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.
The skin is removed as a single piece, after the internal organs had been removed, the body was then cut up and shared, and after roasting, was eaten.
The full story:
In the Brisbane area, a native doctor singed the body hair from the body at a large fire, leaving the beard and head hair unburnt, while other members of the group sat around their own fires. 3 other native doctors dance toward the corpse, while each holds a stone knife in his mouth. If of a man, the corpse was placed face down on the ground, women were placed face up. The skin is removed as a single piece, including the fingers, toes, ears, etc. It is then spread on spears near a fire to dry. After the internal organs, including the entrails, had been removed, the body was then cut up and shared, and after roasting, was eaten, except for certain parts, that were destroyed in the fire. Some relatives, mother, widow or sister keep the collected bones. After placing the pelvis in a bag it is used to identify the ‘murderer’.(Roth, 1907: 398-401). The process is finalised by placing the skin and bones in a hollow tree.
I looked this up as I was talking to an historian friend on the weekend and he told me that some Indigenous Australian peoples occasionally consumed human flesh, usually as a part of a ceremony. And just now, I came across this news article published today:
The grotesque truth that will force you off the Paleo diet
Researchers from the University of Tübingen in Germany looked at human remains from Belgium that date back to approximately 40,500 to 45,500 years ago and found evidence of cannibalism among the Neanderthals who lived there.
The team noticed “cut marks, pits, and notches” in the bones, which indicate they had been bitten into by humans. “The remains indicate processes of skinning, cutting up, and extraction of the bone marrow”.
The author had ad-libbed her own comments of What the actual f*ck, you guys. and Ewww into the article.
But you don’t even have to go back to ancient times or ‘tribal cultures’ to find socially accepted consumption of human remains…
Mummia (mummy powder) was being sold in Europe as a medicine from the 1300’s up until the early 1900’s…
A cure for what ails you
Mummy powder was obtained by raiding ancient tombs and plundering the corpses found inside. These could include the most famous mummies in history, Egyptian mummies, or other, less well known corpses. Once the appetite for mummy powder grew, manufacturers took to digging up any old corpse for their supply. Quite literally; any desiccated corpse would do, and buyers really could not tell the difference anyway.
Once the corpse was obtained, it would be ground down into dust. The powder could be mixed with various other substances and was prescribed to treat everything from headaches, stomach ulcers, to tumors. It could be taken orally or used as a plaster or salve. It was so popular that any apothecary worth its salt carried mummy powder.
…and could be found an ingredient in paint (mummia brown) as late as the 1960’s.
‘Mummy,’ as a pigment, is inferior to prepared, but superior to raw, asphalt… it is usual to grind up the bones and other parts of the mummy together, so that the resulting powder has more solidity and is less fusible than the asphalt alone would be.
A London colourman informs me that one Egyptian mummy furnishes sufficient material to satisfy the demands of his customers for twenty years.
From our current worldview, this all may seem weird/icky…But it seems like it was normal for a lot longer than it has been abnormal. At least the humans were free range! We do some absolutely horrible things today in the name of animal agriculture, that should NOT be considered acceptable.
I hope that someday all the ‘ewww…what the actual f*ck, you guys’ things that we now consider normal to do to animals and each other in the name of greed will also someday be banished to a barbaric footnote from the past.
For this to happen, we need
People to stop pretending everything is ok just because social norms say that it is.
People need to start using, rather than ignoring the empathy and moral compass that we were blessed with. We also need to understand that morality and empathy are by no means limited to humans. Many studies have found animals capable of displaying both, and not only to others of their own kind.
We need to stop thinking that we are superior and our needs matter most. The selfish individualism of deliberately adopting a high protein diet is an example of putting personal desire over greater good. The elevation of humans above other species is an artifice created by us, for us. I don’t believe in karma but I can’t believe so many people who claim to do nothing to try and improve theirs!
