A Post worth Re-Posting: “Animals Rights is the Greatest Social Justice Issue Since the Abolition of Slavory”

Philip Wollen, Australian Philanthropist, Former VP of Citibank, Makes Blazing Animal Rights Speech

Philip Wollen shakes the rafters of the auditorium with this 10-minute speech to the St James Ethics Centre and the Wheeler Centre debate in Australia on May 16, 2012. The larger debate consists of six speakers, three that make the case for getting animals off the menu and three that make the case against it. Wollen is a former VP of Citibank and Australian philanthropist who is known to keep out of the limelight. But he sure rose to the challenge for this debate to deliver a huge performance and a powerful message. Bravo!

Join Philip Wollen and the Kindness Trust on their Facebook page. Watch the full debate with all six speakers.

This is the transcript to the speech:

On behalf of St James Ethics Centre, the Wheeler Centre,
The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, The Age
The City of Melbourne and the ABC
All of whom have worked together to make this event possible
I would like to welcome
Philip Wollen

((Applause))

King Lear, late at night on the cliffs asks the blind Earl of Gloucester “How do you see the world?”

And the blind man Gloucester replies “I see it feelingly”.

Shouldn’t we all?

Animals must be off the menu because tonight they are screaming in terror in the slaughterhouse, in crates, and cages. Vile ignoble gulags of despair.
I heard the screams of my dying father as his body was ravaged by the cancer that killed him. And I realised I had heard these screams before.
In the slaughterhouse, eyes stabbed out and tendons slashed, on the cattle ships to the Middle East and the dying mother whale as a Japanese harpoon explodes in her brain as she calls out to her calf.
Their cries were the cries of my father.
I discovered when we suffer, we suffer as equals.
And in their capacity to suffer, a dog is a pig is a bear. . . . . . is a boy.
Meat is the new asbestos – more murderous than tobacco.

CO2, Methane, and Nitrous Oxide from the livestock industry are killing our oceans with acidic, hypoxic Dead Zones.
90% of small fish are ground into pellets to feed livestock.
Vegetarian cows are now the world’s largest ocean predator.
The oceans are dying in our time. By 2048 all our fisheries will be dead. The lungs and the arteries of the earth.
Billions of bouncy little chicks are ground up alive simply because they are male.
Only 100 billion people have ever lived. 7 billion alive today. And we torture and kill 2 billion animals every week.
10,000 entire species are wiped out every year because of the actions of one species.
We are now facing the 6th mass extinction in cosmological history.
If any other organism did this a biologist would call it a virus.
It is a crime against humanity of unimaginable proportions.
The world has changed.
10 years ago Twitter was a bird sound, www was a stuck keyboard, Cloud was in the sky, 4 g was a parking place, Google was a baby burp, Skype was a typo and Al Kider was my plumber.
Victor Hugo said “there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come”.

Animal Rights is now the greatest Social Justice issue since the abolition of slavery.
There are over 600 million vegetarians in the world.
That is bigger than the US, England, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, Australia combined! If we were one nation we would be bigger than the 27 countries in the European Union!!
Despite this massive footprint, we are still drowned out by the raucous huntin’, shootin’, killin’ cartels who believe that violence is the answer – when it shouldn’t even be a question.
Meat is a killing industry – animals, us and our economies.
Medicare has already bankrupted the US. They will need $8 trillion invested in Treasury bills just to pay the interest. It has precisely zero!!
They could shut every school, army, navy, air force, and Marines, the FBI and CIA – and they still won’t be able to pay for it.
Cornell and Harvard say’s that the optimum amount of meat for a healthy diet is precisely ZERO.
Water is the new oil. Nations will soon be going to war for it.
Underground aquifers that took millions of years to fill are running dry.
It takes 50,000 litres of water to produce one kilo of beef.
1 billion people today are hungry. 20 million people will die from malnutrition. Cutting meat by only 10% will feed 100 million people. Eliminating meat will end starvation forever.

