Tattoo Inks have WHAT?!!!!

Tattoos… I’ve been a fan of them since I had my first one done at 17. Now, 10 years later, I can tell you I’ve learned two things the hard way:

1) Tattoos have to be meaningful. If you get an angel above your tuschie, just for the thrill of it, you will end up getting it removed with laser later on. Believe me! Been there. Done that. And, Oh Kale, laser hurts like ****!

2) Make sure you research the tattoo parlor and ink they use. You will not believe what goes in tattoo inks. Choose organic and vegan. Always.

This leads me to my point: Vegan ink! I’m going to be 100% honest and tell you I had no idea vegan ink existed until 3 months ago when I started thinking about getting my 5th tattoo done and did a little research. Now, what I found left me simply speechless! Apparently, tattoo inks are the nothing more but the result of the combination of the following animal products:

-Glycerin from animal fat used as the carrying agent

-Bone char (burned animal bones) used to create the black pigment (charcoal)

-Gelatin (from hooves) and shellac (from beetles) are also used in some inks

Which ink uses what depends on the brand but the point is that almost all of them are NOT vegan-friendly and, even worse, TOXIC and NOT FDA approved. The most toxic and allergy-creating colors have been proven to be: black, white and red. For that reason, I decided to be extra careful this time and recorded every step in order to share it with all my tattoo lovers!

So, let’s start with the basics. After tons of research, I found a organic and vegan ink producer in Miami Beach and 5 minutes away from my place which was simply fantastic! The ink is called, Solid Ink, and is made with organic powder pigment blended with Witch Hazel, Vegetal Kosher Glycerin, Distilled Water, and some alcohol. All organic, natural and vegan friendly. This ink can be purchased online or at Love Hate Tattoo (Miami Ink) in Miami Beach. Depending on your tattoo size, one bottle should be more than enough. The tattoos I got done are small, so I have more than half the bottle left for future ones. Also, make sure the aftercare you are using is organic and vegan too. I bought “After Inked” which is enriched with grape seed oil and is parabens-free, petroleum-free, gluten-free, non-allergenic and vegan. You can get it online or, if you live in Miami, at Love Hate Tattoo as well.

Lastly, before I share the videos and photos with you, here’s another great advice. Find a tattoo artist that makes you feel comfortable and gives you a great vibe. Most tattoo artists are asses. Not kidding! And this is the #1 reason why I did not get my tattoo done at Love Hate Tattoo, also known as Miami Ink or “Miami Best Tattoo Parlor”. They tried to charge me $500 for my small tattoo and gave me a million “buts” and excuses while trying to make my design bigger and bigger. So, I bought the ink and aftercare there and went straight to the place where I’ve been getting my tattoos done for years now and whose artists have always done a great work, Salvation Tattoo. My tattoo artist was Cody. The sweetest, most gentle and understanding tattoo artist I’ve met so far. Amazing and peaceful vibe and was incredibly respectful of my vegan lifestyle. In clearer words, he did not make fun of all the questions I asked about the soap, procedures and ink like the artist at Love Hate Tattoo did. Cody, if you are reading this, you rock!!! And so do my tattoos. Loving them more by the second. 

I hope you guys enjoy the photos and video. If you live in Miami and choose to get a tattoo done with Cody, please pleaseee share your pics!! Xx

ps: Click the links below to read more about tattoo inks and other vegan options. These two bloggers' posts were really helpful. Yes, I follow vegan blogers too! ;)

VegNews

HealthyVegasVegan

Courage is contagious! A bracelet with a purpose.

