About V-EGANISM

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Portland, OR, United States

MISSION STATEMENT

There are animal welfare vegans and animal only-fight-against-other-vegans abolitionist vegans. V-EGANISM is neither. Just as there are positive things and negative things about conservatives and liberals, there are positive things and negative things about welfarists and abolitionists. V-EGANISM avoids all 4 "political parties", and remains as an independent in thoughts and actions, only choosing what is right and just for animals, humans, and the environment. V-EGANISM however does have a mission statement which is how the founder of veganism, Donald Watson, originally coined the word's definition. It was a perfect definition then and it still is a perfect definition now! So the following paragraph is V-EGANISM's official Mission Statement--and nothing more, nothing less, we are simply called, "Vegan Activists", with no additives:

"V-EGANISM educates people and helps people and animals regarding the political and social justice cause, Veganism, which is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude--as far as is possible and practical--all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, cosmetics, household products, entertainment, service or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment."

Healthy Body, Mind & Spirit Maneki Neko Cat

Healthy Body, Mind & Spirit Maneki Neko Cat

Love & Peace Maneki Neko Cat

Love & Peace Maneki Neko Cat

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Canada Day/Fourth of July Vegan Recipes

Vegan Sliders (video)



Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta Salad

Makes 8 to 10 servings
Ingredients:
1/2 cup raw walnuts, toasted
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
12 ounce jar of sundried tomatoes in oil
1/2 cup packed fresh basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup oil (from the tomatoes & olive oil)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
pepper to taste
16 ounces of penne or corkscrew pasta
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
basil leaves, julienned, for garnish
vegan parmesan, for garnish

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water.
To make the pesto: In a food processor, blend the walnuts until they become a fine crumb. Drain the sundried tomatoes, keeping the oil for later use. Add the nutritional yeast, sundried tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Measure out the oil from the sundried tomatoes into a 1/3 measuring cup, if there’s not enough oil, fill the remainder up with olive oil. Blend the ingredients in the food processor and drizzle in the oil. Scrape down the sides as needed, then blend in the red wine vinegar until well combined.
In a large bowl, add the pasta and 2/3 of the pesto, toss until well coated. Add tomatoes, olives and more pesto as desired, then gently mix again. Top with the julienned basil, parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!

Avocado Banana Chocolate Milkshake

Ingredients:

1 avocado
1 banana
1 cup dates
1 large scoop Vega chocolate protein powder (or 2 tablespoons cacao powder + 1/4 teaspoon stevia)
1-2 cups vegan milk 
1-2 cups ice

Blend all the ingredients until smooth, adding as much vegan milk and ice as needed to make it thick, creamy and cold. Adjust according to taste, then fill up 3 or 4 glasses.


and/or this recipe:


Chocolate Milkshake 
Ingredients:
3 frozen bananas (peel before putting them in the freezer)
handful of dates
2 tablespoon cacao
1 tablespoon maple syrup/agave/other sweetener 
handful cashews or 1 tablespoon nut butter
2 cups water/non-dairy milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
handful ice cubes

Blend all ingredients together until almost totally smooth. Leave the tiny date pieces in there. it should be pretty thick just like a milkshake at this point. Pour it in a giant glass and enjoy!

Optional to Add on Top of Milkshakes:


Whipped Coconut Cream

Ingredients:

1 can coconut milk, left in the fridge or freezer overnight
Bean from 1/2 vanilla pod
1/8 teaspoon stevia 

To make the whipped cream: take the can out of the fridge - don't shake it! Open it gently and scoop off the solid fat that has settled on the top. Put it in your mixer bowl, or a normal bowl if you have a handheld mixer. Add the stevia and vanilla beans and whisk until stiff peaks form. Top off your glasses with it.

The Girl Who Loved Animals

 


The Girl Who Loved Animals (and who is still alive and still loves animals!), is a 2013 documentary about a former homeless teen who educates people about veganism/animal rights.

