Julie Green and Keen: animal love
Showing posts with label animal love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label animal love. Show all posts
Being a vegetarian doesn't just mean that I don’t eat meat, I also focus on avoiding products that are tested on animals or have animal byproducts.  I find it difficult to maintain a cruelty free lifestyle because many companies are continually changing their product protocols. I constantly check to make sure that my favorite brands are still PETA approved.

I don’t believe that animals should have to suffer for the vanity of human beings.  Animals should not be locked up in small cages and have different chemicals rubbed into their eyes or put in their throats.  There is no need to harm innocent animals for the sake of “safe cosmetics.”  I think animal testing is horrific and don’t stand for it.

PETA maintains a list of companies that do test on animals and ones that do not.  You can find the list here.  PETA also adds a “V” to companies that are cruelty-free and vegan, if you are concerned about that too.  Here is a brief list of common beauty companies that DO NOT test on animals and ones that DO.

Do Not Test on Animals-

Aveda (Estee Lauder)
Bare Escentuals
CO Bigelow
E.L.F. Cosmetics
FACE Atelier
Paul Mitchell
Physicians Formula
Sonia Kashuk
Tarte Cosmetics
The Body Shop
Too Faced
Victoria Secret
Wet n Wild
Urban Decay
Yes to Carrots

Do Test on Animals-

Almay (Revlon)
Avon Products
Herbal Essence

DISCLAIMER- Like I said before, companies are constantly changing their protocols and ways of production, this is the information may change with time.

I think that knowing which companies are cruelty free is very important in living a life of kindness.  If you are thinking about going cruelty-free, I challenge you to start today.

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Go Cruelty Free!

by on 2/15/2015
Being a vegetarian doesn't just mean that I don’t eat meat, I also focus on avoiding products that are tested on animals or have animal...
Many people become vegetarian for religious, moral or ethical reasons.  I chose to become vegetarian for the moral and ethical reasons regarding the treatment of animals.  When first deciding to transform my lifestyle, learning how long vegetarianism has been around blew my mind.  Vegetarianism began long before recorded history and has withstood the test of time. 

I think it is important to understand the lifestyle from the various points through history and see how it has benefited human kind.

Going way back to cave men, many anthropologist believe that most early humans ate mainly plant foods and were more gatherers than hunters.  This concept makes the most sense to me.  Knowing how to gather and grow sustainable food is a more reliable source of nutrition than hunting.

Vegetarian ideology is said to have been practiced among religious groups in Egypt around 3,200BCE.  The karmic beliefs of reincarnation were a main factor in vegetarianism for these people. 

In many eastern religions a meat-free diet is fundamental in religious philosophies.  Many religions have doctrines of non-violence and respect for all life forms, including animals.  Vegetarianism has always been one of the main aspects of Buddhism.  The religion focuses on compassion to all living creatures and the respect for all.

Looking at the research, it is clear to me that many of the early vegetarians, besides early humans, practice this lifestyle because of religious and philosophical reasons.  I find this very interesting because those religions are not as common in the United States. 

Vegetarianism was not very common in the US until 1971.  Author, Frances Moore Lappe, wrote a bestseller book titled Diet for a Small Planet that was published in 1971 encouraging people to practice a meatless diet.  His book described that it takes 14 times as much grain to feed an animal than what you get out in meat.  He recognized this as an enormous waste of resources and supported a vegetarian lifestyle to stop wasting the world’s food.

In the 1990’s the American Dietetic Association officially endorsed vegetarianism after overwhelming medical evidence supporting the superiority of vegetarian diets.  Many of my vegetarian friends became vegetarian in the 90’s because of the research and the support of a healthy lifestyle. 

I believe that the vegetarian community has grown rapidly in the past couple years because of the shocking truth behind the meat industry.  There is no denying that our county allows the mistreatment of animals to produce meat quicker at more quantities.  Recent documentaries and research has brought this industry in the limelight.

Vegetarianism has been around since before recorded history and has withstood the test of time.   It has been recorded through many decades in cultures all over the world.  A plant-based diet has sustained humanity for thousands of years, why not join in on this healthy lifestyle?

Go Green and Stay Keen,


History of Vegetarianism

by on 1/21/2015
Many people become vegetarian for religious, moral or ethical reasons.  I chose to become vegetarian for the moral and ethical reasons rega...
Do you really know what is in your foods?  When I was first learning about vegetarianism I was naïve to what was actually in my food.  I just assumed that if it wasn't the actually meat it was vegetarian.  When I am researching, I always make sure I have a tough stomach because some of the things I have come across make my stomach turn.  It is shocking what ingredients are actually in the foods we eat all the time without thinking.