‘Speciesism’ needs to become as unpalatable to caring people as so many other ‘isms’ are. Hopefully from there, wider change can ripple out.
Animal derived consumables (meat, milk, eggs, leather) etc need to become more of a rarity and less of a ‘default’ choice by mainstream consumers.
Don’t be a Norm. Change the norm.
Life. Make it count.
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. Ralph Waldo Emerson
I think we can aim a bit higher than improving just one life!
So tuck into parsnips, not people; corn cobs not cows; lentils not lambs; veggie burgers not veal and peppered broccoli not Peppa Pig.
Peppered broccoli recipe -please ad lib the quantities to requirements-this is based on the famous Singapore Pepper Crab recipe.
In heated oiled frying pan or sandwich press (my preference), add Broccoli florets, lots of ground pepper (I use high speed blender to mill peppercorns)
When broccoli is cooked, turn off heat and stir in minced garlic and vegetarian oyster or stirfry sauce. Serve with rice.
You can also do edamame this way as a snack, you still don’t eat the skins though.
Butt who knows, with the current fad for zombies and skull tattoos…
…one day we might go full circle and find ourselves back on the menu again?!
There are 7+ billion of us who will all die one day…that is a lot of bodies to get rid of…and a lot of meat that is going to waste.
We take from the earth in life and don’t even give back in death. Cremation uses fossil fuels and emits a literal stack of pollution. Deep burial doesn’t feed the earth. Maybe in future we could be turned into food for carnivorous animals whose traditional hunting grounds we have usurped?! Or at very least we could be turned into fertiliser.
Promission is a new concept which involves freeze drying the body, which can then be powdered down easily. Plants can grow in this powder, unlike the ashes from cremation.
BUT I also do like those little freeze dried fruits coated in chocolate…hmm…now there’s an idea…!
http://www.haytap.org/ (Text below is from Wikipedia. This has been the most difficult charity so far arrange a donation from overseas to.)
HAYTAP rejects the idea of animals as property, and opposes the use of animals in any form: It is against raising animals for their furs,selling them as pets, hunting them and making them a trade commodity. It promotes a vegan diet.
HAYTAP supports the presence of stray animals at a tolerable level and the appropriate prevention of strays.
HAYTAP opposes animal fighting, seal hunting, bullfighting and works to stop the use and abuse of animals in certain display contexts like zoos, circuses, dolphinariums and roadside exhibits.
Through posters, HAYTAP attempts to draw public attention to animal rights issues like abandoned pets, street dogs and cats, roadkill, fur clothing, emotion in animals, anti-hunting and captive animals in zoos, circuses and dolphinariums.
HAYTAP advises municipalities and governments on legislation to improve animal rights. It met Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in February 2011 and obtained his commitment to take action regarding animal rights.
Most people around here sacrifice animals once in a year -fest of sacrificing animals. This is a must for Muslim people who can afford it. The operation -cutting off the animal’s head- is performed mostly in the streets.
My major concern is “how do people think that they have the right to kill and eat a living soul”. It is very likely in the case of militarist structures. How soldiers feel the right to “kill the enemy”.
Here is the complete write up from a Turkish vegetarian.
NSW and ACT acted to ban greyhound racing. That’s now two big paws up to the Liberal Party this year. Federally, they also outlawed testing of cosmetics on animals and the sale of new products tested on animals overseas. Who knows what other wonders the future may hold! (Derryn Hinch in the senate could be a very good thing for further animal justice).
As the week has rolled on Premier Mike Baird has been under enormous pressure from the industry (who can talk), but if only they could talk, he would be getting even more kudos from the animals he has moved to protect. Fortunately an industry vet who can talk and knows his stuff has spoken up today supporting the finding industry is beyond salvation.
A former greyhound racing insider is lifting the lid on horrific animal cruelty and corruption in the sport, saying what he has witnessed shows the sport is incapable of cleaning itself up.
