Animal Sanctuary Poem Week: Day 4

Hillside Animal Sanctuary

Frettenham, Norfolk

Wendy Valentine’s amazing

Her firey compassion don’t stop blazing.

Her sanct’ry is home to many a horse,

It goes without saying, she’s vegan of course!

There’s chickens and ducks and budgies and turkeys,

And sheep and cows and llamas and donkeys.

There’s rabbits and emus, alpacas and deer,

There’s even some chipmunks and goats live here.

But rescuing’s not all that Hillside does,

They also investigate farms because

They need to make public the horror that’s hidden

Behind the farm gates of those animal prisons.

❤ 🙂 ❤

Hillside is now home to over 3000 animals and is one of the UK’s most successful campaigning organisations for the animals’ cause.  They have always known that one of the main reasons animals are left to suffer in factory farms is because people have little or no idea about the immense cruelty involved in their food production.

Animal Sanctuary Poem Week: Day 3

FRIEND farm Animal Rescue

East Peckham, Tonbridge, Kent

Marion and Mark made FRIEND

And such good friends they are,

To pigs and goats and cows and sheep

And turkeys and geese and more.

They give a gift to Death Row souls

The best gift they could give:

Forever freedom in paradise,

Now they can really live.

And they do more, they do for sure,

Showing how to go vegan, they teach.

They strive for a world where FRIEND’s needed no more,

To help future souls they can’t reach.

❤ 🙂 ❤

On a beautiful 10 acre site nestled in between the orchards and hop farms of rural Kent, established in 1994 with the purchase of a small lamb at a livestock market, FRIEND is a working animal sanctuary with around 100 former farm animals and companion animals.  Animals find their way there in all sorts of ways.  Some are rescued from places of abuse, some arrive following the death of their guardian.  Some despicable people abandon their animals by throwing them over the fence.  No matter how they get there, they are all welcome to live the rest of their lives as naturally as possible with little human interaction.

FRIEND provides a no kill, free roaming (as far as possible and safe) home to cows, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys.  Their 30+ pigs live in their own paddock with wallows.  Some of their cats are feral and some are house dwellers.  All of their dogs love walking in the meadow.

Promoting veganism is an important part of what they do.  They are pleased to meet supporters at their summer open days and introduce them to the animals, who are of course the best ambassadors for a cruelty free life.  They do ask that no one brings dogs with them on their visit, as the sanctuary’s residents are free roaming.

They rely solely on donations from the public and put on events to raise money.  Financial donations are spent on food, bedding, essential equipment and veterinary bills.

Animal Sanctuary Poem Week: Day 2

Hugletts Wood Farm Animal Sanctuary

Dallington, East Sussex

Imagine a place where cows can live

Their whole lives out in peace.

They’re rescued from the dairy hell

But now live free from cheese.

Big and strong and vulnerable

They’re right where they should be,

A home of love with Wenda and Matt,

They’re even pleased to meet you and me.

Hugletts Wood is a vegan farm,

They grow vegetables and fruits.

The sale of these provides the funds

For their compassionate pursuits.

❤ 🙂 ❤

 

Hugletts Wood Farm provides sanctuary to cows and their friends.  A home for life to farm animals and birds, rescued from the misery of the meat and dairy industry and the horrors of the slaughterhouse.

Hugletts Wood farm is the only farm animal sanctuary in the UK that operates a dedicated Cow Protection Program.  It is also the only vegan farm in the UK that runs such a sanctuary.

They try to self-fund as much as possible, growing vegetables and fruits and producing a whole range of woodland products and natural Ahimsa compost but always welcome your support in whatever form it may take!

Animal Sanctuary Poem Week: Day 1

Tower Hill Stables

Asheldham , Essex

Fiona Oakes and Martin,

They’re such a funny pair.

Like vegan superheroes

They’re running here and there.

At Tower Hills, their sanct’ry,

They never seem to stop.

They have so many rescues,

They work until they drop.

So look them up and you’ll see

The lovelies in their care,

And help them if you can please,

When you’ve got a bit to spare.

❤ 😀 ❤

The Tower Hill Stables team are currently trying to raise money to build a new enclosure for the poultry because of DEFRA rules that they have to be kept in over winter to prevent bird flu and they’ve been lucky enough to find a generous benefactor who has promised to match whatever they can raise towards this build.  So, if you donate, say £10, the sanctuary will get £20!  A great opportunity but it’s a limited time offer and the appeal must end 31st December 2017.  Do help if you can 😀

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vegan, vegetarian, athlete, vegan athlete, animal sanctuary, animals, animal rescue, marathon running, marathon running.

