Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Money and seals


Snapshot of an email I got this afternoon from the HSUS anti-sealing people from the ice-floes off PEI Posted by Hello

"At 7:34 a.m., I watched the barbaric clubbing of one of the first baby seals killed on Canada's ice floes this season, signaling the start of the largest commercial slaughter of marine mammals on the planet. It was not easy to watch. And it won't be easy to stop. It will require the unrelenting pressure of people like you and me who will not stand idly by while hunters methodically beat, skin, and kill these defenseless animals. But we can and will stop it--with your help. On this tragic day, I urge you to join me in stopping the seal hunt forever by making a donation to our Protect Seals campaign."


That's the problem that I have - all these emails coming from the HSUS and everyone else - in no less than 4 spots in this email was a place to click on to donate. It's like all they want is my money. It's like it's a money making venture for them. The seal hunt is as much a revenue generator for them as it is for the fishermen. If the seal hunt stops how are they going to get their money. Have they thought of that? And why do they have a white coated pup on the page? Those are illegal to kill. That's disingenuous.

The fishermen are making money by hunting seals - how much money is the HSUS making by hunting fishermen? A helluvalot more I'd bet. With a lot less risk to life and limb.

And once again - I'm not FOR the seal hunt - it should be stopped - just like the abbatoirs and dairy industry should be - they're all equally BAD - but they're all equally the SAME - it's just that the ice floes don't have walls to hide behind, and the seals have beautiful long eye lashes - but so do cows, but cows are a bit more yummy do eat and quite so fatty I guess.

Category: [Sealing]

This was in today's Halifax paper in honour of the beginning of the seal hunt. I think it shows pretty clearly that not all Atlantic Canadians are in favour of the hunt but that there's about 15 sides to every issue that involves life and death and money. Posted by Hello

Category: [Sealing]

Friday, March 25, 2005

How Do You Pick When You Have Such A Good Picture Day?

We went to Crystal Crescent Beach this afternoon and I got so many good pictures I couldn't decide which pictures to choose to post - there's still a bunch more super pictures I could've put here. They were on fire today - it was bloody cold and we had a lot of fun. Right at the end though it was a bit dicey. There's a little lake right behind one of the beach areas we walk by and there were a bunch of ice floes on it and one of the ice floes was a duck. Daisy saw the duck and nothing else and decided to go for it and suddenly found herself in the middle of the lake - and she HATES water. So she's standing out in the middle of the lake and she's not moving because she's surrounded by water and she knows it. I was completely freaked out - but thanks to the power of dehydrated liver she came back - and she even fell into the lake. Poor Daisy. I'm lucky she didn't panic and start to drown - but could a dog have drowned? I don't know. I hope she won't be going onto ice floes anymore though!


The perfect model shows me again why he is who he is - shot #1 for the sitting... Posted by Hello


And then shot #2 - he's giving me his koogly - I'm very deep and wise look here... Posted by Hello


Buttercup was completely full of beans today - well she's always full of something and getting us in trouble! Posted by Hello


There is nothing better in this life than watching dogs roll in stinky stuff - except maybe for being the dog who's doing the rolling! Posted by Hello


A picture of Leonard passing through the camera lens - a rare occurence! Posted by Hello


And finally - a picture of Leonard and Charlie looking out at the ocean together - maybe for the last time... Posted by Hello

Happy Easter from the Land of Many Toys...


Happy Easter from the Toy Exterminator! Posted by Hello


... And from the "I'm just holding on to this until you look at me" dog!  Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 24, 2005

I FInally Stuck My Nose in About Bill 132

I hadn't sent any poison emails about the passage of bill 132 in Ontario because I was just too pissed off that it had passed. So many dogs are going to die. It seems like the world of dogs is going backwards at lightning speed and there's nothing anyone can do about it. People can be as mean as they want to dogs right now and it's okay. I'm completely confused by the whole thing so the only thing I can do is to just go into the woods and 10 o'clock at night so no one will bother me.

