Diet strategies, shopping tips, book recommendations, and other tools for helping you commit to a totally vegan lifestyleUpdated on February 18, 2018 Written by: 100% PURE®
So you’re thinking about going vegan? Or maybe, you’re just looking to take small steps to lessen your impact on animals and our planet? Well great — you’re in the right place! We’re sharing some helpful pointers on where to start, what to do, how to do it, and why it matters on an individual and global scale.
What Does It Mean to Be Vegan?
To start off, let’s talk about what vegan means and why people decide to go this route. This term refers to anything free of animal products (i.e. food, cosmetics, clothing, household items). It also refers to a lifestyle, with animal-loving philosophy at its center. People can make this lifestyle change for any number of reasons, but most people choose based on health perks, dietary restrictions, or preferences and/or as a moral statement against unnecessary animal cruelty and murder.
And what’s up with vegetarian or vegan — what’s the difference? Well that’s simple: vegetarians allow dairy and bee (honey, beeswax) products into their diets and products, whereas vegans stick to strictly animal-free diet and product preferences.
No matter your motive, any steps you take towards eliminating animal products from your life will immediately benefit the world! Take a look at this infographic to see tons of jaw-dropping statistics about how choosing non-animal vs. animal products can impact the environment.
A few highlights of an animal-free diet’s impact on our earth? Eliminating meat, eggs, dairy products, and bee-derived products from your life can help to reduce heat-trapping methane, which helps our atmosphere maintain a safe balance. You can also reduce the amount of water resources being used in the U.S., which currently sit at a staggering 50% being used to care for animals that are being bred for slaughter (aka for food). Another disturbing fact? Think about the finite nature of our planet — we only have so much space to work with — and consider that 30% of our earth’s real estate is used to raise animals solely for food. How’s that for impact? And that’s not even half of it!
Transitioning to a Plant-Based Lifestyle
The very first step in the “Going Vegan” process should be research. Educate yourself on the subject before making your own decisions. Talk to others, watch movies, read books. Then choose how you want to vote with your food dollar. Here are some good places to start:
Forks Over Knives
Fast Food Nation
Change Your Food, Change Your Life
“The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan
“Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health” by Gene Stone
“Main Street Vegan” by Victoria Moran
“Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer
“Becoming Vegan” by Brenda Davis
“Ultimate Vegan Guide” by Erik Marcus
On the web:
Great all-around site: http://www.vegan.com/
Link on why to go vegetarian: http://www.chooseveg.com/blog/
Link on how to vegan shop/meal plan: http://features.peta.org/how-to-go-vegan/
There are also numerous Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Facebook accounts dedicated to the vegan lifestyle and delicious vegan recipes. Simply search for “vegan” and click on whatever you’re drawn to!
Vegan Makeup and Skin Care
In the very near future, our goal at 100% PURE is to transition to a fully vegan brand. We believe in the antibacterial, anti-aging, and moisturizing benefits of honey and the softening, soothing benefits of beeswax in skin and body care -- especially when compared to the toxic alternatives found in most conventional products. Taking that into consideration, we are still committed to researching and finding vegan solutions that will perform the same functions as honey or beeswax in our formulations. Don’t believe we’ll do it? Check out our newly unveiled, vegan Multi-Vitamin cream — made with the same rich and powerful formula, minus animal-derived ingredients!
We formulate an impressive amount of vegan skin care, vegan makeup, vegan hair care, and vegan body care in order to avoid animal-sourced ingredients. We source vegan retinol, vegan pigment, vegan emulsifiers, and vegan emollients for our products. For example, instead of using the bloody carcasses of crushed cochineal beetles to pigment our red lipsticks, we use cherries, raspberries, cranberries, and tomato. Our vegan liquid Lip Caramels are pigmented by achiote seeds, not carmine (aka crushed beetles).
Did you know that squalene, found in thousands of cosmetics and skin care, is sourced from sharks? That’s not OK by us, and it’s also not OK for shark populations, which are steadily declining in the name of beauty. Sharks use squalane (an oily substance) in their livers to balance the buoyancy of their bodies in water -- humans kill sharks and harvest their squalene for use in lipstick, sunscreen, and eye makeup. Instead of using shark squalene, we use olive squalane, a rich and skin nutritious alternative that delivers silky smooth skin. Olive squalane is the star ingredient in our serum-esque 2nd Skin Foundation, which looks and feels like a second skin. And yep, you guessed it: olive squalane is totally vegan.
Instead of using retinoids from animal sources, we use carotenoids from vegetables to formulate our retinol products. Specifically, carrot seed oil has proven to be a potent and effective source of retinol that is totally vegan! Our superbly anti-aging Retinol PM Eye Cream and Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidants Potent PM Serum both feature this source of vegan retinol.
Vegan Diet Strategies and Health Benefits
A major misconception about eliminating animal-based products from your diet is that you’ll struggle to find suitable protein sources. Another common excuse for not taking the leap? That you won’t get as many vitamins and minerals as you did from eating meat. Here’s the bottom line about those fears: they’re only true if you go the ‘lazy vegan’ route.
That do we mean by “lazy”? Simply that there are plenty of *technically* vegan foods that are highly processed and devoid of any real nutritional value (did you know that plain Oreos are vegan?!). The key here is to eat the rainbow, get creative and be adventurous with your vegan recipes, and most of all understand your vegan options when grocery shopping. The more you can add to your ‘shopping list’, the more options you’ll have for a well-rounded, completely nutritious diet. The takeaway? You’ll only run into roadblocks if you forget to eat fresh vegetables and fruits, and instead opt for the easy routes.
Another thing to remember: the transition process doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start small. Begin by adding more vegan-friendly, plant based foods to your diet. Organic veggies and fruits, nuts, seeds and whole grains round out the list. Check out this vegetarian food pyramid for ideas on what to feed your body. These foods should make you feel GOOD! Side effects may include: increased energy, clearer skin, weight loss, improved digestion, lowered blood pressure, and better mental focus. Fill your fridge and pantry with fresh, wholesome foods. You can’t eat what you haven’t bought and brought back from the store!
Another step you can take is to try to have meat just one less day a week. Meatless Mondays have become popular, and you may want to adopt that day of the week as you begin your journey. Once you see how easy having a meat-free day can be, try doing it a couple days a week, then more. It’s important to choose what works for YOU. Know your motive, and let that guide and inspire you.
Stay tuned for more blogs on healthy, vegan living — for people, animals, and our planet!