Throughout the month of April, Veggly donates part of its revenue to animal welfare NGOs in Germany, Poland and Ukraine that are helping refugees with pets.
As part of a long-term commitment to supporting animal welfare, Veggly has pledged to donate part of its revenue to Berlin Animal Shelter (Tierheim Berlin), an animal protection NGO in Germany that, at this moment, is helping refugees with pets from the Ukraine with their specific needs.
During the month of April, Veggly donates $3 of any spend above $15 to Tierheim Berlin and other affiliated NGOs.
How is Tierheim Berlin helping?
Providing accommodation for refugees with pets, using a database of people who can provide refugees with pets with temporary housing, food and animal support.
Providing basic sets of pet supplies: supporting refugee pet owners with all necessary accessories such as collars/harnesses and leash, blankets, dog/cat beds, food, bowls, transport boxes etc.
Providing free primary veterinary care: Ukrainian pets get free initial veterinary care at the main practice at Tierheim Berlin – including all necessary vaccinations, microchipping and issuing an EU pet ID card.
Animal Care Point Tegel: Tierheim Berlin’s so-called Animal Care Point at the former airport Berlin Tegel is serving as a welcome center for pets. It’s open daily from 3 pm to 9 pm. It provides the same services as listed above, at the large arrival center for refugees in Tegel. The center provides a vet on location as well as a big storage facility with all necessary pet supplies. Animal Care Point is a project of the Berlin State Animal Welfare Officer Dr. Kathrin Herrmann, Berliner Tiertafel and Tierschutzverein für Berlin / Tierheim Berlin. The project is financially supported by Welttierschutzgesellschaft and DRK (German Red Cross) Berlin, which is the overall organizer at Arrival Center Tegel.
Commenting on the donation pledge, Founder of Veggly, Alex Felipelli, said:“The situation in Ukraine is getting worse every single day and it’s devastating to watch. Humans and animals are suffering in their thousands. Businesses, charities, governments and the public must continue to work together to help those in need. As an animal rights focused organisation, Veggly is firmly committed to helping animals whenever we can; as a result, we will now be donating a significant part of our revenue towards the excellent NGOs that are working to help the animals that have been displaced by the war, such as Tierheim Berlin.
“We hope other organisations will join us in this decision. We are also on the lookout for additional NGOs we can support, so please do let our team know if you have any recommendations.”
Veggly, which now has over 600,000, is available throughout the world (users in 181 countries), Veggly is set to continue its rapid growth thanks to its growing army of vegan volunteers around the world who have worked together to translate the app from English into Spanish, German, Portuguese, French, Italian, Danish and Polish, with many more languages on the way, including Japanese.
Veggly was created to help vegans, vegetarians, and aspiring vegans/vegetarians to find, match and chat to other like-minded people nearby. At present, Veggly is the only vegan/vegetarian dating app available on Android, iOS and desktop/web.
and why not consuming them is an act against animal cruelty.
Animal testing has gained notoriety due to the growth of veganism which points this as one of the cruelest practices with animals. Confining an animal to use it as a guinea pig in various types of research is an ancient practice.
In recent history, humans have used animals as tools that allow man to create antibiotics, vaccines and other medicines, but also to test how effective or toxic the ingredients used by the industry are. Throughout the 20th century, the practice of animal testing grew exponentially as a part of the large-scale industrial production. The chemical agents that compose cosmetics, industrialized foods, clothing pigments, remedies, and other various types of products for human use, probably have gone through animal testing in their process.
Analyzing only in the cosmetics industry, Cruelty Free International has estimated that over 500,000 animals serve in testings every year . Laboratories in all segments of the market, with the exception of vegan companies, still use animals ruthlessly to test new ingredients before making their product available.
Multinationals of the food and beverage industry that we can easily find in supermarkets, if are not directly responsible, have business partners who perform these sorts of tests, however, some of them report on their respective websites that they do animal testing only when requested by regulatory agencies, but in practice this means that there are tests, either outsourced or when regulatory agencies from countries such as China and the US request it.
How does animal testing work?
