The Ballad of Aslan and Rose

AslanRose

Below is a guest post by the animal and human rights activist and supporter of free software Luis Leonel.

THE BALLAD OF ASLAN AND ROSE

Aslan, a 17-year-old Syrian teenager refugee has walked more than 300 miles (500 kilometers) to the Greek Island of Lesbos in his quest for a new life with Rose, his puppy.

“I love my dog. I need her,” Aslan said.

GOOD LUCK, ASLAN AND ROSE!

A teenager walked more than 300 miles to escape war-torn Syria with his puppy. 

Refugee Aslan, 17, took his dog Rose all the way to the Greek island Lesbos as he felt he couldn’t leave his pooch behind.

The Syrian teenager is one of 300,000 migrants who have arrived in Greece this year, even making a passport for Rose.

Read more:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3245224/Syrian-teen-refugee-walked-300-miles-puppy-Lesbos.html

Greece: Syrian Aslan and his puppy Rose

 

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Yongki: Another Defenseless and Innocent Victim of Human Greed.

Below is a guest post by the animal and human rights activist and supporter of free software Luis Leonel

YONGKI: ANOTHER DEFENSELESS AND INNOCENT VICTIM OF HUMAN GREED

INDONESIA-ENVIRONMENT-ELEPHANT

Instead of rising majestically to his full height of 10 feet, the massive animal remained on the ground. Yongki, an endangered Sumatran elephant, was slaughtered for his precious ivory tusks.

YONGKI, ENDANGERED SUMATRAN ELEPHANT AND LOYAL ‘PARK RANGER,’ KILLED BY POACHERS
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/09/22/yongki-endangered-sumatran-elephant-and-loyal-park-ranger-killed-by-poachers/

“There are just 2,400 to 2,800 Sumatran elephants in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund. These animals are critically endangered, having lost half of their population in one generation. They are threatened by poaching and deforestation in their native Asian habitat. “

BELOVED ELEPHANT YONGKI KILLED BY POACHERS FOR HIS IVORY IN INDONESIA
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/elephant-yongki-killed-poachers_56016ec9e4b00310edf89057

Twitter hashtag #RIPYongki.

Please Sign the following Petition

Justice for Beloved Elephant Murdered for His Tusks

http://forcechange.com/147166/justice-for-endangered-elephant-killed-for-his-tusks/

 

UN International Day of Peace

“I call on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and observe a global ceasefire. To them I say: stop the killings and the destruction, and create space for lasting peace.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

408246Peace_Dove

Today is the United Nations International day of peace

“Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The theme of this year’s commemoration is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” which aims to highlight the importance of all segments of society to work together to strive for peace.”

Read More:
http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/

Watch and listen to:
International Day of Peace 2015 – Video message by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

On September 18th Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the laying down of arms and a 24-hour cease-fire on 21 September which is the International Day of peace.

“On this day, in the lead-up to the Day of Peace, I am asking all partners to lend their voices to this call for a laying down of arms, and to work non-stop in the days to come to bring about a 24-hour cease-fire on September 21st,”

Read More:
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=51910#.Vf-Rpt9VhBc

I had not previously heard about the UN’s International Day of Peace until I looked at my calendar this morning. Right now peace feels very remote as the world is in serious turmoil, wars rage, refuges flee for their lives, so much death, destruction and  insecurity,  people displaced from their homes, their way of life gone forever. Indeed peace seems a remote concept. We all hope for a peaceful world for ourselves, our children and grandchildren, future generations and for the other species with whom we share this world. Albert Schweitzer wrote:
“Until he extends the circle of compassion to all livings things, Man will not himself find peace.”

For the sake of all beings and the very earth itself we need to find a way to live in peace to learn to tolerate and indeed celebrate our differences, to live in harmony with all that lives before it is too late.  As far as we know this world is unique it teems with myriad life but slowly we are destroying this wonderful world of ours as the minority struggle for power and wealth and it needs to stop. At least today lets try and create a little peace in our troubled world.

Make a difference

Peace Direct

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE

THIS PEACE DAY, CELEBRATE LOCAL HEROES

In conflict areas worldwide local people are building peace. Stopping violence, saving lives, healing shattered communities.

In the world’s most difficult and dangerous conflicts, local peacebuilders are making a real difference. Every day they risk their lives to build peace and prevent conflict in the places where it starts – locally.

