Fish Sucks Too

Many people consider fish (or JUST consuming fish) a good choice from an ethical, health and environmental standpoint. They believe fish are healthy to eat, don’t feel pain or complex emotion and don’t take a toll on the environment. So the perfect meat choice for someone who’s not ready to go completely vegetarian or vegan, right?

This assumption is widespread, but couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Sentience

(Mark Bekoff said it first, Fish are not mere streams of readily available unfeeling protein.)

The first argument that may lead you to believe that fish do not feel pain, might be the absence of a neocortex. This is an inappropriate anatomical comparison- we can’t judge another beings ability to process pain because it differs from ours any more than a butterfly can believe humans can’t taste because we do it with our mouths and not feet.

“Evidence from neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neuropsychology suggests that
the experience of feelings in humans does not depend exclusively on structures of the cerebral
cortex. It does not seem warranted to deny the possibility of feeling in animals… We do not see any evidence in favor of the idea that the engendering of feelings in humans would be confined to the cerebral cortex. On the contrary, based on anatomical and physiological evidence, subcortical structures and even the peripheral and enteric nervous systems appear to make important contributions to the experience of feelings.

Antonio Damasio and Hanna Damasio. Neuroscientists at the Brain and Creativity Institute, University of Southern California.

In fact; a study conducted by Prof. Joseph Garner and Doctoral student Janicke Nordgreen at Purdue University proved goldfish feel pain and discomfort beyond instinctive reflex.

Essentially, in this not-so-pretty experiment; Garner showed that fish put in painful situations reacted differently to fish who were not. Goldfish injected with a saline solution were studied alongside goldfish injected with a pain blocking morphine solution and both were put in painful levels of heat (with safeguards to not destroy tissue).

Although both fish originally responded the same, wriggling at the same temperature; only the fish without the pain blockers experienced a fear response. They displayed wariness of the new object, as well as anxiety. This matches up with earlier observations of fish injected with painful solutions who would rock back and forth on the tank floor, rub their lips against the glass a and stop eating. Both groups of fish injected with pain blockers experienced no such response.

Not only are they sentient in a way that shows they can feel pain, fish are actually very smart and can remember quite far! Not the 3 minutes you might have been told is the maximum time frame they can remember.

In fact, fish have been proven to remember for up to at least 5 months.

Some can even remember faces and pick familiar humans out from strangers. In fact, they can recognize whether a person is someone they know or not in .5 seconds.

They recognize their tanks layouts and will detect a change in setup or a new item.

This goldfish won a world record for being able to remember and perform six tricks such as;

  • Eat from hand
  • Swim through loop
  • Swim through tunnel
  • Limbo
  • Play football
  • Play fetch

There’s Albert Einstein playing limbo!

And there are many others who have been able to teach their fish tricks.

Health

The second misconception is that fish is healthy. While it may be more healthy than other types of meat, I wouldn’t consider it a health food even if we’re ignoring it’s high mercury content. To borrow a few points from my general article on the health affects of meat consumption;

  1. The feeding of infected cow and sheep brains is still legal in the USA. Sources: NCBI; 1, 2.
  2. Even when meat consumption is reduced to only fish, cancer causing IGF-1 levels remain relatively the same. Source: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomakers & Prevention.
  3. PCB’s (Polychlorinated Biphenyls) i.e Instrustrial toxic waste, still found in the environment can be found in fish 1000x higher in levels of PCB’s then the water they live in. They cause skin problems, neurobehavioral and liver damage and cancer in both animals and humans. Source: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
  4. PhIP (found in fish) stimulates breast cancer cells, also making them invade healthy cells more than estrogen itself even when PhIP is in low concentrations. Source: NCBI
  5. Fish, regardless how it’s cooked, seems to be directly related to endometrial cancer risk. Source: NCBI

So you’d do better replacing your fish with vegan versions of seafood; even if you don’t think fish are friends!

