Great news for animal welfare in 2017

Thanks to growing actions of caring contributors, good progress has been achieved in the past year to put an end to some animal abuses. 

In the last few months, the signing of thousands of petitions together with actions and donations have all contributed to improve the conditions of some of our animal friends. Here are a few highlights of the positive actions who were successful this year. 

1. Thanks to myriads of petitions and campaigns, several big fashion industry brands are going fur free!! To name a few: Michael Kors (Jimmy Choo brand), Gucci, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Armani have all pledged to go fur free! 

Michael Kors and Gucci have announced that they will stop using animal fur in any of their products from 2018.  This is a huge step towards the end of the animal fur industry and an example that hopefully all the fashion industry brands will eventually follow!

2. In 2017, new laws enforcing longer prison penalties have been passed in England, Ireland and in some US states such as Pennsylvania. In England and Ireland, animal abusers will now face up to 5 years in prison for animal cruelty charges. This is a 10 fold increase from the previous 6 months sentence. The state of Pennsylvania has also clarified and increased penalties against animal abuse making it easier to intervene and care for abused animals but also implementing bigger charges for abusers. 

3. The Pet Rescue and Adoption Act was unanimously passed in California and will require pet stores to get their animals from local animal shelters rather than from puppy mills or pet “factories”. This is a great step forward to put an end to abusive animal living conditions often found in the animal trade business. This will also help animal shelters to find homes for the animals who were looking for adoption there. It will hopefully save the lives of many pets

4. Thanks to over 200 Animal Welfare Act complaints, Nosey an abused elephant who was used for Circus gains has been taken from its abusive owners and placed in an animal sanctuary. 

5. A step in the right direction to save our life supporting bees has been reached thanks to many petition websites all united on the subject, but also thanks to many other actions and people demonstrations all over the world. Many pesticides killing vast amounts of life supporting insects and organisms such as bees have been banned. In the UK Michael Gove is backing a total ban on insect-harming pesticides which is a great example for the rest of Europe who despite announcing a “war on pesticides” receded to allow a 5 year extension to allow the use of highly toxic glyphosate

6. Another positive step forward has been reached this past month thanks to petitions. A law was voted in France obliging slaughter houses to get equipped with cameras to monitor the animals, in an effort to stop the terrible animal abuses that are happening there. 

7. The Spanish Balearic province is moving towards a ban on bullfighting despite the fact that their conservative government overran their first attempt to ban bullfighting in 2016. They are now trying to implement laws to ban bull fighting in different ways. This is a huge step forward towards the end of an extremely barbaric practice which is sadly part of the Spanish culture. 

8. Thanks to customers surveying, one of the biggest poultry producers in the US will be implementing better conditions for animals. This announcement came a few weeks after a national survey revealing that 4 out 5 Americans want food suppliers to implement policies to eliminate the worst forms of cruelty for the animals involved in the supply chains. 

9. One of the biggest steps towards the end of dolphinariums: France legally bans the breeding of captive whales, orcas and dolphins which means the ones being currently held captive in the tanks will be the last ones. Whilst it seems that the animals currently held  will not be released to sanctuaries, the new law bans any new acquisitions for the aquariums and obliges them to provide 150 times bigger tanks. It also bans any practice involving people swimming or interacting with dolphins. 

10. Last but not least, another major victory this year for our dog friends: the shut down of the dog meat trade in Bali and Korea certainly is a big step towards the end of many animals suffering in this terrible trade.  

All these positive and for some of them, unexpected achievements, towards fairer living conditions for sentient beings who can not defend themselves are long awaited steps. They were achieved thanks to the millions of people who regularly sign petitions and all those who act upon injustices and bring barbaric situations to light. Many foundations such as Soy Dog Foundation, the ASPCA, CARE and many others also contribute vastly to raise awareness about animal welfare and provide ground support and actions for many suffering beings. 

Whilst this is great, there is still a lot to do and many animals are still left in barbaric conditions. One thing that our society should never allow is zoophilia also known as bestiality which is still legal in too many countries. Animal are literally tied and raped in exchange of money. Not only this should never have happened ever but it should certainly not keep happening today!! Below are a few petitions to ban bestiality in a few countries where raping an animal is still legal.

