You might think that a vegan lifestyle is all about a self-denial and that might be discouraging you from trying it. Maybe you cannot imagine a life without meat, milk, eggs, and animal products based foods. Maybe you cannot imagine a life without leather products and clothes, and cosmetics that have been tested on animals. There is no reason to worry though - nowadays the vegan lifestyle is much easier than you think.
There are vegan salamis, steaks, sausages, plant based milks and cheeses, and yogurts and whip creams made out of plant based milks. These healthier vegan alternatives have the same or very similar taste. You can get clothes, cosmetics or sports equipment that no animal had to suffer for, at most stores now. Just look around you.

Food


Most people view this topic as the most problematic. However, a life without animal products is not a problem anymore- you can find health foods store at almost every corner in bigger cities. For a list of heath foods stores in the Czech Republic, check out www.etickespotrebitelstvi.cz


There is a misconception about vegans, a lot of people think that being a vegan is all about self-denial and suffering. That is not true. Most conventional grocery stores carry meat alternatives, plant based milks and egg alternatives. You can find the best selection of  
vegan products at specialty health foods stores. At those stores you can easily get a variety of plan based salamis, spreads, pates, whip creams, creams, tartar sauce, mayo, milk, yogurts, candy, baked goodies and chocolate- basically everything that you used to enjoy in your pre-vegan days. Most of these products are not only healthier, but also eco-friendly because they come from eco-friendly and sustainable farms. Some of the companies that make these  
products also follow ethical fair trade practices, fair conditions for their workers, and do not support child labor (Fairtrade label), or have minimal negative impact on the environment (BIO label). You can find a lot of these products online, there are many online stores with  
vegan products.


Product logos are very useful tool when it comes to making sure that the product is strictly plant based- vegan. Unfortunately the Vegan logo is fairly rare in Czech Republic. Most of the products with the Vegan and Certified Vegan logos are imported from USA and Canada.





If you are buying products that do not have these certificates- logos, you should check the label for hidden animal ingredients. Some these hidden food additives are called "E" and they are for the most part made from animal products or animal by-products. Other hidden animal ingredients are for example rennet, which is an enzyme used in cheese making. This enzyme comes from a stomach of a young calf. For more information please visit your national veg organization website.

Some modern restaurants offer tasty meals for vegetarians and vegans. Unfortunately most restaurants do not have very many vegetarian and vegan options on their menus. Strictly vegetarian and vegan restaurants are a growing trend in Czech Republic. For locations, please visit Ethical Consumerism. Contacts for Czech vegan restaurants are on Czech Vegan Society website.

If you are planning to travel abroad, check out this useful website with newly updated list of vegan friendly restaurants at Happy Cow

Would you like to try something from the Czech cuisine? Check out  Czech Vegan living in America


Also check out our section Links for a list of specialized websites, blogs and forums.


And would you like to know how many animals you would save by becoming a vegan? Here is a summary of "meat" than an average European consumes in her/his lifetime:

8 cows or calves

6 sheep or lamb

25 rabbits

720 chickens

33 pigs

390 fish

1/2 horse

 

 

Cosmetics


Most cosmetics (personal care products and skin care products) are tested on animals. The final products are tested as well as the individual chemical ingredients. In the EU a new law that will unable companies to test their cosmetics (the individual ingredients and the final products) on animals will be passed in 2013. We will most likely find cosmetics tested on animals on our market after 2013 since some companies will manufacture their cosmetics outside EU. It will be up to the consumers to vote with their wallets if they choose cruel and often very painful tests on rodents, dogs, cats and other species.

There is a wide range of cruel animal tests, from skin irritation (where a substance is applied on purposely injured skin) to LD 50 tests where different animals are being fed a highly concentrated substance that kills them.

There are safe and reliable alternatives to all of these tests so there is no reason to do animal tests anymore. There is no excuse for cosmetics manufacturers to use old fashioned, cheap methods that involve cruel animal testing. For more information, contact your national animal protection agency or vegan organization.



If you want to avoid cosmetics tested on animals, buy cosmetics that  you can find on the cruelty-free list, or check for labels. The most reliable is a logo HCS, which follows very strict guidelines. You can rest assured that a product with HCS logo is 100% cruelty-free. The logo Vegan has a similar function, but also it assures you that the product does not contain any parts of living or dead animal. Cruelty-free cosmetics are available in many stores and natural health foods stores. Some chain stores build their marketing on cruelty-free cosmetics and even their own brands are often vegan.

Cruelty-free cosmetics are great quality products, often even better than the cosmetics tested on animals. Cruelty-free cosmetics are often healthier because they are usually made from ingredients sourced from   eco-friendly farms, with minimum or zero chemicals. It is easy to pick cruelty-free cosmetics over products that contain animal ingredients and are tested on animals.

Clothes


Even though many people view the use of real furs in clothing as something out of style and unnecessary, a lot of people do not realize that the leather industry is based on the same principals as the fur industry - in both cases an animal had to suffer and die for fashion. You can easily avoid leather products and choose from a variety of non-leather clothes, shoes and belts. As a nice bonus the non-leather  products are usually cheaper compare to the leather ones. And they last about the same time as the leather products. It pays to check your clothes for logos, pictograms or the manufacturer declaration to find out if you are wearing a leather or fur from a dead animal.


You can support companies that purposely abstain from selling fur, such as companies with this logo.

For your information, the fur issue isn't just about fur coats, but also about the lining on certain clothes and shoes, which is the case  with 90% of farm raised foxes.


The clothes you choose to wear speaks about what is inside of you, it reflects your opinions about animals and the treatment of animals. For example if you don't like factory farming you can wear a T-shirt with  
a message or a picture that would show your opinion about this issue. There are many different companies that make clothes and other animal rights and vegan message themed products. For example, Avenging Animals

If you like martial arts we have some cool collection just for you, check out section Buy. All proceeds of the sales will directly support  our future activities.