a few days a week or slowly transitioning to using more cruelty-free products in your life.
I hope this has been a useful post and feel free to let me know any more tips or comments you have below!