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Becoming a vegetarian isn't always simple. I don't think there's a wrong or right way of going about it, whether you want to cut down a step at a time, or instantly go cold-turkey. For example, I knew I might get cravings and struggle to decide what to eat, and I also knew I couldn't give up everything at once, which is why I went pescatarian first.

What I didn't fully know when I stopped eating meat two years ago, however, was that suddenly everyone has an opinion about your eating habits.

It's not like food had never been a topic of conversation beforeI'd previously heard comments about my 'healthy appetite' when I was a teenagerand I think it's difficult, if not impossible, to escape our society's diet culture, particularly when you're female. But vegetarianism (and to an even greater extent, veganism) elicit a strong reaction from many. And it can be frustrating.

From people who insist you're just going through a phase, to those who are determined to prove your choice is the wrong one, everyone has their opinion about what you shouldor shouldn'tbe doing. And that's okay, to an extent, since we're all entitled to them. Sharing them, on the other hand? Well, that's not always necessary.

veggie breakfast

'I could never do it, but good for you.'

Giving up animal products isn't an option for them, for whatever reason, and food doesn't really feature in your conversations. They don't show any interest in your diet, but neither do they criticize you for it, which you're grateful for.

The defender

You want to come across as calm and reasonable, but the defender makes it so. damn. hard. But have you ever seen a pig go to slaughter and actually be distressed? WITH YOUR OWN EYES? (I've seen video footage, yes, and it was horrific.) What about soy crops? They're bad for the environment, you know. (Most soy crops are grown for animal agriculture.)

You know if you show any sign of anger or impatience then you'll be labelled as aggressive or preachy, so you try your best to respond with logical answers. Sometimes the defender takes a step back and the two of you are able to have a thoughtful, respectful conversation. Sometimes all they want to do is back you into a corner and make you say you're wrong. Either way, the fact your choices differ from the norm makes them uncomfortable. 

The joker

Live and let live is their motto... except, it seems, when your lifestyle is concerned. I use the term 'joker' loosely, because while they believe their quips are the height of hilarity, you've lost count of the amount of times you've heard comments about bacon, burgers, and vegans eating plants straight out of the ground.

If they're a heterosexual man on a dating app, expect the joker to make an enquiry about whether or not you still eat sausage. I'd suggest either ignoring it or replying with a gif of Ramsay Bolton.


The cook

They've seen you make and enjoy good food. They've expressed genuine interest in whatever's on your plate when you've gone out to eat. And now they're asking you for recipes.

This just shows how much of an effect being an example of a happy, healthy vegetarian can have. Often, people don't realise how varied and flavoursome veggie food really is (I didn't myself until I stopped eating meat and fish) and seeing someone try different food encourages them to do the same.

I love sharing vegan and veggie recipes with friends and family, and I love it even more when they come back to me saying how delicious they were.

The former sceptic

They start by questioning everythingoften out of fear of the unknown and concern for your wellbeing. Gradually, as you begin to settle into the vegetarian lifestyle and figure out what works for you, they come around to the idea and happily visit cafes with you, or share your food. My mum, for example, enjoys Linda McCartney's scampi bites with vegan lemon mayonnaise, and we often cook vegetarian Mexican dishes when I visit my parents' house.

The convert

The dream. The convert takes the plunge and goes vegetarian themselves. They share tips you've never thought of before, news stories they've been reading, and are great fun to share a meal with, whether you've gone out to eat or made it yourselves.


I don't believe every single omnivore falls into one of these categoriesthey're just examples of behaviour I've noticed in the past two years. Even with vegan and veggie lifestyles becoming more mainstream (one only has to visit the free from aisle, yes, aisle, in your local supermarket to see the effect), they still prompt all kinds of reactions. I believe being a positive advocate is always the best way to respond: setting a good example, encouraging changes if they're already being made, and understanding that one solution won't suit everyone.

Do you recognise any of these people? Let me know in the comments.

6 Types of People You Meet When You Go Vegetarian

Becoming a vegetarian isn't always simple. I don't think there's a wrong or right way of going about it, whether you want to cut down a step at a time, or instantly go cold-turkey. For example, I knew I might get cravings and struggle to decide what to eat, and I also knew I couldn't give up everything at once, which is why I went pescatarian first.

