Wednesday, 8 April 2015
So, it's been a while since I posted.....Apologies! Petition 478 and Luxembourg for Foxes have kept me super busy over the last few weeks! Unfortunately Petition 478 did not receive enough signatures to be heard in the Chamber of Deputies.....However, I am still on my 'Mission' to inform people about the benefits of plant based diets, so rest assured...I'LL BE BACK!!!!!
Luxembourg for Foxes is still ongoing. The hunters already have more than 4,500 signatures so will get time to speak in Parliament. We are just waiting for a date to be confirmed. In the meantime, you can still sign the Petition to 'Keep the Ban' and I also am selling Car stickers to spread the word!
But back to my original post,"Fashion For Animals." The lovely guys at Blogger.lu (specifically Carmen and Anouk) have organised a 'Closet Sale' on Saturday 2nd May from 2pm at Hitch.
The idea is that you can browse through the closets of various Bloggers, many of them Fashionistas, and purchase some of their clothes/accessories!
Like many Vegans, I have a lot of clothes/shoes etc. which I purchased before I transitioned to a 'complete' vegan lifestyle. So there are leather shoes, wool jumpers etc. just sitting around in my closet never to be worn again - well not by me anyway.
I thought that the Blogger.lu Closet sale would be a Great opportunity for me to have a long needed 'Clear Out' and raise some money for my favourite friends; the animals!
As some of the items were quite expensive, my husband wasn't terribly keen on me giving them away for free, so to speak.....So we came to an agreement that 1/2 the money (and between you and me, probably more...) I will donate to PETA.
So, if you are in the market for a Leather jacket or a pair of AMAZING Harajuku Lovers boots (picture below) you can support me and still give something back to the Animals! How is that for Karma on a Saturday afternoon!?
The Sale starts at 2pm on 2nd May at 'Hitch'....I will also be selling some ' VEGAN' items too.
So why not come along and bring your friends! You are sure to find some better 'Bargins'; than in the High Street:)
Tuesday, 17 March 2015
Dear Hunters and Supporters thereof,
It appears that a recent government ban to stop hunting me, has caused quite the commotion in the press and with both pro-hunting and anti- hunting groups alike.
I have watched the arguments play out from a far, but, as I now understand a Petition has been launched against the governmental hunting ban , I feel it is an opportune moment to formalise my own view point.
As The Secretary of State for Sustainability Ministry, Camille Gira, pointed out, there has been a 57% decline in Luxembourg's' fox population over the last 15 years. To be precise, our numbers have decreased from 5,802 to 2,504.
As Hunters, you have stated that fox populations will increase exponentially when the ban is imposed. I therefore wanted to bring to your attention the findings of the Independent Mammal Society in the U.K from 2001- 2002. As you may recall, during this period there was a Foot and Mouth outbreak in the U.K and fox hunting was banned. The Mammal Society ( an Independent Scientific Society with no corporate policy on hunting) concluded that the fox population decreased during this period despite the hunting ban.
At the time, Stephen Harris - Mammal Society Chairman was quoted to say, " (This) is the first scientific study on the impact of hunting on fox numbers, and it shows clearly that hunting plays no role in regulating fox numbers."
Indeed, as us Foxes are territorial creatures, hunting us is often counterproductive and pointless. If a fellow fox is killed, another fox will occupy the vacant territory within 3-4 days.
This brings me, quite conveniently, to another 'concern' hunters have mentioned, the potential spread of disease when the ban is introduced. Once again, to quote Minister Gira, "Rabies was eradicated from the Grand Duchy more than 10 years ago."
Echinococcus Multilocularis or Fox Tapeworm, as it is more commonly referred to, is also extremely rare. According to Fuchsratgeber.ch; "Scarcely 10 new cases are recorded in Europe each year per million persons." Another study conducted by Professor Dr Peter Kern of Ulm University Hospital stated that between 2001 - 2005 between 6-17 people were reported with Fox Tapeworm in Germany. Culling is a very ineffective and counterproductive way of managing this disease. As mentioned previously, foxes are territorial and groups will move when an area is hunted, facilitating the spread of any disease.
