Happy Thanksgiving – But Please Leave Turkey Off Your Plate

Happy Thanksgiving,  please celebrate this day with compassion.

To provide you with a traditional Thanksgiving meal 45 million turkeys have to die.  It is impossible to image the full extent of this horror as you sit down to eat a roast that doesn’t really resemble a living creature. An intelligent sentient feeling being who only a matter of weeks ago, or maybe even only a few days if your turkey is fresh not frozen, lived and breathed and was aware, aware of  the pain and suffering he or she endured in a factory farm,  the extent of which despite shocking videos many people still fail to fully comprehend.

This Thanksgiving please choose life over death, kindness over cruelty and leave turkey off your plate.

Suggestions for vegan roast alternatives to turkey
https://www.peta.org/living/food/vegan-roasts-to-make-your-holidays-even-happier/    –    Tomorrow make your Thanksgiving meal and celebration a more positive happier cruelty-free event knowing that no sentient creature had to suffer and die for your celebration.

This Thanksgiving celebrate turkeys as friends not food and adopt a turkey

Mckenna Grace Stands Up for Turkeys: “I Would Rather Love Them Than Eat Them”

Find out how you can adopt a turkey from Farm Sanctuary
https://www.farmsanctuary.org/adopt-a-turkey/ 

I don’t think the majority of people would intentionally harm an animal, but if you eat meat including turkey you are contributing to the cruelty and death of billions of sentient beings who feel pain and suffer as you do. If you sit down to turkey at Thanksgiving you are complicit in the death of these sentient creatures, who are full of life, intelligent, curious, sensitive and brave: Benjamin Franklin referred to turkeys as “a bird of courage. He suggested that the turkey rather than the eagle be the national symbol of the US.

“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red coat on.”

Benjamin Franklin in a letter to his daughter.

Tradition and habits are hard to break but once you have you then wonder why you waited so long before doing so, particularly if your actions were causing harm. I am not from the US and don’t celebrate thanksgiving of course but the same problem returns for us all in about one month’s time at Christmas, when yet again turkey is a meal that is eaten traditionally or habitually. I am ashamed to say now that it took a few Christmases to realize that it does not matter what you eat as long as it does no harm to any animal.

I recall many years ago during the run up to Christmas while queuing in the butchers feeling very uncomfortable as I thought about ordering a Turkey. It occurred to me that by doing so I was condemning one particular turkey to death. This concept occurred to me more keenly than such would perhaps be experienced if I had gone to our local supermarket and bought one straight from the freezer section. But no my family always had a fresh turkey for Christmas. I salved my anxiety and indeed my conscience by telling myself that if I did not order a turkey than someone else would. But such thinking was not in the least convincing as of course no matter who else bought a turkey, my ordering a turkey would of course result in the death of a particular turkey somewhere along the line. Nonetheless I am ashamed to say, it took a few more years to finally make the decision to become vegetarian, this delay was mostly due to habit and what I now consider was very shallow thinking or rather not thinking. It seemed that Christmas would not be Christmas without a turkey. Thinking it seems is the key, or rather not thinking, which results in the perpetuation of an omnivorous diet, a diet consisting of meat and vegetables, a diet to which most people in the west are accustomed. I think few people intend to be cruel and they do so simply because of thoughtlessness. And again I am now ashamed to say  it took a few more years after the initial thought to become vegetarian and eventually vegan, though the concern over meat eating had been present to some degree since childhood.

From early childhood I had questioned to some extent the eating of  animals for food. My mother told me that once as a young child I was given a book with a story about a turkey, a book I thoroughly enjoyed and one which was read to me over and over and that all through Christmas dinner that year I cried “poor turkey, poor turkey” and would not eat a thing. I guess even at a young age the incongruity of books telling stories about animals and sitting down to eat one was obvious and that adults seemed unaware of such inconsistencies was also plainly bizarre. The problem being that as children we knew that killing and eating an animal was wrong, we just knew didn’t we that animals had lives of their own, where sentient and that they felt pain and wished to live. We didn’t need scientific validation, this is something we all knew as did our parents when they were young, yet they enforced meat eating as did their parents.

If you are in any doubt here is the reality of the cruelty behind your Thanksgiving dinner:

Warning some graphic images.

What Happens to Turkeys Used for Food Will Break Your Heart
https://www.peta2.com/news/turkey-industry/?utm_source=peta2::E-Mail&utm_medium=E-News&utm_campaign=1117::gen::peta2::E-Mail::P2%20Cynthia%20Thanksgiving%20Recap%20EA::::p2%20e-news

More information from a recent blog post about the reality of suffering for turkeys to provide you with Thanksgiving and Christmas celebratory meals. Includes alternative recipe suggestions;
https://rantingsfromavirtualsoapbox.wordpress.com/2017/11/19/keep-turkey-off-your-plate-this-christmas/

Please leave turkey off your plate tomorrow and every future Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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Tories Out: Please Attend Demo Tuesday November 21st

A bit short notice if you are not already aware of the following protest, but if you can please do join the demonstration outside Downing street and around the country taking place tomorrow Tuesday November 21st.

