Soliciting questions

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Next week I’m going to be running a series titled “Tips for New Vegans” (or, think of it as “Tips for New Vegetarians” if that’s more appropriate for you) and I’m looking for that one burning question that you’re looking to have answered.  Whether it’s a “how do I substitute for ____?” question or a “how can I deal with my family?” question, bring it on.

Just contact me with your question.  I’ll pick and choose and will answer them starting on Monday.

New or transitioning veg*ns are welcome and I don’t even mind a question from a long-time vegan who just doesn’t know how to answer a question they’re always getting.

These pillows aren’t dirty


A little while back I wrote about my search for a vegan mattress.  In the comments, shamir wrote:

what about pillows? everything out there (besides buckwheat hulls) seems to be down, fake down (=fossil [fuels]), or wool. are the organic cotton ones even any good?

At that point, I wasn’t planning on buying new pillows anytime soon, but when I saw that it’s suggested you replace pillows every two years (if you can fold your pillow over and it doesn’t bounce back into place, it’s time to replace it), I realized I was about five years overdue.  When I bought my previous pillows, I made sure that the filling wasn’t down, but unfortunately the only choice I had at the time (because I was young and naive) was made by a company that had Down in their name.

So a search began for some nice pillows.  Ones that were eco-friendly, comfortable, and would last a while.  After lots of time wasted spent researching, I decided on kapok pillows.  Kapok is a fiber extracted from the seed pod of the kapok tree.  The fiber is non toxic, odorless, resistant to rot, and non-allergic.  A pillow made with kapok filling has “all the qualities of down [without the cruelty, and] is hypoallergenic.”  Kapok pillows can supposedly only be sold as decorative pillows because they are highly flammable.  As you may remember, many states require a doctor’s note in order to buy the vegan mattress I got.   Between our pillows and our mattress, it’s a good thing we don’t smoke in bed, because we’d be screwed!

Kapok pillows can be a tad expensive (~$50 each for queen size pillows), but they reportedly last longer than regular pillows and get more comfortable with use.  I managed to find a woman on eBay that handmakes them and sells them for about $60 a pair (about $72 after shipping).  Last night was my first night sleeping on one.  It was a tad firm, but supportive and quite comfortable.  I look forward to seeing how it changes over time with use.

So, yay for kapok, my new highly flammable friend.