From Sniper to Animal Rights Activist

Source: Free From Harm

Damien Mander was a special operations sniper and clearance diver for the Royal Australian Navy. In Iraq, he managed the Iraq Special Police Training Academy, overseeing military training of up to 700 cadets at one time. In 2008, following three years on the front line of the Iraq war, a trip to Africa brought him face-to-face with the horrors of wildlife poaching, and changed the course of his life forever. The story of that transformation, told here in 12 minutes, is riveting and hope-inspiring. But perhaps most important of all is Damien’s question at the end, a question for men—and women—everywhere. What will your answer be? 

http://freefromharm.org/videos/educational-inspiring-talks/damien-manders-journey-from-sniper-to-animal-rights-activists/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FreeFromHarm+%28Free+from+Harm%29

 

Spirituality vs. Religion

Otrazhenie

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From Angels Art

I always struggled to define my religious views. I’ve been to different churches, read different religous texts but did not feel comfortable with any religion or church. I felt that normative religious values get often misinterpreted . I felt that religious leaders are very rigid in their views and often refuse to address important issues in the society or even condone violence. Various cultural practices also tend to ‘pollute’ true religious values.

I had my Aha! moment when I came across that image. Spirituality is definitely closer to my heart than religious dogmas.

Spirituality means something different to everyone. Some people get in touch with their spiritual side through private prayer, yoga, meditation, quiet reflection, or even long walks. For me spirituality is about finding and spreading positivity as well as striving to live the core human values such as:

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Receiving and Giving the Shine On Blog Award

Girl for Animal Liberation has been honored with the Shine On Award courtesy of: Paula’s Pontifications. 

Rules for accepting the award:

  • Link back to the person (or people) who nominated you.
  • Add the award logo to your blog.
  • Share seven things about yourself.
  • Nominate 10 – 15 bloggers, and link to them, and tell them about their nomination.

Seven things about Girl for Animal Liberation:

 1.)  I have been a vegan for exactly 2 years and 4 months and instead of human children, I have furry children and their name are: Seti, Sammy, Aziz, Anubis, Mother Teresa and Buddy

2.)   I have been rescuing animals since I was a little girl (along side my dad) and my first foray into animal rights was in high school when I stumbled upon an issue of The Animal’s Voice Magazine

3.)  I prefer the company of animals to people.

4.)  My family hails from the old country: Italy – Acquaro, Calabria and Mecina, Sicily.

5.)  Most people don’t realize this about me, but I am primarily an introvert (however, I recently read that even introverts have some extrovert qualities in them as not everyone can be all one or the other).  For most of my life I have been misunderstood and labeled any one or all of the following: Snobby, Self-Centered, Strange, Standoff-ish and the like.  I am not a snob, or self-centered; however, sometimes I can be standoff-ish, especially if I am not comfortable (feeling comfortable is a big thing with introverts).  Generally, I take time to warm up to people as I do not make fast friends. I do not trust easily so if I do happen to trust you, consider it an honor – seriously, I’m not kidding nor am I trying to be snarky.  Also, despite my tendencies towards introversion, I love to give hugs.  Go figure.

6.)  I hate talking on the telephone, unless it is with someone I am really comfortable with and have known for a long time.

7.)  I suffer from social phobia and more often than not I will decline an invitation to a social event. It usually takes some serious cajoling from friends to get me to change my mind.

Bonus:

8.)  I cannot wait to ditch my ex-married last name and go back to my maiden name that literally DRIPS olive oil! 

My picks for the Shine On Award!!

I do not follow a lot of bloggers; however, the ones I do follow are special to me.  I am going to omit any bloggers I follow that have already received this award and focus on those who have yet to receive it.

1.)   Blue in This Light Blue and I have become quite close over the past month or so.  He and I share the same passion for animals and disdain for the human race.  If it wasn’t for Blue, I would have never learned of Amand Lollar and Bat World Sanctuary.  Which he wrote about in this post Juggernauts versus Underdogs. Blue is also a very  talented writer

2.)   Exposing the Big Game Jim Robertson of Exposing the Big Game has written a book (of the same name) and is a brilliant wild life photographer.  Since discovering Jim’s blog, I have learned that animals have very little rights or protection and if hunters had their way (and they pretty much do) the earth would void of  all animals, except humans!  Noodle on that the next time you dismiss hunters and/or protection for endangered animals.  If Jim taught a class in college I’d be in the front row and if he ran for office I’d give him my vote!

