Animal Rights


I just wanted to let you know about the Bugs Without Borders organization, which educates children about the importance of animals, especially insects and reptiles. You should definitely check it out and if you happen to have kids and live in Toronto why not even sign them up for the Bugs Camp?

In my opinion, it is of great importance that children start appreciating our natural world from when they are very young. If they develop a deep connection with nature they will be able to keep it throughout their life and share it with many more people around them. Children growing up in our modern urban societies don’t have as much interaction with nature and wild animals, which may make them indifferent to our global environmental problems. That’s why programs like these are so important and valuable.

Throughout their camp experience children will learn and interact with animals from various families such as Insects, Amphibians, Reptiles, Arachnids, and many more! How amazing is that!?

Bugs without borders also offers educational programs to schools as well as corporate and private events. Next week I will be helping out with one of their many events during the Earth Day, I’ll let you know how it goes!

P.S. Even if you don’t live in Toronto, there are various science summer camps which teach kids about our amazing flora and fauna, so don’t miss out ūüėČ

Too bad I am not writing this post fresh from the memory, I have seen this documentary about three weeks ago. I think if I wrote this the day after, it would have been more emotional, but I just couldn’t get to it with all the exams.

I thought I would never watch this movie, but I wanted to show it to students at my University, to expose horrible things done to animals by industries and groups around the world. A friend, who was helping me organize this movie night, told me this one thing that made me watch Earthlings:

“If animals live and die in these horrible conditions and they experience all these terrible things, then the least we could do is watch and understand. If it is so hard and impossible to watch, imagine how it is for the animals…”

And also, since people came to see the movie which I was showing, it kind of looked bad on me to go away for 2 hours and come back for discussion not knowing what those people have seen.

And so I watched it. The movie focused on four areas of our exploitation of animals: Food, Pets, Clothing, Entertainment. Emotionally, it was very hard to watch, people were crying, and few of them left after the Food part. I have kept my eyes on the floor for the most part of it, for me listening was enough. Hard enough, that I could not listen to the parts about veal slaughter and fur and had to leave the room.

Indeed, this has been the most revealing, emotional, and most influential films of all times. If this doesn’t make people think about how we treat animals, nothing will (of course, if only they experience the slaughterhouses, fur farms, and dairy farms themselves). After the movie we have done a discussion session where people asked my friend (who is the best animal activist and a long-time vegan I know) all the questions such as: If I buy meat from organic farms is it better? But we are meant to eat meat!, etc. But for me, a statement by one of the non-vegan-non-vegetarian audience members that I remember the most was:

“Even though I love meat and think that we are supposed to eat meat I am ready to sacrifice it because of how the animals are treated in modern-day farms.”

Personally, I do not agree with statement that we need to eat meat, but it helps to understand that the issue is so important that being exposed to animal abuse even through a documentary is able to change one man’s life in one night.

Dan Piraro is my favourite cartoonist (not that I know many) and as it turns out he’s also a great speaker.¬† Below is a video of him explaining some of his best cartoons:

You can view many of Dan’s cartoons on www.bizzaro.com, but below I present to you a few of those:

In my opinion, through his cartoons, Dan is able to efficiently communicate some of the most important animal rights issues we have in our world at the present moment.  One picture is worth a thousand words.  Thanks Dan!

I have mentioned the Vegetarian Food for Thought Podcast a few times before and there is a good reason for it. First of all, if you haven’t heard of podcasts before, they are kind of like a radio shows which are not really aired on the radio, so you can listen to them any time of the day using your mp3 player. The easiest way to download them is to use iTunes, if you have iPod or will listed to them on your computer. If you have another mp3 player then it will make sense to download the mp3 files directly from the podcast producer. Oh yeah, and they are all FREE.

I have accidentally discovered the podcasts on iTunes, without ever hearing about them before last October. When looking through the Health and Lifestyle I¬†saw a Vegan Freak Radio as being one of the top 10 podcasts in this category. So that was the first Vegan podcast I started listening to. For a new vegan, this kind of information media is really important and helpful, as you are not feeling alone or as an outsider anymore because you are listening to people who have the same beliefs as you do. Now, I love Vegan Freak Radio as well but I was really disappointed after I became a subscriber for their show, sent them an e-mail, and in the period of about 4/5 months they have not produced a single podcast, not updated their home page, and have never replied me back. And once again I love them and all…but this is just rude to your subscribers.

A little bit later, as I was searching for more podcasts with a veg theme, I found the Vegetarian Food for Thought made by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau who is the founder of Compassionate Cooks. I was a little skeptic at first, as I thought that the podcast is all vegetarian and will probably look at food and stuff, but I listened anyway. After a few shows, I was a changed person. Colleen speaks to her listeners in a very inspiring, compassionate, and caring voice discussing various topics such as Being a joyful Vegan, Calcium, Cheese and Dairy, Leather, Eggs, Wool, and anything that a vegetarian, vegan, or anyone considering evolving into this kind of lifestyle might be interested in hearing. She also reads short stories, or excerpts from famous and not-so-famous books on animals and human relationships with animals and one-another. In the beginning of every podcast you will hear a motivational story of one of the podcast supporters writing about their lifestyle change and you will find yourself relating to almost every one of the cases.

