Monday, March 20

Anti-species gifts: 10 ideas to raise awareness

Antispeciesism is not a lifestyle. Neither a fad, nor a marketing strategy. By contrast, antispeciesism is an all-encompassing ethical system; a way of thinking (or of believing: there is always faith) that is based on deep values ​​and that, through a daily and conscious practice, extends to all areas of existence. From food to entertainment. From clothing to art. From what is own, to what is shared. And what better way to share than to give a gift?

Here are some proposals for renewed Kings, vegan friendly and free from animal suffering.

For adults

1. Vegan leather accessories

The fur industry does not belong to the meat industry. Therefore, skinning is not a “harvest” practice and, in most cases, the animals raised for their skins are not the same as those raised for food. Contributing to the exploitation of these non-human animals by buying accessories made with their skins when there are vegan alternatives means perpetuating the damage. To help break this pattern, simply change the traditional bag, pair of shoes, wallet or belt for a piece created from a material that does not come from the pain and death of a sentient individual.

You can start by consulting the lists of Good on you, Cogo Y Mochni to find out which firms do not use animal skin in their items and, from there, choose the gift that best suits your preferences and needs.

2. Cosmetics cruelty free

Rabbits, mice, dogs or primates are subjected to constant torture by large beauty corporations. These animals live locked up and suffer burns and injuries of all kinds, as well as amputations and irreversible damage to their vital organs and, after an existence of immense suffering (which can last weeks, months and even years), die from their wounds. or be killed because they “are no longer useful.” The results obtained with animal experimentation are not very precise, but they are cheaper than conducting studies with people or using tissue samples.

The good news is that, increasingly, firms beauty they are giving up testing their products on animals; something totally unnecessary and that generates extreme suffering to millions of sentient beings around the world. On the other hand, the number of new vegan and cruelty-free brands that start from an antispecies concept does not stop growing. Fragrances, makeup or personal care products and even candles and scents for the house with the seal cruelty free lead the change towards this consumption beauty more ethical, more informed, more conscientious. Any names to bet on? Freshly cosmetics, Lush, The Body Shop, 3ina, Kat Von D Beauty Y Bityah.

Of course, always keep in mind that some formulas cruelty freeDespite not having been tested on animals, they do contain ingredients of animal origin (and vice versa). The Bunny Free app uses an ever-updated PETA database to verify both.

3. Cooking courses and cookbooks plant based

900 million animals are killed a year in the world just for food. An alternative to the typical gastronomic experiences in speciesist restaurants that are usually given away on these dates? Cooking courses plant based. Because vegan food is full of flavor, new ingredients and combinations to discover. Banishing myths and bringing this ethic closer to all people through an act as universal as eating is becoming increasingly easy. In addition to training, cookbooks also proliferate on-line, apps and free Instagram accounts accessible to everyone. Test Guakame, The Vegan Glory, by Jenny Rodríguez, Veganning Better or The Island Pantry. Because you can eat everything without eating anyone.

4. Vegetable or synthetic fiber clothing

How many scarves, sweaters or woolen socks are given by Reyes? Exactly: too many. While most people believe that this part of the textile industry does not cause any harm to animals, even thinking that they benefit from being “shorn”, millions of sheep, alpacas or angora rabbits kept in captivity they keep literally tearing off their skin to make fabrics.

Some fashion firms such as Stella McCartney, 100% vegan, or Boss, increasingly committed to change, represent an expanding ethic that is based on substituting these types of materials for other plant-based or synthetic materials whose effect is the same. On the other hand, local and sustainable projects such as Black Sheep, a vegan wool store in Madrid where you can buy the material in bulk, expand the range of possibilities.

As a general rule, we recommend that you check the composition of the garments on their labels and choose those that do not imply animal suffering. It all adds up!

