Devoted

For all animal lovers who are concerned about the welfare of animals.

15 Aug

14 Aug

BLACK CAT APPRECIATION DAY - SUNDAY 17th AUGUST



Did you know that black cats have the lowest adoption rate and the highest euthanasia rate? Although it seems to be irrational, there are a number of theories as to why they are the hardest to home.
Of course, there is superstition - for centuries black cats have been rumoured to be bad luck.

Some people claim that it is difficult to connect with a black cat in a rescue, who may blend into the shadows, or because black cats don’t always show up as well in photographs on web pages. 
Also, as most rescues are so full these days, there are inevitably a wide range of colours which people are more drawn to - whilst the black cats can seem to fade into the background, and are just passed by.

Shelters have known this for years. Black cats are far more likely to be euthanized than other cats, shelter staffers say. Only half the number of black cats find homes when compared with coloured ones. Shelters try all kinds of ways to find homes for black cats, such as two-for-one specials and other promotions like “Black Is the New Black,” “Adopt a Mini-Panther,” “Black Goes With Everything” and “Back in Black.”
Most often people walk right by the black cats.

As any cat lover will know, all cats are individuals, including black cats. There are friendly cats, aloof cats, playful cats’ talkative cats and so on in every colour, including black.

Regardless, black cats are overlooked time and time again, for coloured cats. Even black kittens are left until last for adoption, while their more colourful siblings are chosen first. The outlook for a black, adult cat in a rescue is therefore very bleak. Some spend many months in rescue, sometimes even years, waiting for someone to see past their colour.

If you are looking to adopt a cat, please consider a black one. They are every bit as affectionate and playful as their lighter coloured counterparts.

We will be posting more information about adopting black cats over the next few days.

With thanks to Kindness for Cats and Black Cat Rescue
catster.com

01 Aug
01 Aug

THE CRUELTY WITHIN THE CLOTHING INDUSTRY : (PART 1 OF 4)

INTRODUCTION:

When we think of animals who are cruelly used for our clothing we mostly think of leather and fur. And we are well aware of the horrors involved in the production of fur, particularly on Chinese fur farms which produce more than half of the finished fur garments imported for sale in the United States. Foxes, minks, rabbits, dogs, cats, and other animals pace and shiver in outdoor wire cages, with no shelter from driving rain, freezing nights, or the scorching sun. There are no penalties for abusing animals on fur farms in China.


But there are many other victims of the fashion industry.

                                                     

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Each year, millions of sheep, goats, geese, ducks, rabbits, silkworms and other animals are exploited by the down and silk industries, causing unnecessary pain and suffering.

WOOL

Anyone who purchases products made from wool is supporting a cruel and bloody industry.

If sheep were allowed to breed naturally, they would grow just enough wool to protect themselves from temperature extremes – what it is intended for. The fleece provides them with effective insulation against both cold and heat.

However, modern sheep have been selectively bred to have thick heavy coats. About 50% of all wool used worldwide comes from Australia. The most commonly raised sheep there is the Merino. Merinos have been specifically bred to have wrinkly skin to produce more wool. Their coats are so thick that some die of heat exhaustion during hot months. Unlike wild sheep, Merinos cannot shed their fleece.

Because of this their wool will grow longer and longer while flies lay eggs in the moist folds of their skin. The hatched maggots can eat the sheep alive.

To prevent this from happening, ranchers will perform an operation called mulesing. Without anesthesia large strips of flesh are cut of the backs of lambs and around their tails.

Other procedures performed without anesthesia include punching a hole in the ears of lambs several weeks after birth, docking their tails and castrating the males. The castrations are done when the male lambs are between 2 and 8 weeks old, with the use of a rubber ring to cut off their blood supply.

Every year, millions of lambs die before the age of 8 weeks from exposure or starvation, and mature sheep die every year from disease, lack of shelter, and neglect.

Shearers are usually paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast work without regard for the welfare of the sheep. The shearing shed is also know to be the place where shearers physically abuse the sheep – punching them and hitting with the shears.

When the wool production of sheep declines, they are sold for slaughter. Millions of lambs and sheep are exported for slaughter each year. In Australia they have to travel long distances before reaching very crowded feedlots, where they are held before being loaded onto ships. Many sheep die in the holding pens.

Those who survive the holding pens are packed tightly into ships. Lambs born during the trip are often trampled to death. Many sheep get injured or die.

In Europe they have to travel long distances in tightly packed trucks without food or water. They are frequently exported to countries with minimal slaughter regulations.

