|Alberta Tar Sands Duck|
For those who become vegans due to ethical reasons, veganism is an entire lifestyle that encompasses every aspect of life. When you become vegan you must not only think about what you eat must think about what you wear, what you use to clean your apartment, how you get around (choosing to use a bicycle or public transit instead of gasoline cars fueled by Alberta Tar Sands oil), where you go to have fun, what you teach your children. It really is about changing every part of your life so that the choices you make are cruelty free, animal product free, animal ownership free.
However this is no easy feat as most of the products we use on a daily basis has been touched by an animal at some point even indirectly. Even the plastics used in the packaging are from petrochemicals, which means that in Canada they're from the Alberta Tar Sands - which is a nightmarish ecological disaster of biblical proportions. The Athabasca Tar Sands alone is so large you can see it clearly from outer space, encompassing a space 200 km wide east-to-west and 400 km long north-to-south - roughly 70,000 square km. That is roughly 4.5 times the size of Israel.
Billions of metric tonnes of oil and tar from the Alberta oil industry is killing all the animals in the region - and killing fish and wildlife downstream from the tar sands too. And giving people in the region cancer from tar getting into the drinking water.
So if you live in Canada (and to some extent the USA, who buys a lot of the oil produced in Canada) every time you use gasoline in a car and every time you buy a product containing plastic or petrochemicals, then you are indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions of animals and thousands of people in Alberta.
|Alberta Tar Sands Ecological Disaster|
Holding true to your vegan beliefs for ethical reasons means:
No buying leather.
No buying fur.
No buying anything containing an animal product. (Including certain types of dyes.)
No buying anything made of plastic or petrochemicals because animals/people were killed during the process.
These principles becomes even more complicated to stick to when you try to apply to non-food categories like fashion. You start to ask yourself "Is there such a think a vegan clothing and if so where do I find it?"
Well, if you are vegan you can rest assured that there are vegan clothing options available and below we will look at some fashion accessory options for vegans.
The belt on the right is from Roots of Compassion and is 12 Euros, and is made from polyester and steel. However polyester is a petrochemical product, so while it has "vegan" on the belt, the fact that it was made out of petrochemicals means that animals may have been killed during the process of getting the oil out of the ground.
If it was made out of cotton however then we need to consider whether the cotton was grown organically (with zero pesticides), so organic cotton is something you want to look for when looking for vegan fashion items. If you see the word polyester be suspicious.
|Child Labour is popular in Bangladesh|
Veganism does focus on treating animals well both in life and death, but that does not mean that humans should be left out of the equation. It is truly in the spirit of veganism to try to ensure that the products you purchase treat humans being with dignity and respect as well and animals. Many fashion accessories do just that if they are vegan. They can provide you with the peace of mind of buying a product that treats all species well.
There are always cotton options if you want to wear vegan clothing. Cotton is a natural plant product that if grown organically and without any animal byproducts or effort can be one of the best vegan products available to a practicing vegan. But if cotton is not your thing then why not try vegan faux leather products (faux leather = fake leather).
Yes, that's right, you can get faux leather products that look like the real thing. This includes products from belts to bags to wallets. Vegan belts can run you from $34 to $100 and are made from faux leather and cork. Bags come in a range of styles and colours including brown, black and teal. Bags can be made of vegetan bucky material, ultrasuede or nylon for $90 to $229. Wallets are also available in similar colour, materials and styles for $24 to $60.
Note: Nylon is also a petrochemical, so remember all the ducks, geese, fish and deer that got killed to make that nylon if the oil came from Alberta or other tar sands around the world.
Vegan shoes come in a variety of styles even the most popular styles that most people look for including Uggs and Doc Martins. Shoes are often made of similar materials that the belts, wallets and bags. Of course prices vary with the style and materials, but prices can be from $99 to $199. These shoe options are not only stylish but will put your conscious at ease for being animal cruelty free.
There are many options available to vegans in terms of fashion accessories. They can look like real leather and come in styles that we are already familiar with. There is not need to think that because you are vegan you cannot walk the runway. Not at all, in fact your vegan clothing can turn heads and treat people and animals with dignity.
Okay, go back to drinking your vegan smoothie now. Hopefully you are drinking it out of glass instead of petrochemical plastic.