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Healthy Living For All

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Learning to respect Nature, the enviroment, and people of different cultures are imporant aspets to many educated people today, not just pagans. This page is a helpful guide for those who choose to be vegetarian or vegan and raise their child as so, as well as organic information and resources. (scroll down fto the bottom or resources)

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Why do Wiccans choose to eat vegetarian or organic?
'An it harm none' refers not only to other people, but also to yourself, animals, and the Earth.  We're connected to each other at a variety of levels - spiritually, ecologically and physically - we all should carefully weigh our actions with their consequences. While it may be totally impossible to "harm none" when choosing what you eat, it is possible to 'harm least.'
 
Respect of animals:
     Many wiccans (though not all) choose to be vegetarian out of a respect for animals. Pagans strongly believe in the spirit of all living things and have respect for the feelings for the animals. Despite what some people push, studies and experience have proven animals to be very smart, or even smarter then humans (such as dolphins.) 
     While many believe eating meat is "natural" many do not agree with the distruction caused by factory farming animals or the conditions animals are raised in today. Wiccan beliefes run more along the reasoning that even if we were meant to eat animals the enslavment and cruel murder of animals isn't just. 
    An animal whom cannot feed or see her own baby, cannot turn around, and never sees the sun is far from living a "natural" life. Fishermen's nets kill 10 times as many other animals as the fish they are hoping to catch, and problems with stunning practices mean that many animals have their throats slit while still conscious (around 6% of cattle or 200,000 per year). Poultry and pigs are then dipped in tanks of scalding water (to loosen feathers, bristles etc.) again while fully conscious. Many pagans who choose to eat meat do so by purchasing from small, local farms, and eating free range/organic when possible as these animals have had more of a life aside from a small stall or cage, as well, some of the torturus and unessecary actions are avoided. 
 
Respect of Nature:
      Taking care of the enviroment is an important part of paganism. The mother earth is sharing with us and it is not ours to ravage. Eating oganically grown foods help ensure a better future for the earth. Pesticides are harsh not only on the people who apply them but to those who eat them, and are extremly toxic to all living things. Not only do they kill off the bad insects they kill off the good ones as well reducing natural food for many naimals. Pesticides leach into the ground killing much of what lives there, into the ground water, rivers lakes and passing through the food chain to many animals including the ones people eat. Pesticides can kill a wide varietey of insects, fish, amfibians, and birds while building up in larger animals as well as leaching important nutrients from the soil.
     Be aware that certified organic food DOES have standards and allow differnt sort of treatments to deal with diseases and pests. Some larger chain brands may be more aprt to squeeze through loopholes in the standards but the main point in organic farming, is to avoid the usage of any pesticides and in reality organic farmers rarely use pesticides. Relying on healthy strong plants as well as using alternatives such as baits, crop rotation, preditor insects (spiders and lady bugs) migritory disruption, and many other methods, pesticides are a last resort for organic farmers.
     When choosing organic food try to buy local brands as these are not marketed around the whole of the U.S. and less likely to contain any form of pesticide as they don't need to grow as mass quantities. As well USDA organic standards allow for loop holes with dairy products, not requiring much pasture time for cows so some organic brands (such as horizons, safeway, wal-mart, and aurora) are factory farmed on organic feed. As well some farms are organic and simply choose not to pay the costs to certifiy themselves. Taking a weekend trip to your local farms can be a fun learning experience and help get you connected with what you are buying. Look on products for different descriptions (including USDA, QUI, State Tiths/Cert, and wording such as "no hormones")
 
    Choosing to be a vegeterian is also a healthy choice for the planet. More land is used to rasie cattle and other animals for consumption then to grow plants. Most grain grown is not used to feed people but to feed animals such as cattle to be raised for consumption. As the majority of American forests having already been cut down, and a large percentage of the rainforests are currently being cut down, to raise cattle in factory farms for food suppliers such as Mc. Donalds eating vegetarian is a healthier choice for the planet.
     Fifty-five square feet of rainforest is destroyed for every quarter pound hamburger that comes from a cleared rainforest and Over half of the water used in the United States goes to beef production. In fact, it takes an average of 2,500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of red meat. That's as much water as a typical family uses in a month.
 
