White Buffalo, Inc., NPS Ignore Humane Society’s Plea for Deer

January 28th, 2008 at 04:18am Under Animal Friends

For an outsider, it may be hard to believe the situation that’s going on right now over at the seashore in Point Reyes, CA. The Point Reyes National Seashore is currently under the tyrannical rule of a superintendent named Don Neubacher who has got such an incredible Napoleon complex that, no matter who has approached him to ask for humane management of the local Fallow and Axis deer population, the guy simply won’t listen. The following organizations and government officials have now attempted to request that the NPS, under Neubacher, stop killing the deer who are so highly valued by the local people. He is simply not interested in the opinions of the following:

  • The Humane Society of the United States
  • The Marin Humane Society
  • U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey
  • State Senator Carol Migden
  • In Defense of Animals
  • WildCare
  • Dr. Jane Goodall
  • Friends of the White Deer
  • The taxpaying citizens of Marin County, California

The above people and groups have met with Park Superintendent Neubacher, have phoned him, have written him letters, have sent him the results of public polls with countless signatures, and he simply turns a deaf ear and continues to pay out thousands of dollars to a thuggish group of animal exterminators called White Buffalo, Inc.

In researching White Buffalo Inc.’s so-called ‘humane sharpshooting’ methods, I have discovered that locals in other parts of the country where these gunmen have been brought in have captured their absolutely cruel practices on video. They gun down deer from helicopters, chase them with dogs, beat them and stab them to death, and suffocate them with plastic bags. Outside of government-owned lands, behavior like that would be legally termed animal cruelty, no question about it.

Axis Deer Point Reyes, CA
This week, White Buffalo, Inc. plans to drive the small and much-loved herd of Axis deer into a hole by chasing them with helicopters. Once the deer are trapped in the hole, they will be shot en masse. Read about the inhumane killing of the Axis deer of Point Reyes.

The grievous situation going on in Point Reyes is mind-boggling. It’s been covered not only by the renowned San Francisco Chronicle for months on end, but also by a host of websites and blogs. Superintendent Don Neubacher and his mercenary White Buffalo, Inc. buddies have made a ridiculous and infamous name for themselves. You just don’t ignore the Humane Society of the United States. You just don’t do this!

Apparently, Neubacher’s dictatorial decision-making hasn’t simply revolved around the mass brutal slaughter of completely innocent animals. He has also gone after family farms and is now cutting down eucalyptus trees that are home to vital populations of wading birds such as great blue herons and great egrets. With that horrible oil spill still causing damage to this part of the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s obscene that anyone would be further impacting the local wildlife by destroying their nesting habitat. Unbelievable.

We are so appalled by what the National Park Service is doing with the land that is in their care. Wholesale slaughter and habitat destruction are unacceptable. Environmentalists don’t carry guns. Smokey the Bear doesn’t carry a gun. Government employees who are paid to be stewards of treasured wildlife should absolutely listen up when the Humane Society speaks.

If, after reading this, and visiting the site I’ve linked to, FOTWD.org which belongs to the grass roots group that has been working like crazy to protect these defenseless deer, you feel like Superintendent Neubacher has stepped way out of line to be ignoring the Humane Society, senators and representatives and the likes of Dr. Jane Goodall, you can write to the fellow and tell him so. Remember, being nasty doesn’t sound intelligent. It will be best if you simply ask him to respect the requests of the Humane Society and pursue a plan of humane management of these precious, peaceful deer, rather than brutal, mechanized slaughter:

Superintendent Don Neubacher
Point Reyes National Seashore


Photo courtesy of Trish Carney.

By admin 3 comments

Pickles: Whole Foods 365, Cascadian Farm Contain Natural Flavors

December 9th, 2007 at 03:18pm Under Food Alert

Greetings, Readers,

Can you help me with this problem? I would like to find a source for Dill Pickles that meets the following criteria:

  • Organic
  • Do not contain natural or artificial flavors

I would like to find a source for Sweet Pickles or Sweet Pickle Relish that meets the following criteria:

  • Organic
  • Do not contain natural or artificial flavors
  • Sweetened with cane syrup or another natural, unprocessed sugar (not sweetened with plain old table sugar)

Neither Whole Foods 365 Brand Nor Cascadian Farm Pickles Are Chemical-Free
Go to any regular supermarket in America, along the lines of Safeway or Ralph’s and you won’t see, and won’t expect to see, organic pickles. Claussen’s, Vlassic’s, etc., and the other pickles you likely remember from childhood may have tasted good to you, but they are a concoction of pesticide-laden cucumbers and bizarre chemical additives. Surely, not something you should put in your mouth.

