When my beautiful companion, Meisje died in July 2010, I never imagined I’d be able to open up my heart to a new love…but along came Kobu ( nee Afu ). He was a rescue dog from Taiwan and his face and story cried out for me to meet him. It was love at first sight and in January 2011 I had a new love. A gorgeous male, Saluki/Shepherd mix flown all the way to Canada from Taiwan!
Just recently I was approached by an animal rights activist musician, Gabriel Nicolau, who was inspired to write a song and do a video exposing the horrors of the fur trade. Kobu so closely resembles the beautiful coyotes seen on so many disgusting coats around town these days ( especially the uber ridiculous Canada Goose jackets!) that he was the perfect spokes”dog” for the job. I’ve attached the video to this post for you to see.
Warning… some of the imagery is not pleasant. But then again, neither are the lives of the poor animals used for our stupid, callous fashion sense.
Please share this video and spread the word!
It’s been some time since I’ve sat down to write here. I feel compelled to communicate my disappointment in Torontonians today. A select few of us participated in a peaceful anti seal hunt demonstration this afternoon at the corner of University and College in Toronto. A very busy corner swarming with U of T students, business people, medical staff for the nearby hospitals…For the most part we were met with indifference, avoidance, lowered heads, comments of ‘no, not interested’, ‘no, don’t want any information’…Groups of young people would walk by, speeding up to pass us to avoid any interaction. I am amazed at the apathy, the desire to plead ignorance, to not want to learn about what our country promotes using our tax dollars. To not even show a tiny bit of interest in such an act of cruelty and violence is appalling to me. This head-in- the-sand attitude that affects so many gets me down on occasions like these.
What are you so afraid of people? ‘Ignorance is bliss’ so they say…Everyone is so caught up in their own little ego bubbles, their blackberry conversations, their lattes and fur trimmed coats…Look around you, engage in your city and its diversity…wake up!!
I was also disillusioned by the no show of animal rights activists today. According to the facebook page that had organized this event ( thank you Susan ) , over 80 people had said they’d attend…I think maybe 10 showed up? Was it inconvenient? Too cold? Do you feel that by saying you’ll attend that’s doing enough? I don’t get it….
Well, at the end of the day, I felt we made an impact in our own small way. We were visible, politely vocal and we did manage to get some signatures for our anti seal hunt campaign and we did manage to hand out a good number of flyers. Thank you for those activists who showed up and thank you for those Torontonians who were open to learning….
photo courtesy of Susan Morris
A very powerful and hard to watch documentary was aired in Canada this past Wednesday July 28th on Global TV:Revealed: No Country For Animals
I’m not terribly proud to be a Canadian knowing how far behind we fall in the welfare of animals. Dedicated investigators such as Twyla Francois have documented, video- taped proof of the abuse and cruelty that takes place in public and behind institutional doors. Some of the most outrageous cruelty happens at farm auctions in plain sight! And don’t even get me started about what goes on in agri-farming…the conditions these sentient beings are forced to live and die in, the unbelievable pain and suffering that goes on in transporting these animals to slaughterhouses…driving to their destination sometimes as long as 52 hours – 52 HOURS!! – without a break, food or water…crammed into trucks in all kinds of weather conditions…prodded, poked, beaten and thrown into trucks!
Where is the disconnect here? How does this happen? How can we on the one hand kiss and cuddle our pets, buy them expensive gourmet food and toys and clothing (!!) and yet buy meat and dairy at the supermarket that has been the result of suffering animals? Animals that feel pain, loneliness, fear…animals that have just as much a right to a peaceful, well adjusted, HUMANE life as any other living creature. There is also a whole other focus of this documentary surrounding puppy mills…I will say no more, seeing is believing.
We have a long way to go as a species, but thanks to a growing number of caring, conscientious, awake- to- the- plight- of- animals humans there is a shift taking place. For many, myself included, this shift isn’t happening fast enough. Another day that any creature has to suffer at the hands of humans for food, entertainment and money is a day too many. How can we turn our minds and hearts away from the truth? And if we are able to…for how long?
I urge you to watch this documentary. If you have ever loved, felt compassion for another, known kindness…you cannot help but be affected by stories like these. It’s through these awakenings that change can happen. CLICK HERE to watch and learn what you can do.
