California becomes the first state to ban animal-tested cosmetics

October 1, 2018 by  
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A new California law banning the sale of animal-tested cosmetics is the first of its kind in the U.S. The California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act was signed by California Governor Jerry Brown on Friday soon after its inception by colleague and Senator Cathleen Galgiani. The regulations will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020, restricting manufacturers wishing to “import for profit, sell or offer for sale” all cosmetics produced with animal testing. Violators will incur a base fine of $5,000, plus $1,000 for each day they continue their illicit activities. Currently, several  animals are manipulated in the cosmetics industry including mice, rats, rabbits and guinea pigs. A large proportion of these test subjects are killed after experimentation, but not before they have been exposed to possibly irritating or even deadly substances. Susceptibility to hazards is determined by force-feeding or causing the animals to inhale chemicals in order to evaluate toxicity levels. Related: LA City Council unanimously agrees to ban the sale of fur The new California law makes the Humane Cosmetics Act, a federal bill that would eliminate the practice of animal testing in the cosmetics industry, all the more significant. The vital legislature was introduced to Congress last year, but has yet to be passed. Unfortunately, the greatest loophole that remains in the groundbreaking law is an exception for products for which no alternative experimentation procedures exist. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been very lax thus far, simply asking companies to “employ whatever testing is appropriate and effective” to eliminate adverse effects for consumers. California joins a list of governments, such as the EU, India, Israel and Norway, that have already adopted such a ban. But some countries, including China , require animal testing on all imported cosmetics. These animal-tested products could also funnel through the California legislature’s loopholes — as long as animals weren’t used to determine the safety of a product for sale in California specifically. While there has been a push in China to move away from animal testing, there is also greater incentive for companies to stop animal testing. Companies hope to avoid having to pay for two sets of testing, one set of animal tests for China and another to be able to sell the same products in the EU or California. “It gives greater impetus for [the cosmetics] industry to push for changes in other countries,” said Vicki Katrinak, program manager for animal research issues at the U.S. Humane Society. “We’re hoping that California will just be the start of resolving this issue.” + The California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act Via The Huffington Post Image via Siora Photography

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California becomes the first state to ban animal-tested cosmetics

LA City Council unanimously agrees to ban the sale of fur

September 25, 2018 by  
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The Los Angeles City Council made a historic vote last week by unanimously agreeing to ban the sale of fur. The meeting resulted in a direct order to the L.A. City Attorney, who is responsible for penning the formal policy to outline the new law. The document is expected to surface sometime next month and will effectively ban fur beginning two years from the date of its signage. When completed, this process will result in L.A. being the largest city in the U.S. to ban the sale of fur clothing and accessories. “This is L.A. taking a stand and saying we will no longer be complicit in the inhumane and vile fur trade that’s been going on for years,” council member Bob Blumenfield said. Related: British Fashion Council commits to a fur-free London Fashion Week Some skeptics of the policy raised eyebrows, wondering how a city like L.A. that enjoys average temperatures of 75 degrees plans to make a major impact on the fur market. “I don’t think it’s happening in Moscow,” said P.J. Smith, the senior manager of fashion policy at the Humane Society. While colder cities are not expected to jump on the band wagon any time soon, the council’s initiative is definitely sparking encouragement for other cities and states in the U.S. to adopt the same measures. Blumenfield, the council member responsible for initiating the motion, explained, “We’re trying to set an example for the rest of the state and the rest of the country.” Smith agreed that as the second largest city in the U.S. — also recognized as an epicenter of global fashion — the influence that L.A. would have over other cities is extraordinary. Top international fashion houses have also pledged their commitment to the no-fur campaign, along with several other cities and countries. Smith described his experience with this domino effect saying, “I’ve been doing this job for about 10 years, and if you would have told me just two years ago that Gucci, Versace, Burberry, InStyle magazine, London Fashion Week, Norway, the Netherlands, São Paulo would be going fur-free, I wouldn’t have believed you, but it’s happening.” Related: Burberry vows to stop burning unsold clothes and using real fur Smith attributed the back-to-back bans to a little friendly competition between cities. There is already a handful of cities that have adopted anti-fur laws in California , for instance. L.A. will be joining a list that includes San Francisco and West Hollywood, “to see who’s the most compassionate city out there,” Smith explained. “San Francisco’s colder, and when San Francisco banned fur sales, it was considered the compassion capital. Then you have L.A. turning around and claiming that title back.” Via New York Times Image via Pete Bellis