If everyone ate a Western diet, we would need 2 Planet Earths to feed them. We only have one. And she is dying.
Greenhouse gas from livestock is 50% more than transport . . . . . planes, trains, trucks, cars, and ships.
Poor countries sell their grain to the West while their own children starve in their arms. And we feed it to livestock. So we can eat a steak? Am I the only one who sees this as a crime? Every morsel of meat we eat is slapping the tear-stained face of a starving child. When I look into her eyes, should I be silent?
The earth can produce enough for everyone’s need. But not enough for everyone’s greed.
We are facing the perfect storm.
If any nation had developed weapons that could wreak such havoc on the planet, we would launch a pre-emptive military strike and bomb it into the Bronze Age.
But it is not a rogue state. It is an industry.
The good news is we don’t have to bomb it. We can just stop buying it.
George Bush was wrong. The Axis of Evil doesn’t run through Iraq, or Iran or North Korea. It runs through our dining tables. Weapons of Mass Destruction are our knives and forks.

This is the Swiss Army Knife of the future – it solves our environmental, water, health problems and ends cruelty forever.
The Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones. This cruel industry will end because we run out of excuses.
Meat is like 1 and 2 cent coins. It costs more to make than it is worth.
And farmers are the ones with the most to gain. Farming won’t end. It would boom. Only the product line would change. Farmers would make so much money they wouldn’t even bother counting it.
Governments will love us. New industries would emerge and flourish. Health insurance premiums would plummet. Hospital waiting lists would disappear.
Hell “We’d be so healthy; we’d have to shoot someone just to start a cemetery!”
So tonight I have 2 Challenges for the opposition:
1. Meat causes a wide range of cancers and heart disease. Will they name one disease caused by a vegetarian diet?
2. I am funding the Earthlings trilogy. If the opposition is so sure of their ground, I challenge them to send the Earthlings DVD to all their colleagues and customers. Go on I DARE YOU.
Animals are not just other species. They are other nations. And we murder them at our peril.

The peace map is drawn on a menu. Peace is not just the absence of war. It is the presence of Justice.
Justice must be blind to race, colour, religion or species. If she is not blind, she will be a weapon of terror. And there is unimaginable terror in those ghastly Guantanamos.
If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we wouldn’t need this debate.
I believe another world is possible.
On a quiet night, I can hear her breathing.
Let’s get the animals off the menu and out of these torture chambers.
Please vote tonight for those who have no voice.
Thank you.

– See more at: http://freefromharm.org/videos/educational-inspiring-talks/philip-wollen-australian-philanthropist-former-vp-of-citibank-makes-blazing-animal-rights-speech/#sthash.X6YZ87At.dpuf

Patrik Baboumian, World Record Strongman AND Vegan! [Free From Harm]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFpip6rxcYY

Two years after going vegan, Germany’s Strongest Man, Patrik Baboumian, demonstrated that a plant-based diet had not diminished his phenomenal strength or physical performance. In fall of 2013, Baboumian set a world record for heaviest weight carried a distance of 10 meters, shouldering a yoke weighing more than 1200 pounds (550 kg). Baboumian said, “It’s a bit stupid to do things like that, it really hurts,” but added that he wants to disprove the myth that anyone, including athletes and strength performers, needs animal products to excel.

While there’s lots of impressive footage of Baboumian’s feats of physical fortitude, we were most inspired by this video in which he meditates on a far more important kind of strength. “Strength must build up, not destroy. It should outdo itself, not others who are weaker. Used without responsibility, it causes nothing but harm and death. I can lift the heaviest weights, but I can not take the responsibility off my shoulders. Because the way we use our strength defines our fate. What traces will I leave on my path into the future? Do we really have to kill in order to live? My true strength lies in not seeing weakness as weakness. My strength needs no victims. My strength is my compassion.”

patrik baboumian

Patrik Baboumian

Patrik Baboumian became a vegetarian in 2005 after realizing that eating animals was inconsistent with his values. “One day, I just thought, if you see a bird with a broken leg, you really have the urge to do something about it and help the bird. Then, at the same time, you go to a restaurant and eat a chicken or something. It doesn’t make any sense.”

