Animal-tested cosmetics banned throughout the EU

The 11th March 2013 saw the long fought for ban on the sale of cosmetics come into action. This includes all personal-care products. What’s more it does not matter where in the world the testing takes  place, no animal-tested cosmetic item or ingredients can be sold within the European Union (EU). Any tests that were being carried out have now been abandoned.

This ban has had a global effect: Even products that are tested and made outside the EU are now prohibited from our shelves. Prior to this ban, animal-testing for cosmetic purposes was illegal within the EU since 2009. However brands that condoned animal-testing still littered EU shelves. This includes brands such as L’Oreal, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson, just to name a few.

It has taken over 20 years for this ban to come into action. Not only does this prevent further force-feeding and inhalation of chemicals that eventually leads to bleeding from every orifice.  Also hundreds of thousands of rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats have been rescued from laboratories.

One of the oldest arguments against animal testing was, what can non-human animal’s reaction to chemicals tell us about human reaction? After all our genetic makeup is hugely different. For instance rabbits usually show stronger reactions to chemicals in the eyes than humans do.

Well in the past few years there has been much investment in non-animal testing methods. Apparently, these are more advanced. This begs the question as to why these were not common practice sooner once these methods became available. Surprisingly the answer is not because they are more expensive. The non-animal testing methods are actually less expensive! These non-animal testing methods are thanks to donated human tissue. This offers more protection to humans since this will be a much more reliable indicator of any chemical or adverse effects. Manufactures can test on human tissue grown in the laboratory and use human skin cultures. Not only do these types of tests save animals from enduring a life of pain and suffering, they are also more accurate, produce results in less time and they cost less, which helps to keep consumer costs down too, so we hope. With this ban in action more companies will be forced to use these more ethical methods.

One example of these cutting-edge techniques includes in vitro – test tube – testing methods. Such as 3T3 Neutral Red Uptake Photoxicity Assay. This gauges the potential toxicity of chemicals when they come into contact with sunlight, in order to assess sunlight-induced skin irritation.

A similar ban has been implemented in Israel and one is being considered in India. So the work isn’t over yet, as next on the list is a global ban.

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Ice and snow cover the Earth,
Nature says, ‘stay at home
By the fire of the hearth
Now is not the time to roam.’

So on this frosty Yuletide eve,
We burn the Cailleach Nollaig*
And song and laughter we weave
In the light of the Christmas Hag.

We feast and drink sweet mead,
As we relish on the sacrificed Earth
Whose now in death but we know will seed
Once awakened into rebirth.

Under Druid blessed mistletoe
We kiss as the Sun begins to grow,
Because on the deepest, darkest night
We celebrate the rebirth of light!

*The burning of the Cailleach was the ceremonial burning of the Winter Solstice. A piece of wood was carved roughly into the shape of an Old Crone to represent the Spirit of Winter. This was then placed into a fire to burn. As people gathered to watch they would be mindful of the symbolism, that was the ending of all the bad things that had happened the previous year and a fresh start for the next one. “Nollaig” in Scottish is used to refer to Christmas. In Irish it means “December”. “Cailleach” refers to the prototypical Crone figure and thus the old wise woman in Gaelic.

Through A Druid’s Eyes

Through a Druids Eyes

Who would I be if I could not see the beauty before me?
And what would I be without truth?
How can I live without the moon?  The goddess that pulls the tide.
How can I live without the sun?  Where Lugh and Brigit reside.
Why live without the inspiration of bards?  They weave the world into language.
Why live without a love for nature – life?  Without this we only exist.
How can I live without the sky?  That forms the triad with sea and earth.
How can I live without the stars?  The Egyptians knew their worth.
Where would I be without trees?  Their language inscribed as Runes.
Where would I be without animals, my equals?  Watch the Shaman commune with the Racoon.
How can I live without justice with no malice?  Responsibility is our keystone.
How can I live without peace?  There would be no release.
And what would I be without those I cannot see?
Who would I be without history and my ancestry?  Where would I be?

© Jenna Leanne Grabey 2012. All Rights Reserved.
November 2010

Lughnasadh: The Autumn Equinox


For the Celtic figure Lugh. He unites people with the land and is therefore illustrious during The Harvest festival, Lughnasadh.

Fruit is yield by trees
Sheaves of corn are cut in the breeze,
With many thanks to the Earth
For she gave her bounty birth.

This is the Earth’s sacrifice
That she performs without a cry,
And the Sun begins to wane
Yet remains faithful to the land.

