Friday, December 31, 2010

A year-end apology...

...to each of the cow animals, sheep animals, chicken animals, pig animals, dog animals, cat animals, rabbit animals, turkey animals, duck animals, geese animals, wild animals and all other animals made to suffer and die needlessly this year because of the greed, cruelty, carelessness and thoughtlessness of human animals.

Apology is too weak a word to convey the sorrow and regret appropriate for the terror, pain, misery and death experienced by each sentient...innocent being.

Each of you deserved to live your life...to live on this earth...to run, play, fly and love....and that was stolen from you.

While those that think of you and will not forget you are few in number, we exist.

I am sorry, I will do more to try to stop this horror.

You can help too, if you are not vegan, please begin your journey now, help make this new year a better one for all.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A year-end Thank You....

to my teachers from the bunny world. There are two warrens out at Heartland Rabbit Rescue, the Big warren...where most of the residents live and the infirmary or clinic...where the bunny folk with medical issues recover and recuperate.

My classroom is the Big warren and that is where lessons have been taught me and continue to be offered....my skill at learning is sometimes greater than others but my interest stays steady.

Mistakes are often made by me and sometimes correction involves bringing some of my blood out of my skin to visit daylight, other times a punch or a kick or a grunt or a grumble or a non-blooding nip of the teeth. Or a flip-off from the hind legs or a thump or several thumps notes the times where I offer up my ignorance and clumsiness and it is rejected and commented on. Or a silent ignoring and a disdainful look, or a turning away, sometimes a laugh or a neigh or a nicker.  Among the most memorable are the incredible variety of astonishing noises that Molly and Judy can offer....donkey people are amazing in their available repertoire of auditory signals.

But, learn I have, and when no errors are made on my part, praise is offered via a offered head for petting, or a nicker, or a smile, or a look. Life is good then, actually it is pretty good when mistakes are made (as long as they are small) and learning happens, because some new or different behavior is then available that is desired.

My rabbit people teachers from the Big warren are: Spice, Gwendolyn, Giselle, Marie, Speckles, Walter J., Riley, Doug, Scott, Spencer, Bailey, Arvin, Daisy, Cowboy, Meisha, Opal, Arthur, Nester, Fast Eddie, Athena, Zoe, Griffin, Digonelli, Cherie, Betsy, Simon, Magic, Sophie, Benson, Alice, Bella, Satchel, Marshall, Larry, Lefty, Jimmy, Amara, Matt, Frank, Chanel, Rachel, Tavey, Cadbury, Washo, Brian, Ophelia, Faith, Allen, Alvin, Kiara, Darla, Veronica, Big White #8a, Big White #8b, Big White #7a, Big White #7b, Chip, Elizabeth, Elias, Lucy, Big White #4a, Big White #4b, Big White #3a, Big White #3b, Big White #2a, Big White #2b, Samson, Jack. My hoof people teachers are Midnite, Molly and Judy. My main human people teachers are Jeannie and Brad and sometimes Christina. (Away from the warren my main fur people teachers are: cat people teachers are Gracie Ray and Bobby Ray, dog person teacher is Lucy Lou.)

I have learned from others, of course, and omission (or error) does not mean unimportance....rather it is a reflection of my limitations. My apologies.

To all from whom I have learned, thank you. I see, hear and feel the world differently than I did before your lessons and I thank you for the new world you have given me. I am honored to be your student and wish you well in this new year (and hope to continue learning from you).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My blog list.....additions....

I have added two new blog links to those in My blog list. Both are maintained by registered dietitians who are vegan and who write about nutrition for those following a vegan diet. Jack Norris, RD is the blog of someone long associated with the Vegan Outreach folks. I have a great deal of respect for Vegan Outreach because of their approach to promoting the vegan lifestyle.....in part because a segment of their rationale for promoting the vegan lifestyle reads:
.....animals feel pain and that morally decent human beings should try to prevent pain whenever possible.
The other link I added was one for The Vegan R.D. maintained by  Ginny Messina. Both of these sources contain valuable information and, as far as I can tell, are devoted to the vegan approach to living and to providing accurate and current information about nutrition.

I urge everyone to visit both blogs and take advantage of the information provided there about developments and news regarding vegan living and nutrition in general.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Why she became vegan....

