Sunday, January 30, 2011

70 + degrees in January...

In central Oklahoma the last few days have been warm and sunny offering an opportunity to get the bunnies at Heartland Rabbit Rescue some outside time. This makes for a lot of work for the Director but the reward of getting to see antics such as are depicted in this brief video make it all worth it.

The star of the show is Veronica, who was featured previously in some October exuberance. As you can see, she has lost none of her moves....about 18 seconds into the video you will see a brief appearance by Princess Gwendolyn.

You will also see Veronica engaging in some "chinning" on my shoe...according to the House Rabbit Resource network this means "I was here" or "This belongs to me". Some humans speculate that status conscious bunnies chin more than bunnies not too worried about this sort of stuff. Veronica is definitely something of a "prima donna" so the chinning fits right in with her personality. Watch this beautiful and athletic bunny in action:


The joy of living is the birthright of all...you can avoid being a destroyer of this joy by living as an ethical vegan. Veronica (and Gwendolyn) are only two of the earthlings that would thank you.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"By-product".....

this video (no graphic images) came from Farm Sanctuary and shows three baby cows who were the result of the "artificial insemination" (rape - penetration without consent) of their mothers who were dairy (previous post) cows.

Their mothers were impregnated (against their will and for the benefit of the dairy owner) so they would continue to produce milk. The babies were not wanted and were immediately taken from their mothers and sent to a place where they were to be sold. The Farm Rescue folks happened to be at that particular place and saved these three cow children.

For you who continue to use cow milk, cow cheese, cow milk ice cream, etc (or any milk product from an animal)...take a look at your victims...these are the babies you condemn. Without the intervention of Farm Sanctuary they would be dead by now. For you who are more compassionate...take a look at some delightful cow babies.



You can read more about Blitzen, Lawrence and Alexander here.

Dairy is simply a code word for suffering and death, a code word for mothers impregnated against their will and mothers who have their children taken from them, a code word for the killing of babies for profit or convenience......You have been lied to.......Milk is not harmless, butter is not just "tasty", ice cream is not just sweet...each means that mothers and babies are crying and grieving, separated by force, babies chained and living briefly in darkness and with inadequate nutrition (veal), death, "artificial insemination" (rape).

Dairy is pleasure for no one with any sense of decency or compassion. Dairy is a word that should evoke repugnance and disgust.

Changing how you eat is a pitifully small effort to make to halt the enormity of the suffering and misery endured by Blitzen, Lawrence, Alexander and the millions of other cow babies and cow mothers. Is that too much to ask? Please, go vegan, and stop participating in this unspeakable cruelty.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Remembering a remarkable being...

For those of you familiar with Alex the parrot this will likely trigger some memories...however many are not familiar with this very special being and this video can serve as an introduction and a farewell. I remember feeling a sense of loss when I heard about his loss several years ago. The New York Times story re his death can be read here.



The book, Alex and Me, by Irene Pepperberg is a worthwhile read. It is intriguing to learn about Dr. Pepperberg's journey toward comprehending and recognizing the unique being that was Alex. One aspect of  Alex's  specialness was his facility at learning (not mimicking) human language...

Few (if any) humans have been able to become fluent in parrot language (or the language of any other species for that matter). And those sensitive to animal people that do not happen to be human know full well that they each have a language.

Thank you Alex, for being you, and farewell.

Sometimes...

...justice occurs. This from a story in the Vancouver Sun:
MOSCOW - A wounded fox shot its would be killer in Belarus by pulling the trigger on the hunter's gun as the pair scuffled after the man tried to finish the animal off with the butt of the rifle, media said on Thursday.
The unnamed hunter, who had approached the fox after wounding it from a distance, was in hospital with a leg wound, while the fox made its escape, media said, citing prosecutors from the Grodno region.
"The animal fiercely resisted and in the struggle accidentally pulled the trigger with its paw," one prosecutor was quoted as saying.
Best wishes to wounded fox, here is hoping she or he recovers completely....

