So, I have been vegan for two and a half years. It was a bit of a long journey, and I did fall off the no-dairy-no-eggs wagon, but I got back on an am going strong.
What is vegan, you ask? Basically, it’s a boycott of all animal products. Vegans do not eat meat (including poultry), seafood or shellfish, dairy, or eggs. If someone is a vegan for ethical reasons, they also probably don’t eat honey or things with beeswax in them (yes, foods have beeswax in them). They also wouldn’t wear leather, wool, silk, or purchase products that are tested on animals or contain animal ingredients. Animal ingredients vary from things that are derived from animal fat, blood, or urine, all the way up to beeswax, honey, and lanolin (which is derived from the oil that wool secretes). But what can vegans do? They can eat vegetables, fruits, legumes, most breads, most pastas, grains, oils, nuts, and so much more. Oreos are vegan. And bitches, I love me some fucking Oreos. A lot of Kosher food is vegan because one of the Kosher rules dictates that you can’t have dairy products while eating meat. There are a lot of fabulous ethnic cuisines that are traditionally vegan or can be easily modified to be vegan. Eating at restaurants is surprisingly easy – chefs and personnel are always happy to change dishes around if you tell them your restrictions and give them ideas. There are a lot of products on the market that mimic meats, dairy, and eggs. These not only appeal to vegans, but people with food allergies and who are trying to cut unhealthy foods from their diets but still want all the great taste. The bottom line is, though, that if you’re willing to try new things on their own merits, it’s a pretty easy transition.
So, I *am* in the process of cutting insect byproducts out of my diet and beauty products. It’s pretty much a done deal, at this point. The vast majority of the beauty products I use are vegan, and I’m working on replacing the ones that aren’t with ones that are. I did try to go through my wardrobe and personal belongings to rid them of wool, silk, and vintage leather. I have two wool blankets – one is a trapper stripe blanket from Pendleton woolen mills and one is the blanket the army issued to my grandfather in WWII. I have a wool cloak and some suits, all of which belonged to my grandmother. These items, for sentimental reasons, I’ll never get rid of. I donated all of my other wool and vintage leather jackets to charity and replaced them with a vegan pea coat and a vegan suede/shearling coat. I have a pair of vintage leather cowboy boots, a vintage leather Indiana Jones style hat, and a wool cowboy hat. The cowboy hat I will definitely keep; the cowboy boots and Indiana Jones hat I’m not sure about. And that’s it. It felt really, really good to purge all that stuff. I love that every day I am getting more and more vegan.
Oh, and I was wrong about the whole PETA thing. PETA is full of great resources and while they use a lot of sexually charged campaigns, they aren’t the crazy blood throwers, nor do they sanction that. There are other groups that do that are usually confused with PETA. Still don’t support those groups. PETA is still pretty cool.
So, ya. Sorry to be so preachy… but that’s the shiznit.