life

Horse racing – why I won’t be on the turf

As a teenager I was a hardcore animal rights nut. I refused to eat meat (not really an issue when my mum’s vegetarian), signed petitions, went to a few slightly iffy demonstrations/marches (which I wince at now) and tried to educate others.

My extended family is quite horsey, my Grandad is from Yorkshire, has shares in a race horse and his winnings on the track have always been a family joke (he has a lucky knack for picking winners). My great-aunt hunts (yuk), and my aunt and cousin both ride.

But while I love horses for being such gorgeous creatures, the horrible things race horses go through turn my stomach.

From the damaging amount of bran in their diets, wrecking their insides, to the whips and pressure exerted on them on the track, to the numbers of horses who lose their lives after falling at jumps or losing their balance on the course, it’s all cruel and totally unnecessary.

At the moment the press is still full of pictures of Ladies’ Day at Ascot, of the OTT outfits and hats, obscuring the horror happening on the course.

I have chosen not to share pictures of the things that go on, they’re stomach churning, but you can look for yourself online if you’re interested.

How do you feel about horse racing? Is it time we stopped beating and killing these creatures for entertainment?

ethics, lifestyle, lush, questions

Lush and the problem of ethical beauty

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On a facebook group recently a member asked whether anyone could recommend a beauty brand like Lush but not Lush as she was a member of Countryside Alliance and Lush support hunt saboteurs.

Now, fox hunting is illegal in the UK, even though our current (vile) PM is a member of a hunt, and fox hunting has been repeatedly proven to be not only inhumane but costly and pointless as a means of keeping numbers of foxes low.

It is in fact much cheaper and more practical to shoot foxes or poison them if they are causing a nuisance, eating your chickens or spooking your sheep.

The cost of raising hounds, horses, the outfits and damage done to farmland far outways the benefits of chasing one animal to the point of exhaustion and then ordering dogs to tear it apart.

I’m not saying that hunt saboteurs are a good thing either – in fact they are known to cause harm to animals as well. Spooking a horse, causing it to fall, maybe break a leg and have to be shot does not mean you took a stand for animal rights.

Foxes are a nuisance, and not just in the countryside. More and more of them are living in urban areas, raiding bins, attacking pets (and apparently babies, despite being very wary of humans) and having all night mating sessions involving screaming in people’s gardens.

I use Lush because I admire their ethical policy (not testing on animals – meaning until last year they didn’t add SPFs because they were predominantly tested on animals and they needed to find one that wasn’t) and the lack of chemicals in their products means that my sensitive skin doesn’t react to them.

Testing cosmetics on animals was banned in the EU last year (but check where your products are manufactured, as outside the EU no such restrictions are guaranteed by law). So theoretically all products are cruelty free. Lush led the charge and is very happy with this change in legislation.

Fox hunting is a touchy subject even in my extended family, my Yorkshire rellies own farmland and came to London a few years ago for a CA march. I held my tongue, I don’t agree with their ethics (or lack thereof) although they are family and I care about them.

Where do you stand on the question of beauty and cruelty? Do you check the provenance and ethics of your products or is it something you choose not to worry about when buying your cosmetics?

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Images from Lush Ltd’s facebook page

ramblingmads