Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays from all of us!

Ginger's Pet Rescue presents....

"Our 2009 Christmas Dog"

"Meet Princess Grace !"

* Christmas Day is almost here & even on holidays we never stop our 24/7 rescue work !

Here is a wonderful Christmas Miracle for a lucky dog named Grace ~ a 9 year old Black and White Chihuahua.

Grace was found lost in the raging 800 acre San Bernadino Forest Fires.

A firefighter found her shivering against a tree and brought her to the local shetler.

The shetler immediately wanted to euthanize her because of her ugly teeth and

her age being 9 yrs old and they also felt she was unadoptable and no one would ever want or love her.

Our rescue team saw the beauty in this adorable little girl felt the urgent need to save her !

We had her vetted, added Princess on to her name & had her transported up to Seattle!

Now the good news is Princess Grace just got adopted out today!

Joan the foster mom has decided to adopt Grace & give her a forever

wonderful home for the rest of her life !!!


This past year, Ginger's Pet Rescue have taken in so many special need dogs that are deaf, blind,

one eyed, 3 legged and many senior dogs with huge medical issues.

They all required special care while our vet bills continue to grow !

For the Holidays ~ if you can you help donate $ 5.00 or $ 10.00 to help us to save

more special need dogs ~ we would be so grateful !!!

* You can either PayPal us on our website:

Or mail your donation 322 North 105th * Seattle, WA 98133.

This would be the best Christmas gift anyone could ever give us !

* Thank You and Happy Holidays ~ From Ginger & all the Dogs.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Simo, our first foster dog

It is so natural to just take the easy way out of everything. People who can ignore that urge are the ones who can actually make a difference!

Everytime I had a single stupid thought about how difficult fostering is and maybe I should volunteer to do something easier, I thought of Ginger and Laura. Ginger started Gingers Death row rescue and Laura started People united for pets, 2 small rescue groups in and around Seattle who do great work by rescuing so many dogs each year. They have their lives and families and plans too, but they run the rescue everyday, each day of the year, come rain , come shine, come exhaustion.

We got our first foster dog at home last Sunday. His name is Simo and he is a super sweet white and tan parti pomeranian. He was rescued form the California Wild fires and was not adopted from the overcrowded shelter at san bernardino.He was scheduled to be euthanized soon but He along with lots of others was transported here by Gingers Death row rescue and came to our house as a foster and now is awaiting adoption into a loving family he can call his! Its been crazy for him to move from the pound to a 3 day road trip to seattle and to a new house which is also temporary.

The first few days are always tough when you take up such an endeavor. You
dont know anything much about him, how he will react, how many things in your house he will pee on or chew, etc etc. (and that does not really matter) and how attached you will get to the sweetie!.

Doing something good and selfless is never easy. It is additional work to figure out vacations, weekend plans, other day today plans and so on. It is additional work getting up in the middle of the night to take the dog out if he has an upset stomach. It is additional work of loving and training the dog. It is additional unconditional love that you get in return... It is additional heartbreak that you deal with when you let him go to his own forever home and hope that he has a happy life and a loving family.

Today, we left Simo at the adoption event. I couldn't stay and watch him sitting in his crate, being looked at by people. But that is the way they get adopted. and he did, and I am sure by a really nice family. I wasn't there when they took him home. I just hope that he has a super happy and nice life after the crazy ordeal he has been through.

Hugs and more hugs to you Simo. Now if only these tears stop rolling......

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cruelty free Body and Bath

Here is the first set of cruelty-free products. This is of course not a complete list. I have also tried to avoid companies which have conflicting information on their sites.

I will keep adding to this post and write more posts about other household items. Please read, keep some brands in mind when you go shopping next time, and make your house cruelty freeee

Save me!

The following are some of the brands i use or have used at home which test on animals so they are Not cruelty free.

