Incredibly, in spite of everything she has witnessed in the front-line of animal rescue, Lyn White from Animals Australia has managed to maintain an overwhelmingly positive view of humanity.
I watched her talk this week and seeing her express belief in the inherent goodness of the human race was inspiring.
Mum originally sent me the video link. She was so impressed by this talk that she has ordered the dvds to send out instead of Christmas cards this year. If you aren’t on mum’s mailing list, the link is below (1 hour 40 mins)
If you feel alone, or like life is pointless, you may find some hope and direction in Lyn’s message…the message of finding meaning by becoming the best you can be.
Our mission is to provide training and education for both inmate and dog, resulting in permanent homes for the dogs, viable job skills for the inmate, and productive jobs and a law-abiding life upon release.
” I woke up during my first year of the DAWGS program. My attitude changed. My routine changed. My health changed. My priorities changed. Everything changed in my life in order for me to be responsible enough to take care of one of God’s precious creations. DAWGS gave me the wisdom to see what kind of changes were needed in my life in order to be a productive citizen again after a total of 26 years behind bars. “
Try not to cry (difficult!) while watching the following episode of ‘Castaways’, which chronicles another program of inmates training unwanted dogs (6 minutes).
It’s everybody all together that gives a damn that makes a difference
Teresa Strader, Director and Founder National Mill Dog Rescue
Last year I spent two weeks on a scientific research boat at the edge of Antarctic Peninsula. I would listen to lectures from Bob, the geologist, and he had nothing but bad news about what we are doing to the planet, and what’s up ahead. I asked him “What is it, as a citizen, that I am not getting?”
And he said “You’re not getting how bad this really is. It’s no joke, you’re getting this soft story. The reality is way more harsh.“
Mr Rollins is a switched on bloke…surely he can see that adding more people at any cost to this already creaking planet via a listing public health system is not a responsible idea?
Was it oxytocin talking?
And this my friends, is why were are in trouble.
We have the knowledge, but not the will to act on it. The sugar rush we get from doing things that make us feel good, but that harm the planet (and ourselves!) is just too strong.
We believe we can have it all, while giving up nothing.
And this suits the guys at the top of the perch just fine.
We are just believing what we are told to.
We are attentive students in a system which lionises pathological consumers, while social activists are either laughed at…or treated as dissidents.
…Why? ‘Money’ buys ‘democracy’, so money wins 🙂
Did you know that the board game we call Monopoly was first created by a lady, Elizabeth Magie as statement AGAINST monopolies?
In the early 1990s, Helen Steel was a member of a British social justice group called London Greenpeace when she began a relationship with a man she knew as John Barker. They were together for more than two years and he told her he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Then one day he disappeared. A letter arrived for her a few days later. “If I manage to sort my head out, I will be back,” he wrote.
She was both devastated and concerned about her partner’s emotional state and would spend much of the next decade looking for him. That was before she made a series of shocking discoveries: his real name, John Dines, a record of his marriage, and the death certificate of a child, Philip John Barker, whose identity he had assumed. But it was not until 2010 that she got confirmation her lover had been an undercover police officer employed as part of a secret London Metropolitan Police project to infiltrate protest groups.
Helen Steel wasn’t the only woman who found herself in this situation. Essentially, this is what happened to at least seven other British women who were lured into relationships with undercover police officers over the course of 25 years.
Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police is a book that details the infiltration of political activist groups in the U.K.
Award winning director/writer, Franny Armstrong is working on a four part mini series about it called Undercovers. She also made Mclibel, which was also about Helen Steel. At the time they were unaware of the police spies in their midst.
A.U.M. (Animals United Movement) Films and Media’s mission is to effectively and efficiently represent a harmonious voice for all life on this planet, through all forms of media. We create, consult, and support all types of media projects, from film, journalism, online outlets, to music and stage plays, that spread a creative message for peace and compassion for all beings. We take on project submissions and ideas that will have a direct result in promoting the next stage in human evolution. We feel the best way to actualise world peace and to make our planet survive, and even thrive, is through a movement towards compassionate co-existence.
Our first major film production is titled Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret and was premiered in late 2014. This documentary uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organisations are too afraid to talk about it. You can learn more about the film at www.cowspiracy.com
We are currently working on another feature length documentary called WHAT THE HEALTH, set to be released in 2016. This film uncovers the impacts of highly processed industrial animal foods on our personal health and greater community, and explores why leading health organisations continue to promote the industry despite countless medical studies and research showing deleterious effects of these products on our health.
Yes, Mr Rollins, we really are ruinous pains in the asses.
It’s only oxytocin that makes us forget it!
(We seem to forget that animals also produce oxytocin, which bonds them to their young, just the same as us. We forcibly impregnate them then steal their children. How is this fair? When people become attached to the idea of having their own children they should spare a thought for those that we treat as nothing more than baby making machines.)
Most people want to know how to stay youthful, without actually being younger…ugh imagine starting out all over again…no thanks!
