I’ve lately been replacing all my makeup with cruelty free brands and I have had a few people ask me to make a post with what I could recommend. Crueltyfreekitty has put together an amazingly comprehensive guide which you can read here

I will recommend my personal favourites below

Urban decay - naked palettes and eyeshadow primer potion

Nars - orgasm blush, laguna bronzer and radiant creamy concealer

Too Faced - brow envy, better than sex mascara, melted lipsticks, chocolate bar palette (it smells of chocolate ok you need it in your life) and perfect lip liners

NYX - poreless primer, taupe blush (amazing for contouring pale skin) and liquid matte lipsticks

Hourglass - ambient lighting powder!!!!

Anastasia - dip brow, brow whiz, contour palettes 

Backyard Beekeepers Still Harm and Exploit.

 I just realized something that I can’t believe I never realized before.

So I grew up in a rather upscale area where a lot of people were retired and kept hobbies such as gardening and beekeeping.  A few years ago, long before I really knew anything about veganism, my friend’s mom bought a few backyard bee hives so she could sell the honey and beeswax at the local farmers market to make some money. Now it was pretty obvious, looking back, that my friend’s mom not only knew very little about keeping bees, but only kept them in order to make some extra bucks off them. 

Back then, I loved to come over and visit the bee boxes and got quite a bit of free honey out of it too. Seriously. There were pounds upon pounds of honey in the fridge, two or three large vats of the stuff, and a LOT of beeswax (which by the way takes a lot more time and effort for bees to produce than honey does) so it was obvious they were taking quite a lot from the bees.  I didn’t think about how this effected the bees at the time as I figured they knew what they were doing. 

They kept the bees for maybe a little under a year (spring through fall) and sold a lot of honey and beeswax candles in that short amount of time. I remember coming back the next spring, and seeing that there were no more bees in the bee boxes. I asked my friend where they went and she simply said “Oh, they all died off in the winter. But my mom doesn’t need them anymore anyway, because she has a new job and doesn’t need to sell honey anymore.” 

And just like that, the bees were literally boiled down to a commodity, and once they were of no more value, in a gross display of exploitation and neglect, my friend’s mom simply stopped caring for them and let them die, probably because they had no food left and were not even provided fake food (like sugar water) to sustain them during the winter. 

So yeah, three colonies of bees kept a live for under a mere year, and then all left to perish in the winter. 

These are the backyard beekeepers that everyone is raving and ranting about, and telling people to support. These are the  so-called “cruelty-free” beekeeper. This could very well be where your “organic, local, cruelty-free honey” comes from. 

Local backyard  bee keeping doesn’t mean cruelty-free and is by no mean a good way to “save the bees”, it just means you are blind to what goes down in people’s backyards. And from stories I have heard from many others who have personally known backyard beekeepers, it is not uncommon for them to be ignorant and neglectful, over-exploiting their bee colonies until they die from the stress.

But hey, they’re just insects right? Who fucking cares if they are exploited and neglected for their bodily secretions that are literally turned into a fucking condiment for humans to spread on a piece of bread. Am I right?

Cecil the Lion

Logically, I understand why the average person is more upset about Cecil the Lion’s death than they are about the billions of animals killed annually for food. He was a beloved lion (though most of us didn’t know that before this week), he left behind a family that will undoubtedly be killed soon (much like every mother or father killed on a factory farm), most of us grew up revering the majesty of lions (love for farm animals is conditioned out of most kids around the time they figure out their parents are feeding them body parts), the arrow wound made him suffer for two days before he was fatally shot (don’t get me started on the pre-death lives of factory farmed animals) and it was illegal. I’m sure people are also upset that it was a hunt for sport, rather than for food or clothing (not that animals suffer any more or any less depending on humanity’s intended use for their bodies).