If you can’t participate in the protest please send an email to your MP supporting the demonstration.

Contact your MP
http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

Or Send him or her a Tweet

Your MP’s Twitter address will be included in the above contact information. All you need is to enter your postcode

There are other events nationwide.

PROTEST

#SackTheTories
Stop the Universal Credit Crisis – Stop Tax Avoidance – Fund Our NHS
Day of action ahead of the Budget

Tuesday 21 November, Nationwide

Check out more details click below:

#SACKTHETORIES – BUDGET DAY PROTEST

http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/budget_toriesout

The Tories have been accused of “economic murder” and rightly so as their relentless austerity policies have resulted in the deaths of 120,000 people.

120000 DEATHS LINKED TO AUSTERITY

The Conservatives have been accused of “economic murder” for austerity policies which a new study suggests have caused 120,000 deaths.

Continue reading:
http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/120000

The Tories’ destruction of our welfare system is unrelenting.With every passing day more and more shocking facts come to light as vulnerable and poor people are plunged ever deeper into poverty and despair.

Here are some of the latest

A cheap stunt by the government over Universal Credit will lead to thousands of children a year being worse off

“The government has made a significant change to the controversial roll out of Universal Credit. It’s launched a consultation on proposed changes to a policy affecting over one million children. It says more children will be helped by the plans.

But dig a little deeper into the details and it actually seems like a cheap stunt. Because the proposals could eventually lead to around 16,000 of the most deprived children being worse off every year.”

Read More:
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2017/11/18/cheap-stunt-government-universal-credit-will-lead-thousands-children-year-worse-off/

No Money for Christmas for 60,000 households with 40,000 children

Landlords have already sent out notifications anticipating that their tenets will not be able to pay rent as a result of delays to Universal Credit (UC).

Note the following:

Food bank use has increased 30% in areas where UC has been rolled out

3 million families are losing an average of 2,000 a year as a result of UC

Action on poverty says that more than a million children will be in poverty due to cuts as a result of universal credit.

Does this insensitive robotic woman have no feelings. The number of people being evicted has gone down so she says in the above video, by a whole third, so that makes it all right then despite the fact that two thirds, hundreds of people, continue to be evicted as a result of universal credit. You’re just a number to them, this woman and others of her ilk have no feelings, no compassion no concern for you as an individual.  It has been announced that over Christmas people who are changing to universal credit will get no money until after the christmas period. How the hell are they supposed to survive for six weeks with no income. Hard at anytime but more devastating this time of year.

Please sign the following petition:

A small admin oversight by the government will mean thousands of people will be left penniless this Christmas, without enough to pay their rent or buy food – let alone celebrate Christmas.

Please read more and sign the petition:

Please make an exception to Universal Credit rules this Christmas
https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/2998?utm_source=email&utm_medium=blast&utm_campaign=20_11_2017_universal_credit_christmas&bucket=email-blast-20_11_2017_universal_credit_christmas&utm_source=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=blast2017-11-20

What is happening to poor and disabled people here in the UK is disgusting

The government will not even  investigate whether people claiming Universal Credit are forced to use food banks

Separately, the Peabody Trust housing association, one of the UK’s biggest social landlords, has calculated the delays will put about 23,000 families – with 41,000 children – at risk of destitution in the run-up to Christmas.

The problems are likely to escalate with the extension of Universal Credit. Even by the end of January, only 10 per cent of benefits claimants will be receiving it.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/universal-credit-government-food-banks-benefits-work-pensions-dwp-charities-mps-dan-jarvis-a8048496.html

Here is the reality of UC

Below is a chart showing the impact of UC

The government claim that people struggling without money can claim advance payments. Don’t be fooled. Here is the reality of so called advanced payments:

How the hell can anyone live on £22 a week. Moreover this money has to be paid back!

Here is more of the grim reality of Tory Britain as diseases of the Victorian era return to Salford: rickets and beriberi – thought to be long eradicated – are on the rise due to food poverty according to a shocking new report

Never forget if you vote Tory you are complicit ! Your actions in the ballot box have set the clock back to a time and circumstances that we had hoped had been consigned to history long ago. Your vote is destroying the lives of children and disabled and sick people. Think of that when you sit down to your Christmas dinner, in your warm home and watch your children pay with their new toys. Thanks to your vote Christmas for many people will be like something out of Dickens!

To make matters worse the Tories could care less and even laugh about the suffering caused by UC.

Comment on the Guardian article above which basically sums up the situation.

“One way to judge a society is by our children .If that is the case this cruel tory goverment has proved to be an abject failure .There is a massive divide between the rich and the poor.This has to be a deliberate policy. This goverment has chosen to give more to the very rich at the cost of the poor .There policies are designed to be cruel to those struggling to get by .This Tory goverment are well aware of the plight of the poor .By there actions have proved they don’t care.

Food banks are mistake this goverment has allowed .these statements on our society are just the tip of the ice berg .Our public services a vital life line for us all are collapsing.worse child poverty is rife in our country in 2017 .employment deregulation is seen as outrageous .When the ultra rich benefit from tax breaks ,and then to add insult to injury use tax havens to avoid there responsibility to society we all live in .The duty of any goverment is to ensure its citizens are treated fairly .Its obvious this goverment has failed.”

