Month: December 2016

Week 52 Animals Australia

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One thing that sucks more than goodbyes is long goodbyes.  So I have begun this at 2.24 pm and have allowed myself exactly one hour to publish it so none of the quality control (ok I probably made some mistakes, I did my best)  and researched facts of yore, just anecdotes, and rambling for the next 58 minutes.

So how did the 52 weeks work out?…Really well, thank you for asking.

I had no sick days from work and I trimmed off a small amount of excess fat and have felt good energy levels and much happier in my heart and mind all round.  It feels good to have made and actually 99% stuck to my first* NY resolution. I thank my ex, who said I never finish anything for providing extra motivation 🙂

(*and probably last- don’t wanna spoil my 99% success rate…!! Why 99%?  Because most of  my wine wasn’t vegan…I’ve been drinking lovely stuff in a fancy 4 litre box, if you would like to know more about vegan alcohol, Barnivore is a great site. Yalumba wines are vegan, kudos to them. Yalumba viognier is lovely which I buy for a ‘lash out’.  Also I have had to wear leather shoes for work and leather gloves for bushland maintenance work.  I think a lot about the animal who was unwillingly involved in their manufacture. Why I am putting this here is to show that perfection is hard to achieve as an imperfect being in an imperfect world, imperfection is not an excuse to give up trying to do the best you can wherever you can.  Oh and also I got Indian takeaway and despite my repeated request for no dairy, the food turned out to be loaded with ghee (clarified butter) rather than waste it, I ate it.  But it is good to be able to share this experience here as a trap for young players…Indian food is great for vegetarians, vegans really need to be diligent.)

Regarding the charities, wow! There are some amazing organisations out there.  Most of the ones I listed are easy to donate to, except for Haytap (Turkey) who had their Paypal cancelled by the government and they were unable to accept my credit card. So the $52 from that week sadly never made it, but all the rest are sorted.  I connected with a few lovely people around the world throught this and if you are travelling overseas, I would definitely recommend researching legitimate charities where you are headed to see if you can help out and who you can meet and share knowledge and passion for compassion with :-).  I almost wish there were more weeks in the year as there are so many other worthy ones, it is amazing what you find when you look.

One I always planned to cover was Soi Dog in Thailand, but it got bumped a couple of times and now it’s week 52 already.  I might give them the Haytap donation.  Suffering is suffering and it is great to alleviate it for any individual.  But one thing that was admirable  about most of the charities I chose to support was how they work to invoke systemic change…changing the way individuals and society treat animals and working towards cutting out the root of much animal suffering.

I will definitely stick with the plant powered lifestyle and continue to advocate for animals…

Oh and I have a little surprise… while this is the end of this particular chapter, its not a complete “So long and thanks for not eating fish” from me…

….Now I have graduated from 52 Charities High School, I am going to work on another project that will bring together all the links and knowledge and news I can find about a animals, the environment, food, events etc. Hang on in there and in a couple of months I will create a post to guide you to the cornucopia of wonderfulness I have planned.

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http://www.animalsaustralia.org/

This is one of my favourite charities that I have supported for many years. It is definitely worth visiting their page and learning about their work.

Animals Australia’s major campaigns are strategically targeting the areas where animals are in greatest need — whether due to extreme cruelty, or due to the vast number of individual animals who are suffering.

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Our work is focused around two strategic areas: investigations to expose animal abuse wherever it occurs, and public awareness initiatives to empower and inspire the community to adopt cruelty-free lifestyle choices.

You can order a free vegetarian starter kit here.

And watch a wonderful video by Lyn White here.

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To the friends I know and to the friends I haven’t met yet who read this, I really thank you!! It was pretty nerve wracking putting it out there, self doubt and all that.

I hope in some way I have contributed something beneficial xxx

1 hour 3 mins. Not bad!

Week 51 Frog Safe (Australia)

Last night we watched a David Attenborough documentary about fabulous frogs, it really was fabulous!

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2fzuxx

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Definitely worth watching if you’re having a good day, bad day or anything in between.

