Monday, February 28, 2011

More Shelly Williams.

Because I like her videos and because I found this one to be funny. She amusingly and adroitly addresses one of the more bizarre "arguments" advanced sometimes by corpse crunchers to justify their torture and obliteration of living beings. Thanks to So I'm Thinking of Going Vegan for her comment that inspired me to post this effort by Ms. Williams. The "bad" words are bleeped out but you'll be able to get the message. (note: after the ? mark at about 30 seconds into the video there are about 10 seconds of images of typical treatment of animals by slaughterhouses...then no more graphic photos)

It turns out today's post is entirely inspired by Canadians...thank you Canada and their inspiration resulted in posting videos from Australia (Shelly Williams) and from Austria (happy pigs going sledding). It is both a small world and a big one...and we don't own it (even though we act as if we do) we only share it.

This next video was discovered when I read the most recent post by Janice Gillett on her blog: Hearts On Noses, A Mini Pig Sanctuary. Janice pours her life into rescuing and providing sanctuary for pigs (and others). These animal folk are much maligned and even more have been deprived more than you can ever know if you haven't been able to get to know a pig animal person. Here is a video of several pigs going "sledding". (no graphic images...just fun stuff)

Experiencing the world is quite different, once you begin to understand that the other animals are our sisters and brothers rather than "inferior" beings to be used in any way humans want to. Experiencing the world is quite different once you understand that not being "cruel" isn't enough, that unnecessarily killing animals "humanely" is not possible (it isn't "humane" to unnecessarily steal someones life), that "giving them a good life" before you take theirs is a self-serving fallacy. Using someone else without their permission is wrong...we all know that.

Giving up sh*thead arguments (as Shelly might say) offers the opportunity to see a world much more full of wonder and beauty, with many fascinating and wise and exquisite beings living there...available for friendship and for learning from and for sometimes loving but always there to be appreciated for their strengths and and their beauty (and sometimes their jerkiness too) and other qualities.

Seeing the other animals (and nature) as objects, as unfeeling, as "inferior", as food, as a "resource" is a crippling, blinding, distorting and damaging way to perceive them. That outlook damages and limits and twists the human holding it and that way of seeing also allows the ongoing destruction of the Earth and her beings.

Stop hurting and limiting yourself, stop hurting the animals, stop hurting the Earth...go vegan. Repair as much as you can...

And thank you Shelly Williams and Janice Gillett and So I'm Thinking of Going Vegan...for your efforts on behalf of the other animals and for your inspiration...and thank you sledding pigs for being yourselves.

Friday, February 25, 2011

...Alone and afraid...

"..alone and afraid in a world I never made.." comes from A. E. Houseman. You can read the full work containing this phrase here.

The video is of a Canadian dairy cow that has reached a point in her life where the human or group of humans that had her enslaved have decided she is no longer "profitable" in terms of the amount of milk her body is able to produce so she is awaiting "sale".... after that sale she will be killed and her exhausted flesh will be used to make something some human somewhere can order at a fast food place.

The video is brief (about 37 seconds) and only shows this one cow person...there is no violence shown. As you look at her think about the children she was forced to give birth to who were then taken away from her, think about her grief, her suffering....her life used up so human animals could make money and drink baby cow food (milk) or eat sugared up frozen baby cow food (ice cream) or use the fats from baby cow food (butter) to spread on their toast with jam.

Her life, taken from she awaits the ending of that existence. It may be that it will be a relief for her...I don't know. She is likely only 5 or 6 years old and not near the end of her natural lifespan...I don't know her thoughts or her feelings...but I can guess.

Look at her and know that she is where she is and feeling how she feels and looking like she does because the nice and kind and clean and smiling humans go to the "dairy" section of their "supermarket" and pick up some "milk" or some "butter" or to the frozen food section and pick up some "ice cream" or to the "custard" place for a treat. Those nice and kind and clean and smiling humans who would not be cruel to an "animal", who would not harm an "animal", who would not neglect an "animal".

Somehow all those nice and kind and clean and smiling humans, only wanting something that "tastes good" end up being responsible for this forlorn and sad and hurt and exhausted and doomed cow person's situation.

I look at her and know that for years I drank "milk" and ate "ice cream" and spread "butter" with virtually carefree abandon and thoughtlessness...thoughtless at least as far as thinking about who was actually paying the price for the drinking and eating and spreading. If the being that the "milk" came from crossed my mind at all it was only in passing and only...maybe...that cows "give" milk and it didn't hurt her. For the cow babies taken from her no thoughts occurred...they didn't exist in my universe. Ignorance was bliss...for me...but not for her, not for her children.

