Are you a Chic Vegan?
When I became a vegetarian 20 years ago, it wasn’t my intent to become a Chic Vegan. Others certainly didn’t put those two words together. In fact, my brother said, “Please don’t turn into one of those crunchy people.” We grew up near Ithaca, New York, and I knew just what he was talking about. Crazy hair, big sandals, and the scent of curry came to mind. We had a good laugh and that was that. I didn’t then, and I don’t now, have any problem with that style, but it’s just not MY style.
Fast forward two decades to 2012. Celebrities are vegan, athletes are vegan, and it’s pretty easy to play “six degrees” and come up with a vegan acquaintance, even if you don’t know anyone personally who is vegan. You can buy great coats, shoes, makeup and other fashion items that wouldn’t cause my brother to shudder or laugh. You can be a vegan with style.
But are you a Chic Vegan?
It’s about more than just looks. To me, a Chic Vegan is someone who is:
C – Compassionate
H – Healthy
I – Independent
C – Classy
I became vegetarian and then vegan because I didn’t (and don’t) want to harm any living creatures. We all have a place in this world. Just because I am able to eat a hamburger, doesn’t mean I will. I choose not to participate in using other living creatures for my own pleasures. Yes, it’s tricky when you go beyond food and apply this concept to what you put on your body. But it’s getting easier as more products become available, and more people realize what it means to be compassionate.
A number of people turn to veganism for health reasons. A well-balanced, plant-based diet, is a healthy diet. You can be an unhealthy vegan if you live on junk food or neglect to supplement where needed. But if you take responsibility for your own well-being, you will find that you get sick less often, you sleep better, and you might even glow!
If you are the only vegan in your family, workplace or circle of friends, it can be tough to stick to your beliefs. I will say that this goes away with time, as others realize that you are in it for the long haul. Be strong. Follow your beliefs. Be independent.
Wear the big sandals, if you like them. Spend loads of money on a Matt & Nat purse if that’s your style. It’s your life and your look. Whatever you do, own it. You’ll discover that people love someone who’s naturally classy.
For me, that’s the bottom line. Being a Chic Vegan means you are a compassionate, healthy, independent and classy guy or gal who – by the way – is vegan.
Image courtesy of Flickr’s The Commons.