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At some point a blogger has to decide whether she is writing for herself or for the benefit of faceless others.
When I started this blog in January of this year I intended to review and swatch makeup, and build an outlet to talk about my love of luxury beauty and candles. After a couple of months I realized I was writing a lot about “natural” and gluten free skincare and cosmetics. Obviously you can’t change who you are and my interests naturally veer there. And since starting this blog in January I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the ingredients I put into my body, as well as what I put on it.
Plant Based Beginning
About four years ago I “went” vegan and gluten-free. This happened after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I was informed by a gastroenterologist that I had to go gluten-free, or continue to destroy my small intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients, but I chose to also go vegan. At the time I was doing so much reading about gluten and food ingredients, that when I came across books about the degradation of today’s food I really took notice. It’s not just that so many foods contain unpronounceable ingredients and preservatives, but that even “whole” foods have been bastardized from their once nutritious form: an example is corn, which used to be a great source of protein for civilizations that cultivated it, before it became Westernized, starch on a stalk, stripped of everything except glucose. But, it’s also the fact that I can vouch for myself when I say that my body protests when I consume crap, empty calories, and dairy. Incidentally I’ve never been a fan of dairy or meat anyway, and the sight and smell of it has been known to turn my stomach.
So, I stayed vegan for over a year (and my cholesterol spontaneously dropped over 100 points) until I became pregnant with my second child and my body seemed to force me into eating meat again. Looking back at that pregnancy, I think I just was not eating enough of the proper nutrient-containing foods, like spinach (for iron), in my vegan diet. Anyway I gave up the vegan lifestyle and didn’t think too hard about it until this past year. Since having that second son, I’ve been experiencing inflammation in many new ways and have to face the fact that my diet is to blame.
So I resolved again to cut out dairy completely and focus on plant based nutrients instead of animal protein. Although I wish I could say that this was based on some sort of moral or ethical code, honestly, it’s really about my health. It’s not that I am not an animal lover, but it’s more important to address what I eat first and then look at my use of external products. But all the same, here I am, wondering if I should and can transition my cosmetics to cruelty-free and vegan products. That choice would be (partly and kind of) for ethical and moral reasons, but also partly because I like a challenge, and A LOT because I like to support companies that execute their own moral codes. Companies whose leaders believe in something besides being pretty, and that stick to their principles, are worthy of my attention.
And by the way, I am not sure where I stand on animal testing in principle. While I am in favor of avoiding all unnecessary instances of it (which testing for cosmetics would be) and anything cruel or inhumane, I also recognize that without animal testing we would be ignorant of so many important truths. The best argument that comes to my mind arises out of the facts behind the book, The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell, PHD and Thomas M. Campbell, II, MD.
(T. Colin Campbell, PHD and Thomas M. Campbell, II, MD. (Kindle Edition) The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health. Dallas, Texas: Benbella Books.)
In a nutshell, Dr. Thomas Campbell learned, through experimentation on animals, that animal protein is not only unnecessary, but also harmful to a human diet and our longevity. When viewed from that angle, animal testing was warranted and ironically lead to an outcome that indirectly supports not killing animals. (And if you have a mind that needs to know things, you would probably really enjoy reading that book. No other source provides such jaw dropping evidence and hard and fast facts, supporting a plant based diet. It’s futile to argue that animal protein is “healthy” for humans after you read it. If you prefer something friendlied up and less report-like, try reading or watching something from the Forks Over Knives group.)
My New Cosmetic Interests
It’s going to be a more gradual, and slower process for makeup and cosmetics than for diet, but I’m heading in the direction of vegan and cruelty-free products. I intend to use up the products I currently have, which are numerous. But for new purchases I’m in search of products that reflect my old but new-again interests.
I hope you’ll join me as I continue to review new cosmetics that I find exciting!
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