Environment

If you’re interested in saving our planet, this might be the most compelling reason to cut fish out of your diet; the ocean is suffering immensely due largely to overfishing. While it may be easy to dismiss this as “just” a cause of overfishing and not fish consumption itself; we must remember that we cannot feed 7 billion humans the sadly still recommended 3+ servings of fish a week without overfishing. There is too much demand to meet that supply.

  1. 90% of all large fish have disappeared since we introduced industrial fishing techniques in the 1950’s.
  2. 38.5 tons of sea life (40% of all catches) is discarded; this is called by catch.
  3. “Sustainable” fishing isn’t all that sustainable.
  4. Jellyfish population is steadily increasing and the ocean could soon become egregiously overpopulated with them, which would be catastrophic.
  5. 2 trillion sea animals are killed annually.
  6. The ocean could be completely empty by 2048.
  7. Fisheries averaged $27 billion in subsidies in 2003.

These facts are all brought to you by the short film linked above, Losing Nemo, by the makers of Blackfish. Here are their sources which are all PDF files.

Some more facts to remember about the affects of meat consumption:

(Cowspiracy [Directed by Leonardo DiCaprio] holds a lot more sources for these in PDF format)

So whatever your reasoning for giving up fish, please consider it! Here are some vegan swaps and recipes to make the transition a little easier if you’re a seafood fan.

Worried about Omega-3’s? No problem!

  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Algal oil (EPA & DHA)
  • Hemp seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Perilla oil

Experts say as long as you get enough ALA, you don’t have to worry about EPA and DHA from non vegan sources. And if that’s not enough to ease your mind, there’s nothing wrong with supplementing; after all, meat eaters supplement more than vegans and vegetarians combined.

If this article makes you want to go vegan, try it! Good luck ❤️🐟

Where Would We Be Without The Bees?

 Bees are one of the most important insects; they must be protected. We must find a way to save them, and ultimately, save ourselves.

Bees are fuzzy little insects that are one of the biggest contributors to pollination in the world; however, 23.2 percent of honeybee colonies have died over the last winter, causing extreme concern for the future of agriculture. In addition, over the past year, multiple types of bees have been added to the endangered list.

“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.” Maurice Maeterlinck said in his book, The Life of the Bee.

Bees and other pollinators account for the production of one-third of the world’s crops, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

Concern arose in 2003 after many beekeepers reported missing colonies of bees. This mysterious disappearance of Honeybees became known as Colony Collapse Disorder, and its cause stumped scientists for years.

A Harvard study suggested that the onset of the bees’ extinction was triggered by the use of plant pesticides like Neonicotinoids and Sulfoxaflor.

Sulfoxaflor is a systemic pesticide, meaning it makes the whole plant poisonous. Once the plant absorbs the pesticide, its nectar and pollen become toxic to bees.

Sulfoxaflor was approved in 2013 by the US Environmental Protection Agency, but was challenged in a federal appeal court after increased concern for the dying bees surfaced.

After studies showed its harmful and often deadly effect, the court overturned its approval of Sulfoxaflor in September of 2015.

The court’s decision was significant because it effectively repealed a deadly pesticide to bees.

Helping bees can be an easy thing if everyone contributes to the effort. There are plants like Catmint, Chives, Wild Lilac, and Indigo that one can plant that help create new habitats for bees.  For more information on how you can help ease this, visit this separate article.

It is important to be familiar with our need for bees. They are not our enemy, but more of a tiny friend.

 

 

Is Palm Oil Vegan ?? Part 2

The short answer is yes, because palm oil comes from a plant source. There is two parts of the palm oil tree where we get oil from, the fruit and the seed of the fruit. But the method of producing has pushed many animal species including orang-utans, elephants, rhinos and tigers to the brink of extinction.
Palm oil can be found in both food and beauty products. Foods use palm oil which is extracted from the pulp of the fruit, while beauty products uses palm kernel oil from the seed of the fruit.

It is estimated that every hour, that an area the equivalent of 300 football fields are cleared for palm oil production.

