Happy Compassionate New Year!

Sending blessings and peace to all free-living birds, fish, and animals being harmed, terrorized, and killed by toxic poisons spewed into their home lands, waters, and skies by both secret and blatant human activity.

May we humans think always of the harm we are causing our non-human animal relations, and may we recognize and respect their interests to live their lives freely and in autonomy and health on this beautiful Earth.

2011 has been a very good year for the welfare of animals, 2011 has influenced a lot of people to make better choices around food, product, health and overall acknowledment in the treatment of animals for food.

I look forward to what 2012 brings, I welcome 2012 with open arms in the hopes we will all continue on the same path to work together to bring a compassionate peacful earth where we all can respect all things living.

Here’s to a beautiful, evolved and compassionate 2012!

Please watch this amazing video “Victories for animals in 2011″

Spork and Gene Baur On Values, Health, and Global Responsibility

Two of my favorite groups got together to talk about animals, core values and food choices. Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary  and Jenny and Heather who I have got to know through Spork Foods online,  are on opposite ends of the plant-based community but both share the same purpose, educating the public, living compassionately and living plant-based. I loved this insightful video, with the importance of the talk ranging from health, animal welfare, core values and environmental responsibility all the while eating some vegan strawberry-rhubarb pie! I found this talk  inspiring, It is a great reminder of why I live the way I do. As you know my husband and I are all about inspiration, education, living compassionately and core values, our core values are leading us in everything we do, especially in regards to our food choices,  living healthy and our personal responsibility on reducing our global impact.  I  really appreciated this discussion. I hope you do too, Enjoy.

Interview with Mike Desjardins: How I Became A Vegetarian

Mike Desjardins (also know as my husband) tells us about his transition from meat-eating to becoming a pescetarian. I asked him to explain his experience about his transition with a series of questions. In his own words he describes what he has learned and how being married to me has influenced his food choices.

Mike describes what that process was like for him and why it made sense to switch. Mike talks about how he felt after learning about the cruel conditions of factory farming and how our nations demand for overconsumption drives this industry. We have to be the change, our food choices are not only effecting the animals but also our health and our planet. Factory farming is destroying our soil and reducing our ability to be sustainable in growing our own food. We need to reduce consumption to increase our chance of correcting these issues.

In over 2 years Mike has reduced his meat intake to none with the exception of fish (I am educating him on the impacts of overfishing as well and what the depletion of fish has on our ecosystem, as well as the long-term effects).

At home because I have the lead in what we eat, we eat vegan, local and organic. This is our personal choice. I think every little bit helps. We are working on other thing too, there is so much to think about.

You don’t have to give up everything to reduce your impact, you just need to reduce your intake, you don’t have to become a full-fledged vegetarian or vegan overnight, learn about what you can do and learn about factory farming. Try being a weekday vegetarian. We all need to do our part.

“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment” ~Oprah Winfrey

THE WORLD BECOMES WHAT YOU TEACH

Enjoy this touching video by Zoe Weil, The World Become What You Teach

“There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they can grow up in peace” ~Kofi Annan

“Together let us build the global alliance to realize that goal, secure in the knowledge that in serving the best interests of children, we serve the best interests of all humanity” ~Carol Bellamy

This Mother’s Day ~Take A Stand Against Cruelty

This mothers day wear a cow ribbon, by wearing a cow ribbon you are contributing to raising awareness about the cruelty inherent in the dairy industry. Dairy cows endure the traumatic loss of a calf every year so that humans can take their milk.

The dairy industry spends a lot of money on advertising. You can find dairy ads in magazines, on television, in school cafeterias and on billboards. It is almost impossible to grow up in our society without being told how great dairy products are. The truth is dairy is about profit and not about our health. Click here to read more.

Despite appearing unexpressive by human standards, cattle are a sophisticated bunch who communicate with each other on many levels. Under natural circumstances, cattle live in herds with social hierarchies and form lifelong bonds with each other.

Cows are especially dedicated to their young and the bond formed between a mother and her calf remains long after the baby has grown to adulthood. Separation causes them tremendous stress and agitation. If mother and calf are separated by a fence, the mother will wait for her calf, even through harsh conditions like intense heat or cold weather, hunger and thirst. Cows have even been known to break fences and walk miles to be reunited with calves that were sold at auction.

One can imagine the trauma a dairy cow must feel when her calf is taken from her shortly after birth. It’s well known to farmers but rarely discussed that mother cows continue to frantically call and search for their babies for days after the calves have been sold off to veal farms.  A mother’s milk and good exercise are crucial to the growth of a happy calf. In a natural environment, a calf nurses for up to eight months. In a factory farm they don’t get much more than the a few days or hours before being taken off to be auctioned or slaughtered for veal.

