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Monthly Archives: December 2013

WOW: Wonderful Other WordPress bloggers -2013


Although this post is addressed to WordPress bloggers I sincerely thank everyone who visits my blog, be it through e-mail or another blog site.

A year ago I did not even know what a blog was. Now look at me – totally hooked:) I enjoy the diversity of the blogging world and connecting with people globally.  

Those who follow my simple blog are all wonderful, compassionate human beings. You might ask how I know that? Well a blog about the fur industry is hardly a happy topic, so you must care about this issue and probably support other animal rights causes.

The notion of receiving WordPress community awards had not crossed my mind until several awards recently came my way. Award nominations help bloggers to discover new blogs and appreciate each other. So in no particular order I thank the following bloggers for their nominations.

~ Dear Kitty. Some blog (http://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/) first introduced me to blog awards by generously nominating two awards to me ~  

1. Blog of the Year 2013  

 2. Parliament Award                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Blog of The Year 2013 AwardFor the Blog of the Year award I in turn nominated:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

1. Celeste from Honk if You’re Vegan (http://honkifyourevegan.com).  Celeste has a friendly, personal style to her posts, which include Celeste’s family life. As Celeste’s blog is  about her journey in adopting a vegan lifestyle she discusses issues around this subject. Many delicious vegan recipes can be found on this blog.                                                                                                            2. Amelia from Mungai and the Boa Constrictor (http://aecurzon.wordpress.com/). Amelia is both an author and a blogger and her blog title comes from her published children’s book . The presentation of Amelia’s blog is stunning. Many of her posts raise concerns about endangered animals and the environment – this blog is a wealth of information.                                                                                                                             

Wolves and owlsA group of owls is called a parliament and this award signifies friendship and togetherness. In this context, owls symbolise wisdom and love and wolves symbolise strength, loyalty and family.  

Inspired by the diary of Anne Frank and perhaps by her own life experience, Dear Kitty started her “many-sided” diary/blog some time ago. If  it matters, Dear Kitty will post it. She sources videos from all over the world and includes these in her posts. I particularly enjoy the delightful animal videos, which often capture fine detail. Dear Kitty is a dedicated  blogger who readily affirms other bloggers. Thank you, Dear Kitty, for making me feel welcome.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       ~ Carina, whose blog is Wolf is my Soul (http://telania.wordpress.com), kindly nominated me for the ABC Award ~

Awesome Blog Content AwardCarina is passionate about animals and nature. Living in Sweden, Carina confronts several animal rights issues. Fur farms still exist in Sweden! Although Carina focuses on the plight of wolves she is willing to share posts and raise awareness around all animal welfare. Thank you Carina for your support.

~ It was a pleasant surprise when Queenzdesire, all the way from India, nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award   (http://queenzdesire.wordpress.com/~

Queenzdesire is a blog about jewelery.  I like the fact that her jewelry is eco – friendly and includes ethic designs. The terracotta jewelry particularly has an earthy feel to it. Thank you Queenzdesire for taking an interest in my blog.

~ It was a privilege to have Vijay, an enthusiastic, young, bright blogger send me three awards ~

  • 1. Versatile blogger Award – already received from Queenzdesire
  • 2. 
  • Imagine Award
  •  
  • 3. Dragon Loyalty Award

Vijay’s blog title, HalfEatenMind (http://halfeatenmind.wordpress.com), tells us he has a quirky sense of humour. As a rule of the Imagine Award here are my comments about Vijay:

  1. He has a degree from a London university and aspires to be a journalist
  2. He is an extremely talented writer and appreciates good puns
  3. Despite a mix of ethnic influences, Vijay is Hindu
  4. He has a deep bond with his sister, Anjali
  5. He believes in social responsibility
  6. He is disgusted by animal cruelty                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

  ~ A warm thank you to Carmen from For a Better Earth (http://artforconservationbycarmenmandel.wordpress.com/) for the Sunshine Award ~
Carmen is a conservation photographer and selflessly donates 100% of her profits to animal charities. Carmen’s posts fit with the theme “For A Better Earth”, be they about people, animals or the planet. You can also find her amazing work on her blog. Carmen is  truly inspirational.