A few years later, after learning about the cruelty inherent in all egg and dairy production, Baboumian went vegan, stating: “I just realized that if it’s really compassion that drives you, maybe it’s not enough just to stop eating animals, but you maybe should boycott the whole animal industry, because … it’s not what you as a compassionate being would want. So actually you should go one step further and become vegan.”

– See more at: http://freefromharm.org/health-nutrition/patrik-baboumian-strength-is-compassion/#sthash.4MIufAQp.dpuf

 

The Roots of My Misanthropy

Exposing the Big Game

I am not a hate-filled person by nature, but I have what I consider a realistic view of Homo sapiens as a technologically over-evolved—yet morally under-evolved—ape that supersedes any blind allegiance to the species I might otherwise ascribe to. My disdain for humanity—hereby referred to as my misanthropy—knows no borders, boundaries, colors or cultures, aside perhaps from the emerging culture of do-no-harm veganism.

I’m not so enamored by the modest achievements and advancements we hear so much about that I don’t clearly see that mankind’s ultimate claim to fame is the “undoing” of the most incredible and diverse epoch in the history of life on earth.

My misanthropy is not aimed at individuals per se, but at an entire misguided species of animal with an arrogance so all-consuming that it views itself as separate—and above—the rest of the animal kingdom.

It’s not like humans can’t afford a little resentment once…

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“A Lotus Grows in the Mud” – Goldie Hawn

Today, as I read through my WordPress Reader Feed, I saw Deo’s post: “Favorite Inspirational Quote on Perseverance by Goldie Hawn”  As I read the first quote, I was reminded of a book I had read back in 2006 by Goldie entitled A Lotus Grows in the Mud.  I had read her book during a very dark time in my life  and I have to say, reading about her life’s journey as well as her ability to stand in the face of adversity while holding her head high,  gave me much hope and inspiration.  Towards the end of the book, Goldie explains the title of her book, which is essentially what is written below.  If you haven’t read her book, I highly recommend you pick up a copy and no, you cannot have mine.

😉

“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud — the obstacles of life and its suffering. … The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. … Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one. ”  – Goldie Hawn.

Deo, thank you for reminding me of such an amazingly inspirational woman!

🙂

GAL

High School Students Donate Thousands to Court Case Dogs

Meet six amazing young women, all high school students, who are the latest recipients of Animal Farm Foundation’s Your Programs, Your Ideas grant! These inspiring students from Glen Ellyn, Illinois formed the volunteer group Protect the Paws in 2012.

protect the paws
They connected with Court Case Dogs which is a Safe Humane Chicago program that supports dogs who have been relinquished by defendant owners charged with animal abuse or neglect and are housed at Chicago Animal Care and Control (sometimes for very long periods). The group dedicated their efforts to helping CCD through personal visits to the shelter and raising money through bake sales, car washes, and parties for the dogs.

protect the paws
These dedicated young women raised $3000 to support the Court Case Dogs and Safe Humane Chicago’s programs! AFF has matched their donation, awarding an additional $3000 to Safe Humane Chicago in recognition and support of the work done by Protect the…

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People To Know: Jasmine Polsinelli

the vegan sprout

I knew Jasmine Polsinelli was an incredible kid as soon as I met her. Poised, articulate, chatting with the adult folk about the cruelty in the agricultural business in one breath, (she’s been vegan since birth), then switching seamlessly to ‘regular’ 11-year-old chatter about how she can’t wait to start babysitting and is saving up for an iPod.

She wears her activism naturally, effortlessly, as though it’s just a part of who she is in the same way she wears her freckles and that contagious smile of youth. She’s stood outside of Canada Goose, leg-hold trap in hand, waiting to speak to CEO Dani Reiss about alternatives to the down and coyote fur they use in their jackets. Together with mother, Kelli and brother Dylan, she’s stood up to oppose the legalization of hunting in rural Whitby. She was the youngest person ever to be awarded a lifetime…

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I want change. Do you want change?

