Dec 10, 2007

A happy video!

Most of the videos I post on my blogs about animal welfare are pretty sad. I got an email from the Humane Society of America (I honestly dont remember signing up for a mailing list for them, but whatever!) and they have this cool little slide show about some really cool stuff. It really is a happy, encouraging video :) So check it out.
..I'll be doing more blog posts once finals are done and everything.

Nov 19, 2007

Sad but true.

Instead of writing a blog today I'm going to post this link for you all to says it all. ...and it's really, REALLY sad.

Nov 6, 2007

Should animals have "rights"?

Should animals have rights? Animal torture, cosmetic animal testing, the use of tigers and elephants, etc in circuses, the killing of animals for fur.. I am strongly opposed to all of the above. I believe in respecting the sanctity of nature and preserving the environment in which animals live. But what about domestic animals and the use of animals for food? Where do you draw the line between Canadians eating cow meat (which is unthinkable in India), and Chinese eating dog and cat meat (which is unthinkable in Canada). What about the use of animals in traditional chinese medicine? Would you agree that your family pet would be better off in the wild to fend for herself? What about the overpopulation that would result in everyone letting their household pets out in the wild, not to mention the fact that our development of urban sprawls make the idea itself sound ludicrous. If one believes it's wrong to slaughter horses for human consumption shouldn't the same go for cattle and chickens? These are some pretty heavy issues that many are passionate about. Is it the slaughter itself that's wrong or the methods used? So much to think about....
Being pro-animal welfare, and a vegetarian, I come across a lot of opposition from both sides..and yet I am not opposed to animal rights, but the idea of total animal liberation is hard to on. Animal abolitionists, who believe animals shouldn't be used as human property for any reason whatsoever (including pets) tell me that I'm not doing enough, that I'm wasting my time, that their way is the way to go. Personally, I don't believe it is wrong to have pets provided they're treated as a member of the family and given adequate food, water, shelter, love and attention. I know that if i let my dog free or even my little hamster that they probably wouldn't last more than a couple weeks. Another thing I was thinking about today is that turkey toms are unable to mate with females on their own and female turkeys must be artificially inseminated. So if we were to release all turkeys into the wild, they would die off because of not being able to reproduce on their own.
I'm on the fence right now about where I stand on raising animals for meat. Other animals eat animals. It's arguable whether humans were meant to be herbivores or omnivores. It's also not very environmentally sustainable.. meat production wastes a lot of resources, and animal feces in such a great number pollutes our air and water. I consider myself a definite nature-lover, therefore I cannot justify eating meat for that reason, but the main thing is I just don't feel right about another animal having to die so that I can have a yummy meal when there are SO many other equally yummy options to choose from! It's just not necessary so i don't eat it. And it makes me feel great to think about the lives that I saved. But am I against others eating meat? Yeah, sure I am.. if I had my way everyone would be a vegetarian! But once I ate meat and didn't see anything wrong with it either, so I know I can't push my beliefs on others.. However, more importantly, I am MORE against the suffering that animals go through in the meat production industry. Yes, there are some farms that produce animals for meat that have very skilled and knowledgeable barn managers and people working there and the animals are provided for and cared for very well, but there are others that are not so good, and practices that I am against because it causes unnecessary suffering to the animal, for example: battery cages, dubbing, sow gestation crates, sheep mulesing, etc. There is also free range animal production which is a lot better than factory farms, but I don't eat that meat either because to me it's an animal that once lived, breathed, and valued it's life... but that's MY opinion and MY feelings towards meat eating and I know I can't push my views onto everyone so I choose instead to push the issue of better conditions for the animals in this industry.
I am taking an animal science class this year and the views expressed in that class are on the opposite scale. (I've actually had to speak with one of the professors after class because I was fed up with his derogatory statements about 'animal rights people'. I told him I think the class should be taught on neutral ground so we can determine where we stand on the issue of animal production on our own.) I feel a bit timid when asking questions regarding animal welfare in a specific area of production because I know that most of the students come from farming backgrounds and that most of them regard vegetarians as this weird breed of human aliens. lol.. I think the animal science area could use more people like me who are open minded but genuinely concerned for the welfare of animals and are interested in developing new methods of production and procedures that are more humane. Money and profit isn't everything.
So what about abolishing animal use completely and pro-animal rights? The issue falls under moral agents vs moral patients. Moral agents have the ability to freely choose or fail to choose to act as morality requires. They can be held accountable for right and wrong. Moral patients lack ability to understand moral principles and cannot be held accountable for right or wrong behavior. Moral patients may still have desires, they may perceive, remember, act intentionally, have a sense of future, may be self aware or self-conscious, and may have the ability to feel and display emotion, but they do not have the ability to understand right and wrong. For example in Jane Goodall's observation of wild chimps she once saw a mother and her daughter attack and eat a defenseless baby chimp. To moral agents, this type of cannibalism is morally wrong, but the chimps cannot be held accountable for this because of they don't have the same perceptions of right and wrong as moral agents do. ((this IS arguable.. they may have some grasp of right and wrong but that is a whole other discussion. For the moment I think most can agree that chimps don't have as high of an ability as mentally sound human beings to distinguish right from wrong. ... Someday I think I'd like to study the extent of which an animal understand s that concept and if and how it can be learned.. would be interesting but hard!)
Because animals don't have the capabilities to determine right from wrong (for example if my hamster ever got out and the cat got at her, the cat has no idea he is doing something wrong... which is demonstrated in the fact that one would question whether the cat eating the hamster is even wrong, because cats are natural predators to rodents.. my point exactly! ..) the animal world, moral principles do not exist like they do for humans. Animals can be taught behavior such as no pooping in the house, but apart from unpleasant consequences after pooping in the house, apart from this the animal doesn't understand that it is "wrong".
So that's where rights fall in. To have rights I think one needs to be able to be held accountable for choices and the use or misuse of those rights. To be able to be held accountable one must understand moral principles. Since animals fall under the category of moral patients and not moral agents, it is up to moral agents to care for and provide the most ethical and moral treatment of moral patients. That doesn't mean animals shouldn't be protected and treated well (we know it's the "right" thing to do!), but it is up to moral agents to make sure animals have the best lives possible, because as moral agents we should recognize that every life has intrinsic value!
However, sadly, often animals are mistreated and are victims of unnecessary cruelty by the moral agent. The moral agents also cannot determine amongst themselves where to draw the line. Some have no moral problem with circuses and others do. Some have no moral problem with research testing and others do. Some have no problem eating dogs and others do. So here is where I'll agree that animals do need rights because of humanities' shortfalls and clashes of moral principles. But what KIND of rights? "The Seattle-based Great Ape Project is campaigning for the United Nations to adopt a Declaration on Great Apes, which would see gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos included in a "community of equals" with human beings, extending to them the protection of three basic interests: the right to life, the protection of individual liberty, and the prohibition of torture". ( Can we extend these rights to every animal? I think the prohibition of torture should be without a doubt extended to every living creature capable of suffering. But what about liberty? Can we allow our pets free range of the city?...don't think so. But what about those wild animals kept in zoos and circuses? How do we determine what species to award which rights? Can we extend the right of life to every animal? In an ideal world maybe. Extending the right to life to every animal would mean humans would be unable to consume animals as food. But what makes it wrong for humans to do so and natural for non-human animals to kill for food? Think about it.
Because the animal rights issues are so complicated and getting everyone to agree on what rights should be afforded to animals and figuring out whether all should have the same rights etc would be impossible, I choose to advocate for animal welfare. It is something I can do NOW to reduce the suffering of animals. And I think it is a means to an end.. the more people become involved with animal welfare issues the better it is for the animals. We're already seeing an increase in interest in this area and already the UK and some states have left Canada in the dust by putting an end to cruel practices such as horse slaughter plants and battery cages. Eventually with more interest, Canada will follow suit... and EVENTUALLY, one day.. I hope that animals are awarded rights so that they are free from suffering and cruelty for good.

