Well it’s official, I’ve been vegan for a little over a month now! It’s been a little confusing, but really fun. I thought it would be a good idea to put together a honest account of what it’s been like. Here’s what I’ve been up to…
I’ve been taking a look at my current products a lot
I’ve been vegetarian for four years, so nearly all of the products I own are already cruelty-free. I still have a few products that I don’t use much and have had for years. Things that you use in small amounts that I will eventually replace. Two examples of this would be deodorant and hairspray, I’ll be honest I haven’t looked into the brands I have. My focus, for now, has been products I use regularly and will need to replace soon. My makeup collection has grown over the past few years as I’ve been getting more into makeup. I recently went through all of it and did two things: got rid of any old make-up (and I mean old) and made a note of products I won’t be replacing. It’s been really interesting to see which cruelty-free products are vegan and which aren’t. Luckily, the majority of my makeup is vegan-friendly. I did however discover a face mask from Lush that I love contains honey, boo!
I’ve been thinking about where I stand with parent companies
This entire month I have been reading different blog posts, think pieces and facts. At the beginning, I was so ready to just completely cut ties with any brand that has a dodgy parent company. I walked into Superdrug, replaced a few things and soon learnt that even they have a parent company that tests! The goal eventually is to support more unknown independent brands and shop from mainstream brands without dodgy parent companies.
For now, I decided I definitely want nothing to do with brands that belong to L’Oréal. This means no more products from The Body Shop, which is a shame because they are a great brand. I also recently turned down an opportunity to work with Urban Decay, another brand I was a fan of. I was also a huge fan of Too Faced, but won’t be re-buying from them either.
Lush was about to become a saviour
I’ve reluctantly been a fan of Lush for some time now. I don’t like how expensive it is, but I still do make a point of buying some of their products. Consumerism affects me more than I like to let on. Bath bombs wise, I’m definitely more of a Bomb Cosmetics gal (note: some of their products contain getalin). However, I’m a big fan of their lip scrubs and I recently picked up one of their toners. Since dying my hair, I’ve been using one of their leave in conditioners too. After deciding to ditch The Body Shop, I was planning to replace my stuff from there with stuff from Lush.
As if out of nowhere, Lush then became the latest brand to use fatphobia as a marketing technique. To promote a film about veganism (which I had no idea that this is what they were trying to do), they posted this on Instagram. They have since apologised (it was a bizarre one in my opinion), but I don’t really feel comfortable shopping there anymore. So, that’s more products I’m looking to replace! I don’t want to go into all of this too much, but I highly recommend reading Amanda’s post on this. She sums it all up perfectly to be honest.
I followed a bunch of vegan Twitter accounts and unfollowed them all almost immediately
I’m not going to name names, but I’m not here for the vegans who think they’re better than everyone else. I’m still navigating my way around this lifestyle and we all have different views. I know some vegans who still shop at places like The Body Shop for example. Some people want to show a demand, it’s literally down to personal choice. There’s too many people on Twitter ready to brand you as a terrible person and vegan if you don’t do things their way. I have also seen people be really aggressive towards other vegans who dare to question them. In addition to that, there is a huge fat-shaming problem in the vegan community too (Steph recently wrote about this). These people are not helping this cause they’re so passionate about, they’re driving people away from it. I’ve decided to just ignore these folk and try figure out what I want to do.
Food is more enjoyable now
I have an okay relationship with food. Like many, I have a few body image issues. But I’m mostly okay. Luckily, cutting out even more from my diet hasn’t had too much of an effect on me (please be mindful that these things sometimes can). I was discussing this with Iain last night and I asked him if he felt he was enjoying food more. We both agree that we’re enjoying food more because a) vegan food is just more flavoursome and b) we are cooking a lot more now. It’s become a fun thing we do together more often. We’ve also started to regularly cook meals we would never had done before. Dahl, burrito bowls and jackfruit burgers are becoming favourites in our house. Last month, we also successfully made a family gathering vegan-friendly, some of the meat eaters really liked the food we made. Our vegan fudge cake was super popular!
Yesterday, we found a vegan restaurant right by the river in Kingston & it was heavenly 😍 I usually hate sitting outside to eat, but it was sooo nice! I had corn and vegetable cakes with plum sauce to start. • • • • #igeats #foodstagram #vegan #veganfood #vegandinner #veganism #vegansofig #foodie #fdbloggers #thegirlgang #thehappynow #thatsdarling #veganfoodshare #datenight
Vegan restaurants are blowing my mind
Like I mentioned in my last post, I am really enjoying eating at more vegan-friendly places. It’s been super exciting to see that there are a few near me and that most chains will have vegan options too. My new favourite at the moment is Las Iguanas. We recently enjoyed our first vegan Nando’s too! I have a long list of places to try and I’m looking forward to doing so.
The takeaway this month?
I think I’ve done pretty well so far and it’s silly to put pressure on myself. As I said, I’m still navigating my way around the vegan lifestyle. I know there are some vegans out there who are successfully living within their means and only supporting independent companies, but I’m not there yet. At the moment, I guess you could say I am picking and choosing what parent companies I boycott. I’m not entirely sure if this is right, but it’s just where I’m at now. I personally do not want to fund L’Oréal in any way, but I do want to keep shopping at places like Superdrug. For example, their own brand is growing and I do want to show a demand for that. After a Facebook discussion with some other fellow vegans, most people seem to go by their own ethics anyway. It was during that this discussion where I made my mind up about Superdrug and some other brands. It’s likely I’ll change my mind again at some point.
However, I do own some products I have no intention of re-buying. Stuff that I’ve owned for a long time and that is nowhere near close to running out. I decided to stop supporting Jeffree Star last year and still own some of his lipsticks. I don’t want to chuck them and they’ve been used too much for me to donate. So, I guess I’ll just use them?
It’s a tough one and I’m still figuring out where I stand on a lot of things.