Help Prevent The Unjust Deportation of Hadija Mwenshee

It is outrageous and a grave social injustice that the UK should even consider deporting any asylum seeker to a country where he or she is likely to face death or imprisonment, which is the case for Hadija Mwenshee.  Surely this is what the term asylum means, sanctuary from harm and threat to life or liberty.

Here is the Cambridge Dictionary’s definition asylum:  protection or safety, especially that given by a government to people who have been forced to leave their own countries for their safety or because of war

Please read the following and sign and share the petition

“The UK Government says, “We don’t deport LGBT asylum seekers and we never will.” Is that a lie? Let’s stop the deportation and detention of HADIJA.A. MWENSHEE NOW!

We, the undersigned, petition the Home Office to free Hadija Mwenshee [HO Ref M1446619] from detention, and not to deport her to Tanzania, where she faces a grave risk of harm and a threat to her life and liberty. 

Hadija is a Tanzania lesbian who has been active in the LGBTI community in the UK. She is much loved and respected in our community, and we reject any suggestion that she is somehow not a genuine lesbian.

Hadija has a visible online presence, and gay haters and tabloids have already published her in their news accusing her of explicitly promoting homosexuality in the UK.

Please allow Hadija to continue her life in the UK and to live freely in an open and tolerant society.

Hadija left Tanzania after leaving her husband whom, for the years she was married to him, treated her as a slave: daily mistreatment, humiliation, and rape.”

Continue reading for more information and to sign the petition:

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/504/437/475/urgent-stop-the-removal-of-hadija.a.-mwenshee-a-lesbian-woman-to-tanzania/

Please share widely.

The outcome for Hadija is bleak if she returns to Tanzania, this deportation must be stopped.

Further action.

Please write to the home office:

Urge the UK Home Office to:
(i) release Hadija from deportation
(ii) agree to reconsider her case

Please write to the UK Home Office
Quoting Hadija Mwenshee
Home Office Reference [M1446619]

Contact Home Office

Home Office

Direct Communications Unit
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P 4DF

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. The minicom service is for members of the public with impaired hearing.

UKVI contact details

More contact information:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/home-office  You will need to scroll down

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Fish Are Sentient Beings

 

Of all the animals on earth, with the exception perhaps of insects arachnids and other tiny creatures colloquially referred to as creepy crawlies, fish it seems are the least valued or considered as sentient beings.

Fish are intelligent animals who lead complex lives that rival those of your dog and other mammals.

The forgotten fish: a new look at our underwater friends

“Fish are one of the most misunderstood species of the animal kingdom. Long believed to be unfeeling, primitive creatures, scientists are now discovering that fish feel pain and are sensitive social beings.”

http://www.dw.com/en/the-forgotten-fish-a-new-look-at-our-underwater-friends/a-40224207

Dolphins and whales are accepted without doubt as intelligent creatures, sensitive, aware, conscious: sentient. But what about other aquatic creatures –  the myriad species of fish, 2,7000 in all, which is more than all vertebrate species combined – are they sentient? Approximately three new species of fish are discovered each week! And even more vast are the huge numbers of species of other marine creatures, invertebrates such as molluscs – octopuses, squids, snails, slugs.  Do they possess sentience? The ocean is a vast habitat teeming with life, astronomical in number and diversity, creatures dwell even in the most inhospitable of environments.

Here I will focus my attention on fish as it is these creatures who are mostly exploited as food, however in the catching of fish many other aquatic animals suffer and die as a consequence and you can read why by clicking here:
Animal Rights: Aquatic Animals.

The reason that this article will only focus on fish however does not imply that other aquatic creatures lack sentience, in my opinion most animals are sentient.

What are the indicators that fish are sentient.

It is often considered that fish are primitive life forms, however as the oldest vertebrate group of animals they have been evolving for 400 million years, they have had time to evolve complex and diverse behaviours. Because of their amazing diversity fish are said to be the most successful of all vertebrates.

One good indicator of sentience is a creature’s ability to express emotion, but how is emotion expressed in fish? How do we know that a fish feels distress or fear, how do we know if he or she feels pain or joy or experiences pleasure? Another good indicator of sentience is intelligence, are fish intelligent? Many people think not, but research is proving otherwise.

Pain is the most basic indicator of sentience, but do fish experience pain? The excuse of anglers when catching fish with hooks that pierce their mouths is that this area is numb and they do not feel pain. As you will see later on this is one of the most erroneous misconceptions of all the incorrect ideas many people have concerning fish, it is as unfounded as the notion that cows keep producing milk.

Of all animals exploited for food, fish are thought to be the least sentient and sadly this is due to a number of misconceptions, most notably their lack of facial expression which many people think equals a lack of feeling and conscious awareness, in other words sentience, and are consequently not capable of feeling pain or emotion. This is an incorrect assumption. Consider dolphins and Whales who similarly lack expression, at least in comparison with how we show feelings, yet few would deny that dolphins or whales are sentient, intelligent and that they feel pain.

