Updated: Sep 30, 2019
I am a vegetarian. I don't eat meat. And, I fully accept and respect that each and every one of us make our own lifestyle choices. Having said that, I am an animal lover. That YouTube video where the little girl sneaks a cow into her living room and is cuddling with it, I only wish that was me! If I could have an entire barnyard of animals at my home, I would (but I'm pretty sure my husband would divorce me if I did).
If you’re shying away from tallow for reasons of animal welfare or the environment, you should really think twice about the alternative used by most companies and soapers, palm oil. Palm oil is used heavily in food and cosmetics production because it is very inexpensive—and it’s cheap thanks to very unsustainable harvesting practices that are destroying rain forest, exploiting workers in foreign countries, and leaving endangered species like the orangutan without habitat.
Also, tallow is a byproduct of the meat industry. Not using tallow will not stop the meat industry from doing business. What it will do, in the case of farmers, is send the excess byproducts to land fills. I am very much of the belief that if you are going to take a life, you should utilize every part you can. And, making quality soap with tallow from local farms with transparency, that use ethical raising practices, is my little way of supporting farmers practising sustainable agriculture. It feels good to do things that align with my values.
Last but not least, I have found that tallow creates the best bar of soap. Tallow is a naturally rich source of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E & K, which are all necessary for overall skin health and integrity and cannot be found in plant based fats.
So, feel free to make your own decision. I respect your choices and stand proudly behind mine. Just know, every time you use palm oil, a unicorn dies!