 3.)   Teeny Bikini a.k.a. The Jiggly Bits What can I say about TB/TJB other than when I need a good gut wrenching laugh, I nav on over to her site.  She says it like it is and what she does say, most of us are thinking but are too afraid to say out loud.  Teeny you are my hero!

 4.)    I thought I knew everything there was to know about animal exploitation until I stumbled across  the following Bloggers: 

  1. Our-Compass;
  2.  Florence Eaise;
  3. Ann Novek-with the sky as the ceiling and the heart outdoors;
  4. Fight for Rhinos;
  5. Animals Deserve to Live 

5.)    When I need a break from all things “animal rights” I love to nav on over to World in Motion.   Scott Erb’s Blog is always an education on all that is going on in the world.  Like Exposing the Big Game, if Scott taught here in Boston, I’d be in the front row of his class.

6.)    3 Kids 2 Cats 1 Divorce just Like Teeny Bikini I can always count on her for a good laugh at the things  most people take far too serious.

Shine On bloggers!         🙂

***********

Oh and is anyone watching/following Mr. Selfridge?  It’s finally starting to get goooooooooood!  🙂

We Are Not Defined By Other People’s Opinions of Who We Are

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Trying to be Perfect may be inevitable for people who are smart and ambitious and interested in the world and its good opinion…What is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of Becoming Yourself. ~ Anna Quindlen

An Observation: Perfection is a judgment of the self & the world. Sometimes it shows itself as constant striving, struggle, or competition. At other times, we may simply feel frozen from fear of failure. Perfection is another face of “poverty consciousness” or lack. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. It is a far greater tribute to our Spirit to confront our fears and accept our humanity. Realize this: Our Worth is not defined by what we own, our money, or other people’s opinions of who we are. These are all transient. We are Eternal. We were born Worthy. There is no need to prove anything, to struggle, convince, or to compete. It is a waste of life force energy. You are more valuable than that. Chuckle at the notion of Perfection as defined by man made rules.

I Am Divinely Created Perfection embodied as me! How about that as a mantra to jumpstart your day?!

Source: Diana Harris

Mothers Scream for Babies

Every time you tuck into a glass of milk, a slice of pizza, cheese and crackers, ice cream, yogurt, I want you to think about these mother cows and the fact that in order for you to have milk or any milk based product THIS is what these mother cows must endure — having their new born babies taken from them! Drink up!

Our Compass




Background | SourcePETA

Right this very moment, mothers are having their babies taken away from them just days after their infants are born.

The kidnapped babies will be sold to a violent, bloody industry, and after just a couple of weeks, they’ll be shipped to slaughter and have their throats slit!

This is how animals used for the dairy and veal industries will spend their Mother’s Day.

Let everyone know that every time they consume dairy products, they’re supporting an industry that steals babies from their moms and tortures them.Give these moms the ultimate Mother’s Day gift by spreading the word.

Watch and share this video onFacebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.

Click HERE to learn how to go vegan.


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A Farmer’s Change of Heart about His Chickens ~ Free From Harm

This a moving, non graphic video that tells the magnificent story of one farmer of caged egg laying chickens who apparently had a change of heart and released them to Edgar’s Mission farm sanctuary in Australia. For the first time in their lives, the rescued chickens in this video are getting an opportunity to exhibit their natural behaviors. The video highlights some of the chicken’s most basic pleasures in life: stretching and flapping their wing, sunbathing, dustbathing, scratching in the earth and forming social bonds with others in their flock. The message here is simple and straightforward: chickens do not belong in cages. Their value is intrinsic and not monetary. The power to release them from their suffering is completely in our hands, … READ ON

SOURCE:  Free From Harm

I Am A Spiritual Person; However, I Am Not A Religious Person.

And yes there is a difference.

In the words of Eckhart Tolle:

Spirituality is not religion.  You can be spiritual and not have a religious context.  The opposite is true too: You can be very religious with no spiritual dimension, just doctrine.

I align myself to Tolle’s belief. I am a “Spiritual” person, not “Religious”.

Last Saturday, my therapist suggested I read Eckhart Tolle’s book: The Power of Now.  I am ashamed to admit I have not yet begun to read this book. However, I have been on Tolle’s website reading through some of the free content.  Today I read an interview by Oprah Winfrey and I would like to share a few excerpts from that interview with you in this post. You may read the full interview here and I highly recommend you do read it because it chock full of powerful messages.

OPRAH: You’ve often characterized thinking as a terrible affliction, even a disease, that is the greatest barrier to the power of now. But isn’t to think to be human? Isn’t that how we differ from other animals?

