When I went vegetarian nearly two years ago, I didn't really have a plausible reason. I stopped eating meat for Lent one year and it simply felt right, so I stayed on the lifestyle. Slowly, over the past two years, I have become educated in the ethical side of things: how animals are really treated in not only the meat industry, but the dairy, egg, and clothing industry as well. It's not green pastures and whistling farmers, as much as I would love to think that. I've watched documentaries, Youtube videos, and I've read books. I learned about veganism. For those of you who don't know, vegans are people who abstain not only from meat, but from dairy, eggs, and other animal products as well.
Veganism was something that genuinely interested me, and as I learned more about the planetary impacts and health benefits, I felt more of a connection to it. It made sense: I was already a vegetarian. I was lactose intolerant, meaning that when I did have dairy, I'd have to pop a lactaid pill. I steered clear of eggs because I'd had a past with high cholesterol, and I simply didn't like the taste of them. However, I never made the transition! I lacked the motivation, I always had an excuse, I was scared of people judging me. And, yes, while I had learned more about the ethics, I still was blind to what was in front of me.
The big connection came when I watched a speech on Youtube that changed my life. I'll link that below for anyone interested I spent more than half of it with my hand over my mouth, in tears. They say that seeing is believing, and that couldn't be more true. The things that animals go through, captured on video, made me sick to my stomach. I didn't even want to think that this was happening everywhere, everyday, but I now knew that that was true. The grave realization came to me that maybe my vegetarian lifestyle wasn't as "harmless" as I'd thought it to be.
That speech also helped me make the connection to what I was wearing. My closet was full of leather shoes, bags, and belts, silk scarves, angora sweaters. I wore them on the daily, and I wore them constantly on my blog. I have been criticized before for the designer items I wear in my posts, been accused of having a label addiction or being a "trust funder", charging it all to my parents' credit cards. (not true, I pay for all my own clothes, but that's beside the point.) Somehow I never made that connection in my mind. If I wouldn't put it in my body, why was I willing to shell out $250 for it and carry it on my shoulder? The blinders were off, and my mind was racing with a million different emotions at once. However, in that whirlwind of thought, one things was clear to me- the next step to take.
From this point on, Little Miss Haute Couture will become a vegan fashion blog. I will not be wearing animal products on my blog anymore! I started to clear out all my silk, angora, and leather last month, and haven't worn them since. I'm selling my animal products in my Poshmark closet. I do have a few pieces of wool in my closet, which I haven't gotten rid of since they are not necessarily products of slaughter, but I'm probably going to be parting with those too. (UPDATE 5/29/16 - I am now also getting rid of my wool products in my closet.) Anyways, even though this blog with be hugely different, it will still be- in a sense- the same. Same style, just new values. I'll be highlighting cruelty-free pieces from brands that I already know and love, and amazing vegan lines as well! And there are so many options.
Stella McCartney. Matt & Nat. Free People, Anthropologie, and H&M have a ton of great options as well. Even J. Crew and J. Crew Factory have some great vegan pieces. Kate Spade occasionally makes vegan bags from PVC, Tory Burch has vegan flip flops, clothes, and even some nylon bags. ASOS, Ted Baker, Zara, the list goes on and on. There's options everywhere, and they tend to be less expensive as well. I used to equate manmade materials with something cheap and fake, but in this day and age, quality and cruelty free can be hand in hand and are readily available allover. All you have to do is read the tag! The beautiful realization came to me that veganism doesn't mean giving up anything.
I've also thrown out my makeup products from brands that still test on animals, like Maybelline, Aveeno, Covergirl, and MAC in favor of cruelty-free makeup like Pacifica or Urban Decay. I'll be honest, getting rid of some of the things in my closet was hard at first, especially on the first day when I decided to get rid of it all. Sentimentality is strong in my closet, but the ethical side of my heart won over, and once I was done clearing it all out, I felt unbelievably good. Cleaning it all out gave me a chance to start fresh, redefine what I love, and fill it back up with compassionate fashion.
|Just a few of my new vegan additons!|
BP Wedges // Anthropologie Bag // Smith's Rose Lip Balm // CaseApp iPod Case c/o
I can't wait to start this new journey, this new life. I love ALL beings: animals, plants, and humans. I love people regardless of what they eat and what they believe. I was the only vegetarian and am now the only vegan in my family. Yet my family is amazing, accepting, and have offered me more support that I was expecting to receive. I try to keep an open heart and open mind, so I practice loving all people. And I love the friends that have stuck with me throughout my blogging journey. I hope you'll continue to stick with me! I know this was a long ramble, but thank you if you read it all. Your love keeps me going.
Thank you for your support, and I am so excited to start this new journey.
For people interested in learning about veganism, the following resources are a great place to learn more.
Speech by Gary Yourofsky
This was an eye opener, and the main thing that helped me make the ethical connection that pushed me to go vegan. (I talked about it above) You can read a transcript of his speech here if you don't want to watch the video, since it is long and there is some graphic content.
My Youtube videos
I put together these short videos on the Dairy and Egg industries. The video content is not necessarily graphic, but may be hard to watch for some. However, these are only about 1 minute and a half long.
The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone, and The Kind Life
This is the first thing I read to learn about veganism, and it still remains a favorite book. Alicia Silverstone is a passionate vegan and has two wonderful books and a website.
Not only is Kathy one of the kindest bloggers out there, but she is a passionate vegan and an influential voice in the vegan blogosphere. Her blog was my favorite place to learn about veganism and the vegan lifestyle early on when I first started getting interested. Also, her cookbooks are amazing!
PETA (People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals)
I recently signed my Peta pledge to go vegan. Visit their website to learn more about what goes on in the animal industry, what you can do, and the multitude of benefits from veganism.
Freelee the Banana Girl
I'll admit, I used to disagree with everything she said. She's one of the more controversial activists for veganism, in that she is very bold with her videos. That being said, they have helped educate me on what really goes on in the meat, dairy, egg, and clothing industries.
This is where a ton of vegan food bloggers submit their recipe creations. It's so easy to find amazing vegan foods, from delicious plant dishes to veganized versions of non-vegan foods. It was also created by Kathy Patalsky (see above), so it's really my go-to.
That Vegan Couple
The Vegan Jetsetter
One Green Planet
Mercy For Animals
The Concious Cook by Tal Ronnen
Thank you to everyone for your support. It really means the world.