Category: Uncategorized

Week 50 Fish Rescue and Welfare (UK)

vegan mixed lollies.jpg
The Vegan Pantry

This week is a mixed lolly bag for you lovely readers…pick out the bits you like (mint leaves) and leave the bits you don’t (skittles)…just don’t skip the really important information on how to keep your money safe under ‘credit cards’.


Last weekend I got my ‘map o’ Tassie‘ out a few times.

Why does this place proudly use an animal sent extinct by humans as its logo?  tas

Talk about flogging a dead tiger.

We saw salmon farms and a salmon hatchery.  There was a Four Corners report on these recently and there  letters to the editor in The Mercury Newspaper (5 Dec 2016) about this.

aa salmon.jpg 

Another person talked about the horrors of fishing in general:


Poor fish really are the forgotten ones. Even I’ve got to week 50 and didn’t have them as a category.  Many people choose to eat fish but not land meats.  Then they call themselves vegetarian. They are not vegetarian.  (And neither was Hitler, just FYI.)

Fish are animals. Vegetarians don’t eat animals.

Domain>Kingdom>Phyllum (or Division)>Class>Order>Family>Genus>Species

Like us, fish are in the Eukaryte Domain, Animalia Kingdom and the Chordata Phyllum. Like us they have intelligence and personalities and feel pain and fear.  

We focus too much on their differences and not their similarities.  Nobody likes the idea of drowning but that is effectively what happens to every landed fish.  There is nothing sporting about fishing.


More on this next week, but if you know of anyone who is thinking it is a great idea to ‘gift an animal in the name of charity’…please refer them here. 

10 Reasons to Say NO to Farmed Animals as ‘Gifts’

(This was the charity way back in week 45)

Credit Cards

Visa PayWave and Mastercard PayPass ‘tap and go’ technology is being foisted on everyone in Australia with a credit card.  You can’t opt out.  I asked my bank, and got a ‘no’. So I called the head office of the card manufacturer itself to ask if I can disable it or if there are any banks that offer an opt out.  I got a big ‘negatory’ in response, which frankly, is bullshit.  It is my money, how dare they make it so easy to steal.

Google was much more helpful:

…my Visa cards (issued in 2016) looked a bit different on the inside to his, but were both the same as each other even though from different banks.


 I held it over a bright lamp and marked a spot near the chip where I could see two antenna lines running close to each other….

aa-card-2.then I used a 3mm bit and drilled it out…then took it and tried at self check out…voila…The  Chip/PIN still works but PayWave is a goner.  No more free-for-all for criminals. If you don’t have a drill I have read that you could cut in from the side with scissors up to the same place and it should do the same thing.

They removed credit card signing in favour of PIN for our ‘protection’, then force this on us instead.  Why? It is a big profit generator for Visa and Mastercard.  

If your card gets stolen or skimmed, your account could be emptied before you even realise you have a problem.

This is a disgusting breach of our security, you wouldn’t walk around with wallet full of cash, but this is effectively the same thing.  

Please protect yourself and spread the word! I have made a separate post just for this topic here.


If your normally reliable mower doesn’t start (or stop) as it should and it doesn’t seem to be the fuel or the spark plug, check that the cable going from the on/off lever is actually working and moving the part which goes into to engine properly :).  

I nearly had to leave the Chordata Phyllum as I blew out my back while wrenching on the starter cord 5,400 times, pretending it was the tie of a credit card exec.


Not many fish-specific charities to be found, though I did really appreciate the person who took it into her own hands way back around 1989 to print off postcards talking about the cruelty of the live gold fish prizes they had at the Brisbane Show back then.  In my heart I knew it was bad, but I still wanted to do it.  That caring individual helped raise my consciousness a level, and I will never forget it.

Speaking of acquistion of animals, watch the following documentary to see what the ‘land of the free’ does with its freedom to buy anything…I am proud of Australia’s restrictions on exotic (and native) animal ownership.

