You are making a positive first step towards feeling better about the products you consume in your day to day life. This is where the journey must begin. Whether you are doing this to liberate animals from being used as products we consume or as I began, with a focus on the environmental impact of less animal production, let’s get started.
What Does Being Vegan Mean?
While there are various definitions for the words Vegan and Veganism, at the core of what it means to be Vegan involves reducing toward elimination of all consumption of animal-based, animal derived products. As a Vegan, it is our goal to strive to do the least amount of harm to animals.
What Does Consumption Mean?
One of the first things I did, and I believe it is largely the same for many first starting the Vegan journey, is to reduce and eliminate meat, dairy and eggs from our daily intake. This is by in large the food portion of consumption. Consumption involves all the products we consume on a daily basis, from food to skin care and cosmetics, to personal hygiene products and even the clothes we purchase. Some say animals are used fully in the modern day, the way they have been by indigenous cultures, but no indigenous culture produces animals on the scale that factory farming does or abuses animals in the way factory farms do as well.
What About Alternative Farming Methods?
There are those who will say that some farming methods are less cruel. But the goal should be zero cruelty and I’m not aware of any animal who wishes to die simply to allow for consumables to be manufactured.
So Where Do I Begin?
Do I Throw Out All Animal-Based Products?
One thing I would HIGHLY discourage is tossing out any products. Instead be mindful and use what you have on hand and work in replacements that make sense, where they make sense. Not all products have a 1-to-1 Vegan alternative. One really big place is the medicine in your medicine cabinet. Anyone who claims you’re not Vegan because you use non-vegan medicine is not to be listened to at all.