Sunday, 1 November 2015

Take Nestlé off your suitable for vegetarians list

Thumbs down for Nestle in the UK.
If there's one thing worse than companies being too lazy to label products vegetarian or vegan (something that should be compulsory by law), its companies like Nestlé changing the ingredients in popular products without any notice.

but who wants to have to look up the latest list from every single company whenever they go shopping?

How can you trust these lists when the products that look to have only vegetarian ingredients (hey, we end up examining them with a magnifying glass) and that ARE LISTED AS VEGETARIAN on store websites have hidden animal ingredients?


In Nestlés case, it's their Black Magic chocolates and their After Eight Mints that are no longer vegetarian (After Eights were once vegan). 

A staple gift for many vegetarians at Christmas, an elderly friend of mine who's vegetarian, got a shock when she asked me to check if After Eight dinner mints were vegetarian and I discovered after a lot of research that After Eight Mints were both were no longer suitable for vegetarians.


Here's where it gets even more confusing. According to an ingredient list on some Black Magic chocolates are vegetarian. It doesn't say that on the box and they're not in the Nestle vegetarian list. 

Look at the ingredients on Black Magic and its difficult to tell what ingredients they contain that no longer make them vegetarian. And, there's more confusion. Strawberry ones are veggie, but not orange ones, apparently. None are vegan. 

Cue confused face, or Nestlé boycott.

According to their updated October, 2015 list, "After Eight Bitesize Dark Chocolate Mints" are vegetarian, but not a box of After Eights Mints. Wonder what genius came up with that? Doh!

TIP - Some of the big supermarkets like Morrison's, the Co-Op and Asda make their own brand after dinner mints that are vegan. They're cheaper than After Eight's and there's no hidden nasties in them.

Always check the label before you buy. If you're in the UK, look for Vegetarian Society Approved and Vegan Society logo. 

Here's the Nestle OCTOBER 2015 vegetarian list 

Here's their vegan list 

You can complain to Nestle on Twitter by clicking HERE
Twitter @Nestle_UK_IRE

Consumer Services careline free on 00800 6378 5385 or 0800 00 00 30.

Consumer Services, Nestlé UK Ltd, Haxby Road, York, YO91 1XY.

In Conclusion - Me, I wouldn't touch Nestlé and their products with a ten foot pole for treating vegetarians and vegans and other shoppers with utter contempt and because of the Nestlé boycott (see below).

And that's how veggiegirl2011 sees it.

TIP - Also, watch out for After Eight Delicious Dark Chocolate and Mint Flavoured Desserts 4 x 70g they contain beef gelatine. Who wants ground down animal bone and muscle straight from the slaughterhouse floor in their dessert? 

The Nestle boycott

Nestlé is the target of a boycott because it contributes to the unnecessary death and suffering of infants around the world by aggressively marketing baby foods in breach of international marketing standards.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Testing drugs on animals won't cure cancer

R.I.P Dad 

My dad died this year. He had a rare type cancer. He was only 62 and its hard to imagine that someone with such a big personality who could light up a room and make everyone laugh, is gone.

My dad didn't die of cancer. No, he died of kidney failure and starved to death.

The drugs to "cure" him, destroyed his kidneys.

The drugs they gave him to "cure" him, gave him a condition that meant even the mere smell of food made him feel violently ill, so he couldn't eat.

Cancer drugs kill people not just cancer 

How many times do you hear people who've lost loved ones to cancer say they died from cancer, when if you looked at many of their death certificates you'd find the drugs killed them, especially the chemotherapy which basically poisons people's bodies?

The trouble with cancer drugs is that they still continue to use the same chemotherapy drugs that have been killing people for decades. 

The main reason is these drugs work on some lab animals. 

**That's animals who are not the same as humans; who differ in many biological ways. 

**Animals who are kept in tiny cages, in artificial, controlled environments unlike the human patients who are allowed to live normal lives. 

The trouble with cancer research

Every time you hear about "advances in cancer research" and "the next cancer wonder drug," what they don't usually tell you (and journalists are too lazy to ask) is that too often this new, amazing breakthrough has been made by testing on animals only. Testing that is not reliable for so many reasons. Yet, the only way you can tell if a drug is going to work on humans is by testing it on humans - that includes using it on human tissue.