So, you continue on down the road to your natural foods store - be it Whole Foods or another store offering organics, eager to get your hands on some human-friendly pickles to bring dash to a winter potato salad or zest to a summer sandwich. You start looking at the labels of what’s available and that sinking feeling sets in.

Whole Foods used to carry Cascadian Farm pickles before making their recent Napoleonic move of replacing most of the brand choices in their markets with their own 365 label. But, in this case, it hardly matters. Read the ingredients on Cascadian Farm’s pickles and you will see that ugly two-word phrase: natural flavors. This means chemicals from the New Jersey Turnpike that are being used to trick you and your tastebuds into thinking you’re eating a tasty food, rather than actually eating a whole, wholesome, natural food that has been prepared with care to actually taste tasty. So, Cascadian Farm’s is being dishonest, hiding behind FDA legislation that allows them to put food on market shelves without disclosing the ingredients of that food.

Next, you pick up Whole Foods 365 Brand Pickles and you have an episode of deja vu. Aping the very products they’ve replaced with their own company brand, Whole Foods is being dishonest, adding ‘natural flavors’ to their own pickles. Where, may I ask, is the value or justice in calling Whole Foods Pickles organic if they contain chemicals? Natural flavors are not organic…they are mystery meat chemicals made in a lab by white-coated scientists who will not tell you what they are putting in the jar of ‘food’ they are concocting. Natural flavors are a legal lie to you, the consumer. All you know when you see ‘natural flavors’ on a label is that the manufacturer of the product has something to hide.

And these are my two choices where I live. The 2 ‘organic’ pickles available here contain natural flavors. As a result, I’ve had no pickles in months and both my husband and I are feeling depressed. I’ve spent hours on the Internet, looking for a place to order organic pickles without chemical additives and have come up empty handed.

Can you help me? Is there an organic pickle brand where you live that doesn’t contain natural or artificial flavors? Can you read some labels in your home town and see if ANY company in the USA is actually producing wholesome pickles any more? If you can find a US company that meets my criteria, I would surely appreciate you sharing a link and ingredient list with me in the comments, below.

I did contact Whole Foods to ask them why they are putting chemicals in their pickles rather than providing a ‘whole food’ that tastes good because it’s made properly. Unfortunately, they did not respond, and this represents the 3rd inquiry I have sent to this huge corporation without receiving a reply. I used to be Whole Foods’ #1 fan, but as the years go by, I become increasingly less impressed with the Whole Foods corporation. Their success has turned them away from their original commitments and they are becoming little better than Safeway in their care for their customers’ needs or health. What a let-down!

I did not bother to contact Cascadian Farm, having attempted to have rational dealings with them last year over the fact that they punch holes in their frozen vegetable bags, allowing their food to be freezer burned and filled with industrial dirt on its way to your table. They feel this is a reasonable thing to do, and couldn’t seem to understand why I disagreed.

Unfortunately, the first step to eating well in America is to realize that the FDA does little to protect consumers from toxins and pollutants that should not be eaten. My long-term plan about the pickles is to begin to grow my own cucumbers and make my own pickles when my husband and I can afford a piece of land of our own. We’re hoping this will happen in our near future, so that we can be more self-sufficient, depending less and less on unscrupulous corporations to feed us. My mother used to make her own pickles, and believe me, they put to shame anything you’ve ever eaten out of a commercial jar. We’re working our way toward this type of self-reliance, but in the meantime, we’d surely like to know if you know of a company that makes real pickles that taste good because they’re made well. Please, do comment if you can.

By admin 15 comments

Roundup is toxic - Stop spraying today!