In her article ‘What Fish Feel’ researcher Stephanie Yue of the University of Guelph in Canada explains the findings of her team and discusses the ethical implications. The following are extracts concerning the findings of research into the sentience of fish, which among other points of relevance demonstrates that rainbow trout not only have the ability to learn but also to recall what they have learnt.

Expressing her concern about the increase in the consumption of fish and the use of them in medical research, Ms.Yue considers that the problem is that most people experience an emotional distance from fish and consequently do not consider them as sentient, as creatures who feel pain or experience emotion. She says;

This may be because our present knowledge of assessing suffering in fish is inadequate— in part because fish do not typically display traditional and obvious signs we are familiar with in other animals. They are not capable of facial expression, nor can most species of fish vocalize; given their general anatomical structure, changes in body posture are extremely limited.

However, recent anatomical, physiological, neuropharmacological and behavioral studies suggest fish can suffer in ways similar to “higher” vertebrate animals.

From our studies on highly domesticated rainbow trout, we have seen these fish show behavior that is much more flexible and complex than was previously acknowledged. We have found that trout have some cognitive capacity that rivals that of mammalian laboratory animals, like rats. They not only show the ability to learn, but they also have memory of the things they learned—so they can anticipate events and adjust their behavior accordingly. This means some of their behavioral repertoire is “purposeful” and lends evidence toward “conscious” behavior.

What Fish Feel a report by Stephanie Yue

In addition to the above there is and has been considerable research into the sentience and intelligence of fish.

The fact is fish are conscious creatures, they are sentient, research demonstrates that they are far from the automatons we have been led to believe.

Lets start with the most popular criterion which many people adhere to as indicative of sentience: intelligence. As before it is important to bear in mind that intelligence or lack thereof does not imply a lack of sentience, but if we can demonstrate that a creature is intelligent it does go a long way towards establishing sentience. But we should perhaps bear in mind that animal intelligence is not comparable to our own, even though when the presence of intelligence is researched in animals it does seem as though we try to prove animals have similar intelligence rather than demonstrate that animals have perhaps a different kind of intelligence. A degree of intelligence of some type does of course demonstrate sentience, but is nonetheless not a prerequisite.

A number of research projects have demonstrated that despite having small brains fish have cognitive abilities in advance of some mammals. These studies also reveal that fish are fast learners, they can retain what they have learned and they can make mental maps. The following is an extract from The Telegraph concerning research into the intelligence of fish:

“Tests on fish in aquaria at Oxford University have shown that despite their tiny brains, they possess cognitive abilities outstripping those of some small mammals.

Dr Theresa Burt de Perera made the discovery using blind Mexican cave fish, which rely on subtle changes in pressure to detect the presence of objects around them.

“In experiments, Dr Burt de Perera found that the fish did more than merely avoid bumping into objects in their tank. They built a detailed map of their surroundings, memorising the obstacles in them within a few hours. Once stored in their brains, the fish used their “mental map” to spot changes in the obstacles around them – a feat that defeats hamsters.

In one test, involving obstacles arranged in a specific order, the fish proved capable of memorising the order and quickly spotted when Dr Burt de Perera swapped obstacles around.”

To finish reading the article:
Fast-learning fish have memories that put their owners to shame

Moreover concerning the amazing ability that fish have to make mental maps, it has been shown that fish retain this memory for about 40 days. In his book Pleasurable Kingdoms Jonathan Balcombe describes the incredible memory of the frillfin goby which lives in rook tide-pools when the tide is high:

“If a rock pool begins to dry up these fish leap to an adjacent pool. Obviously, a missed leap might be fatal, and the accuracy must be great in both terms of distance and direction. How do frillfin gobies do this being as they cannot see the adjacent pool? They memorise the topography of the rocks during high tide. Captive fish showed a marked improvement in orientation after an overnight opportunity to swim over the pools during an artificial high tide. Removing the gobies from their home tide pools for various periods of time before retesting their jumping ability showed that their memory of familiar pools lasted about 40 days. Thanks to these mental capacities, gobies caught in a shallow depression avoid having to make a pure leap of faith.”

Fish have the ability to learn by observing other fish:

“Did you know that fish can learn to avoid nets by watching other fish in their group and that they can recognize individual “shoal mates”? Some fish gather information by eavesdropping on others, and some—such as the South African fish who lay eggs on leaves so that they can carry them to a safe place—even use tools.”

Even more amazing:

“Australian crimson spotted rainbow fish, which learnt to escape from a net in their tank, remembered how they did it 11 months later. This is equivalent to a human recalling a lesson learnt 40 years ago.”
Culum Brown University of Edinburgh

Fish communicate with each other:

“Researchers from universities across America have published research showing that some fish use sound to communicate distress when nets are dipped into their tanks or they are otherwise threatened. In a separate study, researcher William Tavolga found that fish grunted when they received an electric shock. In addition, the fish began to grunt as soon as they saw the electrode, clearly in anticipation of the torment that Tavolga was inflicting on them.

Fish talk to each other with squeaks, squeals, and other low-frequency sounds that humans can hear only with special instruments.

