Vegan Police, Social Justice Warriors, Bloody Hippies!
The ethical movement has a reputation for being a little aggressive at times, because we're just so darn passionate! It always comes from a good place I believe, once you get involved in any facet you just want to shout it from the rooftops!
So when does passionate activism turn nasty? There is a competitiveness at times which can border on bullying (especially on the internet), where none of us is good enough. If you're vegetarian you should be vegan, if you oppose fur but will wear leather you're a monster, you're passionate about climate change but drive to work every day - not good enough, you claim to be against single use plastic but I saw you with that bag of apples! It's enough to make you throw your hands up and scream.
Frankly I have done my fair share of ethical competitiveness too, butting in when people were talking about cosmetics and loftily announcing I wouldn't buy that brand because they test on animals, looking down my nose at a friend's possibly sweatshop made shoes, essentially making people feel bad for their choices instead of encouraging better ones or encouraging the positive choices they already make. I got the nickname "Callout Girl" from my best friends for regularly pointing out injustices - affectionately given but based on at least a small amount of irritation!
I've started biting my tongue a bit more, framing things in a more positive light: "Have you tried..." , "I read this great article..." , "I'm really enjoying using...". I'm finding it much more of an opportunity to open up a dialogue about the things that I'm passionate about and is a lot more engaging for people who may not have thought about it before.
Of course it is always a work in progress and I'm sure I still loftily interject but I think anyone doing anything positive for the planet, people and animals should be celebrated. An ethical journey starts with the smallest steps:
- Pop a fabric bag in your pocket or handbag when you leave the house in case you need to carry something you bought
- Dry your clothes on the line instead of using the dryer
- Start a compost bin
- Start avoiding plastic packaging in the vegetable section at your supermarket
- Check out your cosmetics once you use them up - were they tested on animals? if yes, find a better replacement
The list goes on! So choose nice, be kind and spread the word!
Shameless self promotion: Piñatex Chloë in indigo
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