What to do With Non-Vegan Stuff When You Go Vegan? 12 Vegans Share Their Experience.

(Please Remember: There is No Right or Wrong Answer)

Dina Appel

I used up my non-vegan cosmetics and healthcare items and replaced them with vegan ones.  Honestly, that was harder than getting rid of the non-vegan food! Some of the cosmetic items were tough to find good replacements for. I’m still searching for some! I gave most of my non-vegan clothing to a charity that helps stray cats, but it was hard to give up a few items! My favorite old cowboy boots, a rare vintage coat, my expensive cashmere sweaters…I hid those in the back of the closet for a while until it was just too uncomfortable and I finally gave them away too. 

Ginny Ray Hanson

We immediately gave our next-door neighbors our non-vegan foods. I donated some leather items, feather pillows & wool items. I gave a friend my favorite Ulla leather boots. It really wasn’t hard to part with anything & everyone else was overjoyed to receive them.

Shauna Sherick

Phasing out animal products was not that difficult. I just began paying more attention to food and clothing labels. With so many alternatives to animal products, it’s easy to make the switch.

Earvin Lopez

When I went vegan I phased out non vegan food overnight and clothing I never really purchased any leather, fur etc before but became aware of it and other items such as shampoo, toothpaste, deodorants I used up what I had and then purchased the vegan version.  

Deni Kirkova

I just binned up all the meat from my freezer and finished off eating the ice cream and tins of tuna. I wore my leather shoes a while longer but obviously didn’t buy any new ones.

Anthony Carriuolo

I was vegetarian for about a year before becoming fully vegan, so meat and fish was already a bygone issue. It was less about “phasing” things out and more about improving on the habits I was learning and shopping smarter. Getting over dairy was tough until I realized the culprit behind my 6 AM stomach pains. As for clothing, I didn’t throw anything away. I didn’t see a purpose to toss a leather belt I had for three years because my mind was changed. If anything, it’s counterproductive to waste a perfectly good product to exact a puritanical transformation.

Mikayla Aaliyah

I chose to take my time instead of going cold turkey because I really wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing and would not end up being a week in to give in to temptations or cravings. I cut out what I ate the least of first then worked my way up to the harder stuff. (Fish, meat, then dairy.) Along the way, id look for vegan alternatives so that if I did crave it id have something to go to. When it came to other things besides food, although I was upset about the injustice and harsh chemicals behind the products being placed on my skin I decided it was a waste to just throw things out. Instead, I used the products until empty (most was makeup) and never purchased it again.

Alyssa Miller

I actually gave up dairy first. I ate almost transitioned to being dairy free when I was 18. My college campus wasn’t vegan-friendly and I went from eating mostly vegan to heavy dairy and I got very sick. I then cut out dairy. I ate eggs for about another year, but then I finally started doing more research and looking into factory farming and realized my organic cage-free eggs will still cruel and I went vegan. Because I was in school, I didn’t have much non-vegan food to get rid of. Knowing me, anything non-vegan I probably gave to a roommate. For my clothing and makeup, I used up what I had and made sure to replace it with vegan options. I was a broke college student and financially couldn’t afford to throw out all my shoes and start over. I just made sure any new shoes were vegan.

Kacie Bernhardt

It just took some thought and creativity at first. Of course, my meals weren’t as exciting then as they are today because it takes knowledge and practice, but I really didn’t struggle when it came time to phase out my non-vegan items. There was no “going back” and therefore I forced myself to find alternatives. Being stern and holding myself accountable really helped in that sense. As far as clothing, I donated a lot of items that I no longer wanted and I just adjusted to buying cruelty-free items.

Harry Nicholson

We quit eating all animal products cold “turkey”. We stopped buying leather AND wool clothes shortly afterwards.

Ari Violet

I went vegan cold turkey, overnight after trying to be vegan for about a year. I guess I just woke up and it clicked. So, initially, I didn’t realize how many THINGS I had that contained animal products – basically EVERYTHING. That process of education took a while and still surprises me. Initially, I went vegan for health, but now my passion is fueled by so much more than that. I am vegan out of respect for all of God’s creations. I phased out my skincare and haircare products first, just by tossing them. I didn’t own makeup at the time so I didn’t have to do anything with that…but there are SO many amazing, cruelty-free and HEALTHY makeup brands that are actually GOOD for your skin. I didn’t have leather clothes, but I did have leather shoes that I donated to goodwill. I DID keep a pair of sneakers that had animal-based glue and wore them out until I couldn’t anymore. Now I do a PLETHORA of research before buying ANYTHING! I got a tattoo before being vegan, then realized the ink isn’t vegan. However there ARE companies with vegan ink, so I requested those brands for all my other tattoos. I donated what was obviously sourced from animals, tossed my cleaning products and beauty products that weren’t vegan and slowly transitioned everything out. Now we are very intentional with our purchases. HOWEVER, gifts….we receive gifts from family members (who are not vegan) that contain animal products – soaps, candles, rugs…initially, it was really hard to say no because we were stepping on their feelings. But as the years go by we stand firmly in our convictions and respectfully decline offers and ask if we can exchange it for a cruelty-free alternative.

Jamila Alfred

Since I was a college student who lived with their parents at the time, I just let them eat any leftover animal products I still had in the fridge. Luckily, I didn’t have many clothes that contained animal hide so whatever I did have I just gave away, but I threw out pretty much ALL my makeup which was kind of a bummer; but hey, I have awesome vegan makeup now!

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