Category: Marine animals

Week 41 World Animal Day (International)

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

 World Animal Day!

world animal day.png

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 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.

turd

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 9 Earthrace Conservation (Argentina/International)

According to the above news article, two endangered Franciscan dolphins were swimming near an Argentinian resort last week when they were taken from the water and “manipulated by tourists to photograph.”

Footage shared by Vida Silvestre and local news sources shows a mob of tourists passing around one of the tiny dolphins, while swarming to take photos of it and with it.

“One of them ended up dying,” … “Like other dolphins, they can not stay long out of the water because its thick skin provides internal heat, quickly causing dehydration and death.” 

There isn’t much that humans won’t destroy to make their Facebook friends jealous, it seems. 

Wake up people! No animals are objects for your entertainment.

It is too late for this individual dolphin, but how best to help others? I researched and originally  planned to donate to Vida Silvestre, which was once an independent conservation organisation in Argentina, but it is now an arm of WWF.

I have just read Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything and am quite sus on larger conservation organisations as it seems they are very often having a threesome in which conservation is the minor partner, kicked down amongst the foot sweat at the bottom of the bed, while corporate industry  (that members of the board often have a history with) gets the Fairtrade chocolates on the pillow.

It seems that 75% of WWF spending goes on sometimes good, sometimes questionable projects, while 25% is blown on fundraising and admin expenses.  This ratio is considered acceptable by charity industry standards (make no mistake, charity IS an industry), but I think I could make better use of my wasted 25% or $13, thank you very much!…maybe I could ‘save the enviroment’ by buying a cask of wine instead?!…

-3L SlimCasks are equal to 4x750mL glass bottles, so there is less material used.
-Reducing environmental footprint – It takes 11 trucks to carry the same number of empty bottles as 1 truck of flattened 3L SlimCasks to our winery.
-That represents an 11-fold reduction in fossil fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions to ship the 3L SlimCasks.
-There is less potential for breakage both in-store and at home.
-Less energy is used to produce the cardboard and oxygen-proof inner bag than with the production of glass.

I’ll drink to that! Emoji Just ignore the unrecyclable plastic bag and voila!! I’m an eco-warrior without having to sacrifice anything!!  See how good it feels to be greenwashed 😉 (Pats self on back and drives to distant shop where casks are $1 cheaper)

Sorry! Just like poor sea creatures are being dazed and confused by the increasing man-made noise in the oceans, I’ve also veered off from the most important subject of this whole sad story.

I am sorry little dolphin, may your death in the name of vanity not have been in vain.

Emoji

 

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Earthrace Conservation: Argentina

I can’t believe I feel I need a disclaimer before making a donation…but I am finding the deeper I look at many charities, the deeper the quagmire of questions…arrghhhhhh!!! 

Disclaimer: Earthrace is a frontline activist organisation run by former Sea Shepherd volunteer and captain, Paul Bethune. Paul Bethune was the captain of the Ady Gil, the beautiful black trimaran used by Sea Shepherd at the time of its much covered 2010 collision with a Japanese whaling boat.

I remember my response at the time was horror at their allowing such a generous donation to be destroyed so quickly. It felt even worse than the time I left my tricycle in the driveway and dad ran over it and said ‘that’ll learn ya to be more careful with your things’.  It did learn me good too, but I am not so sure that Sea Shepherd took home the same message…

A recent court finding, following a case brought by their cheesed off benefactor, Mr Ady Gil, has revealed some terrible behaviour was perpetrated by Sea Shepherd: the deliberate sinking of the damaged vessel after the accident.  That is even worse than wasting a cask of wine or a tricycle.

Disclamation of Disclaimer: However. In spite of such apparent news-coverage hungry insanity, Sea Shepherd and Earthrace do a lot of good on the frontline that most organisations are unable or unwilling to do. 

So with my goon glass half full, this week I am choosing to support the Argentinian chapter of Earthrace. 

Earthrace Argentina

Protecting the oceans and their species.

Killing the captive industry
There are two remaining aquariums in South America that will be targeted with campaigns to encourage the public not to pay to visit them.

Mundo Marino in Buenos Aires holds 13 dolphins as well as lonely killer whale, Kshamenk, who has been held in this tiny pool, since being ‘rescued’ from a stranding in 1992.

Shocking shark fin record
While Argentina banned the removal of shark fins at sea in 2009, it still manages to hold a shocking 5th position in the world ranking for exporting shark fin.

That’s not good and our Argentina crew plan on doing plenty in the next year to get this country off the list of those dealing in shark fin altogether.

Beach clean up in San Isidro
Fernando and the crew have also been busy cleaning up local beaches in San Isidro.

Buenos Aires Zoo ’embrace’
In December 2014, Earthrace Argentina joined a huge protest at the Buenos Aires Zoo after an employee revealed the terrible treatment of animals there including neglect, starvation and hidden deaths.

Earthrace has international chapters and features in its own TV show, the Operatives.

Thank you Earthrace for helping animals and raising people’s consciousness.

Please be good.

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P.s.

If someone asks you why whaling is so bad compared to all the other mass slaughter on earth, agree with them that they are all awful. A particularly terrible thing about whaling is the fact that unlike most creatures whales cannot go unconscious once pain gets too extreme; these social animals are aware throughout the whole slow and tortuous process.  Their pod members sometimes try to hold them afloat when they have been harpooned, to save them from drowning. Emoji

… and another thing, why, when a fisherperson is lost to the sea, do they receive tearful media coverage and costly search and rescue deployment, but noone ever spares a thought for all the sea creatures that had, and would have, suffered a similar horrible end (in a reverse direction) at their hands? Emoji

 

 

References:

Charity Navigator – WWF

Way Beyond Greenwashing: Have Corporations Captured Big Conservation?

Sea Shepherd/Paul Bethune

Trimaran Ady Gil