Respect of Humans:
      Starvation and malnutrition isn't just a factor in 3rd world countries, many people right here in the U.S. can't even afford basic food to feed themselves or their family. With the large amount of land and water going to raise animals for meat it makes you wonder why it's not going to humans. With the amount of water it takes to produce one pound of red meat, farmers can grow up to one hundred pounds of grain, which makes a lot of bread, pasta, and cereal. One pound of beef can only feed four people for one lunch, whereas one hundred pounds of grain can feed four people for a month! 1 acre yields 165 lbs of beef or 20,000 lbs of potatoes and the UK imports 46,000,000 worth of grain from third world countries to feed their livestock. While choosing to be vegetarian is not a quick fix cure to world hunger it is a step in the right direction.
      Organic food is also often farmed on much smaller family owned farms. Buying USA organic products support local and family owned farms, giving them decent wages. With the average farmer in debt, the price difference a farmer gets for organically grown food gives him enough boost to not be in debt and support a family.
 
Health:
Vegetarian and organic food are healthier choices.
      The optimal recommend diet is one low in saturated fat, sugar, salt & with plenty of fiber - exactly what you get on a vegetarian diet. Vegetarians have 24% reduced risk of getting heart disease (the number one killer), lower blood pressure & lower cholesterol levels. Vegetarians have a 50% reduced risk of dying of diabetes and have a 40% reduced level of cancer than the general population (this is thought to be because they have a higher intake of vitamins A, C, & E) and 80% of food poisoning is due to infected meat.
      Organic food also will benifit you and your child in positive ways. Studies have shown pesticides kill off many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients found in foods. One study by the American Chemical Society showed that a small organic orange has 30% more vitamin C then a large chemically grown orange, when the scientists were expecting the opposite.

     A scientific study published in the Journal of Applied Nutrition in 1993 clearly showed that organic food is more nutritious than conventional food. Organically and conventionally grown apples, potatoes, pears, wheat, and sweet corn were purchased in the western suburbs of Chicago, over two years, and analysed for mineral content. The organically grown food averaged 63% higher in calcium, 73% higher in iron, 118% higher in magnesium, 178% higher in molybdenum, 91% higher in phosphorus, 125% higher in potassium and 60% higher in zinc. The organic food averaged 29% lower in mercury than the conventionally raised food.

 

Vegetarian and Organic Foods and your child:
     Raising your child as a vegetarian and/or on organic food is a healthy choice, Many vegetarian foods are organic and visa versa. Vegetarian/organic fed children are less likely to eat fast food or microwave meals (partly from the lack of options). With children stateing french fries are their favorite vegetable and U.S. children becoming increasingly obese, vegetarianism encourages healthy living and healthy eating choices.
The best part is that most vegetarian and organic prepackaged foods are free of artificial flavors and colors, as well as preservatives. Avoiding preservatives is especially important in infants and toddlers as their bodies are still devloping/growing and do not function the same as adults. Toddlers and infants have a hard time riding their body of pesticides and preservatives and they often build up in children when adults can more efficiently expel them. Because of this fact baby food manufacturers stopped putting preservatives into baby food (such as gerber jarred baby food), unfortunatly toddler foods, as well as prepackaged foods- cereals, crackers ect. still do. 
     Also young childrens eating habbits are very different, the average toddler consumes more fruits and vegetables then the average adult. They also eat items in large quantites, while adults eat a little of this and that a baby will often only eat carrots for dinner. And even if it doesn't have a label listing ingredients doesn't mean it's safe..non-organic raw fruits and vegetables are treated with pesticides and preservatives to make them last longer on the trip to the grocery store and are even treated with dyes so they look more ripe when they arrive to be sold.
 Eatting organic will help your whole family avoid these. A mother eating organic foods will not risk passing persticides to her developing infant or nursing baby.
     The World Health Organisation (who) has estimated that between 3.5-5 million people globally suffer acute pesticide poisoning every year. A University of Washington study analyzed pesticide breakdown products (metabolites) in pre-school aged children and found that children eating organic fruits and vegetables had concentrations of pesticide metabolites six times lower than children eating conventional produce.
The FDA regulations of how much pesticides are safe for consumption is based on what is safe for a 20 year old male to consume. Women and childrens bodies are much more suceptible, why does the FDA have standards that have not been proven to be safe for women and children?
 
