Tag Archives: animal-friendly

The Best Vegan Dairy and Meat Food Substitutes

Being a vegan today is really pretty easy. Even in an area with no Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, I can find vegan versions of the things I need. Food Lion seems to be way behind in the trends (although I hope veganism is on a permanent upswing), but Martin’s usually keeps me stocked. Here are my favorite substitutes!


Milk: I greatly prefer almond milk to soymilk. It’s rich and creamy, and doesn’t have to be shaken 72 times because of weird particulate matter before pouring it over cereal. All almond milks are not alike though. Blue Diamond Almond Breeze is where it’s at! I stock up on Original Reduced Sugar but the Vanilla flavor is delicious for cereal and baking.

AB milk

Butter: Earth Balance makes the best vegan butter, hands down. I use both the tub butter and the sticks. I like the regular more than the whipped because oddly, it spreads better (Shouldn’t it be the other way around?)

EB spread

Mayonnaise: Earth Balance is also the best of the best for veganaise. If you like the flavor of mayo, which I do, you can literally eat this stuff by the spoonful. The other brands I’ve tried taste and smell a bit like cardboard, but still seem to do fine when used in potato salad and other recipes.

EB mayo

Cheese: None of us can deny that cheese makes everything taste better, so this is often the hardest thing for people to give up. But Daiya has you covered. You can have your grilled cheese and eat it to with their cheddar slices and your vegan tacos will feel complete with a healthy topping of their shredded cheese.

Daiya shreds

( BEWARE! There is an imposter out there. Go! Veggie cheese is NOT veggie. It is made of dairy products. Therefore, it is not a vegan cheese or a good non-vegan cheese so I have no idea why anyone would buy this…yes, I do…because of false advertising! Don’t make the mistake I did, people.)

Chocolate: I always keep a stash of Endangered Species chocolate in my house. They are NOT all vegan, so be sure to check the ingredients, but several flavors are. My favorite is sea salt and almonds. And I  just found out there is a new one: Dark chocolate with cinnamon, cayenne, and cherries- yes, please! With each bar you purchase, you are donating to, you guessed it, endangered species conservation.

ES Choc




Hot Dogs: That’s right, hot dogs. I like hot dogs more now than I ever did when I actually ate real hot dogs. I always bring some LightLife Smart Dogs with me to BBQs.

Lightlife dogs

Deli Meat: As someone who never liked turkey lunchmeat as a kid, I stick with the ham flavor of Lightlife Smart Deli and stay away from Tofurkey…because it actually does taste like turkey lunchmeat. So if you like turkey lunchmeat, eat that. If not, eat Smart Deli ham.


Burger: There’s a reason Boca burger is a household name. Don’t skimp…go for the Boca. I use the crumbles in tacos and chili.

boca crumbles


I have yet to find any acceptable-tasting sausage or bacon substitutes…but I really don’t care for sausage and bacon, so I’m not personally motivated to keep trying.

What meat or dairy substitute products have the rest of you found that you can’t live without?

Acknowledgements: All images are from the companies’ websites.

My Go-to Animal-Friendly Beauty Products

I made the decision to go animal-friendly with all of my household and beauty products about a year ago, which lead to an exciting flurry of discovering some great makeup and perfumes. More recently, in an effort to simplify my life, I switched off of birth control pills for the ease of an IUD, which lead to an unintended and unexpected effect: acne. I’ve never had an issue with this, and it has been distressing. The story, however, has a happy ending…because some natural, cruelty-free products came to the rescue! Here are my go-to brands and products!


The haven of cruelty-free scents! I’ve got a roll-on perfume in Tahitian Gardenia and am on my second bottle of the body wash in the same scent. I also have two of the lip tints which are good enough to eat (and being all natural, it would probably turn out OK if you did…but please don’t sue me if I’m wrong.)

TG Roll On-rs

Burt’s Bees

Some vegans may object to the use of bee-products but a.) it’s all Leaping Bunny certified and b.) anything that supports bees is a plus in my book! I’ve always got a trusty tube of Burt’s Bees chap stick in my pocket and have had great results with Gūd shampoo and conditioner.

Burt’s Bees also provided me with the facial cleanser I needed to get rid of the bumpy mess that my forehead had become: Peach and Willow Bark Deep Pore Scrub.




Back when I had a bit more money, I allowed myself to roam about in the premium section of makeup at Ulta and discovered Tarte. They’ve got a BB cream that actually matches my very pale Irish skin, the BEST mascara (its called Gifted), and Amazonian clay eyeliner-an essential for those who enjoy 1920s style smoky eyes.

Tarte Gifted Mascara


Here is my drugstore priced go-to when I have the urge to buy lipstick. SO MANY COLORS. I like the extra creamy lipsticks and the butter lipsticks. Good liquid eyeliners, and fun-colored mascaras as well.


Desert Essence

The acne spot treatment that saved my self-esteem. I love the smell of tea tree in the Blemish Touch Stick (which weirdly a lot of reviewers on Amazon complained about) and I also love that it works!

Desert Essence

Alba Botanica

Alba makes my everyday moisturizer: Smoothing Jasmine and Vitamin E. However, my experience with their sunblock was not good. I have NEVER had sunblock burn my eyes so badly for so long…I hope they work on this product.



Never fear though, because Aubrey has me covered as far as sunblock goes! It even has green tea antioxidants.


Acknowledgements: I discovered the Burt’s Bees face wash at Jersey Girl Talk  and learned about the Dessert Essence Blemish Touch stick from PETA.

All pictures are from the companies’ websites.