Daily body and bath

Bath: Dove, Olay ,Caress
Hair: Dove , Pantene, Johnsons baby, john frieda, head and shoulders, clairol, herbal essence, Aussie, L'Oreal, Neutrogena, Fekkai( has been acquired by PnG), Suave, Redken, Tresemme, Nexxus
Body: Clean and clear, Neutrogena cleansers, Jergens, Vaseline, Cetaphil, dial, Gilette, Nivea, Old Spice

Most are owned by Unilever, or PnG.. Badd.. baad companies!

These are the products which DO NOT test on animals and are cruelty -free!!

Hair: Farouk Chi(Not on my list anymore, only some products are not tested on animals), Avon, John Paul Mitchell, avalon, Organix, Burt Bees, Ahava, Beauty without cruelty(by Avalon), Nick Chavez, Got2b,
Herbal or organic shampoos from whole foods

Bath/Body: Burt Bees, Yes to carrots, Boscia, Philosophy, Dr Bronners, Jolen, LUSH, Arbonne, H2O, Ulta Bath, Avon, Eucerin, Ahava

I love the CHI products and paul mitchell of course. I am going to replace some more bath stuff in the coming weeks and will put up a review for all the new products on the blog as well. Chi products make my hair feel heavenly and they are cruelty free!! The only problem with some cruelty free products is that they can be difficult to find in regular drugstores or grocery stores. For eg, Chi and Paul mitchell products are available in walgreens but usually they are marked too high. I got some great deals online. So it is sometimes an effort to find the products, but how many times a year do we shop for shampoos and conditioners. I feel a 10 minute research for deals on these slightly costlier products, once in 6 months, is not much to ask to help save an animal from a tortured short life!

The caringconsumer site has search filters by product type, so you can search for shampoo, shaving cream, toothpaste etc.
Here is the link

I just realized that all my teeth care(toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash) etc are all by companies owned by Procter and Gamble or Johnson and Johnson!. Phew, need to replace all of those as well.

Other sites to check on companies
Hope this helps!. Please also write to me about your favorite brands and if you find any good cruelty free brands that you have tried and love!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Animal testing!

We humans pretty much test anything and everything we want to ever use, consume or fashion, on animals. Whenever I come across any reference or mention of how cruelly the testing is done, my hearts gets crushed and I feel suffocated. If you are like me, then please do devote some time out of the day today busy schedules to read and take some steps to do something about it.

There are several sub debates under this big debate. Animal testing for medical purposes is one where i sometimes end in a deadlock. But other needless animal testing for cosmetics, body and hair care, lotions, fur, kitchen and home products etc are where i am always on the against side!

It just seems ridiculous to me that a rabbit, chimp or a dog has to have their eyelids stapled and heads immobilized to get some products dropped into the eyes till they go blind or die coz of the pain. There are several such heart wrenching painful examples which I do not want to go into. If you love animals and think that animal testing is cruel, then there are tons of options. It is just a matter of one time research to decide on things you want in your house and where you can get them.

I am trying to replace everything in my house in phases and also devoting some time to this research. I will keep updating the blog about what I replace and what options I find. Please keep reading and make some changes! Everyone can make a difference. Every drop makes an Ocean!

Here are some reference sites, lists of companies that test or Not test on animals.

I cant really go out there and stand in front of those big bad ass companies, testing animals daily and shout out to them yet, but i can definitely stop using their products !

and some more links here

Heres an excerpt from one of the sites above.