I'd like to note that the above blog is really me still forming my ideas as far as these issues are concerned, and the more I learn the more I find my beliefs and values towards these issues reshape themselves and change. So I welcome any comments, arguments, etc!

Nov 5, 2007


I voted, I voted!!!
I had to go to the advanced polls since I'll be out of town until close to 8 on Wednesday and I don't want to miss out. That was the first time I voted, it wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it'd be. :D
So everyone go and vote!!!!!!!

Nov 4, 2007

Ode to CUPE

This is my opinion. If you don't like your job, if you don't think you get enough benefits and pay...find a new job. It's as simple as that. As a University student I pay my fees at the beginning of the year for campus services. Will I get my money back because of the CUPE strike? Of course not. I spent hours (hours of wasted valuable study time) running around Friday trying to find a molecular model kit for my Chemistry exam Saturday morning because the U of S stores were all closed. It's affecting the transit system, it's affecting College drive traffic, it's affecting campus food services, janitorial and maintenance services, food services, library hours are restricted (in the middle of frikkin' midterms) and the gym hours are very restricted. How are we supposed to complete research projects when we can't even check out books?
So I have a better idea. Instead of disrupting everyone else's lives because you think you don't make enough money go find a new job and quit this ridiculous protest. Because you know who's going to end up paying for what you're asking? WE ARE. THE STUDENTS. I have no money as it is. I don't need my University fees increasing when I barely have any decent clothes to wear and I can't even afford to buy Christmas presents this year.

(photo above from The StarPhoenix)

Nov 2, 2007

Some cute pics

I am doing the National Blog posting month challenge.. I have a whole list of things I'd like to write about, and I WILL write about before the month is over. Today however I leave you with some simple, cute,and fun pictures since I am extremely busy studying for an extremely hard exam!
So enjoy!
Thanx to Cute Overload for the pics!