(A cry is another thing I can heartily recommend if the occasion arises-speaking from very recent experience, it is a very underrated pressure relief tool…cos…unlike frogs…we can’t eat whatever bugs us…images.png)

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http://www.frogsafe.org.au/about_fdr/our_group.shtml

http://www.frogsafe.org.au/about_fdr/frog_hospital.shtml

Frog Safe – if all the world was safe for frogs,

it would be safe for all of us!

For a long time, you have known us as the Frog Decline Reversal Project but we hope you will like us even better as Frog Safe. It is a much shorter name but, no matter which tools we might use for frog conservation, it describes what we do. All our efforts are meant to make the world safe for frogs to live in. At the moment, it is not safe at all.

You have probably heard already that amphibians the world over are disappearing and,

Here in Far North Queensland, we are one of the world’s “hot spots” for frog decline with several high-altitude species already feared extinct.

Instead of newsletters and meetings, we are a very hands-on outfit doing rescue and rehabilitation of amphibians every single day.

The Cairns Frog Hospital is small but our Curator has been receiving sick and injured frogs since August 1998. As of this writing, over 2,800 adult/subadult frogs have been turned in (plus dozens of toads and hundreds of thousands of tadpoles). Most of the injured frogs can be recovered and released back to the wild. Diseased frogs are another story, however.

We encourage members to be active at our facility but being a ‘financial member only’ still helps our work.

 

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All animals desperately need our help and Christmas is a perfect time to show you care through what you eat and where you do (or don’t) spend spend your money.

http://www.animalsaustralia.org/kinder-christmas

https://www.edgarsmission.org.au/guide-kind-christmas/

http://awfw.org/no-animal-gifts/

Here’s to a Hoppy Christmas.

 

What is a frog’s favourite year?

Leap year.

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Week 50 Fish Rescue and Welfare (UK)

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The Vegan Pantry

This week is a mixed lolly bag for you lovely readers…pick out the bits you like (mint leaves) and leave the bits you don’t (skittles)…just don’t skip the really important information on how to keep your money safe under ‘credit cards’.

Tasmania

Last weekend I got my ‘map o’ Tassie‘ out a few times.

Why does this place proudly use an animal sent extinct by humans as its logo?  tas

Talk about flogging a dead tiger.

We saw salmon farms and a salmon hatchery.  There was a Four Corners report on these recently and there  letters to the editor in The Mercury Newspaper (5 Dec 2016) about this.

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Another person talked about the horrors of fishing in general:

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Poor fish really are the forgotten ones. Even I’ve got to week 50 and didn’t have them as a category.  Many people choose to eat fish but not land meats.  Then they call themselves vegetarian. They are not vegetarian.  (And neither was Hitler, just FYI.)

Fish are animals. Vegetarians don’t eat animals.

Domain>Kingdom>Phyllum (or Division)>Class>Order>Family>Genus>Species

Like us, fish are in the Eukaryte Domain, Animalia Kingdom and the Chordata Phyllum. Like us they have intelligence and personalities and feel pain and fear.  

We focus too much on their differences and not their similarities.  Nobody likes the idea of drowning but that is effectively what happens to every landed fish.  There is nothing sporting about fishing.

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More on this next week, but if you know of anyone who is thinking it is a great idea to ‘gift an animal in the name of charity’…please refer them here. 

10 Reasons to Say NO to Farmed Animals as ‘Gifts’

(This was the charity way back in week 45)

Credit Cards

Visa PayWave and Mastercard PayPass ‘tap and go’ technology is being foisted on everyone in Australia with a credit card.  You can’t opt out.  I asked my bank, and got a ‘no’. So I called the head office of the card manufacturer itself to ask if I can disable it or if there are any banks that offer an opt out.  I got a big ‘negatory’ in response, which frankly, is bullshit.  It is my money, how dare they make it so easy to steal.

Google was much more helpful:

http://www.geekrant.org/2014/05/29/disable-paypass-or-paywave-rfid-with-a-light-globe-a-pen-and-a-drill-bit/

…my Visa cards (issued in 2016) looked a bit different on the inside to his, but were both the same as each other even though from different banks.

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 I held it over a bright lamp and marked a spot near the chip where I could see two antenna lines running close to each other….

aa-card-2.then I used a 3mm bit and drilled it out…then took it and tried at self check out…voila…The  Chip/PIN still works but PayWave is a goner.  No more free-for-all for criminals. If you don’t have a drill I have read that you could cut in from the side with scissors up to the same place and it should do the same thing.