But tonight I wrote an email and sent it to all the major Ontario newspapers, the premier of Ontario, Mr. Bryant, the city councillors of Windsor Ontario - because it's about a dog in Windsor Ontario who's supposed to die there any day now. I wish that non-dog people would somehow realize that dogs are as important to us as our own lives - we would die for them - well, some of us would die for them anyway! But anyway - here's the email I sent:

To: rjones@city.windsor.on.ca, cpostma@city.windsor.on.ca, jzuk@city.windsor.on.ca, dbrister@city.windsor.on.ca, ahalberstadt@city.windsor.on.ca, fvalentinis@city.windsor.on.ca, dcassivi@city.windsor.on.ca, klewenza@city.windsor.on.ca, twilson@city.windsor.on.ca, joagignac@city.windsor.on.ca, mayoro@city.windsor.on.ca, lettertoed@thestar.ca, editor@tor.sunpub.com, letters@globeandmail.ca, oped@ott.sunpub.com, letters@thecitizen.canwest.com, letters@thestar.canwest.com, Dalton.McGuinty@premier.gov.on.ca, mbryant.mpp@liberal.ola.org, mbryant.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org, michael.bryant@jus.gov.on.ca, marilyn_churley-mpp@ontla.ola.org, hhampton-qp@ndp.on.ca, tim_hudak@ontla.ola.org, pkormos-qp@ndp.on.ca, joe_tascona@ontla.ola.org, rottn@nf.sympatico.ca, marjorie@mediarichpresentations.com

Hello from Nova Scotia, today I received an email - like 100's, or
maybe even 1000's - of other dog lovers across Canada and across the
world did - about a dog named Taco - who lives in Windsor Ontario with
his owner Stephanie. Unfortunately for Stephanie her 4 month old
canine life companion is a pit bull - which she didn't know when she
took him in, but which doesn't matter to her because she loves him
unconditionally and she knows that he's a super dog and he's perfect
for her and they've made an unbelievable bond and they can't live
without each other - and they shouldn't have to.

But in September 2004 BSL was passed in Windsor banning the new
ownership of "pit bull" type dogs. Stephanie has gone through an
appeal process - which she's lost and has been told Taco must be
euthanized (killed) within the next 6 days - although it's probably a
lot closer now (I'm writing this on March 24th, 2005). I've pasted
the email I received at the bottom of this letter which gives
Stephanie's full story. Another option is to somehow get Taco out of
Ontario - there is an underground railroad that's been developed just
for these purposes but isn't it sad that there's been this need
created? And Stephanie loses one of her main reasons for continuing
to live?

I personally felt the need to write and voice my opinion because I
used to feel that Ontario was a dog-friendly province. I felt so
strongly about it after a trip to Toronto in 2000 that I had started
making concrete plans to move there. I thought that Toronto could
provide a much better life for my dogs than Halifax could because
there were so many more leash free parks, you couldn't be denied
rental housing because you had pets, and you could take your dogs on
the public transit system during non-peak hours. I must say that I AM
SO GLAD I DIDN'T MOVE THERE!!!!!!! Ontario has proven itself to be
the most hateful, disrespectful, and genocidal places on the planet.
And I don't think I am over-stating my case. 1000's of dogs are going
to die because of a few people's irrational fears. And it is very
sad.

There are towns, cities, provinces, and states who are moving towards
being MORE dog-friendly and accepting of dogs because they realize
that responsible dog owners love their dogs as much as they love their
children and spend as much money on them as they do - if not more -
than their children. Abuse exists everywhere and it can't be condoned
- but it won't be solved by trying to erase a breed off the face of
the earth either. Ontario has entered into a horrible experiment that
is going to fail miserably and so many souls are going to suffer - I
hope you are prepared to have the blood on your hands.

Good luck - I'll watch from down here in Nova Scotia. And I'll pray
that someone steps up to the plate and helps Stephanie and Taco stay
together. Taco has obviously become an assistance dog for Stephanie
and should be given that designation and should be allowed to stay
with her based solely on that. I'll sew him a vest myself and send it
to them.

Sincerely,

Joan Sinden
and Daisy, Charlie, Leonard, and Buttercup
--
--
http://dogkisser.blogspot.com/
http://www.geocities.com/charlieloveshalifax/index.html
http://users.eastlink.ca/~joansinden/dogkisser.htm

----- Original Message -----
From: Advocates for the Underdog info@advocatesfortheunderdog.com
(@advocatesfortheunderdog.com)
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2005 3:08 PM
I really need your help

Hello Everyone,

I really need your help.

