You have to be really careful not to accidently buy something containing animal products when you’re buying art and craft materials but, thanks to an ever increasing number of people like us demanding cruelty-free art supplies, there are more on the market than ever before 😀
The wonderful ARTdiscount store gives us detailed information about which products are vegan-friendly and make it easy to be sure you’re not accidentally hurting anyone with your creative pursuits.
Here is their detailed page, divided into specific sections like ‘vegan watercolour artist’, ‘vegan calligraphy’, ‘vegan sketcher’ and ‘vegan kids’ art materials’, you’ll find everything you could want right there 😀
Animal Resistance in the Global Capitalist Era is an academic text book filled with examples of animal resistance. These individuals’ stories will profoundly touch the reader’s heart and prove that the billions of people* kept by mainstream society as slaves, and murdered when they are no longer useful, are as desperate to escape their bonds as any of us would be in their situation.
* I define the word people as anyone with an individual personality.
This is a fantastic book, though hard to read at times. It is an invaluable resource for writing letters which demand change to the government bodies and animal welfare establishment who remain stubbornly, and criminally, resistant to it.
The stories shared in this book of individuals who escaped their cages and, in some cases, went back later and risked their lives to release others, are stories that will be with me forever. I see them in the eyes of the adolescent calves in the field, torn from their mothers and looking for comfort. I see them in the eyes of the sheep, steadfastly guarding her lamb, insisting that I do not approach. And every time I see a film with Clint Eastwood in, I remember Buddha, the orangutan.
“When the orangutan, who had once co-starred with Clint Eastwood, stopped working on
a Hollywood set in 1980, he was repeatedly clubbed by his trainer. The crew witnessed Buddha
being beaten with a hard cane, yet he was still forced onto the set and expected to perform. One
day, when Buddha helped himself to some doughnuts on set, his trainer beat him to death with
an axe handle. These last moments were in his cage. The film left Buddha out of the credits.
Buddha deserved better than these atrocities during his life and his final moments.”
Animal Resistance in the Global Capitalist Era by Sarat Colling, page 68
This book demonstrates why most humans are so blind to the institutionalised exploitation and extreme cruelty to other animals. Animal exploitation industries not only hide their violence, but also somehow manage to cash in on their hypnotised customers’ affection for the ones who get away.
“When a pig’s escape from a slaughterhouse made headlines in the city of Red Deer, Alberta, his infamy was not only used to promote tourism, but also to symbolize the “importance” of animal agriculture in the city. In the summer of 1990, at the time known only by his captors as “KH27,” Francis made his exit from the C/A Meats slaughterhouse. As Francis was being forced towards the kill floor, he turned and fled. He jumped a fence nearly four feet high, snuck through the processing area, and pushed through the back door. He then took off running towards the parklands of Red Deer River Valley.
“For several months, Francis lived alone in the forest, sheltering in dens and foraging for grass. He was also known to emerge from the forest to rummage through neighborhood garbage cans. As a descendant of the European wild boar, he had the ability to thrive in the wild. Once free, his resourceful nature shone through. Like his ancestors, who could live in harmony with nature for twenty years, Francis possessed the ability to reason, sense danger, understand his environment, adapt to change, and travel long distances when necessary. When the media caught on to his escape in late October, after he was regularly sighted in park areas and bike trails, Francis became a household name.
“Citing concern about Francis’s ability to survive the cold weather, the slaughterhouse sent a hunter to track him. Yet, Francis was cunning; he eluded capture by never returning to the den that the farmer had discovered. One time the man came close, but Francis took off again, despite having been hit with a tranquilizer dart. On November 29, the hunter located Francis again and shot him with three tranquilizer darts. Unfortunately, one of them injured his bowel. Francis died two days later. C/A Meats, which slaughters countless pigs, had likely been more concerned about liability due to potential injury to humans (or property) than Francis’s ability to survive in the cold.
“After his death, Francis was memorialized as one of the seven bronze statues in the Red Deer Downtown Business Association’s Ghosts project, which pays homage to individuals, actions, and events that have shaped Red Deer. The sad irony of this story is that, after his death, the city used Francis’s bid for freedom to promote tourism and animal agribusiness. Relying on cognitive dissonance, the Downtown Business Association stated in the write-up about the statue: ‘Francis reminds us that hog production and processing are important parts of the Red Deer economy.’ Thus, the statue was a Potemkin gesture: it performed a deceptive function as propaganda that capitalized on the citizens’ love for animals and the escaped pig, while trying to profit from Francis’s notoriety. Neglecting the suffering of pigs killed for their flesh, the industry that caused and profited from Francis’s misery appropriated his struggle.”
Animal Resistance in the Global Capitalist Era, by Sarat Colling, page 95-97
This book is not cheap. Sadly at the moment it’s only available in hardback at £47.24, although there is a Kindle version available for £26.53, but I strongly recommend you ask your local library to buy a copy. Everybody should read this book. Everybody needs to understand the individuals whose stories are shared here so that, in the future, they will understand the billions of animals who were born to fill their plates, and know how abhorrent it is that this horrific trade is allowed to continue in our global capitalist system.
Will you continue to congratulate the emperor on his magnificent garments, or will you join us and tell him he’s naked?
My latest article for CounterPunch is provocatively titled, yes. Because while it’s right to improve life for a confined elephant, focusing on a being in permanent captivity makes a problematic case for personhood.
On social media, the elephant personhood case is tagged #FreeHappy. This confuses the humans-in-charge regime with freedom. Moving Happy might be the best we could do under the circumstances, but it wouldn’t create freedom; Happy would remain a refugee. This needs to be said. We need to be serious about freedom if we’re claiming to struggle for it. We must defend other animals’ interests in thriving independently of human supervision before it’s too late.
