While adopting a vegan lifestyle is one-way individuals can contribute to reducing their environmental impact, it’s not the only path to sustainability. Making environmentally conscious choices in various aspects of life, including diet, transportation, consumption, and energy usage, can collectively contribute to a more sustainable world.
Plant-based vegan diet
In 2016, I had a major gallbladder attack. I ate my version of a plant-based vegan diet for 3 months before giving it up. I gave it up due to feeling like I was severely lacking nutrients from not consuming animal proteins. Looking back, I didn’t know what I was doing and I wasn’t with it enough to realize I should do the research. So I was left with a bad view of a plant-based diet.
In 2019 my husband and I were feeling very sluggish and generally bad. We decided to try out a plant-based diet, but this time we did a lot of research and we’re glad we did. Health was our main reason for making the change, and the fact that it’s also healthier for the planet was a bonus. We’re not vegan and we’re not 100% plant-based, we still consume animal proteins but we call ourselves primarily plant-based.
We still eat fish at least once a week and we eat the meat of the animals that we hunt. We still eat our quail eggs for breakfast and use and make bone broth, ghee, cheese, and homemade ice cream from cream (non-plant-based) but for the most part, though we are plant-based, we just came up with a version that works for us.
What some vegans and others don’t realize is that you don’t have to be vegan to save the world, you just need to be more conscious of where your meat and other items come from and reduce consumption where possible.
Changing how we purchase meat
Because we still eat meat, we buy responsibly, hunt, and fish. As humans, we are so disconnected from where our meat comes from. Hunting has given us even more respect for life than we had before. If you eat meat, you’re still taking part in killing an animal, although it’s easier on the mind to just buy the meat at the market, instead of hunting.
Also Read: Why we hunt
Now not everyone can stomach hunting, so I’m not saying if you eat meat you have to hunt, but I feel it’s important to know where your meat comes from and become acquainted with the process of how that animal was processed.
Am I a bad person for eating meat? No, humans much like other animals are omnivores. It’s not a balanced or healthy view to say that we can’t eat meat. To be healthy we need to eat a variety of things.
The problem lies with large meat processing facilities and mega-farms. They are terrible for the environment. If we stop supporting these, we’ll be helping to save the planet. If you’re like me and you eat meat, buy from farmers’ markets or shops that support farms or companies that raise their cattle and other animals sustainably.
We can make our voices heard by where we spend our money. This is the same with veggies, grains, and fruits. Stop supporting companies that use Roundup, GMOs, and other harmful processes to grow. Buy organic, support farmers’ markets, and grow your own.
Vegans don’t use or purchase animal products of any kind. Although I do use animal products, a lot of the products I use aren’t obtained by hurting the animal.
I don’t purchase synthetic materials of any kind if I can help it. Polyester clothing and microfiber towels are not welcome in my home, because they are bad for the environment. I will always opt for natural products like wool and cotton. Shearing a sheep, goat, or alpaca, doesn’t hurt the animal. In fact, it’s a kindness to the animal in most cases, as the wool becomes so long and thick that it can suffocate the animal if it’s not trimmed.
I wear leather shoes, have leather purses, and work with leather to make sheaths and other products. Leather can’t be obtained without killing an animal, but there are ways to get leather from sources that use every part of the animal in one form or another. Although this seems cruel, since it’s natural it’s better for the environment than synthetic leather.
Synthetic leather is made with PVC, polyester, and other plastics. The production of these products is reliant on fossil fuels. The process creates carcinogenic byproducts that are toxic to humans and animals. So although it might sound better than real leather, it’s causing more harm to the planet and animals. Some synthetic leather products may not be as durable as traditional leather, leading to a shorter lifespan and potentially more frequent replacements. This can contribute to increased waste.
We are all doing our best
There is balance in everything. Not all practices of veganism are eco-friendly just as not all practices by non-vegans are eco-friendly. We all have to work hard to make sure we are doing what we can to save the environment.
I have been bashed for not being a Vegan and have had many try to shame me for hunting and fishing, but it’s who I am. I am a hunter, a conservationist, a naturalist, and a human who is trying to live every day with nature, wildlife, and the planet in mind.
If you’re a vegan, I applaud you. Don’t let anyone shame you for not eating meat or using animal products.
If you’re like me and a vegan lifestyle doesn’t work for you, keep on living with the earth in mind, and if you can, reduce your consumption of meat. Don’t let anyone shame you for eating meat or using animal products. You don’t need to be vegan to save the earth.
It’s essential to recognize that individual actions, when multiplied across a global population, can have a significant impact. Whether someone chooses to adopt a vegan lifestyle or makes other sustainable choices, our collective effort toward reducing environmental harm is critical. Sustainability is a multifaceted concept that encompasses a range of practices aimed at preserving the planet for future generations.
Inspired by our love of nature and Botanical Illustrations, we’ve created works of art that bring our passion for plants and photography together.