They removed credit card signing in favour of PIN for our ‘protection’, then force this on us instead.  Why? It is a big profit generator for Visa and Mastercard.  

If your card gets stolen or skimmed, your account could be emptied before you even realise you have a problem.

This is a disgusting breach of our security, you wouldn’t walk around with wallet full of cash, but this is effectively the same thing.  

Please protect yourself and spread the word! I have made a separate post just for this topic here.

Mower

If your normally reliable mower doesn’t start (or stop) as it should and it doesn’t seem to be the fuel or the spark plug, check that the cable going from the on/off lever is actually working and moving the part which goes into to engine properly :).  

I nearly had to leave the Chordata Phyllum as I blew out my back while wrenching on the starter cord 5,400 times, pretending it was the tie of a credit card exec.

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Not many fish-specific charities to be found, though I did really appreciate the person who took it into her own hands way back around 1989 to print off postcards talking about the cruelty of the live gold fish prizes they had at the Brisbane Show back then.  In my heart I knew it was bad, but I still wanted to do it.  That caring individual helped raise my consciousness a level, and I will never forget it.

Speaking of acquistion of animals, watch the following documentary to see what the ‘land of the free’ does with its freedom to buy anything…I am proud of Australia’s restrictions on exotic (and native) animal ownership.

(Alternative working title…World’s Most Selfish Owners)

 

And last, but not least

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http://fishrescueandwelfare.org/

https://www.facebook.com/Fish-Rescue-and-Welfare-FRW-Fundraising-page-483902061677336/about/

We follow the guidelines and practices of BIAZA, (The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums).

The aim of the FRW is to help fish and fish keepers with any concerns they may have with any fish being incompatible with their living conditions, by growing too big, becoming aggressive etc. We will do our best to make better any situation that your fish and you find your selves in.
The FRW are happy to offer advice on fish keeping to individuals and groups and also, loan out emergency equipment to those in need. We rehome everything from Neons to Tank Busters.
The rescue makes no judgement on the aquariums we take fish in from, we just get them out of an unsuitable situation.

 

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I told you this week was a mixed bag!

 

 

Credit Card Security-Disabling Tap and Go

Topics covered: Disabling tap and go, destroying cvv number, engraving household items.

Credit Cards

Visa PayWave and Mastercard PayPass ‘tap and go’ RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology is being foisted on people worldwide.  In Australia, you can’t opt out.  I asked my bank, and got a ‘no’.  So I called the head office of the card manufacturer itself to ask if I can disable it, or if there are any banks that offer an opt out.  I got a big ‘negatory’ in response, which, frankly is bullshit.  It is my money, how dare they make it so easy to steal.

Google was much more helpful.

http://www.geekrant.org/2014/05/29/disable-paypass-or-paywave-rfid-with-a-light-globe-a-pen-and-a-drill-bit/

…my Visa cards (issued in 2016) looked a bit different on the inside to his, but were both the same as each other, even though from different banks.

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I held them over a bright lamp and marked a spot near the chip where I could see two antenna lines running close to each other….

aa-card-2.then I used a 3mm bit and drilled it out…then took it and tried at self checkout…et voila…

The Chip/PIN still works but PayWave is a goner.

No more free-for-all for criminals. If you don’t have a drill I have read that you could also cut in from the side with scissors up to the same place and it should do the same thing.

They removed credit card signing in favour of PIN for our ‘protection’, then force this on us instead.  Why? Bigger profits for Visa and Mastercard.  

If your card gets stolen or skimmed, your account could be emptied before you even realise there is a problem.  It allows multiple transactions of up to $100 each to be done with no verification. 

This is a disgusting breach of our security, and in the time you waste trying to sort the mess and get your money back (if you even can), you could have entered your four digit pin 5,400 times…assuming it takes ‘only’ three hours to sort out  (not including the months it might take for a refund) vs taking 2 seconds longer to enter a PIN each time.

Convenience, please!!  I think not having my money stolen is slightly more convenient than this scam.

