When you begin to live a vegan lifestyle, you start to over think a lot of things, like: how will my family and friends react? What will I answer when people ask me why I’m vegan? Can I still go to a normal restaurant with friends and actually find something to eat, or will I be forced to undergo a water-diet? Where will I find vegan cosmetic products? What will I do with my old, but beloved non-vegan clothes?
I believe many people who pursue a vegan lifestyle are able to give away their non-vegan clothes without batting an eyelid. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. I am not proud of it. Over the years my wardrobe slowly started to fill with many clothes made from leather. I also still own cashmere and wool pullover. I feel like they are the only things keeping me really warm in winter. Do I have to get rid of them as a vegan? My gut tells me yes, I should. Can’t I just wear them until they fall apart?
I believe there is a thin line that separates wrong from right.
Eating vegan food turns your whole life situation around. Like I said in the beginning of this article: you start to over think. Every single thing. Yes, it can lead to stress, but we need to handle this situation calm and relaxed with a focused mind.
Every body needs to decide for themselves if they only want to eat vegan food, but want to wear animal products, or if they want to live a vegan life as good as they can. I wrote: as good as they can, because it is so hard to live 100% fully vegan. There are so many ingredients made from animals in our everyday life, that there is almost no possible way to avoid them completely.
My goal is to create as less harm as possible. I decided to wear my old non-vegan clothes until they fall apart. They already do. I will not buy leather products in the future, so I will probably buy a few clothes made from sustainable garments like alpaca. It will definitely cost me more, but I will buy less and wear it longer.
Photograph: © Jana Malderle for Philomena Zanetti