Sea Shepherd

Sunday, October 24, 2010

PhIP: Diet and Breast Cancer / Diet and Cancer Research / Cancer Project

PhIP: Diet and Breast Cancer / Diet and Cancer Research / Cancer Project

Vegan Diet Information

Health vs. Pork: Congress Debates the Farm BillPreventive Medicine and NutritionPCRM

Health vs. Pork: Congress Debates the Farm BillPreventive Medicine and NutritionPCRM

Health vs. Pork: Congress Debates the Farm Bill

The Farm Bill, a massive piece of federal legislation that will soon be up for congressional review, governs what children are fed in schools and what food assistance programs can distribute to recipients. The bill provides billions of dollars in subsidies, much of which goes to huge agribusinesses producing feed crops, such as corn and soy, which are then fed to animals. By funding these crops, the government supports the production of meat and dairy products—the same products that contribute to our growing rates of obesity and chronic disease. Fruit and vegetable farmers, on the other hand, receive less than 1 percent of government subsidies.

The government also purchases surplus foods like cheese, milk, pork, and beef for distribution to food assistance programs—including school lunches. The government is not required to purchase nutritious foods.

Why does a salad cost more than a Big Mac pyramid

In 2007, Congress did make some modest changes to the Farm Bill’s subsidy programs. But PCRM will need your help again to encourage the federal government to cut subsidies for unhealthy foods and increase support for fruits, vegetables, and vegetarian foods.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Comox Valley Record - Bake sale could help save dolphins

Bake sale could help save dolphins


Taiji is a small village on the southeast coast of Japan’s Honshu Island.

While many people may not have heard of Taiji, 21-year-old Tarah Millen of Courtenay has, and she hopes to raise awareness of this small whaling village and a dolphin drive hunt that reportedly kills thousands of dolphins each year.

Millen is travelling to Taiji next month to try to help end the slaughter of dolphins and help draw attention to the hunt.

She is holding a Bake Sale for the Dolphins this Saturday in front of Zen Zero at 407B Fifth St. in Courtenay. The sale will be held from 1 to 5 p.m., and there will be a screening of the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove — which follows a team of activists, filmmakers and freedivers as they covertly try to penetrate a remote cove in Taiji to report on the dolphin drive hunt — at 5 p.m.

Millen will sell cookies and cream cupcakes, double chocolate caramel muffins, raw treats from Zen Zero and more.

The film screening is by donation, and there will be free popcorn.

Millen became a “cove guardian” through the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization.

Millen has volunteered with Sea Shepherd before, spending three weeks in the Galapagos Islands trying to acquire illegal fishing buoys and monitoring an illegal marlin fishing derby.

“It really made me realize one person can make a difference if they put their mind to it,” she said. “It was my first experience doing something like that, and it was great.”

Scott West from the Sea Shepherd is already in Taiji, and about three weeks ago, the society put out a call to action asking people to come to Japan and document the dolphin hunt.

The dolphin drive hunt occurs from September to March, and fishermen herd the dolphins into a hidden cove, where the dolphins are killed by spears and knives, according to Millen.

Some of the dolphins are sold to dolphin trainers, which provides income for the fishermen to slaughter the other dolphins, she explained, adding they sell the dolphin meat, which is incorrectly labelled as whale meat so people don’t know they are eating dolphin.

Members of Sea Shepherd cannot jump in and cut the nets because they can be arrested, so they are in Taiji primarily to expose the dolphin hunt, explained Millen.

“Basically, it’s to raise awareness,” she said. “They’re called cove guardians because they’re guarding the coves. The main objective is to get it out there to the Japanese public because once they know, they can stop it. They’ve talked to some restaurants and gotten (the meat) out of stores. It may not seem like a lot right now, but it’s all we can do at this point. Any step is a step in the right direction.”

Millen became motivated to stop the dolphin hunt after seeing The Cove last year.

“If you see the movie, you understand,” she said. “You see it, and it just really motivates you. The end of it shows a bunch of inspirational things and the progress that’s been made. But it says the hunt is scheduled to continue from September until March unless you stop it. It gets you on a really deep level.”

Millen started a blog — — and a YouTube channel to start fundraising and raising awareness after she decided to respond to Sea Shepherd’s call to action.

“It’s been really successful so far; I’ve had a lot of support,” she said.

Millen plans to leave for Japan in early November, and she will stay 19 days.

Between now and then, she will be blogging and uploading videos, and she is hoping to continue to raise money and gain sponsorship and support — for her own journey and for the cause.

“It’s not just about me raising money to go to Taiji,” she said. “We need people to go too; to motivate others, that’s an objective just as much as raising money is.”

Donations boxes have been set up at Zen Zero and Bikram Yoga. People can also donate by visiting Millen’s blog.

Memoirs Of A Cove Guardian: Bake Sale For The Dolphins!

Memoirs Of A Cove Guardian: Bake Sale For The Dolphins!: "Hey all, This will be a brief post, but I'll provide updates later on today. Today is the long awaited Bake Sale For The Dolphins! I've ga..."

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Very Inconvenient Truth - by Capt Paul Watson

A Very Inconvenient Truth - by Capt Paul Watson

The meat industry is one of the most destructive ecological industries
on the planet. The raising and slaughtering of pigs, cows, sheep,
turkeys and chickens not only utilizes vast areas of land and vast
quantities of water, but it is a greater contributor to greenhouse gas emissions
than the automobile industry.

