Under the Bridge

May 31, 2009

Check out this graf art I found under a bridge downtown.

005006007

They get sick of waiting like us.

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They wear bling nearly the size of their own head like us.

009

They have unmanageable fros like us.

fro dog

Mutzy (word for fuzzy bear)

Look around, you’ll find it!

072

071

073

070

Angel Kitten

May 28, 2009

All Hail the Angel Kitten

Angel Kitten

Meow Meow Peace on Earth Meow Meow

A kitten in Chongqing, China has developed wings.

Though born normal, once the cat hit 1, he began growing wing-shaped appendages on either side of his spine.

While some think the bony limbs may be a mutation of some kind — or even a Siamese twin growing inside the cat (dude!)  — others speculate it’s a genetic change perhaps caused by chemicals ingested by the kitty’s mother while she was pregnant. What the hell kind of chemicals make you grow wings? Don’t let Procter and Gamble get their hands on that shit.

I love how Mr. McFeely jumps when he sees Lady Elaine Fairchild – she has one ugly mug. I also love how Lady Elaine Fairchild assumes X the Owl is a terrorist when he just wants some special alone time. From the look of X’s eyes, it’s clear he was up to some mad doob smoking in there, Henrietta possibly in on the sesh m-meow-meow.

Toxic Fuel

May 25, 2009

With hardly a soul in their restaurant, FUEL was dying for some entertainment.

With hardly a soul in their restaurant, FUEL was dying for some entertainment.

Foie gras (translated literally from French as “fatty liver” and pronounced ‘fwah grah’) is produced by cruel and inhumane farming practices. At just a few months old, ducks are confined inside dark sheds and force-fed enormous amounts of food several times a day. A farm worker grabs each duck and, one by one, thrusts a metal pipe down their throats so that a mixture of corn can be forced directly into their gullets. In just a matter of weeks, the ducks become grossly overweight and their livers expand up to 10 times their normal size.

What is FUEL fueling by selling this horrific “product”?

What is the karmic effect of ingesting force-fed animals?

1. Drew Barrymore

Drew Cover

Until recently actress Drew Barrymore was not only a vegetarian but also regularly featured in PETA press releases and features for her activism. Alas, Barrymore has abandoned veganism for a typically Hollywood reason — it just wasn’t exciting enough.

The woman whom PETA once lauded for turning down a Vogue cover because of her anti-fur beliefs apparently discovered that it just isn’t easy to accessorize while boycotting all of that fur and leather. Barrymore told IMDB.Com,

still don’t eat a ton of meat, and I don’t wear a ton of leather, but I just don’t put strict limitations on myself anymore. I don’t beat myself up. I didn’t wear certain designers because I didn’t want any animals to suffer for beauty and stuff, and so I literally was dressed by Old Navy at one point. I still shop there, happily. Urban Outfitters and the Gap, I love those stores. You need basics for stability, but eventually I got tired and wanted to play again. Dressing is like an art form – it’s so much fun.

We all love Drew, but why would she choose to promote Cover Girl, owned by Procter& Gamble, one of  the world’s worst animal testers? Drew, Drew, Drew…

2. Ellen DeGeneres

ellen-cover-girl-olay

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi will  be honoured by the Human Society next month for their love of animals, so it’s both ironic and disappointing that it’s been brought to our attention that vegan Ellen is the Cover gal for Cover Girl cosmetics, a company that still tests on animals.

Even more ironic, the ads featuring Ellen will debut around the time she is given her award.

Deceiver.com put its ever so sarcastic slant on things:

Proposition 2, eh? I remember that. It was right around the time she signed up to become Cover Girl’s newest spokesmodel, despite the fact the beauty company is the largest that still tests on animals. Die, bunnies!

What on Urth is Ellen thinking”? She’s one celeb who isn’t doing it for the vanity or the glamour. Man up, Ellen – open your eyes to what’s really going on and the role you’re playing to perpetuate that.

3. Unfitney Spears

bs spears

Where do we start??

  • buying puppies from pet stores who came from puppy mills (which later mysteriously disappear…)
  • eatin’ fried chicken ya’ll, and when on a diet to tone her gams – plain ol’ chicken. And burgers – Brit Brit loves her some In n’ Out!
  • using animals onstage in her circus tour (which are kept in confinement and bred for the sole purpose of entertainment, electric shocks often used to make them perform) Even though BS often complains about feeling trapped like a caged animal.
  • Wearin’ rabbit fur (while buying a caged parakeet…)

Like Britney says: she’s not that innocent.

We sure don’t wanna piece of that!

PS What have you done with Bit Bit?

