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WORLD VEGAN MONTH / GUEST BLOG BY LUCIE BARÂT (Singer/Poet)
To celebrate World Vegan Day (1st November) we are delighted to have Lucie Barât as a guest writer on our blog, and tell us about her journey as a vegan.
Lucie in our Silver Pinatex Sneakers.
Lucie Barât: There's a 'World Vegan Month'? It's all new to me... my slide into veganism was a rapid flume ride.
No dabbling in pescatarian, halloumi eating. I was a full on cheese obsessive, omelette-eating, steak appreciator but once I’d chosen to stop looking the other way and finally allowed my friend to show me YouTube video entitled: ‘A Chicken Dinner Backwards’.
I had no choice but to really allow myself to consider the reality of mass farming and modern dairy production. I just couldn’t be a part of it.
And it was easier than I thought. There are so many vegan options and meat/dairy substitutes. Many chain restaurants now offer vegan alternative, nut milks are everywhere and the most mainstream food brands are realising they have no choice but to compete for the green pound.
After the food choices comes the other stuff. And plastic! Packaging… animal testing. There’s a world of cleverly concealed, corporate-produced oblivious unethical consumption going on. The unaware masses prop up the market on a daily, hourly basis. And I was one of them.
Even if you're not a vegetarian, or a vegan, and weren’t all for the fair treatment of animals? What about humans? What about admitting that we live in a world where the mass production of cattle is causing more damage to the environment than all the cars and air travel combined? And what about modern slavery in the Fast Fashion industry?? (currently reading Slave to Fashion by Po-Zu's managing director Safia Minney)
But I don’t want to get all ‘ranty’ so let me tell you how AWESOME these products and brands are DESPITE being vegan, ethical and cruelty free…
A Day in the Life of ME (and the me I’d like to be)
Morning - I brush my teeth with Aloe Vera toothpaste from Ethical Superstore – a natural, non-fluoride formula. It’s actually REALLY minty… like any other toothpaste! I had visions of a nasty tasting inferior experience leaving my mouth anything but fresh. But I was wrong.
Pull on my SOCKS - Minga Berlin have some ethically-made GOTS certified wickedly cool organic cotton socks. I’m a bit of a sock fetishist, I enjoy anything bright, funky and made from organic cotton!
NEW SHOES - Then I bounce out the house in my ridiculously comfortable, stylishly fantastic Po-Zu shoes. (you know they make STAR WARS SHOES don't you??)
Seriously like walking on clouds and they get, on average, about three props a day (Editor: that's "compliments" to you and I). Made from Pinatex – a pineapple sourced leather substitute.
I chose a silver pair of bouncing creps. Sorry, trainers.
Here's a link to all of Po-Zu's vegan footwear (men's, women's and kids).
THTC clothing; one of my favourites brands. I often wear their tees on stage. They have a fantastic range of artists designing political satire and environmentally aware tee shirts and cool hoodies (for kids too) all made from organic cotton and hemp.
This is an eco-label that has been running since 1999 but their recent CORBYN Tshirt design catapulted them into the mainstream garnering support from Professor Benjamin Zephaniah (who ALSO wears Po-Zu vegan sneakers) and the imitable Stormzy (as well as, ahem… lil’ ol’ me ;)
Mobile Phones … I hate a corporation as much as the next person but am also lazy and have been sucked into the ease and familiarity of my usual brand. But I’m like a sadist, perpetually extolling the crimes against humanity and the conmanship of 'a certain phone brand's overly upgraded products, all about money over universe. So FairPhone sounds like the perfect remedy. I’m yet to try them out, but try them out I will!
BLING - It hadn’t even occurred to me that jewellery could be fair trade. Well, obviously the whole heinous blood diamonds trade… but gold/silver… coffee? Po-Zu have introduced me to www.justtrade.co.uk Fair Trade, handmade jewellery and accessories.
It seems the corporate tentacles of UNfair trade stretch almost everywhere you could imagine - check out this Brighton based store littlebylittlejewellery.com. With each item that is sold, they donate the funding to pay for a day's supply of therapeutic food to nurse an acutely malnourished child back to health with ACTION AGAINST HUNGER.
Mr Masey’s Emporium!! For your fantastic smells fellas, using plant-based, cruelty free ingredients and smelling as delicious and strong as any other perfume…and body lotions from Sophie la girafe cosmetics who make organic and vegan skincare too... and not forgetting eco glitter! I recently discovered that regular glitter contains thousands of microscopic pieces of plastic - so it's good to know I can glitter my cheekbones with Biodegradable Glitter✨ ✨Vegan✨ ✨and Cruelty-free from Wild Glitter.
Vextiles – Brighton based company selling bright, beautiful, luxury sustainable soft (vegan) furnishings. Each cushion cover is made using 78% recycled fabric offcuts and eco-friendly calico and GOTS certified organic cotton thread.
And then my favourite subject; food. There are soooooo many new and easy to find/use vegan ingredients coming onto the market, as mentioned above.
Brighton has a wealth of shopping outlets stocking good vegan produce from Infinity Foods and HiSbes to Seed and Sprout in Kemptown and Taj in Hove. There are so many places to eat out; Terre a Terre and Food for Friends being the most well known but there’s also the Lovin’ Hut, and Planet India.
Dead Wax Social do AMAZING vegan pizzas, as do Purezza as well as mac n cheese, various pastas and even a cheese board. Vegan Sunday Roasts are easy to find and plenty of carnivorous restaurants about town now offer decent vegan options. If in doubt, download the Happy Cow app on your phone – I recently used it to find vegan friendly eateries in La Palma. It’s like a Trip Advisor for vegans the world over.
I've discovered how to make a VEGAN CRUNCHIE BAR TOO!
Being vegan has never been easier!
Start from the bottom up - check this link to all of Po-Zu's vegan footwear (men's, women's and kids). thanks for watching/reading!
Spotify; http://spoti.fi/2yDGTVG Lucie's new single is OUT NOW!