July 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Tesco joins fellow supermarket chains M&S, Aldi and Lidl in committing to the Greenpeace campaign, which calls on brands involved with clothing to remove the use of toxic chemicals from certain practices.

“Greenpeace endorses our plan to phase-out hazardous chemicals in our supply chain as part of the Greenpeace DETOX commitment,” Tesco’s category technical director Alan Wragg said in a blogpost.

“Tesco’s Responsible Sourcing Team has been working with Greenpeace to align all our textile products with the DETOX commitment, starting with clothing and footwear.”

The UK-based supermarket will work with Greenpeace and its “complete” supply chain to ensure zero discharge of hazardous chemicals into the environment by 2020.

From denial and opacity…

Greenpeace’s DETOX campaign was launched in 2011, to challenge brands to eliminate toxic chemicals from supply chains. Alongside supermarkets, the initiative has been backed by fashion brands including H&M and Levi Strauss. Transparency is a key focus of the campaign, and companies have until 2020 to implement measures and eliminate all toxic chemical releases.

“In only six years, forerunners of the textile sector went from total denial and opacity of their supply chain to transparency and the banning of all hazardous chemicals,” Greenpeace Germany’s project lead for the campaign Kirsten Brodde said.

“Tesco’s commitment shows the rest of the industry that using hazardous chemicals is not an option anymore. Tesco now has the opportunity to match the progress being made by other retailers and Greenpeace will monitor it closely to ensure they follow up their commitment.”

Recent research has revealed the extent to which toxic chemical practices can wreak havoc on the environment. Fashion retailers H&M and M&S have vowed to implement new supply chain management approaches, after a report linked them with highly-polluting facilities that were dumping toxic wastewater into local waterways.

At the other end of the value chain, Asia’s mountains of hazardous electronic trash, or e-waste, are growing rapidly because manufacturers are failing to remove all toxins from products and make them easier to repair and recycle.

Foraging expert Robin Harford on eating weeds 

July 13, 2017 Leave a comment

I’ve been teaching on my plant walks for nearly 10 years, that so-called invasive species like Himalayan balsam, Japanese knotweed etc. are simply “second-guessing climate change”. 
That they are here for a reason, and not something that we should be eradicating in some xenophobic campaign of balsam bashing.  

Instead, we need to be figuring out why they are here. 

And aside from a few colleagues, I have been a lone voice speaking up for ‘invasive plants’. 

Recently over the last couple of years a number of writers, permaculture folk and scientists have published books that offer an alternative viewpoint on these outsiders. 

And it makes for uncomfortable reading…  

… especially now the science is increasingly pointing the finger back at humans, and human activity as the cause. Think modern farming practices, dredging, climate change etc. 

Last year I went to talk in North Devon by a fellow called Pete Yeo. Pete runs a wonderful Facebook page called Future Flora and his focus is on understanding ‘invasive plants’, and what we might learn from them. 

As Pete says “What reductionist science would call an opportunist or invader, a more holistic worldview might call a Gaian first responder. Put another way, one person’s weed is another’s wisdom.” 

So a week or so ago, I visited him in his house, and managed to get his views down for posterity.

I discuss with Pete why invasive plants may actually be good for the environment, and whether the science stacks up in favour of balsam bashing? 

Enjoy and talk soon, 

Robin Harford 

DawnWatch UK: Prince Charles on Factory Farming in The Times, July 11 2017

July 12, 2017 1 comment

The July 11 Times of London includes a story by Jerome Starkey, page 3, titled, “Factory farming puts humanity in danger, Charles warns.” You’ll find it online at http://tinyurl.com/y8w5rp7n 
It presents a great opportunity for letters to the editor. The Times takes letters at letters@thetimes.co.uk and asks that you please include your postal address and daytime telephone number.

Yours and all animals,’

Karen Dawn

Jungletown

July 9, 2017 Leave a comment

Not sure if anyone has seen the series Jungletown on VICELAND. It’s supposed to be an environmentally sustainable eco village but is full of rich kids, product placement and animal exploitation. Really about making money through exploiting their environment. Not a programme that represents a free eco friendly society that can live with nature. It is a capitalist model based on exploitation. Nothing new I would say.

