We got a very special email this week from Maisie the Miniature Schnauzer. Her Mummy recently bought her a Eco Dog Collar and Lead. It’s made by Lupine from post consumer plastic bottles! This recycled plastic dog collar and lead even comes with a lifetime guarantee!
Here is what Maisie had to say about it:
“My mummy got me a lovely new recycled plastic dog collar & lead from your fab website. I love the bright yellow colour – it looks great with my black coat!”
“I think there was some confusion about the way to add the lead to the basket, but I heard Mummy say she chatted to you about that on the phone and you were super helpful which was very nice of you.”
“Mummy is very happy that these are all ethical products because they are good for the planet, whatever that means. I don’t really know much about that, but I do know I like my new things and I’m sending you a big wet lick to say thank you 🐶👅 “
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!
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!
On Saturday I popped in to Manchester’s 100% Vegan diner. My socks were blown so far off I never did find them again….
To put this into perspective, I have spent a bit of time in Berlin while working for the Free Software Foundation Europe. Every time I visit, I come home feeling like I have had a cultural “dressing down” from a city who knows how to “do” Veganism and Ethical Living in a way that makes our efforts look terrifyingly “English” (pale… prudish… “down with that sort of thing”)
It’s not that we are attention seekers… but we do love it when people talk about us! Here is a fab little article about us published recently by the Plastic Is Rubbish team Polythene Pam and Village Boy. They just LOVE our super-sustainable plastic free pet bowls from BecoThings… did you hear they are made from rice husks and bamboo? Now that’s the kind of gossip we like to see spreading! Take a read of what they said below:
The new PAW Report, by PDSA and YouGov, lifts the lid on some of the most concerning pet health and welfare issues facing UK pets today. With sections focusing on Diet, Behavior, Health and Ownership, their is lots to read and talk about. This is our review of Section 1 of the report: Food in Focus.
The statistics which really jumped out at me from this part of the report are that that only 3% of dog owners can identify the ideal healthy shape of a dog when shown a range of images and that 56% of cat owners with an overweight cat believe that their cat’s shape is as it should be. Are you one of them? Despite how many people are unsure about their pets weight, people seem well informed about the consequences of chubby pets – fat related diseases and a shorted life span. Somehow, we have learned that fat is bad, but not what fat looks like: checkout our quiz below to see if you can pick out the pets with a healthy figure.
Another worrying issue is that many Rabbit owners are feeding their bunnies incorrectly: remember, rabbit muesli is just for a treat – bunnies should eat at least their own body size in hay or grass each day for their main course, and then just a little muesli and/or fresh veg for pudding.
Click to see the Paw Report and weight guides for cats and dogs.
Why did Europeans have all the “cargo” – axes, umbrellas, factories and shops, when other cultures, such as those of the Native American Tribes, maintained more traditional lifestyles. How much could this disparity have to do with Animals, and what can we learn from it.
Summarizing 15 years his research about “all of human history” into once sentence, Jared Diamond says: “The differences among the histories of people on different continents is not due to biological differences between the people themselves, but instead down to differences in the continental environments: especially differences in the wild plants and animals that could be domesticated.” He believes that this one sentence summarizes human history.
One example of the effect of geography on development is that, despite California having the lushest farmland in the world, Native Americans never cultivated it – and so never had the benefits of “early and productive agriculture.”
Diamond claims the reason for this is that the native animals in California were Deer and Grizzly Bears – animals not prone to domestication. The vegetation did not lend itself well to domestication either – and so California was never farmed until plants and animals were “imported” from Europe.
While his ideas are disputed, even considered to be unsophisticated, I think is a wonderful lesson for us in what Diamond says.
I have read many times about how tribes from Papua New Guinea and per-colonial America lived in harmony with Nature – without mass farming, a sustainable lifestyle was vital. If Diamonds theory is correct, then it wasn’t genes, religion or lack of imagination that prompted this wonderful way of life: they lived sustainably because they needed to. Their survival depended on it.
Perhaps this shows that we are just as capable of living sustainably – in harmony with the natural world – when our survival depends on it. And it does so now!
Welcome to Ethical Business: Ethical Life – we aim to showcase the people behind some of the amazing Ethical Businesses we have met through running Ethical Pets. This first volume is about Kevin, a friend, customer and all round inspiring guru chap. He runs a great small business called Lakeside Ethical Treats… and he does it all to raise funds for West Midlands Vegan Campaigns! It’s hard to sum up Kevin without gross overuse of words such as “dynamic” and “enthusiastic”. I think he is most simply encapsulated by his answer to the question “how many hours a week do you work”, he replied “Personally I wouldn’t call it work! But it’s got to be over 70 I think.”
