Monday, March 16, 2009

Bunniness, or: Shoppering for Change

Ah well, they didn’t publish it, so here’s an email I sent to Madison magazine last month.

How exciting it was to read in the March issue that your Acting Beauty Editor Katrina Lawrence is vegan! It's always great to see veganism mentioned in a mainstream publication without some of the usual cliches and ill-informed hysteria. And how fantastic would it be if Madison took what I think would be an international lead, and featured vegan clothes, beauty products and cooking as a regular part of the magazine? Vegans choose to avoid eating, wearing or using animal products for many reasons - animal rights, animal welfare, environmental concerns and health - but we still want to see (animal-friendly) things to lust after in magazines like Madison!

Here's hoping that we can help promote an ethical, environmentally friendly and healthy lifestyle alongside a fabulous pair of heels - just make mine Natalie Portman for Te Casan please!

I would love to see a magazine like Madison take an active, public approach to identifying animal-friendly products. Believe me, I’m under no illusions that they’re going to stop advertising leather, but in the same way that fur now gets no gander, and some magazines deliberately and loudly feature models of a more usual body shape (goddamn if I call them plus-size!), I’d love to see a little hot pink bunny symbol there too, raising awareness and helping vegan clothes, accessories and cosmetics enter the mainstream. I call this bunniness.

Quite selfishly, bunniness would this make my own shoppering much, much easier and a whole lot more expensive. But it would also impact on the choices of mainstream consumers, for whom cochineal and beeswax just aren’t on the radar. It’s easy not to think about bunniness when it’s not a part of your everyday consciousness, and it’s unfair to expect that non-vegans would actively consider the bunniness of their makeup – that’s just not their thing (yet! Bwahahaha!) – but by simply identifying it, we make it an issue.

Perhaps hair products, handbags and eyeshadow aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but they are mine, and I want to see products that I can use featured and identified; I want to see small vegan manufacturers get the page-time they need to take off; I want would-be vegans to know that I am not condemned to a lifetime of olive oil for moisturiser (although I hear that works quite well) and hemp clothes; I want people to start wondering and thinking about why some products don’t get the little bunny; and by default, I want them to know when they are choosing the not-animal-friendly product. I want choosing bunniness to clear, easy and celebrated; I want people to feel good about it, which means they have to know about it; and, like shoppering, I want it to be bloody fun.

So bring on mainstream inclusion, bring on shoppering for change, and bring on bunniness!


Buttons said...

hot pink bunnies make me think of playboy, can he be a different colour instead? :P

Miss T said...

I didn't think of that! (Although I'll admit a terrible addiction to Girls of the Playboy Mansion ... oh, where's my feminism gone; it must have temporarily slipped behind the couch...) but I really do love hot pink, so how about a hot pink cow - Cowiness? Or cat - Kittiness? Cattiness? lol. Or maybe just a gold bunny called Goldie Bunny ....

Mandee said...

Good email and it's a shame they didn't publish it as it was so positive.

I don't buy magazines very often but when I do I always feel like I should just skip over the clothing and make up sections. I was happy to see Inika's kabuki brush and some of their make up featured in a women's fashion magazine... only I can't remember which one.

Bring on the bunniness!