I didn't think, I didn't consider, I didn't wonder, I didn't investigate...and I didn't feel responsible...what was there to be responsible for? And she and her children paid daily for my ignorance and carelessness and I blithely drank and ate and spread misery and suffering and horror...on her and her babies.

The world lied to me, corporations lied to me, 4-H lied to me, FFA lied to me, farmers lied to me, my family lied to me, and I lied to me. We all said it is ok to "use" animals, we all said it is "necessary", we all said it is not cruel, we all said it is "humane", we all said "don't worry about it", we all said "they don't have feelings", we all said "they don't care".

Look at the video, look at her exhaustion and despair and hopelessness and see the result of our lies.

I can't tell you how painful it is for me to watch her...but it is appropriate that I feel was because of me and others like me that she ended up where she is. I was doing things that caused pain and misery but not feeling the consequences of my actions...she was feeling those and she was doing nothing to cause the pain and misery she experienced. It was me, us that were causing it and it is fitting that I now feel some small measure of the pain I caused and it is only a small measure...I can never appreciate the depths of her suffering...I can never take it from her and place it on me...which is where it belongs.

She represents a segment of my "breaking the world". And I shall never be able to repair that segment, only to regret it...and to acknowledge it by showing this video of her suffering....her being broken.

If you are still participating in causing this kind of misery, please stop, no one has the right to inflict this kind of suffering on someone that is innocent of doing any harm ... who only wants to live her own life how she wants to. Who only wants what each of us want.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Moo louder....!!!

Shelly Williams, the perky blond Australian youngster that created a remarkable video I featured when writing about "Hope for the Future" (September, 2010 post) has crafted another informational video.

In this she takes aim at the many euphemisms associated with the benign sounding "dairy industry" (August, 2010 post) and more accurately names and describes what exactly is inflicted upon the cow animals that are exploited. Bea Elliott over at Provoked recently wrote about some of the routine horrors associated with "America's dairy farmers".

It is seductive to lull oneself with the notion that cows "give" milk, "giving" milk doesn't hurt them, no one dies, they are well cared for, yadda, yadda, yadda. There are a few very brief depictions of cruelty, bear them if you can because Ms. Williams has put together a very well done video and if you watch until the end you will see why I titled this post "Moo louder"...:

She does a great job of pointing out the potent propagandizing the "dairy" people have managed to insinuate into western culture, to the point that much of it is taken as something "everybody knows" (milk is good for you, etc.).

I read something the other day I liked, it referred to milk as calf food. That is what milk from a cow animal cow food or calf food.

It has taken me a little time to comprehend this default truism...if a human somewhere (anywhere) is making money off of the practice or trying to make money...and a non-human animal is physically influenced or controlled by a human animal, then cruelty is being inflicted upon the non-human animals and/or exploitation is occurring and/or enslavement is being practiced and/or eventual death for the non-human animal will happen because of the interaction.

There may be exceptions, I can't think of any, but accepting this as a given makes the world as it currently operates much easier to understand. I guarantee that the exceptions (if any) to this rule of thinking are much fewer in number than those that affirm it.

Obviously all kinds of Earthlings are harmed in a multitude of ways by human animals in situations where no monetary profit occurs...but sometimes Earthlings (including human animals) interact and no harm occurs.

I am saying that if an interaction (involving physical influence or control) between Earthlings occurs and one of the parties involved is not a human animal and the human animal makes money or is trying to make money out of the interaction...the other Earthling was, or will be, harmed (exploited, traumatized, enslaved, injured, killed, etc.) in some way or another.

What a deal for the other Earthlings, eh?

Living as an ethical vegan helps to opt out of contributing to this grotesqueness and injustice. Advocating against these behaviors, maybe, in a small way helps repair this "breaking of the world". Thank you Shelly Williams...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday "cuteness" continued...

Some more video of the "notorious" 9...the children born to a bunny rescued by the Heartland Rabbit Sanctuary folks. To recap, mom was captured while running loose in a neighborhood, then on January 4th, 2011...just a few days after her arrival at the sanctuary she gave birth to 11 children. Of those 11....9 have survived and, as you will see on the video, are thriving.