Some fish woo potential partners by singing to them, but male sand gobies, tiny fish who live along the European coast, play “Mr. Mom,” building and guarding nests and fanning the eggs with their fins to create a current of fresh, oxygenated water.”

Extracts from  The Hidden Lives Of Fish.
https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/fish/hidden-lives-fish/

Fish have friends:

Porcupine Fish Won’t Leave Stuck Friend’s Side | This little fish’s friend was stuck in a net — so she stayed right by her side till she was finally free

Can fish use tools? Maybe not in the sense we would use tools but consider the following:

One species of wrasse, has been filmed engaging in a marine version of tool use.

“While diving off the Micronesian archipelago of Pulau, evolutionary biologist Giacomo Bernardi witnessed something unusual and was lucky enough to capture it on film. An orange-dotted tuskfish (Choerodon anchorago) uncovered a clam buried in the sand by blowing water at it, picked up the mollusk in its mouth and carried it to a large rock 30 yards away. Then, using several rapid head flicks and well-timed releases, the fish eventually cracked open the clam against the rock. In the ensuing 20 minutes, the tuskfish ate three clams, using the same sequence of behaviors to smash them.”

“In May 2014 a study highlighted an example of innovative tool use by Atlantic cods being held in captivity for aquaculture research. Each fish wore a colored tag affixed to its back near the dorsal fin, which allowed the researchers to identify each individual fish. The holding tank had a self-feeder activated by a string with a loop at the end, and the fish soon learned they could release a morsel of food by grabbing the loop in their mouth and pulling on it.

Apparently, some of the cods discovered they could activate the feeder by hooking the loop onto their tag and swimming a short distance away. These clever cods honed their technique through hundreds of “tests”—and it became a finely tuned series of goal-directed, coordinated movements. It also demonstrated true refinement because the innovators were able to grab the pellet a fraction of a second faster than by using their mouth to get the food. That fishes are routinely expected to interact with a foreign device to feed themselves is impressive enough but that some devised a new way of using their tag, in this case, shows a fish’s capacity for flexibility and originality.”

Continue reading:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fishes-use-problem-solving-and-invent-tools/

Tusk Fish using rock to crack clam!

Multitasking? Yes indeed fish are very adept at this, an ability the eludes me.

“First came news that fish feel pain, then research showed they’re smarter than you might think …. now a new study shows they’re good at multi-tasking too. University of Edinburgh biologists have found that when fish are vulnerable to attack, they become more adept at concentrating on tasks simultaneously. Experiments with a species of fish similar to guppies have shown that fish from high-risk environments identified predators with their left eyes and shoal mates with their right eyes. The research is significant because it appears to explain why humans have developed the ability to use different sides of the brain for specific tasks. The findings, which succeed earlier Edinburgh research on fish pain and intelligence, are published online today (21 July) in the Royal Society journal, Biology Letters.”

“Dr Culum Brown, of the University of Edinburgh’s Institute of Evolutionary Biology, said: “Our study suggests that lateralisation allows fish to concentrate on shoal mates and predators simultaneously. Put another way, you could say that fish are very good at multi-tasking. In fish, all information received by the left eye is transmitted to the right side of the brain, and vice versa. Lateralisation is rather like having two computers to process information in different parts of the brain simultaneously, rather than just one.”

To finish reading the article:

Scientific study shows fish make great multi-taskers
http://www.ed.ac.uk/biology/news-events/news-archive/public_archive.php?id=24

Fish are individuals

Many people perceive fish as all being the same both in appearance and behaviour, creatures of habit, automatons with no distinguishing characteristics. In my view this is yet another inaccurate observation and one which scientists are in the process of disproving as research validates that fish are individuals with their own personalities and behaviours. Below is an extract from a Times on-line article, which unfortunately is now not available without registration, by Mark Henderson, Smart School of Fish Expose Stupidity of a Popular Myth, which features a study led by Lynne Sneddon of the University of Liverpool conducting research into the intelligence of fish. The finding of which not only demonstrate that fish are smarter than we think but they have good memories and are individuals .

“The study… found that individual trout display very different characters — some are bold and inquisitive; others are shy and passive.”

“Rainbow trout certainly have contrasting personalities. Some are bold and some are shy. The bold fish take risks, they are quick to learn, more aggressive and active. Shy fish are cautious and timid, and spend more time under cover.

“They also learn from their experiences: they adjust their behaviour according to what they pick up from others.”

In the study, which is published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society, Dr Sneddon’s team first watched rainbow trout as they were exposed to new and unfamiliar stimuli in the form of shapes made of Lego dropped into their tanks. Fish were then categorised as bold or shy, depending on how quickly they investigated the objects, and how closely they approached them.”

Smart school of fish expose stupidity of a popular myth
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/smart-school-of-fish-expose-stupidity-of-a-popular-myth-svj3sdt5fgw

Fish have the capacity to feel pleasure.
Sentient beings are capable of experiencing pleasure. Most people would not equate fish as creatures with the ability to enjoy themselves and experience pleasure, again another misconception. Here are some examples of the ways that fish experience pleasure.

