Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What is Vegan???

First a Vegan is rarely ever a enviromentalist term, though many do believe by not eating animals you are helping the enviroment, because food animals do require more land, water and energy to produce then vegetables, Veganism is more about animal rights. Vegans do not eat any product that comes from an animal, this includes byproducts that come from the death of an animal such as gelatin, and byproducts that do not result from the death of an animal such as eggs, dairy or honey.

Vegans are different in the fact that they also on the whole do not use any unedible products that come from animals even one's that do not result in the animals death such as wool and feathers. This includes animal products in clothing, bath and body and in other areas of their lives.

Though this is a sticking point you will sometimes find Vegans who will wear or use recycled animal products such as animal fibers and leather. Many do this as a way to be more enviromentally friendly. Also because they have pieces from before they became Vegan and think its disrepectful to throw away. This is not common but does occur amoung some Vegans.

What is NOT Vegan;

Meat (soild pieces, stocks, bone etc)
Gelatin (Jello)
Tallow (Tallowate- Animal Fat in Soap)
Red #4 (from crushed beatles)
Dairy (the straight milk or products that include any types of animal milks)
Honey (includes Beeswax)
Processed Sugar -(most White Sugar and some Brown Sugars are processed with Bone Carr. Beet Root Sugars, Raw Sugar, Organic Sugar and some White Sugars are differently processed so are Vegan)
Beer (some beers are clarified with Islinglass, which comes from a Fishes Swim Bladder)
Wine- (Some wines are clarified with eggs or gelatin)
Chocolate- (Since most chocolates are processed with milk or white sugars most Vegans only work with pure Chocolates or from certain companies who use Vegan Sugars)
Wool or any other types of animal fiber
Emu Oil
Fur or any sort

This is a basic list to give you some idea of what products are not exceptable.

I also wanted to take a moment to say that KOSHER does not always mean Vegan and vice versus. Kosher is a term for a product that has been made in a way that is safe for consumption by a Rabbi for someone of the Jewish faith. Jews eat meat, though they have strict rules about food this does not mean that animal products are not in the item because it is Kosher. In fact Kosher Gelatin is just standard gelatin that has been prepared by the Jewish Kosher laws. It is still from an animal. Also because of the lack of a Rabbi at the foods production, unless marked Vegan foods are not all Kosher either.

Organic also does not mean Vegan. As I wrote much earlier the laws are very strict about what organic is and that is that the food must be produced in a way without pesticides or other chemicals, any grower must prove their standing to use the term organic and have a certain rate of Organic foods in a product to claim Organic. Because meat, honey/beeswax and other products can be Organic this does not mean that they are Vegan. This term is regarding the way a product is grown and produced not if it contains animal products.

This is just a small bit about Veganism and I hope it helps you to understand what they stand for, as well as to be able to understand them as a Market. As I see more people turning towards the terms I really hope that people understand that for these people this is more then a lifestyle it is a belief system and hope that with this knowledge you will be better able to understand their choices.

What is Vegetarian???

I became a vegetarian over 13 years ago and what a different time it was.

That may sound silly but it is true the internet was still a little geek thing, windows95 was just being released in BETA and there was definetly no tofurkey or morningstar available at every neighborhood grocery store. Being vegetarian was very different then now.

With the growth of the internet and changing food trends being vegetarian has become easier but in some ways become much more difficult to explain since what it means to be a vegetarian is ever changing. The basics are this the dietary terms are

Pesco-Vegetarian- This type of vegetarian is not excepted as a vegetarian by many groups but dietarily the term is excepted as anyone who eats no land animals, possibly eats eggs and or dairy, but does eat fish and shellfish.

Ovo-Vegetarian- Is some one who eats no animals (sea or land) or the byproducts that come from their killing such as gelatin, eats no diary but does consume eggs.

Lacto-Vegetarian- Is some one who eats no animals (sea or land) or the byproducts that come from their killing such as gelatin, eats no eggs but does consume dairy.