What are you trying to accomplish?
Many companies that test on animals really do not care about what goes on in their labs. You have to look at the one thing they do care about and that comes down to .. money. In other words, how many units of Item A or Widget Z are they selling to what demographic and how can they sell more of them. As long as they are selling Item A, they do not care how many animals are tortured in order to get Item A to market.
How can YOU make a difference?
Every time you opt not to buy Item A and choose cruelty-free Item B, you are, in essence, voting with your dollars. You are saying "I'm not going to support animal testing" and choosing to give your money to an alternate company that has made a conscious decision not to torture animals. Does one person's decision make a company stand up and take notice? Of course not, but as long as you make that decision and others do their part as well (be sure to inform your friends of their choices too), eventually, a drop in sales may be noticed. In some ways, it is much like voting, your one vote may be meaningless, but you exercising that right is the part that is meaningful, as is you becoming part of the process.
"It's too overwhelming, I can't keep up with everything."
It's important not to let yourself get too frazzled with all the different products and trying to keep up with every single item that is cruelty-free and which isn't. Even I can't do that every time I find myself at the drug store at 1:00 AM. Don't get discouraged because you come home with a product and later find out that it comes from a pro-animal testing source. The most important event is the time you put a cruel product back on the shelf and choose an animal friendly product over it. At that point, you have made a difference.
The "Little Things" You Can Do
A) Look through your bathroom, find products that are "replacable"

B) Print off the Cruelty/Bad Company Page, take it shopping with you

bunnyC) Browse through the Good Company List, make a "mental note" of familiar names that you may want to check out next time you go shopping

D) Don't get "too" attached to any particular animal right's group list. Unfortunately, at ALL organizations of size, money/influence do enter the picture. Anyone who has L'Oreal or Estee Lauder on their "good" list is highly syspect. One of the few lists I trust other than my own at the present is NatureWatch.

"Isn't this going to be EXPENSIVE???
Not really. The price difference in products is usually negligible. Sometimes, yes, it can be a bit higher. The reason for that is volume sales. The cruelty-free companies are usually much smaller and don't enjoy the economies of scale that large companies do. But, wouldn't you rather pay an extra 30 cents in order for animals to not be tortured? Also, these smaller companies generally use better ingredients and make a better product anyway (they don't have the economic pressure to shave fractions of cents per unit production in order to realize some significant addition to the bottom line).
The proliferation of online shopping has made the task of selecting cruelty-free products so much easier. Almost all companies now have websites. The cost of shipping is negligible in regards to the cost of driving to the store. The "lock" some of the huge cruel companies, like P&G, Colgate-Palmolive and Unilever have on stores shelves (where they pay retailers to keep small competitors products off the shelves) has made online shopping one of the few options left to those in saturated markets. Another benefit, is, you can go to Good Company List and click directly over to the retailers, or open it up in another browser/window while shopping at a consolidated online retailer.
Why do companies test on animals???
I'm sure the first thought is, who are these heartless sickos that conduct these unnecessary tests in this day and age when so many companies do not? Sadly, they are people like you and me (well, maybe not just like you and me). In loose terms, two things contribute to the continued use of animal tests. One, large companies are slow behemoths when it comes to change. Enough of us need to stop buying their products to bring such about. Two, the fear of liability is so pervasive, especially for American companies, that changing testing methods makes their legal counsel shudder. Yes, they may be aware that there are much better and more accurate methods of testing out there, other than their antiquated animal tests. But, even if their products are harmful to humans (even though animal tests can not convincingly disprove or prove such), they can stand in court and say, "we've been conducting these same tests for 70 years and nothing would indicate .. blah, blah, blah."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Child Labor! What would you do?

Picture courtesy GMB Akash.
Heres a set of very compelling pictures a friend sent me

I get worked up sometimes when I feel helpless about certain issues feel strongly about. Child labor is one of those. But really, we can make a difference, even if it is just one person we can reach. We decided to get some current situation updates and had this discussion with a bunch of friends in India. According to them, most industrial places now do not have child laborers because of the stringent laws and fines. This is good to hear.. but i am sure there are small scale places which still employ children and what about domestic help?

For example, another friends family recently replaced their domestic help by a 11-12 year old girl. Reasons for getting that young a girl
- Cheaper labor (she is taking home 1/5 th price of 17-18 yr old)
- young children are more honest, dont necessarily steal and dont keep switching jobs.