...this recent (March, 2010) interview of Ellen DeGeneres by Katie Couric touched on the question of why vegan? The video came to my attention because I saw it over at  We're All Animals .  I think it is a good one for as many folks as possible to watch because Ellen DeGeneres is articulate and clear in her presentation of the experiences and thinking that led her to choose a vegan approach to living.



In the interview she references a documentary called Earthlings.  You can watch the complete film online.

If you haven't seen it, do so, especially if you are not living the vegan lifestyle.....simply because you want to know what you are doing to sentient beings, the environment and the earth.....you do want to know, don't you?  Or maybe you think ignorance (deliberate and willful) absolves you of responsibility. Does it? Hmmm.....

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Rebel Jesus......

....I wanted to post some sort of greetings, something noting this day that seems to carry so much for so many...however my own notions about the way things are makes such difficult.

Luckily the world of vegan blogging offers multiple inspirations and Vegan Feminist Agitator wrote the perfect entry. She also posted the words (which I reproduce here) to a song that I am totally in accord with and that marks this day wonderfully. Jackson Browne has written a number of songs that are very powerful (Lives in the Balance being one) and that have impacted me greatly.

Rebel Jesus will also always be one of those. (you can listen/see here)

Enjoy...

The Rebel Jesus

by Jackson Browne

All the streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants' windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
While the sky darkens and freezes
Will be gathering around the hearths and tables
Giving thanks for God's graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus

Well they call him by "the Prince of Peace"
And they call him by "the Savior"
And they pray to him upon the seas
And in every bold endeavor
And they fill his churches with their pride and gold
As their faith in him increases
But they've turned the nature that I worship in
From a temple to a robber's den
In the words of the rebel Jesus

Well we guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why there are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus

Now pardon me if I have seemed
To take the tone of judgement
For I've no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In a life of hardship and of earthly toil
There's a need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure
And I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Baby bunny, cat, fox, dog...

....cross species parenting and friendship is always interesting to observe. Enjoy.

Mom cat and bunny:

A dog interacts with two young foxes:

Published this year, 2010, Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals, by Jonathan Balcombe is an excellent look at the fact that humans aren't the only beings who communicate, feel emotions and have self-awareness. The author is an animal behaviorist who is vegan for ethical reasons.

He writes about the fact that we human animals have attempted to avoid and/or minimize the similarities and kinship we have with the other animals for way too long. This self imposed blindness is tragic and destructive for all involved. Read the book if you haven't already. For a taste of the contents of the book and an introduction to the author you can listen to an interview he did on NPR's Diane Rehm Show.

Again, if you haven't already stopped harming others, begin your journey as soon as possible, the lives of the innocent depend on it. Assistance is available here

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice....2010...

....by the way, for those living south of the equator, this is Summer Solstice, 2010. So, while today will be the shortest day of the year for us living in the northern hemisphere....today is the longest day of the year for those living in the southern hemisphere.

This year the Winter Solstice is accompanied by a total lunar eclipse along with the Ursid meteor shower. Here in Oklahoma viewing conditions were terrific and the temperature was a relatively mild 46 or so degrees. Perfect for hanging around outside and watching nature and the universe strut their stuff.

In honor of this year's Winter Solstice, eclipse and meteor shower, Griffin wants to wish all of you the best.
Griffin contemplates.
Griffin lives at Heartland Rabbit Rescue and is often found sitting/standing like he is shown in the photo. He refuses to share his thoughts at these times.....we can only speculate....

Happy Solstice and please remember that our fellow animals lives belong to them, not us.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A quote and some more Solstice....

"It is as if life had said, 'I am going to send you into a world of cruelty. I shall make you sensitive to pain, fear, heat, cold, hunger and starvation. In this world of cruelty, I shall make you defenceless. In addition, I shall strike you dumb.' This is the kind of world that animals are born into."

Grace Mott Johnson, (1882 - 1967) Sculptor and Painter of Animals

Solstice occurs tomorrow, some more greetings are in order.
Athena wishes you Happy Solstice.
Bunny Bites (the cookbook) wishes you a tasty Solstice..
P.S.....you can order the cookbook by email: bunnybitescookbook@gmail.com

Sunday, December 19, 2010

In honor of Winter Solstice...2010...

