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Thanks for taking the time to read this booklet. You’re probably wondering what this booklet is all about! Thing is, a lot of money is spent by companies who stand to make money by covering up who and what they exploit. The exploited, of course, don’t have a penny so you seldom hear their side of the story! That’s where we come in! We aren’t making any money from this project ourselves so haven’t been able to invest in printing out loads of booklets, so we ask that once you’ve had a gander, we’d really appreciate it if you left it outside in good condition so that we can then post it onto someone else. We really hope you find this booklet interesting and not overwhelming. Sadly, the world today is less than ideal. But by carefully considering how and what you consume, you can make a massive difference! If you’d like to do more, please log onto Happy reading!

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatama Ghandi



fair trade 4 jewellery 6 sweat shops 8 fur 10 wool and leather 12 meat 14 milk 18 eggs 20 seafood 22 cosmetics and cleaning 24 entertainment 28 souvenirs 33 wood 34 more information and disclaimer 35


We’ve all heard about fair trade coffee, chocolate, fruit etc. There’s a fair trade option for nearly every consumable going! So what’s it all about?

DID YOU KNOW…? Fair Trade not only focuses on fair wealth for farmers but also safer standards and environment to work in?

Demand for cheap coffee is at an all time high and coffee is now the cheapest it has been for 30 years. This is causing extreme poverty in countries such as Ethiopia where 50% of their revenue comes from coffee. Rwanda, Costa Rica, Colombia, Burandi, El Savador, Guatamala, Honduras and Uganda are also affected by low coffee prices.


Many of the products we consume come from abroad; bananas, chocolate, coffee and tea are just some of them. However, until the 1990s, when the Fair Trade was initiated, the growers of this produce were paid very little while the companies that we bought them from took most of the profit. Unfortunately, although more companies have implemented fair pay for the farmers, many big name brands still pay very little. In fact, 10% of the profit tends to go to the farmer from a jar of coffee beans.

How You Can Help For guilt-free chocolate and coffee simply look out for fair trade. Most supermarkets have a fair trade option nowadays but Cooperative and Waitrose are particularly good for that!

A girl has to have her jewellery so the last thing we want to do is put you off wearing it! However, whether it is ethical or not depends on where the jewellery has come from. Illegal mining and contraband selling of diamonds have caused many brutal wars across Africa (i.e. Sierre Leone and Angola and Liberia and Democratic Republic of Congo).

Throughout the 1990s, the world spent an average $125 million on conflict or ‘blood’ diamonds.

Half the world’s diamonds are processed in India where they are cut and polished by children. These children are paid very little and made to work in very poor conditions. When mining for silver, gems and gold, cyanide is used to separate the metal from the ore. This puts poorly paid workers’ lives at risk. If you want to be REALLY ethical with your jewellery, you can buy recycled jewellery from Green Apple ( A lot of the jewellery looks fantastic and has been recycled from many different materials! Check out this bracelet made from pieces of tin!

How You Can Help Log onto for jewellery made by Choco Gold. This company mines gold from Colombia without using harmful chemicals. Check out for fair trade silver made in Mexico.


The high demand for cheap clothes in recent years has caused mass exploitation in other parts of the world. Sweatshop Watch described them as places of ‘extreme Exploitation, including the absence of a living wage or Benefits, poor working conditions, such as health and safety hazards, and arbitrary discipline.’

Throughout the 1990s, people started to boycott companies that use sweat shops but charities have warned this could leave workers completely out of a job. By buying clothes that you know haven’t been produced in sweat shops, other companies will soon realise they need to up their game and become more ethical to increase their number of customers.

Before considering buying from a company, one effective action would be to write to them and asking if they have a code of conduct to protect human rights of their workers and prevent child labour.