All animals like to be stroked, cat and dog owners know the pleasure their animals derive from being stroked and indeed the pleasure we derive from stroking them. Fish it seems also enjoy the sensation of being stroked. Contrary to popular belief fish are highly sensitive to touch, equipped with sensory organs they can detect pressure changes in the water and minute electrical fields.

Grooming by such creatures as cleaner shrimp and cleaner fish is likely undertaken for the pleasure of the tactile sensations involved in addition to the benefits of grooming.

The use of cleaning stations, a place where fish and other aquatic animals gather to be cleaned by fish of several species and other creatures, is a widespread phenomenon. The cleaner fish or other creatures nibble parasites such as fish lice, fungal growth, loose skin and other irritations from the skin.

Yes most certainly fish like to be touched, they have been observed to rub against one another. Fish even enjoy the sensations of touch by humans and fish who are used to divers often allow themselves to be stroked by them. There appears to be no advantage here, such as food or other benefit, other than pleasure from the sensory sensation.

Do fish seek out pleasure, do they play?

Quite likely the answer is yes. Again in his book pleasurable Kingdom, Jonathan Balcombe writing about fish and their capacity for play describes Zoologist E Meder observations of elephantine fish in an aquarium :

“After witnessing surprising things going on in his aquarium the Zoologist E Meder moved it to his desk so that he could keep a closer eye on his lone elephantine fish. One day to his astonishment, Meder watched the fish balancing a small aquatic snail on his or her nose. (Meder never determined or divulged the fishes’ sex). Small nylon balls added to the tank were treated similarly. When these began to accumulate in the filter, Meder suspended one on a string, and the fish would bat balance and retrieve the ball. That this fish was kept alone suggests that the play-like behaviour may have been driven in part by boredom.”

Surgeonfish in at a zoo in the USA were observed to gulp in air at the surface of their tank, swim to the bottom release the air and chase the bubbles to the surface. There is admittedly not a lot of evidence that fish play other than anecdotal, but there are numerous indications that they do. Most of us have seen fish repeatedly leaping out of the water, we may conjecturally imply that this is some form of play as it serves no other perceivable purpose.

Curiosity? Are fish curious?

A curious creature is aware is he not, it is his awareness, his consciousness that sparks his curiosity. Curiosity is a sign that a creature is sentient. But are fish curious? Fish are known to investigate unusual objects in their environment. Children paddling in fresh water often experience first hand the curiosity of little fish who nibble at their legs.

Watch the following as this little fish follows this person’s finger, curiosity surely.

Capacity to feel pain?

Last but most certainly not least: fish feel pain. As with all animals the most basic indication of sentience is the ability to feel pain and fish like all animals are capable of experiencing pain.

Without sentience there can be no pain, pain is felt, it is experienced by a creature who is aware, the animal has to be aware, conscious in order to feel the painful sensation and to recognise it as painful and thereafter to avoid a recurrence of the painful stimuli. So if we can establish that fish feel pain we are well on the way to validating the concept that fish are sentient.

Every creature feels pain, without pain no creature would survive for very long, pain is a basic survival mechanism. To my mind it is common sense that fish like all animals feel pain. Fish have the ability to feel pain just the way that your cat or dog does or indeed you yourself.

“The scientific literature is quite clear. Anatomically, physiologically and biologically, the pain system in fish is virtually the same as in birds and mammals.”
Dr. Donald Broom

Fish have a nervous system, this is a fact long known by neurobiologists; they like us have a brain and nerves that sense pain in much the same way as we do. The brains and nervous systems of fish are very like our own. In fact fish have endorphin like neurotransmitters, opiate like painkillers, which act just as they do in humans and other animals, and that is to relieve pain. This is their only function, they are natures pain killers, they exist in fish as they do in ourselves in order to relieve pain. Scientists have mapped pain receptors all over thier bodies including thier mouths, the obvious conclusion is fish feel pain. Yes anglers, even in their mouths, a hook in this sensitive area is rather like having your teeth drilled in exposed areas without an anaesthetic!

Below is an article of which the angler should take special note before catching a fish on a barbed hook.

Research challenges the myth among anglers that fish can’t feel pain from barbed hooks.
by Victoria Braithwaite

“Every year, sportsmen around the world drag millions of fish to shore on barbed hooks. It’s something people have always done, and with little enough conscience. Fish are … well, fish. They’re not dogs, who yelp when you accidentally step on their feet. Fish don’t cry out or look sad or respond in a particularly recognizable way. So we feel free to treat them in a way that we would not treat mammals or even birds.

But is there really any biological justification for exempting fish from the standards nowadays accorded to so-called higher animals? Do we really know whether fish feel pain or whether they suffer — or whether, in fact, our gut sense that they are dumb, unfeeling animals is accurate?

