Recycled plastic dog collar – What does Maisie think?

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!”

Lupine eco collar and lead

“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.”

Lupine eco collar and lead

“Mummy also got me a eco pink Beco Hoop to play with, which is lots of fun! And a pink Beco Bowl for my water which I also like very much.”

“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 🐶👅 “

Lots of love from Maisie, the Miniature Schnauzer

Lupine eco collar and lead

Well Maisie! We are very glad you like your new recycled plastic dog collar so much! If other doggies are jealous, they can subtly hint to their dog mummies and daddies that the Lupine Eco collar and leads are available here!

Lupine Eco Dog Collars are also Fairly Traded

Lupine recycled plastic dog collars and leads are not just eco friendly, they are also fairly traded! They are made in a small family run company in their factory New Hampshire, USA.

The collars are hand made in a safe working environment where the labour law is similar to the UK, including health and safety and the right to unionise.

The buckles are made by YKK who are engaged with national and international schemes to ensure worker safety in their global supply chain.

How to rescue injured animals

Rachel from 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 inspired by the article to do a little extra research. This resource is very useful. There is no such thing as “classed as vermin”!

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.”

Baby Bird Flow Chart

Really handy for spring! Thanks to the RSPB and for the info!

Read More Articles (And A Disclaimer) 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!

Beco Ball on a Rope – Customer Review

“I recently bought the Beco ball on a rope for my Schnoodle, and he loves it. It feels really well made, and will definitely last him a long time, Thanks Ethical Pets!” – Patrick

You can read more about Beco Pets here or view the range on our website here.

Science versus Veganism

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!

You can listen to the podcast here.

Here’s what I learned… Continue reading “Science versus Veganism”

Blackpool Vegan and Green Fair

We had a wonderful time at Blackpool Vegan & Green Fair today. After an early start and miserable weather, the sun came out and the venue was packed!

There was food and seating downstairs, and a large hall of stalls upstairs. Here are some of our favourite things!

Continue reading “Blackpool Vegan and Green Fair”

The Revolution is Coming (and it sounds and tastes goooood!)

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”)

Continue reading “The Revolution is Coming (and it sounds and tastes goooood!)”

Polythene Pam Loves BecoBowls!

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:

Continue reading “Polythene Pam Loves BecoBowls!”

The Paw Report Report – Vol.1

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.

cat and dog weight quiz

click for answers

Click to see the Paw Report and weight guides for cats and dogs.

Harmony and sustainability could be closer than you think

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!


Listen to Radio 4’s “The Life Scientific” from 4th Dec 2012 for the full interview

“Guns, Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamonds, is available on-line from Foyles (who pay their taxes!!)

Ethical Buisness; Ethical Life. Vol 1.

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!

photo of kevin with his dog toby
Kevin and Toby (who is a big fan of Ethical Pets!)

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

Photo of kevin doing a talk
Kevin at the Brighton March for Farmed Animals

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!!

kevin in a santa hat
Come and meet Kevin at the Kings Heath Christmas Fair!

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

Ethical Pets will be there too!!