Ethically made clothing can be expensive but by buying from charity shops you can get clothes for cheap while benefiting a charity and not adding to the pockets of those who exploit sweat shop workers. Even when any item of clothing isn’t made in a sweat shop, it still requires lots of water, energy and material. If you want to try clothing made from recycled material, Green Apple ( has a great range. How You Can Help Log onto the websites of Oxfam’s Clean Clothing Campaign, Labour Behind The Label and No Sweat to find out more about how you can help and where you can buy ethically produced clothing. 6

Fur has come back into fashion over the last ten years. A lot of this is due to myths about the fur industry. People are told the animals are treated well, killed humanely and that sometimes fur is a by-product of meat. Unfortunately none of this is true. Animals killed for meat tend to be young so that the meat is tender and animals killed for fur are a little older so that the fur is longer; any remainders of each is simply discarded. In some countries animals are actually skinned alive for their fur as this keeps the fur ‘springy’

It’s easy to buy real fur by accident. In some countries, it’s cheaper to use stray dogs and cats for fur than making fake fur. Sometimes what’s labelled as fake fur can even be real fur! The best way to tell is by feeling the fur. Fake fur is thick whereas real fur is thin and very soft.

‘I'm anti-fur because there's no need for animals to die for fashion. It isn't necessary. Besides, wearing fur makes you look like an old woman!’ Natalie Imbruglia Originally, an animal caught in a fur trap could chew off their leg to escape as it would go numb. In order to stop this happening, traps have now been re-designed so that the caught animal remains in pain until the trapper arrives. Any animal can get caught in these traps including ones that the trapper doesn’t need. These are known as ‘trash’ animals and they have usually die from exhaustion before the trapper arrives.

How You Can Help If you don’t buy fur then you’re already making a massive difference! If you want to do more, you could write to shops such as Harrods, Kurt Geiger and Josephs who, at the time of writing, are still selling fur. 7

Leather and fur are sometimes said to be a meat by-product. Leather products aren’t cheap and make as much money as meat for farmers; the dye used on the coats is also tested on animals. For Indian leather, dozens of cows are crammed into small lorries where their limbs are often crushed and elder or weaker cows die during the journey. Animals who are too sick to walk are beaten or have chilli peppers rubbed into their eyes. Once at the abbatoir, cows are bound by all four feet and thrown onto the blood covered floor where their throats are then slit and they are left to die in front of all the other cows who are now painfully aware of their own fate.

DID YOU KNOW‌? In October 2001, a study undertaken by the University of Cambridge, revealed that sheep, when isolated from the rest of their flock, showed signs of extreme distress by bleating, increased level of stress hormones and heart rate. When shown photos of sheep they knew, they experienced a reduction in the previous symptoms. Mulesing is when a sheep is shawn so close to the skin that they end up with chunks of flesh being shaved off with the wool.

At around fourteen to fifteen months, is the average age at which a sheep is first shawn and then every year afterwards. They are shawn early in the spring when conditions are often still wet and cold causing sever chilling and infections such as mastitis and sometimes even death. 8

A high demand for cheap meat and the ever-increasing population, means lots of farm animals are crammed into very small spaces. Chickens, for example, are kept in such dense populations, that their waste builds up and the ammonia stings their eyes and gives them ‘ammonia sores.’ Sometimes animals will ‘freeze’ due to the amount of stress and fear they suffer on a daily basis. When this happens they can’t even move to access food or water. After being told that pigs share the same mental capacity as 3year-old children: "My niece was 3 at the time, which is a magical age. I thought, Oh, my god, it's like eating my niece!" "It must be vegetarian. I don't want any meat put in front of me." Brad Pitt (Celebrity Living Weekly)

Francoise Wemelsfelder, who studied at the Scottish Agricultural College in Edinburgh, wrote of one pig she saw at a farm, 'I gained a clear impression of this young female pig that had been housed alone for many months in a small barren pen. She was sitting on the floor, her hind legs stretched underneath her, her back hunched, her head and ears drooping, and her tongue occassionally hanging out of her mouth...When I sat down next to her and carefully touched her, she glanced at me but didn't move. As the moments passed, I was struck by the soft, gentle helplessness quality of her passivity, the total abscence of hostility, fear, or any other active reponse. She was present only vaguely, her apathy such a stark contrast to what pigs normally are like.'


