This page all about helping vegans navigate food, products and lifestyle choices that they may have questions about. Admittedly, when I first went vegetarian I didn’t do much research because I figured everything was simple. I didn’t think about what was being put into my food and what little ingredients go into something. If it didn’t obviously contain animal products, I assumed it was good to eat. What really opened my eyes, cheesy as it may be was an episode of the show Phineas and Ferb (I know I watch kid shows, but it can be really funny) as the sister mentions rennet, an enzyme used to make cheese that comes from cows. If you’re anything like me, and you’re squeamish when it comes to hearing about animal products I’ll spare you the details- look it up if you really want to know how it’s made, just know that it’s not vegetarian.  This turned me off of any animal related product and immediately made anything nonvegan unappealing and unappetising to me. At this point, veganism became imminent and after a few days of avoiding these products I knew being vegan was the right decision. And it’s been great. I had to do some serious research this time around, but after around an hour you’ll have learned what to avoid. The main challenge for me in learning what’s what is that there’s no all-inclusive site.So, this page is here to help and any tips you might have are appreciated, so please feel free to comment and help others.

Things to avoid

Refined sugar (look to unrefined or vegan sugar)
Sauces (ie Worchestire)
Plastic Bags and Plastic
Wool
Angora
Glycerin (Needs to say vegan or vegetable)
Mono and Diglycerides
Oils
Gelatin
Casein
Fabric Softener
Soaps
Frosting
Fabric
Glue
Avoid using any body scrubs or soaps that have the beads

Vegan Suggestions 

While this may seem obvious, it’s important to read the label of anything first to make sure you are buying something you are comfortable with. It helps to double-check all ingredients and look for the certified vegan, cruelty-free and vegan, and/or not tested in animal labels. While I can’ tell you what to buy because there are many products out there and the availability may be different in your community, I do have some recommendations.

When it comes to household items like dish soap, fabric softener, etc., look in the natural value sections of the stores. The name-brand products usually contain animal products and are almost always tested on animals, but there are many natural products that do work. Some of the brands I like include:

Ecover (for dish soap) This soap is very strong and I love the lime scent
EcoMax (Dish Soap and cleaning items) While this soap does not get as sudsy as some, it still works. I also like their all-purpose cleaner
Nature Clean (Anything) Definitely one of my favourite cleaning companies. I love their soap for the bathroom, and laundry detergent. They have many products and are widely available
Seventh Generation (Toilet Paper)

Make-Up

I do not wear make-up. In fact, I can’t really stand it, but that’s just me (mostly because I’m lazy.) I will wear lip balm on the rare occasions I remember to put it on. If you are interested in looking for the best vegan brands and tips, Logical Harmony is the most comprehensive blog you are likely to find. I do not have the experience of testing innumerable beauty products so this knowledge is limited by comparison, but here are some of the brands I like:

Lush (lip balm) Not all Lush products are vegan but they are not tested on animals. They used to have a nice vanilla-lemon lip balm called None of Your Beeswax, but now I really love their Key Lime Pie lip balm. Make sure to check the label as it will say if it’s vegan or not. This stuff works really well! I like to give it as part of a gift, it’s good stuff

Nature’s Gate (Body Wash, Shampoo, Toothpaste, etc.) I’m using their Papaya body wash right now and also one of their shampoos. I have really thick, curly hair and I have found that their shampoo has made my hair softer. Their creme de minte toothpaste is my favourite toothpaste I have ever used.

Schmidt’s Deodorant This stuff is my favourite and it lasts forever. It’s a little pricier than regular deodorant but it’s aluminium-free and it comes in a big jar. One of the problems with stick deodorant that I’ve found is that I end up using way too much and just waste it, but this stuff comes with a little spatula so you have t scoop some out and apply it by hand so it allows you to control the amount. The bergamot and lime it my favourite.

DaySoft (Contacts)

Pacifica While admittedly I have never actually purchased any of their products because I’m poor I do like to test their vanilla perfume when I got into Healthy Plant. It’s really nice. They have just about everything you could want make-up wise.

Beauty Without Cruelty I use their lotion

Preserve (Razors)

While I am not the most knowledgeable person and testing these household items is not interesting to me as food, I do think it’s important to find good products that work for you and I know that changing your whole lifestyle is daunting at first, it does get easier. I have made this list to maybe help anyone who has no idea where to start. I’m not being paid by any company, I’m speaking from experience, as someone who has learned a lot about cruelty-free products. One of the added benefits in using these products is that they are less harsh and generally free from excessive chemicals. I encourage anyone to comment and share the products they love and hope that this page can be something that is of use to you