Archive for November, 2013

Words of Wisdom from Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama

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What is Vegetarian?

Animal Lover

Vegetarianism is the practice of not eating meat, and in some cases, also abstaining from dairy or other animal by-products. Many people have adopted vegetarianism, and it seems as if more and more people are opening up to a meat-free diet. One of the main reasons people decide to go vegetarian is for ethical reasons like animal rights. As The Veiled Life has shared in the past, animals used for food come from factory farms —places of mistreatment and cruelty.

Jeannie Bohince, a strong animal-lover, has been a vegetarian for a few years now and sat down with me to talk about her experience.

Why did you become a vegetarian? For example, was it for moral, health, religion, environmental, or taste reasons?

 Two reasons –high cholesterol, and I read a book called Where The Blind Horse Sings about a farm animal sanctuary.

How long have you been vegetarian?

Four years

How would you describe your motivation for becoming vegetarian? Has it changed over the years?

As I read books and watched films about factory farming, I was convinced that I did not want to contribute to that.  I remain adamant about not eating meat, and in fact, it doesn’t appeal to me at all.

Does it make your life more difficult?

It’s more difficult in the sense that you have to read labels closely if you don’t want to eat animal products, and also it isn’t mainstream so anytime you eat out or at a social function you have to find vegetarian options.  Some people aren’t tolerant of it either.

Do you think you are stereotyped for being vegetarian/vegan for moral reasons?

Definitely.  There are people who don’t think about food.  It’s just a selection on a menu.  They don’t understand my reason for doing.

Do you have any friends that are a vegetarian/vegan?

Yes.

Do you feel more support from online communities, blogs and websites compared to real life people, or vice versa?

Yes.  I belong to several meet-ups and met very nice, interesting people who share my belief.

How has being vegetarian affected your eating habits?

I don’t eat meat at all.  I use soymilk at home but will sometimes have milk in my coffee when I’m out or there will be eggs, cheese, or milk in my food.

How has your diet evolved over the years of being vegetarian?

I don’t think about it as much now.  It doesn’t seem like a deliberate effort because it’s become my lifestyle.

Is the food as good?

Yes, to me it’s better because I know that no animals were killed for me to consume.  I also love Indian food because of the variety of spices in their food and because they also eat a lot of vegetarian food.

Are there any foods you miss eating?

If there is any taste I miss, I guess it would be salmon.

Many people who aren’t vegetarian question how non-meat eaters get enough protein? How do you do it?

TVP (texturized vegetable protein), soymilk and soy products, tofu, beans, Greek yogurt, and quinoa.

Are there any difficulties or drawbacks with being a vegetarian?

I have to be more selective about food.  There aren’t as many options when eating out.

What benefits do you think you have from being vegetarian?

 I eat more fruit and vegetables, have lower cholesterol, and I feel good about non-animal consumption.

Some people say “Animals kill other animals for food, so why shouldn’t we humans, too?” What do you have to say to that?

Farm animals are mistreated and abused, and it’s been proven that they have intelligence and near-human emotions.  Making animals live in dark warehouses in horrendous conditions is not the circle of life.

Do you think everyone should cut meat from his or her diet?

 I do.

Any last remarks?

I would encourage anybody to educate themselves about factory farming and watch videos Forks Over Knives, Food Inc, and Peaceable Kingdom.  Also read the books Where The Blind Horse Sings and Farm Sanctuary.  It will make you think of the animals by their name: cow, not unground hamburger,  pig, not pork,  and chicken, not chicken wings

For some people, vegetarianism is a big life change, but it also comes with the satisfaction of knowing you’re not contributing to factory farming. I strongly recommend you find out if a vegetarian lifestyle is something you’d be interested in. For more information, refer to the Vegetarian Resource Group.

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Humane Society of the United States Investigates Puppy Mills

puppy-1

Go to the Humane Society’s website to learn about their most recent investigation of puppy mills in Texas.

There you can read the investigation report and watch the video, make a donation and sign a pledge to to not purchase dogs from pet stores.

Not only are puppy mills majorly contributing to pet overpopulation, but they are also cruel to the dogs. It is important that people see the conditions in the video and understand what goes on without them knowing. Please open your eyes to the well-researched information from HSUS and share it with family and friends.

Puppy mills contribute to pet overpopulation and cause countless dogs lifetimes of suffering in squalid wire cages. Help us stop this cycle of cruelty: Do your research before getting a puppy, and look into adopting a dog from your local shelter.

You can also watch the investigation video here:

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Intro to Dog Fighting

Dog fights

Dog fighting is considered one of the most serious forms of animal abuse. It is a contest in which dogs are placed in pit and forced to fight until they can’t continue because of the pain and injury inflicted. This is a contest used for the spectator’s entertainment and gambling. Most spectators have gambling problems and can make huge profit.

 injured dog

Many injuries occur during fights, which are both severe and fatal. By the end of a fight, the dogs usually have massive bleeding, ruptured lungs, broken bones, and other life threatening injuries. The instinct to fight is bred into these dogs. (In my research I read a convicted dogfighter’s description of a fight and he said that the dog spent most of the fight on her back and broke her front leg high up in the shoulder, as well as one of her back legs, in the knee joint. The only leg she didn’t break she chewed up completely. The other dog literally scalped her, tearing a big chunk of skin off the top of her head.) Usually the loser of the match dies or is killed inhumanely. And the surviving dog does not see a veterinarian.

painful-dog-fighting-injury

The dogs have very bad living conditions. They spend most of their life in a crate, only being let out to train. “Dogs who are used for fighting are usually kept penned or chained (often with heavy logging chains), and many are taunted and starved in order to trigger extreme survival instincts and encourage aggression.

