That’s Not Vegan….

By Megan Vick

 

At Shorganics, and at home, one of the favorite sayings is “That’s not vegan…” Whether we’re watching a pride of lionesses hunt, or watching what’s-his-face devour some unseemly burger on The Travel Channel, it’s always said as a statement of the obvious and all in good fun.

 

But what happens you have a dish labeled vegan, but there is honey it (baklava, anyone)? What happens when you find a fashion brand who claims all items are vegan, but uses wool? These are some of the ambiguous situations people find themselves in everyday. I was once told by a “staunch” vegan, “of course I eat honey! Bees aren’t animals.”

 

Really??

 

While bees most certainly and irrefutably are animals, the argument remains, if the bees don’t get hurt in the harvesting of honey, what’s so bad? The same can be said for many other things. Have you seen an unshorn (unsheared?) sheep in the summer? They are not happy critters. Sheep need to have that excess winter wool removed to be happy and comfortable in the warmer months. The question is? What to do with all that wool? If the farmer shears the sheep in a non-threatening and harmless way and the sheep is not raised for wool, would you wear something made from that particular farm?

 

Don’t take “That’s not vegan” too seriously. The attempt to reduce and remove animal products from your life is wonderful and every little bit helps the planet. No matter what vegan conundrum plays out in your life, it’s important not to judge others who might incorporate wool or honey into their lives.

 

I do give you full permission to point out to anyone that bees are, and always will be, animals.

 

Namaste

Living in a Labeled World

By Megan Vick

 

Today, everything has a label. Everything, people included, is becoming so specific about what something is and what it isn’t, that we are running the risk of not being able to truly enjoy anything.

 

Humans, by nature, seem to be contradictory creatures when it comes to labels. If you say one thing and do another, that’s okay. We’re not here to judge you. Just remember to always be yourself and do what you feel is right. Societal expectations almost demand to fit into a category, so we keep coming up with categories as if these will somehow define ourselves and our neighbors.

 

Quit worrying about if “fit” the category of vegan/locavore/anti-GMO/fashion-savvy/healthy/out & proud – whatever. You are who you are and there is a place for everyone in this world.

 

Namaste.

4 Great Places to Shop on the Outer Banks

By Megan Vick

 

It has been a long time since I posted about my home, the good ole Outer Banks. My previous posts on Outer Banks Vacation Tips and Veg-Friendly OBX Restaurants get tons of views, so I know you’re dying to learn more about my little strip of sand.

If you’re not at the beach, you’re either shopping or eating. Right? Well, we’ve covered food, so now you’ll know where to shop.

 

1.) Cavalier Surf ShopOBX Sand
Cavalier and I go way, way back. It’s my absolute favorite surf shop on the OBX and they also offer surfboard rentals. Located on the Beach Road (Hwy 12) in Nags Head, this small surf shop will make you feel like family. Cavalier is wonderful because their prices are incredibly reasonable, they offer the best surf brands, and your choice of sandals/flip flops is practically unlimited.

For the guys, Cavalier has awesome board shorts and comfortable shirts (I should know because I steal my hubby’s Cavalier shirts). Ladies, some of the most awesome dresses and skirts in my closet have come from Cavalier Surf Shop. Feeling vegan? Cavalier offers tons of leather-free bags and footwear for both genders!

 

2.) The Christmas Shop
The Christmas Shop is one of the coolest places on the Outer Banks. This uniquely beautiful store has everything you need for Christmas – including beach themed lights, ornaments, and tree toppers. The best part about The Christmas Shop is that there is so much more than Christmas stuff. With a Halloween shop on the second floor, a large art gallery featuring local artists toward the back, and an old-fashioned candy shop, you’ll have everything you could ask for – and more!

Duck Sign

 

3.) Duck, NC
There are lots of little shops in Duck including boutiques, galleries, and gift stores. You’ll find anything and everything you could want right in the heart of Duck. Duck has a picturesque bike/walking path and you can always hear the waves in the distance. While you’re there, check out Tommy’s Natural Foods to pick up some wholesome and yummy beach snacks, and your favorite Shorganics products. (Shameless plug, I know.)

 

 

4.) Tanger Outlets
The ubiquitous outlet mall. While it’s driven by large, national corporations, they do have some stellar deals and you can get some great finds while shopping there. With huge brands like Coach, J.Crew, Talbots, Nine West, Merrell, and The Gap, the whole family will find what they need.

PRO TIP: Shop in the morning on a beautiful sunny day to avoid the crowds.

 

Happy Shopping!

Do Boycotts Really Work?

By Megan Vick

 

It seems like every decision we are faced with today is politically charged. Whether it’s Chick-fil-A, Monsanto, ConAgra, GoDaddy, or some other company, there seems to be a good reason for everyone to avoid buying from any given brand. With so many large corporations who own other companies, is there anything your dollars will really do by boycotting something?

Boycott Protesters

 

What is a Boycott?

