Thoughts on going Vegan and Living Cruelty Free

Why did I go vegan? It’s hard to pinpoint. Early on, I went through periods of not eating pork because of a sweet pet pig I met when I was 5. I cut out dairy at certain points during my early 20s because I read about the negative effects it has on skin. Heading down the vegan path, there’s usually one thing that pushes you to make the leap, but as I researched being a pescetarian, vegetarian, vegan, it became a snowball effect. There are several reasons most people choose: the meat industry's negative effect on the environment; health studies about how our bodies are not meant to eat meat and dairy; the cruelty of causing pain and suffering to animals. They all contribute for me, but I find the latter to be the most motivating.

The sadness that I feel when I see a video of a pig poking his snout out of the truck headed to the slaughterhouse is visceral and numbing. You can feel out of control at times because you want to save every animal. You want to make everyone see the world the way you do and to restrain that impulse can be frustrating and at times infuriating. But it's important, because confronting others with negativity about their lifestyle is almost always counterproductive. Better to try to be a helpful, positive alternative example for others with open minds.

Thankfully it is so common now to know someone who is embracing the vegan lifestyle or parts of it. Having Kate along for this journey has strengthened our great friendship. We are constantly motivating each other, and holding each other up (when I see the videos like the one I mentioned above, she’s who I call when I inevitably start crying, and vice-versa). The increasing number of public figures who embrace a cruelty free lifestyle is also really inspiring.

It is amazing to see the growing number of new companies that are embracing a cruelty-free company stance and are not selling their products in China due to required animal testing. Kate and I love having this website as an outlet to share our recent awesome finds from these types of brands. We hope you don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy this site (and we promise to keep the mind-numbing sadness to a minimum). But we firmly believe that anyone can enjoy a seamless transition to a cruelty free lifestyle, because with today's technology and innovation, the cruelty-free & vegan beauty products are plentiful, top-notch, and within-reach.

V LifeElizabeth Almgren