Clean Teeth Compassionately

September 25, 2009

Many things on my site will be aimed at new vegans or potential vegans and will point out things in which ‘hardened vegans’ learnt years ago and now take for granted as an everyday part of their lives, but new and potential vegans may not be aware of. So, take this journey with me and let us learn together. Today I would like to blog about toothpastes and toothbrushes.

Not only are there many ingredients in toothpaste that are derived from the suffering and death of non-human animals, but there are many companies that use the inhumane practice of testing their products on animals. In New Zealand along with vegans from many other countries we have to be aware of all aspects and look behind the product and into the company that produces that product. What you will find is that many are seriously lacking in compassion for the sake of financial gain. Is the company that makes your toothpaste using animals for testing their toothpaste or any of their other products on? Quite possibly, in fact, more than likely. So to be absolutely sure only buy a toothpaste that states clearly on the label that it is vegan and not tested on animals. There are a couple of vegan toothpastes available but I thought I would introduce you to a lovely product which I just purchased:



Phyto Shield Lemon-Myrtle, Botanical Oral Care Toothpaste.

I bought this 100g tube of toothpaste for $6.10 from Stay Well Pharmacy in Hornby, on Shands Road – the little shopping complex on the left after coming off Main South Road.

Chemical-free and does not contain parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate, added fluoride, sugar and artificial sweeteners. Along with no petrochemicals or chemical bleach.

Suitable for children, vegans and vegetarians.

Not tested on animals.

100% naturally New Zealand

Manufactured in New Zealand by New Zealand Natural Oral Care Company, freephone 0800 red seal or 0800 733 732


  • Calcium Carbonate (chalk-mild mineral abrasive)
  • Aqua (purified water)
  • Glycerol and Sorbitol (moisture retaining agents from plant origin)
  • Silica (natural ore for better paste structure)
  • Orange Oil
  • Lauryl Glucoside (mild cleanser from coconut oil)
  • Carboxymethyl Cellulose (gumming agent from plant fibre)
  • Lemon Oil
  • Calcium Magnesium Carbonate (abrasive)
  • Ammonium Glycyrrhizinate (plant derived sweetener)
  • Menthol
  • Aniseed Oil, Peppermint Oil, Thyme Oil, Myrrh Oil, Lemon Myrtle Oil
  • Totarol (in ethanol) Tincture

Sounds all good to me and it is also a very nice tasting fresh-feeling toothpaste.

Maybe your local chemist or health food shop has it in stock, and if they don’t, maybe they would look at stocking it or get it in for you. We live in a very accommodating society when it comes to most retail shops and they are on average only happy to oblige. If you don’t ask, you will never know.

Keeping along with the thought of not supporting companies who exploit innocent animals for testing their products on – think about the toothbrush you use and which company it was made by, are they a company that does animal testing? I just purchased a new vegan toothbrush from SAFE (link in sidebar), 145 Armagh Street in the centre of Christchurch. They have a selection of vegan toothbrushes (and other stuff of course). Go in and check it out and while you are there say hi to other like-minded vegans as well, very approachable and very friendly. And if you are not vegan but thinking about it – good on you, keep getting information and learn – pretend you are a sponge and suck up that information, take things slowly (or not!) because with every step you take towards veganism you are helping the animals, the planet and making yourself healthier – and always remember you are not alone – there are other vegans out there.

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Save the Beagles Protest – NZ Open Rescue Message

September 22, 2009


Save the Beagles Protest – Saturday 26th September

Hundreds of animals each year suffer the fate of live testing at Valley Animal Research Centre.

Animal testing is unscientific, producing no beneficial data and merely filing the pockets of fraudulent scientists.

Allen Goldenthal breeds hundreds of Beagles dogs every year. The only existence these animals know is one of pain and suffering.

Valley Animal Research Centre must be stopped! Come along to the protest and make your voice heard for those who cannot speak.