Miss Mabel Raymonde-Hawkins

This wonderful woman, who sadly died in 1998, was a life-long advocate for animals.  She writes in her book Sensible Pets and Silly People, referring to activities with her childhood friend when she was 5 years old: “… I do not think there was any crime we would not commit for an animal.  We were always prepared to do anything we could to reduce the sufferings of any animals that came our way …”  She went on to found Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare , in the 1950s I believe, and tirelessly continued as she had begun – saving all the animals who needed her.

The day she died was a great tragedy for animals because those left in charge of Raystede have betrayed her legacy by serving meat, fish, eggs and dairy in their café – something she would never have allowed.  How do I know that?  Read this (another excerpt from her book):

“Too often our entertainment, our food, our clothing and so-called sport are all at the expense of animals and a civilised society in years to come will look back with horror at the way that we have exploited animals …. Things have gone wrong.  Things have got worse.  The sparrows go on falling.  The sheep go on suffering and it is time many more of us did much more about it … We must be less cautious, we must forge ahead with less timidity and decide that all cruelty should be punished and eliminated. …. Those of us who have grown old in the work and who have so little to encourage us for the future welfare of animals can at least hope that having carried the banner so far, we can, in falling, fling it to the hosts behind to carry on the work and hope that they will be more successful than we have been during this century.”

Heartbreakingly the hosts behind have dropped the banner and let her down horribly.

How dare they?  How dare they betray her life’s work?  How dare they betray the animals?  How dare they do it in Raystede’s name?

Every time someone signs the petition to make Raystede’s café vegan, the CEO, Nigel Mason gets an email.  Get everyone you know, and everyone you don’t know to sign it.  Even better, write to the president (who worked there when Miss Raymonde-Hawkins was there incidentally) and tell him what you think of their betrayal.  Tell him to make that café vegan!  I know I can count on you.  Thank you ❤

Raystede’s President:

Morgan Williams,
29 Hamilton Court,
The Strand,
Brighton Marina Village,
Brighton,
East Sussex,
BN2 5XD

 

A Little Sprite – again

Last night I saw a little sprite

Who told me what to do:

“Eat only plant food,

It’s much better for you.”

****

She fluttered and she floated

And she smiled down on me,

“Plant food is meant for you,

Just try it and you’ll see.”

****

I woke up and I sat up

And I looked from floor to beam.

I saw no sprite, there was no sprite,

She must have been a dream.

****

But still I could not shake her

Which was because, I knew,

She was real inside my head

And what she said was true.

Adi

For the story so far click here 🙂

aquarium heist

vegan comic for children

fish purchase invoice

click to enlarge

vegan comic for children

click to enlarge

67

to be continued … 🙂

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan comic, vegan comic for children, children’s story, vegan children, aquariums, animals, animals in captivity, animals for entertainment, marine animals, fish, crustaceans, art, comics, juvenile fiction, watercolour, adventure, children’s adventure story, vegan children’s story

Meanwhile, Adi was being shown around a different area …..

For the story so far, click here 🙂

vegan children's story

aquarium touch pools

aquarium volunteers

vegan comic for children

to be continued …

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan comic, vegan comic for children, children’s story, vegan children, aquariums, animals, animals in captivity, animals for entertainment, marine animals, fish, crustaceans, art, comics, juvenile fiction, watercolour

The Husbandry Volunteers

For the story so far click here 🙂

fish food preparation area

aquarium volunteer

feeding the fish

VEGAN CHILDREN'S STORY

to be continued …

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan comic, vegan comic for children, children’s story, vegan children, aquariums, animals, animals in captivity, animals for entertainment, marine animals, fish, crustaceans, art, comics, juvenile fiction, watercolour

I wrote a book

vegan Christmas book

I wrote a book about some birds,

With pictures in and also words.

Brother birds who love each other,

And want to be free together.

1

The birds are turkeys, big and fat,

The farmer makes them fat like that.

He makes them fat to kill and eat,

For those who think they are just meat.

2

But they are not, they’re meant for more,

Christmas dinner’s not what they’re for.

They’re clever and they think and care,

They suffer too and that’s not fair.

3

So when I saw some library books

In which a family smiles and cooks

A big fat bird to celebrate

The Prince of Peace born on that date, …

4

I decided to put my book

On that shelf in the library nook.

A child might find it and read it and see

Turkeys deserve to be happy and free.

