Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cropper the fox................

I ran across this video on Wimp and present it to you here.  I am smitten with foxes, in addition to their physical beauty, their behavior patterns are fascinating in that in some ways they more closely resemble cats than dogs.

This video is apparently a couple of years old, I spent a little time searching and couldn't find any updates about Cropper or the fellow he lives with.   Our relationships with our fellow animals could be so very different with so little effort (on our part). 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

D(M)ocumentary: Life cycle of the plastic bag.......

Jeremy Irons narrates:

 If you do not already do so, start using reusable bags for your shopping.  One estimate says that the United States uses 38 million barrels of oil per year to make these bags at an overall cost of almost $20 billion every year.  Most ocean litter is plastic of one sort or another and causes the death of large numbers of animals.

This is absurd and insane.

A small shift in your behavior can result in a big plus for the environment and for sea animals and for conservation of a non-renewable substance.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lighten up..............

I ran across a few videos that are sort of fun.  The first is a bunny binky with a full turn, the landing looked a little rough but this bunny is olympic caliber.


Next is a little goat person that is full

And the third depicts something that anyone with many animal people to care for sometimes has nightmares about.  It is titled: "Never Run With Grain".  If you are a Vangelis fan you are in for a treat.

You human animal persons reading this should now go find a non-human (or natural) animal person(s) and have some fun with them.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Time travel and a thought experiment................

Ever wonder what you would have thought of slavery if you had lived in, say, Georgia in 1838.  Would you have owned slaves?  Would you have opposed it and engaged in activism against it?
Consider....slavery is legal, the population of the united states in 1830 was 13 million of which 2 million of those were  slaves.  There was one person in slavery for every 5.5 that were not. About 15% of the population was owned by the other 85%. 

The law was on the side of the slaveholder, tradition and custom were on the side of the slaveholder.  Slavery was commonplace, it has always existed, it is in the bible. The churches, social clubs, community groups, governments and businesses supported slavery.  African Americans (most of whom are slaves) are considered to be inferior, stupid, dirty, undisciplined, insensitive, uncivilized, ignorant beings.
Would you have opposed the institution of slavery, at the risk of ridicule, at the risk of being thought to be strange, weird, silly, sentimental, foolish, stupid?  Slaves were property, would you have risked arrest, fines, prison for helping slaves escape?  What would you have done?
Do you believe you would have had the courage to oppose and resist this way of living?  Or would you have gone along with it, participated in it.  Maybe you would have ignored it, turned your head, pretended it didn’t exist and thereby tacitly condoned its continuation.  What would you have done?

There was some resistance, the Quakers for instance.  Nat Turner’s rebellion had occurred in 1831.  William Loyd Garrison was actively calling for abolition, Oberlin College was accepting African American students. If you had objected you would not have been alone, there was spotty and inconsistent support for those opposing slavery.

What would you have done if faced with this obscene spectacle of human behavior?  Would you have joined the resistors, supported them, leafleted on their behalf, spoke out in their defense and agitated against slavery?

Consider the American Indians, 1838 was the last of the Indian Removal from Georgia and other states (The Trail of Tears).  The Supreme Court had ruled the removal to be illegal, the president (Jackson) ignored the ruling and took away the lands and homes of the American Indians in the southeast and forced them to walk to Oklahoma, thousands died along the way. American Indians are considered to be inferior, stupid, dirty, undisciplined, insensitive, uncivilized, ignorant beings.

Would you have objected, protested, resisted?  Or would you have gone along with it, participated in it.  Maybe you would have ignored it, turned your head, pretended it didn’t exist and thereby tacitly condoned its continuation.  What would you have done?

There is a curious thing about life, each of us in our own time of living can be faced with significant moral questions.  Great injustices and horrors occur on a seemingly perpetual basis.  We often ignore or deny or seek obliviousness to these occurrences, nevertheless, they exist.  You can pretend they don’t…but pretense does not magically make them disappear nor does it absolve you and your actions or your failure to act.

