Tuesday, July 26, 2011

While blundering around on the internet...

I ran across a reference by Jack Norris to a website I had glanced at before but never taken the time to actually read. Just goes to show ya how inadequate 'glancing' can be sometimes. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Jack Norris, he's a vegan nutritionist who works diligently to put out accurate information about nutrition and the vegan diet. He, along with Ginny Messina and the Physicans Committee for Responsible Medicine are my favorite resources for nutrition and medical information.

The site Jack Norris referenced is called CarpeVegan and I poked around on the site and found a number of articles I got a major hoot out of....you might want to check them out. One article (that Mr. Norris referenced) is titled: The Carpe Credo: All Birthday Cake and Alcohol is Vegan. I'm not going to say I agree with everything these folks write...hell, I don't even agree with everything I write (sometimes) but I will say I agree with much of what is written on the site and moreover I find the tone and approach to issues and life similar to my own. Hey, what's not to like if it reminds me of myself, eh?

Life seems to consist (in large part...not totally) of a mishmash of horribly grim and terrible things (like tormenting, torturing and killing innocent animals) along with insanely absurd things...like putting Donald Rumsfeld in charge of anything more than a roll of toilet paper (much less a military force). No, more accurately, humans seem to operate in life by mishmashing grim, terrible things and absurd things.

The rest of nature doesn't seem to be quite that way but from what I can tell, if you are going to accurately perceive human behavior...you better be well prepared to be persistently immersed in horror and absurdity. Think of Nazi extermination camps along with goose step marching. Horror and absurdity. There is some bizarre connection there that would be interesting to figure out...but figured out or not...it exists all over the place if you look around.

It is therefore the truth that I am delighted when I run across some folks that seem to have apprehended this and are willing to highlight some of the absurdities we "crown of creation" beings perpetrate on ourselves and the rest of the planet. For instance they write in one article titled: "White Trash Vegan's Valhalla Party for the Ages".
 We ain’t here for the health or to live to a 100. We ain’t here to feel superior to anyone else. We ain’t here to be some pretentious pricks who think our sense of culture is better than yours. We are on this planet to have a great time AND do the right thing along the way. Yeah, we like to do it up in excess sometimes. We love flashy people, intense music, fatty foods, dogs, drinking too much and laughing our asses off.
If you take the time to read about the co-creators of the site you will discover that Jed Gillen  and Joe Haptas have been around for awhile and have put some time and effort into living, promoting and supporting a vegan lifestyle. So give them a read and let me know what you think. Humor, like flavor preferences, is extremely individualistic (I have found) so their brand of humor may not ring your bells...but for me...I found a number of writings and thoughts on the site that made me smile a lot and even laugh out-loud once or twice. That's always a good thing...I hope you find some enjoyment there too.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Opal is about three years old...

That's the best 'guesstimate' based on her having been at Heartland Rabbit Rescue for about a year and the information furnished about her. She ended up at Heartland after being picked up by animal control folks in Edmond, Ok. They had been called because a bunny had been spotted running around in a neighborhood, they corralled her in a a backyard and took her to the Edmond animal facility and eventually she was accepted at Heartland. Opal is a lovely youngster, with long eyelashes and silky fur.
Opal
The Edmond folks noticed her teeth were very overgrown and took her for an exam where several extremely mal-placed teeth were removed. Her remaining teeth grow in crooked and have to be trimmed on a consistent basis, some of her veggies have to be shredded but outside of that she does just fine in coping with her mouth issue.

When she first arrived she was not particularly human friendly and would lunge and attempt to nip you if you tried to pick up her food or water bowl.
Opal, the fierce.
She will still do this on occasion, depending on her mood, but more often than not she is attention oriented and very happy to have affection and stroking and conversation directed her way.

I'm writing about her because of an incident that occurred this past week. We try to get the bunnies outside early in the morning for some fresh air and exercise...before the heat becomes oppressive and unbearable. Opal was out in an enclosure and I went in with her to groom her a bit since she was molting. The grooming is important because bunnies can't vomit and ingesting too much hair can be life threatening for them. I was stroking and ruffling her fur to get the loose hairs to come out and she was enjoying the attention. I was kneeling/squatting and this was becoming uncomfortable so I wrapped up the grooming session and stood up to prepare to move on to another bunny. Opal, with perfect timing and intent, threw her body across my foot and lay down on it. I'm fairly illiterate in bunny speak but I got the message loud and clear...she did not want me to stop and really really wanted some more attention.

It was an anguishing moment because I know full well all of the shelter buns get short-changed on their needs for attention and touching and being talked to. There aren't enough human animals or enough time to give them what they need and deserve...it is so painful to know this. I felt so bad for her, as well as impressed as hell that she had figured out how to make a clear and convincing statement about what she wanted...a statement that a human animal would have to be unconscious to not understand. Those bunnies are amazing folks, and Opal is as amazing as any of them.