The seafood industry is literally plundering the ocean of life and some
fifty percent of fish caught from the oceans is fed to cows, pigs,
sheep, chickens etc in the form of fish meal. It also takes about fifty
fish caught from the sea to raise one farm raised salmon.

We have turned the domestic cow into the largest marine predator on the
planet. The hundreds of millions of cows grazing the land and farting
methane consume more tonnage of fish than all the world's sharks,
dolphins and seals combined. Domestic housecats consume more fish,
especially tuna, than all the world's seals.

So why is it that all the world's large environmental and
conservation groups are not campaigning against the meat industry? Why did Al
Gore's film Inconvenient Truth not mention the inconvenient truth that
the slaughter industry creates more greenhouse gases than the automobile

The Greenpeace ships serve meat and fish to their crews everyday. The
World Wildlife Fund does not say a word about the threat that meat
eating poses for the survival of wildlife, the habitat destroyed, the wild
competitors for land eliminated, or the predators destroyed to save
their precious livestock. .

When I was a Sierra Club director for three years, everyone looked
amused when I brought up the issue of vegetarianism. At each of our Board
meeting dinners, the Directors were served meat and only after much
prodding and complaining did the couple of vegetarian directors manage to
get a vegetarian option. At our meeting in Montana we were served
Buffalo and antelope, lobsters in Boston, crabs in Charleston, steak in
Albuquerque etc. But what else can we expect from a “conservation� group
that endorses trophy hunting.

As far as I know and I may be wrong, but my organization, the Sea
Shepherd Conservation Society is the only conservation organization in the
world that endorses and practises vegetarianism. My ships do not serve
meat or fish ever, nor do we serve dairy products. We've had a
strictly vegan menu for years and no one has died of scurvy or malnutrition.

The price we pay for this is to be accused by other conservation
organizations of being animal rights. Like it's a bad word. They say
it with the same disdain that Americans used to utter the word
communist in the Fifties.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is not an animal rights
organization. We are exclusively involved in interventions against illegal
activities that threaten and exploit marine wildlife and habitat. We are
involved in ocean wildlife conservation activities.

Yet because we operate our ships as vegan vessels, other groups, and
now the media dismiss us as an animal rights organization.

Now first of all I don't see being accused of as an animal rights
organization to be an insult. PETA was co-founded by one of my
crew-members and many of my volunteers come from the animal rights movement. But
it is not accurate to refer to Sea Shepherd as animal rights when our
organization pushes a strict conservation enforcement policy.

And secondly we do not promote veganism on our ships because of animal
rights. We promote veganism as a means of practising what we preach
which is ocean conservation.

There is not enough fish in the world's oceans to feed 6.6 billion
human beings and another 10 billion domestic animals. That is why all the
world's commercial fisheries are collapsing. That is why whales,
seals, dolphins and seabirds are starving. The sand eel for example, the
primary source of food for the comical and beautiful puffin is being
wiped out by Danish fishermen solely to provide fish meal to Danish factory
farmed chickens.

This is a solid conservation connection between eating meat and the
destruction of life in our oceans.

In a world fast losing resources of fresh water, it is sheer lunacy to
have hundreds of millions of cows consuming over 1,000 gallons of water
for every pound of beef produced.

And the pig farms in North Carolina produce so much waste that it has
contaminated the entire ground water reserves of the entire state. North
Carolinians drink pig shit with their water but its okay they say, they
just neutralize it with chemicals like chlorine.

Most people don't want to see where their meat comes from. They also
don't want to know what the impact of their meat has on the ecology.
They would rather just deny the whole thing and pretend that meat is
something that comes in packages from the store.

But because there is this underlying guilt always present, it manifests
itself as anger and ridicule towards people who live the most
environmentally positive life styles on the planet – the vegans and the

This is demonstrated through constant marginalization especially in the
media. Any organization, like Sea Shepherd for example, that points out
the ecological contradictions of eating meat is immediately dismissed
as some wacko animal rights organization.

I did not set the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society up as an animal
rights organization and we have never promoted animal rights in the
organization. What we have promoted and what we do is oceanic wildlife and
habitat conservation work.

And the truth is that you can't practise solid and constructive
conservation work without promoting veganism and/or vegetarianism as
something that promotes the conservation of resources.

A few years ago I attended a dinner meeting of the American Oceans
Campaign hosted by Ted Danson. He opened the dinner by saying that the
choice he had to make was between fish and chicken for the dinner, and what
was the point of saving fish if you can't eat them?

Guest speaker, Oceanographer Sylvia Earle put Ted in his place by
saying she did not think that he was being very funny. She said that she
considered fish to be her friends and she did not believe in eating her
friends. So neither Sylvia nor I ate dinner that night.

I met Sylvia again at another meeting, this time of Conservation
International held at some ritzy resort in the Dominican Republic. Harrison
Ford was there and the buzz was what could be done to save the oceans. I
was invited as an advisor. I sat on a barstool in an open beachfront
dining plaza as the conservationists approached tables literally
bending from the weight of fish and exotic seafood including caviar. I
looked at Sylvia Earle and she just shook her head and rolled her eyes.

The problem is that people like Carl Pope, the Executive Director of
the Sierra Club, or the heads of Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund,
Conservation International and many other big groups just refuse to accept
that their eating habits may be just as much a part of the problem as all
those things they are trying to oppose.

I remember one Greenpeacer defending his meat eating by saying that he
was a carnivore and that predators have their place and he was
proud to be one.