Read More from Peace Direct
http://www.peacedirect.org/uk/landing-page/peace-day/?gclid=CPnpvLyzh8gCFQYewwodgr4KDw

 Home Page
http://www.peacedirect.org/uk/

Read Directs blog entry
http://www.peacedirect.org/uk/international-day-peace-2015/

Peace for People 2015

Please watch the following videos

Learn More and please share the following:

Please join our Peace Day outreach by watching the new video “Your Secret Weapon,” and sharing it. If you post the video via a social media outlet, use the hashtag, #PeaceDay, to join millions of people in supporting the cause of peace.
http://tprf.org/pfp2015/

Home Page:http://tprf.org/

Quotations concerning peace

“Until he extends the circle of compassion to all livings things, Man will not himself find peace.”
 Albert Schweitzer

We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.
William Ewart Gladstone

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.
Hafsat Abiola

There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they grow up in peace.
Kofi Annan

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.
 Black Elk (1863-1950)

You will find More Peace Quotes

http://www.quotegarden.com/peace.html

http://www.wagingpeace.org/issues/peace/peace-quotes/?gclid=CLvhos62h8gCFcZuGwodqpkHwg

Related Links

 

In Defence of Rats and Mice

rats (1)

“People tend to care about dogs because they generally have more experience with dogs as companions; but other animals are as capable of suffering as dogs are. Few people feel sympathy for rats. Yet rats are intelligent animals, and there can be no doubt that rats are capable of suffering and do suffer from countless painful experiments performed on them. If the army were to stop experiments on dogs and switch to rats instead, we should not be any less concerned.”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation

“Typically, defenders of experiments on animals do not deny that animals suffer. They cannot deny the animals’ suffering, because they need to stress the similarities between humans and other animals in order to claim that their experiments may have some relevance for human purposes. The experimenter who forces rats to choose between starvation and electric shock to see if they develop ulcers (which they do) does so because the rat has a nervous system very similar to a human being’s, and presumably feels an electric shock in a similar way.”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation

Today I am going to make a stand in defence of rats and mice who are probably the most neglected and abused animals on the planet.

There are actions you can take further down to help rats and mice, please take as many of these suggested actions as you can.

Why defend rats and Mice

Facts about rats and mice that you may not know or have considered.

Rats and mice are highly intelligent, as intelligent as your dog or cat. Like your dog or cat, rats and mice learn and respond to their names. They excel at learning and understand concepts, their memories are outstanding; once rats learn a navigation route, they never forget it. Both rats and mice are social creatures, they form strong bonds with one another and sleep curled up together. Rats are good mothers and like many animals they are playful creatures.

Fact – Did you know that rats are less likely than your cat or dog to catch and transmit parasites and viruses? In fact rats are very clean animals spending many hours each day grooming themselves and each other. Yet many people continue with the misconception that rats are the purveyors of disease and should be eradicated at all costs.

Fact – Rats and mice make up about a fifth of all species of Mammals, rodents are more closely related to humans than are dogs, cats, horses, elephants, whales, dolphins, and every other order except nonhuman primates.

Why do few people defend rats and mice.

So why do few people defend the rights of rats and mice. Why is it that many turn a blind eye to the cruelty that they suffer at the hand of human beings in labs and elsewhere

The human aversion to rats and mice is often extended to other rodents, including prairie dogs, gophers, squirrels, beavers, muskrats, and nutria, who are similarly killed en masse in various parts of the world where they are considered to be “invasive.”But even people who would not countenance any mistreatment of the aforementioned animals will often kill rats and mice by horrendously cruel means, or look the other way while others do the killing, using glue-traps, bone-crushing spring traps, and an array of poisons which may not be legally used against other species.

Why are we horrified when cats and dogs are the subjects of cruel experiment yet think its okay to harm rats and mice?

There are so few people prepared to defend the rights of rats and mice as they do other animals, the exception being pet rats and mice who are usually white in colour rather than brown or grey, the colours of their undomesticated counterparts. It appears to me that of those of us dedicated to animal rights or animal welfare or whose of us who are vegetarian or vegan, few speak out against the cruel treatment of these rodents. Googling something along the lines of “do vegans care about rats and mice” and you will find little information in support of animal welfare or animal rights concerning rats and mice, few stand in defence of these rodents who are like any other mammal such as your cat, dog, rabbit or guinea pig – the last of which is of course a rodent. So far the only significant stand in defence of these animals is from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals PETA and even they actually condone euthanasia in certain circumstances. More about this further down.

So who does care about rats or mice?

Most of us abhor experiments on animals, poisoning animals or indeed any cruelty to any creature, yet few extend such concerns to rats and mice whom it appears are the exception.

Few people, even animal rights campaigners respect rodents – at least the common brown or grey rat or the house mouse. There are exceptions but few in number.

The petition below (now closed) is somewhat unusual:

Help Stop the Suffering caused by Rat Poison!

4757131_orig

Click this link to read the full petition:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/cfrwr/

As you can see from a target of 10,000 signatures over a period of four years only 946 people signed

The petition above states:
“Every day, thousands of rats, mice and other rodents are killed across the world. This is often necessary to protect food and hygiene.”

Personally I would not kill rats or mice for this reason, there are more humane ways to deter rodents.

Your will find humane rodent deterrent information further down.