All day long I have been thinking about how much anger I still carry towards my Ex. How I want to tear him apart limb-by-limb.  Adding to my anger was reading up on all the animal cruelty stories my fellow bloggers posted that populate in the WordPress “Reader”. As I read the various stories, I couldn’t help but think how much I hate animal cruelty of any kind. How I despise hunters, as well as all of those wildlife government agencies that act like they are pro-animal when in reality they are PRO DEATH of ANIMALS as outlined by one of my favorite bloggers: Exposing the Big Game.  

I cannot help but think:  humans are inherently evil. How can I not think this when all I hear about is how some human or group of humans enjoy torturing and killing  animals EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!!!!!!!!!!      Just when I think I have heard every story, another story, like this one, comes along and sends my teeth on edge.   I keep asking the question: What is it going to take to get people to wake the fuck up and realize our planet is dying, that animals have gone extinct and if the people who are pro-animal destruction do not  change their ways, more animals like elephants, rhinos and tigers will be extinct in OUR lifetime.  What is it going to take? What? Someone please tell me WHAT??????????  This is why I often pray for a virus that wipes out all of mankind but spares the animals.  They deserve to be on this planet, we humans do not, but I digress… 

Anyway, while I was having these negative thoughts, something told me to look up an old high school classmate, which I did, via Linked-In.  Noticing she changed her name, I decided to “Google” her (like one does).  Turns out, she has a blog.  As I scrolled through her blog, I happened across one of her inspirational quotes that I feel could be considered a wake up call for me. How so you ask? because if I want to see change, I have to eliminate all those dark thoughts I just referenced above.  Basically I have to BE the change.  Right?  Easier said than done but I am open to making the change.  How about you? Do you want change? We blog so as to be the voice of the voiceless. Sadly, the raucous huntin’, shootin’,  cartel is drowning out our voices. so what’s our next move? could this be it?

Face Your Shadow

Today in my RSS feed was the following by Diana Harris.  Those of you who follow my blog and have been reading my latest non-animal related posts (Letting it Go; An Email Between ***; and The Other Woman(?)) would probably agree that Diana’s post is befitting to what I have been going through.  It looks like I need to “face my shadow” and look within.  I would say the timing of Diana’s post is fortuitous.   Wouldn’t you agree?

Read on to see what I’m talking about.

treasure _MS

“Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the Treasure of their true Selves.”  ~ Carol Pearson

This last week may have proven to be a bit intense at times due to the planetary oppositions and squares. The energy remains a wee bit erratic and volatile so be self-aware. Guard against making decisions without all of the information, not listening, and engaging in power struggles with others. The Best Use of these cosmic power surges over the next days is to face our own shadow –the place where our wounds and fears reside. Issues of self-worth; boundaries; dependence and independence; and how we see/relate to the world are in the spotlight. The tendency is to focus upon the seeming flaws of others when they rub against our differences. We may feel good temporarily but it serves no purpose. The people that we have been having issues with, been avoiding, or are generally rubbing us the wrong way are serving us now by providing us the impetus to look within and see what healing is required in our own hearts, minds, & spirits. It is not about the other. It is about us. Now is the time to look into the “world within ourselves” and heal, forgive, and love what we have hidden or denied. It is underneath those wounds that we will find our Treasure. We are both the golden treasure and the vessel (Heart) that holds it.  To clear your energy and to hold more Love: Stand with your face to the Sun. It is a reminder of our origin – pure Light. Breathe in its rays. Imagine rays of Love spreading throughout your body from the crown to the heart and out into your energy field. Feel your heart expand. Ground yourself in this Light and go about your day. Do this as often as needed. You will find yourself more steady and in flow. Blessings All! You are Much Loved! ~ Diana~  SOURCE

Guest Rant: It’s a Fucked Up World, Thanks to Humans

Exposing the Big Game

by Stephanie Theisen

Human society is doomed, I have come to that conclusion after many years, at least a couple of decades of watching the destruction of our planet for material objects, the extinction of Species because of human encroachment, overpopulation, development, invading and destroying natural habitats of other Earthlings with roads, housing tracts, malls, big box stores, mining, drilling, fracking, nuclear power, deforestation, hunting, over fishing our precious oceans & filling them with garbage, oil & radiation, poisoning our water supply & factory farming, all in the pursuit of money, cash, greed, redundancy intentional. I listen to people’s indifference, notice their apathy, lack of compassion for any other earthlings but their own, not even their own in many instances. Humans are famous for worshipping idols, royalty & celebrities, I find that repugnant, embarrassing & demeaning…. I wish humans would worship Mother Earth & Nature the way they do such…

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Simpsons creator donating all to animal groups

Of Course Vegan

In a heart-warming gesture that shows the compassion and care, Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon has reportedly donated his entire wealth to charities. The vegan was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and as a way of leaving a positive imprint on the world, he is giving back.