As you know, in Windsor, ON in September, 2004 BSL was passed banning
the new ownership of "pit bull" type dogs. Since the passing of this
by-law, AFTU has been working diligently to fight the City of Windsor
and trying to save as many dogs as we can. To date, AFTU has saved
over 75 dogs and placed them into forever homes. Still, with all of
our efforts we estimate that over 175 dogs have been euthanized. It
is truly an astounding number!

On this past New Year's Eve, a young pup was found abandoned in a snow
bank by a young man. He brought the frozen, nearly dead pup home to
his aunt. The boy's aunt, a woman named Stephanie, stayed up all
night gently massaging the young pup's body near her opened stove.
Thinking the pup was actually a full grown Chihuahua, she named him
Taco. It took several weeks for the pup to regain full mobility and
several trips to the vet to insure that the pup was going to make it.
It was during this time that she discovered that the dog was not a
Chihuahua, but instead could possibly be a "pit bull" type pup. She
did not care and opened her home to this poor little soul.

Since then, Stephanie has been served with a prohibited notice on Taco
and she just had her appeal hearing on March 22, 2005. Taco is now
approximately 4 months old and has been living in Stephanie's home
since his arrival on New Year's Eve. The Appeal Hearing Committee has
decided that Taco should be euthanized humanely within the next 6
days.

Before I go any further, I must tell you a bit about Stephanie.
Stephanie had her leg amputated last year. She was released from the
hospital mid-November, 2004. During her stay in the hospital, she
faced many changes in her life. Not only did she lose her leg, but
she also lost her job, her home and her marriage ended. She also
needed to learn to walk again. Needless to say, with all the
obstacles and changes in her life in 2004, Stephanie slipped into
depression. But, when this nearly dead pup was delivered to her, she
took on the challenge of saving his life with incredible strength and
courage.

Almost as a "payback", Taco taught Stephanie to walk again. The two
of them go for strolls daily and he is always gentle and sure not to
pull. It is as if he knows he could make her fall if he did. When
Stephanie is feeling down, Taco sits with her and comforts her with
his head in her lap. This young dog is so full of love for this
woman who selflessly nursed him back to health. The role is now
reversed and Taco is now healing Stephanie. With so many changes in
her life, things do not always look so rosy. But, Taco brightens her
day and keeps her going.

If we do not act on this immediately, this young boy could face
euthanization and Stephanie will lose her "youngest child." She is
absolutely devastated by the outcome of the Appeal Committee.

I am asking each and every one of you to please take 5 minutes and
email the Mayor and City Councilors of Windsor. Let them know that
this is unacceptable. I have included all of their email addresses
below. Just copy and paste them to your "To" box.

Help us save Taco's life!!

Thanking you in advance for your help in this matter.

Regards,
Tammy Williams
Co-Founder / Fundraising / Rescue
Advocates for the Underdog
twilliams@advocatesfortheunderdog.com
VISIT: www.advocatesfortheunderdog.com
www.bannedaid.com
MY ONTARIO INCLUDES PIT BULLS!!
PUNISH THE DEED....NOT THE BREED.
What is man without the beasts?
If all the beasts were gone,
men would die from great loneliness of spirit.
For whatever happens to the beasts,
soon happens to man.
All things are connected.
-Chief Seattle (Duwamish tribe)

My Favourite picture of me and Charlie


Perhaps my favourite picture of all time of me and Charlie Posted by Hello



This is my favourite picture of me and Charlie. It was taken years ago and several lifetimes ago before I had any of my other dogs - when it was just me and him and he was the perfect dog and could do no wrong and actually never did do anything wrong and we were just perfectly in love together. I love this picture because he's looking back at me and we're at Crystal Crescent beach and it was a beautiful day and I remember it very well and we all had a good time. He is such a good dog. He never misses an opportunity to spoon. As soon as my ass hits the floor, there he is. It's no wonder I never get anything done.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

A dog with a name like a piece of wood

A dog with a name like a piece of wood Posted by Hello

Om mani padme hum

A piece of my soul died last night. My heart is broken. I loved her more than just about anything on this earth because of what she'd been through and how I'd seen her just get up and walk away from it, and how she'd bounce on her front 2 legs whenever there was food in the offing, and how she'd start barking just because everybody else was barking. Because above all else there was so much joy in being a dog - even if all your previous life had been nothing but pain and suffering. It still felt damn good to roll around in seaweed. And make sure that your pee was the top pee on the 3rd tree down the street from your house.

