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Most people dare not think past the colour of their lipstick ~ but beyond your bright fuchsia or gloss-and-glitter might lie a hidden ingredient on every vegan’s list of keepaways. The article entitled Are Cow Brains Lurking in your Lipstick? illuminates the ill-practices of some makeup companies that we should all be aware of. So let’s get down and dirty with our knowledge of cosmetics.

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“You’re probably thinking, “I hope not!”—but how can you be sure? The Food and Drug Administration recently told cosmetics makers to stop using the brains and spinal cord tissue from older cows in products like lipstick and hair spray in order to try to prevent the spread of mad cow disease to humans. Ready for the bad news? These same icky ingredients are “OK” if they come from cows younger than 30 months of age.

Cosmetics companies use animal ingredients such as tissue and tallow (fat) because they’re cheap, not because they’re better than plant-based or synthetic ingredients. Slaughterhouses kill billions of animals every year and have to dispose of the “byproducts” somehow; selling them to cosmetics manufacturers is one easy solution.

Unfortunately, even avid label-readers can’t always determine what they’re putting on—and in—their bodies. There are thousands of technical and patented names for ingredient variations, and many ingredients known by one name can be of animal, vegetable, or synthetic origin. And if that’s not confusing enough, some companies have slyly removed the word “animal”from their labels in order to avoid turning off consumers. For example, instead of saying “hydrolyzed animal protein,” companies may use a term like “hydrolyzed collagen.” Want to know more? Read PETA’s factsheet about hidden animal ingredients.

Now for Some Good News
Dozens of companies make lipsticks, shampoos, soaps, body scrubs, lotions, and other beauty potions without using slaughterhouse byproducts, milk and egg byproducts, sheep lanolin, honey, or beeswax. For a comprehensive list, click here; companies marked with an asterisk manufacture strictly vegan products. Look for these brands in your local natural foods stores, or order them online from Pangea or Vegan Essentials.

Many cruelty-free companies that are not entirely vegan do have a wide range of vegan products—including Arbonne International, Bath and Body Works, Beauty Without Cruelty, The Body Shop, Ecco Bella, Kiss My Face, and Origins. You can help put even more vegan products on store shelves by asking your favorite brands to use only humane, animal-free ingredients. (For contact information, see our list of companies that don’t test on animals.)

Buying cruelty-free is just one way to be a caring consumer. For more ideas, click here. To make a donation to PETA, click here. Your support is the single most important factor in strengthening our ability to save animal lives and go after companies that still test their products on animals.”

It is no wonder that all Jews and Muslims strictly prohibit the consumption of pork! It is becoming less and less secretive that to eat pork it is to flirt with disease; pork causes illnesses that produce tangible symptoms in the body. Watch this stunning video that made American news not too terribly long ago!

…And another good one is: “Where do you get all your protein?!!” I’ll explain that one later, but here is a comprehensive list of the foods connected to the vitamins you need, and by no means does it scrimp on variety! Any additions to the lists are welcome!

Where to get…

Vitamin A (retinol). For healthy skin, growth of bones, resistance to infection and night vision. Found in carrots, spinach, peppers, margarine, watercress, and dried apricots. In plant foods it is present as its precursor, beta-carotene.

Vitamin B1 (thiamin). For breaking down carbohydrates for energy. Found in yeast extract, brazil nuts, peanuts, rice, bran, oatmeal, flour, wholemeal bread, and sunflower seeds.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin). Helps convert proteins, fats and carbohydrates into energy and for the growth and repair of tissues and healthy skin. Found in almonds, wholemeal bread, dried prunes, mushrooms, soybeans, spinach, cashews, millet, and avocados.

Vitamin B3 (niacin). For energy production, healthy skin, and the nervous system. Found in most foods including yeast extract, peanuts, wholemeal bread, mushrooms, and sesame seeds.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). For red blood cell formation and protein metabolism. Found in bran, wholemeal flour, yeast extract, hazelnuts, bananas, peanuts, and currants.

Vitamin B12. For red blood cell formation, growth, and a healthy nervous system. Found fortified plant foods including soya milks, breakfast cereals, veggieburger mixes, yeast extracts and herbal soft drinks.

Folic acid or folate. For red blood cell formation, protein synthesis and DNA metabolism. Some functions are linked with vitamin B12. Found in yeast extract, spinach, broccoli, peanuts, almonds, and hazelnuts.

Biotin. For energy production and healthy skin. Found in yeast extract, beans, nuts, and most vegetables.

Pantothenic acid. For energy production and antibody formation. Widely found in most vegetarian / vegan foods.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid). For healthy skin, bones, teeth and gums, resistance to infection and wound healing, energy production and growth. Found in citrus fruits, broccoli, bell peppers, spinach, mustard greens, cauliflower, and berries.

Vitamin D. For the absorption of calcium and phosphate and healthy bones and teeth. Found in margarine or other oil spreads, breakfast cereal, soya milk / soya products, and mushrooms. Swallow a spoonful of sunlight each day for natural production!

Vitamin E. Acts as an antioxidant protecting vitamins A and C and other important substances in the body. Found in vegetable oils, wheatgerm, hazelnuts, and avocados.

Vitamin K. For effective blood clotting. Found in unsaturated cooking oils, spinach, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and parsley. Vitamin K is also obtained from bacterial synthesis in the intestine. Deficiency is rare.

So, I was innocently carousing the internet for vegan egg nog when I came across this gem of a human. If you’re afraid of fruits and vegetables, please… try this green smoothie. Really, it’s green. Personally, I like the color.

My story goes like this…

So, I went on a mission today to find vegan versions of different products to compare with the non-vegan version from my local shop, Morrison’s. I’ve compared them for price, weight, and of course, ingredients. This proves just how easy it is to obtain these products by looking a little closer at the labels for dairy, egg, and animal-derived free! **I will do this at other shops such as Waitrose or Sainsbury’s to be fair to your trusty local as well!**

Superjam @ 82p / 212 g Vs. Hartley’s @ 1.29 / 340 g

(Superjam contains no cane sugar; cane sugar is usually filtered through animal bone material. It also contains no extra food coloring or unnecessary gelling agents!)

Pure Soya Spread @ 1.00 / 500g Vs. Flora Spread @ 1.50 / 500g

(Pure does not contain any milk or buttermilk and is certified vegan, which means it did not come in contact with anything animal. Hallelujah!)

Alprosoya Single Cream @ 50p / 250ml Vs. Elmlea Single Cream @ 78p / 284ml

(How could Life have thought of such a great product? These geniuses made baking a whole lot easier… this is on the plane of soya yogurt!)

Florentino Basil Pesto @ 1.75 / 170ml Vs. Sacla Pesto @ 2.19 / 190g

(Although I am a big fan of cashews, this pesto is made without nuts at all — instead it’s made with basil! Pretty risky and pretty frisky! The biggest upside is that it does not contain cheese which is that little ingredient that makes the biggest difference!)

Kinnerton Dark Chocolate @ 1.19 / 100g Vs. Dairymilk @ 1.30 / 140g

(Vegan chocolate. Mmmmmm. You’d think it was hard to find… but not really!)

Biona Rye Bread @ 90p / 500g Vs. Morrison’s Seeded Bread @ 79p / 400g

(Guess what? This German rye bread is the real deal with minimal ingredients and totally animal-free… regular bread has so many hidden ingredients like skimmed-milk powder and even eggs so it can be tedious to look at the labels. Minimal is best in this department!)

And there you have it… shop local and despair no more!