Some trials are preclinical, such as primary skin irritation, cumulative skin irritation, and sensitivity. The animals have areas of its skin scraped, and light scratches are made in different regions, after that a small amount of the product or ingredient is applied on the skin and the area covered with gauze and tape. 24 and 72 hours later the wound is analyzed, to check for any reaction to the skin or lack of it. These injuries usually cause pain and inflammation to the animal if the product tested is in fact harmful.
Google Photo Reproduction
The cumulative skin irritation test prolongs and increases the suffering of the animal, after skin scraping, the scratching procedure and application of the product is repeated during the ten consecutive days. In the sensitization test, contact is maintained between the animal’s skin and an occlusive patch with a small solution of the product or ingredient that will be tested, and involves the injection of a substance known as Freund’s complete adjuvant. According to this document, the use of the adjuvant can be dangerous due to its side effects: pain, fever, nodules, erythema, necrosis and abscess. The test checks whether or not there is an immunological reaction of the subject’s body to the substance.
Google Photo Reproduction
The Draize test (eye irritation): Rabbits are partially immobilized in order to evaluate the irritating effects of the product or ingredient in areas of the animal’s eye (conjunctiva, iris and cornea). The amount of approximately one tenth of a milliliter is dripped in the eye of each rabbit , and it cannot be washed. Its immobilization does not allow the animal to scratch its eyes, which grants the corrosion on the site. If it is found that there was indeed eye irritation, there will be repetition of the experiment for several days in different animals, the consequences are ocular hemorrhage, lack of iris reaction to light, severe redness, swelling in the eyelid region, and even complete eye corrosion and ultimately blindness.
Google Photo Reproduction
The phototoxicity test is done in hairless mice, rabbits, pigs or guinea pigs, in order to understand how much a skin area becomes sensitive to visible light or ultraviolet rays, usually the skin of this animal is burned and peeled.
In toxicity testing it is analyzed whether the ingredient or product has the potential to destroy body cells, it is classified into two tests: In the LD50 carried out in rats and also in other animal species, the test substance for gastric intubation is applied and the procedure seeks to know the value of a possible dosage of the product that would be sufficient to cause the death of animals used as guinea pigs, this procedure is lethal for 50% of animals. The other 50% who survive suffer intensely until they are sacrificed.
The percutaneous toxicity test consists of applying the substance to the skin of rabbits, where it remains for 24 hours straight. The test is done for 14 consecutive days in order to record data on the amount of toxicity and mortality of the substance. After this period of percutaneous toxicity testing, whether these animals have died by sacrifice or by lethal dose, they have their internal organs examined.
The Vegan Society has stressed that “Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude as far as it is possible and practicable all forms of exploitation and cruelty to animals, whether for food, clothing or any other purpose” – and we know that yes, for many who live in large urban centers it is possible and practicable to avoid products from companies that test on animals. The right to consume is individual, but the right to life is universal. #Govegan!
Souza, Robson Fernando de – “Animal Rights and Veganism: Conscience with Hope,
Brazilian Ministry of Health: Ordinance nº 1,480/1990
A Vegetarian diet, on top of being great for the planet and for the animals, is the healthiest change you can make.
We are what we eat. Now think for a moment about that phrase, what if we actually were what we eat? It might make us think twice about eating junk! Eating junk food regularly can seriously cause damage to your body in many ways. These can include obesity, heart disease, difficulty remembering and weakened thinking capability.
It may be that upon reading, this triggers a sense of responsibility in you. Your body depends on your eating habits. Your health may benefit from considering a healthy diet, let’s take a look at the health benefits of going veggie:
Here are just some of the ways you can improve your plate every day.
· Start a vegan diet
· How to go vegan
· What ways to incorporate more protein in your diet
Start a vegan diet
If you have sought to lose weight but are struggling, a vegan diet is an approach you may like to consider. Cutting out certain foods altogether can assist with weight loss when managed carefully, in a calorie-controlled way.
Veganism means cutting out all food relating to animals. This is not just meat but any food which is derived from a n animal as a by-product. For instance, milk, cheese, yoghurt, eggs, and honey.
