Bamboo-zled: are bamboo pet products eco?

According to science, not all bamboo products are more sustainable than their non-bamboo alternatives. Shipping bamboo products over from China has a big environmental impact so the products need to be eco enough to mitigate that. Here’s some science and some bamboo pet products to consider!

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Frightening Fireworks

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.

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The Objectives of Organic

Organic certification logo EUEver wondered “What’s the point Organic food?” It is about health? Or about the environment? Why should I buy Organic pet food, my pet can’t tell the difference… Well here is the lowdown: The Objectives of Organic!

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Northern Vegan Festival Twitter Competition Winners!

Following the Northern Vegan Festival, those who took their pets an ethical present home from our stall got the chance to enter our photo competition on Twitter. Here are our wonderful winners!

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Pets As Therapy: Healing Paws

We all know what a positive effect our pets can have on our lives. For some, letting those precious pets be a part of someone else’s life too, allows this wonderful charity to reach out to thousands of people each week, sharing the benefits of unconditional love and companionship that these wonderful animals can bring. This charity is Pets as Therapy – this week, Shep, our adorable rescue mutt, interviews them about what they do.

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Recycling for your Pet

Sasha with her recyclable ball

Joey and I are always looking for ways to be greener, but our pets can be really naughty when it comes to the environment. Sasha and Shep, the rescue dogs, were forever destroying their toys – to be fair to them, it’s not willful destruction… but the cats, well, ripping their little toy mice to bits is their absolute favorite thing! Before we set up Ethical Pets, we didn’t really know how to address these problems, we seemed to be endlessly throwing broken toys away and buying more, and the local pet shops sadly weren’t much help with our sustainability quest.

However, now we run Ethical Pets things are much simpler! In this article, we will take you on a whistle-stop tour of some of our recycled, up-cycled and recyclable pet favorites.


Pretty much all of the Ethical Pets toys are up-cycled, recycled or recyclable – and our pets just love them! The dogs, for example, love their super tough Zogoflex Toys, and we love them too, because we know that if they ever manage to wreck them, we can recycle it with ease (and get a free replacement!).

Also, the cats adore their little woolly mice, and we love them too, because they are up-cycled from reclaimed yarn (and with a charity donation to boot). Much greener than the average cat toy!


A eco-upcycled biodegradable food scoop with minimal, recycled and recyclable packaging - phew thats green!!!

Bowls, litter trays and food scoops.

Even things as basic as pet bowls can be totally eco-friendly – when we needed to get some new ones (because our old ones were too small) we bought some of the Ethical Pets Beco-Bowls, which are made from waste rice husks and sustainably grown bamboo. Up-cycling waste plant-matter like rice husks means the bowl is not only green to start off with (because its not made of plastic) but it will biodegrade in the garden when it’s old and ganky. Perfect 🙂 BecoThings make cat bowls, small-to-large bowls and large slow feed bowls, litter trays and scoops and food scoops too. Each time one of our long-serving (but not very green) plastic items needs replacing, we replace it with a BecoThing!


100% Recycled plastic bottle beds... cool... and comfy!


Our personal favorite recycled product range are the lovely soft beds: made from 100% recycled plastic (used plastic bottles) these beds are super soft as well as super eco 🙂 There are beds just the right size for cats, rabbits and smaller dogs, right up to the large and squishy giant mattress. Also, our eco Vet Bed is great for the car or for older dogs who need something warm and accessible.


There are other things to consider too, for example, pet product packaging. The products we sell all come from companies with an eco mindset, so packaging is usually minimal and eco-friendly. As for our own packaging, you can see a full summary here, however, in short, its mostly re-used and/or recycled cardboard with a little degradable plastic and a little bubble wrap. As eco as we can for now (and always getting better!)


All in all, there are lots of recycled, up-cycled and recyclable products for your pets. Job well done eh?!

How green is your carbon tyre print?

science spot logoOne of our favourite books, How Bad are Bananas? By Mike Berners-Lee, has some sensational cycling facts. This month, subscribers to our newsletter get the chance to win a copy! You need to sign up for your chance to enter. When you get your newsletter, there will be a question in it, simply reply with the answer, and winners will be picked out of the hat! 🙂 Good luck!

Eco Facts

Our favourite fact is that it would be greener to drive a hummer than to cycle after eating air freighted asparagus! Checkout our cool graph below comparing a few bike fuels (food) to some other forms of transport.

