Yet again I will be walking for Farm Sanctuary this year in order to raise money for their cause. I’m terribly excited to be doing so and would love it if others would sign up to walk in their city as well! Go to www.farmsanctuary.org to see if there is one in your city! Also, I am raising money for Farm Sanctuary through First Giving again as well. Please go here to donate as much or as little as you can spare! The animals thank you!
April 26, 2009 at 2:08 am (Uncategorized)
Scientists in South Korea have cloned a beagle which they have named Ruppy. What makes Ruppy world news? Well Ruppy happens to be the first transgenic dog. Ruppy and her four fellow beagles all exhibit fluorescent genes, particularly a red fluorescence that glows under a UV light. This gene is usually only present in sea anemones, mind you. You read correctly, this poor dog and her “littermates” all glow red under ultraviolet light.
First of all, I’m the first to say that I dislike cloning in general, but to clone a dog to make the poor puppy glow red? Then to parade her around the media like she is some tool of the trade? Wait, that is what they see her as unfortunately.
Why is this poor dog glowing red for all the world to see? Well, this is my favorite part. The scientists in South Korea stated: “I think these dogs will be a very useful model for our research. The next step for us is to generate a true disease model.” Wonderful! Hooray! Now dogs can not only be cloned but be destined for a life of a plethora of human diseases. I tell ya, what could be better?
“The long lifespan of dogs and their reproductive cycle could make them more relevant to human fertility than mice.” Oh golly gee. This is excellent news. Now those women who insist on being impregnated even though their bodies clearly do not believe they should be (what does nature know?) can potentially become pregnant more easily because of poor glowing puppies. Well, if I do say so myself it is well worth it to increase the world’s population (its not like we don’t have too many people already or anything) AND torture dogs that were brought into this world just for that purpose. Win-win!
The only glimmer of hope for future clones like Ruppy is the fact that many in the field believe the methods are too “laborious, expensive and slow” and that it is too expensive to care for “laboratory-reared dogs” to become common procedure. Unfortunately, this knowledge has not spared Ruppy or her pals from what I can only imagine will be a life of pain (mental, emotional and physical).
April 22, 2009 at 4:48 pm (Uncategorized)
Recently, a retired Navy SEAL’s dog, Dasy, was brutally killed in the front of his home in Texas. Four men are said to have pulled up to the house and shot Dasy, meanwhile laughing at what they had just done. Marcus Luttrell, the SEAL, then proceeded to chase the men through four Texas counties while phoning the police. The police eventually set up a barricade and captured the men.
However, only two are facing charges and only one has been apprehended. The man who is currently in jail, Alfonso Hernandez, is only facing a maximum of TWO YEARS in prison! Only two years!! Luttrell believes that all four men deserve to be punished, as the two not being accused, in Luttrell’s words, would be if they had killed a person. Luttrell stated: “That is the problem with people who kill dogs, if it was a person that would have been conspiracy to commit murder–all four of them would be in prison.”
Marcus Luttrell is the lone survivor of the worst loss of life in Navy SEAL’s history back in Afghanistan in 2005. Dasy was named after the initials of all the men in the group with Luttrell. Dasy was given to him when he was recovering from injuries from the same event that killed the other men. Luttrell stated that Dasy “was like a daughter” to him. Please sign this petition to give the men their maximum sentence, it is the least that we can do.
Also, view the video of Marcus Luttrell on Fox News Channel explaining his story. I wouldn’t usually direct one to Fox News but it is a story that should be heard and that was treated well by host Glenn Beck.
If anyone has been wondering as to my whereabouts lately, I have the answer for you. I recently began writing for About My Planet as an environmental news contributor. I am greatly enjoying it but will also be trying to contribute more to my own blog as well. I have a few ranty posts planned for upcoming days here on the Verve so watch for them! But in the meantime, catch up on some environmental news over at About My Planet and look around the site. Thanks!
The following post was written by a close friend of mine, Phoebe Maestri, regarding a recent NY Time article entitled “The Joys and Pains of Being an Animal.” Anyone who feels deeply for our fellow creatures on this earth would be irked to read either the article or the book (I have not but since this is a preview I can only imagine). Phoebe has tackled this nuisance of an article/book for us and does so in a great fashion. Thanks Phoebe!
I read this article in the NY Times recently, and it simply infuriated me – as a vegan, as a human, as a animal, as a woman, as an Earthling. When asked how Temple Grandin can love animals when she designs ‘stress-free’ slaughter plants, her reply is as follows: “some people think death is the most terrible thing that can happen to an animal.” She argues that “the most important thing for an animal is the quality of its life.” First, let’s silently ruminate on the phrase, “stress-free” slaughterhouse, for a bit shall we?!
