Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Is Veganism a Religion?

If you are either an atheist or a vegan, at some point you may be compared by a Christian, to a Christian!  For some reason, Christians don't see the oddity of insulting atheists and vegans by accusing us of "being in a religion."  It is as if they are calling religion a bad thing! 

Below is a status I copied from Dave Rogers' page:

"Many consider veganism to be just another religion trying to force its dogma upon the unwilling masses, but is this really the case? Let’s take a moment to compare religious faith vs. the vegan facts.
It takes faith for one to believe that the Bible or any other book is actually the inspired and infallible word of God.
But it's a fact that animals are living, breathing sentient creatures capable of experiencing pain and pleasure, just like you and I.
It takes faith to believe that God created the heavens and the earth in six days.
But it's a fact that humans have no biological or dietary requirement for animal flesh or their bodily secretions (milk, cheese and eggs).
It takes faith to believe that humans once lived to be over 900 years old.
But it's a fact that farm animals are killed before they even reach half of their natural lifespan.
It takes faith to believe the sacrificial death of one man is sufficient to atone for the sins of the whole world.
But it's a fact that no animal willingly lays down her or his life to satisfy our palate pleasure, to provide their skin for our clothing, or to become lab experiments in the name of science.
It takes faith to believe that a man was actually raised from the dead.
But it's a fact that 7 billion people are responsible for the deaths of over 70 billion animals every year.
It takes faith to believe that the righteous will go to heaven and the wicked to hell.
But it's a fact that the enslavement, exploitation and killing of animals by humans has been directly linked to the violence and oppression that we inflict upon one another, especially towards the most vulnerable among us.
Some would say that you are putting the facts over and above faith. Perhaps, but is that necessarily a bad thing? To place more importance on what can be proven instead of what must be accepted by faith?
Everyone is entitled to embrace or disavow the various doctrines and beliefs of any or all of the many religions in this world. After all, none of them can be proven empirically. Hence, it is called “faith.”
But what will you do with the vegan facts? That is the question."
~ Dave Rogers

Monday, April 20, 2015

Watch "Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret" for $1!

As a special treat for Earth Day, April 22, 2015, the Cowspiracy web site is showing this movie on-line for just one dollar! This offer will be good from April 22nd through April 29th. I highly recommend that this film be seen. Although I do not want to give away the plot and contents of this movie, Cowspiracy is suspenseful, revealing, amusing, tender and just might make you angry in a few spots. For those who worry that this will be a typical animal rights movie, I can assure you that there will not be more than a couple of seconds of factory farm footage in the entire movie.
Now you are ready to celebrate Earth Day in a fun way! Watch “Cowspiracy” with friends!
Check out the Cowspiracy web site where you will be able to watch the movie for $1 from April 22nd through April 29th!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Coyote Killing by Dogs - a New Popular Sport

A husband, wife and an older woman who seemed to be a stranger to the couple were sharing space with me in the waiting room of a local tire company. My interest was piqued when the man started speaking to the older woman about a coyote. He talked about the trap he used to catch the coyote, and that the door did not slam down hard enough to break a leg or injure the coyote. I wondered why he was catching the coyote, and I assumed it was to keep him out of chicken coops or away from their property. I was glad that he was concerned about the safety of the coyote and that the trap did not harm the coyote.

Was I wrong! The man continued matter-of-factly about how he opened the trap door and duct taped the coyote’s mouth shut. I was shocked! He went on proudly to say the coyote did not move or fight – he seemed to accept the situation. The older woman never reacted to the coyote’s mouth being duct taped and also accepted that abuse was customary when dealing with wild animals.

What happened next was unbelievable; the man pulled out his cell phone and showed the older woman a picture of the coyote in the trap, duct tape and all. The older woman commented on how big the coyote was and what a pretty, full red coat he had. At this point, normally, I would jump in the conversation to scold them, but I really did not know why he had trapped the coyote, so I decided to just listen. The conversation went downhill further than I ever imagined. I will recount everything I can remember from their conversation, and also add some information I have read about coyote hunting via dogs.

This man bragged about how he watched one of his greyhound dogs run up on a coyote, go underneath the coyote and grab his neck and bring him down, “a beautiful kill.” Yes, he said, greyhounds are great dogs.

In the woods, hunters now use greyhounds to chase a coyote for miles until the coyote gets cornered and drops from exhaustion or decides to fight. Then fresh fighting dogs, like curs, are brought in. Talk about an unfair fight! The fresh fighting dogs kill the coyote, sometimes ripping it apart. They also get injured and bitten in these fights. The dogs sometimes die from these fights with the coyote.

I hope readers feel just as bad for the coyote and not just for the dogs. People seem to be conditioned to cry over a dog, but not over a relative of a dog! Doesn’t this remind you of illegal dog fighting? But coyote killing by dogs, including coyote killing contests, are legal in most states.

But why did the man trap a coyote? I still sat silent, quite shocked, as the man spoke of how his dogs are trained. I gathered that he trapped coyotes to sell or give to a man who trains dogs to run after and kill coyotes. Dogs are trained by keeping one coyote at a time in a fenced off area and the dogs chase it and are “forced” to kill it. The dogs wear collars that shock them if they get sidetracked or go after anything other than the coyote.

Once the dogs graduate to the open woods, they often do not wear the collars because they could snag on a bush and get the dogs stuck. Imagine being out for a walk in the woods with your children when a pack of killer dogs comes your way. The dogs chase the coyote for hours because coyotes are skillful. Dogs that won’t kill are often euthanized, so again, this makes you wonder how owners of such hunting dogs can claim they love their dogs.

These killings in our area do not seem to be for the coyote’s fur, as far as I can tell. It costs much more to feed these expensive dogs, give them anti-infection medicine when they are bitten, and spend time training the dogs, so I doubt a profit could be made from the coyote fur. This hunt seems to be for the thrill of the kill, the false idea that they are helping get rid of a pest, and some “manly” custom.

In this particular case, I do not think the man was killing coyotes for his “bread and butter” but instead, as a new hobby. The man and his wife were educated, well spoken, dressed nicely and were attractive with otherwise good personalities. The entire time the wife engaged in pleasantries and was totally accepting of this brutal practice.

Are they doing any good by killing coyotes? It certainly does not seem like there is anything good about this horrific practice. Coyotes under stress will produce more offspring and any attempt to lessen the coyote population through hunting has failed. In areas where coyotes are plentiful people just learn to live with them, and scare them away as they will run to preserve themselves. Although that is not a solution to the coyote population either, hunting has been shown to be purposeless; so for now, it is best to learn to live with them. A vegan lifestyle is helpful as chickens in the yard attract starving coyotes! And of course, watch your small pets closely if you live in an area that has coyotes.

In conclusion, it seems coyote baiters kill coyotes for sport. I am certain all three people sitting with me in the waiting area, the older woman, the man and his wife, would tell you they loved the out-of-doors and that they were “conservationists.” They would most likely claim they especially loved dogs. As I hope I have shown, this is not really love at all.   It is up to humans to learn to become less aggressive and have a more peaceful definition of love.