Category: Environment

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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frog

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 49 The Movement for Compassionate Living (UK)

vegan_kids

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.”

 

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

 

Week 41 World Animal Day (International)

Today is the 4th of October which means it’s…..

 World Animal Day!

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THE GOAL OF WORLD ANIMAL DAY IS TO RAISE THE STATUS OF ANIMALS IN ORDER TO IMPROVE WELFARE STANDARDS AROUND THE GLOBE

To achieve this, we encourage animal welfare organisations, community groups, youth and children’s clubs, businesses and individuals to organise events in celebration of World Animal Day. Involvement is growing at an astonishing rate and it’s now widely accepted and celebrated in a variety of different ways in many countries, with no regard to nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.

Events are organised under the World Animal Day Umbrella by being publicised on this website and advertised using the World Animal Day brand and logo. Global branding effectively ties all events together and, over the years we have found this approach to be particularly helpful to grass roots groups who struggle to attract media attention in order to raise awareness of their work and fundraise. This draws attention to animal issues and makes them front page news – a vital catalyst for change.

We currently have a team of 93 Ambassadors representing 75 countries around the globe.  (This is a great way to find out about people and organisations around the world- from Andorra to Zimbabwe- that genuinely care for animals).

Cyprus

CYPRUS – STELLA STYLIANOU
Animal Rescue & Protection Association (ARGOS)

Stella says: Animal awareness in Cyprus was non-existent before the World Animal Day events began. With each year that World Animal Day is celebrated, awareness grows and attitudes are slowly changing as people begin to see animals in a different light. 

One of the most significant statements that will forever remain imprinted in my mind was when a local village farmer visited me at the shelter following one of our World Animal Day events. A German Shepherd dog had wandered onto his farm and he brought him to our shelter.  He said that in years past, he would have shot any stray dog on his farm, dig a hole and bury it and that would be that but, he continued, “you are doing something truly wonderful and now I cannot bring myself to do such a thing.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – PAUL LUGHEMBE
Safe Environment for All (SEA)

Paul says: Our World Animal Day Campaign has increasingly reduced the abuse of animals during transportation, the killing of dogs and the mass killing of cats in the city of Goma and surrounding areas. World Animal Day is slowly swaying the attitudes of people towards respecting the rights of all animals wherever and in whatever circumstances. 

Nepal

NEPAL – KHAGESHWAAR SHARMA
Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust

Khageshwaar says: I’m delighted to tell you that World Animal Day is now being celebrated by government institutions in Nepal, such as the District Livestock Services Office, with whom we liaise to commemorate the day. 

World Animal Day events encourage people to work together to sensitise communities, making them aware of the needs of animals they live among, and also of how they can improve their lives. Creating an outlook that respects all animals is a slow process and World Animal Day acts as an annual marker to measure progress.

Australia

AUSTRALIA – PAM AHERN
Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary

Pam says: For as long as I can remember animals have shared my world and, indeed, throughout human history animals have been trotting along beside us; offering comfort, helping forge nations and a never ending source of wonder. I just love World Animal Day and the fact it is celebrated around the globe.  The day gives animal lovers an opportunity to unite, celebrate and empower much needed change for our animal friends.

To coincide with World Animal Day, the good people of Edgar’s Mission have devised

Be Kind to Animals Week.

They in turn have found a wonderful ‘lambassador’ for 2016 in Tamara Kenneally who is an animal photographer and founder of Lefty’s Place animal refuge in Benalla, Victoria.

Image result for lefty's place logo

 

I will finish with a letter I found on another Wordpress blog that seems a fitting treasure to have found on World Animal Day.

Letter to a new vegan

This was my submission for Letters to a New Vegan, a book that is being compiled by longterm vegans to welcome and support those who are just starting out. 


Dear new vegan,

Welcome. Speaking not only for myself but, boldly, for the billions of sentient beings who currently suffer at human hands, and for the straining, groaning planet, and for the people who go hungry and thirsty because we don’t know how to share: thank you for opening your eyes and acting on what you see.

I hope you will find your vegan journey to be endlessly inspiring, fulfilling and rewarding as do I and so many others I know who have chosen this path too. My motto is ‘the best things in life are cruelty-free’ and I believe this is self-evident the moment we embark on living in tune with our deepest values. There are no barriers once we have made up our minds and our hearts. Being vegan opens up possibilities while denying us nothing.