"Hunting": an example of a socially tolerated pathology wherein unnecessary violence is allowed (if not approved of and supported) by a culture. One of the many small and large elements in a society promoting the notion that "might makes right".

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I see no difference.....

..."I see no difference between eating a dog,pig or cow. If the idea of eating dogs or cats bothers you, then understand how the idea of eating pigs, which are just as smart and loving, bothers me. Then you will have understood the daily pain within the heart of a vegan, or at least, ...within the heart of me." ~Jace Kai~

Note: no violent images are contained in the video.


What is to not understand?  If you use or eat animals or animal products...you practice brutality and violence against living beings that feel love and joy, fear and pain...or you pay other people your money to carry out such brutality and violence for you.  And you do this because you "like the taste"? Open your eyes, open your mind, open your heart...for those who are your victims...please.

Watch this Slow Loris get pleasure out of being "tickled".

We share a beautiful planet with a myriad of living beings that have their own pleasures in their own lives. Their lives (and their pleasures) belong to them...not to us. Ethical veganism is an attempt to live this truth...please....go vegan.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Who are we?

If anything, this video minimizes the issue.......(note...there are a few brief graphic images)



To use a sentient living being or any part of a sentient living being...for any purpose whatsoever....without their clear and freely given explicit permission should be...at a minimum... a felony with subsequent mandatory legal punishments.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The graph...

I couldn't resist..........

China bans animal circuses....

according to this article at the About Animal Rights blog, this ban prohibits animal performances in circuses and zoos. Thank you, China....maybe one day other countries of the world will follow your example and act to eliminate these sources of misery and cruelty.

I wonder when enough awareness of the disgusting cruelty and exploitation of animals by "entertainment" venues such as circuses and rodeos is going to result in their being prohibited from using animals in performances or "contests" here in the United States? If you want to become more aware of the cruelty in circuses, visit here, or here, or here (some videos have graphic images of cruelty). The ASPCA lists 10 things you can do to fight circus cruelty, the number one thing is to boycott circuses that feature or use animal performers.

As for rodeos, remember, these are events where the "skills" practiced are those that were (and are) used by human animals to identify, control and transport cow animals to a slaughterhouse. This is similar to the honoring and glorification of the skills used by the Nazi human animals to identify, control and transport their human animal victims to the slaughterhouses they called concentration camps.

Rodeos are about "contests" of "proficiency" at various methods of control, enslavement and death....this is "entertainment"?

Causing fear or pain in a living, sentient being for "entertainment" or "pleasure" is pretty much the definition of the word sadism. Maybe if folks wanted "truth in advertising" rodeos should be renamed "sadeos"....fun for sadists....get your kicks watching others be terrorized and hurt.

If you are someone that believes circuses and rodeos (that use animals other than human animals) should be allowed, I would ask you to consider if you would want yourself or your child to be subjected to the kind of treatment these non-human animals receive, to be subjected to the "training" they are forced to endure, to the kind of life they have to live, to separation from family and friends so someone could make a profit off of you or your child. And, when you were no longer needed or profitable....you or your child would be killed. Would you want that? .....obviously no one would....then why allow this to be done to others? Why?

The cultural trance hides the truth that we all.....bears, cats, rabbits, humans, trout, finches, robins, turtles, cows....we all are brother and sister...we all are children of planet earth....we all love life, we all can hurt, we all can feel joy, we all have friends, family.............we are the same...we just look different and talk different and have different strengths and weaknesses...that's all. That's all.......

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Martin Luther King...and other advocates for nonviolence.

A salute and thanks to a remarkable person....Coretta Scott King, the widow of Dr. King. She continued his work promoting social justice and nonviolence...and lived the last years of her life as a vegan.

This holiday honors a proponent of nonviolence, which is one of the principles of ethical veganism.

