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#WorldAnimalDay and what you can do as an animal lover!

Several times I believe I’ve tried to engrave into my blog and writing that I sometimes struggle sticking with lifestyles such as vegan or even sometimes vegetarian. If I could switch off all my cravings, comfort food, deficiencies, illnesses and have a steady income I would definitely go vegan but sometimes for me and others it’s not always easy to 100% switch to a lifestyle and for some people it’s harder than others. I’ve always been a firm believer that vegans, vegetarians or meat eaters/omnivores shouldn’t force each other’s ‘beliefs’ down each others throats as it is counterproductive and doesn’t always spread the education and facts that people need to hear and instead becomes an ableist, stereotypical mess of joking and narrow-mindedness. Every human being is different underneath the surface and it does more harm than good to angrily assume why someone does the things they do. It’s better to ask questions and discuss than to yell words like ‘murderer’ or ‘hippie’ at each other without actually making any sort of productive change. Regarding my view on that, it means I’m very serious about making sure I never push my boundaries when discussing my views on being vegan or vegetarian and be as honest as possible; an example could be that I’ll admit, yes, sometimes I mess up and eat meat on some days or I’ll eat a chocolate/sweet gift from someone not regarding the dairy in it but at the same time I buy non-dairy milk in a carton for when I make myself tea or food that requires milk so that I reduce my dairy intake/purchases.

Today is ‘World Animal Day’ according to Twitter and obviously it is trending because we share our planet with these creatures. People love all sorts of animals when growing up whether it just be a domesticated pet or even wildlife creatures. Children are taught about these beautiful creatures growing up and it tends to be one of the core things humans relate to; you meet someone and you might ask what their favourite of something is and that could be the question ‘oh, what is your favourite animal?’. Unfortunately growing up you’re never really taught what can happen to the creatures we share our planets with and adults tip toe around the discussion with children because I think most adults don’t want to admit to the knowledge of it either. Nevertheless, it’s there and it doesn’t start or end with say, farm animals, it’s also wildlife, sealife, domestic pets and the list probably goes on in more detail. I think it should be discussed with teenagers and young adults what stuff you can start doing when growing up that has less of a negative impact on animals, much like we are taught to walk instead of drive places or switch the lights off in a room after using it to reduce our carbon footprint. I’d like to see ‘little things to help animals’ promoted a lot more and in more detail than just sending off small donations to charities and that’s that.

#1: Choose one day a week to go meat-free.

I will sympathise only slightly with people who declare ‘I couldn’t go vegetarian, I love meat too much!’, when told they should stop eating meat. It can be relatively easy to stop eating meat products when you put your mind to it. A great idea, inspired by the movement ‘Meatless Monday’, is to pick one day a week that you pledge to just not eat, purchase or consume meat products all day. It doesn’t have to be a Monday it could be any day you prefer, but it’s a great start in reducing your meat intake.

#2: Buy Cruelty-Free beauty dupes.

Unfortunately a lot of beauty companies still get away with animal testing and using ingredients that are derived from animals. Some well-known names include L’Oreal, Benefit, MAC, Maybelline, Revlon, Clearasil and Herbal Essences. I’m definitely not saying if you own any products from these brands to run screaming to the nearest bin and chuck them all in as that is wasting a product and the packaging. The best thing to do is when you finally run out or get rid of said product to look for a dupe in a cruelty-free brand. Some really easy finds include Superdrug’s own brand, Barry M, B. by Superdrug, BH Cosmetics, Lush and Kat Von D. If you are ever unsure of something, look for the little ‘Cruelty Free’ rabbit on the packaging or give it a quick google search as there are so many useful blogs and pages from the company ready to help you. If a company’s stance on cruelty-free practice ever seems dodgy to you, just go with your instinct.

#3: Support adopting pets.

Obviously this idea can only really come into play if you are planning on getting a pet anytime soon. There is plenty of benefits to adopting a pet that include giving a pet that could no longer have a home with it’s old family a new life and home, some pets in adoption shelters may have been taken from a cruel past and you are giving it a chance to experience love and comfort which is such a lovely thought. Always look at chances to help out people who may have had an unexpected litter come into their lives – you know when someone you used to go to high school with advertises on facebook that their cat just had lots of kittens and they need a new home? Definitely support that, it means that the young kittens can grow up in a home with care instead of being separated from it’s litter and put in a home with tons of other cats. Unfortunately in that scenario, if the owner needs to get people to adopt the litter cause they can’t look after them all, both ways the kitten will be separated from it’s mum/litter, but I think it’d be a much better chance for you and the kitten than the hassle of it being put in a shelter and having to wait to be adopted.

#4: Find your local vegan/vegetarian cafe.

Support your local vegan and vegetarian establishments! You’ll be able to discover new food and meals that don’t cost the earth and help work towards encouraging the trend of vegan cooking in the industry. I’ve noticed in the past few years more restaurants and cafes introducing different types of non-dairy milk or even non-dairy cheese in meals. A good example is the vegan stuff restaurant Zizzi is starting to bring into their menu! I believe it all comes down to supporting independent animal-loving businesses, they are the heart of the vegan/vegetarian food industry and should be encouraged so that the word of supporting animals and the environment gets even more out there.