I was disgusted by what I witnessed. I saw some horrific injuries and I saw some of the worst aspects of human behaviour too, said Dr Bryant, who was an on-track vet in 2014 and 2015.
Dr Bryant was on the inside of the industry when the sport was thrown into turmoil by revelations on the ABC’s Four Corners program of widespread live baiting in February 2015.
I can remember there was a lot of nervousness from management of Greyhound Racing NSW.
They were in a way relieved the program only focused on live baiting because [there were] other issues they were worried about, like money laundering that takes place and the horrific injuries and wastage in the industry.
When I left Greyhound Racing NSW, my view of the industry was that it was a very cruel and corrupt industry.
(In other news: a matador was gored to death in Spain. Apparently the crowd was ‘horrified’…but didn’t they pay the ticket price specifically to see blood and misery? They should have offered to pay double! This is the first matador to die in this unfair ‘fight’ in 30 years; they are far more likely to die in a car crash.)
I chose to support this week’s charity as it no doubt very much in need at this time, but I do it with a grain of sand… firstly, it annoys me that good people are constantly called on to clean up the mess after animal users (this includes people who buy baby animals as pets and dump them as their novelty fades) and abusers have had their fill.
Animal carers understandably want to rescue as many animals as they can so they are unwilling to ‘rock the boat’ and do anything that discourages needy animals from being brought to them…The users/abusers skip off unscathed after dumping their unwanted animals at sanctuaries/shelters and get the feel-good glow that they have ‘done the right thing’…but…
Is there a donation to go with it, to cover the significant ongoing co$ts? …and…
Do they learn from their failure as carers and use this experience to educate others?
I’m also not supportive of encouraging people to adopt animals willy nilly, just to prevent them being euthanased:
Feeding pet animals costs the environment dearly. Kangaroo meat means another animal has died specifically so a pet can eat. This is not right.
The money spent on keeping one pet, might be better spent on a charity that looks after the needs of a greater number of desperately needful animals. There are some great charities already on this fabulous blog and 23 more to come!
People are living closer and closer together and having a dog barking in a residential environment is not fair on neighbours.
Many people just don’t have what it takes to be own any animal, let alone something with high needs such as a dog. The Victorian government recognises this and has created an awareness campaign Making Victoria better for pets . After surveying 2,362 dog, cat, bird, rabbit, rat, mouse, guinea pig, ferret, lizard, snake, turtle, and frog owners in Victoria, they found that many pets aren’t getting the care they need to stay happy and healthy. And this was amongst people decent enough to take the survey!
Our mission is to save the lives of Greyhounds and reduce the mass wastage that currently occurs by promoting awareness about the welfare of Greyhounds and advocating their suitability as pets and companion dogs.
Through a continued program of promotion and education, Friends of the Hound Inc. aims to dispel the public misconceptions about Greyhounds and change the perception of the breed as “just a race dog”. The organisation works tirelessly to rescue Greyhounds and rehome them into suitable, permanent homes as family pets and companions.
It is all about the dogs.
This week is the running of the bulls in Pamploma. There is a recent article where you can read about it here.
If you are still unsure whether bullfighting is something you support or not, there is a very well written article here.
I will leave bullfighting with those links as it is already well known and well documented. It is propped up by tourism, so if you are tempted to attend, please make sure you go in with full knowledge of what you are supporting.
Sadly, I have been volunteering for years in animal welfare and since I was 15 have carried the heavy knowledge in me that bullfights are not the only brutalising of animals done in Spain (or the world) in the name of entertainment, usually under the guise of ‘cultural tradition’.
How does a recently made up tradition EVER trump the rights of an animal to live free from abuse such as is detailed below?
The Pero Palo Festival In Villanueva de la Vera, Spain
Every year, a terrified donkey is violently forced through the streets of the village of Villanueva de la Vera in Spain, surrounded by drunk, rowdy, young men. The men think it is great fun to beat, kick, bite, shove, drag and crush the terrified donkey, as they all laugh as it is done. The animal regularly collapses from exhaustion and fright, only to be forced back to its feet by violence from the mob of drunken men. Guns are fired close to the panicked animal, alcohol is forced down it’s throat and it is ridden by the heaviest men in the village.