Polite Graffiti

May 23, 2009

Concept art installation in Hollywood.

you are herewho are theydesert islandyou are floatingbe lovealien lovechild

Caravan of Courage

May 23, 2009

Don’t these puppy dogs look like Ewoks???

Bear and Cubby

Bear and Cubby

Bear

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You decide.

ewoks

Ewok

Storytime

May 19, 2009

Urth

Urth

There was once a planet in a solar system far away named Urth. Urth was covered in Watir – a clear, salt-ridden, semi-solid substance which was in constant motion. Throughout this Watir were a series of large islands inhabited by bipedal beings called Humins who were able to dangle from the planet’s surface by the bottoms of their feet. There were many different breeds of Humins on Urth, with long limbs, various shades of pink and brown epidermis, different shapes of visual sockets, and pelts sprouting from their heads in different colours and shapes. Each of these Humin  breeds had different ways of producing sound with their mouths and different methods of survival. There were two genders of Humins – Min and Womin.  The Min had an extra limb that Womin did not, a tail in the front of their bodies which they used to guide them. The Womin’s bodies had two large sacs on their fronts and were able to expand to carry small reproductions of themselves with a physical donation from the Mins’ bodies. To stay alive, the Humins needed to put Watir into their bodies, but it had to be Watir without salt, only found in large puddles and streams within the large islands or deep inside the ground, or sometimes the Watir would fall from the sky. The Humins also needed to put into their bodies other living things in order to survive; some Humins chose to feast on the array of strange creatures of all shapes and  sizes that roamed the planet with them, and others ate only the faceless green growths on the land, which could move and grow but could not or speak or travel. The Humins named the living things they put into their bodies, Fyde. Acquiring and digesting this Fyde was one of the Humin’s main concerns.Although the Humins were not the most ferocious breed of creature, they could make objects out of their environment to harm and kill the other creatures for Fyde. But despite these objects, the Humins were still afraid of the other creatures, some of whom were larger and or more ferocious than the Humins, so the Humins built angular structures to protect themselves from these other creatures. The structures also helped protect the Humins from: the Watir that fell from the sky, the Ocins of Watir that would sometimes rise up and swallow them, the mountains that would explode liquid fire, and the cracks in the surface of the land that would shake and crumble the land.

But the danger to the Humins did not only come from the outside, but from within themselves. The Humins’ bodies would often cease to function and sometimes they would die from ailments existing in their bodies from birth, or from ones transferable between bodies. These ailments would make the Humins bleed or convulse or become too weak to function, or cover their epidermises with spots and growths. The Humins tried to extract objects from the Urth to remedy their ailments and sometimes these found objects helped, but sometimes they didn’t.

The Humins observed that the more hirsute, long armed creatures of their planet looked somewhat like themselves and eventually discovered that these creatures were an earlier form of themselves. They called this discovery Evilutin, and found that they could use the laws of Evilutin to create hundreds of types of creatures from one single creature. However, the Humins did not apply this concept to benefit their own species in order to improve their genes to combat defects because the Humins practised a concept called Freedym, which entailed any Humin to mate with whoever they chose to. Freedym was very important to the Humins.

To be able to reach distant parts of the large islands faster in order to obtain resources to make objects, the Humins would strap themselves to creatures with hard feet and long legs. But soon the creatures weren’t fast enough for the Humins, so they invented vessels that were able to digest a thick fluid from the Urth’s core to help them race around the planet. The vessels emitted poison but the Humins accepted this because they valued speed over air.

The reason the Humins valued speed was because they believed in a concept called Tyme. The Humins believed that Tyme had a start and a finish and that they were only allowed a certain portion of it – one portion as individuals, and a longer portion as a species. In a reflection of this concept of Tyme, the Humins created Moni, a substance that was exchangeable for any object in existence and which could be given to other Humins to make them do things. Like Tyme, Moni was finite; there was only ever a fixed amount, decided by those created it. But the Humins enjoyed this ‘object of all objects’ so much, that they rarely considered that those who were making the Moni were the ones who were ultimately in control of it. And so the Humins who made the Moni developed a system to ensure that they would always have the most Moni, by only letting the other Humins have Moni if they gave it back with interest after a certain period of time. Moni was like speed to the Humins, they craved it. More than Freedym.

