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Reflections

The Red Bin

I smeared Chi Chi on my face! (I know this thanks to a friend who got me to sit still long enough to tell me about the benefits of a vegan cosmetics line that she and family now swear by… read on and I promise it will all make sense).

Chi Chi was my adoptive pet… also known as the cat owned by the sweet old Greek couple next door. They were sweet that is until, a year after I had moved away, I ran into them at the mall and they decided to matter-of-factly inform the 13-year-old version of myself that they had put Chi Chi down.

Every day after school, I would run into the backyard and call out her name. She would pop her head out from the neighbour’s bushes and meow loudly in response. Then she would make her way to the little spot where the fence dividing her and my backyard would curve up just enough for her to slink underneath, allowing her to come greet me. I would cock my foot up and she would rub her cheeks on the tip of my shoe. She liked to be pat all the way down to her tail and she would stick her bum up towards you to make sure you didn’t miss it. Sometimes she would look up and stare you right in the eyes like a human being.

Its been a lifetime since Chi Chi, but I’ve never forgotten her. Growing up I wasn’t allowed to have pets because they shed, they smelled, they were too much responsibility… unfair considering my mother’s grandparents owned an entire farm back in South America complete with baby chickens, cows, goats, a dog named Pichicho and a cat named Reinita (which in Spanish means, little queen). Me, I got stuffed animals; all shapes and sizes… so many I ran out of space to keep them all! Clearly, my mother’s attempt to fill the void. Was a fish too much to ask for?? …yes, because who would clean the tank? So, Chi Chi was like the pet I never had.

Now, imagine someone tells you that all the remains of your dearly-beloved-pet-that-was-put-down are thrown into something called the Red Bin. They are mixed in with road kill, as well as left-over cow, pig and chicken carcass from various restaurants. This Red Bin is then transported to a plant where its content is brewed into a nice fleshy stew. The layer of yellow foam that forms on the surface of this soup is collected in barrels and sold to cosmetic companies to be used as “filler”. That’s right ladies, the foundation (as well as all other make-up) we regularly apply is not only full of carcinogenic chemicals that eat away slowly at our faces, but also the remnants of dead animal.

Oh, but there’s more. After the cooking, straining and sifting process is completed, the chunks of flesh have been converted into meat and bone meal; all set to be shipped off and made into dog food… just dog food you ask? Well a while ago, as I sat inhaling my yearly bag of Sweet Chili Doritos (my allowed dosage of delicious junk), I decided to read the list of ingredients: Monosodium Glutamate, Sodium Diacetate, Maltodextrin, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate… Natural Flavours. Now what do you suppose they mean by “natural”? We live in a society where technicalities can set you free. For example, McDonald’s claiming that their burger patties are 100% Beef… “100% Beef” being the name of their supplier (so the theory goes). Hence technically, they aren’t lying and the public can conveniently misinterpret the meaning. Now think for a second, is there even the slightest possibility that decaying-animal-carcass can fall under the heading “natural”…the word can be defined as: existing in or formed by nature. And that’s when the Doritos chip that was on its way into my mouth, gets tossed back into the bag and never thought of again. Products with labels that read “Natural Flavours”, have forever been ruined for me.

If you’re interested in learning more about this process and its products (i.e. nail polish, glue, crayons, shampoo, etc.), search “animal rendering”. Here are links to a few articles I found both disgusting and appalling:

http://www.rense.com/general39/animal.htm
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0106-02.htm
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-rendering-plant.htm
http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/care/renderingplantscatsdogs.htm
http://threehundredsixtysixdays.com/tag/animal-rendering-plants/

Fingers crossed, Soylent Green (film about people being fed other homo sapiens without their knowledge) wasn’t foreshadowing what’s to come!

-LMS

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About Little Miss Spanglish

Bright-eyed dreamer, set in her ways... enjoys working-out to slow jams. Hates being called by her full name by people close to her. Has never had a pet, yet has names picked out for her future fish, cat and Teacup pig (name of future dog still in the works). Loves receiving handwritten letters in the mail (long, handwritten messages in thoughtfully picked out cards also result in a smile). Will stare in disdain at her plate if it is inhabited by: brown rice, asparagus or beets (coming around on the beets). Finds skipping-down-a-sidewalk to be a lost art in adults... refuses to let that happen to her.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “The Red Bin

  1. Ew… that’s disgusting. Thanks for writing about this issue! I’m always wary of labels that say “natural flavours”. Why not just list the so called natural flavours?

    Posted by May Tran | November 10, 2013, 5:18 pm
  2. That really escalated quickly.

    Posted by Justin Lim | September 21, 2014, 2:31 pm

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