Vegan faq

 

I often get questions about being vegan, so I thought I'd make a space to answer them.

The first thing that I'd like to say, is that I'm not here to tell you that you suck. I'm not here to judge. You're not perfect and neither am I. You might hear other vegans being angry, and scolding meat-eaters for their choices. I'm not going to do that. I don't think I'm better than carnivores, and hate is not constructive.

Secondly, I realize that my diet, (which is made up of mostly organic produce), is a privilege. Not everyone has access to a grocery store, let alone fresh produce. Food deserts in the United States are real, they are intentional, and they need to stop. I'm fortunate to live where I live, and I know it. I also have the funds to maintain this luxury. This wasn't always the case for me, so I fully understand how fortunate I am. Please don't send messages telling me that not everyone can just go to a farmer's market and buy wild blueberries. I am aware of this, and it breaks my heart.

If you want to learn more go here. This website is full of information on intersectionality, human rights, nonhuman rights, etc. Everything is connected. To solve one oppression, we need to solve them all. I'm in no way affiliated with this group, but I am 100 per cent behind their beautiful aim. The essay section is outstanding. Read all you can. Please.

Okay, back to it. Financial and geographical obstacles aside, being vegan doesn't have to be a big deal. If you're living in an area with money and access, it's quite simple. Any questions that you have, or concern that it might be too hard to transition away from animal products. One word might help.

Compassion.

For me, life itself, is about compassion. Compassion for each other, yourself, for every being. Living vegan makes the most sense for me because it's the only way to maintain compassion. It's a peaceful way of living.

Leonard Cohen (my favorite writer) once said that after giving up meat, he felt more honest around animals. That's exactly how I feel. I can look into the eye of any being, and know that I wont hurt them. Isn't that pretty? Causing no intentional pain, that will be my legacy.

Even though I don't think my lifestyle is radical, or abnormal, sometimes I do have to defend myself socially. No matter how calm and peaceful I am, some people will still think that I'm a freak who wants to blow up all the fast-food chain restaurants. I don't. I'm a pacifist. I wear veganism with a smile, not with a fist.

If you have a question that I don't cover below, feel free to ask. Even if it's a negative question just to be dicky, I'll still try to help in any way that I can. :)

For whatever reason you're here, thanks for being curious.
- Jannabelle 

 

What kind of vegan are you?
Do you judge others who eat meat?
Why are vegans so preachy?
Do you think you're better than, or above vegetarians because you're vegan?
Isn't being vegan expensive?
Is being vegan hard?
Don't you miss meat?
You live in Wisconsin, how do you resist cheese?
How do you resist the smell of bacon?
What do you not eat?
What do you eat?
Where do you get your protein?
What about your B12 levels?
What about your vitamin D?
What about Omega-3 fatty acids?
What about Idodine?
What about Zinc?
Is it true that vegans don't get sick?
Do you take any supplements?
How can vegans be healthy without meat?
What beverages do you drink?
Did you give up meat before dairy?
I want to be a vegan. What advice can you give me to push me over the edge?
Aren't you going to get osteoporosis?
What films or books do you recommend?
How do you feel about water fasting?
Isn't veganism just an eating disorder?
Are you aiming to be a raw vegan?
Are you raw til 4 p.m.?
Are you 80/10/10?
Do you follow strict food combining rules?
How often do you do juice cleanses?
Do you count calories?
Do you snack between meals?
How do you feel about meat substitutes?
Do you eat tofu?
How do you feel about oils?
How do you feel about sea vegetables?
How do you feel about processed packaged foods?
How do you feel about salt?
How do you feel about soy?
How do you feel about dark chocolate?
How do you feel about sweeteners?
Labels are so confusing! How do I know if something is really vegan?
How do you go out to eat?
How do you socialize?
How do you handle negative criticism from friends and family?
You feed your cats a vegan diet, isn't that animal cruelty?
I've heard you say you don't like peta.org, how could you dislike an organization who caters to animals?
You put rice milk in your smoothies and eat almond butter...how is that vegan?
If you were stranded on a desert island, and there was nothing to eat but animals, would you eat meat?
If you love plants so much, why do you want to kill them?
What's wrong with eating free-range eggs?
What vegan foods do you hate?
Do you use a Vitamix? What about a Ninja?
What kitchen tools do you need to be a vegan?
What household cleansers do you recommend?
What are your favorite vegan beauty products?

What kind of vegan are you?