To acquire Moni, groups called Midia began to form. The Midia would try to convince the Humins that the objects they produced were superior to other objects, so that the Midia could in turn could have more objects for themselves. The Midia would convince the Humins to give them their Moni through images of Humins with symmetrical features that fit into a particular mold. The Humins all wanted to look like this ultimate mold because the more symmetrical a Humin was, the better object they were considered. This concept of being an object, was called Buti. Some Humins thought that Buti was better than Moni, but they needed Moni to help them be Butiful. The Midia would use the most Butiful Humins as images to sell their objects and the Humins began to study the Midia’s pictures of Butiful Humins and try to recreate their appearances. The Humins would try to sculpt their bodies into specific forms by inflicting gradual pain on themselves in special rooms with various pieces of torture equipment, forcing themselves to endlessly walk forwards with nothing upon which to focus their minds, or strapping heavy weights to various parts of their bodies and then trying to move. And when this was not enough, they would cut open their skin and break their bones and place objects inside themselves to reshape their bodies.

Certain Butiful Humins who had special powers to move or sound a certain way, or who could take on different personas in recorded image-stories, were closely monitored by the other Humins. The Midia followed the Butiful Humins around with image capturing devices every day. But eventually, with all the Butiful Humin images, the young Womin became sad that their bodies did not appear this same way, and they would refuse to consume their Fyde, or would consume their Fyde and then cause themselves to eject it.

Instead of contributing their more gentle natures to the formation of Humin society, the Womin let the Min take over the decisions, whose more aggressive natures caused them to think up ideas like burning things for energy and creating things that were so solid they could never disappear. The Min discovered that they could create a substance with very little Moni called Plistik, which could last a very long time. But when the Min wanted the Plistik to disappear when they were finished with it, it wouldn’t. It began to take up space on the large islands and clog the Ocins. But the Humins were certain that everything was finite, that an end would come naturally to everything, including their planet, so they continued to make the Plistik and let it accumulate.

The Humins became infatuated with the concept of Tyme. They would arrange their entire lives around it and they began to divide everything – the objects and themselves – into units. Even their Watir no longer flowed freely but came in Plistik bottles. The Humins were certain that Urth was destined to self-destruct either due to themselves, or due to sources high above in the sky. Since Tyme was running out, the Humins began to take more and more objects from the Urth and from each other because they were afraid that soon there would be nothing left. Plotting new ways to destroy each with Fyre to gain the most objects, the Humins with the most objects took away the objects of the Humins with the least, and more importantly – took away their ability to acquire new objects. It was a race to see which Humin could have the most Buti and the most Moni. They felt badly for all the taking and killing but they could not stop because they knew that when the resources ran out, they would die.

By looking at only the visible parts of their existence, the Humins deduced that everything and everyone would die, and death meant gone forever. To the Humins anything that was not visible did not exist. Even the Humins who believed in Gyde knew deep down that it was only a story they had invented. The Humins spent their time focusing on what they could take from their planet and from each other so they did not see the existence that lay outside the physical realms of their minds and their planet. They did not grasp the concept of Infinitium, which allowed every Humin to live forever. And so, the Humins eventually destroyed themselves, as they had planned, bombing  themselves with fire long before their one sun could.

But in the final explosion, the Urth’s particles reconfigured, and millions of years later a new planet was born.

world done

All went well on International Boycott Procter & Gamble Day 2009 at London Drugs on Robson. It seems that most people want to know the behind-the-scenes information about this super(shitty)-company. With Joanne’s catchy slogans and some radical cheerleading, it was a a step forward for caring consuming.

“Gillette: The Cruelest a Man Can Get!”

“Febreeze: A Breath of Fresh Death!”

“Sleazy, skeezy, hideous – Cover Girl!”

004Sad Little GirlPG

Doggie in the Window

May 18, 2009

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Hey, is that dog for reals?

Coco

"Lotfan dokhtar, more paparazzi? If you're not here for the job then boro gomsho, aight?" Coco, Marketing and PR - Designer Alterations

*Translation ~ Persian to English:

Lotfan dokhtar: Please girl

Boro gomsho: Go away

5 Fun to Use Organic Cleaning Products

Once, while tripping out on acid, my friend Ty and I were chilling in the kitchen after a Halloween rave, and while watching me scrub the counters at 4 in the morning, Ty commented: “oh my god – you’re Monica!!” I spent the rest of the trip contemplating this and hallucinating images of Marilyn Monroe and Babe Ruth in the stones of the fireplace… Later, while working for a verbally abusive family of veal-pushing Italians at a restaurant called Pasquale’s, I realized that I’m actually not that anal, but I still enjoy cleaning for its inner-cleansing capabilities. Cleaning with organic, cruelty-free products that is. I even bring my own organic products to work, or offer to buy organic products for my employers to avoid carcinogens, to keep our water systems clean, and to ring in the dawn of a new era.