We live in a time of injustice, of horror and obscenity....the American people....annually, cause the unwarranted and unnecessary deaths (and prior to that death a life of unending misery and suffering) of 10 billion living sentient beings (land animals only....the number of fish is incalculable). Sentient beings that feel fear, form friendships, feel love, care for their children, cry in terror when frightened, scream in pain when injured. That is 10,000,000,000 lives.
Lives of beings that had mothers, that would have sought comfort from those mothers had they been allowed, that had they had the opportunity they would have run and played like Bella the pig does in the video.  They would have played with a friend like the deer plays with the dog in the video.  They would have played in a puddle, if they had been able, like the young elk does in the video.
The law is the side of the animal owner, tradition and custom are on the side of the animal owner.  Killing and eating animal people is commonplace, it has always existed, it is in the bible. The churches, social clubs, governments, community groups and businesses support killing and eating animal people.

Animal people that are not human animal people are considered to be inferior, stupid, dirty, undisciplined, insensitive, uncivilized, ignorant beings.
Being able to rise above and see beyond the current traditions and customs and “common sense” of the time and culture they were born into is part of what prompted those whose efforts helped end past injustices.
Your thoughts, beliefs and actions or lack of actions help make the world how it is.

What would you have done in 1838?
This is your time of life, great injustices are being practiced as if they were “normal” every second of every day.  You have the opportunity to rise above the awfulness of your times.  You have the opportunity to object to, to resist and to not participate in a great injustice.

What are you going to do now?
Do you have the will and the courage to oppose and resist this way of living?  To have friends and family and your culture perhaps think you are weird, silly, strange, sentimental or peculiar.

Or are you going along with it, participating in it.  Maybe you are ignoring it, turning your head, pretending it doesn’t exist and thereby condoning the continuing suffering and death.
What are you doing?  What are you going to do?

(Veganism is a philosophy and lifestyle whose adherents seek to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. Vegans endeavor not to use or consume animal products of any kind.)

(Vegetarianism is the practice of following a plant-based diet including fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, nuts, and seeds, with or without dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat meat, including red meat, game, poultry, fish, crustacea, and shellfish.)

(Animal rights, also referred to as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings. Advocates approach the issue from different philosophical positions, but agree that animals should be viewed as non-human persons and members of the moral community.They argue that human beings should stop seeing other sentient beings as property.....)

(This post  was inspired by Marjorie Spiegel's excellent book: The Dreaded Comparison: Human and Animal Slavery)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

With a little help from my friends.........................

Some videos of friendship, same species and cross species.  First watch one tortoise helping out another.

Next a crow and a cat that pal around together:

Finally a deer and a rabbit that have formed a friendship:

The friendship formed between the elephant Tara and the dog Bella has been well publicized, they live at the Elephant Sanctuary and you can read more about them there.

For the human animals that continue to cling to the erroneous notion that they are somehow "superior" to other animals.............sad.

Human animals are unique, as are rabbit animals and elephant animals and cow animals and deer animals and cat animals and tortoise animals.  Each individual member of every species is worthy of respect, each life is important.

Living as a vegan embodies recognizing the significance of each life and respecting them.  If you aren't living that way now.....get started.

(Besides, living vegan is probably better for your health, definitely better for the health of the planet and most assuredly better for the health of the animals you used to call "food")

The crow person knocks me out.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Homeless Animals.....

I am generally not a big fan of "days".  There (to me) tends to be way too much of this "day" stuff.  Today, however, is a "day" designated as International Homeless Animals Day and while I would much prefer that everyday be devoted to this is a positive thing to pay attention to this sad phenomenon.  (Today is also: Poets day, Senior Citizens day and World Daffodil day....see what I mean).

Living in our household is a former homeless animal person (cat) named Bobby Ray.  His history is a little uncertain but I do know that early in 2005 I met Bobby Ray for the first time and that meeting...and especially the cool move he put on my wife...resulted in him becoming a former homeless animal.  Bobby Ray was one of the lucky homeless animals in that he ended up in a shelter where executions are not carried out simply because an animal person is homeless and somebody decides more space is needed (Second Chance of Norman). 

Bobby Ray...formerly homeless...2005
As you can see, he is a very attractive fellow with some striking eyes.  When we went to the shelter, my wife's emphatic position going in was that she did not any old "boy" cat.  She had never had the opportunity to get to know a "boy" cat person and had some stereotypical ideas about the gender (likely driven somewhat by her experience of me).

After spending some time with the many cat people there that needed a "forever home" we had sort of decided on a lovely little female cat person and told the shelter folks we thought this would be our choice.  One of the shelter founders agreed and then asked us to wait a moment and meet one of the cat people that was not out in the general play area for the cats.....he would have to go to the back to get him.  When my wife heard "him" she voiced that she did not want a "tom" cat.