~ Susan from Sunny Side Up (http://sunnysideupblog.ca)  nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award and acknowledged me as one of the I Am Part Of The WordPress Family ~wordpressfam1                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Two words describe Susan’s blog – compassionate and creative. There is a diverse range of topics on Susan’s posts from jewelry to animal welfare. As Susan’s blog title indicates, Susan’s approach to life is positive and I greatly appreciate the time she took to read my blog 🙂

~ Brigid from Ariston Organic – “The Best of the Best” (http://aristonorganic.com)generously gave me three awards ~  

Like me, Brigid is a “Proudly South African” blogger. The difference is that I live in a sprawling crime – ridden city, whereas Brigid inhabits a slice of paradise near the sea from where she can view penguins and seals. No wonder Brigid is inspired to preserve this habitat. Her blog is about organic gardening and ways to protect eco-systems. Brigid includes her amazing photographs, which are a joy to look at.

Thanks to Brigid, I now have a second star on the Blog of the Year award,                                                                                                                                         Blog of The Year 2013 Award

An award of Excellencewordpress excellence award  wordpressfam1 and I Am now Part Of The WordPress Family.  

I deliberately end with this award, as it sums up what this is all about. I am now part of a blogging community who do not compete with each other but rather offer support and encouragement.

Some of the awards above request  information about myself.  So here I go:

  1. Animal abuse appalls me
  2. Cats are my passion. They don’t call me the crazy-cat-lady for nothing
  3. City life suits me but nature soothes me
  4. I fight for fur-bearing sentient beings and do not wear or eat any non-human animals
  5. I hate hunting, particularly canned hunting
  6. Exploitation of any vulnerable group angers me
  7. Excessive amounts of tea comforts me
  8. Gardening is a pleasure for me
  9. I fanatically support soccer. Liverpool is my team and I love its slogan “You Will Never Walk Alone
  10. I am addicted to watching DVDs – only classy ones of course 😉
  11. I have a PhD in psychotherapy and believe it is so important to teach children compassion for all living things

AFTER ALL THIS AFFIRMATION, ALL I CAN SAY IS WOW!!

HAVE A FULFILLING 2014

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REMEMBER: Pets are for life not just for Christmas

      FOR THOSE WHO DID GET FURRY BEINGS FOR CHRISTMAS, PLEASE REMEMBER:              Animals are for life not just for Christmas Sketch of the day no 236: Pets are for life not just for #Christmas

Reblogged from The Crazy Bag Lady Blog (http://bulanlifestyle.wordpress.com/about-bulan-lifestyle/)

BEST FRIENDS: The fox and the hound

IF YOU WOULDN’T WEAR YOUR DOG, WHY WOULD YOU WEAR A FOX?

A big thank you to Marilyn from farmerandthevegan blog for forwarding this delightful story to me. Stacey from Our-Compass blog also posted it. So I guess a lot of you have already read this feel-good story, but in the spirit good-will I would like to share it :).

We’d like you to meet Sniffer and Tinni, a pair of best friends that met while they were both strolling through a Norwegian forest.

fox1

fox2

Tinni the dog and Sniffer the fox became quick friends, prompting the pooch’s owner Torgeir Berge to start a campaign against thehighly controversial fur trade after he noticed “how similar foxes and dogs actually are,” calling the fox the “dog of the forest.”

Berge and his friend Berit Helberg plan to release a book sometime next year chronicling the duo, because “no animals should be living like the animals in the fur industry are living.” According to animal advocacy group PETA, many creatures bound for the fur industry are allegedly kept in small, restrictive cages for their entire lives.

Berge and Helberg said they plan to donate a portion of the proceeds to help save the Sniffers of the world, and we can totally see why.

fox3

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The pair put their motivation quite simply in a description of the project: “Why [should] some animals be in small, narrow, claustrophobic cages without freedom just because … human kind wants to look good?”

If you want to stay away from fur, the Humane Society keeps an up-to-date list of fur-free retailers around the country, which you can see here. For now, take a look at more photos of the pair below, and head on over to Berge’s Facebook page to see more moments from Tinni and Sniffer’s touching friendship.