Simon received a terminal colon cancer diagnosis reported The Hollywood Reporter.

After the prognosis, he announced via podcast that he would be donating the majority of his fortune to charity. Simon is most likely best known for his work with Matt Groening in creating The Simpsons, but his CV also includes extensive collaborations with animal-rights organizations such as the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and his own California-based Sam Simon Foundation, serving vegan meals to hungry people and dogs, VegNews.com reported.

In an interview with THR, Simon explains that the change he would most like…

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People to Know: Fur-Bearer Defenders

the vegan sprout

The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals, (APFA) is one of the oldest animal advocacy groups in Canada. Founded in the 30’s with a goal to promote humanely obtained furs and the development of humane traps, by the 70’s the association had begun to steer course in a different direction by opposing the commercial fur industry altogether. No longer believing in the possibility of ‘humane traps’, APFA now focuses on putting an end to the fashion fur trade in its entirety.

Managed by a volunteer board of directors, (many of whom have been involved with APFA for decades), the association’s main objectives are to abolish the commercial fur trade, to ban the import and sale of domestic dog and cat fur in Canada, and to create opportunities to co-exist with urban wildlife. Through their video footage, they were the first group to expose the Canadian fur trade and…

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A Post Worth Reposting: Philip Wollen, Philanthropist & Animal Rights Activist

Below is a speech transcript by a particularly awesome animal rights activist who I admire greatly.  His name is Philip Wollen. He is the former VP of Citibank and is an Australian philanthropist.  I extracted this speech from FreeFromHarm

Enjoy!

******************

King Lear, late at night on the cliffs asks the blind Earl of Gloucester “How do you see the world?”

And the blind man Gloucester replies “I see it feelingly”.

Shouldn’t we all?

Animals must be off the menu because tonight they are screaming in terror in the slaughterhouse, in crates, and cages. Vile ignoble gulags of despair.
I heard the screams of my dying father as his body was ravaged by the cancer that killed him. And I realized I had heard these screams before.
In the slaughterhouse, eyes stabbed out and tendons slashed, on the cattle ships to the Middle East and the dying mother whale as a Japanese harpoon explodes in her brain as she calls out to her calf.
Their cries were the cries of my father.
I discovered when we suffer, we suffer as equals.
And in their capacity to suffer, a dog is a pig is a bear. . . . . . is a boy.
Meat is the new asbestos – more murderous than tobacco.

CO2, Methane, and Nitrous Oxide from the livestock industry are killing our oceans with acidic, hypoxic Dead Zones.
90% of small fish are ground into pellets to feed livestock.
Vegetarian cows are now the world’s largest ocean predator.
The oceans are dying in our time. By 2048 all our fisheries will be dead. The lungs and the arteries of the earth.

Billions of bouncy little chicks are ground up alive simply because they are male.
Only 100 billion people have ever lived. 7 billion alive today. And we torture and kill 2 billion animals every week.
10,000 entire species are wiped out every year because of the actions of one species.

We are now facing the 6th mass extinction in cosmological history.
If any other organism did this a biologist would call it a virus.
It is a crime against humanity of unimaginable proportions.


The world has changed.  
10 years ago Twitter was a bird sound, www was a stuck keyboard, Cloud was in the sky, 4 g was a parking place, Google was a baby burp, Skype was a typo and Al Kider was my plumber.
Victor Hugo said “there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come”.

Animal Rights is now the greatest Social Justice issue since the abolition of slavery.
There are over 600 million vegetarians in the world. That is bigger than the US, England, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, Australia combined! If we were one nation we would be bigger than the 27 countries in the European Union!!