If your idea of fun is running with the bulls in Pamplona, you need to rethink your morals

July 9, 2017 Leave a comment

While there may be guts (from the runners who are gored), there certainly isn’t any glory in trying to stay a few steps ahead of frightened, confused bulls. In the lead-up to the event, the animals are held in dark enclosures before being forced out – usually with an electric shock prod – into the jeering, drunken crowd.

As they are momentarily blinded by the sunlight and struggle to take in their surroundings, men hit them with sticks and rolled-up newspapers. The panicked animals take off running down the city’s slippery cobblestone streets, often losing their footing and slamming into walls – or spectators – in their desperate attempt to flee the chaos.

At the end of the day, each bull is herded into the city’s bullring to fight to the death – except that it’ll never be a fair contest. From the moment he enters the ring, he has no chance of winning. As many as eight men spear and stab the exhausted animal to weaken him further.

At this point, he sometimes drowns in his own blood, but if not, the matador finally attempts to kill him with a sword. If the matador’s bravado ends in failure, an executioner enters the ring to sever the bull’s spine with a dagger. This, too, can be botched, leaving him paralysed but still alive as his wounded, bleeding body is dragged out of the arena.

Then another bull enters, and the horrific process starts all over again. It’s truly more twisted than anything I could have imagined, even during my wildest days with Mötley Crüe.

And let’s be honest: if people paid to watch a man in a sparkly leotard torment and butcher a dog or cat in this way, we wouldn’t dare try to excuse it as “tradition” – we’d declare him a sicko, lock him up, and throw away the key.

Fortunately, most people in Spain don’t support bullfighting, and many consider it a national disgrace. It’s the tourists who keep the bullfights alive and the bulls dying.

Bulls Endure Slow, Painful, and Bloody Deaths–and People Pay to Watch

July 9, 2017 Leave a comment

http://www2.peta.org/site/R?i=IecNPxrXcxMey4JXFK5DZQ

The Running of the Bulls festival officially starts on the 6th July 2017 and runs through until the 15th of July with daily bull runs and nightly street parties. San Fermin is so much more than just the wonderful terror that is the Pamplona Bull Run… It is one of the world’s biggest street parties – day and night you can drink and dance and smooch in the Spanish streets. There are cultural events every day, so you can do something nice, and really justify going on a massive drunk rampage during the night.

The above was taken from https://stoketravel.com who offer a thrill, if there is such a thing to people who do not know the cruelty that these bulls endure. This is not a cultural thing, it is barbaric cruelty of animals. I am sure other UK websites offer such things and I urge you to boycott them.

Check out the YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yMZnorg3O4

Before the run, the bulls are kept in crowded, dark enclosures and are momentarily blinded by the sunlight as they are prodded onto the streets with electric shocks. During the run through the cobblestone streets, the animals often lose their footing and slide into walls, sustaining cuts and bruising and often breaking bones. But the run itself is only the beginning of the end for these scared animals.

After the run, the bulls are herded into an area behind the bullring where they may be beaten with sandbags, have petroleum jelly rubbed in their eyes and have their horns shaved down in order to throw off their balance and prepare them for the bullfight.

In a typical bullfightpicadors (who ride on the backs of blindfolded horses) first thrust metal lances into the bull’s back and neck to impair the bull’s ability to move and ensure that he loses as much blood as possible.

Next, banderilleros run around the bull plunging brightly coloured harpoon sticks into his already bloodied and mutilated back. When the bull is weakened, the banderilleros run in circles around him until he is too dizzy and weak to continue.

Finally, the matador provokes the exhausted animal into charging once more but often doesn’t succeed in killing the bull, and an executioner is called in to try to sever his spinal cord with a dagger. The bull is often still conscious and twitching as his ears and tail are cut off and held up as “trophies” before the cheering crowd.

Veganism

July 9, 2017 Leave a comment

Invite your MP to join our All Party Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianism and Veganism. The group discusses a breadth of issues around veganism – from access to medication to the impact of meat and dairy on the planet. We will be holding an AGM and reforming the group in the new parliament on the 17th July. We know there has been an increase in vegan and vegetarian MPs entering Westminster, but the group is open to anyone who is sympathetic to our ideas.