#STOPADANI: Environmental Impacts of the Carmichael Coal Mine

#STOPADANI.

Following years of controversy, the proposed Carmichael coal mine funded by Indian industrialist Guatam Adani is set to start operations before Christmas.

It’s not going to be the mega-mine that was initially proposed, however the mine in North Queensland’s Galilee Basin will still have dire and irreversible environmental consequences.

It’s no secret that coal-burning is one of the biggest drivers of climate change. Many believe that Australia one of the ‘better’ countries when it comes to the fight against global warming. But in fact, Australia is the largest coal exporter in the world; 36.6% of total coal exports to be exact.

The initial mine will be quite small. But Adani claims it will “ramp up” coal output to 27.5 million tonnes a year. It also paves the way for other Galilee Basin projects, including the China Stone Project and the Alpha North; both of which would greatly surpass the size of the Adani mine.

Why has the proposed Adani coal mine become such a contentious issue?

Due to the enormous scale of the proposed mine and its impacts on the environment, it has been opposed with the largest environmental campaign in Australia since the Franklin Dam controversy in the 80s.

It also comes at a time when the world’s climate scientists are warning that catastrophic climate change can only be avoided if the world limits its use of coal. Furthermore, with the extremely urgent challenge in transitioning to a low-carbon society, it’s hard to justify a new coal mine that would contribute to the worsening effects of climate change.

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#STOPADANI protestors outside Parliament House – image via SBS.

If the smaller Adani coal mine goes ahead, will it still have negative environmental impacts?

Despite being approved for the development of a mine roughly half the size of the initial proposal, there’s still a strong chance the mine will increase in size and have terrible consequences for our climate, local water sources and threatened species.

CLIMATE: The Adani coal mine is set to produce 2.3 billion tonnes of thermal coal in its 60 year project lifetime; generating an estimated 4.7 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. This goes directly against the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that said global emissions of greenhouse gas pollution must reach zero by about 2050 in order to stop global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

GREAT BARRIER REEF: The shipping of the coal is dependent upon the shipping port at Abbot Point, which requires dredging the seabed. Dredging also releases fine sediments, which would reduce water quality and smother nearby coral reefs. Not to mention the long-term damage to the climate; the GBR is expected to decline by around 70-90 percent under the 1.5C change, but that may rise to 99 percent reef loss if the temperature hits 2C. ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies director Terry Hughes contributes the eradication of the GBR to the continued use of fossil fuels – full interview here.

“But the federal government of Australia, like the federal government of the United States, still very much favors the continued development of the fossil-fuel² industry, and that, to me, is a complete policy failure for the Great Barrier Reef,” Hughes said.

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Great Barrier Reef coral bleaching – image via Climate Council.

DEPLETION OF WATER SOURCES: Adani was granted unlimited access to precious groundwater by the Queensland government for the next 60 years. According to #STOPADANI, the proposed Adani mine will drain at least 270 billion litres of groundwater over the lifetime of the mine. Furthermore, it will dump polluted wastewater into the Carmichael river and threaten local ancient springs that are sacred to the Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners. These springs are also paramount in times of severe drought.

It’s clear that while the rest of the modern world is attempting to move forward to a cleaner, more sustainable future, Australia still places the profit of a finite source over the welfare of future generations. It’s obvious that the Adani coal mine is symbolic of the precipice in which Australia now stands upon; do we continue to spiral down into a world where profit is more important than our precious ecosystems and future generations? Or, do we take a stand and become a leading example of sustainable practices for the rest of the world to emulate?

Thanks for reading,

Liv x

‘No fear, no pain’: What really happens to livestock when they leave Australian shores?

Feature Article by Olivia Nankivell

‘No fear, no pain’ is the mantra used by the Australian Livestock Exporters Council (ALEC). Yet the 60 Minutes investigation into live export negligence in early April shocked the nation, prompting calls for the brutal trade to be banned completely.

More than two thousand sheep died onboard the Awassi Express last August during an intense heat wave en route to the Middle East. Footage of livestock covered in filth, gasping for air and fighting for space will be forever etched into the mind of every Australian viewer – view here.

Many of us don’t often think about the plight of livestock onboard live export ships. In fact, many of us don’t really know what happens to them at all.

We would prefer to imagine them frolicking freely onboard the ships, smelling the fresh ocean air, and being blissfully unaware of what’s to come.