"Once upon a time Kitty Jones dreamed of being a dairy farmer. However, after discovering the cruel reality of animal agriculture and job shadowing at a "local, organic, family" dairy farm, Kitty has realized that animals do not exist for humans to use and has dedicated her life to animal and environmental advocacy. A recent graduate of Shorecrest High School in Seattle, Kitty has been profiled on the blogs of Vegan Score, the ASPCA, Rainforest Action Network, and the Humane Society. She won the President's Volunteer Service Award for volunteering over 1,000 community service hours, and was the founder and president of her school's Animal Rights Club. Jones aims to teach people that animals are not ours to eat, wear, test on or abuse, and that in exploiting them, we are harming not only our own health but the environment. She is now studying Conservation and Resource Studies at UC Berkeley and will forever continue to promote a peaceful, cruelty-free, plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle.

In the fall of 2011, production went into this full length documentary film, The Girl Who Loved Animals: Kitty Jones and the Fight For Animal Rights which follows Kitty for almost a year as she advocates for animals at her high school, hands out leaflets at farmer's markets, volunteers at a cat neutering clinic, and spends time with all the different animals at the Precious Life Animal Sanctuary where abused and neglected animals have been given a safe haven to live out their lives. Additional footage for the film was also supplied by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and The Humane Society of the United States."

Check the film out if it comes to a theatre near you.

Here is the trailer:

The Girl Who Loved Animals

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ex-Vegans: Directory of ex-vegans, vegan sellouts




UPDATED (July 8, 2013) Ex-Vegans Directory is no longer there. This is what is now shown as of this writing: Ex-Vegans

There is now a directory online of Ex-Vegans, where you can register to "out" anyone you know as a fact that they are no longer vegan. The site gives further rules on outing people, be they famous people or not.

I responded to the directory and this article: "Vegan Sellout List" Publicizes, Shames, and Threatens Former Vegans - Yahoo! News at my Facebook, but I have cut and pasted my same response here as today's blogpost:

I'm ambivalent about the directory. 

I do love seeing a directory of what famous person is not vegan anymore, because I like knowing the celebrities that embraces my passion and those that no longer do anymore--no different from any other group/community. We all like to know who our "kindred spirits" are and if they aren't anymore, I want to know as a reference that they are no longer vegans, ESPECIALLY if I ever want to mention famous vegans in my blog, I want to get my facts straight as many other vegans would want when they post articles/blogs. 

I see many people getting upset, erroneously calling vegans a "cult" as said in the article (which, by definition, a cult is not evil, but society makes the word evil; plus, a cult is a religion worshiping some leader or god. Vegans don't worship anyone.)

Also, it's interesting how people say why are people interested in knowing who are vegan and who are not, but again it goes with being no different from any other group in wanting to know your fellow activists. People get defensive when someone asks if a person is gay, by snapping at them saying, "Why? Does it matter?" But even MANY gays themselves ask and want to know who is gay, so to possibly be role models, kindred spirits, etc., no different from the vegan community or from any other community. 

So, again, I think the site is great to let people know the famous people who are no longer vegan, but letting us know about non-famous people who are ex-vegans...hmmm, I don't know...I don't think it's really contributing in any positive way. If not being vegan was illegal, then I say--YAY! Go for it! Out them! To put them in jail, but that's not the law, so what's the point in outing people, and no one knows them except their friends, acquaintances and families? And there is a brutal suicide link on the Ex-Vegans site to go to if a person doesn't ever want to be vegan again which, in my opinion, is wrong and evil to post. 

It'll be interesting to hear what the rest of the vegan community thinks about it; I'm sure I'll be hearing/reading a lot! 

I don't believe people should have the choice of not being vegan because of the horrific harm it does to an innocent being. Veganism is not about sticking our noses into someone else's business (people don't feel that way about child abuse--that's everyone's business, people would say); vegansim is about stopping abominable cruelty of *sentient beings*, but unfortunately the law (as of now) doesn't see it that way.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Appearances in Activism




This blogpost is for anyone who does public activism, but since this is an animal rights blog, I will talk specifically about animal activists.

