You may have seen products being labelled as free-from palm oil, but what's the issue? What is palm oil and why is it "bad"?
Palm oil is a type of edible vegetable oil that is derived from the palm fruit, grown on the African oil palm tree. 85% of all palm oil produced and exported is from Indonesia and Malaysia; most of the time not using sustainable measures.
There are over 300,000 different animals found throughout the jungles of Borneo and Sumatra.
Wildlife such as orangutans have been found buried alive, killed from machete attacks, guns and other weaponry. Government data has shown that over 50,000 orangutans have already died as a result of deforestation due to palm oil in the last 20 years. This either occurs during the deforestation process, or after the animal enters a village or existing palm oil plantation in search of food. Mother orangutans are also often killed by poachers and have their babies taken to be sold or kept as pets, or used for entertainment in wildlife tourism parks in countries such as Thailand and Bali.
What can you do? Take the Say No To Palm Oil 28-day Challenge. Most of the products they suggest are only available in Australia and New Zealand, but an online search for a replacement product that does not contain unsustainable palm oil will usually come back with a result.
Life is particularly difficult for black cats and dogs. Black cats spend 40% more time in shelter than cats of other colours. Black dogs are so frequently overlooked in shelters, that the term "Black Dog Syndrome" has become part of most animal rescuer's vocabulary. If you're thinking of welcoming a furry addition to your family, please consider a black cat or dog. Visit your local animal shelter this month and seek our the harder-to-adopt black animals.
Also keep in mind that some people still hold witchcraft related beliefs about black cats particularly around Halloween. PETA UK shares the following tips for pet safety during Halloween:
Always keep cats and dogs indoors before and during Halloween – never let them roam. A fence may not stop a cruel prankster, so even the backyard is not a safe or secure place for an unsupervised animal.
Put animals in a secure room during trick-or-treat time. Cats can quickly slip out the front door, and dogs sometimes try to bite unsuspecting kids, thinking that they’re intruders. For everyone’s safety, it’s best to keep animals inside a bedroom or family room, away from all the commotion.
Don’t take dogs on trick-or-treating trips, when most kids are more interested in collecting candy than watching the dog. Dogs can easily become frightened by the endless stream of laughing and screaming children and run off or bite someone.
Take precautions to prevent dogs and cats from ingesting unguarded Halloween candy, sticking their noses or paws into burning candles or becoming tangled in dangling decorations.
Know your eggs
All eggs are stamped with a code that tells you a lot about the egg and the life of chicken who laid it. Was the chicken raised in a cage with floor space the size of an A4 piece of paper? Was she debeaked to avoid her resorting to cannibalising her barn-mates?