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Hey guys, I've been transitioning to vegan the past two weeks here-- I've found it actually really easy to just cut all of the foods out, and whenever I have a craving for nonvegan food (mostly cheese) I find that it just tends to be the crave of familiarity. But I have a lot more energy now, almost right away, which is amazing considering how many health problems I've had.

Anyway, what I find really difficult is dealing with everything other than food-- food is the easy part! The more I research and discover, the more overwhelming it all gets. Animal byproducts are used in SO. MANY. THINGS! Even tires and computer parts? That is crazy. And as a girly girl, of course cosmetics and beauty products.

I'm just wondering if anyone has advice or what they do on this topic. I don't use too many products, and finding cruelty-free is fairly easy, but cruelty-free and vegan is a different story (a more expensive story). Appreciate all the replies to come! Cheers
 

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Honestly, over a year after going vegan, I'm still struggling with household and hygiene products. I've found shampoo, shower gel, and hand soap which are within budget and easily accessible, but we still buy cleaning products, toothpaste, and deodorant that I am pretty sure is non-vegan. I live with an omni partner who is the sole breadwinner and does most of the shopping, so unless a brand is both cheap and convenient, he buys whatever costs the least. It's something which has been weighing heavily on my conscience for a long time, and I'm hoping things will change when I start working. Here's what I know to be vegan:

Any store brand beauty products from The Cooperative

Any store brand beauty products from Superdrug

E.L.F cosmetics

Wet 'n' Wild cosmetics

Original Source shower gel and hand soap (This has been an absolute lifesaver for me because it's sold at the £1 shop so I don't have to feel guilty about specifically requesting it, since it's just about the cheapest thing out there.)

Tom's of Maine toothpaste and deodorant (although it's owned by Colgate-- not sure how deep you want to go-- and as far as I know isn't available here in the UK)
 

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Animal byproducts are used because they're cheap, and they're cheap because people eat animals. By not eating them you've already done 99% of the good. We would be using alternatives if there weren't so many cheap spare bits left over from the meat and dairy industry.


As to advice....I don't think anyone here is 100% vegan and that's okay because the world we live in isn't vegan. I'd just remember that being vegan is a journey, and one that you may never complete. Perhaps today you find some good vegan beauty products. Maybe later you cut out bone char sugar. I have been vegan for around five years and I am still finding ways to make more compassionate choices. You've only been for two weeks, so give yourself time and just do what you can. Once you're comfortable with how you're living you might find it easy to do a little more.
 

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Odizzido, that is a beautiful way to look at things. I was just thinking about how I'll probably never actually be able to call myself a vegan, but I guess I'm already on my journey :)

As far as some of the simpler non-food items go, specifically hygiene items, have you thought of making your own? I make my own deodorant and buy toothpaste made by someone (am going to make it myself next time). It's fun and can be cheaper long term. I think I've seen recipes for makeup and lotions around the internet, too.
 

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I quit wearing any makeup about 4 years ago. Eye liner was the last to go, and I used E.L.F. liquid liner and pencil. It's cheap and sold at Target and other stores you can find online

I use oils or lotions for facial cleansing-look it up, it works well for all skin types!

I've been making deoderant for years now with coconut oil, corn starch and baking soda. In winter I add a liquid oil- this year I added grapeseed oil--and a fragrant essential oil. I melt the coconut oil in hot water if solid, then add by spoonfuls about 1 1/2 times more starch than baking soda, stirring in till thickened. It thickens a lot as it sits. Works great for smell and comfort, I don't sweat much so I can't say much about that, but i do get the stress stink, and it does away with that

I tint coconut oil with a veg coloring, or even beet juice if I have beets. Nice and sheer, and will stain for a lasting color
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
thanks

What a lovely bunch of replies... thanks so much! I've actually been making my own deodorant since last year, and I've always been into the healthy/alternative route. I do live in the US and have Tom's toothpaste.
I read an article today that says veganism is largely about reducing suffering of animals (as well as helping the environment in my opinion), and isn't really about being 100% 'pure', so all of this helps me feel like I'm on the right track. I think that just trying to be conscious of what you're buying, and of what's happening in the world, is going to help out a great deal.
 

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I try to look at it as to where I have a choice and where I don't. I need transportation, so I cycle or ride the bus or drive. I don't have a choice over whether the tires are vegan or not. I also take a medication that may have been tested on animals, but without it I would be in a world of hurt.