Even though I’m not vegan, I still like to be conscious about the ingredients in foods I eat and prefer my foods be free of animal byproducts.  I made a list of cringe worthy products that have animal byproducts that might make you think twice about what you are eating.

DISCLAIMER- if you have a weak stomach or just ate lunch, you might was to wait to read this until your stomach is strong enough to hear all the ingredients might be in your favorite foods.

When first beginning to research products that we not vegetarian gelatin was the first product I learned about.  Gelatin is mainly made from collagen, a protein often collected from animal skins.  Gelatin can be found in frosted cereals, yogurt, candy, some types of sour cream, and deserts.  The gelatin in deserts often comes from pig skin.

Beef fat is an ingredient many Hostess Products.  It is gross thinking a favorite sweet childhood snack contains beef fat.  The ingredient is included in the list of other oils that may or may not be used.

This is a more widely known animal product, crushed bugs are used as red food coloring.  Dried insects are boiled to produce a liquid solution that is turned into dye.  It is often called carmine or carminic acid.  YUCK

Beaver anal glands, castoreum, are common in perfumes and colognes.  I don’t want to use anal glands to smell sweet, that’s for sure.  Another use, they are used to enhance the flavor of raspberry candies and sweets.

It is more common people know Caesar salad dressing is made with anchovies, but they are in Worcestershire sauce too.  I was unaware of this until I did some research and now I avoid both sauces.

Like jelly beans or candy corn?  The shiny hard coating is make from the secretions of the female Kerria Lacca, an insect native to Thailand.  I personally don’t like any bug secretions in my candy.

These are just a few of the cringe worth products that use animal products to be more appealing and satisfying to the consumer.  After months of researching and growth I learned that animal products are in so many unexpected places and products.  I find it very interesting to learn about all the products that use weird animal parts and secretions.  Peta.org has an extensive list of animal ingredients that are in food that might shock you.

Know of any more cringe worthy products with animal products? I would love to learn more, comment to share your knowledge!

Go Green and Stay Keen,


A few days ago my daughter went on a playdate with a new friend from school.  When I went to pick her up I was able to chat with her friend’s mother for a bit.  She told me that she was surprised at lunch when Hannah asked if they had any meatless options.  Now, I haven’t raised my children solely vegetarian but have given them the tools to understand a plant-based diet and a meat-based one.  I wanted them to make their own decisions.  It made me proud that Hannah asked for a vegetarian option and didn’t want to eat a hot dog or a sloppy Joe.

Hannah’s friend’s mother seemed offended that I raised my children knowing both options.  She was convinced that a vegetarian diet isn’t good for growing children and that they need meat to grow and be strong. 

After I got home I did some thinking; if people really do believe that a vegetarian diet isn’t healthy, do they know where their meat comes from?  I was taken back after the situation and saddened at the misconception.

Common misconceptions of vegetarianism frighten people and discourage them from trying it.  Understanding the true facts of a vegetarian lifestyle can change your mind and encourage a healthy change.  After everything that happened I want to debunk a few misconceptions that I believe are popular, and set the story straight.

1.    You don’t get enough protein as a vegetarian- Most people believe that meat = protein and you can’t have one without the other.  That is the farthest thing from true.  Beans, grains, nuts, and green veggies, and dairy provide plenty of protein for a vegetarian diet.  There are also protein supplements you can take if you are concerned about it.

2.    Vegetarians eat like rabbits- What’s wrong with eating like a rabbit?  They are pretty healthy aren’t they?  Although vegetarians don’t eat meat doesn’t mean they exclusively eat lettuce and carrots.  There are so many options and delicious recipes that are very filling and rich.

3.    Being a vegetarian will make you healthy and lose weight- Although vegetarians are generally thinner, you can be an unhealthy vegetarian as well.  Replacing meat with carbs like pasta and breads, lack nutritional value and hinder your body from getting proper nutrients.  You can be an unhealthy carnivore and an unhealthy vegetarian.  Vegetarians come in all shapes and sizes.

4.    Vegetarian food is expensive- Pasta, rice, tofu, beans, and seasonal fruits and vegetables are much cheaper than meat.  Some meat replacements and non-seasonal fruits and vegetables can be expensive but not nearly as expensive as meat.

5.    You’ll always be hungry- I can’t remember the last time after a meal that I was still hungry; it is usually the opposite.  The main digestible part of a pant is fiber.  Fiber keeps you full, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and full of energy.  If I do get hungry, a handful of nuts usually does the job; packed with fiber, protein and healthy fats.

I hope these debunked myths help people change their ideas of vegetarianism and do a little more research.  If you think I missed any, please share!  The more information, the more people will understand.