5

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There are so many books in libraries that perpetuate the illusion of the witch’s spell.  Whether they be fiction or non-fiction, they tell children, at the most impressionable  time of their lives, that some animals are “farm animals” and as such are there to serve our ‘needs’; that we ‘need’ meat and dairy and fish; that our health is dependent on these things; that animals are happy on farms and rearing animals to kill them is the most normal, natural thing in the world.  It’s no wonder it’s an uphill struggle for those of us trying to share the truth:

  1.  Animal farming is extremely cruel,
  2. Eating animal products is detrimental to our health
  3. Animal agriculture is by far the biggest cause of global warming, rainforest destruction and ocean deadzones.
  4. Going vegan is the only way to save the world.

Years ago I purchased a new copy of a Ruby Roth book and donated it to my local library.  It never made it to the shelves of that or any other library in the county.  They refused to include it.   They rejected it.

Adults don’t listen.  Children might 😉

NB: If you photocopy an insert from a different county library than the one you’re infiltrating, maybe with the word DISCARDED stamped on it, img199and a child finds and likes the book and wants to take it home, one of two things is likely to happen:

  1.  The child puts the book, perhaps with a pile of other books, onto the automated check out machine and doesn’t notice the illegitimate book hasn’t registered on the system.  They simply bag it and take it home.

Or

2.  The child does notice the book hasn’t registered and takes it to the librarian who looks at it and says, “oh, this has been returned here by mistake, you can keep it”.

And just keep doing it, different books, different libraries, all with a positive vegan message that tells children they are right to follow their instinctive, compassionate natures and love all animals, not eat them.  Most grown-ups are too stuck in their ways; too brainwashed.  Communicating directly with children is the only way we’re going to change anything.

Go on, be a rebel – it’s kinda fun 😉

dscn5751

The End?

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

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Oh dear, it’s not looking good for planet Earth and all its inhabitants.  If you’d like to try to help the bewitched break the spell you could do as Maud suggests and share this story far and wide.  The children of non-vegan parents who are caught up in the spell could be helped to snap out of it if they found this book in their library – it’s worth a try, isn’t it?

The colour version, with Beatrice Wilberforce’s illustrations, is only £3.90

Wicked Witch

and Maud’s original Wicked Wicked Witch and the Ruinous Manipulation, being entirely black and white, is only £2.80.

cover-reduced-for-website

And, by the way, it’s surprisingly fun how easy it is to make a book look like a real bona fide library book with simple, easily edited, or not, photocopies stuck on the first page.

img199

and maybe even one of those removable plastic book jackets they often have, which come in different sizes and are often on discarded library books 🙂

It’s just harmless fun 😉

Have a good weekend 😀

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vegan fairy tale, vegan story, vegan children’s story, vegan, vegetarian, environment, wicked witch, global warming, animals, animal rights

Gruesome Hocus Pocus

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

Story concludes tomorrow but, if you don’t want to wait,

find it now on the Fairy Tales page 🙂

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vegan fairy tale, vegan story, vegan children’s story, vegan, vegetarian, environment, wicked witch, global warming, animals, animal rights

Time to revitalize

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

continues tomorrow, but if you want to read the whole fairy tale now, just pop over to the Fairy Tales page 😀

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vegan fairy tale, vegan story, vegan children’s story, vegan, vegetarian, environment, wicked witch, global warming, animals, animal rights

Out of the mouths of babes

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

16

continues tomorrow but if you want to go to the Fairy Tales page and read the whole story now, you can 🙂

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vegan fairy tale, vegan story, vegan children’s story, vegan, vegetarian, environment, wicked witch, global warming, animals, animal rights

The Spell

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

continues Monday but if you don’t want to wait, you know what to do 😉

What? Oh, it’s on the Fairy Tales page 😮

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vegan fairy tale, vegan story, vegan children’s story, vegan, vegetarian, environment, wicked witch, global warming, animals, animal rights

Manipulation

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

continues tomorrow

but if you don’t want to wait you can find the whole story on the fairy tales page 🙂

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vegan fairy tale, vegan story, vegan children’s story, vegan, vegetarian, environment, wicked witch, global warming, animals, animal rights

Dependent

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

continues tomorrow but if you don’t want to wait,

go to the Fairy Tales page for the whole story 😀

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vegan fairy tale, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s book, wicked witch, vegan, vegetarian, environment, wicked witch, global warming, animals, animal rights

Her plan was working so well

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

continues tomorrow 🙂

but if you can’t wait and want to read the whole story now,

go to the Fairy Tales page 😀

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vegan fairy tale, vegan story, vegan children’s story, vegan, vegetarian, environment, wicked witch, global warming, animals, animal rights

The Wicked Witch’s Plan To Get Rid Of Everyone begins here

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

continues tomorrow … 😀

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Once upon a time, high on a mountain peak, surrounded by fog night and day, lived a wicked wicked witch. She was tall and thin and had long bony fingers. Her fingernails were green and she had a hard heart from which her purple blood ran cold.

