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."