No doubt poison is used as this is the cheaper option. The petition goes on to say:

“However, most of these rodents are killed by poison- specifically ‘anticoagulant’ poisons. These are by most accounts extremely inhumane, and better methods are available. These poisons give the animal that eat them anything but a nice death. Rats and mice take an average of around 7 days to die after poisoning, and spend much of this time in severe pain. Anticoagulant poisons work by causing internal bleeding. They die paralysed and in pain, from blood loss and internal organ damage.”

Such treatment of any sentient creature is unforgivable and can never be justified.

The following from PETA has information about the cruel treatment of rats and mice in US laboratories

Please read the following even if you do not live in the USA as it gives information concerning the shocking treatment of these rodents that occurs in laboratories the world over.

“More than 100 million mice and rats are killed in U.S. laboratories every year. They are abused in everything from toxicology tests (in which they are slowly poisoned to death) to painful burn experiments to psychological experiments that induce terror, anxiety, depression, and helplessness.

They are deliberately electroshocked in pain studies, are mutilated in experimental surgeries, and have everything from cocaine to methamphetamine pumped into their bodies. They are given cancerous tumors and are injected with human cells in genetic-manipulation experiments.”

Continue reading, the list of atrocities get more and more horrific :
http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/animals-laboratories/mice-rats-laboratories/#ixzz2wbT9BvKT  warning disturbing images.

Such treatment of a thinking feeling animal is, cruel, inhumane and inexcusable.

The following article lists
Five Reasons Why You Should Care About Rats
http://www.peta.org/blog/care-rats/#ixzz2wACcaQCa

 
Please watch the following videosWarning distressing images of cruelty to rats and other animals

Investigation Reveals Hell on Earth for Animals at California Dealer

Published on Dec 19, 2012 a PETA investigator recorded abuse and neglect of thousands of rats and reptiles.

Who Cares About Mice and Rats?

Published on Oct 1, 2014
Mice and rats are affectionate and clever and would risk their own lives to save their friends. However, 95 percent of all animals used in experimentation are rats and mice.

Use the link below to help animals in laboratories now!
http://bit.ly/fMqUwK

Also see

The hidden lives of rats and mice
http://www.peta.org/features/hidden-lives-rats-mice/

“Rats are very social and affectionate animals. They love being in the company of their own species or humans. They like playing together and love to sleep curled up together. They take care of the injured and sick rats in their group. When rats don’t have companionship, they can become lonely, depressed, anxious and stressed.

Rats are intelligent animals. They are more intelligent than rabbits, hamsters, mice, gerbils and guinea pigs for instance. They also have excellent memories. Once rats learn a navigation route, they never forget it.”

Read more:
http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_facts/Rats.htm

Still not convinced rats are like any other mammal and deserve our respect and consideration.

View:
23 adorable photos that will change the way you think about rats23

9593026_orig

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/23-adorable-photos-that-will-change-the-way-you-think-about-rats

Action you can take to help rats and mice

Who cares about rats and mice

Every day, mice and rats die in our nation’s laboratories—without even the most basic protections of federal law. Like dogs and cats, these animals feel pain, and studies show that they are clever and great mothers and that they would risk their own lives to save their friends. But even though mice and rats make up 95 percent of all animals used in experimentation, they are specifically excluded from the Animal Welfare Act, the only federal law offering any sort of protection for animals in laboratories.

Please read more and send a polite e-mail to your member of Congress
https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1720
Stressed rats drink more than non-stressed rats

“In an expensive study of the obvious, psychologists at the Graduate Center for the City University of New York designed an experiment to see what effect stress would have on rats who drink alcohol. Of course, rats don’t drink, so first they had to get them used to drinking by mixing alcohol in their water.

Though the researchers acknowledge that “alcoholics in treatment claim that life stressors are the leading cause of continued drinking or relapse,” they somehow justified spending taxpayer money to study whether stressed rats would drink more than non-stressed rats.”

Continue reading and take action.
http://www.idausa.org/campaigns/responsible-research/the-outragies/most-outrageously-pointless/

Please also take the following action if you have not already done so: Use the link below to help animals in laboratories now!
http://bit.ly/fMqUwK

Many people however – even those who care – are concerned when rats or mice encroach their lives.

What to do about rodents in your home or elsewhere where they are not wanted: Advice to deter rats and mice.

Like any other animal, a rat or mouse may not be welcome – I didn’t like cats in my yard because of our adopted rabbit, who is now no longer with us, who used to wander about the yard. Cats can attack a rabbit and so can rats, our rabbit Sooty was bitten by a rat. I would rather not have rats in the yard or mice if they got into the house as is possible as our back door was always open for our house rabbit to come and go as he pleased. Equally I would not want someone’s cat in our house either. This does not mean I lay traps or put down poison for the rats or mice any more than I would for the cat: the cat, the rat and the mouse are all living beings with the right to life as much as you or I or my rabbit.