She awoke when the crow cawed and slowly creaked to her feet. She cooked her breakfast of four slices of freshly butchered piglet and two sheep intestine tubes filled with finely minced calf flesh and fried tomatoes and toast. She consumed it all with relish and washed it down with a tall glass of baby growth fluid squeezed from a cow.

After breakfast the witch wiped her greasy mouth with the back of her hand and put the dishes in the sink. It was time to go to work.

For many hundreds of years the witch had been working on her plan to turn the world into a dry, desolate, poisonous place, somewhere only she and the cockroaches could thrive. That may seem like a long time to you and me but to the witch, who had lived in her castle for over ten thousand years, it was nothing.

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vegan fairy tale, vegan story, vegan children’s story

Luke Walker’s Privut Notebook

vegan book for children

We’re so glad you’ve been enjoying the adventures of Luke Walker, animal stick up for-er, and thought you might be interested to know that he has made a notebook.  It’s not the prettiest of notebooks as it’s just an exercise book, originally intended by Mrs Tebbut to be his maths book, which Luke felt would be much better put to another purpose.

vegan book for children

He’s setting up a secret sersiety of animal stick up for-ers and welcomes others with prince pauls like him to join.  All new outlaws should have a copy of this notebook and put their name on the list of proppa members.

vegan book for children

All member outlaws must agree to the plej …

vegan book for children

… and follow the sersiety rules.

vegan book for children

According to Luke, to be an outlaw you must think to question everything you’re told …

vegan book for children

… to consider if it’s really true.

vegan book for children

Luke has worked hard on this notebook, all by himself.  He has included lots of useful information – like people from history who had prince pauls, …

vegan book for children

… and how to make your own secret code-maker/breaker which is an essential for every secret sersiety member.

vegan book for children

Plus he has left lots of space for new members to write in.

vegan book for children

vegan book for children

vegan book for children

There is even a top secret coded message which new member outlaws will be able to decipher when they’ve made themselves a code breaker.  And there’s space for more coded messages to be added by new members.

vegan book for children

All in all, Luke is very pleased with his Privut Notebook which is available from Amazon at the very reasonable price of £2.75

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Luke-Walker-animal--er-notebook/dp/1530311284/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1469185270&sr=1-1&keywords=luke+walker+animal+stick+up+for-er

You can’t say fairer than that 😉

Here are a couple of Luke’s friends with their copies:

Experimenting on animals is a Wild Goose Chase

vegan book

New from Honestly Books is Wild Goose Chase by Lavender Laine which is perfect for the teens to adults section of our Vegan Children’s Books page.

Lavender Laine, author of What’s good for the goose is not good for the panda, a rhyming story for little children, is a collage artist with a passionate opposition to vivisection.  Her latest title, the non-fiction Wild Goose Chase, is not only a feast for the eyes but also choc full of information that every anti-vivisectionist should know.  She has mined the brilliant Sacred Cows and Golden Geese by Ray and Jean Greek for all the text, which she has torn from its pages and pasted onto a backdrop of colourful images from many and various books and magazines.  The result is a stunning visual treat designed to make the historical scientific facts easier to remember.

On the first page is the classic quote from Dr Werner Hartinger: “There are, in fact, only two categories of doctors and scientist who are not opposed to vivisection: those who don’t know enough about it, and those who make money from it.”

vegan book

The acknowledgement pages follow:

vegan book

And then it begins with a statement that it will go on to prove: Trying to cure human ills by experimenting on animals is a wild goose chase.

vegan book

From thereon each page is full of information which was meticulously researched by the Greeks for Sacred Cows.  Laine has chosen excerpts from the Greeks’ book which she feels are the most important to commit to memory.  I’ve read Sacred Cows and Golden Geese several times from cover to cover and it teems with information explained in a way that is easy to make sense of for a non-scientific mind such as mine.  However, there is just so much information in there that, even after reading and re-reading, I find it hard to bring the facts to mind in conversation with others and therefore am unconvincing in my arguments.  That’s why Wild Goose Chase is so important.  Laine has included only a fraction of the text from Sacred Cows – giving us less to memorize – but those well chosen excerpts explain clearly and concisely why vivisection is scientifically flawed and why it continues in spite of that.