I just watched this BBC documentary How to Stay Young, it doesn’t offer the secrets to time travel but it does cover best practices that look after your body as you age…and guess what most of the power is in your hands!
Even if you read my extract below I still highly recommend watching this great doco, I have left out a lot, including a test you can do on yourself to test your likelihood of ageing well-you will just have to watch it to find out how! You can also see what a 100 year old vegan looks like.
Through DNA methylation blood tests on identical twins that 75% of how we age is down to lifestyle and 25% is genetic.
Smoking, followed by stress and weight are three factors that will lead to fastest ageing.
You can be slim and fit but still have visceral fat around your organs which puts them under stress. The presenter was shocked to find she had about 6 litres of it, in spite of an active lifestyle.
The way to get rid of this hidden time bomb is to eat lots of high resistance starch called inulin…which occurs in pulses like lentils and chickpeas. This high resistance starch enters the large intestine where it produces an acid which enters to body to reduce internal fat. (You can also find inulin in other plant products.)
In America there is a Seventh Day Adventist community that lives around ten years longer than the average American.
The residents of this highly vegetarian community are part of a global study on diet.
The global study found that amongst the respondents, the healthiest were…
Animal protein (meat, fish, dairy, eggs) stimulates a hormone in our bodies that we need for growth, but as we get older, especially during middle age, this hormone speeds up ageing. The more you replace meat protein with vegetables, the slower you age.
Nut consumption also lowers the risk of heart disease. Walnuts are the best. (If you want to shell your own they are even better …use a flat screwdriver in the bottom end of the nut and twist to split the halves apart, you can then use the screwdriver to dig out the treasures within)
The presenter describes himself as a ‘committed meat eater who doesn’t know if he will be able to maintain a vegan diet’ but he decides to start off with Meatless Mondays.
Yay for him!! Many schools in the L.A. district now follow Meatless Mondays with their school lunches too. This is a good start to changing the entrenched Western expectation that every meal must contain meat to be complete. It took me a long time to break this mindset when I first went vego, so I get it. Eventually that perception does disappear though and you don’t miss it at all 🙂
I have great respect for vegetarians and vegans, in the early days especially, it takes a lot of strength to follow your heart, and I don’t think they get enough credit…or even give themselves enough credit.
Other recommendations from the documentary include:
Exercise – dance is more effective than repetitive gym work.
Reduce stress – if you can take your dog into work, do! Otherwise try exercise, meditation or ‘me’ time.
Attitude – a positive one about life and ageing really help your health.
They also talk about Laron Syndrome which dramatically slows down growth and ageing by leaving affected people’s bodies unresponsive to growth hormone. They also seem to be immune to cancer and diabetes.
Modern science is using what it has learnt from studying Laron Syndrome to try and create a medicine that slows down the ageing process.
It might be a while off…so in the meantime, dance, spend time with animals and eat
The BBC didn’t need my cash for this but I certainly will give them credit!
There is something amazing happening in New York right now which I would be happy to contribute to, but they must have a very generous benefactor and aren’t asking for donations. It is run by Be Fair=Be Vegan
A high-profile billboard and poster campaign bringing attention to the plight of animals exploited for human gains is running in NYC’s Times Square, Javits Center, and the streets of Manhattan, from August 8th to September 4th.
More on this next week.
Once again this week I honour the power of the camera and choose to support:
Vegan: Everyday Stories is a feature-length documentary that explores the lives of four remarkably different people who share a common thread – they’re all vegan. The movie traces the personal journeys of an ultramarathon runner who has overcome addiction to compete in one hundred mile races, a cattle rancher’s wife who creates the first cattle ranch turned farmed animal sanctuary in Texas, a food truck owner cooking up knee-buckling plant-based foods, and an 8-year-old girl who convinces her family of six to go vegan.
You can watch it, download it or arrange a screening of for free through the above link. My donation goes towards getting it out there. It is really, really good.
Words are powerful but sometimes they can be dismissed with disbelief or ‘victim blaming’.
Victim blaming is a devaluing act that occurs when the victim(s) of a crime or an accident is held responsible — in whole or in part — for the crimes that have been committed against them.
Pictures are very helpful. I read an article that said people are more likely to pay money into an honesty box if there was a pair of eyes watching them, even if the eyes were just 2D pictures stuck on a wall.
But a single photograph may be passed off as ‘photoshopped’ or selectively cropped.
Film footage of course is just as susceptible to fakery, but moving images from a reliable source grab more attention than words or a photo alone.
The rising tide of awareness about humanitarian, animal welfare and environmental issues owes a great deal to the rising availability of cameras and the internet.
2024: Make sure you go out wearing undies…
Big Brother and Sister will be recording everything…
We are a group of artists combining our talents and our love for animals to raise money for animal rescue causes. We raise awareness for homeless animals and animal rescue organisations — and raise funds– by organising concerts, art shows, contests and auctions. They support Operation Kindness, the largest no-kill animal shelter in Texas.
