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Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Why I'm Not Vegan...Yet




I eat a meat-free diet. I do not eat dairy products, I do not eat chicken, I do not eat eggs, I do not eat 'seafood' and I check labels carefully to make sure  everything I buy is free of animal derivatives.

It’s surprising how many everyday items contain animal by-products. Did you know, for instance, that many sweets including chewing gum often contain gelatine, a protein most often made from skin, bone, tendons and ligaments from cows and pigs?

Or maybe you didn’t realise that food colourings are often made using crushed beetles. Some beers, particularly those manufactured in the UK, are filtered with isinglass, a membrane that comes from tropical fish bladders. Even the humble potato crisp can often contain whey powder, which may have traces of rennet – the inner lining of calves and other young ruminants stomachs.

Being vegan, or vegetarian may sound complicated, but once you're armed with the facts, it’s easy to avoid foodstuff containing animal derivatives.  Also, there are lots of vegan and vegetarian options available that help make the transition to a plant-based diet undemanding.

I decided to go ‘meat-free' one Sunday while preparing a traditional roast dinner. I was placing the hunk of pink meat into the oven when it occurred to me that the thing I was about to cook and eat was once a living, breathing creature. I haven’t eaten meat since.

I grew more interested in vegan and vegetarian lifestyles, and after doing some research, and discovering how animal agriculture was having a detrimental effect on the environment and how much healthier it was for me to eat an entirely plant-based diet, I took the leap.

I avoid all foods that contain animal derivatives; yet, I do not consider myself vegan.

Why?

Well, the answer is simple. I still possess and wear a pair of leather boots.

Vegans wearing leather clothing has caused a bit of controversy. Some ‘hard-core’ vegans believe that vegans should not wear any leather clothing, others think that it's okay for new vegans to wear leather while they are making the transition to an entirely vegan lifestyle.  

Personally, I am with the latter.  It's not practical, financially, for some people to throw out all their leather belongings.

Besides, I believe that throwing something away which is still of use is wasting the earth's resources. In addition, the discarded item will only add to the landfill sites that already occupy vast areas of this planet.

I will get rid of my boots when they are worn out, and I will replace them with a suitable vegan pair. Then and only then, and to avoid myself becoming part of any controversy, will I consider myself vegan.     

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4 comments:

  1. Interesting thoughts on being vegan. I don't currently use leather footwear not that I haven't in the past. Leather needs more upkeep.

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    1. Hi, Christine. Thank you for commenting. I feel uneasy wearing leather nowadays. Maybe my boots won't be with me much longer.

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  2. Is it me, or do there seem to be far more lifestyle choices to be made these days?
    Interesting to read your thoughts here.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Hi, Jan. Yes, there are more choices available today. The trick is remembering you have a choice. You don't have to do something just because everyone else is.

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