What I didn't fully know when I stopped eating meat two years ago, however, was that suddenly everyone has an opinion about your eating habits.

It's not like food had never been a topic of conversation beforeI'd previously heard comments about my 'healthy appetite' when I was a teenagerand I think it's difficult, if not impossible, to escape our society's diet culture, particularly when you're female. But vegetarianism (and to an even greater extent, veganism) elicit a strong reaction from many. And it can be frustrating.

From people who insist you're just going through a phase, to those who are determined to prove your choice is the wrong one, everyone has their opinion about what you shouldor shouldn'tbe doing. And that's okay, to an extent, since we're all entitled to them. Sharing them, on the other hand? Well, that's not always necessary.

veggie breakfast

'I could never do it, but good for you.'

Giving up animal products isn't an option for them, for whatever reason, and food doesn't really feature in your conversations. They don't show any interest in your diet, but neither do they criticize you for it, which you're grateful for.

The defender

You want to come across as calm and reasonable, but the defender makes it so. damn. hard. But have you ever seen a pig go to slaughter and actually be distressed? WITH YOUR OWN EYES? (I've seen video footage, yes, and it was horrific.) What about soy crops? They're bad for the environment, you know. (Most soy crops are grown for animal agriculture.)

You know if you show any sign of anger or impatience then you'll be labelled as aggressive or preachy, so you try your best to respond with logical answers. Sometimes the defender takes a step back and the two of you are able to have a thoughtful, respectful conversation. Sometimes all they want to do is back you into a corner and make you say you're wrong. Either way, the fact your choices differ from the norm makes them uncomfortable. 

The joker

Live and let live is their motto... except, it seems, when your lifestyle is concerned. I use the term 'joker' loosely, because while they believe their quips are the height of hilarity, you've lost count of the amount of times you've heard comments about bacon, burgers, and vegans eating plants straight out of the ground.

If they're a heterosexual man on a dating app, expect the joker to make an enquiry about whether or not you still eat sausage. I'd suggest either ignoring it or replying with a gif of Ramsay Bolton.


The cook

They've seen you make and enjoy good food. They've expressed genuine interest in whatever's on your plate when you've gone out to eat. And now they're asking you for recipes.

This just shows how much of an effect being an example of a happy, healthy vegetarian can have. Often, people don't realise how varied and flavoursome veggie food really is (I didn't myself until I stopped eating meat and fish) and seeing someone try different food encourages them to do the same.

I love sharing vegan and veggie recipes with friends and family, and I love it even more when they come back to me saying how delicious they were.

The former sceptic

They start by questioning everythingoften out of fear of the unknown and concern for your wellbeing. Gradually, as you begin to settle into the vegetarian lifestyle and figure out what works for you, they come around to the idea and happily visit cafes with you, or share your food. My mum, for example, enjoys Linda McCartney's scampi bites with vegan lemon mayonnaise, and we often cook vegetarian Mexican dishes when I visit my parents' house.

The convert

The dream. The convert takes the plunge and goes vegetarian themselves. They share tips you've never thought of before, news stories they've been reading, and are great fun to share a meal with, whether you've gone out to eat or made it yourselves.


I don't believe every single omnivore falls into one of these categoriesthey're just examples of behaviour I've noticed in the past two years. Even with vegan and veggie lifestyles becoming more mainstream (one only has to visit the free from aisle, yes, aisle, in your local supermarket to see the effect), they still prompt all kinds of reactions. I believe being a positive advocate is always the best way to respond: setting a good example, encouraging changes if they're already being made, and understanding that one solution won't suit everyone.

Do you recognise any of these people? Let me know in the comments.
I'm trying not make anymore impulse buys.

It doesn't always worksometimes I get I'm-going-to-faint-soon hungry on my journey to the office and need breakfast nowbut I'm trying. To save money, to save resources, and to save myself time down the line, when I inevitably need to sort through my belongings and take a bag to the charity shop.