In Europe – in Finland, Turkey, Hungary, Romania, it is legal:


2.       european-parliament-eu-ban-bestiality 

In Serbia: 

In some US States:



In Canada: 

The list is certainly not exhaustive so feel free to look for other petitions for animal causes as there are many!

By Angelina Cecchetto on 22nd December 2017

Law forcing pet shops to sell rescue pets only: a great step forward

In the US, the states of Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Austin and lately San Francisco have all passed a law to force pet shops to sell rescued dogs and cats only and to ban the sale of puppies under 8 weeks from big “puppy mills”. 

This will help rescued cats and dogs from shelters to find a family sooner and for many, to avoid death.

The amendment bans the sale of puppies under 8 weeks and does not apply to licensed breeders but mainly to large puppy breeding mills where puppies are bread in horrifying conditions solely for profit. This will clamp down on these “mills-for-profit” organisations. 

In the US an estimated 5 to 8 millions animals enter a shelter each year. 50% of them, so between 2.5 to 8 millions are euthanised, i.e. killed, each year because no one would adopt them. 

According to the ASPCA, 5 in 10 dogs and 7 in 10 cats   are euthanised each year. 

Animals are our companions and feel and suffer like we do and not some “toys” that we can put away when we are done “playing” with them. 

This new law shows a real engagement from the authorities towards an improvement of animal welfare and a genuine step forward for our lovely and loyal companions. I can only hope for more states and countries worldwide to follow the example!

By Angelina Cecchetto on 2nd May 2017

The Plastic Free Edible Water Bottle or the best invention of the decade

Certainly the greatest invention of the decade: “Ooho”, the zero plastic edible water bottle. 

“Ooho” is a biodegradable seaweed and calcium chloride-based membrane that is safe for human consumption and comes across as the perfect alternative for single use plastic bottles. 

As we speak, in the United States only, over 50 billion single-use plastic water bottles made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) are produced and discarded each year. 

Plastic production is constantly growing. Europe which ranks 2nd in the global plastic material production, produced 57 Megatons of plastic in 2013. 

The global worldwide plastic material production for that year was 299 Megatons. 299 Megatons of plastic material produced in one year alone. I let you take a minute to visualise the amount that represents.  

Packaging needs raise to 40% of the whole plastics production. Building and construction is the second largest application sector with 20.3%. 

About 40% of the plastics consumed end up in landfills, 26% is recycled and the rest ends up in nature, streams, rivers and ultimately in the ocean. 

Plastic has a devastating impact on all animals and ecosystems. It has now entered most fish digestive tracks and we end up eating microplastics which also has a devastating impact on the human body and the endocrine (hormonal) system. 

Finding solutions for controlling plastic pollution is vital and a 100% biodegradable and edible water container shines through as a genial life saving solution! 

Ooho is engineered by Skipping Rocks Lab, an innovative sustainable packaging start-up based in London whose aim is to create waste-free plastic bottles and the likes. Skipping Rocks Lab is part of the Climate KIC start-up acceleration program founded by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology. Truly revolutionary!

And for those of you who want to take a couple of minutes to act for the right causes, here are a few petitions to sign below. 

Ban plastic bags, click here. Ban plastic bottles, click here. Ban non biodegradable plastics, click here. Ban plastic straws, click here.  

There are many more petitions to sign, so look for your local ones too!

By Angelina Cecchetto on 11th April 2017

Open letter to our governments



Photo: ©Gabriel Ramirez Photography All Rights Reserved

Dear Governments,

We do not need any economical “Hunger Games”.

We do not need any more drilling, fracking nor any fossil fuel to be dug up into our atmosphere.

We do not need any GMO nor chemical pesticides weakening, sickening and slowly killing animals, humans, the soil and all its micro-organisms we rely on for our livelihood.

We do not need megatons of plastic waste killing our ocean.

We do not need animals to be tortured to feed us for the sake of “market competitivity” or “mass production”. In fact we do not need “mass production”.

We do not need 50% of all species disappearing in 40 years.

We do not need trillions to be invested into “National Defence” budgets.

We do not need our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, cousins and parents dying in another egotistic war. We do not need a 3d World War to quench the power thirst of a few psychotic leaders.

We do not need an atomic conflict over the last drop of fossil fuel.

What we need is the respect and preservation of LIFE in all its forms. 

We need to put an immediate stop to the current fossil fuel based economical system which is a death trap for our planet.