Ok, now I would have to agree on one thing – at the end of the queue the only thing that the animals can hope for is death, and a quick one at that – I mean, wouldn’t you? At that point, death is mercy. Death means the pain is gone. The pain of being captive-bolted incorrectly so you still feel everything that will come on top of dealing with the pain of just having a metal rod shoved in your brain. The pain of being slit at the throat while trussed up by the hind legs, hanging upside-down. The pain, in instances of ‘kosher’ slaughter, of being turned upside-down in a loud metal container so that the blood runs down as you lose all sense of surrounding. Death means that the torture is over. The torture of watching your inevitable fate unfold as your friends are slaughtered first – whether they exhibit this in their facial expressions or not, for us to watch through these glass walls (does anyone else see the correlation to zoos here, or is it just me? putting glass walls on slaughter houses would just be like a zoo in a horror film that you scream at – “ooh no! don’t go through that door.”). The torture endured by you and your mates at the hands of the slaughterhouse workers to get you in the queue.
She adds: “The more I observe and learn about how dogs are kept today, I am more convinced that many cattle have better lives than some of the pampered pets. Too many dogs are alone all day with no human or dog companions.” Ok, this to me says she has no idea or insight into the life of a ‘pampered’ pet. A truly pampered pet lives a very full life, I have no doubt. Even when I am home all day, all my pampered pooch does is sleep, chew on a bone, and occasionally ask me to play – not so desperate that I feel guilt when I’m not there. She’s not missing anything when I’m not there because I give her plenty of love when I am there. Who wants to be hovered around all day? Even dogs need “alone-time.” If Grandin wants to talk about pets being alone all day being the cause of their unhappy lives – let’s talk about dogs left out in freezing temperatures to suffer from exposure. Let’s talk about dogs being chained in the yard without access to their water bowl on hot summer days and suffer from dehydration and heat-exhaustion. Let’s talk about a human beating their dog for having an accident in the home without looking for underlying causes that could’ve caused the accident – the human neglecting to let them out, the human not noticing if the dog has taken ill, the human inflicting so much fear in the dog that it begins submissive urination.
“We’re lucky to have Temple Grandin” the author writes?! Lucky? Sure, she may get the message out there that no animal should be in a state of terror during it’s last conscious moments…so shouldn’t it end there. So, instead of eliminating that terror altogether, she would rather just have it on display for us to frighten our children with? “Human beings can be made to feel like cattle, especially in large cities” – or perhaps when they are actually treated like cattle! “Treated like cattle!” Have we forgotten the Holocaust? Have we forgotten slavery in the South? Have we forgotten female Homo sapiens since the dawn of ‘man’?
Sadly a cow famous for her escape from an Ohio slaughterhouse passed away recently at the NY Farm Sanctuary. The Farm Sanctuary site has a lovely and moving testimonial to Cinci’s life. I suggest that everyone to go to the site, read the story and watch the photo slide! If anyone has any doubt that cows do in fact bond and have friendships much like our own, read the following passage:
When it came time to say goodbye to Cinci, the herd gathered close around her. One of the eldest steers, Kevin, stepped forward to lick her face, while Iris, an older female, licked her back, soothing and keeping her calm up until she took her final breath. After our beautiful girl passed, every member of the herd approached to say goodbye, each one sharing with Cinci one last moment of affection. Though heartbreaking, the herd’s mourning ritual was also beautiful and comforting, as there was no doubt that Cinci not only lived, but also died knowing that she was cherished by all.
Cincinnati Freedom was an amazing cow and she will not soon be forgotten. Keep her in mind the next time you wonder if only humans have joie de vivre!
I was recommended by a friend to read The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams quite awhile back and I just finally got around to reading it. It is an excellent book that will make you re-evaluate the very basis of the way you think (or more accurately do NOT think) towards animals, regardless of whether or not you are a vegan or a corpse-eater. Adams routinely points out culturally accepted verbiage and symbolisms that enable you to avoid the “meat is murder” issue. A few examples from the book: a hamburger is not called cowmeat, nor are chicken wings considered chicken’s wings and the very word “meat” is not mentioned unless it is a local cultural abnormality to consume it, such as dogmeat (such as in the USA).
Moving on. If you are vegetarian, the obvious next step to ending animal enslavement is becoming vegan. Now if you are vegan, I urge you to evaluate the language you use daily. It is amazing the number of phrases and words one uses during the course of a normal day that somehow reflects poorly upon the other animals with which we share this earth. A couple I need to work on are: ass and son-of-a-bitch. Yeah I know, “curses”, big shocker to those who know me! :) If you have read the book you will see that I have no decent defense as to why I use these, except for that they are culturally accepted phrases and ingrained in my brain. But I cannot resist! My excuse is thus: I use ass as meaning a stupid or idiotic human….never thinking about donkeys (which is a sneaky aspect of our very language….) and as for son-of-a-bitch, I use it to mean, well….an ass :), never a female dog or female human. An excerpt by Noreen Mola and the Blacker Family that Carol J. Adams put into her book, The Sexual Politics of Meat, just may give you the head start you need in cleaning up your animal-unfriendly verbiage!
Language is a powerful tool. The words we choose do more than name or describe things; they assign status and value. Be careful, then, how you choose words to refer to non-human animals, for you may be using expressions that maintain prejudices against them.
Referring to a non-human animal as an “it” strips him or her of dignity and perpetuates the view that other animals are objects, inferior things or property.