October 15th, 2007 at 05:43pm Under Organic Gardening

“As safe as table salt!” said Monsanto, makers of the world’s most widely used herbicide - Roundup. Unfortunately, people bought this pitch, and continue to buy it today, despite the 1990’s ruling of a New York court forbidding Monsanto to describe their product as safe, non-toxic and as harmless as salt.

We are posting this as part of the Internet’s very first International Blog Action Day. If Tangergreen.com could give people one quick planet-saving, species-saving tip, it would be to stop using the herbicide, Roundup, created by Monsanto.

What is Monsanto?
Monsanto is considered by many to be Environmental Enemy Number 1. During the course of this corporation’s history, they have engineered and inflicted the following on the world and its people:

  • Agent Orange
  • Bovine Growth Hormones
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
  • Carcinogenic Herbicides
  • PCBs
  • DDT

Monsanto’s documented history of lying to the public, suing small farmers and unleashing Frankenstein-like monster chemicals and organisms into our food chain, water supply and air is what has caused them to be considered the least ethical and most environmentally unconscious corporation in the world. Visit the Millions Against Monsanto website for further documentation of this corporation’s activities in our world.

What is Roundup?
Roundup has been aggressively marketed to homeowners, gardeners, landscapers and farmers since its unfortunate invention in 1976. It is a highly toxic herbicide, detrimental to the environment, plant life, animal life and the human species. Non-Monsanto-conducted studies have shown us that Roundup causes the following serious harms:

  • Liver damage
  • 50% increase of miscarriage in pregnant women exposed to Roundup
  • 90% decrease in production of the male sexual hormones in men exposed to Roundup
  • Poisoning of our vital groundwater
  • 70% decrease in amphibian biodiversity and 90% decrease in the numbers of tadpoles

If survival of our species is important to us, we need to take it very seriously that exposure to Roundup drastically destroys male hormone production at the same time as causing miscarriages in women. This assault on the human reproductive system is clearly a deadly combination in terms of our ability to regenerate the human species. The man at the local nursery may eagerly be recommending Roundup to you as the answer to the dandelions in your lawn, but is it worth it if the young couple next door to you discovers they cannot conceive or bare children because of your need for a weed-free yard? Certainly not.

Global warming and fungus are currently decimating our planet’s frog population. By pouring Roundup into the groundwater which then forms the pond and stream environments that are the homes of amphibians, we are literally dooming frogs and toads to extinction. The conclusive studies that have been conducted regarding Roundup’s lethal effect on frogs have been public knowledge for some years now, but the world power of Monsanto and the lack of concern of the American government are keeping it on the shelves. Roundup has been banned by the Danish government because of its documented harms to the environment, animals and humans.

Roundup effects everyone and everything that comes into contact with it, from bugs, to songbirds, to your children. Monsanto’s marketing efforts mean that one of your neighbors, someone next door, down the street, downtown, is likely spraying Roundup while you read this. This year, you and your children and pets will walk through Roundup-infected areas at school, the store, outside the mall, on public trails. New mothers will be pushing baby strollers through the invisible poison. The elderly and auto-immune deficient citizens will walk through Round-up while they are attempting to get exercise and fresh air. Roundup is the #1 cause of annual pesticide/herbicide-induced illnesses and injuries, according to the California Pesticide Illness Surveillance Programme. It needs to be pulled from shelves, out of our homes, out of our environment.

A Roundup-free World

In the 1940’s Monsanto began marketing their infamous product, DDT, to the world. Marketed as a wonder cure for all manners of things, and of course, perfectly safe, it was soon being sprayed on crops and humans all over the globe. It became the world’s most commonly applied chemical, as Roundup is today. Monsanto, typically, attempted to deny all reports of this deadly chemical
causing toxic residue buildup in the fatty tissues and milk of human beings, and damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system. They attempted to deny that DDT caused a songbird holocaust from which many bird populations have yet to recover. Public outrage, happily, won the day and DDT was banned in the 1970’s. Every time I see a Western Bluebird in my yard, I thank my stars that some few of them were left alive from the DDT genocide and that populations are only now beginning to become stable again.

