June 30, 2006
Everyday, our community cats
live a vulnerable life, as long as abusers like David Hooi & the S.O.B. of Old Airport Road (the elusive anonymous abuser) unremain at large.
The recent kitten that was killed by David Hooi
Another victim of the Old Airport Road abuser
But, there is a bigger problem besides catching the abusers. And that is, dealing with the government authority – AVA & the town councils.
13,000 cats are killed each year by the AVA “in their efforts to keep the neighourhood clean & promote harmonious living”. This works out to approximately 35 cats (healthy, sick, young & old) are rounded up every day to be culled.
But how do we make the authorities (AVA, town councils & the management committees) understand that culling is NOT the solution to control the stray cat population? TNR is. How do we make them and the public understand the benefits TNR brings to the cats & the community?
In August 1998, AVA started the Stray Cat Rehabilitation Scheme in its efforts to find humane and effective ways to control the stray cat population in housing estates. The aim is to encourage dedicated and committed volunteer animal caregivers to work with town councils to control the cat population over the long-term through sterilisation and responsible management of the cats. There were 140 areas registered on the scheme involving all the town councils.
Unfortunately when the SARS epidemic hit Singapore in 2003, there was an island-wide panic. The scheme stopped & the culling began again. Now how convince we get the authorities that the Stray Cat Rehabilitation Scheme worked & it should be re-instated?
Also, equally important, how do we educate and convince the public of the importance of responsible pet ownership?
Lastly how do we encourage people to stand up to bullies like Hooi & the S.O.B. & report them so that these bullies know they can’t get away with murder? And that we, the society, are watching their every move?
Until we find answers to these questions, this is a picture of the statue dedicated to our beautiful kucintas (Singapore cats) that die undeservingly each & every day.
Kucintas under the Cavenagh Bridge
June 30, 2006
And “if convicted, Hooi could be fined up to $10,000 and jailed up the 12 months.” First, I doubt Hooi has $10,000 to pay & second, 12 months is too short for someone like him. Even if the jail term is extended to 24 months, it is still too short!
I’m still of the opinion that he should be put away for a long long time away from society, away from harm.
June 28, 2006
If you ask me, jailing Hooi is a waste of taxpayers’ money. He is unrepentent. Out of jail for 2 months and he’s back to torturing kittens again. He was arrested again yesterday for torturing a kitten so badly that it had to be put down.
When will the authorities acknowledge that animal abusers are pathological & they are as dangerous as a child abuser, a rapist, a murderer. Hooi is a menace to society.
Obviously jail is not the solution. But what is? Institutionalise him, I say. He belongs in a strait-jacket locked up in mental home for a long long time. But seriously, this man needs counselling & medication. He needs to be put under psychological observation. He needs to be electronically tagged when released.
I said this before & I say it again, today he kills a cat. What about tomorrow? A kid, a woman, an elderly? His options are open if he is allowed to roam freely amongst us again. And giving him a light sentence again will be as good as endorsing him to do more evil in the future.
Hopefully the Community Court mets out a stronger punishment this time. It is not just for David Hooi but it is to send out a clear & strong signal to all animal abusers (Old Airport Road comes to mind) & would-be ones that they should continue to do the sick deeds they do to animals, they will not get away with it, lightly. We are watching them.
June 24, 2006
Here are my favourites (almost whipped out my credit card ….)
Cat Bed “Buddhabag”
Speciality Cat Bowls. Comes in various designs
Cat Collars – “Swarovski range”
June 23, 2006
WHAT’S NEXT? CATS THAT LIKE HUMANS?
An American company has created what it calls the world’s first hypoallergenic cat by breeding out the protein in cats which causes allergic reaction in humans. California-based Allerca Lifestyle Pets claims to have bred over 20 allergy-free cats and already has hundreds of advance orders from around the world. Of course, not everyone is happy with this latest step towards a perfect world. PETA’s European director Poorva Joshipura accused Allerca of treating cats as “nothing more than today’s latest designer handbag” and warned that “breeding for a certain genetic trait can lead to numerous health problems, including physical deformities, deafness, eye diseases, and a host of other ailments.” But that won’t stop the allergic suckers who want cats . . . these critters are selling for a whopping US$5,000 each. (The Scotsman)
HAIL SATAN JR.