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fox13

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fox15

PLEASE: That “cutie” is not a soft toy!

cat and dogIn countries with  no animal protection laws,  furry companions such as dogs and cats are skinned for their fur 😦

Still on the topic of dogs and cats, “ADOPT DON’T SHOP”  is another cause that I strongly support. So I was happy to give up a morning of being a couch potato to protest and irritate the owner of “Our pets”.   From this  > couch potato - an idler who spends much time on a couch (usually watching television)                                                                                  To this  > adopt don't shop protest

 “Our Pets” sells live animals and most likely sources his puppies from puppy mills. Puppy mills are a way of making easy money for unethical people. To cut costs the animals are often kept in appalling conditions. A female dog is forced to endlessly produce puppies, compromising her health and causing her premature death. It is a life of misery!           You might be wondering why I am raising this issue at a time when us humans are meant to be festive and display goodwill to others?                                            

ballsWell, I have two concerns:

1)  This is the time of the year when heartless people abandon pets because it is too much trouble to look after them over the holiday period. Shelters are full to capacity and many of these animals are needlessly killed by under-resourced shelters.   2) Then there is the issue of giving animals as gifts. Frequently parents, eager to see a smile on their child’s face, will buy animals on a whim without thinking about the long-term responsibility of caring for another life. Often the sad reality is that after the festive season, when the novelty has worn off, these animals are discarded.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ~   I AM NOT A SOFT TOY  ~  

Ban Animal Trading South Africa encourages people to  not give an animal as a gift  because  it can send the  message that animals are commodities and therefore ‘disposable’. 

Giving any type of live animal as a present is just not a good idea, as animal shelters are filled with animals they can’t re-home. However, if you are absolutely ready to care for another creature for the rest of his/her life, then please ADOPT from a shelter. Don’t buy from a pet shop, as it just encourages trading animals as commodities.

Related articles:

– Abandoned pet numbers rising (thisnews.co.uk)

– Puppy Mills Facts (mademan.com)

STRIPPED DOWN: The naked truth

Well I take my hat off,  and no more than that, to these anti-fur protesters  in Barcelona, Spain.

December, 2013.Barcelona 2013

bodies. 2012

To me this demonstration is an extremely powerful statement, representing the millions of bodies  of  fur-bearing animals  dumped after being skinned (as seen below)!                                                                                                                                                          (Photograph: Sergey Maximishin)

CARCASSES

With fur production, only the pelt of the animal is used. As a result, the remains of these creatures need to be disposed of – usually dumped, causing an environmental hazard.

Because there is an obsession with preserving pelts, slaughter of animals for their fur is excruciating and merciless. The resultant skins go through a series of treatment steps, called “fur dressing”, to preserve them. “Dressing” is such an unfortunate term, as the fur in fact has been stripped from its original owner ~ a fur-bearing sentient being ~ leaving a pile of  wasted lives!

For more information on furriers see: https://emynow.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/furrier-not-farrier/

MAKE THE MORAL CHOICE: Don’t wear fur

Please take a stand against fur-for-fashion!

conformity

Wearing fur nowadays is an immoral choice because of the needless suffering to non-human beings.

 

WHO SETS THE TREND: Heartless designers?

evolutionOver the past week two people, who have visited Turkey and Venice respectively, told me  that they saw ‘fur everywhere’ on their travels. This is so discouraging.

The pro-fur argument is that where there is  a demand for fur there will always  be a supply. 

So who creates this demand, when in this advanced age of synthetic fabrics fur is unnecessary to keep warm? Wearing fur has become a fashion statement for egotistic people, who falsely believe owning a fur increases their status in society. Again, who decides what is a status symbol?  

I believe fashion designers have a big part to play  in making fur garments “desirable”. Several collections, including those by AltuzarraMarc Jacobs, Louis VuittonJ.MendelMarni, and Giambattista Valli  incorporated fur into this year’s Fall fashions – just because they can.

Please note that I do not follow fashion trends, as I have a crazy-cat-lady image to uphold.                                                                                                                                                        .crazy cat lady                                                                                                                                       

It is also in a furrier’s best financial interests to promote fur as a luxurious item. Just  look at Erich Fischer Furrier’s (the fur shop I am campaigning against) advertisement.fischer   I personally find this advert sexist and offensive. Unfortunately there are those who buy into this image and will mindlessly follow the trend to feel good about themselves. These people, I think, are victims of their own narcissism. 

fur designersPlease avoid the fashion TRAP and do not wear fur. I don’t even wear “faux fur” but there is at least  this optionTorturing animals for the sake of vanity is shameful and when I despair, I find these words of Albert Einstein inspirational:

“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

BLOG OF THE YEAR 2013 AWARD: Big thank you Kitty

   Blog of The Year 2013 AwardI have been nominated for the Blog Of The Year award 2013 by the amazing blogger Kitty of  Dear Kitty.Someblog (http://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/).  Kitty’s posts are always refreshing and most enjoyable. So, I am delighted ~ thank you! This is my first nomination for this blog award and as I have only been blogging for around four months, I greatly appreciate your kind nomination.