Thanks to my friend Andrew who writes over at We're All Animals for bringing attention to a remarkable woman named Gwen Dunlop. The link associated with her name will take you to one of the more powerful essays ever written (that I have read) about the suffering of animals and advocating on their behalf. She writes about her regular vigil outside a slaughterhouse in Toronto. Some excerpts from her essay:
My vigil takes various forms but mostly it entails meeting the truckers as they arrive, witnessing the unloading of the females of the pig species, (called sows by some, who I call my soul friends and my tribe) and then seeing the truckers (who have no option but to pass right by me, my conscience and I hope and I know, in some cases, theirs)...
Most of the time, I just stand there, in whatever kind of weather, for as long as I can last, sometimes three hours… more or less, with both hands over my heart.....
I send as much love and compassion as I can muster, amidst the beatings of the sows and their subsequent screams, (which I never think can get worse but do),and the shouting of some of the truckers… as in: “Move, you stupid f’ing bitch(es)” (similar language with accompanying rage that at times gets sent my way as well)....
That we seem to think we human animals are special in some way and will therefore be spared the brutality we have not spared others of our species and certainly not these remarkably intelligent, non-human animals is, in my opinion, a form of insanity.
And criminals, at least some, however hardened we judge them or ourselves to be, are sometimes offered, on the eve of their executions or we, in our final moments, last rites and perhaps even a special last meal; whereas these sows, representing the female principle of life, have never had any rights…first or last or in-between....
Ms. Dunlop, a practicing ethical vegan, also writes about what led her to begin her vigil:
I felt for all the animals, who were never able to say and still cannot say, “Enough”; who had no recourse then, and all these years later, continue to have no recourse whatsoever in ending their own suffering....
Read her words in their entirety, she is most eloquent. The story of the events and history that let her to the vigil is quite remarkable and interesting.

Read also Andrew's post about her, he provides some fascinating information about vigils and objecting and advocating and protesting....even if you see no results.

His words led me to some thinking and looking into other folks that objected in the face of apparently overwhelming circumstances and I came across a term that Mahatma Gandhi created that seems to very accurately describe Ms. Dunlop's vigil. The word is Satyagraha and is defined by him as:
Its root meaning is holding onto truth, hence truth-force. I have also called it love-force or soul-force. In the application of satyagraha, I discovered in the earliest stages that pursuit of truth did not admit of violence being inflicted on one’s opponent but that he must be weaned from error by patience and sympathy. For what appears to be truth to the one may appear to be error to the other. And patience means self-suffering. So the doctrine came to mean vindication of truth, not by infliction of suffering on the opponent, but on oneself.
Satyagraha seems to me to describe quite well the slaughterhouse vigil. Gwen Dunlop exemplifies nonharm, nonviolence and the pursuit of truth. Satyagraha. Thank you Ms. Dunlop, for your efforts and for serving as an example to us all.

If you aren't already living as an ethical vegan:
An ethical vegan has a vegan diet and rejects consuming animal products but also does not wear or use any animal products. An ethical vegan rejects the commodification of nonhumans as property. An ethical vegan is committed to the abolition of animal exploitation. Moreover, ethical vegans recognize that an animal-based agriculture harms other humans as well as non-humans and sees the connection between human rights and animal rights. Ethical veganism is the moral baseline of the animal rights movement. Ethical veganism represents a commitment to non-violence in one’s daily living.
Today would be a good day to begin your journey...do your part to make Gwen Dunlop's vigil unnecessary by making slaughterhouses disappear. Do your part to live non-violently. The violence of killing animals is primarily driven by their use as food.

For the taste in your mouth, animals are killed...that fleeting and ephemeral experience (taste) does not justify the suffering, misery and death that is inflicted on sentient beings. The beating, the screaming, the killing of a pig animal is not justified by your desire to taste bacon.

The desire to taste something is a triviality compared to a life, compared to suffering, compared to misery. This is a self-evident truth and each of you reading this know it.....please begin living the truth.....and Gwen Dunlop and the animals and me and your own conscience will thank you.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What a difference 3 days make.

A brief post to bring you a video of the baby bunnies born on January 4th, 2011. You might want to look at the previous video first and then view this one. There is a rather dramatic difference in their size and their demeanor....several now have open eyes (this usually occurs around age 10 days...these little ones are 12 days old in this video). Development is very rapid......enjoy.


