Animal-friendly lifestyle blogger Ilka Elise B is back as a contributing writer for Les Sublimes, sharing her experiences and advice that she's gathered along her journey to becoming an (almost) vegan. For more insights, useful tips and delicious cruelty-free recipes, head over to Ilka's inspiring blog!
A SERIES ABOUT LIVING AN ANIMAL-FREE DIET
Hi again. And welcome to episode two.
To my history. I was raised with minimal animal products. My mama always took care of what I ate. We shopped for our groceries in health food stores, at farmers markets or directly on a farm. And I was used to drinking almond milk long before it was available everywhere. So it didn't feel to unnatural to me to quit animal products almost entirely. Read more about How I became vegan in episode one.
I believe, there are two main reasons for people to start a vegan lifestyle or animal-free diet.
First reason: ethics.
You don't want to accept how animals are treated. They aren't just something to eat! They are alive, have a mom and dad, they breath and they can feel. And it's barbarous how they are produced and killed just for the reason that we want bacon for breakfast, a down-filled headrest cushion, unlimited milk for coffee and all of the other things we take for granted. Most people totally forget that we first kill or torture somebody to achieve the lifestyle we live. Living a vegan lifestyle is about respect. Abdicate things that aren‘t necessary to live and stop using products and eating food that's produced through cruelty and death.
Second reason: health.
You stop eating animal products because you're allergic (for example lactose intolerance) or you want to improve your health. Often dairy products mess with our hormones, causing bad skin or acne. Most meat produced for supermarkets is stuffed with hormones (so that the animals can grow quickly and be slaughtered sooner). These hormones often provoke weight gain. Starting an animal free diet often involves replacing animal products with plant products. Often fresh fruits and veggies, which are filled with tons of good fibers and vitamins.
But for me it was more about finding myself and what I could do to live a better, healthier life.
IN A HEALTHY BODY LIVES A HEALTHY MIND
I started my animal free diet because I wanted to take better care of my body. For me, it's all about what I nourish my body with + what I put onto my skin. By that I mean:
- what I eat
- skin care
- and makeup
First: What I eat. As I already told you a little, I do not call myself a vegan. Because I don't eat 100% animal free. I eat honey every now and again. I still wear leather, but I try to keep it to a minimum. And I have a little vacation agreement with myself (read more about it in episode one).
On a daily basis I only consume eatables that don't contain animal products! Like fresh fruits (bananas, pineapple, berries, apples - whatever is available), veggies, pasta, rice, corn & grains.
Second: My skincare. I'm lucky that we have a huge range of vegan / cruelty-free skincare products in Germany, even in our drugstores. I always use face cleanser, shower gel and moisturizer from different vegan brands. And they do their job perfectly. I used to have really sensitive, dry skin. But the day I started to check the ingredients of my skincare products my skin got soooo much better. Plus, my little secret weapon is coconut oil. I use it for nearly everything. Makeup remover, body cream, shave gel, as a hair mask and much, much more!
Lastly: My makeup. I always keep it minimal. During the day I only wear a little bit of mascara and fill in my brows. That’s it! For that and also for a full face of makeup, I use products from vegan drugstore brands. I also recently came across a few cool cruelty-free makeup brands available at Sephora (hope they manage a German online shop soon. Fingers crossed. Haha).
I believe there are no rules for what you should eat or what products you should use. It's about what suits you best, what makes you happy and how you feel about it. When you start eating vegan because you love animals and you don't want to be part of cruelty any longer – that’s fantastic! If you stop eating animal products or just skip milk because of health reasons, or you want improve your wholesomeness - perfect! Or if you simply want to minimize your use of animal products, in whatever aspect...Great! For me, eating vegan means being responsible. For yourself and for the environment. And there is no right or wrong!
Thank you so much for reading. I can't wait for episode number three next week.
Much love ♥
Darling readers - kindly note that Les Sublimes is not a "vegan" brand, however we do think that following a cruelty-free diet is AWESOME! We greatly admire all of you vegetarians and vegans out there and hope to encourage more people to incorporate sustainable eating habits into their everyday lives. A huge THANK YOU to Ilka for demystifying the word vegan and for showing us just how simple the transition to a plant-based diet can really be!