Princess Gwendolyn commands all to have a Happy Solstice!
Greetings and best wishes this winter solstice, which will occur at 11:38 pm on December 21....for 2010 (according to wikipedia). This marks the moment when our Sun quits running away from us and will begin to return....of course the temperature and the weather always lags....the Sun is the leader, don't cha know? A staggering number of folk celebrations have accreted over the years associated with recognition of this astronomical event that marks the ending of shorter daylight hours and the beginning of longer hours of daylight. Happy all of them!
Happy Solstice from Benson
Happy Solstice from Bobby Ray
Happy Solstice from Mr. Cardinal
Happy Solstice from clay bunny
Happy Solstice from Gracie Ray
Molly says Happy Solstice

Happy Solstice from Turtle
Marshall says Happy Solstice
Spice requires you to enjoy Solstice.
Samson says Happy Solstice.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

We are all one....



Below I quote one of the most truthful passages I have ever read.
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
Change begins with you, if you are not now vegan, begin your journey.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ineffably sad............

.....no bloody or violent scenes are shown, just the story of Jenny being told.


Their lives are their own, we have no right to interfere with, use, confine, hurt or kill any of our fellow animals. We must stop, for their sake.....and for our own. Living as a vegan is the only way to live a life with a minimal amount of harm.....please begin your journey there as soon as you can.

Thanks to Patty over at the Animal Liberation blog for finding the video.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Just being themselves....

This video is from Animal Place Sanctuary, a rescue and sanctuary organization. Their mission statement, in part, reads:
Founded in 1989, Animal Place fills a much-needed niche of farm animal rescue, sanctuary and adoption with its two facilities. The mission of Animal Place is to extend compassion to all life with a special emphasis on farmed animals.....
Nothing dramatic or anything in the video, just some innocent animals that in most circumstances would be facing a death sentence....because someone thought they could make a profit from them. The animal folks are just being themselves, about a minute into the video a pretty jersey cow gives out a moo. Take a look:

Some folks greatly enjoy human animal people watching, I greatly enjoy watching fur, feather and fin animal people. I especially like watching these because I know they are all in a safe place and are not being "useful", they are just being themselves. You can watch some Animal Place chickens, or other animals at their you tube channel.

The next video is one that I first encountered on Facebook. I shared it with a couple of folks I know that are involved in rescue operations and they both felt there was much truth (humorous and dismaying and frustrating) in the video.

Having worked for several decades in the human animal "helping" professions, I do know that human animals often approach others for assistance when it is too late to assist and after they have done little or nothing themselves to re-mediate the situation. The video indicates that if nothing else, we tend to be a consistent group of animals, whether problems involve our own lives or the lives of others.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Attacked by dogs......

Darla and another bunny ended up at a municipal shelter after the owner.....apparently deciding to forgo the expense of veterinary treatment.....relinquished them to the shelter. Apparently the two rabbits had escaped from their enclosure and encountered one or more dogs. Darla recovered from her wounds (the other bunny died) and room was found for her at Heartland Rabbit Rescue....otherwise she was going to be killed.
Darla right after arriving at Heartland Rabbit Rescue
Notice the "double" chin, or pouch of skin hanging from her neck. This is often indicative of a bunny having given birth to multiple litters of babies. In other words Darla most likely came from a "breeder"....someone contributing to the overpopulation of domesticated rabbits so they can make money. No matter that thousands upon thousands of unwanted rabbits are killed at animal shelters each year, these folks want money, rabbit animals are considered to be property and we human animals can do (with impunity) pretty much anything we want to do with them.

This next photo shows the tattoo that was found in her left ear...another telltale sign that Darla was in the control of a "breeder".
Darla...left ear tattoo

Darla is a member of the "breed" of rabbits called Rex, the principal characteristic associated with a bunny like her is the texture of her fur. It is very short and astonishingly soft...feeling a lot like air filled velvet.

Rexes are very much the "velveteen rabbits" of the bunny folk.

Darla is equipped with a major pair of ears, she almost looks like a Jack Rabbit, they are so large.

She was a bit skittish when she first arrived but seems to be settling into her new home quite well. She has become very friendly and almost always asks for attention whenever a human animal is near.

She is not shy about asking to be petted and will push quite hard with her head in my hand to get some stroking and caressing. Her fur coat has one of the most wonderful textures I have ever felt and it is a very soothing experience to softly rub her head and back. Fun both for her and for me....reciprocal pleasure is hard to beat.

I did a little web-surfing to look into "breeders" and found that we human animals begin early to learn that living beings are property.
May 22, 2008-Tattoed 9 bunn-bunns.

