Am I vegan enough?
Since becoming vegan, this thought has crossed my mind more than once.
Looking back it seems obvious now that being vegan is about so much more than what you eat.
It’s about our planet and the animals that live here, and it’s about keeping as much suffering as possible out of it.
Therefore, the ideals, morals and values that I’ve formed about the food I eat have drawn lines and created rules (for me).
But it’s an ongoing process. I’m not perfect. Which is why the constant questions about protein intake and sources along with “I bet that belt you’re wearing isn’t vegan” are so irksome.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I’m just trying to make our planet a little better, one piece of kale at a time. There are lots of great ways to better the planet and I’m sure a lot non-vegans are doing them, this just happens to be the route that I took and the thing I can do best to help.
Every day, every choice I make, I try to be a little more mindful, a little more aware of my choices and the impact they have in my life and on our planet.
This is exactly why I find myself in my current predicament.
See, my pre-vegan self owned a pair of kick-ass climbing shoes…made of leather.
These shoes have spent the last three years with me and have molded themselves perfectly to my foot. They are comfortable enough to wear on long climbs but are tight enough to maintain precise footing on edges.
The best part? They were free!
I could just throw them out but (besides the obvious problem of trying to hike and climb without proper footwear) I think being wasteful, though in the name of veganism, is still being wasteful. Plus, wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of eating vegan for the good of the planet?
So what’s a girl to do?
Well, my personal approach is this. Wear the crap out of said hiking and climbing shoes (check).
While waiting for their demise take those vegan-searching powers to the Internet and window-shop (check).
This strategy recently paid off when the toes of climbing shoes blew out.
I bought my new vegan-friendly pair from a company called Evolv. It’s a company I’m proud to invest in because of their environmental concern and awareness.
They are one of few companies out there that offers this kind of shoe and because there is no leather involved the shoes were significantly cheaper than it would have been for me to replace my old pair.
I was also pleasantly surprised to be asked at the “check-out” if I would like to opt out of having my shoes packaged in a shoebox in order to save on trash.
I may never be a “perfect” vegan but I feel like I’m one step closer (shameless pun intended).
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Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo Credit: happyherbivore