What do you need:
     Common misconceptions of  vegetarian diets is that people think they are low in certain essential vitamins, which is a myth. In fact many vegetarians have higher levels of essential vitamins and minnerals because they watch what they eat and have their reccomended serving of fruits and vegetables a day. Meat is actually very low on the vitamin scale, most of these are found in plants, and anything found in meat is easilly replaced.  Here are commonly found foods of interest to help include in your diet, foods with really high levels of something I have listed as a good source (though all the foods listed are good, healthy options to mix into your diet.) 
 
Iron: Iron is found in SO many foods people most people really do not realize, iron is found in some amount in about 70% of the foods we consume. High iron foods are harder to find but throughout the day it is easy to get the reccomended amount. When consuming high iron foods or supplements you may want to avoid dairy prducts as calcium and iron work as opposites and slow absorption down.
Iron is found in different levels in: 
beans (chick, kidney, pinto, etc- good souce)
Spinach (good source)
Cereals (good scouce)
Unsulphered blackstrap mollassas (good source, however Non-backstrap mollassas has significantly lower levels of iron)
Raisins
Frozen mixed fruits and mixed vegetables (such as green beens but not carrots)
Bagels (depending on brand)
Brown rice (good source)
vitamin water (good source- a healthy alternative to soda pop)
Purple grape juice
noodles/pasta (pasta is enriched with certain vitamins and iron)
many premade veggie foods (such as chik patties, veggie dogs and burgers-good source)
Natual peanut butter
Sweet Potatoes/Yams (good source)
Various types of crackers
Brocolli
Red/purple grapes
Cherries
varrious oatmeals
Alfalfa
Figs
Tofu (good source)
Beets
Asparagus
Unwashed/unpealed potatoes
Bananas
and so much more.
 
Vitamin B12:
cereals (good source)
Vitamin water (good source)
unwashed/unpealed potaotes
Milk
Some premade veggie foods (such as chik patties, veggie dogs, and burgers)
Eggs (brands such as egglands best are good sources)
Spirulina, (an algae) nori,(a seaweed) and miso (found in various drinks and foods, especially asian)
cheese
tempeh
nutritional yeast (good source)
fortified soy milk (good source)
Some vitamin B12 appears to be found in organically grown plants, but in extremely small amounts.

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Protien:
Soy and ALL soy products (including premade veggie foods like burgers and veggie dogs and tofu- good source)
eggs (good source)
milk
cheese
nuts
oatmeal
brown rice
Whole wheat bread
beans (kidney, pinto, ect.- good source)
Asparagus (good source)
Avocados
Bamboo shoots (good source)
Bananas
Barley
Broccoli (good source)
Corn
Red cabbage
Cauliflower (good source)
Okra
Spinach (good source)
Zucchini
Green peas
and much more.
 
Calcium: Calcium is is a mineral, it is found in chalk, rocks, bones, milk, seashells and plants as well. While calcium is found in dairy products it is a large misconception that dairy is a great source of calcium. (A nice marketing ploy to make money though) Unfortunatly protien significantly slows and blocks the absorption of calcium. Dairy products are so high in protein that very little calcium is absorbed at all hence why I recomend dairy but not as your primary source.
You can find calcium in:
Milk
cheese
yogurt
sour cream
Calcium juice (good source)
spinach
Asparagus (good source)
Carrots
brocolli
tofu (good source)
Okra
Sesame seeds
Kohlrabi
Snap Peas
Tempeh
figs
Rutabagas (good source)
Pumpkin
Blackstrap Mollassas
and many more.

