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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Beginner Vegan : Should I Throw Out Non-Vegan and Cruelty Free Makeup?

Here is a random topic I have been contemplating since I completed my one week vegan challenge after Memorial Day weekend.

I've been transitioning my diet. We've been using up all the non-vegan food in our house and let me tell you, we're getting pretty close now. We finally used up some feta and mozzarella cheese in a lentil lasagna over the weekend and we've given away a LOT of random stuff. We had nearly two full packs of cheese snack sticks, two bottles of Parmesan, cream of chicken soup cans, tuna, and a bunch of other stuff. We also have some items that are going to take awhile to get through, such as the three jars of beef/chicken bouillon cubes in the cabinet! And I accidentally bought the wrong breadcrumbs a couple weeks ago and they totally have milk in them. It feels really wasteful to simply throw all this stuff out, so we've been using it up.

The thing what's occurred to me recently is, what am I supposed to do with all the non-vegan stuff I already own (that isn't food)? Like my makeup, hair products, shoes, etc.

I didn't think I owned any leather shoes, but it turns out my current favorite flats are leather. I just always thought leather was expensive and I don't buy expensive shoes, so I just assumed I didn't own any leather ones. Wrong. I just bought these while I was pregnant with Eren so they're pretty new and it feels like a waste to toss them out. Should I donate them and find a different pair? Should I just wear them until they're spent?

I do need to go through my shoe collection and donate stuff I don't wear anymore anyway. Since becoming a mother, I have come to appreciate functional footwear. I just don't have time for shoes in every color or any kind of heels or anything that isn't super comfy. I wear booties in the winter, sandals in the summer, and tennis shoes year round. I don't need much more than that.

I own a leather jacket that I literally wear once every other year. But I have this attachment to it. I really wanted it when I was in middle school and my parents got it for me for Christmas and it surprised the crap out of me because I know they spent a lot of money on it and they never got us big, expensive stuff like that. It just reminds me of that Christmas. And although I will probably never wear it again, I feel very conflicted about letting it go.

I have unused bottles of body wash and shampoo that are not cruelty free. I have so many hair products (that I really don't even use). I have a lot of makeup. (this blog used to center around makeup, so I own a lot of stuff) But isn't it wasteful to throw it all out? And what is it that bugs me, do I oppose the waste itself or the fact that I'm wasting money by throwing it away?

I wanted to get some new shorts recently. Instead of going to Ross or Target or whatever, we stopped by the Goodwill. And while yes, there are internal issues with the Goodwill corporation itself, at least I wasn't directly fueling the fast fashion world we live in. I bought two pairs of shorts for like $5 and I felt really happy.

My trusty, standard black Old Navy flip flops broke on the first day I put them on this year. They were probably five years old. So I "need" a new pair of black flip flops. I've been looking into vegan and more ethically made options. It's crappy though. Me, being a cheap skate, never spending over $30 on a pair of shoes. I look at this $2 pair of Old Navy flip flops, then I look online at $40 sandals and I'm like holy crap, is it really worth it?!

But I try to remind myself that it's all supply and demand. Every dollar you spend is a vote for a better world. If I apply that to my food choices, shouldn't I be applying it to my clothes and the rest of my life as well? I should be concerned about the working conditions of humans all over the world just as much as I am concerned for the animals who are enslaved to feed us.

Diet was pretty easy. But all of this other stuff is hard.

- Alaina

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