Referring to people who share their homes and lives with non-human animals as “owners” or “masters” connotes slavery, and we should be uncomfortable with the connotation. Friends, companions and protectors is preferable.
Avoid calling other animals “living things.” They are living beings.
Refer to non-domestic animals as free or free-roaming, not “wild” or “wildlife.”
When referring to animal suffering and death caused by human action, use painfully explicit words that reveal the true facts. “Euthanize,” “put to sleep,” “sacrifice,” and “destroy” are favorites of animal researchers (and some animal control people), while “cull,” “harvest,” “manage,” and “thin the herd” are favorites of hunters, trappers, and their ilk. These words mean kill, so say kill.
Guilty people try to cover up their horrifying cruelties against, and backward exploitation of, non-human animals with deceptive euphemisms like the ones above. Say it like it is, and correct others when they don’t, so that people will realize the true nature and full extent of the suffering we inflict on other living beings.
Watch out, too, for expressions that convey contempt for animals. “Son-of-a-bitch,” “bird-brain,” and “hare-brain” are insults at the expense of animals. Think of alternatives to calling a person a “snake,” “turkey,” “ass,” “weasel,” “chicken,” “dog” or the like.
Liberate your language, for it’s an important step in liberating all animals!
-By Noreen Mola and The Blacker Family, Animals Agenda, 6, no.8, October 1986, p. 18
September 13, 2008 at 6:08 pm (Uncategorized)
Each year, thousands of dogs and cats are killed, considered part of the over-population problem. A contributing factor to why there is a so-called pet over-population problem is puppy mills. Thousands upon thousands of dogs are bred and sold from puppy mills, whether they be through pet stores, internet sales or individual (newspaper etc.) sales. Most of these poor dogs suffer malnutrition and disease. Not to mention the fact that most of these helpless puppies do not get any love, affection or any handling from human beings until they are shipped to a pet store. The mothers, once they stop producing litters, or enough litters, are killed. A very vital fact for those interested in getting a dog some time soon: 99 percent of all dogs at pet stores are from puppy mills. September 20th, 2008 will be Puppy Mill Awareness Day here in the United States. If you are looking to get a dog, why not visit a local shelter or rescue organization and adopt a dog in honor of Puppy Mill Awareness Day?
Estimates average around 10,000. 10,000 what you may ask? 10,000 individual puppy mills in the United States. The majority of puppy mills are in the Midwest, however the “capital” of puppy mills is considered to be in rural Pennsylvania. Proof of puppy mills in Amish country was even uncovered on Oprah recently, who revealed puppy mills in the backyards of Amish farms. Stacked cages containing numerous dogs were one after another, even though the farms were many acres large. The dogs were never allowed to exit the cages, and if so “lucky” they were given hamster-like balls to run in within the cage.
Animals involved in puppy mills have no life at all. All they are “allowed” to do is mate. They never are given the chance to run and be free amongst the other dogs, chase eachother, roll around in the grass or be healthy. The man behind the reason Oprah did a show on puppy mills, Bill Smith, is founder of Main Line Animal Rescue. Mr. Smith had the following to say about puppy mills:
A number of times they’ll call us and give us 45 minutes to an hour to come out and pick up a dog before they shoot it when they no longer want it. It’s always amazing to me when I go out to pick up a dog they’ve had for eight or nine years and it doesn’t have a name. It’s never been out of the hutch. It doesn’t know how to walk. I have to carry it to the car. It’s heartbreaking.
9 year old dogs, unable to walk and having no name to be known by. These are dogs that deserve names, deserve love and deserve a good home. That home just should not come from making the pockets of those who tortured them rich. Dogs need to be rescued from puppy mills. Dogs need to be taken from pet stores. Puppy mills need to be permanently shut down. Dogs need to be ADOPTED. Please, next time you are thinking about getting a dog:ADOPT.
Faces of Puppy Mills
Please stop this cruel “business” today. These dogs below are just like your Spot, Bruiser, Buster or whatever name that cute little guy that wags his tail each time you come is called. They all deserve good homes, with someone who will love and care for them.
August 5, 2008 at 2:06 am (Uncategorized)
“A sense of humor is the lubricant of life’s machinery.”
Apparently no one wants to take credit for this just awful quote!! ;) I have had this quote in my stash for quite some time now, and all I wrote originally was “anonymous,” just as all the sources on the internet apparently say as well. Ann Landers said something similar, with the same meaning, but not this exact quote. It is a mystery! But I’m sure each quote that has a specific author has been said in one way or another by thousands of others….I guess it’s all about whose name gets written down! Better start writing down your quotes people! You don’t want to be “anonymous” one day, do you? How dreadful!
August 1, 2008 at 7:00 pm (Uncategorized)
“You put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit. If he eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I’ll buy you a new car.”
–Harvey Diamond, Author, Co-Wrote Fit For Life–
See, there are even entertaining, amusing vegan quotes out there! I find this amusing because you know very well the baby is going to be oo-ing and ahh-ing over the bunny and not even care about the apple. Although, I suppose after some time the baby would be interested in eating the apple….but it would take a while.