Now the word predator in relationship to human beings has a rather
scary connotation having nothing to do with eating habits, but for any
human being to describe themselves as a carnivore is just plain ridiculous.

Humans are not and have never been carnivores. A lion is a carnivore as
is a wolf, as is a tiger, or a shark. Carnivores eat live animals. They
stalk them, they run them down, they pounce, they kill, and they eat,
blood dripping, meat at body temperature. Nature, brutal red in tooth
and claw.

I've never met a human that can do that. Yes we found ways to run
down animals and kill them. In fact we've come to be rather efficient at
the killing part. But we can't eat the prey until we cut it up and
cook it and that usually involves some time between kill and eating. It
could be an hour or it could be years.

You see our meat eating habits are more closely related to the vulture,
the jackal or other carrion eaters. This means that we can't be
described as carnivores. We are better described as necrovores or eaters of
rotting flesh.

Consider that some of the beef that people eat has been dead for months
and in some cases for years. Dead and hanging in freezers, full of
uritic acid and bacteria. It's a corpse in a state of decomposition. Not
much that can be said to be noble about eating a cadaver.

But a little dose of denial allows us to bite into that Big Mac or cut
into that prime rib.

But that one 16 ounce cut of prime rib is equal to a thousand gallons
of fresh water, a few acres of grass, a few fish, a quarter acre of corn
etc. What's the point of taking a shorter shower to conserve water as
Greenpeace is preaching if you can sit down and consume a 1000 gallons
of water at a single meal?

And that single cut of meat would have cost as much in vegetable
resources equivalent to what could be fed to an entire African village for a

The problem is that we choose to see our contradictions when it is
convenient for us to see them and when it is not we simply go into a state
of suspended disbelief and we eat that steak anyway because, hey we
like the taste of rotting flesh in the evening.

Have you ever thought why it is that with a person, it’s an abortion
but when it comes to a chicken, it's an omelette?

Does anyone really know what's in a hot dog? We do know that the
government health department allows for an acceptable percentage of bug
parts, rodent droppings and other assorted filth to go into the mix.

And now tuna fish comes with a health warming saying it should not be
eaten by pregnant women or small children because of high levels of
mercury. Does that mean mercury is good for adults and non-pregnant women?
What are they telling us here?

Eating meat and fish is not only bad for the environment it's also
unhealthy. Yet even when it comes to our own health we slip into denial
mode and order the whopper.

The bottom line is that to be a conservationist and an
environmentalist, you must practise and promote vegetarianism or better yet veganism.

It is the lifestyle that leaves the shallowest ecological footprint,
uses fewer resources and produces less greenhouse gas emissions, it's
healthier and it means you're not a hypocrite.

In fact a vegan driving a hummer would be contributing less greenhouse
gas carbon emissions than a meat eater riding a bicycle.

May be freely distributed, reproduced and published with permission of
the writer.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Top Ten Anti-Cancer foods

The Top 10 anti-cancer foods

The most powerful anti-cancer food of all is, of course, a daily helping of seafood - for the complete range of the 72+ natural trace elements, without which we cannot help but sicken - and worse.
The complete natural range of the 72 trace elements is the best anti-cancer food there is. This is the reason why the breast cancer rate is 21 times lower, the lung cancer rate is 36 times lower, the prostate cancer rate is 137 time lower, and the colon cancer rate 187 times lower among the Sinhalese, and most likely, the people of India as well. Unlike Sri Lanka, India does not have a public health care system, hence the lack of figures for India.

Nevertheless, the nutritional customs are all but identical in these two countries, and while some Indian agriculture has switched to the trace element deficient Western chemical methods, much of their agriculture still returns all life wastes to the soil - and with them, the 72 trace elements. And China is not far behind the Sinhalese, with basically the same agricultural situation.

So, since seafood is the only readily available food hereabouts which still contains the complete natural range of the 72 nutritional elements, a daily helping of seafood is your most powerful and most effective weapon against cancer. For further confirmation see "THE OKINAWA DIET" in these pages - the typical diet of the longest living and healthiest people on this Earth.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Why I Am Vegan ~ Walter Bond Political Prisoner

Why Am I Vegan


By Walter Bond
In the winter of 1995, when I was 19 years old, I got a job with a company by the name of Dakota Mechanical. We built slaughter-houses in the Midwest, mainly in Iowa. The state of Iowa is the largest producer of pork in the nation. At the time I was employed in that evil industry there were 27 slaughter-houses for pigs alone. I helped build the IBP plant in Logansport, Indiana as well. It was a brand new plant.
I never saw an animal murdered in the 9 or so months I worked in Logansport, but it wasn’t difficult for me to get the gist of what many of those machines would do when in operation. I was primarily a forklift operator to begin with, but then worked my way to industrial plumber’s apprentice. After that factory was built there was a three month layoff.

But soon I got the call for the next job. The one that would forever change my life. It was a smaller job; we were to build an extension to the kill floor at the IBP plant in Perry, Iowa. In this fully functioning slaughter-house I saw the most grizzly mechanized murders that there are to witness. Since it was an old facility we were constantly called away from our construction work to do maintenance throughout the plant. From the pen runs, to the kill floor, to rendering, over the course of 5 months I was a confederate and accomplice to it all.

When I first started the smells, sights, and sounds were overbearing. I kept telling myself, “This is what you eat; don’t get squeamish.” Within 6 to 8 weeks I felt soul dead. For 12 hours, sometimes 15, I often worked ankle deep in gore.
Like the 3 days I worked plumbing rinse stations with 40 gallon drums of de-skinned hogs’ heads staring at me.