Nov 1, 2007

An entry for all cat owners/cat lovers/ and animal people in general

It is incredibly hard to be at the SPCA and not want to take home an animal. There are SO many animals right now without homes, especially cats and rabbits. Why do people think that cats are just disposable? And why don't people frikkin' spay and neuter their cats if they're going to let them romp freely outside? BECAUSE THEY'RE STUPID, THAT'S WHY. I think it should be mandatory to spay and neuter cats because there is such a huge overpopulation problem. The SPCA is full to the brim, the Saskatoon Street Cat Rescue is full and there's several foster homes (not just the shelter) and they are all full. The sad thing is there are more and more cats coming in and cats at the SPCA are being PUT DOWN because there's not enough room. There's colonies of feral cats on the outskirts of the city. I've been there, I can show them to you.
I also think that pet stores should work hand in hand with the Street Cat Rescue and the Saskatoon SPCA, and NOT sell any more frikkin kittens from breeders for pets until all or most of the ones that are homeless are adopted out. There are PLENTY of kitten (if you NEED a kitten as opposed to a full grown cat) that are homeless and living in small metal cages at the SPCA that are waiting patiently for their forever homes.
So those of you out there with cats.. SPAY AND NEUTER THEM PLEASE!! You will SAVE LIVES. Those of you out there that are thinking of getting a cat... PLEASE ADOPT one. (provided you are willing to give them a forever home).. and those of you out there that are interested in volunteering or being a foster home for these cats/kittens, please contact me via comment and I will forward some information to you, or contact the Saskatoon Street Cat Rescue (or your local SPCA/other animal shelter if you're not in Saskatoon) and volunteer!

I decided that from time to time I will feature a pet on my blog that is up for adoption, whether from Street Cat Rescue or the SPCA. This will be an animal that stood out to me and that I think will make a great pet for someone.. I volunteer at both places so I have direct contact with these animals, so I think featuring one of them from time to time might help get them adopted (hopefully). Please note that there is also Poohka's Rabbit Rescue and New Hope Dog Rescue as well that have animals up for adoption!

The pet featured in the picture above is a Dutch rabbit (male) named Ginko. He's a real sweetheart. He's full grown, loves to be petted on the nose,and will come right up to the cage and wait for you to spend time with him (as oppose to the other ones who run to the back of the cage as soon as it's opened) .. He's very easy to handle (although about as heavy as a small full grown cat), he's calm and very cuddly. He'll need a fairly large sized cage (I think the rabbit cages they sell in pet stores are ridiculously tiny). he's quite a large rabbit. Not fat, just large. I'd recommend getting a rabbit hutch or even building one from scratch. (which costs less than $90 .. it just requires the time to do it!!
So if you're interested in adopting a rabbit I'd highly recommend Ginko he's such a sweetie.. i'd adopt him myself if I didn't already have 4 pets!

Oct 24, 2007

This is scary.

Today's post should interest all the global warming skeptics.. because recent studies have shown that computer generated models of climate change were not actually accurate.. (ok I'll give all you skeptics a moment to cheer before I break your hearts).... but get this.. "But what has been wrong recently is that THE CLIMATE IS CHANGING EVEN FASTER THAN THE MODELS SAID. In fact, Arctic sea ice is melting much faster than any models predicted, and sea level is rising much faster than IPCC previously predicted".

You can read it on the CTV webpage at

Another thing to add is that scientists are forecasting that global warming will cause MASS extinction.
So why should we care if some lemur or asian sunbear goes extinct in some part of the world you say?? Well first of all.. it's going to be mass extinction-- not just a few species. Secondly many species of animals have a profound effect on the ecosystem. This has been proven many times with the introduction of foreign species into a place where they don't belong and the whole ecosystem has been thrown out of whack. We all depend on each other to survive. If hundreds or thousands of microorganisms start to die out or plant life starts to die out, there is no food for the animals or birds, or us, and life gets so complicated that many species cease to exist.
They are forecasting this mass extinction in the next few decades.

Read about it here:

What is the cause and effect between warmer seas and extinctions?

"Peter Ward, a University of Washington biology and paleontology professor, said natural increases in carbon dioxide warmed the air and ocean. The warmer water had less oxygen and spawned more microbes, which in turn spewed toxic hydrogen sulphide into the air and water, killing species.

Ward examined 13 major and minor extinctions in the past and found a common link: rising carbon dioxide levels in the air and falling oxygen levels. Ward's study will be presented Sunday at the Geological Society of America's annual convention in Denver."

They believe that over 50 per cent of species could be wiped out if temperatures rise as predicted. Now that's scary.

