Friday, October 30, 2009

New Jersey. Elections for Governor. Jon Corzine. Not a Friend of Animals.

It wasn't too long ago that Governor Jon Corzine signed into law Senate Bill 802, a bill permitting bow hunting on Sundays on state wildlife management areas as well as on private lands during the respective deer season. This was sometime in March 2009. Because I was vehemently against another day of hunting when hunters already had six days to kill animals, blogged about this issue and encouraged readers to take action, and called the governor's office several times when he opened the lines for an opinion poll, it was with great disappointment, even resentment, that I learned that the governor finally sided with the hunters. The main thrust of the hunting community's argument was that Sunday will compensate for their lack of time to hunt during the week. However way Gov. Corzine came to his decision, through days-long deliberation and consulting with many groups at opposite sides of the issue, in the end, he bought the argument and signed the bill into law. Yes, I felt that his decision was very callous and pandered to the hunting community.

Politically, I am neither democrat nor republican. I can best describe my position as " anti-incumbent. " I believe that power corrupts and elected officials should not be allowed to stay in office for a long time. One term is enough. Power has an intoxicating effect, and long staying politicians albeit legitimately re-elected are like drunken drivers who believe that they are on a straight course but are actually straying. One example, if not for vetting or confirmation proceedings, we wouldn't know that many elected officials have not paid their taxes in full or paid them at all. It is inevitably excused as an oversight, but such tax delinquencies are more easily forgiven because the erring parties are in power. I say, vote the incumbents out not excluding Obama, Bloomberg, or Corzine.

The League of Humane Voters-NJ has a different take on it. They are asking us to support Corzine and his running mate Senator Loretta Weinberg and give thanks for their support of animal welfare. According to the LOHV_NJ ,

" During his first bid for Governor, Jon Corzine opposed a bear hunt and said there would be no bear hunts during his term. While other issues such as property taxes and health care reform have to go through the legislature, CORZINE had direct control over a bear hunt. Corzine made a promise to protect black bears and he kept it.Senator Loretta Weinberg (Corzine's running mate) is a staunch supporter of all animals. She has consistently voted to protect them and advance their rights. In fact, she was the first legislator who introduced a bill to protect black bears over a decade ago. Weinberg has sponsored a large number of animal-friendly bills and she is known for standing up for what she believes -- no matter who is applying pressure. "

From this, it seems to me that Senator Weinberg should be running for governor, not Corzine. I don't think she's ever been governor. What else has Corzine done for the animals? And that isn't a rhetorical question. When Congo, the German Shepherd who attacked a landscaper who he taught was attacking his master, was sentenced to death, people asked Gov. Corzine to commute his sentence. The governor never even issued a statement. Governor Corzine is not a friend of the animals notwithstanding his opposition to bear hunts. As an animal lover and anti-incumbent, I say NO to Corzine. In this year's New Jersey gubernatorial elections, there are no good choices but that doesn't mean we should vote for Corzine.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Time Magazine. Strays to the Rescue. A Photo Essay.

Time Magazine has come out with a photo essay on rescued dogs who have, through their humans, contributed to societal good in one form or another. The stories come from a book entitled, To the Rescue: Found Dogs with a Mission by Elise Lufkin. The photographs were by Diana Walker. Each individual case warms the heart and underscores the fact that a human-animal relationship could be the very best relationship one, or many, could possibly have on this Earth. Read through each case and come out even more assured that dogs do have a special and comforting role in our society. These examples of harmony between dogs and humans make it ever so clear that abusing a dog, or any animal for that matter, is disrespectful, indecent, inhumane and outright barbaric. Tell me how you treat an animal and I will tell you who you are.

Strays to the Rescue

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Healthy Food. Vegetarian. VegNews. Barley and Porcini Soup.

Of all the forms of food out there, I like soups the most. Hot soup on a wintry or clammy day is the ideal, but soups are good anytime you feel the need for a simple, hale and hearty meal. Its complete, one-dimensional form is probably what attracts me to them as compared to full course meals plus their accompanying utensils. A spoon, that's all you need. Okay, maybe a pair of chopsticks if you are having noodles with your soup. Appetizers, two entrees, some rice and dessert can be very busy.

Here's a recipe from VegNews Magazine for a Barley and Porcini soup. If you're the type who can't work a screwdriver, you should still be able to put this soup together. ( Credit is given to VegNews for the photo and recipe.)

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 cup barley5 cups water or mushroom stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced

1. Remove the porcini mushrooms from the soaking liquid, reserving the water. Thinly slice the porcinis and return to the soaking liquid. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook until soft and lightly caramelized, about 7 minutes. Add the barley and water, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Add the reserved mushrooms and soaking liquid plus half the dill. Cook until the barley is tender, about 10 minutes longer. Serve hot, garnished with the remaining dill.

New Jersey. Meatless Diet. Path to Better Health and Animal Welfare.

The Animal Protection League of New Jersey (APLNJ) has sent out an invitation to those who have yet to make a lifestyle change for the better. We're talking meatless diet that is surely to improve your health and say NO to animal cruelty at the same time. This is a free presentation by Food For Life, a community health outreach program, to be held at Organic Style, 621 Cookman avenue, Asbury Park, New Jersey 07712. Time and date are October 27, 2009 at 7pm. They will discuss the four food groups : fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Yum, that made me crave for some. You can learn about their nutritional value and health benefits plus mouth-watering recipes. Food-tasting will top the evening off like the cherry on other people's sundae. Please call Nancy Ehrlich at 732-775-1051 for reservations. Space is limited.