If you can, please attend your nearest protest tomorrow.

Also please write to your MP express in the strongest terms, though politely, your outrage concerning the continuous onslaught of misery and suffering caused by Universal Credit and other benefit cuts and changes on vulnerable members of our society including children, people with disabilities and the elderly.

Contact your MP
http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

Keep Turkey off Your Plate This Christmas

Christmas is coming and along with it it’s usual over indulgence and the massacre of sentient beings, mostly turkeys, to celebrate the birth of a person venerated worldwide as a man of peace.

Yet the meal most people sit down to on Christmas day is anything but peaceful and amounts to a blood bath of millions of sentient beings.

Here is the reality concerning the cruelty behind your Christmas dinner.

In the USA more than 45 million turkeys are killed each year at Thanksgiving alone, and more than 22 million die at Christmas.

Annually 300 million turkeys are raised and killed for their flesh in the United States with no federal legal protection which exposes them to wicked and unimaginable cruelty. Besides no creature wants to die and no creature needs die to provide you at any time with a food that is not natural.

Turkeys Used for Food

“Ben Franklin called turkeys “true American originals.” He had tremendous respect for their resourcefulness, agility, and beauty. Turkeys are intelligent animals who enjoy having their feathers stroked and who like listening to music, with which they will often loudly sing along. In nature, turkeys can fly 55 miles an hour, run 18 miles an hour, and live up to 10 years.”

But the story is very different for turkeys on factory farms:

Continue reading
https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/turkeys/

Please watch the video below if you haven’t already done so in the above link:

This will put you off your Christmas dinner, if it doesn’t what does that say about the type of person you are.

Warning

Yes it is upsetting and if you are a sensitive caring person who doesn’t eat tortured dead animals then you probably do not need to watch. But if you are thinking of sitting down to turkey roast on Christmas day this undercover video is vital viewing.

“Undercover investigator shows the public how chicken and turkeys are really treated before they reach your grocery store.”

Please read the following:

17 Reasons to Pass on Turkey This Year
https://www.peta.org/features/reasons-pass-turkey-year/

Ask yourself is your Christmas dinner worth all this suffering?

If the answer is no click the Pledge Vegan button in the link above and change to a vegan diet.

If you think that the above cruelty happens only in the USA think again – sadly more harrowing horrors and shocking cruelty to sentient beings occurs in the UK.

“Undercover footage of the conditions in which turkeys are reared on six farms – including two of the UK’s biggest producers. The video shows overcrowded sheds, dead and dying birds, animals with gaping wounds, birds with one half of their beak removed and cannibalism. The companies involved are Bernard Matthews (the biggest turkey producer in Europe), Kerry Foods (owners of Home Pride, Mattessons Walls and Greens), and farms in Braintree, Sevenoaks, Chichester and Devon.”

Here in the UK 10 million turkeys are massacred at Christmas – a total of 15 million all year round.

Check out the following link and take action

DOOR-DROP FOR TURKEYS THIS CHRISTMAS!

https://www.viva.org.uk/turkeys/leafletorder

If you don’t think Turkeys are aware of what is happening to them, think again.

Turkeys are sentient beings

Please read the short interview below.

Poultry Sentience and Intelligence

From an Interview with Dr. Ian Duncan, Professor of Poultry Ethology
University of Guelph
Ontario, Canada
https://www.upc-online.org/thinking/sentient.html

Turkeys have  zest for living, they are also affectionate and sociable, please watch these videos.

All this Turkey wants to do is cuddle

How could you kill and eat such a sweet gentle creature – if you eat turkeys you are of course responsible for their death, you are COMPLICIT in the cruelty depicted in the above videos.

The above video contains a small number of disturbing scenes.

The above video contains a small number of disturbing scenes.

Article about sentience in Turkeys from my website:

Sentience in Farm Animals Poultry Turkeys

http://www.think-differently-about-sheep.com/sentience%20in%20farm%20animals%20poultry%20turkeys.htm

Like your dog Turkeys are highly intelligent animals.

Here’s some great news, Turkeys are in short supply for Christmas here in the UK!!!!!!

Christmas could be CANCELLED as turkey shortage hits Britain
https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/878993/Christmas-2017-dinner-turkey-cancelled-farmer-shortage-Britain-festive-food

Consider if you can’t give up eating a turkey for Christmas day, even though there is much cruelty and suffering involved, well maybe you should consider your health:

“The predicted shortage comes as a result of the outbreak of Avian Flu experienced across Europe last year and the knock-on effect of rearing restrictions that meant fewer turkeys, and other birds, were bred.”

The above article also included the following:

 “Recent research, conducted by Quorn, revealed that 61% of Brits are already eating meat free dishes week in, week out and 83% of families are now enjoying a meat free dinner at least once a week.”

Don’t replace turkey with chicken, goose or any other living being, do the right thing and celebrate Christmas by going vegan 

Here are some ideas for a cruelty free Christmas and real peace on earth to all beings, not just human beings. Whether you’re religious, Christian or other religion, this is what religion should be about, namely bringing  peace and harmony to earth for all creatures, not death, torture and misery.

