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Vegan Writer
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Hello, all!

I'm a newbie to this forum but have been vegetarian for 24 years, strict vegetarian for 3 years, and haven't knowingly purchased cruel products in a year. I'm trying more and more to get rid of anything I own that's caused harm to any animals, but it's been tough.

Here's my issue: what happens when avoiding animal cruelty means supporting a human rights issue you disagree with? For example, would you still buy vegan clothing from stores like H&M that violate child labor laws? Would you buy vegan products if you knew the company underpays it's foreign suppliers?

How do you save animals while doing as little harm to your own species as possible? And do you keep human rights issues in mind when making purchases or is it just about the animals?

Thanks so much for your help!
 

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Veggie Recycler
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Well by being an ethical vegetarian, you are helping mankind by decreasing greenhouse gasses and saving water, especially if you are vegan. Everything is interconnected. The sooner people remember that, the better for us all.

As for cruelty free products, I don't support any corporation that exploits humans. I may accidentally purchase something, but I try to avoid Unilever, Nestle, Wal Mart, etc.

I'm honestly unclear on how clothes are vegan, outside of avoiding leather, and leather is not a product I ever really purchased for myself, though I wore it in the past because of relatives supplying clothes. Well, and not wearing feathers.

I mean are vegan clothing choices so limited that people are routinely forced to buy ones that exploit human workers?

I guess "buy local" is one of the safer ways to avoid this?
 

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Honestly, in the world we live in I think it is very difficult to live a 100% cruelty free lifestyle. It is very difficult to find products where all workers were paid fairly from the bottom up, in addition to good worker safety.

Personally, I do not buy any animal-based clothing and try to avoid buying products from mega-corporations as much as possible. Although this is harder to do with electronics, cars, internet/cable and other industries that are oligopolies.

Do the best you can and be an advocate for sustainability, fairer wages and better treatment of all workers from the bottom up.
 

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Hi! I'm new to the forum as well. :) Some tips to becoming a more ethical shopper are to buy used items, buy less frequently, and/or buy certified fair trade items. There are also lists of companies with ethical rankings that a quick google search can find. Sometimes, it takes a bit of research but there is usually an ethical alternative that is also vegan friendly.

However, like veganjunkiefitness said, it's more difficult to find alternatives for electronics and other more expensive to manufacture products.
 

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I agree with strawberrycrepe, try to buy fair trade items like coffee, chocolate, bananas, cotton, etc if you can, though I understand these items are not available everywhere and can be expensive (but then so is leather and silk). Live more simply and don't spend a lot of money on material items. Cycle or walk or use public transportation when you can. Clean with lemon juice, vinegar, essential oils and so on.

Most of my clothes I bought second hand, though with shoes it is harder but I do have several pairs that are fair trade and made ethically. The rest are technically vegan but made in China and more than likely by someone who works for dirt wages. It is amazing how much the country I live in is built on products and services from developing countries, sometimes down to the cement for sidewalks. Sometimes it is just unavoidable, but we can still rally and practice activism by writing companies and supporting officials who are trying to change working standards and so on.

Veganism is a human rights issue. Vegans care about world hunger, and eliminating the animal agricultural industry means there is more food and water going directly to the people, not to animals being bred and born just for food. Vegans care about the environment and animal farming causes widespread environmental damage, it pollutes lakes and rivers and streams. Animal farming also leads to diseases and outbreaks of food poisoning/contamination from tainted soil and sick animals. Even the leather industry causes pollution.

I found this slogan yesterday and thought it would be appropriate to share here:
 
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