Image and Story Excerpted from A Humane World, Humane Society of the United States Blog
Israel yesterday announced it intends to ban the fur trade. If successful, it would be the first nation to end the buying and selling of a cruel commodity that has fallen out of favor in the fashion industry and with consumers.
Israel’s ban would make only a few minor exceptions for religious purposes and tradition. While some European nations such as Austria and Croatia have already banned all fur farming, they continue to allow fur sales. The United Kingdom has also banned fur farming, and Humane Society Internationa/U.K. is now leading the #FurFreeBritain campaign aimed at ending fur sales in that country.
Making the announcement, Israel’s environmental protection minister Gila Gamliel did not hesitate to call the use of fur in fashion exactly was it is: immoral.
“How it is that animals understand things I do not know, but it is certain that they do understand. Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything in the world understands it. Perhaps there is a soul hidden in everything and it can always speak, without even making a sound, to another soul.” ― Frances Hodgson Burnett
As a PETA Investigation and Rescue Fund monthly member, I check this list frequently to ensure I am not using any products from companies that continue to test on animals.
For example, I use Charlotte Tilbury makeup which is cruelty-free but was considering giving another brand, Clinique, a try because their moisturizer is less expensive. Well, Clinique is owned by Estee Lauder and is on the list of companies that do test so I will continue with CT and products on the below list.
My name is Yvette and Save the Chimps is currently fundraising for new climbing structures on my island home, through their Giving Day for Apes campaign!
I was born in Africa in approximately 1965 and spent over three decades being used as a breeder for laboratories, while being used in medical research in between births. In 2000 I became part of a small group of middle-aged females. When us high-spirited ladies first met there was a bit of drama and they needed a mediator. I brought a calmness to the situation and was described as the “go between girl.”
This is when I met my best friend Mandy and formed a friendship that brought both of us incredible joy and companionship over the years. I shared my food and enrichment with her and sharing is not a common characteristic for a chimpanzee, but it was so much more. We were inseparable. We were among the 266 chimpanzees rescued by Save the Chimps in 2002 and migrated to Florida in March 2011 where we spent our days exploring our beautiful island home and basking in the Florida sun together. We were often spotted watching the sunset together and at bedtime, we made fluffy nests and slept side by side every night. Sadly, Mandy passed away in 2016. The group seemed to know I was grieving and many of the boys were extra kind to me. Kendra, a young girl who adored Mandy and followed her everywhere, stayed close to me and transferred much of that affection toward me. The support meant a lot to me while I grieved the loss of my best friend.
I am a respected matriarch who provides guidance and comfort to many of the boys in the group. This is especially true for my relationship with Seve, a male who has struggled with a difficult past. When’s he’s feeling agitated, he will seek me out for comfort and solace. My soothing presence while I groom him can prevent him from escalating into self-abuse when he is experiencing extreme stress. I am also strong and have no problem stepping up and putting the boys in line when they need it. Drama seems to be a daily occurrence in chimp life and I will definitely express my opinion about the situation. I’m happy to be spending my golden years surrounded by the companionship of my chimpanzee family, the loving daily care by staff, and the freedom to choose how I would like to spend my days.
“Today, the nature that surrounds us is no longer admired, but “devoured”. We must return to contemplation; so as not to be distracted by a thousand useless things, we must find silence; for the heart not to become sick, we must be still.” Pope Francis
The first wolf pups in several years have been born on Isle Royale in Michigan, the National Park Service reported this week.
This is exciting news. We have followed the progress of the wolves on this remote island close to Canada for years and championed their survival. Albeit small, Isle Royale illustrates, in a microcosm, the important role wolves play in their ecosystems, and the harm that can ensue when they are removed from the habitats they have historically occupied. It’s an especially important lesson at a time when wolves elsewhere in our country are about to lose their federal protections, making them easy targets for trophy hunters and trappers.
Here’s an oldie, but goodie. I originally posted in 2014, the year I started this blog.