ECKHART: Yes, and thinking can be a powerful and wonderful tool. It only becomes an affliction if we derive our sense of who we are from this dream of thought. In that case, you’re continuously telling yourself what I call “the story of me.” For many people, it’s an unhappy story, so they’re always dwelling on the past. That’s a dysfunctional and unhappy state.

OPRAH: We live in a world where most people believe they are their story. “I was born in this family, this is where I was raised, these are the things that happened to me, and this is what I did.” If you are not your story, then who are you?

ECKHART: That’s a very good question. You cannot deny, of course, that these events exist; one’s personal history has its place, and it needs to be honored. It’s not problematic unless you become totally lost in that dimension. How do you experience your past? As memories. And what are memories? Thoughts in your head. If you’re totally identified with these thoughts in your head, then you’re trapped in your past history. So, is that all there is to who you are? Or are you more than your personal history? When you step out of identification with that and realize for the first time that you’re actually the presence behind thinking, then you’re able to use thought when it’s helpful and necessary. But you are no longer possessed by the thinking mind, which then becomes a helpful, useful servant. If you never go beyond the thinking mind and there is no sense of space, it creates continuous conflict in relationships.

OPRAH: The Power of Now has saved me many, many times. As a matter of fact, this has been one of the most hectic days. I just got back from Africa. I’m sleep deprived, and I woke up this morning thinking, Oh my God, I’m going to be so stressed. But I let that go and just thought, I will be present now. I taped four television shows today, and I was very excited about being able to talk to you, but I kept saying to myself, Don’t think about how many other things you have to do. Just be present now. And that is what has gotten me to the end of the day, in this moment.

ECKHART: That’s a continuous refocusing on what really matters—what matters most in anybody’s life, which is the present moment. People don’t realize that now is all there ever is; there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.

OPRAH: But that’s what throws me: In The Power of Now, you say there’s no past. There has to be a past, because there are all of our memories, all these ways we defined ourselves.

ECKHART: Nobody can argue with the fact that there is such a thing as time. We used time to meet here—otherwise it would have been difficult.

OPRAH: Right. We agreed on this time, and we are here, because this is now.

ECKHART: Yes. So time is something that we cannot do without. We could even say time is what dominates this entire life that we experience here, the surface level of reality. It’s completely dominated by time, which is the past and future in the continuous stream. People look to time in expectation that it will eventually make them happy, but you cannot find true happiness by looking toward the future. It’s been said there are two ways of being unhappy: One is not getting what you want, and the other is getting what you want. If you think this, that, or the other thing is going to make you happy, when you get what you wanted, you will again be focusing on the next moment—never being in this moment, which is all we have.

OPRAH: That’s another thing that changed me when I read The Power of Now: You wrote that all of our stress is based on thinking about what happened in the past or what should be happening in the future, and that, no matter what crisis is going on in your life, if you’re able to take a deep breath and look at what is happening now, in this moment, you’re okay.

ECKHART: That’s right. Many people identify their sense of self with the problems they have, or think they have. As a reality test, I ask people, “What problem do you have at this moment? Not in an hour or tomorrow, but what problem do you have now?” Sometimes, they’ll suddenly wake up when they hear that question, because they realize that at that moment, they don’t have a problem.

Wow, right? Powerful stuff.

***

Now I would like to finish this post with a quote from a book I read last year entitled: Eat, Pray, Love

Groceries, you need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select what clothes you’re gonna wear every day.  This is a power you can cultivate.  If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind.  That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.  Drop everything else but that.  Because if you can’t learn to master your thinking, you’re in deep trouble forever. ~ Eat, Pray, Love

***

I Believe in Signs. Do you?

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I have been going through a bit of a rough patch these past few weeks. Overwhelmed and unable to cope,  I began to meditate (again), and speak with my Higher Power. I have also been asking for a sign.

Well, it looks like I got what I asked for. A sign because the following email from Cheryl Richardson was waiting for me in my email inbox this morning.

“When you pour your heart out to someone in an email and they in turn use it against you and/or make fun of you, this reveals more about them than you.”  This is what my therapist said to me during our session on Saturday.

Anyway…

If you do not believe in the power of meditation, mantras as well as speaking with your Higher Power, whoever your Higher Power may be, well then sadly, you are missing out on some pretty amazing shit. If you call on your Higher Power and ask for help, be patient, listen, and the answers will come to you in the most surprising ways.

A long time ago, a spiritual person told me to write my wants and put them out there. Write them down, no matter how trivial or how impossible they may seem, and wait to see what happens.  Since that time, I have done just that and most of them have materialized in some form or another.  After my therapy session on Saturday, I wrote down my list of wants to which I keep adding as more wants occur to me.  That said, please don’t assume my *wants* are material objects like money, fancy jewels or the like – far from it.

