Friday, November 21, 2014

November is World Vegan Month!

Hello everyone!
That's right-- this month is World Vegan Month. :)
On November 1, 2014, which is World Vegan Day, the "world's first vegan football [soccer] match", to quote The Vegan Society, was held! You can read more about it on The Vegan Society's website or on the Gloucestershire Vegans' blog.
Although veganism is something that should be practiced year-round, World Vegan Month provides us with an extra opportunity to raise awareness. Readers, I challenge each of you to do at least one thing this month to raise awareness for the animals and the vegan lifestyle. Please take this challenge-- the animals need our help. Here are some ideas...
  1. If you haven't gone vegan yet, become a vegan! This is the number one thing you can do for the animals!
  2. Host a vegan lunch or dinner, and invite friends and family to come try some delicious food. If you want, you could even make it a potluck and ask them to bring along a vegan dish for everyone to try.
  3. Bake some vegan treats and give them away to your friends, family, co-workers, classmates, clients, teachers, etc. This will help them to understand that vegan food can be delicious as well as ethical. (Make sure to tell them that the food is vegan!)
  4. Wear clothes and buttons and carry tote bags that have slogans on them that promote veganism and animal rights.
  5. Ask your local library and bookstores to set up a display of books on veganism.
  6. If you are a student or a teacher, here are some things you can do at school: put a message proclaiming World Vegan Month on the announcements, in the school newsletter, and on calendars; have a vegan bake sale; give out free vegan food samples; put up posters on the school bulletin boards (with permission, of course); hold screenings of documentaries; invite guest speakers to come and speak to classes on veganism; ask the cafeteria to serve more vegan options; hand out leaflets; start a vegan or animal rights club; and have a table offering literature and information in the hallways.
  7. Do a blog post, Facebook update, etc. on veganism and animal rights.
  8. Write a letter to the editor educating readers on the benefits and ethics of veganism. (It's probably more likely to get published if you mention that this month is World Vegan Month!)
  9. Put up posters on telephone poles, community bulletin boards, etc. advocating for veganism. You can print off some posters for free from the Abolitionist Vegan Society's website: http://www.abolitionistvegansociety.org/posters-for-printing/#.VG-lt4t0yUn
  10. Hand out materials advocating for veganism-- the Abolitionist Vegan Society (TAVS) (which is now my favourite animal rights organization) provides free downloadable bookmarks, cards, colouring pages for kids, leaflets, tear-off posters, slips, and posters for you to print out! You can see their resources here: http://www.abolitionistvegansociety.org/tavs-initiatives/tavs-resources/#.VG-mCot0yUk
  11. TAVS also has posters that you can publish on your Tumblr, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and other online pages: http://www.abolitionistvegansociety.org/tavs-initiatives/tavs-resources/posters-for-online-use/#.VG-mWot0yUk.
  12. Additionally, TAVS has online videos you can watch and share. I haven't watched them, but I agree with most of TAVS' overall values, so I think the videos would probably be good: http://www.abolitionistvegansociety.org/videos/#.VG-mXot0yUk. And they have audios, as well: http://www.abolitionistvegansociety.org/tavs-audio/#.VG-mWot0yUk
  13. There's a currently free Kindle e-book available on Amazon.com called Why We Should Go Vegan by Magnus Vinding. I have not read it, but it might be interesting to look at, if you have a Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IHPBCOS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00IHPBCOS&linkCode=as2&tag=volentiacom-20&linkId=GUG7AO7B7Z4LCBZE
  14. If you have any other ideas, please feel free to post them below in the comments section! :)
Hmmm... Coming up next, I think I'd like to do a post specifically on TAVS (which, as I'm sure you've noticed, I am particularly fond of!), or perhaps something else on philosophy... Or, likely, both mixed together!
See you then!

