Prettygood has been created by Ellie and Lewis, a vegan couple from London. We decided to create a blog as we spent a lot of time scouring shops, blogs and social media for products that aligned with our values. There wasn’t anyone covering the products and topics we cared about as vegans. We believe you can still ‘look pretty whilst doing good’.
Our blog will cover ethically produced stylish clothes, beauty products and lifestyle generally. We believe that you don’t have to sacrifice your style to be a compassionate person. It was this belief that led us to search high and low for a variety of goods. As we discovered all the amazing vegan companies making quality goods in an ethical way, we learnt more about the reality of ‘mainstream’ commercial practices. This is why we’ll write about the topics that informed our commitment to
taking responsibility for the things we consume and clothes we wear. We will also feature companies and products that embody prettygood values. And of course there will be food recipes too.
Prior to making the change I was one of those insufferable carnists. I ate a lot of meat and all of the time. I gave vegetarians at school a hard time. Back then I hadn’t even heard of the term vegan. I studied Philosophy at university and had to read Animal Liberation.
At the time I considered myself an ‘animal lover’. I had pets I cared for and fussed over. But I ate animals. One day I decided that I would give up meat for a week. I remember spending a small fortune on Quorn products. I believed after the week I’d go back to meat happy knowing I had ‘given it a go’. To my surprise I felt lighter and ever more self-righteously smug than usual. I watched Meet Your Meat too. That was it. I made the change to vegetarianism. That was 10 years ago when I was 18. Issues of leather, cosmetics and the environmental weren’t a consideration, to my shame, at this time.
I wasn’t a big fan of cheese as a carnist. As a vegetarian I noticed I was eating it increasingly. I decided to research veganism in a very noncommittal way. In doing so I stumbled upon Earthlings one Sunday. Anyone who has seen it knows it is uncompromising. I decided on the spot that I was going vegan. The video of the non-human animal being skinned alive still makes me feel uneasy. That was five years ago. The three often cited reasons for going vegan; ethics, environment and health are interdependent.
My entry point was firmly in the ‘ethics’ camp. However, from this point I have learnt reaped the rewards of living a plant-based lifestyle. I now regularly run and am the fittest I have ever been.
Furthermore, I have learnt about the environmental devastation caused by people’s addiction to flesh. Typically, when people ask me why I am vegan I speak about it from this perspective.
Speciesism is so entrenched in the majority that it’s more powerful to speak to their self-interest.
I grew up in a small rural town surrounded by dairy farms, and was the kind of proud animal product consumer that the British countryside is full of. I knew the woman who raised the chickens for eggs, I was at school with the daughter of the man who owned the largest dairy farm in town, and I’ve been on first name terms with the local butcher since I could talk.
In my early 20s, I moved to London. For the first year I stayed with friends and my bacon obsession grew along with theirs, and beyond it. Then I moved into a new house share with people I didn’t know and I met Lewis, all in the space of a few short weeks. My new housemates were all vegetarian, and vocal about it. I’ve always tried to maintain an open mind in all kinds of debates and issues, and a lot of what they were saying made a lot of sense. Coupled with the social and financial appeal of sharing cooking with 3 other people, I eventually made the change to vegetarianism.
But there was a nagging at the back of my mind: I’d accepted that raising animals to kill for me to eat was unethical, and taken action to remove that from my life, but I was making a distinction that allowed me to eat dairy and eggs, which I was increasingly unsure really stood up to inspection. I decided to try Veganuary and see how I got on, and used that month to research a bit further into the egg and dairy industries. Before the month was out, I knew I’d never go back. Luckily for me, that January was also the month I moved in with Lewis, so I had a live-in veganism consultant giving me hints and tips, and prompting me to think about things like leather and wool and animal testing (we’ll cover loads of this stuff on the blog, don’t worry).
Documentaries like Vegucated and Forks Over Knives gave me the context around the ethical and health implications of a vegan diet, and opened my eyes to the reality of the dairy and egg industries. Once you understand that animal products are part of a commercial industry, it seems suddenly obvious that efficiency and cost-effectiveness are the real focus. With that, you grasp that male chicks are a ‘waste product’ and disposed of accordingly (CN: animal cruelty), and that for dairy farmers calves are just a means to an end.
Making this change has been hugely positive for me. I’ve rediscovered my creativity in the kitchen, and lost a nagging sense of guilt at the decadence and excesses of my own diet. I’ve looked squarely at the realities of food production which I’d deliberately marginalised for so much of my life, and chosen to live my life in a way that I can be proud of, and a way that I know offers us the best possible chance of preserving the earth (if that seems like a wild claim, I suggest you watch Cowspiracy and decide for yourself…).