This was 2020: shaping my new identity

And then it happened, 1 year without any blog posts. Which has many reasons. So I'm glad this year is in the past now. Not only because of the obvious pandemic, but I've also been struggling a bit personally, thinking about who I want to be, how I want to be remembered, how much impact I want to make, basically doubting my old identity.

Beach Bergen aan Zee

My biggest change in the end of 2019 was going vegan, which was something I was still working on in 2020. Or actually I didn't really want to become a vegan, my goal was to do a 95% vegan / plant based diet. But later on I decided that I want to adopt more elements of the vegan lifestyle. Not just do a diet, but try to avoid other animal products as well. Because can I live with the idea of using a shampoo or deodorant that has been tested on animals? And what about the cruelty involved around clothing made of (sheep) wool? Of course I cannot justify that for myself, so I didn't want to simply ignore this.

Vegan Beyond Burger

Then I thought, I don't just want to do better for the animals, I also want to have less impact on our environment, our planet. So I want to use products that are more sustainable and ecological. Which, as I discovered, goes hand-in-hand with a vegan lifestyle, because a lot of good things you do for the environment, are also good things for the animals.

However, performing this to perfection is difficult and takes a lot of time. There are a lot of choices to make and sometimes there isn't a perfect choice available, it's choosing between two evils. This can be difficult with personal care products for example. A vegan formula often is still being tested on animals. And vegan products that are not tested on animals are harder to find. Sometimes they are expensive. Sometimes it's just not a nice product. I mean, a deodorant still is supposed to smell nice, right?

Charging at Château de Jumilhac

So I concluded that the best way to do this, is to try improving step by step. Don't expect immediate perfection. Actually, don't expect perfection at all. Do it 95%. Because that last 5% often is very time consuming and just costs way too much energy. Our energy is limited, so use that energy to improve something else. It's not about doing it perfect in every way, even someone who focusses 100% on veganism or 100% on sustainability probably isn't doing perfect. Because unfortunately, as a human, I'll always have some impact on our planet or on living creatures. And, in my opinion, the trick is to lower that impact as much as possible, in many different ways.

This more or less resulted in the decision not to focus too much on fixed concepts such as veganism. Although I agree with the vegan lifestyle, because being able to live without consuming any animal products would be perfect, I think that for my own impact on the planet and all living things in the end it is better to divide my energy over multiple subjects and do it step by step.

Lünersee in Austria

It took me pretty much the whole year of 2020 to get to this point. And I'm glad to have come to this realization, because I'm definitely much more motivated now. On the one hand I give myself a little more freedom, while on the other hand I'm going to improve a lot more. Improvements which will all give a feeling of satisfaction. My goal is that pretty much every time I'm buying something new, I'm going to try finding a vegan and/or ecological alternative. Which doesn't necessarily cost a lot of time or money, some changes are actually surprisingly easy to make. But every step helps.

So 2021 will be the year of many improvements for me. Actually I started already, by ordering a few vegan personal care products and vegan/ecological cleaning products. And with this I mean full vegan, so a vegan formula, but also not tested on animals.

I hope that other people will also get inspiration from the idea of not so much adopting just one single lifestyle, but to use the most significant and beneficial elements from multiple positive lifestyles. Think of it as an adventurous journey, one that's very rewarding. And with that I want to wish you all a Happy New Year and the best of luck in your lives and doing good things for our planet!

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