Oct 23, 2007

One eyed Jellybean

This is Jellybean. She is the newest addition to my family. We were at a pet store, which shall remain nameless, a week or so ago and I found this little sweetie with a bloody gouged out eyeball.. poor thing. She must have been attacked by one of her litter. I pointed out the problem to one of the staff and she took her into the back room and promised me that they would have one of their pet caregivers look at her as soon as possible. Knowing full well that they would not be able to sell a one-eyed hamster and she would probably either be put down or become snake food, I gave them my number and told them to call me if she is ok and I will adopt her. She is such a sweetie I am totally and completely ga-ga over her ... Her eye is really healing up well. I have not put her in the hamster ball yet because I do not want her exposed to any germs on the floor, etc as she is still healing up but she loves to run in her wheel!! My boyfriend bought her a cute little edible hamster hut with a grass roof. so cute!! I may not be able to save every animal -- though I wish I could ..but I am glad I saved her. <3

Oct 19, 2007

Missing $250 million dollars:

What is The Sask Party planning on doing with the OTHER $250 MILLION that the NDP has set aside for our Green Future Fund?

The Sask Partys platform is now released and I am confused. Some numbers just are not adding up. It is making them look oh so good about providing 70 million for the green initiatives fund (page 35 of 46 at over the next 4 years.. BUT the NDP already established $320 million according to their website, so I would like to ask the Sask Party WHERE IS THE OTHER 250 MILLION GOING?

"We created a $320 million Green Future Fund- helping achieve Saskatchewan's emission reduction and climate change" (saskatchewan's NDP website at

I'm not a political guru, I'm new at this whole election thing being a young person, so forgive me if I have something askew in understanding how this works.. but it's not hard to subtract $320 million minus $70 million and there's $250 million missing.. the Sask party are CUTTING the environmental budget by 250 million, aren't they? (than what we'd have under an NDP gov'mt) Somebody please tell me how this works. One of the main determinants of who gets my vote will be who takes this issue seriously. Cutting $250 million ? Because of the SEVERE CLIMATE CHANGE that is GOING TO occur EVERYTHING will change. Just in my agriculture class today our prof who is renowned and has been in agriculture for several decades said just that. The global warming will completely change the way we do agriculture. We are going to need to rethink our daily lives as we know them. Basically everything we consume comes from the earth. Everything. Think about that for a minute. Even the clothes on your back came from plant products or animals which ate those plants. Our environment and preserving it should be a top priority to politicians. Unfortunately I think most of what they care about is money and economic growth. Yet they (the sask party) state that Saskatchewan has the highest rate of growth of greenhouse gas emissions since 1990 in all of Canada!!! So why are they promising $250 million less than the NDP?

Anyway I wrote them. Hopefully I get a response soon:
"I finished reading all 46 pages of your platform, and I have a question. Forgive me if I don't understand this but I'm a young voter and I'm new to this. A lot of who gets my vote WILL be based on their stand toward environment and sustainable living. I noticed that you guys are promising 70 million in the next 4 years towards that purpose, but then I compared it to the NDP site which states "We created a $320 million Green Future Fund- helping achieve Saskatchewan's emission reduction and climate change goals". So I ask you, where is the other $250 million going? They are willing to spend $250 million more on making saskatchewan greener than your party.. so I'd like you to explain that to me if possible. Thanks a lot, looking forward to hearing your response. "

Take a picture

Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new. The crazy new thing for today is called Quick Response Code. They have this technology in Japan, which apparently allows you to take a picture of a store window, poster, or advertisement with your cell phone and it takes you immediately to their website where you can find a ton of information. For example, you can take a picture of a movie poster and have the theater show times and ticket prices right at your fingertips, as well as buy tickets right then and there. It allows you to take a picture of a clothing store window poster and see if they have your size or color preference in stock. It even allows you to find out about your meat ! lol... get this:

"Somebody can go to the meat section of some supermarkets in Japan and use a QR code to find out what the cow ate, where it came from and where it was processed," said Junn Chanoki, the Tokyo-based head of food and agribusiness research for Rabobank, a Dutch investment bank. "Ninety percent of Japanese have a mobile phone, and most phones are connected to the Internet, so the number of potential users is enormous." [ from ]

Of course we don't have any such thing in North America because all the major cell phone companies are trying to come up with their OWN code instead of working together to make this happen. The only reason it happened in Japan is because the cell phone companies and businesses co-operated and accepted the inventor's code as the standardized version. My economic prof pointed out that this is the same reason why Microsoft has 95% of computer sales and Mac only 5% because everyone accepted Microsoft's programs as the "standard".

Anyways I thought this was a pretty cool little piece of info to share.. AND it ties in to the whole animal welfare thing in that you'd be able to tell where your food is coming from, how it was raised, etc.. for those that are cruelty-conscious or even those that are health conscious. I think if we had that technology here, more people would start thinking about where their meat is coming from, and consumer trends MIGHT shift to a more humane level.

