Living a vegan lifestyle is a very personal choice so it can mean different things to different people. Some basic principles exist, however, covering what you eat, wear, and use. In short, being vegan is about living healthier, protecting the well-being of animals, and looking after our planet.

It is a hugely rewarding way to live and there are many benefits, but it is not necessarily an easy way to live. The food industry, cosmetics industry, and even the fashion industry are hooked on everything from animal products to animal testing and the use of dangerous chemicals. Why? They are hooked on these things because they are obsessed with cutting costs and making profits. Protecting the health of consumers, ensuring that animals are not subjected to inhumane treatment, and looking after our planet come in low on the priority list for many companies in the food industries and the vast majority of those in the cosmetics industry.

But they are at the top of the priority list for vegans and for the small but growing number of ethical companies that supply genuinely vegan-friendly products.

How do they live?

Most people understand a vegan lifestyle from a dietary point of view, as most vegans do not eat any type of animal product. This includes meat and fish but it also includes dairy products, eggs, honey, and anything else that comes from animals.

But being vegan is not just about what you eat. It is also about the things that you wear and use. This includes clothing – vegans choose not to wear products derived from animals such as fur, leather, and wool. Most vegans also avoid beauty products that either contain ingredients derived from animals or that are tested on animals. They also avoid other products for similar reasons, including cleaning products.

That is a lot of things on the “don’t use, don’t eat” list, but living a vegan lifestyle is not about negatives. Instead it is about what you can use and eat, rather than what you can’t.

Vegan food is natural and plant-based so not only is it good for you, it is also delicious. And when you use vegan beauty products you avoid putting toxic chemicals on your skin in favour of natural, plant-based ingredients. Plus you typically get better results.

So people who are vegan are passionate about their health. They love and respect animals, and care deeply about the world we live in, but they also want to look their best, feel great, and enjoy life’s pleasures. This can mean anything from a gourmet lunch with friends to the stunning fragrance of a new vegan perfume.

Being vegan is about what you can have, rather than what you can’t.

Why go Vegan?

Let’s now look at the three main reasons for living a vegan lifestyle in a bit more detail.

  • Personal health benefits: A vegan diet is naturally healthy as it is typically high in fibre and contains plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. Vegans also eat less processed foods, and their diets typically contain less saturated fats and other unhealthy ingredients.
  • Benefits to animals: The way that animals are factory-bred, reared in overcrowded conditions, and then slaughtered for human consumption is inhumane. All animals are intelligent and feel pain. Eating a vegan diet ensures fewer animals have to endure this suffering.
  • Benefits to the planet: According to the World Bank, the global livestock industry contributes over 50 percent of the greenhouse gases that are currently damaging the earth’s atmosphere. Industrial-scale farming is killing the planet, while living a vegan lifestyle helps to protect it. 

How to go Vegan

Choosing to go vegan does require a change of lifestyle. It is easier to do when you have support from family and friends, and you should expect to become much more aware of everything that you eat. You will also become an expert label reader, and you will talk to waitresses and waiters more than you ever did before.

However, it has traditionally been a lot more difficult to only use vegan beauty products for your skin. This is because it is not always clear whether a product is suitable. Even some that say they are suitable in truth are not.

But when you look at the ingredient lists of mainstream products, it becomes apparent why you should use vegan beauty products. Mainstream products include horrible ingredients like toxic animal fats and other things that thicken, fill, preserve, and artificially scent the product. Would you knowingly and willingly rub formaldehyde on your skin or phthalates? You wouldn’t, but these are the sorts of things that are found in mainstream cosmetics.

The challenges faced by vegans in buying high-quality beauty products is the main reason that we started VegwithMeg. We don’t want you to look at a list of potential products and then spend time figuring which of them you can’t have. Instead, we give you a much more positive experience – high-quality products that we have carefully selected and verified as being genuinely vegan at an affordable price. 

After all, this is what being vegan is all about: living positively for your health, positively for the safety and protection of animals, and positively for the environment.