The shelter directer wisely agreed but said that it wouldn't hurt to meet him anyway, would it?    He returned from the back with what appeared (because he was so large) to be 2 cats.  A big (18 lbs) relaxed tabby who was just sort of hanging there while being carried.  He promptly placed this bohemoth in my wife's arms and Bobby Ray (no fool he) reached up with his right paw and for all the world looked like he was wrapping it around my wife's neck and lay his head on her shoulder.  Bang, that was it....instant connection, new forever home for the cat person and new experience for a woman who had never known a "nasty old boy cat".

The shelter fellow told us that Bobby Ray had been in the shelter longer than any other cat, several years, (he was around 5 years old when he came home with us).  How he ended up in the shelter in the first place is unclear. Bobby Ray (his shelter name was Buckley) had been adopted out 2 times and was brought back both times.

The first failed adoption was with a young couple and when he was brought back the adopting couple said that the cat was "crazy" and had at one point attacked them if they tried to enter their home....effectively barricading himself in the house and keeping the human owners of the house outside.  He then was adopted by a single older woman who brought him back after a brief period saying that it was too expensive to feed him because he ate so much.

The shelter founder also told us that whenever a kitten came in that had no family they would always put the kitten with Bobby Ray because he was so nurturing and gentle with the lonely babies.  All this time as we were being told about his history, he is hugging my wife and looking like he belonged exactly where he was.  We were told that this special cat person was the favorite of all the folks at the shelter and the shelter founder said if we took him his children were going to be upset because when they visited the shelter they always made a bee line for Bobby Ray to spent time with him.

I admit that the story about him taking over the house and terrifying his first adoptive parents provoked a little concern on my part.  I tried to visualize it and kept coming up with a picture of Bobby Ray looking out a window (wearing a helmet and holding an AK 47 and grinning dementedly) and two distraught young people wringing their hands on the sidewalk in front of their home.  As far as his being "too expensive" to feed, that one is beyond me.

Here is a recent picture of him, engaging in one of his favorite activities....sleeping. 
Bobby Ray....2010

He has slimmed down to around 15 pounds, and has had some serious health problems because of food allergies.  He once had to be hospitalized for several days and has required surgery on his right eyelid.

Through it all, he has retained and expanded a personality that is amazing.  He is the most companionable being I have ever known.

Animal people in shelters, much like their human animal counterparts who find themselves in an institutional type situation adopt some defense mechanisms that help them endure their situation.  Orphans, prisoners, and refugees all ofttimes subdue many aspects of their self in order to survive.  Then, once they are in a supportive and safe environment, facets of their genuine self surface and are exhibited.  Over time Bobby Ray stopped being so "mellow" in that he became more startle prone and fearful behaving......a broom or yardstick was a source of fear for him.....where he once never met a stranger he now hides immediately if anyone comes to the house.  He initially showed a strong preference for me over my wife but this subsided over time and now he is quite egalitarian in hanging out with the two of us.  His startle threshold has dropped now, but he still does not like the sight of a broom or stick.

We speculate that he was abused by brooms and/or sticks and most likely by some female human person....but we will never know.  What I do know is that one of the best days of my life was the day I met him and every day since, he has never failed to bring moments of pleasure and yes, even joy.  I am somewhat in awe of him.  I had to spend several days in a hospital about 6 months ago and I missed his company severely.

When he had to be hospitalized he apparently reverted to the charm he manifested in the shelter and by the time he was ready to return home the veterinarian and the veterinarian's staff were all in love with him and took the time to mail him a get well card with personal messages to him from all of the folks that were at the vets office.  We posted his card on the refrigerator.

Unless he is sleeping (and oblivious) he wants to be with one of us, preferably in our lap but he will settle for being beside you or even laying at your feet.  He is profoundly appreciative of being caressed or stroked and would prefer that you touch, pet or rub him in some way or another 24/7.

He is superlative.......and I can only wish for you that you have some similar experience with an animal person.  There are innumerable animal people out there in the shelters needing and deserving of a safe nurturing environment in which to spend their lives.  Each one of those beings is a hidden gem, just waiting for that special place that allows them to blossom into their real selves.

Please adopt from a shelter, if you can't adopt...then foster, if you are unable to do either...then volunteer.....if none of those are options for you.....donate to your local shelters and rescue organizations.  If possible, do all of these things.