Cat
20140506
Picture from http://www.abolitionistvegansociety.org/tavs-initiatives/tavs-resources/posters-for-online-use/#.VG-mWot0yUk

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Mercy For Animals Inspirational Short Video

Hello everyone,
This is a pretty neat video. It gives a reminder of some of the reasons why people choose a vegan lifestyle, and it also provides a unique insight into the fact that people from many different walks of life are vegan. You can view it right here on my blog or on Mercy for Animals' website at http://www.mercyforanimals.org/i-am-mfa.aspx.


Have a nice day! :)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Petition: "University of Wisconsin: Cancel The Unethical Torture and Killing of Baby Monkeys!"

Hi everyone,
There's a petition by Dr. Ruth Decker, M.D., J.D., M.B.A., on Change.org called "University of Wisconsin: Cancel The Unethical Torture and Killing of Baby Monkeys!" that still needs more signatures.
 
Says Dr. Decker,
"As an alumna of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Medicine, I am horrified to learn that my alma mater plans to conduct highly controversial and cruel experiments that will torture and kill baby monkeys.
The experiments, led by Dr. Ned Kalin, will take newborn rhesus macaque monkeys away from their mothers (who have been restrained or drugged against their will while their baby is removed). The defenseless baby monkeys are then sent to solitary confinement—where they are terrorized and exposed to anxiety-inducing stressors including live snakes, painful skin-punch biopsies, and stressful brain scans. After this relentless torture, they are killed before the age of two."
Dr. Decker's petition is calling for the plans for these experiments to be cancelled at once.
 
Please visit the petition webpage and sign the petition: http://www.change.org/p/university-of-wisconsin-cancel-the-unethical-torture-and-killing-of-baby-monkeys?tk=LkFvaJbcdoAlzT8TI01jbPZp2HyKpkCImJZlqxD02S0&utm_source=petition_update&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_update_email
Thanks.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Tell Quaker Oats To Say No To Dairy!

Hi again,
I know this is the third post I'm doing in a relatively short amount of time, but I've just received an e-mail from the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine (which happens to be one of my favourite organizations!) announcing that Quaker Oats is planning on doing a campaign this October promoting dairy consumption. According to PCRM, "MilkPEP, a milk promotion program funded by the dairy industry, is behind the promotion."

As PCRM points out,
"Milk is one of the top sources of saturated fat in the American diet, exacerbating America's No. 1 killer: heart disease. It also increases the risk of certain cancers. Just two and a half servings of milk per day increase the risk of prostate cancer by 34 percent. And research from the Iowa Women's Health Study shows that women who consume more than one glass of milk per day have a 73 percent greater chance of developing ovarian cancer, compared with women who drank less than one glass per day."

This is shocking news in itself-- but when you consider the very big fact that the dairy industry is cruel and unfair for the animals, it becomes even more horrifying that Quaker Oats would promote the consumption of milk at all.

Why is the dairy industry cruel? Here's a very brief list of some of the reasons:
  • Mother cows are taken away from their babies.
  • Cows are usually kept in cramped, confined conditions.
  • Female cows are artificially inseminated, and must be repeatedly impregnated in order to keep producing milk.
  • Male calves are often sold to spend the rest of their lives in veal crates, while female calves are either cycled back into the dairy system or slaughtered. Veal calves are purposely given low-iron diets so that they become anemic, therefore having pale flesh. They are not allowed to run around, because exercise would toughen their muscles and make their meat tougher.
  • Cows are often fed corn and other "foods" that are unhealthy for cows to eat.
  • Animals have the right to be free. They are not "tools" for ours to use. Cows should not be our milk-producing machines. If dogs, for example, were treated the way cows are on dairy farms and "milked" to provide a product for human consumption (after all, all mammals produce milk), there would be public outrage (rightfully so!). Cows are curious, sentient creatures, just like dogs are. It is cruel to treat cows the way they are routinely treated, and it is wrong for them to be "owned" at all.
  • Many more reasons!
You can see a video showing some of the horrific things that happen to dairy cows here: http://milkiscruel.com/ The website Milk is Cruel is put together by Mercy For Animals. If you'd rather see less graphic pictures and read up on factory farming, you can go to http://www.think-differently-about-sheep.com/Animal_Rights%20factory%20Farming%20.htm. Think Differently About Sheep is a REALLY cool website.