(Alternative working title…World’s Most Selfish Owners)


And last, but not least


We follow the guidelines and practices of BIAZA, (The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums).

The aim of the FRW is to help fish and fish keepers with any concerns they may have with any fish being incompatible with their living conditions, by growing too big, becoming aggressive etc. We will do our best to make better any situation that your fish and you find your selves in.
The FRW are happy to offer advice on fish keeping to individuals and groups and also, loan out emergency equipment to those in need. We rehome everything from Neons to Tank Busters.
The rescue makes no judgement on the aquariums we take fish in from, we just get them out of an unsuitable situation.



I told you this week was a mixed bag!




Credit Card Security-Disabling Tap and Go

Topics covered: Disabling tap and go, destroying cvv number, engraving household items.

Credit Cards

Visa PayWave and Mastercard PayPass ‘tap and go’ RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology is being foisted on people worldwide.  In Australia, you can’t opt out.  I asked my bank, and got a ‘no’.  So I called the head office of the card manufacturer itself to ask if I can disable it, or if there are any banks that offer an opt out.  I got a big ‘negatory’ in response, which, frankly is bullshit.  It is my money, how dare they make it so easy to steal.

Google was much more helpful.

…my Visa cards (issued in 2016) looked a bit different on the inside to his, but were both the same as each other, even though from different banks.


I held them over a bright lamp and marked a spot near the chip where I could see two antenna lines running close to each other….

aa-card-2.then I used a 3mm bit and drilled it out…then took it and tried at self checkout…et voila…

The Chip/PIN still works but PayWave is a goner.

No more free-for-all for criminals. If you don’t have a drill I have read that you could also cut in from the side with scissors up to the same place and it should do the same thing.

They removed credit card signing in favour of PIN for our ‘protection’, then force this on us instead.  Why? Bigger profits for Visa and Mastercard.  

If your card gets stolen or skimmed, your account could be emptied before you even realise there is a problem.  It allows multiple transactions of up to $100 each to be done with no verification. 

This is a disgusting breach of our security, and in the time you waste trying to sort the mess and get your money back (if you even can), you could have entered your four digit pin 5,400 times…assuming it takes ‘only’ three hours to sort out  (not including the months it might take for a refund) vs taking 2 seconds longer to enter a PIN each time.

Convenience, please!!  I think not having my money stolen is slightly more convenient than this scam.

You can get wallets that block the signal to stop you from getting skimmed, but that doesn’t help if the card itself is accessed.

Its’s not just hardened criminals we should worry about. Many otherwise honest people will often keep the cash as their ‘reward’ if they find a wallet that has simply been lost.  What is to stop them taking advantage of technology if they find your wallet and decide that they ‘deserve’ a reward at your expense, maybe some cigarettes or a tank of fuel?

Cards don’t even need to be defrauded by strangers, how many of us share a home with people we can’t quite trust?


Another good way to protect yourself from many unauthorised online transactions if your card is stolen is to memorise (and write in code somewhere) the 3 digit ‘secret’ CVV number in the signature panel of your credit card, then render these numbers unreadable on your card..I scratched it out with a flat blade screw driver then went over it with marker pen just to be double sure.



It doesn’t hurt to engrave valuables around the home either.  The standard format is initials, date of birth and state… eg:  AA 1/1/11 NSW.  To protect your privacy, maybe leave out the year of birth.  This will help prove the items are yours if they are stolen and subsequently recovered.  Some police stations can assist with engraving, just ask!

I’m not paranoid, I just don’t wanna give anybody a free ride at my expense.

Protect yourself and spread the word! This also appears in brief in Week 50.



Just spotted this…aa card 3.jpg…Page 4 of The Age, 9 December 2016.  Ridiculous.  These things are crime bait.

Week 49 The Movement for Compassionate Living (UK)


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.


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

chicken boy.jpg



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.