"Testing on animals, isn't just cruel, it also wastes time when more reliable methods should be used."

Considering the billions that have been spent on cancer research (so much of it donated by people who've lost someone who had cancer and who are conned into believing cancer research on animals will find a cure for humans) and the millions of animals who've died in the name of so called cancer research, little progress has been made on finding a cure. Sure, many patients are living longer, but how many people are actually cured?

I've known people to go into remission, but the cancer has always come back and either killed them or the drugs have. That seems to be what happens in most cases.

I look forward to a day when there is a cure, but this won't be achieved by experimenting on animals.

How can you help?

***Make sure your relatives know where the money most cancer charities raise goes and how it doesn't help to find a cure and causes needless animal suffering.

***Donate to cancer charities that don't fund animal experiments like hospices.

****Donate to charities that fund non-animal research like the Dr Hadwen Trust. They award grants to researchers who use alternatives to animal testing. 

What do the experts say? 

"I'm a cancer researcher, and the traditional model for testing drugs which are used for cancer therapy is to use a mouse. But recently, there have been great advances made in the laboratory in growing cancer cells in dishes, and I think it's got to the stage where, in many situations, this provides a much more accurate model than the mouse." 

Professor Ian Mackenzie, Professor of Stem Cell Science, Blizard Institute, London, BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, 31 July 2013.

"Because oncology (cancer) drugs have a success rate of only 5%, it is clear that animal models are only marginally effective. " 
M.B. Esch, T.L. King and M.L. Shuler, The Role of Body-on-a-Chip Devices in Drug and Toxicity Studies, Annu. Rev. Biomed. Eng. 2011. 13:55–72 (doi:10.1146/annurev-bioeng-071910-124629)2010

"Animals don't reflect the reality of cancer in humans. We cure cancer in animals all the time, but not in people." - Fran Visco, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and four years later founded the National Breast Cancer Coalition, an advocacy group. 

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Let's talk about #WorldVegetarianDay

I love the fact some meat eaters are using the #WorldVegetarianDay hashtag on Twitter to talk about how much they love meat and how vegetarians are always talking about being vegetarian.


Maybe meat does addle the brain. 
In my experience, its meat eaters who can't stop about loving to eat meat whenever you mention you're vegetarian. 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Why I'm giving up milk

It's his milk. Isn't it about time we left him and her alone?

I'm passing farmland in the train and everywhere I see cows and their enlarged udders and I'm thinking, 'where are all their calves?'

There should be loads of them because that's why all these cows have enlarged udders, because like human mothers they produce milk to feed their babies.

Then reality hits me in a way it never has before - and I've been a vegetarian for 25 years - the reason these mothers don't have calves with them like nature intended is because their milk is going to be bottled, put in ice cream, cheese and yoghurt and all those other things that we humans consume.

So, where are these cows' babies?

Chances are the male calves are dead, well they can't produce milk. The dairy industry is brutal and any animal that doesn't make money is deemed not to have the right to live.

The female calves will end up as dairy cows and the whole sick process will begin again, babies seperated from their mothers, so we humans can drink wholesome* milk.

And that's why I've stopped drinking milkshakes, eating cheese and yoghurt because if I don't do that I'm feeding the demand, I'm breaking the mother and child bond.
I am the reason mother cows are bellowing for their babies.

It's because of me that babies are not nourished by their mother's milk and may end up living out their short, light starved lives in veal crates.

I say not in my name., and that's why I won't drink milk or anything containing milk.

*milk has been linked with breast cancer. In China where they are mostly lactose intolerant - lactose is in milk - the rates are way below what they are in Western countries where milk consumption is the norm.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

5 Simple Ways to go Cruelty Free Today

1. Look out for the leaping bunny on products that guarantees a product is verified as cruelty free. 
Companies may say they don't test on animals, but sometimes their claims are misleading. Copies that carry the leaping bunny logo (accept no imitations and believe me, there are plenty) need to prove their cruelty free credentials. 

Go to to find cruelty free companies. You can select by country.
Go bananas for Fair Trade

2. If you're buying bananas, chocolate or coffee, make sure it's Fairtrade (also Fair Trade). 
By buying Fairtrade, you are making a real difference to real people's lives. 

