Sunday, 25 December 2011

Choose Organic Splendor for cruelty free cosmetics

Since I started this blog, I have been lucky enough to meet some amazing people. People who believe like me that the world can be a more compassionate place to human beings and animals.

One such company is Organic Splendor. Their handmade mineral make up, bath care and skin care products are completely vegan (the company is run by a vegan) and even better, titanium dioxide free.
You can visit them here

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Living Cruelty Free is on its way!

Yay, Living Cruelty Free is now completed and is in the hands of the publisher. After auch a long journey to publication, I am looking forward to seeing it published. First as an ebook in January 2012 and then as a traditional book later on in the year.

One thing I am particularly glad of is that I no longer have to research the topics in the book. Things like veal, fur, foie gras. Reading about how these things are derived from such extreme cruelty has been heartbreaking.

What has been uplifting is reading about how so many people are turning their backs on things that come from such cruelty. In the UK where I live, people who wear fur are seen as social pariahs.

Another fact that makes me happy is that people's eyes are being opened to the cruelty involved in bringing low cost fashion to our high street chains. What's more, people are saying 'not in my name' and are shunning stores that sell wares made by slave labour (often child slave labour).

Together we can all make a real difference, I genuinely believe that and that's why I wrote Living Cruelty Free.

To be human is to show compassion to our fellow human beings and to animals. Those are words we can all live by.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The truth about Squalene

Sharks belong in the open sea, not in face cream

I received a free sample of something in the post today. Usually I'd be happy, but the first thing I noticed was the face cream was made in France. That set off alarm bells.

You see, most beauty products made in France seem to be tested on animals with L’Oreal the worst offender.

It was also an anti-aging cream, which made me a bit peeved because it suggested I needed it.

I ran my eyes down the ingredients and spotted squalene right away. Big no, no for vegetarians, vegans and anyone who loves animals. Squalene you see usually comes from shark liver oil. It can come from plant sources (all plants and animals produce squalene naturally) but unless it states its plant derived, you have to assume it comes from sharks.

Allowing for the cruel way it's obtained, who wants shark oil on their face?

I know I don’t. How about you?

Tip – Is it an antioxidant cream? Chances are it may contain squalene.

Tip – Save yourself some money and sharks some suffering and use a few drops of olive oil on your face instead. It’s a good and cheap source of squalene, but don’t use too much or you’ll look greasy.

Note – Squalene has been linked to Gulf War Syndrome as it was used in the Anthrax vaccines American servicemen and women were given.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Truth About Food Additives and Colorants

When you're vegetarian or vegan or have certain dietary needs because of your religion, finding colourants other food additives that are suitable for you can be a nightmare. So, I was delighted to come across this comprehensive list online.

Not only does it say which E numbers are of animal origin, it also says whether they have been known to cause allergic reactions and whether the additive may have been likely to come from genetically engineered organisms.

Sweets and desserts often contain E numbers

For instance, E110 is also known as Sunset Yellow and has been linked to hyperactivity. It is suitable for vegetarians though.

Cochineal or E120 is the biggie to watch out for if you don't want crushed little insects in your food. It's also one of the worst offenders when it comes to allergic reactions.

Ponceau 4R is a red dye that may make people who have asthma worse. It's listed as a carcinogen (linked to cancer) and is banned in the USA by the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration). It's also been linked to hyperactivity in children.

FACT - In Scotland, Barrs who make fizzy drink Irn Bru, have announced plans to faze out Sunset Yellow and Ponceau 4R which are used as colorants in the drink. Read their statement.

Great news for UK consumers as Superdrug's own brand gets BUAV approval

I received this email today from Superdrug after I enquired about their own brand cosmetics.

Dear Miss Thomson,

Thank you for your e-mail.

I can confirm that all Superdrug Own Brand toiletries, beauty products
and household products are BUAV approved and therefore have not been
tested on animals.

Thank you for contacting Superdrug.

Kind Regards
Superdrug Customer Relations

Why is this such a big deal?
1- Superdrug stores are everywhere. They're the second biggest health and beauty retailer in the UK behind Boots. Them going cruelty free with their own brand products means millions of people now have access to cosmetics, toiletries and household products that are 100 per cenrt cruelty free.

