What's in your home?

25 Jul 2018

@rationpi profile image
rationpi

Shannon

Source: Shannon Scott Design
This interior design company harmonizes nature into beautiful, iconic, and transformational designs that intentionally use sustainably sourced, cruelty-free materials. They have been designing for luxury residences, boutique hotels and spas, senior living community and wineries since the late 1990s.

There’s no doubt that now’s a great time to be vegan. Every day we hear about new plant-based options popping up at restaurants and fashion designers cutting down their use of fur. For those of us who have been advocating for years, it certainly feels like businesses are finally catching up.

Imagine my surprise when I went shopping for a new sofa recently! It’s been years since I’ve gone furniture shopping, so I unknowingly tagged along with my parents and was stunned by how behind the times most of the furniture and homeware companies were. Everywhere I looked, there were leather sofas, feather bedding, wool tapestries, animal-skin rugs, silk pillows, and even beeswax candles. If this comes as a surprise to me, it might be a surprise to some of my vegan friends as well. Continue reading to catch our little inserts of beautiful innovations for a cruelty-free home!

Candle

Source: Vegan Bunny -- Ginger Soy Candle
This soy wax candle won a bunch of awards, including PETA’s Vegan Homeware Awards. It’s loaded with ginger & lemongrass, ingredients that have been used for generations in aromatherapy to relax sore muscles and purify. Check your candles to see if they’re made from beeswax or paraffin!

IN PLAIN SIGHT

If you’re reading this article, you might be well-versed in ethical living and how things like sustainability, human health and animal welfare are all connected. Perhaps you’re vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, flexitarian or even reducetarian. Basically, you’ve committed to consuming fewer animal-based products.

However, after scrutinizing my own house and a few of my friends’, it’s surprising to see how often we overlook the many everyday items that use animal products. Although numerous exposés have revealed the gory cruelty underneath the façade of glitz and glamour of the fur industry, leather, for example, is still perceived as the luxurious and sophisticated material of modern living. It’s time to look beyond just food!

Dog

Source: Weaver Green -- Nomad Taurus Cushion
Our furry friend’s never been more comfortable sitting on a pile of upcycled plastic bottles. This material feels and looks just like wool but is environmentally sustainable and cruelty-free!

HIDDEN COSTS

It’s no surprise that the meat and leather industries are inexorably linked. Since skins account for the largest share of non-meat value in cattle, farmers calculate skin sales into their total revenue and skins are treated as profitable products rather than waste. In the case of exotic hides (e.g. crocodile, ostrich, kangaroo), the skin of for example an ostrich, makes up 80 percent of the bird’s value— meaning that meat here is in fact the “byproduct”! By supporting the leather industry, we’re increasing revenue for cattle farmers and indirectly subsidizing meat production.

AURO

Source: Unsplash
Casein is a milk protein that is used as a binder in most commercial paints. Auro’s Natural Resin Wall Paint uses organic oil resins and plant-based pigments in its paints to produce a non-toxic, cruelty-free paint. What's on your walls?

This is in addition to cruel practices such as the live plucking of birds to supply the world’s down feather needs. Plucking of birds continues to be utilized in countries – notably China – without strong environmental and animal protection standards, even though they provide the bulk of the world’s supply. Furthermore, many pollutive processes embedded in the skin tanning process have left rivers in developing countries ecologically dead and workers perpetually ill. Let’s not forget that living with compassion is not just about animals, but also about our fellow human beings who live and work in toxic environments to produce goods that they themselves cannot possibly afford to buy. What we can indulge in cheaply was paid for at a high price by laborers who absorbed the negative externalities with their own bodies.

Voluntary Simplicity

Making the switch isn’t about sacrifice or compromise. Just as the switch from meat to plants has tremendous health benefits, moving towards a cruelty-free home can improve your standard of living.

Chair

Source: Anthropologie -- Elowen Dining Chair
This chair uses ‘performance wool’, which is a fire resistant and hard-wearing vegan fabric made from handcrafted polyester.

Success and status are no longer about how much stuff we own; some of the biggest influencers around the world have chosen to lead sustainable and minimalist lifestyles. Whether aesthetic or functional minimalism, millennials are pushing back against flamboyant materialism by embracing responsible and ethical, even reduced consumption. Buying homeware made from ethically-sourced materials? Good. How about switching to another material that uses less resources to produce and pollutes less? Even better.

Want more inspiration on vegan substitutes for homeware and furniture? Check out this year’s winners of PETA’s Vegan Homeware Awards!

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Responses

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@lou profile image
lou4 YEARS AGO
does the dog come with the cushion 😛🐶
REPLY
@rationpi profile image
rationpi4 YEARS AGO
我不卖狗 LOLLLLLLLLLLL
REPLY
@lou profile image
lou4 YEARS AGO
没有狗只有枕头 😴
REPLY
@emulcahy0920 profile image
emulcahy09204 YEARS AGO
My husband and I just bought new living room furniture and were meticulous in ensuring what we purchased was as cruelty free and vegan as possible. It is so hard, especially when you consider any glue that could have been used on the furniture as well. And this applies for cars as well! Too much leather interior :(
REPLY
@rationpi profile image
rationpi4 YEARS AGO
Yes, I totally get you. Hopefully conscientious consumers like you will encourage suppliers to find better cruelty-free alternatives. :)
REPLY
@wharding profile image
wharding4 YEARS AGO
when I have a home of my own I'll use this as my guide!
REPLY
@elysesimpson profile image
elysesimpson1 YEAR AGO
Great and important info! Especially about years of struggle/advocating. How long have you been vegan? 🙂
REPLY