Celebrate a vegan Holiday
https://www.peta.org/living/food/celebrate-vegan-holiday/

From the vegan society

Our top ten Christmas recipe picks – My family and I enjoy number 8, a delicious trifle ideal for boxing day

https://www.vegansociety.com/whats-new/blog/10-best-vegan-christmas-recipes

Entering a search in your favourite search engine such as Vegan Christmas Recipes will result in hundreds of delicious animal free, cruelty free, vegan recipes.

Animals Australia asks you to take a pledge to go Vegan this Christmas

Pledge to add delicious meat-free dishes to your menu this Christmas

http://www.animalsaustralia.org/kinder-christmas

 

Actions To Take To Help Free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

I think most of us here in the UK are now familiar with the story of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, if not you will find information here
and here.

Below are actions you can take to help Nazanin gain her freedom.

The first is a petition by Richard Ratcliffe, Nazanin’s husband

“Petitioning Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party Theresa May MP and 4 others:
Theresa May MP,  Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, David Cameron, MP Jeremy Corbyn MP, Tim Farron MP

Free Nazanin Ratcliffe

Please sign the following petition to help British Iranian charity worker Nazanin who was arrested on her way back from a family holiday to Iran. Nazanin has been in jail in Tehran for 19 months.

“My wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 37 year old charity worker, was on holiday visiting her family in Iran. She was at the airport returning to the UK on the 3rd April when she was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. She has been transferred to an unknown location in Kerman Province, 1,000 kilometres south of Tehran, and is being held in solitary confinement.”

Please read more and sign and share this petition:
https://www.change.org/p/free-nazanin-ratcliffe?utm_medium=email&utm_source=aa_sign&utm_campaign=183516&sfmc_tk=U9%2bgsoWiQc7rDlLtO%2fdDC1NSGUKtC4QtWRIq9gicrpX4mA4Xj07RJmrE6jGLWjK2&j=183516&sfmc_sub=137821078&l=32_HTML&u=34091412&mid=7259809&jb=126

Below is a petition by Amnesty International

HELP GET NAZANIN HOME

“Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a British-Iranian mother imprisoned in Iran. She’s serving a five-year prison sentence but she hasn’t committed any crime.

Nazanin was recently told she could face new charges and potentially even more years in prison, separated from her young daughter and husband. She is in poor mental and physical health. Urge the Iranian authorities to immediately release Nazanin and help get her home”

Please read more and sign and share this petition:

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/help-get-nazanin-home-iran-prisoner-british-mother

Please sign the above petitions and share widely.

Read the story of a survivor of the prison where Nazanin Zaghari- Ratcliffe is being held:

“It was a black hole of human-made evil, which had sucked you in,” said Ms Nemat, who now lives in Canada. She added: “I just want her to know she’s not forgotten. She just needs to hang in there because it will come to an end — she will come home. She has to believe that.

“Being forgotten is the worst thing in prison because you feel you have been wiped from the end of the Earth.”

“When I was in prison the most difficult thing for me was the thought that the world had forgotten me, and doesn’t give a damn.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/iran-prison-where-jailed-mother-nazanin-zaghariratcliffe-is-being-held-described-as-black-hole-of-a3687871.html

In addition to the brutality and inhume conditions of such an awful place of incarceration Nazanina has serious health problems:

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe On ‘Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown’ Amid Breast Cancer Fears

“The British woman who has been jailed in Iran has seen a medical specialist after finding lumps on her breasts and is “on the verge of a nervous breakdown”, her husband has said.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is being held in one of Iran’s most brutal prisons on charges of spying and spreading propaganda, despite only being in the country on holiday with her daughter visiting her parents.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/nazanin-zaghari-ratcliffe-health_uk_5a088ed7e4b01d21c83f391f?ncid=webmail

It’s impossible to imagine the horror this poor woman is going through, a woman who has committed no crime. Please do not forget Nazanin and sign and share petitions.

End the injustice of benefit cuts.

On a  recent visit to Conset in county Durham Jeremy Corby called on the government to halt Universal Credit which requires a six week wait resulting in poverty, debt, insecurity, food bank use.

“Mr Corbyn said people will have to wait six weeks for payment when they transfer to Universal Credit, causing “terrible hardship”.

He said many legitimate claimants did not have access to a computer but were being told to go online to access Universal Credit.

“The Government has a great opportunity on Wednesday week, which is the Budget,” he said.