2- Because when other chain stores say their cosmetics are not tested on animals they may not be cruelty free.

For instance -
- the ingredients may be tested on animals by them or their suppliers
- they may benefit from new ingredients that are tested on animals

If you want to ensure products are truly cruelty free, look for the leaping bunny logo.

Note - products aren't vegetarian unless it says so on the label. Vegans watch out as some products like their own brand conditioner may contain milk and other animal derived products like honey and beeswax.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Plamil dairy free alternative to milk chocolate review

Guess who ate the rest of it?

One of the toughest things to get used to when you go dairy free (for animal welfare or health reasons) is not eating milk chocolate. Now I love dark chocolate, but sometimes I get cravings for milk chocolate.

Up until now I've fought them, but then I happened across this amazing alternative to milk chocolate and once I started eating it I couldn't stop.

This is by far the best vegan, dairy free alternative to milk chocolate I’ve tasted. It’s smooth and there’s no aftertaste.

As well as being milk free, this chocolate its –
Nut free
Made using sustainable energy

It does contains Soya, which I'm told some people can be left feeling bloated after they eat it.

This 45g bar cost me almost a pound from Holland and Barrett.

Be warned – this chocolate is higher in calories compared to normal milk chocolate but a small piece goes a long way.

KEEP AWAY FROM DOGS AS THIS CHOCOLATE AS A VERY HIGH COCOA CONTENT. But dogs should never be allowed to eat human chocolate anyway as it can kill them.

For details of the Plamil range visit their website.

Plamil are a UK company, but for a list of stockists go this page and schroll further down. It lists stockists in Australia, Germany, France and Holland. Sadly, at the time of printing they don't have a stockist in America, but online vegetarian/vegan stores may stock it.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Greatest Guide to Living Cruelty Free: Burberry's fur confession

Burberry's fur confession

Sadly, there are several big name brands who think using fur is acceptable. British firm Burberry are one of them.

Most people can see the beauty in animals keeping their own fur. Burberry think you should wear it.
Photo is courtesy of PETA

This is the email Ithat was sent to them on behalf after I signed and online petition -

Subject: Stop selling Fur


i understand that your stores are selling many fur or fur-trimmed items, made with real fur. We are sure that if you knew what goes on behind the scenes in the fur industry, you would not want these cruel products to be a part of your collection.

Millions of animals, including rabbits, raccoons, and foxes, are painfully trapped in steel-jaw leg hold traps each year. Those who don't freeze or starve are usually beaten to death or suffocated when the trapper arrives hours or days later. Animals held captive on fur farms spend their short lives crowded in wire cages where they suffer from inadequate water, disease, parasites, and stress. The animals are killed by anal electrocution, poisoning, or suffocation. Those who don't die immediately are skinned alive.

In 1998, 94 percent of the people who responded to a survey in Cosmopolitan magazine said animals should not be killed for their fur. People assume that a scrap of fur on the collar is fake and I assure you that many would be appalled to learn that it is real. I trust that you cannot, in good conscience, support this unnecessary torture inflicted upon millions of animals each year.

I hope you will decide to eliminate all fur from your stores after considering this information. Thank you for your time and attention.


Jennifer Thomson
Millport, United Kingdom

This is the reply I got from Burberry. Note the way they claim their fur is humane and refer to fur as 'natural hide.' This is to make people think its the same as leather and to distance what they sell from fur.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your feedback regarding Burberry's use of natural hides.

By way of background, Burberry is an international luxury brand producing apparel and accessories with a distinct British sensibility for over 150 years. As a company with a strong outerwear heritage, there has been, and will continue to be, occasions where consumer tastes demand the use of natural hides.

Burberry will not use natural hides if there is any concern that it has been produced using unacceptable treatment of animals. We source natural hides very carefully, safeguarding the correct ethical standards and traceability. Specifically, we source fur from furriers who are well known for upholding high standards of ethical treatment of animals and share our concerns about animal welfare.

