Gucci goes fur-free

Good news from thecut.com, a popular fashion site.  Gucci, a brand famous for its use of fur, will no longer use it.  The fur trade is cruel to animals, and this is encouraging news.  Here is an excerpt from the article.

Gucci is the latest fashion brand to go fur-free. During a talk at the London College of Fashion on Wednesday, Gucci President and CEO Marco Bizzarri announced that as of its Spring 2018 collection, the company will “no longer use, promote or publicize animal fur.”

The brand also announced that it would be joining the Fur Free Alliance, an organization which “focuses on the deprivation and cruelty suffered by fur bearing animals both in wild trapping and industrial fur farming.” In addition to refraining from any future fur use, Gucci will be organizing a charity auction to sell off its remaining animal fur items, with proceeds going to LAV, an Italian animal rights group, and the Humane Society of the United States.

This is a significant departure for the company, which has previously incorporated animal fur into many of its designs, including kangaroo fur-lined loafers. As Vogue points out though, the move is not entirely unexpected, given that Kering, Gucci’s parent company, has been working towards increased sustainability for some time now. With its pledge, Gucci joins brands like Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Madewell which have also decided to go forgo the use of fur.

Advertisements

Jazz Festival

IMG_4627Every year my city puts on a fantastic Jazz Festival.  This year the event lasts nine days and I went downtown for day 1.  The headliner was Joss Stone, a singer/songwriter I’ve long admired.  I remember “Soul Sessions” blowing me away at her vocal talent.  But, she continued to impress me by doing projects that she was interested in, even if it did not make the big bucks.  She has dabbled in reggae, blues, jazz, soul…

She also has a passion like I do for elephants, visiting the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the GRI Elephant Orphan Project.

Anyhow, Rochester’s Jazz Festival also has some terrific free performances, so if you’re in the Western NY area, check it out.

IMG_4619

Photos: my photos of Rochester Jazz Fest – yes, I was far away, but Joss Stone sounded great!

 

 

 

Snow Leopard Trust

My local zoo is finally expanding the area for their snow leopards; their previous enclosure always broke my heart a bit.  Snow leopards, like elephants, are struggling in the wild with climate change, poaching, and human/animal conflicts.  There are only between 4000-6000 wild snow leopards in the world today.

The Snow Leopard Trust has been instrumental in saving the snow leopard.  One of their projects includes providing livestock insurance – herders who wish to receive compensation for lost livestock must protect snow leopards.  Another provides income to women by purchasing their handicrafts and selling them through the Trust all over the world.  They also create eco-camps and nature clubs for children to  learn about conservation, and run adult educational seminars on a regular basis.

 

 

Proposed budget would hurt wild horses

IMG_5914

(Photo: every week in the spring I do volunteer work with children and domesticated horses)

Wild horses are a symbol of the “Wild West”, often seen as emblematic of the American spirit.  Yet, they have been controversial for decades.  Ranchers have longed bemoaned the wild horses’ presence, and complain that protections for the animals have created problems of overpopulation.  The new budget proposal seems particularly cruel to the horses, however, as it would allow horses to be sold overseas for slaughter.  This would reverse protections both Democrat and Republican Presidents have championed for over forty years.

From CNBC:

President Donald Trump’s budget proposal calls for saving $10 million next year by selling wild horses captured throughout the West without the current requirement that buyers guarantee the animals won’t be resold for slaughter.

Wild horse advocates say the change would gut nearly a half-century of protection for wild horses — an icon of the American West — and could send thousands of free-roaming mustangs to foreign slaughterhouses for processing as food.

My volunteer work

IMG_5013Since I do not live in Thailand, my elephant volunteer experience was a one day event.  But, I am lucky enough to work with large, friendly, intelligent animals here at home.

There is a horse therapy farm about twenty minutes away by car that does amazing work.  The horses are all rescues, and they take disabled children for rides on trails.  This is my fourth year volunteering.

My volunteer job is varied.  First, I get to work with the horses – grooming, tacking, and taking them for some exercise prior to their work with the children.  Then, I help the children get comfortable around the horses, and help them get in the saddle.  I then serve as a sidewalker or horse leader on the trail.  Finally, I have some messy chores to do like helping clean up the stalls.

IMG_5819

Each horse has a sad background story, so it’s heartwarming to see how both horse and rider benefit in this program.

My selfishly favorite part is at the end of the season I get offered a riding lesson of my own.

IMG_5080

 

Photos show three of the horses (there are seven at the farm).  The last photo is of me riding my favorite!

 

 

Wands for Wildlife

I was at the zoo today, and they are always happy to accept used and cleaned blankets for the animals.  I went online to see what other animal organizations ask for things we may be “spring cleaning” and found a very cute video of ducks getting brushed by old mascara wands to remove dirt, larvae, and insects from fur and feathers.

Wands for Wildlife  recycles old mascara wands to clean small animals.  Send them their requested written form and old (cleaned) mascara wands.  The address is: Appalachain Wild, P.O. Box 1211, Skyland, NC 28776.

Video: YouTube, Appalachain Wild

From their website:

“Appalachian Wildlife Refuge was incorporated on October 23, 2014. The ALL VOLUNTEER organization was formed by a group of licensed rehabilitators, nonprofit professionals, environmental educators, and other concerned citizens, in response to the increasing numbers of wildlife requiring assistance and the need for more people trained and funded to help them in Western North Carolina.”

They have helped over 1700 animals.