We need the urgent implementation of water, wind and solar based energy plants worldwide.

We need our soils, animals and plants to be healthy and organically grown so we can live healthily again. The agro-chemical industry must be stripped down to bare minimum medical usage. The chemical hegemony has to be phased down to essential minimum.

We need the immediate halt of all non bio-degradable plastics and the worldwide implementation of plastic cleaning and recycling plants.

We need to implement strict farming regulations and controlling institutions for animal welfare and severely condemn abusers.

We need cleaning up programs to be financed by big oil companies and corporations who made business with natural ressources worldwide.

We need the trillions spent on “National Defence” to be allocated with immediate effect to the preservation of Natural Ressources,

We need worldwide de-militarisation.

We need worldwide denuclearisation and halt to nuclear weapons creation.

Planet Earth will survive atomic warfare and utter destruction, it will built itself again but humanity won’t necessarily. 

For those of you who want to act for the right causes, here are a few petitions to sign below. 

To ban plastic bags, click here.

To ban plastic bottles, click here.

To stop nuclear plant power in the UK, click here.

To stop nuclear testing, click here.

To ban pesticides killing bees and many other live supporting organisms, click here.

There are myriads of local petitions to be found in Google. Because many of us care about Life. 

By Angelina Cecchetto on 12th November 2016

Building houses with plastic bottles

We all know that plastic and especially plastic bottles are one of the major source of pollution of landfills, rivers and oceans. Since the authorities fail to stop plastic production and ban plastic based products, people have started their own initiatives all around the world to make something constructive out of plastic pollution.

In all continents, people have started building sustainable houses out of recuperated plastic bottles and the results are both surprising and amazing!

This is a double win for the environment and the communities who live of their environment. The twofold positive effect comes from the fact that the bottles used to build these houses are picked up from the beaches, rivers or any surroundings where old plastic bottles can be found. This has a majorly positive impact on the environment as it helps cleaning it from the plastic bottles who take over 400 years to start even disintegrating.

The second positive aspect is that the plastic bottles houses or structures are fairly quick to build and cheap as less “traditional” building materials are used.

The building projects also generally involve quite a few people which strengthens the community bonds and provides great instances of community solidarity.

So all in all these projects are definite win-win for the environment, the people and the community at large who benefit from a cleaner environment.

Here are a few inspiring initiatives all around the world:

In Georgia, a group of students build a greenhouse with plastic bottles:

In Panama, a whole Eco-Village is being build with houses and buildings made with plastic bottles:

In Colombia, Oscar Mendez, Architect is building houses with blocks made of discarded plastics!

In India, the Samarpan Foundation is also building houses with recuperated plastic bottles and shows the building process:

All truly inspiring!

By Angelina Cecchetto on 7th October 2016

The Zero Waste Lifestyle: the right way forward!


IMG_6644 copy.SIG.16.9

On Earth Day, maybe more than any other day, you might be thinking about this beautiful planet Earth we are lucky to live on. You might see some breath taking landscape photographs or timelapse videos showing some wonders of natural beauty. And, for some, things might not go any further. But, for some, the journey into realisation starts today. Realisation that we all need to start acting meaningfully to help save the wealth of natural diversity that makes our planet the natural paradise it is. Paradise is planet Earth!

We all know but too well that the planet is in danger and that we are in danger together with many species that are disappearing one after the other. Our governments have complex political and economical agendas that prevent them from taking the necessary actions to improve this critical situation.

Change is needed but governments can’t implement it. So what?! Are we just going to stay there doing nothing and watch everything around us die? We think that we have no power but we have the power to change things! We are the ones who can implement change! How? There are many different ways but the common idea is that change has to start within each one of us. Changing our consumer habits to clearly send corporations the message that we do not want to destroy the Earth (for our children) so they can max up on profits.

Buying is voting. When you buy products you vote for what you’re buying. Full stop. And this is where our power is!

The Zero Waste philosophy is one of the ways we can start stirring the ship back in the right direction.

The Zero Waste (ZW) philosophy is a responsible lifestyle that enhances health and reduces wastes to a bare minimum. I am a true believer in the ZW lifestyle and well before I came across the ZW documentary a week ago I realised that I was well on my way to a ZW lifestyle. Seeing the documentary confirmed that I was definitely in the right direction. I am extremely glad to see that Bea Johnson and many other ZW defenders have started a whole movement! It makes me hopeful that more and more of us are realising we now need to change our ways and move towards a healthier lifestyle for ourselves, for all the beautiful species around us and for the valuable natural ressources.