Burberry believes in the accurate labelling of all garments containing fur, to clearly inform consumers about the product prior to their purchase. As a result Burberry is a signatory to the US government's Truth In Fur Labelling Act.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us on this subject and giving us the opportunity to reply.

Kind regards,

Burberry Customer Service

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3402 1444

Sunday, 16 October 2011

TV chef says no difference from eating pork and eating puppies

Comments from TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall were published this week where he said that there was no difference between eating pork and eating puppies.

Views seemed to be mixed. Most people were appalled at the notion of eating dogs and couldn’t believe someone from a dog loving nation like the UK could even dare suggest such a thing.

Some, including vegetarians and vegans, thought that he had a point.

I’ve been a vegetarian for 25 years and a vegan for less than a year, so what I’m about to say is my opinion. I speak for myself, not for anyone else.

I thought that what HFW said was sick. Coming from a man who likes to eat road kill (I don’t scrape up any dead animals I find and shove them into a baking tin, I bury them – I’m funny like that) and who has also ate curried fruit bat in the past, this is not a call for people to re-examine their consciences where eating animals is concerned.

If a vegetarian or vegan had said what he said they’d have been highlighting the hypocrisy of people who eat some animals but wouldn’t eat others. Their message would be that every animal has the right to indulge in their normal behaviours and to not be farmed and killed. Therefore there would be no difference between eating pig and eating puppy.

But, if a meat eater like HFW makes a comment like that it’s as if he’s advocating extending the range of animals people eat. Why not when people already eat pigs?   

The other reason his comments were objectionable was because he was saying, ‘hey, if you eat meat, you should be willing to eat any animal whether it’s a piglet or a puppy.

Take aside the fact that dogs have the status as pets in most Western societies, do we really need someone advocating that when so many new animals are already being eating in the West? Animals like kangaroo, squirrel and shark?

That’s on top of the ones people eat that many people would find morally objectionable like horse (they eat horsemeat in Belgium and Germany and many other countries), monkey (in 2002 there were reports of monkey meat being sold in the UK) and cats (in certain Swiss cultures they eat cat meat).

We need there to be some animals people won't eat. There has to be a limit, because when there isn’t people will start eating anything.

Footnote - I've been very surprised after going on various message boards and groups to see that many vegans and vegetarians agree with HFW's comments. Everyone is entitled to their opinion (just as I am) but to people who genuinely believe that eating a puppy is the same as eating pork, I would ask this question - would you protest against/boycott a butchers or supermarket for selling puppy meat? If the answer is yes (as I hope it would be) why do you not do the same when stores sell pork?

Whether we like it not, certain animals like dogs are given a higher status in our society than ours and its just as well they are because then they'd be farmed and eaten too.

And that's how veggiegirl2011 see it.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Things to consider when giving up milk

Following on from the last post on why I'm giving up milk, I thought it might be a good idea to write about this because its always good to be prepared.

Note - the tips given will also be useful to those who are lactose intolerant. Symptoms include bloating and stomach discomfort after consuming dairy.

Sesame seeds are full of calcium

1.If you used milk containing foods to get your calcium, make sure you get calcium from other sources.
Good sources include green leafy veg like broccoli (high in iron too), cabbage, spinach (note that spinach although it is a good source of calcium it contains a chemical that may stop your body from absorbing calcium 0 to prevent this have something that's high in vitamin C, say like a glass of orange juice), almonds (they have more calcium than any other nut and contain fibre), figs (they have a high amount of calcium and are very nutritous), kale (contains more clacium per ounce than milk) and sesame seeds (don't be fooled by their size as these littlte seeds are a wonderful source of calcium, iron, magnesium and those all important B vitamins).

2.If you like margarine or butter on things like toast, pancakes, scones and cornbread, there are dairy free spreads available.
Try your local health food store or supermarket. There are different varieties.
Tip - try different spreads like preserves, jam, peanut butter, melted or sqashed down banana, marmalade etc... There are so many things you can spread on your bread.

