Climate Election 2019: Can Your Vote save The World?

vote in 2019

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
Continue reading “Climate Election 2019: Can Your Vote save The World?”

New Vegan Flu Vaccine arrives in UK

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?

Diagram of egg vaccine process. By Mouagip, in public domain

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 [1][2].

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. [3]

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?!

By Timisstuck - CC BY-SA 4.0
Madin-Darby Canine Kidney cells

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! [4] 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.

About the New Vaccine

The new vegan vaccine is called Flucelvax Tetra. You can read about it’s availability on the NHS here: vaccines-for-19-20-seasonal-flu-vaccination-programme.

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!!

Updates

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!.


References

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken#Embryology

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza_vaccine#Manufacturing

[3] https://www.healthline.com/health-news/why-we-grow-flu-vaccines-in-chicken-eggs

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madin-Darby_Canine_Kidney_cells#History

[5] Email text:

I appreciate that the nur Continue reading “New Vegan Flu Vaccine arrives in UK”

eXtinction Rebellion – the climate crisis must end now

The climate crisis must end. Irreparable damage has been done to our home causing dangerous global warming.

This is an emergency.

A desperate fight to save our species from extinction, before it’s too late. Our families our friends and our children are in danger. Millions, maybe even billions, will die. And yet nothing is happening.

In the quiet parts of our day, when we get a moment to think… so many of us feel it. We feel devastated. Terrified and helpless. We are grieving. It’s time to act: act now, together, peacefully.

Continue reading “eXtinction Rebellion – the climate crisis must end now”

An Anxious Dog

Bryn, our new rescue dog, is starting to settle in well. He likes the cats (okay a bit to much) and he gets on really well with my Mum and Dad’s dogs. He even likes to play Beco-tug with the incorrigible Thea!

He likes sleeping on fluffy warm rugs and being tucked in nice and cosy with blankets. Despite all the progress, he remains a troubled dog and recovery is going to be a long road for him. Here is a little bit of info about the things which are working so far…

Continue reading “An Anxious Dog”

Meet Bryn: our new dog

This is Bryn, our new and oh-my-gosh-how-adorable rescue dog. Bryn, who is 10, has had a really hard time – he was a farmers dog but his farmer sadly past away and Bryn was so brokenhearted he had a doggie nervous breakdown. He had pulled out all his fur and damaged his tail so much it had to be amputated, he was very distressed to have lost his best friend.

Continue reading “Meet Bryn: our new dog”

New dog Arriving Today!

This is just a quick update blog… we are getting a new dog! Times have been a bit dark for us after we lost both our darlings Sasha and Shep in the same week (from unrelated illnesses). While it was probably best for them that they went together having lived together all their lives, for us it was devastating. But the months have gone by and we are ready to welcome a new doggie into our hearts and home. Watch this space folks!!

Ethical Pets Say NO to Fracking

frackfreelancashire

Today Anna is working from a temporary office outside the council offices in Preston, joining in with the last-ditch attempt to stop fracking in Lancashire. Tomorrow, the council will make their decision.

Petitions can be found on Friends of the Earth and 38 Degrees (petition ended).

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Frogs Crossing

frog

Anna went walking with the dogs the other day and found around 30 squashed frogs in the road. The frogs were migrating (en masse) from higher up in the hills down to the waterside – but they had to cross the road to get there. The road was only an access route for the reservoir, and so a little careful driving could solve a lot of little froggies.

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World Vegan Month – Could you and your dog take the vegan pledge?

November is World Vegan Month, where celebrities, businesses and everyday folk can take the vegan pledge for a week or a month, and see what it’s like to be vegan!

“I love animals…. but I could never give up meat” is something a lot of people say to me when they find out I am vegan.

Similarly “I have been vegetarian for years… but I just can’t live without cheese” is what a lot of my veggie friends have declared.

Continue reading “World Vegan Month – Could you and your dog take the vegan pledge?”