If you accept the responsibility of a companion animal....then neuter or spay them...please....all of the animal people deserve homes and too too many (literally millions) domesticated animals are killed each year because no one wants them and sanctuaries that do not kill healthy animals are full or are without the resources to care for them.

Sunday thought....

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.....many remember this little ditty from childhood. Few know, however that this is the name of a song first recorded in 1928 by (according to this source) Harry Reser's Six Jumping Jacks with vocals by Tom Stacks.

Incidentally, not only does the song avoid mentioning that the only genuine screaming associated with "ice scream" belongs to the suffering cow animals and their cow baby animals (milk when used as an ingredient in ice cream is obtained by stealing it from the mother cow and denying that milk to her baby after separating mother and child...permanently...from one another)....the song is casually overly familiar and disrespectful (if not racist) in its references to the Eskimo peoples.

Little did you know.........

Here's something to consider if you want to enjoy a good taste and not contribute to the unnecessary suffering of sentient beings:

Chocolate cuties are quite tasty (don't consider them "health food" however...except for the health and well being of cows and their babies) and if you can't imagine going without the taste of ice cream...well don't. You don't have to...cuties can serve quite well to address any desire for an ice cream fix and in addition to chocolate...my favorite.....they come in a variety of other flavors.

Try a cutie and do your part to finally end the screaming associated with the obscenity called "dairy products". Go vegan and help end all the suffering.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

January 4th, 2011....

.....early morning of that date marked the birth of 11 babies by a bunny that had been running loose and was captured and brought to Heartland Rabbit Rescue by the director and a dedicated volunteer. The new mom had only arrived at the shelter a few days earlier.

Instead of one new refugee, the population of the south warren was now increased by about 15%. While 2 of the babies did not survive....the remaining 9 are beautiful and cute and fun and wonderful.....but.....each baby born in a shelter means some other bunny cannot be rescued.

Some bunny, or cat, or dog facing execution in a municipal shelter will possibly not be accepted by a shelter that does not practice the killing of healthy animals.......because of lack of space due to births by animals that came into that shelter already pregnant.

If that bunny or cat or dog was pregnant, that meant some human that was responsible for them.....failed them....and failed any other animal that couldn't be rescued because of unanticipated shelter births. Think of it this way, every shelter birth means somewhere some other animal will die. Every animal purchased from a breeder means.....some animal in a shelter somewhere dies because they weren't adopted.

Make no mistake, humans fooling around with the lives of others by domesticating living beings and making them dependent on us also makes us responsible for those lives......and for those deaths. Get it?

Enough growling from me..........now for the cute part. First is a still photo of the tiny one of the bunch, he/she is bracketed by yellow arrows. This little one, right now is less than half as large as the siblings.  The white fuzzy stuff surrounding them is fur that mom pulled off of her chest to make a nest for the kiddos.
The tiny one.......age 1 week
Next is a video taken on January 13th, when the children were 9 days old and shows them and mom after they have been transferred to their brand new enclosure. All of the fur from the old box was (after the video) used to cover them back up....all snug and warm.

So far mom has been doing a great job of caring for her babies.....domestic mom rabbits do not hang around their youngsters except when nursing and cleaning them. It is speculated that the reason for this is a reduction in chances that a predator will find the babies. Rabbit babies have almost no scent and mom staying away reduces chances that a predator will be able to locate the babies by smell.  Notice the round tummies....mom is doing her job admirably.

The babies are terrific, yet this situation exemplifies ambivalence......because of their unexpected arrival and the resources and time needed to care for them....somewhere, sometime some other bunny animal(s) may well not be rescued.

Spay and/or neuter companion animals, please. Urge others to do so....and begin living as an ethical vegan....please.

Leaver or Taker?

Some years ago I read a book that disturbed me. Well, what it disturbed (in retrospect) was some of the soporific cultural lies we are given to spread over the astonishingly destructive ways of thinking and living we call the "American Way".

