Tips for living a vegan lifestyle

Veganism is catching fire in popular culture, thanks to a greater awareness about animal agriculture and the effects that meat consumption has on the climate. Most of the documentaries touting veganism are focused mainly on what we eat. That makes sense, considering the biggest use of animal products is in the food supply.

But there are other aspects to this lifestyle that aren’t just about what we eat. How we spend our dollars – from the clothing we wear to the wine we drink – can have a huge impact on animal welfare. Let’s take a look at some of the lifestyle choices that are often overlooked but can affect animals as much as our diet can.

What not to wear

The clothing you wear is a reflection of so many aspects of your personality: what you like, how you feel, how you want to be perceived. That gets amplified for vegans. You’re making an ethical and compassionate choice to not wear animal products.

But that doesn’t just include leather and reptile skins. It’s also the glue used in shoes, which is often made from animal collagen, and the lining of your winter jacket. Luckily, because veganism has become so popular, there are tons of vegan options that mimic their non-vegan counterparts – from faux leather to down alternatives.

Put your money where your mouth is.

Speaking of vegan alternatives, let’s recognize how great it is that they exist. As a vegan person, it’s important to have options that make the lifestyle more accessible. Not many people have the time or resources to make their own butter or seitan every day, after all.

If you find a brand, product, or restaurant you love and want to have around for the long-term, support them with your dollars. It shows non-vegan companies that they should invest more of their resources in vegan options, and it supports small vegan companies competing for a smaller slice of the pie. A lot of these companies and products will go to vegan heaven if consumers don’t make regular purchases.

Get your mind right.

Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle is no small feat. There are so many things to consider. It’s important that you don’t have the mindset that everything about your life needs to change or that failure is shameful. Very few vegans can say that every aspect of their life is 100% free of animal products. Just driving a car will count you out.

Instead, go into the process with curiosity and an openness to failing. Learn everything you can so you have a foundation to fall back on when making choices. Expect failure. The best way to do all of this is to find your own community. Joining a vegan group can provide support and give a realistic view of what a vegan lifestyle will look like.

Incorporating veganism into other areas of your lifestyle might seem intimidating, but if you go into it with curiosity and compassion (for both yourself and animals), you can’t fail. Look for products that make your efforts easier and, most of all, let go of your desire for absolute perfection. You can’t fail when you’re trying.