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Animal Free: How You Can Make a Difference?

By: Siobhan ONeill - Updated: 18 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Animal Free Animal Rights Cosmetics

Like all big life changes, deciding to go animal free is more than just a lifestyle alteration, it requires a change of perspective. In just the same way as a successful weight loss programme means changing the way you think about food and exercise, so successfully cutting animal products out of your life means a shift in the way you think about animal rights and the things you buy.

In order to really make a difference with an animal free lifestyle, you need to get in the habit of always thinking about where you might encounter animal products in the things you buy or eat. You can become a caring consumer by thinking about not just the food, but the clothes, cosmetics and beauty products you purchase.

But, that's not to say that even small changes won't make a difference, because when added to the changes everyone else is making in their lifestyle, it can add up to a huge shift that sends a message loud and clear to manufacturers and retailers.

An Animal Free Diet

It can be hard to make drastic alterations to the way you live your life. No one is going to find it easy to turn vegan over night. That's why the first step is becoming more aware of animal products in the things you buy. Small steps are the way forward and each step will have a positive overall impact on the bigger animal free picture.

Say you want to give up animal products in your food. It would be impossible to do it straight away because of all the hidden products that it takes a while to spot on the ingredients list, but small steps will set you on the path, give your body time to adjust to a new diet, and help you see if vegetarianism or veganism is really for you.

Cut Red Meat

Try just cutting out red meat first - beef and lamb - or maybe decide to limit yourself just to chicken and fish to begin with. Without a doubt after just a short time you will notice a difference in yourself as the health gains begin to take effect. If after a while you feel able to continue, you could take the next step of cutting out chicken, and maybe fish as well.

Once you have cut all meat and fish from your diet you are a true vegetarian. Congratulations! It would probably be best to spend some considerable time as a 'veggie', getting used to finding and eating other forms of protein, before deciding whether or not to continue cutting all animal products out of your diet and go completely vegan. If you are happy to continue you can begin by cutting dairy products and eggs from your diet, but you will have to do some research (see the section on Deciphering Food Labels on this site for more information) on the hidden animal products that can end up in food. Using this information will provide you with a shopping guide to the ethical and animal friendly shops and manufacturers you can trust.

Keep Making a Difference

Cutting animal products from the food you buy makes a big difference to the lives of animals bred for food purposes. Just look at how much more aware consumers are of organic and free range foods, and how common and accepted vegetarianism is today. It's all because thousands of people like you took these steps themselves and made the farmers, manufacturers and retailers sit up and take notice. Many practices involving the slaughter, breeding, keeping and transporting of animals have become illegal or subject to more stringent regulation because caring consumers wanted changes in the way their food arrived at their table.

To continue making a difference there are many other steps to take. You could consider cutting the by-products of meat production - such as leather - out of your wardrobe, and try to buy clothes, shoes and accessories that are only made from man made materials. Do some research on animal products or testing in cosmetics and make a bid to only buy from ethical manufacturers. And, you could consider donating to or joining a charity that campaigns on behalf of animal welfare.

However far you decide to take the changes to your lifestyle, every step will make a difference, and it's easy to achieve.

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