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian- Is probably the most common type of vegetarian in America, they are some one who eats no animals (sea or land) or the byproducts that come from their killing such as gelatin, but who eats eggs and dairy.

Now all of the above types of vegetarians also have the choice to include or disclude things like Honey from their diets as it comes from animals but does not require the animal to die for the product. The same goes for animal fibers that come from non-kill sources (wool, feathers etc) as well as leather and products that include the death of an animal.

These are gray areas that often depend on the individuals beliefs as well as the reasons why they are a vegetarian. If they chose to be vegetarian for health reasons they are going to tend to be more open to wearing items such as leather. Were as some peoples beliefs are if the materials can be taken humanely from the animal in some way, such as family farm raised sheep wool that they will use those products.

Other vegetarians will not use new source materials but will wear animal fibers and leather from recycled sources. Many believe that this is an enviromentally friendly way to avoid petroluem products while not participating in a system that is killing new animals for goods. Many also hate throwing away leather or fiber pieces they had before they became vegetarian as disrespectful to the animal.

There are many different thinkings behind these different issue and points, and for vegetarians they can chose what best fits their lifestyle. Since being vegetarian by the terms only reflects on what you eat, vegetarianism is more open to individual interpetation.

Next I will discuss Vegans

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Etsy News!!

I have big news for my Etsy stores!

First I am going to begin selling pendants of my photos VERY soon in my ImagesbyAileen Shop. I also have some ideas that are running through my head regarding special collage pieces in both wall sized as well as ACEO's. These should be really unique and special, if they work out like I see them in my head haha!!!

is going to be moving in a slightly different direction with even more great dance and faire pieces and hopefully if all goes well the return of more Computer Belt Buckles!!! It looks like I might also be taking my pieces to one of the local Renaissance Faires starting in May!

Fairycat and all my lovely bath treats is also making some changes I am going to be offering magickal bath salts, changing the formula of the Tat Cream to an all vegan blend and offering more wine soap!! Fairycat also might be showing up in some new places for sale in the real world so I am very excited about all that!

I also wanted to remind everyone that as soon as the Renaissance Faire in Southern California starts I will be unavailable on weekends for six weekends. Its an exciting and busy time for me once faire seasons starts but its so thrilling I can't wait.

I hope everyone enjoys the new changes I am so excited!!!

Tattoo Sessions

I was thrilled to start my newest tattoo a few weeks back and I used it as a great photography session. I won't lie it's very weird bending and taking pictures as some one is working on you but I really enjoyed it so much! Some of these may or may not be offered for sale since I am bit protective of my piece, especially since it is so unique and something I have been working on so long.

Then I found out a good friend was getting her back done so I decided to bring out the camera for her piece and again it was a lot of fun, but at the same time more difficult to photograph. The room was small and lots of people came to see the process. Sadly I didn't get all the shots I would have liked, but that is the interesting part of this process, like I can't tell the flowers not to move in the wind, I can't tell the tattoo artist to pose for a second cause I want to line up a great shot. It's just part of doing the photojournalistic style.

I thought it would be a while before I got another chance to shot a tattoo session and then on the drive home from watching my friend get her tattoo, my husband decided it was his turn. So off to the tattoo shop we went one week after I started my piece, 4 days after my friends, my husband started his piece.

This one was the most fun, since I had a small window on the other side of the chair to get my macro lens in and was able to get some really cool pictures. I found the process so interesting from behind the lens and was able to get some needle shots.

Sadly though I am not going to get photos of the next sessions on either tattoo. My husbands is already finished and stunning I am going to get some healing shots today. My friend is getting her next session this weekend sadly while I will be off dancing.

You can see them here and I will be posting more from the sessions soon

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Where some of your donations go

I was raised to support charities, my mother has been giving to Guide Dogs of American and several other charities as long as I can remember. I was told to find a way to help by way of the things you love and enjoy.