When being an activist in public, especially while out on the streets, it's important to have a certain look. Having knowledge about the cause is great of course, but your public activism may fail if you lack the proper appearance.

For example, which group do you think people in general will be more drawn to, will stop on the sidewalk and pay more attention to what they're saying?:

The people in T-shirt and old jeans.

The people (if female) in a casual but nice looking dress and (if male) in a nice shirt and wearing casual pants but not jeans.

How one dresses is important because it makes what you're talking about look more important and you are more likely to be less intimidated if you dress nicer. Also, regardless of whether it's cool or not, having multiple piercings and tattoos on your body is very intimidating to some people--especially older people. As animal activists, want to come across as being extremely approachable, so you need to look as less threatening as possible. It would be best to take out the multiple piercings and hide the tattoos with your clothing. Appear as if you were going on a job interview because, afterall, animal activism IS work.

Activists don't have to wear a suit and tie or wear stunning evening dresses--dressing causally nice is best--but if you were to dress like that and compete for people's attention on the street, you would probably get more people coming toward you than activists wearing T-shirts and faded old blue jeans, even though both groups are speaking on the same cause in the same way.

The exception would be if your group needs to wear costumes and do theatrical scenes to make a point.

Also, to attract more people and to be taken more seriously, try to find older people, like over 30, to participate in your street activism. People in general tend to pooh-pooh groups that are made up of teens-20s as stereotypically just a bunch of "rebellious kids" to ignore. With a healthy mixture of ages, people will more likely stop and pay attention if some of the activists are in their 40-50s or older.

So, next time your group goes out on the street to speak out for the animals, make sure you not only have the knowledge to speak on the cause but the appearance as well to make people stop and listen to what you have to say.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Litha/Vegan Summer Solstice Recipes



Of the modern religions, it is the Pagan/Wiccan religions that celebrate Litha with the most passion. For those of us on the Northern Hemisphere, Litha (the ancient Germanic name for Summer), which is also known as Summer Solstice and Midsummer, is usually celebrated on June 21st, but varies somewhat from the 20th to the 23rd, depending upon the Earth's rotation around the Sun. During this time, the Earth is tilted closest to the Sun, giving us greater exposure to the Sun’s light and the longest day of the year. 

“Solstice” comes from the Latin “sol” meaning sun, and “sistere,” to cause to stand still. As the summer solstice draws near, the noonday sun rises higher and higher in the sky each day. On the day of the solstice, it rises an imperceptible amount, compared to the day before, thus appearing to “stand still.” In the magical sense, Summer Solstice brings us to the halfway point of the Wheel of the Year. The sun is in full reign, reaching a peak in the sky and shedding beams of truth. The brilliance of the sun allows us to see things clearly, banishing shadows and releasing the past.

According to the old folklore calendar, Summer begins on Beltane (May 1st) and ends on Lughnassadh (August 1st), with the Summer Solstice midway between the two, marking MID-Summer. This makes more logical sense than suggesting that Summer begins on the day when the Sun's power begins to wane and the days grow shorter. 

The Sun God is at his strongest. He is also the God of the Forest and is often depicted as seated at on a green wood throne. This God has become more commonly known to modern Wiccans as The Green Man

Although Litha may seem at first glance to be a masculine observance, the day is also dedicated to the Goddess, and Her flowers are the white blossoms of the elder.