I'm an ethical, dietary, and environmental vegan. Animal rights, my health, and our planet are equally important to me. In addition to a vegan diet, my household cleaners and personal care items are cruelty-free and eco-friendly. I don't smoke cigarettes, rarely drink alcohol, and never do drugs. Though I don't consider pot to be a drug, I don't partake in that either. This is a common misconception when people find out that I'm a vegan. As I've learned that it's assumed that all vegans smoke pot. Pot smells terrible. I have no interest in stinking. I don't care if you smoke pot, as long as you don't blow your stink in my face. Thanks. :) Side note: Even though I think pot stinks, I don't think people should be in prison because of it. I am strongly for it's legalization.

Do you judge others who eat meat?

No. (this may anger some fellow vegans, as well as vegetarians).
I know that this lifestyle is right for me. I'm thankful that I get to make my own choices, and that others are free to do the same. My being vegan is not a personal attack on those who choose to eat meat. It isn't about them, it's about me...and my relationship with the animals, my body and the planet.

Why are vegans so preachy?

To say all vegans, (or all before any group of people) is a bit unfair. Not all vegans think the same. No two people feel exactly the same way about any topic. I don't feel that I'm preachy about being a vegan. I may be snarky on this website, but I don't think I have ever preached to anyone about anything. If someone has a question, I'm more than happy to answer it to the best of my ability. I certainly don't have all the answers, but I have my answers and maybe they can help someone else. Who knows.

Some people (vegans included) are more vocal than others. I know that it can be an abrasive situation to be in. You might feel like you're being attacked for your choices. That isn't my way of existing, but I don't think outspoken vegans should be vilified. They're coming from a place of sadness for wanting a change so very badly. Their aggressive passion comes from pain. They see injustice happening to certain animals. We choose to adore some, and kill others. It doesn't make sense to vegans. The fire comes from knowing that industries make billions of dollars by killing and torturing animals. It's not pretty, and it's not fair. I might not be preachy, but I don't agree with the food systems in the US. The bottom line is that I'm proud of my decision to not intentionally harm any being for the rest of my life.

Do you think you're better than, or above vegetarians because you're vegan?

No. (this may also anger some fellow vegans). I think it's important to be educated about the egg and dairy industries, but I don't view myself as better than vegetarians. I don't think I'm above anyone...including animals, which is why I'm vegan.

Isn't being vegan expensive?

It can be. It can also be dirt cheap. I realize that my diet, which is made up of mostly organic produce, is a privilege. I grew up poor, in a small town. I didn't have fresh foods available to me. I know what malnutrition feels like.

If you're reading this, you have access to the internet. You're already more fortunate than a lot of people. If you want to eat a vegan diet badly enough (organic, or not), you can find the money. Give up your coffee habit, give up Netflix, give up going to the movies, or whatever you can. If you don't want to do that, start saving 10 dollars a week. Put it in a jar. It'll add up fast and there's your vegan fund. I know not everyone is rich...but I ate vegan in school when I was super-doop poor. Rice and beans are cheap as fug! It can be done. Don't let money be the reason to not make the change.

Is being vegan hard?

It was harder for me to give up caffeine than it was to go vegan. It's just a shift in thinking. I don't see it as "I cant eat that hot dog." or "I wish I could have that cake." I see it as "I don't want to eat that". Eventually, the internal questions about food choice just go away. I rarely think about eating animal products; the few times I do, it's a fleeting thought usually based on emotion. When I think about butterscotch pudding, that's not my body needing the pudding, it's nostalgia. No one needs pudding. You want pudding.

If you need to set short goals for yourself, do it. Keep a journal. When you complete a goal, set a new one. Soon enough, you'll be exactly where you want to be. Start small, don't beat yourself up if you've have a bad day. Tomorrow you can start again. No one is going to judge you...if they do, they're not someone you need in your life.

You can do it, even if you fail 100 times.

Don't you miss meat?

No. I don't see meat as food. I see cows, pigs, birds and fish just like I see humans. If you look into the eyes of a cow, they're no different than your eyes. They can feel pain and stress just like you do. If you have a pet, imagine eating them. You never would. I'd bet you'd never even pinch their paw. All animals feel pain. When you start thinking about it that way, your taste buds matter a whole lot less.

You live in Wisconsin, how do you resist cheese?