I do believe that a day will come where we will catch up to the UK in our animal production methods.. and I think this sort of technology might not only help us to catch up to them but to even exceed them in innovating ultra-humane ways of raising animals for whatever reason.

Personally, I would rather see everyone stop eating meat altogether.. not just for animal-rights reasons (because killing is never cool) but also from an environmental perspective (the higher up on the trophic level, the less ecologically efficient you are!!!.. in other words, a lot of the energy captured by plants, ingested by the herbivore, then ingested by the first carnivore or the top carnivore... it's a lot of energy wasted. We could feed all of the starving children in the world with the amount of water and crops grown to raise animals for food). But I have to keep a realistic perspective about things.

I think a little change at a time is what's realistic. The whole world isn't going to go vegetarian or vegan overnight. I'm trying to make suggestions for the general public to become more aware of these issues and make conscious choices reflecting responsibility to our environment and to influence consumer choices that will promote better treatment of animals.

Oct 18, 2007

Egg-eaters, beware

Ever stop and think where your eggs come from?

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the University of Saskatchewan campus laying barn. I mentally prepared myself before I went because I had read about the plight of hens and the horrible conditions they suffer, but I wanted to see it firsthand. You cant believe everything that you read on the internet, right?

Unfortunately, I have to confirm that what you read on animal rights/animal welfare websites about the plight of laying hens is TRUE. We went through on a tour of the hatchery, the laying barn, and the broiler (meat chicken) barn. During the tour I asked a lot of questions regarding the welfare of the animals. For example they were telling us how they debeak the chicks and I asked how humane that process is. Don’t the birds have nerve endings in their beaks? The man showing us around told us that yes, it is a painful process for the birds, but it must be done to prevent the chickens from pecking each other to death, and cannibalism.

Once in the laying hen barn it was obvious to see why debeaking is done. The hens are in tiny cages, packed with up to 6 birds a cage. If I was that crowded, I’d want to peck the person beside me to death as well! As I was walking down the isles of chickens my disgust was growing. Rows upon rows, stacks upon stacks, of full grown chickens crammed into tiny metal cages so that they couldn’t even spread their wings. There were a few cages that had 2 or 4 birds, which wasn’t AS bad, but there was also a large amount of cages with as many as 6 birds. I don’t understand how any living creature should be forced to live like that. The hens are kept in these tight little metal cages for a full year, sometimes longer. It would be like the equivalent of stuffing 6 fat people in your bedroom closet for a year (and I’m not talking about a walk in closet either!). If you went to a pet store and saw 6 full grown dogs crammed in a cage so tight that they were standing shoulder to shoulder and couldn’t even move around, would you not be shocked and call the SPCA or your local animal protection officer? Yet these are the conditions that hens are forced to endure for their entire lives so that you and I can eat eggs.

I must also note that there was a couple of alternative cages they were “trying out”.. That were reasonably larger, cleaner, and the hens in those cages were significantly more calm that the ones in the battery cages. At least they ARE looking into alternatives. I don't understand though why every cage has not been replaced with the larger more humane, cleaner ones. The University is shelling out millions to make place riel into a frikkin shopping center but they can't shell out anything for a more humane laying-hen production?

My professor said that in the UK they have banned battery cages and their laying hens are now kept in a large barn setting where they are free to roam and walk around. Unfortunately, all Canadians seem to care about is that the price of their eggs stays low, and so they don’t care that these birds have shitty lives. (or else they don’t KNOW about it.. but now you DO know.. so if you go out and buy regular supermarket eggs, remember, you are supporting this type of cruelty that other countries have banned!) I can promise you I will never buy supermarket eggs again unless they are from free range hens.

I don’t like to eat eggs period because of the unnecessary slaughter that is associated with egg production. All of the male chicks that hatch in the egg industry are killed because, of course, male chicks don’t lay eggs. They are not kept for meat because there is barely any meat on them. Also after a year, the female hens are killed because their production declines to about 70%. In a natural setting, a hen can live 4-5 years.

So in conclusion, I’m not telling you all to NOT eat eggs. If you simply must eat eggs please remember: hens go through a lot of suffering in battery cages to produce low cost supermarket eggs. Choose to be a better person and shell out a bit extra from your wallet…choose to buy eggs that are from free range hens .. birds that are allowed to roam in the sunshine!

please note: the pictures in the above article were not taken at the U of S barns. I googled the images from random websites, but I chose the images which I felt best depicted what I saw in person.

Oct 13, 2007

Disease or delicacy

Ducks and geese.. who should be out on the lake, swimming and flying, enjoying the wind and the sun.. they are kept in cages indoors, not allowed to fly or breath fresh air. They are raised for 3 months and then killed for their livers. They are force fed by metal pipes that scrape up the inside of their throats, the huge amount of food they are force fed causes them to get liver disease,.. which makes their livers grow 10 times the regular size. It causes them extreme pain, difficulties breathing, and stress, so that they will tear their own feathers out and cause open wounds. Many of the birds are unable to move under the extreme weight of their livers. The disease causes many of them to die before they even reach 3 months of age when they will be slaughtered. Many of them, by the time of slaughtering are barely alive. All so that people can eat these diseased, fatty livers.. "foie gras".. considered a delicacy. I just don't understand it. The California, Israel, Switzerland, and the UK have banned the sale of foi gras. I sure wish Canada would follow suit.

