How To Cope When You're The Only Vegan In Your House

 

Boyfriend, wife, kids, parents or friends - spending your life with people who don’t share your values or actions can be hard. When we are enthusiastic about a lifestyle, it is only natural to want to share this with the people we love and spend time with. It’s not so easy being the odd one out, and realising that our passion and enthusiasm isn’t quite matched by those around us. So what to do when you’re the only vegan in the house, to not only cope with the challenges, but to thrive? Read below for some of my tips.

 

Let them know

First of all, it’s important to explain to people why you have chosen this lifestyle, and what it means for you. Sometimes, we expect people to know what Veganism means. Though some people really don’t understand how it really looks in practise. They may have heard something like ‘vegans don’t eat meat’, and their definition of meat is ‘red meat’, therefore, cook you fish for dinner. It’s not just that - some restaurants, friends, families, or restaurant staff are well meaning, and unknowing. Some will also think it is only about what you eat. So if you’re sharing a life, house, or fridge, with people who aren’t vegan you may need to clearly express to them how your lifestyle is different from theirs. It can also be helpful to share your favourite brands, products, and of course - Buddy Scrub product with your loved ones, so that come holidays and birthdays they will be able to give you gifts that are aligned with your lifestyle.

 

Share Your Passion

There are so many ways to feel connected to those you live with, whilst staying strong in your beliefs and understanding of others. There is a big difference between lecturing our loved ones, and sharing some interesting information. Knowing how to find the balance with sharing information is key to helping people in your life better understand the vegan lifestyle.

Rather than demand that all members eat the same as you, or begin to tell them how their meal is not ethical or compassionate, why not gently share your efforts by offering to cook for the whole house once (or more!) a week? Offer from a place of genuinely wanting to share and nourish them, and stay humble through the process. They will see - and taste - for themselves, how delicious and accessible this lifestyle can be. They don’t need to convert, or even hear why the meal is ethical and cruelty free - and sometimes they may just ask themselves! When something is shoved down out throats (literally and figuratively) then they may be far less likely to want to absorb the information and be open to it. You may find that the less ‘intense’ you are about trying to convert your family in particular, the more curious they may be on their own to ask about your lifestyle and reasons.

If you can, offer to buy some more groceries for the house, stocking up full of vegan products and ingredients. Explaining how to use these products and how to cook with the ingredients is a way to include others in your lifestyle. They may even like that vegan cheese more than the dairy!

 

Have a sense of humour

People like to tease, annoy, and make jokes. Maybe your family is super supportive and happy for you, or maybe some remarks get to you and leave you feeling disconnected and frustrated. Remember, not everyone will understand your decision, and not everyone is where you are at with their values. Maybe one day… but for now, try to keep a sense of humour and not take others so seriously when they make comments about your choices. You can stay strong and steady with your own boundaries, without having to get defensive or senstitive about their comments. Often people’s comments and jokes come from a lack of understanding about Veganism. Staying strong in these moments helps to ensure that your compassionate energy remains strong.

 

Stay Informed

If you are newly transitioning, or unsure o f which items in your household are suited to your lifestyle, make sure you keep yourself informed by looking up information online. When it comes to nutrition, there is a great amount of resources about nutrient sources, vitamins and minerals and everything you need to know and consume. This will also keep you prepared when you’re asked the question you’ll probably hear countless times in your life: ‘where do you get your protein?!’

 

Keep Snacks

Vegan snacks can be delicious. Bliss balls, exotic fruits, nuts, granola, crackers, and so much more. So delicious that others may want to nibble on them too! Make sure you are clear in what is yours, and whether you are up for sharing or not. You can even suggest replacing their cheese dips with hummus if they really like it, and help the whole household in the process! Otherwise, respect their snacks, and ask for respect for yours.

 

Compassion is Key

Know that we are all on our own journey, and if being compassionate and giving more love is one of your values and reasons for living a vegan lifestyle, then it only makes sense to treat all others - no matter their lifestyle - with compassion and love. Though it can be easy to get stuck in feelings of helplessness and sadness when we see injustice and a lack of understanding, know that you can contribute your knowledge and action to helping to create changes in yours and others lives, whilst still staying open and inclusive of everyone. Stay confident in your choices, and you may see others having more confidence in your choices as well.

 

Join a group

If you find that you’re continuing to feel isolated as a vegan in your household, then there are many ways to connect with others who have a vegan lifestyle. There are many communities that you can join, such as Instagram pages, Facebook groups, groups via meetup.com.au or attending vegan community events in your city. Connecting with people who have a similar lifestyle and values to you, will help you to feel less isolated and perhaps even make some new friends.