So what to do

Glue traps and poisons are inhumane and cruel to the extreme as the unfortunate animals often spend days suffering before eventually dying in agony. Rats and mice may not be the only victims as other small mammals get caught in traps or poisoned including wildlife, companion animals and even humans may also come to harm after contact with toxins as was indicated in the petition above. Furthermore these methods of eradication are in the long term futile not to forget the obvious that these animals have a right to life.

“Effective rodent-control programs are integrative and adaptive and focus on repellents, deterrents, and exclusion. Rodents are attracted to areas with adequate food sources and shelter, both indoors and outdoors. Eliminate access to food by keeping counter surfaces, floors, and cabinets free of crumbs and storing dry food and pet food in chew-proof containers. Seal trash (use bungee cords on lids), pick up your animal companions’ food at night and never feed them outdoors, pick up fallen fruit and vegetables in orchards and gardens if possible, and never feed wildlife. Reduce hiding places by keeping grass and vegetation trimmed back and by storing outdoor furniture, grills and barbecues, and wood piles away from buildings.

Next, determine where the animals are entering and frequenting by using a flashlight to locate entry points such as holes and cracks, gaps around pipes and doors, etc. (Rats can slip into buildings through quarter-size holes, and mice can squeeze into dime-size holes.) Faeces and signs of chewing or food-storing can also help determine the places that rodents frequent. Repel rodents by using ammonia-soaked rags or cotton balls (animals won’t like the smell and will leave), an indoor/outdoor radio (set to rock music or talk radio), or a strobe light. Once animals have left, seal entry points using foam sealant, steel wool, hardware cloth, or metal flashing.”

Please continue reading the following for more information about how to humanely keep rats and mice out of your home, your garden, yard or elsewhere.

Living in Harmony with House Mice and Rats:
http://www.peta.org/issues/wildlife/living-harmony-wildlife/house-mice/#ixzz2qXRK41IJ

I am not sure what the odd advice included in the above link says about rock music, I guess rats can’t stand it as much as I 🙂 Also unless you live in an isolated area I doubt the neighbours would appreciate music all day.

Hold on just noticed in the above article – “Rodents can also be humanely euthanized by a veterinarian or at a local animal shelter.” Apparently PETA condone killing a healthy animal! PETA it seems are not one hundred percent in their defence of the right of all animals to life. Shocked? I am indeed.

It goes without saying, but I must be clear I do not condone euthanasia – killing – of any healthy living being unless it is in self-defence or the animal is seriously ill.

The rest of the information is nevertheless sound and useful. The information is from PETA’s USA website, the ideas though are much the same anywhere.

More information from PETA
http://www.peta.org/living/humane-home/humane-rodent-control/

Cruel methods are never necessary. Read some of the comments included in the above link for more advice and accounts of how people have coped humanely with rats and mice – such as this delightful Story from Marina

“For the past year, we had mice in our house—lots of mice. We probably took out about a hundred of them, all told, using humane live traps of various types, baited with peanut butter, sunflower seeds, or almonds. If one type of trap doesn’t work, try another, and put them in the places where you see mouse poo. They like to run along edges. If you have dry cat food down in the room where you know the mice are, move it into a room where you haven’t seen evidence of mice. Who knows how many times we took the same ones out before we finally thought to look in the most obvious place for a hole in the foundation under the porch? In the middle of winter, when it was too cold to release them outdoors, we kept the ones we caught in a cage with a wheel, and fed them grain, almonds, fruit, etc. The mice ran in the wheel, groomed, and slept curled up in a little ball during most of the daylight hours. There’s no doubt it was more “work” and “trouble” than killing them would have been, but I’m a cancer survivor as well as someone who cares about all animals, and neither of us would ever consider using toxic chemicals to make war on these little creatures, who were, after all, only trying to live their lives. We’ve now been completely mouse free for several months.”

Important note:
Before using live traps please click the link below and carefully read the information, for instance: Only release rats and mice within 100 yards of where they were trapped. Releasing a mouse or rat into a strange area will almost surely result in the animal’s death because relocated animals don’t know where to find adequate food, water, or shelter and often become weak and succumb to predation or foreign parasites or disease against which they lack a natural immunity.Check traps hourly

More information:
http://www.peta.org/issues/wildlife/living-harmony-wildlife/house-mice/

Conclusion

Who has the right to say that rats and mice or indeed any creature does not have the right to live? Who has the right to say the life of one sentient being is of more value than that of another. Many would say that might equals
right – well if you think that way what can I say other than it is that kind of thinking that has made this world a place of suffering for myriads of species including our own.

We all inhabit the same world sadly many humans consider themselves superior to the other animals with whom we share this world, maybe as a result of anachronistic thinking of a bygone age which now has no place in any ethically progressive society. This world is the home to teeming millions of living creatures, rodents are among them and deserve our respect and their right to life as you or I or any living creature.

The above was originally written for my website and has been updated:
http://www.think-differently-about-sheep.com/in_defence_of_rats_and_mice.htm

End The Cruelty of Pheasant Shooting.

