Transitioning to veganism is about more than just changing your eating habits. It’s about removing animal exploitation from your life all together, and this includes making vegan fashion choices.
We believe there is no point In simply throwing out any fashion items you already have that aren't vegan. You can either wear them until they’re worn out, or consider giving them to a friend or family member, or donating to a local charity shop.
Vegan fashion doesn’t have to be expensive, and thanks to so many companies already swapping leather and wool for vegan alternatives, it can be easy to find.
What to Look Out For
It can seem overwhelming with so many different material names to learn and look out for, so I’ve made a table of those commonly found and safe for vegans!
Those which are most sustainable and environmentally friendly have been highlighted green, as we all want to do the best we can for the planet we share!
Many vegan products can be found in everyday clothes shops you’d find on the high street, with brands like H&M and GAP going completely fur-free.
If you’re after something a little more special and you want to support fully vegan businesses, here are some of my favourites:
Ethics - a UK based ethical vegan clothing company.
HeartCure Clothing - UK based but ships worldwide. ‘For change markers, life savers and earth lovers’
Mud Jeans - Upcycled and recycled jeans, ships worldwide.
Willowkind - Sustainable, organic, cruelty-free fashion for babies, kids and adults.
These are a few of my favourites, but what about you? Let us know of any great ethical vegan clothing and fashion brands we’ve missed in the comments below! We love to hear from you!
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There seems to be a lot of vegan YouTubers renouncing the lifestyle at the moment.
It can be extremely disheartening to see, and also damaging to the vegan movement itself. These people have built up a following that believes in the work we are trying to do; they have positioned themselves as vegan role models to the masses.
Needless to say, when they suddenly turn their back on the fundamental vegan beliefs, it certainly deals a blow to everyone who followed them.
When many people have respect for these YouTubers, it may cause some people to question veganism. We listen to the justifications of their decision and try to see it from their perspective. That’s what these YouTubers are there for when you think about it. We want an insight into the lives of these people, so we can’t help but try to relate.
The first thing to remember is the difference between vegan and plant-based, many of the YouTubers were simply following a plant-based diet, but often use the word vegan in order to obtain more views, especially if they make a video about why they’ve ‘stopped being vegan’.
The Health Scares
The predominant reason that is given for renouncing veganism is the supposed negative impacts the diet has had on their health, despite for many years there being a stereotypical idea that vegans are the epitome of health.
They may not be lying - they may have lost hair, chipped teeth, hit an unhealthy weight etc, while on a plant-based diet.
It needs to be clarified that the drastic impacts these people are seeing in their health, are due to them suffering the effects of an ‘unbalanced’ diet, which thousands of people struggle with every year, regardless of their diet.
One of our main objectives here at Her-Bivore is to promote that a healthy vegan lifestyle is obtainable and provide the latest information to make it very much accessible for everyone.
There are a number of fad diet trends that fall within the scope of a plant-based diet, such as the raw food diet and the juice cleanse diet. These, if not done properly, can cause such health issues.
I’m not saying they can’t be great for your health, but they have to be thought about and often planned to ensure all the required nutrients and food groups are being obtained.
I recently came across this video that sums this up perfectly.
The Important Thing To Remember
While it is intensely frustrating - those that have given up veganism, were not ever vegan in the first place.
Veganism extends much further than what you choose to put in your belly. It is a lifestyle of compassion and change.
Those that have truly adopted a vegan lifestyle don’t ever look back. The reasons for their choice run so much deeper than their own self. It is a choice for the lives of billions of animals, and the planet.
If there is something that isn’t working in their diet, they find ways to make it work, they address the situation and realise that there are thousands of other vegans worldwide that are doing just fine and have done so for years.
Community Over Influencers
If you find that someone you follow has suddenly changed their beliefs for their sake of self, don’t let this take a toll on you.
Take a break from YouTube and come and hang out with other vegans either online or in your local community.
Sites like Eventbrite will turn up results near you for vegan events that you can attend. If, by chance, there aren’t any - take the chance to set one up yourself! There will be vegans near you and it’s a fantastic opportunity to meet likeminded people such as yourself.
Alternatively, there are literally hundreds of vegan Facebook groups that you can join in just a few clicks. Each strives to create a supportive environment that allows you to share what’s on your mind without judgement.
A couple I really like at the moment are One Billion Vegans, which is just packed full of thought-provoking conversations and questions. The other is Rate My Vegan Food (which can be a little edgy sometimes but good for a laugh - you’ve been warned!).
While it has been a bit doom and gloom, I hope you find something useful from this article and hopefully it has given you some ideas as to where you can turn next!