Making the step to becoming vegan may seem daunting at first. If you are a regular meat eater, you may benefit from weaning yourself off slowly rather than trying to do it all at once as your willpower and palette may struggle to stay focused on keeping to such a strict diet, all at once.
Advantages of a Vegetarian Diet
A vegan diet provides a bunch of health benefits, in fact, some diseases that don’t seem to have any cure can be improved by simply adopting a vegan lifestyle.
Surprisingly, a vegan diet has shown the prevention of many significant cancers and diseases relating to the heart, bowel, stomach and brain. Again, in order to stay healthy, you may also need to take measured vitamins, proteins, and carbs to avoid any deficiencies.
Our body is most precious to us no matter how much we bash our looks, but at the end of the day, we all want to put the best sort of diet in our bodies and prefer to stay fit for the sake of mental peace.
How to Go Vegan
· Small steps that lead to a strict vegetarian diet
If you are struggling to find a way to start a vegan diet but don’t know how to start, this guide may help you.
Every change in life needs time to adjust. You have to start slow. If you have never tried anything like this, try a vegetarian diet first to slow transition.
If you’re already a vegetarian but want to shift to veganism, then you could try a vegan breakfast for a month and monitor the changes in your health. Afterwards, you can decide whether you’re ready for the next step.
Once you have overcome this first hurdle, you will feel more confident starting a vegan diet. You can have a little cheat day on the weekend initially, but after you’ve correctly adjusted to this diet, you’ll find it easier to stick to it as you see the various health benefits.
What ways to incorporate more protein in your diet
Though a vegan diet has several benefits, there is a risk of a lack of protein in the body. So don’t forget to incorporate a portion of proteins into your plate;
· Making a vegan plate
While making your plate, the first thing to remember is to properly wash your hands and use ahand dryer instead of any other material/surface to dry your hand for better hygiene. Divide your plate into four food quarters. There should always be one portion of protein. We usually get our protein from meat so you will have to introduce beans, peanuts, lentils, Tofu, and seeds into your diet to get the protein you need.
1. Your plate should consist of quarters; there should be a quarter of your favourite greens.
2. Then a side of carbohydrates like potatoes, rice or corn.
If you have diabetes, you can go with non-starchy vegetables like carrots or zucchini /courgette.
3. Then, fill the next quarter with some flavourful whole grains or starches. These can be whole wheat pasta, corn meal or you could seek out some tasty recipes available online.
4. Finally, add some protein. Beans, pulses and seeds are all great providers of protein.
Veggly releases new list of sex position names, chosen by vegan users & vegan sexpert.
The ‘I love riding ewe!’
The move from Veggly is part of a new campaign to give equal rights to all animals, particularly cows, pigs, chickens and sheep, that don’t enjoy the same protection that is given to dogs and cats.
After polling several thousand of Veggly’s 500,000 users across the world, the final top 10 was selected and vetted by world-renowned vegan sexpert Venus O’Hara.
Commenting on the new names, Founder of Veggly, Alex Felipelli, said: “Doggy style is one of the world’s most popular and easy sex positions. This is fine, but why not give pigs, cows, sheep and chickens some credit? They don’t get treated the same as dogs, or cats. All animals deserve to be protected and celebrated, so how about we name some sex positions after them instead?
“We are honoured to partner with Venus O’Hara, a leading vegan sexpert and ‘Orgasm Activist’ on this project. She has been very helpful to us as a consultant on these new names and positions, and tips on how to ensure plant-based pleasure for all daters and new relationships.”
Also commenting on the new list of names, Venus O’Hara said:“Vegan sex is all about variety. You will notice that there is no equivalent of the missionary position on our list. Although missionary is probably the most popular position, it is also considered the most mundane one. Doggy style is also very popular but we think this is unfair on pigs. In fact, dogs have an unfair advantage over pigs in many aspects of non-vegan life. Even in the fetish world, there are kinksters who practise ‘puppy play’ which involves role-playing as a dog on all fours and barking, often while wearing a dog collar. We believe that ‘piggy play’ could be the next big thing among kinky couples. But with vegan leather accessories, of course. Whichever position you choose, don’t forget those vegan condoms, and have fun!”