You probably don’t notice that palm oil is the most used vegetable oil and is in most packet supermarket items. Sometimes, because of the negativity surrounded by palm oil production, brands label it under different names from very broad names like ‘vegetable oil’ to ‘sodium laureth sulphate’. A full list of names can be found HERE 

Its your decision weather or not you include palm oil in your diet, there are options for sustainable palm oil, their logos

Items Containing Palm Oil

Lipstick

Palm oil helps lipstick apply smoothly and it helps hold colour.

Instant Noodles (Ramen, 2 Minute Noodles etc)

Palm oil is used to pre-cook noodles so that all you need to add is hot water.

Shampoo

Used to restore oils stripped away from most shampoos

Soap

Keeps the skin moisturised while removing dirt.

 

Sources

wwf.org.au

worldwildlife.org

 

 

How Inclusive Is Your Social Justice?

I really do love social justice.

I’ve done an article like this before, but not in this depth. I left a lot out because one was just supposed to bring to light that climate change did hurt us people of colour, I some way. And the other was just an essay for a magazine and another blog.

Unfortunately, when many non vegan human rights activists talk or think about veganism, they consider it only an animal rights issue. They do this, completely forgetting that the same damage that kills animals ties in very closely with how the same environmental destruction is killing people.

So here’s how the consumption of animal products is causing climate change and environmental destruction:

– Meat consumption uses 11x the fossil fuels than a plant based lifestyle

Animal agriculture is proven responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions (All transportation exhaust accounts for is 13%)

Studies actually suggest that animals and their byproducts account for upwards of 51% of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s 32.6 billion tons of CO2 per year.

Methane is 86x more destructive than CO2 on 20 year time frame. Cows that we mass breed for meat consumption produce 150 billion tons of methane per day. (And that’s the low figure, 250-500 liters per cow x 1.5 billion cows is 198.1 billion gallons a day). In fact, US methane emissions from livestock and natural gas are nearly equal.

Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years.

Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually (PDF). It is responsible for 80-90% of US water consumption. It’s not hard to see why, either. Just the feed for livestock uses 56% of the U.S water (PDF).

442-8,000 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef, 477 gallons of water are required to produce 1lb. of eggs; almost 900 gallons of water are needed for 1lb. of cheese & 1,000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 gallon of milk (PDF).

Animal Agriculture is responsible for 20%-33% of all fresh water consumption in the world today (PDF).

Livestock or livestock feed occupies about 1/3 of the earth’s ice-free land. (45% of the earth’s total land.) 1/3 of the planet is desertified, with livestock as the leading driver.

A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people.

Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction. (1-2 acres are destroyed every second)

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(source two, source three)

The leading causes of rainforest destruction are livestock and feedcrops.

136 million rainforest acres have been cleared for animal agriculture.

And here’s how that’s devastating for people of colour:

Deforestation wise

The Indigenous are displaced, rarely are their rights recognized. Cattle farming is causing the most damage.

1,100 Land activists have been killed in Brazil in the past 20 years.

They’re being hunted by murderous cattle ranchers. 452 indigenous people were murdered between 2002 and 2010, sharply up on the 167 killed during the previous eight years.

Water wise

Californias drought raises produce cost for the entire nation

West Nile Virus numbers skyrocketing thanks to drought, a virus that effects poverty stricken areas the most.

Grain wise

(I know it’s more about availability than quantity, but it’s wasteful all the same.)

We’re criminally wasting grain on mass bred animals that could be fed to starving humans

Millions of people may die in the next few years because of inadequate world grain reserve (90% of it is fed to animals)

Climate change wise

A WHO assessment concluded that climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year between 2030 and 2050; 38,000 due to heat exposure in elderly people, 48,000 due to diarrhoea, 60,000 due to malaria, and 95,000 due to childhood undernutrition*

Children and the elderly are most vulnerable.

– Of those, women are effected the most.