What are your thoughts on the matter? Have you actually witnessed this happen with any YouTubers you follow? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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At 16 I was getting into fights, had no thoughts on my diet and my primary concern was how cool I was at school.
Fast forward 7 years and there is a 16-year-old in Sweden that has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her incredible stance on climate change.
Greta Thunberg has given up meat and given up flying for the sake of the planet. Not only that, but she is making her point known; encouraging students to attend demonstrations and giving talks to raise awareness of the impact people’s actions are having on the environment.
If that wasn’t enough, she recently addressed the EU at the Global Climate Change Conference, COP 24, and she certainly didn’t mince her words.
As vegans, we often find ourselves at the butt end of a joke. Greta’s speech, however, should stand as a poignant reminder to us all. That being unpopular for the sake of a cause is far more important.
We can all make a difference. No matter who we are or where we are in life. There is urgency in Greta’s message. There is corruption and greed across the globe and it is plummeting us further into this environmental crisis.
She’s probably right, they won’t listen for now. That’s why you and what you are doing is more important than ever.
Change happens when one person has the courage to stand up and say “enough”.
We should all strive to follow Greta’s example and be the change that we wish to see in the world.
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With over 600,000 vegans in the UK today, there’s no arguing that veganism is on the rise. With so many jokes about the quality of hospital food, you may worry about the quality of vegan food, given that even some restaurants struggle with creating tasty and wholesome vegan meals.
Hospital stays are often where people are at their most vulnerable, and a healthy diet can definitely help to improve people's moods and possibly even their recovery time.
Veganism now comes under the international human rights provisions and vegans in the UK are protected under human rights and equality law, so in theory they cannot be discriminated against due to their lifestyle or dietary choices, so surely this must mean that well balanced nutritious vegan meals are provided, right?
We spoke to a few vegans who have had hospital stays, and we asked them about the food they were offered and provided during their stay, and you’ll see that not all hospital food is created equal.
One vegan was offered just a carton of orange juice and a dairy yoghurt as a meal, while many others report simply being given toast and jam for the entirety of their stay. One patient at Leeds General Infirmary was given a ‘meal’ consisting of a banana and a plate of lettuce and tomatoes.
A report from one woman was that 'My partner is seriously ill in hospital and this is today's dinner! Note the butter! Yesterday he was given nothing whatsoever and the day before it was a broccoli and Stilton soup!
Not all reports were bad however, with some hospitals (such as Southampton and Derby) having gone above and beyond to provide appropriate food for their patients. With separate vegan menus seen at Croydon University Hospital and St Georges consisting of several choices such as vegetable curries, butternut squash and bean stew, vegetable bake and much more.
One patient was even visited by the catering manager who took note of what they would like and then went out to buy vegan sausages for the patient.
One recurring piece of information is that if you know in advance that you will be staying in hospital, be sure to let them know that you require vegan meals. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible, but be sure to let them know when you can.
Have you had a hospital stay recently? Let us know how the food was (good and bad) in the comments below, and you can always share your stories with us on Facebook and Instagram.
Nobody likes spending more than they need to, which is why one of the main arguments for avoiding a vegan diet is how expensive it can be - This is completely understandable...
You walk into the supermarket and you load up your trolly with substitutes for all of your favourite foods and before you know it, you’re paying almost twice the amount than what everyone else seems to be spending.
It’s no secret that supermarket substitutes are not cheap. Veganism has only started to see a dramatic rise in popularity in the past couple of years. This lack of demand up until recently has meant that substitutes need to be priced higher for the companies that make them to have a suitable profit margin.
However, it is extremely possible to shop affordably as a vegan. There are a number of different strategies that you can start using today that will dramatically reduce your weekly spend and could perhaps even taste better than your original basket would have done.
Meal planning is one of those tasks that many people swear by despite how long-winding it may be. While it can seem tedious at first, developing this habit can keep the expensive items out of your basket while also preparing you for a week’s worth of delicious meals.
Planning your meals gives you the opportunity to think through how you can make your own substitutes without paying the premium for ready-made items. By preparing them yourself, you can enjoy fresh food in a proportion that works for you, that also tastes exceptional.
Not only this, but this kind of forward thinking will allow you to make budgeting decisions in advance. By having everything laid out in front of you, you can determine what the costly items in your basket are and how you can work around them.
It’s something that you eventually get the hang of and actually becomes pretty exciting when you start to discover different meals and flavours that work together. If you’re looking to get started with meal planning - why not try plantbasedonabudget.com’s 1-week meal plan? All for under $25.