Cosmetics, toiletries, food, clothing, and similar items I have a choice with.

Like silva, I don't wear makeup and rarely ever have in my 43 years except a few very rare occasions years ago. I try to keep it as simple as possible. I use Kirk's Castile bar soap (all plant based and no animal testing) for washing. I use Dr. Bronners liquid castile soap for my hair, or I rinse with vinegar, tea tree oil, lavender oil, coconut oil etc. Cleaning...I use vinegar to clean mirrors, the computer, windows, even hard surfaces. I use washing soda for the bathtub. I use lemon juice for stains and sticky counter top stuff. The one harsh chemical I use on very rare occasion is bleach for the toilet, but usually I just use pure tea tree oil in there.

I do use commercial laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid. Seventh generation makes those that are all plant based and no animal testing. Planet Earth also has some vegan friendly soaps. I use Kiss My Face toothpaste, and no wax floss. I also use an organic toothpbrush without dyes from Tom's of Maine. All of my hiking shoes/boots I bought online, and also some hemp socks for cold Minnesota winters. I used to buy from Wicked Hemp but they closed recently. :/

I have a few pairs of all man made shoes but that may have animal based glue in them, but finding shoes without this is a near impossible task and I just can't afford everything online.

I even replaced my candles with soy ones, though I only have two lol and am not a huge candle person. Once in a while I like to have one going while in the bathtub.

I still have a few canoe camping packs with leather straps, but those cost over $200 each and are otherwise all canvas and I can't afford to replace them yet. My plumbing is horrible, I need new furniture, and I am trying to pay down some debt so I am just not going to worry about it. As others have said, it really isn't about purity.
 

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^ ever put some cornstarch in your vinegar/water for glass? I was surprised by the difference it makes! Just enough 'grit' or as a drying agent? not sure. I use something like 1/4 cup each vinegar and alcohol, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and a few drops Dr bronners soap in a spray bottle and fill with water- I use distilled but not sure if it makes a difference in this application.

I have a bottle of Bronners tea tree castile that won't end. I started adding a couple drops to the toilet before I leave in the morning. It never gets a ring or anything, and I just brush it once in a while. Why do toilet bowls have to be so antiseptic? Is it the airborne germs everyones worried about? Ours is always closed. Can't stand to see an open lid

I think my favorite toothpaste is peppermint from Trader Joes. I have made my own with coconut oil, Bronners peppermint castile, and baking soda, but never got around to figuring out how to tube it. I think I've seen silicone tubes, but I'm not buying a tube...
 

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Anyway, what I find really difficult is dealing with everything other than food-- food is the easy part! The more I research and discover, the more overwhelming it all gets. Animal byproducts are used in SO. MANY. THINGS! Even tires and computer parts? That is crazy. And as a girly girl, of course cosmetics and beauty products.
Your computer and tires contain very little, if any, animal ingredients. Unfortunately, the "everything contains animal products" myth gets repeated over and over (without verification) to the point where people accept it without question.

Tires are made from synthetic rubber (derived from petroleum), natural rubber (derived from plants), fabric (synthetic or plant-derived), steel (an alloy of iron, carbon, and trace amounts of other mined elements), carbon black (derived from coal, petroleum, and/or vegetable oil).

Some high-end bicycle tires contain silk. Both car and bike tires contain stearic acid - this can be either plant- or animal-derived.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_rubber
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_rubber
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_black
http://www.acme-hardesty.com/product/rubber-grade-stearic-acid-rgsa/


Computers are made from plastic (for the enclosures and casings), fiber-reinforced plastic (for the circuit boards), semiconductor materials (for the chips), copper (for wires and circuit traces), synthetic rubber (wire insulation material), solder (for electronic connections), other plastics, and small amounts of steel (for brackets and fasteners).

The most common plastic used for electronic and consumer enclosures is acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). Your mouse, keyboard, and CPU enclosure are all made from ABS. It is synthesized from petroleum-derived compounds: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrylonitrile_butadiene_styrene

Fiber-reinforced plastic circuit boards are made from petroleum and mineral components: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibre-reinforced_plastic

Semiconductor materials are made from mineral components: germanium, gallium, and silicon, primarily: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiconductor

Solder is made from metal alloys: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solder

Anyway, this post is getting long. There may be trace amounts of animal products your home electronics, but it's nothing to get stressed out over.
 
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