Is there anything else you guys think should be included on the list? I’m also going to leave here some interesting petitions you guys might be interested in signing on World Animal Day.

Ban antifreeze preparations that are putting our pets and children’s lives at stakehttps://www.change.org/p/uk-eu-parliaments-law-defra-ban-all-antifreeze-preparations-unless-they-contain-a-bitterant
Tell the Arts Council of Ireland to stop funding circuseshttps://www.change.org/p/arts-council-of-ireland-stop-funding-animal-circuses#response-4321
Tell British Airways to stop sponsoring Seaworld: https://www.change.org/p/british-airways-stop-selling-trips-to-seaworld-end-your-support-for-these-cruel-orca-circuses
Make a donation and recieve a Bee Saver kit: https://www.foe.co.uk/page/get-your-bee-saver-kit

Thanks for reading,

signaturejuly16

Sources:
Information about Meatless Monday – http://www.meatlessmonday.com/
Information about non-cruelty free brands – http://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/companies-that-test-on-animals/
Cruelty-free Dupes – https://twitter.com/crueltyfreemu
Benefits of adopting – https://www.animalfriends.co.uk/blog/10-benefits-of-adopting-a-pet/
Zizzi’s vegan menu – https://www.zizzi.co.uk/data/menus/static_menus/1/pdf/Allergen-Information-June-2016.pdf
Vegan/Vegetarian food in the UK – http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/travel/19-of-the-best-vegan-restaurants-in-the-uk-a3266876.html#gallery

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Etsy and Society6 Haul: Capybara Mania!

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Animals make me super happy. Like incredibly; nothing I enjoy more than when I’m in my own little world on a bus ride or before going to sleep than scrolling through Instagram and looking at cute animal photos and videos. I’ll be honest and admit probably half of the accounts I follow on Instagram are because they post cute animal photos or are even purely dedicated to someones pet. Something about an Instagram ‘run’ by a corgi or a cat just amuses me and makes me smile. I love when people know their pet’s personalities and acknowledge their sentience. But that’s another story for me to gloss over and almost fangirl over another time. If you know me in person, you’ll know enough of my pushing my phone in your face when a cute dog video comes up on Facebook.

So, speaking of animals, one of my favourite animals strangely enough is Capybaras. They are essentially large rodents but I think they look so fuzzy and adorable. Their faces look so content but sly it’s very entertaining. You can find some cute videos on youtube of them having a paddle and swim around or even just relaxing in the sun. A few weeks back I saw a deal on a website named Society6 in which it was free shipping under a certain price, I can’t quite recall. Society6 is basically quite like RedBubble perhaps, in the way artists/illustrators/designers can upload their designs to be printed and sold and they get money from it. Admittedly I have heard sometimes the percentage split between the printers and the actual creators could be unfair, but I have not looked into it that far. The lovely, talented artist I purchased my print from was ‘Choc Ye’ and I have to admit, I have fallen in love with their art style and I just had to purchase my print off them because not only did they do a print of an adorable animal but their style is so humble and eye-catching. I love soft water-colours and not too bright palettes cause they look so lovely.

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So this lovely print – ‘Capybara and his succulent garden’, is the print I ordered. It’s just so pleasant to look at, it feels so precious that I’m almost scared of just blue-tacking it to my wall cause I don’t want to ruin it. If I move out for University, this print is definitely coming with me cause it’s the kind of cute, heart-warming animal art that just makes you smile. This print came extremely quick so I am impressed with Society6’s delivery and it came very carefully packed to protect it from being damaged.

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So next up on my, ‘must-buy-every-cute-capybara-item’ haul; Last week when I had a bit of spare dosh I had a gaze over Etsy and ended up finding this absolutely darling wooden handmade necklace. Etsy is one of my favourite places to online window shop and probably 7 times out of 10 I end up making small, ‘treat yourself’ purchases. The creator for this necklace was Ella Goodwin who owns her Etsy shop ‘ Miss Ella ‘ where she sells lots of her illustrations on jewellery/prints and the like. She loves to specialize in cat art, as you can see because my gorgeous necklace has a little grey cat snuggling up to the capybara. Two of my favourite animals in one necklace!

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I did not expect the necklace to arrive so quickly and it was so well packaged and personalized. Ella included a very adorable card and business card that I just had to show you because they were so sweet! I definitely recommend having a scan of Ella’s Etsy store for any possible gifts for yourself or cat lovers.

 

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Isn’t it lovely? The material of the necklace is great too and very lightweight. I prefer lightweight necklaces, especially if they have quite a big ‘pendant’ piece. Heavy ones that hit your chest as you walk can be quite a turn off towards a purchase for me.

So yeah I recommend you checking out these talented artists!

Thanks for reading,

Helena x