1. Get Clean Scour Off Heavy Duty Paste

Scour Off

This scrub is made out of cherry pits and smells like bubble gum. Use it with a wet sponge on tough messes like bathtub scum, coffee stains, and burnt on food for a houshold exfoliator.

No phosphates, biodegradable, non-toxic, and no animal testing, as we discussed about Shaklee.

2. Almond Dish Soap

almond

This almond and cherry oil liquid dish soap smells great and moisturizes the hands, too. The product description indicates you can also hand-wash clothing with it. I love it, and only wish I could find it again, as Earth Friendly Products never replied to my email asking where I could buy it in Vancouver. Disappointing, but more importantly, they never test on les animaux.

3. Seventh Generation White Flower & Bergamot Citrus Laundry Soap

bergamot

This stuff smells like a spring meadow – not like torture, chemicals, and corporate lies. Has non-animal derived enzymes for maximum stain removal.

Many leaping bunnies to be found in the 7th Generation, and this appears to be the further scoop:

All of the Seventh Generation cleaning products, excluding our hydrogen peroxide cleaners, have the PETA symbol on their back label.

While Seventh Generation has never–in it’s history–conducted any animal tests on our products, we licensed the formulas for our hydrogen peroxide cleaning products, the: Kitchen, Bathroom, Shower and Carpet cleaners from a company that has for several years offered a highly concentrated version to hospitals, schools and other institutional and industrial accounts. We have used the “existing” test data, developed by this company several years ago, when we applied for our EPA approval, but we have not conducted or commissioned any of our own tests, nor will we do so in the future. Furthermore, this manufacturer has agreed to do no further testing on animals. For this reason we do not use the PETA bunny label that signifies “No Animal Ingredients, Not Tested On Animals” on these cleaners.

You will find the PETA bunny on our dish, laundry and baby products. I hope this information is helpful.

4. Orange Plus Surface Cleaner

orange spray

A zesty cleaner for various surfaces – hardwood, porcelain, linoleum, steel… I use it to clean my car, too, and add it to my fresh squeezed orange juice. Deelish ; )

5. Mrs. Meyer’s Shower Cleaner

shower cleaner

Good on streaks and water stains, and prevents soap scum build up. No animal testing (and there never will be). I have Lavender and it smells pretty okay, even though I don’t love Lavender. Mrs. Meyer is Mr. Clean’s ex-wife. When he joined Hair Club for Men and switched to the other team, she couldn’t live a lie anymore. Mr. Clean is currently being sued by the millions of housewives who he exposed to carcinogenic chemicals.

Kinda Hot

May 14, 2009

Yo yo, this Saturday is the thirteenth annual global

Boycott Procter & Gamble Day

You know what they say – thirteenth time’s a charm.

There comes a time in everyone’s modern life when we realize that the commercials we grew up on are selling us suffering. When we face the disillusionment that the wholesome act of brushing our teeth before bed is part of a long chain of needless suffering among animals no different than our own pets. Some can turn a blind eye…

Blind Eye

Others can’t.

Animal testers such as P&G argue that animal testing is the most effective means of gathering research because animals’ systems are so similar to humans’ – HELLO! This is exactly why testing on these sentient beings is not ethical. If they breathe like you, feel pain like you, see, smell, and hear like you, have a relationship with their young like you, then can we justify that their lives are of less value?

May 16th, 2009

Please unite with fellow activists for our thirteenth Global Boycott P&G Day on Saturday 16th, May 2009 to expose the callous animal testing practices of the world’s largest consumer goods corporation, and makers of Herbal Essences.

With your help, we can give millions of consumers the information they need to vote with their purses and help save innocent animals from deadly poisoning tests. If we want to protect animals, it’s vital to empower consumers to pressure companies like P&G directly.

pg2005pg2007a

Hurtful Essences

herbal essences

This year, in order to ramp up the effectiveness of this day of action, we’re encouraging our fellow campaigners to focus on one of P&G’s most infamous brands – ‘Herbal Essences’. We launched the boycott of Herbal Essences (a P&G hair care brand) in July 2008 when we revealed that P&G scientists had poisoned and killed over a thousand animals and their babies in a gratuitous test for a chemical ingredient (butylparaben) already in use by humans for decades.

Actions can include protests, stunts, street theatre, stalls and leafleting in town centres and at supermarkets/personal care stores (e.g. Boots). You can also help by organising protests at P&G sites, or displays and information events at your college, library, health-food shop, or workplace, and/or by firing off letters to all your regional media and online forums.

