links for 2008-05-01

Howard’s Vegan Soap

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In my pre-veg days, I just bought the cheapest soap on the shelf.  In college, I think it was Jergen’s soap that was 99 cents for three bars.  Eventually, though, I got tired of the chemicals, the animal tallow, and how the soap seemed to disappear way too quickly.

I became a soap nerd.

An interesting thing about running this site is the stuff I get to review.  I get cookbooks, threepackfood, and, now, soap, thanks to Howard from Howard’s Vegan Soap.  And I’m not ashamed to admit I look forward to trying new soap.

Howard’s comes in three varieties: cinnamon, liquorice/poppy seed, and basil/lavender.  All three contain natural, food-grade exfoliates.  The cinnamon one has the most intense feeling exfoliate, actual pieces of cinnamon stick ("great for rough, dry skin, eczema, or psoriasis").  The poppy seeds and dried basil act as milder exfoliates in the other two soaps.

The soaps all smelled wonderfully gentle, not overpowering and I’ve gotta say, the rough exfoliation that the cinnamon bar provided felt really good.  My naturally dry skin definitely benefited.

Howard’s site has a lot of great information about his soap-making process and why vegan soaps are better for your skin as well as the animals.  One thing I learned: soap companies will actually add chemicals to make their own product deteriorate faster.  Well that explains why I went through so many bars in college…

So, consider this a recommendation.  If you prefer buying from vegan businesses, you’ll want to add Howard’s Vegan Soap to your list.

You’ll also want to check out Howard’s new project: Vegan Jobs Online.  The site is aiming to become a central location to find vegan-owned businesses whether you’re a consumer or a vegan job-hunter (the only type of hunting permitted by The Rules of Veganism).  Though it’s still in its infancy, it’s off to a good start.  Keep an eye on it.

Let Live

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The Portland massive (Vegans for Animal Advocacy, No Compromise, Food Fight!, and Herbivore) will be putting on the Let Live Animal Rights Conference from June 27-29.  Even though I’m planning to attend AR 2008 this year because it’s nearby, the grassroots nature of the Let Live conference is much more appealing to me.  Why’s Portland have to be on the other coast?

Topics include Verbal Self Defense, Student Activism, Understanding Direct Action, Understanding Our Audience, Building Good Group Dynamics, and others, with presenters including Will Potter, Mark Hawthorne (I’m currently reading his new book, Striking at the Roots), and recent immigrant-to-Portland Isa Chandra Moskowitz (The Post Punk Kitchen).  Cost is a measly $10.  Here’s to hoping they make mp3s of the presentations available for purchase afterwards.