The first part of the video shows them outside when they were about 4 weeks old, it was sunny but windy and you see one of the little ones looking not too happy (about the wind, I think). You will see her in the second part of the video (again outside but about 2 weeks later, when they were around 6 weeks old) looking much more boisterous and energetic. The wind is again blowing (this is Oklahoma, after all) but the kids are too full of energy and life's joy to much care.

As you can see (in the immortal words of Garrison Keillor) all the children are above average in terms of beauty, grace, agility and feistiness. They are each, simultaneously, a delight and a tragedy. It is self-evident why they are a delight.

They each are a tragedy because they are possibly going to have to spend their lives in a shelter for rabbits who have no human family. Oh, they will be loved and appreciated and cared for as well as they can be...but no shelter can offer the benefits available to a bunny (or any companion animal) that is lucky enough to live with a human family that is caring, attentive and compassionate.

The situation is similar to an orphanage for human children, the orphanage may be superlative, but families offer advantages, resources, attention and caring  no orphanage can equal. The situation is not identical to a human orphanage because these bunny children have no chance of growing up and going out on their own to live their lives however they want.

Their ancestors were forced to breed by our ancestors and that breeding resulted in beings that are dependent on humans...the bunnies have no chance of surviving on their own...out in the world...those skills and attributes were stolen from them and their ancestors. Now they are stuck with being dependent on humans. Good grief, with our record of behavior toward ourselves much less the other animals on this planet, they are in an existential nightmare.

But, as I noted in my previous post, we can do some repair...they will be safe and sheltered and loved at Heartland for as long as need be and maybe, just maybe, some humans will step up to the plate and give these exquisite children of the Earth the family and life they deserve (and are owed by us humans).

Meantime, enjoy, and if we lived as ethical vegans, the dilemma these babies (and the adult rabbits at Heartland) face would likely not exist. No human would have thought they had the right to interfere with other animal's lives. No "domestication", no "breeding"....none of those tragedies perpetrated because of human arrogance, cruelty and selfishness. Something to think about.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I recently watched a movie titled: "Leaves of Grass"...Edward Norton was the main character (he's not my favorite actor) but the movie actually turned out to be sort of good..there is a scene where the Norton character is telling a female Rabbi that his brother murdered someone and he stumbles and asks her for some sort of way to make up for what his brother did....

She (the Rabbi) says: "We are animals Professor Kincaid, we have brains that just trick us into thinking we are not."

He asks: "What can I do with that?"

 She says: "Repair"

 He asks "What...what do you mean?"

 She replies: "All of us, you , me, your brother, ...we break the world, help repair it."

Note: the dialogue isn't exact, but close was a great scene, you might like the movie.

I am haunted by the knowledge that we human animals have tricked ourselves into thinking we are not equals of the other animals and as a result have broken the world, or are in the process of breaking it and the best we can do at this point is to stop breaking and start repairing.

Living as an ethical vegan is an absolute minimum requirement as a way to maybe, just maybe, stop a big part of the breaking of the world.

Repair is a tougher some way perhaps, helping rescue animals placed in harms way because of us is a way to undertake some small beginning of that repair.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hands Helping Paws, TNR and Help!...

I ran across this great video created in support of spay and neuter programs by the Alliance For Humane Action. This is an organization in Lake Villa, Illinois (near Chicago) that works to obtain low cost spay and neuter services for feral and companion cats. Give a look and will enjoy it:

Low cost spay and neuter programs in conjunction with TNR (trap - neuter and release) activities have been shown to be the most effective way to address the many issues associated with the homeless cat population.

Hands Helping Paws is a local organization that does a phenomenal job of caring for feral cats in the Norman, Oklahoma area and engaging in TNR activities as well as finding homes for hundreds of kittens and cats. What is TNR?  You can find out more by visiting the HHP link. I also found the following definition of TNR on the web:
TNR is a comprehensive plan where entire feral colonies are humanely trapped, then evaluated, vaccinated and neutered by veterinarians. Kittens and cats that are tame enough to be adopted are placed in good homes. Adult cats are returned to live out their lives under the watchful care of sympathetic neighborhood volunteers. 

What is astonishing is that HHP found placement for so many using only a foster home network of dedicated volunteers...there is no shelter as such and all "housing" and fostering for the cats is provided by the volunteers. Last year they found homes for over 700 kittens and cats...amazing.

