Archive for ‘Thoughts and reflections’

July 13, 2009

Cold hands, Warm hearts

Announcement #1

ONCE AGAIN – A big thank you to everyone who has supported us by chipping in however you can. So far, we have received quite a handful of signed petitions sent to us via post which is absolutely fantastic. One anonymous individual has even photocopied the flyer and collected signatures on our behalf. Thank you very much! A total of 2000 leaflets have been distributed in various parts of Brisbane so far and about 800 leaflets distributed in Sydney last week. We will continue to distribute the flyers till the end of the month in parts of Brisbane and Gold Coast. Please continue to support us by sending this link to all your friends and family.

A personal note

I have just returned from a 5-day trip to Sydney. It’s, as predicted, much colder than Brisbane. There were many fur hoodies on sale and many consumers buying them. The sight of so many consumers (still in the dark) wearing fur-trimmed hoodies had really motivated me to step up and do more.

Big thank you to Rhiannon and Sarena for posting the link on their facebook accounts and for telling friends and family about this. In particular, I am extremely grateful to Rhiannon, Jun, Justina and Andrew for helping me pass on the leaflets. Thanks guys!

Announcement #2

Grants & Prizes –

The Voiceless Grants Program offers financial support to non-profit organisations, councils and universities for the design and implementation of projects which improve the lives of animals in Australia. The 2009 Grants Program will run from 1st – 31st July during which time an online application form will be available for submission.  This year, grants will be awarded in varying amounts of up to $15,000 per project. To find out more, click here.

Reflection #1

Mom’s here to visit and has been roped in to help out with flyer distribution. She is currently spending the week in Melbourne but will return to Brisbane shortly. So far, family has been extremely supportive and patient; I am very thankful and blessed and will channel all this positive energy to furthering this cause so that one day, we can eventually live in a fur-free society. Although Mom’s been supportive, she had found it very difficult to comprehend that the fluffy furry trims lining the edge of hooded jackets could actually belong to a pooch. We have examined the jackets (and it’s not hard because they are everywhere!) and it is without a doubt that most of the trims are too real to be ‘fake’. In fact, as we were peering into the cages inside a pet shop a week ago, we couldn’t help but notice that the soft brown and white fur ball (some Maltese Cross Poodle of some sort) looked SO familiar – we’ve seen them on the jackets. There is no doubt at all. I say, that’s evidence right there.

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May 18, 2009

A United Cause

petition screencap

 It has been two weeks since we’ve started our online petition and Brisbane-streets campaign and results have been very uplifting. We have been getting people from all over the world coming to our site and signing it. The objective of this petition drive is to generate greater awareness on this matter (many many people still do not know that cats and dogs are being farmed for fur and meat!) and also to gather as much support (as many voices – so every signature counts!) as possible with the objective of getting Chinese authorities to ban this trade on grounds of inhumanity. 

 

Announcement #1

We saw a sudden increase in the number of supporters from France. Thank you very much for translating our petition and for telling your community about this matter. We’ve also had many people blogging and posting this link in their facebook profile. Here is an estimate of the number of signatures we’ve been getting:

Australia – 28; Austria – 5; Albama – 1; Argentina – 1 ; Belgium – 15; Brazil – 1; Canada – 18; Cyprus – 1; Denmark – 1; Falkland islands – 1; France – 54; Finland – 1; Germany – 32; Greece – 5; Italy – 6; Ireland – 1; Japan – 1; Malta – 1; Morocco – 2; Mexico – 2; Netherlands – 5; New Caledonia – 1; Norway – 1; Peru – 1; Portugal – 1; Switzerland – 1; South Africa – 4; Singapore – 8; Sweden – 2; Serbia – 2; Spain – 3; Trinidad – 1; USA – 79; UK –  19; Venezuela – 1 

Although this is still a far cry from our goal of 1000 signatures per country, I think it is very encouraging that we are reaching people from all around the world. People with internet access, after learning about this, can then spread the news to their local community. If you would like to help us collect signatures at your local community – please send your signatures to PO Box 895, Indooroopilly QLD 4068. You can obtain a copy of our petition from here. To reach out to non-English speaking countries, please help to translate our petition and send us the link to your site.I’ve included a Chinese version of our petition. 

Announcement #2

On writing effective letters
1) Writing letters to local authorities and embassies in your country
You can customise the letter such that it addresses your country’s problems, listing all the reasons why you feel that as a citizen of your country, you are against this practice. A good example can be obtained here. Again, if you need help translating your letter to Chinese, please email stopliveskinning@gmail.com
2) Writing letters to targetted embassies (e.g. all Chinese embassies) in selected countries, including your own
To maximise the effectiveness of this letter, petition signatures can be very useful. You will be writing on behalf of all the people who signed the petition and this makes it much harder for the authorities to ignore the letter. The letter should reflect accurately the petition objectives. For example: In this case, we want the Chinese authorities to acknowledge that live skinning is inhumane and on such grounds, the skinning of cats and dogs for fur has to be banned.