DDT was marketed as a blessing to homeowners, gardeners and farmers. Roundup has been marketed to your community in the same way, and the same lies and denials are being used to keep it legal and profitable for the manufacturer. Roundup, ’safe as table salt’, is destroying our health and the vital biodiversity of our planet. Just like DDT, it needs to be banned.

Before DDT, before Roundup, before the onslaught of products created by the makers of chemical warfare were invented, farmers and homeowners maintained their lands and properties with manual labor. Crop rotation, the small farm, and the seasonal growing calendar enabled humans to grow enough food to feed everyone with no lasting damage to humans, genetics or the environment. Agribusiness, solely reliant on chemicals to produce chemical-laden ‘foods’, has changed the world in so many negative ways, has disenfranchised the small farmer, brought us dozens of new illnesses and created trillions of dollars of profits for unethical corporations like Monsanto. The price our planet is paying to keep Monsanto wealthy is simply too high.

Hand labor, the tool of our forefathers, is the answer to growing food or keeping your garden tidy. Keep your neighborhood safe for your neighbors, your planet safe for life - please, don’t use Roundup.

By admin 40 comments

Eat With The Seasons For Optimum Health

October 11th, 2007 at 09:25pm Under Green Body

You’d never know it from a walk around the produce section of any U.S. grocery store, but tomatoes don’t grow in winter and June is an odd time to be eating an apple. International shipping is what is responsible for off-season fruits and vegetables appearing on supermarket shelves, usually with a hefty price tag attached. You may have been raised to think that such foods are a lovely luxury, but if you are treating them as a staple, you are forcing your body to work against the natural cycle of the farming year.

In addition to confusing your stomach, purchasing off-season produce represents a tremendous waste of fuel as foods are either intensively cultured in greenhouses, or are shipped incredible distances to us from other countries. Learning to eat with the seasons reduces pollution of the planet and aligns your body with the life-giving rhythm of the earth.

Eating with the Warm Season

When the hot months of late spring, summer and early fall are with us in North America, the local organic farm abounds with fabulous, mouthwatering vegetables like these:

  • summer squash
  • string beans
  • cucumbers
  • peppers
  • avocados
  • mesclun lettuces and greens
  • eggplant

Warm weather fruits include these gorgeous choices:

  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • melons
  • peaches
  • plums
  • nectarines
  • tomatoes

Looking over this brief list, it becomes immediately apparent that the majority of the produce listed here has one major factor in common - water content. Think about the juiciness of berries, of watermelon, of tomatoes and lemon cucumbers. No doubt, this is Nature’s way of helping us to stay properly hydrated when the sun is at its hottest. Additionally, many of the foods here require minimal cooking or no cooking at all, which is just perfect when the last thing you want to do is turn on your oven on a sweltering afternoon. Essential vitamins are present in these foods for good summer health and the antioxidants found in blueberries and tomatoes may even be protecting your skin from the sun’s strongest rays and your body from various cancers. By growing your own summer produce, or buying from a local, organic farmer, you are doing the smart thing for your health, for the local economy and for the environment.

Eating with the Cold Season

The organic farm changes when fall turns cold and moves into winter and early spring. Your selection of seasonal vegetables includes:

  • pumpkins
  • winter squash
  • chard
  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • potatoes
  • dried beans
  • peas
  • carrots
  • onions
  • lettuce

Appetizing, flavor-packed fruits for the cold months include:

  • apples
  • pears
  • oranges
  • lemons
  • grapefruit
  • limes

If the list above of vegetables looks like an awesome recipe for a winter soup, that’s because it
is! These heartier foods, packed with iron, are just what your body is craving to keep strong during the cold season of the year. Many varieties of apples and pears are meant to be stored throughout the winter, and when the citrus fruits ripen, we have an invaluable source of the vitamin C that keeps us bright on short, dark days. This wealth of cold season produce will keep us in good health until North America heats up again, bringing us back to the first summer foods. That’s how the cycle works, ensuring that there is always something delicious for your family to eat.

