What Does It Mean To Be A "Strict" Vegan?

What Does It Mean To Be A "Strict" Vegan?

Is being vegan not enough?

What does the phrase "strict vegan" really mean? My thought is that the word "strict" is added due to confusion about the differences between vegans and vegetarians, and possibly even to perpetuate stereotypes and propaganda. What it comes down to is: you are either vegan, or you're not. Adding this adjective is like how it would not fly to say "I'm a radical feminist" under the definition, as it implies that theres something radical, scary, even negative about equality among genders and those who advocate for it. There is no such thing as a loosey-goosey sometimes vegan. Those are plant-based dieters cheating or vegetarians or just regular omnivores who want to be associated with the vegan movement.

I decided to ask a few friends what words they associate with the word "strict." Popular answers included "harsh," "severe," and "mean." Overall, the answers all had a negative connotation. The most likely reason for someone to look up the definition of veganism is because they don't know what that word means, many of which probably have never met a vegan in real life and so with lack of real life experience with vegans, they now associate the word "strict" with veganism.

There are a lot of stereotypes about vegans and using the word "strict" practically as part of the definition only reinforces these ideas. The only thing that being vegan means is that this person knows about and actively wants to fight against animal cruelty as much as possible. It doesn't mean that they can only eat lettuce, go around slapping meat off of strangers' plates, constantly attend protests, or anything of that sort. While a vegan could do those things, it is not an aspect of the title itself. The title doesn't say that you have to give up anything or restrict anything, it at best implies that one may need to find alternatives to cruel products.

The vegan movement is gaining support every day, and there is only more backlash. Even though the science backs up the fact that there are only benefits to being vegan in terms of your health, the environment, and the animals, the world resists this movement out of what is seen as normal, habit, and the view that it is necessary to consume these cruel products.

The vegan movement is cutting down on pollution and cruelty, helping to slow climate change, and reverse illnesses with every new vegan, and the last thing that this movement needs is more negativity. We know that you love cheese, but there are so many reasons why you should try out some vegan cheeses instead. It might seem like a huge life change, but it's really as simple as reaching for some almond milk instead of cow milk, and being open to hearing why you should is imperative.

If people associate veganism with being "strict," it's more likely that they won't want to hear anything about it, and that is detrimental to their health, the environment, and the lives of billions of animals. We can't afford this kind of association: a dictionary definition is meant to be neutral, just the facts.

Cover Image Credit: Edited Screenshot

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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5 Things You Need To Know About Thinx Underwear

Those of you with a uterus, listen up.


I first heard about Thinx underwear two years ago while on a subway in Washington DC. I thought the whole idea of leakproof underwear sounded a bit too much like diapers and brushed the product aside. Fast forward two years, my mom states that she is going to buy a pair to try and offered to get me one too. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, I decided to give it a try. I'm sure glad I did!

If you're not familiar with Thinx allow me to explain. It's a company that prides themselves on creating underwear specifically designed for individuals to wear during their periods. Looking at the reviews, everyone seemed to love them, and after trying them out for myself, I must say I like them quite a lot. Here are a few important things to know about Thinx underwear.

1. It doesn’t always replace your pads/tampons

Thinx may not replace tampons, but it can help cut back the amount you use.


I learned this the hard way that if you have a heavy flow, you can't wear Thinx on its own. If you have a light flow, you could get away with only wearing these, but for us poor souls with heavy flows, I recommend making these your new period underwear. You never have to worry about any leaks, even at night!

2. They don't stain

Behold! No bloodstains!


If you leak onto this underwear, fear not. Merely rinse them in the sink and then throw them in the wash like normal and boom! Clean underwear. No more ugly stained underwear to keep in the corner of your drawer.

3. There’s a bunch of cute designs/colors

There's something for everyone!


One thing I must say about Thinx is that they have a wide variety of options. There are several different cuts, and almost all of them come in different colors options as well. They seem to be introducing new colors all the time, so keep an eye out for one you like.

4. They are super comfy!

These feel just like normal underwear.


When I got my pair, I was worried that this underwear would feel like wearing a diaper or something else uncomfortable, but that was not the case at all! This underwear when you're wearing it feels like normal underwear, and while you're washing it, it feels like a swimsuit.

5. They donate to a good cause

Everyone should have access to period products. Period.


For every pair of underwear that you buy, the company donates a pair to someone in need. It seems like most are sent to developing countries where women do not have access to proper menstruation hygiene products. In addition to this, Thinx was designed to help cut back the number of disposable pads entering landfills. They designed this underwear to be a more sustainable alternative for people with periods!

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