Going Animal Cruelty Free - personal manifesto.

Ever since I rescued my 3 cats, I've become more conscious about animal welfare. Not that I wasn't aware of animal cruelty before, I just never spoke as loudly as I do these days. And also, ignorance is bliss. I chose to ignore certain things because I like certain items. In terms of animal welfare, I sadly admit that I am nowhere near perfect. I still eat meat, for example. Not as much as I used to, but I do. I do imagine and see the future for myself that is free of animal flesh & fur. My conscience won't allow much longer for it. I know what the corporate farming does to cows, pigs and chickens. Do not google it....or do, maybe we can go vegan together. Cats and dogs might be considered pets, but the farm animals are just as sentient as the "cute," "fluffy" ones. Because I still eat meat, I can't judge anyone else who does. This post is not meant to be preachy or judgmental. I'm fully aware of the fact that veganism and vegetarianism are FIRST world choice. People across the planet cannot afford such luxury. I try to keep my privilege in check. This post is simply a reflection on a lifestyle I want to change & lead. Lifestyle free of animal, products, torture & cruelty. Those are the key words to keep in mind. It's not a change I can make over night but I'm willing to work on it.

Animal cruelty, with CRUELTY being the key word here, it does nothing to benefit a human. You can eat an animal without torturing it or experimenting on it.

Bottom line:

It's cruel to hunt for sport & fun.
It's cruel to test make-up on animals.
It's cruel to wear leather and fur.
It's cruel to buy animals.

I want to contribute somehow. I want to curb the cruelty in any way I can. I wish I can be more radical and bold and just say "fuck it all" but there is nuance to this. Its not as black and white and as simple as some may make it out to be. Hunting for food and population control, I get it. Testing medications on animals for cancer treatments, I get it. Testing for make up? Fuck no. Its absolutely unnecessary. Wearing leather and fur? The sheer cruelty these poor animals go through is unbearable. Technology and process has evolved so much that vegan leather and fake fur look as good as the real thing, but its a personal choice and you chose to be a fucking asshole. (The fur thing infuriates me.) Now, let me step back for a moment. I own a leather jacket, shoes and boots. All from Zara. Haven't bought real leather in years & don't intend to anymore. I find solace in Zara's ethically obtained leather though. but even this is highly questionable due to the environmental impact and collection of carcasses from slaughterhouses....I mean....I don't know. At least they are not killing these poor animals just to strip them off their skin, so I find SOME, completely bare minimum justification in that. Its not good enough though.

Ethical Consumer is a fantastic source if you are looking to make changes to your purchasing and life habits.

I have never bought or worn fur. I refuse to buy silk.  I'm trying to abstain from polyester as well, due to environmental impact. Cotton, linen and soy based fabrics such as cashmere and silk are all sustainable and biodegradable. Does polyester sneak into my closet? Sure. I'm trying to curb it as much as I can. 

For about a year, I've been changing up my skin and make-up routine and products to cruelty-free. 99% of my make up is cruelty free. 100% of my skin care is cruelty free. Hair care? This is my worst offence. Pretty much all of my hair products have been tested on animals. After make up and skin care, that's my next level of cruelty free I'd like to achieve. If it has the word L'Oreal, Estee Lauder, & Shiseido, I am NOT buying it. There are so many great make up  brands that are NOT sold in China (this is major indicate) and are cruelty free. My favorites are Hourglass. Marc Jacobs Beauty (separate company from the perfumes which DO test on animals) Kat Von D, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Becca, Cover FX - and TONS of other affordable & indie brands. There are thousands of fantastic companies NOT testing on animals and their products are TOP NOTCH. You can spend $13 on Loreal Infallible....or you can spend $5.00 on Wet'nWild which is far superior, cheaper and CRUELTY FREE. Its not just rats and rabbits that go through this process. Cats, dogs, monkeys....I mean. I didn't want to share any disturbing photos but...

I don't want this on my conscience. I already do enough damage by eating meat & eggs....but to contribute to this because of a fucking lipstick? I can do better.

So yeah. I've been ranting, facebooking, snap-chatting and discussing cruelty free for a while now. Its something I take seriously & other people's opinions on this matter are absolutely irrelevant to me. My goal is not to preach or tell you "go vegan"...I just want to discuss alternatives. I can't judge because I'm so far from where I want to be. I hope to start a conversation with this.

I want my lifestyle to reflect my conscience. Maybe not right now at this moment or even tomorrow, but I'm more than willing to make changes & raise my own humans one day to be aware of the planet and all its inhabitants.

Cruelty Free Kitty website is a FANTASTIC source for all things cruelty-free & vegan. Suzi updates her blog regularly with new products and ways. She also alerts when a company sells their soul to China (looking at you NARS.)
Resources are out there, products and ways are out there...they just need to be looked up, reached and researched. Ignorance is no longer a bliss for me. I'm not that boring anymore. And as always, TNR your neighborhood cats and ALWAYS ADOPT DO NOT SHOP. 

Stop Writing Open Letters

Nobody cares. 

Social media is littered with bitter, angry people with passive aggressive voice looking for an applause and/or revenge against someone who wronged & spited them. By the time I got up this morning up until I started writing this, I came across 7 different "open letters" throughout the social media,shared relentlessly by people who "relate", directed at anyone and anything: ex boyfriends and girlfriends, ex best friends, teachers, unruly kids, siblings, parent, that one waiter who called you fat 3 years ago, lovers past and present. Not all are bitter. Some are Notebook style cheesefest letters full of fluffy clouds, unicorn piss and your perfect human existence without a single flaw. Husbands writing love letters to their wives regarding birth of their child blah blah because NO WOMAN beside your wife has ever given birth and gone through some serious stuff. You are not a special snowflake for enduring hardship and this endless battle called life. Billion people struggle on daily basis and you want an applause? Sit down. Not sure what the intent is behind these letters. Redemption? Revenge? An answer to something? Sympathy and empathy from strangers on the Internet? I guess it is difficult to say: "I'm feeling kind of smug and self-righteous. Take my side," isn't it? But it what it boils down to. One singular experience built to shine light only on you, ignoring the other person or thing that made you pen the letter. Somehow and in some way, all these open letters end up begging for "praise me and my choices and crucify the other person/thing so I can feel better about myself."
Its dishonest and lazy. If you have a problem with someone...problem so grand that it made you pen a public letter, resolve it with that person, not the entire world. If you love someone so much, tell them. The concept of Open Letter is not terrible in theory, but it has been diluted by petty, self-righteousness and quest for glory and acceptance, no matter how empty, unimportant the topic is. 

"Help! My roommate is an asshole." GASP. I can't wait to dig into how perfect you are and how shitty your roommate is. 
"It happened to me: my husband likes MILF porn." Sounds like a thrilling read.

I honestly wish these were fake headlines.

Lets be real for a moment, 9 out of 10 times, your open letter is not really starting a dialogue or discussion. Your open letter reflects on YOUR experience and ignores ALL relations to society as a whole. You made up your mind and now you want me to take your side by showering you with kudos and "yay go you!" Some opinions and thoughts are just not worth sharing. The fact that you think the world will stop to read about your feelings about what your best friend did to you in high school, speaks volumes of your arrogance. It would have been easier and healthier if you confronted your best friend instead of penning a whiny letter. If  your "open letter" does not contribute to some form of change or influence across broad political and social spectrum, its just another egotistical piece begging for accolades and once again....nobody cares.

and I just realized I wrote an open letter to people that write open letters. Yikes.