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 48 Food For Life (Slovenia/International)


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.


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


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.



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

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

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.


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?!



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.


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 20 Oscar’s Law (Australia)


Image result for flowers


Last week was Mother’s Day and I would like to thank my mum for being such a good mum …most of the time!



She didn’t laugh at me when I said I wanted to be a truck driver or a mechanic, despite my complete lack of talent for either!

She tried to get us eating less meat back in the days when I was still fixated on steak and bacon pies..none of that steak and mushroom business for me, it was meat on meat or nothing!  My sister and I called tofu ‘toad spew’.  Then one day I came home and said I wanted to go vego, mum calmly asked my sister if she agreed (she did) and from that day forward it was bye bye steakon pie for all of us, and hello to mum’s amazing vego cooking.  Thanks to my sister too for her part in this.

Mum is active in trying to make the world a better place…her focus is much broader than just the small world of self, family and friends… She writes letters, volunteers, consumes ethically…and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is!

Thank you mum, for inspiring and encouraging me to be better!

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(I would also like to thank my mum-in-law for raising such a wonderful son and for all the kindness and care you show us and others.  We are extremely lucky to have you!)


Some mums who never get any love or appreciation are those poor dogs suffering in puppy factories.

Here is a link to Animals Australia’s new radio ad and older tv ad, which ask people to remember the parents behind the puppies.

Know your best friend


Oscar’s Lawimages

Oscar’s Law is a not-for-profit volunteer organisation, dedicated to abolishing puppy factories in Australia. Our mission is threefold:


  • Abolish the factory farming of companion animals.

Factory farmed dogs get no veterinary intervention when they need respite from their pain and suffering. They live in filth, sometimes without adequate food or water. Their coats are often matted with faeces and stained with urine. Ear infections and ear mite infestations are common as is painful dental and gum disease.

Many dogs slowly go insane. They spin in circles or pace back and forth in their cells, some never see daylight, and the outside world is a foreign place to them.

Once the breeding dogs are no longer profitable, and after years of confinement and continual pregnancy they are taken out of their cages, pens and sheds and they are killed.

  • Ban the sale of companion animals from pets shops/online trading sites.

Pet shops actively encourage impulsive behaviour in customers- but a pet is for life, through sickness and health.  Quite often, sickness.

Pet shops and the factory farmers cut corners at every step of the way to maximise their profits, as a result, the animals and customers suffer.Consumer Affairs receives hundreds of complaints annually from consumers who have been knowingly sold sick animals and have incurred large vet bills.

  • Promote adoption through rescue groups/pounds/shelters.

Every day in Australia a dog is killed every 4 minutes in Council run pounds.


Image result for oscar' law image

One more thing, please don’t choose a cute but physically disadvantaged breed such as a pug, just to boost your own ego…think about the animal’s comfort too.  If that isn’t enough to convince you, think about the vet bills…


Week 18 Born Free Foundation (UK/International)

(Heart) Breaking news: Right after publishing this post I found this repulsive news on the abc news feed

 Cambodian elephant ride operator ‘regretful’ after animal dies ferrying tourists in 40-degree heat.

The female elephant, aged between 40–45, died by the roadside on Friday after carrying tourists around Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat temple complex outside Siem Reap.

Photos were widely shared on social media, prompting calls for Cambodia to reform the already controversial elephant ride industry.

Asian elephants only live to around 40 years old, so this is like saddling up your grandma and riding her on a 40 degree day, when she should be relaxing with a sherry and many years retired.


Tourist elephant riding in Chiang Mai, Thailand

I just sent an email to some friends and family.

Hi friends and fam!

I just found this article on the ABC newsfeed and it brought back some regrets of mine and a hope we can all work toward a better future for these animals:‘cruel’-animal-entertainment/7351292

If you know anyone who is planning on travelling to a destination where animals are exploited for the benefit of tourists, please encourage them not to support this industry in its many guises. 