100 million people could die from climate change by 2030, people in third world countries are disproportionately affected

Obama says climate change kills more people than terrorism

India heat wave death toll rises as drought worsens

60% of Africans fear climate change over any threat to their lives (even above terrorism)

The death toll in Pakistan continuous to rise due to climate change fueled heat waves

Climate change is the greatest threat to people of colour

What is the impact of climate change on health?

Although global warming may bring some localized benefits, such as fewer winter deaths in temperate climates and increased food production in certain areas, the overall health effects of a changing climate are likely to be overwhelmingly negative. Climate change affects social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.

Extreme heat

Extreme high air temperatures contribute directly to deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory disease, particularly among elderly people. In the heat wave of summer 2003 in Europe for example, more than 70 000 excess deaths were recorded2.

High temperatures also raise the levels of ozone and other pollutants in the air that exacerbate cardiovascular and respiratory disease.

Pollen and other aeroallergen levels are also higher in extreme heat. These can trigger asthma, which affects around 300 million people. Ongoing temperature increases are expected to increase this burden.

Natural disasters and variable rainfall patterns

Globally, the number of reported weather-related natural disasters has more than tripled since the 1960s. Every year, these disasters result in over 60 000 deaths, mainly in developing countries.

Rising sea levels and increasingly extreme weather events will destroy homes, medical facilities and other essential services. More than half of the world’s population lives within 60 km of the sea. People may be forced to move, which in turn heightens the risk of a range of health effects, from mental disorders to communicable diseases.

Increasingly variable rainfall patterns are likely to affect the supply of fresh water. A lack of safe water can compromise hygiene and increase the risk of diarrhoeal disease, which kills approximately 760 000 children aged under 5, every year. In extreme cases, water scarcity leads to drought and famine. By the late 21st century, climate change is likely to increase the frequency and intensity of drought at regional and global scale1.

Floods are also increasing in frequency and intensity, and the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation is expected to continue to increase throughout the current century1. Floods contaminate freshwater supplies, heighten the risk of water-borne diseases, and create breeding grounds for disease-carrying insects such as mosquitoes. They also cause drownings and physical injuries, damage homes and disrupt the supply of medical and health services.

Rising temperatures and variable precipitation are likely to decrease the production of staple foods in many of the poorest regions. This will increase the prevalence of malnutrition and undernutrition, which currently cause 3.1 million deaths every year.

Patterns of infection

Climatic conditions strongly affect water-borne diseases and diseases transmitted through insects, snails or other cold blooded animals.

Changes in climate are likely to lengthen the transmission seasons of important vector-borne diseases and to alter their geographic range. For example, climate change is projected to widen significantly the area of China where the snail-borne disease schistosomiasis occurs3.

Malaria is strongly influenced by climate. Transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes, malaria kills almost 600 000 people every year – mainly African children under 5 years old. The Aedes mosquito vector of dengue is also highly sensitive to climate conditions, andstudies suggest that climate change is likely to continue to increase exposure to dengue.

All populations will be affected by climate change, but some are more vulnerable than others. People living in small island developing states and other coastal regions, megacities, and mountainous and polar regions are particularly vulnerable.

Children – in particular, children living in poor countries – are among the most vulnerable to the resulting health risks and will be exposed longer to the health consequences. The health effects are also expected to be more severe for elderly people and people with infirmities or pre-existing medical conditions.

Areas with weak health infrastructure – mostly in developing countries – will be the least able to cope without assistance to prepare and respond.”

WHO (World Health Organization)

Work wise

(The issue of crop workers is valid, until it is brought up with the intent to derail the issue of meat processing workers. Then it becomes a red herring.

1. Veganism is about doing the least harm, creating the least damage. We know there is exploitation where our fruits and vegetables are concerned, we just know that there is also abuse where meat is concerned- and that we are able to cut it completely out. So we did. Have never met even one vegan that wasn’t interested in making working conditions better for these workers. I myself am making real effort to only buy from local farmers, that becomes extremely difficult when you are low income.

