Category: Humanimals

Week 49 The Movement for Compassionate Living (UK)

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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.”

 

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Week 48 Food For Life (Slovenia/International)

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This week saw the presentation of the ARIA (The Australian Recording Industry Association Music) Awards, so I thought I would come up with five Top Fives of my own, listed in no particular order…

5 Great Plant Powered Snacks

Popcorn – (cover bottom of pan in a good layer of oil, add kernels when oil is very hot – a kernel will start to spin by itself at this point, add salt now for more even coverage, leave lid askew to release moisture, keep heat up high until fury of popping subsides, immediately remove popcorn from pan before it burns.)

Eda Mame – Young soy beans. Sprinkle defrosted beans in pods with salt, or, cook beans, pod and all, in pepper and garlic.  At end stir through some veg oyster sauce and remove from heat.  In either case you don’t eat the pods but you will still be able to enjoy the seasoning as you eat the beans.

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Peanuts – Roast your own at home under the grill at high heat, or for something different, boil in salted water for about 15mins until soft.  Keeps in fridge for a few days.

Mini Spring rolls, samosas or onion rings – available in supermarket freezer. Lemon served with onion rings is a great sub for calamari.  Best way to cook all fried snacks is on a cafe style sandwich press.

Crispy Mix – Make your own assortment of nuts, pretzels, rice crackers, popcorn, biscuits, dried fruit etc and store in an airtight container for when snack attacks hit.  Middle Eastern grocers have some really great things you can put in.

5 Great Plant Powered Recipes

Mockzarella

http://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/2015/01/23/melty-stretchy-gooey-vegan-mozarella/

Add a sprinkle of turmeric and/or a bit of mustard for more colour/flavour.  This is great on tacos, toasties as a dip or even as a fondue. Yum.

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Pepperoni

http://minimalistbaker.com/vegan-pepperoni/

Blend in a handful of diced roasted beetroot for colour.

Roll out on bench with greaseproof paper on top and bottom.  Cook uncovered with bottom paper directly on oven racks. Keep the paper you have removed from top and use it to allow you to flip pepperoni halfway through cooking.

Have on toasted sandos with mockzarella.

Simple but pimped Dhal Tadka

No soaking required.

In pot or pressure cooker boil red split lentils, chopped onion and tomato, grated ginger, salt and turmeric to taste, in enough water to make it quite soupy.  Add some kale or broccoli at end of coking if you like for extra colour.

In a separate pan fry up any or all of peppercorns, coriander/cumin/fenugreek/mustard seeds. Add chilli flakes, sesame seeds, curry leaves – all optional.

Serve dhal, top with fried spices and some macadamia or coconut oil and optional coriander leaves.

Vegetable Manchurian – My Chinese-Indian Love Affair

http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/veg-manchurian-veg-manchurian-gravy/

Gobi manchurian is cauliflower fried and served the same way.  Find it in restaurants that serve dosa or that have a Chinese Indian menu, or make it at home, dry or with ‘gravy’ (sauce).  Ask restaurants if they can leave out ajinomoto (MSG) if they use it.

Use a sandwich press to cook the balls, same with felafel.

Vegan Pho inspired soup

http://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/2014/12/05/quick-vegan-pho/

I could live on clear soups with lots of yummies packed in.

Here is a link to one recipe, if you want to make your life simple you can use five spice powder in place of the dried spices.  I add in a splash of vegetarian oyster or hoisin sauce or weird and wonderful vegetarian pastes from the asian shop.  Have fun with flavours!

ps it’s pronounced ‘feu’ it comes from the French ‘pot au feu

To me soup like this would not be complete without a couple of pieces of mock meat, but some purist vegos would disagree.  Which brings me to my next list…

5 Shamefully Yummy Mock Meats

Mock mutton/beef chunks.  This one is easily yummier than the real dead thing.  It is usually based on shiitake mushroom stems. Eat it fried in fried rice or add to soups like pho, or curries like rendang.  Easily my fave faux.

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BBQ ‘pork’ – great in stir-fries.  Also look out for vegan char siu buns.  Steam or microwave for a total junk food treat. Usually made from wheat protein aka gluten…not for coeliacs!!