Any time you feel disconnected from people around you who still buy in to the relentless tide of mainstream thinking, remember your deep connection to those whom you have spared. Let yourself feel the lightness with which you tread and be lifted up by it. No injustice can end while we as individuals take part in it. You, for your part, are free of that now.

Of course, it is not a vegan world, and while this remains the case there is much to be done. There are countless ways to help spread the vegan consciousness, and we can fit what we do to our talents, our passions, and the time available to us. A great way to start is simply by speaking your truth. I was quiet about my veganism for the first few years, having been schooled in the art of keeping a low profile as a vegetarian growing up. I was the only one in my family and the only one of my friends bar one. I learnt to say “it’s a personal choice thing” and “I couldn’t hurt a fly”, which let people off the hook: they could attribute my choice to my sentimentality or unusual sensitivity, without looking at themselves. But about a year in to being vegan, a feeling of courage and confidence began to blossom inside me as I realised that my previous ‘live and let live’ philosophy was leaving the victims out of the equation… It wasn’t hard once this realisation dawned. I began to feel that being vegan wasn’t even about me any more. So I began to speak up, looking for bridges to build and sparks of consciousness to ignite, entirely bypassing my natural reticence and finding my true voice – for the voiceless. I hope it will be the same for you, and you find your voice at your own pace and in your own way too.

Becoming vegan sadly involves becoming aware of some heart-breaking truths, and this can be very painful to carry with us. But amidst it all – all the despair, the disbelief, the anger – we have every reason to be joyful, because we are making a difference every day. We are taking a stand for freedom and that means something for every being who is not forcibly brought into this world to be exploited and violently destroyed as a product for us to use.

The world we dream of is a paradise indeed. Space for all species to coexist, free from anthropocentric domination, suffused by a compassionate human consciousness, free from the pathological ideology of ‘carnism’ which entails an arbitrary disregard for the most basic interests of certain species even while preaching values such as kindness and non-violence in other walks of life.

You are part of this future, which need not be a far-off fantasy: all it needs is enough people to make the connection as you have. The world is vegan if we want it!

Ahimsa,

Catherine

 

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ahimsa: a Buddhist and Hindu and especially Jainist doctrine holding that all forms of life are sacred and urging the avoidance of violenceahimsa

Week 40 Daktari Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage (South Africa)

yordy

-Yordanos Haile-Michael, survivor and inspiration. (Women’s Weekly, October 2016)

Her story is featured in the soon to be released Australian film:

“The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe”

What an amazing lady; first to have the courage to ask her violator why he did what he did, and then to find it in her heart to feel sorry for him.

His excuse …

“Because everybody was doing it”

…sadly explains a lot of human history.

It is often easier to follow the crowd, rather than our own conscience.

Another lady provides inspiration with a much quoted quote …

dangerous-phrase

-Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

…that demands abstinence from this excuse.

It urges us to take ownership of our actions and ask questions.

To everyone who seeks to ‘be the change they wish to see’…

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…Rear Admiral Grace Hopper salutes you!

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I couldn’t find an animal charity listed in Eritrea, though I am sure there many wonderful people there who are spreading compassion in their own way.

I was really happen to learn about this wonderful organisation in South Africa.

daktarihttp://www.daktaribushschool.org/what-is-daktari

OUR MISSION

The Mission of DAKTARI is to inspire and educate underprivileged children to care for their environment through the medium of a wildlife orphanage. Through the combination of the bush school and the Wildlife Orphanage, DAKTARI has developed an immersive educational experience for local children to learn about the wildlife around them, the environment, anti-poaching, and a wide variety of other issues, right in the middle of the bush. Newsletter DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage

daktari3

The past two months have been very busy! Animal releases, new staff, community work, and work placements – our team has been very busy!

 

 

 

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. Mark Twain

Week 38 Plastic Oceans Foundation (UK)

Could plastic be simultaneously the best, and worst, invention of the modern world?

Takizo Iwasaki’s 121st birthday

Unfortunately you can get too much of a good thing and its disposable ubiquity is tipping the scales from excellence …

gold-turd

 

…to excremence.

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You can even buy plastic food…but I guess plastic turds had to start somewhere! emoji

What happens when all that novelty plastic goes manky? You chuck it in the bin and it becomes landfill, cos unless it has a recycling number, it can’t be recycled, unlike Mr Number 1 himself, Pete Repeat.pete

Repeat?

