Fashion and vegan beauty blogger JoJo tells us about vegan makeup, Disney movies and converting her mum…
Growing up, I was an animal crazed, Disney obsessed, nature child. My favourite Disney films were full of animals; Robin Hood, 101 Dalmatians and The Aristocats to name a few. From a young age I would sit and watch the colourful Disney animations while eating a chicken Kiev or fish fingers, without the knowledge that I was eating my favourite characters!
I always loved animals and had pets since I was born. To me they were family and friends I could trust. My love of animals didn’t stop at domesticated species, my favourite animals being cats and pigs.
As I became older I realised where meat came from and I couldn’t understand why we chose to look after one species but hurt and kill others. This is when my journey to becoming vegan began. At the age of 11 I made the decision to remove meat from my life entirely.
10 years on and I’d kept my promise to keep meat out of my diet. By this time I had started my career in the blogging industry and gained a following on Instagram. However, with the enormous increase in social media I started seeing images of the horrendous treatment of animals within the meat, dairy and fashion industries. I tried to convince myself I was already doing enough by being vegetarian, but videos showing the true nature of the dairy industry suggested otherwise. It became clear to me that being vegetarian wasn’t enough to protect animals. At 21 I made the final step to becoming vegan and, a year later, I can guarantee that it’s the best choice I’ve ever made.
After becoming vegan I felt I was finally doing all I could do to help animals. I also felt a lot healthier, I had more energy and didn’t feel sluggish anymore. This was fantastic for me as a blogger, because it gave me the energy to keep up with the fast blogging lifestyle of going to events and constantly creating new content. I felt that I connected with a lot more of my followers too.
I announced I was going vegan in an Instagram post and received so much support. I share lots with my followers about my life and, as it’s such a drastic lifestyle change, I felt I should share this with them. I hadn’t realised how many of my followers were vegetarian or vegan before this and I was receiving tips from people all over the world. I think this is one of the best parts about being vegan, it brings people together.
A big part of my blogging is makeup and I love creating new looks and experimenting, but along my journey I found that pretty much all the makeup I owned wasn’t vegan! This is when I learned that building a vegan lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight. I’ll admit that it took a whole year for my makeup box to change to entirely vegan makeup.
My trusted, go-to vegan makeup brands are Sugarpill, Concrete Minerals and Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. They have such a wide variety of products and colours. I thought I’d be limited with what I could wear, but these brands show that you can be as bold and bright as ever, even as a vegan.
Meeting the challenge
There are challenges when becoming vegan, especially as a blogger. There have been instances where I’ve been contacted by a brand for an amazing opportunity, only to find that their products aren’t vegan. In this way it can take a while to progress, but I always remind myself that I’m saving animals and it’s worth it. Besides, so many companies are releasing cruelty-free and vegan lines these days that eventually I’ll be spoilt for choice.
Another challenge I’ve faced is finding food when travelling. I recently went on holiday and had to be vegetarian for a week because the chef didn’t know what vegan even meant! It disappointed me, but you have to try your best in those circumstances – or take an extra suitcase of vegan food!
All the difficulties I’ve faced are overridden with the unbelievable support I receive, not only from my followers, but also from my mom. She’s made the transition from vegetarian to vegan much easier by checking every food label and cooking a separate vegan meal whenever we have dinner. I’m pleased to say that, after helping me live my vegan lifestyle, my mom has decided to start cutting most meat from her diet and only use non-dairy milk and butter. This is such an accomplishment, because I was told by other people that I’d never make a difference by being vegan and now the biggest meat-eater I know is becoming one! Now I can sit watching my Disney films and eating my vegan snacks knowing that I’m making a difference.
Find out more about JoJo at jojopearson.blogspot.co.uk