Let’s talk bracelets. Who in this planet doesn't love them? In case you have noticed already, I’m a HUGE hippie-chic jewelry fan and kind of love to stack up my wrist with as many bracelets as possible. But here’s the trick. I don’t just wear any bracelet or necklace or ring. I like wearing things that have a meaning. Bracelets that are either spiritual, give back to our world, or are unique gifts I’ve received from family and friends. And to be honest, I believe in their healing power so much I never take them off! They are my protectors, my positive energy charms and my constant reminders that there’s hope in this world and that limits don’t exist. One of those is my “Brave” red wrap-around braided bracelet. I wear this one with pride because the story behind it is nothing less than truly inspiring. The bracelet’s brass charm says “Brave” (Klaa-han) in Khmer and was handmade in Cambodia. A country where gender inequality still stains many aspects of the Cambodian society and the illiteracy rate of women is much higher than that of men. In order to create opportunity to counter all these wrongs, Jessica Hendricks designed "The Brave Collection". Beautiful jewelry pieces carved and woven by hand by local Cambodian artisans who come from underprivileged backgrounds. Each piece serves as a symbol of bravery to empower women across the globe and to support the work of fair-trade artisans. To make this jewelry line even more breathtaking, 10% of the profits are donated to fight human trafficking and fund leadership programs for women. Each piece comes delicately packaged in a silk pouch hand-woven in Cambodia, and a Brave jewelry box. 

Are you guys as touched with this story as I am? I hope so! Christmas is around the corner and “The Brave Collection” makes the perfect opportunity to inspire those you love to believe in shopping with a conscience and giving back. There are many injustices going on in this world we are completely unaware of, guys. Lack of courage in women is one of them. Let’s help put a stop to that by wearing the courage and being the voice.  

Love, Valeria.

Click here to browse through the collection.  

 

A bag with nature in mind.

If you are an animal-lover or vegan or both, you've probably already surfed the web from A to Z looking for brands that don't use any part of the animals in their products. I have to admit, this is not an easy task! We live in a world where the leather industry has marked its territory (pretty much EVERYWHERE). You might find a cute tote made out of fabric but then you zoom in and realize its handles are made out of leather! Way to ruin a perfect bag, people! You scream, you curse and even begin random conversations with your laptop about the values and morals of this messy world we live in. Yes. Been there, done that! But sometimes, out of the blue, an entirely green handbag line comes out in the market. Bags made out of vegan leather (faux leather), perfectly stitched together and inspired in today's fashion icons. So stunning and so well done you would never guess it's faux leather until you read the label! Matt & Nat is one of those brands. They offer a wide variety of simple yet elegant and chic designs for every type of lifestyle. From hobos to clutches to wallets and ipad covers. Matt & Nat takes light colors and timeless designs to another level (with prices that will not break the bank) and focuses on showing its shoppers how to “live beautifully” with bags that are the product of the balanced combination of recycled materials (MATT) and nature (Nat) responsibility. From their start, Matt & Nat has never used animal-based materials and over the years has begun experimenting with different recycled materials such as recycled nylons, cardboard, rubber and cork. To top this with a an organic cherry, in 2007 they committed to using linings only made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles and have recently introduced recycled bicycle tires to their collections. How incredible is that? Take a peek. Maybe add it to your “Vegan Must Have” Christmas list. To be honest, I do that for my birthday (coming soon yay!) and Christmas every year and my friends and family accept it. They’ll take anything to avoid the “cruelty-free” speech if they give me gifts that are not kind to this planet. Gotta love the ones who understand your lifestyle choices!

With that being said, here are my two favorite Matt & Nat designs so far:

  • Lucy - Dusk: A medium size handbag (size depends on eye of beholder. I’m used to wearing big hobos so this is the perfect medium for me) that can be transformed into two shapes (zippers on side) and can be worn as a handbag or cross-body. It’s dusky light blue color is divine and matches any outfit.

  • Blinkin - Blush: This is the first Matt & Nat bag I’ve had in my hands and it was love at first sight! It’s small and light enough to be worn as a cross-body but wide enough to hold your everyday musts. (Literally! I was able to fit my gigantic wallet, cosmetic bag, credit card holder and iphone in it!) Click here to see brand details of the outfit I wore this beauty with on November 2nd. 

Oh Holi Medicine! The natural way.

Oh, Holi Med!