 

 

For more tips:

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/how-to-survive-as-a-vegan-in-a-non-vegan-household

https://www.plantbuilt.com/vegan-understanding-everyone-understands/

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Being Vegan Is About More Than Just What You Eat

 

…It’s about how you live.

For many people who have turned vegan, or who are newly transitioning, there’s a lot to consider when you assess the changes that you’ll be making.

It’s much more than just not eating animal products, as many people may still perhaps think. It is a holistic way of living… a lifestyle.

If you define vegans solely by what they put in their mouth - then this only covers one aspect of veganism, and misses the point of the movement. Veganism is much more than just a plant-based diet, as there are many other non-food products, behaviours and processes that also exploit animals. This can be demonstrated by the irony of leather-wearing vegans, who would really be considered to be choosing a plant-based diet rather than a vegan lifestyle.

Most of the time, defining veganism by food consumption can be due to a lack of information or understanding about what it means to be vegan, or because many vegans choose to make the transition into this lifestyle by beginning with their food choices. So here’s an overview of what a #veganlifestyle actually means, and how to bring your actions in line with your principles. Not only does it do a great amount for the environment, the animals and your health – but also that feeling of aligning with what you believe is wonderful!

First, it’s important to be clear that consumption covers more than just food. There is a large emphasis on ‘diets’ in society and the vegan food movement has received a lot of exposure recently. For example, in Australia between 2014 and 2016, the number of vegan food products rose by 92%!

However, your consumption extends beyond food and beverages. Consumption is the driver for social, economic and environmental change. This is one of the biggest reasons why vegans are so passionate about the movement, as they truly believe that the way that society ‘consumes’ will make a huge difference to the functioning and sustainability of the world.

So when people talk about vegan consumption, they need to not only be talking about what they eat and drink; but also what non-food items they purchase, the events they attend and the processes/actions that they support. Consumption can even extend to the energy we consume, the people we spend time with, the thoughts we think, and the mindset we hold. Below I’ll step through some of the ways that vegan consumption is about much more than just food:


Beverages
There are a number of beverages that contain animal by-products. Some are more obvious such as milk or milk drinks, but some are less obvious. Many protein shake powder is made from whey, which is a by-product from cow’s milk. There are many vegan protein powders available now so that you don’t need to skip on your daily shake! Collagen drinks and powders are also rising in popularity, however collagen is also derived from animals and is not considered vegan. It’s also common for wine to be filtered with animal products, such as eggs. This is not well advertised but you will often see on the back of wine bottles whether any animal products have been used during filtration. There are also a number of vegan wines available and can be researched online.

Personal Care Products
Not only do products often contain ingredients that have been tested on animals, but they can also contain animal derived ingredients. Quick tip - here's some commonly used animal derived personal care ingredients to avoid: Cochineal Dye/Carmine, Guanine, Tallow, Lanolin, Squalene, Ambergris, Collagen, Beeswax, Estrogen/Estradiol, and most forms of Retinol. Many of the skincare or cosmetic products that you own may not be vegan and could contain animal derived ingredients as well as irritating synthetic chemicals. Opt for skincare and cosmetics that are advertised as vegan – such as the entire Buddy Scrub range!

 
Clothing + Accessories
This may be an area of the vegan lifestyle that you haven’t considered, and a great example of how veganism extends beyond food consumption. Clothing and accessories that contain leather, fur, feathers, snakeskin or other ‘skins’ from animals are not considered vegan, and animals are often subjected to significant pain and suffering for the use of their skins. You may think that purchasing leather doesn’t contribute to the death of livestock, however farmers sell their cows for their meat as well as their hides so all of these aspects contribute to the animal’s demise. Fashion brands are becoming more conscious of the ethics behind the materials that they use and many are now going ‘fur free’ or ditching animal materials altogether. There are many alternatives to traditional leather, fur and other animal derived fashion, and simply searching online for ‘vegan fashion’ will give you a whole range of results for brands, companies and sites dedicated to offering this.


Home/Lifestyle Products
Similar to above, there are many household products that contain animal derived ingredients. Examples of this include goose or duck ‘down’ pillows and duvets which use the feathers of geese and ducks, wool blankets or slippers made from sheep’s wool, some brands of mattresses, ivory or leather goods, and even products such as glue or candles can contain animal derived ingredients. Many people who change to a vegan lifestyle will find that they have many more products left over which may not suit their new lifestyle. That's ok. What you can do is donate what products you may already have to charity, so that others benefit. You can then replace them with vegan alternatives to support those companies who are supporting the world!