“Why don’t they say: ‘We have looked at it, we have listened, we have heard the hardship, we are going to pause the roll out?'”

https://www.aol.co.uk/news/2017/11/10/halt-universal-credit-before-it-makes-millions-worse-off-jeremy/?ncid=webmail

 Please contact your MP and demand a halt to Universal Credit

Demand an end to the injustice of Universal Credit The Government has an opportunity on November 22nd, the autumn budget, to stop the misery and suffering and bring a halt to Universal Credit. Contact your MP demand a pause to the roll out of Universal credit:

http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

Please sign petitions

Abolish Universal Credit
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/abolish-universal-credit

Change Universal Credit
https://www.change.org/p/jeremy-corbyn-mp-scrap-universal-credit

Imagine the misery, the anxiety, of not being able to buy food to feed yourself or your children, watch them go to school without breakfast, not be able to heat your home or to pay your rent or live any kind of quality of life. Never forget we live in the sixth richest country in the world, yet this callous evil government – sanctioned by so many people as they yet again cast their vote for austerity for the poor and tax concessions for the rich – denies people a basic standard of living

The more and more that such cases relating to Universal Credit UC and other benefits as those below come to light the more angry I become. It seems to me that all care and compassion has gone, that generally speaking few people give a damn as to the plight of sick and disabled people and the government’s appalling treatment of them and those who are unemployed or subsist on low wages and require benefits to maintain even the most basic of existence. All people think about these days is money money money.They say that money is the root of all evil and this is just so true.

If you support the Tories after ten years of hell for vulnerable people you disgust me.

If after reading the following stories of grave social injustice that is taking place in our country and indeed throughout the world and you remain unmoved and couldn’t give a damn you need to ask yourself what the hell is wrong with you. Are you a sociopath perhaps rather like most Tories and you are incapable of caring? Maybe you’re worn down by your own misery, after all few but the very rich have remained unscathed by Tory austerity policies. However if  you voted Tory anyway you do not have my sympathy and you are worse than a sociopath. If you are simply ignorant or naive and believe all the rubbish they spout aided and abetted by the media, well get educated, don’t take anything at face value.The conservatives are not for everyone, they support the rich at the expense of the poor.

If you are not convinced than read on

The UK is the 6th richest country yet a seriously disabled woman denied benefits has to survive by eating out of garbage bins and living in her car!

Ann a former nurse, was told she isn’t eligible for disability benefits and has been struggling to get by ever since.

“A disabled woman says she has had to survive by eating out of bins, after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) axed her benefits.

“I can’t go on like this”

Ann Cumberland-Quinn is a former nurse living with a condition known as paresthesia. It causes weakness in the arms and legs, which means Ann has to rely on crutches in order to get around. But even though a neurosurgeon said Ann uses her crutches “with great difficulty”, the DWP denied her disability benefits. The DWP told her she hasn’t “got proof of entitlement”.”

Read More

A woman is ‘eating out of bins to survive’, thanks to the DWP
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2017/11/09/woman-eating-bins-survive-thanks-dwp/

The next heartbreaking case concerns a 38 year old woman who died alone and in the cold, a victim of callous Tory austerity.

More about the tragic death of this unfortunate woman

“How many people have got to die before this government realises they are killing vulnerable people?”

Probe into death of mum in freezing home after benefits were stopped
http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/uk-news/probe-death-mum-freezing-home-13880840

If that didn’t make you angry, sad or depressed what is wrong with you.

According to this article more children will soon be in poverty since records began  back in 1961

“Soon more British children will be poor than since records began, back in 1961. In four years, progress will be reversed and all the good that was done undone. Over a million more will be plunged below the decency threshold.

For 37% of children to be brought up poor is a national humiliation. Any politician boasting pride in “British tolerance” should include our remarkable tolerance of poverty, which exceeds all similar European countries. This is who we are and what we expect, so today’s chilling report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies didn’t make it into this morning’s BBC news bulletins. Sex and Brexit obsess us, while poverty is just normal Britishness.

It doesn’t have to be this way. This is a political decision, supported by enough voters.

Read More:

When 37% of children are brought up poor, that’s a national humiliation
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/02/37-per-cent-children-poor-national-humiliation-ifs

Sick and disabled people are dying and few care, sad sick world. As of course it is not only here in the UK that the vulnerable are under attack. A similar situation is enfolding in the US as a result of a crack down on welfare.

Trump Vs. America’s Children: Child Poverty In America Is Indefensible

For the country’s poor, the American dream is a living nightmare which is heightened by Trump’s ill-conceived budget.

“The state of poverty in the United States, particularly among children, is abhorrent. It puts America, the richest and most powerful country in the world, in a shameful light.

Successive U.S. administrations are guilty of immense negligence toward poor children. They have inflicted incalculable damage to millions who continue to suffer. This causes a tremendous loss of human resources and productivity to the country.

The following heart-wrenching statistics demonstrate the magnitude of the problem. One in 11 children, approximately 6.5 million nationwide, live in extreme poverty (an average of $12,129 per year for a family of four).”

Read more of the shocking facts about poverty in one of the world’s richest countries

https://www.theglobalist.com/donald-trump-budget-cuts-united-states-poverty/

And in Australia

Australian government intensifies welfare “debt” crackdown

“In an attempt to meet corporate demands to slash social spending, the Liberal-National government of Malcolm Turnbull is escalating a welfare offensive initiated by the previous Labor government. Using an automated data-matching system introduced by Labor in 2011, it is dispatching thousands of “debt notices” every week, demanding that current and former welfare recipients repay hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars.