I. SAID. YOU CHUCK IT IN THE BIN AND…hang on.  What is this?

In the near future new Australian technology will allow it to reprocessed into useable fuel?

Facility to convert non-recyclable plastic to fuel planned for Canberra

A facility that converts non-recyclable plastics into liquid fuel is being planned for Canberra.

The proposed facility would be built in the industrial estate of Hume and divert 200 tonnes of plastic from landfill each day.

“It breaks plastics down into a sludge and converts it into road-ready diesel and petrol,” FOY Group managing director Stuart Clark said.

“Plastics originally come from oil in the first place so it’s really just reversing it — chemically it’s not a major change.”

Australians consume more than 1.5 million tonnes of plastic each year, with much of that ending up in waterways. (That is about 62.5kg each)

Obviously not producing the plastic in the first place is the best option, but like I opined last week,  most of us can’t resist the temptations of life’s pleasures, no matter how harmful (or petroleum based) they are. Or how well meaning or aware we are.

Until we come up with a better alternative, if this turns plastic waste into a reusable resource, that is a GOOD THING.  If it keeps shale oil in the ground, that is another GOOD THING.

If it is a widespread success it may even provide a source of income to people who can collect and return waste. Let’s start them off with a container tax.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  It is still the energy intensive third best option, but at least recycling of former non-recyclables may at last be here.

Image result for barbie campervan retro

 

Barbie and her campervan might get to go on that road trip after all …

… they’ll be fuelling it!

 

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Until we do learn to treat plastic as the precious menace it is, anything we can do to keep it out of the oceans is a GOOD THING.  A lot of the city flooding throughout Asia is attributed to clogging of stormwater systems by plastic.

Thailand is considered to have the world’s highest per capita consumption of plastic bags…averaging eight per person per day, or 2,920 per year; compared to 80 per person, per year, in France.

The nation has a thriving street food culture with millions eating or buying their meals on the pavement each day. There once was a time when most of these dishes would be served wrapped in biodegradable banana leaves. But no longer.

It is a shift familiar across the region, with devastating results for the world’s oceans.

In a recent report, an American conservation group Ocean Conservancy estimated that just five countries — China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand — were responsible for as much as 60 percent of plastic waste dumped into the ocean.

Narong Ruengsri, head of Bangkok city authority’s drainage department, said removing so much plastic from the canals and drainage system is a constant battle.

“Every day we go fish out around 2,000 tons of waste from the drainage channels,” he told AFP.

http://www.thenational.ae/world/southeast-asia/flood-threat-as-plastic-bags-clog-bangkoks-sewers

plastic
Plastic Oceans Foundation

We want to change the world’s attitude towards plastic within a generation.

The Plastic Oceans Foundation is a UK charity which has been established to provide a powerful and effective platform that wants to change the world’s attitudes towards plastic.  Plastic Pollution has become a man-made global catastrophe. Over the last 60 years plastic has become central to our lives and as a result mankind has subjected the planet to a tsunami of plastic waste. The scale of the problem is exponential.

Plastic Oceans Foundation was formed 7 years ago by Sonjia Norman (Director of Plastic Oceans, Hong Kong) and Jo Ruxton (Film Producer: World Wildlife Fund, Blue Planet, A Plastic Ocean).

plastic-oceans
http://www.plasticoceans.org/film/

 

Money is best best carrot/stick to change behaviour.

If plastic becomes either more expensive, less will be produced.

If it becomes more valuable, less will end up as waste.

Week 37 Cowspiracy/A.U.M. Films (USA)

< Another year, another tax dollar spent unwisely on my behalf >

tax-dollars

With the health budget blown out second only to welfare, it is good timing that the AMA is questioning the benefits of unlimited funding of IVF…so am I!

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Medicare contributes about $5000 per cycle to recipient of IVF.  There is currently NO upper limit on age or recipients, or number of treatments received.  

The cost per successful IVF baby for women over 45 is about $200,000.

That is bad enough, but since there is only a 1-6% (fresh vs frozen embryo) success rate with women over 40… what are all the ultimately unsuccessful treatments costing taxpayers on top of this?

! The only eggs that are guaranteed to grow fertile are the nest eggs of IVF providers !

Henry Rollins was on The Project (5/9/16) discussing this, and his take on it was…

“It’s a lot of money, but when you see the kid’s happy, the mum’s happy…I think it’s worth it… you can’t put a price on that….”.