What's helped is making a list of things I don't need, rather than the things I do. I was inspired by this non-haul by Lo at Capsule Closet, in which she shares her opt-out list. This list was born out of Lo's wish to stop buying items she'd seen her slow-fashion peers wear but didn't work with her own style, and so were never really worn.

The great thing about a non-haul is that it's entirely personal. Lo mentions that she doesn't buy earrings because she never got her ears re-pierced when the original holes closed up, whereas I wear earrings almost every day and it wouldn't make sense for me to stop buying them.

After reading her post, I started thinkingwhat would be on my own list?


Bath bombs

I loved bath bombs when I first started using them. The scents, the swirls in the water, the little extras like rose petals, left behind to make you feel like a princess (just me?) However, over time I've noticed that bath bombs don't make my skin feel that greatButterbear from Lush is the exception because of all the cocoa butter, but otherwise they just dry it out.

We're also not allowed to use the bath in my current house share, although there's a lovely bath at my parents' house. I'd rather spend a bit more money on a product that lasts for more than one use and does my skin some good, such as Bloomtown's Salt Soak (v), which comes in six different scents and is packaged in a reusable glass bottle, or their multi-purpose Bath & Body Oil (v).

Fashion magazines

I've been obsessed with magazines for as long as I can remember. CBBC magazine, Girl Talk, Make It Groovy, Mizz, Sugar, Bliss, CosmoGirl, Glamour, InStyle... and now Veggie and Simply Vegan. I can't think of a time when I didn't read a magazine of some kind. There's something comforting about them (to the point where I can't board a plane without carrying at least one trashy gossip magazine). Now I'm a working adult, it's a luxury when I have the time to sit down and read one, uninterrupted.

However, I did go through a phase in my uni days when I bought almost every single glossy under the sun, spending a ridiculous amount of money per month and stashing them all on my bookshelves and bedside table. Ironically, I nearly always skipped the fashion shoots and headed straight for the interviews instead, which is why these magazines had to go. I'm too set in my jeans-and-jumper ways for it to be worth the cost.

Random costume jewellery

The story was always the same: I'd go into Topshop/H&M/Primark/insert high street store here. I'd spot a ring/necklace/pair of earrings and buy them. I'd wear the ring/necklace/pair of earrings for one solid week, then it would discolour and be relegated to storage, never to see daylight again. So I've just stopped looking.

I very rarely buy jewellery now, but when I do, I look for pieces that are good quality but not ridiculously expensive. Oh My Clumsy Heart is a favourite of mine for everyday classics, and I've also got my eye on a ring from Catbird NYC (which is more of an investment piece, albeit one that's possible to save for). On special occasions I'll wear the rings or earrings I inherited from my grandmothers.


Graze boxes

You know how they say some people are snackers and some people require three distinct meals per day? I fit into both of those categories. I'm known in my friendship group for carrying snacks with me to ward off any hangry moods, but I can't just nibble all dayoh no. I also need breakfast, lunch and dinner in order to function.

Graze boxes seemed like a great idea, and they were, for several years; the snack pots are handy to throw in your bag, just in case. Eventually I started craving something different, and I also became more concerned about the amount of plastic I'd recycle every week. Graze had to go.

Food delivery boxes

It can be tricky cooking for one person. Everything is made for pairs or for families, and unless you're very careful it's all too easy to end up throwing food away. I thought a meal delivery service like Gousto or Hello Fresh might help. (I've tried them bothGousto has better vegetarian recipes and more of them to choose from.)

And yes, for the few weeks I got the boxes, I wasn't throwing anything away unless it was onion skin or the like. But I was putting a lot more plastic in my recycling bin, and it just didn't sit comfortably with me. They'd also send little packets of herbs and spices I already had in the cupboard, plus it was expensive to buy my breakfast ingredients on top of paying for a non-discounted box. And I missed throwing my own recipes together.

I can see why Gousto or Hello Fresh would be useful for someone who's too busy to think about meal planning and food shopping. But I enjoy that part of my routine, and since I'm able to drive to the supermarket and take everything away in canvas bags, I feel like I should be doing my bit to cut down on waste, not adding to it.


