Veganism isn't just about food choices, it's also relevant to just about everything we own.
Veganism is a lifestyle choice that has gained much popularity and momentum in the last few years. It is different from vegetarian diet in the sense that not only do vegans not eat any animal products, they also do not consume any animal by-products.
Whether you become a vegan for health reasons or due to ethical values and beliefs, you may want to look into making your entire home vegan. This can be a segmented process that requires some consideration, since most people do not realise how many of the products and materials in their homes come from animals. It may be a long, and at first expensive, process, but if you are committed to the cause it will be worth it in the end.
Let’s take a look at a few changes you can start with.
Silk has been a product of luxury for centuries and oh so desirable with its smooth texture and sought-after beauty. It is sometimes easy to forget how certain products are made, though. The fine material that is silk is spun by the modest silkworm to form cocoons, which is then refined for mass production. According to the vegan ethos, this is certainly not acceptable, as the creatures are used to produce this material.
Used in homes, silk is often employed for cushions and other textile-covered items. You can make a real difference by choosing a silk-free alternative for your cushions, such as satin. Satin is a synthetic textile that has much of the same characteristics as silk, without exploiting living creatures. With some high-quality satins, you will hardly know the difference!
Why not browse the homify professionals for textiles and upholstery to find more good silk alternatives?
Probably the most pervasive ethical debate when it comes to animal-derived materials surrounds the use of fur. Animal rights activists have long been waging war against the use of fur, especially in fashion and clothes design. It is also one of the few materials which you can immediately associate with animals from sight, and certainly no-one can be surprised that it has made onto this list.
In and around the home, fur is often used for linings, and especially rugs. The easiest and closest alternative, is of course, faux fur. This is particularly relevant for rugs, since the same appearance will be held while the actual texture is not that important because of its placement. Faux fur is made up of synthetic fibres and can be made to a high standard and good appearance.
Leather is another material that is prevalent in most, if not all, households. It is used in a wide variety of products, including shoes, wallets, belts, luggage, craft materials, and decorative items. The biggest culprit of leather use in the home, however, will be furniture. Leather is so wide-spread in the manufacturing of furniture that it has nearly become inseparable from the industry.
Phasing out non-vegan products in your home can take a while, several months even, and when it comes to furniture, it might be the most costly. Getting rid of a huge leather sofa and just buying something new is not always an option. Many vegans believe that it will be disrespectful to the animals to just throw animal-derived products out, and suggest wearing out leather products instead. When the time comes for new furnishings, you can then confidently buy a vegan alternative.
There are few things that rival the indulgence of feather bedding. It is also well known that feather products for the bedroom have many benefits, such as being hypo-allergenic and more comfortable. When turning your home vegan, you will soon realise that down bedding is no option at all, due to the cruelty towards ducks and geese often involved in collecting feathers.
Due to modern technology and developments, feather-bedding alternatives can have a similar feel to the real thing, and it is no longer necessarily the ultimate luxury. Interesting fibres can be used as alternatives, including fillings such as microfibre (synthetic) or Ingeo (corn fibre).
The work of bees is renowned for its indispensability in numerous products for human consumption. It is true that we have become largely dependent on the produce of bees for many of our everyday consumables. In the home, the most prevalent use of beeswax is both candles and cosmetics.
Fortunately, there are a wide variety of beeswax-free cosmetic products available these days, and it may be as simple as checking a label. When it comes to candles, though, it may be a bit more difficult to find alternatives. Your best and most available option will be soy candles, which are just as effective as their traditional beeswax counterparts. Make sure to check the label for 100% soy, since even products that claim to be
pure soy can still contain just under half the volume of beeswax.
Woollen carpets have become favourable in many countries due to its sustainability and health benefits as opposed to synthetic alternatives. Most carpets consist of blends of acrylic, nylon, polyester and polypropylene fibres. What's more, many synthetic carpets are lined with latex, and many of these materials are suspected to contain carcinogenic toxins.
It is understandable, then, that people opt for wool, since it is sustainable and biodegradable, eliminating health concerns. This will obviously not be an option for a vegan home, since wool is manufactured from the cut hair of sheep or llamas. Fortunately, it is not the only viable alternative. If you want to turn your home vegan, there are certain plant fibres which will do the trick. Seagrass, for example, is a wonderful solution, since it is a tough fibre which is sustainable and biodegradable, plus it does not hold any dyes and so avoids any added toxins.
If you enjoyed this, take a look at another animal-friendly Ideabook: Is Your Home ’Best Friend’ Proof?