May 18, 2009

Job Wanted: Fur Testers

I met some wonderful people last weekend. Alongside TWS, the Sea Shepherds – they call themselves – stood proudly next to their  booth. Saving the marine creatures – big and small – was the lifelong mission of John* who gave me a bear hug as we bade farewell. I believe our paths will cross again. We all heard about the seal slaughter up in Canada and how for years, activists – from Canada and elsewhere – had come together to end the seal trade; finally, we see results! The UN voted by a very large margin to ban all seal products – this literally translates to lesser seals killed. 

Because it is easier to identify and locate seal products, the banning of this trade can be very effective to curb the supply. I am very appreciative of Marinka who had provided important information on fur trading and news on current fur regulation in her country (click here, select ‘English’). I’ve also been recently made aware that several countries are not ignorant of the fact that cats and dogs are indeed farmed for their fur and have passed the bill that all cat/dog fur is banned in the country (they include New Zealand, parts of Europe, Hong Kong, Australia and others). However, there is currently no proper infrastrature regulating the testing of the products – cat and dog fur IS mixed into so many of our daily products! See here for detailed reports. I urge the countries who have stood by their decision to ban cat/dog fur to do more. I urge all the science and maths geniuses out there – please invent a device that can enable us to test the fur cheaply.  I would not be able to forgive myself if the stuff toy I’ve hugged for the past few years was indeed made from cat/dog fur. (I’ve learned about this fact that cats/dogs are farmed for fur only in January 2009). Believe it or not – farming cats and dogs for their fur is CHEAPER than making faux fur (read this report now). All of us are entitled to know if we have blood on our hands.

April 7, 2009

Is Ignorance Bliss?

In this day and age – there is no such thing as ignorance being bliss. Not when there is the Internet and information is literally at our fingertips. You would be lying to yourself if you say that ignorance is bliss. True, it is MUCH easier not to know because that means we don’t have to ‘feel’ upset or angry – life is hard enough as it is right? Wrong. It is not true. It is all a matter of choice and how you want to live your life. I choose to know. I find empowerment and meaning BY doing something – no matter how small and minute the act is – to reduce suffering or to stand up for injustice. Most of the time, suffering is completely unnecessary. There ARE ALWAYS alternatives – we don’t have to eat battery eggs, we don’t have to drink diary milk for calcium, we don’t have to wear fur, …yes the list goes on. 

I will be adding a new section to this cause blog to include some of the work done by a few organisations I personally subscribe to. So do check it out and forward them on to your friends. And before you go, how about signing a petition now?

“Government to Permit Brutal Slaughter—-In mid-2007 Animals Australia was shocked to learn that several Victorian abattoirs were exploiting a legal loophole and slaughtering fully conscious sheep (without stunning) for small export contracts to the Middle East—despite this brutal method of slaughter being completely opposed by the Australian public...” Read more.

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March 11, 2009

Make Cause Blogging part of your everyday lifestyle

I worked on refining my pledge today. I realised that it was too vague. So, I sat down and thought hard. I listed five action items:

  • design and develop posters and leaflets that may be downloaded for free to encourage individuals to post them in their neighbourhood or organisation.
  • paint and develop my representations in useful ways that could help build awareness.
  • follow the guidelines developed by PETA to write effective letters to influential people.
  • be a responsible consumer and support only the companies that are responsible
  • inform all my friends and family about this matter and include suggestions as to how they could also do their part by considering their skills and field of work

It is important to make cause blogging part of my everyday lifestyle because consistency is important and campaigning regularly is important if I want to be an effective campaigner. Yet, how can we do that if we are busy making ends meet or pursuing other passions that are equally important to us?

I remember conversations I had with some wonderful people living in the western suburbs of Sydney. They were regular, struggling folks who worked hard for their money. But, I saw kindness in their eyes. One lady replied, “Doll, I have five strays picked up from the streets. I donate to the RSPCA. I think I have done enough.” Another had said that he spent his time looking after orphan Koala bears, babies whose moms were killed in bush fires. We do what we can. I am inspired by people who care enough to do something about the abandoned. I felt that I was not doing enough to help the animals. I may have signed every single available petition online against the live skinning of cats and dogs, and many others. I may subscribe to PETA and WSPA so that I am updated with the lastest issues. But, is it enough? 

We do what we can.

I am no artist. But I am a lover of art and a trained art historian. I painted this painting of a poor dog waiting to be executed. It’s obtained from this site.

dog_knife1

If you would like to include this representation to your leaflet or other campaign material, drop me an email and I will send you a copy with higher resolution.