Heartland Rabbit Rescue, Hands Helping Paws, Second Chance, Norman Animal Shelter, Blue Hawk and Wildcare are all local organizations doing what they can for non-human them out, you may find it changes your life in ways you never imagined.  If you are able to foster (provide a temporary home) you free up a space in the shelter for some other homeless animal.  Fostering is a great way to help out without having to committ to a permanent relationship.  Take a look:

Try to make this Homeless Animal Day one that is a good one for you and for a homeless animal person.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Notes for August 20th, 2010....

Tomorrow, August 21st, is International Homeless Animal's Day.  The Oklahoma Alliance for Animals is sponsoring an adoption event in conjunction with this day of acknowledgment.  The notion of honoring homeless animals was created by the International Society for Animal Rights

If you think about it, the concept of homelessness for animals covers quite an area.  Those animal people we call "wild", whose home is presumably the natural world.....human animals are destroying the natural world at a fearsome rate....hence depriving those "wild" animal people of a home. 

We human animals are executing about 4 million animal people annually in the United States because they don't have a home.  We call them "strays".  Oh, and we try to soften up the hard reality of what we are doing by calling it "euthanize" instead of execution or killing.  Euthanasia is defined as a "painless" death to end the life of someone suffering from a terminal illness or incurable condition.  For these millions of animal people, homelessness is...I incurable condition.  Usually we think only of dogs and cats when we think of animal shelters, actually all different species of animal people end up in shelters.....rabbits, horses, name it. 

How about this, go visit your local animal person shelter, if you can, adopt a homeless animal will likely be saving a life.  If you can't adopt, volunteer and help make those homeless animal persons more comfortable.  If you can't adopt or volunteer, search around and find a local animal rescue or shelter that provides permanent sanctuary for animal people....then sponsor one of the animals residing there.  Sanctuaries that provide permanent residence for those animal people that have no other options are always in need of whatever assistance you can provide.

In central Oklahoma, Heartland Rabbit Rescue, Second Chance, Wildcare, Hand Helping Paws, Blue Hawk, and Free To Live are all organizations dedicated to providing shelter and care for animal people.......and they do not engage in the killing of their residents in order to make room for others...........This may not be a complete list for this area so search on your own too.  If you are not located here, find out about the resources for homeless animals in your area and help out.........Please.

Remember, most animal homelessness is directly or indirectly caused by human animals.  Hence it is our responsibility to rectify it. 

Free movie....Home, an excellent full-length documentary about our planet is available online for free viewing.  The photography is superlative and Glenn Close narrates.  Increase your knowledge base about the place you live and where the other animal people live.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Some video and some fun video links......

In the last post I wrote that unwanted (about 75% of them) dairy cow babies are sometimes smashed in the head with a hammer.  This video, called Saving Billy, is about one of these baby dairy cows that was a lucky little boy and ended up at Farm Sanctuary.  He was saved thanks to a human animal that stood up for him.  There are no gross or violent scenes so watch and enjoy:

Jeanne, over at Heartland Rabbit Rescue sent a link to this wonderful video showing a terrific dog person having fun with a young deer person.

Next, you can watch a quick fox person jumping over a lazy dog person.

Now watch a catfish person that appears to enjoy being petted.

This video shows a feathered person making a tool and using it effectively.

And, finally, look at this porcupine person playing and showing off some twirl moves.

Each animal person wants to (among other things) enjoy play, enjoy life, enjoy caresses, solve problems and have friends and family.  If we allow them to.

I write here about Veganism because Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing and any other purpose.  Such a way of living entails allowing each animal person to enjoy her or his life just as human animal persons want to enjoy theirs.

What can I say.....I can think of no better way of living.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dairy is an innocuous sounding word..................

Got milk?  Most of us who live here in the United States are familiar with the well known advertising campaign conducted by Goodby Silverstein & Partners for the California Milk Processor Board.  The face of a familiar celebrity stuck in a magazine, newspaper or on a billboard with a photoshopped milk “moustache” has been with us since 1993 when the campaign began.  The slogan “got milk?” was licensed to the National Milk Processor Board in 1995 and in 2006, the campaign went after a new demographic with a series of Spanish-language “Toma Leche?” ads.

