Veganuary 2020 is in full swing. It's that time of year where everyone is making dairy and meat-free swaps which can be great for your health as well as the planet.
What you may not know is how to veganise your period. Many period products aren’t cruelty-free or vegan let alone sustainable for the planet. That's why the BeYou team is here to tell you how to have a cruelty-free period.
What is veganism?
According to the Vegan Society, veganism can be defined as a way of living which seeks to exclude “all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose”. This not only includes food, but also cosmetics, clothes and even some period products.
Why aren’t period products vegan?
P&G and Unilever are parents companies to the most popular sanitary pads and tampon brands around. Unfortunately, both P&G and Unilever test all their products on animals. This means that the sanitary products they produce will also be tested on animals. Some companies declare they don’t test on animals despite the fact their parent company DOES. Therefore, it is best to decide whether you still want to support their company or not. Remember you vote with your dollar! The toxic chemicals, like chlorine, used to bleach sanitary towels and tampons are usually tested on animals and can sometimes even contain animal-derived ingredients. That sounds pretty gross to us.
Along with animal cruelty, sustainability goes hand in hand with veganism. Although it isn’t essential to think about your waste to be vegan, many vegans consider it a complementary effort in reducing harm to animals and the environment. That’s why you may need to reconsider disposable period products. The sheer quantity of menstrual waste a woman can produce in her lifetime is enough to put you off. A report published by the London Assembly Environment Committee, states that nearly 200,000 tonnes of menstrual waste is produced in the UK alone every year. They went on to explain that sanitary pads are 90% plastic and tampons are 6% plastic which also happens to be the most absorbent of plastics. Not only is this type of plastic waste endangering underwater ecosystems but the chemicals in tampons and pads can even poison wildlife.
The effects of being vegan on your period
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence saying the health benefits for your period when going vegan. Blogger Chelsea Williams explained to Bustle that her periods became lighter and less painful after transitioning to a vegan diet. Catherine Gill, who is the author of The Dirty Vegan Cookbook, told Bustle her periods used to be incredibly painful before switching to a vegan diet. She explained that now her periods are much lighter and regular since going vegan. However, it must be said there is no concrete clinical evidence to support this claim.
If you change your diet in any way and aren’t consuming the right nutrients that your body needs to sustain itself, your periods may stop. Some vegans, online, claim that their periods have stopped because of their diet and have advertised it as a health benefit. This is completely untrue. This is a serious red flag and we strongly advise you to see a doctor if you’re period stops at any point, being vegan or not. If you are eating a balanced and healthy vegan diet your periods should not stop.
Your vegan period kit
BeYou are here to help. Our BeYou Patches are approved by the Vegan Society meaning they contain no nasty animal-derived ingredients and are completely cruelty-free. They contain 100% natural menthol and eucalyptus oil which help your muscles to relax, easing the cramping sensation we are all familiar with. Simply peel off the sticky back and place it where you feel the cramps. The cooling-tingly sensation will kick in under 30 minutes and can last for up to 12 hours. They are a great alternative to hot water bottles as well as traditional painkillers which are tested on animals by law.
A menstrual cup is a great vegan swap for your period kit. The BeYou Menstrual Cup is a smart alternative to traditional pads and tampons as it contains no nasty animal ingredients. The super-soft medical grade silicone is great if you’re a cup beginner as the soft material makes insertion and removal of the cup so easy.
The medical grade silicone contains no nasty animal-tested chemicals, unlike tampons and pads, meaning no bunnies are harmed in the making of your menstrual cup. The silicone won’t interfere with your natural pH balance, unlike than traditional tampons.
If you still want to stick with tampons and pads then there are many organic and vegan brands out there for you to try. Organic tampons and pads don’t contain chlorine which is tested on animals and is used to bleach tampons and pads to give them their pristine white appearance. The popularity of period pants has skyrocketed in recent years. The beauty of period pants it that they can hold up to 4 tampons’ worth of blood for up to 12 hours without that weird smell you get with pads and tampons.
There are so many vegan period product options out there for you to choose from. Do your research and find what suits you and your lifestyle best. And, of course, have an amazing Veganuary!
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