Cycling to work

Another interesting fact is that a congested commute in an average car comes in at 2200g CO2e per mile. This is much much worse than normal driving – almost as bad as your air freighted asparagus mile. So, the lesson is that cycling to work is a serious planet saver… so long as you don’t eat asparagus out of season for breakfast!

Food and Carbon Footprints

The carbon footprint of food is always interesting to us at Ethical Pets, with folk claiming we should eat our pets to save the planet, we think its important to show pets can be green too.

In the graph you can see that veg isn’t always greener, but that in general, meat is much more carbon heavy that veg. The same trend is clear in the rest of the book, for example, we learned that a 4 ounce steak makes more carbon than a 6.5 kg bag of carrots! Or, for the same carbon as a 2 kg leg of lamb, you could eat milky porridge every day for 4 whole months. Oats, wheat and even naughty old rice are much lower in carbon than any meat.

Pet Food: good and green!

We know that veggie pet food can be healthy, but apparently is very green too! So, if your dog or cat were going to cycle, a little Yarrah or Benevo would be the ideal fuel to choose!

Marie Dunnion on Animal Healing

Marie and co.Meet Marie. With a degree was in English literature, followed by a Graduate Diploma in Psychology, and an MSc in Work Psychology and Business, on paper, she sounds rather straight laced at first… and of course she is very academic and clever. However, the is much more to Marie than meets the eye – as she is also an animal healer. We met her at the Kings Heath Cruelty Free X-mas fair in 2011, where she was manning the Animal Freedom charity stall. Since then we have kept in touch and really enjoy her positive personality and inspiring lifestyle. Here’s an article she wrote for us

I feel incredibly honoured that Ethical Pets have invited me to contribute a guest blog and I hope that sharing my story as an Animal Healer will inspire you to welcome more healing energy into your own lives and that of your animal companions. Although not a blog about veganism, I believe it is important to explain the connection between my veganism and my animal healing practice.

Before training as a healer, I was neither vegetarian nor vegan, but as I progressed on my spiritual journey, my heart expanded with love for animals and I eliminated meat from my diet. Once I started studying towards a Diploma in Animal Healing, I felt increasingly uncomfortable about the contradiction between eating animal-based products whilst also healing animals. In psychology, this state of mind is called cognitive dissonance. Again, my love for animals prompted another change in diet and I became vegan.

Animal Healing in Malta Here I am doing an animal healing session with Berry, a little dog who had been abandoned outside the gates of the Island Sanctuary in Malta. He is leaning into the healing and lifting his paw up to allow better access for healing to his heart. His story has a happy ending as he has since been re-homed. You can find out more about the Island Sanctuary at

Veganism is my way of showing love for animals. After all, what is more healing than to ensure that I in no way contribute to the suffering of any other sentient being? I have a great affinity with Buddhism and it’s teaching that we should try never to harm any living being. Perhaps not every Animal Healer will subscribe to this belief system, but this is my story and I can only share with you the experiences of my own heart. Please take from it what you will, and use it to infuse your soul with some animal magic!

What is Animal Healing?

Animal healing is a simple but effective way of radiating loving energy to an animal for their highest good. All animals, great or small, can benefit from healing and this works on many different levels – physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological. During a healing session, I channel healing energies through my hands to the animal, usually maintaining a slight distance between my hands and the animal’s body. Direct hands-on healing may sometimes be appropriate but this will depend on the animal, and personal safety is always a priority.

Another vital ingredient for animal healing is intention. As an Animal Healer, I work from the heart, setting an intention of love which I then channel to the animal. I silently ask for the animal to receive healing, but I then try to detach myself from the outcome of this request. This might sound strange, but I have learnt that it is better to “let go” and just trust that the animal will absorb the healing where it is needed.

When I explain healing to an animal’s guardian, I tell them that it helps the animal to enter into a state of relaxation. The more relaxed an animal is, the better able they are to draw on their own natural resources to deal with illness or injury. It is important to note that animal healing is a complementary therapy. If an animal is ill, veterinary attention should be immediately sought and the vet’s permission asked in relation to complementary therapies.

Healing is not just about touch – it involves all of the senses. For instance, I will usually put on some calming music for a healing session, and this certainly contributes to the animal’s state of relaxation. I even play an animal sound therapy CD to my neighbourhood ducks through the kitchen window. This video shows the amazing results of this sound healing!

