What Does Ethical Mean to You?

When we say we want to live a more ethical life, what exactly does that mean? After all surely what’s important to me, isn’t necessarily top of your list. One of the main responses I’ve had to my veganism from people is that they choose people over animals, but to me, one belief isn’t at the expense of another. Its possible to feel compassion for a whole host of causes. One thing that has always stayed with me is that if we all ate less meat, they’d be more food for everyone. Being vegan is about supporting people in a roundabout way. But in the same way that I want to support as many things as I can, I do also appreciate that it is hard to be all things to all men, so to speak. Having narrowed it down, I would say these are the things I would like to concentrate on:

  • Veganism. I’ve been vegan for 2 years now and its very important to me.
  • Ethical Clothing Lines – safe working conditions and decent pay for workers
  • Local environment – Love where you live and reduce your carbon footprint

Sticking to the veganism is easy. With a 6 year old by your side vowing to never, ever eat animal products again, he is all the support that I need. I love the way it is a natural partner to caring about the environment too. From ensuring the cleaning products we use are vegan (we are big fans of Astonish in this house) to naturally buying less, as every purchase is a little more involved and thought through. It certainly helps me with the reduce part of the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle mantra.

I find buying clothes an absolute minefield. The demand for disposable fashion that fuels the high street never ceases to amaze me. When I speak to other people about the issue, it seems that so many people are unaware of just how corrupt this market is. I’d like to see a lot more transparency and a clearer labelling system. If the price tags had to show that the textile worker had received a fair wage in a safe environment that would surely help with the ignorance of the plight of the workers who are abused in our demand for cheap fashion.

When it comes to the local environment and supporting the area in which you live, there are some great ways to get involved. But recently we’ve been speaking to people out and about who would like to do more, but feel a little isolated by how much is dominated by social media. We’ve been discussing clearing up our local ponds with people in the park, but they admit to not feeling comfortable finding out via social media. On the flip side, we’ve been trying to find out more about allotments and community areas, and feel frustrated about having to write letters and make phone calls, so it seems it affects people both ways!

So my short term goals are as follows:

  • Organise getting an allotment plot, even if it involves writing a letter or having to speak to a real life person!
  • Investigating and supporting any initiatives on a clearer clothing labelling system.
  • Looking for local environmental projects to get involved in (or starting our own) and gapping communication gaps between generations.

That should keep us busy for a while at least! If you have any advice to share please do let us know.


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