Recently my mind has become more sensitive towards the rest of the world. Not to say it wasn't before. I've always felt a compassion towards others. Donating to charities was always something I made sure I did. About 4 weeks ago I applied to the ICS for a volunteer scheme, I went through the application process and I got in! So on October 2nd I'll be travelling to India (Near Mysore) and living amongst rural communities for 10 weeks. I'll be living in extremely basic conditions, building sanitation systems and teaching locals about being environmentally sustainable.
I've been so excited (very nervous too), about this adventure and part of my life. But at the same time I can't help but feel like a fraud. The first step in my internal conscience war was being a 'vegetarian', yes I put that in quotations. I'm never going to be the type of person to say, "how can you eat animals? etc." I believe that it's literally the circle of life to eat animals and other products of this earth. I don't agree with how we go about eating that food. The fact is we don't have to slaughter animals for our nourishment. There needs to be strong regulations in place that sees the animals we eat, killed in a humane and painless way.
Yet at the same time I feel like I couldn't kill an animal myself, so why should I expect someone else too. It's a dilemma I've struggled with for awhile. For now, I am a vegetarian.
So that was the first step. Second is my interest in Veganism. Yes I know, I know. I don't think I could afford let alone live off being just a Vegan. But certain aspects (health-wise) appeal to me. For example I've changed having milk to coconut milk and margarine to dairy free margarine. It's something I'll definitely look into more.
Next step. Cruelty Free. This is where I struggle. It occurred to me the other day, that I say I'm a vegetarian, but I still use products that are probably tested on animals. I went online and found myself completely overwhelmed. Literally 75% of the products I use are tested on animals. I feel confused and guilty. The thought of helpless animals (many of whom could be pets) are spending a lifetime in pain for the gain of us covering up an imperfection. I'm annoyed at myself that I can't find a solution. This is really where I'd love your advice, especially if you are a beauty blogger. Firstly it's important to say I live in the UK. Where can I get products that are cruelty free? It says on Go Cruelty Free it says many brands are cruelty free like Superdrug; but not ALL products at Superdrug's are! It's so confusing!
I am really really tight on money at the moment, so it's even more frustrating when the only other options are expensive ones! Like Lush! I can't justify spending £12 on deodorant, no matter how good it is!
I feel there is a huge gap in the market for affordable cruelty free toiletries etc. Where is it all! :( I'd love any advice you can give me.
But then if I am thinking about cruelty free products I need to be thinking about environmentally and ethically friendly products in all my life. The conscience war never ends! This is where peoples opinions enter.
Recently, and I know of other who have experienced the same thing. Firstly if you say you are vegetarian you almost expect an eye roll from your friends and family. If you say you are a vegan then get ready for the pitch forks. If you start saying that you can't by clothes from Primark because it's not ethical; yep, your witnessing another eye roll. But why!?
I'm wondering why people feel the need to bring those down that choose to live their lives differently. Then I realise that, that's the story of humanity. We are never happy unless as individuals people agree with us. This isn't a post where I'm going to come to a major conclusions about what the solution should be.
I'm just curious whether anyone has some sort of response.
It makes me so upset when people get so negatively confrontational, whether they are in my position or not. It's understandable to get angry because it is something you are passionate about. Especially when you know your point deals with the life and death of humans and animals.
But at the same time, the beauty (and sometimes ugliness) of humanity is that we don't all have to agree. Why can't we just understand and accept that we choose to live differently. Just because I choose to have coconut milk instead of milk doesn't make me pretentious or fussy. When I say I don't want to eat a burger at a friends BBQ, it doesn't mean I'm being difficult or trying to get attention.
It's about how personally I am trying to deal with, how I feel about my contribution to this earth. It's so easy to ignore it. It's so easy to not change these things in our lives. I'm tired of living easily. Maybe it's my minds way of preparing myself for 10 weeks in India. It's funny because I know I'll be 10x worst when I come back. Right now that is my biggest fear. Adjusting to life back at home. I really don't want to slip back into my naive and easy life. I want to be an ambassador for the earth. It doesn't make me any better than anyone else. It's just what I decide to do! I just really hope I can find some answers on what products are ethical, environmental and cruelty free.
This life is full of contradictions.
There's always going to be somebody that isn't happy with how some people choose to live.
<3 Just try not to hurt the bunnies <3
P.S I've also emailed Go Cruelty Free to ask for some advice on buying cruelty free products, as I literally find it SO confusing! I'll do an updated post, hopefully a list of AFFORDABLE products that are safe to buy!
**Update: Cruelty Free Shopping List Coming Soon!
**Update: Cruelty Free Shopping List Coming Soon!