3.If you can't stand the taste of black tea or coffee, check out milk replacers, often called cremer or creamer or coffee\tea whitener.
My favourite is SoyGo, a Soy cremer that comes in individual sachets so you can carry it around with you for work or visiting friends and relatives. To read more about it, see my previous post about Milk Replacers.
Tip - you need to give it a good stir, let it settle then stir again, but in my opinion it's the best milk replacer for tea and coffee on the market. I've tried quite a few.

4.Remember, dairy free chocolate is readily available.
It's plain chocolate or dark chocolate. Check the label.

5.The most common way we used milk in our house when I was growing up, was in our cereal.
The good news is that you can replace cow's milk with other kinds of milk. Rice milk, Soy/soya milk, almond milk and even coconut milk can be used.

6. Dairy free ice cream can taste amazing.
There are more and more ranges coming out all the time. My personal fave is Swedish Glace. It tastes amazing. See my review here.
Tip - try out the chocolate version of any non-dairy/dairy-free ice cream first as its usually the best.

Sadly, Swedish Glace now off my shopping list as well known animal torturers Unilever buy the company.


Saturday, 1 October 2011

Lees, Lees, no more crushed beetles if you please

Do you want this little guy in your candy?

Watch out for crushed up cochineal beetles in your yoghurt, drinks and sweets. Lees of Scotland, have carmine in their Raspberry coconut ice - and they're not the only company with this unneccessary nasty in their candy.

This red/pinky colorant is a big hit unless you're a wee beetle minding your own business until someone grabs you and boils you alive and then smashes your head in.

Why don't these companies tell us the truth and list crushed beetles in their ingredients?

Probably because they know we wouldn't buy them.

Some transparency please by manufacturers. Is it too much to ask?

And that's how veggiegirl2011 sees it.

Tip - Carmine can also be labelled as cochineal, Crimson Lake and natural red. It's often in sweets and candies that are labelled as having natural colorants although there's nothing natural about what happens to those beetles.

Tip - Cochineal can also be present in cosmetics like blusher.

For more on this food nasty, visit here, here, here and here.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Product Review Swedish Glace Ice Cream

That’s Swedish Glace off my shopping list as well known animal torturers Unilever buy the company.


Finding an ice cream type dessert that's dairy free for anyone who suffers from lactose intolerance or who is a vegan, can be tricky.

Note - although this is very like ice cream and tastes like ice cream, it is labelled as a 'rich dessert.' Only a product containing milk can be called ice cream.

I was delighted therefore to come across this amazing product in my local Holland and Barrett store.

At first glance, when you look at the packaging Swedish Glace just looks like normal ice cream. Scouring the label, I found that it was completely dairy free and contained no egg.

It's also cholestrol and gluten free, so perfect for those watching their cholestrol and who are gluten intolerant. And there's no genetically modified ingredients either, so this is a wholesome treat.

If you fancy trying a different flavour, it also comes in smooth vanilla, juicy raspberry and wild blueberry.

On first taste, this does taste like ice cream. Very chocolately ice cream. But the more you eat the more it tastes like a very rich mousse. Not that this is a nad thing. This is a very chocolatey product and its no surprise to see that crushed cocoa beans are added to the product.

One of the other good things about this product is that there is no aftertaste. After eating it you feel wonderfully refreshed.  

I would recommend Swedish Glace to anyone who is vegan or gluten intolerant or lactose intolerant. It tastes fantastic and is a welcome addition to any larder.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Free vegetarian book to download

I was delighted to find this free to download 16-page booklet called Go Vegetarian on the Asutralian Vegetarian Society website.

This is an ideal read if you are considering going veggie or simply want to check that you eating the right things.

The site also has a forum if you fancy chatting to other vegetarians and wannbe veggies in Oz.

I'll be updating my blog with details of any other lovely vegetarian freebies I can find.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Milk replacer tips

When I stopped drinking milk (for health reasons and because of the horror that goes on in the dairy industry), there were two things I missed most of all -

1. Cereal. I loved cereal and ate it all the time.
2. Tea. In Scotland where I live, we are a nation of tea lovers. We drink it all the time even although there seems to be a Starbucks on every corner.