Even when it seems like we may be helping, we are probably just perpetuating profit driven uses/abuses. (This includes many animal ‘orphanages’.)

I have been short-sighted enough to pay money to ‘feed cucumbers to an elephant’ in Bangkok, to give money to a homeless guy with puppies in Japan and to ride an elephant in India (after allowing pressure to override my misgivings).

I regret these actions of mine, all of which helped entrench animal exploitation for profit.  I hope I can do better in future.


(Not necessary, but if you would like to sign it, there is the petition is below, I did, though I wouldn’t recommend giving them any financial support.  They only score one star on Charity Navigator.)

World Animal Protection (WAP) is the new name for the organisation previously known as WSPA.


The world’s cruellest attractions

TripAdvisor is profiting from some of the world’s cruellest types of wildlife tourist attractions. Whether it is riding elephants, taking selfies with tigers, or performing dolphin shows, TripAdvisor is promoting and profiting from attractions that involve lifelong suffering for wild animals.

Last year Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) analysed 24 different types of wildlife attractions across the world. They rated them based on welfare and conservation criteria – we used this information and combined it with our own research to identify 10 of the world’s cruellest types of attractions.

By selling tickets through their subsidiary company Viator or promoting them with Certificates of Excellence, TripAdvisor is profiting from and promoting all of the following types of cruel wildlife tourism entertainment.

Riding elephants

In order to make elephants submit to elephant rides and other human interactions, they are taken from their mothers when babies and forced through a horrific training process known as ‘the crush’. It involves physical restraints, inflicting severe pain and withholding food and water. By the time tourists come to ride an elephant, it may look at peace, but this is because its spirit has been broken. The bullhook, used permanently, reminds the animal of human dominance.

The cruelty does not end after the crush. When not performing or used for rides most elephants are kept on chains, unable to socially interact with one another. This is hugely damaging to their physical and psychological wellbeing.

Taking tiger selfies

Tiger cubs are separated from their mothers at an early age so they can be used as photo props for hours on end. They are handled and hugged by tourists and typically kept chained or in small cages with concrete floors.

In Thailand we found 10 venues housing around 614 tigers. Although Thailand is a hub of cruel tiger tourism it is also prevalent in other parts of Asia, Australia, Mexico and Argentina.

Walking with lions

Lion cubs are bred and taken from their mothers typically within a month of birth to supply the growing lion tourism industry, mostly located in Southern Africa. Tourists handle the cubs for hours and pose with them for photos. They are also often told to hit the cubs if they display aggressive or unwelcome behaviour.

When the cubs grow too big for tourists to pick up and hug – but are still young enough to control – they are used for the relatively new walking with lions tourist experience. The lions are trained to ‘safely’ walk with tourists, sometimes on leads.

These lions face a lifetime in captivity as they cannot be released into the wild.

Holding sea turtles

The world’s last remaining sea turtle farm that acts as a tourist attraction is in The Cayman Islands. Here, tourists can hold turtles and even eat them during their visit.

Suffering from stress and disease, sea turtles live a tortured life at the Cayman Turtle Farm. They often panic when they are handled and it has been known for tourists to drop them, causing significant injuries which can kill turtles.

Performing dolphins

Millions of tourists visit dolphinaria, but they are unaware of the cruelty and abuses the dolphins endure to perform in shows.

Whilst it is banned in countries like the US, many performing dolphins around the world are still captured in the wild. They are often chased by high-speed boats before being hauled on board or caught in nets. For many, the stress is too much to take and they die during transportation to their intended destinations.

Whether wild caught or captive bred, dolphins in dolphinaria face a lifetime of suffering. They spend their entire lives in a space not much bigger than a swimming pool – completely unnatural and restrictive compared to their natural open sea environment.


Thank you World Animal Protection for taking on this campaign, it is wonderful and very worthwhile.

However I will choose to give my money to another charity as I am not really heartened by your one star rating on Charity Navigator.

