*Public Service Announcement* There is a BRAND NEW vegan shop called Fleur De Leigh that is situated in the heart of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. Last weekend I made it down to this new vegan shop and I'm so glad I did. This place opened a few weeks ago but already I had seen a lot of positive hype about it on some local vegan pages, so a venture to Leigh was soon on the cards. Fleur De Leigh is a completely vegan wine, beer, cider, cheese, cake and pie shop, including some free coffee with your cake. Now, just take a moment to take all that goodness in because it took me some time. I was really interested to see what the shop was like and of course I was REALLY looking forward to trying the cake!Read More
Yesterday was World Animal Day, a day for the whole world to unite and appreciate animals for one day...one day? How pitiful, in my eyes animals should be appreciated and celebrated every day of the year but the reality is very different. Every single day animals are used and abused all over the world, for food, entertainment, tourism, their skins, their organs are used for ingredients, cosmetics and household products are tested on animals - there is no end to what we use animals for these days.
A few years ago I called myself an animal lover but still thought it was perfectly fine to eat them, use products tested on animals and products with animal ingredients in. The truth is I hadn't even sparred a thought for what I was actually doing, I just didn't think about it - I just took it all for granted. I suppose I trusted the companies that I was buying from too (stupid mistake), I expected there would be a certain standard of welfare with the 'free range' eggs, the British assured beef, the cosmetic and make-up companies - everything. How wrong I was, the truth is there is nothing humane about using animals for food, they cannot be killed in a humane way. From a fish to a cow, they all suffer horrendously in their life and in their death.Read More
Vegetables, something I go through at a speedy rate. We're always buying organic spinach and kale for our smoothies but I go through a lot tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots and so on. Even though veg can be very cheap in supermarkets it often isn't good quality. Recently, I have been buying from M&S, the M&S own brand vegetables are extremely reasonable which is what pulled me in. Even though the vegetables here were very reasonable and good quality, there are always a few thoughts at the back of my mind. I have no clue what this veg has been treated and washed with let alone what fertilisers and pesticides were used to grow them. I imagine the veg sits in refrigerated carts for days/weeks before it gets to the shelves too, its never as fresh as coming straight out of the ground. Sometimes I've brought vegetables from tesco and the next day they've already started to go rotten. There is a LOT of plastic waste with buying vegetables from the supermarket (unless you always buy loose) and I don't like it, I also don't like all the chemicals that have gone into making the plastic packaging touching my food.Read More
Heavenly Organics Skincare, the name lured me in instantly I found the brand. Over the time I have known this brand I have learnt a lot about them. For one, the passion and ethics behind this brand are HUGE. Mary-Anne who started up and runs Heavenly Organics Skincare puts her heart and soul into every product she makes. To sum up this brand and what they offer, they are completely cruelty-free, vegan and when I say cruelty-free I mean cruelty-free. They do not believe in animal testing, they do not use any ingredients derived from animals and they don't use palm oil. People have different views on what classes as a cruelty-free product, some people think that the Cruelty-Free International logo is enough even though it may contain animal ingredients such as bees wax, honey, tallow (animal fat found in a LOT of fabric conditioners), lanolin etc but they still see it as a cruelty-free product because it hasn't been tested on animals. For me, I need more than that, I don't only go by this cruelty-free certification, a product has to also be vegan for me to use it. I believe that no animal should be used in any way for a product, testing or ingredients. Some people say those animal ingredients can be obtained humanly, in my eyes there is nothing humane about using an animal - be it for cosmetics, make-up, food, entertainment or experimental testing. Fairly recently, I had a discussion with someone who was trying to convince me that a snail gel product was cruelty-free. That product by its very nature is not, even if the gel is obtained with as little harm to the snail as possible - those snails are bred and used for that specific purpose, which I believe is wrong.Read More
When I chat to people about cruelty-free items they are always so surprised that animal testing for cosmetic and household products actually goes on. They also shocked to hear that there are animal derived ingredients in everyday products, just because it doesn't state it on the front doesn't mean its not in there. This spurred me on to do my recent vlog about household products, I then decided to do an accompanying blog post which would include more details about the cruelty-free household products I personally use. I wanted to show how EASY it is to replace all your animal tested products with cruelty-free ones. Animal testing for cosmetic and household products is banned in the UK, however - there are many places in the world where it is not banned and some where animal testing is required by law. All the big companies that also own LOADS of brand sell to these countries and so, test their products on animals. When I found this out I decided I didn't want to put my money towards companies that think this is an acceptable way to do business. I also want to point out that even though a product may be cruelty-free that does NOT necessarily make it vegan, it does mean that the final product has not been tested on animals but it may or may not contain animal ingredients.Read More
Ever since watching the documentary Blackfish in 2014 my life has completely changed, this film effected me to my very core. As I was watching it I remember thinking, how can we be doing this? How can companies think this type of behaviour is acceptable? Since then, I have always done what I can to promote the message of Blackfish to make people aware that orca's do not belong in tanks. To help the orca's at SeaWorld I have previously interviewed Blackfish cast member and SeaWorld senior ex-trainer, Dr Jeffrey Ventre and also orca expert and researcher, Howard Garrett. To further spread the word I got in touch with LUSH Oxford Street, LUSH as a brand are so hot on animal issues I thought they would be ideal to collaborate with. They were happy to work together and raise more awareness about Blackfish and the subject of captivity, we organised a Blackfish event to take place on Thursday, 25th August. We were to screen the documentary which would then be followed by a Q&A with Blackfish cast member and SeaWorld senior ex-trainer, Dr Jeffrey Ventre.Read More
Here in 'sunny' Southend-on-Sea, there's a lot of places that cater for vegans, I am very lucky to be surrounded by such great vegan food. One of these places is by far my favourite place to eat - The Oak Tree, this is a fully licensed vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Leigh-on-Sea. I have had many a lovely meal at this place not to mention my 25th surprise birthday party and I must say, every experience I've had of the The Oak Tree has been great. The staff are lovely and the food is delicious, I don't think I've ever had a bad meal there. Recently, they have added afternoon tea to their offerings, they can do this for vegetarian, vegan and gluten free diets. I was really intrigued to see what this would be like, they offer cakes and sandwiches on their menu of course but I was wondering if this would be something slightly different, the curiosity got the better of me and I booked Dan and myself in.Read More