Then I made two discoveries. Firstly, that I could replace milk in my cereal with soya (soy) milk. I tried all the different varities: sweetened, unsweetened and various flavours. I also tried rice milk, oat milk and almond milk. To be honest, I didn't like them much.

Then I discovered Provamel's banana flavoured soya milk and thought, 'Mmm, now this I like.' So, I've been having that in my cereal ever since.

You may find your tastes are different, but there should be one non-dairy milk that you like.

My latest discovery is SoyGo coffee creamer, which you can buy either in a carton or in sachets to carry around with you. One box contains 25 sachets. I bought it from the VIVA online shop, but you may be able to find it in a health store.

I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that this is the best milk replacer I have used. Tea tastes like tea and if you take away the fact that you need to really stir your tea or coffee to ensure this dissolves, then I have to give it a well earned 9 out of 10.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Let’s talk about vitamin B12

Victim B12, or cobalamin as it’s also called, is very important to keep your body functioning. All of the B vitamins, including B12, help to convert food into fuel in the human body. In other words, they give you energy.

Not having enough B12 can cause something called pernicious anaemia, also known as B12 deficiency.  

What else does B12 do?
It helps the brain and nervous system to function normally. B12 also has a vital role in the formation of blood and the metabolism of every single cell of the body.

How do I know if I have a B12 deficiency?
Here’s a list of symptoms -
  1. You may feel tired and lethargic all of the time.
  2. You may get headaches
  3. You may have a reduced appetite.
  4. You may suffer from palpitations (feel your heart thump in your chest)
  5. You may have a sore throat or tongue
  6. You may also suffer from nerve damage. This is called B12 neuropathy and it may affect your movement and sensation, especially in your legs. You may get some numbness and tingling in your toes and fingers.
  7. You may look jaundiced (have a yellow tinge to your skin and around your eyes).
  8. You may get confused and forgetful.
  9. You may feel depressed.
  10. You may also suffer from diarrhoea.
FACT - There is also evidence that people suffering from Alzheimer’s are deficient in B12

Note – as these symptoms apply to many different ailments, you need to see your doctor about a diagnosis. You also may not have all of the symptoms.

How is B12 deficiency diagnosed?
The levels of the vitamin in your body can be measured using a blood test.

Why would anyone be deficient in B12?
  1. Because their diet doesn’t include enough B12. Note – it’s a myth that just vegetarians and vegans can be deficient in B12.
  2. Because their body can’t absorb B12 properly. This means that no matter how much B12 containing foods they have in their diet, they will be deficient. In their case they need medications to help them absorb B12. To determine whether your body can absorb B12, a simple blood test is needed.
  3. They take anti-acids like which stop the body absorbing B12.
How is B12 deficiency treated?
If lack of B12 in your diet is the problem then you will be asked to change your diet to include foods with B12. You may be referred to a dietician or asked to take B12 supplements.

If your body lacks the ability to absorb B12 properly, medication will be needed as you may have pernicious anaemia whereby the body is unable to absorb enough B12 into the gastro gastro-intestinal tract.

Do vegetarians need to worry about B12 intake?
Vegetarians who don’t eat eggs or dairy should follow the same advice given to vegans. Namely that they eat B12 fortified foods and take supplements.

What are the best sources of B12 for vegans?
  1. Supplements – The Vegan Society recommends that vegans all take supplements, as well as fortified foods.
  2. Many cereals are fortified with B12.
  3. Many soya (soy), rice and oat milks may also have B12 added
  4. B12 can also be found in energy drinks
  5. Yeast flakes that are fortified with B12 can be used in soups, stews and toppings.

Note – none of the advice given in this piece is any substitute for proper medical and dietary advice.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

There's something fishy about soft drinks

It may sound crazy, but if you’re avoiding consuming animal by products, you may also have to avoid some soft drinks. Because some soft drinks that are NOT suitable for vegetarians (and vegans)

Some drinks contain colorants that use animal products, like cochineal, which gives drinks a reddish and pinkish colour.