That idealistic image couldn’t be further from the truth. So, what really happens to livestock when they leave Australian shores?

Aimee Weir, spokesperson for Adelaide Against Live Export (AALE), has in-depth knowledge on the issue. Armed with a growing group of volunteers, AALE work tirelessly to create public awareness of the negligence of the live export industry.

Since 2014, AALE have monitored the process of live export: from the farm, the feedlot, and then the trucks to the ships – taking countless hours of video footage to report to the authorities.

Mrs Weir said the ships that depart Port Adelaide are extremely old and were initially designed as car carriers.

“They’re simply not equipped to have livestock onboard. The animals are housed in really cramped conditions; they have to stand for the entire journey, and there’s certainly not enough room to lay down or move around,” Weir said.

With one ship being able to carry up to 75,000 animals, many are unable to access an adequate supply of food and water. On a journey of up to five weeks, the weak livestock will inevitably die.

“The weak ones will die a slow, prolonged, cruel death. They’re not going to have a humane death,” Weir said.

Weir also commented on the lack of ventilation and the severe heat stress inflicted upon both livestock and crewmembers.

“Coming into winter, we watched the Bader III load in Port Adelaide. It arrived in Israel in 45 degree temperatures. It puts so much stress on their bodies.”.

Supporting this claim is PETA’s Media Officer, Emma Hurst; she says the livestock suffer from cramped conditions, poor ventilation, and heat stress.

“The animals are prodded, kicked, and herded onto crowded, filthy, multi-tiered, open-deck ships and forced to stand for long periods of time – in a sickening slurry of water, urine, and faeces.” Hurst said.

“A mortality rate of up to two per cent of the many thousands of sheep and one per cent of cattle during each journey is considered ‘acceptable’ by the Australian government.”

What happens to livestock when they reach their destination country?

Many Australians don’t know where our livestock is exported or what type of treatment they receive from the importing countries.

According to the Australian Livestock Exporters Council (ALEC), as an island nation, Australia utilises air and sea transport to move livestock to destination markets.

Kuwait, Qatar, Indonesia and Vietnam are the largest live export markets, valued at a total of $1.4 billion, despite suffering a forty percent drop of live exports in the last decade.

ALEC claims to accept the responsibility of ensuring the welfare of slaughter/feeder livestock through to the point of slaughter.

“That means Australian exporters, even after animals are discharged and sold, continue to trace animals, train staff and upgrade facilities along supply chains to the point of slaughter,” ALEC says on their website.

Despite these claims, the live export industry has endured severe controversy and countless scandals over the past decade.

According to Emma from World Animal Protection Australia, Since the Department of Agriculture created the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) in 2012, there have been nearly 150 complaints of non-compliance.

“Many of those that survive the journey are handled roughly at their destination and  killed while fully conscious. Too many suffer outright brutality,” she said.

The reputation of the industry has diminished due to media reports of breaches of animal welfare, both in Australia and overseas, including a 2011 Four Corners investigation into the treatment of Australian cattle, and a 2006 Animals Australia investigation into Egyptian slaughterhouse malpractice.

PETA’s Emma Hurst says that the Australian government has had ample opportunity to create meaningful action.

“A 2011 exposé by Four Corners revealed that the eyes of Australian cows exported to Indonesia were gouged out, and their limbs were cut open while they were still conscious. A joint investigation in 2006 by PETA and Animals Australia documented that workers in an Egyptian slaughterhouse stabbed Australian cows, gouged their eyes out, and disabled them by slashing their leg tendons,” Hurst said.

“After every high-profile incident politicians have expressed concern and then taken no meaningful action at all”.

Does the industry has any control over slaughterhouse malpractice in foreign importing countries?

AALE’s Aimee Weir certainly doesn’t think so: “There’s no way we can have eyes on what’s happening to our animals once they reach their destination country,” she said.

“No matter what the Australian government says, we have absolutely no control over what other countries do. We simply don’t have the legal jurisdiction”.

It’s reasonable to say that Australians are out of touch with the live export process.

“The live export industry operates on a lack of transparency; it’s completely hidden from the public,” said Mrs Weir.

“In terms of factory farming and live export, the common person thinks Australia has high welfare standards for animals – it couldn’t be further from the truth,” she concluded.

Looking to the future, Emma from World Animal Protection believes the live export trade isn’t the only option for the Australian meat industry.