Kim Fairbanks, the founder and director, is a dedicated and tireless worker on behalf of homeless cats (and sometimes other animals) and she and the network of volunteers are terrific examples of what should be the norm in terms of how human animals relate to cat animals, especially those that are homeless and too wary to live with human companions. Visit the HHP facebook page to see photos of the cats and kittens needing homes and to learn more about their activities.

Seek out and support organizations in your area that support TNR activities and help them out however you can. Human animals created the homeless cat population and it is our responsibility to help the cat people suffering as a result of our carelessness.

Remember, you can reduce suffering for all our fellow animals by living as an ethical vegan.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It is rare...

that we encounter reference points that are impossible to ignore. Those points can consist of different, experiences, pictures, words....

Once Upon A Vegan wrote an entry for February 14th containing  words that are so true they should be repeated far and wide, often and strongly...again and again and again. She wrote:

"It doesn't matter if it's a horse's heart, a goat's heart, a dog's heart, a human's heart, a pig's heart or a cow's heart.   Each heart has a right to beat for it's own sake."

Occasionally imperfect beings can approach me this quote does that.....combining eloquence and truth in a graceful and concise blows me away.

Treat yourself to a well written and wonderful piece of writing, read the post....heed the message...and please do your part to help each heart to be able to beat for its own vegan.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine Day..

best wishes and thanks from me on behalf of all the animals you help...
Sending you good Valentine Day wishes...right after breakfast. 
Enjoy your day!.....(and help other animals enjoy theirs by living vegan).

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Publicizing companion animal adoption...part 2

I ran across this video because of a post over at the Mehitable Days blog (lots of great pictures and writing and recipes there) and, with the exception of the use of the word "pet", thought it was a well done spot promoting companion animal adoption. Pretty clever really...take a look:

Now that you have maybe had a laugh, you can "cool down" with a smile from watching this next video from Tanja Askani...many folks have never had the pleasure of knowing a pig personally...they can be just as interesting and as fun as the movie Babe suggested they might be.

You can help all living beings by going vegan.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday "cuteness"...

Here are a few videos I ran across featuring some fellow Earthlings that you might enjoy. (Note: the first 3 videos are very brief so watch closely.)

Bunny sneeze:

Kitten sleeping:

Bunny imitating an impolite human animal:

Finally, a bit longer slideshow/video showing some cross-species friendships, this is from the website of a photographer, Tanja Askani, who lives in Germany.

Enjoy and be sure to help our fellow Earthlings enjoy life too...go vegan!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Publicizing companion animal adoption...

The Winnipeg Humane Society has a video posted on YouTube publicizing adoption for cats that is both amusing and somewhat disturbing:

The amusing part is self-evident, the unsettling part is that the video reinforces the societal attitude toward companion animals as being property, just the same as furniture (the human speaker in the video is a furniture store owner) or any other object.

The common acceptance of the commodification of sentient beings is contributory to and supportive of the current ongoing worldwide disaster regarding non-human animals.

While the purpose and intent of the video (adoption of homeless companion animals) is welcomed and desired...the framing of the message is supportive of the very mindset that created the problem in the first place. Viz.: Non-human animals are property and as such are objects that humans can do with what they want.

Frustrating and disheartening...and...admittedly...the damn video is interesting eye and ear candy and rather amusing. When I first saw it I was amused (but bothered), it took me a bit of thinking to fully grasp the messages that were being conveyed.

Propaganda does not have to be overt, and often the most effective propaganda is subtle and not clearly discernable. This video is an excellent example of a background message (non-human animals are property/objects and can be dealt with as such) permeating a foreground message...adopt a homeless cat.

These sorts of cognitive two-step dances are difficult to identify in our environment and if they aren't identified, then they aren't challenged or debated or examined or changed...they simply are accepted as "the way the world is".

Adopting homeless cats (or other companion animals) is a positive and desirable thing...good for the Winnipeg Humane Society for trying to find homes for these cats.

Believing that non-human animals are "property" is a disrespectful, undesirable attitude that supports enslavement, exploitation, abuse and unnecessary death...shame on the Winnipeg Humane Society for reinforcing this destructive notion.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

For the birds....

There are many relatives of Alex the parrot who end up with much less benign lives than the one experienced by Alex. Some do get lucky and are looked after by caring folks. This video shows the efforts of the people at Chicken Run Rescue in Minnesota to make life a little better for the feathered people (no graphic images of abuse or cruelty).