Getting Americans Back in the Seasonal Food Cycle

International food shipping and factory farming has resulted in a completely un-natural selection of produce at the grocery store. The apples you find in June were either shipped all the way from a country like Argentina or have been kept too long in storage, their flavor and nutrition dissipated, their skins waxed to look appealing. The tomatoes you buy in December are from as far away as New Zealand, or were grown in a greenhouse. You already know how bland they taste! They simply aren’t a good buy, from either an environmental or nutritional standpoint. Factory food producers pick their produce when it is unripe and then gas it to add color or hope it ‘ripens’ in the back of a truck on its way from South America.The result is in every way inferior to the produce your local organic farmer has ripening on the branch or vine in his garden. Ripe, fresh, on-season foods are where the vitamins and flavor are!

If you can’t grow your own, or find a local farmer, your town may have a small, independent organic grocery store or a chain store like Whole Foods. Americans can easily eat with the seasons by shopping at such stores, and if saving energy strikes you as important, you can ask the grocer where various fruits and vegetables came from. At the very least, you can attempt to buy produce primarily from in-state farmers. The nearer the farmer is to your house, the fresher, tastier and more nutritious your food will be, and the less energy will have been expended to bring the produce to your table.

The one challenge I find people having with seasonal eating is that one can get a little tired of
their diet as the cold season draws near its end. In such cases, it’s just fine to use a modest amount of prepared foods like jams, apple sauces, pickles or other relishes as a condiment to liven up your family’s appetite. If 90% of your diet is on-season, then organic canned fruits, vegetables and seasonings can be used to perk up meals that have become a little too familiar. Yet, the anticipation of the next season is actually part of the fun of seasonal eating. How we look forward to that first summer tomato or luscious plum!

All other North American animals eat with the seasons by necessity. Nature ensures that they are given the right foods at the right times for optimum health. This same loving care is present in Nature for we humans. We have only to tap into it to connect with an older, better way of eating.

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Cruelty Free Baking Soda - Boycott Arm & Hammer, Buy Bob’s Red Mill

September 28th, 2007 at 04:23pm Under Green Housekeeping

For decades, smart housekeepers and anyone looking for an environmentally-friendly way to clean tough spots, deodorize unpleasant smells, get teeth really clean and a variety of other activities have championed baking soda as an all-purpose wonder. I heartily agree. My refrigerator and stove top burners attest to the fact that baking soda can scrub away the worst gunk, and I love how polished my teeth feel when I sprinkle baking soda on my toothbrush every so often for an extra cleaning. When my muscles are sore, I sprinkle baking soda in my tub. A half an orange, scooped out and filled with baking soda, absorbs stale or bad odors in a refrigerator or a room…even in your car! Needless to say, baking soda is a substance with many fine uses and is a safe alternative to toxic detergents and chemicals that destroy your family’s health while poisoning the planet.

The Bad News Is … Arm & Hammer Tests On Animals!
When most people hear the words baking soda, an image of a small orange box appears in their minds. Church & Dwight Inc., owners of the Arm & Hammer label, have been in business since 1846 and have basically cornered the market on baking soda in the U.S. supermarket. Though you may find generic, supermarket brand baking soda sitting next to the familiar Arm & Hammer product, chances are this is simply the brand name product repackaged under a supermarket label and selling for a few pennies less. This re-boxing technique is practiced by every supermarket from Safeway to Whole Foods. Don’t be fooled.

Arm & Hammer tests its products on animals - a practice known as vivisection in which living animals including rabbits, cats, dogs, monkeys, mice and other creatures are imprisoned, tortured and killed by lab workers in the name of science and consumer safety. Animal testing may include operating on conscious animals’ brains and organs without anesthesia, injecting animals with cancers and other diseases, and force feeding poisons to animals.

One of the most common forms of animal testing is the Draize test in which the eyelids of living, awake rabbits are held open with clamps while 0.5mL or 0.5g of a test substance is put in the rabbit’s eyes. The substance might be gasoline, insecticide, cosmetics, bleach…or baking soda. The lab worker then watches for ulceration, hemorrhaging, blindness, discharge, swelling and/or death. The rabbit is kept immobile by means of a restraining device so that it cannot rub it’s poor eyes during the four hours it spends enduring this agonizing torture, for as many days as the lab worker wishes to do this to animal. When the test is over, the rabbit is killed.

