When someone says they're a vegan, we tend to assume that they’re completely following the lifestyle: from fashion to food and everything in-between. The same goes for celebrities. When they launch a vegan range, such as when Nikki Reed launched her line of vegan handbags for Freedom of Animals, we assume they're on the vegan bandwagon. It's no wonder that we then feel surprised to discover that the celebrity isn't a 24/7 vegan... if there is such a thing.
- Rise of the 'Yes, I'm vegan, but' Celebrity
Nikki Reed's line of animal-friendly bags is made of recycled plastic which is taken from landfills and the ocean, helping to lower environmental waste. The star has claimed to be following a vegan lifestyle: she hasn’t eaten dairy or meat in almost a decade. However, she does wear leather. The key for her is not to live life from an extremist perspective.
- How Vegan Should One Be?
Being completely vegan can sometimes feel extremist to those who aren’t living it. You might completely cut out all animal products from your life: in food, in fashion, and even in your social circle by not interacting with people who still eat meat, for instance. This might make you also view people who share Nikki’s balanced, forgiving approach to veganism as being hypocritical. How can someone be against eating meat but then wear leather or fur, for instance? Shouldn't being a vegan follow the 'in for a penny, in for a pound' mentality?
- 50 Shades of Vegan
Interestingly, Nikki told Cosmopolitan that her approach isn’t about “creating a world of vegans.” Rather, it’s all about giving people choices. For instance, letting people have the cruelty-free choices out there if they want to take them. Perhaps what it boils down to is that veganism is not a one-size-fits-all lifestyle. As with anything else, it has a broad spectrum. However, this also leads one to question: how can there be a spectrum when it comes to the wellbeing of animals? Shouldn’t one commit to being animal-friendly in every way possible? Or do we just do whatever makes us feel comfortable? It's a tricky debate that doesn't result in an easy answer. What do you think of this balanced approach? Is it a good thing or a copout?