Most of us are guilty of “topping” off the water bowl when it gets close to empty but it is important to wash the bowl and fill it with new water. Water that sits around will form a slimy residue along the inside of the bowl. Bacteria and fungus will begin to grow. Pets will also eat their food and then go to their water bowl, depositing food in the bowl while they drink.
Idealy water and food bowls should be washed every day – esecially if you are feeding wet food. If you are giving your pets dry food, bowls should have a warm water rinse every day and clean the bowls with soap and water at least every few days. Wet food bowls should be replaced every day.
Plastic bowls are the most popular and least expensive, but they should be avoided: They aren’t very durable – and can be chewed by your pet. If small bits of plastic are swallowed they can cause intestinal blockage or internal bleeding. Plastic is easily scratched – this leaves tiny crevices where food gets trapped and bacteria grow. This also makes them very difficult to get completely clean.
Plastic can also leach BPA – Bisphenol A - is a carbon-based synthetic compound that has been found to be a carcinogenic.
Food and water dishes should be made from stainless steel, heavy glass or ceramic and should be washed daily.
Ceramic bowls are generally safe but they must have a lead-free glaze and be labeled as safe for food. Ideally, the entire bowl will be glazed, and not just the eating or drinking surface.
Some of the newest and most popular bowls are made of silicone. They are flexible and durable and work well as travel bowls. They are fairly easy to clean and are almost always safe for the dishwasher. They do offer a hospitable surface for algae, so be sure to wash the bowls often, especially water bowls.
An option to water bowls is an electric or battery operated water fountain. These fountains have water circulating through a pump so the water is always moving.
You should also keep an eye on food that has fallen out of the bowl as well as the placement of where the bowl is in the house. During summer time especially, bugs can congregate around your pet’s feeding area.
Stainless steel is non-porous, which means tiny bacteria can’t seep into the surface of the bowl. They also don’t scratch easily, which means no cracks or crevices for food particles or bacteria to hide. Stainless steel bowls are easy to clean and can safely be washed in a dishwasher.
Stainless steel slow-feeding and non-tipping bowls are also available.
With thanks to the Huffington Post, Care2causes and Pet Friends’ Magazine
80% of the world still allows animal testing for cosmetics and personal care products and ingredients.The US is one of these countries. It is lagging behind other countries that have banned cruel and archaic tests on animals for cosmeticsand replaced them with more reliable, humane methods.
The European Union, Israel, India and Brazil have embraced modern testing methods and ended all tests on animals for cosmetics and personal-care products. India and Israel have also banned testing on household products.
In Brazil, there are still some looholes. Animal testing will still be allowed for the rare case of novel ingredients developed for use in cosmetics, but even this will be prohibited after an alternative method has been established or in five years, whichever happens first.
In March 2014, the Humane Cosmetics Act was introduced to the US Congress which would ban cosmetic testing on animals and eventually would ban the sale of cosmetics tested on animals.
In Australia, the End Cruel Cosmetics Bill was introduced to Parliament. It would ban local testing, which generally doesn’t happen in Australia. However, many well-known brands do test their products or ingredients on animals elsewhere in the world which then end up for sale shelves in Australia. It also seeks to ban the and importation of cosmetics tested on animals.
The New Zealand government is now legally required to consider banning cosmetic testing on animals due to proposed amendments to New Zealand’s animal welfare laws, according to the Be Cruelty-Free NZ campaign.
USA: Humane Cosmetics Act:
AUSTRALIA: End Cruel Cosmetics Bill:
Be Cruelty-Free has been the impetus behind most of the bans that have been introduced so far. They currently run campaigns in Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan and the United States.
These are lists of companies that test on animals, last updated in January 2014:
You may find lists of cruelty free cosmetics and household products here:
With thanks to the Huffington Post, PETA, Go Cruelty Free and Wikipaedia
Did you know that black cats have the lowest adoption rate and the highest euthanasia rate? Although it seems to be irrational, there are a number of theories as to why they are the hardest to home.
Of course, there is superstition - for centuries black cats have been rumoured to be bad luck.
Some people claim that it is difficult to connect with a black cat in a rescue, who may blend into the shadows, or because black cats don’t always show up as well in photographs on web pages.
Also, as most rescues are so full these days, there are inevitably a wide range of colours which people are more drawn to - whilst the black cats can seem to fade into the background, and are just passed by.
Shelters have known this for years. Black cats are far more likely to be euthanized than other cats, shelter staffers say. Only half the number of black cats find homes when compared with coloured ones. Shelters try all kinds of ways to find homes for black cats, such as two-for-one specials and other promotions like “Black Is the New Black,” “Adopt a Mini-Panther,” “Black Goes With Everything” and “Back in Black.”
Most often people walk right by the black cats.
