Thursday, November 26, 2009

cashew cheese and Stella McCartnies: reflecting on two years of veganism

Wednesday was my two-year veganversary. Last year, commemorating my one-year mark, I came out of the shoe closet in a very honest post, Soy Milk and Manolos. I admitted my true vegan plight: my wardrobe is abusive to the environment.

That post was actually clever and humorous at times. However, since I'm in law school now, I have lost most of my wit in general--so forgive the dry account of the last year of my life.

At this very moment a year ago, I was wondering whether or not I could become a leather-free consumer. I was coming to grips with a very classist reality that certain high-fashion purchases felt very important to me. I was also wondering why I felt the need to purchase multiple over-priced variations of the same thing. To top it off, the miles my garments had traveled across the world to reach my department store become a bother as well.

I have not purchased any new leather, wool, or silk in over a year. I still wear my old stuff, and I still conveniently consider my mom's wardrobe second-hand and acceptable. That being said, I notice that I consume less. I realize I am inclined to make purchases when I am stressed, as if having the power to buy something will somehow make me feel more in control of my life, or more relaxed, or happier. It's just not true. It becomes one more thing tossed in the jungle that is my closet. I'll think it's ugly tomorrow anyway. No more "retail therapy" for me.

Correction: now I buy organic, colorful fruits and vegetables to channel my need to purchase and control. I find that examining all of the fruits in the bin for the brightest findings is a calming way to reconnect with myself.

I'm also discovering more and more vegan, eco-friendly, high-fashion alternatives. Stella McCartney, olsen Haus, and Vaute Couture to name my favs.

But something else has been happening in the past year. When I first became a vegan, I ignored the wardrobe issue. As I began tackling the wardrobe issue, I ignored the face/body/hair product issue. I by no means pile on loads of makeup--however I am addicted to cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, and conditioning. I do enjoy mascara, a good eye brow pencil and gel, and definitely rock the red lipstick on weekends. Perhaps you have read my mani/pedi experiment a few posts down.

And so, to be completely corny and not at all clever, a new chapter of my vegan journey begins. Looking forward to sharing my findings.

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