Here is Bea Johnson’s presentation of the Zero Waste Philosophy she has adopted with her entire family since 2008. This is a family of 2 adults and 2 children living in California and generating about 1/1.5 liter of waste a year following the ZW lifestyle! Simply inspiring!!

And remember: everyday is Earth day!!

By Angelina Cecchetto on 22nd April 2016

12 steps to get healthier and help your environment

Are you, like many of us, wondering: “Can I actually do anything to get healthier and stronger and at the same time be good for my environment?

My reply is: yes you can! And it’s simpler than you think!

Here are 12 easy steps to get started:

  1. Start shopping with recyclable bags or bag packs. This will stop you from using highly detrimental plastic bags!
  2. Stop buying mainstream cosmetics which are full of toxic ingredients such as Aluminium (deodorants), Fluoride (toothpaste), Bisphenol A or BPA (plastic containers), Phthalates, (lotions, perfumes, nail polish, hair spray etc). These toxic ingredients are in about 75% of mainstreams cosmetics.
  3. Start buying organic cosmetics (the most you can) or make your own. You can make your own toothpaste, deodorant, shower gel etc.
  4. Buy (organic) and cook your own food! This will stop you from buying unhealthy frozen ready meals and will reduce the packaging down to zero! This will also provide you with the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy and will be your best protection against cancer provided that you consume primarily organic foods! IMG_7123.SIg.1200
  5. Consider changing all your kitchen plastic containers (and of course recycling them) for glass or wood containers that are natural and will keep you away from BPA and other toxic chemicals linked with plastic containers.
  6. Start buying your food locally this will ensure its freshness and reduce the transportation costs and greenhouse emissions of food imports from other continents.
  7. Think of second-hand shops for clothes, you wouldn’t believe the stuff you can find there and the prices! This also contributes to lowering packaging and eventually reduces production and use of color dies that heavily pollute our waters. IMG_7138.Sig.1200
  8. Opt for natural remedies instead of chemical based ones, this will help your immune system get stronger again and will reduce packaging and costs. Avoid antibiotics and antidepressants at all costs. If you have a headache think of drinking lots of water first, most headaches are due to dehydration.
  9. You don’t need a receipt for everything you get so when asked by your cashpoint or your train ticket machine if you need a receipt, opt for none. This will reduce paper consumption and make you gain time!
  10. When the weather is nice from spring to autumn, try to go to work or to the shops cycling or walking if they are within walking distance or consider starting a car sharing pool with your friends/family/neighbours to go the local grocery shops. This will reduce greenhouse emissions and strengthen your community ties.

IMG_7157.Sig.1200px11. Choose to eat season fruits and vegetables! Do you really need to eat strawberries out of season? What most of us don’t think about is that buying fruits out of season means that these fruits (or veg) are transported by planes across continents and this creates an unnecessary trail of massive pollution via the megatons of fuel spent to transport these tons of (out of season) fruits and vegs.

12. Last but not least, if you stopped eating meat just for a day or two a week this would reduce the greenhouse emissions worldwide by half!

It is very easy for you to think a little about your daily habits and to adapt them slightly. I have done so and I feel great! I haven’t been sick in over 2 years!

Of course you don’t have to stress about implementing any of this, the changes can be done over weeks  so you can enjoy the process!

By Angelina Cecchetto on 6th February 2016

2014 top 10 cornerstone events worldwide


Copyright ©Angelina Cecchetto

Copyright ©Angelina Cecchetto

In the usual ebb and flow of media waves, some events have certainly caught my attention and not necessarily the most talked about by the mainstream medias!

Here is a quick yearly retrospective of the best 2014 keystone events.

