Can We Really Make a Difference?

Graphic Credit: http://www.picturequotes.com/there-are-no-passengers-on-spaceship-earth-we-are-all-crew-quote-927

“Donald Trump’s presidency is bad for black Americans, bad for Muslim Americans, bad for Mexican Americans, bad for any woman in America, bad for anyone who needs healthcare in America and bad for any working person in America.”

“His foreign policy will undoubtedly be bad for the rest of the world. We all have an interest in making this the shortest ever US presidency.”
John Rees quoted in the Morning Star

The world is in turmoil, the rise of right-wing political agendas, rampant racism, bigotry, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitism, anti-migrants, anti-refugees, homophobia, sexism … I have I missed anything, it seems that everyone hates everyone else. Many people feel lonely and isolated. Most of us want a better world though it might not seem that way. We feel lost not knowing what to do. Petitions seem ignored. Letters and e-mail to government officials may receive a polite response but are rarely acted upon. Demonstrations are a sensation for a day or two than fade away and become just a memory.  We get on with what lives we struggle to make for ourselves, our children and those we care about while the onslaught of social injustice goes on. Achievements in human rights and equality swept under the carpet, freedoms won after hard campaigns disappear into the annals of history.

And it not just about humans either, the fight to procure rights for animals, improve welfare have become more difficult to achieve and we are taking steps backwards, particularly in the USA where animal welfare is threatened by Trump’s presidency. The environment: all the gains to secure environmental protections to save the planet for future generations and the other creatures with whom we share this world are under threat. As is the abandonment and active undoing of all the efforts to thwart climate change in recent years.

It not only the big issues that effect the majority it is the small issues also, which are of course important to those they affect. It seems Trump seeks to undo every positive, fair, and just social progress made during Obama’s time in office. In his pettiness Trump even seeks to over turn Obama guidelines on transgender toilets. Absolutely pathetic, backward thinking and shows that Trump’s commitment to protect LGBT rights was just empty promise.

No doubt about it, the world is undergoing drastic change and none of it for the better and without the consensus of the majority.

What we can do? Can we really make a difference?

Do all the petitions, letters/e-mails/ phone calls to government representatives and others really bring about change? What about demonstrations, how effective are these? How about Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other social media?

If nothing else social media keeps us informed: the significance of what is unfolding in the world today would have been far less apparent a couple of decades ago. The strength of feeling and solidarity on social media is supportive and the information disseminated extremely useful in the quest to bring about change. Even Trump’s compulsions to Tweet gives us first hand an insight into this person that would otherwise not be available.

So yes! most certainly we can bring about change, after all said and done everyone who cast his or her vote in the USA elections and indeed any elections including the disastrous Brixit referendum here in the UK made a difference, not a good one of course in the above examples, but a difference nonetheless. Now it is up to us, if each of us is capable of making a negative difference we can certainly make a positive one even if in only a very small way, and as with votes every action counts. Maybe if more democrats came out to vote for Hillary Clinton, Trump would not be president. If more people had familiarised themselves on all the issues in an election or a referendum instead of voting on one issue and a negative one at that, such as immigration or blatant racism, than Trump may never have been elected and we might still be a member of the EU.

While it may all seem overwhelming and we can feel powerless against the onslaught I consider that the following actions make a difference, maybe not in the immediate future or in the way we would expect, but every action however small helps to bring about change.

Can demonstrations make a difference

If you are in doubt for instance of the effectiveness of demonstrations consider the following examples:

Gandhi’s Salt March across India in 1930 was instrumental in bringing about Independence from British Rule. The Salt March was was a notable example of resistance, and one which was non-violent, that had a significant impact.

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on 28th Auguest 1963 , was another example of a peaceful demonstration that brought about change. It was one of the largest Political rallies for human rights in American history. More than 200,000 people participated in the March for Jobs and Freedom in the USA’S capital.   During this event, Martin Luther King delivered his famous speech ‘‘I Have a Dream’’ .

“The march is credited with helping to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and preceded the Selma Voting Rights Movement which led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”

Continue Reading:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_on_Washington_for_Jobs_and_Freedom

The article below cites ten further examples of demonstrations that had a huge impact and brought about significant changes worldwide.

Ten demonstrations that changed the world
http://www.counterfire.org/articles/analysis/17835-ten-demonstrations-that-changed-the-world – the article gives interesting information about the following demonstrations :

The right to vote  6 May, 1867  Clerkenwell to Hyde Park, London

‘Women’s Sunday’  21 June 1908  Embankment to Hyde Park, London

Toppling the Tsar  23 February 1917  St Petersburg

Breaking British rule  17 March 1919  Cairo

For more details concerning the above and six other demonstrations that changed the world please click the link below
http://www.counterfire.org/articles/analysis/17835-ten-demonstrations-that-changed-the-world

So yes demonstrations can make a difference and often without recourse to violence.

How about petitions?

Here is a recent example of the success of a petition as permission to breed rabbits is denied:

“So when Spalding, U.K., resident Christine W. learned that someone had made an application to build a facility to breed pet rabbits and guinea pigs close to her home, she immediately created a petition in protest. At first she feared that the farm would be used for vivisection and started a petition against that. Then she discovered that this was a farm for pets, and so she created a second petition about why breeding pet rabbits is bad for animal welfare.

Fantastic News For Rabbits!