According to a story from the UK’s Mirror newspaper, a woman in Bristol gave birth to her baby shortly after 6 a.m. on June 6, 2006 (6/6/06) after a six day long labour. And then, in order to make it into this column, the happy parents named the child Damien. (The Mirror)
USUALLY INFLATABLE TOYS DON’T COME OUT UNTIL AFTER YOU’RE DRUNK
If you didn’t get what you wanted for Father’s Day (or even if you did) you can go order your very own inflatable pub from Airquee.co.uk, the company that also created the world’s first inflatable church. The pub pumps up in about 10 minutes and measures 40 feet long, 14 feet wide, and 22 feet high, which is enough room for 30 of your drunk friends.
ALL THE EXCITEMENT OF WATCHING TURF GROW
Trying to protect the impoverished people of his country from . . . uh . . . more impoverishment, the Cambodian Prime Minister has released a statement urging people not to sell all their worldly possessions in order to make bets on the World Cup.
“Go ahead and watch it, but do not sell your cows, motorcycles, cars, homes and land to bet on the games,” said Prime Minster Hun Sen.
Meanwhile, in another part of the country, Cambodia’s monks were warned to watch the World Cup matches passively or risk being defrocked. “If they make noise or cheer as they watch, they will lose their monkhoods,” warned a religious leader in Phnom Penh. (Reuters)
AND THE WINNER ….
I-READ-IT-ON-THE-INTERNET-SO-IT-MUST-BE-TRUE FACT OF THE WEEK
72 percent of pet owners kiss their pets before they kiss their spouse after getting home from work, and 18 percent of pet owners consider their pet a “genius.”
June 19, 2006
to my little heart.
Dim Sum passed away peacefully on this wet Monday at 7.45am at home. I was with her.
She fought a fierce battle against FIP, despite how the disease left her little body wrecked. Throughout the whole time, Dim Sum has never once given in. She continued to live in her true family spirit – fight to the end, never say die.
I was fortunate to witness her coming to terms with Beauty & Carma. Towards the end, she no longer harbored grudges, she was rather peaceful when Beauty & Carma looked in on her. Although she was a little annoyed when Junior playfully tried to swipe her tail.
Dim Sum will be fondly remembered & cherished by all in the House of Chaos.
To everyone who had sent their well wishes & especially to the few who lent their listening ear & unselfish support, thank you so much.
Take care & give your cats a kiss & hug,
June 16, 2006
Now wouldn’t this be grand if our government adopt the same policy to step up responsible pet ownership & stray control?
Providence, RI (AP)
Rhode Island has become the first state in the nation to require cat owners to spay or neuter their pets.
Governor Carcieri signed the bill into law Friday. It requires cat owners to spay or neuter pets older than six months unless they pay $100 for a breeder’s license or permit for an intact animal.
Violators will be fined $75 per month. Under the law, low-income pet owners would be able to receive subsidies for low-cost spay and neuter surgery.
Farmers are exempt. Supporters of the law say it will save thousands of cats from being killed each year. The governor says it will also save money because it will cut down on housing and feeding costs at city animal shelters.
June 16, 2006
The Ethics of Eating
The Manila Times
Friday, June 16, 2006
By Peter Singer
Global meat consumption is predicted to double by 2020. Yet in Europe and North America, there is growing concern about the ethics of the way meat and eggs are produced. The consumption of veal has fallen sharply since it became widely known that to produce so-called “white” —actually pale pink—veal, newborn calves are separated from their mothers, deliberately made anemic, denied roughage, and kept in stalls so narrow that they cannot walk or turn around.
In Europe, mad cow disease shocked many people, not only because it shattered beef’s image as a safe and healthy food, but also because they learned that the disease was caused by feeding cattle the brains and nerve tissue of sheep. People who naively believed that cows ate grass discovered that beef cattle in feed lots may be fed anything from corn to fish meal, chicken litter (complete with chicken droppings), and slaughterhouse waste.