As any cat lover will know, all cats are individuals, including black cats. There are friendly cats, aloof cats, playful cats’ talkative cats and so on in every colour, including black.
Regardless, black cats are overlooked time and time again, for coloured cats. Even black kittens are left until last for adoption, while their more colourful siblings are chosen first. The outlook for a black, adult cat in a rescue is therefore very bleak. Some spend many months in rescue, sometimes even years, waiting for someone to see past their colour.
If you are looking to adopt a cat, please consider a black one. They are every bit as affectionate and playful as their lighter coloured counterparts.
We will be posting more information about adopting black cats over the next few days.
With thanks to Kindness for Cats and Black Cat Rescue
When we think of animals who are cruelly used for our clothing we mostly think of leather and fur. And we are well aware of the horrors involved in the production of fur, particularly on Chinese fur farms which produce more than half of the finished fur garments imported for sale in the United States. Foxes, minks, rabbits, dogs, cats, and other animals pace and shiver in outdoor wire cages, with no shelter from driving rain, freezing nights, or the scorching sun. There are no penalties for abusing animals on fur farms in China.
But there are many other victims of the fashion industry.
Each year, millions of sheep, goats, geese, ducks, rabbits, silkworms and other animals are exploited by the down and silk industries, causing unnecessary pain and suffering.
Anyone who purchases products made from wool is supporting a cruel and bloody industry.
If sheep were allowed to breed naturally, they would grow just enough wool to protect themselves from temperature extremes – what it is intended for. The fleece provides them with effective insulation against both cold and heat.
However, modern sheep have been selectively bred to have thick heavy coats. About 50% of all wool used worldwide comes from Australia. The most commonly raised sheep there is the Merino. Merinos have been specifically bred to have wrinkly skin to produce more wool. Their coats are so thick that some die of heat exhaustion during hot months. Unlike wild sheep, Merinos cannot shed their fleece.
Because of this their wool will grow longer and longer while flies lay eggs in the moist folds of their skin. The hatched maggots can eat the sheep alive.
To prevent this from happening, ranchers will perform an operation called mulesing. Without anesthesia large strips of flesh are cut of the backs of lambs and around their tails.
Other procedures performed without anesthesia include punching a hole in the ears of lambs several weeks after birth, docking their tails and castrating the males. The castrations are done when the male lambs are between 2 and 8 weeks old, with the use of a rubber ring to cut off their blood supply.
Every year, millions of lambs die before the age of 8 weeks from exposure or starvation, and mature sheep die every year from disease, lack of shelter, and neglect.
Shearers are usually paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast work without regard for the welfare of the sheep. The shearing shed is also know to be the place where shearers physically abuse the sheep – punching them and hitting with the shears.
When the wool production of sheep declines, they are sold for slaughter. Millions of lambs and sheep are exported for slaughter each year. In Australia they have to travel long distances before reaching very crowded feedlots, where they are held before being loaded onto ships. Many sheep die in the holding pens.
Those who survive the holding pens are packed tightly into ships. Lambs born during the trip are often trampled to death. Many sheep get injured or die.
In Europe they have to travel long distances in tightly packed trucks without food or water. They are frequently exported to countries with minimal slaughter regulations.
There are many alternatives to wool – including cotton, cotton flannel, polyester fleece, synthetic shearling,linen, hemp bamboo and other cruelty-free fibers. Tencel—breathable, durable, and biodegradable—is one of the newest cruelty-free wool substitutes.
Down is the soft layer of feathers closest to the birds’ skin, found mostly in the chest region. Because these feathers do not have quills, they are highly valued. While most down and other feathers are removed from ducks and geese during slaughter, birds in breeding flocks and those raised for meat and foie gras may be plucked repeatedly while they are still alive.
Plucking causes geese and ducks considerable pain and distress. Typically, they are lifted by their necks or delicate wings, their legs are physically restrained or tied, and their feathers are ripped right out of their skin. The struggling birds are often plucked so hard that their skin is torn open and the hurried workers sew up the wounds using needle and thread and no pain relief.
Plucking may begin when the animals are just 10 weeks old and be repeated in six-week intervals until the birds are slaughtered for meat long before they would naturally die.
Most products labeled “down” contain a combination of these underfeathers and other feathers or fillers.
Buying down may support the production of foie gras. Ducks and geese are forcefed with grain and fat that is pumped into their stomachs until their livers become diseased and enlarged. The birds are slaughtered, and their livers are sold as a “delicacy.” Many foie gras producers supplement their income by selling the birds’ feathers.
Up to 5 ounces of feathers and down are pulled from each bird every six weeks from the time they are 10 weeks old until they are up to 4 years old. Plucking birds causes them considerable pain and distress.
Down is expensive and becomes useless when wet. Cruelty free alternatives are synthetic fillers such as PrimaLoft® and Thinsulate™ which retain their insulating capabilities in all weather.