Becoming vegan was the next logical step in my life. I had been vegetarian for a few years, but the time to take the plunge to vegan was now. PCRM had their 21 Day Kickstart, which was the impetus for me. It came in January of 2012, was an easy starting point, and it made no sense to me in waiting for my husband to get back and do this with me. It was now, or forever wish I had.
Perfect timing, for me, anyway. I was in the mood for weight loss. I threw out my dairy products, of which I had very little to begin with, and I hadn't bought eggs for awhile, so that was easy. But did you know that refined sugar is most often refined using bone char? I put that in the box. My jar of Tika Masalla had to go in there too. Then went in my Ghee, my marshmallows, my chocolate chips. I like to bake for my husband's office mates, who love my chocolate cookies. I'd have to look for substitutes for all of it.
It turns out that eliminating the food out of my cupboard's was the easy part. I gave my neighbor's boxes of food stuff's, all containing dairy, eggs, or cassein, and glycerin is something that can be derived from either an animal source or plant source. How do we find out which is which? I am not so strict that I have to eliminate food prepared in a facility that also prepares food containing dairy or eggs. BUT...
I love my watch. It is a Fossil, with a great wide, patterned band, that is leather. My husband also has a great watch, likewise with a wide band, that happens to be leather. We took our watches off, and put them into a drawer. We were determined to find bands made of canvas, or plastic, or metal, that had a unique look, that wasn't conventional, or old fashioned, or, well, ugly.
My husband must dress for the office, but wants vegan shoes. He wants to find a vegan belt, jacket, shirts...in order to live an ethical and moral life, living our beliefs, we must give up all the trappings of death that surround everyday life. Leather is everywhere. I gave away my shoes that I loved, my leather designer favorites like Franco Sarto, and my black leather pumps that took me forever to find (before I was vegan) and that I hadn't even had a chance to wear! He gave away his favorite shoes, all his belts, all the silk and leather we had. We felt that we had arrived, that becoming vegan, we now belonged to the next iteration of the human race.
We gave away our treasures, all my pearls, all my sexy shoes, everything that we could point to and say that animal had to die so I could enjoy a night out on the town, which was just too much. You can't separate cruelty from fashion if there is animal on the trim.
Being vegan is a commitment to a mindful lifestyle. I no longer want to be associated with death, to wear something that once was alive, that walked, that suffered and died, for nothing more important than some bit of fluff, that will be thrown away when it goes out of style. A life is a thing of beauty, a joy of opportunity, a rare thing in the context of all the death around us daily. It is not important to me to be fashionable at the expense of a living being.
So, that said, where does one go to find vegan goods? It seems pretty unreasonable to me, to buy shoes on the internet if you have no opportunity to try them on. You have to send them back if they do not fit, or turned out to be the wrong color, design, what ever the case, it is inconvenient. It seems to me, that with a movement that is becoming the logical choice to feed the world, there should be a brick and mortar vegan store. Shoe stores should start carrying vegan lines. Sephora carries make-up that are cruelty free, but Revlon, which used to be my staple for just-in-time needs, has begun to test on animals their products. Out they go, too.
Shampoo, boxed goods, egg replacer, watch bands and belts. I know there are some nice ones out there, but why, oh why, can't their labels reflect and display that they are vegan? Why do I have to bring my magnifying glass to the store, just to buy something? And why do we have to announce our diet in order to find goods in a store that may carry SOME vegan goods, but does not display them prominently for easy location? It is a lot of work.
Being vegan will get easier, I'm convinced of it. In the meantime, we search for everything, we read everything, and we are careful not to hurt anything. It takes work, and diligence, but at the end of the day, we didn't have to kill anything to get our stuff. After all, we are the van guard of the next big thing. Where are my glasses...?