Some creators use wool yarn, some use silk yarn. And others use acrylic or cotton, or anything in between. When I started The Cozy Tangerine, I knew I would only be using non-animal fibers in my work. And that's because I'd been vegan for almost 3 years.
Up until 2018, I ate everything. Like, I was the least picky eater you could ever meet. And then during my summer break (I was going into my junior year of college), I watched something that changed my entire perspective on what I had thought to be true my entire life. And that was the animal agriculture industry.
I sat down one night and watched a documentary called Earthlings. This documentary opened up my mind to something I had never really thought about. It showed the horrors of the meat and dairy industry. So that night, I couldn't even put the chicken fingers from our Chinese food on my dinner plate. That night was when I first went vegetarian.
For the next few days, I just could not look at meat the same. I wanted nothing to do with it. And I started doing some research, finding some really amazing vegetarian and vegan recipes. I was honestly feeling great not eating meat. 10 days after I swore off meat, I went vegan, cold turkey (No pun intended).
I just completely took all animal products out of my diet. And looking back, I do think there was a better way to do this. I had been eating animal products my entire life. So when I just completely stopped, my body was like, "What the hell is happening?" I got really lethargic because I wasn't eating enough and didn't know what to eat. (This was when I really noticed how much our current food system and US culture revolves around meat and dairy products, but that's a story for another time).
As time went on, I learned more vegan recipes and started to get better with understanding what my body needed. But the advice I always give people when they're curious or thinking about living a vegan lifestyle, I always say that they should do it gradually.
Instead of just doing it cold turkey, first remove meat from your diet. When you've gotten accustomed to that, then remove eggs and milk. Then sour cream and yogurt and cheese. And slowly, start removing dairy-based products and start introducing vegan alternatives. It's just a personal opinion, but I think this is the best way to do it. Your body won't have such a shocking reaction to the changes in your diet if you do it gradually.
As of June 2022, I've officially been vegan for 4 years. And lemme tell ya, I wish I did it sooner. I feel great physically and mentally, it just feels like everything is all aligned - I'm not contributing to this system that exploits animals.
Which is where The Cozy Tangerine comes in! So I've been eating vegan for years. And then when I started crocheting, I had to learn about the different types of yarns and fibers that are used in the craft. I knew I didn't want to use wool because it's always felt so scratchy to me. But I also knew that the sheep shearing industry is just so cruel to sheep, I knew I had to make my business align with my personal values. (This is also explained in the Earthlings documentary) So that is why I do not use any animal fibers in any of my creations.
My favorite threads to work with are cotton and acrylic, so the items you get from TCT are more than likely made with those fibers! I do rarely use polyester, nylon, and bamboo, but for more specialty projects.
For some, material doesn't really make a difference. But for others, you may choose to only purchase vegan-friendly clothing and products. And that's why I'm so happy that I'm able to cater to you all!
This is my challenge for you today: I encourage you to spend 5-10 minutes learning something you may not have known. Here are some really great vegan resources:
- Watch the Earthlings documentary
- Watch What the Health
- Watch Cowspiracy
- Watch The Game Changers
- The Vegan Society
- Your Ultimate Vegan Guide
And if you have any questions at all, leave a comment or contact me and I'll be more than happy to answer them!