I don’t about you guys, but I’ve always been intrigued by holistic medicine. You see, my grandmother, aka my second mother, my psychologist, my confident, my soul-mate and partner in crime got diagnosed with advanced cancer in her early 70s. When the doctors looked at her chest x-rays they told her she had few months to live and would not make it to a year. According to them, it was a miracle she was still alive. Little did they know she would live for another year and half. I think my family and I have natural medicine to thank for that. And of course, my grandmother’s willingness to live. The minute she got diagnosed, we changed her diet to a vegan diet and gave her natural meds, herbs and teas but the doctors suggested chemotherapy and I’m pretty sure that is what took her away from us. The chemo was so strong and toxic it did not only try to kill the cancer but it consumed her immune system completely. There’s no day that passes by that I don’t ask myself what would’ve happened if we had chosen holistic medicine all the way. It’s been two years since she passed away and besides the silence and loneliness she left in me, she also made me start to wonder more and more about holistic medicine. So… I went to a “holi-doc” and to be honest, I was, and still am, completely shocked with the results. Apparently, being vegan and exercising regularly is not enough. We still need to worry about the pH of the foods we eat! I’ve always heard about alkalinity vs acidity but never put too much attention to it. Consequence? My pH is 6.3 when it should be 7.3 or above. You guys might be asking yourselves “Why the hell is pH so important?”. Here’s a great response to that by Dr Sonja Benjamin: “Our bodies live and die at the cellular level. The billions of cells in our bodies must maintain alkalinity, in order to function and stay alive. The first line of defense against disease is a proper pH balance. Disease can only grow in an acidic body, which makes a condition favorable for the growth of bacteria, yeast, fungus, mold, viruses, and any other unwanted organisms. Cancer always strikes those with an over-acidic body. An acidic state causes a lack of oxygenation at the cellular level. When the pH level falls below 7.4, there is less than the maximum oxygen in the blood. Blood carries the maximum oxygen at pH 7.4 (alkaline). Without proper oxygenation, unfriendly bacteria, mold, and viruses will prosper. When the human body is in an acidic state, it will try to shield itself from the damaging acid by storing the acid in fat cells. The body tries to prevent the acid from eating holes in tissues. When the acid level is high in the body, calcium is also depleted. Your body may make fat cells in order to store unwanted acid for its own protection. This process may save your vital organs from severe damage. By returning to a balanced pH level, you may lose unwanted fat cells.Osteoporosis is an acidic problem. As the body becomes more acidic, calcium is depleted. The body will then leach calcium from bones, teeth, and tissue to make up for this loss. One of the first warning signs is calcium deposits in the body, which come from the calcium in our teeth and bones and not from nutritional calcium.”

Now, back to my story. According to my “doc” my pH was the result of the killer combination of my stress level (apparently, abnormal for my age) and acid food choices. I told him there’s not much I could do about the stress since I work in one of the most stressful industries out there, private banking, so until I have the guts to quit and make my passion my bill-payer I would focus on meditating more and definitely taking charge of my eating habits. He laughed and we agreed on the following: 2-3 months healing process to a better me focused on: less carbs, alkaline water ONLY, less coffee (lowering it from 3 to 1 cup a day), a diet based on 2/3 alkaline foods and 1/3 acidic and of course, no wine (told him that would not happen, like EVER! My family produces wine for a living so I’ve been basically a wine-lover since I was tall enough to grab a glass from the table and serve myself! Luckily, the “doc” knew which battles to choose.) and SUPPLEMENTS! Vegans need supplements more than anyone. I’ve hated vitamins and pills since I was a kid so I avoided them as much as I could. Result? I’m deficient in almost every vitamin out there. The supplements he recommended are 100% natural and VEGAN. Here’s the list in case you guys want to give them a try:

-E3Live Renew Me Body Blend (Strengthens immune system, improves attention and energy levels, supports circulation, etc) I add two teaspoons to my morning shake.

-Diatomaceous Earth (root powder that kills all types of bacteria and parasites) I add one teaspoon to my morning shake.

-Moringa (Superfood Miracle aka Botanical Multi-vitamin)

-Clinic’s Choice Optimal Flora (Probiotic to balance digestive bacteria)

-Clinic’s Choice Protosolve (promotes healthy circulation system)

-Clinic’s Choice Digest Plus (enzymes)

-Osteo-Gest (osteoporosis prevention)

I already started this journey and will visit the “doc” in October for a follow up. I’ll let you guys know how it goes. In the meantime, here’s a link to a list of alkaline vs acidic foods. You’ll be amazed by how foods we thought were so healthy (oatmeal and brown rice) turn out to be acidic! At least, I was.

