Category: 1 January

Week 5 Stop Live Exports (Australia)

With Australia/Invasion Day this week, we are expected to demonstrate our patriotism by eating lamb, littering beaches and, of course, laughing at this year’s lamb ad and the ‘stupid vegos’ who get upset by it!

Most vegos aren’t personally upset at all, but they are upset of behalf of the animals.

It would be seen as weird to laugh about the suffering of some types of animals; look at the Orstraya Day furore around the Roosters’ (now ex) captain Mitchell Pearce’s ‘simulated sex act’ with a dog.  Understandably this has been met with horror by the majority of Australians.

So why is it so easy to disconnect lamb chop in front of us from the lamb behind it?  And if that lamb had spent weeks crammed in a stinking ship before meeting its gruesome end, then it is so much the sadder.

That ad was was intended us from reality… But at least its unintended consequence has been getting people talking about animal rights 🙂

Animals are not objects, every single one of them is an individual with a personality…yes, even sheep!

Very cute lamb video

Please consider supporting the following charity…you’d be unAustralian not to!


Stop Live Exports

Stop Live Exports is committed to ending the export of live animals for slaughter.

We were founded in the mid-nineties under the name of People Against Cruelty in Animal Transport (PACAT). In 2008, we decided to change our name as our focus is on ending live exports, although we do get involved in other transportation and animal welfare issues.

Approximately 70% of all animals exported live from Australia for slaughter in foreign countries will have their throats cut whilst fully conscious, but their fate is not always the worst part of the live export process. Voyages can take up to 41 days (Livestock Shipping Services, 62,857 sheep and 10,237 cattle from Fremantle to Izmar, Turkey, May 2011), depending on point of origin and destination. Average voyage length to Indonesia is eight days and voyages to the Middle East vary between 14 and 34 days, with the average being 25 days.

Over 2.5 million animals have died on route in the last 30 years, and nearly half of those have died from inanition, or failure to eat – they starved to death. The other main casue of death for cattle is respiratory illness, and for sheep, salmonellosis. Most animals die in their pens – often a long and painful death – they are not humanely euthanised.

Although the live export industry is worth around $1 billion annually, it makes up a tiny percentage of Australia’s total exports, at just 0.5%. Ending live exports would not see the loss of that $1 billion, it would see it transferred to the chilled meat export industry (3.4% of total exports) and also see more jobs and profits staying in Australia.

Our members come from all walks of life, the common goal we all share is the end of live animal export. 

Stop Live

Here are some faq’s about live export from the Animals Australia website:

Live Export FAQ’s



What is so ‘Australian’ about eating lamb anyway?

Is it the fact that the true Australians managed to get by on this continent for 50,000 years without ever having seen a sheep?… Or is it the familiar barren and degraded landscape that we have created since white invasion, a lot of it cleared in the name of sheep farming?

Is it the fact that Aussies claim they love a fair go…except where the welfare of livestock is concerned?…especially when it comes to live export for slaughter, which our kinder cousins in New Zealand have banned.

Is it species discrimination? We Aussies love our dogs so much we won’t even dock their tails (and we’d certainly never eat them); yet one of the first things a baby sheep knows is agony as its tail is removed without pain relief.

Is it the sight and smell of the livestock trucks packed with hot, fatigued and frightened animals?

…And how much of our agricultural industry is even still in Australian hands, anyway?



 One last rant while I’m rolling! 

Why do people criticise vegetarian parents for ‘inflicting their beliefs on their children’ … while no one questions the majority’s morality in serving up carcinogenic rashers of Peppa Pig, or perpetuating the myth of animals all living cleanly and happily in an ‘Old McDonalds Farm’ scenario to their unsuspecting children?  Kids will even believe fish have fingers if they see it written on a box!

How about criticising intensive animal industries instead for creating species-jumping super-germs in their filthy overcrowded slums, where animals are fed an inappropriate and sometimes cannibalistic diet, while they simultaneously erode the power of our precious antibiotics through their indiscriminate use?

It’s all about protecting the unthinking, dominant paradigm, as sponsored by big industry. And also what is most personally convenient.  It really isn’t about health.

Most of the big, strong animals on this planet grow those powerful muscles people are so proud of eating…from the protein and nutrients in a vegetarian diet…  

Don’t have the wool pulled over your eyes! 🙂



Week 4 Dr Hadwen Trust -Promoting Animal Free Medical Research (UK)


A horrifying 4,107 research procedures took place on dogs in 2014. Yes, this is still how we treat our best friends when they are out of sight and out of mind.

DHT are currently running a fundraising campaign entitled ‘Pound for a Hound’ to raise money to save dogs from medical experiments and remind people about these voiceless victims.


Test beagles are confined to individual cages, often in buildings with no natural light, so typically they live their entire lives without ever seeing the sun or sky or touching the earth with their paws. Sometimes they’re “debarked,” meaning they have their vocal cords severed so the technicians don’t have to hear them cry. They’re fed “food” that’s specially designed to minimize waste, which means that it has no flavor, so along with playing outside and interacting with people and other dogs, eating is another basic pleasure they’re deprived of for life.
In short, test beagles are born into an existence designed to be completely devoid of joy and assured of regular doses of pain and poison.


And of course it’s not only dogs, it’s all kinds of intelligent, feeling animals that suffer in the name of ‘research’ at the hands of what often demonstrates itself to be a far less intelligent, less feeling beast.