Pate De Foie Gras This meat is produced by constraining and force-feeding (usually be machine) animals such as geese and ducks. They are force-fed large amounts of a salted cereal with a tube that is pushed five inches down their throats. If food gets blocked, it is poked back down the bird’s throat with a stick. This is to ensure that their livers grow unnaturally large; 10 times their normal size. Carcasses of these unfortunate animals are often found to have wing fractures and severe tissue damage to the throat muscles. Veal Calves bred for white veal are confined to narrow wooden crates, often chained by the neck, usually in complete darkness. They have no bedding, are unable to turn around, lie down or touch the animals alongside them (they are very social animals). They are fed a milk substitute deficient in iron and fibre, leaving them so weak they can barely walk or stand and making them anaemic. The calves are then transported long distances to be slaughtered. They can go 50 hours with no food or water and when they are unloaded they are kicked, punched and given electric shocks to get them moving.

Human Health Due to the conditions in which animals are farmed, their meat is capable of passing on many illnesses. Dead and diseased animals are kept with healthy ones, their meat is unhealthy due to immobility and they are regularly given antibiotics to reduce disease and many other chemicals and drugs to help fatten them up. Studies have shown that as many as 53% of cow carcasses and 83% of pig carcasses, were contaminated with E-coli and 18% of British and 64% of imported chicken, had salmonella. With the way farm animals are treated, it’s little wonder that diseases such as Mad Cow Disease, Salmonella, Foot and Mouth Disease and Bovine TB have had such dramatic affects on farmed animals. Furthermore, the way in which the animals are killed can also be dangerous to human health. Because abbatoir workers have a rota of 500 animals to kill a day, the killing isn't always carried out carefully and evidence of a stressful death appears in bloodspots on the meat. Stress is a very powerful toxin, when guinea pigs were injected with the chemical caused by human stress, they died. This shows you how dangerous it is to consume the meat of an animal that has also suffered severe stress and along with our own stress, is a major contributor to cancer.

How You Can Help There are plenty of tasty and highly nutritious meat alternatives that make going vegetarian or eating less meat, much easier. If you can’t go vegetarian, you can make a difference by eating less meat, free-range meat and joining Compassion In World Farming who campaign for the ethical treatment of animals raised for meat. 10

‘I arrived at the house on a late October afternoon...I could actually hear them before I got out of my car. When I turned off the engine, I knew immediately that something was terribly wrong. I witnessed a scene of chaos. Dozens of them stood wild-eyed, snuffing the air, shrieking horribly. Unfortunately, I knew all too well what their confusion and turmoil was about.

"They've taken your babies," I said sadly, looking directly into one cow's mournful eyes. They rolled back in her head as she bellowed anew. Feeling sick to the pit of my stomach, I entered the house and spoke to the curator, who also lives there. Her name is Mary. "Those cows are frantic," I said. The wailing penetrated even inside. I had never heard anything like it. "How long will this go on?" I asked. "Until tomorrow," she replied. "Then more slaughter trucks will come for them, and it will all be over." I thought my heart would hit the floor. Eyewitness account by Valerie Macys The demand for milk is so high in some countries that cows need to be impregnated in order to make enough of it. The calf is then taken from the mother almost immediately so that they don’t drink the milk intended for humans. If the calf is female she will be reared as a dairy cow. If the calf is male, he will be killed immediately as he can’t be reared for meat. DID YOU KNOW…? Cows have showed intelligence by learning that they needed to press on a panel to open a gate to obtain food. Studies at Oxford University found that Betty, a Caledonian heifer, instinctively bent a piece of wire, using a gap in her food tray to create a hook that allowed her to scrape food from the bottom of a jar. They also form grooming partnerships as do chimps and gorillas.


Vegan actress Natalie Portman says, ‘I just really love animals and I act on my values.’