So that's my non-haul list. Everyone's different, so I'm curious to find out what would be on yours. Is there anything you've started making a conscious effort not to buy? Or maybe you think I've got my priorities twisted if I'm not buying bath bombs anymore? Either way, let me know in the comments.

5 Things I No Longer Buy

I'm trying not make anymore impulse buys.

It doesn't always worksometimes I get I'm-going-to-faint-soon hungry on my journey to the office and need breakfast nowbut I'm trying. To save money, to save resources, and to save myself time down the line, when I inevitably need to sort through my belongings and take a bag to the charity shop.

What's helped is making a list of things I don't need, rather than the things I do. I was inspired by this non-haul by Lo at Capsule Closet, in which she shares her opt-out list. This list was born out of Lo's wish to stop buying items she'd seen her slow-fashion peers wear but didn't work with her own style, and so were never really worn.

The great thing about a non-haul is that it's entirely personal. Lo mentions that she doesn't buy earrings because she never got her ears re-pierced when the original holes closed up, whereas I wear earrings almost every day and it wouldn't make sense for me to stop buying them.

After reading her post, I started thinkingwhat would be on my own list?


Bath bombs

I loved bath bombs when I first started using them. The scents, the swirls in the water, the little extras like rose petals, left behind to make you feel like a princess (just me?) However, over time I've noticed that bath bombs don't make my skin feel that greatButterbear from Lush is the exception because of all the cocoa butter, but otherwise they just dry it out.

We're also not allowed to use the bath in my current house share, although there's a lovely bath at my parents' house. I'd rather spend a bit more money on a product that lasts for more than one use and does my skin some good, such as Bloomtown's Salt Soak (v), which comes in six different scents and is packaged in a reusable glass bottle, or their multi-purpose Bath & Body Oil (v).

Fashion magazines

I've been obsessed with magazines for as long as I can remember. CBBC magazine, Girl Talk, Make It Groovy, Mizz, Sugar, Bliss, CosmoGirl, Glamour, InStyle... and now Veggie and Simply Vegan. I can't think of a time when I didn't read a magazine of some kind. There's something comforting about them (to the point where I can't board a plane without carrying at least one trashy gossip magazine). Now I'm a working adult, it's a luxury when I have the time to sit down and read one, uninterrupted.

However, I did go through a phase in my uni days when I bought almost every single glossy under the sun, spending a ridiculous amount of money per month and stashing them all on my bookshelves and bedside table. Ironically, I nearly always skipped the fashion shoots and headed straight for the interviews instead, which is why these magazines had to go. I'm too set in my jeans-and-jumper ways for it to be worth the cost.

Random costume jewellery

The story was always the same: I'd go into Topshop/H&M/Primark/insert high street store here. I'd spot a ring/necklace/pair of earrings and buy them. I'd wear the ring/necklace/pair of earrings for one solid week, then it would discolour and be relegated to storage, never to see daylight again. So I've just stopped looking.

I very rarely buy jewellery now, but when I do, I look for pieces that are good quality but not ridiculously expensive. Oh My Clumsy Heart is a favourite of mine for everyday classics, and I've also got my eye on a ring from Catbird NYC (which is more of an investment piece, albeit one that's possible to save for). On special occasions I'll wear the rings or earrings I inherited from my grandmothers.


Graze boxes

You know how they say some people are snackers and some people require three distinct meals per day? I fit into both of those categories. I'm known in my friendship group for carrying snacks with me to ward off any hangry moods, but I can't just nibble all dayoh no. I also need breakfast, lunch and dinner in order to function.

Graze boxes seemed like a great idea, and they were, for several years; the snack pots are handy to throw in your bag, just in case. Eventually I started craving something different, and I also became more concerned about the amount of plastic I'd recycle every week. Graze had to go.

Food delivery boxes

It can be tricky cooking for one person. Everything is made for pairs or for families, and unless you're very careful it's all too easy to end up throwing food away. I thought a meal delivery service like Gousto or Hello Fresh might help. (I've tried them bothGousto has better vegetarian recipes and more of them to choose from.)

