I have avoided writing about this topic because, to tell you the truth, I find it very confusing. When I first started to tell people that I was vegan, I was talking mainly about my food intake. I , like many others, was in the dark about what being vegan really means. There was so much to deal with in just making the correct food choices. I did not spend that much time thinking about other non vegan products that I was buying and using.
But I am thinking about it today, because I am just back from getting a pedicure. Sounds indulgent, right, and it can be. It is one hour of relaxation where someone takes care of my feet. I go to a kind of fancy salon because that is where my pedicurist, J. works. I don’t go just because it is a treat for me, I go because I really do need to.
You, see, I have a leg that has been operated on twice and does not cooperate with me in terms of bending the way I would like it to. In simple terms, I cannot reach my feet and toes on the bottom of said leg well enough to do all the necessaries required so that my nails don’t end up curling over the ends of my toes. I can clip them, but the angle at I which I hold my leg to get the job done is so awkward that the nail is too long on one side and too short on the other. It is not a pretty site. Forget about using any kind of exfoliate scrub or cream-just can’t do it.
Hey, it’s not the end of the world-Right? Just go and get your feet fixed up once a month and move on. But, this is where the plot thickens. I started to become more aware that most personal care products are not cruelty free and definitely not vegan. And, that was bothering me. I began reading labels. I was delighted when I would see the Leaping Bunny Logo sitting proudly on the side of the container.
So, what does the Leaping Bunny Logo mean? Well, I will tell you. It means that there was no nonhuman animal testing used by the company or a third party on the ingredients in the product. However, it does not mean that it is free of nonhuman animal products. A few of the favorite ingredients are honey, goat’s milk, beeswax, collagen and lanolin.
In order for the product to be certified vegan, there must be no nonhuman animal products or by-products used in the formula. Now, because the product is certified vegan, neither would there be any hanky panky going on as regards nonhuman animal testing.
But, it took me a long time to figure all of this out. So, what did I do? I stopped going for pedicures-for maybe a year or more. Yes, my feet did look terrible, but it was a very small price to pay for less suffering for some and more peace for me. In the meantime, I continued my research.
Until, one day, I saw my pedicurist, J. when I was out shopping. We exchanged big hugs, how do you do’s and what are you up to now, and so on and so on. I found out from J. that she is now using Aveda products and I almost shouted for joy. I know Aveda. I use Aveda hair products. The company says right on the side of their products, that the ingredients are tested on humans, not nonumans.
So, I made an appointment. Yay, I am going to be able to wear sandals again and my nails won’t click when I am walking barefoot on the hardwood floor. Win! Win!. I took my own Vegan Nail Polish, No Miss with me and headed off. At the end of it all, while I was waiting for my nails to dry, I casually checked out the ingredients on the side of one of the products. Lanolin!!!!!! I was not happy to see this.
I threw my purse down when I got home and headed up to the computer to get some info. Luckily, I came across this fantastic, informative site called Logical Harmony. What I learned is that Aveda is owned by Estee Lauder and is no longer cruelty free, much less vegan. I sent Tashina Combs the creator of the site, an e-mail and asked her what I should do. She kindly suggested that I try the company Lush which definitely is cruelty free and has many Vegan products. Plus, they do not use any palm oil which is a biggy for me. I try to avoid contributing to the destruction of habitat in the Rainforests, as well as the Rainforests themselves.
So I went to Lush and, with the help of a very helpful young lady, I found almost everything I would need to have my cruelty free and vegan pedicures. I added some Karma Naturals Nail Polish Remover to my little bag that I take with me when I go and all is good. And I feel good about it. I go once a month, have a nice chat with J. about our children and grandchildren and then I trot home with my little bag of products which I stow in the cupboard until next month.
Annie’s Vegan View
If we all shunned products that are not cruelty free and vegan, companies would take notice lickety-split. They need our money to survive and thrive.
There are sites out there that will guide you through the process of finding products that are not made through the suffering of nonhuman animals.
It takes a little time but it is worth it. I promise you, your contribution will make you feel good about yourself, as it did me.
May all beings be happy and free.