When did you start your ethical business and what happened next?
My group Midlands Vegan Campaigns organizes the annual West Midlands Vegan Festival and various other vegan/animal awareness events throughout the year. With the festival costs increasing every year, I spent many months considering how I could raise more funds. It obviously had to be something ethical, but I also wanted to do something that would itself promote Veganism.
The idea came to me at The West Midlands Vegan Festival in October 2010: the festival featured 2 new stallholders, Goody Good Stuff sweets and Moo Free Chocolate. Goody Good Stuff sold out half way through the day and went home, and Moo Free also had an excellent day. Within 2 weeks of the festival, I had ordered a load of stock from both companies and Lakeside Ethical Treats was born!
First of all, we had stalls at various fairs and sanctuary open days in the run up to Christmas 2010 – and then an on-line store was set up too. The ‘shop’ soon started to stock delicious chocolate creme eggs, made by Birmingham based Chocolate Wendy House (consistently our most popular product over the past 2 years). The trial period went extremely well: it was clear the shop had great potential.
Since then the stock range has increased to over 120 lines! I believe that Lakeside Ethical Treats is now the biggest vegan confectionery shop in the world, and it’s without doubt the only vegan sweet shop to be run by volunteers to allow all the profits to go back into vegan awareness events!
The West Midlands Vegan Fair cost over £10,000 to run this year, and while Lakeside Ethical Treats helps to meet this cost, the shop has become about much more than fund-raising. During 2011, our stalls could be found at over 80 events throughout the year, everything from local group meetings, rallies, food fairs and big festivals.
The shop really showcases the vast array of vegan chocolate, sweets and snacks available – therefore promoting Veganism itself..
Describe an average day in the life of you.
My life revolves around vegan/animal rights/environmental campaigning and awareness raising. That’s the way it’s been pretty much since I first got involved over 15 years ago. My life is far from conventional – I admit to being totally and utterly obsessed!
Much of my time is spent organizing vegan/cruelty-free fairs and festivals. For example, taking stall bookings, arranging speakers/cookery demonstrators, updating the website, designing leaflets, promoting the events via magazine adverts, social media, press releases etc.
When orders for chocolates etc come in they need packing and dispatching and I of course have to update the shop website and maintain stock levels, making sure there’s enough stock for the big events.
I’m active in the animal rights movement in various other ways too, for example, I help
coordinate coach transport to national demonstrations. I also run The Redditch Green Fair and I am the moderator for the Redditch Freegle group, which I formed 7 years ago – it now has over 12,000 members!
To top this all off, I am a Green Party activist and Parish Councilor for the village of Feckenham, which is within the borough of Redditch.
What are your ethical principles and how do they guide and motivate you?
Firstly and most importantly, everything I put my name to has got to be cruelty-free and vegan. Environmental friendliness is also critical.
Although I was not fully aware of the animal farming industries until my mid-twenties, compassion and eco-living has dominated my entire life.
This is largely down to my Mother, who was, for example, campaigning against the Canadian seal slaughter way back in the early 1960’s. My best friends have always been the animals around me and I wouldn’t want it any other way. The wonder of animals and the natural world is imprinted within me, just like words through a stick of Blackpool rock.
In this over-consuming mad world, I struggled, at first, to come to terms with the idea of selling products, but eventually I came to the conclusion that food is the most ethical product to sell – particularly when it’s vegan and organic, fair-trade, locally produced etc. Most products from Lakeside Ethical Treats tick several of these boxes.
People will always want to buy sweets and chocolate, so you can’t get much more ethical than Vegan confectionery sold in aid of vegan awareness raising!
Any words of wisdom?
People are more ready than ever to taste the delights of Vegan cuisine and to learn the benefits of plant based diets – many are now changing their diets as a result. A massive 54% of visitors to this year’s West Midlands Vegan Fair were non-vegans!
We need to take advantage of peoples growing curiosity: the time is ripe for compassionate vegans to get more organized and coordinate food fairs and festivals everywhere. Don’t say it can’t be done in your town: look at what has happened in Wolverhampton!
Donald Watson, founder of The Vegan Society and inventor of the word “vegan” said in 1944:
“A common criticism is that the time is not yet ripe for our reform. Can time ever be ripe for any reform unless it is ripened by human determination?”
So, lets get more active and speed up the dawn of a vegan world!!
Come and buy some yummy chocolate from Lakeside Ethical Treats at the Kings Heath, Birmingham Cruelty-Free Christmas Fair – on Sat 15th Dec, 10.30 till 4pm