At its core, vegan means that an item does not contain any animal products or by-products. Beyond this, vegan practices and products look to avoid as much as possible any and all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals. While typically associated with food and diet choices, animal products are found in many different types of everyday products, including cosmetics, clothes and accessories.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that vegan is a seriously big deal.
Why, you might ask? Because vegan standards touch nearly every facet of sustainability. To name just a few:
Conventional animal agriculture necessitates deforestation and degrades soils. Both deforestation and soil degradation in turn fuel the problem of atmospheric carbon loading and climate change. Excess atmospheric carbon leads to ocean acidification, unreliable weather systems and a host of other problems. Unrestrained use of antibiotics in animals impacts the health of human microbiomes. Excessive use of agrochemicals to grow feed for animals has a deleterious impact on pollinators, which then impacts the stability of human food systems. Cows contribute to GHG emissions via methane. Animals require extremely high amounts of fresh water which could be used more efficiently to irrigate plant crops or nourish underserved communities. The list goes on, and so could we, but we think you get the point for now.