Now the book itself was sort of a pain to read due to the style of writing (at least is was for me) but I stuck with it and if you haven't read the book I think you might be rewarded if you will tough it out and read it through. There is a possibility that the experience will move you into some different ways of thinking.....ways that are quite interesting. The book is titled Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn.
...."There's nothing fundamentally wrong with people. Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with the world. But given a story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world. Given a story to enact in which they are the lords of the world, they will act as the lords of the world. And, given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now.".....(from a quote included in the wikipedia article re Ishmael)
Here is another excerpt from Ishmael:
You can’t say, ‘We’re going to change the way people behave toward the world, but we’re not going to change the way they think about the world or the way they think about divine intentions in the world or the way they think about the destiny of man.’ As long as the people of your culture are convinced that the world belongs to them and that their divinely-appointed destiny is to conquer and rule it, then they are of course going to go on acting the way they’ve been acting for the past ten thousand years. They’re going to go on treating the world as if it were a piece of human property and they’re going to go on conquering it as if it were an adversary. You can’t change these things with laws. You must change people’s minds. And you can’t just root out a harmful complex of ideas and leave a void behind; you have to give people something that is as meaningful as what they’ve lost – something that makes better sense than the old horror of Man Supreme, wiping out everything on this planet that doesn’t serve his needs directly or indirectly.” (Ishmael, p. 249)
Now at the time I read the book I hadn't awakened to the imperative of ethical veganism, I wasn't too far away but I wasn't there yet. The book itself isn't written from a vegan perspective but it definitely is written from a viewpoint that argues against the European notion (taken to the logical extreme by us folk that call ourselves Americans) that human animals are above, outside of or exempt from our planet, from nature and from the environment and that we can do anything we damn well please....with impunity....and we should do anything we damn well please and anybody that says different is either a fool, a traitor or a terrorist.

Now Mr. Quinn has written a number of other books, you can see a full bibliography over on the website associated with him. He has also posted online some of his essays and lectures. For instance this passage is from one of them.
"When the gods made the universe, they made it in such a way that all who have eyes to see can read the Law of Life in it. They wrote it in things, not in words, so that not only man but the snail and the mosquito and the rabbit could read it. This is why no man will ever succeed in framing the Law in words: it is too simple for words. Should you meet some skeptic who says to you, 'Where is this Law? I see no Law,' tell him to watch the wolf and the deer and the jackal and live as they do. These creatures see the Law and are following it, and there are no criminals among them. . . ..If you ask me on my last day, as I close my eyes for the last time, whether I know the Law of Life, I'll tell you: 'I'm beginning to know it.' If any man tells you he knows the whole of the Law of Life or that he can encompass it in words, that man is a fool or a liar, because the Law of Life is written in the universe and no man can know the whole of it. If ever you're in doubt about the Law, consult the caterpillar or the gull or the jackal; no man will ever know it better or follow it more steadfastly than they.""
One last quote from Quinn's writings:
As we go about our business of running the world, we have no doubt that we're doing as good a job as God, if not better. Obviously God put a lot of creatures in the world that are quite superfluous and even pernicious, and we're quite at liberty to get rid of them. We know where the rivers should run, where the swamps should be drained, where the forests should be razed, where the mountains should be leveled, where the plains should be scoured, where the rain should fall. To us, it's perfectly obvious that we have this knowledge.
If you aren't familiar with the writing of Daniel Quinn, you might want to become so. His writing served me well as I struggled toward being able to apprehend Donald Watson's message about ethical veganism. Living vegan isn't just about compassion (although that may be the most significant component), it also (for me) has to do with our (our including all living things) place in the world.  Not that I know or anything.....but Ishmael certainly gave me a kick in the butt in terms of opening up my thinking about such questions.

By the way, Leaver and Taker are names Mr. Quinn applies to the basic premise(s) that underlay different cultures:
The premise of the Takers' story is 'The world belongs to man.' ...The premise of the Leavers' story is 'Man belongs to the world.'
Give Daniel Quinn's writing a try....you might discover some treasure(s) there.
 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Movies and messages.....