Or the times I would have to take the forklift behind the facility to gather raw materials, right next to which was a 25 foot pile of ‘defective’ hogs which were ‘unfit for human consumption.’ For one reason or another they were left in heaping piles, exposed to the elements and freezing to death in the Iowa cold. With all the horrors to which I was privy, it’s that pile of freezing dead that still haunts my soul.
Then came the day that changed me. We were wrapping up all our tools and cleaning up when a hog who had been knocked out with an electric jolt, had his throat stuck, and had been hung upside down to bleed to death woke up, convulsed, and freed himself of the foot-hold. He came running off of the kill floor straight toward me and the rest of the crew. Three IBP workers gave chase. One with a pipe wrench and two with baseball bats. They began to beat the hog to death. I turned away as I thought anyone would……I was wrong. As I turned, I was face to face with the rest of my crew. While listening to the thuds and squeals of a blunt force death a mere 30 feet behind me, I watched as my co-workers whooped and cheered, high-fiving each other each time there was a thud, laughing and celebrating the violent death of a sentient being.

That night in my hotel room my mind raced. I was disgusted with myself. I was disgusted with humanity. I quit eating meat. A few days later my foreman approached me and asked if I need to borrow any money. I said, “No, why do you ask?” He said that he’d noticed that all I’d been eating was peanut butter and jelly and that he thought I was broke. I told him that I wasn’t broke and that I was simply done eating meat. He began heckling me and calling me a “born-again tree hugger.” I quit on the spot.

I went home and began to study Animal Rights. I went vegan and became active in a legal capacity. I spent years tabling and talking with people. I worked at animal sanctuaries and rescued animals whenever I could.
I have never felt that anything I have done or will do on behalf of our Mother Earth and her animal nations has been enough. Those machines I built back in 1996 are still murdering, even as I write this. That is my guilt and my shame; I earned them. But it is also my strength and resolve. Nothing will ever make me forget the plight of factory farmed animals and so-called free range, which is just as sick, wrong, unnecessary, and indefensible.

Like all industries of animal exploitation, the circle of abuse will end with the antagonist (humans) falling prey to its own perfidiousness. For instance, my grandfather was a hog farmer whom I never met. He died in the year of my birth, after the ammonia from hog waste destroyed his lungs. That same waste run-off from his and adjoining hog farms in the 70’s poisoned the ground water, allowing illegal levels of radium to pollute the tap water. To this day in certain areas of the Midwest you have to sign a waiver stating that the water from public works is hazardous to your health and that you are “OK” with that before they will turn your water on.
I’ve said it before, but it’s worth restating. It is these industries of death that are the animal and Earth terrorists. Not those who fight against them.
Political Prisoner Walter Bond
Write Bond letters of prisoner support at:
Walter Bond  # P01051760
PO Box 16700
Golden, CO 80402-6700
As of August 10, 2010, Walter Bond is facing a single federal arson charge for his alleged role as an ALF operative known as “Lone Wolf”. “Lone Wolf” took credit for three different arsons throughout the Spring and Summer of 2010 in Denver and Salt Lake City: The Skeepskin Factory, a store selling furs and pelts; Tandy Leather Store; and Tiburon, a restaurant serving foie gras.
Walter’s brother alerted the FBI and the ATF about his suspicions that his brother, Walter, was behind the attacks. While Walter was visiting Denver in July 2010, his brother helped participate in a sting operation, allegedly wearing a wire and helping procure audio evidence against Walter. He was arrested in Denver and is now being held in the Jefferson County Jail in Golden, Colorado awaiting trial.
Walter has been a dedicated animal rights activist and anarchist for several decades and has struggled for animal liberation and against a deadly and genocidal culture of drug abuse in the United States. Walter was the subject of a song by the vegan straight edge band Earth Crisis. The band’s song “To Ashes” was inspired by Bond’s 1998 prison sentence for arson. Bond was convicted of burning down a meth lab owned by a drug dealer who was selling to his brother (not the same brother as the snitch).
If the nonhumans could fight back, their tormentors would have expired long ago. We have an obligation to expose the abusers. It is the LEAST we can do! I welcome your emails & contributions.
If you have a Facebook account, join the extended Negotiation Is Over network.”.
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Be Aware of What You Wear

With so many wonderful alternatives to wool, fur, and leather, there's simply no need to use animal skins to cover your own skin. For every wool sweater, leather belt or jacket, or bit of fur trim, animals are tortured and mutilated in ways that would make any compassionate person's skin crawl. Sheep, cows, foxes, rabbits, minks, and other animals used for their fleece, fur, or skins feel pain and suffer just like the dogs and cats in our own homes, yet chunks of their flesh are hacked off, they are electrocuted, their necks are snapped, and their throats are slit open, often without any painkillers. Join kind people everywhere and shed your skins-wear only compassionate, animal-free clothing.


Alpaca wool:

Alpaca farms are a growing business in North America, though these gentle creatures naturally reside 14,000 feet up in the Andes Mountains of South America. Alpacas stand about four feet tall, grow to approximately 150 pounds and are undeniably adorable; envision Bambi with shaggy fur and a mop top.