I write 99 percent of my “Ways to Be Amazing” posts. They are simple ideas that tend to shape my day. Today’s list is from the Good Life Project’s “Living Creed” by Jonathan Fields. You can see the whole poster at Good Life Project. It’s a dynamic (living) document that’s meant to evolve over time, and to reflect our commitment to certain choices we make in life. Of course, everyone has their own unique priorities and values, but I like this short list from the creed.
Expose your soul, vulnerability is a gateway to strength.
Choose gratitude over greed.
Align what you do with who you are and you’ll become what you need to be.
Build a tribe, people matter.
Move your body, feed your brain.
Lighten up, if you can’t laugh at yourself, others will happily do it for you.
Whales, dolphins and porpoises, known collectively as cetaceans, face momentous challenges to their survival today. Many of these animals are disappearing right before our eyes, like the Chinese river dolphin, declared possibly extinct in 2017, and the Mexican vaquita, a species of porpoise that is all but extinct with only 10 individuals likely remaining in the Gulf of California.
The scientists estimate that of the 90 cetacean species now around, more than half have a “concerning conservation status” and might be swimming toward extinction. Thirteen species have already been listed as “critically endangered” or “endangered.” Many discrete populations are also in trouble and could become locally or regionally extinct.
With great sadness we share the passing of Little Rock, a beloved member of our Save the Chimps family. Little Rock’s origins are a mystery, as is how she acquired her name. Her earliest records are from 1981, but she was already an adult by then. Her birthday is an estimate due to the lack of records of her earlier life. She was most likely born sometime between 1962 and 1969, possibly in the wild in Africa. What we do know is she belonged to a pharmaceutical company in Pennsylvania before she was sent to The Coulston Foundation, a research lab in Alamogordo, NM.
During her 20 years at The Coulston Foundation, Little Rock was used both as a breeder and in medical experiments. She had ten children, all of whom were taken from her shortly after birth. For all of those years, Little Rock lived in a steel and concrete cage; she never saw trees or felt the grass under her feet.
Save the Chimps rescued Little Rock in 2002, when The Coulston Foundation went bankrupt and Save the Chimps took custody of their 266 chimpanzees. Little Rock’s new caregiver noticed that she didn’t respond to her name or to sounds and noises like other chimps. Little Rock’s records were thoroughly checked and we found two written notations of her deafness, one recorded in 1998 and one in 2001. There is no information on how long Little Rock had been deaf or what might have caused her hearing loss. Little Rock was so attentive and attuned to her surroundings that it was easy to forget that she was deaf. She always communicated effectively with her human caregivers and other chimps, using gestures and body language as well as vocalizations.
Little Rock lived in a large group of chimps known as “Doug’s Family” and was a beloved member of the group. Together they shared a spacious island home with grass, trees, hills, and platforms. She was a very devoted and loyal chimp. Little Rock was often found with her best friend Tanya, who sadly passed away in 2013. After Tanya’s death, Andrea the Second, the younger of two Andreas in the group, became Little Rock’s new companion, lovingly watching over Little Rock and making sure she was never lonely. Over the years Little Rock also enjoyed friendships with Pepsi, September, Daisy, and Angie.
Although Little Rock was elderly, she had a zest for life. Her determination to overcome adversity and enjoy her retirement to its fullest is something that is easy to admire and remains an inspiration to us all.
Little Rock died from natural causes and will be sorely missed by all who knew her. We find comfort in knowing that she spent the last eighteen years of her life experiencing love and companionship and we thank you, our supporters, for making that possible.
Rest in peace, Little Rock. We will miss you always.
Today, on World Lion Day, we celebrate lions as an iconic wild cat species, and we recommit to our campaigns to halt their exploitation and destruction in the United States and abroad. We are giving it all we’ve got.
In the wild, of course, this iconic species is among the most imperiled of all with as few as 20,000 left in range nations.
In South Africa, a particularly grim industry has emerged to take advantage of tourists’ affinity for lion cubs. An estimated 11,000 lions are held captive there in more than 300 facilities, and the captive lion breeding industry undergirds activities such as cub petting, lion walking, canned hunting and the trade in lion bone and parts—all causing obvious harm to lions. Such facilities dupe unsuspecting tourists into spending time and money on volunteering at these facilities, under the guise of “conservation.” Substandard housing and welfare standards, inhumane slaughter and pending cruelty cases like one stemming from a 2019 investigation tell the sad story. Lions, leopards, tigers and caracals on the property were living in filthy and parasitic conditions. Many suffered from mange and/or neurological conditions and were unable to walk.