Love you guys!

http://www.rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm

 

http://www.doctoroz.com/article/25-alkaline-promoting-foods


September is for THE COVE.

Hi loves. I want to share this video and information with you. In summary, I found out about this injustice through one of my best friends… The same friend that sent me Paul McCartney’s video that turned me into a vegetarian and now vegan. This friend of mine is so passionate about dolphins she flew all the way to Japan to support Ric O’Barry’s cause, The Dolphin Project. Most of you might not know but Ric O’ Barry was the trainer of the five dolphins behind Flipper! That you might have heard of, right?? Who didn’t love Flipper? It made all of us happy and opened our hearts to the cuteness of dolphins, but that 24/7 smile we see on dolphins is just an illusion. What’s going on in the dolphin industry (captivity, training, and meat sale) is so hard to digest and accept that Ric O’ Barry made the transition from training dolphins in captivity to combating the captivity of these beautiful and intelligent creatures.

In 2009, The Cove was released to show the reality dolphins are facing in Japan where about 22,000 are killed per year for the sale of their meat, which is labeled as “fish meat” in Asian markets. The “fortunate” ones to survive are sold to dolphinariums where they will face years of slavery for human amusement. I don’t know about you guys, but this is the peek of cruelty. We have officially lost our humanity. When did we conclude that animals are here to be exploited? They were in this world long before us! So what makes us think they are beneath us… worth less than us?

The slaughtering of dolphins in Japan begins every year on September 1st and lasts until March/April of the following year. I urge you to please watch this trailer and -if you have the heart, which I know you do if you are taking the time to read my blog posts- watch the movie. The Cove, my friend “the dolphin advocate”, and the fact that whales, sea turtles, dolphins and more sea animals are captured and killed during net-fishing practices are the reasons why I gave up seafood for good.

Please watch, share and be the voice. More links below. XOXO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8JC_239vnc

http://dolphinproject.org/about-us

http://www.thecovemovie.com


Speechless. Doesn't happen often! Cowspiracy is a MUST!

Ok. Cowspiracy. Where to even begin? We’ve all seen documentaries about the meat industry. Most of them leave us heartbroken and frustrated through their tough depictions of the inhumane torture towards animals, but this documentary is different. It’s probably the only one that filled my brain with powerful and useful information rather than stuffing my heart with emotions.

Maybe it’s just me, or maybe I didn’t know much about the negative effects of the animal industry on our planet, but after watching Cowspiracy I became more proud than ever about my choice of lifestyle. Being vegan took another perspective. I realized that being vegan is not only about your compassion towards animals but it’s also about sustainability. It’s about helping stop one of the most destructive industries facing our planet today: factory farming. This “animal-exploiting” industry is one of the leading causes of global warming, water pollution, deforestations and dead zones. Try visualizing this: it takes 220lbs of water to produce ONE hamburger while it only takes 1lb of water to produce one orange. Did you know all this? Pretty eye-opening isn’t? And that’s nothing compared to all the information this documentary throws at you. In short, this documentary is a must for anyone who cares even a little about our planet’s future… And especially for all the environmentalists who love preaching about global warming but haven’t realized yet that the only solution to the earth’s problems is a plantbased diet. Watch it, share it, LIVE IT! 

Xoxo

ND of course, click here to get your tickets and to read more info on Cowspiracy. 


Furry animals. To let live or not to. Is that really a question?

Whether you are a 105% animal-lover and answer "To let live" or a fur coat addict and answer "not to let live", here are a few facts I want you to know so you have the right information to defend your point of view, or attack others (not judging!), during discussions about veganism. 