Many years ago when my husband was only my boyfriend we had the chance to rescue a Basset Hound named Samantha (aka Sam). My husband grew up with Basset Hounds and was thrilled to have Sam come into our lives. She was funny, cute, stubborn, and all the wonderful things that come from being a Basset Hound. Though she was not a breed I would have originally chosen she quickly worked her way into both our hearts and became the very best friend to my Great Dane Harly Quinn. They were quite a pair walking down the streets. And no matter what anyone guessed Sam was the boss. She showed me just how great Basset Hounds could be!

We had came across this rescue BARNI at one point and decided for my husbands birthday we should go and visit. We took Harly and Sam and what fun was that! It was just feet and ears and this one giant beanpole in the middle (Harly). They had the best time and after talking to those in charge we just knew this was a group we wanted to support!

Over the years we have had to say goodbye to our dearest Sam and then Harly, but in their memory and honor we still try to get out and visit these cuties at least once a year and send donations often. These are wonderful dogs who come from so many places and in the end just need love and care. The people who help them are wonderful and do such a great job with these guys.

We went out this past Sunday for our annual trip and I was thrilled to get some wonderful pictures of some of the dogs. I am going to try and get some information about each one too from BARNI. I have already had a few listings on my ETSY and through EFA (Etsy for Animals) supporting this Rescue, but I am thrilled to now be offering prints of the very dogs you will be helping! All of my EFA/BARNI listings will have 100% of the listing price going to this amazing charity!! Also feel free to send a direct donation to the charity and I will offer you 20% your purchase at any of my etsy shops.

Even if you are not a Basset Hound Fan (and why aren't you?) this is such a great rescue that deserve lots of attention and donations. Go visit the Bassets give them a belly rub and always help where you can!

Basset Rescue

See more photos on my flickr

Monday, February 11, 2008

Dancers Dancing

Well I am so thrilled I just spent two days with some of the most amazing dancers.

My day started actually as a performer so dance with "Sirens of the Scimitar" and then I moved out to the audience and started taking photos of some of the amazing Dancers. I am still new to performance photography but I just love taking pictures this way.

The day with filled with Caberet, Tribal Fusion, ATS and more. I got a little of each style I believe throughout the day. I also got some shots in the vending area as well that were really fun.

Back Bend
A Back Bend into a Turkish Drop

Faizeh Posed as always

Desert Lotus Tribal Troupe
Desert Lotus Tribal Group

Galaxy in a very Unusual and Fun performace

So that was Saturday, Sunday I was off to the amazing Gothla, an event dedicated to Gothic Belly Dancing. I sadly missed the amazing performances the night before being at Day of the Dance and taking a friend to get her piercing. So Sunday I was out to take two classes with some awesome teachers. Then it was off to the club. When taking shots of some of the Dancers I decided to play with some settings and got a few amazing shots.



So that was a little of the weekend for me, I am tired, I am sore and don't regret one second! Thanks Dancers for an amazing weekend!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My Puppies Over Hair Falls

I was going to be doing a blog about all the new Hair Falls I have been making and listing, but decided to wait until I get a hold of my model, she is so cute wait till you see her in my hair falls. I also have a cute kid to model for me too. I am thrilled to get the chance to show off all the new work I have been doing in that area, but today instead I am going to be sharing puppies!!

This was an interesting photo shoot, I was at a friend's house were on top of her three dogs, she was babysitting 2 dogs, and another friend brought over his for a total of 6 very active dogs!! This was not a full shoot as we had a birthday to celebrate but I am thrilled to have gotten some great shots of these very cute and very different pups!

First we have Alex, he is a gorgeous Yellow Lab mix, with the best personality as is the nature of his main breed

Tara is a pit bull, lab, and probably more, American Mutt, she is a doll, and such a character

Next we have Fiona she is a Chihuahua, and a little toughy, she is all boss

Buddy is one of the Pomeranians not helpful when it comes to sitting still for photos, but a big sweetie

Marshmellow who was the most photogenic of the day,

And Roxy, the Dachshund mix, who is a mile a minute, toe licker, crazy sweet pup

This is just a taste of what I took, I can't wait to share more here and on Flickr. I will also be selling some of these images on Etsy, some will be used to raised money for animal charities. I hope you enjoy these!