The frequency (in terms of the number of lives) and severity of abuse and death visited upon those birds collectively called "poultry" (chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese) is unparalleled...genuinely beyond belief

Everything from grinding up baby chicks in woodchippers to scalding fully conscious birds to death is an everyday occurance...not to mention the 250 million plus female chickens that are confined in crowded battery cages for the first 2 years of their lives. These animals never see sunshine, never breathe fresh air and...after 2 years or so (normal lifespan - 7 to 12 years) these victims are thrown into crowded crates and trucked to slaughterhouses. No federal laws protect these animals from anything. They are totally without protection of any kind from any sort of torture or abuse.

If you eat these animals or eggs from these animals or use feathers from them...then you should look here, here and here. There are no words adequate to convey the horror of what we human animals do to these innocuous and harmless beings.

Several years ago I saw a brief video about a duck that had been raised by a woman. The video showed the duck attempting to follow the woman as she was going somewhere in an automobile and his obvious desire to not be separated from her.

One way we denigrate and minimize these elegant beings is to, instead of saying they love someone or are attached to someone, we say they are "imprinted". Then somehow we can distance ourselves from their feelings and look down upon their emotions.....and behave as if their feelings are inconsequential or mechanical and unworthy of consideration.

I remember thinking when I saw this video (no graphic images of abuse or cruelty) that Larry loves this woman and does not want to be separated from her...he is doing all he can to not be left behind by her. Is Larry any different than any of us in this respect? Who has not felt the pangs of being left behind by someone they wanted to stay with? Who has not wished they had wings so they could follow? Here we see a beautiful feathered fellow who has wings, and does his best to stay with the one he cares about.

Who cannot have a great deal of empathy and respect and warmth for Larry?

If you follow this link you can watch a short video of Audrey the chicken...she was rescued from a farm supply store and loves to nap on soft blankets.

Many people are not familiar at all with chickens or ducks or turkeys or geese. They are children of this planet Earth too. They love, fear, have friends, have enemies, care for their children, hanker to stay around those they like and on and on...just like you (and me).  No matter how much we try to pretend that they are "less than" us....they aren't. Their lives are not ours...they are as entitled to live how they want as much as we are.

Respect them (and yourself) by living as an ethical vegan. Support organizations that attempt to help feathered folks like Chicken Run Rescue and United Poultry Concerns...and think of Larry...and smile.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Gary Yourofsky is an interesting fellow....

If you are unfamiliar with him, you can visit and learn more. At the website you can learn about his arrest record and the fact that he has been banished from 5 countries. Why? Because he promotes the notion that Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today and Tomorrow (the source of the acronym ADAPTT), nor is he adverse to taking direct action to protect animals...including releasing mink from a fur farm, chaining his neck to a car axle to prevent entrance to a circus (that used animals) and other activisms.

On his website I found the statement: "...go vegan and refuse to consume anything that once had a face, a mother or a bowel movement. Veganism is the only way to live in absolute peace with all of our planetary companions." Excellent!

You can also begin to do your part for those who cannot speak for themselves by living as an ethical vegan.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bertrand Russell once said...

"The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more often likely to be foolish than sensible. There is no impersonal reason for regarding the interests of human beings as more important than those of animals. We can destroy animals more easily than they can destroy us; that is the only solid basis of our claim to superiority."

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) Humanitarian, Author, Nobel Prize for Literature 1950

Another Nobel Laureate, Albert Schweitzer, once said:

"The quiet conscience is the invention of the devil. No one of us may permit any preventable pain to be inflicted even though the responsibility for that pain is not ours. No one may shut his eyes and think that the pain which is therefore not visible, is nonexistent. Very little of the great cruelty shown by men can really be attributed to cruel instinct. Most of it comes from thoughtlessness or inherited habit. The roots of cruelty, therefore, are not so much strong as widespread. But the time will come when inhumanity protected by custom and thoughtlessness will succumb before humanity championed by thought. Let us work that this time may come. A man is ethical only when life is sacred to him, that of animals as well as that of his fellowman, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help."

Albert Schweitzer; Physician, Missionary, Theologian and Nobel Laureate for Peace 1952

Following the way of ethical veganism seems very much consistent with these wise words.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Taking by violence or force or threat of violence or force....

