Can you go vegan for Lent?

The Cruelty-Free Beauty Show on March 16th 2019 is an environmentally-friendly beauty fair showcasing a range of vegan brands and products.

The organisers behind The Cruelty-Free Beauty Show conducted a study of 650 Brits to find out just how many days they’d last if they opted to go vegan for lent. The study found on average, Brits would last only 10 days out of the 40-day sabbatical.

Perhaps this statistic would be higher if $1 million was on the cards… 

To create awareness and encourage more people to adopt a plant-based lifestyle, one vegan company proposed an offer to Pope Francis: ditch animal products during lent in exchange for a $1 million donation to a charity of his choice. Along with reducing the number of animal products we consume through eating, it’s important to also take note of the kinds of beauty, skincare and household cleaning products we use. Although a ban was placed on the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in 2013, there are no regulations put in place about the treatment of animals in these testing facilities. Alarmingly, it is estimated that globally, 100,000 to 200,000 animals suffer at the hands of cosmetic testing each year.  Which is surprising, considering that four out of five respondents would choose to discontinue use of a beauty brand if they knew it was tested on animals. 

With this information in hand, it is no surprise that 40% of Brits say they admire vegans for living by their morals, however although the majority of people would choose to stay away from products which had been tested on animals, most would call it quits after just over a week into their vegan lent. Why? There are multiple factors which could influence this statistic including accessibility to vegan products: it is often difficult to find a suitable, sustainable cruelty-free product range instore. There are limited ranges of vegan-friendly products available in physical stores, especially compared to the number of options accessible to non-vegans – there might be just one or two plant-based alternatives to choose from out of a variety of non-vegan choices. Many consumables, makeup items and household cleaning products also contain hidden animal-derived ingredients and toxic chemicals, which Brits are unaware of. 

The study also found that only 1 in 10 Brits said that they would know how to check if a product has been tested on animals just by scanning the packaging. This means that a majority of people are unaware of the little rabbit symbol on products, which indicates that no animal cruelty has taken place during production. It also means that a large number of people are also uninformed ofthe ‘V’ symbol, which indicates that the product does not contain any animal-derived products. 

[Just because wine is made from grapes, it doesn’t make all wine vegan or vegetarian-friendly. Consumables can contain sneaky traces of animal-based ingredients that we may not be aware of. Some winemaking processes make use of components such as egg whites, casein (a protein found in cow’s milk), gelatin (a protein made from animal bones and hides) and isinglass (derived from the swim bladders of fish). 55% of Brits, however, think that wine is vegan or vegetarian-friendly! If this is the vegan-ning of your plant-based journey and you’re still getting used to things, you probably want to check the product label and make sure your wine is free of these ingredients before consuming.]

Being mindful of what we put into our bodies should be a top priority for everyone but unfortunately, cosmetic products we use on a regular basis can contain harmful chemicals we need to watch out for… Every day, the average Brit applies between 85 and 168 different chemicals to their body via their skincare and beauty regimes. Of these, your skin absorbs up to 60% of these chemicals – like parabens and sulphates – directly into your bloodstream. 

“Natural skincare products that are free from toxic chemicals are the way forward for the beauty industry today,” says Akosua Akobeng, founder of Cruelty-Free Beauty Show. “The stats and facts are here; it’s now up to you to decide the kind of products you incorporate into your daily routine. The planet will benefit from even the smallest changes people choose to make!”

Take a look at's vegan choices in beauty