New Vegan - Some concerns I have


Sep 18, 2016
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  1. Vegan
  2. Vegan newbie
  3. Vegetarian
I'm a new vegan, a month into transitioning. So far its going really well, a few slip ups here and there, but it took me 6 months to go vegetarian so I'm being easy on myself. I do have a couple concerns/ questions:

1) What books/articles/movies can I get educated with? My family is very unsupportive, I figure if I had some research to show them they might feel better about that then trusting my intuion/ethics.

2) Wool, leather, silk. I'm vegetarian out of ethics, vegan for health. I understand leather and silk, but not wool. That being said, how does everyone feels about gifted / second hand animal clothing? What about what's in my wardrobe already? Keep it but dont use it? Give it away?

Hi Amber,

1) There are many out there ... some are health related, others are more graphical about the animal treatment.

My favourite is this one (it's about health - the part about erectile dysfunction is great):

2) For this one my view on wool is that it is still part of animal exploitation. About the stuff that you already own or are giften, I personally would use them until they expire. I am a keen motorcycle rider, and I have to wear leather for protection: there is no synthetic material that can match the level of abrasion resistance of leather ... just be practical.

Becoming Vegan for nutrition
Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating by Erik Marcus: Argument to go vegan based on animal cruelty, environmental impact and own health.
Eat Like You Care: An Examination of the Morality of Eating Animals
by Gary L Francione and Anna Charlton:
Preachy, moral, logical, rational book focused on defending veganism against counter arguments made in favour of eating meat.

Speciesism: The Movie. Important movie about how we should look at animals.
Cowspiracy: Environmental impact of meat eating vs vegan.
Forks Over Knives and Earthlings are also mentioned a lot. The first I think it more about healthy eating, and the second I think is graphic footage of factory farms. I haven't seen either of these two.
For what's in your wardrobe already I have seen many vegans comment in articles, forums that this is generally considered OK (provided you are comfortable with it) since you won't likely prevent any animal cruelty by throwing away, that would be a pointless act. Second hand is a little different.

Buying second hand clothes will on average increase animal cruelty since a reduction in supply of second hand clothes might increase new clothes sales. Therefore, second hand clothing probably does lead to animal cruelty, albeit not as much as new. This is debatable. However, as far as I know, it is not vegan to buy and use animal products even if they are second hand. Actually, I am not completely sure, but that would be my guess.

For gift giving, I would suggest that this is your personal choice how to handle it, but one possibility is to accept the gift but explain to the person that you are going vegan so they don't buy you lots of other animal products in the future.

Personally I would not be too worried all this fine detail for the time being. I think it's great that you are going vegan in the first place.
My heart sank when I was opening my birthday present from my sister as it looked like a leather handbag, thankfully it turned out not to be leather. When I thanked her for being so unusually thoughtful she said "Isn't it leather?" I think she was more put out by it not being leather than pleased that I was glad it wasn't. There will always be times when you land up with something you don't want.

Don't consciously buy anything not vegan and if you are given something you don't want try and pass it onto someone with the explanation of why you don't want it, not necessarily to the giver, and when you have explained they may say they don't want it either, so it will have served a purpose even if you still have it.

A chap who did a talk I was at said it is impossible to be entirely vegan as animal products are hidden away in stuff. You can only do your best. So just do your best.
most of what I was going to say has already been said however if you use NETFLIX, ITUNES, AMAZON, you can find films listed above on them, albeit charges may apply. AMAZON is also good for books and may other products.
and here is a bunch of links to help you.
^^ you can search for films here by title if they have it you can watch it, although they are mainly you tube vids
^^ an ECO charity
^^ a vegan web page, and this links to all the vegan type films they advocate

on NETFLIX at the mo, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead is currently available
I can sympathize.... my family looks at me like I'm an alien. No matter how many times I explain to them why I eat the way I do, they just don't get it.
There are great people to listen to like Dr. Michael Greger. His website, nutritionfacts, contains numerous videos, and in those videos, numerous articles and sources are cited. He also has a Daily Dozen in which he includes foods that should be incorporated into your day to day life like certain greens, beans, etc. Documentaries like Forks Over Knives and Cowspiracy are also great ways to educate and inspire people.