“We’re calling on the government to grow the more humane chilled and frozen meat industry in place of live export,” Emma said.

“Transitioning to the chilled meat trade would ensure that animals are slaughtered and processed in Australia under our regulations, and protected from arduous sea voyages and inhumane slaughter overseas”.

Thanks for reading,

Liv x

Eco-Friendly Living: Reducing Waste

The average Australian produces nearly 650kg of waste per year. In order to reduce this amount, we need to think about specific ways to combat mindless wastage. I started to cut down on unnecessary plastic around a year ago; I realised that my laziness and ignorance was excruciatingly damaging to the environment.

So, who generates the most waste?

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Not surprisingly, highly developed nations account for 44% of the Earth’s waste. The United States, China, Brazil, Japan and Germany are the leading trash generators.

Thankfully, Australia isn’t in trouble. The U.S, however, produced about 228 million tonnes of waste in 2006; a figure that climbed to 254 tons by 2013. China (with a population around four times larger than that of the U.S.) is close behind, with 190 million tonnes of waste per year.

It comes down to the awareness of the individual and the small changes that can make the biggest difference. Here are some tips that you can implement into your daily life:

Number One – Reduce your daily waste.

One of the easiest ways to reduce waste is to use reusable bagswater bottles and coffee cups. This step requires little to no effort.

  • Reusable Bags: Woolworths is currently giving out 3.2 billion lightweight plastic bags per year. Keeping reusable bags in the back of your car can ultimately reduce a massive amount of waste in the form of plastic bags. These reusable produce bags are also super convenient for fruits and veggies.
  • Reusable Drink Bottles: Worldwide, nearly 3 million tonnes of plastic are used to bottle water every year. Simply buying a stainless steel drink bottle allows you to refill and wash your bottle regularly – think of all the plastic bottles you’re saving from going to landfill!
  • Reusable Coffee Cups: Believe it or not, paper coffee cups can’t be recycled properly. 500 billion disposable coffee cups are produced globally each year. Australia uses 1 billion of these, and 90% end up in landfill. These KeepCups are the best way to reduce the waste from your morning coffee.
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@sustainabilityoverselfies – Onya Reusable Produce Bags

Number Two – Avoid buying for convenience.

According to Food Wise, Australians discard up to TWENTY PERCENT of the food they purchase. Crazy, right? On a slightly larger scale, Australians waste FOUR MILLION tonnes of food per year.

  • Cooking at home: Our food waste is rising at a rapid rate. One of the best ways to reduce waste is by sourcing whole, local ingredients to make your daily meals. Wherever possible, buy in large quantities to avoid excess waste.
  • Avoiding single-use items: Disposable utensils, individually wrapped items and single-serve containers are simply crafted for a quick fix or convenience. Take five extra minutes in the morning to pre-pack your lunch – you’ll save money in the long run.

Number Three – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

We’ve all heard it. Sometimes we forget, and that’s okay.

  • Reduce: Avoid unnecessary purchases! Buy only what you need.
  • Reuse: My pantry has changed drastically since I started reusing glass jars. Start with pasta, grains, nuts etc. – over time you’ll put anything and everything into cute jars. Trust me.
  • Recycle: The big one – and by far the easiest to follow. Recycling is an important factor in conserving natural resources and greatly contributes towards improving the environment.  Many materials can be recycled, such as paper, plastic, metal and glass. Did you know that around 66 percent of energy can be saved by producing plastic products from recycled plastics instead of virgin materials? Think twice before you throw out that tub of yoghurt.

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The reality is that we, as individuals, truly have the power to make a change. Through being mindful of what we consume/purchase, each one of us can play a part in saving our planet.

Thanks for reading,

Liv x

Putting Stress Into Perspective.

After a super stressful end to the uni year, It’s been wonderful to relax and ease into the summer break.

[STRESS] – Now, I must admit, I’m not one to preach on this topic. At least a few times a year, I’ll have a complete breakdown due to various obstacles in life. Luckily, most of the stress in my life has been work/study related. During my first year of uni, I’ve only had a couple major breakdowns. These have occurred at the end of both semesters (due to a mountain of unfinished work, oops).

For me, in year 11 and 12, these breakdowns occurred quite often. At the beginning of year 11, transitioning from a public high school to an all-girls private school was definitely hard. On top of this, I had to ease myself into boarding life, which was a lot to deal with at once.