This week I hope I am choosing wisely by supportingindex

Born Free

From small beginnings, the Born Free Foundation has grown into a global force for wildlife.  But a personal passion for wild animals and desire for positive change remain at our heart.  Described by The Times as ‘Big enough to make a difference, but small enough to care,’ Born Free is not a big anonymous organisation, but a family of like-minded people who share the same goals. 

Our  major international projects are devoted to animal welfare, conservation and education, and protect lions, elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, tigers, polar bears, wolves, dolphins, turtles, sharks and lots more.  Through our Global Initiatives project we respond to emergency situations worldwide, participate in international coalitions such as the Species Survival Network, run the People & Wildlife project with Oxford University’s WildCru department, and much much more.


Keep wildlife in the wild!!


Week 8 Kilmore Wildlife Shelter (Australia)

Last week, on his way to work, my partner crested a hill to see a large kangaroo trying to drag itself across the road with a shattered leg.  As is sadly so typical, there was no sign of the driver who had done the damage and continued apathetically on their way.

We are extremely grateful to Kilmore Wildlife Shelter for responding to my partner’s pre-dawn call;  at an hour when most of us are still working on our bed hair, they had the generosity of heart to sincerely thank him for calling 🙂

Why don’t people who are caring for our animals ever get any recognition at Australian of the Year awards?

What should you do if you see injured wildlife? 

I previously asked another carer about this and she said you can ring Triple Zero if in Australia, I haven’t done this and would advise using your discretion, but if it is a large animal, that requires immediate attention, especially if it may cause a ‘traffic hazard’, this seems like a good option, which has the advantage of being nationwide and 24 hour.

Save the number of local wildlife rescuers in your phone under ‘W’ for wildlife.  It is good to have a few numbers as these  organisations are overworked and under resourced and may not answer the phone immediately.

If an animal is small enough that you can safely and carefully move it, most vets will accept and care for injured wildlife free of charge – please call them first though.

Oh and please consider making a donation to a charity to thank them for care given or as an alternative gift for someone.


‘Kilmore’ may not be the best name for a town which boasts not one, but two wildlife shelters; maybe the town could change its names to ‘Savemore’ instead?!  (Of course humane euthanasia is another extremely valuable service that wildlife carers also provide in a worst case scenario…if only we humanimals could legally access something similar…)


Kilmore Wildlife Shelter

Kilmore Wildlife Shelter's profile photo

The Kilmore Wildlife Shelter is operated by Dr. Robyn Coy who has spent a lifetime involved in the study and care of Australian wildlife. The shelter is now one of the largest in Victoria, attending to hundreds of animals each year and controlling over 600 acres of land dedicated to wildlife conservation. Robyn is assisted by a small but dedicated team of volunteers.

The shelter has excellent facilities for all types of wildlife from tiny marsupial mice and bats, to lizards and turtles, echidnas, birds of prey, parrots, possums, wombats, wallabies and kangaroos. Robyn has specialized in the care of kangaroos and wallabies for many years, and has the experience and expertise to handle and care for these large marsupials which few in Victoria can match.

An Emergency Treatment and Training Centre was established at the shelter following the Black Saturday fires, when the shelter was called on to care for hundreds of injured wildlife without access to any wildlife hospital facilities.



Save them or kill them?

<p>Illustration: Geoff Richardson

Text: Eleanor Nurse

Our kangaroos are hunted in the largest commercial slaughter of land-based wildlife on the planet and hunters are permitted by law to take not only males but also females with joeys in pouch and dependent young. 

The roo meat industry treats these joeys as collateral damage in the hunt for profits. 

Under the relevant industry Codes of Practice that govern the hunts, shooters are instructed to “euthanase” the joeys of any female who is killed either by decapitation or a single blow or shot to the head. 

Those who are not caught and killed will most likely die as a result of starvation, exposure or predation without the protection of their mothers.

All of this happens in the wild and at night, hidden from public view. 