Despite this massive footprint, we are still drowned out by the raucous huntin’, shootin’, killin’ cartels who believe that violence is the answer – when it shouldn’t even be a question.
Meat is a killing industry – animals, us and our economies.


Medicare has already bankrupted the US. They will need $8 trillion invested in Treasury bills just to pay the interest. It has precisely zero!!
They could shut every school, army, navy, air force, and Marines, the FBI and CIA – and they still won’t be able to pay for it.


Cornell and Harvard say’s that the optimum amount of meat for a healthy diet is precisely ZERO.


Water is the new oil. Nations will soon be going to war for it. Underground aquifers that took millions of years to fill are running dry. It takes 50,000 litres of water to produce one kilo of beef. 1 billion people today are hungry. 20 million people will die from malnutrition. Cutting meat by only 10% will feed 100 million people. Eliminating meat will end starvation forever.

If everyone ate a Western diet, we would need 2 Planet Earths to feed them. We only have one. And she is dying.


Greenhouse gas from livestock is 50% more than transport . . . . . planes, trains, trucks, cars, and ships.


Poor countries sell their grain to the West while their own children starve in their arms. And we feed it to livestock. So we can eat a steak? Am I the only one who sees this as a crime? Every morsel of meat we eat is slapping the tear-stained face of a starving child. When I look into her eyes, should I be silent?


The earth can produce enough for everyone’s need. But not enough for everyone’s greed.


We are facing the perfect storm.


If any nation had developed weapons that could wreak such havoc on the planet, we would launch a pre-emptive military strike and bomb it into the Bronze Age.
But it is not a rogue state. It is an industry. The good news is we don’t have to bomb it. We can just stop buying it. George Bush was wrong. The Axis of Evil doesn’t run through Iraq, or Iran or North Korea. It runs through our dining tables. Weapons of Mass Destruction are our knives and forks.

This is the Swiss Army Knife of the future – it solves our environmental, water, health problems and ends cruelty forever.

The Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones. This cruel industry will end because we run out of excuses.


Meat is like 1 and 2 cent coins. It costs more to make than it is worth.
And farmers are the ones with the most to gain. Farming won’t end. It would boom. Only the product line would change. Farmers would make so much money they wouldn’t even bother counting it. Governments will love us. New industries would emerge and flourish. Health insurance premiums would plummet. Hospital waiting lists would disappear. Hell “We’d be so healthy; we’d have to shoot someone just to start a cemetery!” So tonight I have 2 Challenges for the opposition:


1.)  Meat causes a wide range of cancers and heart disease. Will they name one disease caused by a vegetarian diet?

2.) I am funding the Earthlings trilogy. If the opposition is so sure of their ground, I challenge them to send the Earthlings DVD to all their colleagues and customers. Go on I DARE YOU.


Animals are not just other species. They are other nations. And we murder them at our peril.

The peace map is drawn on a menu. Peace is not just the absence of war. It is the presence of Justice. Justice must be blind to race, colour, religion or species. If she is not blind, she will be a weapon of terror. And there is unimaginable terror in those ghastly Guantanamos.


If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we wouldn’t need this debate.


I believe another world is possible.


On a quiet night, I can hear her breathing.


Let’s get the animals off the menu and out of these torture chambers.
Please vote tonight for those who have no voice.


Thank you.

 

****

A Bouquet of Special Awards

I was nominated by Ajaytao for the Bouquet of Special Awards.  Thank you Ajaytao!

🙂

There is just 1 rule, when you pass the award on, please share some kind words with that person.

A long time ago, a friend gave me this bit of wisdom and I have never forgotten it.  It is was something that gave him strength during his divorce and I would like to share it with all of you today:

My wise friend said,

” Happiness is not something that can be found in material objects, nor is it a location.  Happiness comes from within. You can either wake up every day, choosing share it, or you can wake up everyday and be miserable, either way, the choice is yours, so what’s it going to be?” 

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

 

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!         🙂

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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

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.

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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

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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