Veggly, which now has over 500,000 users, is available throughout the world (users in 181 countries), Veggly is set to continue its rapid growth thanks to its growing army of vegan volunteers around the world who have worked together to translate the app from English into Spanish, German, Portuguese, French, Italian, Danish and Polish, with many more languages on the way.
Ask any vegan, and they will tell you this: more than just a diet, veganism is a lifestyle. Vegans who are dedicated to their practice avoid animal products and ingredients in all areas of their life, including what they put on their skin. If you’ve noticed lately, vegan skincare is taking over mainstream beauty as more and more conscious consumers choose products that are sustainable and free of any kind of cruelty directed to unsuspecting animals. However, what’s causing this shift is not just for people to stand for what they know is right. Vegan skincare products have incredible benefits you won’t find in other more traditional formulations.
Let’s break it down even further.
What is Vegan Skincare?
If you have an idea of what veganism is, it’s basically the same only that the products we’re tackling are those specifically for your skin.
A vegan skincare routine can be seen as a beauty hack as it has a ton of benefits, but it’s also more than that. Vegan skincare uses cosmetics and beauty products that do not contain any animal or animal-derived ingredients or by-products whatsoever.
What this means is that traditional ingredients you commonly see on the labels of non-vegan cosmetics and skincare products such as honey, beeswax, collagen, keratin, and lanolin are not used.
Other animal-derived ingredients that vegan skincare brands don’t incorporate in their products are hyaluronic acid, squalene, stearic acid, elastin, carmine, and silk. What these vegan brands tend to use instead are plant-based or synthetic ingredients.
Vegan vs Cruelty-Free: What’s The Difference?
You might think they’re synonymous, but the truth is that there are vegan products that can actually not be cruelty-free and there are cruelty-free products that are not vegan.
Some “vegan” products only claim to be vegan because they exclude the production process. So while the ingredients used may not necessarily contain any kind of animal product or by-product, they may have still been tested on animals.
Cruelty-free products can sometimes contain animal products even though they don’t test on animals.
If you really want to use skincare products that are both vegan and cruelty-free, make sure to do your research first. Find out if the brand you are looking into is true to their word.
What Are The Benefits of Vegan Skincare?
Now, you don’t necessarily need to be vegan to reap the benefits of a vegan skincare routine.
Vegan skincare products are not only healthier, cleaner, and kinder as compared to their more traditional counterparts, they’re also inclusive. They’re great for oily, combination, dry skin—basically, every skin type that exists.
If you’re still undecided, here are some reasons why vegan skincare should be on your beauty routine.
Kinder To Animals and Our Planet
Though skincare products take great care of our skin, it wouldn’t feel as kind if the products we are using hurt those who are innocent.
Skincare brands and products that are both vegan and cruelty-free make sure that no animals were harmed in their creation and production. When we consciously buy these better alternatives, we take part in actively lowering the demand for products that use animal ingredients or those that rely on animal testing.
The best vegan skincare products are also 100% natural and organic. These plant-based products don’t cause any harm to our environment after use as they break down into non-harmful components.
Furthermore, vegan brands tend to be very conscious of packaging. They opt for sustainable and easily recyclable materials instead of plastic.
Kinder To You
Our skin absorbs much of what we apply to it so if we’re opting for products that have toxins, harsh chemicals, or other harmful ingredients, just imagine the damage they could potentially bring to our skin.
Vegan skincare and beauty products typically contain fewer ingredients that will irritate or aggravate your skin or any skin conditions you may have. They also tend to have shorter ingredient lists so that you can understand exactly what you’re putting on your face and body.
Because they are often made with natural ingredients, vegan skincare formulas are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that will nourish your skin to keep it looking and feeling fresh for longer.
Tips On Making The Switch
If you are planning on switching, the first thing to do is to research, research, and research. Educate yourself so that you can be better equipped as you begin your transition from the products you’re using now to a vegan skincare routine.
Remember to take your time. It’s okay to start small and slow. There’s no need to throw out all your current products in the trash—that will just be wasteful and counterproductive. Swap one or two steps in your routine first and the rest can follow. And know that by doing this small thing, you’re already creating an impact.