Concern about how we treat farm animals is far from being limited to the small percentage of people who are vegetarians or even vegans—eating no animal products at all. Despite strong ethical arguments for vegetarianism, it is not yet a mainstream position. More common is the view that we are justified in eating meat, as long as the animals have a decent life before they are killed.
The problem, as Jim Mason and I describe in our recent book, The Way We Eat, is that industrial agriculture denies animals even a minimally decent life. Tens of billions of chickens produced today never go outdoors. They are bred to have voracious appetites and gain weight as fast as possible, then reared in sheds that can hold more than 20,000 birds. The level of ammonia in the air from their accumulated droppings stings the eye and hurts the lungs. Slaughtered at only 45 days old, their immature bones can hardly bear the weight of their bodies. Some collapse and, unable to reach food or water, soon die, their fate irrelevant to the economics of the enterprise as a whole.
Conditions are, if anything, even worse for laying hens crammed into wire cages so small that even if there were just one per cage, she would be unable to stretch her wings. But there are usually at least four hens per cage, and often more. Under such crowded conditions, the more dominant, aggressive birds are likely to peck to death the weaker hens in the cage. To prevent this, producers sear off all birds’ beaks with a hot blade. A hen’s beak is full of nerve tissue—it is, after all, her principal means of relating to her environment—but no anesthetic or analgesic is used to relieve the pain.
Pigs may be the most intelligent and sensitive of the animals that we commonly eat. When foraging in a rural village, they can exercise that intelligence and explore their varied environment. Before they give birth, sows use straw or leaves and twigs to build a comfortable and safe nest in which to nurse their litter.
But in today’s factory farms, pregnant sows are kept in crates so narrow that they cannot turn around, or even walk more than a step forward or backward. They lie on bare concrete without straw or any other form of bedding. The piglets are taken from the sow as soon as possible, so that she can be made pregnant again, but they never leave the shed until they are taken to slaughter.
Defenders of these production methods argue that they are a regrettable but necessary response to a growing population’s demand for food. On the contrary, when we confine animals in factory farms, we have to grow food for them. The animals burn up most of that food’s energy just to breathe and keep their bodies warm, so we end up with a small fraction—usually no more than one-third and sometimes as little as one-tenth—of the food value that we feed them. By contrast, cows grazing on pasture eat food that we cannot digest, which means that they add to the amount of food available to us.
June 16, 2006
Life Without The Meat
Fort Frances Time Online
June 14, 2006
By Beth Caldwell
It could be said that there are two kinds of people in the world—those who eat meat and those who don’t.
But not many decisions in life are that black and white, including the why’s and why not’s about the consumption of animal protein.
It’s generally known that if you don’t eat meat, but include eggs, cheese, and milk in your diet, you’re a vegetarian. If you say “no” to meat and dairy products, it’s “V for vegan.”
And if you’re a bit of an extremist and don’t eat meat or dairy products, and your diet is uncooked and cold, then welcome to the “raw food vegan” club, where a cup of hot soup on a cold day is never realized.
Worldwide studies have been conducted on the benefits of eliminating meat and dairy products from the daily menu. And if done right, and in combination with other aspects of a healthy lifestyle, vegetarianism stands out as a key player in longevity.
Some people give up animal protein for love of their four-legged friends; others because of faith. Some may carve out a meat-free life half-time while others willingly trade a cold glass of cow’s milk for a quarter cup of seaweed all the time.
The number of vegetarians and vegans in Canada is relatively small. A recent study estimated only about 250,000 vegetarians and 100,000 vegans are out there.
Cliff Marsh of Devlin pursues a vegetarian lifestyle because of medical necessity and out of respect for his service to a higher power. He admits it’s not always easy to say “No thanks” to the part of a meal that includes animal protein, but he’s doing his best.
“[My vegetarianism] was probably initiated as long as 10 years ago,” Marsh, 54, recalled last week by phone from his business “Northwest Solar” in Devlin.
Marsh and his wife, Roxanne, spent 30 years in the British Columbia interior where he was a meat-cutter. His wife had food sensitivities and allergies, which prompted a food cull of sorts. But it wasn’t until his own health started to deteriorate did he make some drastic changes to his diet.
