Making kind choices in your everyday life.

Posts by ingleberry70

Kind Gifts

Posted by on Feb 1, 2013 in Shopping | 5 comments

“Ask yourself : Have you been kind today ? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world” – Annie Lennox.

 

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you may be wanting to buy a little something for your beloved. Rather than spending time pondering what to give, cast your eyes over my list of gifts ideas which not only give to the object of your affection but also to one of the fabulous causes out there. Or, if you are Valentine-less, show some self love by treating yourself.

 

JEWELLERY

 

Jewellery For a Cause  donates 20% of each sale of gorgeous jewellery to a number of great causes including The Orangutan Project and Oscar’s Law.

 

Polli Designs – an environmentally responsible jewellery (and home wares) business who donate items to the Jane Goodall Institute of Australia for fundraising.

 

Ethical Jewelsfancy pants, only in my dreams-ish rings made in conjunction with consideration for the environment.

 

A PLETHORA OF GREAT GIFTS FROM ANIMAL ORGANISATIONS. Here are a few examples….

 

The wonderful Animals Asia have recently rescued 6 bears so now would be a perfect time to buy something from their gift shop – scarves, umbrellas, sweet plush bears are all here. You can also befriend or sponsor a bear (this has been the cherished Valentine’s Day gift I have received for the last few years).

 

Animals Australia tirelessly campaign for Australian animals and they too have a great on line gift shop featuring candles, wine, t-shirts and chocolates  amongst many other gifts.

 

Sea Shephard have more man-ly goods for sale in their shop, being the warriors that they are.

 

PERFUME / AFTERSHAVE

Great gift to give / receive but do make sure that it has not been tested on animals. I will be devoting a whole post to this subject in the future but, in the meantime, PETA do provide some good guides. If your desired perfume does not feature in the guides, make enquiries with the company. Company feedback on my favourite perfume, Issey Miyake, is that do not test on animals (nor do they contain any animal ingredients).

 

BOOKSthere are some talented authors out there who are also kind and passionate in their beliefs.

I am a self confessed book nerd worm and these suggestions are ones which I have read and loved.

 

Women of Letters and Yours Truly – entertaining witterings from some well known, funny Australian women. Royalties to Edgar’s Mission.

 

Unconditional Love by Saskia Adams contains gorgeous stories of animal rescues in Australia.

 

Free the Bears by Mary Hutton is one of my inspirational reads of 2013.

 

Christine’s Ark – moving recount of Christine Townend’s work at India’s Help in Suffering.

 

The 2013 Voiceless Anthology – the result of a competition run by Voiceless. Comes as an e-book and hard copy and raises funds through royalties. It is an amazing read too – shows what talent is out there amongst everyday Australians.

 

The coffee book gift for the recipient to flick through if they are having a bad day undoubtedly goes to :

underwater-dogs-seth-casteel

 

 

  Not only do the images make you smile, the photographer Seth Casteel founded the wonderful American charity Second Chance Photos. His photos are used to show shelter dogs in their best light to help them find a home. Underwater Dogs is for sale in all good bookshops, including the ABC Shop.

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ART WORK

 

Tamara Keneally is an animal photographer based in Victoria. She takes stunning photographs of rescued (and other) animals and sells them through her on line shop in the form of laminated prints, calenders and greeting cards. Proceeds support such charities as Animals Australia and Tamara is, herself, an animal rescuer.Her stories and photos individualise animals such as sheep and chickens who are often viewed as a disposable commodities.

 

Lucy Culliton captures the beauty of ordinary farm animals in her paintings. She donated this one to the Humane Society Australia but has others for sale (on my wish list).

 

These Edgar’s Mission Brooches are so sweet.

 

FOR BABIES / KIDS

 

The most adorable toys and rattles ever are produced by the company Pebbles. Octopus rattles, geckos, otters galore. They are fair trade and help improverished women in rural Bangladesh. 

The stuffed animals sold by Animals Australia are mighty cute (I bought the pig for a friend’s baby), educational (they give a little blurb about what problems that particular animal faces) and proceeds go back to helping Animals Australia help the animals.

 

Animal themed bookmarks made by an inspirational 8 year old Australian boy, Jayden. He makes them to raise money for WSPA’s work to end the bear bile trade in Vietnam. 

 

ALCOHOL

 

A bottle of bubbly perhaps ? There is no better place to buy wine than through Goodwill Wines. The company was created in an effort to give something back to the community after the founder, David, lost everything in the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires and was humbled by the help he received in his hour of need. You nominate your charity of choice who will receive 50% of the profits from your purchase. The kindest way I can think of to indulge in your favourite tipple.

 

CHOCOLATES

 

The Cruelty Free Shop in Glebe, Sydney and Vegan On Line both sell sumptuous dairy free chocolate. Keep them in mind for Easter too. They both support Animal Charities too – The Cruelty Free Shop has a charity of the month and the owner’s of Vegan On Line also run an animal sanctuary called Freedom Hill.