And yes, for the few weeks I got the boxes, I wasn't throwing anything away unless it was onion skin or the like. But I was putting a lot more plastic in my recycling bin, and it just didn't sit comfortably with me. They'd also send little packets of herbs and spices I already had in the cupboard, plus it was expensive to buy my breakfast ingredients on top of paying for a non-discounted box. And I missed throwing my own recipes together.

I can see why Gousto or Hello Fresh would be useful for someone who's too busy to think about meal planning and food shopping. But I enjoy that part of my routine, and since I'm able to drive to the supermarket and take everything away in canvas bags, I feel like I should be doing my bit to cut down on waste, not adding to it.


So that's my non-haul list. Everyone's different, so I'm curious to find out what would be on yours. Is there anything you've started making a conscious effort not to buy? Or maybe you think I've got my priorities twisted if I'm not buying bath bombs anymore? Either way, let me know in the comments.
*Insert comment about how quickly 2018 is going here.*

In all seriousness, I feel like October has been and gone in mere seconds, probably because it was so busy. I went to my first work conference (and felt v. grown up), had my first annual review (all good), travelled to and from my hometown several times to catch up with my friends, and sped through horror novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson for Sick Chick Lit, the Instagram book club I joined. It took me longer than normal because I'm a massive wimp and could only read it during the day, when I was surrounded by people.

I've also been trying to spend more time reading blog posts. Really reading them, and not just skimming through because I've let my Bloglovin queue build up again. I love being nosy and seeing what everyone has been up to, but I also love bookmarking new recipes to try, learning more about sustainable living, and figuring out which elements of minimalism work for me. It's about time I shared some of my favourite reads, so here are ten blog posts I loved this October.

chia pudding
Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash


1. No, You're Not Too Small to Make a Difference, by The Lifestyle Files

It's easy to feel helpless about the state of the world, especially with the recent news about climate change. This post challenges the idea that our individual actions are too small to matter.

"We all have individual carbon footprints, and the very immediate first step... is to try to reduce that footprint with individual actions. After all, at least some issues are associated with consumer use. Higher consumption lifestyles have higher environmental impacts. If we chip away even just a little, it helps.

"And yes, it doesn't solve everything. We cannot reverse climate change simply by purchasing a reusable coffee cup. But it's not about that. It's about starting something. Getting involved. And the more involved we are, the more we can do."

2. What Do You Do With Your Plastic When You Go Zero Waste? by Green Indy

Going low or even zero waste is becoming more and more popular. It's tempting to throw all your old, 'bad' plastic items away when you make a conscious decision to cut down, but that's not the most sustainable action to take. Polly explains why.

"While it's normal to have that frantic feeling of 'I need to get rid of all my plastic NOW' when you first start... the environmental effects of your plastic purchases are already a sunk cost, i.e. a cost that's already happened and can't be recovered. Getting that plastic out of your house does nothing to improve the environment."

rabbit
Photo by Max Di Capua on Unsplash


3. How to Put an End to Make-Up Testing On Animals, by Conservation Folks

Emily's guide to promoting cruelty-free beauty through your shopping habits is a must-read for anyone who opposes animal testing and wants to make their voice heard.

"Because of the well-known practice of animal testing, it's easy to assume that all products need to be tested before the public can have access to them. While it's true that products should be tested so they are guaranteed to work the way they were designed to do, they don't need to be tested on animals.

"Companies and major industries know they can use thousands of historically safe ingredients in their products instead of newer ingredients and harsher chemicals. The appeal to companies is that what's less ethical is typically less expensive, but they should know that people care about what they buy and how it's created."

4. The A-Z of Sustainable Fashion (Part 1 & Part 2), by Sophie Benson

While sustainable beauty has been on my radar for a little while now, sustainable fashion is something I've only really started getting into over the past few months. Sophie does a wonderful job of breaking it all down in these witty, helpful, A-Z guidesthey're a great place to start if you feel overwhelmed about ditching fast fashion.