DID YOU KNOW...There are many products that don’t have dairy in that you wouldn’t expect! Most bourbon creams, jam tarts, strudels and many other cakes and biscuits are vegan. You can also get loads of tasty vegan recipes by logging onto the Vegan Society website! Milk has been linked to depression, diabetes, asthma, eczema and many other common illnesses. Milk also contains IGF-I; suitable for calves to grow strong and quickly but is known to cause prostate cancer in humans and accelerate malignant growth. To get your RDA of calcium, stick to eating lots of leafy green vegetables, oats, sesame seeds, fortified soya milk, almonds and legumes. Soya milk is good for you and less fattening than cow’s milk.

As with male calves, male chickens aren’t of any use to the egg industry. Male chicks are disposed of early as farmers who breed chickens for eggs can’t breed them for meat and stand to make no money from male chicks.

Chicks are debeaked to stop themselves pecking at themselves (a sign of severe stress). This is a very painful procedure carried out with no pain relief. This often causes blisters in their mouths. Natalie Jordi describes debeaking, ‘I still remember a particularly grisly shot of gloved hands holding a soldering iron to a chick’s beak, it’s legs pedalling desperately under a bug-eyed, wild stare, a wisp of smoke curling from it’s face. A professional de-beaker, de-beaks twelve to fifteen birds a minute.’

DID YOU KNOW…? Chickens have a variety of calls? They even have different calls based on whether a predator is water or land based! And hens and their chicks communicate to one another when the chick is still in the egg!


Free-range eggs aren’t much better than other eggs with the same philosophy as 'free-range' chickens bred for meat, in that as long as they have access to the outside they can be termed as freerange. With up to 16,000 hens in one shed, many are lucky to get to the outside and many break limbs or die in the process of trying to reach that destination.

How You Can Help There is a huge range of dairy alternatives now available from health food shops and online. Egg replacement powder is available from most good health food shops for all your baking needs!


Did you know that fish play?!? There has not been much research into the playing of fish but they have been known to chase, play leapfrog over rocks and resting turtles and balance objects on the tip of their nose! Fish are also able to produce endorphins (feel good hormones). Seine nets are often used to catch fish. These nets trail for miles of the sea entangling any animal unfortunate enough to come near them. Many animals such as dolphins, whales and turtles drown in these nets and are tossed back into the water as they will not be eaten; their bodies are completely wasted.

Farmed fish are kept in appalling conditions, with as many as twenty seven trout being kept in the equivalent of a bath tub. Fish tend to be farmed now due to over fishing putting some species at the risk of becoming endangered. Farmed fish often suffer from open wounds on their heads which often reveal skull. This is due to the constant rubbing against the side and other fish due to lack of space.

When put into boiling water, they have been known to scream and their claws scrape the side of the pan as they struggle to escape what must be the most unbearable pain.

Lobsters are very complex animals; they flirt and they can be right or left handed

Invertebrate zoologist Karen G. Horsley said of lobsters who are cut in half while still alive (another, less used, killing method), "The lobster does not have an autonomic nervous system that puts it into a state of shock when it is harmed. It probably feels itself being cut. ... I think the lobster is in a great deal of pain from being cut open ... [and] feels all the pain until its nervous system is destroyed during cooking."

How You Can Help There are plenty of fantastic seafood alternatives available from many good health food shops. If you give up seafood, you can still get omega three from foods such as spinach, soybeans, walnuts, rapeseed oil and flaxseed. If you still want to eat fish, look out for ones with the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) logo to ensure they have come from sustainable sources. 14

We can all imagine the pain and fear animals feel when they are experimented on. However, did you know it’s not only medication that is experimented on animals? Cleaning products, make up and even pet food is still experimented on animals despite you, the public, showing your disapproval of this. Although it’s not required by law, many companies still test household cleaning products on animals. There are 600 ingredients that are known to be safe and could therefore be used so no animals would have to be tested on. However, these companies want to test new ingredients so their products can be ‘new and improved.’ The draize test is still standard. Rabbits are locked in stocks. Their eyelids are clipped open and chemicals are poured into them. They are left there for two weeks. Often rabbits break their necks trying to escape.