“The petition garnered over 84,000 signatures, and Christine submitted it to the South Holland District Council’s office. The council included the Care2 petition in their report, which denied planning permission for the farm.”
http://www.care2.com/causes/success-permission-to-breed-rabbits-denied-2.html

Here is a list of successful Change Org petitions 

Below are just two examples:

End the sale of eggs from caged hens in Morrison’s and Asda – “Over 185,000 helped Lucy convince Asda and Morrison’s to stop selling the eggs after she won with Tesco”

https://www.change.org/p/sean-clarke-david-potts-end-the-sale-of-eggs-from-caged-hens-in-morrisons-and-asda

Fund 12 Years of Education for Girls Around the World

“…the Global Partnership for Education has announced that it plans to expand its focus to support a full 12 years of primary and secondary education for the poorest girls around the globe.”
https://www.change.org/p/stand-withmalala-for-girls-education

Read more victories as a result of thousands of people signing Change org petitions

“Every day, Change.org members win people-powered campaigns for social change”
https://www.change.org/en-GB/victories

Also

People power: 10 online petitions that changed Australia in 2015

The UK on-line campaigning organisation 38Degrees lists 244 Successful Campaigns

Social Media

Social media has enormous potential to galvanise action and is the best way to disseminate information fast. News spreads quickly and often news of events and campaigns about which most of us prior to the internet would have been ignorant.

Concerning animal welfare and animal rights, before the internet unless you were a member of an activist group you would most likely not know about the vast number of atrocities which are perpetrated on animals let alone take action to stop them.

The link below will take you to a few examples of how social media has been instrumental in bringing about a positive result concerning the abuse and mistreatment of animals

How Social Media Comes Together for Animal Welfare
Read four stories about how social media has helped improve life for animals
http://www.business2community.com/social-media/social-media-comes-together-animal-welfare-0699762#QOszlDFrPV3kZ7E1.99

Below are hints and tips how to use Facebook for exposing the cruelty of factory farming and promoting vegan eating.

Mercy For Animals: How to Dominate Facebook
http://www.mercyforanimals.org/dominate-facebook  – Some of the advice could be adapted for blogs and other social media platforms

Lets not forget the Gadhimi festival now banned as a result of global outrage galvanised by social media.

Animal rights campaigners will recall the struggle to being to an end the barbaric Gadhimi Festival of animal slaughter where, demonstrations,  petitions and social media all played a role in its cessation.

Gadhimai Festival Slaughter Is Banned In Nepal, Saving Millions Of Animals

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/07/28/gadhimai-festival-animal-sacrifice-banned_n_7886638.html

Ways to make a difference – 

There are just so many groups campaigning to being about change it is of course not possible to list them all. The small selection below concerns ideas to bring about change including but not exclusively the current situation concerning the election of Donald Trump as this is an immediate threat to us all worldwide including animals and the very earth itself.

There are a lot of ideas below for action you may take, no one could take them all most certainly I have not. But different people are better suited to different types of actions. For instance not all of us are able to demonstrate but may be able to sign a petition, post a tweet, send an e-mail and so on.

Petitions. A good place to find Petitions relating Trump and so many other issues is Care 2 a community of 38 million people standing together for good.

Two petitions you might like to sign today.

Stop Keystone XL Once and For All

President Donald Trump is trying to overturn one of the biggest environmental victories of the past 5 years by approving the Keystone XL pipeline.

“KXL would be an environmental nightmare on a global scale, allowing unprecedented development of dirty Canadian tar sands, and exacerbating global warming pollution.”

Please read more and sign and share the petition:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/823/975/075/stop-keystone-xl-once-and-for-all/

Browse Care2 petitions :http://www.care2.com/

 

Keep informed

“There is a link between inflammatory statements by politicians and racist attacks and hate crimes on the street. There has been a rise in such crimes in Britain, following the EU referendum and a similar pattern has emerged in the US. Now is the time for people of goodwill to unite and stand up to racism.”
Diane Abbott quoted in Stand Up to Racism

Download the free e-book

The Anti-Inauguration: A Free Ebook

Featuring Naomi Klein, Jeremy Scahill, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Anand Gopal, and Owen Jones on resisting Trump’s agenda and building the future we need.

“Just a few hours after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, a thousand people joined Jacobin, Verso Books, and Haymarket Books at the historic Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC, for “The Anti-Inauguration,” a night of discussion on how Donald Trump came to win the election, how we can resist him, and what kind of future we should be fighting for.” 

Read more and download the book

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/01/anti-inauguration-verso-haymarket-naomi-klein-keeanga-yamahtta-taylor-jeremy-scahill/

Speak out

10 Ways To Make Positive Change In The World

Read More: http://www.trueactivist.com/10-ways-to-make-positive-change-in-the-world/ – This information focuses on general ways to make an all round difference.

The next link targets Trump’s presidency and suggested action you can take if you live in the USA to bring about change to the current situation.

11 Simple Ways to Change the World That Won’t Totally Overwhelm You

“We have four long years of President Trump ahead of us. For anyone who is concerned about the nomination of a far-right conservative to the Supreme Court or the embattled travel ban, four years feels like a lifetime.

What’s the best way to address a huge, unwieldy project? Break it into bite-size pieces.”

Ideas include Flippable –  a campaign to “flip” Republican-controlled states by zeroing in on local races where a Democrat has the potential to win an upcoming election.

Daily Action ” is an easy way to engage with your elected officials. It works like this: Text the word dailyto 228466, provide your zip code, and then voilà, you will receive a text message every weekday with a link to a prerecorded audio piece about a political issue relevant to the area where you live. After listening to the audio, it will then reroute you to a phone call to your elected official’s office, during which you can, as Daily Action puts it, “conscientiously object” to whatever urgent matter is at hand.”