One of the ladies from an organization I volunteer for in the city is currently down in Virginia working for PETA. She sent me this video which I found completely and utterly shocking.. (PETA wasn't the people behind this undercover investigation, but are supporting bringing awareness to it nonetheless, for animal welfare purposes.) I know that animals in factory farms suffer but this degree of cruelty is one of the worst I have yet heard of. At first I didn't even know what foie gras is (fatty duck/goose liver) .. and I had no idea there was a market for it! If you go to and type in foie gras, a lot of results will come up. Apparently the demand is also increasing. I called the agriculture inspector for Elevages Perigord.. the company in Quebec that is guilty of this cruelty, but no one answered so I left a message expressing my utter disgust at their treatment of the animals and asked for a call back with my name and number. So we'll see what happens. I also called the head office of Sobey's and left a polite message that I will no longer be shopping at their store until they stop selling foie gras because it promotes cruelty! I'm also planning on calling's corporate number on Monday to tell them I will not be purchasing anything online from them until they no longer offer foie gras. They sell the products from Elevages Perigord. Personally i find it disgusting that anyone would want to eat DISEASED duck livers in the first place! Anyways no more words.. I think this video will speak louder than ANY amount of words could:

Oct 11, 2007

Hope is like a rope - don't let go

I was shocked and disappointed to open up this week's copy of my University's newspaper and read such a message of hopelessness. Krishna Datla, the opinions writer, wrote an article titled "Global warming is unsolvable". In it he admitted that global warming is real and humanity is making it worse, but his stance that he is making loud and clear to everyone on campus is that there is absolutely not a bloody thing we can do about it. He says that "the real inconvenient truth is that global warming is unsolvable". He says that cutting back on fossil fuels is "tantamount to bleeding", saying cutting back on fossil fuels were lose revenues and people will lose jobs, ... I say.. what about coming up with alternatives? There actually ARE alternatives already, but governments won't sponsor them because there's not a demand and it would cause a loss of profit all around. Therefore it us up to us, the consumers, to DEMAND the alternatives! It's also up to us to elect the government that will stand for the environment. They are in power by OUR votes. What we think and what we want makes a difference. So instead of just giving up we have to unite for a common cause. Datla also says this: "Even if you try to help the cause by taking the bus more often, your insignificant reductions will be eclipsed by the increased wastage from billions of others." What a pessimistic and lazy point of view! So we just shouldn't give a fuck? I'd like to include a few points taken from another persons blog found at:

"1. Many Small Changes Add Up Small changes get easier, and easier, and build up within your life; one day you wake up and realize you have made a lot of changes in your life, and have reduced your personal threat to the survival of your family and others by a great deal. 2. Many Small Changes Add Up, II Many individuals making the same small change can add up to a larger cultural change. Folks that pushed for organic foods in the 70s probably never foresaw the day of FDA Organic Certification or that Organic Pop-Tarts (ok, generic "Toaster Pastries") would actually exist. 3. Cultural Change Can Effect Political Change Which can, in-turn, effect more cultural change. By caring enough to use reusable shopping bags, or giving your car the weekend off, and telling people about it, we begin to create a cultural phenom. This, in turn, creates political pressure to be more green in how let the government regulate our society, which in turn can create broader understanding and appeal of how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Not everyone will "get" it; not all of us will make every change we could, but as the social and political culture shift it will get easier and easier to be green. In the final analysis, then, every easy green thing you do does make a significant difference. You may only see it in your own life at first, but individual choices do affect the rest of the world."

Anyways Datla went on to say that our wind and solar power options aren't efficient enough, that we don't have time to come up with better options, saying that it's human nature to pursue the status quo rather than alter one's lifestyle. He also writes, "One might think that some day a huge tidal wave will drown Manhattan, but it's not going to happen tomorrow, and I don't even live there, so why should I care?"
HELLOOO it's called GLOBAL warming. Not "polar ice cap warming", not "Manhattan" warming, ... it's a global issue. Every place and every person will be affected. Our air quality, our vegetation, our animal life, microbial organisms, our food, our climate, our energy sources, our water supply..

Anyways I DID write a response to The Sheaf, and hopefully it will be published.. I had to keep it under 300 words, and there are some key points I never got across but the important thing I think was to encourage people and give them a message of hope after Datla's abomination of an article.