"....Even now, it seemed to her, people had what they had from foundations built by the sweat of horses. Their hoofbeats should echo in human hearts. But what statues had been placed in their honor? What horse-named streets and counties? What volumes of poetry...?"

pages 77-78, Reprisal, by Mitchell Smith

I ran across the above passage in a novel I was reading the other day and it made me think about all the effort and work that has been taken from the other animals by us human animals over the thousands of years this extorting has been going on. Oxen, donkeys, mules, dogs, horses, elephants...too many kinds of animal people to think of have been made to do work for human animals. And the slavery continues even now. (Here I am deliberately avoiding consideration of the killing or the infliction of suffering that we have visited on our sister and brother animals.)

Think of all the work, the plowing, the pulling of wagons, the pulling of sleds, the riding, the grinding of grain...and on and on for thousands and thousands of years.

If a reckoning were to occur, a balancing, a returning of what was wrongfully taken did happen, I wonder how many humans and for how long would they have to work to give back to all those many millions or billions of donkey people and mule people and dog people and the others...part what had been taken from them?

The time taken from their lives could not be returned but reciprocal time from human lives could be offered in expatiation. The benefits of that work could be given to those who actually performed the tasks (or to their relatives)...and taken from the criminals who stole those benefits. What would be left for humans? What would human animals have that they had actually earned or gained from their own effort?

The immensity of the wrong that has been done and is continuing eludes comprehension.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

February snow, complaining cat and tufted titmouse...

It snowed most of yesterday here in Norman. The video shows some of the visitors to the bird feeder in our courtyard...also featured is Gracie Rae voicing her bitter displeasure at not being allowed to go outside. If you look closely beginning at about the 1 minute 54 second mark, you will see a brief appearance by a tufted titmouse...very brief...several cardinals appear throughout the footage.

Gracie Rae lives totally indoors, but sometimes she is firmly convinced her true calling is somewhere "out there"....and she is not shy about voicing her opinion to any who will listen. Her observations about this and other matters are quite varied and she will generally converse with anyone willing to engage her. Her characteristics of being strong-willed, opinionated and vocal mean that she is an interesting companion...and never at a loss for something to say. She sometimes grumbles, sometimes chirps, sometimes yowls, sometimes quietly or loudly meows and is always a delight. She sometimes clashes with the other female in the household (my wife), since they both are rather strong-willed and this sometimes makes for some interesting exchanges.

Enjoy the snow, the cardinals and other birds, Gracie Rae the background clanking noises from the kitchen where Gracie Rae's mom was baking some vegan chocolate chip/peanut butter cake (it was delicious)

Remember the outside animals and birds and provide them with food, water and shelter if you can. Sharing with your neighbors is a good way to live, as is living as an ethical vegan.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Forced choice? ....

Consider these viewpoints. According to one author:
In many Native American spiritual traditions, nature is not seen as being subordinate to humans. Rather there is a sense of egalitarianism: humans and nature are seen as equals. Spirituality often needs the harmony of humans and nature, the ability of humans to become one with nature.
Notice how similar this notion sounds to one advanced by Albert Einstein:
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
Now consider this quote taken from an article about children and their raising animals for "projects" for culturally supported organizations like 4-H and FFA.
Emily Kosky said her final goodbye Saturday morning, stroking the neck of her goat as it gobbled up a breakfast of protein-fortified pellets and alfalfa.

"This is one of the most difficult days for me. He is heading to auction and I know he's probably going to end up on someone's table," said Kosky, a member of Turlock Hoof N Horns 4-H. "I've spent a lot of time with Hobby, but I know that I can't get too attached."
Or this quote from a U.S. Dept. of Agriculture employee:
One day when I went out to the suspect pen, two employees were using metal pipes to club some hogs to death. There had to be twenty little hogs out there that they were going to give to the rendering company. And these two guys were out there beating them to death with clubs and having a good old time. I went to the USDA vet, my supervisor, to complain. He said, ‘They’re of no value because they’re going to be tanked [rendered] anyway.’ So, according to my supervisor, it was all right to club those little hogs to death.
Living as an ethical vegan indicates some sense of concordance with the spirit and meaning associated with the first two quotes. 

Living as what is currently considered to be a "normal" American (as well as most of the world's dominant cultures) would include acceptance and agreement in spirit and meaning with the latter two quotes.

How are you living?

Here is a video of a woman in Australia (her name is Norma) who appears to be living in spirit with the first two quotes...the video also presents some of our fellow animals that we here in North America don't often see.

Here is a link to a video (contains graphic images) of folks participating in and supporting the worldview promoted by the second two quotes.

