My six year anniversary of being vegan is approaching and I’ve noticed how much my lifestyle and values have evolved since making this change at 14 years old.
I initially went vegan for animal rights, but six years later my why has evolved. Not only am I vegan for the animals, I am vegan for the environment and sustainability purposes. I began incorporating low waste and minimalism practices into my life in order to reduce the negative impact fast fashion, plastic, and waste have on the environment and other countries’ livelihoods. I find that veganism, minimalism, and zero waste interconnect and overlap in the life I’m striving to lead. I want to take a moment and list the ways veganism changed my life and highlight its influence with my practices of minimalism and zero waste.
- Made me aware of the ingredients in foods that I eat.
- Made me aware of the agricultural system’s role in greenhouse gases.
- Made me aware of animal welfare and rights.
- Made me more compassionate toward animals and humans.
- Made me more in tune with my body (veganism advocates for well-being).
- Shifted my perspective on owning fewer possessions.
- Changed the way I view shopping.
- Made me aware of the fast fashion industry and its practices.
- Made me value “The American Dream” a lot less.
- Made me see the rewards in upcycling and thrifting for a more sustainable economy.
- Saved me lots of money and time.
- Made me more intentional in all areas of my life.
Zero Waste has:
- Made me aware of how many things are packaged in plastic and how harmful that is to the environment.
- Opened me up to a new lifestyle that involves embracing the “inconveniences” in turn for a healthier environment.
- Made me find more natural alternatives when it comes to everyday essentials and products.
- Made me slow down and observe what companies contribute to mass waste.
- Made me support more local and small businesses who value sustainable business practices.
In the end, veganism, minimalism and zero waste advocate for a more ethical life — reducing cruelty, waste, and our negative and passive impact on the world.