Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's only fun till someone gets hurt

We all grew up with the idea of the circus as something fun and wholesome. Most kids love animals and a circus is the closest you can get to lions and elephants. If you were like me you also believed that they must be well taken care of - after all they are powerful animals and they would attack their trainers if not properly treated, right? And yes, their cages are small but when they're not travelling they get to frolic in open fields and rest until the next season, right?

Not quite. Circus animals are trained from a young age, and are taught how to behave by domination and punishment. They spend most of their lives either in tiny travelling cages or performing in noisy, crowded environments.

Recently this lion was removed from a circus and is currently in recovery at the Drakenstein Lion Park. Please consider donating to this worthy cause. In any event please consider not supporting circuses featuring animal acts.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Green eating

I have just read this article about green eating. I am pleased that the author address the issue of eating less meat. As you may be able to tell I am vegan, and believe that it is one of the simplest and easiest ways to reduce your environmental impact [1]. But let's face it, many people for a variety of reasons will never go vegan, and therefore from an environmental point of view, being a Lessmeatatarian - eating less meat - is a good alternative. A typical Western diet consists of far more meat than our bodies require. This has many adverse effects from being bad for one's health to the obvious problems involved in the intensive rearing of animals, from the sometimes obscene cruelty that is nowadays simply a part of the industry [2] to the breeding and promotion of disease.

Therefore, if you want to do one thing that can make a difference on numerous levels, all of them important, eat less meat.

[1] Of course this only applies if you eat sensibly, cook most of your veggies, grains etc from scratch (or even better, have them raw in a nice salad) and don't live off only polystyrene-packaged take-aways and factory-produced substitutes.

[2] Don't believe the PETA link? See the movie Earthlings. It will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about whether the animals that end up on dinner plates really frolic happily on wide open fields until they are humanely and painlessly killed, or whether the reality is slightly darker.