Rachel from diygarden.co.uk recently wrote a wonderful article about how to help injured pets or wildlife. It tells you what to do, should you come across an animal you think could be hurt or poorly.
We were really impressed with the guide and thought we would share it with you! Here is a link to the article, and below are some things we found interesting.
“Vermin” / Non-native species
Some animals, such as Muntjac Deer and grey squirrels are not allowed to be released into the wild anymore. This means that many vets will refuse to treat them and will euthanize them if they are bought in injured.
We were surprised to find that when a vet refused to treat our rescued pigeon Otto because he was “classed as vermin” – that was actually illegal! (Otto was released into the wild many years ago, but we still think of him often!)
Anyway – many vets will not treat wildlife that cannot be released unless you pay them to do it and take responsibility for finding a home the animal later.
How to pick up a hedgehog
We once found a hedgehog at night walking in the road, we needed to move it but found it difficult to pick up!
It didn’t occur to us to roll it into our hands! Trying to pick up a balled up hedgehog with no gloves was tricky! We did rescue the hedgehog, but wish we knew this first:
“Don’t be scared, they don’t bite. Grab the hedgehog and pop it in a high-sided box. Use gloves or a towel if you have any to hand. If not, touch the hog – it should roll into a ball unless it’s badly hurt. Then roll it onto your outstretched hand.”
Diygarden.co.uk have a lot of interesting articles about wildlife on their. Take a look!
They didn’t pay us to write this article, but did offer to share our post on social media. We would have shared the info regardless: it’s a good article which we read start to finish and learned something from. That’s always worth sharing!
This is your guide to the 2019 climate change election. We are in the midst of a climate emergency: living in such desperate times surely calls for desperate measures…. but the choice in the ballot box is the same as always.
Or is it?
Here is Anna’s guide to the 2019 election with a focus on the climate catastrophe and animal welfare. This election might be our last chance on climate change so I have been more … forthright… that I usually am in the public sphere. Hope that’s okay!
Below is a detailed review of 5 party manifestos, in alphabetical order.
I have included:
Quotes from each manifesto
Quotes from Friends of The Earth and Compassion in World Farming
Some thoughts of my our own! These are either on a pink background or in (italics/brackets)
Also, I used the Nature Watch Foundation election report as a guide
The time of the traditional, egg based flu vaccine may be coming to an end, with new, more ethical alternatives available.
How is the Egg Based Vaccine Made?
In the UK, flu vaccines up until this year were all made with eggs. The process uses fertilised chicken eggs at 11-12 days old – a chick would usually hatch at 21 days .
The egg is injected with the various virus strains specified by the World Health Organisation as being a threat that particular year. Then, it is left to develop for another 48 hours, incubated (and presumably the chick continues to grow). Over the 48 hours the virus is weakened or destroyed by the egg.
Then, the egg white, the albumen, is harvested and purified. It takes 3 chicken eggs for each vaccine. 
Should I have this eggy-vaccine?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. I have always said no, even though I am eligible because I have asthma. However, last year, I was so seriously ill with flu for so long that I said I would have it this year. I also put some effort into sorting out my asthma (review, new inhalers, dehumidifier and air purifier in the house etc) so the chance of me needing the vaccine was minimised.
I know others who have made the same decision, and others who have rejected it regardless. It doesn’t have to be the same choice every year, remember. If you are pregnant, or the primary earner in your family, or have a serious health problem – why to have it this year, and re-asses next time.
Thankfully, from this year, it’s going to be easier to get a vegan version of the vaccine! Read on for more info!
A Vegan Version?!
There is another way of making vaccines though, using mammalian cells. In this case it’s the cells from a dog’s liver. But don’t worry, no dogs are harmed or killed in this process – liver cells divide easily. The Manufacturer of the new, more ethical vaccine said:
“Flucelvax Tetra is manufactured using influenza virus grown in Madin Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cells rather than embryonated hens’ eggs. MDCK cells are a continuous, laboratory maintained, cell line. Continuous cell lines originate from a natural tissue source, but have adapted to grow and divide “unendingly” under laboratory conditions and so have unlimited availability.”
Indeed this cell line has been alive since the cells were first taken from a spaniel in 1958!  It’s not clear what happened to the original dog, but I don’t believe it would necessarily have been harmed or killed for the extraction of liver cells alone.
