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Keeki Pure and Simple

Finding health and beauty products that fit our ethical standards can be tricky for vegans. Luckily for us, Natalie Bauss of Keeki Pure and Simple wants consumers to know that you don’t have to sacrifice your ethics or health for beautiful skin, lips, and nails. Keeki offers a variety of products for face, skin, nails, and lips that are cruelty-free and earth-friendly. They are also locally produced, being based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. They never test on animals and are Leaping Bunny and PETA certified as well. I recently sat down with owner Natalie Bauss, and asked how she got started. Natalie is a mother of two who lives on an organic farm in West Michigan. She told me that her daughter Kiana (nicknamed Keeki), like many young ladies, was constantly painting her nails, and this left Bauss concerned about the chemicals that she was being exposed to. You probably know the overwhelmingly noxious smell of nail polish and remover. That can’t be good for you. Knowing what she put into her children’s body in terms of food, she discovered that what they put ON their bodies was just as important. “Our skin is our largest organ, and it absorbs up to sixty percent of what we put on it.” Bauss explains. She decided to take matters into her own hands, and her daughter’s namesake company was born. “I started out creating recipes in my kitchen from things we’d grown on the farm, just experimenting,” she says. Her daughter Keeki now develops, tests and critiques all products before they hit the shelves. Here are some of my favorite Keeki products: 1. Nail Polish:     I was impressed by how quickly the polish dried, but the most amazing part was when she told me to smell the nail polish. The normal chemical fume smell of nail polish was non-existent! They come in many colors, named after delicious treats. Note: Be sure to use their nail polish remover, because it took quite a bit of elbow grease to get it off with the traditional remover I had at home. 2. Day Rejuvenating SPF 15 Lotion & Night Rejuvenating Serum:   I absolutely love this dynamic skincare duo. They are made with high quality, non-GMO ingredients like walnut oil, pomegranate oil, and aloe vera, and green tea. I used this for a month and wanted to share my before and after photos...
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Paul Shapiro from HSUS to speak at Wake Up Weekend

Each year we’re excited for Wake Up Weekend, a celebration of compassionate living in Grand Rapids. The 2014 version is coming up April 24-26th, 2014. In its 7th year, there’s always a great line up of events, including wonderful speakers. One of those is Paul Shapiro, the Vice President of the Farm Animal Protection division of The Humane Society of the United States. Paul’s presentation is Forward Progress for Farm Animals: How and why the animal movement is winning.  Do not miss Paul speak at Calvin College in the Commons Annex Lecture Hall on Friday, April 25 at 3:30 pm. I had the opportunity to interview Paul and talk with him about his upcoming visit to Grand Rapids. Tell me about yourself. In what ways were you raised to treat animals humanely? Like a lot of kids, my family always had dogs and we were taught to treat them as family members, not just as pieces of property. As a child, I had a real fascination with animals, so much so that I really just wanted to be around them all the time. I also hated bullying; the thought of anyone dominating someone else simply because they were weaker immensely bothered me. Whether it was on the playground between kids or it was in human-animal relations, the “might-makes-right” mentality was so offensive to me that I knew from a fairly young age that I wanted to defend those who couldn’t defend themselves. And of course, there’s hardly anyone weaker than nonhuman animals. Do you currently have any pets? Three felines: Emma, Calvin and Sam. They’re like three little insatiable monsters. How long have you been vegan? Just over 20 years. I know—that makes me sound pretty old. I used to joke when adults lamented that they don’t know where the years went. Now I know what that’s all about! What was the catalyst that inspired you to adopt the vegan lifestyle? I saw a video of what happens to animals—on factory farms, in slaughter plants, on fur farms, in circuses, and more. It shocked me, and I knew my life would change as a result of it. Out of a desire to avoid supporting such violence and cruelty, I decided to adopt a live-and-let-live mentality toward other creatures as best as I could, starting with my diet. That’s the power that just one video can have on someone—it’s really incredible. What...
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Good News Market Farm

Local farm box company, Good News Market Farm, offers veggies and fruits that are as cruelty free as they can be.

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