The tips below are from a separate website by one of the founders. One of her goals is to help homeless animals find homes through the use of better photography. The site even offers tips specific to photographing black furred animals.
Five Tips for Better Dog Photography
1. Start with a tired dog. Run with him, play with him, whatever you have to do to get him to relax. It will make a world of difference when it’s time to settle him down for a photo.
2. Look for the light! You want the light to fall on the dog’s face and if possible, you want a bit of a reflection in the dog’s eyes (called a catchlight). So if you’re using window light, have the dog face the window rather than turn his back to it.
3. De-clutter the background. Less is more.
4. Stay on the dog’s eye level. You need to get down so his eyes are level with yours.
ps My relative’s home security camera recently captured a car break in on his street. The self entitled shit (who robbed a worker of the tools of his trade) revved his engine loud to cover up the sound of him breaking the car glass. If you hear an unexpected engine rev at night…it may be worth checking on.
For a few years now, a game has been circulating on the internet for vegetarians to tick off comments as they hear them…
I got a quinella this week!
1/ Q: ‘But where do you get your protein from?’
A: From vegetables, the same place the animals you eat get theirs from.
I have noticed that all the ‘nutritionally curious’ questions I get relate come from ‘ad-wareness’, revolving just around the big ticket items in meat/dairy advertising…protein, iron and calcium…just like advertising has led people to equate bananas with potassium and oranges with vitamin C (even though neither of them is the best source of them), people think that animal products have the exclusive claim to the above three.
If roles were reversed I think people might find it weird if I randomly started asking them whether they think their diet contains enough fibre (no animal products contain any…unless you eat wool!) and magnesium (which is mostly sourced from vegetables and is one of the most commonly deficient nutrients in the west).
We don’t need much protein- taking in more than is needed is like throwing bricks at a house that is already built, it is both wasteful and pointless, maybe even damaging. Human breast milk, at a time when a baby is only eating this and growing FAST only averages 1.3g of protein per 100ml.
So did I! As a child I couldn’t decide whether my favourite food was pork spare ribs or Mint Slice biscuits. Most vegetarians probably enjoyed meat and never thought they would be able to live without it… until something reached deep inside and they grew from living for their base senses, to living by their higher sensitivities.
For me, personally, the change started as I was crying and behaving like a pork chop over something my boyfriend had said, then I looked at the real pork chop on my plate and thought ‘Hang on; I am all upset by something stupid, but there is a slice of dead animal in front of me…get some perspective!’ So,the next day I went to Animal Liberation (no www back then) and read all the pamphlets they had and decided there and then to stop just saying that I loved animals, and to actually live like I did.
Most people think that being vego is about ‘missing out’. I can assure you it isn’t all Dickension thin gruel, pinched guts and banishment to the social fringes.
There is heaps to be gained.
You get to try other amazing dishes that you previously would have overlooked-skip the boring butter chicken and try gobi manchurian, or dhal tadka next time you eat Indian.
You will start ripples of kindness around you. And it has been proven that doing good often leads to feeling good, both mentally and physically.
You get to meet heaps of really cool people – it is like being in the Mickey Mouse Vlub, but even better! Some people try to dismiss vegetarians as whingers, who ‘go on’ – well if you see a gross injustice going on that other people are studiously ignoring, wouldn’t you want to say something too? Would you just stand by silently and allow an old lady to get mugged right in front of you? Or even would you be comfortable to stand by and allow people to hurt an animal in front of you? Of course not.
Anyway trust me, vegos aren’t the only ones that go on – did someone pass a law insisting steaks must always be described to vegetarians as ‘big and juicy’?!
Watermelons are much bigger and juicier btw, so we win.
If you are a straight man, there are a lot of vegetarian girls who would love to meet you. There is nothing ‘unmanly’ about not eating meat. I wonder if anyone can explain just exactly what they think IS manly about eating prepackaged select animal bits from a distant factory farm. Even hunters using a gun are not exactly heroic when you think about it, are they?!
Is being a man about ‘not caring’…unless it’s about your own kids, own mates, own car, own pets etc…? Do real men also choose fossil fuels over renewables and throw litter out of the car window instead of using a bin? Come on!!
You get to play defensive omnivore bingo.
You get use Happy Cow – actually everyone does! Even if you aren’t vego, see what’s in your local area – you may just find a new adventure in a place that can satisfy both the tongue and the heart!
Our purpose is to make healthy food easy to find and more accessible.
Staffed and run by vegans and vegetarians, HappyCow was founded in 1999 as a public service to assist travellers and people everywhere find vegan, vegetarian and healthy food.
Today, our online community has grown to include members from around the world who are passionate about the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle as a healthy, compassionate, and environmentally sustainable way of living.
More than simply a restaurant and health food store guide, HappyCow is an ever-evolving online hub that serves millions worldwide as a one-stop resource for everything VEG.