What?!

Yes you bloody well can!! I can think of five thousand better uses for my tax money.

Number 1/5000: The Environment, perhaps?!  How is it that something that affects us all, present and future, is the LOWEST funded of all categories?!

In the same show, following a story about dissent within the Climate Change Authority, Mr Rollins waved his environmental (black) flag…

Henry Rollins, The Project:

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.

henry-rollins-project
“What is it, as a citizen, that I am not getting?”

Umm…

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?

Image result for oxytocin images

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 🙂

The Landlord's Game

Did you know that the board game we call Monopoly was first created by a lady, Elizabeth Magie as statement AGAINST monopolies?

The spy who loved me

http://www.smh.com.au/good-weekend/helen-steel-and-john-dines-the-spy-who-loved-me-20160318-gnltdv.html

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.

Mystery male: Helen Steel with the man she knew as John Barker, a police officer who infiltrated London Greenpeace, a ...
Mystery male: Helen Steel with the man she knew as John Barker, a police officer who infiltrated London Greenpeace, a social justice group she was a part of.  

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.

This is another great documentary of hers>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Age_of_Stupid.

You can watch it here.

She didn’t make Cowspiracy, other people did that. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should.

 

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aum2

aum
http://aumfilms.org

Mission

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 HEALTHset 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.

http://www.whatthehealthfilm.com/

 

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.)

Week 34 Vegan: Everyday Stories Movie (USA)

Quick link: Grab your popcorn! This week covers a great tv show and a movie. Enjoy 🙂

How to Stay Young – BBC 45 mins

Vegan Stories – USA 90 mins

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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!

Image result for hourglass

Spoiler alert!

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.

They found:

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.

30 minute CHICKPEA Sweet Potato BUDDHA Bowls! A complete meal packed with protein, fiber and healthy fats with a STELLAR Tahini Lemon Maple Sauce! #vegan #glutenfree #healthy
Buddha Bowl – Minimalist Baker

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…

vegan!

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.

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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

vegan!

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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

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be fair
They hurt-like we do

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 Movie

http://veganmovie.org/

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.

  • Title: Vegan: Everyday Stories
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Country: USA
  • Language: English
  • Release Dated: June 4, 2016
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 HD

 

Week 33 Wildlife SOS (India)

Wildlife SOS rescues sloth bear baited with explosives-laced food by poachers in India

Poachers have resorted to baiting food with explosives to catch bears in southern India, an animal rescue group says.

Wildlife SOS rescued a sloth bear from a gully in Ramanagara, on the outskirts of the Bangalore city of Karnataka, after it was found in a critical condition with internal injuries.

The bear was found with huge internal injuries to its mouth, neck and head.

“Based on X-rays I can see multiple fractures in both lower and upper jaws, travelling all the way to the skull,” Wildlife SOS veterinarian director Dr Arun A Sha said in a statement provided to the ABC.

Together with the forestry department, a four-man team from Wildlife SOS tranquilised the bear, before carrying it to a waiting cage and taking it to urgent care.

The animal rescue group said “bleeding profusely and barely able to move, the bear could have passed off as dead had it not been for its agonised whimpering”.

Wildlife SOS co-founder Kartick Satyanarayan said the “crude” explosives method was often used by poachers to kill wild boars and other game, but now bears were being targeted.

“These crude, locally made bombs are concealed inside food baits and curious wild animals are tricked into biting into them,” he said.

“The result is often devastating and causes the head or mouth parts to explode, leaving the animal to die a slow and very painful death while waiting for the poachers to retrieve their prize.

“This is illegal under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and of convicted the poachers could be punished with a jail sentence of between three to seven years.”

According to Wildlife SOS, while the practice of dancing bears is less common, sloth bears are still poached for their use in Chinese medicines and gourmet cuisine in South-East Asia.

The male bears are poached for their reproductive organs and gall bladders which are key ingredients in aphrodisiacs.

Sloth bears are among four of Asia’s five bear species banned from international commercial trade under Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Bear a ‘Champ’ during surgery

Dubbed “Champ” by the Wildlife SOS team, the sloth bear is being fed intravenously after an intense five-hour surgery.

Bone fragments and maggots were removed during the surgery and the bear is moving on its own.

In a Facebook post, Wildlife SOS said the bear was “quite friendly for a wild bear” and seemed comfortable around vets and keepers.