It's one of the down-sides of fostering and I don't know if I'll be able to foster again. I had her for six months so she became like my own dog but I had no trouble giving her up because I knew she was going to a good home but I didn't think at the time I'd have no say in life or death decisions.

I was 2 hours late for work yesterday because I just couldn't bear to leave Buttercup. Life is so cheap and yet so precious. The pain of love can be so unbearable - I couldn't stand to leave her knowing that to go would just be wasted time away from her presence. I'll have so much of that far too soon. It's so un-Buddhist to cling so tightly. I wish I'd never met these dogs sometimes.

And so then they're gone and all you're left with is the image of her with a needle being put into her back leg and a confused look coming into her eyes as she looks into the owners eyes that you hand picked for her and then the life drains from her body really quickly and then she's dead and there's no turning back. And you'll never know what could've been.

And we both mourn.

Om gate gate para gate para samgate bodhi svaha

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

My Letter to Steve Murphy from ATV & What I Think about Today's "National Day of Protest" For the Seals

Where do I start? If you've been reading this blog I think you know what I think about seals - and about all animals - that one is no different than any other. We're all the same, one's no better or any worse - one doesn't deserve to be food or clothing or companion animal any more than another, and it's only through whatever culture we've been brought up in that we have beliefs in one ideology or another. That and the fact that dogs fit in our beds better than cows do. But maybe if our culture was different we'd have bigger beds! Or maybe we'd enjoy sleeping in stalls with the cows instead of the cows sleeping with us.

So today was dubbed the "National Day of Protest" to demand an end to the upcoming hunt for the seals which is going to be happening soon off the coast of Newfoundland. Harry Dean Stanton or somebody or another - the guy who played MacGyver was in PEI to lend his face and he's been saying ridiculous things like they're too cute to kill them and stuff like that.

I'm NOT saying there should be a seal hunt. There should NOT be a seal hunt. It should be unnecessary. Just like factory farms should be unnecessary. What I object to is the displaced emotion and energy that could be so much better spent elsewhere when the people who condemn a whole country and specificially people in my end of this country while they still wear leather shoes and sit down for their turkey dinners and eat big macs made with dead animals cultivated on factory farms that are in their own back yards.

So anyway - tonight Steve Murphy from ATV News interviewed a woman from the Nova Scotia Humane Society who was taking part in the protest - I'm pasting my email to him here and I think it's pretty self-explanatory. Why have so much compassion for seals and so little compassion for everything else?

Dear Mr Murphy - I wanted to write and express my thanks for your interview tonight with the member of the Nova Scotia Humane Society who was taking part in today's "national day of protest" - specifically when you asked her why the killing of seals was any different than the killing of cows, and pigs and what happens everyday in slaughterhouses across the country. And she brilliantly didn't have an answer.

That has always been my main bone of contention with the activists who protest the seal hunt - why are seals so much better than cows, chickens, and pigs who die by the millions every year in the most unimaginable conditions after having lived a degrading a pain filled life. I think it's because seals have big eyes, long eyelashes - and the people who are killing them can't hide behind a steel door - you
can't hide from the media when you're on an ice floe so they're a very easy target. I don't see too much difference between a hekapik and a stun gun myself.

So I'd sincerely like to thank you for bringing that topic up - I think it's something that needs to be highlighted - I also came across an editorial from the Vancouver Sun that covers the same idea - It's at http://www.canada.com/vancouver/vancouversun/news/editorial/
story.html?id=2baadd34-d0d9-4e0b-9f7f-72ee5c39e984
but I'll post it below as well because it's in a for subscribers only section. In the editorial Barba Yaffe says "Why shed tears for seals when, every day of the week, we package chickens, pigs and cows into breasts, thighs, chops and such? Slaughtering and butchering are never pretty." It's pretty good.

Factory farming is not talked about at all in the media. If it got half the coverage that the seal hunt does and 1/10 the effort that the "activists" put forward for the seals being clubbed - think of the literally MILLIONS of animals that would be saved brutal deaths. (I am into humane slaughter btw and avoiding meat - but I do eat some meat :)

Thanks again!

