Black Businesses to support this season

I wrote this on Buy Black Friday but why restrict oneself to one day, we have a season ahead and it’s great to support Black-owned cruelty-free vegan or vegan-friendly businesses any day. Many of us shop online from the US.
Shipping is only horrendously high from big white-owned businesses and for the kind without tracking but my stuff got here so far with the cheap shipping (it’s actually airmail) and it was fast enough.

Repost from Natalie Cartledge on facebook:

As a black vegan,I always try my best to support our people’s businesses,especially when it comes to beauty products. I thought that the most difficult thing was to find black owned items that were also cruelty-free. I was very lucky to find a few businesses that are both black owned and cruelty-free.
Nubian Heritage
Afrikan Republic
Alaffia
Shea Moisture
If you know of more black owned businesses that are also cruelty free, please let me know

Ginger+Liz and TheLipBar are vegan-friendly. Or look out for books, art, accessories or fashion. There’s a free ebook thrown in the previous link :) See a long list of merchants below.

On Ferguson, I’m hoping blog readers would look at the tweets and likes. There are so many good articles by Black voices, which are the ones that matter now. I’m under the weather and my voice hardly matters anyway.

lynching Police kill Black Americans at nearly the same rate as Jim Crow era lynchings

The Longer list

Copied from poc-creators

Fashion

Chocolate Sushi Couture – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chocolate-Sushi-Couture/312085040569?sk=info&tab=page_info

Dress Maker By Olivia – https://www.facebook.com/DressMakerByOlivia?pnref=lhc

Jibri – http://www.etsy.com/shop/jibrionline

KAntoinette Lingerie – https://www.etsy.com/shop/kantoinette

Monif C – http://monifc.com/

Nakimuli – http://www.nakimuli.com/

Onion – http://www.whitneymero.com/

Shavonne Dorsey – http://www.shavonnedorsey.com/

Sofistafunk – http://sofistafunk.com/

Quelly Rue – http://www.quellyrue.bigcartel.com/

Yes Lioness – http://yeslioness.com/

Jewelry

CandidArt Accessories – http://www.candidartaccessories.com/

Brassfly Studio – https://www.etsy.com/shop/brassflystudio

Lingua Negra – linguanigra.com

Simone’s Boutique – http://www.etsy.com/shop/SimonesBoutique

Rachel Stewart Jewelry – http://rachelstewartjewelry.com/

Peace Images Jewelry – http://peaceimages.bigcartel.com/

Jypsea Outlet Shop – https://www.etsy.com/shop/JypseaOUTLETShop

MBellish by Charmega – https://www.etsy.com/shop/MBellishbycharmega

JazJewelz – https://www.etsy.com/shop/Jazjewelz

Rock Candy Earrings – http://www.etsy.com/shop/RockCandyEarrings

Pieces by Keke – https://www.etsy.com/shop/piecesbykeke

Art, Collectibles and Décor

African American Art – http://www.facebook.com/AfricanAmericanArt/

Divine Violette – cool masquerade masks – https://www.etsy.com/shop/DivineViolette

Blended Designs – http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlendedDesignsLLC

Tamesha Artistry http://www.etsy.com/shop/TameshaArtistry

Christoff Davis – https://www.etsy.com/shop/ChristoffDavis

Reflektion Design https://www.etsy.com/shop/reflektiondesign

Veronica Marche Illustration and Design – http://www.veronicamarche.com/

Candles

Simply Scents by Shan – http://www.simplyscentsbyshan.com/

Accessories

Cocoa Girl in Lush – https://www.etsy.com/shop/cocoagirlnlush

Keep on Givin – https://www.etsy.com/shop/keepongivin

Shepiji – https://www.etsy.com/shop/Shepiji

Lily Bow Originals https://www.etsy.com/shop/LilyBowOriginals

Rogue Stitches – https://www.etsy.com/shop/RogueStitches

Sew Regal Embroidery – https://www.etsy.com/shop/sewregal

Ladieloops – http://www.ladieloops.com/

Cruelty-free products in Mauritius, some frag-free.