Removed from their natural habitat and forced into confinement, alpacas face a host of health issues compounded by intolerance to moderate weather; loss of appetite due to warm temperatures often leads to fatty liver disease, and the stress of living in confinement can lead to ulcers. Alpaca are prone to parasites and respond poorly to overcrowding, travel and improper diet.

Prized for their soft, delicate fur, most Alpacas are unnaturally shorn, but many are also killed for their fur and meat. Some companies claim their products are derived from Alpacas that "died of natural causes." This is extremely unlikely.


These docile rabbits are gentle, sociable animals with long, silken hair. Though angoras are not killed for their fur, they are shorn regularly and kept in cramped cages for the duration of their eight-year life span. Since males generate only about 75% of the wool that females produce, males are considered an industry byproduct and most are routinely killed at birth. The surviving females are treated much the same as rabbits raised for meat and endure confined lives of loneliness and boredom. Rabbits require regular exercise, and angoras confined to cages can develop painful bone deformities.


A valued and expensive fiber, cashmere is the fine hair that originally came from the underbelly of the Asiatic goat. Today, cashmere is derived from 68 breeds of goats in 12 countries. Cashmere goats generate fine hair with a diameter below 19 microns (in contrast, human hair has a diameter of 75 microns). These goats are kept in conditions that vary from extensive grazing to factory farm-like conditions. In some countries, the goats are hand combed to remove the fibers; in most, the terrified animals are shorn months prior to their natural shedding, leaving the goats exposed to cold temperatures and the chance of illness and death. Cashmere goats are often ear-notched and de-horned, and males not suitable for breeding are castrated without anesthesia and sold for meat after their first fiber harvest.

There are varying qualities of cashmere: At 12-14 microns thick, pashmina, which comes from goats in Kashmir and Tibet, is classified as the finest cashmere. Shahtoosh shawls, popular fashion symbols throughout the world, come from the endangered Tibetan antelope, Chiru. Referred to as "shawls of death" by the government of India, the burgeoning worldwide demand for shahtoosh shawls is leading to the extinction of the Chiru, which is always killed for its fur. At least five animals are slaughtered to produce a single shawl.

Down and Feathers:

If you look around your home, chances are you will find items filled with down. Many jackets, vests, coats, comforters, pillows, and sleeping bags are down-filled, and manufacturers boast of its insulating qualities. They neglect to tell you that down, the very soft feathers from the breasts of geese and ducks, is either purchased as a slaughterhouse byproduct or violently plucked from live animals. The geese unlucky enough to be plucked alive are later slaughtered or force-fed to make pate de foie gras.

Feathers from ostriches, peacocks and other exotic birds frequently adorn hats, handbags and other fashion items. Contrary to what you would like to think, these feathers do not fall out naturally; the feathers are either plucked while the bird is still alive or removed after the bird is slaughtered.

Ostriches, raised for their meat, leather, eggs, and feathers, naturally roam the open plains and live upwards of 75 years. Farmed ostriches are confined to small spaces, often indoors, and slaughtered at only 12 to 14 months.


The horrors of the fur industry are far-reaching: Farmed fur animals are imprisoned in tiny wire cages, raised under brutally cold conditions (to thicken the coat) and anally-electrocuted or gassed to death. Some are skinned while they are still alive. Larger fur-bearing animals are ensnared in the wild in steel-jawed leghold traps and left to await their trapper. In a desperate attempt to flee, some animals chew off their own leg or paw to escape. Since the traps do not discriminate, up to 50% of the trapped animals, many domestic cats and dogs, are discarded as "trash animals."


Leather is more than just a byproduct of the meat industry; it's a manufactured good essential to the meat trade, so buying leather directly supports the meat industry. The animals on the leather industry hit list include cow, deer, sheep, snake, alligator, crocodile, ostrich, lizard, kangaroo, and toad. The more desirable soft and supple leathers come from baby animals-calves, lambs and even unborn calves.

The environmental implications of processing leather are devastating: The production of leather requires the use of formaldehyde, lead, zinc and cyanide-based products. Leather products are 'tanned' with chemical agents that stabilize the fibers so that the leather is no longer biodegradable. Over 95% of all leather produced in the U.S. is chrome tanned, and all wastes containing chromium are considered hazardous by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

If we care about the environment, we'll forgo leather for the wide selection of faux leather shoes, belts and coats available in most stores. And if we don't eat animals for ethical reasons, we shouldn't wear them.


Mohair comes from the white Angora goat, a small and delicate animal prized for its soft and lustrous fiber. The original Angora goats came from Asia Minor, in what is now modern Turkey. The goats were even smaller than they are today and were crossed with larger, meat-type goats to increase body size and fiber production. Very large herds of Angora goats are isolated on farms, purely for mohair production. Intolerably sensitive to cold and parasites, the goats need protection from the cold and chills for several days after their fleece is removed.


Silk comes from the caterpillars of the silk moth, which protect themselves by spinning silk strands to form a cocoon. Each worm may produce up to a mile and a half of continuous thread. When metamorphosis is complete and the moth is prepared to exit the cocoon, a naturally secreted chemical eats its way through the silk strands, freeing the moth. To retain a single, unbroken thread, the moth is killed before it is ready to emerge, typically by boiling, baking or steaming the worm alive. Nearly 1,500 pupas are killed to produce just 100 grams of silk.


The very fact that sheep are sheared for their wool is an unnatural act: Left to themselves without human interference, sheep would grow just enough wool to protect themselves from the weather. Scientific interference, however, has created wool-producing machines with an unnatural overload of wool that often encompasses half their body weight, bringing misery and death from heat exhaustion during warmer months.