Joan Sinden
Halifax, NS
--
http://dogkisser.blogspot.com/
http://www.geocities.com/charlieloveshalifax/index.html
http://users.eastlink.ca/~joansinden/dogkisser.htm

Here's the text of Barbara Yaffe's editorial:

EDITORIAL
Canada's seal hunt draws protests and boycotts

Barbara Yaffe
Vancouver Sun Columnist

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Ottawa cares about people who vote, pay taxes and make political donations. So it has no particular reason to fret about animals, which of course do none of the above.

Last week, David Lane, an Edmonton man now living in Coquitlam, was charged with animal cruelty. He was charged after the Edmonton Humane Society viewed a video of a young man presumably beating or crushing the head of a cat. Details aren't known because police haven't released the video.

In B.C., the SPCA has just charged a Likely couple, owners of Big Dog Rescue, with cruelty to animals after a raid in which it found dozens of sick, emaciated dogs in Beth and Charles Bulter's care.

If guilt is established in either case, penalties will be minimal because the Martin government, to its great discredit, has failed to update 122-year old legislation on animal cruelty.

The necessary deterrent simply isn't there in the existing law, which considers animals "property."

Justice Minister Irwin Cotler said last fall he's "absolutely committed" to updated legislation which the Liberals have been trying to get through Parliament for the past six years.

Yet to date, Cotler has done zip to reinvigorate the bill. Keep in mind, it took three days for MPs and senators to vote themselves huge pay raises in 2001.

To be sure, animal welfare isn't a priority for everyone. Indeed, some disdain efforts expended on animals when globally so many human beings are in such dire straits.

But compassion toward living creatures isn't a zero-sum game. Who among us can know whether this or that species feels pain or has capacity for emotion?

If you are someone who cares about animals, you're likely aware of protests at Canadian embassies and consulates today in 20 cities around the world -- in support of ending yet one more form of animal cruelty, the seal hunt.

A protest is set for Fisheries and Oceans offices in Vancouver.

Why shed tears for seals when, every day of the week, we package chickens, pigs and cows into breasts, thighs, chops and such? Slaughtering and butchering are never pretty.

Well, the point here is that sealing takes place in offshore locations and the regulatory oversight that normally exists in urban and rural slaughterhouses is impossible to replicate on ice floes. Inevitably, some hunters take advantage.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare, which closely monitors the hunt off Newfoundland and around the Gulf of St. Lawrence, photographs proceedings, and offers visual proof of stomach-churning abuses to all who care to look.

We're talking skinning seals alive; or shooting them and missing the precise killing spot so the seals writhe in pain until the hunter finally gets around to an up-close blast.

Fisheries and Oceans, on its website, rejects IFAW assertions, citing an after-death reflex in seals.

It also contends baby seals are no longer hunted, neglecting to mention that bureaucrats consider the mammals as adults once they shed their white coats, 12 days after birth.

Further, DFO considers the spiked club known as the hakapik a humane killing tool and insists the hunt is "closely monitored and tightly regulated," from patrol planes, vessels and at dockside. About five sealers a year are convicted of inhumane practices.

DFO believes seal populations are healthy and the hunt is sustainable, though Ottawa's record on stock management is questionable, based on the collapse of the cod fishery.

The hunt yields fur pelts, meat and seal oils -- which translated last year into $16 million for Canadians.

Meanwhile, Canada exports more than $3 billion worth of seafood annually to the U.S. alone. And humane societies in the U.S. and Europe are now protesting the seal slaughter by launching a boycott of Canadian seafood starting with today's protests.

Sadly, it looks like this fight will come down to cold cash rather than compassion.

byaffe@png.canwest.com
(c) The Vancouver Sun 2005


Category: [Sealing]

Friday, March 11, 2005

Mrs Dingle had her stitches taken out today!

Mrs Dingle went back to the vet one last time today. She had to go back last Saturday to have her dressing changed because it had started to chafe and her arm that had stitches in it was starting to swell - but today we went and had everything removed, got the report back from the Atlantic Veterinary College about the tumour, and had her stitches taken out.

