Apr 17, 2014

Easter Celebrates Fertility - The Cruelest Fate For Rabbits

The pagan celebration of Easter is rooted in the fertility and renewal of spring. Tragically this gift of life is the cruelest curse to the rabbits who are a symbol of this holiday.

Gentle readers, if you eat cows, pigs or birds you have absolutely no call to condemn the rabbit industry. But I can and will: 

Rabbits suffer from the same hardships every other farm animal suffers from such as: space deprivation, poor ventilation, manipulated lighting, and etc. Consequently they exhibit a range of neurotic behaviors such as fur-plucking, ear-biting and self-mutilation. They become obese, get inflamed feet, have poor bone density, develop gastrointestinal and urinary dysfunction.

Caged rabbits can suffer from ulcerative pododermatitis (also called "sore hocks") consisting of scab-covered ulcers on the hind legs. This is caused by the pressure of heavy body weight on a wire floor, or by excessive stamping of the feet by nervous rabbits.

In some cases the feces underneath the cages are never cleaned out. Prolonged exposure to fumes (particularly ammonia) from urine and feces, irritate the rabbits' eyes and respiratory tracts and predisposes them to disease.

In nature, rabbits’ way of dealing with dangers is by running and hiding in holes. The fact they can’t do it in the cages leaves them panicked with every change in the surrounding. When they are taken out of the cage or someone else is getting in or even to the slightest noise, rabbits often respond with digestive problems, in some cases hurting themselves or their babies, sometimes killing them.

Just to understand how hard the conditions in the rabbits farms are, 1 in 4 rabbits will die due to the intensive conditions before the age of 12 weeks (rabbit’s slaughter age) even though they can reach up to 12 years.

The industry’s way to reproduce more “meat bunnies” is by caging does and bucks (female and male rabbits) in a single cell cage and use them as a breeding stock. In the wild, rabbits form social colonies that usually consists of one to three males and one to five females. Domestic rabbits retain the full range of behaviors of their wild ancestors, so housing rabbits singly in barren cages causes physiological and behavioral problems. Young does are mated for the first time at the age of 16 weeks. Then they start their endless cycle of overlapping impregnation, gestation, birth, and nursing.

A typical litter consists of 8-10 bunnies which are taken away from their mother at 4 weeks of age.

The does are fertile 24 hours after giving birth and being re-mated before each litter is weaned.

Does have an average 'use-life' of about 18 months. During this period, they will produce 8-15 litters. The gestation lasts for 32 days. An average litter reproduces 6-8 successfully fattened rabbits (out of 8-10 born bunnies). The production targets are at least 50 rabbits per doe, per year. Bucks are usually kept until they are three to four years old.

When the breeding does' and bucks' productivity begins to fall, they are sold for low-quality meat production..

You may read the end of these bunnies miserable journey here.

You can remove your participation in the suffering of so many by simply making other choices. Whether it's rabbits, chickens, pigs, cows or any other exploited being... Please do so. 

Love Life sticker available at Herbivore Clothing

Apr 8, 2014

Vegan Seeds are Plant Positive

The majority of my online advocacy is spent either on other blogs, forums, Pinterest or Youtube where animals are the topic. I admit I deliberately look for opposing views. When I find suitable opportunity, I gladly volunteer to speak on behalf of the victims. It's what I do.

Although I've been called everything you could imagine, every now and then there's a positive end... Not all confrontations are met with offensive cussing: 
Atrociously ugly video of bird "processing" plant

I guess this post is just to illustrate we never know who we're going to influence and in what way. It's also meant as a reminder that there are reasonable people who just need a bit more information to do what they know is right in the first place.

I hope everyone continues to sow seeds in their own unique way. And may our plantings thrive well beyond the last negative, life-stealing, "processing" plant. 

Your garden starts here

Mar 31, 2014

Zombie Blood Addictions and Individuals Walking Alive

I have the misfortune of  living among many who are addicted to the entertainment of blood, violence and killing, such as fictional stories like the "Walking Dead" series. This juvenile, gore-fest of a show features pigs as food and/or sacrifice.. Then there is the carnage that happens as a matter of business-as-usual - Every Twelve Seconds

Through this holocaust, whether set in an apocalyptic, pretend-world or right there in a "friendly", neighborhood meat-case, it's healing to know that there's a real man who has different intentions for his contribution to the world. If you haven't read the transforming story of Bob Comis from pig harmer to life-lover, life-giver, you'll do yourself a favor if you do.