Last year’s Day was the biggest ever with over 250 different actions across the world. Let’s make the 2009 event even bigger and bring renewed hope for those animals at risk from abuse at the hands of P&G and other animal testers. Remember, without YOU, animals are defenceless and vulnerable to the brutality of P&G.

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FAQs

1. Why target P&G when so many other companies test on animals too?

P&G’s gargantuan scale makes them a hugely influential organisation. As one industry magazine puts it: ‘What P&G does, others emulate’ . Although some smaller companies are also guilty of animal testing, with power comes responsibility, so P&G deserve particular criticism. Targeting and influencing P&G can spark a domino effect throughout the industry.

2. How can I help animals when I boycott P&G?

P&G say that if people buy their products, then they are ‘voting’ for P&G as a company. By the same token, if you buy P&G products you are voting for cruel and unnecessary tests on animals. Conversely, if you boycott P&G, you are voting for a more compassionate future. A boycott is the most fundamental moral action that people can take to show disapproval and to reject an unethical company from society. This is an essential part of changing society.

Procter & Gamble exist for one reason, and one reason only – to make as much money as possible. They test on animals to push new chemical ingredients on to the market, so they can claim that their new skin cream or washing powder is ‘new and improved’. Money is the only language P&G understand. Ultimately, by boycotting P&G, you take away their reason for testing on animals. This is the key to saving the many thousands of animals who suffer and die every year in cruel and unnecessary tests conducted by this company.

Taking responsibility for the consequences of our actions is one of the most empowering and liberating things for a human being to do. The most significant thing we can do with our lives is to try to make the world a better place. We can all do that by exercising our choice in a conscientious and positive way – by boycotting P&G.

3. Can the boycott make a difference?

In the UK alone, over a quarter of a million people have signed a pledge to boycott P&G, equivalent to over £12 million a year in lost revenue for P&G. Despite P&G being the world’s largest advertiser , typing ‘Procter & Gamble’ into google.co.uk brings up Uncaged’s website as the top two hits! Consequently, every month thousands of people see the link between P&G and animal testing when searching for info about P&G products.

The potential impact of the boycott campaign is highlighted by a recent ethical consumerism survey by the Co-operative Bank. They found that in 2004, £173 million was spent on humane cosmetics in Britain, and 58% of consumers boycotted companies to whom they objected. Significantly, 80% of the public believe that animal testing for cosmetics is totally unjustified, with 79% opposed to animal testing for chemicals used in the home.

The fact is that the vast majority of people are opposed to Procter & Gamble’s animal cruelty, so our campaign is pushing at an open door really. All that is constraining our progress is our limited funds for campaigning and education.

bunny

4. What about other companies that test on animals?

Now you’ve found out about P&G animal testing, it’s really important to find out about other cruel companies and boycott them as well.

5. My favourite company say they do not test on animals, but they are not on your recommended list, why not?

Many companies can be deliberately misleading in their animal testing statements, cleverly wording customer letters in order to reassure a concerned public. Often they talk about the products when most of this type of animal testing is for chemical ingredients. Even a ‘cruelty-free’ label on a seemingly environmentally-friendly or animal-free product is no automatic guarantee that the ingredients have not been recently tested on animals by the company or whoever they buy their ingredients from. Sometimes this is wilful misinformation, other times its just ignorance about what being ‘not animal tested’ actually means. In order to be credibly cruelty-free, companies must ensure that they and their ingredient suppliers comply with a Fixed Cut Off Date from which point they do not test on animals.

This means that a product manufacturer will not buy finished products or ingredients (from suppliers) that have been animal tested after a fixed date eg: 1987. This rule draws a clear line under animal testing, and is the only method by which manufacturers can send a clear message to their suppliers and the rest of the industry that the company is not prepared to profit from laboratory animal suffering. If a company does not use a fixed cut-off date for the ingredients it buys (even if it claims not to test on animals itself), it still profits from animal suffering because it is continuing to buy ingredients that have been animal tested and it helps to perpetuate the market for animal tested ingredients.

Restrained rabbits sometimes snap their own necks trying to escape the pain.

Restrained rabbits sometimes snap their own necks trying to escape the pain.

What P&G Is Saying

1. P&G say that they only test on animals as a last resort and only when required by law. Doesn’t this mean that they have to test on animals

?Procter & Gamble spend lots of money on clever PR to give the impression they care about animals. But their claims do not stand up to close scrutiny. Firstly, there are many other companies that produce cosmetics, toiletries and household products without animal testing.

Secondly, documents submitted to the US Government by P&G reveal that they have repeated animal tests for a washing powder ingredient, even though the chemical had been found safe in a massive trial on human volunteers and had been in use for several years. These tests were not even a legal requirement.