Remember though, that milk chocolate can never be cruelty free because the dairy industry kills unwanted calves and that's only one of the cruelties they inflict on cows.

They are paid a fair wage for their work and farmers get a fair price for their goods.

The true face of leather

3. Ditch the leather because it's NEVER cruelty free: it's a by-product of animal slaughter, of the meat industry. 

Get synthetic belts, handbags and shoes instead.

4. Encourage anyone interested in getting a pet to adopt and not buy. 
There are so many animals in need of good homes. 

There's no reason for anyone to buy a pet. 

When people buy a pet they might as well be locking the cage on an unwanted pet at an animal shelter.

5. Make a veggie meal for everyone. 
Let your family/partner/housemates taste how good a cruelty free meal can be.

Remember if it's really cruelty free, ditch the milk and butter. Better for you too. 

It's not that good for you anyway.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Fox cub hunting - they hunt babies don't they?

A round of applause for everyone who bought Living Cruelty Free. 

Thanks to everybody who bought Living Cruelty Free: Live aMore Compassionate Life I've donated money to the League Against Cruel Sports and their amazing campaign to highlight the plight of baby fox cubs stolen from the countryside by fox hunters, so they can hunt them when the babies are older to satisfy their blood lust.

Reading the details of their investigation below, I think we all know who the real vermin are.

Here's a copy of the communication I received that made me realise they were the cause I wanted to support this time. 

Note - All text and photos are copyright of The League Against Cruel Sports. Please donate or share if you can. Thank you. 

donate to save cubs
could help us raise awareness and expose the depth and breadth of illegal cub hunting through your local media.
could help us save young foxes in your area, which are being reared to be hunted in the name of sport and urgently need your help.
could help us fund a specific cub hunting investigation in your area and will assist us to present findings to the Police and Crown Prosecution Service, exposing this insidious activity currently kept secret by hunters.
Dear Jennifer
Over the years I have seen some truly shocking cases of animal cruelty, but nothing comes close to cub hunting -the dirty secret of the hunting world
You may find this hard to believe, but hunters capture fox cubs in cages, sheds, barns and artificial earths (controlled environments) so that they have ‘fresh stock’ readily available to kill for sport. 
You can help stop the massacre of fox cubs by donating to our appeal today. 
What’s truly worrying is that not only do hunts go out and deliberately kill cubs in the autumn, but in fact rear them in artificial environments to kill for fun at their own disposal. 

Investigations Exposé

In May, my Investigations team were alerted of potential cruelty inside a dark barn located just 200m from the Middleton Foxhound’s kennels. What we discovered inside was shocking.
16 fox cubs. Trapped in the barn, hidden from sunlight, and being reared to ultimately be killed by hunters. These hunters will stop at nothing for their own brutal pleasure.
You’ll be pleased to hear that we have rescued the fox cubs and relocated them in a secure location.

These protected areas offer freedom – something which these poor young cubs have never experienced before in their lives. In fact it saddens me to tell you that, after being kept unnaturally in a dark barn, the fox cubs were still afraid of daylight.

This is not an isolated case. As you read this letter, this dreadful practice is widespread across the UK. Our Wildlife Crimewatch line has received a wealth of information on 20 hunts in the UK suspected of capturing foxes to be hunted, and countless more cases of suspect artificial earths.
With your donation, we can expose even more cases of cruelty to cubs, including kidnapping and illegal cub hunting this season.

Before the Hunting Act (2004) was passed, 40% of all foxes killed each year were killed as cubs*. With the Hunting Act now in jeopardy, this season will be crucial for getting the evidence needed to protect the future for vulnerable young fox cubs.

You can make a donation to our cub hunting appeal securely online by credit card or via PayPal or make a telephone donation by calling 01483 524 250.

Every penny will make a difference towards securing their future, free from torment and persecution. 
Thank you for all your support, and everything you do for animals.
Paul Tilsley
Head of Investigations

*The Burns Report 2000


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Don't Let the Bullies Win - How to Get your confidence back and find your rainbow

Don’t Let the Bullies Win: How to get your confidence, back is aimed at a much neglected group, the adult survivors of bullying, whether that bullying took place at school, in the workplace or in the confines of a relationship.

