Photo by Matt Henry on Unsplash
Being vegan does not only apply to what you eat. It is about doing the least amount of harm in every way you consume, including purchasing a car. Traditionally, most cars offer only leather or cloth seats leaving vegans with no choice but cloth seats. Recently, Tesla announced that they are only offering vegan seats in their cars from now on.
Tesla was founded on the principles of promoting environmental sustainability and making sustainable energy a priority. Since using animals for leather is not only harmful to the animals, but also to the environment, it makes sense that Tesla would start making all vegan interiors.
(Full disclosure: the only leather in the cars are the steering wheel covers, which can be made vegan upon request. Hopefully those will be all vegan in the future too.)
This change proves that you don't need leather to be cool. You can still have a stylish and fast car with vegan leather seats. You can ride around in style knowing that you are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving lives all at the same time.
This is a fantastic step in sustainability and in minimizing our impact on the planet. Tesla is at the forefront of environmental sustainability and continues to create a standard for other car companies to aspire to. This step also makes Tesla that much closer to creating an all vegan and environmentally-friendly car. If you want to reach out to Tesla about ensuring the leather on the steering wheel is vegan, you can do so here.
Most vegans would agree that eating at an all vegan restaurant is a treat. There's a sense of relief and happiness knowing that you can order anything off the menu without asking multiple questions about what is in each meal. That is why we work with restaurants to Veganize their menu. Everyone should be able to have a satisfactory meal no matter their dietary choices. That being said, it's important that vegans eat at non vegan restaurants despite the obvious inconveniences. Here's why:
Eating out as a vegan doesn't have to be a stressful outing. Most likely you are eating with family or friends so there is no reason to be uneasy about what you can and cannot eat. By sticking to your principles in an environment that is abundant with animal products, you are demonstrating that being vegan is easier than people think.
One day every restaurant will only offer vegan options, but until then, we have to prove that people want vegan food and it's worth serving it at your restaurant.
Netflix's newest release is called Okja, a story of a girl named Mija who discovers that her pet super pig has been bred for food. A company called Mirando created super pigs to feed humans and then sent the pigs to different farmers around the world to take care of them. After a 10 year period, Mirando will host a Super Pig Contest where the farmer of the winning pigs will get a prize and the pigs will be sent to slaughter. Mija, who has grown up with Okja, discovers that Okja has been taken to be in the competition. She then embarks on a wild journey to save Okja with the help of animal activists.
The film has central themes and situations that happen in real life. Farm animals are bred to be slaughtered and then eaten by humans. There are scenes in the film where they enter a slaughter house to try and find Okja. They witness super pigs being electrocuted to get in line for the slaughterhouse and then once inside, they see pigs hanging upside down and being shot in the brain to stun and kill them. It is clear by their screams that these animals don't want to die. They want to live and spend time in nature with other animals that they love. It's an uncomfortable sequence to watch mostly because this horror happens in real life. This is not artistic imagination being performed onscreen.
It is ironic that Lucy Mirando is orchestrating the Super Pig Competition and mass breeding of super pigs to have a smaller environmental imprint. By doing this, she is removing the super pigs from the environments they have known their whole lives and destroying the relationships they have formed with the farmers. She is destroying personal environments for the sake of trying to save the planet's environment.
The film highlights a lack of empathy when it comes to the lives of other animals. The Mirando team refuses to reunite Okja and Mija because it is not in their best interest since it would ruin a plan they have spent 10 years working on despite the fact that returning to Korea would be in the best interest of Okja and Mija. Animal agriculture embodies a similar lack of empathy by only treating animals like commodities and focusing on profits rather than the lives of the animals. Seeing Okja and Mija's relationship on screen humanized animals proving they have feelings and can build relationships just as we can.
Okja makes it clear that breeding animals to be eaten is not the best option for the animals. It is more beneficial to let them life their lives and let them be free. We can do this by veganizing our food choices and adopting a vegan diet. There are vegan options for every animal based product, so you don't have be deprived of taste, flavor or tradition.
The film is inspiring because it proves that fighting for animals by going vegan or being an activist can actually make a difference. It reinforces that animals want to live for themselves, not for us to eat. If you haven't watched it yet, get on Netflix and start streaming it! It's a beautiful film that holds a mirror to our actions for us to face and evaluate if this is the legacy we want to leave.
You can probably tell by every restaurant, grocery store and clothing store you've ever walked into that the majority of the world isn't vegan. Despite how difficult being vegan in that world can be, more and more people are giving veganism a try.
Last year, The Vegan Society published a study claiming that there are 542,000 vegans in Great Britain making up 1.5% of people over the age of fifteen. In addition, The Harris Poll found that in 2015 3.3% of the US population is vegetarian with half of the vegetarians following a vegan diet. New studies find that vegans account for 2.5% of the population while some still claim that vegans are only .05% of the population. Either way, veganism is increasing and the awareness of why people go vegan is more prevalent.
People are learning more about the cruel farming practices in animal agriculture and realizing that it is not an industry they want to contribute to. The health benefits of veganism are also coming to the forefront. With rising health care costs in the United States, more people are looking to take action against diseases and conditions in order to prevent or reduce their risk of. The effects of climate change and impact on our environment is another reason for the peaked interest in veganism. Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions which is more than the transportation industry. It is also responsible for the creation of oceanic dead zones, deforestation, species extinction, wasteful food practices, and overfishing just to name a few.
Luckily, there is a vegan option for everything you could think of: mayonnaise, razors, running shoes, fish sauce and even mattresses. That's why here at Veganizer, we are spreading awareness to restaurant owners and showing them the demand for vegan cuisine. There is even a vegan restaurant in Palestine! Over the past few years we have helped 23 restaurants go vegan and we are just getting started. For the next few months we are taking a break from restaurant collaborations to focus on expanding our brand and vision to create the most impactful program we can.
Stay tuned for what's next and in the meantime, enjoy the imminent vegan future! It's all happening!