Thirdly, P&G are pushing for additional animal tests for new, ultra-tiny ‘nanoparticles’ for use in cosmetics and toiletries. These toxic and lethal tests include inserting a needle into the animals’ windpipes, force-feeding huge doses of the material, and rubbing it into raw, damaged skin.

In pursuit of profits, P&G endlessly searches for novel, hi-tech substances to add to its household products. “New and improved” labels are meant to persuade customers that existing products can’t do the job properly. But the novel ingredients, including nanoparticles and powerful enzymes, can also harm our health – by causing allergies and other toxic effects.

P&G try to give the impression of safety by means of painful tests on animals such as guinea pigs and genetically modified mice. Given the option, most customers prefer to use products with established, safe ingredients, rather than risk their own health and cause hundreds of animals’ deaths.

2. P&G say they have spent over $150 million on developing alternatives (since 1984), doesn’t that show how committed they are to stopping animal testing?

P&G could stop their animal testing immediately if they decided to use the thousands of existing ingredients that already have a proven safety record from being used by humans. The bottom line is that they put profits ahead of animals – it’s pure greed.

P&G’s own scientific papers show that some of these proposed ‘alternatives’ are just slightly less cruel types of animal test, rather than truly humane, non-animal alternatives.

Even if we accept P&G’s claim at face value (and there’s no evidence to back it up), then this translates to just 0.6% of their total spending on research. Even more startling, the amount spent by P&G on developing alternatives is approximately 1/1000, or 0.1%, of the amount that it spends on advertising. So their claims are not quite so impressive when put in context.

3. With regard to Iams, P&G say that they only carry out research on animals that would be equivalent to research involving humans, so how can Iams be doing laboratory experiments on animals?

Firstly, P&G are only referring to cats and dogs with this policy, it doesn’t apply to other animals, who they kill in Iams experiments (though again they don’t volunteer this information!)

Secondly, we believe that this statement from P&G is seriously misleading anyway. P&G have admitted (though they don’t state this openly) that they keep cats and dogs for several months and years in caged laboratory environments, performing invasive and painful experiments on them. These aren’t animals who have just got sick and are getting treatments for their condition while being observed for research reasons. No responsible pet guardian would allow their animals to be used in the way P&G do. The use of animals in procedures who have been bred and caged in laboratory facilities for the purposes of experimentation has no acceptable ethical parallel in human studies.

P&G – your time is gonna come.

…Actually, I told you bout Moroccan Oil.

4 More Cruelty-Free Booty Products

Because cruelty-free is the only type of beauty.

1.Well, here it is live and in colour. Pour a dime size amount into your palm and work evenly into hair. Softens, rebuilds, and smells like cream soda.

moroccan oil

2. BKamins Hydrating Acne Wash. BKamins is not only cruelty-free, but it’s Canadian, which may or may not be a good thing considering our government’s recent smooth move to try to add seal skin to the Olympic uniforms. This face wash, only $32, contains salicylic and glycolic acids found in facial peels, but leaves your skin soft.

BKamins

3. Smell This Pucker-Up Hemp Lip Balm. I was given a free sample of this at the Epic Trade Show this weekend. In chapstick form, this hemp-based lip balm smells like vanilla and lime. Smell This Aromatherapy calls themselves Peta-friendly. They have lots of other tasty products on their site.

Smell_This

4. Vivix Cellular Anti-Aging Tonic. Vivix uses high levels of an ingredient called resveratrol found in red wine. Take one teaspoon daily of this dark red, sour serum for energy and a clean buzz. I only tried a taste and felt the effects, without even being told I would feel them. Although of course: $89 for three bottles.

Ingredients: Muscadine Grape extract (Vitis rotundifolia) (fruit pomace), trans-Resveratrol (Polygonumcuspidatum) (root) standardized to a minimum of 98% purity, European Elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra) (fruit), and Purple Carrot extract (Daucus carota sativus) (root)

vivix

The ladies at Shaklee ensured me that Shaklee, a brand based on ‘pure’ ingredients, never tests on animals. But, a user named: Herbivore~Naive Tree Hugger, says this on the Veggie Boards forum:

From Shaklee’s website: “Shaklee is part of a group of companies operated by Yamanouchi Consumer Inc. (YCI), a diversified global consumer products company, a division of Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., one of the largest and most profitable pharmaceutical companies in Japan with operations worldwide. Other YCI subsidiaries include: Bear Creek Corporation, the parent company of Harry and David and Jackson & Perkins; and INOBYS Ltd., a new business venture incubator.”

I didn’t know that….