The way it once was:

"Humanely raising and slaughtering pigs seems perfectly normal. In order to see the truth, you have to have to look askance, just like a pig does when it knows you are up to no good. When you see out of the corner of your eye, in the blurry periphery of your vision, you see that meat is indeed murder." 

"Somehow we need to become the sort of beings who can see what we are doing when we look head on, the sort of beings who don't weave dark, damning shrouds to sustain, with acceptance and celebration, the grossly unethical. Deeper, much deeper, we have an obligation to eat otherwise."

And now it is that Mr. Comis has become the kind of person he aspired to be... 
I offer a respectful, public bow and my deepest gratitude.

Mar 26, 2014

Why "Cheap Meat" Exists In Less Than Four Minutes...

Or --- If you only have 2 1/2 minutes:

Dave Simon is the author of Meatonomics. No surprise too that he's also vegan. Here's an interview with him on Animal Voices

"How can we say we are the most advanced species on earth when we continually choose profits over principles? How can we say we are the most advanced species on earth when we use and abuse animals when alternatives are available?" - Colleen Patrick Goudreau

Mar 23, 2014

It's Spring - I'm Turning Over a New Leaf

I'm turning over a new leaf. Actually, a thousand-million of them (again)...

It's not the tropical image of Florida that sells vacation packages, but many of the palm trees here compete for that sunshine right next to immense and majestic live oaks. This time of year those trees turn a brilliant gold and shed every one of it's leaves... After that, the water oaks follow suit. And then comes what I call tree sperm, but technically they are "catkins". And they're everywhere! 

a mix of leaves, catkins, Spanish moss, and spent azalea petals

The many pounds of pollen-rich catkins cling to the shingles on your roof and to the bottoms of your shoes...  If you're lucky the March winds will blow some of them away. But most likely you'll have to rake, sweep, hose and bag to be shed of the bulk of them along with the leaves. This is not the casual orchid and hibiscus gardening hobby that I bargained for. It's a thankless job. But I love the shade these oaks provide... And I love the many birds, squirrels and lizards that call these trees home. So no matter how many leaves I'll have to continue to turn... The trees aren't going anywhere.

I suppose that's where I'm going with this post -

I started this blog about six years ago shortly after I re-examined my relationship with my fellow Earthlings. I wanted to share information and ideas. I wanted to document, record and report the atrocities I had been made aware of. I wanted to support and be part of an online community of fellow advocates. But most of all I wanted to have an outlet to express my feelings. My rage. My sorrow. My despair and my hopes...  And in those years (and posts) the leaves kept falling.

So many in fact that it's been impossible for me to gather them all. All those thoughts I wanted to give meaning to in the way of selectively chosen words got lost in the drifts of dead things called "drafts". If you're a blogger - I bet you've got a few dozen too... They are in a way, unraked leaves aren't they?
But if you're like me though, some of these thoughts, discoveries and sentiments aren't really "dead" at all - They're still alive enough in your head to prevent you from clicking the final "delete" button.

And so it is that I'm sorting through the good "leaves", the ugly ones, the ones that still make me cry or laugh... Or grimace.

Just like raking though, you wonder where to begin. For me, since my house is on a corner it presents a challenge of marking the start-spot. The front? The side? The other side? The back? I'm tired just deciding! But here's the solution I'm intending regarding the future of this blog as I continue sharing my un-killed thoughts... Rather than struggle with profound, exotic and/or complex posts that include endless links (that most wouldn't follow anyway) I'm opting for quantity rather than exceptional quality. I'll try for both, but mostly what I want to say will be brief and done. And as in the past the mix will be with/without comment... As I post more frequently, I certainly can't expect the few loyal readers I have to dedicate time to acknowledge/approve my daily views. 

I'm not trying to convince any vegan that their choice is valid. That point is made countless times by those with much more authority than I. But rather I'd just like to get back to my original intent:  To have an outlet to express my feelings. My rage. My sorrow. My despair and my hopes. As I do this with more frequency, I hope I'll tackle the pile of uncomposted leaves that's still in my mind. Perhaps too more of this tactic might reach a nonvegan, and that would be a good thing also.

To close - there are some ways that leaves are not like vegan advocacy: With fallen leaves, more is not usually better. And unlike raking, spreading a compassionate message is never a thankless job.

With all the hopes of a new beginning - Happy Spring!