All over the world, the mindless use of animal by-products is the norm. It is a paradox that the love of slaughtered farm animals overshadows the love of pets and zoo creatures. Sadly, many people feel addicted to meat and are even unaware of products that contain meat by-products. While I am not yet a vegan (one who eats no meat and uses no animal products), I am taking baby steps to eliminating meat from my diet and becoming knowledgeable of the content within the products that I use – many of which have hidden animal by-product ingredients. As October marks National Vegetarian Month and November marks National Vegan Month, now is a great time to review the most popular handmade vegan crafts and to compare them with their non-vegan counterparts.
Vegan Lip Balm
On average, lip balm wearers are unaware of the animal by-products that many lip balms contain due to both sophisticated terminology and the tiny print of animal ingredients on the labels. Some of the animal by-products used to make lip balm include the following: Lanolin: sheep oil extracted from their wool, Cetyl alcohol (animal): wax found in the sperm of whales and dolphins; Castor/Castoreum (animal): loud-scented secretions from muskrat and beavers. In contrast, the ingredients found in handmade vegan lip balm include Vegetable Cetyl Alcohol ( from Coconuts), Plant Castor Oil, Peppermint Oil, Almond Oil, Olive Oil, Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, Palm Kernel Oil, Avocado Oil. Personally, I have tried handmade vegan lip balm, which is as effective as its counterpart.
Stearic Acid, fat removed from the stomachs of hogs, cows, sheep, and even euthanized dogs and cats, is an example of an animal ingredient labeled with a sophisticated term that is found in many candles. On the contrary, handmade vegan candles, such as those on the craft website Etsy are composed of 100% soy wax.
To much surprise, animal by-products such as oil from fish or marine animals as well as Stearic Acid are used in soap-making. As an alternative, handmade vegan soaps omit these types of animal content and instead contain ingredients such as Tea Tree Oil, Olive Oil, Almond Oil, Oatmeal, Jasmine, and Coconut Milk.
Vegan Cosmetics (Translucent Powder, Eye Shadow, Eyeliner, Mascara, Concealer)
As opposed to making makeup out of animal by-products such as Carmine Talc: a red dye produced from the crushed, dried bodies of female cochineal insects, vegan cosmetic makers, such as those on Etsy, use ingredients such as Mica: a mineral whose source is igneous and metamorphic rocks along with other ingredients such as Vegetable Glycerine, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Dioxide, and Iron Dioxide.
Vegan Leather Handbags
While many people view real leather handbags composed of the hides of cattle, goats, and pigs as status symbols, vegans prefer the alternative option of vegan leather handbags. Vegan leather – artificial leather made from plastics – is comparable to real leather. A few examples include Leatherette: a fabric base coated with plastic and Cork Leather: produced from the bark of Oak Trees.
On final note, all of these popular handmade vegan crafts are available at craft shops on the website Etsy. During National Vegetarian Month (October), National Vegan Month (November), and even on a regular basis, we can all consider the perspectives of activists who are for animal rights and against animal cruelty. Knowing that we can do without animal by-products will lead us to become more ethical beings.
“Animal Ingredients List.”People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
“Vegan On Etsy, A Global Handmade and Vintage Marketplace.”Etsy Inc.