To my fashion-loving fur coat & leather booties wearers: I used to be one of your own. To be honest, I had more pairs of leather boots than I could count. And yes, I had a fur coat too!! But, that all changed when I saw… Paul McCartney!!...or something like that! :p Four years ago one of my best friends sent me an email with two sentences and a link. Her words were: "You love animals so much you have to see this. Make it your new year's resolution. Happy New Year! Love you!" And there it was... a link to Paul McCartney's documentary with a title that said it all. "If slaughterhouses had glass walls we would all be vegetarian." BAAM! My first slap in the face! Little did I know I would receive a few more slaps and even a HUGE punch in the stomach after watching it. For those who’ve had the strength to watch it entirely, HIGH FIVE!!! I finished the documentary in fetal position rocking myself on the floor next to an empty box of Kleenex! That was it for me! Bye bye Wendy's combo. So long McDonalds Mcnuggets. Au revoir homemade "churrascos" (I guess the proper word in English would be “bar-bi-qiu”).

As the months passed by I decided to read more about vegetarianism and veganism so I went to my can't-live-without-you boyfriend, Google, and typed "vegan- Peta- animals". BAAAAAAMMM, PSSHHHH, PIU PIU, POONG and all the crashing sounds you can think of! Arrivederci leather boots, Tschüssie furry coats, Adios cruelty-full products!! There is so much cruelty going on in all industries that use animal parts (no better way to put it) that the shocking learning process really never ends. All I can suggest is to take it one day at a time!! And with that being said, today is your DAY ONE.

Fur coat industry 101… China has become one of the leading suppliers of fur garments to the USA. It doesn’t matter if the fur coat you are wearing is labeled as “Wild animal” or “Farm raised”, that exotic animal is not only dead but it also endured hours of pain. This was proven in an undercover research that showed raccoons, beavers, minks and other animals being skinned alive by humans. Oh, and if that is not enough, dogs and cats are included in that list too. Yeap! China sells dog and cat fur, which are labeled as “fur”. See the difference in the label? There is none. So that fur coat you have in your closet might just be a dead dog. This puts the “Love One but Kill the other” quote in a different perspective, doesn’t it? Below are a few links with more information. Be careful. The pictures are graphic! Good luck with Day One guys.

PS: I don't like to finish stories with a tragic ending so, the good news are.... There are vegan options to fur!! YAY!!! I will share those with you through the "Outfit of the day" posts. :)

To my vegan siblings from another mother: All blog posts now have a Facebook share button so spread the love!!!

Xoxo

Vale.

Reality-sucks LINKS:

Paul McCartney's If Slaughterhouses Had Glass Walls: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_UpyY2MIOc

China Fur Farms: http://features.peta.org/ChineseFurFarms/

Animals skinned for fur: http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-clothing/fur/animals-used-fur/

The Fur Industry summarized: http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-clothing/fur/

Doggie tips to prevent summer heatstroke!

It's summertime and temperatures are rising. Please read the following advices from weather.com to prevent your furry babies from overheating. And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you can't take your dog to the store with you, do NOT leave him/her in the car. Cracking windows will not prevent the car from becoming a deathly sauna. Leave your cute soulmate at home with the AC on or outside with water and a shelter.

Share this info with all doggie-lovers. 

xoxo

"Sun + humidity = heatstroke (and other factors that kill)

Everyone knows that the inside of a car on a hot summer's day can be lethal. But Fido needs you to know more than that to keep him safe in the deadly sun. Days above 90 degrees, especially with high humidity, are inherently dangerous for your pet. Humidity interferes with animals' ability to rid themselves of excess body heat. When we overheat we sweat, and when the sweat dries it takes excess heat with it. Our four-legged friends only perspire around their paws, which is not enough to cool the body. To rid themselves of excess heat, animals pant. Air moves through the nasal passages, which picks up excess heat from the body. As it is expelled through the mouth, the extra heat leaves along with it. Although this is a very efficient way to control body heat, it is severely limited in areas of high humidity or when the animal is in close quarters.

The shape of an animal's nasal passages can contribute to an animal's tendency to overheat. Brachiocephalic (pug-nosed) dogs are more prone to heatstroke because their nasal passages are smaller and it's more difficult for them to circulate sufficient air for cooling. Overweight dogs are also more prone to overheating because their extra layers of fat act as insulation, which traps heat in their bodies and restricts their breathing capabilities. Age can also be a factor in an animal's tendency to overheat--very young animals may not have a fully developed temperature regulating system, and older pets' organ systems may not be functioning at 100 percent, leaving them prone to heat-related damage.

