Get Active for Animals ONLINE!

June 25, 2008 at 6:54 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Online animal advocacy is a great way to spread awareness in your free moments. It’s easy, it’s free, and it can be incredibly effective, especially if we start coordinating and working together!

Many of us have already started using Facebook as a mechanism of spreading awareness about animal issues–be it through groups, causes, posts, etc. There is no doubt that animal rights is leaving quite a mark on Facebook. There are more animal rights groups than I can count, and even vegan groups have accumulated thousands of members! But why stop here? There are hundreds of other social media sites that have yet to be touched by animal advocates. A huge one of these is Digg.com.  Have you heard of it? If not, let me introduce you.

Digg.com is a social media news site where individuals create an account (with a user name and profile), submit content (web sites, news articles, videos, etc) and depending on the number of Digg’s the submission receives and how popular it becomes, it could ultimately reach the front page of digg.  Now the cool thing is… content on the front page of Digg can reach upwards of 60,000 viewers! This is HUGE publicity for the site/content submitted. 

Right now it is difficult for content promoting animal welfare to reach the front page because there are not many animal advocates using Digg! Because of this, animal stories–no matter how quality–don’t become popular.

Now IMAGINE if a bunch of animal advocates started using Digg.  If we got just 100 animal advocates to start Digging submissions about animal welfare, these sites would reach thousands. This number (100) may seem intimidating, but consider how many animal advocates regularly dedicate their time to publicising animal issues on Facebook. Consider all the people pouring their efforts into writing and maintaining their own animal rights or vegan blog (there are hundreds, at least). Consider how ridiculously easy it would be for people to take a minute of their day to Digg the animal content.  This could happen–we just need to take the initiative to make it happen!

Now there is a crucial factor we must keep in mind: This can only work if all the animal rights people are connected so that animal friendly submissions are brought to everyones attention. How can we do this? First, you should know that there is a “share” function that allows you to “shout” submissions to your Digg friends. Ordinarily, in order to make your content popular you first need to spend months accumulating hundreds of digg friends and shout your submissions to all of them. However, this can be greatly simplified by electing one (or a few) central animal rights digg representatives. All newcomers to Digg should add this individual as a friend. In this way, newcomers with very few friends can submit content and shout it to the central digger who can then shout it to all the other animal rights diggers. At the same time, you will receive shouts about other animal rights content from the central digger (so you don’t have to go sifting through Digg to find it yourself).

OK. If you’ve read this far I’m sure you’re eager to try this out.  Here’s how to start:

  1. Create a Digg.com account/profile here.
  2. “Friend” the central Animal Rights digg representative (Michiko280) here.
  3. Start digging! Here is a good article to start with (about Factory Farming).  You will receive shouts from Michiko280 when important animal rights content is submitted (usually about once a day).
  4. Spread the word! If you have animal advocate friends, invite them to join!

That’s a rap! Thanks for reading, and I hope you decide to get involved with this effort.

– Michelle 🙂

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Voice of the voiceless

June 16, 2008 at 9:39 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Dogs deserve better treatment than this, as do all living sentient beings.

They have no voice, no opposable thumbs, no way to fight for their life back.

It’s time for things to change. It’s time for us to change.

Take a Stand.  

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A Moment for the Pigs

June 7, 2008 at 5:07 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

It’s funny… when I was little I had no idea meat came from real live animals. I though it was just named after them. When I found out the truth, I was horrified. I had no idea I had been eating food that had once had a face, had once been alive and full of feeling and emotion. By age eight I had become a vegetarian.

Today I am a vegan.

This is why:

 

This is not natural. But it is boasted about by the Wisconsin Pork Association!

For all those ham, pork & bacon lovers…

Please take a moment to remember the pigs that died for you.

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Great cheese comes from Happy Cows?

June 6, 2008 at 12:09 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

 

 

 

A close friend asked me a question that I now realize is central to the miscommunication between vegetarians and omnivores. He asked me if I would eat an animal raised on an ‘old-school’ grass farm like that described in the book “Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan. I responded that although I personally would not eat it because I know I don’t need to and I see no reason to kill needlessly, I am not opposed to the killing and eating of these humanely treated animals. What? Yes, you heard me right:

 

I am a vegan and I am not opposed to eating meat.

 

No this isn’t an oxymoron, and no it isn’t rare. It is not meat eating that most vegetarians and vegans are opposed to, but the inhumane treatment of animals while they are aliveI am not opposed to the killing of animals (everyone’s gotta die, right? And it’s rarely pleasant), I’m opposed to infliction of unnecessary suffering. I do in fact support grass farms where animals get to live out lives free from intensive confinement, constant pain, suffering, abuse and neglect before they are killed and eaten.