Milk, cheese, ice cream, whipped cream……….I loved all of them.  When I was a child we had a milk cow, she was a Jersey, a wonderful golden brown color.  I have ever since thought they were the most beautiful of all the cow people.  I have no memory of her having a baby but since mothers do not lactate unless there is a baby involved there must have been at least one.  My older sister didn’t like milk and never drank it and I couldn’t believe anyone didn’t like milk.  One of my favorite food combinations back then was chili and milk (another was a hamburger with homemade vanilla ice cream).  My mother always told me chili and milk would make me sick, but it never did…….it should have.
Jersey Cow........

Let’s walk through this together.  Mammals, female mammals, produce milk to feed their babies.  Doesn’t matter what the shape, size or form of the mammal, mother mammals produce milk for their babies.  Whales, cows, humans, pigs, cats, rabbits, dogs, rats, skunks, deer, raccoons and squirrels all were born to mothers that lactated and all of the baby animals (if they were lucky) sucked milk from their mothers breast(s).  In other words, cows are no different than any other mammal type animal, they are not especially configured to produce any more milk than is needed for her baby, any more than is a squirrel or a cat or a rat or a human. 

Like everything else having to do with living beings, this is not a precise phenomenon…..some moms do not produce quite enough milk for their baby but most err a bit on the side of caution and end up having a little more milk than is needed for the baby’s survival……that’s when you get fat and happy babies. 

Over time, as the baby mammal grows and becomes more able to digest and obtain food from the world (outside of the mom) the baby gets more and more nourishment from non-milk sources and the mothers milk production gradually tapers off and eventually stops.  This is often a time of dismay and some conflict because in general babies want to keep on getting milk from mom for a longer time than they need it and usually for a longer time than mom wants to keep on being a suck object.

Well, how the hell did I end up with the opportunity to discover that cows milk and chili tasted good together?  I wasn’t a cow baby, I wasn’t drinking my mothers milk (I was way too old for that).  I was drinking milk that properly belonged to the baby of that pretty jersey cow.  My father or my mother went out to the cow shed and took the baby cows milk from the mother cow.  They strained it, let it set for a while, skimmed off most of the cream and voila, cows milk to drink with my chili.  Everybody is happy right?  Well, except maybe for the cow, who had the milk for her baby taken from her and the baby cow, who never got the milk that belonged to him or her.  But the human animal (me) was happy and hey….that’s what counts, right?

Wrong, do the math, two cow animals (mom and baby) were screwed over so one human animal could have something they did not even need.  Any animal old enough to obtain nutrition from sources other than moms milk does not need milk…….if fact the only adult animal in the world that drinks any kind of milk is, guess what…..human animals.  Adult deer, adult gorillas, adult giraffes, adult kangaroos, adult tigers, adult lions, adult dolphins, none of them…..none…..drink milk of any kind after they are old enough to be weaned.

Milk is a starter fluid, if you will, for mammals, and each mammal animal mother has milk that is specifically tailored to provide the type of nourishment her baby needs.  Human milk is constituted differently than rat milk, cow milk is constituted differently than whale milk, or human milk.  Go here, take a look, you will see, each one is different, that’s because each animal species has different nutritional needs. 

By the way, lactose is a type of sugar that is found only in milk, forsythia flowers and a few tropical shrubs.  The enzyme needed to digest this sugar is most abundant in human intestines right after birth and then begins a slow decline.  About 75% of adult humans have some degree of lactose intolerance… other words lactose is for babies………what a bunch of putzes we are.

Now, what we do to get our greedy little paws on all that cows milk you see stocked in the grocery store is we forcibly artificially inseminate cow animals (essentially this is a rape…the cow certainly does not agree to it) and when they begin lactating in preparation for their baby we take (steal) the milk from the cow.  Then when the baby is born we take the baby away from the mother (because the cow baby would drink the milk) and we keep on stealing the milk from the mother. 

Now she is 4 or 5 years old and sorry cow mom, you are not profitable enough anymore, off you go into the truck, then to the slaughterhouse and we kill the mother (terrifyingly and horribly) and turn her into hamburger meat.  She is herself, barely into adulthood, cows have an average lifespan of 20 years or so if they have a beneficial environment and a suitable diet.

And then oblivious human children like me eat the hamburger (the flesh of the mother cow) with vanilla ice cream (milk for the mother cow’s baby) and think it tastes just fine…..sort of a crappy trick to play on a kid when you think about it.  We early on become unwitting accomplices in rape, murder and baby theft.