Cracking the windows doesn't cut it:

So where are the danger zones? The most obvious is your car: It can become a death trap even on a mild sunny day--and can insidiously raise the car's temperature to well above 120 degrees! Never, ever leave your pet inside the car. If Fido can't come with you when you get out of the car, leave him at home.

What are some other dangerous situations for your pets? Leaving animals outdoors without shelter is just as dangerous as leaving them inside a hot car. Be sure they are not left in a cage in the hot sun, on a chain in the backyard, or outdoors in a run without sufficient shade or air circulation.

Their lives are in your hands:

Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, you must act quickly and calmly. Have someone call a veterinarian immediately. In the meantime, lower the animal's body temperature by applying towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the body. Often the pet will respond after only a few minutes of cooling, only to falter again with his temperature soaring back up or falling to well below what is normal. With this in mind, remember that it is imperative to get the animal to a veterinarianimmediately. Once your pet is in the veterinarian's care, treatment may include further cooling techniques, intravenous fluid therapy to counter shock, or medication to prevent or reverse brain damage.

Even with emergency treatment, heatstroke can be fatal. The best cure is prevention, and Fido and Fluffy are relying on you to keep them out of harm's way. Summer does not have to be fraught with peril--with ample precaution, both you and your furry friends can enjoy those long, hot, dog-days of summer.

Signs of Heatstroke

  • Panting

  • Staring

  • Anxious expression

  • Refusal to obey commands

  • Warm, dry skin

  • High fever

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Vomiting

  • Collapse

Precautions to take if your pet lives outdoors

  • Ensure adequate shelter from sun/midday heat

  • Outdoor kennels should be well-ventilated and in the shade

  • Provide plenty of fresh water in a bowl that cannot be tipped over

  • Avoid excessive exercise on hot days

  • Talk with your local veterinarian to determine if your long-haired Fido needs a summer haircut"

http://www.weather.com/outlook/homeandgarden/pets/articles/d139



The products you use & Orangutan brothels.

I mentioned this topic a few days ago on Instagram and, after all the responses I received, I thought I should share more information with you so you have all the tools you need to make wiser choices. There are many ongoing issues and causes I've written about but this one is very dear to my heart. For some reason, and without ever having seen one in person, orangutans have become one of my favorite animals. Maybe it's the way they show their love towards one another and towards humans that fills my eyes with happy tears. They hug, and kiss and play just like any human being but in an extremely adorable way!!! Sadly, this species I like so much has been suffering greatly because of our selfish capitalistic mindset. During the past 20 years, the orangutan habitat has decreased by 90% due to palm oil production and around 1000-5000 orangutans are killed each year through deforestation. The orangutans that managed to survive the tree-cutting and fires, are either sold as pets for entertainment or become salves of orangutan brothels. Yes, you read correctly! Sex slaves for human pleasure. This was all exposed in an article about Pony, an orangutan that was rescued in Borneo after years of sexual slavery. Her story was so horrific and the pictures so heartbreaking, I promised myself to read every product label carefully to avoid buying things with palm oil. Now, you might be asking yourself “What the hell is palm oil?” Well, palm oil is an oil derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree and is pretty much in every freaking product we buy! Not kidding. Shampoos, soaps, body lotions, peanut butter, cleaning supplies, toothpaste, chips and even our most delicious frenemy, chocolate! Luckily, an increasing amount of brands are coming up with vegan alternatives to all palm-oil containing products. Walgreens just came up with it’s own eco-friendly & cruelty-free line, Ology. From printing paper to cleaning supplies. Walgreens has become one of my weekly stops and Ology one of my best friends. Frustrated Farmgirl's palm oil free soaps are also my recent addiction. Click here to buy them.

