Even though removing all animal products from your plate is an excellent start on the journey to veganism, as you delve deeper into the vegan world it quickly becomes apparent that changing dietary behaviours is only a part of what it means to embrace a fully vegan lifestyle.
Many household products and everyday items, such as clothing and personal care products are tested on animals, made out of animal products or contain hidden animal derived ingredients. Luckily making an informed choice on these everyday purchases is now easier than ever, allowing us to take responsibility for the impact of our actions upon the animals involved, our health and the environment.
What To Look Out For When Buying Vegan Products
Whether your personal journey down the road to veganism is an instant or progressive transition, it won’t be without a few bumps along the way. There are many products that may hold a few surprises when it comes to avoiding animal products either as ingredients or in the production process. Beer and wine are a classic one that catches many people out – watch out for product that has been refined or filtered using egg or fish products. For a quick reference of vegan wines available in New Zealand see here for our vegan wines list.
Soap is also another one to watch out for, tallow or animal fat derivatives like sodium tallowate and stearic acid are traditionally used in the mass production soap making process. Crayons, plastic shopping bags, fabric softener, toothpaste, shampoo, lipstick, nail polish, deodorant, wax paper (the list goes on and on) can also contain animal derived ingredients.
Ingredients to look out for are casein, glycerin, keratin, gelatin, carmine, lutein and quanine just to name a few. The widespread use of these animal derived ingredients is largely due to the fact that animal fat is cheap and an easily sourced by-product of the meat processing industry.
Where To Buy Vegan Products
Even though many everyday products are naturally vegan and available straight off the shelf, in order to make it a little easier we have put together this handy list of where to get specific vegan products in New Zealand. Please be aware even though these businesses promote their animal free status it is always difficult to be one hundred percent sure, always check individual items for yourself before making a purchase.
- Well Made Clothes. An online ethical clothing marketplace providing a common sales platform for several ethical fashion labels. Find a good range of vegan clothing, accessories, underwear and footwear.
- The Cruelty Free Shop. A specifically New Zealand based vegan store where everything is vegan and entirely animal friendly. Products include animal care, clothing, accessories, food, beverages, homewares, cosmetics and health and beauty care.
- Ethique. Beauty bars made using vegan ethically sourced, naturally derived, and sustainable ingredients. Products include face, hair, body, household and pets solid beauty bars.
- Goodness Natural Beauty Lab. New Zealand based company producing environmentally friendly vegan beauty products.
- M & R Essentials. New Zealand makers of vegan and organic natural health and beauty products.
- Eco Warehouse. A family operated online store selling eco-friendly, sustainably sourced household, laundry and cleaning products along with kitchenware.
- Natures Nurse. New Zealand based company selling 100% natural plant based alternative pain relief cream and lice treatments.
- Brasilian Footwear. Auckland branch of worldwide shoe manufacturers using 100% vegan materials.
There is no right or wrong way to set about adopting a vegan lifestyle and many people choose to forge their own path building their knowledge base as they go. There is no need to suddenly decide to go ahead and throw out all of your clothes, wander about shoe-less, or discard copious amounts of household cleaners, personal care products and detergents. Wear it out, use it up, recycle or donate any unwanted items with a view to gradually purchasing more vegan friendly options as they need replacing. The number one rule is always, always, check the labels and do your research when making a purchase.
For more information on vegan products in New Zealand the SAFE For Animals website provides a vegan SAFEshopper App to help out when selecting products, or the Guide To Vegan Facebook page has excellent tips on everyday products found in regular stores and supermarkets.
I love this concept of everything vegan