It turns out it was a mammary tumour - those things have been dogging my animals like you wouldn't believe - but once again it was benign - which was super! One of my foster dogs - Eddy also had 100's of mammary tumours that dragged her down until they were removed as well. So hopefully because it was removed she won't get another one. She's just got to get used to walking around without that big amount of dead weight hanging off her chest - that must be such a relief! It'll be so much easier to wrestle with Jada now and keep her in line :)

Here's some pictures that I took today - she was pretty pissed off about the whole thing needless to say.


Mrs Dingle right after the big bandage came off - get me the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks-OUT-OF-HERE! Posted by Hello


The stiches are coming out of her belly - vewwy, vewwy, cawefully... Posted by Hello


A close-up of the stitches coming out - the tumour covered her entire abdomen! Posted by Hello


"I feel great Mommy, really I do - but can we please go home now?" Posted by Hello

Monday, March 7, 2005

Further on the Meat Eating and Wearing Fur and What It's Got to Do with Humans

I said in that post that I think that life is cheap - it must be or else we wouldn't treat each other so badly. Last week I read a really good article from the "Best Friends" website called "Treating People Like Animals" where the guy talked about how people were probably so outraged about the way that the Iraqi prisoners were tortured by the Americans because they were basically treated like animals. And they were. And we as humans found that shocking. No human should have to be treated that way. And the guy writing the article was questioning whether or not animals should be treated that way either.

As an aside to that when I went to find that article tonight tonight I googled the phrase "treating animals like humans" and it came up with 200 results with some really interesting websites. You should check out some of the links. I had thought the only link I'd come up with would be that article, but obviously treating humans like animals is quite a popular idea. And I'm not talking sexually.

So we treat other humans really horribly - it makes sense that we treat animals even worse - especially when the majority of people don't think of animals as being sentient beings who feel, hurt, or are even really alive. There is so much suffering in the world it's really unbelievable. And I think a lot of the things that we're trying to do is just kidding ourselves. But that doesn't mean we have to stop doing what we're doing. It just means we have to be a bit more truthful and realistic. Like that "Silk brand" Soy milk is owned by a huge Dairy company, or that lots of healthy stuff is owned by "evil" conglomerates. Monsanto will continue to genetically engineer their seeds and poor farmers in India are going to starve. The world's going to hell in a hand basket so I'm definitely not going to quit smoking until the government legislates me not to. That's for sure. It's a better insurance policy than RRSP's at this point I'd say. You should think about it for yourself.

And on that note I was sent a link for a neat new online Canadian website called "New View". It's your guide to a happy and healthy lifestyle. They offer information and inspiration for a happier, healthier life. The link is http://www.nuvunow.ca/

Sunday, March 6, 2005

The Woods Behind My House

I don't know why I travel to hell and beyond when I've got hundreds and hundreds of acres of woods with trails right behind my house. Except for the fact that it's got literally tons of broken glass, rusting cars, garbage, illegal activities going on, ATV's driving through it, and tranients living it - it's perfect. It's just very typical Spryfield.

In other words it was a lovely day in the woods behind my house today.


Charlie and Leonard Posted by Hello


hmmmm.... what can wee go charging off after and barking at now.... Posted by Hello


Buttercup looking perfect for one second! Posted by Hello

On Eating Meat and Wearing Fur

Sit back, this is going to be a long one. This is one of the main things I think about and for some reason I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I've gotten a couple emails about it and I've recently watched "Peaceable Kingdom" and then this past Friday night I went to a screening of "The Witness" which was made by the same people who made "Peaceable Kingdom".

Maybe to start off I'll paste some parts of an email I wrote to a friend of mine who wanted to know my thoughts on meat eating and factory farming and whether or not I ate meat - which she was pretty sure I did (I do, in small amounts - from big animals).

"You are absolutely right about my meat eating - I do eat meat and I also feed it to the dogs - and I also sell dehydrated pork liver on my Dogkisser website. But I think my philosophy may be a little bit different than most people - I don't know how I came to it and I don't know if anyone would agree with it, but it makes sense to me so that's how I operate, and it's taken me awhile to rationalize it. And that's all it is, is a rationalization so that I can live with myself. That's all anyone can do, really - figure something out for yourself so that you can live with yourself - some people go all the way - they go vegan and don't consume any products whatsoever and drive themselves absolutely insane - but I decided I couldn't do that so I made some rationalizations.

