Water crackers: palm-oil-free alternatives

With all my talk about palm oil, I set myself the task of finding palm-oil-free substitutes for all my regular shop-bought baked goods.

Not easy work, as I soon found out. There are so many tricky ingredients on the labels that are probably palm oil, but don’t specifically say so. I’ve decided that everything that doesn’t specifically say it’s NOT palm oil, probably is. So, if they say “vegetable oil”, I’m going to (pretty safely) assume it’s palm oil. After all, if they went to the trouble of not including palm oil, I’m sure they’d be putting that on the label. Continue reading

Old men of the forest need our help!


©Kabir 2013

This week I’ve seen and read so many hideous and disturbing things about our treatment of animals!

I already knew that a lot of this was going on, and that is the main reason I’ve been vegetarian for almost 20 years, but tonight, one awful image of a bloodied and beaten orangutan made me take a closer look into palm oil production.

The only way we are going to save these animals is if we make sure that palm oil production is unprofitable.

We just have to stop buying products that contain palm oil!

Unfortunately, that’s not as easy as it sounds, because Australian manufacturers aren’t required to label palm oil as “palm oil”. Continue reading

Dying for education

Human and cat holding paws...um, hands.Did you know that Australia is the 4th highest user of animals in research in the world? (1)

Neither did I, until I found myself watching a movie called Maximum tolerated dose at the Astor last night.

It brought back memories of my year 12 rat dissection class, when I was the only student who was unable to slice into the unfortunate animal who had been sacrificed for our high school education.

Now I realise that I’m not the only person who doesn’t approve of making animals suffer so that we can educate or fascinate or research. Continue reading

Life-changing day in the biology lab


That’s not me, by the way…but maybe she’s also pondering what the hell she’s going to do about the rats they were cutting up in the classroom that day.

“Next week we’re going to be dissecting rats!” announced my year 12 Biology teacher one Friday afternoon.

That was about 31 years ago, but I still remember my sinking feeling of dread. Biology was my favourite, and best, subject, and I wanted to continue to do well, but I just couldn’t face cutting up an animal. Continue reading