“In being a meat-cutter for many, many years, I had consumed many herds of cattle on the barbecue and it led to ‘Irritable Bowel Syndrome,’” March revealed.
“We had to start figuring out what was the problem and started doing research on natural remedies, and was eventually led to vegetarianism without any spiritual prompting,” Marsh added, referring to his membership in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, which advocates a vegetarian lifestyle, including abstaining from pork, alcohol, and tobacco.
In fact, studies have documented that Seventh Day Adventists live about seven years longer than other people.
Upon carving out a vegetarian lifestyle to recoup his intestinal health, Marsh was strict with his diet for about three years—until he and his wife moved back to Rainy River District and came in closer contact with their families and the occasional meat meal.
But at home alone, they maintain a meatless diet and claim the greener lifestyle changed everything.
“Undoubtedly, absolutely [I feel better] and I have more energy,” touted Marsh. “For sure I have no bowel trouble at all when I am sticking to my [vegetarian] diet and, in fact, I can consume a little bit of meat protein on a limited basis without causing any trouble.
“When you get on to [vegetarianism], you don’t want to eat meat because you know what you feel like afterwards—it makes you slow down.
“It’s not surprising that carnivorous animals, after they eat the wildebeest, they go and lie down for 24 hours,” Marsh reasoned with a chuckle.
Meanwhile, Pat Kozik of Fort Frances has had a close relationship with vegetarianism most of her life. She was raised as a Seventh Day Adventist and remains a member of the church. Although she admitted to “falling off the vegetable wagon” during intermittent periods in her life, Kozik, now 81, has spent at least the last three years of her life animal protein-free.
“It’s just a way of life. It isn’t a religion as much as it is a way of life,” she stressed earlier this week.
True vegetarians give up the beef steak, chicken breast, and pork chops for other sources of protein, such as beans, peas, or lentils, tofu, soy milk, nuts, seeds, and eggs.
Rooksana Randeree, a dietitian with Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc. here, stressed the need for vegetarians to be mindful that they are receiving all the nutrients necessary for optimum health, and especially so for vegans who choose to cut out both meat and dairy products from their diet.
Randeree also noted that while she rarely sees adult vegetarians referred to her office by their doctor, she does counsel teenagers on the subject.
Much of the time, the young teens—primarily female—have come from their doctor with deficiencies in iron levels because they’ve approached vegetarianism without all the facts and need nutritional advice.
“I see a lot of teenagers who come through my office who have been to the doctor and been diagnosed with iron deficiency [and yet] they say they are vegetarian,” Randeree explained during an interview at her office last week.
“They come in here and when I ask them ‘What does a vegetarian diet mean to you,’ they say they’ve cut out all the meat and all they are eating are the vegetables and the potatoes, pasta, rice that their parents are making for them at supper time.
“They have excluded the meat [protein portion] but they haven’t supplemented it,” she stressed.
While Randeree deemed a well-balanced vegetarian diet healthy and safe for teenagers, she also said young women sometimes choose vegetarianism for the wrong reasons.
They cut out the protein and dairy products from their diet to lose weight.
“Some of these teenagers could have eating disorders, and often with eating disorders the protein portion of their food is the first thing to go,” she noted.
“A lot of young girls think [protein] is the higher calorie food, so they exclude it and start picking at the vegetables, and then you see the milk going—another protein source—so that basically they are just living on vegetables.
“If [teenagers] want to become true vegetarians, they can do it in a very, very healthy way,” Randeree continued. “The misconception is that you can go on a vegetarian diet and you can lose weight.
“Our bodies are so sophisticated that if you don’t meet your energy requirements, you may lose weight for a short period of time, but your body will adjust to what you are eating and then you will stop losing weight.
“In fact, some people who go through the cycle of under-eating and then over-eating, which is the ‘yo-yo’ diet cycle, actually end up being overweight because of that system where your body learns to conserve and preserve energy rather than utilize it,” Randeree remarked.
Melanie Béchard, a staff writer with the Fort Frances Times, has been a vegetarian for half of her life, taking that path for the four-legged creatures of the world.