While the bear is slowly recovering, the group said it may have suffered damage to the optic nerve, causing partial vision impairment.

The state of Karnataka in southern India is home to a large population of sloth bears.

Over the years, the natural habitat has deteriorated due to increasing human encroachment and the bears’ population in the wild is threatened due to poaching, illegal trading of bear parts and man-animal conflicts.

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teddy

Instead of buying yet more teddy bears and stuffed animals toys for kids who already have enough, a donation on their behalf to help the real bears and the really stuffed animals might be a better gift that gives many times by

  • helping animals,
  • not creating more landfill
  • promoting empathy in the next generation.

I always worry about the conditions of poor workers in factories as well, another good reason to buy less/buy second hand/buy responsibly.

Another bonus… is hard to know what to do with much loved cuddly toys once grown-up-dom is reached – op shops don’t want them, storing them is cumbersome and throwing them out is heart wrenching…like real animals, less is a lighter mental and physical load!

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http://wildlifesos.org/

Wildlife SOS was established in 1995 by a small group of individuals inspired to start a movement and make lasting change to protect and conserve India’s natural heritage, forest and wildlife wealth. Today, the organisation has evolved to actively work towards protecting Indian wildlife, conserving habitat, studying biodiversity, conducting research and creating alternative and sustainable livelihoods for erstwhile poacher communities or those communities that depend on wildlife for sustenance.

India’s wildlife is under severe threat – every animal from the majestic elephant and the tiger, to the shy sloth bear and rare pangolins have fast become “the hunted”. While time is running out for these creatures, it’s not too late to help. Wildlife SOS consistently makes a difference to give back to the planet, to give back to nature and help protect the environment and wildlife.

Kartick Satyanarayan and Geeta Seshamani with their shared enthusiasm, dedicated themselves to the mission of eradicating the abusive practice of ‘dancing’ bears in India completely.The initial days were very difficult due to lack of support and funding. Geeta’s foresight in creating Wildlife SOS as an arm of her existing rescue operation, Friendicoes, allowed the two organizations to share knowledge and resources as the team learned and made its way through the initial challenges of addressing the needs of urban wildlife suffering from habitat encroachment a result of the surging population growth in India.

 leopard_landing

“Be The Change You Wish To See In The World”

– Mahatma Gandhi

Week 32 Tapir Specialist Group (Brazil)

vego hello

I have mentioned before that people react in strange ways when they find out you are vego…it starts to wear as thin as pay outs on Collingwood supporters.  After nearly finishing this post I discovered there is a new book about it.

Richard Cornish’s book ‘My Year Without Meat’ was discussed on 774 ABC Drive today. He found that in Australia many people ‘hate vegetarians and have no respect for people who choose to sit outside the dominant paradigm‘. Is it discomfort from seeing people who choose to live by their conscience instead of feigning ignorance? Fear of change? Guilt or just mob mentality?  I am not sure but I personally got another trifecta today, so I am going back over old ground.

If people are willing to criticise those who chose not to eat meat, and defend their right to eat whatever they please, they should also be willing to watch documentaries such as Earthlings and Cowspiracy with their eyes wide open and know exactly what it is that they are supporting.  

If they still go on to tell you how much they love animals…

                                                                   …  run  …

…they are clearly a sociopath!

tumblr_lt8kd6g6DJ1r2g25po1_400tumblr_lrbb7gjqkp1r2g25po1_400

…there’s the defensive approachI absolutely love animals but I could never be vego – I tried it once but I’m a special case, my body needs MEAT!

Well, my body tells me it needs beer and chips too, but I think it just might be more a case of want, rather than need.  During exercise it is usually the mind that cops out before the body, and I think with most failed diets it is the same.

tumblr_lr6g7ufsZU1r2g25po1_400

…there’s the fatalistic approach – It’s natural, survival of the fittest, always been done that way etc etc.

Well, cannibalism (see week 30) and/or infanticide have also featured strongly in most cultures for most of human history.  Things can, and should change as our empathy and understanding evolve.

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…there’s the taste/convenience approach –  It is too hard to be vego and I don’t have enough time.  I couldn’t live without ____.

