Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Scooby Doo's in town

Spotted near me. Is the most famous dog in the world Scooby Doo in town?

Not spotted him yet, but will keep on looking and keep you updated.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Let's talk about iron

Popeye knew where to get his iron from

There are many myths associated with pursuing a meatless diet. One of the most commonly trotted out is that we need to eat meat in order to have enough iron in our diets.

It seems to help this myth when those on a meat free diet end up suffering from iron deficiency.  Yet, meat eaters can suffer from this too.

The secret is no matter what diet you follow is to have a balanced diet. 

Tip – To help your body’s absorption of iron, try and have a Vitamin C rich food or drink at the same time. A good old glass of orange juice fits the bill.  So too does grapefruit, papaya, pineapple and passion fruit. Why not have a delicious smoothie with your meal?

Cruelty free iron

Foods rich in Iron

Sure enough, meat is a rich source of iron, but there are an abundance of good sources of this essential mineral -

  • Green leafy vegetables, like broccoli and spinach.   
  • Vegetables that come directly from the ground like potatoes, carrots, leeks, Brussels sprouts, kale, parsley and mushrooms.  
  • Fruit (especially dried fruits) like raisins, avocado, blackcurrants, blackberries, lychees, strawberries, pomegranate etc…
  • Seeds and nuts. The best source of iron are sesame seeds. Pumpkin seeds also have a high amount of iron, as does good old flaxseed (you can buy flaxseed oil and add it to salads and other dishes like stews). Cashews have the highest iron content of any nut type, but most nuts contain iron.
  • Cereals are also fortified with iron, so are certain breads.
  • Beans are a good source of iron. Try chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans.
  • Wholegrain foods such as oats, Quinoa, rye and couscous. Tip – these grains contain a sneaky little ingredient called phytic acid, which may prevent your body from absorbing the iron in these foods. Stop this from happening by steeping grains like oats and Quinoa in water overnight and rinse before use. This will unlock the iron.
Note – there is a medical condition that prevents the human body from absorbing iron. If you believe you have a balanced diet, but still find yourself being anaemic (common signs are being lethargic and tired all the time), then a visit to the doctor may be necessary.

Monday, 11 April 2011

The truth about pet food testing

Pet food is simply one of those things you never stop to think may involve cruel and painful animal testing.

Think of how cat and dog food is tested and we may think of a cat or dog sitting with a napkin tied to his or her chin, holding a knife and fork and getting ready to tuck into a sumptuous meal.

What we imagine

The real story
What we might not think of is a poor creature stuck in a cage, being force fed to see how much food it will take to make them sick, being debarked (debarking is a veterinary surgery that involves removing tissue from the dog’s vocal chords) and having lumps of muscle cut off because so called ‘scientists’ want to see whether that pet food leads to bigger muscles.

Yet this is what’s happening to cats and dogs and many other companion animals like rabbits and hamsters. The reason is simple – money.  Companies want to be able to make health claims

Here are five ways to can avoid being part of this evil multi-billion dollar and pound industry –

1.If you want to know whether a certain pet food has been tested on animals, then visit the PETA or Uncaged websites. They have lists of companies who test their food on an army of doggy volunteers who live in their own homes where they are cared for and loved. They are not shoved into cages or kennels and
2.Write to companies who do test on animals and tell them that you will NOT be buying their pet food because the way they test it is unacceptable to you and your moral beliefs. Or even better, get friends to sign a petition and send that in or deliver it in person.

3.Buy only pet food from companies listed on the PETA and Uncaged websites. The more pet owners who buy from them, the less profits the unethical companion food makers will make.

4.Send for free samples of the foods that are tested on animals and put them right in the trash. Companies give out samples because they want you to buy. Imagine how much money they will lose out on if people get samples with no intention of ever buying.

5.Write to politicians and demand to know why these cruel companies are allowed to do things to companion animals that would land you in prison.

FACT - The US Department of Agriculture investigated a complaint by PETA in 2006 about invasive testing of Procter & Gamble’s IAMS brand.  This followed an undercover investigation by PETA which was well documented in the press. The USDA agreed with PETA that the laboratory had failed to provide veterinary care and pain relief to suffering animals, not provided animals with sufficient space. There were 40 other violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act in total.