What about the baby cows?  Well, about 25% of them are taken and turned into milk cows to replace the ones we use, abuse and slaughter.  That leaves 75% of the babies to be either killed immediately (sometimes smashed in the head with a hammer or some other obscene practice) or they are sold at auction to human animals who then chain them up or pen them up indoors for 3 or 4 months and feed the baby cows a diet deficient in iron so their flesh will stay a whitish color and then they are slaughtered for veal. 

Milk means misery for the mother, she is raped then her baby is taken away….the mother cows cry and bellow for their babies sometimes for days and days.  This happens to her for 4 or 5 years and then she is slaughtered.

Milk means misery for the baby, they are taken away from their mother and then either forced into a few years of repeated rape, of having their babies stolen and their baby’s milk stolen and then killed.  Or the baby is destined to be chained or penned up, no sunshine, no playing, no exercise, no exploring, no learning about the world, no comfort from mother…..misery for 3 or 4 months and then killed….so some human animal somewhere can eat baby cow flesh (veal).

Got misery? This should be the slogan for the advertising campaign if it is to be honest, and the moustache should be a moustache of blood. 

Dairy, what an innocuous sounding word for something that means horrors and pain and misery and death.  All for something that tastes good……but it doesn’t taste good to me anymore.  A taste is not worth doing such terrible things to someone as nifty and beautiful as that jersey cow, or any cow or any mother of any kind of animal, or any baby of any kind of animal.  Never.

I want no part of it….none….I am a vegan and I am appalled and sorrowful and sad that I was too oblivious and was too lazy and too jaded and too cowardly to see through the lies and secrets that kept me away from living as a vegan all my life. 

To hide the horror was and is a wrong and bad thing, the hiding keeps many human animals engaged in doing wrong and bad things to animal people that did nothing to them, that did nothing to deserve the misery we human animals heap on them.  The oppression of and enslaving of and hurting of and killing of animal people is disgusting and horrible and wrong, wrong, wrong and I will participate in it no more and I will regret, for the rest of my life, that I ever did.

If I need a lactose fix, I will go chew on a forsythia or something, no more of this milk and ice cream and dairy stuff.....what a crock.  

There are a number of videos around that graphically detail what goes on in these houses of horror they call a dairy........I will direct you to them if you email and request such.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bunny snacks...............

Mother bunny, who was featured in a video here on July 26th, continues to thrive.  She is an excellent mom and her two little ones are growing, growing, growing.  All this parenting takes energy and mom is quite a chow hand. Here is a video of her getting free access (briefly) to a raisin bonanza. 

She resides at Heartland Rabbit Rescue and you can read about the odyssey which led her to the shelter using this link.   Rescue and shelter operations like Heartland are often the last resort for animal people with no where else to go.  These are private organizations dependent on the resources of the folks that run them, donations from the community and volunteers.  They would not exist without the dedication of the folks that run them and often the demands and expense of caring for the animal residents is staggering.  I am in awe of these heroes for animal people and urge you to seek out shelter and rescue operations in your community and donate what you can, money, services, labor, time, etc.

The payback for volunteering is immense, one of my biggest pleasures from spending time out at Heartland is having the opportunity to become acquainted with so many different rabbit people.  Each one is a unique individual, with their own way of being in the world and their behavior changes from time to time depending on how they feel.  Just like human animals (but you already knew that).  Volunteer, help out, it is good for your spirit and for the animal people.

Now, if you will take a moment to follow this link you can view a brief (about 60 seconds) video of a cottontail rabbit person obviating the notion that all rabbit people are timid, frightened beings that flee danger quickly.  Rabbit people are as different from one another as human people are, if you doubt that, go ask the snake person shown in the video clip.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Things said that resonate with me...........