The themes of Summer Solstice are sex, love, creativity, energy, luck, health and wishes. 
The joyous rituals of Litha celebrate the verdant Earth in high summer, abundance, fertility, and all the riches of Nature in full bloom. This is a time of strong magic and empowerment, traditionally the time for handfasting or weddings and for communication with the spirits of Nature. At Litha, the veils between the worlds are thin; the portals between "the fields we know" and the worlds beyond stand open. This is an excellent time for rites of divination.
Many who celebrated Litha did so wearing garlands or crowns of flowers, and included the yellow blossoms of St. John's Wort. The Litha rites of the ancients were boisterous communal festivities with morris dancing, singing, storytelling, pageantry and feasting taking place by the village bonfire and torch lit processions through the villages after dark. People believed that the Litha fires possessed great power, and that prosperity and protection for oneself and one's clan could be earned merely by jumping over the Litha bonfire. It was also common for courting couples joined hands and jump over the embers of the Litha fire three times to ensure a long and happy marriage, financial prosperity and many children. Even the charred embers from the Litha bonfire possessed protective powers - they were charms against injury and bad weather in harvest time, and embers were commonly placed around fields of grain and orchards to protect the crops and ensure an abundant reaping. Other Litha customs included carrying an ember of the Litha fire home and placing it on one's hearth and decking one's home with birch, fennel, St. John's Wort, orpin, and white lilies for blessing and protection.

The Litha Sabbat is a time to celebrate both work and leisure, it is a time for children and childlike play. It is a time to celebrate the ending of the waxing year and the beginning of the waning year, in preparation for the harvest to come. Midsummer is a time to absorb the Sun's warming rays and it is another fertility Sabbat, not only for humans, but also for crops and animals. 

Wiccans consider the Goddess to be heavy with pregnancy from the mating at Beltane--honor is given to Her. The Sun God is celebrated as the Sun is at its peak in the sky and we celebrate His approaching fatherhood--honor is also given to Him. The faeries abound at this time and it is customary to leave offerings--such as food or herbs--for them in the evening.

The many sacred stone circles found around the globe (e.g. Stonehenge) were believed to have been built to celebrate this time. This longest day of the year marks the transition from cultivation to harvest. The significance of this day was not only practical but also held a much deeper, spiritual meaning. If you are lucky enough to live near a sacred stone circle plan a picnic and bring whatever supplies needed for your individual spells and rituals.
One can also create their own stone circle by selecting stones that you are able to feel a vibration from or are otherwise attracted to and placing them in a circle. Choose eight large stones and place them at equal distances at each spoke of the wheel. Fill in the spaces with smaller stones. Pagans may cast a circle prior to performing any spellcraft.
This is the time of year to write down any wishes you have and tossing them, along with a Litha inspired offering into a well, spring, or cauldron. For example, simply hold a small stone along with sprig of herbs in your right hand and meditate on the wish (or reasons to be thankful). Once you have filled up the stone with your meditation, toss it with intention into the water. If a cauldron was used, empty the contents into a stream or other body of running water when the spell is complete.
Litha has long been a time for unadulterated joy and pleasure. Litha is to be celebrated with intention but with an open heart. Focus on how grateful one should be that the Sun continues His tireless journey each year providing so much to all of us. Pick a few themes and simply set out to have a great time. Rise early with the Sun and plan a bonfire for later that night to further lengthen this day.
The following are utilized in Pagan ceremonies, rituals, and spells:
Herbs – basil, chamomile, daisy, elder, pine, St. John’s wort, thyme, yarrow, frankincense, fennel, lavender, and lily
Essential oils and incense – frankincense, lemon, lavender, sandalwood, lotus, jasmine, rose, wisteria, and myrrh
Colors – yellow, white, red, blue, green, tan
Decoration – anything reminiscent of the sun (yellows, reds, oranges), dried herbs, potpourri, fruits, summer flowers
Gemstones – any green stone (e.g. emerald)
Spellwork – Litha is the perfect time for any magick but is especially good for Animal Protection and Marriage & Vow Renewal spells
Cruelty-free vegan foods – lemonade, cookies and cakes decorated to honor the Sun, lemons, oranges, summer fruits, summer squash, pumpernickel bread, carrot drinks, plenty of ale
SUMMER SOLSTICE RECIPES





Sunshine Yogurt Parfaits



Ingredients:



4 or 5 6oz containers lemon soy yogurt, emptied into a bowl
2-3 cups granola
¼ cup or so of sunflower seeds
½ cup or so of golden raisins
2-3 cups pineapple, peach & cantaloupe chunks



Instructions:



Spread out all the different ingredients in various bowls and let everyone layer their own parfaits buffet-style.