“When I was twelve, I went hunting with my father and we shot a bird. He was laying there and something struck me. Why do we call this fun to kill this creature [who] was as happy as I was when I woke up this morning.
Marv Levy

No matter where you go here in the UK or anywhere else for that matter you can never escape the reality of just how morally backward we are or at least our governments are.

To add to the appalling suffering of our own species as a result of the actions of the minority is the unremitting deliberate suffering inflicted on helpless animals in the name of “sport”.

Look at the photo below which was taken by myself during a recent family day out to the Lake District, a place we occasionally visit in an attempt to appreciate the beautiful landscape and the hope of finding a little peace and tranquillity.

Intensively reared phesant realised to be targets for the perverted pleasure of hunting and shooting 2015

While travelling along one of the winding roads leading to Derwent Water we were amazed to see thousands of pheasants in the woodland, in fields and all over the road. Speeding motorists had run over some and still more came heading from the woodlands in the direction of a large field towards the sound of a tractor and a beating sound rather like that of a drum. Some were running frantically here and there flying in short spates. All of this terrorized sheep grazing in the field who bleated and ran to… well there was no where for the poor creatures to run. Yes sheep are used to birds of course and you often see black birds sitting on their backs while the sheep sit chewing the cud or sleeping quite undeterred. Yet this huge flocking of thousands of pheasants sent the sheep into quite a frenzy of frantic bleating. In a wood right at the far end was a tractor from which a man was throwing what I assume was seed into the field and this is what the birds were after.

It took a while to realise that what we were seeing were pheasants who had been deliberately and intensively reared in order for those of an aberrant way of thinking, usually the rich, to massacre these defenceless creatures in their thousands beginning October 1st, which is the official pheasant shooting season.

Please watch the video below and click the link for more information from the League Against Cruel Sport. You may find some of the footage disturbing – but please try to at least listen to the information which describes the shocking cruelty inflicted on birds reared for shooting.

Gunsmoke and Mirrors – An Exposé into the Shooting Industry

“Watch the League documentary Gunsmoke and Mirrors which reveals the truth behind the shooting industry.

Despite claims that game birds are wild, natural and free range we show the reality of the intensive breeding and rearing conditions, shocking footage of the millions of other animals killed each year, many in brutal snares, to protect this precious stock for shooting. Plus, evidence of the huge amount of wastage the industry produces making it clear that this is not about food but about sport.”
League Against Cruel Sport

Shooting

“Around 50 million birds are released each year into the British countryside to be shot for sport. Around half never get within sight of a gun. They die from exposure, cannibalism, predation, traffic collision and starvation. “

Read More:
http://www.league.org.uk/our-campaigns/shooting?gclid=CKGH6cn1_8cCFaIIwwoduBcAxg

Take Action

Shooting – What you can do

“You can support the League Against Cruel Sports in a number of ways to help save game birds:

  • Join us! Please register your support and we will keep you up-to-date with our campaigns and invite you to take action and get involved to help protect birdlife.  The more supporters we have, the more we can bring about change to improve animals’ lives.
  • Be an advocate for animals, talk to family & friends about the cruelty of shooting. Facebook and Twitter are great placed to start the conversion, so be sure to like us and retweet us whenever you can.”
  • Report incidents of shooting on public access land to the League on 01483 524 250, especially if landowners are preventing access whilst shooting is in progress.

View more suggested actions:
http://www.league.org.uk/our-campaigns/shooting/what-you-can-do-about-game-shooting – Please note the “register your support” link brings up a “Page not found”. Maybe this is a temporary glitch and it might be worth trying again later, but there are many other actions you can take to stop all cruel “Sports” here: http://www.league.org.uk/get-involved
You may also join the League Against cruel Sports here: http://www.league.org.uk/how-to-donate/join-the-league

I have to say regardless of whether the unfortunate animal is reared for this sickening pastime or simply a bird or other animal in the wild living life as nature intended the killing of any animal is unethical, cruel and in the modern world unnecessary and should be outlawed. There is no place in any modern ethically progressive society for the wanton and brutal killing of the other species with whom we share this world – at least there shouldn’t be. The life of any animal, human or non human is as important to them as our lives are to us. No creature wants to die, the struggle for survival is a powerful instinct shared by all creatures.

Pheasants of course are not the only birds to be massacred en mass, August the 12th commenced the grouse shooting season heralding four months of the lawful killing of millions of tiny defenceless birds, disturbance of the quiet of the countryside and significant detrimental alteration of and damage to the countryside to accommodate this disgusting pastime.  The sound of gun fire during a hike or stroll through the Yorkshire Dales and elsewhere is disturbing in the extreme knowing that some poor animal has died or has been wounded and may be left to die suffering for many hours. Not to forget also the obvious disturbing nature of gunshot fire with the possibility of accidents and concern for ones own safety.