If you’re ready, take it a step further. Vegan skincare goes beyond the products you are using. At the end of the day, the health benefits of a vegan diet coupled with an active lifestyle can help keep your skin and your body strong, young, and in great shape.
Embrace meat-free Mondays or go flexitarian when you can. Try easy vegan recipes once you’re a little more confident and comfortable about it. All these little things add up.
With a vegan skincare routine, you can keep your skin healthy and radiant and take care of the planet and all its animals at the same time. So try it out for yourself! Your skin—and Mother Earth—deserves it.
Choosing a vegan lifestyle is not only about your dietary preferences; committing yourself to a genuinely vegan and cruelty-free lifestyle extends to all other areas of your life, from beauty and personal care products, fashion items like shoes, bags, and clothes, cleaning supplies for the home, furniture and home decór, since animal products happen to be found in a number of things you may not even imagine, and even when products can be vegan, which means that they don’t contain animal products, they may have been tested on animals, which is why it’s important to go for cruelty-free options as well.
If you want to know more about the basics of how to go vegan and have a truly committed vegan and cruelty-free lifestyle at home, keep reading to learn what the experts told us.
As a new vegan, what are the staple foods that should never be missed in your pantry?
Nutritional Yeast – Fortified nutritional yeast is an essential vegan pantry staple making sure you get enough vitamin B-12, naturally found in meat. Often referred to as ‘nooch,’ it can be an acquired taste that adds umami and ‘cheesy’ flavor to your meal. It can be stirred into recipes towards the end of cooking. Or try sprinkling it over the top of pizza, salads, soups, pasta dishes, etc. I recommend starting with a small amount, adding more as you get used to this savory ingredient.
Cashews – When you’re looking for dairy alternatives, raw cashews work wonders in everything from vegan mac and cheese, vegan queso and alfredo, cashew ricotta, vegan cheesecake, vegan cream, and more. Those who are free of nut allergies will benefit from adding this versatile nut to your pantry. They blend up creamy smooth in seconds with a quick soak, and you will never miss dairy again!
Legumes – Whether dried or canned, stocking a variety of legumes such as lentils, beans, and peas is a must. They are extremely versatile and the main protein in a vegan diet. Not only are they inexpensive and extremely versatile, but legumes are also low in fat, high in protein and fiber. Plus, they carry essential micronutrients and phytochemicals to keep you at your best.
Spices – Although they are not really a food, having a good assortment of spices on hand will enhance your plant-based meal. I love the simplicity of simple salt and pepper, but spices and herbs can make all the difference and make your recipe come alive. I recommend sourcing the freshest dried spices and using fresh herbs whenever possible.
What kind of vegan options can we have at home as meat substitutes that provide the proteins required?
The first thing that people need to know is that most of us eat too much protein, and unless you are only eating vegan junk foods, the likelihood of you not getting enough protein is slim to none.
Please check out this video (from 2014) by Dr. Michael Gregor in which he answers the question: “Do vegetarians get enough protein?”. As he states in the video: The average requirement is 42 grams of protein a day. Non-vegetarians get way more than they need, and so does everyone else. On average, vegetarians and vegans get 70% more protein than they need every day. Dr. Gregor also has a great cookbook: The How Not to Diet Cookbook.
In your experience, what are the Do’s and Don’ts when someone starts to adopt a vegan lifestyle?
“Taking the first step is always the hardest”, but becoming vegan has never been easier than it is right now. So many new options – buying food, dining out, clothes, personal care items, sources of information etc. Everything points to an easier lifestyle than ever before.
What can I eat? – Meat, milk products, eggs, seafood, it’s easy to think that your diet will be seriously limited, but this is simply not true. Most peoples’ diets are very limited by what they choose to base their meal options around. There are a vastly larger number of fruits and vegetable options to base your meals on than animal-based options. Also, for an easy transition, there are also a huge number of faux-products – meat substitutes, dairy-free milks, cheeses, pastries, and ice-creams. You don’t have to forego your fave dishes because these days there are plant-based replicas. It’s just a case of finding the shops and outlets where you can buy them from. And it’s the same with dining out – the hardest part is getting started. Once you familiarise yourself with the local vegan-friendly options, you will find that you can eat at most places, and maybe you just do should not want to support places that do not cater at all to vegans. If you find yourself really short of options, try Italian, Indian, Chinese restaurants – you can always find a few options in these places.