May 26, 2008 Re-tattoed buns, this time we rubbed extra ink in really good over the tattoo punctures. Hopefully we got it deep enough this time.....
I copied the above writing from a website apparently maintained by a little girl who is in 4-H and appears to be anywhere from 9 to 12 years old.  She also writes on her website:
Think small fuzzy bunnies!
This is the home of Annie's 4-H rabbit project.
The historic chicken house on our
Oklahoma Centennial Farm has been converted into Annie's Rabbitry.

My Goal: To raise lovable, quality show rabbits.
All sounds terrific, great and wonderful right? Teaching children, encouraging children...yadda, yadda, yadda. What they are being taught is that rabbit people are property, you can mutilate them (cut their ears with no anesthesia, then rub ink in the cuts...tattooing), breed them, sell them and/or their babies...they are yours to do with what you want. For instance the little girl later writes:
Sept. 18, 2008- K.K. got 1st runner up at State! Justice died of wool block, and I am so sad. <:( I sold all my for sale bunnys this week right after I put up new photos.
She is sad about Justice dying, but sells other rabbits. When I read stuff like this, I substitute the year (think 1808 instead of 2008) and the living being, think human slave instead of rabbit slave. Instead of rabbit animals for her 4-H project, she is raising human animals....they are property and she can do what she wants to with them. Tattoo them, breed them, sell them and/or their children. 

She is doing this in conjunction with a national organization called 4-H, this group tell us on their website:
4-H is a positive youth development organization that empowers young people to reach their full potential......
 The indoctrination that all animals except human animals are property (and you only have to step back 7 or 8 generations to discover that human animals are property too) starts early, is pervasive and thorough and children are rapidly socialized out of notions that any animal has a right to their own life.

Children are taught to ignore the pain (tattooing is extremely painful for the rabbit...as it would be for anyone else) of living beings, taught that living beings are objects to be manipulated, controlled, "bred", sold, bought, locked up, exploited.....and on and on.........so young people can reach their "full potential".

Tips for "breeders" abound on the internet. For instance at this website the activity of "culling" is addressed:
As you produce rabbits, your goal will be to select the quality rabbits from your litters and cull the rest.  There is that dreaded word 'cull', which so many think means 'kill'.  Culling means removing rabbits from your herd, often by way of sales or other means.....
Ah, the gift of language. This writer obviously is squeamish about acknowledging what "cull" means when they write about it....the squeamishness doesn't change what they do, just what they say about it. Remember, "other means" covers a multitude of options.

Another "breeder" is a little less afflicted with euphemism-itis, they write:
As a breeder of show rabbits, I cannot keep every single rabbit that is born in my barn.  I keep only the ones that are show quality.  I try to pet out as many as I can (will talk about that later) but there are so many people selling pet bunnies, it’s not possible to sell all your non-show quality rabbits as pets.  Luckily we have a place here that actually raises snakes, all kinds and sizes from the tiniest ones to the huge Boa Constrictors!  We raise rabbits, they raise snakes!  The larger snakes can eat a very large rabbit!   We take our rabbits that we don’t want to keep and can’t sell as pets to this place.  We get paid for them!  I don’t know how they feed the snakes and I don’t want to know......
Just as long as he gets paid, he doesn't want to know.......good isn't it that he is "sensitive".

I am told some folks take a baby rabbit that doesn't look quite right (wrong coloring, etc) and simply smash their heads up against a wall or some other method of killing...that is what "cull" often means. At Lagomorphs.com they write:
Culling is a euphemism for killing the babies who did not turn out as desired. Breeders usually cull any rabbit who is actually physically deformed. Many also cull those with treatable problems like malocclusion or those who are the weakest. Some breeders cull a rabbit just because he has “imperfect” markings for the breed!
Ah, youth of America, if he isn't marked right....kill him (or her).

Well, Darla made it through the cull, survived to adulthood, had babies, escaped, was attacked and injured by a dog, ended up in a shelter that was preparing to kill her and now she is at Heartland.

She is a reminder of the costs involved in young people reaching their "full potential", costs that Darla and her babies paid....not the parents of the youth or the youth themselves. She is a reminder that lives are considered to be property by most human animals....and what a horror that is for the "property".

She is a reminder that sometimes, just sometimes, our victims get lucky and end up in a place where she....if she doesn't find a forever home...can live out her life with as much comfort and care and love as the folks out at HRR can provide.

Breeder....is a euphemism....for someone that is practicing disgusting activities for their own profit....at the expense of innocent lives. Darla thinks breeders suck........I concur.