In order to intimidate people relying on pensions, family tax benefits, unemployment benefits or other welfare payments, the government is sending out corporate debt collectors. It is also threatening to jail people unless they pay the demanded amounts or produce documents to disprove any alleged over-payment.”

“Decades of cuts by successive Labor and Liberal-National governments have resulted in Australia having one of the most punitive welfare systems among “developed” countries.”

Read More:
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/01/09/welf-j09.html

Capitalism is killing us, other species and the planet, but few want to know. Sad pathetic what kind of a society have we become, greed greed greed that is all that motivates most people. Maybe we feel so powerless to stop the onslaught, though the fact remains that there are just so many who are indifferent, uncaring.

Related Links

Warning that Wales could see the biggest rise in absolute poverty if benefits changes go ahead

“Britain’s most respected economic think tank has warned that Wales could see the biggest rise in “absolute poverty” of any UK nation or region if benefit cuts go ahead.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has sounded the alarm with a major report which also predicts an increase in child poverty in Wales.

It expects the absolute child poverty rate to climb from 28% for the 2013-2015 period to 34.9% for 2019-2021. There will be further concern at an expected rise in overall absolute poverty in Wales over this period from 22.5% to 23.3%.”

Read more:

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/politics/warning-wales-could-see-biggest-13845675

Sadly it will be a bleak Christmas for many if the government does not halt Universal Credit.

Universal Credit roll-out leaves food bank with shortage fears

“THE UK’S biggest food bank network has unveiled a five-point plan as it calls for urgent action in the run-up to Christmas.

The Trussell Trust warns volunteer groups could struggle to meet dem- and this winter unless urgent action is taken to improve Universal Credit.

Many recipients face waits of up to six weeks when transferring on to the benefit, which is being rolled out across the UK as part of welfare reforms aimed at saving the UK Government millions.”

http://www.thenational.scot/news/15644429.Universal_Credit_roll_out_leaves_food_bank_with_shortage_fears/

Tories Out: Help Stop Universal Credit

“It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government 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 shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”

Hubert H. Humphrey

With all the Brxit chaos, the plight of the most vulnerable members of our society –  including disabled people and the low paid – seems to be increasingly overlooked. This, one of the greatest social injustices of our time, means an additional 400,000 children in the UK will be pushed into poverty by benefit changes, including the roll-out of Universal Credit

The study found that the freeze on most working-age benefits will see around 7.5 million low income households have their benefit entitlements cut by more than £500 per year in real terms. The limiting of tax credits and universal credit to two children will leave some low income families with £2,500 less in benefits than they otherwise would have received, the report says.

Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/11/02/400000-children-pushed-into-poverty-by-benefit-changes-and-universal-credit-roll-out-7049382/?ito=cbshare

Before continuing please take the following actions to end Universal Credit

Petitions

Two petitions from 38degrees

Abolish Universal Credit
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/abolish-universal-credit

Pause the rollout of Universal Credit
https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/universal-credit-pause

Petition from the Labour party
Theresa May: pause and fix Universal Credit now
https://donation.labour.org.uk/page/s/universal-credit

More suggested actions further down

The reality of Universal Credit (UC) as a mother of two is unable to pay her rent, forced to use a food bank, choose between gas and electricty and take out a £900 debt as a result of delays in payment

Mum-of-two reveals Universal Credit delays forced her to choose between gas and electricity while relying on foodbanks to feed children
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/mum-two-reveals-universal-credit-11453141

Even severely disabled people are not exempt, in fact one of the policy’s most shameful parts is barely being noticed: the hidden cut being forced on some of Britain’s most severely disabled people. Philip, mentioned in the article below, who has multiple disabilities is losing £40 per week after changing to UC. He cannot afford to eat properly and skips meals which is affecting is health. He now has rent arrears of over £450.

This article shows the hidden cut being forced on some of Britain’s most severely disabled people.

Universal credit’s hidden cut pushes disabled people into poverty
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/oct/31/universal-credit-pushing-disabled-people-into-poverty

Note the following from the article above:
“Up to half a million disabled people like Philip and their families will be financially worse off under universal credit, according to disability charities, through the removal of the disability premiums, as well as cuts to child disability payments, which could affect 100,000 children at an annual loss of £1,000. Ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and it states that the support given by SDP is now provided through personal independence payments, (Pip) and social care from local councils, and that “transitional protection” will be available when disabled people are moved from ESA on to universal credit in 2019. But press further, and it turns out that cash-strapped local authorities have no obligation to provide support. And there is no help for disabled people like Philip who are transferred early.”

Concerning the treatment of disabled people a UN inquiry has said that the tories have created a “human catastrophe” for disabled people in the UK. The UN report has stated that the UK government have committed “grave” and “systematic” violations of human rights . 

For more detail please read the following from The Canary

“Here are some of the main criticisms :

  • The UK government has forced through reforms with no regard for the rights of disabled people.

  • The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) “processed rather than listened to or understood” disabled people during Work Capability Assessments (WCA).

  • The WCA gave disabled people significant “anxiety” and “financial, material and psychological hardship”.

  • The Conservatives had introduced reforms that had evidently caused “high levels of stress, anxiety and depression”.