It should be illegal for just any product to print “not tested on animals” on its label but products most often wrongly state this. There are, after all, almost no laws protecting animals. NGOs go through the process of certifying products that want to be labelled as cruelty-free (and verifying their suppliers do not test), with the help of independent audits and they do it free of charge as far as I know. Animal-testing. on the other hand, is a business with vested interest that goes hand-in-hand with the development of new useless products. If you’re looking at products not listed here check the label for official bunny logos, not just any bunny; and the brand names would be listed on the sites too such as if you search by country of origin of the product here. If it is a local product, not that I’ve seen any, the suppliers can’t be local and either way certification is easily obtained if it is ‘cruelty-free’, if they need to come on site I’m sure SNTAEIM or BUAV could.

Update: I mentioned soapnuts/ reetha before, it’s also called quassia (nuts or powder) and here, shikakai and perhaps siaka is the same. It’s a plant sold as dandruff remedy. I’m going to get a tree and find a spot for it in someone else’s yard and find out eventually :D I mistakenly thought it wasn’t available, well I’ve seen branded shikakai products (Are their other ingredients tested on animals?). The powder can easily be used in a solution for personal care, or as is in laundry and very little is needed.

Here are some products I’ve come across, along with some tips:

La Vie Claire in Tamarin stocks a range of Melvita products‎, such as Jojoba oil – a liquid wax and chemically very much like skin sebum. A news article where I read the latter said it’s suitable for oily/combo skin. A very knowledgeable friend uses it on dry skin instead of a day cream. Her skin looks great at 50 something. I have combination skin, I’m yet to try use products again, jojoba oil was better than any cream I’ve tried on normal parts… and it’s fragrance-free!

It’s easy to make toner and other things I guess… Here’s a tip though (also fragrance-free): the best facial skins I’ve seen in decades are on women who said they use nothing but water. Once you started using stuff (for most of us usually too early in our lives) it’s probably impossible to sport good skin without using products, there’s always dryness after a shower in some climates (not in Mauritius) or after taking a swim I guess. I quit using sunscreen (I have a big tube of vegan sunscreen but I want vitamin D, have some in-built sunscreen, I also crave wrinkles), I forgot to browse their sunscreen options but if they don’t have something, they welcome new suggestions.

Carrot seed oil and red raspberry seed oil (less effective) can be used as sunscreen, even brand products use vitamin A in their products as sunscreen. Some people use stuff like sweet almond oil to remove make up but another idea is to try go without make up. A long time back I wasn’t sure about available kohl and animal testing, so I went without – a saving of time, money and well, you inevitably toughen up towards those who aren’t used to see females without make-up. Anyway non-tested make-up is available, I forget which brands aside from M.A.C (there was a rep/store in Mauritus on FB) but that was the only info about cruelty-free I ever found for the Vegan Society Mauritius (on facebook) which otherwise listed cruel (actually animal-tested if not listed as otherwise by any Australian or international body) soaps from Australia and big supermarkets passing them as cruelty-free.

Gram flour/Besan can be used as a cleanser, in ayurveda it is used for all over cleansing but I’m not ready to try that, maybe when can’t I use available soaps anymore. In 3 places on the island, including Ébène,
Health Solutions Market’s Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. This is the only brand of cleaning product I have found on the island that is not tested on animals, and it’s not cheap (*nor are the denizens of imported animal tested soap about everyone buys) but there are bulk quantities available and oh, I realised the pure castille soap gets diluted so it goes a long way. Also claims 18 uses including tooth cleaning (eew but yes, google it). There’s also bicarb and vinegar at any shop, the smallest street corner shop will stock vinegar and sugarcane (90%) alcohol too – both locally made, and I bet they have besan.

I can hook you up with Green Brands sales reps in Mauritius selling low-budget Original Source shower gel(women’s 2 types, no Tea-tree and mint for men), this be the only Vegan Society approved product I spotted among their range and they also have Marks&Spencer shower gels which are BUAV-approved, but on the list of brands-to-boycott in support of Palestine.

Someone (I mean you) must check if they still sell Esse in Port-Louis, I can’t afford to browse shops disability-wise, so I’m asking people. Would you like to try face scrub that smells and probably tastes quite like chocolate spread? I’m allergic to sugar in my mouth so never tasted it to confirm. You can read the ingredients and try make your own with sugar and fairtrade cocoa.

