So you’ve decided to become vegan. Woohoo! Congrats! What a great decision for you, the animals, and the environment. I have to honestly say that becoming vegan has been one of the very best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. The obvious first place to start when becoming vegan is learn how to carefully read labels on all of your food to identify any animal products and to “veganise” your pantry. Well I’m here to help you do the same thing to your closet!
The inhumane treatment that occurs to animals on factory farms is no different for animals that are raised for food than it is for animals that are raised for their skin, fur, feathers or hair. It is all inhumane and unnecessary.
There are certain things that clearly are made from animals and then there are some that are not so obvious. I am going to give you a run down of all of the things that you should avoid when shopping for your vegan wardrobe and go into detail on some of the items as to why they are not considered vegan.
Anything that is the skin of the animal is obviously not vegan. Leather and suede made from cow hides are the most common but there is also alligator, lizard, goat, sheep, ostrich and lamb that should be avoided.
Side note: sometime you may come across shoes that are labeled suede but actually are made from fabric, not animal hide and they are not identified as vegan. So, just like with your food, check the label.
I put shearling between skin and hair because that is exactly what it is, the skin and hair of a sheep or lamb that is shorn right before they are slaughtered. So you know those infamous UGGs that everyone loves, yep, this is why us vegans hate them.
Most people don’t understand why it is that I don’t wear wool since the animal is not killed in order to acquire the wool. What most people do not know is the horrific conditions under which these animals live and the pain and suffering that they have to endure. Sheep that are raised for wool are subject to a horrible process called mulesing and are also treated very inhumanely during the shearing process. There are several other kinds of animals that are bred for their hair and although the method by which their hair is harvested may be different, it is safe to say that it is all inhumane. When shopping you should avoid anything that has the following on the label:
- camel hair
I think that fur is a no brainer when you are talking about what to avoid. Mink, rabbit, raccoon, beaver, fox, wolf and chinchilla are all raised and killed to make clothing, trim on clothing and shoes and accessories. I am sure that there are others that I am forgetting, but basically if you see an animal listed on a label, step away.
Avoid anything that has down or feathers in it or on it. Similar to hair, just because the animal is not killed, doesn’t mean that they aren’t treated inhumanely. For example, geese that are used in the down industry have their feathers brutally ripped out of them. Yep, pretty inhumane alright.
I’ve heard people use the reasoning for killing worms for silk is that they are “only worms”. Just like dogs, cats, cows, and horses, worms are sentient beings and deserve to be treated with love and kindness. Silk worm are boiled alive in their home in order for people to harvest the silk from their cocoon and that just isn’t ok.
This list is not exhaustive, but it gives you a good idea of where to start. What is important is that just like your food, check all of the labels when you shop for your clothing, shoes and accessories. Finding vegan fashion is easy if you know what to look for and if you need a little help, stop on by http://www.fashionvictimless.com where you will find all sorts of great fashion with compassion. So go out there and shop with a heart!