I attended a vegetarian/vegan event this past Sunday called Compassion Marketplace at the Wychwood Barns Artscape event space. There were vendors with yummy veggie food, books and info about going veg, and promoting kindness and compassion for our fellow animals.
Although I fully support that there be more events like this, I couldn’t help this little voice inside me that kept saying- ‘This is great- but it’s kind of like preaching to the converted.’ I felt like the majority of people were there because they’re already compassionate towards animals, humans and the planet. An event like this one needs exposure in an everyday setting, smack dab in the middle of town, maybe at an event completely unrelated so perhaps those not so inclined might stumble upon this wealth of information.
One vendor in particular caught my eye, Jo-Anne McArthur . Her space was filled with powerful photographs of animals and humans. Her work has made a lasting impression on me. I find it hard to get certain images out of my head, (also, I don’t want to dismiss them!). She shoots footage of unbelievable abuse and hardship that is inflicted on animals by humans. She exposes what goes on in factory farms, in research labs, the streets and backyards of our world’s cities, animals being used for our medicine, our entertainment, our greed. It’s not easy to digest, but how can we turn a blind eye to what goes on all around us? Wake up!
She also documents incredible acts of kindness and compassion carried out by humans towards animals. For example, the wonderful work of the those at the Farm Sanctuary.
It’s not all doom and gloom, but for me, a very clear message is being conveyed here: these horrific occurrences cannot continue. I believe it makes the viewer question our very humanity. I hope that looking into the eyes of these sentient beings will affect you in your core. Animals need and deserve our respect and the right to live out their natural lives unharmed by human animals.
Bravo Jo-Anne! Anouk Bikkers Create Your Badge
I receive daily posts from a great site called Care2 . They cover a wide variety of world issues such as animal welfare, global warming, environment and wildlife, human rights, politics, and more.
I am compelled to comment on a story I read this morning about the outcome of a 7 month undercover PETA investigation. As I was reading this horrific news of animal abuse I was eager to learn what sort of punishment Jasen and Vanessa Shaw—the owners and operators of an Arlington based company called U.S. Global Exotics ( USGE ) were going to get. They were divested of the exotic animals and cannot run such a facility again…..that’s it?!?! Please tell me they are getting jail time…huge fines… Something!! What is wrong with this story ( besides the unforgivable abuse and deaths of innocent animals ) !? Nowhere is it indicated that the Shaw’s have to pay for their crimes. So, they can’t operate such a business again….ah, that really sucks, poor things, they’re out of work – for now. THEY should be crammed into a tiny windowless room with no food and water filled with dead and decaying people!!!
This is another positive achievement for PETA and I applaud all their hard work….but there needs to be a huge overhaul of the legal system and ‘industry standards’.
This is simply unacceptable.
Well, this has to go under the category of “Darn! Why didn’t I think of that” ?! The World Wildlife Fund is offering a collection of great graphics about climate change dreamed up by various artists. You can download them, use them on t shirts, on your desktop, etc. I’m a big believer in the notion that a picture says a thousand words – these definitely make you think!
Check out the site click HERE
Being a proud companion to an incredible greyhound/lab mix rescue dog ( she’s the dog in my Anouk’s Ark logo! )…this story is very distressing to me. There is a greyhound racetrack in Wisconsin that is closing down. It has 900 dogs! A large number of them are being dispersed among other race tracks – which is horrible!!! There shouldn’t BE any race tracks! These dogs are just a commodity, an entertainment, a source of money- all for our pleasure and their abuse?!?! It’s ridiculous and backward. Aside from that though, there are several hundred dogs that are in need of homes and if they don’t find them they will be killed. Unfortunately the well meaning person who wrote the article can’t spell euthanize (!)…but at least the word is spreading about these poor creatures. They deserve the one on one care and love of a human companion to live out their final days…not to be run ragged until they are no longer “useful” and killed and in this case just killed because a racetrack is closing its doors.
If you want to learn more click here to read the article.
I just added my face to an IFAW ( International Fund for Animal Welfare) campaign to save the whales. You can check out their website and maybe you’ll feel like doing the same. It’s an easy and fun way to help out!
As I was perusing their amazing site, taking in all they do to help animals and the planet, I came across this video that I want to share. So, if you understand dutch-great!- if not I think you’ll still get the idea…it’s pretty self explanatory. You’ll see there are many more videos to check out … in english.