This post is the fourth and the last in a series of four.
Once I decided to become a vegan I had to choose what to do with my previous non-vegan purchases. This was a real concern for me. Shoes, bags, coats, dresses, jumpers… the number of items in my wardrobe I could no longer wear was huge and somewhat pricey.
So what should I do? Use them up till they wear out, give them to my family or my non-vegan friends, donate to charity, fill recycling containers, sell to a second hand store or throw them away? I was absolutely not clear about what I should do. That’s why in the beginning, I just decided to store them in my basement and seek advice from the internet. I read a lot and most of the tips recommended giving your stuff to charity.
If I may, I would like to express a completely different point of view. After deep consideration I made my mind up to throw all my old stuff away, based on what I have learnt from cognitive science research papers. To sum up, scientists tell us that humans, especially during childhood, learn by observing and repeating habits around them. The more people do something, the more it seems to be the right thing to do for adapting and surviving. In this way using animals becomes a cultural fact that no one challenges. It is seen as natural and normal.
So if, as a vegan, you really believe that it is wrong to exploit and kill animals, then it is wrong for you and it is also wrong for others. By giving your non-vegan clothes to friends, family, charities or second-hand buyers you just condone that it’s ok for others to be non-vegans. And by doing so you help maintain cruelty habits.
My advice should be: Don’t give your non-vegan clothes, just bin them!