Happy (Almost... Kinda Sorta) Holidays and Thanksgiving Eve! As you may or may not know, vegans only purchase products that contain no animal products and also those that are not tested on animals. This can seem confusing at first if you aren't familiar with the lifestyle. But fear not! It's actually not very complicated since many companies list these now -- but to make it even easier, I will put together gift guides to hopefully make the gift giving experience smoother. Plus, even if you or the person you're buying a present for isn't strictly plant-based, it never hurts to support businesses who don't hurt animals!
The first LunaVida gift guide of the 2018 holiday season features some of my personal favorite cruelty-free and vegan beauty brands. (Keep an eye on this list on Black Friday too because many of these will most likely go on sale then if they're not already! And who doesn't love a deal?)
This is my all-time favorite. It gives you the longest eyelashes and never smudges - yet it's still easy to take off at night! This mascara is the only one I wear, and I've turned my mom and sisters onto it too.
I received this set complimentary from Influenster for testing, and I absolutely love it. I'm not a professional by any means (in fact, I'm not really great at makeup application at all) - but these make it easier for sure!
I was sent these clean beauty products to try out, and I immediately fell in love. After just a few applications my skin already looks transformed. Smoother, brighter, and more moisturized, oh my! As I continue to use them, I have a feeling these may become some of my all-time favorites.
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You may realize Pacifica is featured a lot. That's because 1) you can always count on it being vegan, 2) everything is cruelty-free, and 3) every product I've ever bought myself has worked super well. It's a top brand for me for sure!
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What are some of your favorite animal-friendly brands? What are you giving (and/or asking for) this holiday season?
Hey there! Last week was spent up in Northern California for a retreat. As I recently mentioned, I started working for a farmed animal sanctuary campaign back in September. Our entire team works remotely though so it was super fun to meet everyone in person - and of course, to spend time with the 500 rescued animals! We were even able to help out with their annual Thank the Turkeys event (see a video of the cuteness here). I feel so fortunate to be able to do what I love (advocating for animals and sharing the benefits of veganism) every day. There is nothing else I can imagine myself doing for a living. It feels like exactly where I'm supposed to be, and I am so grateful to have ended up here.
Chunky gray knit cardigan (also seen here, here & here): Target
Today's outfit post is similar to what I'll most likely be wearing for Thanksgiving next week. Matt and I are as casual as they come (especially since moving to Southern California) so this is about as dressed up as it'll get for our holiday at home. What do you typically do (and wear) for Tofurky Day?
November is World Vegan Month! If you're new here, and somehow couldn't already tell, I'm a vegan. (You didn't think you could meet a veg head and not know about it in the first two minutes, right? Kidding, kidding! That's a false stereotype 😉) I am a lifelong animal lover but it wasn't until I was a teenager that I realized loving all animals means including animals that were farmed for my food; thus, I became a vegetarian at 14 years old. I made the connection my freshman year of high school when I did a research project on animal rights. Said research led me to countless gruesome images of slaughterhouses, factory farms, and labs that conducted vivisection. I went vegetarian overnight, never looked back -- and vowed to "one day go vegan." You see, I made the excuse that since I lived in Small Town, Ohio there was no feasible way for me to cut out dairy and eggs. Well, I continued lying to myself about it throughout college. And then through the early years of my adult life. And then fast forward 14 more years since I first stopped eating meat, and after a handful of half-assed, failed attempts at trying out plant-based living, I finally fully committed to the lifestyle at age 27. I share this story because it just goes to show that every single vegan has their own journey, whether they were born and raised plant-based (I have personally never met anyone who belongs in that category, however) or tried 400 times and finally on attempt #401, it finally stuck. We all get here on our own timelines and with the method that works best for you. Now, I'm not going to lie to you - if you are reading this, YES, I do want you to stop eating meat, dairy, and eggs, wearing animal skins as fabrics, and to switch over to cruelty-free brands of your favorite cosmetics, cleaning supplies, etc. But I do also understand that hearing all of that can seem way overwhelming to commit to all at once and to quit cold tofurky (that's a classic vegan joke there for ya) overnight. That's why I continue to share ongoing simple ideas for you to add a little more veg and a lot less cruelty to your day-to-day life (read the first set of easy tips here).
Start with one step you can take right now
Pledge to yourself that, for example, every breakfast you consume will be vegan. Or that you'll only get the plant-based option when dining out, no matter where you go. Or that you will watch one animal welfare documentary a month. These can really add up to big changes over time.
Purchase vegan treats for your pets
Every single veg product you buy to replace your typical meat/eggs/dairy makes a difference, no matter how seemingly small it may be. Your companion animals need their fruits and veggies too, so why not make their tasty treats plant-based? The two favorites in our household are V-dog and Zuke's.
Take your friends to a vegan place the next time you go out
You're probably (re: hopefully) already cutting down your own meat consumption and eating Beyond Burgers when you can find them at the store, but why stop with yourself? Invite all of your loved ones to join you in your journey to a plant-based lifestyle. The next time you're meeting for lunch suggest the local vegan spot so they can also see how delicious the food tastes too!
Follow all of the farm animal protection groups on social media
Ready to really learn about the harsh realities of factory farming? Follow all the top farmed animal advocacy groups such as The Humane League, Animal Equality, Mercy For Animals, etc. They frequently post undercover footage that makes it impossible to want to continue to support these industries with your hard-earned money. (Hey, it worked for me! Forcing myself to watch an undercover video from MFA is what finally made it truly stick. You never know what'll be your final straw!)
Share the knowledge you discover
So you took the step to educate yourself about the realities of factory farming? Bravo! Now go one step farther and share what you learned. It can be as simple as hitting "Share" on a Facebook post from one of the orgs listed above, or you can write a personal blurb about where you are currently in your journey to cutting out animal products and why people should join you. You never know who you'll impact. (Pretty much every time I post something vegan-related, I have a slight twinge of "Oh my gosh, am I going to offend/annoy/frighten people?!" only to then be sent a message from someone I never expected to hear from asking for advice. It's so motivating to keep going despite our innate fears of other's personal opinions!)
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What steps are you taking towards a cruelty-free lifestyle? If you're already vegan, what are your top tips?
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Well, I hope you found that helpful! I am headed up to Northern California for the next few days for our work retreat. I'm so excited to hang out with the team and the rescued farm animals!
Lastly - but equally as important! - since today is Election Day, please don't forget to get out and VOTE. ** If you're in California, make to vote YES on Prop 12! **