This book was written by a bully survivor and is part misery memoir/self-help and will aim to do exactly what the title suggests.

The emphasis is firmly on dealing with the aftermath of bullying, whether it’s still going on or happened years ago, and making the bullied person feel more confident using a mixture of chatty advice, humour and fun exercises.

Inside this book there are tips and strategies on:
•           How to stop blaming yourself for what happened
•           How to stop bullying and bullying behaviour from ruining your life and your relationships
•           Learning to like yourself 
•           Standing up for yourself, including how to say no to people
•           Learning to let go of what happened to you
•           Helping yourself to feel better without relying on others
•           Facing up to the bully

Also includes tips on dealing with difficult people.

Note - to keep the cost down so the book can help as many people as possible, Don't Let the Bullies Win is currently only available in eBook form. 

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

8 Surprising things that are NOT vegetarian

Being veggie can be a minefield. Things that at first glance seem to be vegetarian, can in fact contain hidden nasties that are definitely NOT suitable for vegetarians.

1. Roast potatoes. You would think you’d be safe with the humble potato, but no. If people don’t have enough animal fat in their diets as it is, companies have taken to adding goose and duck fat to potatoes.

2. Cheese and Onion crisps/potato chips. 
They keep on messing with the ingredients in these so that animal rennet (taken from the stomachs of slaughtered baby calves) is often used. Walkers crisps in the UK kept doing this.

You also need to avoid their meaty flavours you need to avoid as some of them like the smokey bacon and roast chicken contain REAL meat. Yuck! 

3. Guinness & some other alcoholic beverages such as wine and lager. 
They may not contain animal by products, but they are filtered through isinglass, which is taken from the swim bladders of fish. There is no way to ensure none of this enters the product.

4. Chips or French fries. It all comes down to whether they are fried in animal or vegetable fat. The same also applies to other fried foods like fritters.

5. Worcester Sauce usually contains anchovies (small fish). 
There are veggie versions like Free From.

6. Parmesan Cheese tends to contain animal rennet, which comes from slaughtered calves stomachs, though increasingly its been replaced by cheaper and cruelty free non-animal versions. The same goes for many other cheeses. Always check the label.

7. Pesto is also made with animal rennet.  
This is because it contains Parmesan (see above). Pesto is often put in so called vegetarian dishes by restaurants. See this article. 

8. Low fat yogurts such as Müller Light yogurts. You might not expect it, but they have gelatine (gelatin) in them. Unlike other vegetarian, but not vegan friendly yogurts, that use pectin, which comes mainly from citrus fruits.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Are vegans the only ones with a right to care about Cecil the Lion?

Cecil the lion - a majestic animal killed by a savage beast

Are vegans the only people who have a right to speak out about the death of Cecil the lion? 

Sadly, that's what some vegans (not all, but some) are saying. I’ve read comments all over social media saying exactly that. 

As a vegetarian for 27 years and a vegan for 2, I think that's nonsense. I want everyone whether they are vegan or not to have compassion for animals - even if it’s only for some animals because what's the alternative - nobody except vegans and vegetarians caring about animals at all?

If you followed the rationale of vegans who say only they have the moral high ground to condemn this majestic animal being killed by a savage beast-

Eat meat? 

Why not just wear fur.

Eat dairy? 

Don’t waste your time eating free range organic eggs, just eat eggs from caged, battery farmed hens.

See a dog being mistreated? 

Well, walk on by because the animals you eat are mistreated every day. 

I would rather everybody showed some compassion towards animals than none at all.

We've all got families right? Most of them aren't vegan. But if we persuade them that the hunting of wildlife like Cecil is wrong, haven't we achieved something? 

If we persuade them to eat one vegetarian/vegan meal a week, isn't that progress? 

The message that you need to be vegan to speak up for animals is a damaging one. Maybe one day, those who condemn the killing of beautiful Cecil will go vegan, but they'll go too far the other way if they get shouted down by vegans for actually given a damn even if its for a lion in Africa. 

In an ideal world, nobody would eat animals and compassion would be shown to ALL living things, but this isn't a perfect world.