Dog Chained to Barrel

Dog fighting is a felony offense. It is illegal to own or train a dog for fighting and cause a dog to injure or kill another dog in a preplanned fight. In most states it is illegal to be a spectator. The law is enforced. The punishment can be up to three years in jail and a $50,000 fine.

injured dog from fight

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Animals are Beautiful People: A Must Watch

Animals_are_Beautiful_People-1

Hey animal lovers out there!

If you’ve never heard of the documentary Animals are Beautiful People, you should definitely watch it! It was made in the 70s in Southern Africa by filmmaker Jamie Uys. In this documentary, Uys has a beautiful eye for movement in nature and landscapes. He is able to capture and narrate life in many environments. The documentary shows footage of African animals in their everyday life, comparing them to humans. As Uys follows the daily life of animals in the desert, viewers can see that their behavior, emotions and actions make them person-like. It is extremely interesting to watch the wildlife and also funny. Just see for yourself!

Watch the trailer here, and if you’re interested in watching it you can rent or purchase the documentary on YouTube.

The following are some of the most interesting, memorial moments and must-watch scenes:

  1. Beetles have to run to stay cool, so they kiss as they’re running.beatles
  2. Baboons play with each other in the evening and do acrobatics down the sloping desert landscape.
  3. A dewdrop reflects sunlight and starts a fire, destroying the 100-year-old work of a bird nest.nest fire
  4. A chameleon’s eyes move independently so it can see where it’s going and where it’s been.
  5. A bird spends its life in a frozen stance and only moves for a split second at a time.
  6. A lion cub approaches a water hole filled with zebras, which causes commotion among them, scaring them off. This makes the cub look and feel superior.superior lion cub
  7. Animals drink calmly in the presence of lions when they sense they’ve eaten well and won’t be hunting that day.
  8. The king lion stares down a younger, rebelling lion and charges at it to earn respect. It then struts past to show who is king. This moment really personifies the animals in the documentary.
  9. A duck tricks hyena to save her babies.
  10. Warthogs prepare on their ‘wedding day.’ The male grooms himself and the female makes home improvements.warthogs
  11. Meerkats are so friendly and affectionate that they even try to get to know a grouchy cobra.
  12. A tiny snake puts on an act to scare animals much bigger than it, even elephants.
  13. A funny baboon gets scared twice by the same snake and faints both times it sees it.baboon fainting
  14. A comical scene shows animals getting drunk off Marula fruit and stumble home.drunk elephant
  15. Different types of birds nest and make a life for themselves.
  16. A baby warthog gets separated from its mother and tries to find a substitute but is turned away by all animals because it is so ugly.
  17. A bushman uses a baboon to find water. This is very interesting and shows the intelligence of humans and the instincts and learning process of both animals. busman and baboon
  18. You can see a march of death when a drought comes too early and young pelicans wander aimlessly in heat and starvation.
  19. Two baby baboons hug as they’re stranded on a log in a flash flood. baboon hug
  20. Animals jump and dance in excitement when paradise is back in the desert.

Overall, this documentary opens your eyes to the amazing life and vastness of this natural world. Animals, big and small, of all species are their own characters and together they make the world beautiful. 

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Intro to Rodeos

rodeo

Rodeos are seen as a family and American event but are also a barbaric way to provide entertainment. The animals used in rodeos are subjected to high stress levels, pain, and poor treatment. While they are constantly traveling, the animals are not kept in properly ventilated vehicles, and they are not given much food or water while traveling. Here is what goes on in rodeos:

  • Bucking/Bull Riding- This is an event in which a rider tries to stay on a bull or horse for around eight seconds. The animals are motivated to behave roughly because people put bucking straps on them. Bucking straps are straps that fit around the abdomen and groin to irritate it. They use electric cattle prods, which apply a painful shock to the cattle, stimulating movement. They also use spurs to aggravate it.

Bucking

Bull Riding

  • Calf Roping- In calf roping, a calf is released from a chute and chased by a person riding a horse. The rider lassos the calf by the neck, abruptly stopping it and jerking it back. Then the rider gets off his horse and throws the calf onto the ground and ties up its legs. When the calves are being chased, they can reach up to 30 mph. Because they are running so fast when they’re lassoed, the rope can snap with such force that it’ll yank the calf off it’s feet, into the air resulting in neck injury and possible death. Also, sometimes the calves are abused in the chute before they’re released making them terrified. That’s why they run so fast.

Calf Roping

Calf Roping

calf-roping-tight

  • Steer Wrestling- In steer wrestling, a steer is chased by two riders on horses. One of the riders keeps the steer running in a straight line so the other rider can leap from his horse, grab the steer by the horns, and twist its neck until it falls to the ground. This is very dangerous for the animal and can seriously injure the neck.

Steer Wrestling

Steer Wrestling

I don’t understand why people can’t just leave these poor animals alone…

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Adopting a Shelter Pet

If you’re interested in adding a companion animal to your life, The Veiled Life highly recommends adopting a homeless animal from a shelter or rescue organization. There’s millions of animals in shelters nationwide that need a home. Many of them face euthanasia if they don’t get adopted in a certain amount of time. The Veiled Life previously posted reasons you should adopt. If you talk to anyone who’s ever adopted a pet, they will most likely tell you it was a great experience.

If you’re now interested in adopting, refer to Petfinder. On this website, you can enter your location and what type of pet you want. It will list many different animals looking for a home near you!

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