An importer’s friend said they sell L’Occitane here. If you know where, please let me/us know!
Online shopping recommendation removed not only for their inefficient staff, they no longer take international orders. They were the cheapest shipping to here. Time to search in Reunion Island, any leads?

The BWCSA approved products aside from BUAV’s list in case any shop has begun to stock them.

Shame on you, PicknPay, for not stocking cruelty-free, BWCSA-approved South African products! In Mauritian PicknPays (3 stores, of the South African chain) all South African brands I was looking for, the cruelty-free ones, seem to have been replaced with animal-tested products from France and Australia, products I’ve never seen in SA. Where is the logic in that?! I wrote to one local PicknPay many months ago asking for product availability at the biggest one, the manager didn’t get back to me the 2nd time…

Update: PicknPay is closing down, it’ll be Monoprix soon

Drop me a FB message or email if we can do a letter action to La Vie Claire in France. Perhaps we can draft a letter/ make calls to other local stores and figure out ways to boycott cruelty, within capitalism no doubt. Do PLEASE lemme know if people sell home-made products locally. I think one would need an insect-free kitchen/ space which is also mold-free then heat and humidity would decrease shelf life. A franchise like La Vie Claire has to rely on sellability of a product, I wonder if the owner would order special products if we organise and say we’ll buy all 12 items from a single order.

Do you know Green Brands reps in Rodrigues? An ad said there are, and like here perhaps they advertise by word of mouth – island style. I know old’ish women who do this after retirement, they use word of mouth.

If you’re wondering about the “fragrance-free”, multiple chemical sensitivity is an illness with reactions to fragrances and other chemicals. I have some chemical allergies but personally find most fragrances unpleasant and I’m open to becoming a frag-free friend. I’d gladly kick dozens of ableist insensitive “friends” out of my space. Screw ableism and economics, the products are here, all we need is a little access creation.

Suppose you use cruelty-free in your home, I’m sure you’d like to visit people and find they keep cruelty-free soap for you to wash your hands. If they don’t, you can tell them about it. This is a different scenario but fragrance-free people don’t have that luxury, they may not be able to even enter a house with fragrances. Heck, even outside buildings, there may be pesticides, fertilisers and incense.

November 1st is….

the first day of the month through which I’ll continue a series on the blog against all oppressive ‘isms’. I hope it’ll be a great World Vegan Day for everyone. Be all the vegan you can be, or go as vegan as possible. You could tell someone it’s vegan day, use it as a pretext to share vegan stuff, read vegan stuff, or  consider going vegan this vegan month.

This video, since not many have seen the entry where I posted it before, is suitable for all ages.

I don’t have a printer but there are resources online either way (that said I’m not sure I want to receive free pamphlets from an org in the US that is disconnected from our realities but print something off a blog which inspires you, or a quote from Al Ma’arri or Pythagoras alongside a definition of ‘vegan’), or one can do a simple handmade B&W pamphlet once in a while (make copies perhaps). Offer a pamphlet to someone on the bus, in the supermarket, a pamphlet in your bag can give you superpowers if you are shy or social-phobic. There are circumstances where it’s acceptable/ fine to speak to a stranger, folks would start convos with me often in front of the tofu section of the supermarket or if they looked into my basket, it’s easy for me to ask someone if they’re vegan or new to veganism when they want tofu advice. One could also leave pamphlets in one’s library with permission. One is free to leave a free bookmark to the next person/s who’d borrow a book one has returned (I will try this when I have a library I can access again and I mean in a disabled access sort of way).

Any other ideas? Have you tried any of the above and wish to share your experiences or any advice with us?

Ghosts in Our Machine free viewing

The Ghosts in Our Machine is free to watch online for the rest of tonight/today, for those of you who are yet to see it. You only need to fill in a coupla MCQs for a survey that resumes mid-Jan. I don’t have the best equipment and my speed is decent. It downloaded super fast and is pausing and resuming smoothly, I’ll try watch it tomorrow.

The doccie follows Jo-Anne McArthur’s experience documenting a war as she aptly calls it, on fur farms, breeding farms, labs, streets and sanctuaries. 1 hour in, it still seems suitable for grown children, unlike many other AR doccies arguably. Unlike the others it perhaps provides some insight into some AR activists’ (and war journalists’) mental condition through her PTSD which, ok, is only mentioned.