A similar test is performed by shaving an animal, tearing off the upper layers of its skin with adhesive tape and then rubbing test substances into the skin to see what kinds of skin irritations and diseases will occur.

It might seem obvious to you and me that putting something like baking soda in our eyes or into open skin wounds would cause our eyes and skin to swell up, tear up, rupture, and make us scream with pain. You have only to imagine this happening to yourself and being unable to blink your eyes or rub your skin to understand what the animals experience during this torture. You’ve known since you were a child that you need to avoid getting things in your eyes, and that skin wounds need to be covered and kept sterile to heal. But vivisectionists and their employers, like Arm & Hammer, continue to perform these inhumane experiments on living animals as though it is not obvious that getting anything in your eye, with the exception of eye drops, is going to cause harm.

Proponents of vivisection claim that such testing on animals is necessary for protecting the health of human beings. The truth is, most animal testing is performed so that corporations like Arm & Hammer can determine how much of a toxic substance they can put in a product before humans would be made sick by it and lawsuits would follow. In short, the Draize test was developed because women were going blind from eye makeup. The blindness was caused by coal tar in the cosmetics. Rather than seeing the obvious here, that you shouldn’t put tar in or around your eyes, corporations and the lab workers they employ began doing this test to see just how much of a toxin a living body can handle. If these entities actually cared about consumer safety, they wouldn’t put toxic and dangerous substances into the products they manufacture. If they really cared, they’d open a business dedicated to educating human beings about avoiding toxins.

For vegans, buying products that are tested on animals is absolutely out. For anyone who loves their kitty or dog, rage at the idea of someone subjecting their fine companion animal to torture means searching for cruelty free labels at the grocery store, out of respect for their pet’s species. For anyone who cares about the environment, the concept of a bunch of lab workers pouring chemicals and toxins all over our planet means searching for natural alternatives to commercial, animal-tested cosmetics, drugs and foods.

But, here’s the rub: for years, caring people have been suggesting baking soda as the perfect alternative to a tremendous array of cleaning and cosmetic products. And, for years, we’ve all meant Arm & Hammer baking soda when we made this smart and planet-friendly recommendation. But now that we know that giving our money to Arm & Hammer means our name is on the bottle dripping toxins into animals’ eyes, we may experience a moment of feeling completely freaked out. What are we supposed to do without baking soda???

The Good News Is…Bob’s Red Mill Makes Cruelty-Free Baking Soda!
The only baking soda I’ve ever seen in my local area has been either either Arm & Hammer or a supermarket generic brand - re-boxed Arm & Hammer. I was seriously upset when I realized I could never buy this useful stuff again because of the stupid inhumanity of the manufacturer. I was so relieved when some serious Internet searching yielded a mention of Bob’s Red Mill. To the folks at Bob’s - I love your flour for baking, but as an SEO, I want to say that your company would seriously benefit from some work being done on your website to promote your individual products better via search engine optimization and marketing. I could not find your product searching Google for baking soda manufacturers. I’d like to see that change so that people know you make this stuff! Fortunately, a mention in a random forum led me to your website where I was delighted to find Bob’s Red Mill’s Baking Soda.

I quickly dashed off an email to Bob’s Red Mill, asking the million dollar question regarding their company’s policy on animal testing. Here is the blessed response I received:

Bob’s Red Mill does not participate in animal research in any form. The food product we produce, including the Baking Soda, as known safe products and no form of testing is needed, besides quality control.

I only buy cruelty free myself (I’ve been vegan over 10 years) so can say these things knowing the company well. Thanks for your concern. Let me know if you have any further questions.

I wanted to jump around and cheer when I read this reply. Not only does Bob’s Red Mill not test on animals, but a vegan customer support representative knew exactly what I was talking about. How’s that for nice? I believe that Bob’s Red Mill should make the most of this fact and take away Arm & Hammer’s customers by promoting a cruelty free image on their baking soda product. I’m writing this post on Tangergreen as my attempt to spread the word that you can still buy baking soda in good conscience if you buy it from Bob’s. I also want to take this opportunity to applaud this company for being compassionate and modern in their policies - for realizing that none of us need an animal to suffer in order to be taught that we shouldn’t put baking soda in our eyes. We get it!