And, that’s how veggiegirl2011 sees it. 

Friday, 17 July 2015

Pity the price label pedigree dogs - its all about how much they cost!

This is how some people value dogs 

Today I spent way far too much time listening to someone who bought a pedigree puppy boasting about how much "it" was worth unlike "mongrels" and boasting about how he wanted the breeding ban on the dog because the poor thing is too closely bred lifted by Crufts so he could show "it" there. 

(As you can guess, he spoke about this beautiful girl dog like a piece of expensive furniture - it, it, it)
I thought three things -

One - you're a despicable human being to place a value on a beautiful creature and to fund the close breeding that leads to dogs with multiple health problems being born.

Folk like that should be made to go round dog homes/animal shelters to see all the unwanted dogs who will never get a home and who will, as seems to happen too often in America and even in the UK, be killed. 

Two - My "mongrel" rescue dog, Benjy is freaking amazing and unlike your poor wee soul, has no health problems (probably because he wasn't bred from very close relations like your poor dog). He's worth the sun, moon and the stars to me.

Three - I thought, you're a cunt. Sorry if that word offends you, but sometimes there are no words and hey, I'm Scottish every second word is a swear word. 

And, that's how @veggiegirl2011 sees it!

Here's some pics of my awesome "mongrel" rescue dog. Since my dad died, he's been my constant companion and he once almost broke the bathroom door down to get me when I was in there bawling my eyes out.

We got Benjy from the Dogs Trust in Glasgow:) The charity has rehoming centres UK-wide and never put a healthy dog down - unlike US centers.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

For the last time Hitler wasn’t vegetarian

One of the most commonly trotted out lines you get from non-vegetarians looking to put vegetarians and vegans down, is "Hitler was a vegetarian."

They seem to revel in the fact that one of the biggest mass murderers in history, was vergetarian. 

But, that's not true. 

Biographers who wrote about Hitler (some of who knew him personally) described how he loved eating Bavarian sausages and game pie. Game in this case means meat from wild birds and other animals.

Hitler's own chef spoke about Hitler's love for stuffed pigeon.

That's hardly the diet of a vegetarian. Now, is it? 

Friday, 17 April 2015

My manifesto for a more compassionate world

1. Products that are tested on animals should be legally made to show graphic images like the diseased lungs on cigarette packs in the UK.

"Because I'm worth it." 

Is animal suffering worth it? Let people see.

Hey, maybe there are people who don't care about rabbits being blinded or mice being mutilated, but there are also those who have no idea that cosmetics and household products are still tested on animals.

Time we had pictures like this showing animal experiments on products that use animal testing.

2. There should be legal definitions enforceable by law, over what constitutes vegetarian and vegan suitable products. At the moment, there are just recommendations. But, hey, I could recommend from birth that every baby is given wings, it don't make it so.

3. Clearer labeling on all products not just a list of ingredients, but an explanation of what the more ambiguous one are. Does everyone know that gelatin/gelatine is ground down animal bone and muscle? What about the insects that go into cochineal? Or, the fish bladders called isinglass used to filter some drinks? People have a right to know what they and their kids are eating.

4. Clear vegetarian sections in stores that are kept away from non-vegetarian and vegan foods. One of the stores I shop in (Tesco Glasgow) put Redwoods vegan sage and onion slice in the fish aisle, down from a rotisserie where a chicken was going round. What the hell?

5. CCTV cameras in every slaughterhouse. Animals shouldn't be beaten, have their legs broken been thrown against walls. Let's ensure that every slaughterhouse worker knows that if they abuse animals unlucky enough to end up in their workplace that they could be caught on camera and prosecuted. There's a UK petition here and worldwide here.

6. Sentences for animal abusers to be changed from years to months. In the UK, if people are convicted their sentences (if they get prison at all) are months, rather thank years. They throw in 'banned from keeping a pet' for a certain amount of years, but who actually polices it?

7. The end of breed selective legislation for dogs. No man or animal should be killed for how they look. Let's do it for Lennox.

8. A ban on dog breeding for profit. Until every shelter is empty, nobody should be bringing any more dogs into the world.

Puppy farms should be banned.

What would be in your manifesto?

I'd love to know. Please post a comment.