    The UNCRPD was also critical of the Conservatives’:

  • Cuts to Legal Aid.
  • Failures to monitor how reforms were affecting disabled people.
  • Welfare Reform Act 2012; specifically that it broke set international conventions on disabled people’s rights.
  • WCA not recognising the complexity of disabled people’s conditions.

No independence

The report also specifically noted that the UK government had violated rights due to:

  • The Bedroom Tax.

  • Changes to Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

  • Cuts to social care.

  • The abolition of the Independent Living Fund (ILF).

  • Caps on benefits.

Be sure to read the full details concerning the UN’s damning indictment of the UK’s treatment of sick and disabled people:

BREAKING: The UN has just accused the Tories of creating a ‘human catastrophe’ in the UK
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2017/08/24/breaking-un-just-accused-tories-creating-human-catastrophe-uk/

Read about the controversial roll out of universal credit which with its seven weeks wait for payment of benefits  – sometimes 60 days if there are delays –  has left people unable to pay their rent, needing to resort to food banks and eventually getting into debt resulting in poverty and distress.

Severely disabled people will lose as much as £78.35 per week.

When faced with some difficult questions, this Tory minister’s silence over the DWP was deafening [VIDEO]

‘Deeply flawed’

But Paula Peters from DPAC does not think UC is “working”, as the DWP says it is. She told The Canary:

UC will cause extreme poverty and distress for millions of claimants. Conditionality under UC will be the order of the day. And if claimants are unable to meet the stringent demands under the Claimant Commitment they will be sanctioned.

Under UC disabled people will find they will miss out on transition protection, and in many cases treated as a new claim. This means that severely disabled people stand to lose £78.35 per week, as UC has no severe disability or enhanced disability premium. This will plunge disabled people further into poverty. Research has already shown that the additional cost of being disabled is £500 a month, and with the removal of social security payments disabled people are unable to meet these costs.

But calling for UC to be paused does not go far enough. This system is deeply flawed and will cause, and is causing, mass distress and harm. It needs to be scrapped.

Read More:

https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2017/10/07/faced-difficult-questions-tory-ministers-silence-dwp-deafening-video/

Below is an important damning quote from Thersea Degener chair Of UN committee on the rights of people with disabilities not reported by the media

Here are more real life accounts of the devastating affects of the Tories welfare reforms

Mum and new baby face Christmas eviction after WCA ‘nightmare

“A disabled woman with a new baby is set to be evicted a fortnight before Christmas because the Department for Work and Pensions stopped her benefits when she failed to attend a “fitness for work” test she had not been told about.”

“The mother-of-two said last night (Wednesday) that she felt as though she had been living through a “nightmare”.

She had previously had seven miscarriages, before giving birth through IVF to her first son Harrison, who is now three, and Edward, who was conceived naturally.

She said the ordeal DWP had put her through felt like “someone is standing on your head and pushing you under water”.

She said: “I feel numb by the whole ease with which they can destroy somebody.

“I know that some people have committed suicide [in situations like this]and I can totally see how something like that can happen. The system is so cruel.”

https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/mum-and-new-baby-face-christmas-eviction-after-wca-nightmare/

‘Selling everything’ because of universal credit

Holly Sargent first applied for universal credit eight months ago.

But administrative problems and her vulnerable mental health means 10 applications later she has still not received the benefit.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-41590794/selling-everything-because-of-universal-credit

One poor women is expected to live on just one penny per month as a result of a UC Sanction, impossible of course.

Distraught pregnant woman must survive on 1p a month due to Universal Credit sanction
http://metro.co.uk/2017/10/19/distraught-pregnant-woman-must-survive-on-1p-a-month-due-to-universal-credit-sanction-7011899/?ito=cbshare

From top graduate to fleeing a bedsit – how Universal Credit nearly destroyed me

I waited months for Universal Credit. Then my landlord kicked me out and I was forced to move in with a man I didn’t know.

“Where are you living right now?”

“I’m just staying on his floor for now. It’s a bit dodgy because I have to leg it every Friday when the landlord’s son comes to collect the rent – he can’t know I’m living here.”

“You’d definitely be a priority for a place in refuge. How soon can you get here?”

I blinked. Some faceless person on the other end of a phone wanted to help me. I pushed down the flicker of hope that had ignited within me. There was probably a catch. I couldn’t trust that I might finally be free.

“If you text me when you arrive at the station, I’ll come and pick you up. I’ll text you my number now. See you soon.”

As promised the text came through. I sprang to life. Throwing the few belongings I had left into a suitcase, I began a journey that took me across London, to one of its outer suburbs. As promised, there was a car waiting. I was driven to a large, spacious house with a garden.

The case worker showed me to my room, gave me a bag of toiletries, then went back down the stairs. Once I was alone, I sank to the floor, completely numb. It was over. Being homeless, getting abused, was over.

But I was left with a question: how could this happen? How could Universal Credit change someone’s life so disastrously?