Crispy chicken/duck – this crisps up great on the sanga press.  Serve with vegies and rice and sauce of your choice. This is normally made from beancurd, the ‘skin’ off soy milk.

Pretend prawns – Yes they exist! not as tasty as the real thing, but very cute and much more sustainable.  Made from konjac, a starchy root. I love these in soups too.

‘Fish’ – This is similar in use and manufacture to the chicken/duck…it just has some nori seaweed added for ‘sea flavour’. Not for the faint hearted, some can taste a little too ‘gamey’ for comfort.

All of the above can be found at Vincent Vegetarian if you live in Melbourne.  Regular Asian grocers will often stock some of the other items. Meat eaters might sniff at the fakeness of mock meats…but it is any more unnatural than every single step of modern industrial animal farming?!

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https://ffl.org/

FFLG is the world’s largest food relief organisation.

We support plant-based meal distribution to the disadvantaged, malnourished and victims of disaster (natural or manmade), wherever there is a need in the world.

With a mission to address the root cause of all social issues through teaching spiritual equality in practice and precept, our projects also include health education, eco-farming, schooling, animal rescue and animal care.

Background on the Food for Life Project:

The distribution of sanctified plant-based meals has been and will continue to be an essential part of India’s Vedic culture of hospitality from which Food for Life was born. Since its inception in the early 70’s, Food for Life has tried to liberally distribute pure plant-based meals (prasadam) throughout the world with the aim of creating peace and prosperity. The project started in 1974 after yoga students of Swami Prabhupada became inspired by his plea that “No one within a ten-mile radius of a temple should go hungry!” Today Food for Life is active in over 60 countries.

Up to 2,000,000 meals daily!

With volunteers serving up to 2 million free plant-based meals daily to schools, as well as from mobile vans and to disaster areas. FOOD FOR LIFE is now the largest food relief in the world, eclipsing even the United Nations World Food Programme.

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5 Great Yoga Moves

Downward dog

Triangle poseimages

Bridge Pose

Lying single knee twist.

Helping those less fortunate than yourself, whatever their species

 

5 Great Animal Quotes

“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.” index2
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

“The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, The Basis of Morality

“I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.”
― Leonardo da Vinci

“Some people say they love animals and yet harm them nonetheless; I’m glad those people don’t love me.”
― Marc Bekoff, The Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons for Expanding Our Compassion Footprint

“Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that have received–only what you have given- a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.”
― Francis of Assisi 

And of course this whole blog is a really just a list of 52 great charities 🙂

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.

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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 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

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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

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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!

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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 40 Daktari Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage (South Africa)

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-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 …

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-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

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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 39 DAWGS in Prison (USA)

 

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Incredibly, in spite of everything she has witnessed in the front-line of animal rescue, Lyn White from Animals Australia  has managed to maintain an overwhelmingly positive view of humanity.

I watched her talk this week and seeing her express belief in the inherent goodness of the human race was inspiring.

Mum originally sent me the video link. She was so impressed by this talk that she has ordered the dvds to send out instead of Christmas cards this year.  If you aren’t on mum’s mailing list, the link is below (1 hour 40 mins)

If you feel alone, or like life is pointless, you may find some hope and direction in Lyn’s message…the message of finding meaning by becoming the best you can be.  

 

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 This week’s fantastic charity helps both people and animals on the path to becoming the best they can be.

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Our mission is to provide training and education for both inmate and dog, resulting in permanent homes for the dogs, viable job skills for the inmate, and productive jobs and a law-abiding life upon release.
” I woke up during my first year of the DAWGS program.   My attitude changed.  My routine changed.  My health changed.  My priorities changed.  Everything changed in my life in order for me to be responsible enough to take care of one of God’s precious creations. DAWGS gave me the wisdom to see what kind of changes were needed in my life in order to be a productive citizen again after a total of 26 years behind bars. “

Try not to cry (difficult!) while watching the following episode of ‘Castaways’, which chronicles another program of inmates training unwanted dogs (6 minutes).

 

It’s everybody all together that gives a damn that makes a difference

Teresa Strader, Director and Founder National Mill Dog Rescue

Read Teresa’s story here

 

 

http://mentalfloss.com/article/80699/8-prison-animal-programshttp://mentalfloss.com/article/80699/8-prison-animal-programs