The #1 rationalization I made is that I don't see any difference between a cow, a pig, or a dog - I see them as being all the same - so to eat a pig isn't any worse or better than eating a dog - so when people freak out about different cultures eating dog meat I don't see the point of that. It's just as bad as us eating cows. It's simply a cultural thing. I've written about it on my blog ad nauseum - if
you're interested in my views about it I can point you to the postings if you'd like.

#2 is that my meat eating is karma based - it takes a lot longer to eat a cow than it does to eat a chicken - so I eat a lot of beef as opposed to eating shrimp which is one sentient being per bite. And I also realize that any meat I consume I'm going to pay the consequences for at some point - and I also make sure that any meat or meat products that I use aren't wasted, are enjoyed thoroughly, I am thankful for, and thank the animal who was sacrificed so that my body could become his graveyard. In a way every animal that I consume becomes a part of me and it really hurts me that he had to die such a painful death.

So because of that I try to buy meat that didn't die too painfully - if you go to the Farmer's Market or to Great Ocean or to the Superstore and buy Organic meat - you can buy meat that's been killed in more of a humane way. But here's a BIG warning - Kosher meat has not been killed humanely. That's been in the news recently. Kosher meat is killed INHUMANELY - so don't buy kosher meat because it sounds like it'd be a good thing.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I AVOID meat, but I do eat it. I don't see any difference between cows, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats, or humans - we're ALL sentient beings who live, feel, hurt, have emotions, love our Mom's - play with our brothers and sisters, wrestle with our partners and fight like hell with people we hate. And when we die we try like fuck to get free and it hurts and we're scared as shit because we don't know what's going on.

The meat that I do eat does not come from factory farms because as you saw in the movie the animals that are there are treated in the most inhumane and unspeakable ways that I can't believe a human could actually live with themself and do that. And what they do to veal cows and chickens in particular is not just almost too much to bear - it's unfathomable that it's actually happening. And yet it is. And you're absolutely right - it's so that we can have $.99 wings and $.99 hamburgers - I'd much rather pay $3 for a hamburger once a week then $.99 for a hamburger everyday if you know what I mean.

Another thing I do is to not use animal products needlessly - like I don't wear leather, and I research which products have been tested on animals - my neurologist wanted to try botox to help my migraines but I found out that every batch of botox is tested on animals before it's sent out so I won't use it. But I don't go totally crazy in that I still wear wool - some animal rights people say that wearing wool is
bad because it comes from sheep which means that animals are enslaved in order to get the materials and those animals are obviously suffering when they're sheared. I don't agree with that. People can go crazy about everything. Peta thinks that we're enslaving our dogs by keeping them as companions. And therefore we shouldn't have them. I certainly feel enslaved by society - what's Peta going to do for me?
Are they going to set me free?

And as well - I'm in the minority in that I think that life is cheap - it must be or else people wouldn't be dying in the millions in the Sudan and Iraq and Sri Lanka and places like that. If it wasn't cheap the world wouldn't let stuff like that happen. So if it's that cheap for humans then it makes sense that we allow so many millions of animals to suffer so horribly. Because of that I don't think we're
going to be able to change anything. All we can do is to tell people one by one what's going on and let them make their own decisions and be as good to the animals around us as we can and treat them like the sentient beings as they are and wish all the other millions of animals - including the ones that we eat - better luck next time. And thank-you for being so tasty. And try to assert the only control you have by buying meat that was raised having a not too bad life and killed in a humane way. The further I go on the less I see wrong with that. And I've read a lot of pro-vegetarian, pro-vegan, animal rights, anti-animal rights stuff and also been in the room when my companion animals have been killed because I made the decision to have them killed (I refuse to use the word euthanize). I have not however,
eaten them afterwards! haha!"

You can't get around the fact that the world is evil and everything we do causes pain. Some people say you shouldn't eat potatoes or any vegetable that comes from below the ground because the act of digging them up can kill bugs! That's how crazy it can get, and I'll bet it can get a lot crazier than that.