  1. With MacDonald’s closing all its restaurants in Bolivia, the list of countries where MacDo has been banned raises to 10 countries worldwide. The trend is in motion!
  2. India Declares Dolphins “Non-Human Persons” (February 2014). Some may consider this as an image cleansing gesture in a country where women’s rights are far from meeting any consideration standards, however it sends a clear message towards the protection of the cetaceans.
  3. Mexico strengthened Animal rights & welfare throughout the country and clamps down on animal cruelty overall.
  4. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered the cessation of the Japanese whaling program called JARPA II in the Southern Ocean, as it deemed the whaling program was not for scientific purposes (March 2014). This is a victory for the Sea Shepherds efforts and valiant campaigns against whaling for the last eight years!
  5. Shark fin soup sales drop (May 2014) after China bans Shark fins soup from official banquets and government receptions in December 2013. Again, some may think of China’s shark fin ban off official menus as a national image cleaning up gesture, but we have
    Copyright ©Angelina Cecchetto

    Copyright ©Angelina Cecchetto

    to admit that it has a positive influence on shark fin sales, which have lowered since. This is good news for sharks and for the ocean ecosystem as a whole!

  6. On June 3d 2014, 19 year-old Aerospace Engineering student Boyan Slat unveils the eagerly awaited results of his Ocean Cleanup project and confirms that the project is feasible! This is most certainly the best news of year 2014.
  7. The European Union reaches an agreement, allowing its member states to restrict or ban GMO crops in their territory (June 2014).
  8. On November 12th 2014 Seaworld reports a 28% income downfall compared to last year’s third quarter. A 30% drop in their shares price followed the day after the announcement. Since Blackfish official Premiere on July 19th 2013, Seaworld’s shares performance have gone down by 51%. This together with the closure of Rimini’s dolphinarium in Italy (May 2014) marks a raise in popular understanding that dolphinariums mean dolphin mistreatments and violent slaughter.
  9. California becomes the 1st US State to ban plastic bags! (September 2014)
  10. Russia officially and completely bans GMO foods! (November 2014)
Copyright ©Angelina Cecchetto

Copyright ©Angelina Cecchetto


Overall, 2014 was a pretty good year for landmark events not only showing a raise in consciousness about key life themes but also showing a genuine will from the people to enforce a change in society worldwide.

We, the people, are the motion behind the change.

We are the change, so let’s keep acting!!




By Angelina Cecchetto on 19th December 2014

GoPro Hero 4, underwater lighting and filters


GoPro Hero 4 underwater Copyright ©Angelina Cecchetto

GoPro Hero 4 underwater. Copyright ©Angelina Cecchetto

If you are thinking of buying a GoPro Hero 4 to play and shoot underwater, there are a few tips you may find useful! I have just bought a GP Hero 4 myself together with an Ikelite Tray with the Orca Torch Underwater Lighting and Flex Arms Light Kit to shoot and make some underwater videos.

I must say the GoPro performance itself was pretty good overall and in natural lighting it was fairly decent for the depth delimited within recreational diving. The sound on the videos is also quite good and clear. I liked the fact that you could lower the volume underwater.

The photo definition for the 12MP/Wide angle photos was really good even without lighting and even at 30m+/100ft depth.

As I was curious to try some polarizing and red filters, I also ended up buying a set of 6 XCSOURCE underwater filters (red, blue, yellow, purple, polarizing and neutral density). They come in a nice little wallet and they include a very easy to mount filter mount. When I actually tried out the red filter for the first time, I had the great surprise to find out that all my photos and videos looked like I was diving on Mars!

GoPro Hero 4 underwater

GoPro Hero 4 underwater with XSource red filter

GoPro Hero 4 with XScource filter mount

GoPro Hero 4 with XScource filter mount

If you don’t want to give your photos a Martian red tint like on the picture on the left here, you’re better off getting an underwater color correction filter.

When using the polarizing filter, I also found out that the mount created a definite vignetting stamp on pictures when shooting above water as shown on the right here.

I found that the Orca Torches were excellent diving torches with a good battery life. For videos I found the beam to be quite strong in full strength, which created unnatural shadows on the subject. To compromise I ended up setting a dimmer light set which is possible with the Orca Torch D500V.

GoPro Hero 4 underwater Copyright ©Angelina Cecchetto

GoPro Hero 4 underwater with Orca Torches D500V. Copyright ©Angelina Cecchetto

To conclude I would say that the GoPro Hero 4 is quite a good camera to start playing with underwater especially if you intend to do wide angle photos but if you want to do macro you’d better invest in another camera with more versatile zooming options. In other words, if you are planning to make your GoPro your main underwater camera, consider its limits carefully but if you intend to take it with you on your next snowboard or rock climbing trip, like I do, then it’s definitely a great option!

By Angelina Cecchetto on 10th December 2014