For more excellent activism suggestions:
http://www.glamour.com/story/these-11-apps-make-it-super-easy-to-make-a-difference

Want to make a difference in the world, but you’re just not sure how? Here’s what you can do:
http://www.dochas.ie/our-work/european-year-for-development-2015/want-make-difference-world-youre-just-not-sure-how-heres-what-you-can-do

Support the Human Rights Campaign is “The largest national (USA) lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.”

Visit their take action page
http://www.hrc.org/take-action

Here are ideas for actions you can take, some of which could be adapted to fit any cause.
http://act.hrc.org/ea-campaign/action.retrievestaticpage.do?ea_static_page_id=5614

Action Against Trump

The following is a list of resources that either recommend or discuss concrete actions citizens can take against President Donald Trump.

http://www.actionagainsttrump.com/

Weekly actions against Trump
http://www.weekly-resistance.online/

The last concerns a mass march here in the UK.

PLEDGE TO MARCH AGAINST TRUMP’S VISIT TO BRITAIN

Donald Trump’s presidency is turning out to be every bit as dangerous and divisive as we feared. The rhetoric of his campaign, and his early executive orders, have sparked a wave of fear and hatred. Those who are often already marginalised and discriminated against – particularly Muslims – have been particular targets for Trump.

Read More and make the pledge to attend a mass march against Trump to “oppose this state visit to the UK and commit ourselves to one of the biggest demonstrations in British history, to make very clear to our government, and to the world, this is not in our name.”

https://www.stoptrump.org.uk/

Contacting government officials and other influential people

For instance writing to politicians in your country if it is a national matter or the respective politicians regarding international issues.Don’t be hesitant when writing to politicians of other nations. I have written to politicians in Australia, China, Canada, Nepal,  and of course here in the UK. Also the Dali Lama concerning self immolation in Tibet. Ministers of the Nepalese government concerning the Gadhimi festival.  CEOs of various corporations mostly food producers about animal welfare.  Also retailers including Aldi’s about the sale of reindeer meat, Tesco about the workfare scheme, I even sent my points card back as a form of protest. I have written to  the American Psychiatric Association concerning the DSM. Universities about animal testing. Write to anyone who is associated with whatever you are campaigning for or against. It’s best to always be polite.

Yes you get replies.  I recall a reply from a Canadian government official concerning the seal hunt, he did not agree with me and explained his position which I did not agree with but at least what I wrote provoked him to reply. The same with Aldi who replied concerning reindeer meat, again not favourable but who knows such communications might make someone think. Retailers often reply, I had lots of letters and e-mail in reponse to my communications concerning the many campaigns to ask retailers to stop the sale of Angora and many retailers have stop selling this product of cruelty as a result of a PETA led campaign which at the time of writing continues today. Postal letters get the best response, e-mail being the next. My MP responds to everything. Even if the person cannot agree you just never know maybe you have at least made him or her think.

I hope to include information about anti Trumps actions in future blog posts

Related Links

Anti Muslim:

If you think ani muslim hate is confined to the US think again

It’s not just Trump’s US. Anti-Muslim hate threatens Europe too
Joe Mulhall

The Islamophobic ideologues at the heart of the new US administration have allies on this side of the Atlantic. We must all fight the spread of their divisive lies

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/02/trump-us-anti-muslim-hate-europe

Do Political Protests Actually Change Anything?

https://www.bustle.com/p/do-political-protests-actually-change-anything-29952

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Please Help Save The Lives of Defenceless Hibernating Bears, Wolves and their Families.

“We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity. “
Rachel Carson

670081-1487423425-wide

If you have time for nothing else please at least sign the petition and for US citizens please also write to your senators – information about how to do so can be found further down the page

Can you really believe this, there are people who enjoy killing hibernating bears and their cubs and wolves raising their pups in dens? Even more shocking, the House of Representatives has just voted for a resolution which will allow them to do so. If the resolution becomes law, hunters will be allowed to enter the dens of these defenceless animals and their families and kill them. Unfortunately 225 voted in favour of the resolution with 193 against.

For the majority of decent caring people this is shocking.

Please help save the lives of these defenceless creatures who will die for the pleasure of a tiny sadistic minority who delight in killing helpless animals.

Take Action

Petition

Please sign and share the following petition.

Keep the Ban on Hunting Hibernating Bear & Wolf Families!

“The House of Representatives just voted to allow hunters to kill bears hibernating with their young. If their decision passes into law, hunters will be allowed to enter dens where bears are hibernating and kill their entire families. They would also be allowed to shoot and kill wolf families, including their pups.

Slaughtering entire families of hibernating bears is cowardly and inhumane. Bears pose no danger to humans or livestock when they’re sleeping through the winter. Culling wolf families is a short-sighted plan that will push their numbers toward extinction again.

There is still hope to protect bears and wolves from this barbaric slaughter. Please sign the petition to urge United States Senators to vote against this resolution!”

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/670/081/728/hunting-hibernating-animals-should-stay-illegal/?z00m=28894310  – Anyone world-wide may sign this petition.

US citizens please contact your senators and ask them to vote against this resolution Only the U.S. Senate and President Trump can now stop this.

https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

The resolution is now before the Senate, where it must be passed and sent to President Trump for signature before it can take effect. So please write with your objections as soon as possible.

Be sure to read the article cited in the petition if you have not already done so:

People Want To Shoot Hibernating Bear Families — And The Government Just Voted To Let Them

“What the House did today should shock the conscience of every animal lover in America.”

Mother bears hibernating with their cubs and wolves raising pups in their dens may no longer be protected from a hunter’s rifle.