What I don’t quite understand is the degree of more-upset-ness. If you were twice as upset, sure. Ten times as upset? Maybe, I mean it’s heartbreaking, of course we’re sad. But for the entire internet to explode with outrage, for the man to be receiving death threats and go into hiding for killing an animal society deems more worthy than others, and for this incident to be the topic of discussion on so many news outlets and late night shows while equally horrific violence is happening behind slaughterhouse walls all across our country so the same people leaving essays of rage on the dentist’s Yelp page can grab a quick hamburger on their drive home seems a little disproportionate. Am I defending Walter Palmer? Of course not- what he did was inexcusable. I just think we need to take a look at the amount of energy and passion put into hating this one man and consider spreading it around a bit. We can’t bring Cecil back to life, but we CAN make choices every single day to lessen our own roles in violence towards animals by leaving them off our plates and out of our closets.
Now my heart is fuller | True To You

Now I know what Rollermania was like (you are too young to remember), and now I know what Osmondmania was like (you are too young to remember), and now I know what Beatlemania was like (everyone is too old to remember). Thank you for our best ever American tour. We are engulfed by a sense of indebtedness and joy. The credit for such a wonderful tour is all yours. We simply turn up and hope for the best and that best is you.

Eternity caught magnificently in the moment:

1. Salt Lake City (18 July) Depot
2. Seattle (21 July) Benaroya Hall
3. San Jose (25 July) Event Center
4. Cincinnati (30 June) Aronoff Center
5. Akron (29 June) Civic
6. Nashville (3 July) Ryman Auditorium
7. Detroit (8 July) Masonic Temple
8. New York City (27 June) Madison Square Garden
9. Bloomington (11 July) Center for Performing Arts
10. Worcester (24 June) Hanover Theater
11. Washington (17 June) Echostage
12. Philadelphia (20 June) Academy of Music
13. Denver (16 July) Red Rocks
14. Atlanta (13 June) Symphony Hall

… and this list continues. Yet it halts at the mere mention of the Firefly Festival - an absurd situation best forgotten.

However, what has caused this sudden new life form? Why are we back in the glory days of 1991/92? Why now? I rashly imagine it is partly public support in response to World peace is none of your business being axed in its prime by Steve Barnett - that cheap model of Humpty Dumpty whose Harvest/Capitol label can offer the world absolutely nothing in place of World peace is none of your business. I believe that his actions have enraged many people throughout the world, and the fact that he still has a job indicates the hellward march of a music industry that will never allow itself to be surprised by anything that is not endorsed by television ‘talent’ shows (none of which have yet produced one single lasting or meaningful star). However, he is now unworthy of further mention. He lives inside his own skin, which is surely punishment enough.

The heart fretted slightly at the Sydney book-signing. I had no idea that the shop would only allow 220 people in, and I only later learned that the shop threatened police action against anyone who loitered within or outside of the shop without one of those special-invitation confirmation things: a fascinating way to treat grown adults. Consequently, the Sydney book-signing was an outstanding non-event, and only later do to we learn the facts.

Our four nights at Sydney Opera House left me too much in love with whatever it is I do to ever hang back. Although my achievements are generally ignored by the media, my heart records everything, and I fall over with gratitude to all of the people who made the four Opera House nights instant sell-outs. My prayers of thanks to the people of Sydney, I know, could never be sufficient to repay their love and respect.

What is it all about, really? So much love in such a very cruel world. I say the latter as I read about Walter James Palmer of Eden Prairie in Minnesota who murdered the very beautiful and much-loved lion named Cecil, so trusting of people and leading such a contented life until Walter James Palmer (a dentist at River Bluff Dental in Minnesota) lured Cecil to a death that took 40 hours of pain before the lion died. How does our society produce people as evil as Walter James Palmer? Well, Melissa Bachman (also of Minnesota) got away with it, so the shootists’ door swings open time and again in the USA. Kill for fun.

However, our societies will always hatch the ugly elements, as murdering animals is also a hysterically funny pastime in the family of Donald Trump - who will probably express outrage and disgust at the next inevitable American school shooting.

For me, if permissible! these are happy times, and the band and I look forward to the rest of the year … South and Central America and our shows in Europe. We pray that we live up to your expectations. Please understand that satisfaction comes from the courage of standing up and speaking out, not from holding back. Good times for a change.

I am unwilling to close my mind.

29 July 2015.

recent tour photograph above of Jesse Tobias taken by Christopher Victorio, and printed here with great respect to the photographer.

photograph below by Sam Esty Rayner.
Cruelty Free and Vegan Brand List (Makeup)

good for peace of mind! and if any of you are interested i use:

• kat von d lock-it foundation and concealer

• urban decay eye primer/naked 2 palette

• nyx eye liner

• first aid beauty moisturizer and josie maran argan oil

• nars lip pencils and lipsticks

• tarte mascara

• too faced bronzer and eyeshadow