In an effort to give validation to my feelings as a younger woman when I incessantly wrote poems about each and every one of my experiences from my love of nature and animals to love, I am publishing these revealing footnotes of my life here in my blog.
I found these pieces scrawled on old, yellowed paper tucked away in an old cedar chest and decided to revive them.
Always a fan of nature, this one was written about 30 years ago when I was in around 40 years old — it’s about spiders, of course.
Nocturnal arachnids stalk,
they are gaunt predators,
spectral and silent in the luminous night;
shrouded by webs of mist
in multi-dimensional concentration,
they parachute into sand and grass; hunting.
There is an aura of immediacy
as miniature and naked
in the still chill of life’s balance,
spinning spiders dance
on the dewy threads of their home
their delicate, yet complex masterpiece, a geometric fantasy
Just over a century ago, there were more than 200,000 wild lions living in Africa. Today, there are only about 20,000; lions are extinct in 26 African countries and have vanished from over 95 percent of their historic range. Join the Pride and Help Us Save Lions
Ahold Delhaize, the company that owns some of the largest grocery chains in the United States, including Food Lion, Giant Food, the GIANT Company, Hannaford and Stop & Shop, has announced it will only sell eggs from cage-free chickens across all its stores by 2025 or sooner. The company will also eliminate any pork produced through locking mother pigs in gestation crates from its supply chain.
This is incredible news, coming as it does from what is the nation’s fourth-largest grocery retailer, with more than 2,000 locations. The company’s new animal welfare policy, which comes after dialogue with the Humane Society of the United States, eliminates two of the most heinous forms of intensive animal confinement in cages and crates. Cages used to confine egg-laying chickens are so small that the animals cannot express natural behaviors like running, exploring or even extending their wings. Each chicken is given less space than a sheet of paper on which to live. Gestation crates, used to confine mother pigs, are about the same width and length of the animal’s body, leaving them with no room to even turn around.
The announcement from Ahold Delhaize is the latest in a series of similar pledges that the HSUS, Humane Society International, and other animal protection organizations have secured from hundreds of major food companies over the last decade, including Kroger, Nestle and Unilever. With our Food Industry Scorecard, we are keeping track of the progress these companies are making toward achieving their cage-free goals.
Momentum for passing a federal law against animal testing for cosmetics continues to
grow, with some of the strongest support coming from the industry that makes and markets these products. This week, we reached an important milestone with 300 independent companies now officially endorsing the Humane Cosmetics Act, in addition to nearly 600 member companies of the Personal Care Products Council, which also supports the bill. The measure would, with certain exceptions, end all animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients in the United States and prohibit the import of cosmetics that have been tested on animals anywhere in the world.
Most of the endorsements come from small businesses that are already proving that high quality cosmetics can be formulated without testing on animals. But the list also includes industry heavyweights such as Unilever and P&G, and known brands such as H&M and LUSH.
This is just the latest achievement in our efforts to engage with industry leaders to make the United States the next cruelty-free marketplace. The Humane Society Legislative Fund and the Humane Society of the United States worked closely with the Personal Care Products Council, the leading national trade association representing hundreds of cosmetics and personal care products companies, to propose language for the Humane Cosmetics Act. The bill has already been introduced in the House and the Senate, with sponsors from both sides of the aisle.
Here’s Shellie from Save the Chimps Sanctuary with these fun facts about chimpanzees:
Fun Fact Friday!
Chimpanzees are our closest living relative sharing approximately 98.6% of our DNA. Perhaps that is one of the reasons learning about them is so fascinating. Did you know these fun chimp facts?
Even though chimpanzees’ habitat is often near water, chimps cannot swim, due to the structure and density of their bodies.
Chimpanzees spend a large part of their day looking for food and eating, but they do not wander aimlessly in search for food. They remember from year to year where food is located and when a particular fruit is ripe.