It wasn’t easy switching to a healthy food plan minus the meat, but now at 32 years old, she’s a veteran at an alternative, balanced approach to nutrition.
“I consider myself a vegetarian, not a vegan. I did try veganism for about three months but couldn’t do it anymore,” Béchard noted last week.
“This is going to sound silly, but we always had dogs when I was growing up and I didn’t see the difference between killing a cow and eating it and killing my dog and eating it.
“I just didn’t see the difference—and I decided that I thought I could live without [meat],” she remarked.
“I think I cheated twice the first year [and] the hardest thing to give up was Kentucky Fried Chicken,” she chuckled.
“I was a bad vegetarian the first several years, I would say, because I was probably not getting the protein that I needed and if I was hungry after supper, I would have chips and ice cream,” Béchard laughed.
For the vegans of the world who cut out dairy products as well as animal protein, the risk for Vitamin B12 deficiency goes way up. It’s only present in animal products and if those sources of food aren’t included in one’s diet, supplements are in order, Randeree warned.
“Vitamin B12 [deficiency] is mainly associated with anemia because it’s necessary in the formation of red blood cells.
“And of course, protein is the building blocks of our cells, so we need it for the regular wear and tear of red blood cell formation—all the repair that goes on within our body and for muscle development, as well,” she reiterated.
Green leafy vegetables (like “Popeye’s” spinach) are sources of iron, but not the same kind of iron as found in animal protein. Called “non-heme” iron and vegetable-based, it is not as well-absorbed by the human body as that found in the “heme iron” in animal protein.
Anyone journeying into a vegetarian lifestyle also must be aware of their continued need for calcium. This is especially important for teenagers.
“If they just suddenly decide to become vegetarian and start cutting out the meat and then [as vegans] the dairy products, and are only eating vegetables, they are not going to be meeting their calcium requirements,” Randeree noted.
“During the teen years, that’s when the bone density is actually reaching its peak and that’s very, very important because what teenagers [consume in calcium] when they are 15 years old is going to affect them, in terms of osteoporosis, when they are 60.
“But they can’t see that relationship because they think they’ll never get old,” she smiled. And what about the raw food vegan approach? Brrr!
Randeree believes it’s probably a better idea to cut out the fast food, high fat, processed products in our diet than opt for eating a cold, raw meatless, diary-less diet.
“Even something a simple as your kidney bean. Well, a kidney bean is cooked [when you eat it] so being a raw food vegan really limits you,” she said.
“There’s always extremes, but I think research has shown that moderation ‘middle of the road’ is where to be,” Randeree concluded.
In an article published in the November, 2005 issue of National Geographic entitled “The Secrets of Living Longer,” three groups of people around the world were deemed to be among the longest living on Earth—each with its own core of centenarians.
And although each group has its own set of beliefs, they all share in the enjoyment of a vital—an active existence well into their 90s.
The hot spots of longevity include Sardinia, Italy, where they drink red wine, share the workload with their spouse, and eat pecorino cheese, in Okinawa, Japan, where they eat small meals, have purpose, and nurture friendships, and in Loma Linda, Calif. among the Seventh Day Adventists, who rely heavily on faith, nuts, and beans, and observe the Sabbath.
Only a third of the world is meat-eating and two-thirds vegetarian.
“When you look at the big picture, why wouldn’t you want to prolong your life? Why wouldn’t you want to live into your 70s, 80s, and 90s and still have a good mind, still go hiking, riding your bike, and enjoy a quality of life instead of being in your 50s and 60s and starting to feel the rigors of your lifestyle and be restricted,” Marsh challenged.
For more information on vegetarian food guidelines, go to http://www.nutrispeak.com
June 15, 2006
May I be a protector to those without protection
A leader for those who journey
And a boat, a bridge, a passage
For those desiring the further shore.
May the pain of every living creature
Be completely cleared away
May I be the doctor, the medicine
And may I be the nurse
For all the sick beings in the world
Until everyone is healed.
Just like space
And the great elements such as earth,
May I always support the life
Of all boundless creatures.
And until they pass away from pain
May I also be a source of life
For all the realms of varied beings
That reach unto the ends of space.