Yes, I live in the land of cheese and beer. I don't consume either. I think cheese is the most damaging food there is. It causes inflammation all over the body. It's making you sick, you just don't know it yet. It's fat and more salt than you could ever comprehend. That's it. How can that help anyone?

Also, the dairy industry is horrendous, no matter how quaint the cartoon farm looks on the container.

How do you resist the smell of bacon?

I've never actually eaten bacon before. This shocks most people. Even though I've never eaten it, I do enjoy the smell of it. That is something that most people might not admit to. I like the smell of meat cooking. It's gross as hell to me, but it's true. This is an honest space. If you're offended by my honesty, there are a ton of other vegan resources online.

What do you not eat?

I don't eat animal products of any kind.
no meat (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish or seafood)
no dairy (milk, cheese, cream, yogurt, ice cream or butter)
no eggs
no gelatin
no honey

*Honey was the last thing that I eliminated from my life. For whatever reason, I was holding on. Researching honey and bees in-depth made it an overnight decision to stop. I'm so scared for the bees.


Lastly, I don't buy items made of leather, fur, wool, silk, lanolin, beeswax, or carmine.  I also don't buy products from companies (or parent companies) who conduct animal testing. This is an ongoing project, as companies change hands so often.


What do you eat?

My diet is mostly organic fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, beans, rice, lentils, whole grains, nuts, seeds, spices, non-dairy milks (mostly rice and almond) and caffeine-free teas.

Here are some of my packaged staples:
7-sprouted grains English Muffins
hummus
Amy's Soups (have saved my life, I have no doubt).
California Organic Jasmine Rice
pasta sauce
Bob's Red Mill oatmeal

* I might expand on this list at some point.

Where do you get your protein?

This is the first thing that people usually ask when they learn that I'm vegan.
For whatever reason, people think you can only get protein from animal sources. It's pretty hard to find a food that doesn't have protein. Believe it or not, there's protein in a strawberry.

The majority of the protein in my diet comes from legumes.

Other vegan sources of protein: all beans, rice, broccoli, lentils, quinoa, dried apricots, falafel, split peas, sunflower seeds, steamed spinach, avocado, cashews, chia seeds, flax seeds, and baked red potatoes.

Also, I'd like to point out that the average American eats far too much protein. No matter what your jar of protein powder claims; unless you're an Olympic athlete, you don't need 100 grams of protein everyday.

I tend to get 35 grams a day, which is less than the suggested amount of 45 grams per day, but I'm strong. I couldn't do yoga and daily workouts if I were protein deficient. You should be more concerned about your fiber intake than my protein intake, I promise. (a little snark)

What about your B12 levels?

Every person in America should be concerned about their B12 levels. The soil where our food grows has become depleted. The animals eat the same plant based foods that vegans do, their flesh does not contain B12, it's made in their gut. The animal products that make up the standard American diet don't guaranty a healthy source of B12. So, everyone should have their B12 monitored, vegan or not. That being said, I've never had a low level of B12 as a vegan.

*also, a good source of B12, aside from a supplement is fortified Nutritional Yeast is a good source of B12. It's great on pasta and salads.

What about your vitamin D?
I have a chronic illness that causes me to be deficient in Vitamin D. This is not related to being vegan.
I do take a weekly dose of vitamin D.

For most people, sunshine is enough. I have fair skin, so for me, 10 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen a week is the key. If your skin is darker, you need more.

I live in Wisconsin, and the winter here is real. I know it's hard to be out in the cold, it's worth it. Even in the cold, just sitting in the sunshine 10-30 minutes a week will help. If you're a healthy person, a quick daily walk will be enough.

I also think that just viewing the sun is an important thing. Not staring at the sun, but allowing your eyes to soak in the light. It's almost meditative. I love it. Go do it right after you read this shit. :)

Other than the 10-30 minutes a week that you're intentionally not wearing sunscreen, you should be wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least a protection of 30. Every stitch of exposed skin...everyday...even in the winter...even if you just sit in your office all day. Okay? Okay. Lastly, if you're outdoors, you need to reapply every two hours, or immediately after swimming.

*also, good sources of vitamin D in a vegan diet are: mushrooms and fortified cereals.

What about Omega-3 fatty acids?

Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage), seeds (flax, chia, hemp), beans, winter squash, leafy greens, berries, wild rice, kumquats, mangoes, and honeydew melons are all good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids.

What about Idodine?

Baked potatoes, prunes, navy beans, bananas, strawberries, cranberries, and pink Himalayan salt are great sources of Iodine.