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.
Thomas A. Edison

Why do we stand by and allow such vile and barbaric pursuits by people who are of warped mentality. It is shameful that this country which boosts of being animal lovers condones by law the wanton massacre of millions of helpless animals to satisfy the perverted pleasure of these pathetic barbarians. It is scandalous that our country’s leader is himself an avid hunter who pursues the reinstatement of fox-hunting with disturbing persistence, who has previously ridden with the Heythrop Hunt in Oxfordshire and enjoys deer stalking. That such a vile man who finds pleasure in the sickening so-called sport of hunting down a defenceless animal and watch while the poor creature is torn apart by dogs is leader of our country and makes decision that require compassion and morality is scary, frightening, disturbing and frankly horrific. It is hoped that in the future people will look back at such atrocities to the other beings with whom we share this planet as the barbarism that it is and wonder why someone who enjoyed such blatant cruelty became leader of our country and why people voted him for a second term knowing his policies on hunting and his shameful treatment of the most vulnerable in our society, namely sick and disabled people. In The Basis of Morality the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, wrote: “Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.”

Also

Deliberate cruelty to our defenceless and beautiful little cousins is surely one of the meanest and most detestable vices of which a human being can be guilty.
William Ralph Inge – English author, Anglican priest, professor of divinity at Cambridge, and Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Two quotes that refer to the dubious and unsavory – in my opinion down right evil – nature of a person who is cruel to animals. Cameron most certainly fits the description of such a person yet he has the power to determine not only what happens to animals but to the 64 million people who live here in the UK and indeed elsewhere.

Time to ban out right the wanton killing of wild animals, no exceptions, including the badger cull. Why should we allow the disturbed minority to murder en mass helpless animals, rampaging through our country side taking pot shots at helpless birds, rabbits, hares and just about anything that moves,  riding on horse back chasing a tiny fox, or a stalking a majestic deer. Surely it is wrong and if you are not appalled why not? There has to be something very amiss with those who participate and those who condone by their silence. We will never have a peaceful world while we allow people of this ilk to murder defenceless animals whether it is by hunting, shooting, culling or the mass killing of incarcerated animals in farms . We most certainly will never have a peaceful world, a just world while we allow such people to govern the nations of the earth.

“We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.”

Albert Schweitzer, The Philosophy of Civilization

Related Links

“REARING PHEASANTS FOR SHOOTS By Clare Druce, Director of the Farm Animal Welfare Network Every year in the UK more than 20 million pheasants are reared for ‘sport’. Does this mean that pheasant meat (or game) is the thing to choose if you want to avoid the cruelties of factory farming? Surely these birds have enjoyed free and natural lives before the moment of instant death?”

Read More
http://www.animalaid.org.uk/images/pdf/kfrp.pdf

UN Inquiry into Human Rights Violations Against Disabled People

The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life . . . the children; those who are in the twilight of life . . . the elderly; and those who are in the shadow of life . . . the sick . . . the needy . . . and the disabled.”
Hubert Humphrey

This news has been around for a few days and somehow I missed it. I cannot however let this great news go without mention.

I am pleased to learn that the United Nations is carrying out an  inquiry into “systematic and grave violations” of  the human rights of disabled people by the Tory government here in the UK? Though I knew that the UN were undertaking an inquiry into the UK’s human rights violations in this regard I did not know that it had finally been confirmed.  According to a
spokesperson from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) the UN inquiry “will examine the vicious and punitive attacks on disabled people’s independent living as well as the cuts which have seen so many placed in inhuman circumstances and has led to unnecessary deaths.”

From Disability news Service

Confirmed! UN is investigating UK’s ‘grave violations’ of disabled people’s rights

“The United Nations is carrying out an unprecedented inquiry into “systematic and grave violations” of disabled people’s human rights by the UK government, Disability News Service (DNS) can finally confirm.

DNS revealed last August that the UK appeared to have become the first country to face a high-level inquiry by the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD).”

Continue Reading:
http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/confirmed-un-is-investigating-uks-grave-violations-of-disabled-peoples-rights/

In the meantime keep campaigning, writing letters and signing petitions such as the one below:

“Leaving people with no means of feeding themselves, keeping warm and keeping essential electrical appliances working is unconscionable and has no place in a civilised and rich society such as Great Britain.”

Too many people have die and suffered. Act now and Implement these Select Committees recommendations.

Please read more and sign the petition:
https://www.change.org/p/rt-hon-david-cameron-mp-implement-the-recommendations-of-the-benefit-sanctions-policy-beyond-the-oakley-review

It is claimed that the government ignores petitions, whether of not this is true it is still a good idea to sign and voice your opinion, it shows the level of public feeling regardless as to whether or not the government decide to ignore petitions or letters or any other form of protest.

The treatment of sick and disabled people, and the unemployed and low paid for that matter, here in the UK during this and the previous Tory government, aided and abetted by the Lib/Dems, is shocking and now that they have the majority is getting ever more abusive and punitive.