2.  When the issue of these working conditions is brought up and you attempt to derail them with “vegans exploit farmers for their produce”, you have destroyed your own argument. Vegans are not the only people that eat fruits and vegetables, everyone does. They have to. You have attempted to make yourself feel better about the fact that you unnecessarily fund two exploitive industries by pointing out the fact that we may be forced to fund one.

3. Coincidentally, the consumption of meat calls for 16x the produce to be grown in order to also feed the animals we unnecessarily breed en masse.)

Slaughterhous workers have a much higher chance of being perpetuators of domestic violence due to trauma, desensitization and the normalization of violence.

– They have high risk of becoming alcoholics and/or developing PTSD.

They’re usually poor immigrants who have no other choice.

In 2005 there were 2,270 injury claims made by meat processing workers.

Chicken workers not allowed bathroom breaks, forced to wear diapers.

Chicken farmer dies after lifelong exposure to chicken droppings. (Animal waste in high volumes can cause lung disease)

Migrant workers abused in the shrimp industry

Waste wise

Pig waste thrown on houses

world-1348808_640

“Social justice is based on the concepts of human rights and equality, and can be defined as “the way in which human rights are manifested in the everyday lives of people at every level of society”

“Intersectionality (or intersectional theory) is the study of overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination.”

Just something to think about…

Plants Hurting the Planet

To be fair, it’s not their fault. These crops alone don’t hurt the planet. It’s overproduction that does. I don’t know much about these topics yet so I’ll cite some articles and sources that do!

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#1 Tofu- Actually not all that green!

Soy is a complicated little bean. In an individual’s diet, it can be a healthy source of protein and fiber. But as a global commodity crop, it can leave a devastating environmental footprint. I took my questions about soy production to Professor Rosamond Naylor, director of Stanford’s Center for Food Security and the Environment. She told me that problems with soy come from relatively recent changes in how and where it is grown. We’re not just talking about hoards of vegans who want their soymilk: Today, most of the 260 million ton global soy crop is fed to animals or converted into biofuels. Today, more than 90 percent of the soy grown in the United States has been genetically modified, primarily to stand up to common herbicides. And as the crop has become increasingly valuable on global markets, vast areas of tropical forest and savannah, especially in Brazil, have been clearcut to make way for horizon-spanning plantations.

In 2011, genetically modified (GM) soy was the leading genetically modified crop globally – occupying some 185 million acres of land area, or nearly twice the land area of California. GM crops make it easier for farmers to produce an abundant harvest. The problem is that extensive GM crop use is actually an environmentally dangerous practice. When farmers’ fields are home to only a single crop, farmers are much more susceptible to disastrous crop failure—if a pathogen infected the soy, the entire crop would be gone.  Creating strains of soy that are resistant to herbicides can also cause farmers to use more of those herbicides to combat weeds that develop an herbicide resistance. Residues from these chemicals can remain on the plants and have been linked to severe health problems for farm workers, and potentially for consumers. GM crops also make farmers dependent on the agricultural biotechnology companies that synthesize their seeds. Unfortunately, the world’s largest producers of soy—the United States, Brazil and Argentina—rely heavily on GM soybeans. Check out the Nitty Gritty answer for more on the environmental and health impacts of GM soy.

Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest and Brazilian savannah (or cerrado) is an equally disturbing problem driven by soy production. The United States and Brazil are fighting for the lead in the global market for soy, and Brazil has relied on cropland expansion to increase their production levels.

Destroying these biodiversity hotspots means losing the many native plant and animal species, like the jaguar, the fox-like maned wolf (depicted), and the hairy-eared cerrado mouse, which thrives only in these habitats. Deforestation also means chopping down photosynthesizing trees that regulate our atmospheric carbon. Soy production that drives this land conversion is certainly not environmentally friendly. The key to eating the right kind of soy is choosing soy products that are produced locally and organically. These local, certified-organic products are not contributing to Amazonian deforestation and are guaranteed to be GM free

Alumni, Stanford

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#2 Almonds- Remember how we don’t eat honey because it exploits bees? You  might want to switch to soymilk cashew or coconut milk.

