Vegan and Cruelty-Free Home

Living a vegan lifestyle can be challenging, yet it’s also extremely rewarding. When you think of being vegan, you think immediately on your diet and the things your body consumes. However, in order to be truly vegan, the same principles should be put into practice at home, too. Whether you’re looking for new cruelty-free products, furniture, or décor, read on to learn how to create the ultimate vegan and cruelty-free home. Originally posted at Porch.

The Basics of Vegan and Cruelty-Free Products

Anything that’s considered vegan means that it doesn’t include any animal animal-based ingredients, from hot sauces, to furniture, however, that doesn’t always mean that the product was not tested on animals. To ensure that your home products are truly vegan, make sure they’re also labeled as cruelty-free. This term means that the product was never tested on animals before being introduced into the consumer marketplace. Read the ingredient labels on all of your cleaning products to ensure that they don’t contain any animal-based components. Then, make sure that they’re specifically labeled cruelty-free, so you know you’re getting a safe product that’s in line with your values. It can be challenging to find home décor and furnishings that specifically state they are cruelty-free. You may need to ask the retailer or contact the manufacturer directly to confirm before you make a purchase. Look for products that are Leaping Bunny certified, which means they are not tested on animals. Anything without this certification could mean that the final product may not be tested on animals, but the ingredients or materials used to make it could be. Some companies will also create a “vegan” product line, while continuing to explore and kill animals in other product lines. A real vegan product is one that comes from a company that does not practice this tactic.

Start with Vegan Cleaning Products

You don’t need to purchase chemical-laden products in order to have a clean and spotless home. In fact, many ingredients used in mass-marketed cleaning products aren’t just harmful to the environment, they’re also potentially harmful to you, your family, and your pets. Avoid products like caprylic acid, which is sourced from milk, and animal glycerol and stearic acid, which are both animal fats. You may also see the term “animal lecithin” included on the ingredients list of many cleaning products. This term refers to the use of waxy nervous tissue and should also be avoided. Research the names of the most common ingredients found in cleaning products and their source. This simple step will make it much easier to identify the things you know you want to avoid.

While baking soda and vinegar can be a great all-natural way to clean your home, there are still some products you might need to buy in order to achieve the ultimate clean. Brands like Seventh Generation and Ecos offer plant-based formulas that are both vegan and completely cruelty-free. Products that use natural enzymes provide effective cleaning to remove stubborn dirt and grease without the need for dangerous chemicals. Do your homework and read labels carefully, and when in doubt, ask the manufacturer directly. You can also make a few DIY cleaning products using natural ingredients like lemon, vinegar, and baking soda to accomplish quick, daily cleanings in a safe way.

Furnish Your Home with Vegan-Friendly Options

When it comes to furnishing your home, finding vegan products can be especially challenging. Wool and leather should obviously be avoided, as should silk. The process to manufacture furniture from these materials is especially cruel, and none of them should ever be used in a vegan home. Look for furniture with upholstery made of pure, organic cotton and fabrics treated with natural dyes instead of synthetics. Even faux leather furniture can be harmful due to the chemicals used and the environmental damage caused via the manufacturing process. Tables, cabinets, and shelving made of reclaimed wood is another excellent way to choose sustainable, repurposed furniture that doesn’t contribute to the deforestation problem. Visit your local thrift or antique store to find quality furniture made from safe materials like bamboo, natural fabrics, or solid wood. It’s a great way to repurpose older furniture and save money in the process.

The benefits of choosing vegan and cruelty-free furniture are plentiful, including:

  • Using vegan furniture at home is much healthier than products treated with toxic chemicals. These chemicals can penetrate your skin and get into your bloodstream and can also be breathed in causing damage to the lungs. It’s especially important to choose all-vegan furniture if you have children or elderly adults living in your home.
  • Vegan furniture is easier to clean since it shouldn’t attract dust or insects as leather furniture will. Rugs made of cotton are easy to keep clean, and they’re much more resistant to stains than wool area rugs.
  • If you suffer from allergies, most vegan furniture and décor are hypoallergenic. Animal fur and feathers can cause allergies to flare up big time. Choose bedding and pillows made from a down alternative to keep your allergies under control. Not only will you feel better, but you’re also ensuring that you don’t purchase items that harm animals in the process.
  • When you furnish your home with vegan and cruelty-free products, you’ll feel good about your surroundings. While eating a vegan diet is the cornerstone of this lifestyle, having a vegan home is also essential to achieve a well-rounded and value-driven life.

Living the Vegan Lifestyle: Don’t Forget Décor

Finding and using vegan and cruelty-free cleaning products and furniture can be easy once you know what to look for and what to avoid. When it comes to decorating your home, don’t forget that all of your home accents and décor should be vegan, too. Stay away from throw pillows and bedding made of silk and wool or anything filled with down feathers. Instead, choose down alternative textiles and try pillows, rugs, and linens made of organic fabrics. If you love the look and feel of leather but hate the cruelty, there are some companies currently making products from vegan synthetic leather. Remember to stay away from fur at all costs, too. Delve into vegan companies that are dedicated to making quality home products without the need for animal products and byproducts.