"Hold brands to account. Brands would love it 100% Kevin Keegan-style love it if you and me and every other consumer out there took the blame for the negative impact fashion has. They'll sit there, probably around a huge table next to a roaring fire situated within a sprawling underground bunker, rubbing their hands together saying 'Can you believe we're getting away with this?!' unless we hold them to account. The small changes we can make as individuals are dwarfed by the sweeping, systemic changes brands can make to transform the landscape of the industry. Call them out and don't let them off the hook."

coat hangers
Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash


5. A Non-Haul, by Capsule Closet

It's easy to slip into the habit of copying others when it comes to clothes, especially when there are so many people sharing their outfits on social media. Which isn't a bad thing in itself, but sometimes inspiration becomes imitation and before you know it, you're not sure of your own style anymore. So Lo's non-haul is a list of the items she actively avoids spending money on.

"We can feel a lot of pressure to curate a perfect and holistic wardrobe, with every cool item represented. But I'm realizing personal style doesn't require that at all. In fact, it outright rejects that idea... I can start framing my style by the things I don't need and the things I'm not into, and be a more responsible consumer in that process. After all, isn't this the very heart of minimalism?"

6. Seasonal Affective Disorder is On Its Way; Here's How I Deal With It, by Vix Meldrew

The change in seasons has started to have a big impact on meon my skin, my hair, my energy levels and, most significantly, my mental health. So I've bookmarked Vix's list of ways she copes with SAD and I'm going to be trying them out throughout autumn and winter.

"The nights draw in, and where you once were staring out of the window on your commute home, and getting excited about having some dinner outside or catching a few rays, it's now darker and colder than you've ever remembered it. You may find that your mood begins to drop. That getting out of bed at your alarm, when the light hasn't been disturbed by your phone beeping, like you have, is that bit harder.

"That feeling is pretty normal in most people. However, some of us can suffer with it pretty badly... Now that I'm 32, and have experienced it for many years, I have some coping mechanisms that have helped me out... I thought I'd share em with ya so that you can get yourself ready to fight the winter blues."

calf
Photo by Sophie Dale on Unsplash

7. We All Raise Our Beef Humanely On Open Pasture... by The Onion

Just a warning: this (satirical) article is very graphic. But that's the pointto showcase the ridiculousness of describing any kind of meat as humane, when the end result is still a slaughtered animal. The article is a few years old now, but since I only found it a few days ago, I'm counting it anyway.

"Our independently owned family farm is committed to one guiding principle: making sure that you, the customer, receive the best-tasting, highest quality beef from cows that are healthy, active, and eventually suspended fully conscious inside a facility thick with hot, blood-choked air and the frantic bellows of dangling, profoundly fearful animals."

8. Easy Vegan Butternut Squash Coconut Soup, by Simply Living Vegan

I can never read Jess's blog without feeling hungry. Her vegan foodie adventures offer you plenty of inspiration and this post has given me another delicious, seasonal soup recipe to add to my list.

"As squash is in season in autumn, it is the perfect main ingredient in soups, curries and stews. This is a simple recipe that requires minimal ingredients and includes warming spices and healing roots like turmeric and ginger to fight off the dreaded common cold. It goes perfectly with a lightly toasted sour dough roll or simply served as a big bowl on its own for lunch or dinner."

lights in a jar
Photo by Milan Popovic on Unsplash


9. Spark Joy, by What Josie Did Next

I've loved Josie's funny, honest, diary-style posts for a long time. This one discusses the constant consumerism the blogging world often falls victim to and how personality is sometimes sacrificed in favour of selling.

"One of the major things that really turns me off about blogging/social media is the commercialisation of it. Yes gurl, get that dollar, I myself have done the odd sponsored post and also posted about products I've received. But oh man is it constant 'SELL SELL SELL!' sometimes. I like shopping as much, if not more than the next person but if even I am getting overwhelmed by it all then surely most people are."

10. 10 Things Myself (and My Friends) Find Cringey AF On Tinder, by Mo'adore

Oh, Tinder. I'm not a fan of the way it's looked down on by some (it's difficult to meet people, 'kay?), but my word, it can feel like a massive chore sometimes, rather than something fun and spontaneous. Morag has hilariously summed up why.

