Select Page

A cherished friend once said to me: “touch things lightly and let them go”. We were discussing the feeling of relief one gets when cleaning-out the excess in one’s life. The clutter. The things that gather dust. The things that take away the simplicity of having just what you need.

 I am not a hoarder. Quite the opposite. I am in a constant state of re-gifting, de-cluttering and thinning-out drawer contents. My husband is too afraid to own too much because any excess will be redistributed as was the case when we met in 1997.  I have to admit, that on a scale of mild to extreme on the de-clutter index, I go off the scale on the extreme side.

 One will be surprised at how many animals must have died to provide the clutter: from the unused wool jersey, the 70’s leather handbag, the feather boa, the angora-trim gloves to the woollen blanket that is now no longer suitable. There may even be a rabbit fur coat in the cupboard. Take a peep in the pantry: long-life milk, whey protein bars, biltong, cheese flavoured crisps and biscuits. Look inside the fridge and ironically the whole chicken will have more space now on the fridge shelf than she would have had when she was alive in a cage. Just above her, are the eggs she laid. In the medicine cabinet and the make-up drawer, most items or their ingredients would have been subject to animal experiments. They may even contain animal ingredients.

How about minimising the presence of dead animals in your home, if you cannot go the “whole hog” (with respect to the hog) of being vegan? Take away the negativity and sadness that these products bring. Replace them with products that burst with vigour and life.

What does one do with these now unwanted items? PeTA advocates that fur coats (for example) should be donated to the homeless as this will take away the apparent glamour and wealth that they claim to represent. By donating them, they are still used but their monetary value decreases substantially. To be callous, the animals have died already. Others advocate that the items should be destroyed. Personally, I gave away my items which were leather or had leather on them, and items with wool, down or angora. When I buy products, I look for certain logo’s on products (I will do a separate blog on this at some stage) and ingredients before buying them. If I buy something that is not perishable, I have a philosophy of giving away two things for every new item purchased. Somehow one needs to maintain the harmony and balance. Keep an equilibrium in your surroundings and allow the soft whispers of air to move around what you choose to keep and cherish.

 “The things we own can own us too” – Henry David Thoreau

R Malan