Important foods for vegans – everyone needs to consume essential minerals, vitamins, and other components to ensure optimal health, and vegans are no different. Thankfully a well-planned vegan diet lends itself very well to good health. Most dieticians recommend only a vitamin B12 supplement for vegans since modern living has stripped food of this essential item. However, often vegan-friendly milks, margarines, cheeses, yogurts, even cereals will be fortified with B12. Other vegans take vitamin D supplements if they live in less sunny climes. Yet others take fatty acid supplements, however, studies indicate that most people can synthesize what they need. But the truth is that everyone should follow a healthy diet and you might find that your own supplement requirements are different. You can find many recommended vegan nutritionists online to allay any concerns.
How to tolerate the talk – Being vegan can be very challenging, especially when it comes to the thoughts and reactions of non-vegans, whether they be friends, family, co-workers, or just people you meet. Chances are you will be ridiculed, warned about your health by self-appointed “health experts”, treated to attacks from home-spun irrational philosophers, even ostracised. And the crazy thing is that this is usually from the most ignorant.
The trick is to be prepared. Dealing with these issues is challenging at the start, but the more often you address them, the more confident you will become. You will soon recognize the most familiar lines and build up your own stock answers to them. Remember that science and philosophy are on your side. There are plenty of online resources to help you, including vegan Youtube channels. And try to adopt an engaging and positive approach wherever possible because you are now an advocate for doing the right thing.
Staying the course – Making the transition can appear daunting but do not despair; you are not alone. There are more like-minded vegans than you might imagine, wherever you live. “A problem shared is a problem halved”, so get involved in on-line vegan communities such as Facebook or forums, or join local vegan clubs. And if there isn’t one, start one!
What are the benefits of a vegan diet on our overall health?
In a socio-cultural and economic environment, with large-scale publicity aimed towards influencing the consumption of products and, as consequence, diets, we grow up with the idea that we need animal products such as meat and milk to achieve good health and, many times, social status. However, a strictly vegetarian diet is filled with all the nutrients our bodies need and is scientifically proved to be effective in keeping the body healthy at any stage of a human being’s life.
There are many studies that report the benefits of being vegan and following a plant-based diet. This kind of diet tends to offer more fibers, antioxidants, as well as being even richer in potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and E.
According to the American Heart Association, this type of diet is also effective at preventing cardiac diseases. A study was carried out by the association with 100 participants with pre-existing heart conditions to rate the performance of heart functions for patients with omnivorous and vegetarian diets. The vegetarian diet was shown to significantly reduce systemic inflammation and improved the lipid profiles for the patients, while this wasn’t the case for those with an omnivore diet.
Among other benefits of being vegan is the potential to reduce risks for some types of cancer. Regularly eating vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer by 9 to 18%. Among the cancers that we can reduce the chances of risk, we have prostate cancer, colon cancer, and breast cancer.
It can be observed that plant-based living is not only healthy and diverse but can also help us live better and longer.
How do you know when a beauty product is cruelty-free? What should we be looking for?
First, check to see if the beauty brand is listed on Leaping Bunny’s Cruelty-Free List or PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies List. You can also check my cruelty-free brands list. If the brand is in either of these three spots, great! It’s easy to tell they’re cruelty-free.
If it is a smaller brand, such as an indie brand like Necromancy Cosmetica, Fyrinnae, or Sydney Grace Co, you’ll want to check their FAQ page or about page to see if they list their cruelty-free status. Most indie brands will be very transparent. Necromancy Cosmetica, for example, states that their lipsticks are made with 100% vegan materials that have never been tested on animals.
If a brand isn’t on Leaping Bunny’s, PETA’s, or my cruelty-free list, and they don’t have the details in their FAQ page, you’ll need to email them.