This becomes another issue of whether to support a green company with a toxic parent. Your choice.


Update:

Shaklee has changed ownership (see Patty’s comment below). So Shaklee is no longer associated with animal testing, which is great. My only complaint is that they don’t market this commendable aspect of their company enough; it wasn’t even mentionned in the flyer they just gave me.

And now, a bibliographic shout out to our post title:

Convergence

May 11, 2009

What is CrimethInc?

CrimethInc is the black market where brilliant schemes and wild abandon are traded for lives.


worker

What is crimethink?

Today, everything that can’t be bought, sold, or faked is crimethink.

Check out the: Convergence_Flyer

Workers and ex-workers unite. CrimethInc’s annual gathering, Convergence, is happening mid-city this year in a communal open space in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“In the past, we’ve held festive gatherings far from industry and concrete: hundreds camped out in forests, underneath stars, beside lakes, rivers, streams, and creeks. Climbing bluffs overlooking rolling hills and vast plains, we fell in love, met allies, and experimented with the experience of freedom. To create the spaces where this could happen, we sought temporary escape from the cities that had in so many ways coerced and constrained our very existence.

Some of us, however, felt limited by this flight. We dreamed of building an anarchist castle out of the derelict abandonment right under our enemies’ noses. Hundreds would arrive to help us paint a masterpiece upon our canvas of rubble: workshops, meeting halls, libraries, performance spaces, gardens, and orchards would be constructed out of ruins and wreckage. We’d supply food, shelter, and so much more; like before, we would exchange stories, ideas, laughter, and dance moves with the maniac nomads, eloquent criminals, and dedicated rebels who descended upon our city for a week of chaos and feverish activity. The beauty of this dream was that at the end of it all, some of us could stay; for another week, a season, a year, or maybe even the rest of our lives. It never had to end.

We held onto this plan in secret, believing it to be impossible. Our dream was fraught with complications and seemed doomed to fail. It remained a fantastical plot we lacked the daring to attempt. Until now.

Work

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Opposite of Love

May 9, 2009

…is not hate, but indifference.

Are the world’s shiteous factory farming conditions biting us in the ass?

What goes around comes around…

Cute Pig

Factory farming has become not only a health hazard for animals, but it now appears that public health can also be affected by it. High time for deep and worldwide reforms in the livestock sector.

“Diseases such as Foot and Mouth, BSE,  Swine Fever, Fowl Pest (including the mutated H5N1 variety), and now H1N1, have almost become accepted as  part of daily life. These diseases lead each time to wide scale  suffering in animals and unreasonable extermination of healthy animals .

What’s new is the threat to public health which seems to be caused by factory farming. The time is ripe for extensive investigation into the health hazards which our factory farming seems to bring about.  The related  social “cost price” of animal products, has not yet been reflected in  the price tags on the supermarket shelves!

The rapid increase in livestock through the world and the equally growing trade in livestock and animal products leads to a heightened threat of animal diseases and diseases which can be transferred from animals to humans.”

pig farm

A recent Maclean’s article entitled: Did Factory Farming Cause the Swine Flu Outbreak? quoted epidemiologist, Dr. Silbergeld as saying:

“We need to examine the way we are raising animals, not just in North America, but worldwide, that contributes to this kind of mixing of viruses. It’s really like rolling the dice.”

swine cage

“No one yet knows for sure where this swine-flu came from, but the people who live in the Mexican town that is being called ground zero of the outbreak, think they do. The Mexican press is reporting that locals in the hometown of Edgar Hernandez, the four-year-old boy who may be the first person to have caught the illness, say a pig farm is to blame. The town is home to a Confined Animal Feed Operation (CAFO) that is 50 per cent owned by Smithfield Foods Inc., the largest fresh pork and packaged-meat company in the United States. Residents claim that the flies that swarm in the CAFO’s open-air lagoons where the pig manure is stored have caused a high rate of respiratory infection in the town.

Epidemiologists have long been aware that the way we raise our animals in large-scale, industrial operations increases the chance of viruses jumping from animals to humans and could be the breeding ground for a future pandemic. The majority of the meat we eat in Canada is raised on large farms where thousands of animals are kept together in close quarters. On an average hog farm in Saskatchewan, there are often more than 20,000 pigs being raised at one time. This kind of large-scale swine farm is common in Mexico too. In these conditions, pathogens spread quickly. “You have a lot of animals—of hosts—in a confined area,” says Silbergeld. “This is a text book situation for driving evolution of bacteria or viruses.” And each time a virus moves from one pig to the next, there is the chance that its genetic make-up will change.”

wilbur

This one goes out to all the Terrific, Radiant, Humble pigs out there being raised in confinement and misery.

terrific

History in the making!