What about Zinc?

Chickpeas, walnuts, pinto beans, kidney beans, almonds, lentils, oatmeal, cashews, chia seeds and broccoli are all good sources of zinc.

Is it true that vegans don't get sick?

I think this might be a myth that one of those preachy veegs created. ;) Vegans are still human. Some people (vegan, or not) have a stronger immune system. I know a guy who lives on sugar cereal and cigarettes and he never catches a cold. I'm a person with a shitty immune system. I never got sick as a kid, but as an adult I live with a chronic illness. I feel that my vegan diet has greatly improved my health, but I still catch bugs often. They do tend to pass quickly though, for what that's worth to you.

Do you take any supplements?

Yes. Though I know there are studies showing that certain multi-vitamins serve no purpose, or in fact may be harmful to some people. I take a vegan prenatal vitamin that contains only plant ingredients. I also supplement with vitamin B12 and a vitamin D complex. Even though I eat a nutrient-high diet, I take them as a back up. I don't have actual proof that they're effective, but it's what I do for the time being. You can do what you feel is needed. If you do go vegan, I recommend getting regular blood work done to see where your numbers are. If for no other reason, to keep nosy people off your back. Our blood doesn't lie.

07 March 2016 update: I no longer take supplements, other than weekly Vitamin D prescribed by my doctor, a B12 supplement, and a daily Brazil nut for the selenium and magnesium.

How can vegans be healthy without meat?

The following paragraph is taken from the Wikipedia page:

[Vegan diets tend to be higher in dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron and phytochemicals, and lower in calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12. Well-planned vegan diets appear to offer protection against certain degenerative conditions, including heart disease, and are regarded as appropriate for all stages of the life-cycle by the American Dietetic Association, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, and Dietitians of Canada. Because uncontaminated plant foods do not provide vitamin B12 (which is produced by microorganisms such as bacteria), researchers agree that vegans should eat B12-fortified foods or take a supplement.]

*It should state that almost all Americans are B12 deficient, so meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans should be supplementing their B12 and having it checked on a regular basis.

What beverages do you drink?

water (I drink at least 60 fl. oz. daily)
sparkling mineral water (I prefer Klarbrun to La Croix. The peach mango makes my tongue happy)
lemon water (though this can wreck your teeth, be careful to rinse after)
caffeine-free, organic tea
the switch (occasionally)
juice (rarely)
local root beer (once every three months or so),
decaffeinated coffee

30 Jan 2018 update: I drink black caffeinated coffee again. 2 cups a day from a French press. I'm in love with it. I'm sorry. On Thursdays, I add sweetened almond milk. Hate all you want.

Did you give up meat before dairy?

Yes, but I rarely ate meat to begin with. 6 months after giving up meat, I went dairy-free.

I want to be a vegan, what advice can you give me to push me over the edge?
Watch the movie Earthlings. If that doesn't do it, I don't know what will. I only got ten minutes in. Ten minutes of Earthlings = life long vegan. If you do decide to watch it, prepare to weep.

*If you need more info on how to begin your vegan life,
this is a great resource.

Aren't you going to get osteoporosis?
I eat currants, kale, dates, broccoli, collard greens, kiwi, chickpeas and dried figs on a regular basis. All of which contain calcium.

Also, I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you that the dairy industry has been lying to the American people for decades. Drinking milk actually steals calcium from your bones, in some cases causing osteoporosis. They don't care about your health, they care about your money. Dairy is acidic, and messes with the pH of your body. It causes inflammation in the body, which can lead to bloating, acne, skin issues, asthma, arthritis, and other ailments. It might taste good, but it's causing serious damage.

*other vegan sources of calcium are: oranges, quinoa, dried apricots, bean sprouts, celery, amaranth, Blackstrap molasses, bok choy, mustard greens, tahini, blackberries, navy beans, and almonds.

What films or books do you recommend?
films:
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
Food, Inc.
Forks Over Knives
The Ethics of What We Eat
Vegucated
Earthlings (this film was my reason).

books:
the Starch Solution by John A. Mc Dougall, M.D.
Eating Animals by Johnathan Safran Foer (beautifully written)
the China Study by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D.
Extinction by John Mc Cabe
Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes by Neal Barnard, M.D.

How do you feel about water fasting?

It's not for me. I want my body to feel strong. Feeling hungry and/or tired are not things I enjoy. I want to nourish my body everyday. I think water fasting (even for one day) is dangerous. I'm not looking for anyone to change my mind on this, so please don't send me links to quacks on YouTube. Thank you.

