In recent years, consumption patterns have changed significantly in direct relation to people's awareness of man's impact on the planet. Without doubt, whether it's a question of actions taken in favour of the climate, or changes in behaviour towards wildlife, more people are trying to find alternatives to over-consumption and animal suffering.
Society is constantly changing and new lifestyles have emerged, as is the case with veganism. Far from being simply a change of eating habits, this concept quickly convinced many people. The main reason is the fate of animals, which are considered to be the first victims of humans in their daily lives.
But do you really know what veganism is and what it implies? Here is an overview of this phenomenon, which is becoming more and more popular among the population.
As is often the case when we are faced with something new, we tend to be sceptical, and avoid trying to know more about it. So before we dwell on how it is implemented, let us describe simply what defines veganism.
What does it mean to be vegan?
First of all, the word "vegan" is not a new word. Donald Watson, founder of the Vegan Society, coined the word vegan in 1944 in the United States. Today, it defines a way of life linked to deep convictions and sensitivity towards animal welfare or, more broadly, to the environmental cause.
In fact, veganism is based on the principle of not consuming any products of animal origin. This applies not only to food such as meat, eggs or honey, but also to cosmetics and clothing. Vegans, therefore, do not wear leather or wool, nor use cosmetic products that could have harmed animals.
What is the difference between a vegan, a vegetarian and a flexitarian?
In comparison, vegetarians and flexitarians are both adaptations related solely to food. A vegetarian simply will not eat meat but will include milk and eggs, while a flexitarian diet would focus on vegetables and small portions of meat.
A vegan person, on the other hand, will not consume any products related to animal production, whether it´s milk, honey or egg-based meals.
The vegan ideology against preconceived ideas
Due to the lack of knowledge about veganism, many misconceptions have emerged and discredited this way of life. From a nutritional point of view, for example, it is often said that the absence of meat causes nutritional deficiencies, or that the vegan diet lacks diversity. It's important to know that, with a proper balance of one's diet, meals can be very varied and provide all the right nutrients for the human body.
The same applies to cosmetics and clothing. Being vegan is not just about eliminating certain products: it´s simply about finding alternatives for them that do not have a negative impact on the animal world. Fortunately, there´s plenty of suitable plants and natural foods on our planet.
Veganism in everyday life: there are solutions!
In reality, the biggest difficulty to overcome are the habits we have acquired over generations. Once this barrier is overcome, one's beliefs can be easily explained while leading a vegan lifestyle.
In the popular mind, vegans eat only bland seeds and natural products without questioning the nutrients they ingest. However, elements such as proteins, vitamins and calcium are naturally present in many plants. The trick is to know how to combine foods so that their nutritional values complement each other without generating a deficiency.
As for seasoning, textures and flavors, one only has to take a close look to realize that veganism has nothing to envy the more traditional diets. In fact, there are cooking blogs devoted entirely to vegan food, such as Elavegan's, a reference on the subject!
The cosmetics industry may be the least talked about in popular culture, but it remains an essential concern of the vegan lifestyle. It's a matter of consuming only cosmetic products that ensure the use of safe, no-animal tested ingredients .
This includes both, the composition of the products (based on honey, keratin or animal collagen), but also the ethics of laboratories, some of which continue to carry out tests on animals. Labels should always highlight products that are compatible with veganism.
Finally, in regard to the clothing business, the PETA association issued a list that includes all the materials from animal origin that vegans have chosen to avoid. Aside from leather or wool, of course, they include other elements such as glue, dyes or buttons. These conditions aim to ban practices like animal cruelty such as sheep mulesing or intensive breeding.
Here too, labels exist to distinguish clothing designed with respect for animals and a vegan lifestyle.
Veganism and certifications
Many certification bodies issue labels to assure consumers that specific products, either cosmetics or food, are free from any animal material, and produced without testing or suffering to animals.
The international association PETA ("People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals") offers 2 reputable labels: the Cruelty Free label, reserved for products, particularly cosmetics, that do not contain animal testing, and the PETA Cruelty free and vegan label, which also assures it that the product does not contain any material of animal origin, whatever it may be.
The EVE Végan label
EVE, for Expertise Végane Europe, is a French certification agency with very strict conditions, that not only verifies the absence of tests on animals, but also verifies the manufacturing and packaging processes.
The Vegan Society
It's a label that dates back to 1944, the beginning of veganism. It´s an international standard, which also guarantees the absence of any product or by-product of animal origin in the certified good, as well as the absence of animal testing.
Many vegan solutions at your fingertips!
In short, veganism is far from the restrictive and negative image that tends to be associated with it! There are many simple ways and means to preserve animal welfare. It's in this positive and optimistic vision of veganism that BHANGARA offers you backpacks, shoulder bags, handbags and vegan accessories certified "PETA-Approved Vegan" made from hemp as the main textile fiber, a natural ingredient known for its strength. The dyes and accessories (such as coconut buttons) are exclusively of vegetable origin, thus ensuring you beautiful products in accordance with your values.