The last group who need to hunt me and my kinfolk are Farmers with livestock concerns. I cannot dispute that we foxes do take lambs. However estimates of annual lamb loss in the United Kingdom due to predators are around 5% per annum. Whilst 95% of lamb losses are due to farm husbandry practises.
Indeed establishing whether a fox was responsible for killing a lamb is extremely difficult as foxes are often blamed for killing a lamb when we have merely found it dead or dying already.
Foxes belong to the dog family (canidae) and like dogs we use similar facial expressions and body postures. We are not vermin or 'Killers', we are gentile creatures who help control rabbit and rat populations. On average we save British crop farmers £7 Million per year.
So, before you sign the petition to 'Stop' the Fox Hunting ban, please consider these points and spare some empathy for our species. We are all sentient beings who want to be happy. Foxes are not a commodity used for Meat or Fur, killing us is merely conducted in the name of ,so called, 'sport.'
Please keep the ban and support Foxes in Luxembourg!
Fantastic Mr Fox
N.B - I appreciate that many of these Statistics come from the United Kingdom. However they have statistics available due to the current fox hunting ban.
Monday, 9 March 2015
Many of you will have seen recent articles and information on Public Petition 478 in Luxembourg!
Indeed, I have been extremely active in promoting the petition both off and online.
When I started the Petition 478 Facebook page, I was abundantly aware that it would attract what we refer to as 'Trolls.' Individuals who only have negative comments to make and, from those comments I have read, seem to be ill informed of what the Petition is requesting and why!
So here is a "shortish" summary regarding Petition 478 and why many of us believe it is important.
Petition 478 is asking the Chambre des Deputes to PROMOTE Vegetarian and Vegan diets. We are not suggesting that there is a mandate OBLIGATING people to eat Vegetarian/Vegan, indeed we are lucky enough to live in a Democracy where people are free to choose what they do and don't eat.
However Plant based diets have proven to have multiple benefits for our health, the environment, animal rights and world hunger. Important issues for society today and topics that those in power should draw attention to, particularly as it can save governments and tax payers millions of Euros per year - but I will get to that in a minute!
If you are a meat eater, Petition 478 will not effect your daily choices in anyway. It's goal is to inform and educate, not create a nation of Vegans (although I personally would LOVE that.)
As I mentioned, there are many benefits of a plant based diet, here are just a few:-
1) According to the Harvard School of Public Health, a diet rich in vegetables can:-
- Lower Blood Pressure
- Reduce Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
- Prevent certain types of Cancer
- Lower the risk of Digestive problems
- Prevent and even reverse Type II Diabetes
- Reduce Blood sugar levels
- Aid weight loss - Vegetarians (in general) tend to consumer fewer calories.
2) I think most of us are in agreement that our planet is ill and that Global Warming is a Major threat to it's future existence. However, did you know that the animal agricultural industry contributes 50% more greenhouse gases than planes,trains, cars, lorries and ships combined?
In fact, an article in the Scientific American revealed that the amount of beef the average American eats per annum, creates as much Greenhouse gas as driving a car 1,800 miles. That's just one average American, so multiply that figure by 320 million! You can do the maths.
The Smithsonian institute reported that every minute the equivalent of 7 football fields is bulldozed to create more room for farm animals and the grain that feeds them. More often than not, that land is in areas of preservation e.g Amazon rain forest where species are endangered or under threat. The Amazon and other forests are the 'Lungs' of our planet, we are dependent on them for our future existence - Why would we Sabotage them? It makes absolutely no sense!?
3) According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) more than 1 billion people on Earth are living in poverty. Increased Poverty leads to an increase in Malnutrition. At the World Food Summit, Dr Kay Killingsworth explained that the problem was NOT insufficient food production but INEQUITABLE distribution.
More than 1/3rd of all grain production in the world is being fed to livestock and this figure is increasing due to the growth of factory farming. That grain, and the livestock it is being fed to, require billions of litres of water per day.
If we reduced our consumption of meat, it is conceivable that there would be enough food and water to feed the ENTIRE world's population NOT only the developed countries!
4) The last reason I want to give for Promoting plant based diets, and the most controversial one, is closest to my heart and the reason I am a Vegan today - Compassion for all living beings!
As Paul McCartney famously said,
"If Slaughterhouses had glass walls, we would all be vegetarian."You can watch the film linked to that quote here, but I warn you, it's not for the faint hearted.
2 Billion animals are tortured and killed each week so that consumers may eat their flesh. These animals feel pain and fear, just as we do, and most are kept in the cruelest and most unsanitary of conditions.
It would be hypocritical of me to save, "I love animals," and then eat one. So I, personally, choose to have the same compassion to farmed animals as I would my dog, cat or any other companion animal.
For more information on this topic, I would suggest to visit PETA or Mercy for Animals. If you are really brave, try watching 'Earthlings' and then sitting down to a steak dinner......
I hope that this blog has provided you with some' Food for Thought' (pun intended) and that you have a better understanding of Petition 478.
Please take the time to read the Petition and , if you are so inclined, sign the online form.
Your single action will make a world of difference and I'll leave you with one very famous Vegan's thoughts on that point!
Thursday, 26 February 2015
Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Monday, 23 February 2015
Before I went 'Vegan,' I never had a huge problem when eating out at restaurants with my family. Sure there were some places we just couldn't go to because there were NO VEGETARIAN options on the menu, but in general I could usually find something (smothered in cheese.)
Then I became a Vegan and the list got way shorter, like less than 5 places shorter (This was 5 years ago.) Every time my family would invite my husband and I out for a meal I felt really guilty.....because I knew it was going to be difficult for me to find something to eat and would also limit their choices massively. It wasn't a pretty picture, so I started 'declining' their invitations, just so I didn't put them in an awkward position.
Then 'ONE DAY' I suddenly said to myself.....,
So the 'Worm turned' and I started to be a right, royal pain in the arse when eating out!"What the hell! Why should I be deprived of spending time with my family because I choose not to harm animals!????"
Now don't get me wrong, there are some places in Luxembourg that are happy to cater for us Herbivores and carnivores alike - Indies is one - Bless you Indies! But if you want to try one of the 10 Michelin star restaurants and you are Vegan.....Forget it!
So when I learnt about petition 478 to offer vegetarian and vegan options in ALL Luxembourg restaurants, I was Ecstatic!
Camille Muller is the brains behind the petition and you can read all about it on the Vegan Society Website.
It's really quite simple, we are asking for restaurants in Luxembourg to offer at least One (JUST ONE) option for us non-meat eating folk! It's not a massive request and, as I see it, in no way a 'hassle' for restaurant owners who already have vegetables, beans, legumes and grains somewhere on the menus!!
More importantly scientific study after scientific study has manifested the benefits of eating a plant based diet as it:-
- Significantly reduces your likelihood to contract 'some' cancers, heart disease, Diabetes etc
- Benefits the planet
- Is the most compassionate diet, saving millions of animals each year.
- Could help to end world hunger!
If these were not reasons enough.....It is also YUMMY and can help you lose and maintain a healthy weight!
N.B - You might want to skip the Vegan donuts below!
So, How can you help!?
The Petition requires 4,500 signatures to be heard by the Chamber of Deputes. So far we have around 10% of that figure and the petition closes on 27th March 2015.
Please, please, please take a couple of minutes to sign the petition (you can do it anonymously if you wish.) You will then receive an email from the Chamber of Deputes asking you to confirm your signature, PLEASE ACCEPT this!
Spread the word to your friends, family, co-workers etc. asking them to sign the petition! Share on your FB Status or Twitter feed!
There is SO much you can do, just from the comfort of your own home, so please take a minute to help out.....Your body, the planet and the animals will Thank you!
Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet. - Albert Einstein
Thursday, 19 February 2015
"Beautiful animals and ugly people wear fur!"
Come and join Save the animals on Saturday 21st February outside the LUSH store on Grand Rue to show you support against fur!
We will be there from 11am onwards, with lots of information and yummy vegan snacks.
Follow the link for more info!
Looking forward to seeing you!
Saturday, 14 February 2015
Friday, 13 February 2015
Unless you have been living in a cave for the last 20 years, or you happen to be Former President George W Bush; you will have heard of a little thing we call ' Global Warming!'
Global Warming is the increase of Earth's average surface temperature due to effect of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide emissions from, amongst other things, the burning of fossil fuels.David Suzuki, scientist and environmental activist, said of Climate Change;
"Humanity is facing a challenge unlike any we’ve ever had to confront. We are in an unprecedented period of change."
Global Divestment Day takes place on 13th and 14th February 2015 in 380 cities and 48 countries around the globe . In Luxembourg it came a little earlier, with Greenpeace holding it's on Divestment Day at the Place Clairefontaine on the morning of 11th February.
"So what is Global Divestment day and how does it affect us here in Luxembourg?"
The Fossil fuel industry is the richest trade body in the world, in 2014 there estimated net worth was approximately $5 trillion. It's this financial strength that has allowed the fossil fuel industry to have our political process in shackles and is the moral and ethical conflict most politicians are reluctant to discuss..............'Money, and more specifically making it!'
So whilst world leaders nod their collective heads and agree that we have to look at alternatives to fossil fuels, they continue to spend public money in the exact same companies through investments!
Take Luxembourg as an example, according to the 2013 annual report, the Luxembourg pension fund (Fonds de Compensation) invested €1/2 billion alone in the petroleum industry through the purchase of stocks and bonds. In addition, approximately €7 million was invested in French nuclear companies. In the same year, only 0.7% of Luxembourg's primary energy came from sustainable sources!
Perhaps it's just me, but isn't there something fundamentally wrong with this picture?
"Should we be putting our money into an industry that is polluting our planet?"
Martina Holbach of Greenpeace Luxembourg spoke briefly to the Minister Romain Schneider (responsible for the FDC) to urge the Luxembourg government to 'rethink' their current investment policies and look for moral and ethical alternatives.
On the 13th and 14th February the same message will be delivered to governments throughout the globe. Urging an immediate freeze on 'New Investments' in fossil fuel industries and a complete phase out over the next 5 years.
It can be done.....earlier this year, the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth (oil) fund divested from 22 companies, potentially totalling billions of dollars in assets. Given Norway's' economic reliance on the oil industry in particular, this was something of a 'coup d'état' and one we can only hope other countries will follow!
“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” - Howard Zinn
Remember there is no planet B!
*Photo credits - Greenpeace Luxembourg/Alix Burton
It's around this time of year that 'certain' individuals decide to dress themselves in the skin of dead animals. Why? Quite simply....Vanity! Wearing fur is 'alledgedly' a sign of wealth, glamour and social status. Therefore it's hardly surprising that there is a proliferation of fur coats in Luxembourg.
Personally, and I am sure I am not alone here, I think it looks vile and discussing. Every time I see someone wearing a fur coat, I want to ask them if they know the cruelty imposed on the animal they have draped around them? On more extreme occasions, I wish I had a can of red paint! I've concluded, there isn't enough red paint to go around!*
I actually once sat in a cafe in town on a balmy summer day and watched a woman gently stroke the fur pelt she had strewn across her neck. It was quite visibly a fox as it's head and tail were still attached! How on Earth can someone think this is publicly acceptable?! If it were the skin of a dead cat or dog swathed around her neck, someone would have surely called the police!
Did you know, that the European union is the world's largest producer of factory farmed animals?
"Around 30 million mink, 2 million fox and 100,000 raccoon dogs are killed each year in EU factory farms." -Source: - Humane Society International.
There are 6,000 fur farms in Europe; accounting for 63% of global mink production and 7% of fox production. The worst offenders are Denmark ( which produces 28% of global mink production), Finland and the Netherlands. Fur factory farms can also be found in Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia,France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden.
The most common factory fur farmed animals are Mink, Foxes, Raccoons and Chinchillas. On average to make one single fur coat:-
30 - 70 Mink are killed
10 - 20 Foxes are killed
30 - 40 Raccoons are killed
30 - 200 Chinchilla's are killed
Since their meat is not consumed in Europe, the carcasses are just discarded.
As if these statistics were not grim reading enough, these animals are treated abhorrently. Fur farms use the cheapest and cruelest killing methods available, including suffocation, electrocution, gas and poison.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is the most widely used technique for killing in the EU and European legislation still permits it. This is despite scientific findings that the animals die an extremely slow and painful death often first provoking excitation and convulsions.
Thankfully, there have been some success stories! Austria and the U.K both passed legislation to fully prohibit the breeding of animals for fur production. The Netherlands banned the production of fox and chinchilla fur in 1995 and 1997 respectively and mink farms are to be phased out by 2024.
Despite these small accomplishments, there is still a long way to go to introduce a complete ban on fur farming in Europe.
1) First and foremost, if the demand for fur decreases, there will be no need for fur farms. Quite simply put; DON'T BUY FUR! You can take the Fur free pledge at PETA's website!
"5 things you can do to help? "
Here you will find a list of fur free retailers in Luxembourg who have taken the pledge and can use the 'Shop the Fox' logo.
3) Sign the petition to Ban Fur Farms in Europe.
4) Write to your local government representative urging Luxembourg to support an EU wide ban on fur farming.
5) Save Animals Luxembourg will be organising several events to promote the ban of fur. Visit the Save Animals Facebook page to keep yourself informed of where and when these will take place.
Be a Voice for the animals! Say NO TO FUR!
*Please note that it's a common misconception that activists use red paint....We would be arrested if we did. Leafleting is much more effective!
Sunday, 8 February 2015
Like most animal activists, I was delighted to hear the news on January 16th 2015 that Fox hunting would soon be prohibited in the Grand Duchy!
From 1st April 2015 there would be a complete ban on fox hunting in Luxembourg!
It has been just over a decade since England and Wales banned fox hunting with hounds, but this legislation is currently up for review with the coming general election and a "Complete" ban in the U.K seems unlikely in the foreseeable future. So I couldn't help but rejoice at the Luxembourg ban with the hope that other European countries would follow our lead!
However, it wasn't long before the hunters were deeming the new legislation, "irresponsible" and citing their own list of "potential scenarios" and "possible outcomes" if the new legislation was implemented. I say,"potential scenarios", because, thus far, the hunters do not have any factual arguments to oppose the new law. Their arguments range from, " What if there was an increase in tapeworm infections in foxes?"to,"What if foxes became rabid?" (Luxembourg has been rabies free for over 10 years, despite our "open borders".
At a press conference, the Secretary of State for the sustainability ministry, Camille Gira, gave 3 main reasons for the complete ban:-
1) In the past 15 years the number of foxes in Luxembourg has declined from 5,802 to 2,504 - some 57%.
2) Fox meat is not consumed and therefore fox hunting has no benefit to the public.
3) Rabies was eradicated from the Grand Duchy more than 10 years ago.
However, this has not been enough to appease the hunting community who have joined forces to launch a petition against the ban. The petition requires 4,500 signatures to force a debate in parliament on the subject. According to the wort.lu, Georges Jacobs - President of the FSHCL said that the government had "misrepresented" facts about fox hunting and the dangers posed by the animals. Dangers - really? For Monsieur Jacobs and his supporters, here are a few facts about foxes that they appear to be unaware of:-
1)The red fox (Vulpes Vulpes) is the most widely distributed wild carnivore with an average age span of 3-5 years in the wild.
2) Foxes are omnivores. The bulk of their diet consists of rodents,rabbits, insects and fruit.
3) Foxes help to control populations of rodents/rabbits making them an ASSET to arable farmers. In the U.K alone they are estimated to save farmers 7 million GBP .
4) Most fox deaths (60%) are caused by road accidents.
5) In size, most red foxes are a little larger than a domestic cat. Therefore they do not have the physical capability to kill larger farm animals such as cows, pigs and sheep. It is estimated that fewer than 1% of lambs are killed by foxes annually.
6) Foxes do not kill for pleasure. They will only kill what they need and cache the remainder of the food for winter.
7) As the fox is territorial, efforts to control the population are pointless. If a fox is killed, another fox soon moves in to the unoccupied territory.
8) Since the hunting ban was introduced in England and Wales in 2004, there has been no change in the fox population.
Whist the hunters would like you to think otherwise........Fox hunting has "Never" been about controlling the population of foxes. It is a recreational and "barbaric sport" which has no place in today's society. Why kill an animal that poses no threat and provides neither sustenance nor clothing? As Camille Gira highlighted,"We humans are not the only creatures that have feelings and feel pain."