It’s a kind of CliffsNotes for Sacred Cows, but much more eye-catching.

vegan book

It begins with the history, showing that “True advances in medical knowledge has not come from animals.”  It reveals that Nobel Prizes were awarded to the wrong people – those who ‘validated’ things in animals decades after they had been discovered by other scientists in human observations.

vegan book

It explains how animal experiments have mislead scientists into thinking dangerous drugs were safe, and safe drugs were dangerous.

vegan book

It explains that animal tests continue in spite of this because they provide a legal ‘safe harbor’ for the government and drug companies who can claim due diligence when things go horribly wrong.

vegan book

It explains that, in the education system, original thinking is neither required nor welcomed; that editors and reviewers perpetuate the mass delusion; that money drives education and money drives research.

vegan book

It explains that what is needed is a ‘voluble public outcry’ to stop this scientific fraud which is killing so many humans and animals.  What is needed is for everyone to be aware of these facts so that they can no longer be deceived by the vivisectors’ PR machines.

vegan book

And then it goes on to explain what we should be doing instead of animal experiments: the scandalously underfunded human-based research methods which really could make a difference. Look – there’s Elvis! ↑

vegan book

Eg epidemiology, human autopsies, in vitro research, clinical observation, genetic research, computer modeling, diagnostic imaging, post-marketing drug surveillance.  It’s amazing what they can do now (and Sacred Cows was written sixteen years ago so think of the even more amazing advances that must have occurred since then).

“To insist that animal experiments are necessary is ludicrous.”

“Why wait in the dark ages when the Star Trek sick bay is at hand?”

vegan book

The book concludes with a call to action, inviting everyone to educate themselves and speak out against the mass delusion which is costing so many lives.

vegan book

There is nothing in this book but scientific and historical facts which are easily verified by referring to the indicated pages in Sacred Cows.  There are no disturbing images or descriptions of animal experiments – what would be the point?  If vivisection could be stopped on grounds of cruelty to animals it would have been banned a century ago.  Exposing the scientific fraud is the only way to end it.  Educating ourselves is where we start.  Buy this book and give it rave reviews!  Enable every teenager to understand that animal experiments are not necessary and never have been; that they are actually harmful to medical progress and will not save human lives.

Come with us if you want to live.

We do our best to inspire people towards veganism but are very careful not to push too hard.  We don’t want to frighten people away so we take the gently, gently approach with stories and colourful pictures and poems.

But after watching Cowspiracy in full yesterday I realise there isn’t actually time to do it gently.

If this planet and all its inhabitants have any chance of survival, the entire human population must make the transition to veganism NOW.  And when I say transition I don’t mean gradually, one meat-free day a week.  I mean now.  I mean overnight.  There’s no more time for gently gently.  Everyone needs to know about the urgency; about the crisis we are in.

World leaders and leading charities have shamefully kept quiet about the devastation caused by animal agriculture.  The destruction of the rainforests, the dead zones in the oceans, the pollution of the rivers; the greenhouse gases, land degradation, soil erosion, human starvation, species extinction – all caused by animal agriculture.  They distract people with worrying about CO2; encourage them to drive and fly less and use low-energy light bulbs.  But CO2 is a minor problem compared to the huge huge one caused by animal farming.

Why do you think they keep quiet about that?

It’s not a human’s right to choose to eat meat, eggs and dairy.  No one should be allowed to choose something that is so harmful – so completely devastating – to everyone and everything else.  They made it illegal to smoke inside in public places because second hand smoke is harmful to others.  Animal agriculture is a billion times more harmful, and not just to others in the immediate vicinity.

And it could be stopped.  Without legislation.  Without waiting for the slow machine of politics to get around to it (which it won’t).  It could be stopped by us.  By all of us, ordinary people,  just refusing to buy its products.

Tell the world, tell everyone you know that they can have their cars and their holidays abroad.  They don’t have to cycle anywhere if they don’t want to.  They just need to go vegan.  It’s the only way.  And it needs to happen now.  It isn’t hard.  It’s actually very pleasant.

Watch Cowspiracy (it’s on Netflix and if you don’t subscribe to Netflix you can sign up for a month’s free trial to watch it.)  The trailer’s great but you need to watch the whole thing.  Everyone does.  Please watch it.  Thank you.

Come with us if you want to live.

No Milk Please!

Being diabetic myself, I was very interested many years ago when I read that, through clinical observation at a children’s hospital in Canada (in the 1980s I think it was), they had discovered that type 1 diabetes is actually caused by an immune reaction to dairy milk protein because the immune system mistakes cells of the pancreas for milk protein and attacks them.  I was surprised, since this had been discovered some years before my diagnosis, that I had never been told about it by any of my diabetic specialist doctors and nurses.  In fact, in the 1990s, my GP pleaded with me to give my baby dairy foods after I became vegan because he said “babies need dairy for at least their first five years”!  And even today the UK charity that gives advice for diabetics, Diabetes UK, does not advise avoiding dairy – it’s included in their suggested meal plans!  I actually wrote to them about that and they said, “oh, thank you for telling us,” but of course nothing changed.