A few weeks ago I found myself watching a movie that I asked myself "why am I watching this?" several times....it wasn't a very good or well made movie....but. I am glad I didn't stop because the movie (Outlander, 2008) had a sequence near the middle of the movie that epitomized the cultural narcosis that exists in much of the world. Here is a synopsis from IMDb:
During the reign of the Vikings, Kainan, a man from a far-off world, crash lands on Earth, bringing with him an alien predator known as the Moorwen. Though both man and monster are seeking revenge for violence committed against them, Kainan leads the alliance to kill the Moorwen by fusing his advanced technology with the Viking's Iron Age weaponry.
The phrase "both man and monster are seeking revenge for violence committed against them." is a little misleading. There is a sequence somewhere during the middle of the film where the protagonist (Kainan) explains how his culture invaded the home planet of the "monsters" because they liked it and in the process attempted to exterminate all of the beings (the "monsters") living there so they (Kainan and his folks) could take possession of the planet. They missed one "monster" and this "monster" killed Kainan's family.

It is amazing to listen and watch this explanation because it simply ignores the obvious lesson(s) to be learned...don't be taking things that don't belong to you, don't be invading someone else's home, don't be violent toward those that aren't attacking you, etc. Nope, the lesson the movie and Kainan promote is that he (Kanian), failed to adequately protect his family....

I thought that section of the movie did a terrific job (albeit inadvertently) of highlighting how "normal" thinking often consists of logical inconsistencies and blind spots when dealing with violence toward sentient beings that aren't human animals.

A few days ago I re-watched an older movie (1987), Harry and the Hendersons, and it was interesting to see the movie from a vegan perspective. The movie had a number of pro-animal and vegetarian messages, with a strong emphasis (from Harry the bigfoot) on Ahimsa (non-violence). Harry, however, was accorded respect primarily because he was increasingly seen....as the movie progressed.......as more and more "humanlike" and less and less as an "animal". Still, it was interesting to watch Harry advocating the respectful burying of hunting trophies (a stuffed deer head and others) and a mink stole instead of wearing or displaying them...... and to note that his adoptive family (the Hendersons) buried a beef roast instead of using it as the main dish at a meal. If you have had a change in perspective since you first saw this movie, go back and rewatch it....it might be an interesting experience for you.

Year of the Dog is a movie that grabbed me the first time I saw it and while I haven't re-watched it yet I am slowly getting in a mood to do so. It is a sort of comedy written and directed by Mike White. He has also written a several other movies that I enjoyed (The Good GirlSchool of Rock, Orange County). Mr. White, who is a vegan, does (along with the cast) a fairly good job of presenting notions about caring about our fellow living beings (in a comedic, tragedy tinged, way). I suspect anyone who is a vegan will spot a number of things in this very good movie that resonates with some of their life experiences. For those not vegan, it might challenge you (gently) with some different ways of thinking.

I especially enjoyed the farewell email sent by the main character to her family, friends and co-workers:
If you all didn't think I was crazy, I'm sure you will now. How do I explain the things I've said and done? How do I explain the person I've become? I know I've disappointed everyone and I'm sorry for that. I wish I was a more articulate person. I believe life is magical. It is so precious. And there are so many kinds of life in this life. So many things to love. The love for a husband or a wife, a boyfriend or girlfriend. The love for children. The love for yourself. And even material things. This is my love. It is mine. And it fills me and defines me. And it compels me on.
What she is referencing when she writes "This is my love" is her love for other animals....

If you haven't seen Year of the Dog.....do so.....remember "there are so many kinds of life in this life"....go vegan.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Bunny behavior 101....sleeping.....

when a bunny feels relatively safe, sleeping positions can sometimes be so relaxed that they may appear to be alarming. Stella (the bunny) presents an example:



The next video clip shows Bailey being so relaxed that his guardian becomes concerned:



Think of all the bunnies that might be able to sleep more relaxed if human animals didn't want to eat them, use them in laboratories, breed them for profit or wear their skin.