 
Events exploiting animals
Consumption also extends to the activities and behaviours that you take part in. Again, your purchasing power is a driver for change, and avoiding companies, experiences and activities that add to the suffering of animals will keep you aligned in your vegan lifestyle; you'll be one less person taking part in these acts. Some of the events or activities that involve the exploitation or killing of animals includes animal acts in circuses, sea parks, zoos and hunting. There are so many alternative activities that you can get involved in such as going on a hike, having a picnic in the park, lunch dates at plant-based cafe, yoga, dance, beach days...there are endless options that don’t need to involve animals for your entertainment.


Gifts for others
Being vegan is more than just being mindful of purchases and consumption for yourself, but also for others. Purchasing gifts or products that contain animal products is generally avoided by vegans, even if they are being gifted to someone who isn’t vegan. The reason for this is they ensure that their money is not going towards funding the businesses that are using animals for their products. Examples of products or gifts could include chocolate, wines, clothing and beeswax candles. This notion also extends to products that are used in conjunction with animal products such as BBQ sauces, ice-cream makers, meat accessories and more. There are many vegan friendly gifts that you can give to those you care about – why not get creative. They might even like coconut chocolate more than normal chocolate!

 
Mindset/Commitment
Going vegan does involve a large mindset shift and a newfound sense of compassion to consider the environment and animals in all that the person does. It can be quite an adjustment and one that may take place over a number of months to ensure that the lifestyle shift is sustainable and enjoyable. Going vegan involves cultivating a mindset that animals have rights to their lives and that society is able to create a more sustainable future without the exploitation of animals.  If you are considering becoming vegan, not everyone will agree with your choice and that’s ok. Building and strengthening your own mindset and commitment to veganism with a strong sense of your ‘why’, will help you to continue with this lifestyle in a sustainable way. The more that you are able to support and educate people to understand the vegan lifestyle, the more likely we are as a society to move towards more sustainable and kind practices.


As you can see, vegan consumption is more than just what someone puts into their mouth, but also regards products, clothing, experiences, purchases, behaviours, thoughts, efforts and action. It does take a large mindset shift and commitment to embrace a vegan lifestyle, however by embracing veganism beyond just a plant based diet is how real change will begin to emerge and we will see the benefits for animals, the environment and our society.




References:

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/common-cosmetic-ingredients-derived-from-animal-products/

https://foodrevolution.org/blog/vegan-statistics-global/

https://www.vrg.org/nutshell/leather.php

https://foodtolive.com/healthy-blog/go-vegan-diet/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28728684

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Cruelty Free is not the same as Vegan and here's why!

 


In the beauty community, it’s quite common for the words “cruelty-free” and “vegan” to be used interchangeably. However, this can be a problem because the two actually have completely different meanings.

For example, just because something is cruelty-free does not mean it’s vegan! It can be confusing at first, but once you know the difference between the two, you won’t forget. Here are some reasons why these two labels have completely different meanings and why my natural, vegan and cruelty free skincare products are the choice for you.

Requirements for Cruelty-Free Products

In order for an item to be considered cruelty-free, it has to be free of all animal testing. This includes testing on the finished physical product itself, as well as all of the individual ingredients.

Many beauty and cosmetics companies still use animal testing to see if their products are safe for human use, but it’s completely unnecessary and can be extremely cruel on the animals. During the testing process; animals such as mice, rabbits, and beagles are applied with products and ingredients to complete irritation and toxicity tests, many of which injure the animals for life or worse - kill them.

Cosmetic companies can rub products (such as mascara) directly into animal’s eyes or skin to see how they react to it. They can also shave their skin and expose them to toxic levels of products to see whether there are any adverse reactions.

If you don’t want to support this cruel practice, all you need to do is look for the cruelty-free label or cruelty free statement on products! There are many skincare companies that display cruelty free specific logos or clearly state that the product is cruelty free – you will see this statement on all of my natural skincare products.

Just because a product doesn't have a logo, it doesn't mean it’s not cruelty-free. Some companies use words instead, with a statement on the product such as ‘cruelty free’, ‘never tested on animals’ or similar.

However, if there is no statement or logo about cruelty free or animal testing, it may be safe to assume that the product was likely tested on innocent animals.

 

If it’s Cruelty-Free, doesn’t that automatically make it Vegan?

There is a common misconception that if a product is cruelty free, then it is automatically vegan. Many people think that just because something isn't tested on animals, that makes it vegan.

Unfortunately, this isn't true. Even though a product might not have been tested on animals, it could still have non-vegan ingredients in it that are derived from animals.

These ingredients might be obvious, or they might be hidden in words that many people wouldn't assume to be a non-vegan ingredient and this is why it’s important to check ingredient labels for any potential ingredients that are animal derived.