My response:

RE: Global warming is unsolvable

I am disappointed in Krishna Datla’s article, “Global warming is unsolvable”. To say this, is to create a hopeless frame of mind, and with hopelessness, nothing can be accomplished. We CAN come up with alternatives and we ARE; even as you read this people are working at better ways to go about our daily lives that are more earth-friendly. We CAN improve and innovate alternative sources of energy. The most important thing is that we have to try. We only have one earth. Laziness is no longer an option. Every choice we make, no matter how insignificant it seems has a positive or negative effect on our environment. In saying, “taking the bus more often, your insignificant reductions will be eclipsed by the increased wastage from billions of others” (Datla), you are encouraging laziness and irresponsibility! We ALL have a responsibility to the environment. By doing the right thing and making better choices, we are setting an example that others will follow, and soon those of us who actually care about the environment will no longer be a minority! “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.” (Edmund Burke) Every small choice made by one person, multiplied by thousands of “one persons” - - makes a HUGE difference. Taken from are four reasons for hope: Humans have amazing problem solving abilities. Young people can bring energy and enthusiasm to the cause and WILL make a difference. The human spirit is amazing; our determination can make even the most impossible goals achievable. Lastly, we should not underestimate the resilience of nature. There is hope… never forget that.

Oct 10, 2007

Horse Slaughter plant opens in Saskatchewan

Just last Wednesday in my Animal Science lab, the proff stated that Canada is lagging behind many other countries in issues of animal welfare. There are several methods we use here in Canada in animal production that have been banned in other countries because they are inhumane. One does not have to look very far to find really how horribly we treat animals. One of these days I'm going to do a blog on just how these beings suffer so that we can eat them or wear their skin or their fur. It will NOT be happy reading.
However the issue at hand today is this: I have recently found out that our province has opened up a HORSE SLAUGHTERING plant, just outside of Regina. .. for the export of HORSE MEAT.
"A southern Saskatchewan meat processor is bringing its workforce back up to 100 per cent by processing horse meat for sale in the European Union (EU)." (see end of blog for resources)
They are justifying this act of complete cruelty and inhumanity by that fact that it opens up a lot of new jobs. I sure don't want to kill horses for a living.
Now I know some of you may not feel the same way as I do in regards to animal welfare when it comes to chickens, fish, etc.. because some people question how much those animals actually understand or actually suffer because they don't SEEM to be so smart. But I think we can ALL agree that horses are beautiful, amazing, and super intelligent animals. And so I ask you again..
would YOU like to have a job that requires you to murder these awesome creatures in vast numbers every day? I don't think I could look at myself in the mirror knowing that blood is on my hands.
"Currently, horse slaughtering is a controversial issue in the United States, where the country's last horse slaughterhouse, located in Illinois, is challenging a state law that bans the practice. Two Texas-based plants were closed in May due to similar state legislation being enforced."
Remember: horses are not raised for slaughter. They are usually bought at auctions, or stolen or brought in by their owners who once loved them and no longer want them. Often people are ignorant to the mass amount of mistreatment their horse is about to suffer in it's last moments alive. At the plant they are mistreated, terrified at the pungent smell of blood and death all around them, electrocuted, hit, or speared into the "kill box", and they are beaten down. They are hoisted up by one leg where they hang there in a line awaiting their throats to be slashed while they are still alive.
(Quote from a horse plant worker,"You move so fast you dont have time to wait till a horse bleeds out, you skin him as he bleeds. Sometimes a horses nose is down in the blood, blowing bubbles, and he suffocates.")

We need to do something. Make calls, send letters.. make people more aware of what is going on.. and we need to speak up . We can't just sit and let this go on..

"It is not alone what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable."
~Moliere (1622-1673)

Please go to to watch real video footage of what really goes on at a horse slaughtering plant.


Oct 6, 2007

The Petition

One of my friends posted this on their facebook pictures and I thought it was such a cool idea. A car as a petition! So neat! It is true, cities are extremely unfriendly to cyclists. I don't bike a whole lot (Something I am currently trying to change... I plan to bike/bus a lot more as it's a lot better for the environment and a lot cheaper for my limited funds as a starving student!) .. but the times I have biked I'm scared to drive on the road like you're supposed to and find myself sticking to the sidewalk.. Otherwise you're honked at or else completely ignored, cars zooming past you as if you're standing still.. Seems like people don't care whether they come one millimeter away from hitting you! Bikes ARE vehicles, and have just as much right to the road as everyone else does. So instead of getting ticked off at the next cyclist biking in your lane, maybe roll down your window and give them a high five.. or just take a mental note that what they're doing is ok! It's not the end of the world if you don't make it home in time to watch your favourite sitcom.. Cyclists are preserving our environment each and every time they choose to forgoe the use of an automobile, not to mention keeping healthy themselves!
Starting today I am going to try to go all week without using my vehicle. We'll see how that goes. It hasn't snowed yet so biking shouldn't be a problem.