In addition to their diet, chimpanzees eat certain plants for their medicinal value, such as to soothe an upset stomach or get rid of intestinal parasites.
Grooming has a two-fold purpose: cleaning, and cementing the bonds of family and friendship.
Visit “Chimp Facts” to learn more and to download Save the Chimps free chimp facts booklet.
By now, if you follow this blog at all, you know I love to share plant-based recipes with fellow vegans and also aim to entice meat-lovers to try some awesome plant-based recipes. If you love cauliflower like I do, you will love this incredibly tasty cauliflower sandwich from Veg News that fits the bill for comfort food, at least for me:
What you need:
For the buffalo cauliflower:
2 heads cauliflower
1½ cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons garlic powder
4 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¾ cup unsweetened vegan milk
¾ cup water
3 cups panko-style bread crumbs
¼ cup vegan butter
1½ cups buffalo-style hot sauce
For the sandwiches:
4 kaiser-style rolls
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 cups shredded leaf lettuce
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
What you do:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
For the cauliflower, remove leafy parts, being careful not to cut off any florets. Slice each head in half from top. From inside of each half, cut a slice ¾-inch to 1-inch thick, resulting in 4 large cauliflower steaks.
In a large bowl, mix flour, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, milk, and water until well combined. Transfer batter to a wide, shallow dish that will fit cauliflower steaks. Into a large bowl, add bread crumbs.
Immerse each steak in batter, using one hand to coat all crevices and letting some excess drip back into dish. Coat all sides of steaks in bread crumbs. Place breaded cauliflower steaks on baking sheet.
Bake for 25 minutes, until crispy, flipping halfway through bake time.
Melt butter. Into a shallow dish, add melted butter and hot sauce, and whisk.
Remove cauliflower from oven. Let cool for five minutes. Coat breaded cauliflower steaks evenly on all sides in buffalo sauce. Reserve excess sauce to baste cauliflower before serving. Bake again for 25 minutes, flipping steaks halfway through bake time.
To assemble sandwiches, cut rolls in half and toast. Spread a generous amount of ranch dressing on cut sides of each roll. Place a buffalo cauliflower steak on bottom half of each roll. Add red onion slices, lettuce, tomato slices, and top half of roll.
From the Animal Rescue Site comes the sweetest story about the love between a cat and his human as told by the charming cat himself, TimTam (actually, the cat’s mom sent in her story that brings tears to this cat lover’s eyes):
One day in late 2004 I strolled into a nice-looking garden that turned out to have an office in it. By early 2005, the boss had decided that the office could have a cat and the person I’ll call ‘Primary Human’ volunteered to take me to the vet for shots and whatever else I needed. That was on Friday and she thought it wouldn’t be a good idea to take me back to the office over the weekend after I’d had shots and blood tests and I can’t remember what else, so she took me home with her. By Monday, she was mine.
She negotiated with the owner of our house to take the ‘no pets’ clause out of the lease and I had a home. Then I needed a name. As a good-looking chocolate-colored guy, I needed a chocolate name. There’s a brand of Australian chocolate cookies called TimTams that are named after the horse that won the 1958 Kentucky Derby. So this Thai cat was named TimTam, after an American race horse, by way of Australian cookies.
My house soon came to be known as ‘Villa TimTam’. And the good life began. Back in the day, I was a champion jumper – I had to be, so that I could sit on the highest place in every room to be sure that things were being done the way I wanted them. And when they weren’t, I would let Primary Human and Ms. Diamond know, in complete sentences and paragraphs, in purrfect English and Thai – totally bilingual.
It didn’t take me long to train Ms. Diamond, who kept my house clean and would stay with me when Primary Human had to travel. The first time Primary Human came back from a trip, Ms. Diamond told her “Now I know who the boss is around here. And it isn’t you.”
Miracles were my specialty, too. People who didn’t like cats liked me. Of course. A few years ago, I had a bad reaction to a new medication and had a real crisis – in a coma and on a respirator. Pulled off my biggest miracle and came out of it in a couple of days. Primary Human knew that every day from the day I came home from the hospital was a gift. It was great. She and Ms. Diamond both jumped to do whatever I wanted whenever I made a move or a sound. The good life rolled on again.