You can get wallets that block the signal to stop you from getting skimmed, but that doesn’t help if the card itself is accessed.

Its’s not just hardened criminals we should worry about. Many otherwise honest people will often keep the cash as their ‘reward’ if they find a wallet that has simply been lost.  What is to stop them taking advantage of technology if they find your wallet and decide that they ‘deserve’ a reward at your expense, maybe some cigarettes or a tank of fuel?

Cards don’t even need to be defrauded by strangers, how many of us share a home with people we can’t quite trust?

CVV

Another good way to protect yourself from many unauthorised online transactions if your card is stolen is to memorise (and write in code somewhere) the 3 digit ‘secret’ CVV number in the signature panel of your credit card, then render these numbers unreadable on your card..I scratched it out with a flat blade screw driver then went over it with marker pen just to be double sure.

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Engraving

It doesn’t hurt to engrave valuables around the home either.  The standard format is initials, date of birth and state… eg:  AA 1/1/11 NSW.  To protect your privacy, maybe leave out the year of birth.  This will help prove the items are yours if they are stolen and subsequently recovered.  Some police stations can assist with engraving, just ask!

I’m not paranoid, I just don’t wanna give anybody a free ride at my expense.

Protect yourself and spread the word! This also appears in brief in Week 50.

https://www.choice.com.au/money/credit-cards-and-loans/credit-cards/articles/visa-paywave-and-mastercard-paypass-security

 

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Just spotted this…aa card 3.jpg…Page 4 of The Age, 9 December 2016.  Ridiculous.  These things are crime bait.

Week 49 The Movement for Compassionate Living (UK)

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Last week, two mums I work with started a conversation about their young children showing an interest in animal rights and vegetarianism, after people outside the family had told them about where meat and milk come from.

Both of the mothers were pretty unhappy about this.  They preferred their children to be kept in the dark and were actively discouraging their children from this path.

I understand being a parent already has many challenges and at first this is may look like just another unwelcome one, but surely part of being a good parent is nurturing the emotional growth of kids, not just the physical?

If kids are taught from a young age that convenience is more important than compassion, and hypocrisy is preferable to honesty, then they don’t have a very good teacher.

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Isn’t it unkind to children to feed them something they may choose not to eat if they knew the truth, especially when that ‘something’ is trashing the planet they are to inherit?

Besides the obvious and immediate animal cruelty that ‘business as usual’ entails, the actual future of the earth’s habitability is being jeopardised by animal agriculture.

It is the SINGLE greatest contributor to deforestation, water wasGolden Onion trophy, designed and produced by Georgia artist Melissa Harriste and and climate change.  It also diverts vast amounts of grains and legumes that could be more economically diverted to directly feed needy humans.

Therefore the SINGLE best way to take care of current and future generations is to take animal products off their pedestal and put plants products there instead.
Please watch Cowspiracy for a much better explanation- you will feel much smarter after watching it! (It is not a harrowing watch like some animal welfare movies so don’t be put off.)

 

I hope one day parents will feel really proud to have sentient children who have the heart to look outward, rather than just inward.  These kids are volunteering to eat veggies! download

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http://www.mclveganway.org.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/TheMovementForCompassionateLiving/

The Movement for Compassionate Living works to spread awareness about the true nature of animal exploitation, to promote alternative methods of plant-based food production and to share knowledge about how a happy, healthy and sustainable vegan lifestyle can be achieved.

MCL promotes:

– a way of life that is free of the exploitation and slaughter of sentient beings, that is possible for all the world’s people and that is sustainable within the resources of the planet.

– lifestyles that depend as much as possible on locally produced goods, thus avoiding the resource wastage and pollution of unnecessary transport and packaging.

– vegan-organic methods of horticulture and agriculture that use no animals or animal by-products and are free from artificial fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides.

– the planting of trees, especially on the land freed from livestock farming.

We publish leaflets, booklets and a 4-monthly journal, “New Leaves”, which contains articles to inspire, inform and give practical help. MCL answers queries, runs stalls and holds meetings to gather guidance from members. All labour is voluntary.

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The following is a statement by the American Dietetic Association which was published in their 2009 Position paper:

“It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the lifecycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence, and for athletes.”