On May 4th 2009, the entire European Union put a ban on Canadian seal products,describing the commercial slaughter as “inherently inhumane.” The ban will take effect in October. Booya!

harp-seal-baby

There is a lot of false propaganda circulating as the conservative Canadian government clings to their greed, such as  in this article on cnews.ca:

- the slaughter is a “centuries old tradition”

The commercial seal slaughter is only as old as the term commercial. It has been happening in such large proportions only since Canadians began taking more than their share of the environment and its inhabitants. Canada only formed in 1867. The native hunts are different, in that native cultures take only how much they need, they do not target the young, and they use the entire animal. The commercial seal slaughter targets baby seals playing in the snow, discards everything but their fur, and takes a good round number based on however much they want.

- now that there is less demand for seal products, a cull is required to keep the seal numbers down.

The food chain in NorthEastern Canada is extremely complex and the harp seal cannot be directly linked to the cod; it has many predators. If we would stop overfishing the cod and leave the system to its natural devices, it would regulate itself. Cutting the numbers of one species with the argument that we are “balancing nature” is equivalent to genocide, in my opinion.

harp-seal

- the ban has the potential to decimate coastal communities

Each seal hunter slaughterer makes only a few thousand dollars a year from the seal hunt. It is seasonal part-time labour for these men, which can be subsidized through many, many other means. It does not count for 30% of their income. This is dangerous work, and the price of pelts has plumetted with good reason, leaving these men less reason to put their lives in danger on slippery, unsteady ice. While ‘Canada’ may make money off the trade, those killing the seals are not reaping the rewards.

harp-seal-2

- Trade Minister Stockwell Day swears that the Canadian hunt is humane

The Canadian commercial seal hunt is executed in rushed, icy conditions making kills sloppy and without precision. There is little regulation on whether the animals are stunned before being skinned. Often several seals are killed at once, leaving them to struggle in pain for hours before they are put out of their misery – there are no laws against multiple kills. There are high numbers of seals which are shot or clubbed and escape, leaving them to suffer as they try to get away. Not to mention the very fact that this ‘hunt’ targets seals who do not even eat solid food yet. They are infants, and they are mammals. (Not fish, despite that they are managed by the DFO.)

- Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams thinks Europe should take a good look at themselves… It’s a humane harvest and they know it.

Actually, the E.U. has educated themselves about the slaughter and have interpreted that it is not humane. Does Williams really want to dis the entire European Union?

- Inuit groups say the ban will spell disaster for their communities

The commercial seal hunt is not conducted by native populations, it is conducted by part-time workers from the Magdalen Islands and Nova Scotia.

As Mac Harb says: “the Canadian government is the small interest group” concerning the Canadian commercial seal hunt, Canadians want to see it end. The government can publish their propaganda bullshit on all the major news channels, but we as animal rights activists have seen the unaired footage of the hunt. We know the stats. We know what really goes on. Our government does not speak for us, we speak as individuals.

Thanks to the E.U. this is truly the beginning of the end.

The Harb Seal Bill

May 5, 2009

On Sunday, May 3rd, Senator Mac Harb gave a presentation on the bill to end the seal slaughter, which is a slaughter and not a hunt, he specifies, given that the baby seals are too young to escape or defend themselves. Mac Harb is the only member of the senate who openly supports the bill to end the slaughter; he is a strong voice against the stubborn ignorance of the Canadian government, which he says is not acting in the interest of the Canadian people on this issue. We are not the small interest group, he assures us – the senate is.

First, Sheryl Fink, Senior Research and Projects Specialist with IFAW Canada, shows some slides of what happened this year on the ice. The sights, the sounds – the smell.

On the plus side, the value of seal pelts is dropping as more countries ban seal products, and as a side-effect only 57 000 seals have been killed this year, as opposed to 300 000 in previous years. Some fresh seal pelts were even discovered in a landfill recently, illustrating the decline of their worth ($16/skin), and the waste that this slaughter has come to represent.

In a country of 30 million, Senator Mac Harb has received 500 000 names on a petition against the seal slaughter, which is considerable, and these numbers are quickly growing. No signature or letter to the government goes unnoticed, he informs us, explaining how he delivers them personally in wheelbarrows.  “There are thousands of you,”  Mac Harb says.

On Saturday we went to hear a dj from BassDrive, Balistix, spin at the Backstage Lounge on Granville Island – more specifically The Game Face of Drum and Bass, feat. Balistix vs Holistic.

backstage

Blige & Isla

HooAh

Shah

shah 2

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