My local GP is so far saying it is not available, but I will keep you posted. The pharmacist says it’s possible to order it in, but not till October. You may have to ask repeatedly or make a full. You may have to pay. But this vaccine IS available in all of Europe from this year.
As far as I have been able to find, the vaccine is 100% Vegan in terms of ingredients, however, I am waiting for final clarification on this from the manufacturer about that. It’s not clear if the specific vaccine is tested on animals – I assume it will have been. The general process will also have been tested on animals at some point.
What did you do?
Good luck, and comment/reply to let us know how you got on!!
My surgery initially said they didn’t provide this vaccine and had never heard of it. I then sent an email [5, text below] which detailed the name of the vaccine and attached a document from the NHS commissioning saying the vaccine is available. I didn’t hear anything for a while, but then they called and said they will be getting these vaccines in around the 14th of October. I finally had the vaccine on the 16th of October. Initially bought out the eggy vaccine not the Vegan one, she had to go back and get the correct one. It really didn’t hurt at all, I didn’t really even feel the needle going in, it hurt a little bit immediately afterwards – but much less than eg a blood test or a paper cut!
What about other vaccines?
I recently thought to look at which other vaccines are Vegan or not Vegan, and found it quite a mix.
What this document shows is there is a huge variety of growth mediums used in the more day-to-day vaccines used to protect us from major disease. These seem to be different to the flu vaccine in that most of them don’t use egg.
The most concerning culture mediums for Vegans are probably the Cow/Pig derived serums which I used to feed the viruses as they grow. Some of these come from cows milk and some are a … really quite awful… byproduct of slaughter. Certainly not ideal for Vegans!
However, it’s worth considering that these cultures are taken from animals who will, sadly, die whether or not what we have the vaccine. They are a by-product, not an end-product. You’re not creating demand for beef steak by getting a vaccine, for example.
These cultures are (presumably) replaceable with less horrendous things, and if the market for the end-product dries up the by-products won’t be as readily available. So, as our societies reduce their meat and dairy consumption in order to try mitigate the climate catastrophe, and then these components of vaccines will become more expensive. Presumably at some point a replacement will be found, for vaccines and for the many other slaughter derived ingredients in everyday items (like car tyres and matches etc).
As with food and clothing, we need to keep up the pressure to change the system as a whole (and “accept the things we cannot change” while we wait).
I appreciate that the nurses have said this egg free vaccine is not available, however, it is my understanding this is available on the NHS from 2019. It is a new vaccine, so perhaps it’s just a case of ordering it for the first time.
Please find attached some information from NHS England National Medical Direct. The vaccine is called Flucelvax® Tetra and the NHS seems to call it QIVc.
I understand if you won’t be able to offer this and will try and get it through a pharmacy in that case. However, please bear in mind it is the first time the flu vaccine will be suitable for those with egg allergies, particular religions beliefs and for many vegans too.
It is the first time I have personally felt able to have the vaccine.
Well, today I read a great infographic from Earth Rated, our new Poop Bag manufacturer. It got me thinking about the reasons why we Brits pick up dog Poo.
I think f0r most of us, we think more about the awfulness of stepping in dog poo above all else. We don’t want to put someone else though that, so we see poopa-scooping as a civic duty mostly. Part of being a good dog parent for sure.
One of my favorite podcasts is Science VS, by gimlet media. It’s a science show headed by Wendy Zukerman, who delves into the science of things like vaccines, climate change, essential oils and…. in September this year Veganism!
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal then those who travel to EU countries with dogs, cats and/or ferrets can expect difficulties. However, you can prepare in November 2018 to avoid these difficulties in March 2019.
Do you get stressed? Well, so do your pets – but they communicate it differently. Unlike humans who shop, over eat, drink too much and shout at people when they or stressed (just me then?) dogs and cats have a very different language.
It’s especially important over the Halloween to new-years party period that we keep an eye out for the signs and symptoms of stress and provide support and treatment for out companion animals.
Yesterday we heard the heartbreaking news that restricting climate change to 2.0 degrees, which we weren’t on track to achieve anyway, won’t be good enough to prevent the worst damage. I wrote an article delving into the details.
Here is something more positive: a guide to what YOU can do about climate change, starting right now. Some of the things are really easy!
The short-version is: go vegan, get a veg box, be really rude to people to by air-freighted food, drive less, walk more, switch to good energy, wear jumpers and insulate stuff. All of these things are good for your health and for the health of other people too! Kaboom!