There are a few key things to look for when choosing items for your vegan home:

  • Try furniture and décor with rubber cushions instead of memory foam. Natural rubber foam cushions are soft, comfortable, and are made sustainably by harvesting natural latex from the rubber tree. This material may also be referred to as “natural latex.” Visit the GOLS, or Global Organic Latex Standard to learn more about how to choose the cleanest option for your home.
  • The sourcing of materials used to make home goods and furniture should not create toxic pollution or cause harm via deforestation. Make sure every item you’re interested in has been third-party certified so you’re confident in your choice.
  • Even the finishes on furniture and home décor can be harmful to the environment and animals. Check to see if the finish uses low or nontoxic organic ingredients that have no or very little off-gassing that can cause harm to the environment as well as your health.
  • Some home goods, especially many cleaning products, are completely biodegradable. Find out about the life cycle of your products and whether or not they can be reused, recycled, or if they’re fully biodegradable before you purchase.
  • Reduce the demand for mass-produced home décor items and furniture by buying products from a local thrift store. Not only will you give these items a new life, but you’re also slowing down the need for mass-produced products in the consumer marketplace. It’s also a great way to get something new without cutting down trees, testing on animals, or harming the environment through importation and transport.

It’s also important to note that even products like the paint on your walls could contain animal products. Milk and beeswax are often used as a binder when the paint is manufactured. Some paint brands still test on animals, either by putting the paint directly on the animals’ skin or doing things as cruel as forcing them to ingest it. If you’re planning to change the paint color in your home, always make sure that it’s completely vegan and cruelty-free. Thankfully, there are a lot of eco-friendly and cruelty-free paint brands out there to choose from. Do your research if you’re planning to paint your home so that you’re using a product that is both safe and vegan.

When picking out items to decorate your home, always keep sustainability and cruelty-free practices in mind. Materials like glass, repurposed wood, and natural fabrics are all excellent choices. Shop locally to find artisans and furniture makers who use repurposed materials to make their products. Look at labels carefully to ensure that every item you purchase for your home from cleaning products to area rugs is entirely vegan and cruelty-free. It may take some time and patience to find everything you need, but the process will be worth it in the long run.

Say Hello to a Vegan Home

Whether it’s window and oven cleaners with the Leaping Bunny logo or furniture made of organic cotton upholstery and natural latex cushioning, achieving a vegan home is possible. Always research where your items are coming from and don’t be afraid to ask companies about their manufacturing processes. With a little bit of homework and research, you can transform your home into a 100% vegan abode. Thanks to many new brands that are embracing veganism, you’ll be able to create a cruelty-free space to enjoy for years to come. There are no limits to this lifestyle, you can even find your vegan love here with Veggly! And don’t forget that the way we eat has a huge impact on the environment as well!

New study reveals how plant-based diets can combat climate change

Need an extra argument in favor of plant-based diets? We have a big one for you today! Nature Sustainability (one of the world’s leading and most respected scientific journals) has published a new report showing the incredibly positive impact plant-based diets can have on climate change.

We’ve shared the abstract/summary below, but here’s a brief version and explanation for you:

This new study has revealed the huge ‘carbon opportunity cost of keeping livestock’. But what does that mean?

It means there is a huge amount of carbon from the atmosphere that land could draw down/capture (using trees/plants etc.) if it were not being used for animal farming/livestock production. It also means there is an ecological opportunity cost – for example: the woodlands, wetlands, wolves, wild herbivores and thriving ecosystems the land could support if it were rewilded and turned away from animal farming.

So how do I explain this to my friends, family and colleagues?

The research shows us that it is far better to use land for plants (e.g. trees, grass, crops) to draw down carbon from the atmosphere, rather than farming animals for meat/dairy etc.

The impact we can have by switching our food production to plant-based/vegan diets is even larger than previously thought. The report explains how a shift to plant-based diets could enable us to draw down over 500 gigatons of CO2e*… that’s 500 billion tons! This would give us a fighting chance of limiting global warming to 1.5℃.

So there you have it! From an environmental point of view, this is the strongest argument in favor of plant-based diets we’ve ever seen! Of course, there are many other reasons to leave animals off your plate (animal welfare, food resources, health etc.), but this one is impossible to ignore. So make sure you have it up your sleeve next time someone challenges veganism/ plant-based living and asks you to explain it all.

That being said… we hope you don’t have to explain veganism all the time and you find someone who shares your love of animals and our planet! And that’s why Veggly exists!

To see some of our success stories and messages from our users who found love from their Veg-Matches, please see this page here.

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* CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) is a unit for measuring carbon footprints. CO2e is used to express the impact of each different greenhouse gas in terms of the amount of CO2 that would create the same amount of global warming.