While many fruits and vegetables can be pollinated without bees, almonds require honey bees for pollination. If there are no honey bees, there are no almonds.

80% of the world’s almonds are produced in California. Commercial pollination of almond trees takes place over a span of 22 days in February. This is an impossible task for local bees to complete: there are too many trees to pollinate and too few bees. To pollinate the trees, almond growers must import bees from all over the country.

In 2006, a million bee hives were loaded onto trucks and brought to California to work for the almond growers. That is around 40 billion honey bees. Half of all the honey bees in the USA, trucked from all across the nation to perform slave-labor in California’s almond orchards.
For 2011 it is projected that 1.7 million hives will be required. 70% of the US honey bee supply.

The bees are fed high fructose corn syrup to combat fatigue and ensure the hives can perform their orchard duties. Researchers are still undecided as to how harmful this is to the bees.

Further, the annual communion of bees has led to the spread of bee diseases and parasites across the country. The bees gather in California, swap all that is communicable, and then return with their hives back to their home states. This is a possible factor the colony collapse disorder (CCD) that has been plaguing bee colonies in recent years.

almonds are not vegan (& so aren’t you)

To be honest I don’t take this site incredibly seriously. You can tell it was created by a meat eater to disprove the vegan philosophy via our love of almond cheese and almond milk (a low blow) but non the less it was a good overview of what happens to our poor bees.

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#3 Palm Oil- Last but certainly not least awful.

Palm oil is the source of MAJOR deforestation and animal death. Horrific animal death, hundreds of Orangutans among various other animals being burned alive a week. It’s a sneaky ingredient- disguised as palm oil, palm kernel, palm kernel oil ect. and is in about 50% of packaged products. It is the most widely used vegetable oil in the world.

Try to avoid products containing palm oil and be on the lookout for palm oil in disguise — it is often listed in ingredients as:

• Palm kernel oil

• Palmitate or palmate

• Elaeis gunieensis

• Hydrated palm glycerides hexadecanoic

Ingredients likely to have palm oil in them are listed as:

• Anything containing stearate, stearyl, cetyl, or cetearyl

• Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, or Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate

•(SDS or NaDS) Sodium

• Calcium Stearoyl Lactylate Steareth -2

• Steareth -20 Emulsifier 422, 430-36, 465-67, 470-8, or 481-483

One Green Planet

Again, it isn’t just the Orangutans palm oil is hurting. 300 football fields of the Amazon is destroyed per hour just for it and it affects hundreds of animals, including these-

And I know vegan diets have a lot cut out of them already. You’re not a bad person or any less of a vegan if you decide not to cut out or cut down on palm oil almonds or soy. But if veganism is about animals and the planet, and if you can, why wouldn’t you want to?

Happy Earth Day! (Every Day)

Our favorite holiday has rolled around once again! But earth day should be every day, right? Right! So here are some tips to treating the earth like a home every day of the year:

Tip #1 Go Vegan

Going vegan is the most important thing you can do for the planet.

You’ll save water-
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You’ll use less CO2-
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& save the forest-

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In fact: you’ll be saving everything!
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Every day one vegan saves:

1,100 gallons of water
300 sq feet of forest
45 lbs of grain
20 lbs of CO2

& 1 animals life

Based on these facts based on cowspiracy & generated on vegan calculator, here are my stats as a vegan of 3 years and five months (not counting my time as a vegetarian)

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More than people would probably think! You can check out more facts about how animal agriculture affects the environment here!

Tip #2 Save The Bees

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Did you know that bee’s pollinate around 60% of our produce and 90% of wild plants? They are super important to the planet! And not just honeybees either, there are hundreds of other species of bees that are better pollinators than them!

Many people think that buying honey helps bees. That’s not true! Many beekeepers and honey companies abuse and factory farm bees! There are a few other ways to help them though. One of which being to spoon feed tired bees you find on the ground sugar water, and other being to build your very own bee hotels in your backyard!