At just a few weeks old, lamb's ears are punched, their tails are amputated and males are castrated with no sedative. Most wool comes from Merino sheep, bred to have excessive, wrinkly skin. More skin means more wool, but the wrinkles attract urine, moisture and flies, which lay eggs in the folds of skin, called 'flystrike.' The hatched maggots literally consume the sheep alive, sometimes eating down to the bone in the hind legs or even into the abdomen. Using no anesthetic, farmers carve out large folds of skin from the sheep's back and legs to discourage flystrike, an operation called mulesing.

Sheep are shorn before they would naturally and slowly shed their winter coats. Shearers, paid by volume, work quickly and often carelessly, frequently shearing off the flesh of terrified sheep. Once shorn, many sheep die of exposure. Aging sheep are transported long distances to slaughterhouses without food or water, and spent Australian sheep are sent to the Middle East in ships much like those used during the slave trade. The sheep who survive the trip have their throats slit in Moslem ritual slaughter.

Wool pulled from the skin of slaughtered sheep and lambs is known as 'skin wool.'


Felt is an extension of the wool and fur industries and is produced using a technique that compresses and hardens the wool or fur fibers into pliable material. Fur felt hats are made from a blend of tame and wild rabbits, but "better quality" fur felt hats also include some beaver hair in them. Historically, X markings were used in fur felt hats to indicate the blend of fur incorporated into the hat: The more wild fur included in the blend, the higher the X marking for the hat. Generally, 2X was the lowest rating and 100X was the highest.

Moving poem about an animal that passed

I Stood Beside Your Bed Last Night
Author Unknown.

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying, you found it hard to sleep.
I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear.
"Its me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here"
I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea.
You were thinking of the many times your hands reached down to me.
I was with you at the shops today, your arms were getting sore.
I want to take your parcels, I wished I could do more.
I was with you at my grave today, you tend it with such care.
I want to reassure you that I'm not lying there.
I walked with you towards the house as you fumbled for the key,
I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said "It's me".
You looked so very tired and then you sank into a chair,
I tried so hard to let you know that I was standing there.
Its possible for me to be so near you everyday,
to say to you with certainty "I never went away".
You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew
That in the stillness of that evening I was very close to you.
The day is over.... I smile and watch you yawning
and say, " Good Night, Sweet Dreams, God Bless,
I'll see you in the morning".
And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide
I'll rush to greet you and well stand together side by side.
I have so many things to show you, there's much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out; then come home and be with me.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Dalai Lama


Tibetans around the world are celebrating the 75th birthday of the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet.

The Dalai Lama addressed a crowd of well-wishers in Dharamshala, his adopted hometown in India, where he has lived in exile since 1959.  The Buddhist monk said when looking at the pictures and posters depicting his life, he realizes his life has not been wasted. 

In neighboring Nepal, exiled Tibetans celebrated the Dalai Lama's birthday in a camp on the outskirts of the capital, Kathmandu.

News reports say police detained for questioning about 20 Tibetans in Nepal.  Officials said they would not permit anti-China demonstrations, although birthday celebrations would be allowed. 

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang refused to comment on the Dalai Lama's birthday celebrations.  

Qin told reporters at a regular daily briefing that only two dates in Tibet's history are important:  March 28, 1951, when, as he said, "Tibet was Liberated peacefully;" and May 23, 1959, when, in his words, Tibet adopted democratic reform.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.  China accuses him of inciting a separatist movement in Tibet.  He says he is not seeking independence for Tibet, just greater autonomy.  

Monday, July 5, 2010

BP Insider Admits Disaster Call Center Is A Diversion, Don't Even Take N...

Will BP Stop Burning Sea Turtles to Avoid a Lawsuit?

We’ve all been horrified by the reports of endangered sea turtles being incinerated alive in controlled burns set off by BP in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, animal conservation groups are doing something about it. Earlier this week, they filed a lawsuit against British Petroleum and the U.S. Coast Guard.
On Tuesday, the Animal Welfare Institute, the Center for Biological Diversity and Turtle Island Restoration Network notified BP and the Coast Guard of their intent to sue. The notice states that BP’s actions are resulting in the deaths of threatened and endangered species, in particular the Kemp's ridley sea turtle.
"While cleaning up the catastrophic oil spill is critically important, so too is doing it in a way which doesn’t destroy wildlife in a flagrantly unlawful manner," AWI President Cathy Liss said in a statement.
They asked BP and the Coast Guard to put qualified observers in the Gulf who can watch for and save endangered turtles and other wildlife. If turtles continue to die, the groups said they would file a lawsuit charging BP with violating the federal Endangered Species Act as well as the terms of its lease for Deepwater Horizon — a lease that requires BP to comply with all federal environmental laws.
Guess what? BP is apparently listening. In meetings held yesterday in New Orleans, representatives from BP, the Coast Guard, the three animal protection groups and the Animal Legal Defense Fund agreed that the Coast Guard will immediately gather a group of scientists and, with input from the animal groups, try to figure out how to best ensure that no endangered sea turtles are killed during burn containment practices.
Due to stormy weather in the Gulf, the burning will be halted until at least next Tuesday. By then, BP and the Coast Guard are supposed to let ALDF and the animal groups know if it will be possible to have scientists aboard every burn boat. If they say "no can do," the parties will go back to federal court.
Meanwhile, along with the Endangered Species Act violations, PETA rightfully believes BP should be charged with cruelty to animals. This week it called on the attorneys general of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi to file animal cruelty charges against the BP executives who allowed the deaths and injuries to happen and, due to their negligence, let it continue.
Robert Wine, a flack for BP, doesn’t understand all the hubbub. He told the Times-Picayune that the company always looks out for turtles and other wildlife before starting the burns. "The idea of animals being burned alive is appalling to us," he said.
Is it really? Then why has his company been turning away rescuers trying to save the poor creatures before the oil is set afire? What’s truly appalling to BP must be the fact that, if the lawsuit is successful, the company could be facing hefty fines for every single endangered sea turtle it has harmed or killed — up to $25,000 in civil penalties and up to $50,000 in criminal penalties, along with possible prison time. Are they really always looking out for turtles, as their P.R. guy claims ... or always looking out for themselves?
We should know the answer next Tuesday.