Of course that was enough to get me to figure out ways to convince them that it is not the right thing. But then the discussion came up with some more points
- They are also giving her a better place to live, better clothes, better manners, teaching her household work, a little bit of math etc
- She is anyway going to work some place or the other, plus as she gets older it gets more unsafe for her to just work anywhere.
- They got the older girl (previous domestic help) married into a good family, to a man with a stable job. if she was anywhere else, she might have been married off earlier to anyone because her family was always in need of money!

Though, I would have wanted them to also send her to school, but the argument remains that when will she work if she goes to school. I am sure there could be options of a few days a week school, but we were in general losing the argument. She sure is getting a safer home!

What would you do, if faced with a similar situation?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Go Greeeeeen!

We 6 billion humans are clogging up this beautiful planet.. not just with our population and buildings and cars.. but with the GARBAGE! And are using up all the resources in excess like there is no future!!

We, as Indians, have come from a less consumer oriented background. I remember mom always saving evverything from food and water to clothes and bags for reuse. We have always been taught to reuse and never use in excess, hence automatically hardly using things like plastic bags or bottles. After being in this country of excessive consumption and consumerism and accessibility( plastic water bottles everywhere!), I think we have forgotten our roots and all the knowledge that was imbibed in our growing brains just a few years back!

It is high time that we and everyone we can reach, make some changes to save not only our beautiful planet, but ourselves and our future generations!

So here are the things V and me have already done
  • Grocery Totes ( we end us getting 5-6 plastic bags each weekend. Thats 312 plastic bags each year per family of our size. Just within our friend circle , that is 5000 non bio-degradable plastic bags, which will end up clogging some beautiful place like the pacific ocean -The Great pacific Dump )
  • CFL bulbs: Use 75% less energy and lasts 10 times longer!
  • Environmentally friendly Seventh Generation Carpet Stain Remover -( house hold cleaners add toxic materials to the air, water, your house and your body. Some of them have already been connected to autism, brain disorders, allergies, cancer!)
  • Simply Green all purpose cleaner for kitchen and bathroom.
  • Bio-degradable poop bags for Chewie( he poops twice a day and he has been with us almost 15 months.. Thats 900 plastic bags saved!!! cost: only 8$ for 120 bags on amazon)
  • Toilet flush (Added a leak sentry and controlled water flow fill-valve assembly. Half of the world does not have water to drink, and we here waste water in things like a leaky flush or tap and have bubble baths! As the saying goes, A drop at a time will make an ocean. Save Water!! Cost just 6$ more than the usual fill valve)
  • Reusable water bottles!- This is the simplest step to eliminate plastic water bottles from daily use!
  • Recycle, Recycle: Paper, Cans, plastic!
  • This is the current list that comes to mind. Will add more later.
What all we have to do: Working list
  • Put in aerators in all taps( Aerators reduce the water consumption of the house, but you will still get good pressure from the taps/shower heads! Reduced water consumption and reduced water heating bill!!
  • Change our laundry detergent and dishwasher soap to environmentally friendly brands.
  • Bio-degradable Trash bags( once the huge costco set gets over)
  • Smart power Strip: it switches off when connected appliances are not in use.75% of the power used in home electronics is used when they are turned off.. the computer, TV, monitor etc!!
  • Recycled paper towels, paper napkins
  • Biodegradable food storage and cutlery: Whenever we have a party we end up using a lot of plastic disposable plates, cutlery, cups etc. The aim now, is to eliminate as much plastic as possible from the Kitchen!
  • Energy efficient appliances: This is a big step, so we have to plan this depending on how long we will be in this house:)
  • More to come!
Some more ideas at
and lots more.. Bing "go green" or "living green" !!

The blue marble: Picture courtesy NASA

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Can we ever go Vegan

(All links are Graphic. Please be advised)

I wear my emotions on my sleeve these days. I always did so, but the sleeves used to be a bit covered up, but now they just sit out there in the open.