The questions I typically ask a new brand now are as follows: (these questions were created with my bestie Jen from My Beauty Bunny 1. Is your company certified by Leaping Bunny/CCIC? 2. Are the products vegetarian? (no animals killed for the products – i.e. some forms of collagen, squalane, etc.) 3. Are the products vegan? (i.e. product ingredients that come from animals like lanolin, honey, milk, etc.
Are the finished products tested on animals by the company, a parent company, a third party or an affiliate company? 5. Are the products tested on animals during the production process by the company, a parent company, a third party or an affiliate company? 6. Do you have documents from your ingredient suppliers to show that they are not testing on animals for your brand or any other brand? 7. Does your manufacturer purchase any ingredients from laboratories that conduct tests on animals? Do you have documents to support this? 8. Are the products sold in any markets where animal testing is required by local law and regulations (China, etc)? 9. If the products are sold in China, please explain how you are avoiding pre-market testing (are you aligned with PETA or Leaping Bunny)?
The information you’re looking for is whether or not the brand tests on animals or if the brand contracts out to their manufacturers/suppliers/a third-party vendor for animal testing.
What kind of materials should we look to incorporate in our home to make it vegan and cruelty-free?
Decorative Pillows:“Covers made from linen, bamboo, and organic cotton are healthier alternatives to leather and wool. They are free from harmful chemicals, vegan, and super soft.”
Pillow Inserts:“Consider rubber, kapok, or buckwheat fill for your decorative pillows instead of foam. These fills, unlike foam, are completely organic and free from off-gassing (the harmful chemicals that foam releases). They are also vegan.”
Sofa Cushion Filling:“When a sofa, for example, is touted as faux, make sure you check the fill. The upholstery can be a faux leather or velvet. However, the foam cushions underneath can be wrapped in feathers or down.”
Comforters and Blankets:“How yummy to wrap yourself in a soft thick cotton, bamboo, or faux fur blanket. These are much healthier, kinder options that contain less chemicals than a wool or down-filled blanket.”
Rugs:“I’m a fan of cotton, hemp, jute, and sisal. They are affordable, organic, and have fewer chemicals than wool or silk rugs. Plus, there are endless styles and patterns that are non-animal based.”
Printed Fabrics:“Printed fabrics are beautiful and come in endless prices and styles. Try to find fabrics that use natural dyes that are either vegetable or water-based.”
What tips can you give us to start a vegan lifestyle and actually stick to it?
Our Top 10 Tips to Get You Started
It’s all in the planning!
Don’t wake up on the first day of your vegan adventure without having thought about what you might eat! That is the absolute quickest way to fall off the wagon. Ahead of time, have a think about your first day’s meals and buy plant milk for your breakfast and coffee or tea, some dairy-free butter for toast or sandwiches, and something tasty for your dinner.
Some people find making a weekly meal planner helpful, so they always know what they need to shop for and what they will be eating.
Look out for accidentally vegan foods
There are so many everyday foods that just happen to be vegan, so open up your cupboard and take a look. Pasta, rice, peanut butter and Marmite, most breads, tinned tomatoes, chickpeas and kidney beans, jam and marmalade, coconut milk, curry pastes, tomato puree, baked beans, many crisps, crackers and biscuits, herbs and spices, many gravy granules, tea, coffee and fruit juice… There is a good chance that half the foods you already eat are vegan!
Ease yourself in
There is no need to reinvent your whole eating habits. If you like a sausage sandwich, have one – just make sure the sausages are vegan. If you want ice cream, go ahead. There are dozens of different delicious flavours out there. You can have almost everything you had before in a vegan version, so just switch like for like.
Veganise your favourite dishes
Again, there is no need to adopt a whole new eating regime. If your signature dish is lasagne, make a vegan version with soya mince and plant milk for the béchamel. If you love a morning fry-up, you can make it with vegan bacon and sausages. Whether you cook curries, casseroles, soups, stews, pies and pasties, roast dinners, cakes, desserts or anything else, simply veganise it.
When you’re ready, branch out
Many people find that becoming vegan opens up a whole new world of recipes and ingredients, and rekindles their love of great food. Once you’ve got the hang of the basics, why not jump in and try some brand-new recipes (there are thousands online) and see if it ignites your culinary passions.