The lives of countless bear and wolf families are hanging in the balance today because the U.S. House of Representatives just voted to overturn a ban on cruel hunting tactics that previously protected animals on some of the most treasured wildlife refuges in America.

On 76 million acres of federal refuges in Alaska, hunters will be permitted to enter dens where vulnerable bear families are hibernating and kill them if the resolution becomes law. They will also be able to shoot entire wolf families raising young pups if the Senate and President agree with the vote.

“What the House did today should shock the conscience of every animal lover in America,” Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), said on Thursday. “If the Senate and President concur, we’ll see wolf families killed in their dens, bears chased down by planes or suffering for hours in barbaric steel-jawed traps or snares.”

Please continue reading, this is a very informative article concerning further implications such as

“The overturning of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) ban would also allow hunters to lure animals with food and shoot them at point-blank range.”

https://www.thedodo.com/us-house-alaska-bear-wolf-2268102226.html

Watch the video which is also included in the above article of a bear and her cubs.

Bears just like this mother and her family will be mercilessly killed if this bill is passed. 

It seems to me that any and every positive advancement during Obama’s time in office is to be systematically destroyed seriously setting back society’s ethical progress.

Now we know don’t we that the overwhelming majority of US citizens would not want this to be allowed by law: “a 2016 poll of Alaska voters showed that most agreed that these practices should be banned”. The fact that the House of representatives voted to allow this is therefore not democratic as it defies the wishes of the majority. They know this of course but instead prefer to favour the abhorrent wishes of a tiny section of society who should not be encouraged to carry out such shocking acts of violence against animals.

Here in the UK we have a similar problem with the Tories hell-bent on repealing the fox hunting bill despite the fact that they know that the majority of UK citizens are opposed to fox hunting.

How can we ever make any ethical progress and make the world a better more civilised place to live for all creatures when one government imposes a ban to protect animals from cruelty than another – usually right-wing – over turns it. Yes the majority who voted in support of the resolution where republicans, only 10 republicans voted against, and five Democrats who voted with the Republican majority.

What kind of society are we living in when any government allows it citizens to wantonly kill helpless animals.The fact that this is even being consider is disturbing.  It is bad enough that hunting is allowed to continue but this is even worse than hunting. What sane person enjoys killing sleeping animals?

I am shocked that this is even being considered. I find it quite disturbing that there are people among us who find pleasure in killing defenceless animals, no wonder there is so much violence in this world. If you can kill a helpless animal, any animal, you are one step closer to killing a human being. Animals have a right to their lives as do you and I, when, as supposedly the most intelligent advanced species, are we ever going to respect that right.

Related Links

U.S. House sanctions killing hibernating bears, wolf pups in their dens on federal refuges in Alaska.

Read More:
http://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2017/02/u-s-house-sanctions-killing-hibernating-bears-wolf-pups-dens-federal-refuges-alaska.html

“Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is–whether its victim is human or animal–we cannot expect things to be much better in this world…”
Rachel Carson

Killing animals for sport, for pleasure, for adventure, and for hides and furs is a phenomena which is at once disgusting and distressing. There is no justification in indulging is such acts of brutality.
The Dalai Lama

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

Quotes from
http://www.betterworld.net/quotes/animal-quotes.htm

Palm Oil: Help Save Orangutans and Other Animals From Extinction

Help save Orangutans and other animals from extinction as a result of the irresponsible cultivation of palm oil.

palm-oil-plantation

I am sure you are aware of the environmental damage as a result of the cultivation of palm oil, in particular the loss of habitat for many animals including Orangutans who in countries such as Sumatra are under threat of extinction as their forest home is being felled and turned into oil palm plantations on a massive scale.

Below you will find more information and a number of suggested actions you can take. Please take as many as possible.

Firstly please sign and share the following petitions. All are simple requiring few details and just a click to sign.

Petition: Tell IOI to start protecting rainforests.

The first is an urgent petition from Green Peace who say the following about one palm oil company :

Indonesia: right now. Picture huge fires in swathes of beautiful rainforest. Imagine people and animals struggling to see, struggling to breathe, as a thick haze spreads.

During last year’s fires we forced big brands like Colgate to take rainforest destruction seriously – so we know that change is truly possible.

Together we’re going to win again – we’re going to show this palm oil predator, IOI, that the world has had enough. Are you in?

All the while, one palm oil company – called IOI – shrugs its shoulders and refuses to act, despite years of bulldozing rainforest and letting it burn.

IOI is a faceless palm oil company that keeps a low-profile (they have 86 followers on Twitter!) because they count on people being totally uninterested in their bad behaviour to get away with it. IOI thrives on secrecy and it’s up to us to expose it. If thousands of us add our names to this petition, IOI will know that thousands of pairs of eyes are watching them and they won’t be able to hide their forest crimes any more.

This petition is only the beginning; it’s part of a whole range of things we’re doing together across the world to challenge this company. Our investigators are already digging into IOI’s suppliers – finding yet more evidence of the company’s wrongdoing.

The industry is already turning against IOI. Last year half a million of us from a whole host of countries exposed big brands with an embarrassing palm oil league table and a whopping worldwide petition. As a direct result dozens of brands stopped buying from IOI. But now we need to stop this company’s shocking practices for good.

Fires are burning again in Indonesia and we cannot wait for IOI to change on their own. Please sign the petition now.

Petition to Tell IOI to start protecting rainforests.
https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/ioi?source=em&subsource=20160919foem01&utm_source=gpeace&utm_medium=em&utm_campaign=20160919foem01
  

More action to take and help support activists :
Click here to watch the action and send a message to IOI online

Petition From the Rain Forest Site

Save Our Planet By Putting An End To Unsustainable Palm Oil

“The habitats of iconic endangered species like tigers, orangutans, and rhinoceros are going up in flames, and being replaced with palm tree plantations.