I know that almost any shelter/sanctuary would be so appreciative of any assistance they could get from folks...and taking the time to pay some special attention to a lonely and emotionally needy bunny, dog, cat, bird, horse, cow, goat, pig, sheep...and on and on and on is one of the niftiest gifts that can be rendered. Grooming, petting, paying attention to, communing with...these are all needs that these animal folks have and providing those experiences not only is good for the particular animal...I guarantee it is good for the provider too.

If you can, take the time to connect with an animal rescue operation and ease into being a valuable and needed provider of emotional goodies for the innocent ones. Gifting this sort of emotional nourishment to other animals is a 'sustainable' behavior, because the act of giving results in receiving too. Sort of a perpetual motion emotional apparatus. Fun stuff.

And do, if you are not already living as one, please consider becoming an ethical vegan. It helps everyone, including the whole planet.

Friday, July 8, 2011

She has two eyes...

four limbs, two ears, a nose, a mouth, a body, a covering of skin and one head. She can see, hear, taste, smell, detect heat and cold, feel the wind, feel pain, feel fear and joy. She breathes air, eats food, drinks water and urinates and defecates. She feels hunger, thirst, tiredness, sleepiness and anger. She sleeps each day and will often seek shelter when the weather is not to her liking. She may emit vocalizations in various situations and feeling states. She enjoys gentle caresses and dislikes painful or hurtful touches. She has a mother, a father and maybe brothers and sisters and maybe aunts, uncles and cousins.

Yet, depending on what human animals around her decide, she may be cared for, loved, beaten, skinned alive, forcefully impregnated or she may be ignored. She may be pampered, neglected, esteemed or denigrated. Her life may be such that she does pretty much as she wishes or she may be constrained in gentle or harsh ways. She may be free, partially free, imprisoned, enslaved and/or exploited. She may live to the fullness of her years with many pleasures and delights or her life may be full of terror, misery and ended in suffering and pain after only a fraction of her years are lived...all this through no fault or choice of her own. Some of what may be done to her might be illegal, much of what she experiences at the hands of human animals will be condoned by human law.

Who is she?

I started to stop writing with that question but I usually don't like things that 'hang' like that so I'll go ahead and point out the fact that all of that previously written could be applied to most every sentient being on Earth. Chicken, turtle, cow, human and on and on and on.

"Deoxyribonucleic acid — DNA — is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms (with the exception of RNA viruses)...The four bases found in DNA are adenine (abbreviated A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T)." (source: Wikipedia)

A critical phrase in the previous paragraph is "all known living organisms". You, me, crabgrass, cockroaches, George Washington...we all share the same four bases for our DNA...the only difference between any of us is the nature of the arrangement.  It was an astonishing moment for me some years ago when I fully comprehended that the physical evidence confirms that all life on this planet is related...that we are all configured by the same stuff...those four bases.

Some of us are configured so similarly that a fairly detailed series of descriptors such as I've presented above doesn't markedly reduce the field of the different shapes, sizes or types of animals that could be being referenced.

The incredible arrogance inherent in human animals deciding that their 'configuration' is the "best" and that all other configurations should be subservient to human animals is mind-boggling and...if fully considered, rather frightening. There is an unhinged quality to such a self-serving judgment.

Sometimes I wonder if the "purpose" of humanity isn't to serve as a warning of how not to be...to all the other 'configurations' of life.

If you don't want to live like a bad example, then begin to live as an ethical vegan

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A smart bunny deals with summer

by opting for the coolest area she can find. I mentioned Nessie Ray's favorite lounging spot...the air conditioning vent in the floor in her living room. These photos are used with her highness's gracious permission...
She covers the whole vent ( Is that not a magnificent tail? ). 
With this 2nd photo you can see a small bit of the vent.
Small portion of vent showing under her right hand.
Next time you hear the pejorative phrase "dumb bunny" you'll know you just heard someone say something ignorant.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The weather here is not pleasant...

except for a brief time in the morning (and not always even then). June is usually relatively bearable here in central Oklahoma, not as nice as April and May but still ok. Not this year, the heat arrived early and has dug in. July, August and part of September is scorching here usually...this year June can be added to that list. Quite remarkable.

As of June 30th in Oklahoma: (source)
Today marks the 29th consecutive day over 90. That is a record.
Today is forecast to be the 10th day above 100 in June. That is a record.
Today marks the 34th consecutive day above normal.
June 2011 set or tied single-day record high temperatures on the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 27th. Those record temperatures were 103, 104, 101, and 103 degrees, respectively.

Rainfall is multiple inches below normal and all the animals and plants are suffering. The bunnies out at Heartland Rabbit Rescue are being shortchanged on opportunities to get outside. Only a brief time in the morning is available before the heat becomes too oppressive for them. Nessie Rae, the resident bunny queen here, has staked out an air-conditioning vent in the living room floor and stretches out over it for much of the day.

In general, October is my favorite month both because of the temperature and because of the exquisite colors associated with the plants. Well, 90 something days and counting until then.

In the meantime, goodbye June, 2011...you were the hottest June in Oklahoma ever recorded by the human animals. It is likely that your record achievements won't stand for too long though.