The Importance of Vegetables in Our Daily Life

Health is of real wealth! A lot of Vegans and vegetarians adopt this diet/ lifestyle for different reasons: animal welfare, environment and food security for the world population being the most common reasons. However, the importance of vegetables and eating a healthy plant-based diet is also a great factor and one that greatly impacts the life of vegans, vegetarians for the better! Even if you’re still just trying to reduce your meat consumption in favor of more vegetables, this article provides really interesting insights.

Staying healthy is essential to functioning well in life. Health is the root of one’s existence, without which survival cannot imagine. Life is full of challenges and struggles to overcome them. One requires being mentally and psychologically stable.

Vegetables are necessary for human health due to their vitamin A, minerals, and dietary fiber content. Vitamins A, C, and E play a vital role in human health. The nutrient and non-nutrient molecules in vegetables reduce the risk of chronic disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and hyperactivity.

Importance of Vegetables in Mental Health:

Researchers are merely starting to consider the affiliation between what we tended to eat and our mood. However, we all know that there is a strong affiliation. A large study conducted in Spain recently found that people with a diet rich in vegetables have lower depression rates. Experiencing a mental health problem can also be related to an unbalanced diet.

There is a link between specific diets and their impact on the psychological state. Low diets play a role in worsening mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, while foods rich in vegetables improve depression and anxiety symptoms.

With attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), for example, we can see an increase in sugar sweetening in the diet that seems to spill over into stress. Conversely, the intake of many vegetables and fruits appear to protect against these conditions. ADD is a behavior disorder.

The most common treatments for ADD include medical treatment and medications. ADD treatment is not just taking medicine. Many effective therapies can help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in order to improve their ability to concentrate and control impulsive behavior and discomfort. Nutritious meals, exercise, and learning new coping skills are all part of a balanced treatment.

Proper nutrition will help reduce symptoms of the syndrome:  Studies show that what you eat and when you eat makes a difference in the management of attention deficit disorder. 

Main vegetables nutrients and where to get them:

Protein: 

Everything in life needs protein to live, and vegetables are generally good sources of protein. Vegetables rich in protein are sprouts, peas, spinach, sweet corn, broccoli, and mushrooms, etc. The body uses protein-rich legumes to make neurochemicals (the chemicals released by brain cells) to communicate. It will stop the glucose spikes that increase protein and impulsivity. 

Zinc and iron: 

Zinc regulates the organic compound dopamine and can make stimulant drugs more practical by increasing the brain’s response to dopamine. The deficiency of these minerals is related to the necessary cognitive process. Iron is also needed to make dopamine. Lack of iron is similar to psychological deficits and stops ADHD. Zinc and magnesium are used to form neurochemicals, related to attention and concentration, and is a powerful effect in the brain. These minerals found in vegetables such as hemp seeds, peas, spinach, lima beans, etc.

Vitamins and minerals:

Vegetables that are high in vitamin C include peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, kale, and pears. The current daily value for vitamin C is 90 mg.

  • Broccoli is a source of fibre, calcium, and iron.
  • Cabbage is rich in vitamin C, which makes it an excellent immune booster.
  • Cauliflower is rich in vitamin C and folic acid.
  • Radishes are rich in potassium, folic acid, antioxidants, and sulfur compounds that aid digestion.
  • Lettuce is an excellent source of B vitamins, folic acid, and manganese.
  • Spinach is rich in iron, folic acid, and vitamin K, C, and other vital nutrients.

These are many reasons to choose vegetables in your daily diet.

Some are:

Vegetables are a perfect complement: Plants are low in fat and high in protein, which makes them an ideal addition.

Plants are rich in nutrients: Nutrient-rich vegetables contain large amounts of vitamins, minerals, and anticancer compounds.

Vegetables are the best partner in a diet: Using vegetables to lose weight is a good idea. They are low in calories, contain vitamins and minerals, and fill you with fibre and water.

Mental health benefits: Eating vegetables can improve your mental health and even make you happier. Vegetable intake is associated with greater happiness, well-being, and life satisfaction. Vegetables can also help keep the brain in shape for longer. According to a 2017 study published in Frontiers and Aging neuroscience, the research that led the study states that increasing vegetable intake reduces cognitive decline.

Variety of vegetables throughout the year: Vegetables are a delight of nature and are easy to take to eat something crunchy, some sprinkled, some peeled, and still others unchanged by adding a new vegetable to a different meal every day. Add colour to salads with baby carrots, chopped red cabbage, or green beans. A variety of vegetables includes seasonal vegetables throughout the year.

Conclusion: Vegetables are considered essential for a balanced diet because they provide vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre. In the daily diet, vegetables are associates with mental health. It would help if you ate a wide variety of vegetables to ensure a healthy lifestyle and get all the health benefits.

Go Vegan! 😉