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If you want the taste of honey, there’s always Bee Free Honee!
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Tip #3 Get Rid of Plastic

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• Carry reusable shopping bags
• Give up plastic water bottles
• Use fabric produce bags
• Limit foods packaged or bottled in plastic, ect!
• Limit disposable items!

It’s a gradual process, check out one green planets article on platic free living!

Tip #3 Buy Local

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All that gasoline transporting your food and clothes is really taxing. If you can afford it, buy local! You don’t have to worry about CO2 from transportation and local usually means fair trade as well!

Tip #4 Pick Up Litter

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Not only should we not litter, it would be a good idea to pick up what’s already there. From picking up stray cigarettes to planning Beach cleaning days- the earth will be thankful!

Tip #5 Frequently improve your lifestyle

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Environmentalism is a journey. None of us can be 100% eco friendly at first! Make it your goal to always keep improving and reducing your impact on the planet! Use less water, plant more flowers, it’s all something and it all helps. Keep reading for more ways to help our planet!

Happy earth day!

Vegan Life Hacks

Happy New Year! Is this the year you
finally make to transition to veganism? Have you learned that going vegan is super easy and that you’re ready to make the change? If you answered yes to these questions then this is the article for you!

Although coming to this lifestyle was far easier than I ever imagined, I definitely would have benefited from what I know now beforehand so I’ve come up with a list of vegan life hacks that will hopefully give you a head start. You will pick up thousands of hacks along the way but, I’ve narrowed this list down to the top 7 that I’ve found most useful.

1. Coconut oil. This product is going to be your best friend. Coconut oil can be used in place of moisturizers, shaving cream, teeth whitener and it makes an awesome hair mask, leaving your hair incredibly soft and shiny. This saves the trouble of searching for cruelty free items and is a much cheaper alternative – one jar goes a long way!

2.  Carb up! A lot of people come from a background of excessive restriction and complain that they have no energy on a vegan diet. The problem is simply that many people don’t eat enough in fear of gaining weight. We’re constantly told that carbs are bad for us but this isn’t the case. Please don’t be afraid of grains and definitely don’t be afraid of fruit as these are the foods we should eat in abundance.

3. Happy Cow – Need an easy way to find restaurants or café’s with vegan options? Or even better – a complete vegan menu? Happy Cow’s got you covered! You can use their app to find vegan food on the go or look it up on the website beforehand. The app costs £2.99 so the website may be a better option if you’re not up for spending money.

4. Cronometer – Easily track your nutrients to ensure you’re getting enough of what you need. This can be especially helpful if family members are concerned about your health; show them how easy it is to get adequate nutrition.

5. Veganism on social media. Not only is it a good idea to meet like-minded people, it’s also helpful to subscribe to vegan Youtube channels or follow Instagram accounts to get inspiration for new recipes and lifestyle tips. It’s one of the best ways to find out how to make vegan easy and keep going. Maybe even make your own!

6. B12 – A lot of people are worried about B12 when coming to the vegan lifestyle but the truth is most people don’t get a sufficient amount, regardless of diet. We would naturally get B12 through the dirt on natural produce, but due to modern farming methods it’s much harder to obtain this way. Because of this, livestock are injected with B12 shots so the way vegans get the vitamin is not any less natural than meat eaters. If you’re not up for taking a B12 supplement you may want to use fortified foods such as plant milks, cereal or nutritional yeast.

7.  Restaurants. The are plenty of vegan restaurants around but if you’re forced to attend a family meal at a place with no vegan meal options you might assume you’ll be left sipping on orange juice as the night goes by. To make things easier you can create your own meal from sides or ask for the vegetarian option without the Cheese, and don’t worry this is not uncommon.

Good luck if you’re planning on going vegan this year! Don’t forget to come back to Mad Rabbits for tips if you’re struggling or contact us via twitter at @MadRabbitsUSA!