Saturday September 26th 1.30pm Bainesse Kennels, Himitangi or meet at 1pm, the Square information centre, Palmerston North

For further information


New Zealand Open Rescue

PO Box 37612

Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand

And an exerpt from Save the beagles about other things to do:

Sign SAFE’s online petition to the Minister of Agriculture If you have your own website or blog, please link it to this petition.

And for other ideas go to under the tab ‘what you can do’, and …

For more information, please contact National AntiVivisection Campaign, PO Box 6387, Wellington ;

Lambing season ’09

September 11, 2009
snow receding, summer looming

snow receding, summer looming

It is a lovely trip into work every morning, I see some beautiful sights – ever changing sights, Mother Nature showing off her beautiful colours in the changing of the seasons. The snow on the mountains is slowly, day by day, starting to recede.

I also see other things. Lambing season is in full swing and over the last month while driving to work and home I have noticed an unusually large amount of ewes with twins or triplets. I am not sure if this is consistent with the rest of the country or whether it is only a regional phenomenon this year. It has been a better winter in Canterbury, alot milder in temperature than the last couple of years and although there was a fair amount of rain there was no snow on the ground.

The problem (other than the ownership of course) with the farmers having ewes that  produce more lambs is that sometimes a ewe cannot feed three babies. The first reason is that a majority of sheep breeds only have two functional teats (some breeds have more) and another reason is that if the ewe is lactating early in the season she will lose body weight and condition. Ewes rearing twins and triplets cannot consume sufficient nutrients to prevent this weight loss early on in the season. With triplets their growth can be uneven and inconsistent with their siblings as they have to battle for the teats, competition for the available milk supply  – and the farmer wouldn’t want that, the uneven growth I mean – he wants big fat lambs. The ewes with triplets can also have an increased risk of teat damage.

Of course the farmer wants highly productive sheep, those that lamb frequently, produce multiple lambs that grow rapidly and are capable of re-breeding after having the existing lambs weaned from their mothers at an earlier time than is natural. But with triplets from ewes with only two functional teats the fight begins and the farmer wins, theft of one of the babies.

wee fella

wee fella

This little sweetie is only 10-hours old at the time of this photo and because he was one of three that his mum went through labour and gave birth to he was deemed (or doomed?) surplus to requirements, “would have died anyway”. This is not a definite, he may have died, but then again he might not have. But because he, like many are unfortunate enough to be born into slavery, farmers find someone to buy them – yes ‘buy’ like a commodity, and he could just as well have been bought by someone who wanted him fattened up a bit and had his carcass on a dinner plate. He is special in his own right. Do farmers care about what would happen to this little fella or others like him? No way, compassion is something that is not thought of in the sheep industry, only profits. Supplement feeding for the ewe could have avoided the separation of mother and baby entirely and minimized weight loss in the ewe. Well, actually, abolition of farming sheep would have avoided it entirely.

I am always deeply saddened and feel like a part of myself is dying inside with the exploitation of so many sentient beings, not a day goes by that I don’t think of the atrocities and suffering that human beings inflict on just about every other species including our own – and today my thoughts go out to those that lost their loved ones in 2001 .

When people have lamb for dinner they do not consciously make the connection between the carcass on the end of their fork and the lamb leaping around with the other lambs in the paddock, they do not think of them as living, vital, alive beings, they close their minds to the lambs being loaded into a truck heading for the slaughterhouse, they do not think of the terror that these babies feel, the loss that their mothers’ feel – these babies that have no choice – the innocents – they should not be farmed for fashion or dinner plate and do not go with knitting needles, mint and kumara.

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Glue-it at the office

September 2, 2009

At work we sometimes have to use glue, as most offices do. Since going vegan I have abstained from using any, but recently I had to. We use the  Pritt Glue-it Refill Roller made in Germany by Henkel Corporation which is readily available in all office supply stores in New Zealand. I thought I would send them a quick email before I used it to find out what was in their glue.

Pritt Glue-it Refill Roller with spare refill

Pritt Glue-it Refill Roller with spare refill

I commend them on their prompt response …

An excerpt from their reply;

“We do not use animals in the manufacture of any of our products” – signed by the Henkel Corporation.

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