For example, Fanta used to be on the not suitable for vegetarians list because it may have contained traces of fish gelatin (gelatine). Nice eh? Now that’s changed and Fanta is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

If you want to see what other Coca-Cola drinks are not veggie friendly, see their list. 

The great news for those who love Scotland's unofficial national drink, is that Barrs Irn Bru is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Thanks to David Scott for getting that info.

For those who like to ride the bull, drink Red Bull the good news is that the Taurine is synthetic and is manufactured in a lab. It doesn't come from the stomach bile of animals. Don't believe me? Here it is in black and white - the Taurine in Red Bull

If you're unsure whether a drink is animal free, many manufacturers have vegetarian and vegan lists - if you can find them on the sites that is!

Note – I will be adding lists of things that are suitable for vegetarians and vegans as soon as I find them.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Ways to make the world a better place today

It's daunting, isn't it when you see all the bad things happening in the world whether it's to people or animals and you feel helpless, that there is nothing we can do. But, the good news is that we can all change the world and we can start today.

Here are some tips -

1. Whenever you see something you don't like, complain about it, tell your friends. Blog about it, put it on Facebook, Tweet it. Let as many people know as you possibly can. Complain to the company concerned.
Example - Someone informed me that were selling fox tails, so I contacted them about it using this online form.

2. Buy products that carry the Leaping Bunny logo. That way you are helping to bring about the end of animal testing.

3. Do you know that neighbour or work colleague you've never spoken to or just said hi to? Try and have a conversation with them. Make them smile. Even better make them laugh. Loneliness is a terrible thing and you may be the only person they speak to that day.

4.Ditch the KFC. The company hasn't been dubbed Kentucky Fried Cruelty without good reason.

5. Do something nice for someone. Buy your mum some chocolates (dairy free as chocolate containing milk comes from the cruel dairy cow industry) or get you dad a DVD of his favourite show. Get your partner something you know they will like. Help create a world where we show the ones we love that we love them and don't wait until it's too late.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Go Vegan with Ellen

TV star Ellen has set up her own website promoting going vegan. There's some good stuff on there like-

It's definitely worth a look and not just for vegans or vegetarians either.

Ellen isn't the only celebrity to try and spread the vegan word. Actress Alicia Silverstone also wrote The Kind Diet.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

A vegetarian’s coming to dinner

If all else fails you can always rustle up a salad
For some people hearing that a dinner/house guest is a vegetarian can be a worry. What can you give them to eat that will be quick and easy to make? And, just as important, what shouldn’t you give them to eat?

Bears eat fish, vegetarians don't
Here are some pointers:

What NOT to make –
·         Fish. Vegetarians do NOT eat animal flesh.
·         Poultry like chicken or turkey for the same reason as the one given above.
·         Anything containing meat, fish or poultry products. Vegetarians don’t eat any meat or anything derived from meat such as stew made with meat stock or soup made using a bone.
·         If you’re making dessert, strictly nothing containing jelly. Jelly contains gelatine (also spelt gelatine),which is basically grund down animal bones and muscle. You can get a gelatine-free version of jelly.

What TO make -
·         Omelettes are nice and easy, but if you’re making them an omelette, do it with free-range eggs. Many vegetarians will only eat free-range eggs. You can add things like mushrooms and tomatoes. Ask your visitor what they prefer.
·         Vegetarian sausages and mashed potato (called sausages and mash in the UK). Delicious and easy. Tastes amazing with a thick onion gravy and swede (turnip) and sweet potato mash.

·         Pasta is one of those dishes that most people like. If you can pop some garlic bread in the oven to have with it all the better.
·     Vegetarian  pizza. Easy to make and quick. Cheese and tomato is simple and tasty, but do make sure your guest isn't vegan as cheese isn't suitable for vegans unless it's specifically vegan cheese (available from health food stores).

·         Vegetarian hot dogs. There are so many different brands available and many of my non-vegetarian friends have said that they prefer the veggie versions to the meat ones they usually have.