There are many alternatives to wool – including cotton, cotton flannel, polyester fleece, synthetic shearling,linen, hemp bamboo and other cruelty-free fibers. Tencel—breathable, durable, and biodegradable—is one of the newest cruelty-free wool substitutes.



01 Aug

THE CRUELTY WITHIN THE FASHION INDUSTRY: (Part 2 of 4)

DOWN:


Down is the soft layer of feathers closest to the birds’ skin, found mostly in the chest region. Because these feathers do not have quills, they are highly valued. While most down and other feathers are removed from ducks and geese during slaughter, birds in breeding flocks and those raised for meat and foie gras may be plucked repeatedly while they are still alive.

Plucking causes geese and ducks considerable pain and distress. Typically, they are lifted by their necks or delicate wings, their legs are physically restrained or tied, and their feathers are ripped right out of their skin. The struggling birds are often plucked so hard that their skin is torn open and the hurried workers sew up the wounds using needle and thread and no pain relief.

Plucking may begin when the animals are just 10 weeks old and be repeated in six-week intervals until the birds are slaughtered for meat long before they would naturally die.


Most products labeled “down” contain a combination of these underfeathers and other feathers or fillers.

Buying down may support the production of foie gras. Ducks and geese are forcefed with grain and fat that is pumped into their stomachs until their livers become diseased and enlarged. The birds are slaughtered, and their livers are sold as a “delicacy.” Many foie gras producers supplement their income by selling the birds’ feathers.

Up to 5 ounces of feathers and down are pulled from each bird every six weeks from the time they are 10 weeks old until they are up to 4 years old. Plucking birds causes them considerable pain and distress.

Down is expensive and becomes useless when wet. Cruelty free alternatives are synthetic fillers such as PrimaLoft® and Thinsulate™ which retain their insulating capabilities in all weather.

01 Aug

THE CRUELTY WITHIN THE FASHION INDUSTRY: (PART 3 OF 4)

ANGORA:

(We are including angora, as it may not be well-know how much these rabbits suffer for the clothing industry)

Angora wool, used in everything from sweaters to mittens and hats, comes from angora rabbits who have extremely soft, thick coats. A PETA Asia undercover investigator visited almost a dozen rabbit farms in China last year, the source of 90 percent of the world’s angora. The investigator filmed workers who were violently ripping the fur from the animals’ sensitive skin as they screamed in agony.

Rabbits who have their fur cut or sheared also suffer - during the cutting process, their front and back legs are tightly tethered - a terrifying experience for any prey animal—and the sharp cutting tools inevitably wound their delicate skin as they struggle desperately to escape. Cuts are sewn up by workers without anaesthetic.

After this terrifying and barbaric ordeal, which the rabbits endure every three months, many of them appeared to go into severe shock - lying motionless inside tiny, filthy cages.

There are no penalties for abuse of animals on farms in China and no standards to regulate the treatment of the animals. After two to five years, those who have survived are hung upside down, their throats are slit, and their carcasses are sold.

In the wild, rabbits live in elaborate underground warrens, but on a typical angora farm, they are housed alone in wire-mesh cages not much bigger than their own bodies.

The wire cages offer little protection from the elements, so the rabbits have no way to keep themselves warm after they have been plucked bald. When forced to live on wire flooring, rabbits’ tender feet become raw, ulcerated, and inflamed from constantly rubbing against the wire.

Rabbits are naturally clean animals, but on angora farms they must live surrounded by their own waste. These animals never have a chance to dig, jump, or run as they would in the wild, where they can roam an area of up to one square mile a day.

Female rabbits produce more wool than do males, so on larger farms, male rabbits who are not destined to be breeders are killed at birth.

Angora rabbits are first sheared or plucked when they are just 8 weeks old, and they are subjected to the same terrifying ordeal every few months following that. After two to five years, rabbits who have survived this repeated abuse killed and sold for meat.

The United Nations reports that at least 1 billion rabbits are killed each year for their fur, which is used in clothing, as lures in flyfishing, and for trim on craft items.

Following PETA Asia’s investigation, dozens of retailers have

banned angora. A list of some of these companies may be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/92jijoc942xdztx/Companies%20that%20have%20Banned%20the%20Use%20of%20Angora%20Fur%20in%20any%20of%20their%20Clothing.doc

01 Aug

THE CRUELTY WITHIN THE CLOTHING INDUSTRY (FINAL)

SILK:

Whilst many will consider that an insect is outside the parameters of our compassion, the suffering of any creature should be a priority for us.