"Hetero boys, listen up! Girls have long cottoned on to that thing you do where you try to make yourself look more in demand than you actually are. Over it. We see a picture of you with your arm around another girl and will assume you're with herand should probably not be on Tinder (unless you mention that you are polyamorous in your bio)."


What have you been reading recently? Let me know in the comments.

10 Blog Posts I Love | October 2018

*Insert comment about how quickly 2018 is going here.*

In all seriousness, I feel like October has been and gone in mere seconds, probably because it was so busy. I went to my first work conference (and felt v. grown up), had my first annual review (all good), travelled to and from my hometown several times to catch up with my friends, and sped through horror novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson for Sick Chick Lit, the Instagram book club I joined. It took me longer than normal because I'm a massive wimp and could only read it during the day, when I was surrounded by people.

I've also been trying to spend more time reading blog posts. Really reading them, and not just skimming through because I've let my Bloglovin queue build up again. I love being nosy and seeing what everyone has been up to, but I also love bookmarking new recipes to try, learning more about sustainable living, and figuring out which elements of minimalism work for me. It's about time I shared some of my favourite reads, so here are ten blog posts I loved this October.

chia pudding
Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash


1. No, You're Not Too Small to Make a Difference, by The Lifestyle Files

It's easy to feel helpless about the state of the world, especially with the recent news about climate change. This post challenges the idea that our individual actions are too small to matter.

"We all have individual carbon footprints, and the very immediate first step... is to try to reduce that footprint with individual actions. After all, at least some issues are associated with consumer use. Higher consumption lifestyles have higher environmental impacts. If we chip away even just a little, it helps.

"And yes, it doesn't solve everything. We cannot reverse climate change simply by purchasing a reusable coffee cup. But it's not about that. It's about starting something. Getting involved. And the more involved we are, the more we can do."

2. What Do You Do With Your Plastic When You Go Zero Waste? by Green Indy

Going low or even zero waste is becoming more and more popular. It's tempting to throw all your old, 'bad' plastic items away when you make a conscious decision to cut down, but that's not the most sustainable action to take. Polly explains why.

"While it's normal to have that frantic feeling of 'I need to get rid of all my plastic NOW' when you first start... the environmental effects of your plastic purchases are already a sunk cost, i.e. a cost that's already happened and can't be recovered. Getting that plastic out of your house does nothing to improve the environment."

rabbit
Photo by Max Di Capua on Unsplash


3. How to Put an End to Make-Up Testing On Animals, by Conservation Folks

Emily's guide to promoting cruelty-free beauty through your shopping habits is a must-read for anyone who opposes animal testing and wants to make their voice heard.

"Because of the well-known practice of animal testing, it's easy to assume that all products need to be tested before the public can have access to them. While it's true that products should be tested so they are guaranteed to work the way they were designed to do, they don't need to be tested on animals.

"Companies and major industries know they can use thousands of historically safe ingredients in their products instead of newer ingredients and harsher chemicals. The appeal to companies is that what's less ethical is typically less expensive, but they should know that people care about what they buy and how it's created."

4. The A-Z of Sustainable Fashion (Part 1 & Part 2), by Sophie Benson

While sustainable beauty has been on my radar for a little while now, sustainable fashion is something I've only really started getting into over the past few months. Sophie does a wonderful job of breaking it all down in these witty, helpful, A-Z guidesthey're a great place to start if you feel overwhelmed about ditching fast fashion.

"Hold brands to account. Brands would love it 100% Kevin Keegan-style love it if you and me and every other consumer out there took the blame for the negative impact fashion has. They'll sit there, probably around a huge table next to a roaring fire situated within a sprawling underground bunker, rubbing their hands together saying 'Can you believe we're getting away with this?!' unless we hold them to account. The small changes we can make as individuals are dwarfed by the sweeping, systemic changes brands can make to transform the landscape of the industry. Call them out and don't let them off the hook."

coat hangers
Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash


5. A Non-Haul, by Capsule Closet

It's easy to slip into the habit of copying others when it comes to clothes, especially when there are so many people sharing their outfits on social media. Which isn't a bad thing in itself, but sometimes inspiration becomes imitation and before you know it, you're not sure of your own style anymore. So Lo's non-haul is a list of the items she actively avoids spending money on.