Choosing a Multi-Vitamin
Weather or not you are vegetarian many people take multi-vitamins to supplement their diet, in todays busy age where most meals are cooked in a microwave instead of on a stove and fresh fruits and veggies are often rejected for candy or chips multi-vitamins are important. When choosing a multi-vitamin be sure to read the label to look for the essential vitamins you need, plus minnerals. Look for the source of the vitamins, vitamins derived from natural sources are more easily absorbed then synthetic ones, as well liquid vitamins are also more easily absorbed by the body and avoid having to choke down over sized pills. 
Be sure what you need, many multi-vitamins advertised as womens/mens/childrens vitamins specify on a small group of vitamins and don't cover the wide range basic multi-vitamins do. If you arn't sure which vitamin to choose go for a general vitamin that covers the widest range of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. Also sometimes a vitamin will offer 2 options: 1 will have iron but less B vitamins and no B-12, the other would have lots of B vitamins including B12 but no Iron. If you are low in iron be sure to choose the iron vitamin, however if you are unsure choose the vitamin with the B12. Iron is found in many more foods and easier to add into your diet then B12 is, as well a human can over dose on iron as it can build up in your body. 
Read the label and look to see if they are capsuals, chewables, gummies, or gel tabs (such as vitamin E often comes in) gel tabs and gummies always have geletain, usually made out of animal products. Many labels will specify what the gel tabs are derived from or if the are vegetarian safe as some are, when in doubt avoid them as most are geletain. But even chewable multi-vitamins sometiems ave geletain so read the labels carefully. As well look for the sweetener source. Even adult vitamins are sweetened usually and will contain artificial sweeteners which you may choose to avoid. Reading labels, shoping at natural food stores, or choosing a liquid vitamin will help you avoid any unwanted ingredients.

