Saturday, 22 November 2014

Walking Dead star Norman Reedus backs Cruelty Free

Picture Credit: Cruelty Free International USA on Facebook 

In the hit zombie show, Norman Reedus shows walkers and squirrels no mercy, but back in the zombie free world, he has a strong interest in living cruelty-free.

The actor who plays crossbow wielding zombie slayer Daryl Dixon, voiced his support in the movement to end cosmetic testing on animals. "Scores of countries around the world are beating the U.S. to become cruelty-free by banning cosmetics tests on animals," he said in a statement. "Nobody wants rabbits or guinea-pigs to suffer for our vanity, least of all the animals. Let's stop their suffering right here, right now."

In action in The Walking Dead.

Now, there's even talk that he and fellow zombie apocalypse survivor, Andrew Lincoln, who plays leader Rick Grimes, have gone vegetarian.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Why trying to create a better world isn't easy

Since I started this blog and wrote Living Cruelty Free, I seem to have attracted them.

You know the ones. They leave nasty comments on your site and vile pictures; horrendous pictures of animal abuse.

They say things like "you care more about animals than human beings," as if compassion is restricted to humans or animals and doesn't or can't extend to both. Usually people who accuse you of that don't care about humans either.
Note - my book Living Cruelty Free: Live a more Compassionate Life focuses on human as well as animal rights.
People assume living a cruelty free life means not eating or wearing animals, but to me it also means caring about our fellow human beings and avoiding products made using slave and child labor.

You state facts, they stoop to insults.

You can't have a rational and calm conversation with them about vegetarianism, veganism or animal rights because they'd rather sling insults and mock you than actually open their minds and engage their brains.

But, that won't stop me and shouldn't stop anyone else from writing about what they believe in. It's easy to mock and belittle people, but it's much more difficult to take a stand.
Let's unite to change the world: to make it a better place. TOGETHER.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Standing up and for animals brings out the bullies

This is how ducks and geese are force fed.

Two years ago, I posted about a restaurant where I live selling Foie gras. I was shocked that something so cruel * whose production is banned in the UK, could be sold so close to where I live, so I posted about it on my blog and on the Facebook page of my local newspaper.

Afterwards, my partner was threatened in the street by two shady male figures in the dark. One of them was ranting and raving about how dare anyone say he couldn't sell a "food" in his own restaurant. I guess in the days of slavery, the slave masters probably said that if someone suggested it was wrong to sell people. 

The restaurant stopped selling Foie gras for a very short time after I blogged about it and posted on the local newspaper's Facebook page (the newspaper agreed with me that Foie gras was cruel and devoted a whole article to the Cumbrae Bistro selling it) claiming they realised what a cruel "food" it was.

I suspect the real reason they really did it was because the local newspaper wrote about them selling one of the cruellest foods on the planet.

They went back to selling Foie gras (a food so cruel its illegal to manufacture it in the UK, but not to sell it), so it shows how much they actually cared. They even jokingly posted a picture of plastic ducks next to a picture of the article. Clearly, animal abuse was hilarious to them. 

Then today, out of nowhere, one of the men who threatened my partner (I didn't realise that it was him until afterwards) made sinister comments that left me pretty shaken. The kind of comments you get from a stalker. Afterwards, I half expected to have petrol put through my letterbox, followed by a match. 

But, after a lot of thought, I've realised one thing -

That's the same advice I give to bullied children. 

Those who commit acts of animal cruelty and those who prefer to keep their eyes closed to the truth, or who simply don't care (as in the case of this big mouth), will say anything to justify themselves and put you down. That's why you need to ignore the words of people you neither respect or trust.

The truth about Foie gras 

Does this poor animal look happy?

The food is so cruel Amazon also stopped selling it. Read the story here

The RSPCA want the sale of Foie gras banned.

The sale and production of Foie gras are banned in a number of countries, including Germany and Argentina because they break animal cruelty laws. Sadly, in the UK, the production is banned, but not the sale. 

Foie gras is made by force feeding ducks and geese using metal or plastic pipes until their livers expand to many times their normal size.

Here's a normal sized bird liver, next to one that will be turned into Foie gras.

No supermarkets in the UK sell it because it's cruel and contravenes animal welfare laws. 

The Lords Cricket Club have banned the cruel food too. 

Here's how you can help fight the sale of Foie gras. Click here for information. 

The other thing I realised is that if these people genuinely think that its okay to eat a food produced from unimaginable cruelty, then why would they be upset about me posting about it on my blog and sharing it on my local newspaper's Facebook page? Why would they care what people thought, if what they were doing was okay? 

The answer is that deep down, they know selling Foie gras is wrong. 

Sadly, that's the trouble with trying to teach people about the facts about animal cruelty - even when their eyes are open, they close them again, because they lack the emotional intelligence and moral strength to see that knowledge through to its full conclusion and avoid cruel foods like Foie gras. 

Stay safe, friends:) We can change the world. And, unlike those who support cruelty, we don't need to bully or belittle anyone to do it.

That's how veggiegirl2011 sees it.

UPDATE - After failing a health inspection and failing to file their taxes, the Cumbrae Bistro is now up for sale. 

TIP - As long as you stay within the law, there is no excuse for anyone acting in a threatening and aggressive manner towards you. If that happens, call the police. In my case, I didn't because my partner was alone when he was threatened and he only told me what had happened months later, so there was no witnesses, although he did record the abuse on his phone. 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Living Cruelty Free is updated for 2014 and out now in Paperback

Thanks to everybody whose been in touch asking me when the paperback version of Living Cruelty Free will be out.