Buying In Bulk
Buying fresh is great where you can, but buying your veggies in bulk isn’t a very cost-effective method of budgeting. There are a number of staples that you can purchase, however, that have a much longer shelf life and can save you time and money in the long run.
Rice is one of those great staples. 1kg of rice can see you through a number of meals in a number of different ways. As a big fan of curry, I always make sure my cupboards are stocked with rice but it works great for a quick go-to snack as well.
Pasta is another great staple and a firm favourite among many. Vegan mince can be very affordable depending on where you shop and can make a great addition to a pasta dish. You could also compliment it with mushrooms, sweetcorn, beans and other ingredients based on your preference. If you are prepared to make your own sauce, you may be able to save some pennies here too.
Not only that, but there are a huge number of tinned goods that have an almost indefinite shelf-life. Chickpeas, beans, lentils, vegetables, the list goes on. Having these in the cupboard means you always have a meal to go to. You should try our Chingri Malai curry. Bursting with zesty flavours and comprising but a few staples, it’s the perfect example of how to eat well on a budget.
Keep Your Spice Rack Topped Up
An interesting vegan diet is predisposed by what you keep in your spice rack. Each jar has the potential to give anything in your cupboards a whole new dimension of flavour.
It takes practice to know which flavours work with which foods but by keeping a well-stocked spice rack, you will find that you depend less and less on shop bought substitutes and find more confidence in your own abilities to cook vegan food that tastes great.
Here are some great flavours to get your spice rack started:
Kaffir Lime Leaves
Coriander / Cilantro
Some you will find go with anything! (I’m talking about paprika obviously). However, Harrissa can give your curries a subtle kick of heat, basil can give your pasta dish an authentic, fresh taste. Cumin can give your curries a delicious earthy flavour. It’s all down to you to experiment. You’ll soon find a knack for flavours.
Make Your Own Substitutes
There is absolutely no point paying a premium on a granola bar. For a small investment of your time, you could make your own granola bars in bulk tailored perfectly to your preference.
The same is true for a whole host of other premium products. Seitan is a popular meat replacement that many vegans and vegetarians can prepare at home using vital wheat gluten, garbanzo flour and water (and a few preferencial spices).
The most difficult one, which explains why it costs so much in the supermarkets, is vegan cheese. In most cases, it doesn’t live up to expectations. However, cheesemaking is an artform and if you are willing to invest the time and energy into making a great, dairy-free cheese, it will not disappoint.
I fully intend to have a walkthrough of the cheesemaking process on the website in the coming months. Make sure to sign up to our newsletter to be notified when this becomes available!
Avoid the Word ‘Vegan’ (accidentally vegan foods)
As soon as something is labelled as ‘vegan’ the price seems to double. These brands are working in a niche market, and as i've said above, they need to work at higher prices to make money.
Luckily for all us vegans -especially the junk food vegans out there- you can find a multitude of vegan products at your local supermarket for the same prices you’ve always paid. ‘Accidentally Vegan’ foods are a great way to save money.
There are hundreds of accidentally vegan foods varying from instant noodles to party rings, you just need to know what you’re looking for! Make sure you’re clued up about the additives and flavours containing animal products and you’ll soon be saving money while enjoying the same products you always have.
There are four easy ways that you can reduce the cost of your vegan shopping basket:
Meal Planning Knowing in advance what you intend to eat for the week can help you to come up with delicious meals without the need to depend on pricey substitutes.
Buying In Bulk Paying more in the short term can save you money in the long-term. Bulk buying discounts let you stock up on your much needed staples so you only need to focus on spending money on your fresh ingredients.
Keep Your Spice Rack Topped Up A range of flavours will help you to move away from the expensive produce as you become more dependent on your culinary expertise. You don’t need to pay a lot of money to have great tasting food!
Make Your Own Substitutes There’s no need to pay a premium when you can make your own substitutes for less. There are a number of recipes available for substitute meats, vegan cheeses and other goodies.
All in all, I regularly find that my shopping basket for the week comes to between £20-£30. If you break that down into what it costs per meal, going by the top end of the spectrum, it’s costing me about £1.43 a meal on average. Not bad at all…
The truth of the matter is, is that depending on where you shop and how you shop, there is little to no difference in the financial cost of vegan diet to a omnivorous diet. A vegan diet has been made to look expensive simply because of the lack of demand and supply of plant-based alternatives.
What’s your opinion on the matter? Do you have any shopping habits that have helped you save on your weekly rounds? We’d love to hear what you think in the comments section below.
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