Anyway, the following is a brilliant short video by a doctor who really knows what he’s talking about, and he explains really well how dairy causes diabetes.  Well worth a watch if you’ve got a spare 8 minutes 🙂

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

How the meat gets to the plate is something quite atrocious,

Gentle souls are cruelly killed by humans so ferocious,

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

***

Um diddle diddle diddle, um diddle ay

Um diddle diddle diddle, um diddle ay

Um diddle diddle diddle, um diddle ay

Um diddle diddle diddle, um diddle ay

***

Those gentle souls of hoof and wing

Have done nothing to me.

I’d like for them to run and sing,

I’d love to set them free.

***

And then one day I realised

Exactly what to do.

I gave up meat and veganised

And you could do that too,   oh ….

***

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

How the meat gets to the plate is something quite atrocious,

Gentle souls are cruelly killed by humans so ferocious,

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

***

Um diddle diddle diddle, um diddle ay

Um diddle diddle diddle, um diddle ay

Um diddle diddle diddle, um diddle ay

Um diddle diddle diddle, um diddle ay

***

I found that I did not miss out

On tasty things to eat.

My vegan meals without a doubt

Are much better than meat.

***

There’s sausage rolls and pies and flan

And chips and pizza too.

There’s cakes and sweets and marzipan

All cruelty-free for you,  oh ….

***

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

How the meat gets to the plate is something quite atrocious,

Gentle souls are cruelly killed by humans so ferocious,

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

A More Innocent and Wholesome Diet

Henry David Thoreau

” … he will be regarded as a benefactor of his race who shall teach man to confine himself to a more innocent and wholesome diet.  Whatever my own practice may be, I have no doubt that it is part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, “

Henry David Thoreau

in Walden (1854)

Z is for Zoo

Zoo    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  zoological garden: public garden or park with collection of animals for exhibition and study.

Our definition:  Place where wild animals are kept and/or bred in captivity.  Zoos are prisons.  Prisons in which innocent individuals are kept incarcerated for their whole lives, though they have committed no crime.

Elephants, for example, in the wild, are used to travelling many miles a day in herds of about ten related adults and their offspring. They are very social animals.

elephants captive and wild

In zoos, elephants are usually kept in pairs or even isolated.  Their enclosures are incredibly small, compared to what they are used to in the wild, and as a result they often show many signs of being stressed out or bored, like engaging in repetitive movements.  Stress behaviours can include repetitive movements, pacing back and forth, head bobbing, rocking, repeatedly retracing their steps, sitting motionless or biting the bars of their enclosure or themselves.

What makes life so difficult for zoo animals is that they hardly have any privacy and lack mental stimulation and physical exercise.  Even though you might think that zoo animals would get used to a life in captivity, they really don’t.  Even animals that are bred in zoos still retain their natural instincts after many generations of captive breeding.

Hippos captive and wild

Animals like polar bears or felines are used to hunting; this habit is replaced by the zoo with regular feedings.  Most animals kept in zoos would naturally roam for tens of miles a day.

Zoos claim to help with conservation. However, hardly any zoo registers their animals on an international species database and most zoo animals are not endangered at all.

Even though there are thousands of endangered species, zoos have only been able to return about 16 species to the wild with varying level of success. Most zoo animals released in the wild don’t survive. This is because zoos don’t provide the right environment for a successful captive breeding project. The animals would need to live in habitats resembling their natural ones, especially in terms of climate and fauna. The animals would also need to be raised with minimal human contact and in populations large enough to provide a natural social balance and a suitable gene pool.

Surplus animals are the unwanted animals for whom there is no more space, when zoos have bred yet another cute little baby to attract visitors. They can even be the cute babies themselves when they’ve stopped being cute at the end of the season. Zoos have a systematic “overproduction” of animals. These surplus animals are either killed – and sometimes fed to their fellow zoo habitants – or sold to other zoos or dealers.  Selling animals is a profitable way for zoos to dispose of them. Dealers will sell them to hunting ranches, pet shops, circuses, the exotic meat industry and research facilities. Surplus animals are also found for sale on the internet.

To sum up: DON’T GO TO THE ZOO!  If a school trip is being organised, tell your teacher why you don’t like zoos and ask them to take you somewhere better.  If they won’t listen, explain what zoos really are to your friends and then get together to petition the school.  If they still won’t listen, just ask your parents to let you stay home from school that day.  Maybe they could take you on a better trip instead, such as to a museum or art gallery.