“Many disabled people are facing a multitude of attacks on their human rights and living standards. It is rarely just one or two issues per person. This is the crucial point in the current retrogression of the human rights of disabled people – attacks are being carried out in every area of our lives.”

“There has been a massive rise in the numbers of disabled people being sanctioned and left reliant on food banks, and the increasing levels of malnutrition people are suffering due to increased poverty,”
DPAC spokeswoman quoted in Herald Scotland

Along with unfair assessments, cuts and sanctions is the Nazi style campaign to vilify benefit claimants labelling them “scroungers “and “Skivers”. This is outrageous and unethical treatment that has to stop now, such treatment of the most vulnerable in our society has no place in the UK, one of the richest nations in the world. Shame on Cameron and IDS who have violated the human rights of sick and disabled people causing deaths and unimaginable misery. I hope now that finally they will get their comeuppance and that the main instigators Cameron and IDS and all those who enthusiastically supported them will finally be recognised for the evil and vile people that they are and that this grave injustice will end once and for all.

Thanks to the grassroots campaigning organisation DPAC who have tirelessly petitioned the UN to launch an inquiry when charities for the disabled and the Labour party have done so little.

Read more information about the inquiry

So DPAC triggered the UNCRPD inquiry but what does it really mean?http://dpac.uk.net/2015/09/so-dpac-triggered-the-uncrpd-inquiry-but-what-does-it-really-mean/

Maybe just the news alone that the UK government is under investigation by the UN will raise public awareness regarding the violation of human rights concerning people with disabilities.

Other hope comes in the form of Jeremy Corbyn who says Labour would now oppose all the Tories welfare changes, including the benefit cap

Opposition to welfare cuts

“Labour will oppose the Welfare Bill in full. We oppose the benefit cap. We oppose social cleansing,” 

“We will bring the welfare bill down by controlling rents and boosting wages, not by impoverishing families and socially cleansing our communities.”

http://www.aol.co.uk/news/2015/09/15/jeremy-corbyn-slams-poverty-denier-david-cameron-in-blast-at-free-market/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cuk%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D383187

Below are links to articles and personal accounts of the reality of how Tory benefits cuts have affected the most vulnerable in our society. Ignored for the most part by mainstream media these stories need telling again and again and should not be allowed to fade into obscurity. The fact that 25 percent of people who are entitled to vote voted Tory either means that 25 percent of our fellow citizens don’t give a dam about the shocking treatment of people who are unfortunate to a have to depend on benefits, including disabled and sick people, or they are ignorant of what is happening. A third possibility of course is that those who voted Tory believed all the anti benefit propaganda spewed out by biased right-wing media.

Thousands have died after being found fit for work, DWP figures show

“Nearly 90 people a month are dying after being declared fit for work, according to new data that has prompted campaigners and Labour leadership contenders to call for an overhaul of the government’s welfare regime.”

“…7,200 claimants had died after being awarded ESA and being placed in the separate work-related activity group – a category which identifies claimants who are unfit to work but may be able to return to work in the future.”

Read more:
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/27/thousands-died-after-fit-for-work-assessment-dwp-figures

UK Welfare Reform Deaths ~ Updated List ~ October 21st 2014

Updated tragic list of welfare-related deaths of UK’s sick and/or disabled people. This is the tip on the iceberg:

They shall be remembered forevermore.

Read the entire list, more people have died since the list was last updated and there is no doubt that more people have died who have not been included on the list. This is only the tip of the iceberg!
http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2014/10/21/uk-welfare-reform-deaths-updated-list-october-21st-2014/

Personal accounts

Chronically-ill dad kills himself with electric saw after fearing his sickness benefits would be changed again

Glenn Harris, who couldn’t work because of lupus and auto-immune disease, was “profoundly worried” about having to go through the reassessment procedure

“A chronically ill dad of two committed suicide with an electric saw because he was scared his benefits would be changed again, an inquest heard.”

Read More:
https://welfaretales.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/chronically-ill-dad-kills-himself-with-electric-saw-after-fearing-his-sickness-benefits-would-be-changed-again/

Confessions of a Pariah

“My personal story is just one of millions, millions of stories of no real significance to anyone in power but of very real significance and worth in human terms. What the government is doing is not saving the country from austerity but smashing the lives of millions. Disabled, vulnerable and poor people are being portrayed as feckless workshy scroungers, social pariahs who need teaching a lesson. It is an ideological Conservative dismantling of the welfare state, destruction of the health service, marketising social housing and higher education that is hurling this country back into an economically and socially divided nation.”

Read More:
https://apootler.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/confessions-of-a-pariah/

Shocking Benefits Story Exposes Britain’s ‘Barbaric’ Welfare System

“I became badly psychologically ill a few years ago at 17, diagnosed with major depression and general anxiety disorder which developed further into physical conditions and eventually made life impossible to function most days.”

Read More:
http://www.welfareweekly.com/shocking-benefits-story-exposes-britains-barbaric-welfare-system/

People with mental illnesses have seen their already difficult lives deteriorate as a result of welfare reforms.