Veganism based on Jainism


The vegan philosophy is essentially practical - centred on being a thinking, compassionate & discriminating consumer.  Of course it is far more than that, but from a practical day-to-day point of view 'ethical consumption' is prominent.  The vegan movement as we know it is a fairly recent phenomenon.  Thirty years ago it comprised a mere handful of far-sighted pioneers, while today there are likely to be some millions of adherents in the western world.  However, the fundamental vegan ethic is actually quite ancient :  under the name 'ahimsa'  (non-violence) it is a cornerstone of the Jain religion which was founded in India thousands of years ago.  Actually, ahimsa is a much broader concept that veganism as it can be defined as non-violence in thoughts, words & deeds, in all aspects of life.
Jainism as it exists today has developed from the teachings of Lord Mahavira, a historically verified person who lived in India at the same time as Lord Buddha - around 500 BC.  Mahavira is said to be the 24th jain sage, the earlier ones reaching back to perhaps 8,000 years ago.  Over this immense period of time the jains have developed a wonderfully intricate & complete system of compassionate living.  However, jainism is little known in the west because it does not have a proselytizing tradition, and also because jain monks are wandering ascetics who do not use any form of mechanical transport - ie their only means of transport between jain communities is walking.   The principal of non-violence is perhaps best know in the west through the life of Mahatma Gandhi. 
As with hinduism & buddhism, jains believe in re-incarnation : the cycle of birth, death & re-birth, the purpose of which is the gradual perfection of the soul to the point where it can be released from the cycle to a higher state of immersion with the infinite.  In contrast to the major popular religions the path to this release is by deeds rather than belief.  Deeds attract karmic matter which attaches to the soul - good karmic matter derives from right conduct; bad karmic matter from bad / incorrect conduct.   If one lives a life of dishonesty, disrespect, anger, violence, etc., no amount of repentance at the end of that life will erase the accumulation of bad karmic matter.  For the accumulation to be removed requires further life times devoted to peaceful, ethical behaviour.
Whether you are an atheist, agnostic, or a follower of another spiritual path, you're likely to find the jain philosophy of interest if you hold vegan / vegetarian inclinations.  It's worth knowing that many of the principles that define how you might think about your life & the world, & which you have probably come to by listening to your own heart have been contemplated & codified by an dedicated community of strict vegetarians since virtually the beginnings of human civilization.
Here are some really good sources of information on jainism:
* : an excellent gateway to jain web sites
*  'Jain Spirit' magazine, published in Uk :
*  "Life Force - the world of Jainism" by Michael Tobias:  a very readable discussion of jainism from a western ecological perspective.  This book is available from Vegan Wares.  Email us for further details.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Knights of Consequences ~ Defending and Honoring Captain Pete Bethune and the principles of SSCS

Knights of Consequences

Defending and Honoring Captain Pete Bethune and the Principles of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Commentary by Captain Paul Watson

The complications that accompany Sea Shepherd campaigns are immense. Seldom are things simple, and the reason for this is the complexity of running an international marine conservation organization that is dependent upon the passion, dedication, and unfortunately the unpredictability of volunteers.

I have always stressed that the kind of passion that volunteers bring to the table is something that cannot be hired. Professionals simply do not compare. As Sir Ernest Shackleton once remarked when he was criticized for the inexperience and the lack of professionalism of his crew, “I need men of passion who will get me to the Pole and that kind of passion cannot be bought, it can only be found in the dedication of volunteers.”

Since 1977, I have commanded the helm of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and during that time, it has been my honor and my worry to have experienced the passion of over 4500 volunteers. A few have been found wanting, but most of them were exceptional and a few were extraordinary.
Balanced within the fragile framework of organized passion, I have to make practical logistical decisions designed not only to achieve the success of our campaigns but also designed to defend the integrity and the survival of the Sea Shepherd as an organization.

And it has been this strategy of balance that has achieved the remarkable record that Sea Shepherd enjoys: no injuries caused, no serious injuries sustained, no civil lawsuits, and no legal convictions for indictable (felony) offenses.  
The implementation of this strategy has sometimes resulted in criticism from the public, the media, and occasionally our own crew and supporters. And this criticism is independent of the criticism we routinely get from some of the public and the media for the strategies and tactics of our campaigns.

Recently Sea Shepherd was forced to make a decision that was understandably unpopular with some of our supporters. We had to announce that Captain Pete Bethune will not be able to rejoin the Sea Shepherd crew when we return to the Southern Ocean in December 2010 to defend the whales.

