How do you become the “perfect vegan?” People choose to be vegan for one of three reasons; animal cruelty, environmental impact and their health. Therefore, being “perfect” will depend largely on your motivations. Could your health be improved by going plant based? Is there a way you could take your love of animals one step further? Or could taking the impact of the environment into account in more ways than you currently are be the thing keeping you from feeling perfectly accomplished?

Being vegan can often be pretty demoralising as however much you do you can always be doing more (such is life). The key here is: Don’t get overwhelmed. Start with a meat free Monday and a bit of second hand shopping and before you know it, you’re pretty much Gwyneth Paltrow running Goop!

Being The Perfect Vegan could mean minimising your negative impact, or if you’re not about restraint then maximising your positive impact. What appeals to you the most? Could you protest? Write to your local MP demanding change, put on a play? Start a podcast?

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WORK LESS, CREATE MORE | 💫 I’m delighted to have writer, broadcaster and podcaster @emmagannonuk on #TalkingTastebuds this week✨As it’s the penultimate episode of the series, I wanted to chat to the queen who inspired me to start my own podcast, to potentially encourage more side hustle kick-starts and bring things round full circle (clearly I just wanted to hang out with one of my heroes, selfish I know). We talk all things podcasting and Emma shares her passion for a 4 day week. Taking the time to explore things that are entirely unrelated to our work, that don’t necessarily make the gram, but help us explore, learn and grow is something that I was so inspired by in this interview. I’m also enthralled by the cosy feelz of her death row dinner. She may be on the Forbes 30-under-30 list, but really, Emma is an 87-year-old grandad in waiting, ice cream cone in one hand, cuppa tea in the other. My kinda lady. Link in bio🙏🏼

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When people talk in these extremes it is usually because they would rather do nothing than something because it feels pointless; many people don’t bother to recycle or walk a bit less because it reminds them what they aren’t doing. But as long as you’re doing something, props to you!

According to Peta, a vegan is someone who doesn’t consume any products derived from an animal, but some people eat honey even so. Some people refuse any products that have used animal products at any stage including wine, beers and white sugars.

Vegans don’t wear leather, fur, silk or wool… but what about if it’s second hand? And they don’t wear make up that tests on animals… but what about if it isn’t tested on animals but contains things that ultimately harm them just as much, like palm oil? In an ideal world we would all be tackling all issues at all times, but as it is it can be pretty hard just to stay hydrated some days.

Here are some priorities broken down:

ANIMAL CRUELTY

If this is your main reason for becoming vegan then you’re probably going to want to focus on cutting out meat and dairy as a priority, then fish and eggs and then honey and animal by products. Or turn your focus to the fur trade and just make a big old fuss and then if you slip up and have an omelette then only God can judge you. 

If you’re not so great at avoiding all wines on a Saturday night, volunteer at an animal shelter or to walk an old persons dog the next day– then you are as perfect as the person who has done neither.

Should you accept things with meat in or that meat has touched? You could even go as so far to be perfect as to never shop or eat anywhere that supports the meat trade in any way, but you are making your life difficult. Why not just aim for no more McDonald’s?

However if you’re a chef or a blogger, be better, we are all relying on you 🙂 

THE ENVIRONMENT

Remember, it’s technically impossible to be completely one hundred percent vegan and have zero impact on the environment unless you live as a hermit outside of society. From antifreeze, lubricants, paints, emery boards, hydraulic break fluid, crayons, specialty plastics, buttons, plywood adhesive, pharmaceuticals, high grade steel, water filters, bandage strips that contain animal products… there is very little you can do to avoid all things at all times. As long a you choose the better option when you can you’re making a difference.

CLOTHES

Vegans don’t wear fur, wool, silk or leather or snakeskin. There are arguments for not wearing alternatives as they promote the real deal, and some vegans would wear second hand versions as they aren’t feeding money into the industry making them.

Being a “perfect” vegan but buying into a corrupt and unsustainable fast fashion industry is ironic, as not only is the treatment and payment of factory workers not great, but the negative impact it has on the environment is overwhelming. Of course not everyone can afford to buy clothes that aren’t from the high street, but just reducing your impact in some way can help. Consider whether you could get any of the things you get on the high street at a charity shop or could pay slightly more to get it from a more ethical source.

 

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