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Vegan Series - Part Two: Top Tips On Taking Part In Veganuary

Are you interested in learning more about Veganism and how you can make more plant-based choices? In this post, we focus on how to take part in the Veganuary challenge and share some of our top tips to get you started.

1. Get Inspired

Double page spread of a vegan cookbook with fresh ingredients

There are many different reasons why you might be interested in trying Veganism - perhaps to protect animals, do your bit for the environment, or even just to try something new!

To get inspired, you may find it helpful to do some of your own research into why choosing plant-based options is a good idea. There are plenty of great resources available online and informative documentaries on Netflix, such as Game Changers, Cowspiracy & What The Health. 

You can read our previous blog post about some of the benefits of going vegan here.

2. Find foods that are accidentally vegan

The inside of a pantry with a selection of different food and snacks

Adopting a vegan diet doesn’t have to be as intimidating or overwhelming as you might first think. You may actually be surprised at how many vegan foods you have already have sitting in your cupboards!

We found two really helpful lists of ‘accidentally vegan foods’ created by  Veganuary & The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which you can view here. 

3. Try new things

Breakfast bowl made with Vegan strawberry yogurt by plant-based brand  Alpro

It can be daunting trying new things at first, but experimenting with food can be really enjoyable. 

This doesn’t mean you have to suddenly change your whole weekly shop, but even choosing a handful of plant-based alternatives to things you buy already is a great place to start. Now more than ever, there are so many different vegan options to choose from - you may even find a new favourite meal!

4. Veganise your favourite dishes

A plate of vegan curry made with fresh vegetables

 Choosing plant-based options doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your favourite foods. You may be surprised to learn just how easy it can be to adjust the meals you already love to make them Vegan friendly. Enjoy a curry? Replace meat with chunks of potato. Friday night pizza? - Opt for plant-based cheese and double up on veggies. Burgers? - Choose a patty made from soya or vegetables and breadcrumbs. There are so many options available in both supermarkets and restaurants now making it far easier to choose Vegan. 

5. Explore the vegan community

Stack of vegan pancakes with berries drizzled in maple syrup

There are so many great Vegan food magazines, youtube channels and social media accounts to help inspire you and give ideas of what plant-based meals and treats you can make. Some of our favourites include: 

Deliciously Ella - Ella Woodward has both a YouTube channel and Instagram page where she shares a huge selection of her delicious plant-based recipes. She also has a selection of tasty treats available to buy online and in supermarkets around the UK.

Accidentally Vegan - This instagram page features all the best Vegan products you can find in all the UK supermarkets varying from sandwiches and pizzas to cheesecake and chocolate - everything you could possibly need. 

Mina Rome - A Youtube Channel run by Amina who shares her delicious, fun and creative recipes - the best place to look if you’re in need of some inspiration.

6. Perseverance is key - don't give up! 

Shopping isle with lots of different brands of food

Like any other food, when it comes to plant-based options, you might love the first one you try, or you may have to give a few a go before you find the one for you. Persistence is key. If you try a brand of Vegan cheese, for example, and it’s not for you, don’t give up on Vegan cheese altogether - there will certainly be another one to try! A positive thing to remember is that there are so many more vegan options out there than ever before, so you have the option to try and try again until you find what works for you. 

7. Look for vegan brands 

ARK Skincares vegan cleansers group shot

A Vegan lifestyle isn't just about food. You may also want to carefully think about which brands you are using on a daily basis. Some cleaning products, skincare and clothing can be made from or tested on animals, so it is important to always be aware of what you are using.
Here at ARK Skincare, we are proud to offer a whole range of skincare that is 100% vegan. To learn more about our products, click here head over to the ARK Skincare website.

8. Enjoy yourself! 

Young woman smiling with a huge slice of watermelon in front of her face

Some people may choose to adopt a fully vegan lifestyle straight away which is great - if it works for them. Others may decide to take a slower approach or simply just introduce more plant-based options into their diet.

When learning about something new, it’s important to remember that you’re allowed to take time to figure out what works best for you and it’s okay to slip up now and again. Even by making small changes or opting for 3-4 plant-based meals every week you can make a huge contribution. 

Take a look at ARK Skincare's Vegan Friendly collection here.

Vegan series: Part 1 - What is Veganuary & how can it benefit you?

Our first blog post of 2021! Happy New Year from everybody at ARK Skincare. We are not sad to be leaving 2020 behind! 

Each time the new year rolls around, there is often lots of conversation around setting new year resolutions or thinking about goals we might like to achieve. These goals usually include things like drinking more water, focusing on fitness targets or making more time to see friends and family but have you ever heard of Veganuary?

In this three part blog-post series, we focus on what being a vegan means, what benefits there are and suggest ways that you might like to get involved in the annual Veganuary challenge.

What is Veganuary?

Veganuary, founded in 2014, is a non-profit organisation that encourages people worldwide to try veganism for January and beyond. Throughout the year, Veganuary continues to encourage and support businesses alike to move to a plant-based diet as a way of protecting the environment, preventing animal suffering and improving the health of millions of people. 

What does the term veganism mean?

'Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and a philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. An individual who follows the diet or lifestyle is known as a vegan.'

What are the benefits of being a vegan?

There are many different benefits of following a plant-based, vegan friendly diet:

For the animals

Livestock: tagged cows in a cow barn

Roughly 60 million land animals are killed and used as commodities every year just to satisfy human taste preferences. Many people believe that the killing of animals is unjustified and so choose a vegan life-style to help prevent the exploitation of and cruelty towards them. 

