My Mid-Life Crises and Hair Dye

April 12, 2010

Due to the hectic life that we can all lead and a myriad of bad things that happen, the problem of aging can come along almost overnight, you look into the mirror one morning and you are young and beautiful (well, young anyway) and then what almost feels like the next day you look in the same mirror and find yourself saying ‘how the hell did I get to this?’.

And let’s admit it, we all want to, in some small way (and don’t deny it!) halt or slow down the aging process – but for a vegan, that comes with the ethical choice of not using animals (in products and testing) to gain that ego-boost – that selfish vanity streak that we all have to some extent. And I will admit it – I am not immune to bouts of depression when I think about how life seems to have passed me by – my mirror says it all.

My hair started going grey quite young and it seemed to happen almost overnight; when my dad passed from this plane and moved on to a higher plane – I had already lost my mum and at the time it was almost too hard to bear. Back then I was not vegan so used the average hair dyes that you buy in the supermarket or chemist, but since going vegan I have not dyed my hair at all except for the occasional lemon rinse or homemade rosemary/thyme boiled-up hair gloop, etc. So, for years I have been quite happy with my ‘natural’ look and have been strutting proudly with my ‘cruella de ville’ stripe of silver, but still have this nagging voice (the ego) wanting to hang on to my youth and look good while I am about it.

Well, lately I seem to have been going through a stage of, ‘how can I be this age when I still feel so young?’ I look in the mirror and do not recognise the person staring back. I have the ‘cruella de ville’ stripe of silver running through my hair but notice that the flecks of grey over the rest of my hair are becoming rampant and I have that dull, lifeless, non-gloss look. The ‘cruella de ville’ streak looked quite cool for a while but the greys? No!!! And yes – it does age you, the grey bits just do not look right.

Slowing the outward appearance of your rapid aging comes with a price – a price to the animals – way too high a price – and I ain’t going there for the sake of vanity, their lives are just as important as mine. For the non vegan it is easy just to buy the cheapest hair dye to make themselves look and feel nice – they may not see or may not care about the exorbitant price that animals have to pay – the cruelty – their exploitation and suffering – but I am vegan – I see the price – I feel the pain deep inside me. No animal should suffer being strung up by a leg and having their throat slit, or in pain burnt and blistering by effects of chemicals just for the testing of a hair dye.

I had two options here – 1) breaking my mirror into a thousand pieces and avoiding window shop reflections or 2) looking into getting a vegan hair dye. Well, option 1) was out of the question, I need seven years of bad luck like I need a hole in the head – so #2) won.

So, here is how I see it – I am getting older on the outside but not getting older on the inside – I can keep those two things closer together – lesson the gap so to speak by doing the thing I do the best, so putting my research abilities to work I decided to find a vegan hair dye. I thought at first it would be a mission, living in New Zealand, in what seems the agricultural capital of the world, but it was actually quite simple once I started looking.

Photo from Arrow Pharmaceuticals website

What I found was, Arrow Pharmaceuticals New Zealand Limited has a range of hair dyes called NaturStyle which at first – looking at the ingredients list on their website (link here) ‘seemed’ vegan. And being vegan we know that just reading something on the internet does not mean ‘truth’ So, on the blower I got – and spoke to a couple of lovely ladies there – and they were extremely friendly and helpful – and they confirmed that the ingredients were not animals, animal derived or animal by-products. Well, of course, the other BIG issue is ‘has it been tested on animals?’. They were both emphatically adamant that this product is not tested on animals. It is available at Health 2000 and Radius Pharmacies, to name just two available outlets.

One of the ‘ups’ about being vegan is that your body stays trim, young and healthy – so why have the grey hair to let you down if you can get a cruelty-free ‘fix-it’!!! So, maybe this is my ‘fix-it’ for my mid-life crises!!! I am semi-seriously condsidering it. Maybe I will happily ease my way into old age if I just get through this mid-life crises.


Milk is Dangerous

February 19, 2010

New website for everyone to visit:

http://fantippo.orconhosting.net.nz/milk.htm

I won’t tell you all about it as I would rather you check it out for yourselves. All I can say is “Well done Bruce”.


You are what you eat

February 6, 2010

It’s me, at long last! Wow, I have had some serious issues with my computer and it has only taken months to sort it all out. It crashed in September and up and running last Sunday. I thought computers are supposed to make life easier? Not! My one is old, upgraded twice, still short on memory but I am going to use it until it completely dies – I am not into the disposable lifestyle and buying a new computer would mean dumping this one – not good for the environment in both the dumping and the resources it would have taken to make the new one. So I am sticking with it! P.s. do you notice the green button on my keyboard? It is an  ‘eject’ button. It doesn’t work of course, but it helps to ease the impatient-ness I have with the internet sometimes. Broadband in New Zealand is ‘almost but not quite’ as slow as dial-up.

My friend has a computer that I could have used – but to be honest – I go there to her home with all good intentions and we just sit and drink coffee and natter. I also like a bit of peace and quiet when writing and she has a tribe of eager kiddies, and writing would be hard when it sounds like the house is being pulled apart. So to sum it up, I haven’t posted for quite some while but I’m baaaack!

On Thursday night there was a SAFE movie night. We viewed Food, Inc. Check out the trailer at the website titled Hungry For Change. The icon to the left will take you to Amazon, or search the internet, there may well be a full length version posted somewhere, I haven’t looked, but worth a try.

Although the movie was Americanised it still held very true for the rest of the world, we all know that fast food has wheedled itself into just about every orifice that it can get into – and why not, fast food industries want to make a profit and the public ask (or believe they do) for it. The movie highlighted corporate greed and the absolute monopoly that only a few corporations have on food and the coverup, buying-off and bullying that these corporations do and the corrupt way in which these few corporations legalise policies. I think because the movie took a more ‘human’ approach than a ‘cruelty to animals’ approach it might mean more people would be open to watching it and having it impact on their food choices – humans have an ego and see what they want to see, they might turn a blind eye to animals being slaughtered but seeing a movie that has the human element and shows the impact on average people it might make them sit up, take notice, and look into what they eat (here is hoping – forever the optimist I am). The movie touches on the obesity epidemic and other health issues and tries to get the voice across that cheaper food does not necessarily mean cheaper as there are seriously horrendous spin-off effects to ‘cheap’ food. All-in-all, not a bad movie to watch. If it gets people thinking about ‘we are what we eat’ and there are choices if we just say ‘no!’ then hats off to them and I hope that many people do find a way to watch it – the voice of many is needed against the food corporate empire to even begin to falter.

It is a vicious cycle, eat bad food, feel listless, so eat bad food because you don’t have the energy to cook – much easier to go and get a hamburger at McD’s and before you know it you are starting to look and act like a hamburger, a hamburger with no energy, a high fat content and no nutritional value. It does not take long to cook a nutritious meal that is on the table before the person is back from the takeaway shop, although it might seem it. Eating a nutritious meal means that your energy levels are higher, more ‘stable’ and you do not need as much food because your hunger is satisfied for longer. Fortunately it hasn’t become totally impossible to buy cheap vegetables at markets here in New Zealand and alot of us who have the classic Kiwi half-acre can grow a few things. Sometimes you don’t even need a back lawn but just a balcony, hey even a tomato plant can be grown in a pot and potatoes in old tyres. But still the fast food industry grows, thrives and kills in an insidious way. So not only is it a problem with peoples energy abating and the small cost of buying a hamburger and the time in people’s lives that they think is needed to cook a meal but a habit as well – a habit we are passing on to our next generation. You just have to break the cycle.