Category: 11 November

Week 47 AMRRIC: Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities (Australia)

My partner is currently reading a book called The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia.  The thesis of the book is that that Aboriginal people were proactive land managers who had long controlled the land until much of it was as shaped by humans as the English countryside was.

biggest-estate

As I think I understand it, a ‘home among the gum trees’ is only a relatively modern phenomenon in the Australian landscape.  Once there was much thick forest.  Millenia of human habitation and fire-farming practices changed the landscape to meet the needs of the first people.  When white people arrived and helped themselves to the land and trampled over traditional practices, the previously maintained environment turned into the scrubby woodlands, dominated by fire-tolerant species, that we think of as ‘untouched Australia’ today.

Apparently gum trees actually ‘want’ to catch fire as then they can burn out the competition around them.  (Strips of bark peel down like wicks inviting flame into the oily, combustible canopy. The trees can reshoot by coppicing after fire.)  I pity the poor plants, animals and tree changers that get in their way.

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Most Australians know little about our land, and even less about our first people.

Like Tim Flannery and John Doyle pointed out in their series “Two on the Great Divide”, Australia is an incredibly divided nation.  We could all learn so much if we let ourselves.   Yet whether it’s white guilt, fear of rejection, fear of saying something ‘wrong’ or just complacency, sadly it feels easier to sit safely on one side of the divide, shut our eyes, put our hands over our ears and sing ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ instead.

The LGBTQIA community has worked hard and positioned itself well to change social norms and gain not only widespread acceptance, but also admiration. Society can change for the good.

Change has to be driven from both sides of the divide.

Let’s start by changing the constitution, changing to a more inclusive flag and changing the nature of Australia Day.

flag

Oh, and let’s stop climbing Uluru. Of course the land was here billions of years before any of us.*  But Aborigines were here tens of thousands of years before the rest of us.

Nobody would enter a traditional Japanese person’s home with their shoes on.

If the traditional owners of Uluru ask us to please not climb Uluru, then surely we should be courteous enough to comply? 

Let’s build bridges, rather than burning them.

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/good-news/aboriginal-mans-gentle-rebuke-to-two-elderly-women/news-story/29d6902afef3662b73999015fb2df2fb

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I like the sound of this organisation.

amrric

http://www.amrric.org

About AMRRIC

Indigenous kids holding a camp dog

AMRRIC (Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities) is a not-for-profit charity that uses a One Health approach to coordinate veterinary and education programs in Indigenous communities.

Our One Health approach recognises the inextricable links between human, animal and environmental health and wellbeing. By working with remote Indigenous communities to improve the health of their pets, we are helping to create healthier, safer and happier communities.

In the last financial year, AMRRIC has facilitated veterinary programs in 92 different remote communities and homelands.

Our work:

By improving the health and welfare of companion animals in a community, AMRRIC’s animal health programs contribute to an improvement in human health

Our work:

  • assists with the control of dog populations through veterinarian-led desexing programs (addressing problems of noise, scavenging and attacks on humans)
  • empowers Aboriginal communities by providing the knowledge, training and resources that enable them to take responsibility for their animals’ health and welfare
  • delivers education programs to school students, community members, environmental health practitioners, animal management workers and government and non-government organisations about all aspects of animal health and welfare in remote Indigenous communities
  • educates Indigenous communities specifically about parasites and diseases in companion animals, leading to a reduction in the transmission of disease from animals to people (zoonoses)
  • partners with government at all levels to develop animal health and welfare policy relevant to remote Indigenous communities
  • contributes to research programs across Australia and internationally, with the Cancer Genome Project in Cambridge, UK, and its work on Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumour, a common disease in dogs in remote Australian communities.

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* If for some reason cultural respect isn’t convincing enough, how about this:

…the path left by rubber from the soles of climbers’ shoes is visible from kilometres away and some tourists leave litter and damage the rock. Moreover, extreme heat and a lack of toilet facilities mean that large amounts of evaporated, concentrated human urine flow into the area’s waterholes whenever it rains.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/offtrack/climbing-the-rock:-why-do-tourists-still-climb-uluru/6603640

 

Update: I just woke up to find a report on a really good essay by Stan Grant 🙂

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-19/stan-grant-on-‘the-australian-dream’/8038826

Week 46 LAPA Helping Animals in Russia

             Even though the election was rigged, as the great man himself declared,                          America has spoken.

trump-dog

But what about those who can’t speak?

The United Arab Emirates recently introduced animal welfare laws.

camel
“Does this mean we get to ride on tourists’ backs in the searing heat instead?”

Dubai: A proposed UAE national animal welfare law to protect animals on farms, in zoos and in the wild, possibly as early as by the end of the year, is earning high praise from one of the top international animal welfare organisations, International Fund for Animal Welfare(IFAW)

It’s hard to believe that they didn’t exist already.

