3 Reasons “Vegan” Belongs in Your Belly and on Your Skin

PiperWai.com is excited to feature Jill Carnegie, co-founder of NUMU Vegan Cheese on our blog for World Vegan Day. 

Search for #vegan on Instagram, and you’ll find an endless array of food recipes and restaurant fare that manage to omit animals, while boosting flavor. It’s undeniable that vegan food is officially infiltrating the mainstream, one oat-milk latte at a time. And the more popular it becomes, the more widely distributed and affordable it gets for everyone.

Our skin is our largest organ, so it stands to reason that we should take a look at what we are absorbing topically, rather than only internally. What this means is it’s time to look at your beauty routine. Here are the top three reasons to look for that trending word “vegan” when you eat AND when you get ready to face your day.

Reason 3: Icky hidden ingredients

With the Internet and expanded consumer consciousness, people are checking labels more than ever before. While this new habit should be applauded, a lot of suppliers don’t like it and hide some pretty unbelievable ingredients behind tricky names. Here are just a few that you might find when grocery shopping or loading up in the beauty aisle:


This sneaky ingredient can be found in foods beyond just Jell-o and gummy bears. Many candies, pastries and toppings have gelatin. It's not just limited to food, either. A lot of nail products include it, too. What is it?
Gelatin is basically the odds and ends left behind at the slaughterhouse: animal bones, hooves, tendons, and other bodily tissues. These "leftovers" are processed until they are a clear and largely flavorless substance known as gelatin. Don’t worry, there’s gelatin made from seaweed. If you want to go that route, look for foods that are labeled "seaweed based." 


Found with some regularity in topical skin care products (lotions and face creams), you might never suspect that this is bone marrow from chickens. Definitely not something I want to massage onto my face! You might see "KNU" listed on the label for anti-aging creams. Before you spend your hard-earned money, you’ll want to consider that KNU is code for oozy snail secretions. Ew.


This is SUPER common in lipstick, eyeshadow, soap, and other products. Tallow is rendered fat from a multitude of sources, including lab animals, “deadstock” (animals who died in transport to the slaughterhouse), and even euthanized zoo and shelter animals. That means dogs and cats, just like the ones who live with you at home.


Many of you may have heard of this now-infamous red dye. While Starbucks may have removed it from their Frappuccinos after public outcry, don’t get too comfortable; this colorful substance made from crushed up beetles still lurks in many snack foods, beverages, and makeup. There’s more. Frankly, there’s a lot more. HOWEVER, by simply looking for the word “Vegan” or that circled V on the label, you’re likely to avoid all these critters in your food and beauty and products. That means you only have to look for one word rather than memorizing all of these ingredients! Note: “Cruelty free” only refers to no animal testing; it does not refer to whether the product contains animal ingredients. Please look for both when purchasing.

Reason 2: It’s Healthier for You and the Environment

Vegan foods and beauty products often pride themselves on sourcing higher quality ingredients, which equals a higher quality of life for YOU inside and out! Not only are plant-based foods delicious and innovative, they also have been demonstrated to significantly lower one’s risk of America’s No. 1 killer, cardiovascular disease, as well as help prevent and reverse diabetes, and a whole-foods, plant-based diet has been shown to even stall the spread of cancer cells in several studies.

With dairy being identified as one of the primary causes of chronic inflammation in humans, the adoption of a plant-based/vegan diet can also ease the effects of countless other ailments. Leaving animals off of your plate is also better for the environment. Doing so would reduce Co2 emissions, conserve precious drinking water, and slow the biggest driver of deforestation. Committing to plant-based eating today would accomplish these goals faster than any other consumer choice we are capable of making. Amazing how powerful our lunch can be, isn’t it? 

Reason 1: You Agree That Animal Cruelty is Not Something That You Want to Pay For

If someone kicked a dog in the face on the street, you would do something, right? And you would never want to pay someone to electrocute a harmless bunny. The unfortunate truth is that, when a person pays for items containing animals and animal secretions, they are directly supporting the abuse and killing of animals.

No matter what fancy labeling the massive animal agriculture industry comes up with (“cage free,” “humane”), there is no kind way to keep someone in captivity, no gentle way to kill someone who wants to live, and no compassionate way to exploit someone who can’t consent. Since you are already against animal cruelty, and since there are so many incredible vegan options out there, the next step is to vote with your dollars! Companies will listen and shift their practices, so don’t waste another day. Even just incorporating more vegan items in your lifestyle helps make a change! The sooner we all buy vegan, the sooner that it will be a habit to pay for a kinder and healthier future for us all.

After nearly a decade in the Wellness field, Jill Carnegie couldn't be prouder that it is now literally her career to stand up for animals! Through entrepreneurship, development strategy, campaign work, rescue, and grassroots activism, Jill seeks to leverage every skill possible while empowering others to stand in their strength when fighting for justice. Her titles include: Co-Founder of NUMU Vegan (with creator, Gunars Elmuts), Development Director for Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary, and Campaign Strategist for the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos.