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ONE

Wednesday is hump day, the day that separates where your work week starts from when you work week ends. I thought what a perfect day to take a break and do something quick and easy that will make a positive difference. This day will be reserved for petitions and causes.

Our first lucky “Hump Day” winner is ONE. I first heard of these guys reading Ben and Jerry’s email newsletter. They have partnered with the organization to gain more exposer for their cause. What ONE does is raise public awareness about the issues of global poverty, hunger, disease and efforts to fight such problems in the world’s poorest countries.

In their own words, “ONE believes that allocating more of the U.S. budget toward providing basic needs like health, education, clean water and food would transform the futures and hopes of an entire generation in the world’s poorest countries.

ONE is nonpartisan; there’s only one side in the fight against global AIDS and extreme poverty. Working on the ground in communities, colleges and churches across the United States, ONE members both educate and ask America’s leaders to increase efforts to fight global AIDS and extreme poverty, from the U.S. budget and presidential elections to specific legislation on debt cancellation, increasing effective international assistance, making trade fair, and fighting corruption.

They have a lot on their plate and much work to do, so what you can do to help is click on this link and sign the ONE Declaration and have you voice heard. It is super easy. If you want to do more you can visit ONE’s “Take Action” page and spread the word, volunteer, shop to support the cause, etc.

One person can make a difference, so do.

-Cara

Reason 89 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

Handling livestock these days is risky business, not the least because humans are increasingly contracting diseases from the animals: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Nipah virus, bird flu, and SARS are a few examples. “Exotic,” and often endangered, animal cuisine provides the conduit for a global pandemic. In China, wet markets display caged and invariably sickly creatures, such as cobras, civet cats, and anteaters, for consumers who want that “taste of the wild.” In Africa, the bushmeat trade is blamed for the spread of Ebola and AIDS.

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I usually try to stay away from animal cruelty newsletters or web sites as they really upset me and as a vegetarian I feel like I don’t need to be exposed to these horrors. I don’t eat or wear animals because of said suffering, so I don’t want to read or see things that are so sad. That said a few months ago I signed up for PETA’s newsletter for the second time to remind myself that I should do more, even if I don’t want to see it, it does motivate me.

In the latest newsletter I got today, PETA talks about leather. I being a lover of super fresh shoes, always had leather and suede shoes, until a few years ago where I read about the horrors of leather and decided to give up buying any leather products. Recently, I started to see a few shoes made from animals that I thought were cute and I couldn’t quite remember why I gave up leather…

Then along came PETA, with their Shopping Guide To Compassionate Clothing and Cows Are Cool, with their page on, What’s Wrong With Leather. This information reminded me why I gave up leather and suede. I’d like to share some information from Cows Are Cool with you.

Leather may be made from cows, pigs, goats, and sheep; exotic animals like alligators, ostriches, and kangaroos; and even dogs and cats, who are slaughtered for their meat and skins in China, which exports their skins around the world. Since leather is normally not labeled, you never really know where (or whom) it came from.

Most leather comes from developing countries like India and China, where animal welfare laws are either non-existent or not enforced. Many of the millions of cows and other animals who are killed for their skin endure the horrors of factory farming—extreme crowding and deprivation as well as castration, branding, tail-docking, and dehorning, all without any painkillers. In India, a PETA investigation found that cows have their tails broken and chili peppers and tobacco rubbed into their eyes in order to force them to get up and walk after they collapse from exhaustion on the way to the slaughterhouse. At slaughterhouses, animals routinely have their throats slit and are skinned and dismembered while they are still conscious after improper stunning.

Most of the millions of animals slaughtered for their skin endure the horrors of factory farming before being shipped to slaughter, where many are skinned alive. Buying leather directly contributes to factory farms and slaughterhouses since skin is the most economically important byproduct of the meat-packing industry. Leather is also no friend of the environment since it shares all the environmental destruction of the meat industry, in addition to the toxins used in tanning.

With every pair of leather shoes that you buy, you sentence an animal to a lifetime of suffering. Instead, you can choose from hundreds of styles of nonleather shoes, clothing, belts, bags, and wallets. Fashion should be fun, not fatal! Read more about the cruelty of the leather industry.

…so nevertheless I have cured myself of my desire for leather, thanks to PETA and Cows Are Cool and my conscious.

Also, PETA has given shopping alternatives to leather, wool, silk, fur, down on their site. Here are the links and one link for companies who offer cruelty-free products to be listed in PETA’s guide:

Vegan Companies
Leather and Fur Alternatives
Search by Product Type
Animal-Friendly Companies Wanted

Remember all animals feel pain and nothing is done to alleviate these animals suffering in their processing and slaughtering. I don’t want to ever be a part of that.

Knowledge is enlightenment.

-Cara
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Reason 69 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
In 2005, a $7.1 billion plan to prepare the U.S. for a bird-flu pandemic was instituted by the Bush administration. It included very little to help poor countries slow the spread of the H5N1 strain already on the march. Pharmaceutical companies would get most of the largesse in order to stockpile and develop speedier methods to develop appropriate vaccines for American citizens. In addition, President Bush proposed that he be given the power to impose essentially martial law on the land in the event that a pandemic actually came about. The number of countries with bird flu increased from 14 to 55 in 2006.

It is Friday again and time to look for three fantastical eco/green/recycled gems in this World Wide Web of ours.

The first thing I am going to show you are three different things, but due to their similarities I am going to list them as one gem out of three. They can be purchased on Recycled Planet Store, Inc..

fr

Recycled Maps Frogs made from discarded and misprinted New York City Subway Maps.

My Opinion: Who are you person who created such an awesome thing??? Thank you! :D

cir

Recycled Maps Beads Bracelet made from discarded and misprinted New York City Subway Maps.

My Opinion: Super cute, love the color of the blue beads in the pic.

sq

Recycled Maps Square Beads Necklace made from discarded and misprinted New York City Subway Maps.

My Opinion: Looks art deco, love the squares.

Bag

Number Two comes from a cool store , Bibelot. They carry a great line of ecobags made from recycled candy wrappers, recycled plastic bottles, recycled aluminum, recycled Coca Cola cans from Vietnam, and recycled newspapers.

My Opinion: I like anything that’s shiny and good for the world!

ellie

Last, but certainly not least is the elephant dung paper product site, Mr. Ellie Pooh. According to their site,

Mr. Ellie Pooh is a new eco-friendly, innovative company that sells 100% handmade journals, stationery, crafts, scrapbook/photo albums and various grades of paper made of 75% elephant dung (Ellie Pooh Paper) from Sri Lanka. Mostly, elephant orphanages supply the our Pooh, while Maximus makes a our exotic paper. Mr. Ellie Pooh distributes throughout the US and Canada.

All of our paper products are 100% recycled, 75% Pooh and 100% fun.

There are no toxic chemicals used in our paper-making process. Only basic bonding agents such as alum and rosin, along with water soluble salt dyes for coloring are used. No bleach. No Acids. As no alkaline or acid solutions are introduced during manufacturing, our handmade papers are of an ideal pH value for photograph preservation.

My Opinion: Why not! I love anything handmade and recycled. :)

OK, that’s all for today.

Charge It!

-Cara

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University research asserts that the feeding of approximately 10 million tons of poultry litter to U.S. cattle and other livestock every year is safe. But the mere presence of wasted feed in the mix, which otherwise includes excreta, carcass parts, bedding, and feathers, could include the stray remains of cattle. This would seem to violate the 1997 USDA rule that no cow is to eat the flesh of other cows, instituted to thwart the spread of mad cow disease. Also, poultry litter needs to be properly composted to neutralize microbial toxins–in practice not always done. Furthermore, livestock, so fed, need sufficient time to flush out veterinary medications that might have tainted the litter. Finally, feeding poultry litter to livestock provides one more vector for the spread of bird flu.

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