Saturday, 13 March 2010

Vegan Goodies

As I communicated in my last post, I feel that adopting a vegan lifestyle is an essential part of being good stewards of creation, and also a way in which we can learn to be more compassionate, peaceful, and loving. Veganism is a journey of discovery in a spiritual sense, but also in a practical one. I want to talk now about the treats that make that journey easier! Many people think that being vegan entails eating like a rabbit, giving up pretty shoes, and generally looking like a complete hippy, but this really isn’t the case (incidentally, I wish I could pull off the hippy look...).

Since last year I’ve made lots of little discoveries that have made it easier for me to be a vegan in a non-vegan world, and I thought it’d be fun to share them with you. So, here’s my top 10 list for those vegans (and vegans in the making!) who are in need of a little indulgence...

10. Organic Fairtrade Coffee. There’s nothing quite like a hot sugary cup of coffee whilst watching something suitably trashy on telly, and when it’s organic and fairtrade, you can’t really go wrong.

9. Urban Decay Make-up. Okay, so Urban Decay is not a vegan company, but they are vegan friendly, and in my eyes that’s pretty good going for a swanky high-street brand. They list online which of their products is suitable vegans, and none of their products are tested on animals. They also sell the softest synthetic make-up brushes, and were the only ones I could find on the high-street that weren’t made of animal hair. Not bad! And just look at how pretty this sustainable eye shadow box is. Glittery joy.

8. A Cold Bottle of Becks. I’m a girl that likes her beer, which can be a bit of pain when you become a vegan because so many beers (and wines) use animal products in their refining processes. But Becks, according to vegan forums online, is suitable for vegans, and you can be pretty sure they’ll have it at every bar you go to. If I’m feeling indulgent, I’ll drink one whilst in a nice hot bubble bath. It’s hard work being a vegan, you know! ;)

7. Vanilla Swedish Glace Ice-Cream. This stuff is amazing, but especially the vanilla flavour, which is really creamy and doesn’t have that soya aftertaste that so many dairy free ice-creams have. When I was first served this at a veggie restaurant, I made them double-check that it was vegan because I was so convinced it couldn’t be dairy free. It is. Enjoy. (Possibly with some hot vegan apple pie. See earlier post for recipe!)

6. Bourgeois Boheme. The shoes on this website are gorgeous, and so are the other bits and bobs there. Their tagline is ‘Fashion with Compassion,’ and they say: ‘We believe that one should not trade ethics for fashion, nor sacrifice style for conscience.' I could write them a love letter. In fact I will, after this blog entry. They also code their products with ethical labels (Vegan, Happy-Workers, Fairtrade materials, Organic, Hemp, Eco-friendly) so you know exactly what you’re buying. This shop is just a complete treat, and the service is fantastic. Happy surfing...

5. Veggie Restaurants. Oh the bliss of having practically a whole menu to choose from (not to mention the lift you get from seeing how many other people care).

4. Pimms. Summer is on its way, and I’m getting my Pimms and lemonade ready for sitting in the garden at Pimms o’ Clock. (Don’t forget the mint, orange, cucumber and strawberry! Otherwise it just doesn’t count.)

3. Being a kid and making Chocolate Cornflake Cakes. Melt some organic fairtrade dark chocolate in a bowl (check it's vegan, most are). Mix in some organic cornflakes. Put into mini cake cases and then into the fridge. Organic vegan fairtrade joy! (And yes, licking the bowl in these circumstances is definitely the ethical thing to do...we vegans are very against waste. Especially chocolate waste.)

2. So Organic. This online organic superstore is an excellent resource for those switching over to vegan products, because you can get everything you need from shampoo to blusher. The service I have received from them has always been incredibly fast and professional, so I’d happily recommend them.

1. The Fabulous Fudge Factory. This dairy free fudge is INCREDIBLE. So incredible, in fact, that it gets the number one spot in my vegan goodies list. It won Gold at the Great Taste Awards, which are apparently regarded as the ‘industry Oscars’. The makers of this fudge say: ‘We love a challenge, so when we decided to produce a dairy free fudge for Lactose intolerant people, Vegans and Vegetarians, that tastes as good as it gets, we thought how difficult could that be? Well it was – Difficult! It’s easy if you want that soya aftertaste but to make a dairy free fudge that tastes like the good old fashion sort is really challenging. Some 6 months later and many, many discarded recipes, we finally achieved what we think is irresistible.’

Indeed they did (and I know my fudge). We salute you, fabulous fudge factory!

Peace, love and chocolate cornflake cakes

Sharing thoughts on peace, love, and vegan cupcakes!