 

Why, then, am I a vegetarian?

 

Unfortunately, 98-99% of the meat in this country is produced through factory farming (Peter Singer, “The Ethics of What We Eat”), so ‘humane’ alternatives are very difficult to find. Truly humane meat is almost impossible to find. Labels such as “free range” “humane certified” “organic” etc. are deceiving and in reality mean very little. “Organic” meat and dairy, for example, often comes from animals that suffer more than non-organic animals, because they are kept in the same conditions but are not given antibiotics and treatment that the others are provided. Ultimately, unless I raised the animals myself or visited the farms I purchased meat from, I could not trust that the animals were humanely raised.

 

For anyone interested in this subject, I highly recommend the book “The Ethics of What We Eat” by Peter Singer. It’s an eye opener about the meat industry and its relation with this country. It is an incredibly well researched book, and sheds light on the practices and the labels (“free range” “humane certified” “organic” etc.) without being preachy.

 

 

“Great Cheese Comes From Happy Cows”

 

 

 

 

Do you really believe that?

 

 

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What means little to you could mean the world to someone else

June 5, 2008 at 3:18 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

 

So many people believe that the treatment of animals in factory farms is unethical but demanding those products and supporting the factory farms and eating the animals is ethical.  I don’t understand how supporting something you believe is unethical can be ethical. So I ask: How is this ethical? One common answer I got was this:

 

“Because if I stopped eating meat, which would take significant effort because I love my meat, I’m not convinced it would make a difference. Slaughterhouses would still exist and animals would still be treated in those ways. There are billions of meat-eaters in the world supporting the factory farming industry, and I don’t believe one person giving up meat will make any difference in the grand scheme of things.”

 

This belief in the powerlessness of individual actions is terribly daunting. It is this very frame of mind that will stunt change and progress in our society by excusing people from acting according to their ethical beliefs. I couldn’t find a good way to explain how one person’s actions can make a surprisingly significant impact (especially by becoming a vegetarian or vegan, considering the average American consumes 99 animals a year, and the meat industry loses money on producing excess meat so they aim to produce the minimum amount to meet the demand).  But I found it. I just came across a story that demonstrates the impact small actions can have…impact that is too often overlooked. The story goes like this:

 

One day a man was taking a sunrise walk along a beach. In the distance he caught sight of a young woman who seemed to be dancing along the waves. As he got closer he saw that the young woman was actually not dancing, but picking up starfish from the sand and tossing them gently back into the ocean.

 

“What are you doing?” the man asked.

 

“The sun is coming up and the tide is going out; if I don’t throw them in they’ll die.”

 

“But young woman, there are miles and miles of beach with starfish all along it–you can’t possibly make a difference.”

 

The young woman bent down, picked up another starfish, and placed it lovingly back into the ocean, past the breaking waves.

 

“It made a difference for that one,” she replied.

This story describes perfectly an incredible phenomenon: as single individuals it is very hard to make a big impact on the “greater scheme of things,” but it is unbelievably easy to have an enormous impact on the life of other individuals.  Now, this impact can be good or it can be bad, it can be purposeful or passive or even subconscious, it can mean almost nothing to you but the world to someone else. 

 

(Story compliments of Animals in our Hearts )

 

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Be the change you want to see in the world

June 2, 2008 at 12:35 am (Inspirational Quotes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

“Be the change that you want to see in the world.”

– Mahatma Ghandi

“All beings Tremble before violence. All fear death, all love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt?

-Buddha

“I don’t have any understanding of a human being who doesn’t respect the beauty of life and that goes for all creatures that have thoughts, feelings, and needs.”

-Alecia Silverstone

“To be a vegetarian is to disagree–to disagree with the course of things today. Starvation, world hunger, cruelty, waste, wars–we must make a statement against these things. Vegetarianism is my statement. And I think it’s a strong one.”

-Isaac Bashevis Singer

“I tremble for my species when I reflect that god is just”

-Thomas Jefferson

“Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is–whether its victim is human or animal–we cannot expect things to be much better in this world… We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity.

-Rachel Carson

“You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

“There will be no justice as long as man will stand with a knife or with a gun and destroy those who are weaker than he is.”

-Isaac Bashevis Singer

Life can be deeply enriched by compassion, love, respect, trust, and tolerance.

Why is it that animals have embraced these concepts while man has cast them aside?  Man claims dominion and prides in dominance, and that may well be.  But is the slaughter of those less powerful than ourselves really the way to happiness?

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