I also get angry when people make a scene when there's a little old woman teetering through the mall in her fur coat but they'll let the poseur in his suede floor length Indiana Jones duster coat pass by unnoticed because it's not quite so obvious. I find that to be really hypocritical because they're both made with dead animals, just that one's not quite so furry and cute.

I wear my Dad's old navy coat which is at least 40 years old and the cuff's are made with a really thin line of leather - I can't get around that, but I bet the coat wouldn't have survived otherwise. I am really thankful to that cow and the designer of that coat to have the foresight to put that little touch there so that I can have the privilege to wear something that kept my Dad warm for many years and is now keeping me warm. I don't imagine any coat being warm by an enlisted man now will be keeping his youngest daughter warm in 40 years!

So what am I getting at? I certainly am not proposing that the status quo in the meat industry - that the factory farms are okay. They are not. In my world they are unnnessary because we don't need to have a meat based diet or $.99 hamburgers. But to have some meat is okay. It's okay to have domesticated cattle raised on family farms where they're treated humanely while they're alive and then slaughtered humanely. And then when we eat them we're thankful for their sacrifice. However we do NOT need fur coats, leather coats, leather shoes, botox injections, testing on animals, or 99.9999% of the institutionalized cruelty that's going on today. It's absolutely unnecessary.

Here's some links:
Canadians for Ethical Treatment of Food Animals
Graig Farm Organics Humane Slaughter
Beyond Factory Farming Coalition

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Mrs Dingle had some major surgery yesterday

Mrs Dingle and Jada on Christmas Eve 2004 Posted by Hello

The above picture was taken on Christmas Eve - it's the last picture that I took of Jada and Mrs Dingle until her surgery yesterday. It's because Mrs Dingle's had a tumour growing on her chest since last summer - you can see it in the picture growing under her right armpit. The day before I took the above picture I had taken her to the vet to try and get the tumour aspirated or removed and he said that he couldn't aspirate it because it wasn't liquid and he wouldn't remove it until it was twice the size that it was then - it wasn't worth it to put her through the anaesthesia and trauma at the size it was at Christmas time. So we had to wait. And what an awful wait it was.

It's such a tragedy that rats today are genetically programmed to get tumours - that's what they're on this earth to do now - to be tested on basically - so I think it's pretty common for them to get tumours. They sent off a chunk of her lump to the Atlantic Veterinary College in PEI to see whether or not it was malignant - so I'll find out whether or not she's likely to get more tumours like that one that just seemed to grow really fast in spurts.

It was a weird lump - it started the day that Jada arrived. In their initial "getting to know each other tussles" Jada must have bitten Mrs Dingle's chest and as the days progressed a lump grew, a head formed on it and after a couple weeks, just when I was ready to take her to the vet - it popped on it's own. So it obviously was all liquid. But then shortly after it started growing again - and I assumed it was liquid again and was going to pop again, but it didn't. I got Jada in August - so it grew in September and popped at the end of September. Then it grew again at the end of October until I took her to the vet in December. And then we waited until now to have it taken off.

And $322 later she's basically got a body cast on and a cast on her right arm because it had started to attach to her arm pit and a bit on her arm. Poor Mrs Dingle! But the vet said it came off quite nicely and today's she's eating up a storm and drinking and waddling around and acting generally quite pissed off about her currently living situation. So I think she's going to be okay.

She's got to be separated from Jada for 10 days until the bandages and stitches come out and then she can go back home - I'm sure she'll be very happy to not have her body weight hanging off her anymore - although she didn't let it affect her at all before - it gave her extra ballast to knock Jada around!

I took the pictures below this morning when she was eating her breakfast.

And if you were wondering - she DOES have Mycoplasmosis - which you can tell by the blood (which is actually porphyrin) around her eyes and nose in the pictures below - she's had it since I got her. She's been dealth such a tough life. That's also why her head is tilted in all the pictures I take. Do you know the amazing thing though? Jada's never caught it. Jada is one tough cookie. Mrs Dingle hasn't shown any symptoms of it for months though - I'd say the stress of the surgery must have brought the respiratory symptoms out. Only the head tilt is present all the time - that's usually the only way you'd ever know she has mycoplasmosis.


Mrs Dingle #1 Posted by Hello


Mrs Dingle #2 Posted by Hello


Mrs Dingle #3 Posted by Hello


Mrs Dingle #4 Posted by Hello