Never, ever, ever, ever support in any way, shape or form the activities of "breeders", no matter what kind of life they are "breeding"....bunny, dog, cat, chicken, cow, sheep, etc...... Breeders are parasites that steal the lives of others for their own profit.

I have no words to adequately express my repugnance concerning these behaviors. Neither does Darla.


 

Monday, December 13, 2010

An absence of compassion......

....isn't the problem, according to an interesting bit of writing over at the We Other Animals blog. I suspect there is some truth to this. The post makes the point that there is plenty of publicity about the cruelty involved in human animals using their fellow animals. Most human folks obviously know that eating other animals involves killing them and killing is not generally a happy or pleasant or pleasurable event....especially for the one being killed. The taking of a life is against the will of the victim and this is not anything a non-delusional being could characterize as kind or happy....at least not for the victim.

No, ignorance of cruelty or pleasure in cruelty isn't the problem. The problem is that most human people seem to think they have a right to use other animal people. If a human animal wants to kill and eat another animal person...ok. If a human animal wants to enslave another animal person and make him or her pull their plow or their carriage for a ride in park...ok. If a human animal wants to steal the milk of a mother cow, milk she produces to nourish her baby...ok. If a human animal wants to kill another animal and tear their skin off so they can wear a piece of it on their head, or back, or feet....ok. If a human animal wants to terrify a baby cow into running from them and then jerk the baby cow off of their feet and tie them up....ok.....and on and on and on.

By the way, none....absolutely none of the aforementioned activities are necessary for a human animal to live.  Food, transportation, labor, clothing, entertainment....all these can be obtained for human animals without involving the exploitation or participation of animals that are not human.

The problem seems to be this sense that a human animal is entitled to pretty much do anything they want to in respect to an animal that is not human.

Except, and this is a curious and strange (when considered) exception, some furor and dismay is generated if a human animal has sex with an animal that doesn't happen to be human. By sex I meant some human animal is doing some activity with that non-human animal that which results in sexual pleasure for the human animal.

I am not referring to the routinized horror of the raping of cow animals and pig animals and horse animals that is called "artificial insemination".....which is done to make some sort of benefit or profit for a human animal.

No, I am writing about activity which is recognized as bringing sexual pleasure to a human animal.....that will get you in hot water quickly.

Is this not curious? Killing some other animal for pleasure is ok (called "hunting") but having sex with some other animal for pleasure will get you jail time or maybe hospital time. You can do anything else to the other animal you want (just about) but you better not do something that can be identified as involving sexual pleasure. (As an aside, if you were a cow animal and were forced to choose between being raped or being killed and eaten...what would you opt for?)

The principle issue is that most human animals believe they have the right to use other living beings, most any old way they want.

It is curious, we recognize (generally) that it is not ok to walk into our neighbors house and kill them and eat them if we are hungry, it is not ok to tear their skin off and wear it on our head if we think it would be attractive. We recognize it is not ok to take their children away from them and lock the kids up in cages so we can stare at them for pleasure. 

We recognize those activities to be bad, wrong, immoral.....as long as our neighbor is identified as a sentient being belonging to the species of animal we call human. If they (woe be unto them) happen to belong to a species we identify as a "non-human" animal species....then all bets are off. (except for the sex thingee I mentioned)

Even though, those animals that happen to not be human, have feelings, have families, love their children, have friends, cringe in fear, scream in terror, like to play, feel joy in living, fight to avoid being hurt or killed....even though they are just like us.....no matter......human animals believe they have a right to do most any thing they want to those animals they say are not human.

Therein lies the problem.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Flyaway.....

is the title of a book that I just finished. Suzie Gilbert, a wild bird rehabilitation practitioner writes about her experiences with bird rehabbing and trying to balance the demands of caring for birds and the needs of her family....as well as her own needs.
It all reinforced my belief that humans were perverse and their decisions arbitrary, that animals were always true to themselves but at the mercy of a species not qualified to be in charge. p. 9, Flyaway
As you can see from the quote above,  the author is apparently a thoughtful and insightful person. She later writes, in reference to an encounter between her and a goshawk:
Theirs was a world in which I longed to play a part, in which could witness the transcendent and perhaps even begin to atone for the sins of my own kind. p. 77, Flyaway
 She feels a connection with animals, admires and cares for them. She also seems to be quite tuned in to the individuality of each living being. She writes on page 127:
What rehabilitators learn all too quickly is that each animal, each bird who comes through the door is unique. Species may have general traits, but each individual is different, each one is memorable and as soon as this becomes clear, the enormity of what humankind is doing to the natural world becomes all the more harrowing.
Ah, she gets it! Right?