Sanctioned Jobseekers With Mental Health Problems Are Not ‘Vulnerable’, Says DWP

“Requests for hardship payments may be made by people who say they have a mental condition. A person will only be a member of a vulnerable group if the condition causes limitation in functional capacity because of a physical impairment.”

It continues: “It is extremely rare for a mental condition to produce a physical impairment that limits or restricts functional capacity but it can happen.”

http://www.welfareweekly.com/sanctioned-jobseekers-with-mental-health-problems-are-not-vulnerable-says-dwp/ – please be sure to read the above in full. To comment fully on the outrageous claim that mental illness does not limit functional capacity and vulnerability would need a separate entry. Mental health conditions to name but two of the most obvious and most common, agoraphobia and obsessive compulsive disorder OCD, can incapacitate sufferers in such a way that they can no longer leave their home, sometimes not even one room. Sufferers of conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can be even more severely affected. Indeed mental illness can be physically incapacitating in the extreme, such as a person with depression may become catatonic. Even if this was the case people still have to feed themselves, keep warm, pay their rent and so on. Mental illness is a profoundly disabling condition which can prevent a person from functioning in any capacity whatsoever. How the hell can you work if you cannot get out of bed incapacitated by depression or you cannot leave your home as a result of agoraphobia?In fact in some way those with a mental health condition may be more vulnerable because it is far less easy to fight for your rights when your mind is in turmoil as a result of delusional thinking and or anxious fearful thoughts, when thought processes are numbed by depression or you are stuck in the turmoil of compulsive behaviours incapacitated by fear and dread.  A sufferer of a mental illness often finds it difficult to communicate either by talking or writing, a phone call can be a monumental ordeal of stress and anxiety. Few understand the effect of mental illness on the entire life of a person who suffers in this way and how added stress can exacerbate symptoms. Publilius Syrus once said that “pain of the mind is worse than pain of the body” and in many ways this may be so, it most certainly can in some cases be just as incapacitating though in a less obvious way than a Physical  disability.

Disabled and sick benefit claimants are not alone in their suffering as low wage earners are now much worse off since Osborne’s Budget.

Minimum-wage families would be £2,038 a year richer if George Osborne’s Budget had never happened

http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/library/by-date/work-capability-assessment.html#.VWw_0KDqYo4.wordpress

Well I could go on, there are so many sad tragic stories so much suffering and despair. I doubt if anyone has read all the above. There are many stories as their are injustices as the Tory government carry on with their destruction of our welfare state and if no one stands up to them things will continue to get worse and more lives will be ruined and more people will die. This is not the society we want for ourselves, for our children or future generations.

Animal Hero: Jeremy Corbyn

Below is a guest post by the animal and human rights activist and supporter of free software Luis Leonel

ANIMAL HERO: JEREMY BERNARD CORBYN

JEREMY

JEREMY BERNARD CORBYN has been a long-time campaigner on animal rights issues. He was one of the first signatories to Tony Banks’ “Pigeon Bombs” Early Day Motion and in 2015 signed a motion calling for a ban on the importation of foie gras into the United Kingdom and sponsored a motion opposing the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. He also sponsored two Early Day Motions relating to the McLibel case.

“Alongside our shared commitments to human rights and environmental justice, our party has a strong commitment to animal welfare. As a vegetarian all my adult life, I have used my position in parliament to advocate for greater animal welfare protection.

The last Labour government achieved much to reduce animal suffering: banning hunting with dogs, securing an end to cosmetic testing, banning fur farming, and introducing the Animal Welfare Act.  I supported all these measures.

One of the first set of questions I tabled after I was elected to Parliament in 1983 was about the use of animals in tobacco research experiments. I also campaigned against the use of primates in research, and I negotiated tougher regulations with ministers on how they are imported for use in research, and as pets, under the Animal Welfare Act.

In this Parliament I will continue my lifelong opposition to hunting with dogs. I have also voted, spoken and campaigned for a ban on wild animals in circuses and I opposed the badger cull in the last Parliament.

I was a childhood opponent of fox hunting growing up in Shropshire. Back then we had otter hunting, badger baiting and hare coursing. Gradually we got legislation to end all these awful practices. It was my old friend Tony Banks who finally got the badger as a protected species – I was quoted in the press calling it ‘A Good Day for Brock’ when it finally went through.

I have supported the campaign against the dog meat trade, as well as campaigning to ban imports of foie gras, following India’s welcome lead on this issue.

Our country and our party have much to be proud of on animal welfare, but we still have further to go to match the best practice around the world. This is another reason why we must resist the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which would threaten the European and national legislative protections that we have campaigned together to achieve.

If elected leader, I pledge that a Labour government in 2020 will continue to advance our animal welfare protections so that they are the best in the world – and I hope that you will hold me to that pledge.”

Jeremy Corbyn