Definition of ethical vegan:
An ethical vegan has a vegan diet and rejects consuming animal products but also does not wear or use any animal products. An ethical vegan rejects the commodification of nonhumans as property. An ethical vegan is committed to the abolition of animal exploitation. Moreover, ethical vegans recognize that an animal-based agriculture harms other humans as well as non-humans and sees the connection between human rights and animal rights. Ethical veganism is the moral baseline of the animal rights movement. Ethical veganism represents a commitment to non-violence in one’s daily living. 
Living as an ethical vegan means a bunny (and other sentient beings) could safely relax around you. If you don't qualify as "relaxed non-human animal safe" yet, get your starter kit now and begin your journey. Once you do, maybe someone like Baily or Stella will drop by for a nap.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Saving our home....

....the "collateral undamage" that accompanies a vegan lifestyle is considerable. In addition to the obvious and immediate effect of reducing the unnecessary suffering (and death) of innocent beings,  eschewing the use of animals and animal "products" quite likely improves your health and is beneficial for the environment.

Lots of folks are unaware of the horrendous damage to the environment done by the farming of animals. Watch and increase your awareness:



Curiously, the environmental benefits of a vegan lifestyle are rarely mentioned in the popular media. For instance, Al Gore, in the very well known (and oscar winning) environmental documentary An Inconvenient Truth......conveniently didn't mention the fact that the single greatest impact one individual can have on their contribution to greenhouse gases is to quit eating/using animal products.

Think about it.....arguably the most well known environmental documentary...ever....avoids telling its audience the single most effective step they can take to reduce their damage to the environment. This is a wonderful example of cultural brain-washing (by omission).

Wait, wait you say.....An Inconvenient Truth came out over 4 years ago, now folks know better...right? Nope, if you go to the website of the Environmental Protection Agency (the EPA), the agency of federal government charged with "protecting" the environment....to their section on climate change ...... you will find no mention of the vegan lifestyle as a step an individual can take to reduce their contribution to greenhouse gases. If you visit About.com for their take on the "Top 10 Things You Can Do To Reduce Global Warming" you will find no mention of avoiding the eating of animals.

The University of Chicago knows that avoidance of meat is the most effective way an individual can reduce their contribution to greenhouse gasses, they say: " Human diet has a profound influence on the release of greenhouse gasses (CO2) into the atmosphere. A red meat diet is has the most per capita impact on the atmospheric load of greenhouse gasses." But....on the page where they make this statement....they place it at the bottom right of the page....in small print.

If you want an education in how uncomfortable or unprofitable information.....vital information...is suppressed or avoided or minimized....just start looking into the subject of environment, diet and the individual. The gyrations and avoidance maneuvers are a hoot (in a tragic, depressing sort of way).

There is a terrific full-length documentary available for watching online that doesn't avoid reality, you can watch Meat The Truth by clicking on the link associated with the title.

The ethical vegan lifestyle has an astonishing number of positives and a paucity of negatives....if you haven't already....go vegan....save other lives, maybe improve your health, make your contribution to being green and saving our home.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bunny behavior 101.....The flop....

along with the binky are two of the more excellent moves rabbits have in their repertoire. A previous post presented binky maestro Veronica showing her stuff. I found this video which shows Tigger (the cat) and Noisette (the bunny) hanging out together, Noisette first grooms herself and then presents an excellent flop......



For the purists, here is an example of only the flop (watch closely, the flop occurs right after the video begins).




 Watching a bunny binky or a flop can remind us that the joys of life are not exclusive to human animals....live and let live....go vegan.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

As we plunge headlong....

toward what seems to be the goal of making the promised land into the forsaken land (planet Earth), we should remember that we not only deprive and injure and despoil it for ourselves.



In opposition to the message in the video, for each of those individuals that make up a species....it is too late.

