There’s no denying, that there seems to be a bit of a change since the start of this year. Blue Planet hit our screens last year and we all had our eyes opened to the horrific amounts of plastic filling our oceans. Veganuary had it’s most ever participants (over 150,000 – and that’s just the people who signed up online), and it seemed like half of the people filling my instagram feed were getting involved.
P L A S T I C
Also, whilst everything but the top of shampoo and conditioner bottles are recyclable, I’ve started buying the Lush solid shampoo bars, and a few other items, of which all the packaging can be taken back into store and recycled (most of them are included in the offer of a free fresh face mask if you bring back 5 pots).
V E G A N I S M
So first up, I’ve cut all cheese, eggs and dairy out my diet; luckily I hate eggs, I’m not even much of a cheese eater unless it’s melted on my aforementioned beloved pineapple pizzas, and obviously milk chocolate is now a no-no. Instead I’m filling my fridge with vegetables, oat milk, vitalite and vegan cheeses, and my cupboards are full of grains, beans and lentils.
I’d say 80% of my diet was vegan anyway, but I’ve decided to finally go the whole hog (no pun intended). I’ve always felt like a bit of a hypocrite, being a vegetarian and talking to people who ask about the meat industry, knowing full well that the dairy industry is just as bad. I’m not going to get into all the details here (you can always email me or leave a comment if you fancy a chat!) but there’s a 5 minute video called “Dairy is Scary” here.
Veganism is also avoiding wearing animal products, in the form of leather, wool, and fur. I don’t actively buy new leather (usually because I can’t afford it!) and I do a lot of my shopping second hand, so there’s not much of a change to be made there. Although I would like to get myself a pair of the vegan Dr. Martens and donate my old pair to charity, and I’ll be slowly replacing any leather and wool products I do have, and donating what is fit to.
I’m also now be buying only cruelty free beauty products – I’m mostly good on this part too, although I do have old make-up I still use from brands like NARS and MAC (both of which sell their products in China, where it is unfortunately the law for products to be tested on animals before being sold). I’ll be using up these products and replacing them with cruelty free brands, or donating some to family and friends. There are A LOT of great cruelty free beauty brands out there now; personally I like to shop at Lush, The Body Shop and Superdrug (their own brand is entirely vegan and cruelty free).
Something I also didn’t make the connection with until recently is household products, the majority of which are tested on animals (each individual ingredient, rather than the end product, hence why sometimes companies can state the product isn’t tested on animals). I’ve started using products from brands such as Method and ECover which have the cruelty free logo on them. These are available in bigger supermarkets, online, and in odd places like Dunelm.
Of course, it’s hard to be perfect 100% of the time, but I think little conscious changes where you can make them go a long way. As the quote above says, veganism is about making changes to reduce suffering where possible, so whilst there are many reasons why people can’t go 100% vegan, there are little changes you can make for your health, for the animals, and for the environment.
I think I’ve rambled on enough for today, so I’ll leave it here with some resources you might find helpful.
A Considered Life – Cruelty Free Choices You Can Make When You Can’t Go Vegan