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LA City Council unanimously agrees to ban the sale of fur

The US government votes to slaughter 45,000 wild horses to make room for cattle

September 12, 2016 by  
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Last Friday, the Bureau of Land Management ‘s (BLM) National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board made the decision to use euthanasia to kill 45,000 wild horses currently captive in government holding facilities throughout the US. The decision has come under great scrutiny by organizations who argue for using birth control to minimize population growth, instead. Over the last 20 years, the BLM has been rounding up and removing wild horses from their natural habitat in the interest of allowing privately owned cattle to graze on the land. What they have experienced since then is the unsustainable financial burden of keeping the horses alive in their facilities – $49 million in 2015, alone – and the task of coming up with an alternative solution. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) released a statement condemning the decision, expressing, “The decision of the BLM advisory board to recommend the destruction of the 45,000 wild horses currently in holding facilities is a complete abdication of responsibility for their care. The agency would not be in this situation but for their long-term mis-management. Alternatives to this proposal have been ignored for over 20 years.” Related: These are the last truly wild horses on Earth In June, a meeting for the House Subcommittee on Federal Lands heard from California Congressman Tom McClintock (R), who argued that wild horses are overpopulated. Ginger Kathrens, director of The Cloud Foundation , explained, “Current management practices of round-up, removal and warehousing … cause compensatory reproduction – an increase in populations as a result of decreased competition for forage.” In other words, there would not be a surge in wild horses if the BLM hadn’t removed most of them from their land, in the first place. The HSUS is calling for alternative fertility control programs to slow down population growth. According to Ms. Kathrens, “ Livestock outnumber horses and burros 47 to 1, and livestock are allocated 82 percent of the forage,” suggesting the real problem lies with the decision to use the land for raising cattle and calling into question the need for continuing the practice. Via  Humane Society of the United States , Natural Resources.house.gov Images via Pixabay ( 1 , 2 )

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The US government votes to slaughter 45,000 wild horses to make room for cattle

Eco-friendly DIY modular furniture can be reassembled over and over into different pieces

September 12, 2016 by  
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Designer Stefano Guerrieri aimed to create DIY furniture kits that people can use to creatively modernize their office spaces. He started PlayWood , a company that offers innovative 3D-printed polyamide connectors that can attach user-supplied boards together to make imaginative desks, planters, or bookcases, to name a few. As the connectors don’t damage the boards, modular furniture made with them can be taken apart and reassembled to create different pieces. It’s easy to get creative with PlayWood and design custom furniture to fit your particular space. PlayWood connectors can attach boards at 90 degrees, 105 degrees or 150 degrees. They can be used with boards in varying thicknesses from 1.5 centimeters to 2 centimeters, or about half an inch to 0.7 inches. Users must furnish their own boards, but can use ” every kind of material with a variable thickness .” There are no power tools or even screwdrivers necessary to assemble the furniture; all a builder needs beyond boards and connectors is an Allen key. Related: Giant LEGO bricks snap together into life-size modular furniture If at some point you move or need a new piece of furniture, the old piece can easily be taken apart and reassembled into something new. Not using that side table as much as you thought you might? You can take it apart and transform it into a trendy bookcase. Guerrieri believes in “ modularity and creative freedom ,” and wanted to offer creatives the chance to change their furniture as their businesses evolved. The furniture that can be built with his connector kits is also sustainable – not only can PlayWood connectors be reused several times, but they are recyclable and “ eco-friendly .” PlayWood offers instructions for furniture like a hexagonal bookcase, cube planter, roller sofa, or modular desk. Kits are fairly inexpensive: a hexagonal kit with two 150 degree connectors and four 105 degree connectors is currently on sale for 15 Euros, or around $16. A square kit with six 90 degree connectors is 20 Euros, or about $22. Connectors can also be purchased separately for 3.50 Euros, or almost $4. + PlayWood Via Yanko Design Images via PlayWood

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Eco-friendly DIY modular furniture can be reassembled over and over into different pieces

Scientists record a human-like conversation between two dolphins for the first time ever