Lugh in slain
Yet death has no claim,
Because into an eagle he transforms
So with a fawn he sees another dawn.

And now a lone stag looks into relentless skies
And watches as an eagle flies.
The warm sun, now turning cold
Sinks behind ancient hills,
Turning them to enchanting gold.

© Jenna Leanne Grabey 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Poison Ivory

Poison Ivory

Walking relics from the prehistoric age
Have stumbled into a cage
Bringing their adornments of finery
Yet no amount of fact works as bribery
As each metal sheath is inscribed
With Faith, Folklore and failed education
All in the era of the postmodern
These share nothing in common
But put these together
And a lump of dead protein
Becomes a valuable treasure

Each sheath is a human
Who is under a manufactured illusion
The words of their delusion
Faith, Folklore and failed education
Are branded into the body
And scorched into the tongue and eyes

Now there is a postmodern potion
A poison that is precise
That will be used
In dead protein
To rid of the obscene
Those who are infected with
Faith, Folklore and failed education

Infection to fight infection.

© Jenna Leanne Grabey 2012. All Rights Reserved.

If you eat fish then read this!

Our seas are under immense pressure: too many fish are being taken out, too much rubbish is being thrown in and too little is being done to protect our precious marine wildlife and vital fish stocks. We are losing biodiversity at a rate never witnessed before at huge cost to ourselves. If our oceans are to cope with what the future we need to act now. We are all connected to the sea in ways we may not realise, and the health of our seas is key to a rich and productive future.

Marine Conservation Society

Please send this letter to 1 or both of the addresses listed below. Parts in italics need amending. 

Your Name
Address line 1
Address line 2
Address line 3
Address line 4 

Jonathan Shaw, MP
Minister for Marine, Landscape and Rural Affairs
Nobel House
17 Smith Square

10th July 2012

Dear Mr Shaw,

UK Marine & Coastal Access Act 2009

In November 2009 the Marine and Coastal Access Act was passed and was said to be in full operation by the end of 2012. However the government has announced delay in the implementation of this Act. Your reticence is killing and destroying marine life as we know it.

If overexploitation of the seas continues there will come a time when there are no fish left to fish for. The fishing industry will collapse and the rate of unemployment will once again rise. You can’t generate a stock of fish from nothing, but you can when you have something to work with, which there is at present but not in the foreseeable future. In authorising the 127 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ) within the United Kingdom, you will allow the fish population time to breed so it can actually self-sustain. The longer you delay the harder it will be to overcome the damage to the marine habitat, fish population and economy.

The survival of the United Kingdom’s marine environment is in your hands. Buying MCS certified fish produce certainly helps the situation, however if our sees are continually over fished then this will not be enough.

Permitting MCZs is in the best interest for you, the fishing industry and consumers. This is because the authorisation of MCZs is an investment for all of the above. It is an investment that will allow marine wildlife to restore itself which will create a secure economy for the future and thus generate more money than at present.

There are ways to develop sustainability while keeping industries afloat. This involves using fishing methods that cause minimal to no damage to the ocean and have the lowest risk of bycatch. Using electrified ticklers on beam trawls rather than chain ticklers, since chain ticklers have a huge bycatch rate, and needlessly kill non-target species which are imperative for the marine ecosystem to stay alive. The same applies to trawling and dredging and pelagic long-lining. This has been known since the 14th Century so is it not rather primitive that such methods are still in common use? More up-to-date methods are bottom long-lining, handlining, trolling, pots and traps, drift nets with ‘pingers’, farmed mussels and dive-caught seafood (shellfish, lobster).

Efficient economy is vital and growth is essential for economy. Therefore my proposition is: Authorise the 127 proposed MCZs and enforce the use of sustainable fishing methods. This allows marine wildlife to grow as you cannot reap what you have not sown, and this will ensure a maintainable future. This makes certain our escape from the annihilation of the fishing industry.

I am not advocating the idea that fishing should stop. Rather I am promoting the idea that current fishing methods are changed. This way the fishing industry will survive and thrive.

I am not some vegan hippy that has got on their high horse about this rather I am a fish eating British citizen with an occupation unrelated to the fishing industry; that cares for the environment and its future.

Yours Sincerely,

Your Name

Defra’s Marine Biodiversity team
Zone 1/05,
Temple Quay House,
2 The Square,
Temple Quay,

Jonathan Shaw, MP
Minister for Marine, Landscape and Rural Affairs
Nobel House
17 Smith Square