Many people will seek to have a more positive impact on the earth by eschewing meat and only eating vegan food. However, while it can undoubtedly make a dent in your personal carbon footprint, simply eating vegan food is not in itself a cure-all for climate woes – in fact, as the BBC highlights, vegan food can sometimes be damaging in its own right. Having a truly planet-conscious and ethical lifestyle, in the vegan mold, requires careful thought and execution.
Your home and belongings
Many people elect to eat vegan food but don’t consider if the rest of their lifestyle supports vegan goals. A good place to start considering this is in the home. The home you live in likely contains a high number of animal byproducts; that can include wax used in timber, or casein, a milk fiber, in paints. However, the good news is, the possibility of building and living in a completely vegan home could soon become a reality. Similarly, many easily obtained clothes and accessories are animal-based by design, chiefly leather and suede items. There are, however, options. Vogue notes that vegan-friendly leather is both environmentally friendly and high quality; similarly, there are options for building your home that make use of natural compounds, including mushrooms, to provide stability.
The food you eat
It’s also worth looking at whether the food you eat supports environmental goals, which are vegan goals – habitat destruction is a huge side-effect of factory farming. Vegan food, however, often uses high amounts of vegetables that have been grown in unsustainable conditions. Almond, a vegan favorite for its dense and high-quality nutritional content, has been heavily linked to droughts in California according to Phys.org. Palm oil, a popular replacement for animal fats, has seen huge habitat destruction in Borneo. Be mindful of where your products come from – shop ethically.
Changing your lifestyle
You may notice, from restricting certain foods due to their provenance, that your diet becomes more expensive to maintain. This is linked to the convenience-first culture that personifies modern consumerism – where any food is available on demand. However, as Love British Food highlights, you can tackle this through seasonal eating. Eating what is naturally available at any given time of year will help to keep your bills down, and help you to eat a varied diet, too.
A truly vegan lifestyle really does need to be considered. It’s not an easy thing to undertake, and especially not if you truly care about the wider goals of the vegan movement. In many ways, going to basics, and being careful about every purchase, will help you to succeed.