So, how has it changed me, or how did I become a better person, you will ask. Colleen has taught me to stay calm, educated, and caring no matter what I am going through and no matter what is happening around me. She has taught me to answer questions about veganism in such a way as not to push people away and inspire them to find out more about what is going on in the animal and human rights world. She has inspired me to act on behalf of all animals, and since I have started a Vegetarian Association at YorkU, volunteered for Toronto Vegetarian Association, as well as applied for internships at various Animal Sanctuaries and Refuges.

I thank her with all my heart and recommend everyone to let Colleen inspire you to make this world better for all animals, both human and non-human!

P.S. You may click on the picture to the left of this post to go to the Vegetarian Food for thought Podcast web-page.

Image by Steve Thompson from sdsnake.com/coyote.htm

Now for those of you who don’t live in Canada,¬† here I refer to the Canadian company who manufactures winter jackets.¬† If you live in Toronto,¬† you would know what I mean by saying – these are everywhere!¬† And I don’t have a big problem with people keeping themselves warm but I have a huuuuge problem by seeing people wear coyote furs in their collars just for the heck of it.¬† First please look how intelligent, beautiful, and innocent this animal is:¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

¬†And now tell me you would kill this guy just so he/she can hang out on your winter coat as your fur collar…I don’t think so.

But at the same time, every day I encounter countless young adults (in their 20s, mostly guys) wearing them.¬† And I am sure they have no idea that their fur is real and if they did they wouldn’t care.¬†

This has been driving me mad lately, so I’ve printed out some PETA anti-fur cards¬†and have been giving these out to people who are wearing fur.¬†

And here is the biggest problem I encounter.¬† One girl told me that she feels bad that it is fur but it’s the only fur thing she has (oh’ so innocent) and if she didn’t buy somebody else would.¬†¬† SAY WHAT???¬†

The girl’s got no idea how much she influences the demand and that every fur jacket bought will make the company make a new one (thus killing one more coyote) for the person who she didn’t leave the jacket for.¬† So as you see, here is one of the biggest mistakes people make these days – they think that they are so little that their actions don’t count and they cannot make even a slightest change for the better in this world. saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

So, when you check out the company’s website, they say that the fur is used only-only when necessary and they decided to use real fur instead of equally warm synthetic because of “ecological” reasons.¬† SAY WHAT???

First of all, unless you live or do something in the North Pole which their jackets were originally made for, you really don’t need a fur collar or a “parka” how I think they call it, I haven’t seen even one of the guys with the Canada Goose jackets actually wearing the hood.¬† Second, I think when you¬†are deciding¬†between killing thousands of intelligent beautiful animals or not killing them at all (which is just such a hard choice¬†for those people in big fat offices who have not ever encountered a coyote or another wild animal and have no idea that a coyote is a dog-relative), I think for anyone having at least some kindness and humanity left in their hearts this would be a very simple decision.¬†

Please make compassionate choices and tell anyone you see wearing fur what the animals had to endure in order to become that pointless decoration that they are wearing.

Thank you,

Oleksandra

I am not that same happy green vegan that started this blog about a year ago. 

As my knowledge, experience, and interactions expand,¬† I am more and more angered and depressed by the way Homo sapiens treats other animals-both human and non-human.¬†¬† Every day I am bombarded¬†by the news from PETA, IFAW, and other animal rights associations such as Compassion over Killing, and guess what – only a small percentage of those news are good.¬† The rest is a small window into the world of animal abuse and neglect.¬†¬† Dogs on the streets of China being culled to clean up the city, Cats and Dogs are being farmed for fur which is being imported into highly industrialized countries with strong animal rights like Canada, seals are being clubbed just for the fun of it, tigers are being farmed for the body parts being used in traditional medicine in China, baby cows are being taken from their mothers a few minutes after birth every day, and don’t start me on factory farming that is the saddest and most uncompassionate thing done to animals out there.

(A picture I got from I don’t get it Blog)

Translation: Have no Fear – He is Vegetarian

And the things I’ve listed above is just a proportion of the horror going on out there.¬† Now tell me to go and be happy-go-lucky and I will say “No Way!”.¬† I am saddened by ignorance, and unwillingness to know and do something by the people I encounter every day who think that their problems are so important and huge that there is not time or resources to do anything to help out others.

I really hope you are not one of those people, and if you are not, trust me one person can indeed make a big difference.  Just as Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, who I love very much for her podcast Vegetarian Food for Thought, says:

“Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. Do something!”¬† (Colleen Patrick-Goudreau)

 

Yesterday I went out with my husband and my friend in fitness.¬† We went to the local place called Bistro on Dufferin, and as soon as we walk into the place there is this huge poster of an old man holding a rooster, kissing him.¬† So at first I think, oh this is nice, but then you notice that the guy is holding the rooster on top of the fried chicken wings….!!!WTH!!! I compared it in my head to chaining someone to a mountain made of fried human bodies…this is like monstrous the most inhumane thing to do,¬† even my non-vegan friends agreed with me.

So if you want to talk about kindness and humanity of the people…and if you go to eat some chicken wings from the bar owned by such an evil guy after seeing that poster, I don’t know if it’s worth all the struggle people trying to make a difference endure.