Charles Bowden, in his book titled "Some of the Dead are still Breathing" wrote:
I believe the politics of the right and left matter not to the bird on the wing or the trees dying on the hillsides. (p. 12)
We seem to be unalterably committed to increasing the numbers of human animals...at the expense of every other life form. (image source)
One source estimates the infertility "industry" annually generates about 2 billion dollars in the United States. This is associated only with the small percentage (10 to 15%) of people who have some sort of difficulty reproducing. Contrast this with the annual income  of PETA (considered to be the largest animal rights organization in the world) which is 35 million dollars.

For every dollar PETA has to promote animal rights (and I am aware of the controversies re PETA policies and practices and am ignoring them here for illustrative purposes) almost 60 dollars are spent to make more people by the 10 or 15% that have trouble reproducing.  And rest assured there is most certainly a direct correlation between the number of people and the demise of the rest of nature.

Realize I am only referencing one "industry", think about all the other "industries" whose practices rely on directly or as "collateral damage" the despoiling of the environment or the killing or enslavement of sentient beings or the increase of the number of humans. Logging, animal farming, automobiles, weapons, power generation,  construction and on and on and on. There is no contest from a financial resource perspective.

 Something is seriously wrong.....what the hell are we doing?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cat disguises self as bunny.....

...watch the procedure:



Now watch red panda play:



Finally, take a look at the interaction between this lion mom and a human:



 We are all animals.......we all want to live and enjoy our lives....help this to happen....go vegan. And smile...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Consider....

......the ways human animals look at the other living beings around them.

For the most part, we have chosen to strip the "beingness" away from all other living ones on this planet except those identified as human animals. Once they lose whatever status accompanies being identified as a being worthy of consideration or respect....pretty much anything goes.

Then a living being can be reduced to "commodity",  "product",  "food",  "resource", "livestock", "property", "pet",  "game", "pest", "wildlife" and on and on.

They can then be enslaved, exploited, imprisoned, abused, killed, dismembered, hunted, ridden, chased, hurt, skinned, trained, made into "art", bred, stuffed, farmed, bought, petted, sold and on and on.

In essence we give ourselves license to do any damn thing we want to.....with those beings, with their bodies, with their lives, with their children, with their feelings. We give ourselves the kinds of powers over the other living beings that we human animals attribute to things we call gods.

What kind of god are you?

I would suggest that, were you some other kind of animal besides human, you would want to live on a planet where the human animals (the self-appointed gods) are vegan. Where the code of conduct for the gods includes the notion that other living beings are not to be "used" for any purpose.

You would likely want to live in a world where those more powerful than you did not hunt (for "sport"), kill, skin, chase, exploit, imprison, dismember, ride, train, breed, farm, buy, sell, etc. you.

It is likely that you would not want to be a pet....but maybe you would. Remember though, if you are a "pet" then you are "property". Your life is not your own, you have no freedom....except what your "owner" allows. If your owner gets tired of you, or becomes ill, or moves or can't "afford" you then you face the prospect of being dumped, killed, relinquished or taken to a "shelter" where you may be "euthanized".  If you have a benevolent and thoughtful owner, well, then that's great as long as nothing happens to your owner....and your owner stays benevolent and thoughtful.

What kind of world would you want to live in, if you were some kind of animal other than human?

Or, what kind of world would you want to live in if there were some other kind of animal besides human who were the most powerful.

Would you want those "all-powerful" animals to be ethical vegans? Or would you want them to be "normal" (believe that other animals besides themselves were theirs to "use"). Would you want those "all-powerful" animals to believe that you had no right to your own life....except what they allowed? Would you like it that those animals believed they owned the whole world and everything in it and they could do anything they wanted to do with all of the world?

Would you want these all-powerful beings to use human skin for "art" or wallets? (this link takes you to a place where you can purchase human-skin belts, etc...however unlike most products made from skin, the donors of the human skin are paid and are voluntary).

"Be the change you want to see in the world" is a quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi.

To determine the change you want to see in the world, I would suggest you consider what kind of world you would want if you were some other sort of animal than human. If you come up with some way of living that surpasses veganism in terms of fairness and compassion and practicality, let me know....we need to talk.  :-)