More Than A Diet
The principal is simple: animals are sentient beings and not ours to exploit and abuse. We can eat perfectly well (and be healthier) without animal products in our diet. We can use products that don’t involve the repetitive torture of animals to prove their safety (try natural vs chemical). We can clothe ourselves, thankfully, with an ever-evolving array of materials. And the same goes for “clothing” our homes, offices, and cars.
Avoid decorating your home with dead animals, like skins and furs – just say “no” to the leather couch, the shearling rug, or the rabbit throw. Contrary to popular belief, leather is not a by-product of the meat industry, as it is a much more profitably industry than the meat industry. And FYI: leather comes from more than just cows…
While it may be hard to relate to the suffering of the silk worm, the numbers are astounding – about 3,000 deaths per yard of silk fabric. Choose other natural materials instead.
Down and feathers are mostly live-plucked, not scooped up from fluffy enclosures of shedding fowl. There are alternatives! Angora is similarly ripped out of rabbits by hand. These practices are extraordinarily cruel; you can imagine how upset and injured your cat would be if you did that to her.
What about shearing? Sadly, really any profit-driven industry involving animals is bound to be cruel (e.g. puppy mills). In the interest of efficiency, the wellbeing of sheep, alpaca, and goats is not a priority in the production of wool, alpaca, and cashmere. Manhandled and mutilated in the attempt to subdue them, these terrified animals often wind up badly injured with broken legs and cuts during shearing.
Sometimes animal products are hiding in unexpected places – in the glues used to produce some plywood and furnishings; in detergents, dyes, and softening agents used to process certain fabrics; in most paints (!) and other finishes.
The Good News
There are cruelty-free alternatives for all of these products, and we will get into those more specifically in future blog entries.
The good news is that by demanding these alternatives, we can promote the development and use of animal-free products for the benefit of animals, humans, and the environment.
There is a lot of fascinating innovation happening right now, and interest in vegan interior design is growing!