Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Today it's still a bit chilly and raining, so I'll spend the day inside doing some reading. When Lisa gets home, we're going to spend the afternoon sitting around the table going over some more plans for change around the little homestead. Some of these changes we have talked about before, but some of them are new.

We're already trying to be as plastic-free as we possibly can, and what isn't reused goes to recycle. We compost all of our food scraps, that is what doesn't go out to the chickens. We make some of our own household cleaners, and have started to make and use more. Common ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, or cornstarch are working just as well, or even better, than the commercial chemical-laden products we used for years. It's easier to use, non toxic, and we aren't bringing in yet another plastic bottle every time we need something for cleaning. We're taking this step now into bathroom products, starting with Lisa making our soap, and now, using vinegar as a hair rinse rather than conditioner. We've both been using it for over a week, and hair is actually softer than it was with conditioner. The scent does go away, so no worries about walking around smelling like a bowl of wilted lettuce, lol.

It's not just the frugal part of it, and it's not just the back-to-basics idea either, we're looking more into ingredients found in common bathroom/cosmetic items. The deodorant I have been using for a few years is labeled "natural", but the ingredients list shows "Propylene Glycol". For those that don't know, that's ANTI-FREEZE! Why the hell am I rubbing anti-freeze under my arm? Normal deodorant and antipersperant contains ALUMINUM, which is what blocks the pores to prevent persperation. Our bodies sweat for reasons, it cools the body and releases toxins. There are some studies that show long term use of this stuff *can* cause lymph node problems and/or lymphoma. All in the name of vanity, eh? We're experimenting with alternitives to some products, especially after reading ingredient lists and finding out what they are. A common toothpaste ingredient is also used as a laxitive and for ulcer treatment....WTH? It's scary stuff what we put in and on our bodies, and we're planning on looking at all of it.
Something else has now reared it's ugly head, and that's animal testing. The spectrum of animal testing is very broad, and of course groups like PETA want them all banned completely. I'll say it now, I am in NO WAY associating myself with these nutjobs, they are far too out there for me to begin to understand, but I do see SOME points that they make, and this is one of them.
I have no problem with animal testing for medical reasons. If someone can find a cure for cancer by having to kill a few rats, than so be it. If a rabbit can somehow find a cure for parkinsons, then go right ahead. But if it's to test a new diet pill, then no. There should be guidelines, and common sense involved, but there isn't, and this is the part that bothers me.

I've read articles and watched video clips on animal testing, and some of them are downright disturbing, even to me. I have no problem lopping off the head of a chicken with a hatchet for the dinner table, but intentionally spraying hairspray in the eyes of a rabbit bothers me. It's two thousand and freakin' nine, we know what chemical ingredients cause eye irritation, that's just unnecessary. I've seen rabbits with mascara shoved in their eyes, cats shoved in a tube thats filled with hairspray or cigarette smoke, dogs with muscle tissue removed to see how the growth is from a certain un-named dog food........and it's all just sickening. We sat around last night and looked at lists of companies who do these kinds of tests, and sadly many of their items are here in the house. Well, for now at least.

We plan to look into this more, and purchase from companies that don't do these kinds of tests. The lists on the internet are sometimes hard to read, because they list ANY kind of animal testing. It could be spraying a cat in the eyes with perfume, or it could be just as simple as seeing which of 2 foods a beagle likes better. We started a list of companies that do the lab testing, and another list of companies that do not. Both are pretty long lists, and shocking at times to see what/who is doing lab testing. I'm not going to post any links to these lists, simply because I don't want to be associated with some of these groups in any way. Anyone reading this can obviously use a computer, and find these for themselves. Give it a try, do a search for companies that do animal testing. Find the videos on YouTube, it's horrible scary stuff.

To close what I had no intention on being such a long post, I'll just say this. What if your dog had puppies? What if you cared for those puppies till they were old enough to adopt? What if those same puppies ended up in a lab? Imagine those same puppies being sprayed in the eyes with the hairspray you put on this morning, fed the toilet cleaner you use to see if it's poisonous, had your aftershave rubbed on them to see if it burns their all of this what you saw when you first held that puppy?


Patrice Farmer said...

OMG, Chris! I have lumps under my arms and the doctors told me there was nothing they could do about it. And as far as the toothpaste...I've got to buy some more Toms of Maine. We got some as a freebie from our local health food store enough that it lasted several months and we recently bought some regular toothpast because it was cheap but that is crazy!

Barb and Steve said...

Patrice, make sure the Tom's of Maine doesn't contain flouride. I heard some of them do.
Chris, Steve used to live in New Mexico near a government run facility. He saw pens full of beagles (the favorite test dogs for anything). Well, you know what happened to them. We don't know what tests they were doing but guaranteed it wasn't good. It's great that you are getting away from all the chemicals. Not foloowing the crowd will bring you a much longer life.

Chris W said...

Patrice here's something I found from just one medical article, there are many more-"Without getting too technical, antiperspirants are plain bad for you and you should avoid using them. Here’s why: antiperspirants contain toxic aluminum-based compounds that clog the sweat glands in your armpits and interfere with the release of sebum from our sweat glands.Sebum is that oily substance that waterproofs our skin and hair and protects them from drying out. If the sebum can’t get out of our sweat glands it creates a pocket full of sebum that sometimes gets infected and forms a cyst.

Barb, it was beagles that I saw with the leg muscle removed for testing. Imagine that from a dog food company who advertises caring for your pet. I won't mention a name, but it starts with "I" and ends in "ams".

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. I need you to give me the recipe for cleaner. I can't use the chemical ones any more. Everytime I do, I lose my voice for several days. This time it was for 2 weeks ~ It really scared me. I do have my voice back now but I am scared. Can you give me your recipe for cleaner?...debbie

Chris W said...

Debbie, there is a lot of info out there on homemade cleaners, most use common ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, borax, cornstarch, etc.

We clean windows with a vinegar and water solution, and the same works for most basic cleaning. Even furniture polish can simply be olive oil. I just today got out a carpet stain by using cornstarch, letting it sit 20 minutes, and blotting with a vinegar-water mix.

Kory said...

Yeah I switched to deodorant rather than antiperspirant a couple months ago, I hope any damage it might have done is not irreversible.

As for animal testing and PETA, the hardest thing to do is to separate the message from the medium (or messenger) some times. People assume that as a vegetarian myself, I'm out in front of KFC with a sign...I'm not. Most of the time, extremists like that do more harm than good to the cause.


you bring up a really good point. I am going to do some research of my own.

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