Little by little I’ll start sharing my favorite 100% vegan products via instagram and blog posts. In the meantime, try to read labels when you go shopping. If you see “palm oil” in the ingredients, scream NEXT and move on! Look for love words like: cruelty-free, vegan, no animal testing, no animals harmed, palm oil free, and lastly…the bunny logo. I know it’s a pain and we just “don’t have the time” but see it as your drop of kindness towards our planet. Simple steps that make a huge difference. <3

To read more about palm oil production or Pony’s story click links below. 

http://www.orangutans.com.au/Orangutans-Survival-Information/About-Palm-Oil.aspx

http://orangutan.or.id/ponys-new-life-2/



These Animal-Human bonds will change your mindset!

Do you believe that animals which have been labeled as "dangerous", "fur coats", or "food" can develop a tight bond with humans? These stories will change your mindset completely, and, hopefully, your lifestyle too.

Spread the love around so that one day the entire world realizes that there's much more to a polar bear than a fur coat, to a hippo than zoo animal, to a goose than foie gras, to a lion than a hunting pray, and to a dolphin than an entertainment mermaid! <3

Ever sung an elephant to sleep? :)

Have you guys seen this video? This is a charity I truly believe in. 

Lek, the co-founder of this beautiful elephant sanctuary, is the perfect example of a heart full of kindness and compassion. Animals DO have a voice but our minds are so cluttered with all the superficial junk that we simply don’t listen. Sadly, we are the only hope animals have and it’s up to us to protect them or keep benefiting from their suffering. Open your hearts, silence your minds and listen. Elephants don’t belong in circuses for our amusement. They belong in wild life sanctuaries like this one. 

Love,

Valeria

Between Love & Reality.

Today’s post is very hard for me to write and even worse to meditate on. I own a dog myself and have loved animals since I was old enough to hold one in my hand. My love and fascination towards animals ranged from having a little white mouse as a pet, to loving frogs and picking up and healing little lizards that had been attacked by cats. It’s in my essence until this day. I normally don’t like to write about things that can turn our days gray but this is something that breaks my heart and I would like to share it with everyone.

If you look at the picture below these words, what do you see? What does it make you feel? Happiness? Love? What about realization? Or compassion? Let’s face it; whenever we see a picture of a dog, we melt. We smile, say “ahhh so cute”, run home to hug our own dogs, or think about getting one (if so, please adopt!). But there’s so much more behind that picture that we don’t take into consideration. Unfortunately, we live in a world where short-term gains come before health, humility and humanity.  Yes, you read right. HUMANITY! To make this a little more realistic (maybe dramatic? People seem to react better to drama than reality), I want you to stop what you are doing right now and follow these instructions. Ladies, take your cosmetic bag out of your purse and read your cosmetics’ labels. Gents, if you are home, run to your bathrooms and look at the products you used this morning. Shampoos, shaving lotions, etc… Now, ladies and gents, besides all the hard-to-pronounce toxic ingredients on the labels, what else do you see? Do you see a pink bunny logo, or words that say “cruelty-free”, “vegan”, or “no animal testing”? If your products show that, you are freakin’ awesome and I love you! Your conscious buying is shaping this world for the better. If your products don’t show that, here’s a reality check. According to research, 60-74% of personal products and 80-95% of household products have been tested on animals. Now, here’s the biggest reality check of all. The word “animals” does not only include rats and mice, but also rabbits, monkeys, birds, DOGS AND CATS. So now that it’s out there, what can we do about it? Nowadays, it’s not enough to love our dogs and cats if every dollar we spend puts the life of other living beings through torture and fear. All animals that go through product testing experiments never get to see the light of day, or step their paws on green grass, or know what a tender genuine touch means. Half of those animals die within 2-3 weeks after being tested on. Sadly, this is the world we live in but the decision to stop it or support it rests on our hands. So please, next time you go shopping read labels carefully and share this knowledge with the ones you love. Compassion should be the only language governing this planet.

With love, Vale.

For info on cruelty-free products, go over my instagram and blog posts. I’ve shared so many already. 

If you would like to read more about animal testing, click here.

Peta.org recently showed the cutest video about beagles being freed from labs and taking their first steps on beautiful green grass. <3 Click here to watch it.