Determining whether any type of animal really suffers is difficult. A good starting place might be to consider how people feel pain. When a sharp object pierces the human body, specialized nerve endings called nociceptors alert us to the damage. Incredibly, no one ever seems to have asked before whether fish have nociceptors around their mouths. My colleagues and I in Edinburgh, Scotland, recently looked in trout and found that they do. If you look at thin sections of the trigeminal nerve, the main nerve for the face for all vertebrates, fish have the same two types of nociceptors that we do — A-delta and C fibers. So they do have the necessary sensory wiring to detect pain.

And the wiring works. We stimulated the nociceptors by injecting diluted vinegar or bee venom just under the skin of the trout. If you’ve ever felt the nip of vinegar on an open cut or the sting of a bee, you will recognize these feelings as painful. Well, fish find these naturally irritating chemicals unpleasant too. Their gills beat faster, and they rub the affected area on the walls of their tank, lose interest in food and have problems making decisions.”

Finish reading the complete article

That Fish You Caught Was in Pain:
http://articles.latimes.com/2006/oct/08/opinion/oe-braithwaite8

This is an excellent article and raises important ethical questions. In response though to the posed consideration near the conclusion of this essay that: “One could reasonably adopt a utilitarian cost-benefit approach and argue that the benefits of sport-fishing, both financial and recreational, may outweigh the ethical costs of the likely suffering of fish.”

In my view there is nothing that can outweigh the cost of suffering to another creature, most certainly not financial or recreational. There are numerous out door pleasurable pursuits which cause harm to no creature, for instance bird watching and walking. There is nothing more exhilarating than walking in natural surroundings and observing nature and the great variety of life both on land and in the water, surely to experience nature and her creatures as live animate beings, must be a more satisfying experience, rather than fishing – viewing the demise of another living being after struggling for his last gasp of air, in pain, on the end of an anglers barbed hook!

“Really, it’s kind of a moral question. Is your angling more important than the pain to the fish?”
Dr. Lynne Sneddon,

Fish also experience emotional distress in response to pain and have been observed to engage in a rocking motion after experiencing pain. This type of motion is very similar to that seen in other animals including ourselves. People with mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders may rock backwards and forwards in response to stress. Likewise people with autism rock backwards and forwards a behaviour referred to as stimming, it is thought that such behaviours are engaged in as a method of relieving anxiety and stress. Fish, as we have previously discussed, have good memories and can suffer from the anticipation of pain.

For more informative information on the issue of the perception of pain in fish from which some of the information in the preceding three paragraphs was obtained please click:

Fish Feel Pain
https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/fish/fish-feel-pain/

For scientific evidence read about recent research by scientists from the Roslin Institute and the University of Edinburgh:
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Fish do feel pain, scientists say

Often cruelty to fish is not considered due to the misconception that fish do not feel pain, that they are not sentient, and most bizarre of all, that they are not animals despite the fact that most people have had at least basic biology taught to them at school. Trying to change the way people think about farmed land animals is difficult enough but when it comes to fish the task is even more problematic. Fish and other aquatic creatures need to be treated with the same consideration as other sentient beings such as your dog or cat or your budgie. Birds of course and in particular poultry are often considered in the light of similar misconceptions.

Read more about the common misconceptions concerning fish and the abuse that they sufferer as the are dragged from their watery environment.

Animal Rights: Aquatic Animals

Related Links

Some horrifying statistics concerning the immense loss of life of fish both in the wild and in fish farms

Fish Count estimates
http://fishcount.org.uk/fish-count-estimates

The Hidden Lives of Fish
https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/fish/hidden-lives-fish/

The Cruel Side

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

THE CRUEL SIDE

“Killing a baby seal is about the easiest thing you can do if you’re inclined to be sadistic; you certainly can’t say there’s any sport in it – the animal is totally defenceless.”

The seal hunt has made me ashamed to be a Canadian.

Paul Watson

Yoanis Menge, a photographer, wanted to “show the human side of seal hunting.”

Indeed, he showed there can only be cruelty in the hunting of defenseless and innocent animals.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-sight/wp/2017/09/27/showing-the-human-side-of-seal-hunting/?hpid=hp_no-name_photo-story-a%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.ce5528ff8d5a

Yoanis Menge’s website
http://yoanis.squarespace.com/

“The war against the Canadian seal hunt is more than a protest. It is a crusade to bring harmony between the natural world and humanity. All of us who oppose it are dedicated to the protection of life and the abolition of cruelty.” 
Paul Watson

Please Help Stop The Violence Against The Rohingya

This is desperate. It’s one of the biggest man-made crises and mass movements of people in the region for decades,”

All humanitarian agencies are working nonstop, but in the Cox’s Bazar area the enormous scale of this crisis means that hundreds of thousands of people are living in makeshift camps and spontaneous settlements with next to nothing.

People have no food, water or shelter and they are in desperate need of support. No one should have to live like this,”

Martin Faller, Deputy Regional Director, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

I have said it before and will no doubt say it again but in all my life I have never experienced the world in such a state of turmoil, overflowing it seems with hate, bigotry and violence.

Refugees from Myanmar are pouring into Bangladesh, these people are living in terrible conditions they have no food, water or shelter. Charities are struggling to cope but there is not enough food for everyone. Queues of sick and injured people get longer despite the struggle by doctors and nurses to provide medical care. In short the situation is desperate.