This might be why so many Australians are on board with kangaroo meat. The kangaroo industry has escaped the scrutiny levelled against many of Australia’s other meat industries in part because it is nearly impossible to get a look at the killing. 

Unlike most animals killed for food who are pre-stunned and slaughtered in abattoirs, kangaroos are shot in rural areas, usually from afar, and in complete darkness. 

The industry codes do stipulate they must be shot in the “brain”, but this is not an easy job. 

In 2002, the RSPCA estimated that 120,000 kangaroos are  “body shot” each year, wounded but not killed.

If you want to understand just how brutal these killing sprees are, watch the Australian cult classic film ‘Wake in Fright’.  It is real footage and it is sickening.


Week 7 Save Me Reptile Rescue (South Africa)

I’m a celebrity…get me out of here…

Image result for i'm a celebrity bugs snakes

…so how do they think the animals feel then?!

Confinement, fear, injuries…what fun! what entertainment! This show has it all – for the animals ritually exploited in this predictable format.

A ‘ploise explain’ question for Chris Brown…How can you, as a vet who is supposed to care for ALL animals, countenance a show that treats creatures as objects of entertaiment, just because we humans have deemed them to be ‘disgusting/ worthless’?

With the notable exception of the ‘celebrities’, every single animal on this show has evolved to perfection over millenia, filling its own vital niche in the real world wide web.

Even much maligned mosquitoes are an essential part of the world’s ecosystem, providing food for other animals at all stages of their lifecycle.

Of course mozzies are vectors for some serious diseases and are about as popular in the bedroom as a snorer/farter combined. All farmers/gardeners will sometimes feel like ‘it’s us against bloody &*%$ them’ (from experience!). But these are individual battles and each should be chosen wisely…noone wins if we are always at war with the ‘other’…and this also includes how we treat humans who are different to us.

Some ways to treat insects and reptiles better…

  • store buckets etc upside down so critters don’t get stuck inside and die,
  • put spiders and flies outside (a glass and a piece of paper works for spiders, a large soft cloth like a t-shirt is a good way to catch flies at a window;
  • try not to wash insects down the drain, and if you see one drowning, rescue it;
  • snakes are much more beautiful with their head attached to their bodies, and they will get away from you a lot more quickly this way too!
  • don’t keep reptiles as pets unless you really know what is best for the animal.

Let’s show integrity…instead of dumb fear!


This week I would like to offer my apologies to the animals and people of South Africa for what we are inflicting on them.  (I would also like to offer an apology to the critters that end up as the food for carnivorous rescue animals of all types 😦 …I have had mice, rats and crickets as companions, they were all lovely, and definitely individuals with different favourite rest spots and foods… I will try and do something nice for them later!)

Save Me Reptile Rescue


Background to Save Me Reptile Rescue

I have been rescuing animals all my life. Even as a child people would bring injured cats, dogs and birds to me. All my life I have been doing my best to rescue rehabilitate and rehome animals. The number of animals, I have rehomed over the years are countless.

One day I fell in love with a bearded dragon I named Draco. Draco was with me all the time, he went shopping, visiting friends, on holiday, to the bush. Draco died of old age at 10 years old, and I miss him every day.

Over time I have come to realise there is a need for reptiles and exotics to be rescued. There are many institutions who rescue cats and dogs. It’s also easier to find a cute kitty or puppy a home rather than a “scary” lizard or  a snake

It brings me great pleasure when I meet a person who “would never touch a snake” and ends up leaving with the thought that “its actually quite beautiful”. I want all people to understand that snakes are not evil. In fact they are vital to our eco system.

Save Me Reptile Rescue


So to paraphrase from their site…all creatures great and small…let’s love them all!


P.S. Speaking of reptiles, this morning I went out before sunrise with a torch to pick some grapes and was surprised by a velvet gecko up in the vine, munching away on them…maybe it’s a closet vego…haha!!