When put to the test, many cows have proved to be quite good at problem solving. What’s more, a study led by Donald Broom, a professor at the University of Cambridge, found that cows enjoyed intellectual challenge and got excited when they overcame obstacles. It’s no wonder that cows raised for slaughter have been known to plan escapes, leaping six-foot fences or swimming across rivers.

Could you imagine if your young were taken away from you, there are so many things wrong with dairy industry and we have so much to learn about what goes on surrounding our choices around food. I believe if people knew the truth that these industries would be less accepted. This Mother’s Day make a stand for all mothers including the loving dairy cows and wear your cow ribbon: dairy cows are symbolic representatives of all of the animal mothers whose lives and reproductive systems are manipulated by humans. The cow ribbon is a symbol of your concern for these suffering and abused mothers. Please take a stand and speak out for them. Click  here to get your cow ribbon.

The video below is a beautiful reunion of a cow named Karma and her young calf, you can see haer the pain in her cries as she moo’s for her young calf, the excitement she has when she is reunited with her calf is unforgettable and something I hope will stay with you, it’s a beautiful reunion and I hope that one day we can all agree to put an end to factory farming. Consider eliminating dairy or reducing your intake significantly.

Love thy cow and love thy earth, respect all that has a willingness to live, love and take care of it’s young for we are all sentiment beings.

Are Your Pets Prepared For Disaster

The recent disaster in Japan is a subtle reminder that life threatening disasters can occur very quickly and anywhere in the world. Pets and other animals need to be included in family emergency and evacuation plans.

In fact the Humane Society Of Canada has said that more then likely people won’t leave their homes during a disaster unless they can take their pet with them. I know I’d be one of them. So be prepared so you both can make it out safely.

Why you shouldn’t leave your pets behind

The BCSPCA advises against leaving your pets at home when you evacuate during a disaster. You don’t know what will happen to their surroundings during an emergency, Or when you will be able to go back to get them. What’s not safe for you is not safe for them.

How to ensure their safety

The first thing is to start with being prepared. Having things like animal emergency alert stickers on your windows and doors are so important, this will help rescuers know that your pet could be inside. You can obtain stickers from most pet stores. In the case you do not have anything indicating a pet is inside attach a note on your front door or window that will alert rescuers to the presence of a pet. This could also be something you put in your emergency kit. Other helpful things to put on your note are the name of your pet, age, breed and color,  as well as alternate contact numbers are  also helpful.

For large pets or farm animals, the Humane Society has a field guide for farmers and livestock owners of how to prepare for an evacuation.

How To Prepare

Ensure adequate identification. A collar can only do so much. This can get separated from your pet’s body, or the tag might be too damaged to read. Microchiping is a better option. You can have your vet insert a microchip under your pet’s skin, which should hold his identification and your contact information. Make sure you keep this up to date. And have alternate contact numbers just in case. We all know the story of the two dogs in Japan that made headline news. Well guess what? they were saved and they both had microchips so they were united with their owners very quickly.

Plan where to go. Shelters for people might not take animals. Some hotels will accept animals conditionally. In case you need to evacuate, make sure you will be going to a pet-friendly place.

Ensemble a disaster kit. You prepared a disaster kit for your family. So include items meant for your pet too. These should be in a waterproof container, and should include the following:

  • Veterinary records (In case of pet left behind)
  • Pictures of your pets (In case of lost or pet left behind)
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight or any light source
  • Any Medications
  • Pet clean-up supplies
  • Extra leash and collar
  • Extra food, treats and water for your pet good enough to last two weeks
  • Small Blanket
  • Pet carrier

Have your pet carrier handy. You will need to transport your pet during the disaster, so have a pet carrier that is adequately sized. If you have birds, rodents, amphibia or very small animals cats or dogs you will need something portable so you can easily transport your pet safely.

I suggest watching a movie called MINE, Mine is a documentary about the essential bond between humans and animals, set against the backdrop of one of the worst disasters in modern U.S. history.

This gripping, character-driven story follows New Orleans residents as they attempt the daunting task of trying to reunite with their pets who have been adopted by families all over the country, and chronicles the custody battles that arise when two families love the same pet. Who determines the fate of the animals and the people involved? A compelling meditation on race, class and the power of compassion. MINE examines how we treat animals as an extension of how we view and treat each other. Available on Netflix.

Stay safe, I hope that we never need to put any of our Emergency Kits to use, at least I know you and your companions will at least be prepared, just in case.