Mounting tragedy for people fleeing Myanmar

https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/2017/09/21/mounting-tragedy-people-fleeing-myanmar/

Here is the latest tragedy

Rohingya refugee boat capsizes, leaving more than 60 presumed dead

UN migration agency says Rohingya Muslims were trying to escape Myanmar when vessel overturned in rough waters

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/29/boat-carrying-fleeing-rohingya-muslims-capsizes-myanmar

This is just heartbreaking, when are the international community going to do something to help these people. The world’s governments cannot stand by and do nothing to stop the genocide and continue to fail to provide urgent help to the Rohingyian people.

Sometimes you feel so powerless in such situations and for the most part this is true of course, but there are things that we can do even if it is to only sign a petition or write to our MP.

Yes maybe we feel there is little we can do in any momentous way, but as Margaret Mead said :

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Please take the following actions.

Petitions

Stop ethnic cleansing Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

Myanmar’s military is using murder and mayhem to drive out hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims. France’s President Emmanuel Macron is calling it genocide.

The harrowing stories are all over the news.

But what the media rarely mentions is that governments all around the world are enabling it — allowing arms companies to sell and profit from ethnic cleansing and even providing military training.

Please sign petition to All governments of the UN Stop all arms exports to Myanmar now.
https://actions.sumofus.org/a/stop-ethnic-cleansing-rohingya-muslims-in-myanmar/?akid=34866.1820923.HGv-I3&rd=1&source=fwd&t=7

Please sign and share following #petition to UN to bring an end to the genocide in Arakan

Deadly attacks on border posts in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state broke out, resulting in mass civilian casualties. Later, media reports emerged saying Myanmar security forces used disproportionate force and displaced thousands of Rohingya villagers, destroying homes with mortars and machine guns.

Please read more and sign the petition:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/105/081/721/stop-rohingya-genocide-and-ensuer-human-rights/

Stop Burmese Rohingya Genocide

“Heartbreaking violence is taking place in Myanmar, which was called Burma when it was a British colony. The Rohingya Muslims are being butchered there unceasingly by the Buddhist people and the government of Myanmar ruled by a Nobel Peace laureate, Aung San Kyi.”

Continue reading and please sign petition

https://www.change.org/p/un-stop-burmese-rohingya-genocide

Please sign and share all petitions. I know it does not seem much but every signature counts, it’s better than doing nothing.

While it is time governments stepped up and did something, without charities and caring people the situation would be even more horrific.

Write to your MP

Contact your MP

Ask him or her to raise the issue in Parliament, and to ask for the UK to commit funding to the relief effort.
http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

volunteer

Muslim Hands Org

Save Rohingya Refugees – Volunteer TODAY!

Details how to volunteer and fundraise 
https://muslimhands.org.uk/events/2017/rohingya-emergency

One Nation 

In Addition to donations https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/helprohingya

One Nation seek fundraisers

Fundraise for One Nation
https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/fundraise/one-nation?pageAppeal=3048

There is always of course the red cross

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, one of the world’s oldest humanitarian organisations:
http://www.ifrc.org/en/what-we-do/volunteers/what-is-a-volunteer/become-a-volunteer/

Donations

If you can afford to make a donation here are suggestions,  you don’t have to give a huge amount.

Bangladesh Rohingya Crisis

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/what-we-do/emergency-response/bangladesh-rohingya-crisis

ROHINGYA REFUGEE CRISIS

“Please donate now to our humanitarian response”

https://www.actionaid.org.uk/donate/rohingya-refugee-crisis?src=ppc&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_6HGo5-71gIVxrvtCh0LJAsVEAAYASAAEgJcS_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Why the hell can’t people just learn to live in peace regardless of race, creed, gender or any other perceived difference. We live in a beautiful world with enough even for the present huge population if only we could learn to get along without harming one another, other animals and the environment. Our lives are short and can be cut shorter at any time. Life is precious to every creature that lives and we should respect that. I am sick of the violence, the hate, the greed, bigotry and intolerance in this world gone mad.

Have things in our world become more insane, though perhaps with WW1 and WW2 there can be little comparison, however such comparisons do not make life any better for those who suffer. Countless millions of died unnecessarily because of hatred and greed and it not getting any better. Perhaps is it that we now have more access to what is happening in the world as a result of the internet without our dependence on the news media which is today biased and may even have been so in the past though few of us ever questioned this possibility, and even today many people take what they read in newspapers and see on TV as the truth without question.

I don’t know what it going on in Myanmar except that people are suffering. Frankly there is so much turmoil in this world you just can’t keep up with all the whys and wherefores. All I know is people are suffering and it has to stop.

Here is some background into the situation:

Why are the Rohingya fleeing Burma?

“Last week, the United Nations’ top human rights official called Burma’s ongoing military campaign against the Rohingya Muslim minority group in that country’s Rakhine state “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

https://thesecularjurist.wordpress.com/2017/09/19/why-are-the-rohingya-fleeing-burma/

Myanmar: Who are the Rohingya?