2022 – this year’s “free range, high welfare” dairy babies
We will not forget. We do not forget that millions of babies like these are born to be killed every year. Just so that humans can drink their mothers’ milk and make it into ice cream and cheese and yogurt. For these unnecessary things, these babies were born and will die. Unnecessary suffering caused by Raystede.
Earlier this year I happened to be walking in this field before there were any animals in it, and I heard one of their mothers crying out. A pitiful, heart-breaking bellow reached me from the unseen farm, maybe half a mile away. Her cry was repeated, over and over, and I knew they must have just taken her baby.
I walked all the way home, another mile or more in the opposite direction, and I could still hear her as I turned the key…
“Today is World Animal Free Research Day. This day highlights the importance of developing animal-free research techniques and protecting animals during scientific studies.
Decapods in Science
Decapods, like crabs and lobsters, are used in science, but because they aren’t protected by laws that monitor experiments, there’s currently no way of ensuring their welfare in labs. They could be used for any experiment, as well as being handled and kept in ways that are harmful to their wellbeing.
We’re working to change this.
Science in Legislation
A law exists called ‘Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act’, also referred to as ‘ASPA’. This piece of legislation regulates the use of animals in science to ensure welfare is considered. Studies using animals that are protected by this law must justify why they are conducting that study, and how they are respecting the welfare of the animals used. It also means the number of animals used must be reported, so there are records to gauge the scale of the issue.
Now that their sentience has been officially recognised, we’re calling for decapods to be added to this law so that they are protected in the same way as other animals during experiments. One of the first things we’ll be doing is arranging a meeting with the Home Office to discuss expanding ASPA to cover decapods too.
We also published a press release with the RSPCA on World Day for Laboratory Animals, calling for the protection of decapods in science. The story was covered by The Guardian and Independent, and Animal Journal.
Make sure to keep up to date with the campaign to see our next steps in getting decapods protected in laws such as ASPA.
“I believe I am not interested to know whether Vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn’t. To know that the results are profitable to the race would not remove my hostility to it. The pains which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity towards it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further.” Mark Twain in a letter to the London Anti-Vivisection Society, May 26, 1899
Restoring Hope MAY 25 “This cute dog got caught and spent 3 days on a snare. The left hand got damaged and the owner was only applying herbs that finally damaged the hand. The owner lost hope. However, the owner’s son, John heard about LAWCS from his friend and he ran to our office to help their family dog from dying. Our Animal Healthcare Officer immediately went to the village to save the dog. The hand was amputated and after intensive care, the dog has recovered and looks so happy.”
Shepherd is an innovative site to explore if you’re looking for something to read. It’s a new approach which uses authors to recommend their favourite books, thus creating a vast library of recommendations. Whatever you’re interested in, fiction or non-fiction, just type the topic into their search and it will suggest some lists that might interest you. For example, if you search for veganism, it suggests –
The best books about vegan travel
The best vegan health books
The best vegetarian cookbooks for easy and delicious meals
The best and most recent books about yoga and Ayurveda
The best books about conscious plant-based cookery
So you never know what you’re going to find 😀 Each one of the Best Books lists has been written by an author who will recommend their own book and five others by different authors which fit under that heading.
But that’s not all. The search for veganism also triggers suggestions of other bookshelves:
The best books about …
Veganism Japan Minimalism Pizza The Amazon Rainforest
On the other hand, you might search for an author or a specific book. If you search for The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the results give you five different Best Books lists which include it, and suggests bookshelves about The American Frontier, Europe, Jewish History, The Roman Empire, and Preschool. I know why The American Frontier came up, and Preschool, but I wonder why those other subjects did 😀
It can be so hard to find something you want to read because you don’t always know what you’re looking for. Shepherd gets it! Their unique library system gives you access to a diverse range of recommendations that you might not otherwise have discovered.
Jania contacted me recently and asked if we would share her vegan children’s book about a little girl with selective mutism.
With beautiful illustrations by Olin Tri Djasfar, this delightful little rhyming story explains how hard it is for Luna to talk to people outside her own family. Except cows. She feels relaxed and happy, talking to cows.
But when she witnesses the heart-breaking scene of a baby being wrenched from his mother, she determines to find the courage to speak out and tell all her friends about the horror of the dairy industry.
This is such a beautiful story of empathy and courage which shows that, with kindness, everybody wins.
Luna’s Voice is available in paperback on Amazon but you can also read it for free right here 😀
Here is a guest post I wrote in support of Shira Dest’s Project Do Better. My mental capacity is not equal to Shira’s so I find it a lot to take in and have to absorb it slowly. What I do know is this: whatever our abilities, we all have things we can contribute to Shira’s plan. Please do whatever you do well to make the world a safe place for children and animals.
This is the fundamental pillar of Project Do Better. I asked Violet for her thoughts on this topic, and about her children’s books: Violet’s Vegan Comics. She was kind enough to share these thoughts:
Project Do Better
Shira Dest is an ambitious woman and she has an ambitious plan. Some might say an over-ambitious plan. Some might call it impossible. But why should it be impossible? Because most people are uncaring? No. Most people care. Most people would prevent the suffering of a child if they could. So what’s the problem? Why aren’t all children safe? The problem is a society and education system that conditions children to turn a blind eye to the suffering of other animals.
The moral code by which “good” people raise their children is inconsistent. Its contradictions require that children are taught to apply the rules selectively…