Nope, as the book reveals the author is neither vegetarian or vegan.....at one point she writes about shelter animals and their plight and then turns around and writes about searching for and finding and buying a puppy from a breeder.

She writes about rehabbing a wild turkey at home and going out to thanksgiving dinner and eating a turkey drumstick....apparently while being admonished by her daughter for being inconsistent in her caring and her behavior.

And finally she writes about anger and dismay about hunting and then adds an exception for deer hunting....justifying it because she says there are too many of them and starvation is a bad way to die. Apparently it is better to be blown apart with an assault rifle.

It is disappointing and a little astonishing to read how a person that cares, obviously and deeply, for nature and animals is.....even with multiple pieces of evidence available to her...unable to struggle through the indoctrination and contradictions and understand that our fellow animals are not ours to cause harm to or to cause suffering to or to use.

The book is well written, her style of writing is engaging and often humorous.....this is a compassionate, aware and caring person......look again at the quotes above.....she knows human animals are wreaking havoc on their fellow animals....she knows it and then she goes right on and continues to blithely contribute to the mayhem....without pausing.

She is caring and compassionate.....up to a point....then it stops and stops dramatically and somebody better help you if you are an animal that is in the road after her caring and compassion stop....factory farms, hunting, deliberate breeding of animals that are being killed by the millions because they are "unwanted".....no compassion at all if it involves animals and something she wants to do. There is a blindness exhibited here that it is a blindness akin to that of a black hole.....so blind that awareness of the blindness is hidden too.

In a way, the author exemplifies billions of human animals......caring, compassionate, intelligent, sensitive, aware.........until nature or an animal gets in between them and something they want to do......then all that sensitivity and caring count for naught and animals die for no good reason and nature is destroyed and obliterated because....well, just because.

And if you say something about the suffering, the blindness, the lack of caring, if you object....why then you are just being weird.......or mean or.....something.

It seems to me to be the height of absurdity to be someone that is devoted to saving animals, to caring for sick and injured animals and to be also someone that eats animals or exploits animals.

Humans do not have to eat animals to live. Humans do not have to exploit or use animals to live. Hello?

It is astonishing, so weird that sometimes I think somebody is putting me on....some cosmic joke or something. But not a very funny joke........

By the way, the book received lots of great reviews over on Amazon, and the book is very readable and enjoyable......and a good example of the black-hole-like, culturally created and maintained,  blind-spot that hides awareness of the horrors that we human animals inflict on the other earthlings and the earth herself.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Passive activism.....

I recently wrote about designing and ordering a bumper sticker from Zazzle. It has arrived and been applied to my back bumper. I was impressed with the quality of it and am pleased that I took the plunge and had one made.
 
the back bumper
I have had the TryVeg sticker for some time, you can get them for free from the Compassion Over Killing folks. I have never had a reaction to the TryVeg sticker, but within a few days of putting on the custom designed sticker I had a woman in a Prius pull up next to me on a four-lane highway and drive right beside me until I looked over....at which point she gave me a thumbs-up and a big smile and pointed toward my back bumper. It was quite uplifting and still keeps me smiling when I think about it.

Wouldn't it be nifty if everyone that was vegan or vegetarian made sure they had a bumper sticker on their auto? Even if you don't do anything else in the way of activism, consider putting the message out there to be seen. Passive activism has a place in spreading the word....and it is hard to get more passive that slapping on a bumper sticker. Just set it and forget it....until.....maybe you get a smile and a thumbs up too.

Get a free one from Compassion over Killing, or buy one here, here or here. Search the web yourself, check your favorite sanctuary or organization for their stickers......write me if you want and I will help you find one. You too can be an activist...passively.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The oath for Veterinarian's.....

has been revised by the AVMA. The old oath:
Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.
The new oath:
Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.
I have never cared for the oath because of that second sentence.....which places the "benefit of society" ahead of any duty to their patients. It has only taken this long to add the notion of the welfare of the patient to the oath, maybe.....someday.....their primary duty will be to their patients.

But hey, change is change, movement is movement and I see this as some slight movement in a good direction for the animal people they are supposed to care for.