Palm tree oil is one of the hottest commodities on the planet — it’s inexpensive, trans fat-free, and can be found in roughly fifty percent of all market products, according to Rainforest Action Network. But our excessive use of palm oil has come with a significant cost: the homes and lives of the most beautiful creatures on the planet.”

Please read more and sign and share the petition to tell the Indonesian government it’s time to end this madness. Ask President Joko Widodo and his environment & forestry minister Siti Nurbaya Baker to end these crimes against nature.

http://therainforestsite.greatergood.com/clickToGive/trs/petition/Indonesian-Fires?  –You will find more suggestions further down for actions you can take concerning palm oil and its disastrous effects on wildlife.

Petition: Orangutans – victims of “sustainable” palm oil

The wholesale destruction of rainforests on Borneo for the palm oil plantations of Bumitama Gunajaya Agro (BGA) is threatening the survival of orangutans. BGA is a member of the RSPO – the organization issuing the label for supposedly “sustainable” palm oil. Please call for a stop to deforestation and an end to palm oil imports NOW!

Please read more and sign and share this petition

Please call for a stop to the destruction of Borneo’s rainforests and the unbridled expansion of oil palm plantations.

https://www.rainforest-rescue.org/petitions/914/orangutans-victims-of-sustainable-palm-oil

More information and other actions you can take

How This Baby Orangutan Feels About the Fact Their Population Might Be Extinct in 15 Years


orang1

“Listen up, people. See this super adorable baby orangutan? See his cute lil’ pout? And that hair? That hair! Blowing in wind. All innocent and cute. Well, if we humans don’t do something about deforestation and palm oil in the next fifteen years, this cutie and her family will no longer exist.”

Continue Reading:
http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/how-orangutan-feels-about-extinction/  – includes actions you can take to help save orangutans

Sumatran Orangutans – on the edge of extinction

“The orangutans’ forest home is being felled and turned into oil palm plantations on a massive scale, logging continues even within national parks, and road networks divide the remaining forests into isolated fragments. Human-orangutan conflict is now frequent in farmlands, as orangutans raid crops in search of enough food for survival.”

Continue reading, includes Actions you can take to help Orangutans
http://www.orangutans-sos.org/orangutans/crisis?gclid=CPeIhvWMmssCFXMz0wod3LUIOw

Orangutan Project

“Indonesia is home to some of the most rich and biodiverse rainforest in the world.

It contains over 80 endemic species and some of the world’s most unique and iconic endangered wildlife such as the orangutan, elephant and tiger. “

Continue reading  also suggested actions such as Join the Palm Oil Resistance Movement
http://www.orangutan.org.au/palm-oil

Be sure to check out this page with information about buying palm oil free products:
https://www.orangutan.org.au/about-orangutans/palm-oil/buy-palm-oil-free/

While palm oil is an ingredient of so many things you consume or use it can seem like a daunting task to cross it off your shopping list but try to avoid if an alternative exists or the product is not vital or failing that buy from manufacturers that use a sustainable source – more about sustainable palm oil further down. I think it may put people off if it is suggested to avoid palm oil entirely which may be virtually impossible and as such may make it seem like the situation is hopeless.

Help to stop the destruction of habitat for the cultivation of palm oil by writing to manufacturers and food producers

Take Action

Where a product lists palm oil as one of its ingredients why not write to the manufacturer stating your objections and ask them to use another type of oil or use palm oil from a sustainable source

Here is an example of a letter to Sainsbury’s which sell products produced by palm oil from sustainable sources and also palm oil from unstainable sources,  – in other words grown on land from cleared rain forests, sources that result in deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty and extinction.

Sample Letter it is better if you edit and use your own words if possible.

Hi

I have been buying your products for many years, and it has been a while since I checked out the ingredients.

However recently as a result of worldwide concern over the use of palm oil I decided to once again look at the ingredients and was shocked to find that in many cases these ingredients include palm oil.

Is your palm oil from a sustainable source?

If it is it might be an idea to indicate this on the packet, if it isn’t please consider switching to a sustainable source or using another type of oil.

I am sure you are aware of the environmental damage as a result of the cultivation of palm oil in particular the loss of habitat for many animals including Orangutans who in countries such as Indonesia are under threat of extinction as their forest home is being felled and turned into oil palm plantations on a massive scale: http://www.orangutan.org.au/palm-oil

I will only buy products if the palm oil comes from a sustainable forest.

Kind Regards

The more of us who write to retailers the better, let them know that you do not what palm oil in any of your products, public opinion can carry a lot of weight.

The contact details of all retailers are available on their websites. Don’t forget to check with less well known retailers and don’t assume that if a product is vegan or vegetarian that this means that the palm oil that they invariably use is from a sustainable source. 

You can read more about sustainable palm oil here:
http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/Whats_the_issue.php  – as you will read there are still problems with sustainable forest. The best solution would be not to grow palm oil at all.

However this is unlikely to happen in the forseeable future. Please therefore consider the following:

Should we boycott palm oil?

Palm oil is here to stay for the indefinite future. The vast majority is consumed in countries in Asia and the Middle East where rainforest conservation is a low priority and consumer demand for sustainable products is negligible. If the American, European and Australian NGOs fighting to save the rainforests call for a boycott, then the companies that use palm will have no incentive to purchase it from sustainable sources. After all, why would companies spend more money on sustainable palm if the people who care about sustainability aren’t buying it? That is why many NGOs argue that demanding and buying responsible palm oil will, over time, protect the remaining forests more than boycotting it will.