All hunting is inherently inhumane, unnecessary and unfair, whilst the hunter is armed with a rifle, the animal is utterly defenceless. We would not condone such behaviour in the human animal kingdom, indeed we would define it as murder.
However a ban on Fox hunting, is a big first step in the right direction and the Luxembourg government should be applauded!
If you are in agreement, please VOICE your support for the ban and spread the message to others! You can sign up to the Face book group -https://www.facebook.com/Luxforfoxes
As Gandhi once said,
"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way it's animals are treated."
Luxembourg is a great nation, now is the time for us to lead by example!
Wednesday, 4 February 2015
Sunday, 1 February 2015
On Thursday 29th January the lovely people from LUSH Luxembourg, invited us Bloggers for a sneak peak at their all new Valentines Day themed collection.
Now, first and foremost, I say the LOVELY people at LUSH because they are truly fantastic! Every time I pop in the shop, which I confess is often, they greet me with a cheery smile and are always keen to explain things and help out! I also suspect they are a little bit on the wacky and crazy side which, being a bit weird myself, I completely LOVE!
As a Vegan and an animal rights activist purchasing cosmetics can be a bit of a mind field to navigate. Thankfully LUSH not only label all their products Vegan or Vegetarian, they ensure that none of their products are tested on animals. This also means that they thoroughly "vet" all their suppliers to ensure they adhere to the same standards. So you can be sure that EU law is not being bypassed by outsourcing to China, something many cosmetics companies currently do!
LUSH was founded back in 1995 in the "ickle" town of Poole, Dorset. Today they have over 900 stores worldwide.
The vast majority of their products are handmade and they have a 21 day delivery policy from factory to store, so you can be sure your product is as fresh as can be. All products have a sticker on them telling you when the product was made and the exact sell by date. They also have a picture of the person who made your product on the sticker, from glancing at my collection, Ben at Lush has been a very busy man indeed! Thank you Ben!
If that wasn't already enough to love about LUSH, they also have the Lush prize which provides funds to entrepreneurs with unique and ethical practise's for making new cosmetics. Have a great idea for an ethical cosmetic product? You can apply for the LUSH prize which will aid you financially - www.lushprize.org.
LUSH Luxembourg often partners with NGOs and charity organisations. Sales of their charity pot go into the "Lush fund"- which helps small, local charities. They have also partnered with Save Animals Luxembourg and Sea Shepherd Luxembourg to raise awareness of animal rights.
Now many people would support LUSH just based on their strong ethics and principles (and craziness of course) BUT it just so happens that their products are totally awesome! I have hair which is often dryer than the darn Sahara.....i just plop a little bit of LUSH's R&B treatment on it and voila.....luscious locks that smell good enough to eat! You are meant to envisage me seductively shaking my long wavy hair now......but alas I have a short blonde crop.
Anyhoo, I am massively "going off topic".....I'm meant to be telling you about LUSH's new Valentines inspired products (the real reason I was there.)
There are love hearts, kisses, sex bombs, floating flowers and lots and lots of Jasmine! But most importantly there are Unicorns......And to quote Agnes from Despicable Me,
Unicorn Horn (Pain Moussant) is all sorts of sparkly and fantastic (see photo below.)
As the quote goes, "Always be yourself, unless of course you can be a Unicorn....then "ALWAYS be a Unicorn" - obviously, DUH!
One of the most fun parts of the evening, and there were lots of them, was that we got to get our whole Blue Peter thing on and make sh**t. We made the Catastrophe face mask which is a gentle face mask to radically transform your face on the days when you resemble the walking dead! Some of us pounded blueberries and I got to squidge all the stuff together in a gooey mess. Excellent fun!
Valentines Day products which I am happy to report were nearly all Vegan!
One of the products I particularly love is the Kiss Lip gloss which leaves your lips all sorts of soft and kissable and smells good enough to eat.
I can't Thank for the folks at LUSH Luxembourg enough for such a fun evening! They are so kind, that they even gave us a bag of little goodies to take away with us and try.....LUSH Luxembourg ....
60, Grand Rue
Phone - 0035226270520
Email - Luxembourg@lush.fr