Thursday, December 18, 2014

I'm Vegan... Now What?: Clothing and Apparel

I'm Vegan... Now What?: Clothing and Apparel
Creative Commons Legal Code - Chris Craymer

So you've went vegan? Congrats! You've eliminated all animal products from your diet, but what about the rest of your life? As we know, veganism is more than what you eat, it's an entire lifestyle change. So what do you do with all of the animal products that still linger in your life. In this series, I will address several areas that you might turn your attention to after going vegan. This post addresses your non-vegan clothing and apparel which such as leather, silk, wool, down, fur, etc. I will cover why each of these items are not vegan in future posts. 

Being vegan is not black and white. No one is perfect and being perfect is not something you should strive for when becoming vegan. To me, being vegan is about doing your best to reduce the suffering on this earth. Below are several options for what to do with your non-vegan clothing and apparel.

OPTION 1: Kick all of your animal based apparel to the curb.

Well, you don't have to literally put it on the curb and I wouldn't suggest it. If there is any use left in an item you don't want, vegan or not, please consider donating it. Some people cannot bear to wear their animal based items after they go vegan. The thought of wearing pieces of animals is just not something they are comfortable with anymore. If you feel it's necessary to do a clean sweep of your closet, please do.

You can sell your non-vegan items and replace them with vegan friendly versions or donate the money to your favorite animal friendly charity. You can donate the items themselves to charity or give them away to family and friends.

OPTION 2: Use your animal based apparel to the end of it's life. 

Not everyone has the means or opportunity to replace a large portion of their wardrobe to make it animal free. You can keep your non-vegan items and use them until the end of their life, replacing them with vegan options when a new one is needed. This doesn't make you a "bad" vegan.

Both of the above options have the same effect in the end. Striving to remove cruelty from your life at a pace that is realistic for you. The damage is done. The animal suffering cannot be reversed and the money you paid for the item cannot be regained, so do whatever you feel the most comfortable with. Don't feel guilty if you feel you need to do a clean sweep of your closet or if you choose to wear out your items. Whatever you choose, you can feel good that you are expanding your compassion beyond your plate.

For a great resource on making and keeping your closet cruelty free, visit Compassionate Closet.

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