Isn't veganism just an eating disorder?
I consume between 1200 - 2400 calories a day of whole foods. Plant-based, organic foods. My average daily caloric intake is 1500. I think it's safe to say that I'm nourished.

Are you aiming to be a raw vegan?
No. I've been raw in the past. I didn't thrive there.

Are you raw til 4 p.m.?

No. I eat cooked food at any time of the day. I haven't seen any scientific evidence that waiting to eat cooked food is beneficial. (e.g. that shit's a fad).

Are you 80/10/10?
The foods that I choose to eat are vegan. I don't follow any other rules.

Do you follow strict food combining rules?

No. I don't currently have any trouble with mixing foods (even melon). I do manage the pH levels in my diet though. I think that's key for feeling the best I can feel.

Every body is different. I've heard that food combining rules can really help people who have trouble with digestion (i.e. celiac disease or ibs). Do what makes your body work.

When I was going through chemo, I did develop a very touchy stomach. With a consistent vegan diet and regular exercise, I've been able to avoid severe episodes.

How often do you do juice cleanses?
I don't. I do often drink only smoothies and fresh juices, but it's because that's what I want to have at the time. We need fiber, I almost never drink juice. I do juice certain things, then add the juice to a smoothie. There is a difference between strict juicing, and blending smoothies.

Do you count calories?

No. I do enter everything that I eat into an app though, to make sure I'm meeting my vitamin targets everyday. So I'm aware of how many calories I eat at the end of the day, but I don't freak out over them. I know what I'm eating is nutrient-dense.

Do you snack between meals?
Yes. If I'm hungry, I eat. Normally, I don't eat after 7pm, but if I'm awake at 11pm and I'm hungry, I eat. Feeding my body is not ever a negative thing.

How do you feel about meat substitutes?

I've never eaten much meat, so I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. Even though I don't eat mock meats, I think they are a great way to transition. If you want to go vegan and you need the stepping stone, use it. That said, I do have reservations about the ingredients in processed foods.

Do you eat tofu?

I almost never eat tofu. I live with a chronic illness, so I limit my intake of soy. I don't drink soy milk, but I do eat soy cheeses on occasion, as well as, some soy yogurts. These are not a part of my daily diet though. They're more of a monthly snack for me. If you are a healthy person, eating tofu is fine. If you have autoimmune issues, look into the research to make your own decision.

How do you feel about oils?

I don't eat free oils, with the exception of grape seed oil and olive oil on occasion. I don't add oils while I'm cooking. I do occasionally eat snacks that have oils, and I do use some oils on my skin. So, they're in my body even though I don't consume them often. I have no problem with eating a nice olive oil on occasion, but my healthy fats come mostly from avocados, and nuts.

How do you feel about sea vegetables?
I don't eat them. The salt content alone is reason enough, but the harvesting of the sea veggies isn't good. I don't need them, sea creatures do. Stop eating their houses! (more snark)

How do you feel about processed packaged foods?

I love snacks as much as the next person, but I see no difference between vegan processed foods and standard American diet processed foods. I eat them in limited quantities (e.g. the vegancuts snack box).

So, indulge once in a while, but your body doesn't ever need cookies. ;)

07 March 2016 update: I no longer subscribe to the vegancuts snack box. I'm not into snacking very much, so I was wasting food. I still think it's a great way to try vegan brands.

How do you feel about salt?
I like it. I know there's a huge fuss about vegans not eating salt. "Hi, my name is Jan and I eat salt." I don't eat standard table salt, I use Redmond's real salt in cooked dishes. I don't use a ton. I measure my usage and monitor my daily intake.

Like everything else in life, too much salt is not good a good thing.

If adding a bit of salt to your rice and potato dishes makes you eat it in place of macaroni and cheese, do it! :)



How do you feel about soy?

I only eat soy in the form of certain imitation cheeses. It's a once a month purchase for me at the store. I also have vegan cheese pizza from a local delivery place about once every few weeks.

30 Jan 2018 update: For some reason I stopped craving pizza? I haven't had ordered in months.

How do you feel about dark chocolate?

I decided to cut it out of my diet due to the caffeine and theobromine. I've had it once in the last 6 months. I made the comment that I felt like I could lift my own car from the jolt of energy...probably not the best thing to add to my bod. I do like the taste though. Man, oh man, :)

How do you feel about sweeteners?