If your local store doesn’t carry Bob’s Red Mill’s baking soda, you can order directly from the company at a budget-friendly price. I’m deeply happy to have discovered this.

Are the products you buy that contain baking soda actually cruelty free?
Okay, so we’ve solved the baking soda crisis. Our appliances, our teeth, our clothing and our homes can still be cleaned the green way with this simple product. Whew! But now we have to turn a weather eye on the cosmetics sitting on our bathroom counters at this moment. Are you using a baking soda toothpaste, deodorant or other personal care or household product? Knowing as we do now that Arm & Hammer is the nation’s leading manufacturer of baking soda, we are faced with the unhappy concern that any product we buy containing baking soda may be getting this ingredient from Arm & Hammer.

Of immediate concern to me are Tom’s of Maine and Nature’s Gate. Both companies manufacture baking soda toothpaste. Both companies claim to be cruelty free. Here’s the problem with the cruelty free symbol: there are no laws in the United States governing the use of this label. Investigations are not conducted to discover whether a manufacturer using the cruelty free symbol is or isn’t testing on animals. In other words, a manufacturer can simply lie about this.

More complicated than this, a company could, potentially, not perform animal testing itself, but could be purchasing ingredients from companies that do perform such testing. For example, Tom’s of Maine may not be doing animal testing themselves, but if the baking soda in their toothpaste is purchased from Arm & Hammer, the end result is a product made up of animal-tested ingredients and continued funding of Arm & Hammer’s cruel policies. Such a situation would be a flagrant misuse of the cruelty free label and a terrible deception of the public. Because the cruelty free label is not legally regulated, and pretty much anyone can use it, the only way to discover whether a product supports vivisection is to get that information from the specific company in question.

I am now on my second round of requests for information to both Tom’s of Maine and Nature’s Gate. I received no response to my initial email inquiries. I’m now attempting to get an answer over the telephone. It is in these companies’ best interests to give me a prompt and honest response. As far as I’m concerned, their public reputation hinges on this. I will update this post with any response I receive from either of these companies. And, you can also get in touch with these 2 companies, or any others, yourself.

Should it turn out that a company calling themselves ‘cruelty-free’ is in partnership with Arm & Hammer in order to provide a baking soda-containing product, your response can be that you will no longer be purchasing that product. Most effectively, you can suggest that they start getting their baking soda from Bob’s Red Mill so that they are being honest to the public in styling themselves as cruelty free. Remember, it is your dollar that determines who gets to stay in business. This is one of those areas in which you really can make a powerful difference.

The Future of Animal Testing in the United States
As I see it, there are two major factors that have contributed to the continued shame of animal testing being allowed to be a business in our modern world:

1) Corporations with no concern for public health are making money from selling dangerous toxins to the public. Instead of you pulling dandelions out of your lawn by hand, the pesticide companies have sold you a pitch that involves you spraying cancer-causing poisons all over your living space. Instead of you believing that the pores in your skin need to breath so that you look healthy and alive, the cosmetic companies have sold you a pitch that involves you slathering toxins all over your skin so that this living organ literally suffocates. The corporations are looking for the cheapest products they can get their hands on, and because so many of these substances are poisons, these people resort to torturing and killing animals as a type of gauge to see how much a human animal will tolerate before disease and death result and lawsuits follow.

2) The public is not only purposely kept in the dark about how products are made, but we have gotten amazingly lazy in regards to even wondering about the origins of the things with which we surround ourselves. We have grown so used to finished, packaged products making their way from market shelves into our homes that we do not even wonder about how they were made, what ingredients they contain or where they come from. This sluggishness of mind is counter-productive to the survival of our species. We were given inquiring minds for a very good reason, and human beings who make the effort to ask tough questions are taking the right steps to ensure health for the human race and the planet.

Our dollar is our vote. We know which company to give our dollar to only after we ask the tough questions. If we receive no answer, an evasive answer, or an answer that confirms a company is unethical, we get to decide whether we want to support such enterprises. As for me, I will gladly give my dollar to Bob’s Red Mill, delighted to be taking those pennies away from Arm & Hammer and hoping that if enough of my neighbors do the same, this corporation will finally get it that they need to abandon their barbarous abuse of animals if they want to stay in business. Let Arm & Hammer know that you won’t be getting paid until they stop the violence.

