Given this definition, it seems clear that veganism is an animal rights movement. But in recent years, there have been increasing claims that the livestock industry is damaging the environment, leading many people to go vegan for environmental reasons.
Some argue that this motivation is wrong, as veganism is inherently about animal rights. However, people may forget that as a result of environmental destruction, again, animals suffer. Wild animals are suffering and dying because animal husbandry is destroying their habitat. In this regard, concern for the environment is a logical continuation of veganism.
This illustrates an important point – many movements and ideologies overlap and overlap. Veganism is no exception and overlaps with a number of other movements.
The zero waste movement is based on the idea that we should strive to create as little waste as possible, especially when it comes to non-biodegradable waste such as plastic packaging. This means not using consumables or single-use items.
It’s no secret that plastic is already an environmental disaster. But what does this have to do with veganism?
If we delve into the question of the impact of our waste on animals, the answer becomes clear. Marine life is at risk due to plastic pollution – for example, animals can become entangled in plastic waste or ingest its elements. Microplastics are of particular concern. These are tiny plastic fragments that fish and birds can mistakenly eat, tempted by their bright colors. Seagulls, for example, are often found dead with their bodies full of plastic.
Given this, it’s no surprise that many vegans try to limit waste production as much as possible.
Minimalism is not just about owning as few things as possible. Rather, it is about owning only what is useful or brings us joy. If something doesn’t fit into any of these categories, then why do we need it?
Minimalists stick to their stance for a variety of reasons. For example, many find that having fewer things reduces their stress levels and makes their space less cluttered. But environmental protection is also often the motive. Minimalists recognize that buying unnecessary things consumes valuable resources and creates unnecessary waste – and here again we can see the connection with habitat destruction and pollution that threatens many species of living beings. Many minimalists also go vegan because they are aware of the environmental impact of animal husbandry.
Human rights movement
The fact that humans are also part of the animal kingdom is often overlooked, but if we are serious about veganism, we should avoid supporting human exploitation as much as possible. This means buying ethical products and also buying less stuff. The consequences of animal exploitation and consumption also affect people, especially those who are poor or disadvantaged. Problems such as environmental pollution harm both animals and humans. All living beings need compassion.
There is also a connection with issues of social justice. For example, many feminists believe that since the production of milk and eggs is associated with the exploitation of the female reproductive system, this is partly a feminist issue. This is another example of how veganism is connected to human rights – the mindset that encourages some people to dominate others is similar to what makes us think that it is acceptable to dominate animals.
We see the problems facing our world as separate, but in reality they are interrelated. Veganism, in the end, means we have to take care of the environment. In turn, this means producing less waste and striving for minimalism, which translates into caring for other people. The upside is that taking action to solve one problem often helps solve others. Our choices affect many aspects of life and can affect the well-being of the Earth and all its inhabitants.