·         Shepherd’s pie with either Soya, TVP textured vegetable protein or Quorn mince.
·         Noodles. Just a plain plate of noodles with Soya sauce can be tasty.
·         A stir fry. This is ideal because you can make it out of whatever vegetables you have in the fridge and any noodles you have.

Note - all pictures are free images from Why not give them a go?

Thursday, 21 July 2011

How to find charities that don’t use animal experiments

It can be hard to say ‘no’ to someone who asks you to donate money to charity. But the truth of that matter is that many charities commission animal experiments that DON’T further medical science. If they did a number of illnesses would have been cured by now like cancer and AIDS.

All the experiments do, is harm animals. Animals like rats, mice, cats, dogs and monkeys.

Is this justified? Maybe people would say it was if the animal experiments actually yielded results that saved the lives of human beings, but the sad fact is that these animals are dying needlessly.

To find out who the charities are that don’t fund animal experiments, go to –

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) website. They have a searchable database of charities that don’t fund animal research.

On their site, you can search for charities in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia. Charities awarded their ‘Humane Charity Seal of Approval’ are those that are committed to advancing medical research without using animals. 

In the UK, Animal Aid has a list of charities that only commission non-animal medical research and those that do. 

Note – the list is constantly updated and the policies of some charities may change.  

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Say no to sweatshops, go Fairtrade

Living cruelty free isn't just about showing compassion towards animals: it's about caring about human beings too. That means trying to buy Fairtrade (called Fair Trade certfied in the USA and Canada) wherever possible.

Fairtrade in the UK
Fair Trade n the USA & Canada

With Fairtrade you have some kind of guarantee that the workers who produced whatever you are buying were paid fairly for their work and had decent working conditions.

When you buy Fairtrade you know -
NO sweatshops have been used
NO slave labor has been used
Workers and farmers are paid a fair price
You are helping to lift poor workers out of poverty
You are helping to benefit communities and not just the workers

There are certain things you can buy that it is easy to find Fairtrade alternatives for -

1. Coffee - Starbucks
2. Bananas - available in most major stores
3. Cotton garments
4. Tea
5. Chocolate - in the UK, Cadbury's is Fairtrade
6. Biscuits
7. Sweets
8. Wine
9. Flowers
10. Cereal bars

To learn more about Fair Trade certified products in the USA, visit
To learn more Fair Trade in Canada, go to
For the UK, go to
For South Africa, visit
For Australia and New Zealand, visit

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

How to tell people you don't donate money for animal experiments

Give money to cancer research.’
‘Donate to cystic fibrosis research’

It can be difficult can’t it, when you object to animal experiments on ethical grounds and are continually being asked to donate to charities that you know fund animal experiments.

You don’t want to come across as someone who doesn’t care about human beings, because that’s not true. You can care about both humans and animals. They are not mutually exclusive. Compassion is limitless like the ocean.

So, what do you say?

I don't give money to charities that do experiments on animals, and I tell people it’s because they experiment on animals. But, I don’t leave it at that because then I’d get the old ‘you care more about animals than you do about humans’ nonsense.

I also point out -

  • That any money you give to charities which commission animal testing is wasted, because just because something works on rats, cats or monkeys, does not mean it will work on humans. We are biologically too different.
  • I usually mention thalidomide and the various medical trials that left some of the participants fighting for their lives. Click here to read more about human tests that went disastrously wrong despite the fact the medication worked on animals.
  • Giving animals diseases is not the same as humans getting diseases that may develop over time because of things like pollution and lifestyle factors like smoking, drinking and over-eating.
  • Many of the experiments carried out on animals have been done time and time again and always with the same results, so it’s a waste of time and resources not to mention illogical to fund more of the same.
Click here to read opposing views on whether the use of animals in medical research ever be justified.

Note in the case of David Price who backs animal experiments, he uses phrases like ‘Research using rats suggested that a "memory switch" could help Alzheimer's patients’ and ‘A new approach to cancer vaccines has successfully treated prostate tumors in mice.’

If the memory switch was done in humans there would be no need for ‘suggested.’ If the cancer vaccines were tested on humans and they worked that would mean they worked on humans and not just in rats.