Of Bears and Bulls

Bear in a farm that investigators visited. Photo Credit: World Society for the Protection of Animals

I was involved in the campaign to end the farming of bears for extraction of their bile when I was working in the animal welfare sector.  Various animal welfare investigators who have visited bear bile farms have found bears kept in tiny cages, so that they can have  their bile extracted out of their gall bladders. Extreme suffering results. Here’s one resource for more information.

Photo Credit: World Society for the Protection of Animals

So I shared the deep concern of animal protectionists when I recently learnt that a company that is involved in farming bears for their bile in China is trying to get listed publicly.

Amidst this disconcerting news, a light shines brightly. Alibaba.com has committed to not allowing bear bile products to be sold on its platform. They also don’t carry cat and dog meat and fur. How wonderful that this business cares enough to give up the potential for more money and stands firm on standing up for compassion! Let’s celebrate such actions, and let people know of such businesses.

News of the  potential public listing of this company reminded me of ethical investments.  It’s another powerful way in which we can make a difference, without leaving our homes. Learn more: Global Impact Investing Ratings System, The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.

(We still need to use our own personal compass to guide us and be vigilant. For example, if you care about animals like I do, we may choose to invest in businesses that don’t trade in animals, which may still be listed as “socially responsible” under other criteria.)

Conscious Diamonds

We can spread joy as conscious consumers…

If you buy diamonds, and care that they are made ethically (that is, without funding violent rebel groups, or torture or rape by militaries) please log on to these links and share them with your friends.



While there are companies which say they enforce standards by the Kimberly Process, this is what Charmian  Gooch, a Founding Director of Global Witness, a human rights group has said:

“Nearly nine years after the Kimberley Process was launched, the sad truth is that most consumers still cannot be sure where their diamonds come from, nor whether they are financing armed violence or abusive regimes.”

Here is more information on Global Witness leaving the Kimberly Process.

Brilliant Earth is a company that goes beyond the Kimberly Process in acquiring its diamonds.

Lab-grown diamonds are another alternative. Max Gordon is an option in Singapore.

Or perhaps this is a time to give up on diamonds altogether and channel the money to worthy social change projects or investing in your personal and spiritual development? :)


Better World Books

Excited to share something with you all!

FREE shipping on books + Part of money goes to literacy projects around the world + every order from Mishawaka is carbon-balanced + company is a B corporation (corporations which use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems) = a consumer who is happy her money is going to something Good.

If a book is not available locally, I now buy from betterworldbooks! Join me in supporting businesses which are conscious of their social and environmental impact?

Watch videos of Better World Books and their social impact and environmental impact.