I fully believe that by doing the work (meditation/prayer), as well as owning and accepting MY FAULTS and WRONG DOING, the only possible outcome is a positive one.

In light of the recent events, I have owned what is mine, but I cannot control or make the other party involved own what is theirs. The unspoken party  can lay all the blame at my feet, but as my Therapist says, blame is projection and denial means “Don’t Even Know I am Lying“.  Considering the web of lies and deceit the party involved has spun, I am astounded by the fact he/she is playing the role of victim.  I guess it’s true what they say, “Denial. It’s not just a river in Egypt.” I don’t understand how anyone as devious as this person can claim nolo contendere. It boggles the mind.  It is really sad because said party runs a greater risk of repeating his/her actions again in the future (and as my therapist says, will be better at it each time). Only those who accept their faults and admit wrong doing can welcome growth and in turn change.  As for me, well I have owned the role I played in all of this, as documented by my Therapist, and now I am focusing on growth. 

Do you remember that scene in The Godfather when Don Corleone says to his son Michael, “Listen, whoever comes to you with this Barzini meeting, he’s the traitor. Don’t forget that.”

Well if I may amend that a bit: Whoever screams his/her (supposed) innocence the loudest, is the guilty party. And believe you me, the other party involved is screaming!!!!

***

In closing, start and end your day with a Mantra and see how you feel. 

I have the following two mantras taped to my bathroom mirror. The first one I found and modified the second I created with my Therapist.

***

*I love and respect myself. I honor my light and forgive my shadow. I allow myself to see myself as my Higher Power does. I am loved.*

I also have this mantra taped to my mirror:

*I am letting go of my past and am focusing on myself.*

 

Be Amazing and Find Your Innermost Voice ~ Tara Lemieux

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“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

I remember once, some many years ago when my son was first attending day care. He was having a most difficult time adjusting to this, his newest transition. At just 3 years-old, I believe he was doing quite well—even in spite of all of those tears.

One day, just as I was readying to walk out the door—my little boy began to have a mini-meltdown. And, of course, my instinct as a Mother was to scoop him right up into my arms.

But, his caregiver at the time, the sweetest, most gentlest and charming southern soul—grabbed my arm, and holding it fast…and in order to tell me, “no.”

“Find your voice baby,” she leaned down and whispered softly to my son.

And in just that moment, he drew in a deep breath and sniffled out his reply, “I want…to go…home.”

I was so very proud of him that day.

Not because of that mini-meltdown in the classroom—but rather, because on that day…my son… found his voice.

Your life is now, my dears—seize it, and make it most amazing.

And never, ever be afraid to be true to that which is your innermost voice.

SOURCE: Elephant Journal 

 

Top 10 Retorts to Hunter Fallacies

Exposing the Big Game

Hunters’ arguments and rationalizations for their sport are so repetitive and predictable that, to save valuable time and precious mental energy, it might help to have your responses printed out ahead of time like flash cards, and kept at the ready in your back pocket. Here, then, are the Top 10 Retorts to Hunter Fallacies you’re most likely to hear the next time you debate a sportsman. (I would apologize to David Letterman, but this isn’t meant to be a joke.)

10)Hunting is”sustainable.”                                              
In today’s world of 7 billion people? Never mind, that’s a joke if I’ve ever heard one.
Do we really want to encourage 7 billion humans to go out and kill wildlife for food as if wild animal flesh is an unlimited resource? The only way hunting could be sustainable for humans these days is if we drastically reduced our population…and killed off all the natural predators. Overhunting has…

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The First American Citizen Arrested Under an “Ag Gag” Law Tells Her Shocking Story

Kirschner's Korner

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Amy Meyer was arrested and charged with violating Utah’s new “Ag Gag” bill that makes it illegal for citizens to record the abuse of animals in order to hide the truth about these atrocities from the American people. You can learn more about “Ag Gag” bills by listening to my recent interview with Paul Shapiro, the HSUS Vice-President of Farm Animal Protection.

Here is the shocking story of what happened outside of Dale T. Smith and Sons Meat Packing Company in Amy Meyer’s own words:

“I visited the Smith Meatpacking Slaughterhouse in Draper, Utah because I have heard numerous reports that any bystander standing on the public thoroughfare could witness the horror of cows struggling for their lives as they were led to their violent deaths. What I saw was upsetting, to say the least. Cows being led inside the building struggled to turn around once they smelled and heard the misery that awaited them inside. I…

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