"We can feel a lot of pressure to curate a perfect and holistic wardrobe, with every cool item represented. But I'm realizing personal style doesn't require that at all. In fact, it outright rejects that idea... I can start framing my style by the things I don't need and the things I'm not into, and be a more responsible consumer in that process. After all, isn't this the very heart of minimalism?"

6. Seasonal Affective Disorder is On Its Way; Here's How I Deal With It, by Vix Meldrew

The change in seasons has started to have a big impact on meon my skin, my hair, my energy levels and, most significantly, my mental health. So I've bookmarked Vix's list of ways she copes with SAD and I'm going to be trying them out throughout autumn and winter.

"The nights draw in, and where you once were staring out of the window on your commute home, and getting excited about having some dinner outside or catching a few rays, it's now darker and colder than you've ever remembered it. You may find that your mood begins to drop. That getting out of bed at your alarm, when the light hasn't been disturbed by your phone beeping, like you have, is that bit harder.

"That feeling is pretty normal in most people. However, some of us can suffer with it pretty badly... Now that I'm 32, and have experienced it for many years, I have some coping mechanisms that have helped me out... I thought I'd share em with ya so that you can get yourself ready to fight the winter blues."

calf
Photo by Sophie Dale on Unsplash

7. We All Raise Our Beef Humanely On Open Pasture... by The Onion

Just a warning: this (satirical) article is very graphic. But that's the pointto showcase the ridiculousness of describing any kind of meat as humane, when the end result is still a slaughtered animal. The article is a few years old now, but since I only found it a few days ago, I'm counting it anyway.

"Our independently owned family farm is committed to one guiding principle: making sure that you, the customer, receive the best-tasting, highest quality beef from cows that are healthy, active, and eventually suspended fully conscious inside a facility thick with hot, blood-choked air and the frantic bellows of dangling, profoundly fearful animals."

8. Easy Vegan Butternut Squash Coconut Soup, by Simply Living Vegan

I can never read Jess's blog without feeling hungry. Her vegan foodie adventures offer you plenty of inspiration and this post has given me another delicious, seasonal soup recipe to add to my list.

"As squash is in season in autumn, it is the perfect main ingredient in soups, curries and stews. This is a simple recipe that requires minimal ingredients and includes warming spices and healing roots like turmeric and ginger to fight off the dreaded common cold. It goes perfectly with a lightly toasted sour dough roll or simply served as a big bowl on its own for lunch or dinner."

lights in a jar
Photo by Milan Popovic on Unsplash


9. Spark Joy, by What Josie Did Next

I've loved Josie's funny, honest, diary-style posts for a long time. This one discusses the constant consumerism the blogging world often falls victim to and how personality is sometimes sacrificed in favour of selling.

"One of the major things that really turns me off about blogging/social media is the commercialisation of it. Yes gurl, get that dollar, I myself have done the odd sponsored post and also posted about products I've received. But oh man is it constant 'SELL SELL SELL!' sometimes. I like shopping as much, if not more than the next person but if even I am getting overwhelmed by it all then surely most people are."

10. 10 Things Myself (and My Friends) Find Cringey AF On Tinder, by Mo'adore

Oh, Tinder. I'm not a fan of the way it's looked down on by some (it's difficult to meet people, 'kay?), but my word, it can feel like a massive chore sometimes, rather than something fun and spontaneous. Morag has hilariously summed up why.

"Hetero boys, listen up! Girls have long cottoned on to that thing you do where you try to make yourself look more in demand than you actually are. Over it. We see a picture of you with your arm around another girl and will assume you're with herand should probably not be on Tinder (unless you mention that you are polyamorous in your bio)."


What have you been reading recently? Let me know in the comments.


Beth, 24, UK. I'm a writer who loves books, animals, yoga, travel, and the Oxford comma. I share my experiences of trying a cruelty-free, vegetarian and low waste lifestyle, with the odd think piece thrown in. beth.toasty@gmail.com

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