By admin 30 comments

Boycott Adidas, Save Kangaroos. Bill SB880

September 6th, 2007 at 10:29pm Under Animal Friends

The small corner of the planet we call Australia is the unique home of many of the world’s most wonderful and astonishing species of animals. Truly, the more than 60 species of kangaroos found only in Australia are one of our planet’s remarkable treasures. Every day, these intelligent creatures are being forced closer and closer to the brink of extinction, and now, the Adidas company is lobbying to give kangaroos the final push that will shove them violently off the map of the world. (more…)

By admin 5 comments

Proposition 65 - Lead in Red Wine and Balsamic Vinegar

August 19th, 2007 at 08:01pm Under Food Alert

Proposition 65 was enacted in 1986 in California. Its purpose was to make it mandatory for citizens to be alerted to the presence of harmful chemicals in food and drinking water. Lead is one of the chemicals targeted by this proposition.

Today, I went grocery shopping at my local market, and I needed to pick up some vinegar. Imagine my surprise when I found the vinegar shelves bedecked with labels bearing the following message:


The Red Wine Vinegars and Balsamic Vinegars contain lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.”

Despite the fact that proposition 65 has been around for more than twenty years, this is the first time I have encountered this warning on vinegar. I was rather dismayed, having always been such a big fan of balsamic vinegar for cooking. (more…)

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How to Grow Organic Zucchini

August 15th, 2007 at 11:15pm Under Organic Gardening

Organic zucchini and yellow summer squash are fantastic summer vegetables that are best when picked fresh from the vine and cooked immediately. As a member of the cucurbita family of vegetables along with pumpkins, summer squash is a great crop to grow and harvest. If you are in an area that gets a substantial amount of heat and sunshine in the summer months, you’ll find that harvesting zucchini and yellow crookneck squash is something you need to do every day - sometimes even twice a day if your crop is growing well.

Zucchini can grow to enormous sizes in a relatively short time, and can hide themselves well under the large, fuzzy leaves of the squash plant. Make sure that when you harvest, you check closely under all of the leaves so that you can pick the fruits on time when they are at their best. A large organic zucchini is great for stuffing and baking, but the smaller squashes are the best for fresh dishes like stir frys and pasta. (more…)

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How to Grow Organic Cucumber

August 15th, 2007 at 11:14pm Under Organic Gardening

From the wide variety of organic cucumbers - crisp long or lemon-shaped vegetables or sweet and dill varieties for pickling - this is one fun crop to grow. Like growing organic tomatoes, you should grow cucumbers during the warm days of summer, and the hotter it is, the better the cucumbers like it. You want to make sure that the soil you are growing your cucumbers in is rich in nutrients, but be careful not to overburden the soil with amendments like nitrogen, as this can be detrimental to your organic cucumber growth.

Our personal favorite for our own organic garden are the lemon cucumber varieties. There is just nothing like these little crisp, lemon-shaped pale organic cucumbers for a cool summer treat. Lemon cucumbers are great in salads or as additions to sandwiches, or even just to eat all by themselves, cold from the refrigerator with a little sprinkle of salt! We eagerly await the arrival of these delicious cucumbers in mid-summer and have been able to enjoy them here in the warm regions of Northern California all the way up until the end of October in a good growing year. (more…)

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Rice Dream Rice Milk Contains Unwanted Chemicals

August 13th, 2007 at 08:00pm Under Food Alert

As vegans, we turn to the grain, rice, for our milk. Nothing is so delicious as a bowl of homemade granola, topped with fresh blueberries and creamy rice milk. We’ve been buying Imagine’s Vanilla Rice Milk for years. It’s tasty, organic and fairly inexpensive. We’ve always been fans…until last week when we realized something unsettling about this product.

Rice Dream Vanilla Rice Milk Contains An Ingredient Called Natural Flavor

The objective of this article is to warn you not to trust the term natural when you see natural flavor on a food label, and to urge you to tell the Imagine Foods company that we don’t want mystery chemicals in our foods. (more…)

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