Some of my absolutely favorite quotes:

The fact that animals are voiceless is a relief to us, it frees us from feeling much empathy or sorrow. If animals did have voices, if they could speak with the tongues of angels - at the very least with the tongues of angels - it is unlikely that they could save themselves from mankind. Their mysterious otherness has not saved them, nor have their beautiful songs and coats and skins and shells, nor have their strengths, their skills, their swiftness, the beauty of their flights. We discover the remarkable intelligence of the whale, the wolf, the elephant-it does not save them, nor does our awareness of the complexity of their lives. It matters not, it seems, whether they nurse their young or brood patiently on eggs. If they eat meat, we decry their viciousness; if they eat grasses and seeds, we dismiss them as weak. We know that they care for their young and teach them, that they play and grieve, that they have memories and a sense of the future for which they sometimes plan. We know about their habits, their migrations, that they have a sense of home, of finding, seeking, returning to home. We know that when they face death, they fear it. We know all these things and it has not saved them from us. Anything that is animal, that is not us, can be slaughtered as a pest or sucked dry as a memento or reduced to a trophy or eaten, eaten, eaten.
Joy Williams,The Inhumanity of the Animal People

The animal shall not be measured by man.  In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.  They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.
Henry Beston, The Outermost House, 1928

Humanity's true moral test, its fundamental test, consists of its attitude toward those who are at tis mercy: animals. And in this respect, human kind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it.
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

If a rabbit defined intelligence the way man does, then the most intelligent animal would be a rabbit, followed by the animal most willing to obey the commands of a rabbit.
Robert Brault

"In his thoughts, Herman spoke a eulogy for the mouse who had shared a portion of her life with him and who, because of him, had left this earth. "What do they know--all these scholars, all these philosophers, all the leaders of the world--about such as you? They have convinced themselves that man, the worst transgressor of all the species, is the crown of creation. All other creatures were created merely to provide him with food, pelts, to be tormented, exterminated. In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka."
 Isaac Bashevis Singer, author, Nobel Prize 1978: From The Letter Writer

Animals are my friends...and I don't eat my friends.
 George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Some folks insist that believing in animal rights is like a religion. But religion asks followers to believe in things nobody can see, while animal rights advocates ask followers to see things nobody can believe.
Craig Burton

In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.
Ruth Harrison, author of Animal Machines

“Whenever people say "we mustn't be sentimental", you can take it they are about to do something cruel. And if they add, "we must be realistic", they mean they are going to make money out of it.”
 Brigid Brophy

"To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime."
Romain Rolland, author, Nobel Prize 1915

"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

People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times.
Isaac Bashevis Singer

But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy.
Plutarch (c.AD 46-c.120)

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 (1452-1519)

I do not like eating meat because I have seen lambs and pigs killed. I saw and felt their pain. They felt the approaching death. I could not bear it. I cried like a child. I ran up a hill and could not breathe. I felt that I was choking. I felt the death of the lamb.
Vaslav Nijinsky (dancer and choreographer)

"There will come a time...when civilised people will look back in horror on our generation and the ones that preceded it: the idea that we should eat other living things running around on four legs, that we should raise them just for the purpose of killing them! The people of the future will say "meat-eaters!" in disgust and regard us in the same way we regard cannibals and cannibalism"
Dennis Weaver

We find amongst animals, as amongst men, power of feeling pleasure, power of feeling pain; we see them moved by love and by hate; we see them feeling terror and attraction; we recognize in them powers of sensation closely akin to our own, and while we transcend them immensely in intellect, yet in mere passional characteristics our natures and the animals’ are closely allied. We know that when they feel terror, that terror means suffering. We know that when a wound is inflicted, that wound means pain to them. We know that threats bring to them suffering; they have a feeling of shrinking, of fear, of absence of friendly relations, and at once we begin to see that in our relations to the animal kingdom a duty arises which all thoughtful and compassionate minds should recognize—the duty that because we are stronger in mind than the animals, we are or ought to be their guardians and helpers, not their tyrants and oppressors, and we have no right to cause them suffering and terror merely for the gratification of the palate, merely for an added luxury to our own lives.
Dr. Annie Besant

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”— Anatole France

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blind baby cow people have fun too....................

Not only is the video enjoyable, it allows me to introduce you to a remarkable sanctuary in California called HartSong Ranch Animal Sanctuary.  Their mission statement reads in part:
HartSong Ranch grants permanent sanctuary to animals with disabilities. Many of our residents are blind. All require some kind of specialized care.
Our mission is to provide a landscape of quiet and tranquility for the animals that live here – a sanctuary where they can enjoy nature, peace of mind and rejuvenated spirits.