Sound Healing with Wild Ducks

The ducks in this video are relaxing to Elizabeth Whiter & Tim Wheater’s Animals Whispers Sound Therapy CD. This unique piece of healing music was recorded with 528 Hz, the frequency of love, and the precise scientific vibration of nature and life itself. You can find out more about this healing music CD at:

Equine Healing

I am also a registered Equine Healer, and although this involves me working in much the same way as I would with animal healing, it involves a slightly different approach because horses are much bigger animals than most and they are known for their sensitive natures. This means that healing a horse can quite often feel like an intensely spiritual experience for the Equine Healer. The day after one equine healing session, I ran into a colleague in the corridor and she complimented me by saying, “You seem very calm!” I am sure she was picking up on the equine energies which I was still carrying with me from the day before!

Equine eyes are so very soulful and, despite their size, horses usually have a very gentle energy. Last year, I did equine healing with a beautiful pony called Peter and the following feedback from Peter’s guardian helps to illustrate how equine healing works in action:

“Marie came out to my pony, Peter, who had just moved yards and I thought the session would help him relax and settle into his new loan home. I was very impressed by the effect the treatment had on Peter, he really relaxed and responded to the treatment during the session. Marie was very calm around Peter who seemed to be very happy with her presence. She constantly advised me what she was doing, why she was doing it and what Peter’s responses meant, which I found useful and interesting so that I was able to understand the process of the treatment” – Rebecca Crowther, Halesowen, West Midlands (21 January 2013).

My animal healing has taken me all over the world and I would like to share with you a very special photo of an equine healing session which took place at Fundación AM-EN in Ecuador – in this picture a circle of healing light is clearly visible around my hands!


Bebeto, the rescue horse pictured, was receiving healing specifically for an inflamed hoof. However, the likelihood is that he would have taken in the healing on many other levels as well. You will see a white mark around his neck, an unfortunate reminder of how he was found tied up, starving, and near death. After my return home, Heidi Paliz, the President of Fundación AM-EN, contacted me to say thank you – Bebeto was healthy and well again! In fact, Heidi was so impressed with the positive effects of equine healing on her horses that she still gets in touch to request distant healing for other equine patients. The great thing about animal healing is that it also travels across the miles!
Crystal Therapy for Animals

My account of animal healing would not be complete without a mention of Crystal Therapy for Animals. Crystals work through resonance and vibration, helping to rebalance the animal’s energy field through the healing energy they emit.

This photo shows my dog, Brandy, lying in a powerful Clear Quartz crystal grid. These twelve crystals were laid around Brandy with the set therapeutic intention of helping to maintain vitality. Animal healing is not only used to treat illness or injury, but also for general relaxation. This approach helps to promote an on-going state of wellbeing in the animal.

Crystals are a special passion of mine and, although I have been a Crystal Therapist for many years, it was with great joy that I recently completed the UK’s first ever training course in Crystal Therapy for Animals at The Animal Magic School of Animal Therapy. This qualification has already proved valuable beyond measure, and I would like to share with you the story of Rosie the cat, as told by her guardian, Julie:

“Marie came a few weeks before Christmas to help our cat, Rosie, who has thyroid problems, asthma and, most recently, the vet discovered she has tumours which, because of the proximity to her aorta, can’t be analysed or removed…After going through Rosie’s medical history, Marie used crystals for the healing and the atmosphere was very calm and relaxing for both myself and Rosie, who sat quite still for about 20 minutes while the healing took place. It was a very warm, calm, relaxing and lovely experience…Marie has continued to do distance healing for her…I am sure this is helping her because she is still very calm and not at all distressed by her illnesses. She is continuing with her medication prescribed by the vet but I am sure she is holding her own because of the healing. Much to the vet’s amazement, she has a healthy appetite and is still her old self. We know that at some point we will have to let her go, but at the moment she is still enjoying her life and all the attention she’s getting” – Julie Perry, Stourbridge, West Midlands (20 January 2013).

Rosie sadly passed over to Rainbow Bridge last month, but the healing she received possibly gave her a better quality of life in those last few precious months with Julie. I would like to dedicate this blog to Rosie and thank Julie for allowing me to share Rosie’s story.

I would also like to thank all of you for taking the time to read this blog and I hope that it has sparkled some fairy dust onto your day. Please get in touch if you would like to know any more about animal healing! If you are interested in booking an animal healing session, these are available in the Norwich area or via Skype for those further afield.
Love & Blessings,

Marie Dunnion – BA (Hons), DipPsych, MSc, MBPsS

Animal Healer, Member of the Healing Animals Organisation (MHAO)

E-mail: [email protected]
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