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BOOKS
FOR CHILDREN:
Aldo applesauce, much ado about aldo, aldo peanut butter, aldo ice cream: Johanna hurwitz. series about a vegetarian boy in new your who moves to a small town school where people think he is weird.
I Eat Vegetables: Hannah Tofts. A very simple book for small children with large colour photos of different vegetables.
Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving: Dave Pilkey.
the story of eight school children who rescue eight turkeys from Farmer Mack Nugget on Thanks-giving
Herb the Vegetarian Dragon: Jules Bass and Debbie Harter. Herb stands out from his fellow carnivorous dragons by being a vegetarian! He brings peace to the forest of Nogard where dragons and people learn live together in harmony (also see cooking with hernb the vegetarian dragon by the same author)
Farmer Duck: MARTIN WADDELL. A poor duck is overworked by a lazy farmer until the duck's farm friends revolt against the exploitative farmer.
(also see his other books the pig in the pond, Can't You Sleep, Little Bear, and Can't You Sleep, Little Bear which encourage being unique, understanding, and good family values.)
Baa humbug! A sheep with a mind of his own: Mike Jolley and Deborah Allwright  a story of a sheep who is not afraid to be different. He doesn't like sheep dip or being sheared and saves his friends from becoming lamb chops!
 Cows Are Vegetarians by Ann Bradley. The first book written for vegetarian kids that demonstrates through easy to understand language the powerful and positive reasons for being a vegetarian. It explores the choice to become a vegetarian and how this choice has an effect on the environment, the animals, and health.
A Turkey for Thanksgiving: Eve Bunting. Mrs. moose wants a turkey for thanksgiving dinner so mr. moose sets out to find one. They find Turkey hiding in his nest, surrounded by signs that discourage visitors. Mr. Moose consoles the terrified bird who is thrilled to discover that Mrs. Moose wants him at her table, not on it.
The Organic Adventures of Tucker the Tomato: Rey Ortega the story of a darling young tomato who falls off an organic produce truck and tries to find his way back to his friends at a natural foods store. Along his journey, he learns about the differences between himself and conventional tomatoes. Printed with no animal products.
Benji Bean Sprout: Sarah Rudy. A story about benji a vegetarian as he trys to understand why he's different and help his peers understand also.
She’s Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!: Kathryn Lasky; A children’s version of the true story of the two women that founded the Massachusetts Audubon Society in 1896. Minna and Harriet are appalled by the use of birds as fashion for ladies’ hats and set out to change things. Minna and Harriet make it clear that no bird should be killed, including for sport and for food.
To Market, To Market: Anne Miranda; A play on the traditional nursery rhyme about going to the market "to buy a fat pig." In this story, a elderly woman makes repeated trips out shopping returning each time with what is usually a "food animal." The animals make themselves at home then the woman and animals return to the grocery store to buy lots of vegetables for soup.
The Deer in the Wood: Laura Ingalls Wilder; Adapted from the Little House series. Pa explains to Laura and Mary why he couldn't kill the deer when he went into the woods to bring home meat for supper. A very gentle book for even the very young, as Laura and Mary say, "I'm glad you didn't shoot them. We can have bread and butter!"
Deliverance of the Dancing Bears:by Elizabeth Stanley. set in Turkey where, historically, bears were made to "dance" in the town square for coins. A dancing bear spends her days dreaming of being able to fish in the streams and cuddle with her cubs, while a noble peasant hopes to free bears such as her.
Bob and Shirley: Harriet Ziefert. Based on the true story of two lobsters who were returned to the sea after people protested the sale of these especially large lobsters. The story describes how Bob and Shirley were caught by fishermen, transported to a seafood shop, but ultimately put into a display tank because of their large size.
Victor, the Vegetarian: Saving the Little Lambs: Radha Vignola; the story of a boy on a farm realizing that the animals he loves are ultimately destined for the dinner table. He runs away with his two favorite lambs so that his father won't turn them into pork chops.
(also see more books by this author in this series such as Victor's Picnic with the Vegetarian Animals)
The Lady and the Spider: Faith McNulty. A tale of a compasionate woman, a head of lettuce, and the spider who inhabits it.
Serendipity: Stephen Cosgrove; Story of an aquatic, dragon-type creature, who  goes in search of "what she is." On the way She encounters a trapped dolphin, Ocean pollution and more as she protects the sea.
The Gnats of Knotty Pine: Bill Peet. A clever tale of how on the first day of hunting season the gnats foil the hunters attempts. After being scoffed at by all the larger animals, the gnats prove that in numbers that have the power to make a change.
Crocodile Smile (book and tape): Sarah Weeks. Songs from the animals point of view.
 Hunter and His Dog: Brian Wildsmith. A hunter learns compassion with the help of his dog.  (also see this authors other books like If I Were You, about animals in the zoo who want to be free.) 
Circuses.com will send you a free comic book about elephants in the circus.
FOR TEENS & ADULTS
Organic Baby and Toddler Cookbook - Lizzie Van
The pig who sang to the moon and When elephants weep: Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson insight into the feelings of farm animals and wild animals and the life they lead.
Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry - Gail A. Eisnitz
The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World - John Robbins
The Parrot's Lament : And Other True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity - Eugene Linden Also see his other book The Octopus and the Orangutan.
Living Among Meat Eaters: The Vegetarian's Survival Handbook - Carol J. Adams
MAD COWBOY: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat - Howard F. Lyman
Animal Equality : Language and Liberation - Joan Dunayer
 Animal Farm - George Orwell 1984
Meatless meals for working people - Debra Wesserman. Quick veggie meals for busy people.

Crafts, games and toys.
- Make and color your own book about why not to eat meat. Especially good for toddlers who don't understand complicated reasons. Use happy/sad faces, speak about emotions, and loving animals.
- buy fruit and vegetable puzzles. these are relativaly easy to find and also encourages acceptance of a varriety of foods.
- Mellissa and Doug 'cutting food box' & 'play food set' contains fruits, veggies, and grains. all wodden and cuttable with velcro.
- Many other companies make veggie/fruit toy food sets only also such as battat.
- fruit scented markers make coloring fun.
- Buy puppets or stuffed toy cows, pigs, sheep, and chicken along with the teddy bear.
- Mommy & Me Pots of Fun. Mommy and me brand toys for infants, Toy soup bowl and cup for infants with radish, cabage, and carrots.
- Kind Kids flashcards: Flashcards full of animal facts from ants to chickens. Avalible at PETA's website
- Food from game (especially nice for city children) Get a piece of posterboard and draw a farm/outdoor setting. Such as vines, trees, bushes, and dirt. then on cunstruction paper cut out fruits ond veggies. Put double sided tape on the back of them and have children stick them onto where they grow (aka grapes on vines potatoes in the dirt)
- Zoobooks are great books with animals from around the world and intruging facts about each one.
 