Testing on animals for cosmetics has thankfully been made illegal in Europe. However, many companies including the well known Max Factor and L’Oreal, have their products tested on animals abroad and then exported to Europe.


‘I am doing everything I can to reduce animal suffering with simple lifestyle choices like being vegan...and buying only from companies that NEVER test their products or ingredients on animals.’ Alicia Silverstone

Several years ago a monkey escaped from its cage in a Japanese laboratory, the first thing it did was to open the cage of the other monkeys.

A lot of evidence has come to light that shows animal testing may not be as effective as alternative methods but as long as it is the cheapest, it will continue to be used instead of possibly more effective methods. Did you know that… • More than 1 million Britons are hospitalised due to adverse drug reactions every year (this costs the NHS £2 billion)? • There is not yet an animal:human ration when it comes to drugs tested on animals? • It has been possible to cure rats and mice of cancer since the 1960s but because their bodies are so different to ours, it hasn’t helped us to find a cure for cancer in people? • Your taxes pay for animal testing when there could be more effective methods available?


You may be shocked to find out some of the cosmetics, cleaning products and even pet foods, at the time of writing, are tested on animals; Ariel, Anna Sui fragrance, Aussie hair care, Bold, Braun electric shavers etc, Camay soap, Christina Aguielera fragrance, Crest toothpaste, Daz, Dolce & Gabbana fragrance, Dreft laundry, Eukanuba pet food, Fairy various cleaning products, Febreze, Fibresure health supplement, Fixodent denture fixer, Flash, Gillette, Giorgio Beverley Hills fragrance, Gucci fragrance, Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essences, Hugo Boss fragrances, Hydrience hair dye, IAMS pet food, Infacare baby wash, Lacoste fragrance, Lenor fabric softener, Loving Care hair dye, Max Factor, Mum deodorant, Nice n Easy hair dye, Noxema shaving foam, Olay, Old Spice fragrance, Oral B dental products, Pampers, Pantene Pro V, Shockwaves hair products, Tampax Thermacare heat wraps, Valentino fragrance, Viakal bathroom cleaner, Vicks decongestant, Vortex bleach, Wash n Go, Wella range of hair products, Zest soap And these are just some of them!

How You Can Help Great news is there are loads of companies that don’t test on animals. Look out for the buav logo, cosmetics made in the UK and supermarket own-brand cleaning products which are usually not tested on animals. Or you can ask BUAV for one of their FREE cruelty free guides where they list every cosmetic company that has been approved by them as not testing on animals. If you want to go further, write to the companies that do test (find out who they are on and let them know where you stand on it.


Zoos Zoos have improved phenomenally since Victorian times when they were first introduced. However, the question of whether an animal is happy to spend their entire life in a cage with little control over their own life, is one that’s still highly debated. While zoos do take some freedom away from animals, they also keep them safe, can help by breeding endangered species and many put an awful lot of work into ensuring the animals are kept happy and entertained. Perhaps it depends on the zoo although safari parks and sanctuaries are always much more likely to keep animals in large areas with plenty of entertainment.

Circuses that still use animals, on the other hand, are undoubedtly cruel. It isn't illegal to hit elephants with an iron bar in order to train them for the circus and the 'decorative' tassels on elephants actually have spikes inside them to help the trainer control the elephants. Putting aside the way punishment and pain is used to train animals for the circus, they are kept in small enclosures with little or no entertainment.


Marine Parks and Aquariums actually take their animals directly from the wild so animals that previously had lots of space are suddenly thrust into a world of confinement. Marine Parks that use dolphins also have a direct link to the massive dolphin slaughter that takes place in Japan every year. The fishermen who catch the dolphins ruthlessly kill some (their meat is worth hundreds) and keep some to give to Marine Parks (each one of these is worth about $100,000). If the fishermen weren't paid so much for the live dolphins they capture, they would probably hunt other animals but the money they make from capturing dolphins makes them hard for some fishermen to refuse.