The silkworm is the larva or caterpillar of the domesticated silkmoth.

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Silk is the fiber that silkworms weave to make cocoons Approximately 3,000 silkworms are killed to make every pound of silk. To obtain the silk, the worms are boiled alive inside their cocoons.

Humane alternatives to silk—including nylon, milkweed seed pod fibers, silk-cotton tree and ceiba tree filaments, polyester, and rayon—are easy to find and usually less expensive, too


SHEARLING:

Contrary to what many consumers think, “shearling” is not sheared wool; the term refers to the sheep. A shearling is a yearling sheep who has been shorn once. A shearling garment is made from a sheep or lamb shorn shortly before slaughter. The skin is tanned with the wool still on it. It can take 25 to 45 individual sheep hides to make just one shearling garment.

KARAKUL:

Also called “astrakhan,” “broadtail,” or “Persian wool,” karakul lamb fur comes from lambs who were killed as newborns or while still in their mothers’ wombs. Because their unique, highly prized curly fur begins to unwind and straighten within three days of birth, many karakul lambs are slaughtered when they are only 1 or 2 days old.

Iin order to get a karakul fetus’ hide - which is valued for its exceptional smoothness—the mother’s throat is cut and her abdomen slashed open to remove the developing lamb. A mother typically gives birth to three lambs before being slaughtered along with her fourth fetus, about 15 to 30 days before he or she is due to be born. As many as 4 million karakul lambs are slaughtered for their fur every year.

CASHMERE:

Cashmere is hair that is shorn from cashmere goats’ underbellies. These goats are often kept on farms where they are dehorned and castrated and have their ears notched without anesthesia. Goats with “defects” in their coats are typically killed before the age of 2. Industry experts expect farmers to kill 50 to 80 percent of young goats whose coats do not meet standards. Shearing robs goats of their natural insulation, leaving them vulnerable to cold temperatures and illnesses. Many goats are sold to be slaughtered for their flesh after shearing.

CONCLUSION:

If you don’t want to support the exploitative trade that is fashion from animal products, please always choose animal-free fashions. If in doubt rather choose to not purchase.

There are many reported instances of real fur being labelled and sold as faux fur. The fur of rabbits and other animals winds up mislabeled as faux fur, perhaps because manufacturers realize that there is widespread opposition to using animals for fur and want to capture more customers than they could if they admitted the fur was real.

The Federal Trade Commission approved Fur Products Labeling Act has strict guidelines as to the labelling of fur products.

With thanks to PETA, veganpeace.com, Fashion with a Heart, care2causes, Vegan News, Wikipaedia and The Huffington Post.

31 Jul

MACARONI CHEESE

The recipe may be found here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2q7w3boj0tcbuzd/Macaroni%20Cheese.doc

27 Jul

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH YOUR NON-VEGAN CLOTHES

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The chances are fairly good that when we begin our vegan journey, we will have items in our cupboards that we bought in the past that are not vegan.

What do we do about the leather wallets, shoes, belts or wool coats we have purchased before our decision to become vegan?

We could argue that since the animal has already been killed this is not hurting any animals in the future?

There are a number of choices we could make:

  1. We could simply dispose of the items.

  2. We could give them to an animal charity, for them to sell and raise funds

  3. We could donate them to a homeless shelter, or give them to friends or family.

  4. We could keep them.

The answer to this dilemma is one of personal choice.  However, I believe that destroying these items is a slap in the face of the animals that suffered their whole lives to be slaughtered and turned into clothing.

In my opinion the best solution is to sell them to friends or family  - or in the classifieds. However, this does serve to further the idea that the use of animals for our purposes is acceptable. A solution to this is to make it clear to the buyers that the reason you are letting them go is because you are going cruelty free and are now vegan, so you feel that keeping them is wrong. And then, whatever funds you raise from the sale of your goods, you can donate to an animal shelter.

It is not ideal to promote the idea that there is a market for clothes made of animal products. But my belief is that it is not the right choice to to be vegan and continue to allow friends and family to see you wearing these clothes. In many ways, we need to be ambassadors for veganism. We are still in the minority, but our cause is just. However, vegans are still the brunt of much criticism and ridicule. We need to show non-vegans how easy it really is to move away from our old way of life and to fully embrace veganism. And that is hard to do whilst wearing a leather jacket.

 

25 Jul

BASIL PESTO PASTA

The recipe may be found here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ux92hp8rq36jk98/Basil%20Pesto%20Pasta.doc