Continue reading:
http://theirturn.net/2015/04/02/sustainable-palm-oil/

Try to avoid palm oil or buy from sustainable resources only

Simply check the ingredients list

Here are a couple of lists of palm oil alternatives which many or may not be available in your country. When it doubt check with the manufacturer.

Borneo Orangutan Survival Austraila
http://www.orangutans.com.au/Orangutans-Survival-Information/Helping-you-buy-responsibly-Palm-oil-free-alternatives.  – scroll down for a list of palm oil free or CSPO  (Certified Sustainable Palm Oil) products

Rain Forest Foundation UK
http://www.rainforestfoundationuk.org/what-you-can-do/others-ways-to-support-us/be-an-ethical-shopper/ – has a pdf downloadable product guide you can keep with you

 

Thought Provoking Quote:When the perfect order prevails, the world is like a home shared by all.

 

when the prefect order prevails....

This is one of a series of posts which includes a quote concerning human rights, animal rights, and the environment which will focus on anything motivating, uplifting or informative concerning these issues. Here is the first which includes an introduction:
Thought Provoking Quote

When the perfect order prevails, the world is like a home shared by all. Leaders are capable and virtuous. Everyone loves and respects their own parents and children as well as the parents and children of others. The old are cared for, adults have jobs, children are nourished and educated. There is a means of support for all those who are disabled or find themselves alone in the world. Everyone has an appropriate role to play in the family and society. Devotion to public duty leaves no place for idleness. Scheming for ill gain is unknown. Sharing displaces selfishness and materialism.
Confucius

Confucius is China’s most famous and revered teacher, philosopher, and political theorist, whose ideas have influenced the civilization of East Asia. Though he fell from favour during the cultural revolution – at which time Chairman Mao Zedong declared that he Confucius belonged to the feudal age – and the Red Guards destroyed his grave, he is nowadays once again honoured and revered

Read More About this great Philosopher

“Confucius September 28, 551 – 479 BC) was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history.

The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity.”

Read more
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confucius

Oh if only!  Who would not wish to live in the type of society which Confucius envisioned. I don’t agree with every thing that Confusion said and indeed I have not read his philosophy in any detail but the above for the most part describes an ideology for a better world.

Such noble ideals and aspirations seem so far removed from possibility, though they are for the most part the ideal. A real utopia , isn’t that want we all want? Who would not wish to live in such a society were its leaders are virtuous, where love and respect is universal, where all members of society are cared for including the sick, disabled, the elderly and children. Such ideology is far removed from the situation we have today in much of the world. When those who cannot care for themselves are regarded as a burden –  vilified and labeled as scroungers, workshy and skivers as is the case here in the UK – such high ideals seem but a dream. While millions die from want of food, clean water and medication, where both human and non human animals are exploited for the greed of the few such a society is difficult to envision.

While the most able and most wealthy continue to increase their riches and thrive at the cost of the most vulnerable, it seems as though our ethical progression is going backwards rather than forwards.

Thought Provoking Quote: The More Clearly We Can Focus Our Attention…

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Download larger sizes from my Flickr photostream:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/37177488@N06/18293424265/in/dateposted-public/

This is one of a series of posts which includes a quote concerning human rights, animal rights, and the environment which will focus on anything motivating, uplifting or informative concerning these issues. Here is the first which includes an introduction:
Thought Provoking Quote

Today’s Quote is from Rachel Carson

“Perhaps the finest nature writer of the Twentieth Century, Rachel Carson (1907-1964) is remembered more today as the woman who challenged the notion that humans could obtain mastery over nature by chemicals, bombs and space travel than for her studies of ocean life. Her sensational book Silent Spring (1962) warned of the dangers to all natural systems from the misuse of chemical pesticides such as DDT, and questioned the scope and direction of modern science, initiated the contemporary environmental movement.”

Read more:
http://www.rachelcarson.org/

More information
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Carson

More quotes from Rachel Carson:

“The question is whether any civilization can wage relentless war on life without destroying itself, and without losing the right to be called civilized.”

“It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist; the threat is rather to life itself.”
Read More:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/15332.Rachel_Carson

“How could intelligent beings seek to control a few unwanted species by a method that contaminated the entire environment and brought the threat of disease and death even to their own kind?”

“It is also an era dominated by industry, in which the right to make a dollar at whatever cost is seldom challenged.”
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Since Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring little has changed despite an increased awareness of the detrimental affect of human activity as the earth that sustains our lives and the lives of all beings becomes more and more contaminated, polluted, poisoned and uninhabitable all because of the insatiable greed of the few and their increasing obsession with profit at the expense of us all.

 

The View From Outer Space – How Would Humans Appear Through Alien Eyes.

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Telescope Kepler-NASA

I often wonder if there are any sentient beings in the universe who have evolved to be naturally compassionate and ethical and who value all life and what they would think of our treatment of one another and the other species with whom we share this world.

Recently a fascinating report emerged concerning the possibility of intelligent life forms at the edge of the Milky Way.

Has Nasa’s Kepler Telescope spotted signs of alien life?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/space/11937177/Has-Nasas-Kepler-Telescope-spotted-signs-of-alien-life.html

Bizarre Space Objects Could Be Sign of Alien Civilization
http://observer.com/2015/10/bizarre-space-objects-could-be-sign-of-alien-civilization/

All very exciting of course. It is unsettling to think that we may be alone in the cold vast universe and such a revelation that we are not would be earth shattering.