This was not a decision taken lightly, it was a decision taken out of necessity both for Captain Bethune and for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Captain Bethune is a genuine hero, not just to Sea Shepherd, but to people around the world who love whales and want to see the brutal and remorseless slaughter of these whales ended. He has made sacrifices and he repeatedly risked his life to defend the whales. Captain Bethune is not unique amongst my crew in this regard, but with reference to Operation Waltzing Matilda he was exceptional.

But he violated a basic tenet of the rules of engagement of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and thus we had no alternative but to make the decision to not have Captain Bethune participate in future campaigns.

Captain Bethune had already told the Japanese court that he would not be returning and our decision further convinced the Japanese judges that they had nothing to fear from letting Pete return home. The judges are concerned that Japan would lose face if they released him only to board another whaling ship in the Southern Ocean once again. Captain Bethune saying that he would not return was not sufficient to convince the judges, but his statement backed up by Sea Shepherd’s decision to not have him participate will considerably help to alleviate the concerns of the judges.

As to the nature of the violations against Sea Shepherd policy, it is not in our interest or Captain Bethune’s to go into any detail. It is simply sufficient for us to say that we were compelled to make this decision for very good reasons both in the interest of Captain Bethune and of Sea Shepherd.

Accusations that Sea Shepherd has abandoned Captain Pete Bethune are untrue. Captain Bethune’s legal expenses, which Sea Shepherd is helping to cover, have accumulated quickly to hundreds of thousands of dollars. We have helped to secure the best legal team available for him in Japan. We will continue to provide a legal defense for Captain Bethune.

Accusations that Sea Shepherd, and I specifically, ordered Captain Bethune to board the Shonan Maru 2 in the Southern Ocean are untrue. Captain Bethune at one point in his interrogation told the Japanese Coast Guard that he acted under my orders. This accusation resulted in the Japanese Coast Guard issuing a warrant for my arrest. Captain Bethune sent me a letter a few weeks afterwards apologizing for this and saying he would retract the statement, and he did so.

Unfortunately the Japanese Coast Guard did not retract the warrant. I believe considering the intense interrogation methods by the Japanese interrogators that it is understandable why Captain Bethune gave them information that they wanted and told them things they wanted to hear. I hold no grudge against him for that.
Captain Bethune has been under enormous pressure during his incarceration with long hours, and day after day of interrogation. We know how intense it can be because in November 2003, Captain Alex Cornelissen and crewmember Allison Lance were held without bail, without a lawyer and interrogated for several weeks before being released.

He has also been abandoned by his own government, a government that cowardly refused to defend the New Zealand flag of his vessel Ady Gil and refused to defend his rights as a New Zealand citizen. The captain of the Shonan Maru 2, deliberately rammed and destroyed the Ady Gil. This was a vessel Bethune built himself and set a world record for circumnavigating the globe. And yet the New Zealand government refused to question the Japanese captain over the ramming, basically giving a green light to further Japanese violence against Sea Shepherd next season.

I think however the light is on the horizon for Captain Bethune’s release. The Japanese court will most likely find him guilty.(After all, they have a 98% conviction rate, which is enough to make one wonder why they even bother having lawyers, and damn expensive ones at that!)

Sea Shepherd is focused on getting Bethune out of a Japanese prison where he is being treated as a prisoner of war and seeing him returned to his home in New Zealand to be re-united with his family and friends. We believed we have done all that is possible towards achieving that objective.

We believe that we have made the right decisions to protect both Captain Bethune and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. We realize that not everyone will be in agreement with the decisions we make, but then again everyone who is in disagreement does not have to deal with the consequences. The consequences are ours, and sometimes no matter what the decision, negative consequences can result.
At this moment, Sea Shepherd is focused on freeing Captain Bethune, interfering against bluefin tuna poachers in the Mediterranean, opposing the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan, helping to protect the Galapagos, addressing the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster, protecting sharks in Latin America, and beginning the incredibly difficult and intense effort to organize Operation No Compromise - our return to the Southern Ocean to defend the whales of the Antarctic Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary for the 7th time.

Captain Bethune’s actions saved the lives of many whales and the actions of all the Sea Shepherd crew this last season saved the lives of 528 whales. It was an enormously successful campaign and these whales continue to swim free and alive in the Southern Ocean as a result of our efforts.

Eighty men and women from eighteen different nations spent nearly four months at sea on three different vessels under the command of three different captains and they all took exceptional risks and gave unselfishly of their time. We lost one vessel, the Ady Gil, we suffered damage to our ship the Bob Barker, and Captain Bethune was taken prisoner by the ruthless whaler who destroyed his ship and almost killed his shipmates, a whaler who has escaped prosecution for his crime while his victim is persecuted in Japan for daring to confront his attacker.

We expect the conflict to escalate in the 2010/2011 season and we must expect that more Sea Shepherd crew may be taken prisoner or injured. But when we say we are willing to risk our lives and our freedom to defend the whales, we must be prepared to walk the walk.

Captain Bethune, like many Sea Shepherd crew members before him, was taken prisoner. It was not the first time this has happened at Sea Shepherd, nor will it be the last. This is a dangerous game we play with those who ruthlessly plunder of oceans of life.

Bethune told me that he was prepared for the consequences when he made the decision to board the Japanese whaler and I believe that he has handled himself admirably and has been steadfast in his convictions to defend the whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary from the poachers from Japan. He is a whale warrior extraordinaire and a hero, and he has earned a place in conservation history for his efforts, his courage, and his sacrifice.