Why are the more than one million Rohingya in Myanmar considered the ‘world’s most persecuted minority’?

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/08/rohingya-muslims-170831065142812.html

Latest news about the Rohinger crisis

Canadian aid workers describe chaos at Rohingya border camp

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/09/22/canadian-aid-workers-describe-chaos-at-rohingya-border-camp.html

Some of the How to help information above information was sourced from:

How to help Rohingya Muslims fleeing ‘genocide’ in Burma
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/rohingya-muslims-how-to-help-donate-charities-fleeing-genocide-burma-a7938166.html

Help Stop Cruel Sheep Racing

In recent months there has been a spate of sheep racing here in the UK. During these races a stuffed toy such as a teddy bear is strapped to the back of sheep and the sheep are made to run in a so called race for entertainment, usually at some kind of village fair.

The latest takes place in Masham in the Yorkshire Dales September 30th -October 31st.

These races are stressful for timid sheep. Participating in such a race will be terrifying for them.  Concerning this particular event the sheep are probably sacred enough as it is being exhibited amongst a crowd of people, this race is an additional fear for them and is unnecessary. Animals are not here for our entertainment. This event is extremely crowded with loud music and so on. It is not really a race,  sheep are thrown into a panic and stampede.

Please sign the following petition

Cancel the Cruel Sheep Race element of the Masham Sheep Fair on 30th September-1st October

“Following on from the success of three sheep races and a pig race cancelled using Care2 petitions:

The Masham Sheep Fair in Yorkshire will be help on Saturday 30th September and Sunday 1st October. Sheep races are due to be held on both days.

Sheep are naturally timid and quiet animals. Sheep are not natural runners and making them race is unnatural, exploitative, degrading and frightening. Animals are not ours to use for entertainment. There are many other things going on at this fair – the sheep race is totally unnecessary.

Please sign my petition to tell the organisers to cancel this event! “

Please continue reading and sign and share the petition

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/276/574/789/cancel-the-cruel-sheep-race-element-of-the-masham-sheep-fair-on-30th-september-1st-october/

Please note the update at the end of the petition and take as many of the actions as you can.

“Thank you to all who have signed so far. I have set up a Facebook Online Action for this weekend. I would be really grateful if you could all take part in that also. Please see below for the link to the event with all the details.
https://www.facebook.com/events/269741096878396
Please could you all do as many of the following as you can:
Email organiser Susan Cunliffe-Lister: susan@burtonagnes.com
Send a Facebook message and leave a 1 star review at:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/mashamsheepfair

Maybe many people would think that this is no big deal in a world of turmoil and appalling suffering but for the animals concerned it is a significant trauma and it is animal cruelty. Maybe the organisers simply do not see it this way so please try and persuade them that this is cruel by writing a polite and persuasive e-mail to the organiser Susan Cunliffe-Lister: susan@burtonagnes.com   and taking the other suggested actions. There are after all other events and this sheep show is popular in the area and has been so for many years without this race.  My family and I went a long time ago before we knew better. I am fond of sheep but this is not a place for people who love sheep or any animal. It is exploitative, even if the organisers do not see it that way. I think there are few people who are deliberately cruel, it’s just that they do not realise the harm that they do.

 

 

 

New Action to Stop cull: Help VIVA’s Campaign to Save Badgers

Please help stop the killing of 32,000 badgers who were once a protected species now the victims of mass slaughter in order for misguided people to consume a food they do not need after weaning, milk.

Please read the following from VIVA and order campaign materials and take whatever action you can. If you can’t door drop or take your protest on the streets you can still share leaflets with friends and colleagues and share the campaign on the internet via social media.

“Against science, common sense and basic decency the badger ‘cull’ in England is not only continuing it is being extended to new areas. Up to 33,500 badgers will be shot this autumn in a futile attempt to control TB in cattle (the vast majority of which is caused by bad farming practices), a massive rise from the 10,000 killed in 2016.

We know this isn’t effective, humane or necessary. The dairy industry are the real culprits – and we want to let the public know that!

Please, order some leaflets today and door drop – our leaflet makes the link between the ‘cull’ and dairy farming in no uncertain terms!”

Help VIVAs Save a Badger campaign get out onto the streets door drop leaflets share them with friends and family

Order your free materials today:
https://www.viva.org.uk/what-we-do/our-work/badgers/help-stop-persectution-badgers-britain/order-materials

There is a pdf file you can download and much information concerning the badger “cull”

Below is an extract from the leaflet:

“If you don’t support killing badgers don’t support the very industry that is driving the mass slaughter of British wildlife. The surest way to
save badgers is to stop buying meat and dairy. You will also no longer play a part in cows’ suffering, it’s healthier and you will be protecting
the environment.
“I support Viva!’s call to boycott English dairy products. By pointing the finger of blame at wildlife the farming unions and politicians are attempting to sidestep a mess of their own making. Namely a highly intensified dairy industry, scandalously bad testing regimes, fraud and mass cattle movements across the country. We mustn’t forget that these are the real reasons for the TB crisis. Yet the humble badger  will soon be in the crosshairs; a victim of political backslapping and unfounded hysteria – and that is nothing short of a scandal.”
Martin Shaw, actor and Viva! patron”