Continue reading

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/welfare/2017/11/top-graduate-fleeing-bedsit-how-universal-credit-nearly-destroyed-me

Regarding the opening quotation concerning the moral test of a government. It is obvious that the government have not passed such a moral test and never will. It is only Labour who have in the past fought for social justice regarding those who are vulnerable in our society. Why people continue to vote for the policies of injustice I can never understand as no one knows if they or those they care about will need benefits in the future.

Take Action

– Support DPAC and Black Triangle, campaigning for disabled people’s rights.

As always you can contact your MP
http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

Related Links

Anger as ‘quarter of Universal Credit recipients in Leeds hit with sanctions’

A quarter of single unemployed people in the city have faced sanctions in the first year

Read more at:
http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/anger-as-quarter-of-universal-credit-recipients-in-leeds-hit-with-sanctions-1-8835579

Department for Work and Pensions refuses to disclose Universal Credit reports

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/uk/department-work-pensions-refuses-disclose-universal-credit-reports/

 

Help Save Elephants

Watch this delightful video of a baby elephant, does he not remind you of a child of two or so chasing birds falling over and running to his mother for comfort. Elephants are amazing creatures, highly intelligent animals who form close family bonds. It is a tragedy that their very existence is under threat.

Can you imagine a world without elephants? Doesn’t bear thinking about.

Below are actions you can take and information about this remarkable species killed for the sake of profit. The trade in ivory is so prolific that elephants are now being born without tusks as though evolution is trying to step in to save elephants from the human threat to their existence. A threat that will be realised within the next decade if we do not act now to stop the slaughter of these iconic animals.

Petition

Help shut down the biggest ivory markets in the world by signing the following petition:

Hong Kong: End ivory, not elephants!

“The biggest ivory bust in decades just happened in Hong Kong. 1000 elephants were murdered for one shipment(!), only to end up as little trinkets on people’s bookshelves! 

Hong Kong is like ivory island — home to a booming trade in their butchered body parts. As long as it’s legal, more and more beautiful elephants will be slaughtered. At this rate, they could literally be wiped out in our lifetime. “

Please sign and share:
https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/hk_ivory_loc/?wMsmGdb

Petition

Europe: End the Ivory Trade

“We’re about to wipe elephants from the face of the Earth. It’s so bad, some are now being born without tusks — an astonishing last throw of the evolutionary dice to survive human cruelty.

But for the first time ever China, the world’s biggest ivory importer, has announced it’s banning ivory. Now, if enough of us demand it, we can get Europe, the world’s biggest ivory exporter, to follow suit!”

Please sign and share
https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/eu_ivory_hk_ref/?wMsmGdb

Elephants also need to be free in the wild not confined to a miserable existence in zoos.

Please take the following action to at least rescue the elephants from at least this one zoo.

Petition

Shut Down the Elephant Exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo and Release the Elephants to Sanctuary
https://www.change.org/p/shut-down-the-elephant-exhibit-at-the-los-angeles-zoo

The are 10,000 Zoos worldwide housing an estimated one million invertebrates. Please boycott zoos, zoos are not the place for wild animals.

Reasons to save elephants.

The most import reason we should save elephants from extinction is that elephants, like all animals, are thinking feeling sentient beings and like all animals, including humans, do not want to die. Elephants like all creatures wish to live their lives free of suffering at the hands of human beings.They are a part of nature, it is their world too and they have a right to be here.

Some facts and other information about these incredible animals.

Elephants are very intelligent. Did you know that they can identify different languages

“Researchers at the University of Sussex in Brighton, UK have discovered that African elephants can distinguish differences in human gender, age, and ethnicity purely by the sound of someone’s voice.”

Elephants can use tools

“In 2010, a 7-year-old Asian elephant named Kandula impressed researchers by utilizing tools from his surroundings to reach fruit that had been strategically placed just beyond his reach.”

Elephants are empahtic

Elephants also mourn their dead and have incredible memories:

“Elephants can remember routes to watering holes over incredibly long stretches of time and space. This is necessary for elephants that live in the desert where water is scarce. “

Read the complete article
7 Behaviors That Prove Elephants Are Incredibly Smart
http://mentalfloss.com/article/55640/7-behaviors-prove-elephants-are-incredibly-smart

Below is footage of an elephant giving birth in the wild, free as nature intended.

Help save this remarkable animal before it is too late.

Please visit the following websites and take any of the suggested actions to help save elephants from extinction.

Save the Elephants
http://www.savetheelephants.org/

WWF Adopt an elephant
https://support.wwf.org.uk/adopt-an-elephant?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=PPC_Main&utm_campaign=Generic&pc=ARG001001&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjZS-_NCc1wIVRBbTCh2lRgJuEAAYASAAEgJorvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Elephants Voices
https://www.elephantvoices.org/support-now/what-you-can-do-support-now-70.html

6 ways to help elephants
https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/6-ways-to-help-elephants

Related Links

In Pictures: 3 arrests as Hong Kong makes record ivory seizure totalling 7.2 tonnes
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2017/07/06/three-arrests-hong-kong-makes-record-ivory-seizure-totalling-7-2-tonnes/

African elephants are being born without tusks due to poaching, researchers say
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/elephants-africa-tusks-ivory-poaching-born-without-a7440706.html