Videos, Games, and Music
Shark tale (on dvd) from dreamworks entertainment, featuring the voices of jack black and will smith this is a story of a fish and his vegetarian shark friend. The shark saves fellow sea life and convinces his family its ok to be different.
Babe: the story of a pig who is saved from the chopping block and proves the he (and the other animals) are really smart
Chicken run: when they realize they are destened for dinner, mrs. tweeds chickens decide to escape.
Open Season: All Fur One and One Fur All: This will be in theaters soon. ABout a bear and a deer who unite the forest to chase off the hunters.
Baby gourmet-The first course. For infants: animals, children, and puppets introduce your little one to a wide range of fruits, veggies and some dairy set to classical music. (first course only is vegetarian safe)
'Apples and Oranges' by Bob Pyle. A musical CD for children with songs about factory farming, seaweed, mangos, pigs and other 'gentle creatures', in a animal rights and healthy eatting songs.
Charlottes web (book and video) a little girl who befriends a pig and a pig who befriends a spider.
The animal train-an animated cartoon based on the book 'Hey! get off our train'. about a boy and his dog who rescue endangered animals from pollution and hunters.
- also tune into vegtv for recipies on your tv box.
Whiplash: for PS2 (you and your buddy just broke free from your cage and escape from the lab..except you are chained together)
Steer Maddness: computer game. Steer who escapes the slaughter must rescue others.
Mr. Potato Head Saves Veggie Valley: computer game. Veggie valley is having a drought, Mr. potato head and his daughter go to the vegetable fair to collect a cloud. not vegan (as it has cream pies) but no animal products, and they even teach not to step on bugs.
Harvest Moon: playstation, nintendo and game cube. You inherit a farm and must help it grow, choose only to grow vegetables or add sheep for wool and chickens and cows for milk or eggs. Choose weather to farm the old fashioned way or upgrade to newer ways. Start a family and teach them to farm also. (not you do have the option to go fishing in this game but this is only an option)
 

Healthy Cooking Options
To get the most of what you eat and ensure lots of vitamins and minerals try these options when cooking.
 
Eat vegetables raw or steam them if you must cook them
Use and buy whole grains, such as whole wheat bread, whole wheat crackers or bran muffins. Be sure to look for "WHOLE" wheat as the main ingredient, not just wheat. lots of wheat breads ad white wheat flour as filler instead of whole wheat.
Use applesauce in cookies or other baked goods
Use dark lettuces instead of iceburg lettuce, also try adding spinach and dandelion greens.
Leave the peels on. If you buy organic you mostly don't have to worry about peeling your fruits or veggies, simply wash them off and cook/eat them. The peel conains a lot more vitamins and minerals.
Eat the seeds. The seeds of fruits and veggies actually have more vitamins and minerals then any other part (after all it is the part that is going to spring new life) some seeds we can eat, such as sunflower seeds, tomatoes or grapes, others are body cannot digest in its solid form. Try grinding up seeds (such as apple seeds) in a spice grinder or profesional strength blender. Add them immedietly to soups, smoothies or sprinkle on salads with seasonings.
Use Molasses instead of sugar. (you may need to add more, be sure to taste it)
Add Avacado throw it in salads, put it on sandwiches, make it into a dip.
Mash Rutabegas instead of potatoes or mash them in with your potatoes. 
Cook with olive oil: Olive oil, is one of the healthiest oils and easiest to cook with. It supplies healthy unsaturated fat we need, its rich in anti-oxidants, and unlike "Canola oil" it is made with high quality ingredients. Canola oil is actually made from extremly low grade cottonseed or rapeseed oils which barley pass as consumable for humans. Rapeseed oil was invented and used for many years in manufacturing or fuels and lubricants, it has hydrogenated fats and it is very high in sulphur.

LINKS
 
 
Shopping:
Method Cleaning products: all natural, no harmful fumes, biodegradable, not tested on animals/no animal products, avalible at target and bed, bath and beyond stores.
Earth Friendly Products: Dish soap, laundry detergent, floor cleaners, animal care products, and more. biodgradable, not tested on animals/no animal ingredients.
*For more vegan cleaning and beauty products see the resources link

An it harm none, do what ye will.