Bidding Adieu to MAC

A few months ago, a realization as haunting as a dentist’s visit struck me. I am a vegetarian by birth and have continued to stick to it despite all the challenges. But does staying away from meat define a cruelty-free ideology ? I realized that there is much more to it than just saying no to meat. In a world so consumed by interpretations, it is hard to define what exactly drives your motivations. To better my stance for a cruelty-free world, I decided to take things a notch higher and deeper. I decided to rid myself of all things that are not cruelty-free!

What motivated this post is my last night’s dream where I was faced with a question that nibbles away on my mind constantly. When I go out to eat with friends, I am invariably made fun of for eating “grass and leaves” and every new person I meet asks me this horrifying question – “What would you do if you found yourself with no chance of surviving if not for eating an animal?”. All these taunting questions surfaced as my dream last night where I found myself dying in a desert and my only chance at survival was to eat a dead snake. Well, honestly, I don’t have an answer. But what I do know is that all of you need to stop harassing vegetarians and just let us be! I have never forced anyone to stop eating meat, I can only hope that they will.

In my attempt to go cruelty-free, I sold my couch because I couldn’t tell if it was pure leather or not. I have decided to get rid of all cosmetics that test on animals, I’m just waiting to empty some of them. It really is a hard decision because it entails saying goodbye to some of the best cosmetic brands and those that I am very accustomed to. I was so sad to find MAC, Olay, Cover Girl and Bobbi Brown on the list of cosmetics that test on animals. For a while now, I have loved Aveeno’s cleanser and body wash and sadly, Aveeno turned up on the same list. If anyone’s interested in checking the list for products that you use, here’s the list organised by PETA:

http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

Here’s another comprehensive list: http://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/companies-that-test-on-animals/

I am yet to find alternatives to some of the products that I have removed from my closet. Some of my favorite cruelty-free brands are : 100% Pure (I have a review of their shampoo and conditioner on my blog, I also love their lip balms), Urban Decay, Smash box, bareMinerals, Bath and Body Works, Stila CosmeticsPhysicians Formula, Josie Maran Cosmetics and a few more. Here’s a list of cruelty-free cosmetics:

http://www.mybeautybunny.com/cruelty-free-brands/

As a consumer, I believe each of us has a responsibility to educate ourselves about the consequences of our indulgences. It is easy to turn a blind eye to the intricacies of a self-absorbed consumerist market such as ours, but it should never become a choice to evaluate the tangents to it. I understand that it is everyone’s prerogative to decide what may or may not constitute their lifestyle, I only ask that we are mindful of our choices and decisions.

“With great power comes great responsibility.”  – Albus Dumbledore

Stay wise!

Megha Kaiwar

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Did Life Just Throw Lemons At Me ?!

Behold the post that is supposed to be whiny and nauseating, the one I was talking about in my earlier post. I am going to try and tone it down, but I am allowed to crib in front of people who don’t really care and expect them to console me, aren’t I? It all began in May of 2015 when I learnt at a party that I was going to get laid off. My company decided to shut down their office in Phoenix and lay off everyone working there. Naturally, I panicked, abandoned my sister’s baby shower, went home and wept myself to sleep. The next few months were really difficult for me. Well, not really. I woke up later that evening, went star-gazing with a few people from the astronomy club, saw some of the most brilliant spectacles in the universe and it put everything in perspective. I was never scared, panicky or worried about my situation after that night ! What’s a silly girl’s job in front of the universe’s creations right?!

I did find a few things difficult to deal with the next few months, like knowing I wouldn’t be working with some of the finest people who had come to be a big part of my world, leaving one of my favorite cities and the hardest of all, leaving behind my best friends. I started looking for new jobs immediately after I learnt about my lay off. Living in the US on a Visa imposes a lot of constraints on how many days you can remain unemployed and worthless to the US economy. What surprised me was how many people were willing to help me out ! I always assume the worst of people and it was a good way to learn how wrong I can be. People who did not even know me were more than happy to vouch for me and recommend me. It really touched me to realize that there are always a million hands to help you, you just have to set aside your ego and graciously accept the help.

It turned out my visa situation was trickier than I had imagined and when my company offered me a relocation to the headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama, I pounced at it, grabbed it and chewed on it! I was a little worried about the place but I consoled myself that I would live in Huntsville for as long as the policy required me to and I would leave the very next day. I took a few days off, binged on Netflix and other mind-numbing shows, visited my boyfriend for a while and took in as much of Phoenix as I could. When the day to say good-bye finally arrived, I felt like I was leaving behind a piece of me that I had come to cherish so much. It was just as hard as leaving Bangalore, India, three years ago and I cried just as much 😉

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Aerial view of Huntsville. Look how green !

Well, I am now in the Rocket City, Huntsville, deep South as they call it, and it is not as bad as I had imagined it to be. It, most definitely, is such a contrast to Phoenix, the beautiful greenery, the laid back country-like atmosphere and did I mention the vastness of beautiful, dense, fresh, lush greenery? I have made a few friends, rented a cozy apartment and I am exploring what little there is to this town 😉 People are really friendly and so warm. Not many desis around, so some people are very alarmed by my brownness. Oh, also, I am totally digging the southern accent 😉 I am not going to taaawk like them and make a fool of myself though. I try to find things to do every weekend. It’s Museum Day this weekend and I am pretty excited to bug a few people to join me on my visit to the NASA Space and Rocket Center. Hence, the name Rocket City, in case you missed that.

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My cozy apartment and a rainbow!

More about Huntsville coming up in my next few posts.

Hope y’all enjoyed this post and didn’t need a lot of tissues!

Stay Merry,

Megha Kaiwar