I was getting ready for the nursery run this morning and as I brushed my teeth in the bathroom, I glanced over at the new shampoo and conditioner I bought yesterday and I felt like a fraud. Feeling like a social media fraud seems to be a big part of my life right now.
I am a massive advocate for being vegan, for buying cruelty free cosmetics and doing what you can to help the environment and yet yesterday I bought Loreal Shampoo and Conditioner. Now this sounds ridiculous doesn’t it, getting all worked up over shampoo and conditioner and yet it’s kind of a metaphor for everything else. Let me explain.
I like to think of myself as a vegan. I have never been a big meat eater anyway so that was easy to give up but dairy is much, much more challenging. I write on here about my journey into veganism and what we eat and yet sometimes, all I want to do is faceplant a Dominoes pizza.
Am I a vegan? Am I plant based? I have no idea what the difference is, maybe they are the same thing. I am just doing my best to avoid animal products. But in the interests of full disclosure, the other day I ate a cookie. As I ate said cookie, a ridiculous thought flashed through my mind ‘imagine if someone saw me eating this, it definitely has butter or something in it – they would think I was such a fraud’.
I don’t want to be a fraud. I still support veganism and I still consider myself ‘plant based’ or vegan or whatever you want to call it, but if my daughter offers me a Smartie I can’t promise I won’t eat it, especially if it’s an orange one. I just want to be honest with you.
It isn’t easy to avoid all dairy, I love food and I am pretty much always hungry and if I am out and about and there is another vegan available, then I will choose something that has a tiny bit of dairy in it over eating nothing. Obviously the meat and dairy industry are cruel and that is my main reason for wanting to avoid contributing to that and I don’t want to make excuses.
The same goes for cosmetics. I have tried so hard to replace things as they run out with more natural products that are cruelty free and not tested on animals. For some products, this has been easy peasy (Sukin, Bloomtown Botanicals) and I use them religiously and love them.
There are some absolutely amazing brands out there that are cruelty free, natural, vegan friendly and also work brilliantly but for some things (mainly shampoo if I’m honest) I am struggling to find alternatives that actually work and don’t leave my hair either like a ginormous lions mane or a greasy lank mess.
So this takes me in a nice neat circle back to my Loreal Shampoo and Conditioner. I was in Tesco yesterday and I picked it up and bought it and immediately felt horrible, but I used it when I got home and my hair seems revitalised. It is smoother, cleaner and tamer than it has been in months. Obviously this doesn’t appease the suffering of any animals it was tested on but I TRIED. When this stuff runs out I will try another natural, cruelty free brand and hope for the best but if I find it to be rubbish then I will probably go back to Loreal.
I feel like I need to apologise. I feel like a fraud. I post pictures on my Instagram of delicious vegan meals and yes, they are absolutely delicious but rest assured I’m not cooking jackfruit ‘pulled pork’ everyday. I need to make that clear. Some days I am eating beans on toast or super noodles or covering my dinner in an unreasonable amount of ketchup.
I post pictures of my house looking all clean and white and instaworthy but right now I’m wrapped in a blanket in my office, with crap all over my desk and mud on the floor from Isabelle’s wellies.
It is so difficult in this age of social media. I want to promote the things I passionately believe in but I don’t want to preach. I want to have this perfect vegan, eco friendly lifestyle but I also want to be able to live simply and not spend a fortune on my weekly food shop because vegan alternatives of everything are pricey and I’m not the kinda girl that can live on veg alone.
I guess what I am trying to say, is I don’t want to be a fraud, but I kind of am one.
So just know, that I am still trying my best to be a vegan, but I’m not perfect. I will make a concerted effort to choose vegan food where it is available to me, but I won’t go hungry if it isn’t.
I do my best to be eco friendly, all of my gas and electric is via a company called Ecotricity and I am a HUGE advocate for them and wish everyone would switch to them as a provider. But I still drive when I could walk and I still occasionally put things that are recyclable in the black bin.
I use natural, vegan friendly cleaning products 99% of the time and I do love them, but if I run out of dishwasher tablets and the only ones in the local shop are not natural, vegan friendly ones then I will probably buy them.
I try really hard to use cruelty free cosmetics and when I am buying new products I will try and use natural, vegan friendly options. However if there is something that isn’t working for me then I’m going to use whatever I want until I find a vegan friendly option that does work for me.
So that’s it, all of todays thoughts written down for you to see and judge me on. Hopefully not too harshly. I think what I am saying is if I say I like something, I do. If I post a picture of something, it is real as of the moment I took that picture. I do eat vegan food, I do avoid dairy and meat, I do use cruelty free cosmetics and cleaning products. But not ALL the time because like most of the rest of the world, I am not perfect. And I think I’m okay with that.