Examples of Non-Vegan Ingredients

Here are the most common non-vegan ingredients that are used in cosmetics, even in cruelty-free ones:

  • Carmine/ Cochineal - a red dye made from crushed beetles
  • Honey – a by product of bees
  • Beeswax - a by product of bees
  • Lanolin - derived from sheep’s wool
  • Tallow - rendered form of beef fat
  • Gelatin - ground up hooves, bones, etc
  • Glycerin - animal fats, although it can be vegetable derived
  • Keratin - a type of animal protein
  • Collagen – derived from animals and used due to its plumping effects


Requirements for Vegan Products

In order for a product to be considered vegan, it must be cruelty-free and have vegan ingredients.

Many companies are making the step to ensure their products are cruelty free, however they are unfortunately not taking the additional step to omit animal by-products from their ingredients and move towards vegan products. The well-being of animals is extremely important at Buddy Scrub and that’s why my skincare products are created to be both cruelty free and vegan so that you can always rest assured that no animals are involved or harmed.

What to Look For

When searching for cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics, the easiest thing to do is look for clear statements or the associated logos and can be on the front or back of a product.  The logos for cruelty free often include a rabbit and are associated with specific cruelty free organisations, and the vegan logos will often look like a ‘V’.

If you’re not able to find logos, then look for statements or check the ingredients list to make sure there are no animal derivates. All of my skincare products are labeled as natural, cruelty free and vegan friendly so that you know you’re making the right choice as soon as you pick me up.

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Now that you have a better understanding of the difference between the words “cruelty-free” and “vegan”, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions in regards to your cosmetics and skincare. Hopefully, companies will move towards making their products both cruelty-free and vegan; but my range of cleansers, body scrubs, moisturisers and lip care have you covered!

Shop our extensive range of natural, cruelty free and vegan friendly products here.

 

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6 Animal Ingredients That Could Be Hiding In Your Skincare Or Makeup

Image result for lanolin sheep

 

Aside from some of the obvious skincare ingredients that are derived from animals such as goat’s milk and milk powder, there are some ingredients that may be in your makeup or skincare that are less common and also derived from animals. You may be consciously choosing cruelty free skincare, which is great, however cruelty free does not mean animal free and many animals can still be harmed for their inclusion in beauty products. Ensure that you only purchase cruelty free and vegan skincare so that no animals have been involved in the production of these products.

Beeswax & Honey

Beeswax is a thick, waxy solution that is extracted from beehives from the honeycomb and honey that they produce. Bees are often selectively bred and their hives can be manipulated to increase production of these ingredients, such as killing and replacing the queen bee or replacing honeycomb with cheap sugar equivalents. These processes disrupt the beehive community and many bees can die as a result. Beeswax is often used in lip balms, lipsticks, face creams and lotions. There are many plant based waxes that can be used as an alternative, such as candalilla wax in my nourishing lip balms and lip scrubs.


Lanolin

You know the greasy build up on your hair when it hasn’t been washed for a week? Imagine that grease build up on sheep’s wool over months and months in humid environments. When sheep's wool is shorn, the wool is washed and the grease rises to the top and that is what is known as lanolin. Often sheep are deliberately left to develop more wool than they can carry to encourage more grease and lanolin production. Lanolin is often used in skin creams, balms and lip balms. An alternative to lanolin in skincare products is vegetable oils or plant based butters, such as those found in my hydrating body scrubs.

Carmine

Carmine is the term used for the red colouring powder that is made from crushing cochineal beetles. These beetles commonly eat a red berry whilst alive and are then crushed into a powder to colour pink or red cosmetics, such as lipsticks and blushes. Opt for skincare products that are coloured with plant based natural ingredients, such as all of the products in my natural skincare range which are coloured with plant based, natural ingredients.

Retinol

Retinol is a common ingredient in anti-aging serums or lotions and for its rich vitamin A content. This product however is extracted from animal by-products such as eggs, dairy, animal livers or kidneys.

Tallow

Tallow is another name for animal fat and is made by boiling the carcasses of animals until a fat layer is formed and extracted. Tallow is often used in moisturisers, lipsticks, soaps and other cosmetics as a moisturising ingredient. It can also be labelled as stearic acid.

Gelatin

Gelatin is a similar product to tallow as it is made from boiling carcasses, bones, tendons and ligaments of cows and pigs or any part of the animal that contains collagen (also an animal derived skincare ingredient). This ingredient is used as a binding and thickening ingredient and can be commonly found in shampoos, face masks, hair masks and more. It is also commonly found in food ingredients such as jelly lollies, marshmallows and a number of desserts. An alternative to this are plant based thickeners such as agar-agar or xanthan gum.

This is not a comprehensive list and there are many more animal by-products that can be found in skincare ingredients. The best way to reduce harm to animals is to choose cruelty free, vegan skincare products like all of those in the Buddy Scrub range.
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