The instructions for this award are simple:

1-Select the blog(s) you think deserve the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award.

2-Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen- there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required- and ‘present’ the blog(s) with their award.

3-Let the blog(s) that you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them- (please don’t alter the instructions or the badges!)

4-Come over and say hello to the originator of the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award via this link: http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/blog-awards-2-/blog-of-the-year-2013-award/

5-You can now also join the Blog Of The Year Award Facebook Page.Click the link here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlogoftheYear

Share your blog posts with an even wider audience.

6-And as a winner of the award- please add a link back to the blog that presented you with this award-and then proudly display the award on your blog- and start collecting stars!

Stars

Yes-That’s right-There are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once-this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ’1 star’ award- and every time you are given the award by another blog- you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favorite blogs- and even if they have already been given the award by someone else- you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum of 6 stars! You can either ‘swop’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award- or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award 6 times!

You can find all the badges and banners and information you need via this link: ‘Blog of The Year 2013′ Award Badges.

Congratulations to all the nominees! Best of luck to every one!

I now nominate two blogs:

  • Mungai and the Goa Constrictor
  • Honk If you’re Vegan

A TRIBUTE TO NELSON MANDELA: My family’s connection

NELSON MANDELA ~ MADIBA~ CHANGED THE COURSE OF SOUTH AFRICAN HISTORY

Mandela was a man of great strength yet also humility. He recognised the importance of eduction and encouraged society to contribute to the community. His birthday, on 18th July, has now become Nelson Mandela Day where South Africans are expected to spend 67 minutes of their day engaging in some form of charity, which can be animal welfare work.Nelson Mandela

I would like to believe that Mandela’s school education played some part in instilling these values.

Mandela’s life briefly intersected with my grandfather’s, the  late Reverend Harris. As an adolescent, Rolihlahla, which was Mandela’s original name, attended Clarkebury a Wesleyan missionary school, where my grandfather taught. At that time Clarkebury was the biggest education centre in Tembuland (a rural area in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa). The name Nelson was given to Rolihlahla, by the missionaries.

Reverend Harris 1957

                                              BLOG

If you look in  Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela, chapter 5, there is reference to Reverend C.C. Harris.  

long walk to freedom

According to Mandela , my grandfather Reverend Harris ran the school “…with an iron hand and an abiding sense of fairness”. It is also  reported that Reverend Harris was the first white man Mandela shook hands with. Little did either of them know what a great leader Mandela would become and how much Mandela would sacrifice to change South Africa.

Mandela’s compassion extended to animals, where Mandela was a patron of the National Council of SPCA, an organisation that works to improve the standards for animal welfare in communities in South Africa. 

PeTA joins the world in mourning the passing of Nelson Mandela.

Read morehttp://www.peta.org/blog/mourning-nelson-mandela/#ixzz2mfkEqkqU

RIP Nelson Mandela ~ you will never be forgotten.

MY BIGGEST WISH: Worldwide Fur-Free Everyday

As you can see from the photograph,  I participated in South Africa’s first Worldwide Fur-Free Friday event on the 29th November 2013.                                                           WFFF

It was a night-time vigil, in memory of the millions of non-human animals who have needlessly died  for human vanity.

Despite it being Summer in South Africa, the evening was cool with the threat of rain and a restless breeze. The moon hid behind somber clouds, which echoed  the mood of the occasion.

Drums were being played and there was a shrine with candles to add to the occasion.                                                                                                                          shrine

Although the group was small, we were moved by the symbolism of the ceremony. Flowers were placed at the  shrine and some of us said a few words, essentially committing to never give up the fight against the despicable fur industry. Although I wish the day for a fur-free world would arrive, I know this won’t happen in my lifetime but at least I will die knowing I made a small contribution.

At a personal level, the occasion represented something deeper for me. When I reflect on my growth as an animal rights activist I can recognise that I have matured.

(See post: https://emynow.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/my-first-anti-fur-protest-a-learning-experience/).

It has been, and still is, a lesson in tenacity and acceptance of my limitations. Yet, as I learn more about the shameful fur trade my determination to end it increases. We will never, never give up!

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