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Happy Compassionate New Year!

1 Jan

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″

Eat for Health and Environment (video)

9 Jun

Ok ok so I am not a public speaker, so this is my attempt at video making for becomethevoice, full of pauses and stumbles, so instead of making it perfect I decided to leave it real, stumbles and all.

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

12 May

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

7 May

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

5 May

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

2 May

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

26 Mar

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.

Forks Over Knives~ Coming March 2011

23 Jan

I had the opportunity to attend the screening of Forks Over Knives presented by Vancouver’s Liberation BC, co-sponsored by the Vancouver Public Library.

Robert Cheeke flew up from the US to introduce the film and answer questions. More than 300 people showed for the screening, there were some disappointed faces that had to be turned away. This is an extremely important film,  an eye-opening experience. For those who missed this screening, the film will be in theatres late March to early April. Be sure to go see it.

There is a food revolution taking place, with groups like Liberation BC leading the way for Vancouver, I’m certain that we are on the right track to leading a much healthier lifestyle, we are exposed, educated and more informed, with films like these we are able to gain a clearer perspective.

Screenings and film sources are an important way to reach a wide circle of people, changing behaviours and more importantly promoting health and combating fatal disease and even preventing death.

Please check back and visit Liberation BC for upcoming events!

Movie’s That Will Save The PLANET

8 Jan

Along with the many animal concerns there are equally as many environmental concerns, they go hand in hand and we all need to take part, take notice and make a difference. Over the holidays I watched a few documentary’s. I highly recommend you watch these films, educate your self , your family and friends. The bigger the circle the bigger the change.

Tapped


Examines the role of the bottled water industry and its effects on our health, climate change, pollution, and our reliance on oil. The documentary is well structured and presents an overwhelming amount of evidence which will change the way anyone thinks about bottled and municipal water.

Both the “manufacture” of the water itself, and also where the bottles come from, where they go after use and how they influence our lives while they’re with us. The willful absence of major companies such as Coke, Pepsi and Nestle is extremely telling in light of all the material. Watch Free by clicking here: TAPPED

No Impact Man


“No Impact Man” is an awesome documentary movie, which has been directed by joint exertions of Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein. The plotline of the movie revolves around Manhattan-based Beavan family. This documentary follows the one year experiment of this family, as they abandon high consumption 5th Avenue lifestyle and try to live a simple life. They took this crucial step with the intention to save theenvironment. They don’t want to make any negative impact on the environment for a period of one year. You can watch No Impact Man video here to observe their one year experiment for the sake of environment.

Dirt! The Movie


DIRT! The Movie–directed and produced by Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow–takes you inside the wonders of the soil. It tells the story of Earth’s most valuable and underappreciated source of fertility–from its miraculous beginning to its crippling degradation.

King Corn


King Corn is a feature documentary about two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation. In King Corn, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, best friends from college on the east coast, move to the heartland to learn where their food comes from. With the help of friendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds, and powerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of America’s most-productive, most-subsidized grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But when they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about how we eat-and how we farm.

A Delicate Balance documents the latest discoveries of some of the most prominent experts on nutrition in the world. Over 50 years of research is skilfully woven into what feels like a detective unravelling the mysteries behind the disease epidemic which has struck affluent countries with a vengeance – disease has been escalating over the last 50 years resulting in 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women being diagnosed with cancer.

Watching this film will help you make informed choices about your health and the environment around you and how to reduce your personal impact. Click here to watch for FREE

 

A few to start with, I will keep you posted on new ones as I continue to watch. Other films I highly recommend are  Food IncEarthlings, The CoveShark Water and Sustainable Table .

This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands.

Happy Watching, Learning, Changing and Saving our planet.

SAINTS Sanctuary!

8 Jan

My visit with SAINTS for my birthday in December was more than I ever expected! It was wonderful and exciting and reminded me why I do what I do, it’s hard to fester up the energy some days to be a voice for the voiceless. Visiting sanctuary’s like SAINTS reinforces the desire to make positive changes in the world. I highly recommend it.

As much of an inspiration it is to see the caring that goes on for these animals it also reminds you how neglected and forgotten some animals end up. As Carol walked us through the property telling us the stories of how each animal arrived here, you can’t help but to feel emotional or angry.

It is so foreign to me that after 10, 12, 14 years a person can decide that they can no longer care for their beloved pet! I just can’t imagine dropping of my Chico at the SPCA because of sickness or that somehow his life will disrupt mine to the point that I would dump him off.

Some of these dogs hardly seem senior or sick and most show no signs of neglect, then you see the ones that are just completely defeated and you are reminded how cruel this world can be and how far we still need to go in educating and building compassion in people.

Carol the woman who founded SAINTS is very humble, she runs SAINTS purely from her heart. She doesn’t respond to compliments no matter how many you throw at her and she lights up a room with her compassion. She knows all the animals by name and all of their stories.

When you visit SAINTS you will find, volunteers, dogs , cats, horses, cows, ducks a donkey and even a goat and some pigs! All of these animals rescued. Some find homes but most stay to live out their final days. I highly recommend a visit, bring lots of treats and if you are able a donation. SAINTS is 100% run by donations from the public. Most of the animals at SAINTS require expensive treatments and vet visits.

I hope you will find the time to go. I promise you will be glad you did. The animals will be happy to greet you. It is a beautiful experience and it feels good to give back. Visiting sanctuary’s like SAINTS reinforces the desire to make positive changes in the world. I highly recommend it.

SAINTS

 

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