Bea Elliot over at her blog Provoked first stimulated me to think about veterinarians and their strange profession. I say strange because somebody that also eats or otherwise exploits their patients.....well....I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the notion that this sort of somebody is a practitioner of the "healing arts" in a consistent and genuine sense of the word.

Imagine if human animals enslaving and/or eating other human animals was a common and accepted behavior.

Which sort of doctor would you want caring for you....one that enslaved and/or ate human animals or one that abjured such behavior and avoided any use or maltreatment of sentient beings? One that thought human animals were property or one that thought human animals should be free to live their lives as they see fit?

Veterinarians are subject to the same hodgepodge of inconsistencies, delusions, lies and mind-warping as the rest of us (about other animals)....such mental and emotional gyrations being part of the structure that maintains our exploitation of living beings and our planet. But their profession puts them in a special situation and hence....to my mind....places a more stringent demand on them. Practitioners of the "healing arts" should not also be exploiters of their patients (no matter what sort of sentient being their patient happens to be).

I urge you to read these posts (link1, link2, link3, link4, link5) at Provoked for a more thorough exploration of the culturally induced and supported schisms associated with the practice of veterinary medicine. Bea has done an admirable job of exploring a significant "blindness to bizarreness" that floats along in the world and is rarely noticed, much less commented on.

Living a life where avoiding, as much as is practical and possible, the exploitation or use of any sentient being for any purpose seems to me to be how you would have to live to be a good physician no matter what form your patients took. The highest duty of such a practitioner should be to their patient........not their pocketbook, or their stomach, or their ego, or their society, or, or, or ad infinitum.......

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

When the red, red robin comes........

bringing friends, it can be an interesting event. Over the past few weeks, for the first time in the many years we have lived at this location, robins --- by the hundreds or more -- have been coming near sundown to spend the night in the trees and bushes surrounding our house. It is a noisy and amazing sight. The video is not anything spectacular (my apologies), but if you stay with it all the way through I think you will get a sense of how many of these beautiful animals are gathered into one place.
video
It is an honor to have their presence and my apologies to all the robins for sometimes disturbing their rest when I arrive home after dark.  Rustling and rather indignant sounding chirps can be heard if anyone moves around in the driveway after dark. Sorry.......

The whole phenomenon is really pretty cool.......thank you robins, one and all, for hanging out around here (not that you care or anything, I am presuming that you are here because this is a good place to sleep right now...enjoy!).

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Zoe loves.........

her round faux fleece bed. She is one of the "great whites" (officially called the New Zealand "breed"). She loves to lounge in her bed unless she is given free-run time outside. There, once she gets oriented to the grass and sky and breeze -- then she is off. Watching her move is an exhibition of lumbering grace. When one of the "great whites" does a binky, it seems almost as if the earth trembles.
Zoe  
These bunnies were originally bred for their flesh and their fur. Now they are also extensively used in grotesque and unnecessary "tests" for various products and medicines.


Zoe is a fortunate bunny, because she lives at Heartland Rabbit Rescue....many of her fellow "great whites" are not so lucky.
Zoe up close
Avoid the use of products from companies that test on animals, please. Help out your local animal rescue organizations by adopting from them, if you can't adopt then foster....if you can't foster then volunteer....if you can't volunteer then donate. Do all of these if possible.

Zoe, like most "domestic" animals, has an ancestral line that was pushed (by humans) in a direction that eventually made the "domestic" being dislocated from their place in nature. Zoe, and others like her would have little chance of surviving in the world if she were on her on.

She and countless others "domestic" animal people have had their birthright (the opportunity to live their lives on their planet without being dependent on those not of her kind) taken from them and now must depend on beings from a different species.

When I see Zoe, I see the results of human greed and thoughtlessness and arrogance. Zoe is a wonderful being and I care for her greatly.....but she should not exist and all human animals owe her and all "domestics" an immeasurable debt for the unfathomable wrongs we have visited on her and all the others. Shame on us.

Humans that allow, encourage or profit from the continued reproduction of domestic animals are simply perpetuating a crime of gargantuan dimensions.

Friday, December 3, 2010

For those......

who need tv to tell them when something is "real"......and for those that are unfamiliar with some of the environmental consequences of eating the "standard american diet".

Do it for the animals (their lives belong to them, not you), do it for the planet, do it for your health.....go vegan. Or, at the very least, begin your journey in that direction.