I’ve been busy, it’s too hot for many applications on my PC and there’s more violence around me than usual so I wondered if I can handle watching it. I saw most of it now and must say it seems very worth watching.

spoiler:

About Ron and what McArthur says (that he was forgiving of humans), I’d rather believe that animals like Ron sees us as individuals and can thus learn to trust new humans and may recognise abusers if they were to see the same ones (even crows keep scores and memorise human faces, after all). This too we need to learn from animals.

Dairy: white lies

Dairy: white lies by Pax Ahimsa Gethen is such an important read. Recently I also read an article in Le Nouvel Obs similar to the NY times article.

This paper was mentioned, it’s free to download.

A thought crossed my mind just now while reading a vegan blog: we criticise fast food culture out of privilege. When I was forced to eat dairy in spite of my lactose intolerance (I did not know I had), growing up as vegetarian (:. fed LOTS of dairy), I’d throw away my lunch or rather give it to a stray dog and bought chips or dholl puri, the only thing I could afford with a coin when I was given any pocket money was that, Mauritian fast food (incidentally vegan). Other days I’d starve just because I felt grossed out by what I was given for lunch. Even that was probably better than dairy.

Indian festive recipes

As every year, although I don’t celebrate it, I found y’all vegan recipes for Indian sweets and snacks. Quote of the week:

An Indian festival means a few more words about dairy. Because of the enormous demand for dairy in sweets, everyday food and increasing costs, the sweet shops in India these days use shampoo and oil concoctions and call it milk. […] — Richa

And if you’re using powdered milk as most do here, if we forget that you killed a coupla calves in New Zealand or wherever for the milk, let’s not forget the pus and blood in the milk. You’re fasting that day, you say?

Let’s start with kaju burfi, coconut and semolina burfi (can be made gluten-free, or check out her amaranth burfi).

Gluten-free nut-free vegan black sesame laddoos, vadas and kaju katli or badam halwa (vegan version included in the latter or their kaju katli recipe) You can make coconut burfi, and low sugar or sugar-free laddoos. Sometimes folks ask me why I link to non-vegan sites, all the nut-free sugar-free, gluten free vegan recipes are not on the vegan sites, ok! Cashew is a seed by the way, I’m low-nut or nut free if I count the nut-fungus which I’m allergic to, otherwise I can have a few almonds, 12 a day is a stretch but I can have 150g cashews per day. I tolerate it better than sunflower or pumkin seeds.

Here’s the most interesting sugarfree glutenfree veganSpiced Tamarind and Date Truffles, I’d use coconut instead of sesame as Deepa suggested and then it’d totally be a digestive aid, aside from being a cool truffle. It would be sweeter and pleasant to munch on. This recipe makes me feel like making sweets for people actually.

It makes no sense at all to celebrate this in the Southern hemisphere in summer heat, why not Diwali in July? Then the whole thing is about sharing but does anyone bother to make me sugar-free or sprouted beans version of stuff? No. Relatives would make sad faces and interrogate me yet again on my diet, when I used to visit em along with my family, at most I’d drink water (bc they seriously would have nothing else to offer me that I’m not allergic to, diwali/deepavali is the official Indian junk food day). It’s true that people order their sweets etc. Only my cousin-in-law from Chennai makes everything from scratch, pretty murruku and such, and it’s not great for my food intolerances but it’s pretty, tasty and sugarfree glutenfree vegan so once a year I eat it. There’s a silver lining to being allergic to sugar and stuff (aside that my freezer is full of pre-cooked green jackfruit and vazhaithandu (banana stem) for the week so I’ll have comfort foods all week, thanks to my patti!), I haven’t had non-vegan food accidentally.

I used to think some sweets are traditionally vegan but I found only 1 vegan version of Adhirasam, on one cool blog, check the link above the quote for a big recipe list. Here it’s made with white rice and castor sugar, not healthy but people love their carbs.

Dhal Boorelu See the junk food is supposed to be quite healthy (or at least loaded with protein).

For those of us for whom it’s only tamarind or mango season here, here’s a puliyodharai, pulisadam or pulihora recipe. Peanuts and dhal are totally optional, there are original versions without. I must try it again and I’ll defo try mangaisadam or green mango rice soon. I said I’ll make it for my gran who has never had it.