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Making The Connection: Veganism, Environmentalism And Minimalism Are More Than Temporary Trends

by Catherine Palmer: Something positive is stirring up across the whole world….


A gradual shift in paradigm is most obvious within the Western society, and this is no coincidence at all. You are surely aware by now of the rising “trend” of veganism, minimalism, and an overall effort among people to make more conscious decisions in regard to how their lifestyle impacts the environment. Inarguably, all these things are interconnected, but where does this connection stem from? Why are we claiming they are to be more than just temporary trends? Our hyper-stimulated society has seen numerous trends come and go, each with numerous followers, so why would these be any different? Are we truly heading for positive change as a society, at least in some aspects of our collective being? So many questions, but the answers lie buried deep within the core of humanity itself. It is not all simple and straightforward; however, we strive to confront the bits and pieces in search of getting closer to the truth, primarily as individuals and then as a collective.


The philosophy of minimalism


There’s much pondering to what minimalism is, and much misinterpretation to go along with it. We see a growing trend in the minimalist aesthetic, the appreciation of simplicity, of clean spaces and simple geometry. We can easily find advice and encouragement on how to declutter our wardrobes, our homes, and how to implement the “less is more” philosophy into design and lifestyle. But this is not what minimalism essentially is in its true intentions; it is the superficial face of it, and that’s why all minimalist design can be viewed as just a current trend. However, the reason that it became a trend in the first place lies below the surface, when we look into the core of minimalist philosophy and those who strive to embrace it.

There are many ways to put it, and Joshua Becker of the becomingminimalist blog offers a very simple and sound explanation: “Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it”.


Each individual is unique, and in our quest to live in balance with our true inner selves, our values differ, as do the things we find meaning in. That’s why there’s no one rigid recipe for living a minimalist life; not to mention, the minimalist lifestyle is not a goal in and of itself. It is rather a tool, a philosophy to keep in our minds as we try to clear our vision, to find a sense of direction and identify the things that make our lives beautiful and meaningful. It reflects on our relationships, on how and with whom we spend our time, as well as the possessions we choose to own – and disown. It is the appreciation of the meaning of silence, of the negative space; simply, it is a philosophy of mindfulness which is meant to protect us from losing sight of the forest for the trees.

Minimalism and veganism


It’s an interesting phenomenon that there are many minimalists within the vegan community (or vice-versa), but when you look at it, it’s no coincidence at all – and environmentalism is a thread between the two. Essentially, the underlying principle is consciousness, or if you’ll have it, mindfulness. The majority of vegans choose this diet to lessen their impact on the environment but also out of empathy for all living things. Empathy is also an important thread here; it is an ethical principle that leads many humans to live their life in peace and harmony with the world. Many vegans choose bicycles as a mode of transportation because it is the more eco-friendly option; they try to reduce their carbon footprint in all ways possible, from consuming less to striving to not participate in fast fashion, mass production (that is, mass consumption) and all things derived from unethical conditions.


Many people start with being mindful of the food they put in their body and thus choose a vegan diet as the only one that resonates with their principles; as we can see from the minimalist vegan community, this mindfulness is very naturally and seamlessly spread to all other forms of consumption.


Thus, we can see the correlation clearly. The principles complement each other; in fact, they all fall under one ideal of compassion and consciousness. The philosophy of minimalism stands to help clear the path; to remove obscurities in search of a meaningful life – one that is emphatic to the individual in question as well as to Mother Earth, its well-being and all its creatures.

The context

We can argue that ancient societies, long before civilization, lived by these principles; they consumed no more than they needed, they lived in harmony with nature and held respect for the animals they hunted. As society developed these principles were diminished and degraded until we were left in a world with no philosophy, no search for the true harmony in life – just mindless consumption.


And we’ve seen, in each of our lives, that it’s not working for us; we’re not fulfilled, and we feel no harmony – not just with the world we live in, but with our inner selves as well. It is no coincidence that these movements are taking wind in this day and age. Although it is not simple at all on a societal level, the point is that people are embracing a philosophy that resonates well with them in their quest for meaning and balance. And that’s why the principles of minimalism, veganism, and environmentalism are much more than just trends.


These are some ponderings and hope to shed light on the connection between the current principles of living, but by no means are we saying this is a mass movement to jump into as a solution to all problems. It is each person’s individual endeavour to get close to their true self with each step, to get better with each day, to have ideals and principles. Not for the sake of perfection, but out of pure love for life – all life. It’s a personal responsibility for each one of us to strive for it in our own way, but we are not alone on the quest, and movements such as these prove it.

Source: Awaken


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