Keep snacks to hand
Don’t get caught out! It’s really easy to pick up vegan snacks in most places but not everywhere, so make sure you keep a bag of nuts, a chocolate bar or some fruit in your bag or car just in case.
Not every vegan product will work for you but just because the first cheese you try or the first latte you make doesn’t hit the spot, don’t rule out all other cheeses and plant milks. There are so many different ones to try – cream cheese, melty cheeses, nut-based, coconut-based, soya-based, all flavours and lots of different brands and styles; and as for milks, you’ll find oat, hemp, almond, coconut, rice and soya. Try them all, and you will soon find your perfect match.
Like eating out? Download the HappyCow app onto your phone and let it guide you to your nearest restaurant, café or shop where you can find vegan food wherever you are in the world.
Find your tribe
It’s easy to feel isolated as a new vegan but there are millions of us out there. Find your local vegan meetup group and make like-minded friends in real life or search online for vegan groups that interest you. From vegan runners to bakers to knitters; from vegan weightlifters to fashionistas to activists. They’re all there waiting for you.
Be kind to yourself
Everyone makes mistakes. Whether you ate something non-vegan accidentally or simply gave in to temptation, it’s OK. It doesn’t mean you are no longer vegan; it just means you are human! Chalk it up to experience and move forward.
What mistakes should be avoided when transitioning to a vegan lifestyle?
First things first – don’t be too hard on yourself. Some people find it easier than others to give up animal products completely from day 1, but others may go back to their normal eating habits from time to time, and both are ok; that’s just part of the process. Don’t beat yourself up for “not doing it right”.
Next, try to avoid vegan junk food. Most people think that just by being vegan, you’re automatically healthier, but that’s definitely not the case if your daily meals just consist of burgers and pizza. I highly recommend you do your research and have lots of healthy vegan recipes on hand to experiment with. Personally, I’m a fan of adding at least 50% raw food into your daily meals as that gives you lots more nutrition. Try dividing your plate in half – fill half your plate with something cooked and make the other half a salad.
Lastly, don’t worry about protein and calorie counting. It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein. In fact, vegetarians and vegans actually average 70% more protein than they need every day. Just make sure you have plenty of variety, listen to what your body needs (not craves!) and enjoy your food.
-Anya Andreeva, founder of Live Love Raw and author of “How To Be A Raw Foodie”.
What recommendations can you give us to raise vegan children?
Raising vegan children can come with a set of unique challenges for parents. Talking to children about veganism from an early age can be a daunting task. Especially as reasons for being vegan are not always kid-friendly. However, it’s important to be transparent with your child about why your family is vegan, even if it’s a little uncomfortable at first. There are a lot of resources out there from vegan children’s books to vegan subscription services like Vegancuts. After all, as a parent, you never want your child to feel like they are “missing out”. At Vegancuts we curate 100% vegan snack boxes each month to showcase the very best vegan products on the market. Embracing fun experiences like subscription boxes go a long way to ensuring your kids don’t feel “left out” – and who knows, it might even make their friends jealous!
Why is it important for vegans to supplement with B12 vitamin? Why is this necessary?
Vitamin B12 used to be found in the soil where we farm our food. But over the centuries of over-farming, our soil is mostly barren of naturally occurring B12, which leaves no plant-based sources of it (although it’s worth noting that B12 deficiency rates are about the same in both vegans and non-vegans alike). B12 is a very important vitamin, and deficiencies can have symptoms ranging from sluggishness all the way to irreversible brain damage! A deficiency can take years to develop, as we can store it in our livers for 3-7 years, so even if you haven’t supplemented for years and your blood tests are fine now, it doesn’t mean that they will be down the line. With vitamin B12 supplements being so affordable and readily available, there is no reason not to take the supplement and stay healthy — vegan or not.
– Dani Taylor, Vegan Strong Assistant Tour Director, Author, Vegan Strength Coach, and Natural Bodybuilding Athlete
As you can see, nowadays, you can find vegan options for almost everything you need to move forward to a fully vegan and cruelty-free lifestyle. As more of us choose this way of living, more products will be offered in the market to cover all the needs of this growing trend all over the world.