A boycott is the act of abstaining from a brand, product, person, or organization as a way of protesting. The name comes from Captain Charles Boycott in County Mayo, Ireland. After poor harvests, locals shunned Captain Boycott as a way to protest the rent prices in a non-violent way. After a few short days, the name “boycott” caught on to describe the action.  Boycotts are legal and non-violent ways of protest, but the question remains: are they effective?

 

Yes

There are many examples of boycotts working for the desired outcome. Organized boycotts are, by far, more effective than an individual boycott. In 2008, consumers boycotted DKNY and Donna Karan until the company agreed to change labor standards. In 2010, United Students Against Sweatshops boycotted Fruit of the Loom and terminated contracts with the company. This was in response to Fruit of the Loom closing a Honduran factory after the workers had unionized. This example was, perhaps, one of the most successful in recent history.

Currently, you’ve probably heard about the boycotts against Monsanto and other companies that are against the labeling of GMOs in food products. California’s Proposition 37 is legislation Californians will vote on in November. This act will require companies who wish to sell their product in California (which is everyone!) to label any ingredients as Genetically Modified. Consumers believe by boycotting companies against Prop 37, there will be increased pressure for those companies to label GMO ingredients.

 

It’s Up to You

Although there are several boycott success stories, there are many examples of boycotts not working. The most effective boycotts have been when a group or organization issues a genuine boycott for a specific reason and has a specific end result.

Boycotts are a great way to vote with your dollars. In today’s world, voting with your dollars seems to be the only true vote that counts. Whether or not a boycott is successful is up to you and how you can help support it. If you believe in a cause, there is a good chance your like-minded friends will support the effort too. Share the cause on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. If there is something about which you are passionate and you can’t find a movement, start one! Start a petition or join up with an organization that may be willing to support your boycott. At the end of the day, the choices are yours.

Shorganics’ All-Season Gift Guide!

Christmas • Kwanzaa • Hanukkah • Eid • Rohatsu • Yule • Valentine’s • Mother’s Day • Father’s Day • Grandparents Day • Wedding/Anniversary • Wedding Favors • Birthdays • Sympathy • Just Because

 

If you’ve been looking for some great gift ideas, look no further. We’ve compiled a big list of products which can be gifted all year! Whether it’s a birthday, Valentine’s holiday, or just because, we’ve found a gift for you to give! We’ll keep updating the page as we find more great gifts!

 

Cooking/Drinking

Crate & Barrel 10 Piece Glass Nesting Bowls

10pc Nesting Bowls

 

We love Crate & Barrel for a number of reasons, but mostly it’s because you can get such great glass cookware! These awesome glass nesting bowls are perfect for the baker in your life and they are such a space saver. Not to mention, they are both dishwasher and microwave safe.

 

 

Crate & Barrel Glass Storage Containers

Again, Crate & Barrel has amazing prices on glassware. These storage containers are amazing because (as the website describes) they can go from oven to table to freezer. That’s handy! Now you don’t have to do the extra dishes of washing the cookware and washing the containers from the freezer. These containers come with silicone lids and are dishwasher, freezer, and oven safe (up to 425 degrees F).

 

Crate & Barrel Weck Canning Jars

These canning jars are amazing. Because they are gently tapered, the shape is easier to fill and to clean. Glass lids remove the risk of rust and also provide an easy way to ensure the sealing gasket is working and intact. Here’s the best part: microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe- and stackable!

 

Wine of the Month

While “of the month” clubs may not be popular with everyone, what wine lover wouldn’t love this gift!? Each month, the recipient gets a surprise by getting a bottle of organic, vegan wine! Worried about the taste? Don’t be. It’s not hard to veganize wine and organic grapes taste infinitely better than conventionally grown grapes. It’s a win-win for everyone!

 

Dharma Glass Straw

Glass straw

 

You might be thinking that a glass straw is a weird gift to give, but if you know a smoothie or juice lover, this is the perfect gift! Straws, typically, are made of plastic and are disposed of after one use. Glass straws are eco-friendly because they can be washed and used again and again!

 

 

 

Eco-Water Bottles

As the need for fresh, accessible water increases worldwide, more people are switching to reusable bottles and bottles with filters to get away from the disposable plastic bottles. We’ve picked out top three bottles and they all make great gifts!

 

Klean Kanteen: Our friends at Discount Filter Store have these for a great price. Made of stainless steel and BPA free plastic, the Klean Kanteen can be used over and over again. It’s also dishwasher safe for the easiest cleaning you can find.

Vapur Snowflake

 

Vapur: The Anti-Bottle: The Vapur bottle is about the coolest water-related product out there. It’s a “flexible, reusable, hand-held hydration product.” Made in the USA of BPA-free plastic, this anti-bottle is durable, freezable, and dishwasher safe. Anyone who carries a water bottle around will love this!

 

Bobble: The Bobble is a neat twist on a reusable filtered water bottle. With a cute, curvy design, and multiple color accents to choose from, this bottle is for the stylish water lovers. It’s also a great price, with the largest size bobble (34oz) coming in at just $12.99.

