Monday, December 21, 2009

Grocery shopping, seen in a different light...

Today I went grocery shopping for Christmas. I went to the Loblaws SuperCenter (one of our bigger Canadian chains). Of course it was busy, but that is expected this time of the year.
I went up & down every isle picking out the things that were on my list (which I left at home!)
I found myself going down the meat isle, basically because it was one of the isles!
I guess being 4 days before Christmas everything was stocked to over flowing.
I have been vegetarian for 12 years & vegan for 1 1/2 yrs & this is the first time I really "saw" what was there.....hundreds of large frozen headless turkeys, overflowing freezers with pig rumps (hams) & god knows what else I chose not to notice....I actually got choked up....and hurried on my way out of this place. I know my meat eating friends will be thinking "oh God Susan" but this is really how I felt. I want everyone to just think & see what I saw in that isle & perhaps reflect a little to the suffering that goes into that Christmas feast.
I remember my first Thanksgiving after going vegetarian. I was so concerned about what I would eat & how the meal would not be the same as the past. Well, I have to tell you my plate was full, I enjoyed every bite & never missed that slab of flesh on my plate...our minds are just so programed from children that our meal must include meat...obviously not so. I have never felt better both physically & mentally since giving up animal products!

Merry Christmas & a happy , healthy 2010 to all !!! and I mean ALL ...

***Think for a moment....Is the "eating more important than the knowing...or should the knowing be more important than the eating"... I personally choose the "knowing"....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Noelle's story...

Yesterday December 7th I received an email from a girl on my rescue list. She had seen an ad on "Kijiji" (an online buying/selling site) selling a live 300lb pig to "fill your freezer".

Within 24 hrs we had bought her, arranged a truck/trailer, pick up time & a sanctuary home for the pig we nicknamed "Noelle". After the excitement of knowing this was going to have a happy ending the ultimate crash of emotions happened.

Today, December 8th I phoned the lady who was selling her to arrange the time on Saturday for pick up & she bluntly told me she was "gone"....sold to a higher bidder & already at the butcher for slaughter. I was so stunned & overcome with emotion the right words did not come...I do remember saying "karma is a bitch Donna, remember that" to her ....but wanted to say much more.

How can people be so cruel....she knew this pig could have a happy , safe home but sold her for a few extra dollars (which I would have gladly paid) to be slaughtered for a Christmas meal.

Our entire rescue network is reeling with sadness over this poor pig we never met but loved all the same.

I am only glad she is free from this world of cruelty now.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Toronto Zoo & another Elephant death...

Toronto Zoo a Dangerous Place for Elephants?
Another neighbour just died, in her prime. Tara, a 41 year old African Elephant, died on the last day of November, at the Toronto Zoo, near where I live. Okay, not a next door neighbour, but I feel as though I knew her as I sketched and photographed her and simply watched her, many times. She is the third elephant to die there in the last 14 months!
The Toronto Zoo has told the media that elephants only live about 40 to 45 years. This from the same industry that claims part of its raison d'ĂȘtre is to educate the public about wild animals. Then zoos should tell the truth. In Kenya . elephants have been known to give birth in their 50s. Elephants in the wild live well into their 60s or longer, and an Asian elephant has lived to age 86.
Tessa, Tequila, Tantor, Toronto, and TW are other elephants who died well before their time at the Toronto Zoo. In fact, friends of mine who track captive elephants predicted Tanya's passing when Tessa, at age 39, died six months ago. And they have, sadly, predicted more of my elephant neighbours dying in the next little while, as all have reached not maturity, as the Toronto Zoo would have us believe, but are middle aged, and therefore about as old as captive elephants can expect to survive.
For some species, zoo life can be free of hunger, predation and other problems faced in the wild, and as a result, there are a few animals, a dwarf crocodile at Toronto Zoo, for example, whose captive life exceeds what would probably be expected for a wild counterpart. But not many species, most emphatically not including elephants.
While the local media was reporting Tara's untimely death, it failed to report that India, where the Asian elephant is a native species, had just decided that no elephants should ever be kept in captivity. It is morally irresponsible.
And while zoos and refuges can breed and release a relatively small range of endangered species, that does not apply to elephants. The world's zoo elephants are not put into the wild, nor would that serve any conservation purpose even if they could be. Breeding is something wild elephants do very well when protected in the wild.
The money spent (or, in Toronto, that will be spent if the idea of increasing the indoor elephant holding area's size goes ahead) by zoos would go so much further in conserving elephants if donated to efforts to reduce elephant poaching and fight the demand for ivory that thousands of animals could survive wild and free where they belong, for every pathetic specimen in zoos and circuses.
There are viable elephant sanctuaries where elephants could be sent to live a semblance of natural life in social groupings, and maybe have a chance at truly surviving to full maturity.
A blog by Barry Kent MacKay.