That reminds me – see what Luke Walker, ‘animal stick up for-er’, did when he was forced to go on a trip to the zoo – now that’s a boy who acts on his conscience! (Though he is sadly unappreciated by those who know him 😉 )

W is for Winkle

Winkle    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  edible sea snail.

Our definition:  A winkle is a small herbivorous shore-dwelling mollusc with a spiral shell.   Winkle is also a common name applied to numerous different species of small, round snails.  These are often species of sea snails, but also some small round freshwater snails, and even some land snails that have an operculum (a secreted plate that closes the aperture of a gastropod mollusc’s shell when the animal is retracted).

Click here for the W page, and here for the rest of the vegan dictionary 😀

W is for Whiting

W w

Whiting    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  small edible sea fish.

Juvenile-whiting

Juvenile-whiting

Our definition:  Whiting (Merlangius merlangus) fish are similar in appearance to their larger relatives,  cod, haddock, coley and pollack.  They have three dorsal fins separated by small gaps, the third fin extending almost to the tail fin.  The tail is not forked, having almost a square end.  The two anal fins are very close together, nearly touching one another and, together with the anterior fin, are elongated.  The pectoral fin is also long and projects beyond the base of the anal fin.  A whiting’s upper jaw projects slightly beyond the lower, and the lateral line is continuous along the length of the body.  In colour, individual fish vary quite a lot, and there is often a small dark blotch at upper base of the pectoral fin.  They can grow to up to 50 cm long.

Whiting matures at between three and four years of age, and spawning takes place at a depth of 20 to 150 m.  The time of the spawning varies from location to location: from January to spring in the Mediterranean; from January to September in the area between the British Isles and the Bay of Biscay; and throughout the year in the Black Sea.  A large female can produce up to one million eggs.  The eggs float in the open ocean and the larval whiting swim with other sea plankton until they have attained a length of around 10 cm.  The fish grow quickly, with females growing faster than males, and can live to about ten years of age.  The diet of the whiting consists of bottom-living organisms, such as crabs, shrimps, small fish, molluscs, worms, squid and cuttlefish.

The biggest threat to whiting is “over-harvesting” (euphemism) by the fishing fleets of many nations (of course).

Click here for the W page, and here for the rest of the vegan dictionary 😀

V is for Vegan

V v

Vegan    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  person who does not eat animals or animal products.

Our definition:  To be vegan means to try to do no harm to all animals, including humans, and the planet on which everyone depends.  This means a vegan will do their best to avoid all animal products in their food, clothes and possessions.  They will choose only fair trade and organic whenever possible, and will reduce, reuse and recycle to protect the world and its inhabitants from plastic pollution.  They will also avoid any activity or practice which exploits or abuses animals, such as visiting a zoo or buying animal-tested toiletries.

Just try to do no harm.  Easy 😀

Click here for the V page and here for the rest of the dictionary.

Have a lovely weekend 😀

U is for unethical, unprincipled, unkind ….

Why photograph

Killing animals is unethical,

It’s unprincipled and unkind.

Eating meat is unhealthy,

It’s unsavoury and unsound.

***

So why do humans do it,

This unsightly unwholesome crime?

It’s unwarrantable, it’s unwarranted

And entirely unjustified.

Why photograph - Copy

The U page is right here, and the whole dictionary is just there 😀

S is for Sturgeon

Sturgeon    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  large edible fish yielding caviar.

Our definition:  Sturgeons are native to subtropical, temperate and sub-Arctic rivers, lakes and coastlines of Eurasia and North America.  They are distinctive for their elongated bodies, lack of scales, and occasional great size: sturgeons ranging from 7–12 feet (2-3½ m) in length are common, and some species grow up to 18 feet (5.5 m). Most sturgeons are anadromous (migrating up rivers to spawn) bottom-feeders, spawning upstream and feeding in river deltas and estuaries.  While some are entirely freshwater, a very few venture into the open ocean beyond near coastal areas.

Sturgeon are primarily benthic  feeders (feeding on the river bed or ocean floor), with a diet of shells, crustaceans and small fish. They feed by extending their syphon-like mouths to suck food from the benthos.  Having no teeth, they are unable to seize prey, though larger individuals can swallow very large prey items, including whole salmon.  Sturgeons feed non-visually.  They are believed to use a combination of sensors, including olfactory sensors, tactile chemosensory cues on the 4 barbules, and passive electroreceptors (ampullae of Lorenzini).