 

For the Home

Shorganics

Shorganics

 

Did you really think we would create this amazing gift guide and not toot our horns? You know us, you love us, so gift our soy candles and reed diffusers to those special people in your life. With a variety of scents, we’ve got what you need for your friends, family, and coworkers.

 

 

Coyuchi

Coyuchi is a bed, bath, and home company specializing in organic goodies. They have everything you’d love to give including organic sheets, towels, robes and pajamas, and nursery linens for the baby. Whether you’re going to a wedding, baby shower, or just treating yourself, we know you’ll fall in love with Coyuchi!

 

Gaiam

Gaiam is the go-to for organic and eco-friendly products for the home. They have everything from organic bedding collections to eco-friendly laundry products to organic cotton yoga wear to a table top water distiller. Most of your eco-friendly shopping could easily be completed at Gaiam!

 

Clothing/Accessories

Vaute CoutureVC Vegan Coat

Our friends over at Vaute Couture are inspiring. With a line of shirts and coats which are completely cruelty free, you can feel great being fashionable.  All clothing items are produced using no animal products and no sweatshops. Many items are also produced in America. Vaute has developed a cult following and several items have been featured on TV and are frequently worn by celebrities.

 

The Vegan Collection

The Vegan Collection has everything you need from wallets to belts to clothing. Our favorite part about The Vegan Collection is the great belts they have for men. Not to mention 25% of all profits are donated to animal advocacy organizations. What’s not to love!

 

Vegan Chic

We love Vegan Chic because they are a great 1 stop shop for vegan shoes and handbags. They do the work for you when searching for shoes and each pair is guaranteed to be free of wool, silk, leather, and suede. This may seem extreme to you, but there are many alternatives when creating shoes, so you’ll see brands you recognize on this website. See, veganism isn’t too scary.

 

Alternative Outfitters

Alternative Outfitters is a cool vegan boutique in Pasadena, CA (outside of LA). They have quite a range of product s for guys and girls as well as gift cards. They work extremely hard to ensure every product is cruelty free and manufactured under fair labor conditions. They’re open to questions, so don’t hesitate to contact them!

 

The Ethical Man

The name says it all. The Ethical Man is a men’s online store featuring fashion and grooming items that are of the highest quality. Everything they sell is vegan, manly, and eco-friendly.  They even have a style tips section as well as a section featuring real-life ethical men. If you’re looking for the vegan man in your life, stop by this store!

 

Donation/Adoption Gifts

World Wildlife Fund

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is a well-known animal conservation organization. They have programs for dozens of species for you to choose. You can symbolically adopt an animal and based on your adoption amount, you get a gift like an adoption certificate or a small stuffed animal. If you think the recipient would like a simple donation in his or her name, you can choose to maximize your donation by not receiving a gift in return. Whichever you choose, you’re giving a great gift to people and to animals.

 

Sea Shepherd

Sea Shepherd is a marine conservation organization most known for the hit TV show Whale Wars. Not only do they work to end whale killing initiatives in Japan and the Faeroe Islands, but they also have volunteers working globally to protect seals from slaughter in Canada, and the killing of dolphins in Taiji, Japan (setting of the documentary The Cove). With many more projects to help the animals, Sea Shepherd has a plethora of ways to donate.

 

Farm Sanctuary

Farm Sanctuary's BenFarm Sanctuary is a great organization which rescues farm animals (cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens) from horrible conditions at factory farms and gives them freedom to roam on acres of grass, roll in soft hay, and bask in sunshine. With two locations (one in California and one in upstate New York), donations are always appreciated to take care of animals many people know as food.

 

Because there are hundreds of organizations for the protection of animals, check out a large list here. Of course, just because we’ve listed animal organizations doesn’t mean other non-profits wouldn’t make our list! Donating is a great gift, so choose an organization that is near and dear to your heart.

 

Miscellaneous

VegNews Magazine Subscription

If you have a vegetarian or vegan in your life, VegNews Magazine makes a great gift. It’s got great news, information, products, and reviews for this specific community and at $20 for a year subscription, you can’t go wrong. To be even more eco-friendly, give the gift of a digital subscription sent right to someone’s inbox! Just be sure to let them know first so they don’t think it’s spam!

 

Seeds of LifeSoL Magnolia Tree

Seeds of Life is a unique company specializing in sending seedlings or trees as gifts. Whether you want to give tree seedlings as gifts for wedding or corporate favors, or you’d like to send a commemorative tree in honor of someone who has passed, Seeds of Life has some truly original ideas. We’re big fans of the Enduring Oak Tree or Olive Tree as a gift for a housewarming, wedding, or anniversary!

 

Kitty Grass

You might be thinking this is the weirdest gift on the list, but if you know a cat lover, think again. This organic cat grass from the Humane Society is excellent for pet owners (dogs eat grass too)! It helps with their digestion. Instead of Fluffy eating pesticide-laden grass from outside, bring the outside indoors. This also makes a great gift ideas because many cats enjoy nibbling on house plants, which often times are toxic!