I agree it takes a bit more planning but it is getting easier and easier and yummier and yummier.  There are many pre-made vegetarian options now available – ok, many are quite processed, but at least the ingredients are listed there.  There is nothing natural about most of the meat we are sold either but all the crap that has gone into that isn’t listed on the label…imagine if your meat came with a true list of ingredients , it could look something like this:

GMO soy (from the Amazon); GMO corn (whatever is left over after making bio-diesel); ground up offal, fat and feathers; faeces; antibiotics; growth promoting hormones; vitamins; minerals; preservatives. 

tumblr_lr6buvBHG11r2g25po1_400

…there’s the frankly pathetic approach – ‘Aww, but what about poor plants, they have feelings too’.

Yes I have no doubt that they do – I feel guilty cutting off a broccoli stem, or pulling out a lettuce.  I understand the motivation of ethical fruitarians who only want to consume what falls from plant without harming the plant itself.  However for a meat eater to come out with this line is just stupid.  Most of the animals we eat have a a central nervous system like ours which we clearly know is capable of experiencing extreme pain and fear as well as concern for our offspring and ourselves.  Also the animals we eat eat plants to grow big and strong.  They eat a lot more to make the meat that we eat than we would need directly to make our own meat ourselves.  So people who care about plants REALLY should be vego.  Or fruitarian.  Or breatharian.

tumblr_lr2xuybkKO1r2g25po1_400

…there’s the logical leap of faith approach – S/he got sick=Must be because they are vegetarian.

Just ignore all the healthy vegos and the sick trenchermen out there and this theory is absolutely, very, almost, just about watertight.

trencherman

noun, plural trenchermen.
1.

a person who has a hearty appetite; a heavy eater.
2.

Archaic. a hanger-on; parasite.

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…there’s also the attack is the best defence approach You smug, tofu munching hippies are killing the AMAZON!! My diet is better because I won’t eat soy!!   Oh, really?

veggie-burger-main-main

Few of us are aware how much soy we eat. A typical beef burger can contain meat raised on soy meal, margarine containing soy, mayonnaise with soy lecithin and soy additives in the bread bun.

Soy is used as an ingredient in many baked and fried products, as well as margarine, in frying fats, or bottled as cooking oil. Lecithin derived from soy is one of the most common additives in processed foods, found in anything from chocolate bars to smoothies.

Around 75% of soy worldwide is used for animal feed, especially for poultry and pigs.

19% processed for its by-products including lecithin and soy oil which is used both as a consumable and a growing source of biodiesel.  Not to mention being the base of choice for fancy scented candles

6% of soybeans are used directly as food, mainly in Asian countries such as China, Japan and Indonesia. Whole beans may be eaten as a vegetable, or crushed and incorporated into tofu, tempeh, soya milk or soy sauce.

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/soy/soyreport/soy_and_its_uses/

The amazon is being clear felled to grow soy to feed animals and produce increasing amounts of bio-diesel.  They didn’t build the BR-163 ‘soy highway’  for the benefit of us vegos, but if you want to be double sure, make sure your soy products don’t contain beans from Brazil.
Part of the 1,700km long BR-163 ‘Soy Highway’ which runs through the heart of the Amazon basin.
People seem to spend more time worrying about what I put into my body than what they put into theirs. Weird old world, hey!

Lucky being vego rocks!

 

vegos_______________________________________________________________

From one vego to another, I want to say cheers to tapirs!  These ancient rainforest dwellers need all the help they can get.

Tapirs look something like pigs with trunks, but they are actually related to horses and rhinoceroses. This eclectic lineage is an ancient one—and so is the tapir itself. Scientists believe that these animals have changed little over tens of millions of years.

Tapirs have a short prehensile (gripping) trunk, which is really an extended nose and upper lip. They use this trunk to grab branches and clean them of leaves or to help pluck tasty fruit. All four tapir species are endangered or threatened, largely due to hunting and habitat loss.

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/tapir/

 

http://www.tapirs.org/

tapir

About Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative – Brazil

Promoting the research and conservation of lowland tapirs and their remaining habitats in Brazil

Awards
2004 – Harry Messel Conservation Leadership Award, IUCN
2008 – Golden Ark Award, Golden Ark Foundation, Netherlands
2008 – Whitley Award, Whitley Fund for Nature, UK
2011 – DICE Research Prize, Kent University, UK

Lets fill the world with more tapirs, more love and less hate.

good samaritan

Every little bit counts…whoever did this is wonderful, the extra nice thing is that lots of people left the $10 in the envelope for someone needier than them…