Toast-point Sun Wheels 

Trim crusts off 4 slices whole grain toast, spread w/almond butter & top w/orange marmalade. Cut each slice into 4 triangles and arrange pinwheel fashion on small plates. You can even make it look nicer by placing a cherry or strawberry in the center. 



Sparkling Solar Punch

In a large bowl or pitcher, mix equal parts white cranberry & pineapple juices. Add a splash or two of seltzer (or champagne).



Golden Summer Solstice Soup

This golden medley evokes the brilliant sun on the longest day of the year. Adding a sprinkle of black poppy seeds to each bowl represents the darkness & dreams, reminding us that this is also the shortest night--a magickal midsummer's eve. This soup goes well with cheezy quesadillas, and then some homemade orange chocolate chip (vegan) sherbet for dessert to finish off the whole sun filled theme!

Ingredients:

1 medium onion(s)
1 large yellow pepper(s)
1 medium yellow summer squash
3 cup yellow tomatoes
1 large carrot(s)
1 medium Yukon Gold potato(es)
1 1/2 cup yellow corn
3/4 cup wax beans
1 1/4 tsp poppy seeds

Instructions:

If you can, get a yellow carrot. Otherwise try shredding the regular kind for just a hint of orange strands throughout the soup.
Brush the bottom of a soup pot w/grapeseed oil and set over med/low heat. Saute yellow onion, pepper, & squash till slightly softened. Add tomatoes, carrots, potato, yellow wax beans and corn, cover with vegetable broth and simmer till all veggies are completely tender and soft. If you'd like you can use an immersion blender or take out a cup or two and puree to make the soup nice and thick.


Cheezy Quesadillas

Looking the part of a perfect sun symbol, this goes very well with the Golden Summer Solstice soup.

Ingredients:

2 small corn tortilla
1 oz Follow Your Heart Cheddar flavor Vegan gourmet cheese
2 Tbsp salsa

Instructions:

Spread 1 tortilla w/salsa and sprinkle w/cheese. Top with second tortilla and fry in a pan brushed lightly with grapeseed oil, flipping once. It's done when the cheese melts.



Sunshine Orange Sherbet

This dessert is the perfect ending to a Summer Solstice meal. Top with vegan chocolate chips or sprinkles for a pretty and flavorful look.

Ingredients:

6 oz frozen orange juice concentrate
2/3 cup sugar
12 fl oz Silk Unsweetened Plain Soymilk
3/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp orange zest

Instructions:

Place all ingredients in your ice cream maker and follow manufacturers directions.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Veganism is not a Diet and not a Social Club

 

(If the above is difficult to read due to its print, here's what it says below):

"The word “vegan” was invented in 1944, by Elsie Shrigley and Donald Watson, who founded the UK Vegan Society. The British Vegan Society defines veganism this way:

The word “veganism” denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practical — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.

If you wish it to mean something different, invent your own word."


My major concern regarding animal rights are people--even animal rights people--thinking that all one has to do to be vegan is not eat any animal products. A non-vegan even had the audacity to tell me that veganism has been re-defined for some time and it's definition is it's a diet only. People who take it further to include not using animals in any way is an "animal rights vegan", he says. 

He is wrong!

Veganism is not a Diet


A vegan is someone who does not eat, wear or use any animal/animal parts in any way, shape or form. It never was a diet per se and has not been re-defined as a diet. Only the person who coined the term vegan (the British Vegan Society) really has the right to alter the definition. 