September 12, 2016 by  
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Yasha and Yana, two Black Sea bottlenose dolphins , have been chatting it up lately and scientists have been listening in. The recordings can clearly be heard to be conversations , as the mammals pause to let the other finish and can string distinct “words” together to form sentences. The research confirms for the first time that dolphins use an advanced form of communication similar to humans. The study , published in the journal Mathematics and Physics , was performed at the Karadag Nature Reserve in Feodosia, Russia. The two dolphins were recorded speaking to each other in a pool at the reserve and the analysis of their conversation was fascinating. Dr. Vyacheslav Ryabov, lead researcher of the study, stated: “Essentially, this exchange resembles a conversation between two people.” Related: Why the Feds want to ban swimming with dolphins in Hawaii A series of pulsed clicks were produced by each mammal , each distinct and representing a phoneme or word in the dolphin language. These pulses were strung together like sentences and it was clear both Yasha and Yana waited for the other to finish before responding. “This language exhibits all the design features present in the human spoken language, this indicates a high level of intelligence and consciousness in dolphins, and their language can be ostensibly considered a highly developed spoken language , akin to the human language,” explained Dr. Ryabov. Dolphins are already known to produce more than one thousand types of distinct whistles to communicate with one another, but the new evidence points to particularly advanced behavior in the form of a one-on-one, back and forth conversation. At this point in time, we still do not understand the content of their communication, but the researchers say this is clearly the next step to take. Via The Telegraph Images via Pixabay ( 1 , 2 )

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Scientists record a human-like conversation between two dolphins for the first time ever

Shelter Buddies helps kids volunteer to read to shelter dogs

February 28, 2016 by  
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Animal shelters can be an incredibly stressful environment for a pet. So how can humans help a shelter dog adjust to its surroundings? Why not read aloud? That’s exactly the approach the Shelter Buddies Reading Program in Missouri is taking — and so far, it’s been a major success. The program trains kids age 6-15 to read to dogs in a soothing voice, giving each pooch the personal attention and social experience it needs to thrive. READ MORE >

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Shelter Buddies helps kids volunteer to read to shelter dogs

General Mills announces plans to use only cage-free eggs

July 8, 2015 by  
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General Mills, the food giant that brings you items like Betty Crocker cake mixes, Progresso soups and Pillsbury products, just announced plans to use only eggs from cage-free hens . The Humane Society of the United States says it has been working with a number of companies over the last six months, like Starbucks, Aramark, Dunkin Brands and Walmart to use only eggs from hens not kept in cages. Read the rest of General Mills announces plans to use only cage-free eggs Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: battery cage hens , cage free chickens , cage free eggs , cage free hens , caged animals , chicken eggs , chicken farms , General Mills , humane society , organic eggs

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General Mills announces plans to use only cage-free eggs

The US just declared all captive chimps to be endangered

June 22, 2015 by  
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Chimpanzees are now officially considered an endangered species , according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service , and will be designated as such under the Endangered Species Act . The move comes after activist Jane Goodall, The Humane Society and other groups submitted a petition for the classification. The idea is to remove the distinction between captive chimpanzees , who were previously listed as threatened and their wild counterparts who are deemed endangered. The rules went into effect on June 16 and include a 90-day grace period, and won’t be enforced until September 16, 2016. Read the rest of The US just declared all captive chimps to be endangered Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: captive chimpanzees , captive chimpanzees now endangered , chimps for research , endangered chimps , endangered species , endangered species act , humane society , Jane Goodall , lab chimps , U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service , wild chimpanzees

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The US just declared all captive chimps to be endangered

INFOGRAPHIC: 9 green DIY air freshener ideas let you ditch the chemicals

June 22, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: 9 green DIY air freshener ideas let you ditch the chemicals Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: all natural air freshener , Chadwicks , green air freshener , infographic , reader submitted content

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Ag-Gag Bills Seek to Outlaw Whistleblower Recordings of Animal Abuse on US Farms

April 8, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock In recent years undercover recordings of horrific abuses against animals have proven instrumental in prosecuting farms, often systematically, mistreat their animals. But several states— ten in 2013 alone —have introduced anti-whistleblower bills that seek to make it a crime not only to document abuses of livestock, but also aim to criminalize anyone who applies for a job in agriculture without stating ties they have to animal rights organizations. Read the rest of Ag-Gag Bills Seek to Outlaw Whistleblower Recordings of Animal Abuse on US Farms Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: ag gag bills , animal abuse , animal cruelty , animal rights , chicken farming , factory farming , humane society , livestock , mercy for animals , Pig Farming , undercover investigations , vegan , vegetarian , whistleblower        

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