Veganism is no longer a term defined as the lack of consumption of dairy or meat, but rather a lifestyle extending beyond food.
According to PETA, each year more than 100 million animals are killed in US laboratories for biology lessons and medical training. In addition, animals are abused for the purposes of chemical, drug, food and cosmetics testing.
Madison Tetrault, digital innovations sophomore, said she is aware of these unethical practices and is taking action against them.
Tetrault has been vegan for two years and vegetarian for five years before. Tetrault changed her lifestyle because she did not like the idea of harming animals.
“Becoming a vegetarian was pretty hard for me because my family only eats meat,” Tetrault said. “I was in middle school so I had to teach myself how to cook because my family was not going to do it for me.”
Tetrault said she eventually went vegan because of the health benefits. However, after becoming vegan she learned more about the animal testing that goes into makeup products and cleaning supplies for the home.
After learning about how animals are harmed in the creation of such products, Tetrault wanted to go a step further and live a completely vegan lifestyle outside of food. She said her makeup is completely cruelty free and plans to change all her products to vegan products in the future.
Many businesses have also begun to change their products and practices. Golden Goat Tattoo Company (GGTC), located in Roundrock, pride themselves in running their business ethically and environmentally sound. They keep it vegan-friendly all while making exceptional tattoos.
According to GGTC, some old-school inks, drawing inks and some small batch inks contain animal products such as bone char, animal glycerin, gelatin, carmine or shellac. However, most modern shops now use vegan ink.
GGTC’s other vegan products include stencil paper, razors, lubricant and aftercare. GGTC has focused their business on being entirely vegan and cruelty free in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint.
Erica Fuchs, digital media innovations graduate, was initially vegetarian. However, after learning the extent of animal cruelty she chose to go vegan. Fuchs plans on getting a vegan tattoo later this summer, but is still in the process of deciding what she will get and where she will go to get her tattoo done.
According to Mercy for Animals, investigators have uncovered routine abuse and frequent torture at factory farms. This includes kicking, punching and dragging cows by the neck and cutting piglets’ tails off with dull blades.
“I was disgusted by what goes on in factory farms, so I stopped consuming everything that came from animals,” Fuchs said. “I will eat whatever as long as animals weren’t hurt in the making of it. It’s more of a philosophy for me than a diet. That is why I have been able to stick with it for so long.”
Fuchs has been vegan for five years, but about four years ago she decided all the products she will buy would be cruelty free. Besides medicine, everything she purchases is completely cruelty free now.
“I don’t think the world will go vegan overnight, but I think people need to educate themselves and do what they can,” Fuchs said. “An impact can be made whether you are 100 percent vegan or just cutting back in the areas you can.”