Vegan History
"The Vegan Society, the world's first, was born in November 1944 - after a lengthy gestation. As early as 1909 the ethics of consuming dairy products were hotly debated within the vegetarian movement. In August 1944, Elsie Shrigley and Donald Watson (a conscientious objector later to be acclaimed as the Vegan Society's Founder) agreed the desirability of coordinating 'non-dairy vegetarians'; despite opposition from prominent vegetarians unwilling to even consider adopting a diet free of all animal products.

In November, Donald organised a London meeting of six like-minded 'non-dairy vegetarians' at which it was decided to form a new society and adopt a new name to describe themselves - vegan derived from VEGetariAN.

It was a Sunday, with sunshine, and a blue sky, an auspicious day for the birth of an idealistic new movement.

Today, the Society remains as determined as ever to promote vegan lifestyles - that is, ways of living that seek to exclude, as far as is possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

The Society aims to make veganism an easily adopted and widely recognised approach to reducing animal and human suffering and environmental damage by means of meaningful, peaceful and factual dialogue with individuals and organisations."

(Source: The Vegan Society website) 


 Veganism is not a Social Club


Being vegan means being involved in a very serious cause, like all other very serious causes.  Ideally, vegans should not be involved in any officially organized vegan group. The closest thing to being a "group" should be vegans having their own personal circle of vegan friends where they all trust each other, stick up for each other and are loyal to each other. And within that circle go out and educate people about veganism as well as vote on important animal rights issues. 


I hope I have  cleared up any confusion as to what it genuinely means to be vegan. It's not my definition--or anyone elses definition--except from the ones who originally coined the term vegan. As when anyone who has defined a term, we should not unethically try to change it. Afterall, how would you like it if you created something than someone else tried to publically change its definition. 

For a similar, excellent blogpost on the definition of vegan, check out:

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Year of the Dog

 http://cfile222.uf.daum.net/image/1573C642502335672F57F2

 WARNING: My short synopsis (in green) of the film, Year of the Dog, may contain spoilers!


Peggy and her dog beagle, Pencil, are inseparable companions. They sleep together, eat together, do everything together. Life is uncomplicated and safe, and Peggy is happily entrenched in a satisfying relationship with her beloved pet. 

But Peggy’s world comes crashing down when Pencil meets a mysterious death. Peggy now desperately seeks to fill the gaping void of love that was found with Pencil. She fills that gap by working to get animals adopted, then later she becomes a vegan and animal rights activist.


Year of the Dog (2007) is not as good as Bold Native (I've updated my review on Bold Native today), but it is a sweet animal rights film that definitely makes people aware of the suffering of animals in the world and what you can do actively about it. This film is rated PG-13 (contains some graphic photos of animal suffering), which makes it a better age appropriate animal rights film for kids to see than Bold Native--which is rated R.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Jain Society of Chicago Celebrates Mahavir Jayanti



The Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago’s (JSMC) temple will be celebrating Mahavir Jayanti this month. Mahavir Janma Kalyanak (Jayanti) is celebrated across the world as birth anniversary of Bhagwan Mahavir, the 24th Tirthankar (enlightened one) of Jain philosophy.

He was born in 599 BC and this year marks the 2,614 years since the birth of the apostle of peace. His message of ahimsha (non-violence), aparigraha (non-possessiveness) and anekantvad (non-absolutism) are universal in nature and has been the guiding force for generations of Jains and many cultures in the Indus Valley Civilization. He was the son of King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala. On the night of conception his mother, Trishala, had a dream depicting 14 different auspicious things. The astrologers interpreted the auspicious dreams and predicted that the child would be either an emperor or a Tirthankar.

This year JSMC is celebrating its 20th anniversary and it being the first major event of the year, the chairman of JSMC, Arvind Shah, and Board of Trustees, presented the state of the JSMC. They also presented important information on the current and future initiatives undertaken by the managing team and shared the financial health of the society.

The JSMC president, Tejas Shah, said that the entire Jain community throughout the Chicagoland area, Indiana, and Wisconsin celebrated Mahavir Jayanti at the Bartlett Jain Temple. The facility was beautifully decorated including the Pratimaji (Idol) of Mahavir Swami. Mahavir Swami is the main deity at the Jain Temple of JSMC.
 