I hope that one day we have proof of the existence of extra terrestrial life. I also hope that whatever form this life takes it is an advanced intelligence not just technologically but ethically, in fact the main consideration for me would be their ethical progression which I hope would surpass ours – after all it couldn’t be much worse could it?

Today while sorting through my e-mail I have the usual inundation of requests to take action on behalf of animals, including the human animal. The human species of course is responsible for most of the suffering here on this earth for those weaker than himself, even his own kind and most certainly the other species with whom we share this world. Sometimes it can get depressing, I mean really depressing and the world feels as though it is a realm from some kind of alternate reality, a kind of hell dimension. To my mind the world is a seething mass of suffering of innocent defenceless beings – including other humans – their only crime is that they are weaker than their oppressors, those who determine what happens in the world, those who determine and condone the crime of genocide of millions of living beings both human and non human. Yes I know the word genocide is a word that if used correctly can be applied only to humans but I am going to apply it to animals along with the word holocaust which Charles Patterson suggests is an appropriate word to describe our treatment of non human animals. In his book “Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust” he compares how the Nazis treated their victims with how our modern societies treat animals.  The title is taken from Nobel Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer’s now familiar quotation: “In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka.” The Holocaust and indeed the genocide of the animals is on going and is unlikely to end in the foreseeable future.

I have often ask myself if an intelligent ethically progressive civilisation existed in the universe what would they think of the hell we have created here on earth. How would an observer from another world view the violence, exploitation and suffering that takes place on a massive and relentless scale as a result of actions by the dominant species. Would they wonder why so many people complied and never challenged the status que.  Would they be horrified that while millions of creatures suffered unimaginable torment, tortured and confined in factory farms or subjected to painful experiments, the majority of the dominant species looked the other way whilst claiming they loved animals yet doing nothing, even mindlessly condoning the atrocities by their silence or being thoughtlessly complicit as in the case of the consumption of the dead flesh of other sentient beings who were reared in these inhumane conditions. How would a morally advanced society view these appalling facts: Over 56 billion farmed animals are killed every year by humans. More than 3,000 animals die every second in slaughterhouses around the world. Though ADAPTT , an ethical vegan organization established in 1996, estimates the numbers to be even higher with More Than 150 Billion Animals Slaughtered Every Year – click this link to see the numbers of animals killed worldwide by the meat, egg, and dairy industries since you opened the webpage. An estimated 115 million animals worldwide are used in laboratory experiments every year. Untold millions of helpless animals are killed each year for “sport” for example in the USA  More than 100 million animals are reported killed by hunters each yea

Would the observer question why those who were opposed to such either didn’t speak out or were so few in number that when they did little changed.Would they wonder why the vast majority where oblivious or indifferent or never questioned the pervasive evil that befell those weaker than themselves. Would they wonder why humans never questioned that meat was not a natural diet or that it was wrong to exploit animals for entertainment including the barbaric pass-time of the so-called “sport” of hunting and shooting. Would they be astonished that some people felt that it was a right of freedom to murder helpless animals for sport or why humans thought it right to murder en masse millions of helpless people in the insane massacre of warfare in the relentless quest for wealth and power under the guise of justice, defence and even peace.

Would a civilisation for whom warfare has been abolished from living memory or for whom such had never been part of their way of life be appalled at the numbers of people who have died during earth’s most recent conflicts let alone the untold millions who have died during these unrelenting periods of mass insanity since humans evolved. Over 60 million people were killed in WW11 about 3% of the 1940 worlds population  80 million of deaths from war-related disease and famine are included, it was the deadliest conflict in history. World War 1 resulted in the deaths of over 38 million casualties with over 17 million deaths and 20 million wounded.  The slaughter continues relentlessly such as for example a result of intervention by the USA 10 to 15 million deaths during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the two Iraq Wars – this is among the examples from 37 countries.  Don’t forget of course the involvement of many of the USA’s allies including the UK which is always keen to intervene in conflicts, most notably in the middle east in recent years.

How would a moral alien species view our brutal history of destruction and genocide that continues today unabated. They would surely be horrified by the events of brutality and violence in our past , Genghis Khan, the crusades, the inquisition, slavery,  ethnic cleansing –  the Genocide of the Native Americans Civilizations, the Australian aborigines and so on and on right to the present day with the death toll increasing with the use of ever more destructive weapons with the loss of millions of innocent lives including those of other species who of course get caught up in the insanity. Here is a list that includes many of the atrocities man has perpetrated against his fellow-man.
http://listverse.com/2012/03/02/top-10-worst-moments-in-human-history/

How would they react to see the starving millions in a world of plenty, how would they comprehend the shocking reality that every single day 21,000 people, one every four seconds, die of hunger related courses. Would they be sickend to see emaciated children with withered limbs and swollen bodies who died of hunger with access only to unclean water. How would an ethical race of beings react to the shocking fact that many thousands more died each day from preventable diseases. Such as the children who die in their thousands from the want of available medication, vaccination, or even a simple mosquito net to protect against malaria – every 60 seconds malaria kills a child. Others lose their sight because they cannot access medication or suitable treatment which in some cases costs only about 50 pence, – according to sight savers There are 31.2 million people who are blind when it could have been avoided. While an ethically advanced civilisation might think the work of charities is commendable would they be dismayed that the provision of life’s essential was left to the generosity of the few rather than distributed as a basic human right. After all “While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary.”
Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah

In a just society there would be no need for charity

It would take some time to record all the atrocities, all the neglect, all the exploitation to animals both human and non human.

