I wish I were a teen again, so I could have the answers to everything. Remember when you were a teenager and things were so black and white? I remember being accused of seeing everything as an absolute and I was actually surprised that others didn’t. There’s nothing quite like young passion, whether it’s for a political cause, or social justice, or to help animals.
I was reminded about this when I recently spent a long weekend with my two teenaged nieces. Apparently not only do I not know anything, I’m hopelessly out of the loop and unaware. Ha, and I thought I was a hip aunt because I run the shelter’s Facebook page! I’ve also been a vegetarian for over 30 years, our house is solar and we try to buy cruelty-free and recycled products when we can. Apparently I don’t. We ran into a Rite-aid to pick up a few things and I was met with “you don’t really buy that brand, do you?” from the younger girl. “It’s not vegan!” I asked how she happened to know that and the response was “ I have an app for that.” Of course you do! I should have known!
Actually, the app, called Cruelty-Cutter, is very cool. You just scan the bar code on any product and it tells you if it’s cruelty free and vegan. Apparently the companies I have been using (that I thought were cruelty-free - meaning not tested on animals), either have been sold to other companies that are not as socially conscious or wanted to expand into China, which requires animal testing for some unknown reason. Either way they are no longer considered pc but, of course they don’t send out press announcements to let the consumer know.
I used to stay on top of those things. In fact when cruelty -free was a relatively new concept and the only make-up you could get was called Beauty without Cruelty out of Britain; you had to buy it online and couldn’t try out the colors (I find makeup so hard to buy that way), I decided to buy a quantity of it so people could try it out and then buy through me to save on the shipping. I felt so negligent when I found out that so many of my favorite products were on the bad list! Now I have to start over to find new products that I like and that fit my ethics. So much easier to just shop blindly!!
Like many people of my generation I had become complacent. It took a teenager to wake me up again. Guess I should be proud that she’s related to me and passionate about causes that I also support. Have you checked your cupboards lately to see if the products you buy hold true to your ethics?
BUNFEST - Saturday, April 29, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Burton Recreation Center. FREE. Come hear awesome speakers; shop for bunny treats, toys and supplies; and meet adoptable rabbits from several organizations.
Fix it Clinics – FREE cat spays/neuters and low-cost dog surgeries for low-income residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati. Call 588-3531 for more information or an appointment.
No More Lost Pets Campaign – Every lost pet should have a way to get back home. FREE pet ID tag and a back-up microchip are available to all residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati. No appointment necessary, just come by the shelter during our regular open hours: Wed. 1-6:30 p.m.; Thurs.-Fri-Sat 1-5:30 p.m.; Sun. 1-4:30 p.m.
Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.