This is also an auspicious time of Ayambil Oli. Ayambil is a penance where the observer eats only once a day where a completely boiled Jain vegan menu is served. The Ayambil Oli is observed over a period of nine days and this year it runs parallel to the Mahavir Jayanti celebrations. About 65 members observed penance for the entire nine days and many more did it for a day or two.
 
For more information and how to register for the JSMC event, visit their website, at: www.jsmconline.org

Monday, June 3, 2013

Animal Abolition v/s Animal Welfare--Who's Right? Neither!

Recently, I have been talking to animal abolition and animal welfare people. In case you may not know the difference I'll describe the two in their basic belief system.

Animal abolitionists (the many I have spoken to) are anti-animal law. They do not believe in the legal system at all for animals. For example, they would not rejoice if hunting was abolished on this planet. They believe save all animals now or allow them to all suffer. They DO have an all or nothing mentality, regardless of what they may say, when it comes to saving animals in the legal way. They believe the ONLY solution to saving animals is by education and education alone. Nothing else matters whatsoever.

Animal welfarists definitely believes in animal law. But so much to the point of being just as irrational as not believing in animal law at all. For instance, they rejoice in hearing it become law when over-crowded chicks are allowed an inch more space in factory farming. They believe in working moreso on causing less animal suffering than totally ending animal suffering.

Both views are ignorant, misinformed and just plain assinine.

I talked with one animal abolitionist and asked if there was a petition to sign into law where ALL animals in the world would be legally protected from any kind of suffering, using, etc. and could have their freedom except flies and you signing it would make that law, would you sign it. The person said no. (In fairness, I answered my own question by saying I definitely would sign and then work my hardest to prevent suffering to flies. I believe all animals should be free unless basically their sole purpose in life is to cause misery, pain, desease, and maybe even death to another being, like for instance fleas. Flies have been known to be quite postive-productive in the world!)

There are other ways to help animals. Education is just one way. Animal laws are just as important in the animal rights movment to save all animals as education. But by spending so much time making law, for example, one inch more space for chicks is ridiculous. The way to effectively work in animal law is to totally end something--like hunting (which Costa Rica did recently--Bravo!), or even shutting down cruel places of businesses. That's ending cruelty.

Animal Abolitionists care nothing about the individual animal. Actually, I'm not sure if they really even care about animals at all, going by their mentality. They seem to be on this hellbent "all or nothing" way that they loose sight on saving any and all animal suffering. I don't know who started this animal abolitionist crap but those that bought into it--if the animal abolitionists I've talked to are correct in their definition as stated above--are deluded.

At least animal welfarists believe in animal activism multi-tasking. They believe we should educate, petition and vote. This is excellent. We need to do all we can for animals, and not just educate.

I don't believe in animal abolition or animal welfare. But I do believe in animal rights. And the way that animals get rights is by doing sensible, intelligent actions.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mason Bee Homes and Gold Certification

My church has an official Backyard Habitat (Gold) Certification. We just received the Gold certification early this year.
 
One of the ways one can get certified is to have (among many other things required) Mason Bee Homes. I had never heard of Mason Bee Homes so I Googled it to find out what they looked like before I searched to find ours on the church grounds. As you can see below, there is more shelf space to the left and right of the church to have even more Mason Bee Homes; maybe we'll get more soon.

Click on photo for larger image.


 
 

    
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
The church's Gold stamp of approval!
 

 
 
 
 
As I was taking photos, I noticed a bee so took pictures of him. Too bad I didn't have my bigger and better camera with me as the image of the bee would have come out much sharper up close.
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
This was taken near my home. I think it's awesome the owner would rather cut holes in the wooden fence than break the tree's branches--loves it!
 

 
 
I've asked to be on the mailing list as a volunteer to help maintain the church's Certified Habitat. I'm really excited about it and can't wait to participate in the program!