Dr Hadwen Trust - Humanity in Research

The Dr Hadwen Trust (DHT) is the UK’s leading non-animal medical research charity, which promotes humanity…while at the same time also benefitting humanity. Win-Win!

To steal from brazenly from their ‘About Us’ page…

We fund and promote the development of techniques and procedures to replace the use of animals in biomedical research.

To  achieve our aim, the DHT supports and assists scientists to implement existing techniques and develop new ones which are more human-relevant and will replace animal experiments. We award grants to scientists in universities, hospitals and research organisations following a rigorous and independent peer-reviewed selection procedure. Only those projects with the highest scientific calibre and the best potential for the replacement of animals will be awarded funding.

Funded solely by charitable donations, the DHT has awarded grants to over 170 research projects since 1971 in diverse areas of medical research including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, diabetes, kidney, heart and liver disease, to name only a few.

DHT Website

They also have a charity shop which is only stocks vegan (non animal derived) products.  Ethical bargains for a great cause…this is my idea of heaven!

dht shop 2


(ps I hope you didn’t just turn up your nose at rats? Look at these clever little cuties!)

Heartwarming rat video


Week 3 Seven Oaks Sanctuary for Wildlife (Jamaica)

‘Don’t blush, baby…’

That embarrassing Australian interview cost cricketer Chris Gayle a $10,000 fine.  As his home country is Jamaica, I thought this week it would be interesting to see how many better uses he could have found for $10,000 back home.

Lots.  A quick internet search revealed dozens of charities of all types, all crying out for help.  In Jamaica, 16% of the human population struggle below the poverty line, while also on the bottom rung of the ladder, animals suffer too, all too often at the hands of humans.

It was hard to decide between the worthy organisations I found on my etravels but since last week was dedicated to domestic animals, I thought this week I would donate to native wildlife.  I wish I could win the lottery and do so much more.

“It takes one person to start a miracle”

– Jamaican Reggae Artist, Shaggy

“A bucketload of free cash in caring hands would also help”

– Me

Seven Oaks Sanctuary is a private shelter that receives and cares for various species of Jamaican wild animals, such as Jamaican parrots, parakeets and snakes, as well as some domestic animals and exotic species of wildlife. 

It is also actively involved in combating the illegal capture and trade in Jamaican parrots and parakeets.  They have been working towards strengthening a national wildlife rescue and education network to promote the conservation of Jamaica’s biodiversity. 

SOS-Wildlife is operated under the auspices of Northern Jamaica Conservation Association.

Seven Oaks Sanctuary

So, Chris, maybe in future you could think more about these kinds of birds…

Blackbilled parrot (Amazona agilis) – endangered species endemic to Jamaica


…and think less with the other kind of snake…?!

Jamaican boa (Epicrates subflavus) in coastal forest


Week 2 Nowzad-Rescuing Stray and Abandoned Animals (Afghanistan)

As the situation in the Middle East looks set to further devolve with the latest showdown between Iran and Saudi Arabia, I thought this week would be a good time to find out more about what happens to animals in war zones.  Professor Google led me to this article, which is both interesting and inspiring and highly recommended to read.

War is Hell for Pets Too

Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel of Syria sounds like an amazing man 🙂

“I regard animals and humans in the same light,” he says. “All of them suffer pain, and all of them deserve compassion.”  I have written to him to see if it is possible to donate, and will post details in a later week if I find out how.

In the meantime, I will dedicate this week to another worthy organisation also featured in the article.

Nowzad, named after Now Zad, a war torn town in Afghanistan, was started by a caring Royal Marine, after he personally intervened to stop an orchestrated dog fight.   One of the spared dogs ‘adopted him’ and he went through a huge process to adopt the dog, whom he named ‘Nowzad’.

Fortunately he didn’t stop there and went on to create a charity of the same name.

They run the only official animal shelter in Afghanistan;

they train local people, including women, in veterinary skills;

they trap, neuter, vaccinate and release stray dogs to help control rabies and unwanted animals, this is of great benefit to both the human and animal populations;

they facilitate adoption of animals into local homes and also help reunite returned service men and women with the animals they befriended whilst on their tour of duty;

they are expanding their care to help rescue donkeys and horses from their lives of misery.

What a great charity to discover and it’s only week 2!

Nowzad – About

Nowzad – Donate



Week 1 Jirrahlinga Wildlife Sanctuary (Australia)

In the wake of the Christmas Day  2015 Great Ocean Road fire in Victoria, Australia I thought a good way to start a year’s worth of giving an ‘f’ would be to start with the poor animals who lost their habitat, and nearly their lives in the fires.

Jirrahlinga Wildlife Santuary was started in response to the Ash Wednesday fires of 1983.  Once again, their services will be desperately needed to help wildlife on the long road to recovery following this fire.

Jirrahlinga also offers a place for people with special needs to find a sense of place and purpose amongst the quiet company of animals.


Jirrahlinga Wildlife Sanctuary


This particular fire is was started by lightning, sadly most fires (about 90%) are caused by people.  Fortunately there are other people who work hard to stop them.  Many thanks to the wonderful people of the CFA who put in an incredible effort to contain it and prevent any loss of human life.

Rest in Peace, the poor animals and plants who didn’t escape.

Jirrahlinga Koala & Wildlife Sanctuary - Call (03) 5254 2484