Whatever your reasons for adopting a vegan lifestyle there are some hidden pitfalls that even diehard vegans aren’t aware of. From beauty products to clothing, packaging to cleaning, it can be a daunting task to figure out what fits into a vegan lifestyle.
In a bid to help everyone become a bit more aware of where things come from, we’ve put together a list of simple vegan lifestyle habits we can all adopt. If we all make small changes in our daily lives, it will have a big impact on saving the planet.
1. Check Your Hair And Beauty Products
Most of us don’t even think about the products we put on our skin, and if we do, chances are we don’t really know what the ingredients mean. Whilst there’s now a wide range of vegan hair and beauty products on the market as more and more consumers are calling for ethically sourced products, there’s still a lot of products that contain ingredients that aren’t vegan.
Look out for:
- Honey and beeswax – Honey and beeswax are used in a number of cosmetics as a colouring and / or emollient. When honey is harvested, the bees can starve, and if the population of bees decreases, it will have a devastating impact on most ecosystems.
- Keratin – Naturally occurring in hair, feathers, hooves, and horns of animals, keratin is commonly found in hair products, nail products, and anti-aging serums.
- Shellac – Most commonly used in nail and hair lacquers, shellac is made from a resin excreted by lac bugs, and hundred and thousands of them are killed in order to create just a small amount.
2. Choose Vegan Clothing
It’s hard to be a fashion-conscious vegan when every bag, belt and shoe involves some kind of animal product, but there are many big brands emerging who are putting a spotlight on vegan products. Vegan brand Veja have been making waves on the fashion scene for a few years and their trainers are the shoe du jour of vegans and hipsters alike.
Adopting everyday staples made from cotton is a sure fire way to ensure your wardrobe is vegan friendly. Other vegan friendly fibres include linen, bamboo and hemp.
Materials that always involve animal by-products are wool, cashmere, silk, leather, and pashmina.
3. Consider Your Cleaning Products
Whilst veganism is on the rise, many think that adopting a vegan diet will suffice. In fact, many household products contain non-vegan ingredients and use non-vegan manufacturing processes. Common household detergents and branded cleaning products may contain as many as five to ten animal-derived ingredients. The most common include:
- Caprylic acid – Sourced from soured milk
- Tallow – Rendered beef fat
- Animal glycerol and steric acid – Animal fats
- Animal lecithin – waxy nervous tissue
- Oleyl alcohols – Sourced from fish
Not only do many of our household cleaning products contain animal by-products, many large manufacturers of cleaning products may test their products on animals. And whilst the government has passed a law banning animal testing on “all finished products”, sadly, on a multinational scale, there are many popular household brands that continue to routinely test on animals.
4. Stop Using Plastic Bags (Plus A Gross Fact)
We all know that plastic is having a devastating impact on our oceans and our wildlife, but there’s another good reason you should stick to your reusable cotton tote. Not many people know that plastic bags contain slipping agents made from animal fat to reduce friction and static in the material.
These simple changes, wether you’re a full vegan or not, will help in some small way to reduce your impact on the planet and live a healthier lifestyle.