Live with Compassion is the second post in our Compassion Series. As we noted in the first post, Compassion is “…sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.” Now that we know what compassion is, we have to identify how to live with compassion. But first, this article is not meant to chastise you or judge you. I am writing this because I was there, where you are right now. You might wonder why you should consider living with compassion, well it might not mean anything to you right now, but there is always a bigger picture, and for that reason, I ask you to consider this; consider compassion.
I have found that most people have an innate desire to live with compassion. They hold doors for others, participate in “pay it forward” campaigns, donate to charitable organizations, use reusable bags for their groceries, recycle, but that is where most people stop. The next step of compassion is an audit of your daily activities to identify activities where you may be causing distress and adjusting that to make a conscious, compassionate choice to alleviate suffering. We want to share choices we’ve made to live with compassion.
Beauty with Compassion
Skin care, beauty, body care, personal hygiene, whatever you want to call it, is an industry and within that industry you have choices. To live with compassion, one makes a personal decision to buy and use products that are not tested on animals, and that do not contain animal products as ingredients. Just as we researched factory farming, we looked into vivisection and animal product farms and felt compelled to reduce the suffering and distress of those animals by seeking out products that were cruelty-free. This products industry has so many other options for testing; let’s show them that is what we want.
Entertainment with Compassion
Zoos, living animal parks, animal performance arenas, they all tout that they are “saving and rescuing” the animals, but when an animal is taken from their natural habitat to be used as entertainment, the purpose changes to money. As an educator, I know the way children and adults learn. So the following image is a great reminder that making connections and making learning fun and relevant is what captivates children, not a trip to the zoo! While we are on the topic of entertainment, let’s briefly discuss circuses. While the flair and excitement of a circus can be appealing, the tragic and unfortunate treatment of the animals is all too common.
Circuses and zoos aren’t animal welfare establishments; they are businesses that profit from looking at animals in a possessive way rather than an organic or natural way. Animal Sanctuaries, like Hope Haven in Pittsburgh, PA, are better options to have your kids engage with animals. Please consider alternate ways to entertain your children. Teach them to live with compassion.
Clean with Compassion
This is an area we don’t usually consider to affect animals, but many daily shower sprays, toilet bowl cleaners, and even laundry soap companies test on animals. There are many companies now that offer cruelty-free cleaning options that are safe, effective, and leave clean surfaces and clothes. I encourage you to adopt compassion for your cleaning routines. Here is a great article with cruelty-free laundry detergents to get you started.
Dress with Compassion
I can proudly say that I never owned a pair of Uggs. I literally say their name with a look of disgust on my face – UGH!. After watching only a tiny sliver of the video circulating the internet on the production of Uggs I knew I didn’t need them. I know they are comfortable, warm, and were super trendy, but the ends don’t justify the means for me. Compassion wins. These animals feel pain and should not have to endure that pain and suffering so I can have a pair of boots. From leather and wool to silk and cashmere the breeding, skinning, and slaughter of these animals is entirely unnecessary. Fur looks better on the animals to which it belongs. I encourage you to seek out clothing that does not use animal products in its production; a first step is reading the tags and buying human-made products.
There are so many trendy fashion lines that are creating beautiful clothing without the use of animal products and so many textiles – denim, cotton, linen – that are animal free. The options are endless. Check out this article for How to Wear Vegan. I encourage you to seek out clothing that does not use animal products in its production; a first step is reading the tags and buying human-made products. Also, there are tons of humane vegan clothing companies, like Goods and Evil, that design clothing that spread a compassionate message.
Live with Compassion
Compassion is a conscious choice. I humbly thank you for reading this far, and I celebrate any “live with compassion” changes you make. We are in this together, and we will continue to provide the resources and information necessary to help you live a VegInspired life! You probably are thinking, “what do I do now?” Well, start with a quick audit of the items you use and the habits you have. What actions can you take today that are more compassionate? As you purchase new items, select ones that are cruelty-free. Be sure you subscribe to our email list for future posts on tips and tricks for living a VegInspired life!
We would love to hear from you. What are your takeaways from our Compassion Series? Are you Eating with Compassion? Cleaning with compassion? Shopping with compassion? We hope you consider compassion.