PCRM has a petition that you can sign to tell Quaker Oats that promoting dairy is not acceptable. You can sign the petition by following this link!

Please sign the petition-- stop itravel2000 from promoting animal cruelty!

itravel2000 is a popular travel website to help Canadians plan their vacations. According to a petition on Care2, itravel2000 encourages people to go to "amusement parks where dolphins, killer whales, and belugas are held captive." The petition is asking itravel2000 to remove these destinations from their website. Good idea!

The petition is still a bit short on signatures. Please sign the petition and share it with people you know, before it gets sent off to the travel website in about a week! Thanks!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Statistics Canada: Canadians are Eating Less Meat!

According to Statistics Canada, in 2013 Canadians ate 10% less meat than in 2001, and 1.5% less than in 2012. In other words, meat consumption is decreasing! This is great news! More and more people are going vegan every year as they realize how their dietary and lifestyle choices affect the animals, the environment, and their health.

You can see some related statistics on Mercy for Animals' blog: http://www.mfablog.ca/canadians-eating-less-meat


Source: http://thevegantruth.blogspot.ca/2012/05/am-i-vegan-clearly-defining-who-is-and.html

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Colgate and Tom's of Maine-- Not Animal-Friendly in My Books

Hi everyone!
I've recently learned that the company I get my toothpaste from-- Tom's of Maine-- is owned by Colgate-Palmolive, which tests on animals. Although Tom's of Maine itself does not do animal testing, the fact that their parent company does has persuaded me to switch to a different brand of toothpaste.
I've also decided to send a message to Colgate-Palmolive asking them to stop testing on animals once and for all. Below I've pasted a copy of this message. If you would like, feel free to copy and paste the message (with any edits to make it more applicable to you) into the online form at http://www.colgate.ca/app/Colgate/CA/EN/Corp/ContactUs/ConsumerAffairs/ContactForm.cvsp to increase the number of people who are demanding this company to go cruelty-free. Or, if you'd like, you can write your own message (which is probably a better way of getting the company's attention, so they'll be more likely to read each individual message instead of just skimming a lot of them).


"Hello,
I am writing to you because I have recently learned that your company does testing on animals. I am appalled that there are still companies such as yours that do animal testing. Animal testing is unnecessary and terribly cruel. It also dissuades potential customers from buying your products in the future.
There are alternatives to animal testing that many other companies employ. Now that I know about your animal testing record, I have decided to switch to a different brand of toothpaste that is not owned by a company that tests on animals.
Colgate, please stop animal testing and using animal-tested ingredients. In doing this, you may be able to win back some of your ethically-minded customers, or at least prevent any more damage from being done both to your fan base and the animals, the latter having no voice in this matter.
Sincerely,
[Cat]"
Leaping Bunny
The Leaping Bunny: www.LeapingBunny.org
To find out which companies that make cosmetics, personal care products, animal care products, and household products are animal testing-free, you can go to the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics' website, http://www.leapingbunny.org/shopping.php, and do a search-- or, if you'd like, you can scroll down on that page, look beneath the "Get Your Own Shopping Guide" heading, and order a guide or download the PDF guide for free. Their guide notes if the company is owned by a parent company that tests on animals.

Photo
Picture from  https://www.facebook.com/leapingbunny/photos/a.365637005501.152863.48644720501/10152533914655502/?type=1&theater or https://www.facebook.com/leapingbunny
Remember, every time you spend (or don't spend) money on a product, you're letting the companies know what you want and what you don't want in a product and company. It's even better if you can specify what exactly you like and don't like by contacting the companies, too! I think it's best to not buy very much in general, but when you do buy things, it's important to support the most ethical and sustainable companies.