Despite this, I still got comments from teachers and classmates commenting on my ‘chilled’ demeanour. This was mainly because I decided to enjoy year 12, not despise it. I also tried to put the year into perspective; I realised that after a year of gruelling work, it would be over. Ultimately, I ended up graduating with an ATAR in the mid-nineties (which I was super happy with).

Sometimes, we need to put things into perspective. As my mum always says, ‘It’s not the end of the world’. It never is.

So, here are some ways to de-stress and put things into perspective:

1. Breathe.

The first step is gaining control over your breathing. The GIF below is a simple guide to breathing deeply, plus it’s calming to look at. When we’re stressed, hormones like cortisol flood our systems, producing the “fight or flight response” in which our heart rate goes up, we breathe more heavily (requiring more oxygen) and our blood vessels constrict. A couple minutes of deep breathing automatically puts you back in control of your mind and body. It also helps to us to focus on the present, not the worries of the future.

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More about breathing here.

2. Create Positive Intentions.

How many times have you woken up in the morning and absolutely dreaded the day ahead? Probably too many times to count. The key is to create a positive mindset before your day actually starts. Lay in bed and repeat the mantra: “Today, I will have a wonderful, happy and productive day”. By doing this, it reinforces the kind of day you want to have. Too often, we start the day with negativity.

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More tips to start your day here.

After I get myself into a positive mindset, I like to plan my day. This leads me on to my next tip.

3. Create Lists.

Something that helps me to de-stress is a visual list of things I need to do + a schedule. Remember: make the list achievable. In regards to school or uni work, it’s pointless to write ‘start and finish International Relations essay’. The key? Break the list down into smaller components. For example:

  1. 10am: Choose essay question and roughly plan each paragraph.
  2. 11am: Research information for each paragraph.
  3. 1pm: Narrow down paragraph ideas – what exactly will I write about?
  4. 2pm: Write concise introduction (with the help of your essay plan).

etc. etc. More about list making here.

Creating a daily schedule helps you to feel in control of your day (without drowning in endless tasks).

4. Go Outside.

This next tip is to put yourself and your problems into a universal perspective. Sometimes when we spend too much time in our own head, our problems seem immensely bigger than they really are. Go for a run. Go to the beach. Simply go outside and look at the stars, the moon; hear the sound of traffic, the birds, and remember that you are not alone.

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” – Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994.

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This is not to say that our problems are irrelevant or unimportant. It’s a reminder that life will go on, the world will keep on turning, and you will always make it out the other side.

5.1. Let It Out.

THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP: TALK TO SOMEONE. The most horrible feeling in the world is the twisty, uncomfortable, nervous, gut-wrenching feeling in the stomach when something is wrong. You can’t sleep. You can’t enjoy things. It lingers there until you let it out and talk to someone. I can’t count how many times I’ve rang my mum in a flurry of stress and anxiety. I always hang up feeling settled and balanced (thanks mum).

Remember: a problem shared is a problem halved. When you talk about your source of stress, it feels like a weight has been physically lifted from your shoulders.

5.2. Let It Out (Through Positivity).

However, aim to be a source of positive energy > negative energy. There is a difference between ‘venting’ and ‘complaining’. If you are focussed on the negatives in your life more than the positives, it means that your mindset needs to change.

Try a gratitude journal! An abundance of research has shown the links between gratitude and happiness. Gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.

Read more about gratitude journals here.

Remember, you are in the process of becoming the best version of yourself. You are human. It’s okay to cry and let it all out. What’s most important is how you pick yourself up again.

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Thanks for reading,

Liv x

Essential Oils: Nature’s Multitasker.

Today’s blog post is extra special as I’m having a chat with my sister, Charlotte!

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For a while now, she’s been raving about essential oils. She uses them for just about everything! Every time I walk into her house it smells absolutely lovely. Not in a chemical-y way, but in a natural, earthy way. I, myself, sometimes recoil from the smell of strong household cleaners and bleach. Charlotte uses the Young Living Thieves Essential Oil blend (a mixture of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, rosemary and eucalyptus) as a natural alternative to aggressive, shop-bought household cleaners.

How long have you been using essential oils and why did you decide to try them?

I’ve been using essential oils for about 6 months! I wanted to give them a try because of many testimonies of the benefits and power of oils, so I wanted to see what all the hype was about. I also sought them out as natural support for issues relating to sleep, stress and anxiety.