I don't ever eat artificial sweeteners. I view them (equal, splenda, nutrasweet, etc.) as poison. Diet drinks should be banned. That is maybe my most radical view point concerning diet. I really think it's killing people.

I do add coconut sugar to some cereals. I'm also okay with stevia on occasion. Real Stevia, not Truvia or the other b.s. garbage companies trying to cash in.

Also, agave is junk. Don't believe the lies that it's "good for you".

*If you want to sweeten a recipe, use real maple syrup, or blended dates....those bitches are the sweetest things on earth!

Labels are so confusing! How do I know if something is really vegan?

I agree, ingredient names are confusing. I don't think for one second that it isn't intentional to try to confuse the public. Your best bet, is to eat whole foods with no added ingredients. When that isn't an option, here are some words to avoid:
Albumin
Carmine
Calcium stearate
Capric acid (decanoic acid)
Casein (caseinate)
Clarifying agent
Gelatin
Glucose (dextrose)
Glycerides
Isinglass
Lactic acid
Lactose (saccharum lactin, D-lactose)
Lactylic stearate
Lanolin
Lard
Lecithin
Lutein
Myristic or tetradecanoic acid
Natural flavorings
Oleic acid (oleinic acid)
Palmatic acid
Pancreatin (pancreatic extract)
Pepsin
Propolis
Rennin (Rennet)
Royal jelly
Sodium stearoyl lactylate
Stearic or octadecenoic acid
Suet
Tallow
Whey

How do you go out to eat?

Restaurants are easy for me. There's a salad option anywhere you go...or plain rice. If you're worried about being hungry, eat a little food before you leave for the restaurant. It will be an adjustment, but once you've done it four or five times, you wont even care.

How do you socialize?

As for being social, I'm not the best person to ask. I'm a homebody. I have very little interest in 'going out'.

When I do go places it's not a big deal. I've been vegan for a long time, so all of the people in my life are aware of it. If I know I'm going somewhere where vegan foods wont be available, I bring something from home. I've never been in a situation where someone was offended that I didn't want to eat something they'd offered. If that were to happen, I wouldn't dwell on it. That just means they're dealing with something themselves. It has nothing to do with my food choices.

How do you handle negative criticism from friends and family?

I've been very fortunate to have support from the people in my life. Some of them have gone above and beyond to make me feel comfortable when I'm eating at their home. That's never expected, but is certainly appreciated. My dad does call my diet, "rabbit food", but I think he knows it's important to me.

I had vegan tendencies before I knew what it meant to be a vegan. As a kid, I didn't like the idea of meat. I also didn't like the texture of dressings, sauces, or gravies. When I ate pizza, I actually called the toppings 'guts'. I always scraped them off and gave them to my sister. I always had unique eating habits.

You feed your cats a vegan diet, isn't that animal cruelty?

When I get this question it makes me angry. This is simply untrue. I want my cats to stay alive as long as possible, so because they're carnivores, I feed them only meat. Also, get your head out of your ass.

I've heard you say you don't like peta.org, how could you dislike an organization who caters to animals?

Just google 'why peta sucks' and let the shitstorm begin.

You put rice milk in your smoothies and eat almond butter...how is that vegan?

Rice milk isn't actually milk. It's made from rice and water.
Almond butter contains no actual butter.

If you were stranded on a desertted island, and there was nothing to eat but animals, would you eat meat?

I could never kill an animal, so no. I'm sure there would be fruit on the trees. I'd eat those.

If you love plants so much, why do you want to kill them?

Plants don't cry out in pain when we pick them.

What's wrong with eating free-range eggs?

Much like the term 'grass-fed', 'free-range' is simply a marketing term to trick consumers into thinking that these animals are living in a yard, or a field. They aren't.

Unless you have chickens living in your back yard, there's no such thing, as a humane egg.

T
he chickens are:
- de-beaked,
- force-molted (intentionally starved to shock the body into another egg-laying cycle)
- packed tightly (and usually violently) into a semi and trucked hundreds of miles to be slaughtered once they stop producing eggs
- male chicks are ground up in a meat grinder while still alive (because they don't produce eggs)

There is simply nothing right with "free-range" eggs.

What vegan foods do you hate?