The trainer of Flipper, Ric O’ Barry tells us about his last moments with Kathy (Flipper). Unlike other mammals, dolphins aren’t automatic breathers; each breath is a conscious decision. Many dolphins when kept in captivity will simply stop breathing and effectively commit suicide. Once Flipper was finished, Kathy was stored in a warehouse as there was to be no further financial gain from her. ‘She swam right over into my arms, looked me in the eye, took a deep breath, and never took another one. I let her go and she sank very slowly to the bottom of the tank.’ Ric described how he jumped into the tank and desperately trying to revive her before realising it was too late. He never trained dolphins again.


Animals Used For Sport Greyhounds spend their entire lives caged and muzzled when they’re not racing. Hardly the ideal life for a sociable, highly intelligent creature. Horses used in the racing industry are equally treated as commodities rather than intelligent beings. As soon as a racing dog or horse can no longer serve ‘their purpose’ they are disposed of. Horses tend to be killed and used for horsemeat and glue. Although some retired greyhounds are later adopted into good homes, sadly most now considered ‘invaluable’ are simply shot.

Sometimes horses and greyhounds are drugged before races to slow them down or speed them up for the sake of rigged bets.

Fishing can be very traumatic for fish even if they are returned to the water. Until very recently when studies proved otherwise (2004), people considered fishing to be humane as they claimed fish don't feel pain. In fact, fish respond similarly to fish hooks as they do to an electric shock in the roof of their mouth. Fish have pain receptors and respond to pain in similar ways to humans. Morphine administered to fish, reduced the behaviour they display when put in a painful situation and reduced their gill rate. When acid or bee venom was injected into the lips of fish, they rubbed their lips against rocks and their gill rate increased by 80%. Where maggots and worms are used as bait, it seems the fish aren't the only ones who suffer. The earthworm's nervous system secretes an opiate substance, used by humans to calm down pain, when it has been injured.


Everyone loves a good holiday and we all deserve a break! Thing is, when it comes to buying souveneirs, it’s not always easy to know how they have been produced. Be wary of products made from ivory or rhino horn. Rhinos and elephants are still endangered and killed regularly for them. Be wary of using many forms of Chinese medicine. While some are ethical, others are made using ingredients derived from endangered species such as tigers, rhinos and bears.

Many countries sell souveniers and gifts made with real fur. Check the fur before buying; if it’s really soft and fine; it’s probably real!

Although some shells are by-products, many animals are killed soley for their shells.

Palm oil Thousands of trees are destroyed for palm oil every year; this is having a devastating effect on the already endangered orang utan. It is estimated that no less than 5,000 orang utans are killed every year. At this rate, complete extinction of one of our closest relatives would occur within 10 years. Ensure your local supermarket uses only nondestructive palm oil and if they don’t, write to them and ask that they do! Supermarkets who currently use non-destructive palm oil include Sainsburys, ASDA, Tescos and Iceland. The U.S National Cancer Institute has identified 3,000 plants that are active against cancer cells. 70% of these plants can be found in the rainforest. 25% of active ingredients in today’s cancerfighting drugs can be found only in the rainforest. How You Can Help Where possible, buy secondhand furnishings rather than new wood products. If you need to buy products made of wood, choosing ones with the FSC logo ensure the forests it has come from, have been well maintained. With solar and wind energy, you don’t have to worry about your carbon footprint when using electric in your home! Check out Good Energy for 100% renewable energy;!


Thank you for reading this booklet. Hope you found it interesting. We tried not to add any upsetting facts, quotes or pictures but also wanted to give you a realistic view of the problems faced by those that are exploited by some companies. The last thing we want you to do is be disheartened by all of this; you have the power to improve the world by simply slightly altering what you consume! If you know of any topics we haven’t covered, please write into our forum on to let people know and if we ever write another booklet like this, we may include it.

Some of the content for this booklet has been copied from other sources under the Fair Use Act. If you recognise any material and don’t want it used, please contact us through our website and we will amend where possible. Thank you. 22

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