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How can they be used?

After around 6 months of using them, I can definitely say they are a strong part of my everyday life. Good quality essential oils are so versatile. They can be used aromatically (inhaling), topically on different parts of the skin, either neat (straight from the bottle) or diluted with carrier oil, ingested for health support and used in different recipes (depending on the brand. I use Young Living because of their brand integrity, quality and because they are safe to ingest, as per instructions on the bottle.)

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What oils do you use, and for what purpose?

A few of the oils I use everyday are:

Thieves cleaner and oil (a mixture of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, rosemary and eucalyptus) – this is the only cleaner I use around the WHOLE house now and it smells like Christmas, not a hospital! It’s anti bacterial and free from harsh chemicals found in store-bought cleaners.

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Lavender and cedarwood in the diffuser for sleep support, and their calming effect. Also used in the bath.

Peppermint for headache relief and energy support.

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Citrus oils such as grapefruit, lemon, bergamot and orange are amazing to use to feel uplifted, and when diffused throughout the home, they totally override any nasty smells in the house.

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I also use oils to make my own linen sprays, cleaners, air fresheners, body sprays and roll ons. They smell absolutely incredible! When I spray them I’m not worried about breathing them in – because I know I’ll be taking on all the benefits of the oils without putting myself in danger of breathing in chemicals. I’m so glad I started using essential oils, they’re now a part of my everyday life.

They make me see that it’s possible to use natural products and see great results.

Here is a massive list of essential oils and their properties/health benefits!

Thanks for reading,

Liv x

For The Love Of Meat?

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“I had no idea that there were any environmental factors that were damaging in meat production”

“It’s disturbing”

“No one thinks about that sort of thing”

“That picture is far from the supermarket”

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These were some of the responses after witnessing the extent of land clearing for cattle farming in central Queensland, Australia. Approximately 40 football fields worth of land are cleared for cattle grazing, every single hour.

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Matthew takes to the street to ask people some questions. Were you aware of land clearing? “Somewhat. But not to that extent.”

Food critic and gourmet farmer Matthew Evans takes a fresh look at Australia’s insatiable appetite for meat, and what it is doing to the environment, our health, and the animals themselves.

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Watch Here – SBS On Demand.

SBS’s For The Love Of Meat (episode 3) follows a single cow through the process of grazing, rapidly growing and being carved up for cuts of meat. Along the way, Evans finds out some shocking facts about how damaging beef production is to the environment.

Worldwide, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the average person consumes 34 kilograms of meat per year.

This following stat shocked me.

In Australia, the average person consumes 90 kilograms of meat per year, thus crowning Australia as the second largest meat consuming nation on the planet (behind the USA).

So what exactly is our love for beef doing to the environment? Well, it isn’t good. Firstly, more than half of Australia’s land is used for grazing livestock. That’s an insane amount of land being used for our lazy day BBQ’s and weekly dose of spaghetti bolognese.

Most of the debris from land clearing is burnt, which has consequently doubled Queensland’s greenhouse gas emissions since 2011. Not good. Furthermore, 600 Aussie animal species are suffering as a result of extensive land clearing. Okay, still not good. Lastly, due to the spread of cattle grazing, polluted streams of Queensland are leading to the demise of our oceans, but more specifically, our already suffering Great Barrier Reef. Definitely not good.

However, there are some viable solutions to the growing concern of animal agriculture sustainability within Australia. It all comes down to simple education and a willingness to change our habits.

Solution One. Lead a more plant based diet.

You’ll notice that I put ‘more’ in italics. This is because for many people, cutting out meat entirely isn’t an option. But, there is no excuse not to try. It’s not about cutting it out entirely, it’s about being aware of the process and reducing our overall intake (at least to match the average of the rest of the world, come on guys).

Here are some quick stats from the CSIRO Animal, Food and Health Sciences Research Centre.

Lentils and bread produce 1kg of greenhouse gases (GHG’s) for every 1kg of product.

Chicken, 3kg of GHG’s for every 1kg. Pork, 6kg for every 1kg.

Lastly, Beef produces a whopping 25kg of GHG’s for every 1kg produced.

This takes into consideration all parts of the process. So, you can see that cutting out weekly portions of meat will make a difference.

Solution Two. Nose to tail philosophy.