Please share widely we must not allow this atrocity against another species, badgers, to continue or for that matter the daily cruelty of the dairy industry towards cows and their calves. As human beings we do not have the right to get rid of another species who inadvertently interferes with what we want or what in this case we are led to believe we want or need, such as milk and or meat. Milk belongs to the calves, it is not produced by nature for our consumption, we like any other animal do not need milk after weaning. Neither are cows a source of food:  As mentioned in the previous post on the subject, we do we need meat, we are not natural meat eaters

Ditch milk, try any of the following plant based milk substitutes all can be used instead of Cow’s milk.

A Vegan’s Guide to Non-Dairy Milks:

https://www.peta.org.uk/blog/vegans-guide-non-dairy-milks/

My family and I use soya milk which is excellent for cooking , the results are the same as cow’s milk , also for cereals we use oat milk. Both soya and oat milk are sugar free or low in sugar and both come in different flavours such as chocolate or vanilla for an extra treat.

Please help VIVA’S campaign to save badgers and free cows from suffering in the dairy and meat industry.

 

Disgusting Callous Tories Set to Massacre 33,000 Badgers

What gives the vile disgusting Tories the right to massacre 33,000 defenceless badgers who have as much right to exist as any other creature. A total of eleven new licenses have been issued.

The majority of people oppose the massacre of badgers but yet again the Tories do what the hell they like regardless of democracy,
ethics -sadly an alien concept to the Tories – or plain and simple common decency.

Huge increase in badger culling will see up to 33,500 animals shot

Up to 33,500 badgers will be shot this autumn in an attempt to control tuberculosis in cattle, a huge rise from the 10,000 killed in 2016.

The government has announced that 11 new badger cull areas have been licensed, adding to the 10 already in place. Devon now has six badger culls under way, with Somerset and Wiltshire having three each, with others in Cheshire, Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

Continue reading:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/11/huge-increase-badger-culling-see-up-to-33500-animals-shot

As usual it’s all about money, they don’t give a damn about the cows. It is simply killing one animal, badgers, so that there are more of another animal, cows, to kill to satisfy the palates of meat eaters in order for them to eat a food that is not natural and eaten simply for pleasure, while making a profit of course. That’s what it is all about these days profit profit bloody profit at the expense of most people, other animals and the environment.

Take Action

I waited a couple of days before posting but so far there are no current petitions, at least none that I can find, relating directly to this new round of killings, if anyone knows of a petition please leave a link in the comments.

Update Sept 16th – Thank you to Animalista Untamed for finding the following petition and information concerning the latest culling.

Please sign and share:

Stop the UK Badger Cull

https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop-the-badger-cull/

Also

#CANTHECULL

“In 2013 the British Government started its current and unrelenting campaign of badger culling to counteract the devastation and spread of bovine TB in cattle. In response to the mass opposition by over 300,000 members of the public, badger groups, and wildlife campaigners DEFRA appointed an Independent Expert Panel to assess the effectiveness of the culls; the IEP assessed the culls as ‘ineffective and inhumane’.”

Continue reading for current detailed information and other actions you may take:

https://www.badger.org.uk/can-the-cull

Here is a related petition

Demand those responsible for the illegal snaring and shooting of badgers in the Peak District area of England are prosecuted.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/504/817/429/demand-an-end-to-the-mass-wildlife-slaughter-on-peak-district-shooting-estate/

In any circumstance a letter or e-mail is helpful to leave the government in no doubt concerning public opinion.

Write to your MP particularly if he or she is a Tory expressing politely your objects to the cull/killing

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

Labour have pledged to end the cull/killing but it might be an idea to write to them anyway and make your protest as it will show the level of public opposition to this disgusting massacre of animals who have a much right to inhabit the countryside which is their natural environment as we have.

A message from Bill Oddie

Related Links for more information

The government has just admitted the badger cull isn’t working. But it’s going to kill another 30,000 of them anyway.

On Monday 11 September, the government released a report [pdf] showing that the so-called ‘Badger Cull’ hasn’t actually worked. But at exactly the same time, it also announced a sharp increase in the cull; which could mean up to [pdf p13-14] another 33,841 being killed (more than a 200% increase on 2016).

Read more and do check out the report by clicking the link report [pdf]
https://www.thecanary.co/2017/09/11/the-government-has-just-admitted-the-badger-cull-isnt-working-but-its-going-to-kill-another-30000-of-them-anyway/

League Against Cruel Sport
https://www.league.org.uk/badger-cull?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI44rDz-qf1gIVzJPtCh2hGgq0EAAYASAAEgK7L_D_BwE

Stop the badger cull

Facebook

https://en-gb.facebook.com/stop.the.cull/

Keep an eye on what’s happening and join the action if possible:

Hunt Saboteurs Association on Twitter https://twitter.com/HuntSabs