What would an ethical alien species think of the most powerful animal on the planet, namely human beings, the most controlling and self serving creature that ever walked the face of the earth. A powerful species determining and manipulating the lives of myriads of other species to suit his desire, even the very environment itself until seemingly obviously to his destructive agenda he hovers on the brink of extinction in the same way that his actions have brought countless other species to this untimely fate, but nevertheless relentlessly ploughs forwards hell bet on limitless acquisition at the expense of other beings even those of his own kind and the very earth itself as he plunders the ever diminishing resources.

Thanks to human beings the world is in the grip of the sixth extinction event.

Conservation experts have already signalled that the world is in the grip of the “sixth great extinction” of species, driven by the destruction of natural habitats, hunting, the spread of alien predators and disease, and climate change.”

Read More:
Humans driving extinction faster than species can evolve, say experts
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/mar/07/extinction-species-evolve

(The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources estimates that the animal extinction caused by human activity is more than one thousand times higher than the natural extinction rate with some pro-jections suggesting that this figure should actually be more like eleven thousand)

To Conclude:

The toll of human destruction, greed and exploitation is shocking but there are good people in the world.

A reminder that although it may seem that the good guys are outnumbered in this world their are many who care for other people and other animals.

Restore your faith in humanity in 4 minutes flat

Published on Jul 22, 2014

If you’re ever worried about losing faith in humankind, despair not: here is the antidote. Cue happy tears…

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop

PLEASE SHARE for the good of humanity.

How to be kind to animals every day: http://animalsaus.org/t

http://www.animalsaustralia.org/features/faith-in-humanity-restored.php

Related Links

Sight Savers

http://www.sightsavers.org/what-we-do/

Unicef – Goal: Reduce child mortality

http://www.unicef.org/mdg/childmortality.html

Credit

Graphic

NASA Wikimedia
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Telescope_Kepler-NASA.jpeg

 

Fantastic News!!!! Monsanto is to Stand Trial for Crimes Against Humanity and Nature

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“How could intelligent beings seek to control a few unwanted species by a method that contaminated the entire environment and brought the threat of disease and death even to their own kind?”

“It is also an era dominated by industry, in which the right to make a dollar at whatever cost is seldom challenged.”
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Monsanto on Trial for Crimes Against Humanity and Nature

“In an announcement made at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris, Monsanto will stand trial for ecocide and crimes against humanity and nature.  The trial will take place next year at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands on October 16, 2016 (incidentally and aptly, on World Food Day).  Dozens of international food, agriculture and environmental justice groups, including: Millions against Monsanto, the Organic Consumers Association, Regeneration International and IFOAM Organics International—an umbrella organization of over 800 affiliated organizations in 100 countries, are involved in the legal action

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/monsanto-on-trial-for-crimes-against-humanity-and-nature.html#ixzz3tWkdO7mK

Finally this evil corrupt greedy corporation may be brought to justice for developing and selling deadly chemicals that poison the earth, wild life and of course ourselves and future generations. I hope that finally justice will prevail and this pernicious corporation will be made to pay for its vile crimes against nature. Why has Monsanto been allowed to indiscriminately spread its toxins, its time they were made accountable? Since 1960s with the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring we have known about the damage to health and the environment by toxic chemicals, fertilisers and pesticides, yet not only does this contamination of our environment continue more and more toxins are added to the list. Colony Callapse Disorder a condition in which honeybees die, disoriented, far from their hives, a  threat to much of our food supply which must be pollinated by bees, has been linked to the use of pesticides. All in the name of profit for the few at the expense of the many. When will it ever end. When will we make a stand against these greedy self-severing corporations who care nothing for our world or its inhabitants including other species –  including you and I and future generations.

Be sure to read the following:

“Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Monsanto has developed a steady stream of highly toxic products which have permanently damaged the environment and caused illness or death for thousands of people. These products include:

 • PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), one of the 12 Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) that affect human and animal fertility;

 • 2,4,5 T (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid), a dioxin-containing component of the defoliant, Agent Orange, which was used by the US Army during the Vietnam War and continues to cause birth defects and cancer;

• Lasso, an herbicide that is now banned in Europe;

 • and RoundUp, the most widely used herbicide in the world, and the source of the greatest health and environmental scandal in modern history. This toxic herbicide, designated a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization, is used in combination with genetically modified (GM) RoundUp Ready seeds in large-scale monocultures, primarily to produce soybeans, maize and rapeseed for animal feed and biofuels.

Relying on the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” adopted by the UN in 2011, an international court of lawyers and judges will assess the potential criminal liability of Monsanto for damages inflicted on human health and the environment. The court will also rely on the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2002, and it will consider whether to reform international criminal law to include crimes against the environment, or ecocide, as a prosecutable criminal offense. The International Criminal Court, established in 2002 in The Hague, has determined that prosecuting ecocide as a criminal offense is the only way to guarantee the rights of humans to a healthy environment and the right of nature to be protected.”

Read More:
https://www.organicconsumers.org/press/global-food-farming-and-environmental-justice-groups-put-monsanto-trial-crimes-against-human

More quotes from Rachel Carson

“All this has come about because of the sudden rise and prodigious growth of an industry for the production of man-made or synthetic chemicals with insecticidal properties. This industry is a child of the Second World War. In the course of developing agents of chemical warfare, some of the chemicals created in the laboratory were found to be lethal to insects. The discovery did not come by chance: insects were widely used to test chemicals as agents of death for man.”
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

“It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist; the threat is rather to life itself.”
Rachel Carson, The Sea Around Us

“But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.”
Rachel Carson

Credit

Graphic https://twitter.com/OrganicConsumer