Many sturgeon leap completely out the water, usually making a loud splash which can be heard half a mile away on the surface and probably further under water. It is not known why they do this, but suggested functions include group communication to maintain group cohesion, catching airborne prey, nuptial behaviour, or to help shed eggs during spawning. Other plausible explanations include escape from predators, shedding parasites, or to gulp or expel air. Another explanation is that it “simply feels good”.

Sturgeon can live 100 years and have been around since the dinosaurs.  Because of their long reproductive cycles, long migrations, and sensitivity to environmental conditions, many species are under severe threat from overfishing, poaching, water pollution, and damming of rivers.  There is also a noticeable decline in sturgeon populations as the demand for caviar increases (see Roe on the R page). According to the IUCN, over 85% of sturgeon species are classified as at risk of extinction, making them more critically endangered than any other group of species.

Click here for the S page, and here for the rest of the dictionary 🙂

R is for Rat

Rr

Rat    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:   1. large mouselike rodent.  2. colloquial unpleasant or treacherous person.  verb  1. hunt or kill rats. 2. colloquial inform on.

Our definition:

  • Rats take care of injured and sick rats in their group.
  • Without companionship rats tend to become lonely and depressed.
  • Rats have excellent memories. Once they learn a navigation route, they won’t forget it.
  • When happy, rats have been observed to chatter or grind their teeth. This is often accompanied by vibrating eyes.
  • Rats make happy “laughter” sounds when they play.
  • Rats succumb to peer-pressure, just like humans. Brown rats are prone to disregard personal experiences in order to copy the behaviour of their peers. The urge to conform is so strong that they will even choose to eat unpalatable food if they are in the company of other rats who are eating it.
  • Although very curious animals, rats are also shy, and prefer to run away than confront a potential threat.
  • Rats are extremely clean animals, spending several hours every day grooming themselves and their group members. They are less likely than cats or dogs to catch and transmit parasites and viruses.
  • A rat can go longer than a camel without having a drink of water.
  • Rats’ tails help them to balance, communicate and regulate their body temperature.

Click here for the rest of the Rr page, click here, or go to the sidebar on the right, for the whole dictionary 😀

O is for omelette

Oo

Omelette    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  beaten eggs fried and often folded over filling.

Our definition:  Omelettes are made from eggs laid by birds (usually chickens) kept in unnatural, confined conditions, more often than not in over-crowded barns with no access to the outside and no natural light or fresh air.  Their miserable lives are short, ending when they begin to lay less eggs at about 12 to 18 months of age (naturally, healthy chickens could live into their teens if not taken by a predator, though those rescued from chicken farms don’t usually live longer than 4 years due to their harrowing start in life).  Contrary to popular opinion, buying free range is not the cruelty free option since these birds’ lives will also end in brutal slaughter by the tender age of 18 months.  NB farms can label their eggs free range if there is access to an outdoor area from the chickens’ barn even though most of the birds in the overcrowded barn are never able to reach the door.  Male chicks are horribly killed en masse shortly after hatching.

Buying tofu, on the other hand, is the cruelty free option and if you love eggs, you’ll really love tofu 😀

Spinach Tofu Scramble. Photo by Evelyn Oliver

Spinach Tofu Scramble. Photo by Evelyn Oliver

For the rest of the dictionary, click here

N is for Nutria

Nutria    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  coypu fur

Our definition:   Nutria (also called coypu) are large, rodents who are more agile in the water than on land. They live in burrows, or nests, never far from the water.  Nutria may inhabit a riverbank or lakeshore, or dwell in the midst of wetlands. They are strong swimmers and can remain submerged for as long as five minutes.  Their average lifespan in the wild is eight to ten years.  They are varied eaters, most fond of aquatic plants and roots, and are very very cute.  Quite beaver-like 😀

Nutria can be rather social animals and sometimes live in large colonies, reproducing prolifically. Females have two or three litters every year, each consisting of five to seven young. These animals mature quickly and remain with their mothers for only a month or two.

Tragically, many misguided humans have cruelly exploited nutria on fur farms (“Originally native to subtropical and temperate South America, it has since been introduced to North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, primarily by fur ranchers“) and, when these ventures failed and the captive animals escaped or were released into parts of the world where they didn’t belong, they bred fast and caused a lot of damage to wetlands.  This has resulted in many attempts to cull them worldwide including, in the US, incentives being paid to people to hunt and trap them.  They get $5 per nutria tail handed in to a Coastal Environments Inc. official.

Click here for the N page and here for the rest of the vegan dictionary

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

‘One farmer says to me, “You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make bones with;” and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying his system with the raw materials of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which, with vegetable-made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plough along in spite of every obstacle.’

Henry David Thoreau

from Walden in the chapter named ‘Economy’