*Edit: Well it's Wednesday.. I actually HAVE used my car this week.. to go to thanksgiving dinner at my parents. After all, the public bus system doesn't let me take my puppy on the bus so in order for her to be able to come, we drove... But I AM biking when I can. So that's a start.

Sep 25, 2007

Call for compassion

Sep 16, 2007


Here are some awesome quotes that I hope will inspire some of you out there.

"If only we could overcome cruelty with compassion we should make a gigantic stride toward achieving our ultimate human potential, moving beyond the Age of Reason to the Age of Love."
~Jane Goodall~

"If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed."
~Chinese proverb~

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth will find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts." ~Rachel Carson~

"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men." ~Alice Walker~

"We are not the only beings capable of rational thought, of emotions, and of mental and physical suffering. Once we begin to accept that animals do indeed suffer, we must begin to scrutinize the way in which we treat all animals, human and non-human alike, as well as the environment in which they live." ~Jane Goodall~

"Kinship with all life must be expressed with action, since belief is no longer enough." ~Michael W. Fox~

"If we allow our point of view to be known, we will sway people, but if we stand quietly and let someone expressing an opposing view go unchallenged, we hurt our cause. So if we want to end racism, sexism, speciesism, or any other exploitie practice, we must be determined not to be silent! That means breath deeply, realize only good (or at least nothing horrible!) can happen. Speak up!" ~Ingrid Newkirk~

"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little." ~Edmund Burke~

"There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out!" ~Russian proverb~

"If anyone can show me, and prove to me, that I am wrong in thought or deed, I will gladly change. I seek the truth, which never yet hurt anybody. It is only persistence in self-delusion and ignorance which does harm." ~Marcus Aurelius~

"I am only one, but I am still one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something." ~Helen Keller~

"You must be the change you wish to see in th world." ~Mahatma Gandhi~

Dr. Jane Goodall

Well I actually wrote this on Thursday after being inspired by Dr. Jane Goodall herself! It was such an honor to be able to hear her speak, she is an amazing woman.
First of all Jane Goodall is my inspiration.. All the work she's done to help animals and blur the line between them & us, the work she's done to help our environment and raise awareness worldwide.. well there's books and movies, and I'm sure websites about it as well so I'm not going to go all into that, but if you don't know who she is then get with it!! :) (Currently I'm reading her newest book so I may post more on her later.)
Anyways, she spoke on Thursday morning and much of what she said was so moving I was fighting back tears. This earth is endangered, not just the certain endangered species and plant life, but everything, including us. We have 10 years to reduce the effects of what we have done to abuse this planet or we will face massive repercussions..
She highlighted issues such as poverty, ethnic conflicts, endangered species, vanishing rain forests, pollution, falling water levels, etc ..
This is all due to OUR LIFESTYLES..
Every single day we live on this planet we make a difference. Every choice you make.. EVERY CHOICE YOU MAKE has an effect on the environment. What you choose to throw away, what you choose to purchase, what you choose to consume as food/drink, it's packaging, your mode of transportation, where you travel, what activities you take part in, absolutely everything has an effect on the environment.
The question is, do we feel passionate enough to make change?
We need to understand the nature of the problem at home first, ..individual action is powerful. We have the power, all we need is to put out the energy and take a deep breath and muster up the courage to make better choices. Sure you might be laughed at for picking a bottle out of the garbage to recycle it, or whatever, but everything helps. Every little thing. And until more people choose to care, those who do care are a minority and might be laughed at or made fun of.. But the good news is more and more people are becoming aware that our earth is in a state of crisis and doing their part to save the it. Our earth world is more important than making money. Remember that.
She also addressed the issue of politicians.. how so many people blame the politicians for not putting laws into effect, etc.. But you know, politicians rely on peoples votes to keep them in office. Right now we are a minority but as more and more people are educated and inspired to become more environmentally friendly, it catches on. So another important thing is to vote!! Every vote counts and if we want politicians to become more environmentally friendly, we need to make sure the ones who are get the most votes!
In our workshops we were discussing endangered species, and this isn't something I was aware of prior to, but I guess frogs and bees all over the earth are disappearing in vast numbers.. They don't know why the bees are disappearing, but they think the frogs are disappearing because of all the chemicals and pesticides, etc in our environment, and especially traces of birth control.. I was shocked at this.. I mean, it's just hormones right? Well it messes with the frogs and kills them. When we take birth control pills the excess comes out in our urine and goes into the water and the water treatment plants don't filter out hormones.. I guess this is getting to be a big thing.. But what is the other option? Not taking birth control and saving the frogs but having more of a growing problem with human overpopulation?
.. these are issues we need to think about .. there has got to be alternatives. I haven't done much research yet on the frog/bee thing, but I plan to soon and I'll keep you posted on what I find out.
... anyways...
Hope this has inspired someone out there.

"If you really want something, try your hardest, take advantage of every opportunity, and never give up.. you will get there." ~Jane Goodall

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