Last year, something started going wrong. Primary Human took me to lots of doctors – I got seriously tired of that – tried everything and nothing worked. By the beginning of 2020, it was getting hard for me to jump up on the bed, so Primary Human started sleeping on the couch. When I couldn’t jump up on the couch anymore, she made a bed for us on the floor.
When it was my time, Primary Human and I were nose to nose – the way we used to sleep when I would put my head on the pillow beside hers – and she was scratching my neck (my favorite thing) and telling me she loved me. I know I was fiercely loved.
Please consider putting the Animal Rescue Site on your to-do list where you can click to feed shelter animals and much more, and in the midst of the pandemic, you can click up to four times a day:
The Animal Rescue Site committed to funding the equivalent value of almost 29 million bowls of food for shelter animals as a result of visitor’s clicks last year, and every purchase at The Animal Rescue Site store supports shelter pets in need.
With crispy rice paper bacon, zesty herb aioli, and spicy tomato habanero jam, this vegan BLT is a flavor explosion that might just become your new favorite sandwich! I ordered the book and when it arrives I’ll feature more recipes.
Thank goodness Samuel’s sister is feeling OK! Here’s wonderful Sarah!
“Until one has loved an animal, a part one’s soul remains unawakened.” Anatole France
Pictured here is wonderful Sarah, her majesty with the gorgeous ice green eyes. She is a little brown tabby—one of my herd of cats—the ‘special one’ who sleeps beside me every night. She was born in my house in 2007, handraised and cuddled every day since birth, daughter of Buffy, since passed, who was a feral cat we took in from the cold. We didn’t know Buffy was pregnant with two wee ones, but I guess it wouldn’t have mattered if we did. Sarah is sister to Samuel who is equally as loving as she is. Sarah’s giving me that feline annoyed glance that says, “Did you ask my permission to take this photograph? I don’t think you did because I was having such a lovely snooze, so here’s the sneakiest, creepiest face I can come…
My new blog theme photo header features Samuel, my gorgeous brown tabby cat, who has not been feeling up to par lately. He has liver disease and is on a supportive program that I hope keeps him thriving for as long as he can. At 13 years old, Samuel is only one of several same-age cats who arrived to our feral cat sanctuary as a kitten. Given oodles of love by me from birth, Samuel is totally bonded, and it breaks my heart to see him now fading day-by-day. As you can see by his confident gaze, Samuel is representative of the beauty and elegance that generally defines all felines.
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn“. -John Muir
This week, the Washington Post and New York Times reported rampant coronavirus spread at meatpacking plants, and efforts by large meat producers to obscure the transmission rates. “As dozens of plants that closed because of outbreaks begin reopening, meat companies’ reluctance to disclose detailed case counts makes it difficult to tell whether the contagion is contained or new cases are emerging even with new safety measures in place,” according to the Times. The article added that while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported nearly 5,000 meatpacking workers were infected with the virus as of the end of last month, the nonprofit group Food & Environment Reporting Networkestimated last week that the number had climbed to more than 17,000. And the outbreaks may be even more extensive. A Washington Post analysis found that the number of Tyson employees with the coronavirus exploded from less than 1,600 a month ago to more than 7,000 this week. The problem is not limited to the United States. Slaughterhouses in Brazil, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom and France have reported the spread of the coronavirus among employees. At a single Cargill beef processing plant in the Canadian province of Alberta, 949 of about 2,000 employees were infected with the virus and two died. As in the United States, these facilities are staffed mostly by immigrants. To those of us who watch Big Ag closely, the ongoing problems have a familiar ring. This is an industry that has always put increasing profits above the well-being of workers, animals, the environment and public health. That’s why we take on Big Ag and have never failed to point out the significant threat industrial animal agriculture operations, or factory farms, pose to humans and animals alike.A Humane World
Pensamos demasiadamente e sentimos muito pouco. Necessitamos mais de humildade que de máquinas. Mais de bondade e ternura que de inteligência. Sem isso, a vida se tornará violenta e tudo se perderá. Charles Chaplin.