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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

Friday, July 4, 2014

American Goldfinches: Strict Vegetarians

Female and Male American Goldfinches

For my Fourth of July blog, I would like to talk about the American Goldfinch.

With a diet consisting entirely of seeds and an anti-confrontational attitude, the American Goldfinch is a vegetarian pacifist!

This bright yellow songbird is one of the strictest vegetarians in the bird world, preferring an entirely vegetable diet and only accidentally eating an occasional insect. Their cruelty-free lifestyle extends to adversaries as well, opting to turn the other cheek rather than join other songbirds mobbing predators.

American Goldfinches are numerous and their populations have been stable from 1966 to 2010. Partners in Flight estimates the global breeding population at 42 million, with 57 percent breeding in Canada, 71 percent spending some part of the year in the U.S., and 5 percent wintering in Mexico.

Weedy fields, open floodplains, and other overgrown areas, particularly with sunflower, aster, and thistle plants for food and some shrubs and trees for nesting. Goldfinches are also common in suburbs, parks, and backyards.

Goldfinches eat seeds almost exclusively. Main types include seeds from composite plants (in the family Asteraceae: sunflowers, thistle, asters, etc.), grasses, and trees such as alder, birch, western red cedar, and elm. At feeders prefers nyjer and sunflower.

American Goldfinches are active, acrobatic finches that balance on the seed-heads of thistles, dandelions, and other plants to pluck seeds. They have a bouncy flight during which they frequently make their po-ta-to-chip calls. Although males sing exuberantly during spring, pairs do not nest until mid-summer, when thistles and other weeds have gone to seed. Goldfinches do not join other songbirds mobbing predators.

Other Facts

American Goldfinches are the only finch that molts its body feathers twice a year--once in late winter and again in late summer. The brightening, yellow of male goldfinches each spring is one welcome mark of approaching warm months.

American Goldfinches breed later than most North American birds. They wait to nest until June or July when milkweed, thistle, and other plants have produced their fibrous seeds, which goldfinches incorporate into their nests and also feed their young.

When Brown-headed Cowbirds lay eggs in an American Goldfinch nest, the cowbird egg may hatch but the nestling seldom survives longer than three days. The cowbird chick simply can’t survive on the all-seed diet that goldfinches feed their young.

Goldfinches move south in winter following a pattern that seems to coincide with regions where the minimum January temperature is no colder than 0 degrees Fahrenheit on average.

The oldest known American Goldfinch lived to be 10 years 5 months old.

Paired-up goldfinches make virtually identical flight calls; goldfinches may be able to distinguish members of various pairs by these calls.

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