5. Grow kit

In his book ‘There is someone on my plate’, edited by Plaza y Valdés, Barbara J. King reflects on the cognitive abilities of pigs: “Are pigs really smarter than a three-year-old? (…) At Penn State University, pigs excelled in tests and became part of the scientific literature. Candace Croney and her collaborators approached the university pigs carrying wooden blocks shaped like an X or O, but only those who wore oes fed the animals. The pigs immediately began to run towards the bearers of the oes, thus ignoring the bearers of the xs, who would not give them food. They are unsurprising results. The jaw-dropping factor is that when the researchers put down the blocks and wore T-shirts with the X- or O-shaped symbols, the pigs continued to approach only the humans wearing the oes. The animals had transferred their three-dimensional knowledge about real-world objects to the realm of two-dimensional symbols, a considerable feat of intelligence, perception, and understanding. ”

Unfortunately, in Spain it is customary to give away speciesist food products such as sausages, patés and cheeses, especially during these festivals. Animals such as the pigs the author talks about, cows or goats, sentient beings with a high level of intelligence and a developed perception of reality, become the main victims of this macabre tradition.

But what if instead of continuing to finance the meat industry we made an effort to promote the food transition, also through gifts? In Planet Huerto or Plantawa They have kits for growing fruits, vegetables or aromatic herbs that, in addition to promoting the consumption of plant-based foods, also promote self-sufficiency.

For girls and boys

6. Toy animals

The objective of giving a toy animal to a girl or a boy is precisely for them to learn that animals are not toys. Well, with the right guide, a friend of another species can help to achieve it. It is a simple and conscious alternative to games that recreate spaces such as farms, circuses or zoos that, from childhood, teach that animals are there to serve human beings, whether in the form of food, clothing or entertainment. Puzzles or animal constructions also go along this line and stimulate cognitive abilities, helping to educate in antispecies ethics.

7. Vegan stationery and cruelty free

Some pencils, markers, paints, or pens are tested on animals. And not only that, but their inks also contain ingredients of animal origin. These can range from gelatin or the fat of mammals and fish, to the shells and bones of insects. Many brushes are made from natural hair. And there are even some types of paper that are created with the help of materials from animal exploitation.

Choose cruelty-free stationery and vegan friendly that, in addition, bet on sustainability as Staedtler, Muji, Touch Study, Ökonorm or Crayon rocks And making it a gift that stimulates creativity can change everything.

8. Synthetic down coat

Often, either out of inertia, ignorance or practicality, down-type outerwear is given to girls and boys. Most people do it without knowing what’s behind it. The victims? Ocas, ducks, geese and ostriches, intelligent and sensitive birds raised on farms for snatch their feathers.

Again, you always have to look at the labels. On the other hand, there are specific firms that, in addition to avoiding these materials, try to cause minimal impact on the environment by using recycled plastics or vegetable waste to create warm clothing.

9. Get to know an animal sanctuary

As long as zoos and aquariums continue to have audiences, confined animals will continue to suffer. And the girls and boys will continue to think that it is okay to visit these spaces; that the exploitation of living beings is a spectacle and that they do not feel sadness or longing for their natural habitat when they are kept in captivity. Knowing an animal sanctuary can become a great opportunity to fight against this mentality through care and show the true reality to which other animals are subjected by our species. It is about learning by helping. To educate in antispeciesism from the antispeciesism itself. Some can be visited by contacting them, others will be easier to know them virtually, but it will always be enriching.

In these times of crisis, most of the sanctuaries need volunteers, as well as other forms of help such as donations or sponsorships. And, above all, they need their work to be known and to know what those animals that are usually treated as “food” really are.

10. Antispecies tales

Change the narrative of some traditional tales such as red Riding Hood or The three Little Pigs, where certain animal species are shown as “bad”, by antispecies stories, that is, by plots that promote diversity and respect for all living beings, it is becoming easier. Editorials like Various Editions make it possible. The revolution of consciousness also begins in childhood. And it can spring from a story. From a story that, over time, will grow until it becomes a story of its own; in a way of being in the world born of love and empathy.