- raspberries (it's the seeds)
- Brussel sprouts (I've been sick twice from eating them)
- beets (I don't want any beet tips, I just cant get into the dirt-grit taste)

30 Jan 2018 update: I've been craving
brussel sprouts for the first time in over a decade...what could it mean!?

Do you use a Vitamix? What about a Ninja?

I don't use either. I have no problem with the Vitamix, but I really think my Kitchen Aid does an outstanding job. I have a 5-Speed Custom KSB580 and I LOVE it. Yes, that is LOVE in bold, italicized, ALL CAPS. :) I've used it multiple times a day for years and it's still going strong.

I'm also interested in getting the nutribullet for smaller snack smoothies.

I've heard that the Ninja blender is awful. I've never used it though, so I cant be sure.

What kitchen tools do you need to be a vegan?

I think it's different for everyone. For me, the most important thing in my kitchen is a high powered blender. I have a Kitchen Aid 5-Speed Custom KSB580, and it's totally bitchin'! :) I use it several times a day, nearly everyday.

I also need:
- a large strainer for washing produce (I use a salad spinner)
- a steamer basket to steam veggies and greens
- a sauce pan with a lid to make rice
- a good quality knife for chopping
- a good quality knife for peeling
- a set of measuring cups / spoons

Other things that are nice to have:
- a Berkey Water Filtration System. (everything tastes better with clean water)
- mason jars for storage, smoothies and measuring...they're just awesome.
- a juicer
- glass, or stainless steal straws
- a dutch oven for soups
- a melon baller
- a food scale
- a milk bag to make rice and nut milks
- a spiralizer.

What household cleansers do you recommend?

I run my own company which makes two non-toxic soaps. I mostly use those.

Other brands that I like are: Dr. Bronner's, Ecover, GrabGreen, and Earth Friendly Products.

Method and Mrs. Meyer's are good, but there is definitely some fragrance happening in the products. Ufda!

What are your favorite vegan beauty products?

This is always changing. I subscribe to Petit Vour Box every month, so I find new things a lot. I'm not sponsored by the company. I just really like them! They have so much to choose form, but I highly recommend the subscription box (especially if you're just starting out with a cruelty-free lifestyle).

I'm also really open to hearing about products that you love.
Let me know!

Here are a few of my favorite brands with vegan products:

SUNBLOCK
face: Suntegrity Skincare - 5 in 1 Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen SPF 30
body: Nature's Gate Aqua Vegan Sunscreen SPF 50

I also think Drunk Elephant and Alba make a nice spf.

*If you're in Europe, Lovea Organic Sunscreen SPF 50 Daily Face Cream is awesome.



HAIR
EVOLVh - all of it, love it. Damn.
Function of Beauty - the Hibiscus Kiss smells so good.
Oribe

Kinky Curly

*I used to use the Paula's Choice Shampoo and Conditioner, but they can no longer grantee their products are vegan? WTF. bye.


TOOTHPASTE

Baking soda in the morning
Nature's Gate, or Earth Paste at night

SKIN

"The Balm" by Soapwalla is my one true love. I basically drink it.
I also like products from: Metta, Herbivore, Mary Lindstrom, OSEA, Juara, Ursa Major, Derma e, and Clark's Botanicals makes a really great Deep Moisture Mask.

*I've not tried anything from Tata Harper, but I think that's the next brad I'll try.


I also make a DIY Vanilla Mint Coffee body scrub that I love:

1 cup ground coffee (medium grind)
1/2 cup grape seed oil
1/2 cup Epsom salt
6 drops of essential peppermint oil
1 dropper vanilla stevia

LIP BALM
La Balma Rosa by R.L. Linden & Co.
Crazy Rumors

Lip Glosserie in Asian Pear is the best ever.

DEODERANT
No - I know this sounds terrible to most people, but unless I'm going camping or hiking, I'm not wearing deodorant. If you have good hygiene, you don't need it.

Schmidt's is a vegan brand though if you just cant stop your addiction. ;)


MAKEUP

Glossier (read the ingredients with this company)
Pixi by Petra
e.l.f.
Lily Lolo
Juice Beauty
CoverFX
OCC

Au Naturale
100 % Pure (just a heads up, they do use honey in some products)
rms beauty (read the ingredients with this company)
the Balm (read the ingredients with this company)
Sonia Kashuk (read the ingredients with this company)

BRUSHES / TOOLS

Furless
Real Techniques
Beauty Blender

NAILS
ButterLONDON
Zoya
OCC
LVX
Trust Fund Beauty
Spa Ritual
NCLA