Oh, by the way, often it is the case that we can opt out of participating in activities or ways of life. This is not the case, however, in terms of the contrasting worldviews presented by the two sets of quotations.

Your food, clothing and entertainment choices proclaim your agreement with one or the other...whether you want to opt out or not or whether you want them to or not. This is a forced choice which choice are your making? Which choice do you want? Are you living the choice you want?

The way you live contributes to forming the world you inhabit, no way to avoid it. Is your circle of compassion expanding? Or do you not want to "get too attached"?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ethical veganism...

is a minimum standard of decency. For you who are unfamiliar with or are on your journey to becoming more acquainted with this way of living, this video is a well done presentation of some thoughts about ethical veganism. There are 6 photos of cruelty (briefly shown) that are painful to see...avert your eyes if you must (you really have no right to not look if you participate in maintaining these despicable practices) but watch the video for the information. I think you will find it to be worthwhile.

Every day you continue to live as a non-vegan, you continue to add to the unnecessary suffering and death of beautiful beings, animals who have caused you no harm and only wish to live out their lives being themselves. For the sake of the beautiful ones in the world, for the sake the innocent ones, for the sake of what is right and good...please...go vegan. All the animals of the world will thank you (you will have my gratitude too).

A day in the life of a fox and a human...

I ran across this video and am posting it without knowing the pedigree too well. I am fairly certain this is the same fox (and fellow) who were present in a previous video I posted last August...but I am uncertain. The referents to mice and rats as vermin are suggestive that the human animal in the video is not a practicing ethical vegan...but he certainly is being a good friend to the fox.

Many years ago a botany professor pointed out that a weed was any plant that was growing where some human didn't want it to. By the same narcissistic logic, a vermin is any animal (human or otherwise?) engaging in behavior that is not wanted by some human. Are we self-involved and overwhelmingly impressed with ourselves or what?

Anyway, wince at some of the language use by the human but also enjoy an older human animal and a beautiful fox animal hanging out together. By the way, a bit of wisdom is presented right away, if you want to know about a fox (or a cat, or a rabbit, or a cow....) you have to take the time to get to know them. In addition if you know one fox (or rabbit or cow or human...) you do not then know all foxes (or cats or humans or cows...). Each living sentient being is an individual and knowing them means you must take the time to hang out with them and observe and experience and interact with them.

A Day in the Life of Jack the Fox from Andy Langley on Vimeo.

While the fox is called Jack in this video, I do believe this is the fellow that was named Cropper.

Remember, living as an ethical vegan is the only way to provide minimal respect to your fellow earthlings.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I am somebody...

I feel joy, just like you.
I feel pain, just like you.
I feel love, just like you.
I feel fear, just like you.
I play, just like you.
I have friends, just like you.
I feel sorrow, just like you.
I love my life, just like you.
I am a cow.
I am a chicken.
I am a pig.
I am somebody.

(the video contains no graphic images)

Causing those who have done you no harm to suffer and die is wrong. Their lives belong to them, not to you. Begin to live a live free of causing others to suffer...of causing others to die. Please begin your journey toward living as an ethical vegan and do your part to rid our world of unnecessary suffering and death.

It was 6 degrees this morning..

at my house. The change in the weather here that has occurred since my last post on January 30th is astonishing. Today, just 3 days later it is by far the coldest it has been here in many years. We have been snowed in for 2 days now...which gave me time to complete this video compilation.

The video incorporates some clips from the first two videos of the new babies along with later footage of them. The time span covered by the whole video is from January 13th to January 29th. Each transition in the video means about 2 days have passed, so you you will be able to see the remarkable development of the bunnies over about a 16 day period....from their 9th day to their 25th day.

Each of the days on the video is shown for less than a minute until the last one where you will get a bit longer glimpse of these remarkable youngsters going about their business of being bunnies. Enjoy.

The babies are a delight yet they represent a considerable strain on the resources of Heartland Rabbit Rescue as well as the time necessary for their care.......and time for simply enjoying watching them. They have already learned that being stroked or petted is pleasurable and now stand and request such attention anytime a human animal passes by. Saying no to a bunny is hard...saying no to a baby bunny is almost impossible.

If human guardians had behaved responsibly toward their mom, these babies wouldn't be here and there would be room and resources to take in bunnies whose lives may be in danger or who may be killed because there is no room for them.

Spay/neuter companion animals, and please be responsible to and compassionate toward our fellow animals and...go vegan.