Some movements catch the wind in their sail and set course at the speed of light; minimalism is one such rapidly accelerating vessel upon the ocean. With its sudden burst onto the YouTube scene and blogosphere, the minimalist cause has certainly caught the attention of many a voyageur seeking to unburden their chaotic life and follow their bliss (albeit with a lot less stuff!). While dipping your toes into the wonderful world of minimalism online, it's difficult to ignore the vast number of minimalist bloggers and vloggers alike, who are also, fully-fledged vegans. So, what is it about the minimalist movement that we vegans find so attractive and vice versa?
What is Minimalism?
Let's first take a look at what being minimalist entails. In the spirit of things, I'll keep this brief. In short, minimalism comes down to simplifying your life, both inside and out; ridding yourself of the clutter and consumer driven products that fill or drawers, spill from our wardrobes and drain our finances. The movement is certainly not about limiting your life, but rather freeing yourself from the societal pressure which drives us to purchase goods that we don’t need and in fact, don't really want at all. Some extreme minimalists can fit their worldly processions into one suitcase. For others, minimalism means selling the second car or finally waving farewell to that collection of antique china dolls gathering dust in the attic. On a more psychological level, minimalism can even mean parting ways with that one toxic friend who has been a constant source of sorrow in your life.
What Attracts Vegans to the Minimalist Movement?
Veganism; the vibrant, colourful and abundant way of living, naturally lends itself to a clutter free style of existence. Having our eyes opened to the lies fed to us by ad campaigns promoting 'healthy eating' and 'humane' animal farming, it comes as no surprise that many vegans organically start to question the overall appeal of life in the fast lane. Targeted ad campaigns encouraging us to buy a 'better' car, own a second home or purchase some new high-tech kitchen appliance, suddenly become disingenuous and ultimately unappealing. If they can lie to us about something as important as our health, why should we believe we need a second mortgage to be happy? Once you begin to carefully watch what you put in your body, you instinctively begin to be selective about the people and things you let become part of your life as a whole.
The Future of Minimalism Amongst Vegans
As veganism grows, so too will the minimalistic movement. Through eating a plant based diet, as is natural for us good old homo sapiens, we begin to connect with our basal, primitive instincts. This in turn leads to more time spent in nature and focusing on the greater ethical and environmental concerns facing the world today. While of course this is not true for all vegans, many seasoned vegans as well as those transitioning to the lifestyle, have noticed a decline in money spent on tangible things. Many vegans today, this one included, prefer to spend their hard-earned dosh on experiences; creating memories that will last a lifetime. In essence, minimalism is all about living within your means and speaking from experience, this is where life really begins. What are your thoughts on the link between minimalism and veganism? Have you noticed any shift in your attitude to consumerism since becoming vegan? I would love to hear your thoughts!
Image Source: Flickr's Creative Commons