Ever heard of it? The nose to tail philosophy basically encourages the utilisation of the whole animal. It urges us to respect the deceased animal’s life, which echoes the Native American practice of hunting buffalo in a sacred manner to feed a whole tribe, while wasting little of the animal in the process.

Some of the most in demand cuts of beef are also the smallest parts, such as rib eye and scotch fillet. From a 500kg cow, roughly 4kg’s of rib eye is produced. That’s a crazy amount of waste when the majority of the other parts are ignored, such as the liver and kidneys, or offal. Interestingly, Nutritionist Karen Inge believes that offal contains a higher amount of iron, zinc and essential vitamins compared to the actual flesh.

Again, it’s about eating smart and eating for the planet. I believe that as a society, we are quite disconnected from where our food comes from, especially meat. If we all took some time to educate ourselves and consider the long term implications, we may be able to reverse some of the incredibly damaging effects of animal agriculture.

Please watch Matthew Evan’s For The Love Of Meat. You won’t regret it!

Thanks for reading,

Liv x

Is A Cruelty-Free Future Possible?

It’s an issue we refrain from thinking about when possible. We, as consumers, like to distance ourselves from the dark process behind the shiny products on the shelf. Convincing labels, innovative packaging and clever marketing often distract from the grim reality behind closed doors.

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LUSH – Fighting Animal Testing Campaign.

According to Humane Society International, approximately 100,000-200,000 animals die every year due to cosmetic animal testing alone. This number rises significantly when we consider animal testing for skincare, household cleaners, medical training, and drug testing. Overall, millions of rats, mice, cats, rabbits, dogs, monkeys, fish and birds suffer and die during these gruelling tests.

According to a PETA, big brands such as L’Oréal, Avon, Revlon and Estée Lauder (and many others) still test their products on animals before releasing them to the public.

These animals are burned, poisoned and left to die in horrific conditions. Read more here. Two problems arise when considering the authenticity of animal testing.

  1. Animals are not human.

    They will react differently to humans when exposed to the same poisonous substance.

  2. They cannot put pain into words. They can’t tell you how much it hurts, if they’re dizzy, or if they feel nothing at all.

So, why do companies still do it? Well, it’s simple. If a company is sued by an injured customer, the company can provide data from approved animal experimentations as defence.

However, change is happening and companies are noticing. 

In 2013, the European Union implemented a law that made it illegal to sell animal tested cosmetics within Europe. A whole host of countries followed suit, including Australia (as of July 2017).

One thing I’ve noticed over the years is the growing popularity of newer, cruelty free brands of cosmetics; Tarte, Too Faced, Kat Von D, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Becca and Charlotte Tilbury just to name a few. Beauty gurus of YouTube are also getting on the cruelty free campaign, with many posting videos including their favourite cruelty free brands and makeup tutorials. Top to bottom, Rhian HYRachelleea & Dani Mansutti.

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Two of my favourite go-to companies, including skincare, makeup and toiletries, are LUSH and The Body Shop. Surprise surprise. Aésop and Grown Alchemist are also top contenders.

LUSH.

LUSH is simply amazing. Slightly out of the box, LUSH create uniquely awesome products for the face, hair and body. The best thing about LUSH is that every product is hand made with fresh ingredients. How cool is that? Often, some of their products smell bad. Trust me, this is actually a good thing. It means there are no artificial or harsh fragrances that can irritate the skin.

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ULTRABLAND facial cleanser + OCEAN SALT face and body scrub.
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LUSH Christmas Collection.

THE BODY SHOP.

The Body Shop has been a go-to cruelty free brand for many people over many years. With their classic body butters and fluffy loofas, The Body Shop makes an effort with each and every product to enrich, not exploit. Currently, The Body Shop has 26 Community Trade suppliers in 21 countries of the world.

Lots of ingredients are featured on their website with extensive information behind where they come from, who harvests it, and how it benefits the supplier. I think this type of knowledge helps consumers decide why they want to buy cruelty free and fair trade products.

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Enrich, Not Exploit – Body Shop Commitment Video. 

The future is uncertain for the cosmetic and skincare companies that still test on animals. What we do know is that change is occurring on a global scale. Governments are recognising the out-dated, cruel and unnecessary nature of animal testing. We, as consumers, hold all the power. We need to be armed with knowledge when we enter the supermarket or the makeup counter. I believe that if we begin to spend our money on products that we know are ethically produced, testing on animals may indeed be a thing of the past.

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Thanks for reading,

Liv x