The Vegan Society encourages the use of words like ‘other animals’ or ‘non-human animals’ in their language to acknowledge that humans are animals too and we share a lot more with other animals than some of us might realise or like to admit.

Just like us, cows, sheep and chickens are living beings who have a desire to live and enjoy their freedom like we do. These animals don’t give consent to being slaughtered and in over 95% of cases, are killed prematurely once they are no longer considered profitable. Vegans do not financially support animal agriculture industries by choosing to buy or grow plant-based alternatives instead. 

For your health 

Healthy, highly nutritious foods such as tomatoes, brocolli, avocado and peppers

Confirmed by the British Dietetic Association, despite many myths, it is possible to follow a well planned, plant-based, vegan friendly diet which supports healthy living. Lots of the nutrients your body needs are naturally found in vegan foods such as fruits, vegetables, pulses, grains, nuts, and seeds.

Some research has also linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.

For the environment

Landscape showing a huge amount of greenery and a lake in the sunlight

Animal agriculture is responsible for a significant amount of global commissions. To put it into perspective, the transport sector accounts for 13% of greenhouse gases, while animal agriculture, is responsible for almost 4 times as much at 51% - a significant amount more than you might first think!

Researchers at the University of Oxford suggest that eating a vegan diet could be the ‘single biggest way’ to reduce environmental impact on the earth. They found that cutting out meat and dairy from your diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint by up to 73%.

Switching to a vegan diet can also help to reduce water consumption. The Vegan Society explains that it takes at least three times the amount of water to feed a meat eater compared with that used to feed a vegan. For example, it takes  15,000 litres of water to produce 1 kg of beef, compared to180 litres for 1 kg tomatoes and 250 litres for 1 kg potatoes.

One person who goes vegan can save approximately 219,000 gallons of water a year.

For people

young woman walking through the woods holding out a green leaf to represent vegansim

Just like veganism is the sustainable option when it comes to looking after our planet, plant-based living is also a more sustainable way of feeding the human population. A vegan diet only requires ⅓ of the land needed to support a diet of meat and dairy. 

With the global food and water insecurity increasing due to many different environmental issues, choosing plant-based options is a great way to adopt a more sustainable way of eating. You can read more about how vegan diets can help people here. 

While some people may choose to adopt a fully vegan friendly, plant based diet straight away, others might find it easier to ease themselves in slowly. You can still make a huge contribution by switching out meat and dairy options for vegan ones where you can - even if it is just a few times a week! Keep your eyes peeled for next week's blog post where we share our top tips on how to get started. 

ARK Skincare are proud to be an entirely vegan brand who never have and never will test on animals. If you would like to learn more about our vegan skincare products, head over to the ARK Skincare website!

Resources: 

Veganuary 

What We Do 

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

- 7 Fantastic Health Benefits of Eating Vegan

- 16 Facts That Show How Going Vegan Helps Stop Climate Change

- Go Vegan - Save The Planet

British Dietetic Association (BTA)

- British Dietetic Association confirms well-planned vegan diets can support healthy living in people of all ages

The Vegan Society 

- Why Go Vegan?

- The Vegan Diet Supports Excellent Health 

- Compassion For Animals 

The Independant

Veganism is the 'single biggest way' to reduce our environmental impact

 

Vegan Skincare - ARK Skincare by Opposable Thumbs

Joanne from Opposable Thumbs wrote a blog post all about our vegan skincare and our SPF30 Primer.
"This multi tasker is a good bridge to see you through into winter, as it does SPF, primer and moisturising duties at once."
ARK Skincare's SPF 30 Primer

"I think you have to be careful with multi tasking products because there’s always the danger that the whole will add up to less than the sum of its parts. But this one has won awards for both Best Primer and Best Facial Sunscreen, and my experience is that it does the task well on both fronts. I was wearing this during the recent hot spell and my face didn’t suffer in the sun at all."

"It’s also very moisturising and gives quite a glowy finish, to the point where you can get away without using a separate moisturiser. I took it on a weekend away and it was very handy to only have to pack one product instead of three."
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Shop our SPF30 Primer HERE

Read the full blog post HERE

Vegan Skincare

ARK Skincare rabbit representing the brand ethos
Adopting a vegan lifestyle has become increasingly popular due to perceived health benefits, as well as environmental and animal welfare considerations. The endorsement of this way of life by celebrities, and the introduction of vegan ranges by many high street supermarkets, plus the availability of vegan friendly lifestyle products, mean it is no longer considered extreme.

So what does it mean to be Vegan? Vegans choose to stop eating all animal based foods, but also to adopt a lifestyle free from any animal derivatives. This isn't just giving up wearing leather shoes, it includes beauty products too. Did you know many cosmetics and skincare ranges contain animal by-products such as honey, beeswax, lanolin, animal fats, and gelatine. Vegans need to look for plant based skincare which is free from animal derived ingredients, and of course, to only use products which have never been tested on animals. Even if not following a vegan lifestyle, some may wish to choose such products as they can often be beneficial for those with sensitive, allergy prone, or easily irritated skin.

ARK Skincare's entire facial skincare line is suitable for vegans. If you wish to learn more about this please visit our website or give us a call. We would love to help you with your specific requirements which reflect your lifestyle choices.
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To shop all our vegan products visit our 'Vegan Friendly' section of our website:
https://www.arkskincare.com/collections/vegan-friendly