On being vegan, not just eating vegan

This topic is not running related, but it’s been on my mind lately. I went vegan last summer after being vegetarian since I was 18 (full disclosure: I stopped being vegetarian for a few months before my wedding in a move of pure selfishness). I had a few false starts before then, where I would tell myself eating locally farmed eggs was fine and thinking it would make eating at restaurants ‘too hard’. Ha. I’ve learned a lot since then.

The thing that really solidified my decision was choosing to take responsibility for my actions and stop playing dumb. I educated myself; I watched Earthlings, I read literature, I learned where things are sourced from. And once I had that knowledge, I couldn’t un-know it. I couldn’t continue on consuming products that contributed to animal suffering. So I went vegan. I learned about ingredients that I might not have heard of before, I read every label before I bought something, I came to enjoy vegan cheese. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I know I’ll be vegan for the rest of my life.
But being a vegan doesn’t just apply to eating. You could just call that a plant based diet (and many people do). Animals are not only exploited and murdered for food, but also for clothing, for product testing and for entertainment. I don’t want any hand in that whatsoever, but I didn’t wise up to this until becoming vegan. I think this disconnect is very common for people. We are so removed from the process that to many a leather coat is just a piece of clothing. A wool sweater is what you wear in the winter. So while I was a vegetarian, I still owned a leather purse. Try to rationalize that! You can’t. My 12-year old leather-hating, animal-loving self would be ashamed.

I understand that disconnect, but I don’t condone it. If you care enough, you’ll do the leg work. At first I felt so absolutely overwhelmed when I realized how many things I owned, or items I used that contained animals products. It was too ubiquitous! I couldn’t avoid it! These statements are not true. Over the last few months I’ve been making a point to find vegan and cruelty free alternatives to all household and beauty items I use. I definitely can’t say I’m 100% converted, but I’m doing my damnedest! And no one is policing me, I’m choosing to make all these changes because I know it’s right and I want to do the right thing.

I have to say, that makeup was the hardest thing for me. It is easy to go to the organic section of a grocery store and find basic products that are vegan; lotion, soap, etc… but makeup! I have shades of foundation that perfectly match my skin tone! I have just the right eyeliner brush – nothing else could replace it! And why run out and buy new stuff now? – I already have these items so the damage is done. So I told myself. But this week when one of my Bobbi Brown makeup brushes kept leaving pony hair all over my face I had enough! And I realized the switch wasn’t hard at all.

I’ve been researching some new vegan brands – there are tons, all with the help of Leaping Bunny and Logical Harmony (seriously so helpful) and have pretty much got all of my makeup switched to vegan brands! And a new synthetic brush set – er… made from teddy bear hair?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tarte foundation, TooFaced brushes and mascara, Rosebud Perfume co. lip salve, Anastasia brow duo. Button courtesy of Scott. I’ve got some gel eye liner coming my way in the mail, and then I just need some blush and eye shadow to round out my collection.

Go vegan! We have cute make up.

 

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