To be completely honest, I WISH my dog had a snapchat because we would be each other's #1 Best Friend no doubt. Here are a few snapchats I imagine my dog would send me if she did have one!
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So last week, I wrote an open letter to PETA, calling them out on their lack of salvation for the animals burned by the recent wildfires. I received a lot of attention for this article, both good and bad.
In reading the comments posted in response by animal right's activists, I discovered some things that just didn't add up. Amidst the insults and hypocrisy, there were just some downright stupid assumptions that these people see as facts. It's not their fault, they're just uneducated, so I feel we as an industry should try to get some truth out there.
So, here are 10 things I wish animal right's supporters knew about the livestock industry:
1. A 20-25 year life expectancy for cows is not realistic.
Just because some cow somewhere lived to be 25 does not mean that they would live that long without the agriculture industry. Most cows used for beef production live to be about 13-15 years old and die of natural causes. In sandy environments, cows live around 5-9 years because the sand degrades their teeth to the point that they cannot eat.
2. Livestock would mate and reproduce each year without the help of humans.
I kinda thought it was common knowledge that most species cycle monthly when they reach sexual maturity. When females cycle, they do their best to get bred. There's no forcing going on there. If they were left in the wild, they would still mate and reproduce causing inbreeding.
3. Farmers and Ranchers are not just upset at the loss of profit from these fires.
I couldn't believe my eyes the first time I read this, and then the second, and eighth. Farmers and ranchers are not only upset about the loss of profit, which is devastating, but also upset to see their animals suffer. Have you ever had to put something out of its misery? Watch a cow writhe around sluffing its charred flesh off, hear it wheeze, and watch a rancher put a bullet in its head out of pity, and I guarantee the sadness in that rancher's heart isn't about money.
4. All "momma cows" are not dairy cows.
There are hundreds of breeds of cattle out there. Some breeds have certain traits that are suited for different parts of production agriculture. Not every momma cow is milked by hand daily and her milk sold.
5. All dairy calves are not ripped from their mother and slaughtered moments after birth.
I don't know much about the dairy industry, but since it is up and running obviously there has to be live calves to grow into cows and bulls.
6. Beef cattle are not raised in closed quarters.
The operations that raise beef cattle from birth are called cow/calf operations. These cattle roam over large pastures and fields most of their lives.
7. Sheep are sheared for their own good.
I cannot count how many pictures I have seen posted by animal rights organizations of mutilated sheep. That's gross and unless someone is a complete dunce with a razor, that never happens. Sheep will overheat with a full coat, or become matted to the point he/or he cannot move.
8. There is not enough cropland to sustain everybody in the world.
Oh man, okay so as Animal Rights Activists you guys want us to let all the cows, horses, sheep, goats, and pigs roam at their own free will. You think we can all live off veggie-tales reruns and rainbows but that is not so. If all animals are roaming free, they have to eat too. So they need space, and the crops humans eat need space. IT WON'T WORK.
9. It's not all about the money.
Lol, yeah right. Have you worked in agriculture? The bank owns our asses.
10. It's not gonna happen.
You can go on your crusades, you can martyr yourselves. It's not gonna work. Meat will always be a necessity.
But mostly PETA people, get educated!
If you know me at all, you know I am a sucker for a good cruelty-free brand. And with the rise of vegan bloggers and YouTubers, it's not at all hard to find good suggestions.
Buying cruelty-free means that the brand you are buying doesn’t test their products or the products' ingredients on animals in any way. Some brands are also vegan, which means the products don’t contain any ingredients derived from animals. Although a brand may be cruelty-free, they might not be vegan. If that is important to you, make sure to check the ingredients list.
Here's a list of my favorite cruelty-free brands, ranked from saves to splurges.
We all remember the days of middle school, tagging along on drugstore runs to pick up milk, begging our moms for the cheapest makeup on the shelf. ELF prices really set the bar high (or low). ELF cosmetics has been with everyone through every stage of their lives.
ELF's vision is all about empowering and educating women! Elf is also a partner with PETA in the Caring Consumer Project and doesn't use ingredients derived from animals either.
Their products range from vibrant colorful eyeshadows to natural everyday palettes. There is something for everybody, so if you're in need of a matte or dewy setting spray, incredibly soft makeup brushes, or a pretty blush, ELF is the way to go.
Colourpop products range from super shock shadows to liquid lipsticks, highlighters, and even concealers. Colourpop began in 2014 and have since climbed the cosmetics ladder, becoming one of the most praised cosmetics brands out there.
Their "About Us" section states, "we test our products in the nicest way possible, leaving fur babies to be fur babies and experimenting on people instead (the people at ColourPop HQ to be exact!)."
Their dedication to developing all their products cruelty-free is just one of the many reasons to buy from them.
3. NYX Cosmetics
NYX has unbeatable prices for high-performing, super-pigmented makeup that comes in very extensive shade ranges. Their Total Control Drop Foundation is a must-try for gals looking for a versatile foundation, simply adjust the number of drops until you've reached the coverage you are feelin' today.
According to PETA, NYX has been committed to cruelty-free testing since 2010.
4. BH Cosmetics
Not only is BH Cosmetics extremely affordable, but it’s committed to being a high-performing, cruelty-free makeup brand.
"They are glam, affordable and all about color," according to Marisa Pieper, a Her Campus writer. "Their goal is to help customers express their individuality one bold, brilliant and beautiful color at a time."
They also have tons of collaborations with celebs like Ashley Tisdale and beauty bloggers, such as Carli Bybel and Shaaanxo.
5. Pixi by Petra
Pixi by Petra is a makeup and skincare brand developed with botanicals and beneficial ingredients. Pixi doesn't test on animals and they also aren't umbrellaed under other parties that test their products on animals.
Pixi is a little more expensive than your usual drugstore makeup brand, but it is still available at your local target. With Pixi, you get cute packaging, high-quality ingredients, and no animal testing. Serious score.
6. Milk Makeup
Milk Makeup serves up a new unique way of makeup. The range of products and color range make making a bold statement easy. From their iconic holographic highlighter to their cult favorite blur stick, every product is a must in your day to day makeup look. What is better than a brand that prides themselves on giving a truly unique and simple packaging look and cruelty-free products!
7. Tarte Cosmetics
Tarte products are already formulated free of parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sulfates, gluten, and synthetic fragrances, and they're also cruelty-free.
You know what this means? The cult classic, Tarte Shape Tape is 100% cruelty-free, good thing cause no one ever wants to give that up.
8. Kat Von D Beauty
Priding her company on being cruelty-free, with some products being vegan as well, Kat Von D has evolved into a company with a strong cult following. The Lock-It foundation is known for being so full coverage it'll even cover tattoos.
Kat says “We are bold, unapologetic, outspoken and different in our own way. We are artists, poets, and lovers. We are the outsiders and the insiders.”
On top of being cruelty-free, Kat Von D is working to become 100% vegan. Vegan products are currently listed as #VEGANALERT on their website. This list currently consists of an eyeshadow palette with 24 shades, perfume's, and brushes!
Each of these brands have tons of must-try products, all while refraining from animal testing. Yay for keeping animals safe and healthy!