The ordeal often leaves the donkey badly injured or crushed to death. After this mental and physical torture has finally ended, the shattered and traumatised donkey is forced in to a trailer and taken away to meet an unknown fate.
Animal charity campaigners, who work at the only donkey sanctuary in Spain, were refused when they asked if their vet could check the donkey over after the festival. A member of the charity, Jose Rodriguez Gil, said “”When I tried to film the donkey I was repeatedly threatened. They knew very well that what they were doing was cruel.”
Toro De La Vega – The Lancing Of The Bull
The Toro De La Vega is a cruel and bloody Spanish festival which takes place in the streets of Tordesillas.
A Bull is chased through the streets and over a bridge in the town by in excess of one hundred men and youths armed with sharp lances. Once over the bridge, the animal is attacked by the men thrusting their lances in to him. The Bull tries desperately to get away from this agonising torture, but the poor animal has lances repeatedly plunged in to him until his flesh is torn so badly, and he is bleeding so heavily, that he can eventually go no further.
On his collapse, his testicles are cut off, often while he is still alive. This is all watched by rowdy and cheering crowds. This spectacle in this Spanish festival is considered suitable entertainment for the whole famly, with many parents taking their children. This horrific tradition was illegal for years, but, incredibly, it was again legalised in 1999!
The Tradition In Spain Of Hanging Spanish Galgos
The Galgo is a Spanish Greyhound used by hunters in Spain. It is traditional in Spain at the end of the hunting season for the hunters to kill their dogs, as they do not want to look after them when it is not hunting season. Sadly, this tradition is still very much alive.
The most traditional way the hunters kill their dogs is by hanging them from a tree. There they die a prolonged, frightening extremely distressing death.
Fortunately the mindless cruelty of another stupid Spanish festival was outlawed in 2002.
Celebrated on the fourth Sunday of January, Goat throwing was a festival in Manganeses de la Polvorosa, province of Zamora, Spain where a group of young men threw a live goat from the top of a church, based on local legend. A crowd below would then catch the falling goat with a canvas sheet.
Some survived the fall and some did not. Not much attention is given to the death of this animal, the fiesta began regardless.
The goat was then paraded through the streets on the shoulders of party goers.
(Extracted from http://www.marbella-guide.com/goat-throwing-in-spain/ and Wikipedia)
This week I am happy to donate to AnimaNaturalis. God (what God?!!) knows they need it.
In times of need of, most us pray to a God to show us mercy, but here we are, with the power of virtual Gods on this earth, and look how incapable of mercy we are. What happened to ‘do unto others?’
If anyone wonders why I care so much about animal issues when there is also so much human suffering in the world, let this week’s topic form a large part of my answer to you.
From Wikipedia, as their site is in Spanish:
AnimaNaturalis is an international non profit animal rights organization whose mission is to “Establish, promote and protect the rights of all animals in Spain and Latin America. These rights include the right to life, liberty, and not to be tortured stop being considered property.” It was founded in March, 2003 by Leonora Esquivel Frías and Francisco Vásquez Neira.
AnimaNaturalis has offices in Spain, as well as several Latin American countries (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Venezuela).[3
AnimaNaturalis speaks out against the use of the animals as food (concerns with industrial farms, industrial fishing and foie gras); in laboratories (animal testing); to wear as clothing (concerns with using fur, leather, silk, wool and feathers); as entertainment (circuses, zoos, aquariums, sports, hunting, and racing); and raises awareness about cruel traditions such as rodeos, bullfighting, cockfighting, and dogfighting.
Companion animal programs include education about issues like keeping pets out of hot cars, the importance of spaying and neutering, and pet adoption. They also raise awareness about the connection between abuse of animals and violence toward humans, including children.