It's out now and available on -

The book will be available across all Amazons soon. 

What do you think of my new rabbit? 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Have yourself a cruelty free Christmas

Whatever Pink's buying this Christmas it won't be any of these.
When shopping for gifts this Christmas it can be difficult to find products that are cruelty free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Of course, we all know how to avoid things, but what about those sneaky nasties that creep into things?

Here are the most common ones to watch out for -

PU leather, this is definately fake, right? Wrong.

1. PU Leather
I recently wanted to buy my brother a case for his iPad and I was delighted when I found one that wasn't made of leather. Then I got it and discovered it was made with PU leather. There'd been no mention of that in the Amazon description, so it was sent right back.

What is PU leather?
It's a mainly man-made material with a layer of polyurethane that is applied to the surface and then embossed to give it a shiny look. A layer of real leather is often used (sometimes its PVC that's used) so it's not cruelty free.

With more and more of the world's PU leather coming from China where animal (and human) life is cheap, I always assume that anything with PU leather does contain part of an animal carcass.

Tip - some stores call it fake leather, but this can be very misleading. It's usually found in items like handbags, suitcases, furniture, cases for electronic items like Kindles, iPads, iPhones, jackets, coats, belts, hats, gloves etc...

2. Cosmetics that say they are cruelty free
I'm always amazed when I go around stores and look at the cosmetics and toiletries available and how many of them say things like "not tested on animals," "We're against animal testing" and have the audacity to use a bunny symbol that looks like the Leaping Bunny logo (shown above)  although it's most certainly not.

If you're buying toiletries/cosmetics as presents make sure they are BUAV approved. This is the only way to guarantee that neither the finished product or ingredients have been tested on animals by the makers or their suppliers.

3. Goose fat on roast potatoes
These days we might not have time to cook or we may be visiting someone this holiday season, which means eating away from home or eating out. Roast potatoes should be safe, but at this time of year many people cook them in goose fat, which is pretty gross.

Stores may also sell them in goose fat.

4. Merino wool
I treat merino wool like sheepskin because the sheep it comes from have chunks of flesh cut off, without aesthetic so that they don't get something called fly strike. The Australian farmers who breed these sheep would rather carry out this cruel practice called mulesing than breed fly strike resistant sheep.

5. Real fur labeled as faux
It seems incredible doesn't it that real fur could be getting labeled as faux fur, but that's what's happened.

Years back there was a scandal when it was discovered that snoozing cat and dog figures that were sold in stores through out the world, were made from real cat and dog fur. These weren't labeled as containing real fur.

There was another scandal when it emerged clothes stores in American were selling garments with real fur without labeling them as fur.

FACT - People in the UK were shocked to discover that fake garments they were buying that made no mention of fur such as jackets, boots and gloves contained the fur of cats and dogs. Thanks to a high profile campaign backed by Paul McCartney and then wife Heather Mills (25,000 signatures were collected in just one online petition), cat and dog fur imports were banned in the EU in 2008.

Although cat and dog fur is banned in America, it still manages to get into the country.  

FACT - In 2002, the USA banned the importing, exporting, sale and production of cat and dog fur. This came about after stores unknowingly sold cat and dog fur in jackets. Note – the fur ban only applies to cat and dog fur and not any other type.

*The facts above are from my book, Living Cruelty Free, which is available now on Kindle.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

5 Hidden Nasties in Our Food that are NOT suitable for vegetarians

There are some things in foods that are strictly not suitable for vegetarians never mind vegans. Trouble is they can be hard to find.

1- Cochineal (also known as Carminic Acid, Carmines Natural Red 4 and E120). This is a sneaky little colorant that finds its way into everything from cakes to stews, confectionary and even cosmetics. It’s made by boiling and then pulverizing the bodies of tiny insects to get a reddish/pinkish and orange coloring. Watch out for anything that says it uses ‘natural colorings and flavorings’ because it may contain this nasty substance.

2-Gelatine (also spelt gelatin) comes from the bones of slaughtered animals, usually cows and pigs. It can be replaced by a number of ingredients in products like sweets (candies in America) and marshmallows, but it’s cheap and nasty which is why companies use it.

Killed for candies

3-Isinglass – This comes from the swim bladder of a fish and it’s used as a filtering agent in drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.  The final drink does not contain isinglass as it’s for filtering only, but the fact the fish have to be dead first to get their bladders makes anything filtered with isinglass not suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Guinness uses isinglass.


4-Glycerin/Glycerol (Glycerine in the UK) – This can come from animal fat, but you can also get vegetarian glycerin. Unless a product specifically states it is vegetable in origin, it’s wise to assume it’s of the animal variety.  If in any doubt, ask the manufacturer as companies do not always put the source of the glycerin on the label.

Products that may contain animal glycerin - soap, cosmetics, toothpaste, and some foods like candies (sweets as they call them in the UK).

5-Whey - This is one of those tricky ingredients you’ll find, sitting somewhere in the middle of the list, usually in chocolate products.  Whey most often comes from the cheese making process where animal rennet is used, so is not suitable for vegetarians never mind vegans. It’s also used in some crisps. 

Unless it specifies that it comes from cow’s milk, whey is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans because to get it involves killing a calf.

Killed for whey

Saturday, 1 November 2014

From wise men come wise words

Quote Of The Week - Carl Sagan, Scientist And Author

"If chimpanzees have consciousness, if they are capable of abstractions, do they not have what until now has been described as 'human rights'?

How smart does a chimpanzee have to be before killing one constitutes murder?"