The folks that operate the sanctuary have the last name Hart and they are musicians, hence the name HartSong.  The baby cow person is named Woodrow, he is 4 weeks old in the video and had been at the sanctuary for just a week at the time of the filming.  The folks at the sanctuary also note something astonishing about this special young cow person:
Of the many intriguing things about Woodrow, one of the most remarkable is his ability to detect "mass"...something...anything in front of him that might be a hazard, even though totally blind. We were able to capture this "protective gift" on the first day we allowed him away from the safety of his paddock when he made an immediate decision to "slam on the brakes" just before colliding with the fence and then, a few seconds later, he made the same decision before running into the car. How does he do this? What does he know that we do not? Fascinating!!! The truth of the matter is, he's most likely to "bonk" his head while exploring or grazing, something he does very slowly, so it really isn't much of a "bonk" to begin with.
Go on over to their website and read the story of Bess, a brave blind horse person that took on Ciara (a blind baby horse person) as her special project.  My special thanks to the Hart family and their efforts on behalf of Woodrow and all the animal people.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bella loves life and shows it..................

The video shows a young pig being a young pig.  Many people have never had the opportunity to interact with these animal people.  James Cromwell, who played Farmer Hoggett in the movie Babe became an ethical vegan as a result of his experiences while making the movie.  Cromwell made this statement in an interview:
"If you love a dog, you have to love a pig. It's the same. The pig has the same life cares - nurtures - avoids pain - suffers loss - all exactly the same."
After watching Bella in the video, you can go here for an update on her life.

Watch this exuberant youngster (if you don't like the music, just turn it off):

Monday, August 9, 2010

One of the positive aspects of the World Wide Web is.............

......that it makes possible accessing the writings and thoughts of others so astonishingly easy.  I am not sure that is always a good thing, but often it seems to be so.  I ran across an essay that had a quote in it referring to avoiding eating animals that is eloquent and potent:
"....Every time I sit down to eat, I cast my lot: for mercy, against misery; for the oppressed, against the oppressor; and for compassion, against cruelty. There is a lot of suffering in the world, but how much suffering can be addressed with literally no time or effort on our part? We can just stop supporting it, by making different choices...."
Bruce Friedrich's complete essay is well worth reading.  Support compassion with your choices....go vegan.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Time for some fun and then a bath.......

Take a look at these youngsters enjoying each other (thanks to We Are All Animals blog):

Now watch a youngster playing with that eternal source of joy....a puddle:

Finally, time to get cleaned up (at Arnold's Wildlife Rehab Center):

Fun is the birthright of all living beings (and getting clean).......

Friday, August 6, 2010

Moral Schizophrenia.............

One of the primary folks associated with the abolitionist movement, Gary Francione, writes about something he calls "moral schizophrenia" regarding non-human animals.  I have long thought this juxtaposition of signs and establishments exquisitely exemplified what he is referencing with the term.  What do you think?

The signs

The establishments.

Too hot, time to move slowly and say little............

One of our fellow earthlings is well suited to slow movement and saying little, just watch them at the Sloth orphanage: 

The Slow Loris seems ready for this Oklahoma weather:  
The Sloth hangs out in what is left of the rainforests of Central and South America, the Slow Loris (endangered) resides in a number of Southeastern countries......

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Laughing Rats?

Yup, apparently so.  Rats enjoy being tickled and actually laugh when tickled.

        We are so profoundly conditioned to abhor and revile these small mammals that many react with disgust at the name "rat".  However, if you look a little more closely you discover interesting information.  Below is a quote from an online article.
Willy was my friend Kathy’s rescued rat.  He had a great life that included full run of the house.  He would return to his always open cage to eat and drink on one side of it and urinate/defecate on the other side. Kathy is a pianist who practices long hours each day.  Occasionally Willy would run over to Kathy and rest on her shoulder as she played.  At some point, Kathy realized that Willy only came to listen to pieces by Bach.  With 100% regularity, he would appear on her shoulder within minutes of her beginning anything by Bach, but no other composers.
Rats like Bach?  Rats like to be tickled and laugh?

These beings are not even considered animals under the woefully inadequate law (inadequate because it places no restrictions on what can be done to animals in labs, only that they have to be fed and watered) that is supposed to provide some protection for animals used for testing in laboratories.

Willy the rat likes Bach and may even enjoy being tickled and laughing but the laboratory law (Animal Welfare Act) does not consider him to be an animal --- nor does this law consider mice or birds to be animals.

Cats and rats, enemies right?

What a piece of work we humans are.