 

BATH BOMBS / BODY STUFF

 

I could never have enough bath bombs. Lush have a huge array of these balls of relaxation and serenity. Lush is my new favourite body product shop and I go quite nuts in there. They are responsible with their packaging (pot exchanges for face masks is a perk) and their (mostly vegan) ingredients (never tested on animals). Love their Charity Pots too (100 % of what you pay goes to the nominated charity).

 

ECO FRIENDLY

 

On line shops such as Biome  have original and resourceful gifts and are, obviously, a kind choice for the environment.

 

SUPPORT THE LITTLE GUY (AND BUY AUSTRALIAN)

 

Rather than some ubiquitous, mass produced product why not check out the original and clever things for sale made by small Australian designers / creators. I have bought a few things from Madeit and Down That Little Lane. My most recent purchase was my mug from Zinnia Pea who’s saying (by Ghandi) spurs me along as I sip my coffee and write my blog. Also love the animal themed t-shirts etc from Cumbungi.

 

Fair Trade Gifts

 

Great way of helping out people getting back on their feet overseas. Gorgeous, colourful and unusual gifts can be found through Eternal Creations and The Trading Circle.

 

Reject Consumerism

 

If you get as freaked out as I do about all the never ending STUFF for sale (have you watched The Story of Stuff ?), to physically give nothing is a great and kind option. Have an experience or see a show (with human only participants) instead. We’re off to be dazzled by Empire at the Spiegletent, Moore Park.

 

 

Happy Shopping ! xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Factory Farming of Pigs

Posted by on Nov 8, 2012 in Factory Farming, Pigs | 1 comment

I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. – Sir Winston Churchill.

Pigs are gorgeous, intelligent and social animals. They are also one of the most abused animals on this earth and urgently in need of our help.
What is wrong

Human desire for cheap pork, bacon, ham etc has led to factory farming on a massive scale and dreadful, widespread cruelty. The following information about factory farming is kept well hidden by the industry, for good reason.

Animal Australia’s wonderful Make It Possible campaign explains more.

•    94% of pigs bred for their meat live in a factory farmed environment and will have felt nothing but concrete under their feet by the time they are slaughtered.
•    These smart, interested animals live in worlds devoid of anything to bring them joy – no sunlight, no mud to wallow in or grass to forage in.

•    Bits of their bodies (tails, teeth and testicles) are cut off with no pain relief. This cruelty is legal under the highly ambiguous and ineffectual Codes of Practice but woul be illegal if was performed on your family dog. Logical ?

•    There is little to no scrutiny within the piggery and abattoir walls leading to secretly filmed abuse of pigs from sadistic workers. In 2012 three piggeries in NSW were found to be engaging in hideously cruel practices – Wally’s Piggery in Yass, Tennessee Piggery in Young and Allains Piggery in Blainey Creek. In each instance undercover footage was obtained by Animal Liberation. Read more here.

•    Sow stalls and Farrowing crates.  84 % of the 350,000 mother pigs in Australia spend some of their pregnancy in a metal enclosure only barely bigger than her body. One third spend their entire 16 week pregnancy in one. Here she remains, unable to turn around, bored to insanity and suffering physically due to lack of excercise. Before having her piglets she is moved to an even smaller farrowing crate until she gives birth to her piglets who she cannot interact with, defying every mothering instinct she has.  Her babies are taken away to be fattened and slaughtered and she is then impregnated again and again and this never ending nightmare continues for her until she is slaughtered when she can no longer produce piglets.

•   Just imagine being put inside a cage where you could just stand up and just lie down but nothing else. You would have nothing to look at or do to occupy your time. Imagine being like this for 1 hour…now imagine 1 day….imagine a week. Impossible hey ? Now imagine being like this for 4 months. Incomprehensible. But, right now, as you read this, millions of sows around the world are experiencing this.

Note the words on her sign

•    For an animal with the intelligence of a 3 year old child, it is shameful that laws in Australia do not protect these animals. The Code of Practice are welfare recommendations only which are not enforced.

•    Sow stalls and Farrowing Crates are designed to keep piglet losses at a minimum and are disappointingly supported by the Australian Veterinarians Association. This is obviously economic rationalising with zero welfare considerations for the sows. There are alternative management practices which help prevent piglet mortality (from the sows rolling onto the piglets) which other countries use such as seen here: Free Farrowing Video.

•    Australia has not kept in line with animal welfare reforms around the world. Sow stalls are already banned in the UK, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Finland and Florida in the US.  It will be banned in EU countries from January 2013 (aside from the first 4 weeks of the pregnancy).

•    Australia imports enormous amounts of frozen pork products (apparently about 30,000 per tonnes per week !). There does not appear to be any vetting process for humanely sourced food from overseas nor does it support Australian farmers. So, when you next buy your ham sandwich from the local cafe, there is a big chance that it came from overseas from countries with lower animal welfare standards than our own.

•    Remember that if it is not stated on the packet / restaurant etc, then you can assume that your pork product is from a factory farmed pig and your money is supporting the practice of factory farming.

•    Excellent information about factory farming of pigs can be found via the following links.

Savebabe

Australian Pig Farmers

Animal Welfare Labels

Brightside

Humanechoice

Voiceless

RSPCA

Compassion In World Farming

Next post………what you can do to help !

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