It is probably because i am not working. I am not using up my time and energy worrying about work, people, deadlines, and politics. I have time on my hand to click on the some stories I would normally avoid and time to read some too.

There are tons of stories on puppy mills (mass breeding operations ) and they are heart wrenching. And even more apalling is the lack of action.

Another face of inhuman treatment is factory farming ( ) in the US and the dairy industry in india )(Please dont click the link if your heart is not strong.)
Oh, and how can i forget the faux faux fur story. The faux fur products you buy here with a made in china label are actually cat and dog fur!!

It is just amazing what people can do to achieve basic needs as food to completely useless needs of entertainment(dog fights, fur industry).

What can I do? I can atleast take a stand. Raise awareness.

Try to be vegan. I am not sure how successful that will be, since we indians have too much dairy in our diet. Can i give up all the khoya sweets?.

Though the stars are in my favour. I am slightly lactose intolerant since last year. Vegan, here i come.

(note to self) Try to
- Always adopt, never buy a pet
- Think of the animal before thinking meat.
- Fur looks good, but it is usually not fake. There is some animal somewhere who was skinned alive for it.
- Take time out of the busy schedule to think of other things apart from work and home.
- Go Green!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Puppy Mills..A Sad day for the state of washington

Sad week or month is more like it. The puppy mill raids are on the news everywhere. The number of rescued dogs increasing by 100s with every article. And no arrests for the very cruel and evil owners of the business.

Some years back i would have been too enraged and opinionated about it. Seems like maturity has finally set in. It is a very appalling and depressing situation. But sh** like this is everywhere. So instead of getting pained and depressed about it, i have decided to help out. I cannot physically help them out right now, but will surely do when i can. So monetary help it is. And raising awareness it is.

If you happen upon this blog, please do checkout the stop puppy mill site to know more about what exactly goes on in one.

"Puppy mills are mass dog-breeding operations. These canine breeding facilities house dogs in shockingly poor conditions.

Life is particularly bad for "breeding stock," dogs who live their entire lives in crammed cages and are continually bred for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever becoming part of a family. These dogs receive little or no veterinary care and never see a bed, a treat or a toy. After their fertility wanes, breeding animals are commonly killed, abandoned or sold to another mill. The annual result of all this breeding is hundreds of thousands of puppies, many with behavior and/or health problems."

Also read about the recent raids in the state and how you can help save these very sad eyed dogs.

Let us pray together for a little less cruelty and evil in this world.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

20 pounds in 6 months!

The mantra: Eat often and eat less per meal. And of course exercise.

My first tussle with weight happened in 2004 in Chicago. I was working long hours, eating bad and partying hard. And one fine day i realized that i had a bunch of pounds in all the wrong places and i need new clothes. Add to it the fact that i was probably going to have a wedding sometime in 2005. Snap... Thus started the same old American problem and solution game of trying to shed them pounds. That year i hit the gym hard and daily and tried to eat healthy!. My personal trainer helped me to find the right direction. 

Things worked fine and i got healthy but i lost only half of the weight i wanted to. Because the rest of it got converted to muscle. Hmm.. but that wasnt the lean mean look i always had eh.. And all those lost pounds anyway came back with all that food at the wedding!

Cut to 2007. I cant exercise much.. much is also too much a word for it. Plus i am weak and perennially hungry. So add on all u got!. Hit 2008 and i needed a complete new closet and i wasnt feeling very good about it. But this time i couldnt hit the gym and had to take everything very slow.

So i decided on my mantra : Eat often and eat less per meal. I added another small meal between lunch and dinner. So my meals look like breakfast, brunch sometimes, lunch, snack, tea time, dinner. It is difficult to suddenly reduce the quantity if food per meal coz it feels like you are starving. It is a slow process to reduce little amounts over a number of days.

I also started walking more with Chewie. And slowly over the months i did see some change. Finally, it was 20 gone! 

This post is just a reminder to myself that things always work out in one way or the other and i should not fret over them!