Go Green and Stay Keen,


Vegetarian Myths Debunked

by on 11/17/2014
A few days ago my daughter went on a playdate with a new friend from school.  When I went to pick her up I was able to chat with her friend...
Today I was watching some entertainment news and was shocked to hear how much they were talking about celebrities going vegetarian and how many are vegetarian.  I guess I just haven’t kept up with these young celebrities, but man, was I excited to hear how passionate they were.  They were interviewing PETA activist Anne Hathaway about why she became vegetarian and how it has affected her life. 

Listening to this made me want to make a list of my favorite famous vegetarians.  There are so many famous vegetarians that I love so I will keep it to my top 5 so I don’t bore you. 

1.    Mahatma Gandhi was one of the most influential people in the world and continues to be even after his death. 

"...We should all be Vegetarians…Muscular Vegetarians demonstrate the superiority of their diet by pointing out that the peasantry of the world are practically Vegetarians, and that the strongest and most useful animal, the horse, is a Vegetarian, while the most ferocious and practically useless animal, the lion, is a carnivore..." -1896

2.    The great physicist, Albert Einstein was  a devoted vegetarian and one of the greatest minds of all time.
“Our task must be to free ourselves…by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

3.    One of the strongest women was vegetarian, Rosa Parks.  She not only was a civil rights activist credited with started the US civil rights movement, she received the US Medal of Freedom in 1996.
"For over forty years, I've been vegetarian. Growing up, my family had little money—I had health problems early in life because of poor nutrition. Eating healthy is a priority for me." -2004

4.    Leonardo da Vinci is one of my favorite artists of all time.  His work is timeless and captivating.  It is speculated and widely believed that Leonardo da Vinci was a vegetarian; in my book he is.
"…The mere idea of permitting the existence of unnecessary suffering, still more that of taking life, was abhorrent to [Da Vinci]. Vasari tells, as an instance of his love of animals, how when in Florence he passed places where birds were sold he would frequently take them from their cages with his own hand, and having paid the sellers the price that was asked would let them fly away in the air, thus giving them back their liberty." –Edward MacCurdy, The Mind of Leonardo da Vinci, 1928

5.    My favorite modern day vegetarian is Ellen DeGeneres.  I believe that she is a very influential celebrity voice of this time.  She voices her opinion and always stresses to be kind to one another. 

“I personally chose to go vegan because I educated myself on factory farming and cruelty to animals and I suddenly realized that what was on my plate were living things, with feelings.  And I just couldn’t disconnect myself from it any longer.  I read books like ‘Diet for a New America’ and saw documentaries like ´Earthlings’ and ‘Meet your Meat’, and it became an easy choice for me”

Who are your favorite famous vegetarians?

Go Green and Stay Keen,


I have always been an animal lover and ate meat very moderately throughout my younger life.  After watching a documentary about the hormones and the terrible conditions animals that are destined to kitchen tables live in, it wasn’t a hard to commit to a vegetarian lifestyle. 

Here is a brief preview of Food Inc., the documentary that made me make the transition.

The first couple months after committing were a little challenging because I loved grilling chicken, vegetables, and having BBQ’s.  I had to train my brain to be cognizant of saying no to meats.  It was very difficult at social events in the beginning, I felt the the pressures of my past favorite foods around me and everyone eating them.  Now my friends and family understand my lifestyle and always try to have vegetarian options available. 

I also had to learn a new way to cook.  Meals where I began to switch meat to alternatives, I often cooked two meals because I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. 

I ended up watching a few YouTube videos about vegetarian cooking and ended up learning a lot.  I continue to enjoy the Hilah Cooking Channel on YouTube….check it out!

Becoming a vegetarian was a huge milestone in my life.  I began by slowly eliminating red meats, then chicken, then finally seafood until I didn’t even think about putting meat on my plate.  It was then, when I realized becoming a vegetarian isn’t something that changes over night, it is a full body transformation. 

My commitment to my health and my love for animals helped me reach my goal.  I felt physically great and emotionally well.  After a couple of months I could officially call myself a full blown vegetarian, I couldn’t have felt better.  I wouldn’t change it for the world, I love being a vegetarian!

It wasn’t hard for me to feel compassion for animals and decide to become a vegetarian.  Once I devoted myself to the change and began learning how to suppress my cravings and find alternatives for some of my past favorite foods, it was a breeze.

I knew I wanted to become a vegetarian, not only for myself but for the love of animals. 

I want to leave you with a statistic; according to peta.org, “by switching to a vegetarian diet, you can save more than 100 animals a year from this misery.” 

Go Green and Stay Keen,


It’s an Animal Love

by on 3/30/2014
I have always been an animal lover and ate meat very moderately throughout my younger life.  After watching a documentary about the hormo...