Russia, home to Trump’s bestie, is a country that has no animal welfare laws at all.

trump-putin-horse
“I’ll love you forever if you make life better for all animals (except that f*ing bald eagle).”

The animal welfare situation in Russia is at a critical level and needs to change.

There is no animal welfare legislation in Russia.  As a result, there is no culture of sterilising, vaccinating or de-worming pets and breeding is not regulated. This causes overpopulation and diseases. Sadly, tens of thousands of cats and dogs are abandoned every year.  The ones that survive breed, others die of hunger, illness, cruelty and severe weather conditions.

If you watch this wonderful presentation by Lyn White, it is clear that many people care about animals, they just often don’t know where to begin.

Enshrining animal rights in law would be a good place to start.

Come on Mr Putin, you can do anything!

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Fortunately there are people out there for whom empathy already speaks louder than apathy .

http://www.lapauk.org/en/

WHAT WE DO

Our work has two areas of focus:

SAFE STERILISATION OF ANIMALS

We arrange and finance the sterilisation of stray cats and dogs and animals who live in shelters.  We also subsidise the cost of sterilisation of pets owned by the disadvantaged, pensioners, disabled people and students. Find out more about Project Sterilisation…

CHILDREN’S EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMME

We conduct lessons at Russian schools to pupils aged between 6 and 15, where we discuss issues of care and wellbeing of animals, teach children how to look after pets and what happens to them if they are abandoned.  The lessons are conducted both in Russian and the English language. Find out more about our Educational Programme…

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Mr Trump has described the Paris [climate] Agreement as “unbelievable”, promising to remove the US from its signatories, and also bizarrely claimed global warming is a hoax perpetrated by China. 

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/donald-trump-election-us-global-warming-climate-change-fossil-fuels-petrol-oil-a7402276.html

 

Dog help all us dumb animals.

 

uncle-sam
Uncle Sam showing how he feels.

 

Week 45 A Well-Fed World (USA/International)

I am learning about some great initiatives out there as I follow the great bread-crumb also known as the internet.

Today I got an email about this debate, held on Monday 31 October 2016 by Intelligence Squared in London’s Royal Institute.

LET THEM EAT MEAT: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH REARING AND KILLING ANIMALS FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION

Speaker for the motion

AA Gill

The Sunday Times’s star restaurant and TV critic. He has also worked as an artist and a chef. In October 2009, Gill sparked controversy by reporting in his Sunday Times column that he had shot a baboon dead to ‘get a sense of what it might be like to kill someone’. He says he will eat anything that doesn’t have a birth certificate.

Speaker against the motion

George Monbiot

Writer best known for his environmental and political activism. He writes regularly for The Guardian and his most recent book is Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding. Having wavered for years between eating and not eating meat, he now claims to be 97% vegan (he eats roadkill and the odd egg or bit of fish).

 

Apparently ‘against’ won :-).  Nice one, George!

Looking up George Monbiot led me to the website of the Jewish Vegetarian Society

jewish-vegetarian-society

JVS is an international charity, dedicated to promoting a kinder society, without killing animals for food, where mankind is not cruel to fellow beings, both human and animal, as expressed in the Torah.

We advocate a vegetarian world which protects the environment, promotes human health and conserves natural resources. All of our events are 100% vegan.

JVS in turn led me to Planeat

planeat
Nothing changes the planet as much as the way we eat.

PLANEAT is the story of three men’s life-long search for a diet, which is good for our health, good for the environment and good for the future of the planet. With an additional cast of pioneering chefs and some of the best cooking you have ever seen, the scientists and doctors in the film present a convincing case for the West to re-examine its love affair with meat and dairy.

 

…whose website provided a link to A Well-Fed World which immediately became this week’s feature, and an instant favourite of mine…I love multi-tasking!

awfw

What We Do

A Well-Fed World is a hunger relief and animal protection organisation chipping away at two of the world’s most immense, unnecessary and unconscionable forms of suffering… the suffering of people hungry from lack of food, and the suffering of animals used and abused for food.

We have a positive, practical, and action-led approach that produces immediate assistance for those in need and structural change for lasting results.

In addition to our direct programs, we raise funds, partner with, and promote innovative, highly effective projects that strengthen:

  • plant-based feeding & farming programs
  • farm animal care & rescue efforts
  • vegan advocacy & community building

Thanks in part to our donated office space and internet, our combined overhead and fundraising costs are less than 5%.

The result is that more of your donation goes directly to programs. In particular cases, 100% of funds are sent directly to the projects in need.

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Along the way I found out that world number 1 tennis player Novac Djokovic recently opened a vegan restaurant called Eqvita in Monte Carlo 🙂

To all this, I say, LOVE!

Novak