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?

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.

Les 12 meilleurs PDF et Ebook gratuits sur le potager

‘Civilised’

tahr-dragon:

Stonewall (UK) borrows its name from riots (led by activists of colour Stormé DeLarverie, Sylvia R. Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson) that have been whitewashed along with the LGBT movement. In my commonwealth country, anti-LGBT laws are from the British colonial constitution.

Originally posted on howupsetting:

BtaByRzCMAALcvn

With the Commonwealth Games starting in Glasgow this week, the usual suspects have been out in force complaining about homophobia in many of the Commonwealth countries. Never one to shy from the limelight, Peter Tatchell actually travelled to Glasgow to call on Alex Salmond and organisers to condemn these nations and even ban them from competing (quite how travelling up to Scotland to tell its First Minister what to do squares with his support for independence, I’m not quite sure.) By far the most prominent example of this trend, on social media at least, was this meme from Stonewall:

10475673_10152519854650399_2571160274686206565_nStonewall went to town with this one, posting it several times and retweeting posts of it by others. Its many retweets means that it will have been seen by many thousands of people and it led to a predictable outpouring of anger and condemnation. Then, in a perfect fuelling of…

View original 1,493 more words

Look at this can

tahr-dragon:

A great way to put this important message!

Originally posted on Violet's Veg*n e-Comics:

dangerous litter

Look at this can, and picture if you can

What it would do to Peter Rabbit’s paw.

It’s as sharp as a knife, it would cut like a knife,

And cause bad infection for sure.

peterrabbit_peter_1280

This is how it goes, when someone just throws

Their drink can on the ground.

Inevitably it must, succumb to the rust,

Get dangerously jagged and unsound.

dangerous litter

Now think of this, just think of this -

What if Mrs Tiggywinkle walked over?

What if she trod, right over the sod

Where this can was hidden in the clover?

Mrs Tiggywinkle

Or Tabitha Twitchit, perhaps Mrs Twitchit,

Might be walking her youngsters to school.

Moppet and Mittens, and Tom, her kittens

Could, on this can, cut their feet cruel.

Mrs Twitchit and kittens

“Oh I wish,” they would say, at the end of the day,

“That the can had never been left there.”

Their feet would sting, as infection set in,

“But…

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DIY – Wooden Floor Cleaners

DIY Green Cleaning Recipes for Wood Floor Cleaner

Vinegar and oil wood floor cleaner: To both clean and polish wood floors, combine equal parts white vinegar and vegetable or mineral oil. Rub into wood with a soft cloth.

Vinegar wood floor cleaner: Pour 1 cup of white vinegar into a bucket of hot water. Dip mop into cleaner and wring out so that it is damp, not dripping, and mop floors. Add 1/4 cup liquid castile soap for additional cleaning power, or substitute lemon juice for vinegar for a citrus scent.

Washing soda wood floor cleaner: Dissolve 1 tablespoon washing soda crystals into a bucket of hot water and damp mop your floors.

Borax wood floor cleaner: Pour 1/4 cup borax into a gallon of hot water. You can damp mop with this mixture without having to rinse.

Lemon and olive oil wood floor cleaner: Pour 1/2 cup lemon juice, 3/4 cup olive oil, and 1 gallon of hot water in a bucket. Apply to your floors with a damp mop.

Let’s start from the floor up. I’ll perhaps post as I search along since I have neither decent internet to do research, nor time, and nor Office currently, and I won’t retype what I already pasted there.

The above (link in title) seems a great website, maybe it has everything one ever needs so all I need to do is report any bad results if I try their tips. I was mourning the half a bottle of non-animal tested wooden floor cleaner, albeit the powers of which I never quite trusted because of the lovely almond smell, it cleaned my kitchen floors perfectly, instantly and effortlessly but then the smell stayed and I think it attracted insects (almond smell = food!) who became confused… and probably hangry.

Thanks, FoC (a shout out just in case)! What would I and my blog be without you!