If there is something I can kick myself in the rear for, that would be for being tardy in making this dietary change. I am only on my third year of a meatless lifestyle, but my weight has lessened and my blood tests have become much better than before. It's like coming face to face with yourself about your past and asking, " Why did I do that to you? Why did I not realize that I was feeding you life-shortening garbage? " There is so much good food out there and there isn't anyone stopping you from having them. What's the point about sticking with hamburgers, steaks, meatballs, beef stews, pork loins, and hotdogs? As I have asked so many times before, why eat the body parts of dead animals? Go Vegetarian.

Friday, October 16, 2009

United Kingdom. A Farmer. His Cows. And the Dark.

And there was the case of the case of the 65-yr old farmer, Ronald Norcliffe, who was fined £150 fine for failing to address the psychological needs of his cattle. What exactly were the psychological needs of cows could not be determined but keeping them in a darkened room proved unacceptable to officers from Kirklees Environmental Health department and the Government's Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The darkened room was actually a basement barn that allowed little natural light to come in during the Winter. The barn lacked electric lights and the barn doors kept shut to keep the cold out. For DEFRA, such conditions in Norcliffe's farm at Scammonden, West Yorks, were a violation of the Animal Welfare Act. This was in August 2008, and Mr. Norcliffe has been a farmer for thirty years.

Bob Carr, lawyer for Mr. Norcliffe, stated that "In my respectful submission this didn't do any harm whatsoever." But how do we know that? Are harmful effects always evident? If we start with the assumption that cows are sentient beings, long periods spent in a dark room must cause some harmful effects. I don't think that we need to point to something and say, " That's what is wrong. " We are not talking about bats or other nocturnal beings. In fact, our ideal picture is one of cows that are out to pasture under sunny conditions.

But wait a minute. The animal-lover haters will surely portray DEFRA as having gone overboard with concern. Well, first of all, DEFRA is not necessarily an animal-loving entity. They're just applying the laws pertaining to animal welfare. DEFRA isn't PETA, in other words. Those who detest and ridicule animal-lovers are quick to label animal-lovers zealots and misguided fools with a twisted sense of priority. You know the deal. Some in the animal experimentation field even refer to us as extremists. The truth is that Mr. Norcliffe benefited from several notices from DEFRA to improve the conditions that existed in his barn. It was suggested that Mr. Norcliffe clean the glass windows and to cut the bushes around them. But Mr. Norcliffe ignored all improvement notices. The good farmer attached lights to a generator, but when DEFRA came calling the switch was off. Aside from the fine, Mr. Norcliffe was also charged with £50 costs and a £15 victim surcharge. Let there be light.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Philadelphia Eagles. Michael Vick. A Cruel Past. A Bleak Future.

Clicking through some web pages yesterday, I came upon Michael Silver's piece on Yahoo Sports declaring Michael Vick as a dud, a has-been, nothing more. It was argued that for all the controversy and promise that Michael Vick brought with him on his return to the NFL, the truth is that Michael Vick isn't worth all that attention. I won't regurgitate what Silver has said because you can read his article, but I gather that Vick's time at the big house has cost him more than just time but his momentum and prime years as a player. Against the Buccaneers, Vicks gained ten yards on four carries. I don't mean to be facetious, but even my chihuahua can cover more ground than that.

Vicks might be advised to hold dear and cherish that one year, $1M contract the Eagles have so munificently given to him because that might be the most he's getting from them, or from any NFL team. Pity? Most law-abiding, non-animal torturing citizens will not realize that kind of money in their lifetime, and players normally get one chance at playing in the NFL. Vick had two chances. No pity for Vick.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cuteness in Thumb size. Nature's Way. Cuteness Overload.

Lately, I have been putting up a lot of depressing graphics from the typhoon in the Philippines, and I thought I should lighten up a bit with something that will surely make you smile. Sometimes, nature's beauty is out there in grand, breathtaking style. That's when we say, " Wow, take a look at that! " Fortunately, beauty knows no proportion. Equally beautiful sights or things can be found in a dimunitive size. Take a look:

Monday, October 05, 2009

Northern New Jersey. Bloomingdale. Dog for Adoption. Bear.

Anyone for a St. Bernard mix? Bear is our well-behaved gentleman at the shelter. He's a willow tree on four legs. I love cupping his head between my two hands and just go nose to nose with him. And that's like having a small watermelon in your hands. Bear ran away from his home, and his humans(?) decided not to pursue him. So, Bear became our dog. He's up to date on all shots, and ready to go to his new home.

Bloomingdale Animal Shelter Society

UPDATE : Adopted! 10/11/09

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Michael Vick. Nike Commercial. Jimmy Kimmel Show.

Some news about convicted animal torturer, dogfight promoter, and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Philippines. Typhoon Ondoy. Animal Rescue. PAWS.

As of Sunday, September 27 2009, a day after typhoon Ondoy hit the Manila area, the Philippine Animal Rehabilitation Center (PARC) had taken in 16 animals stranded by the floods. Some of them include a German Shepherd, an Aspin ( Filipino dog ), a turtle, and several cats. The animals came from De Castro Subdivision in Pasig, and Midtown and Provident Villages in Marikina. The rescue continues and more animals are expected to come into the shelter. Help is on the way from the Humane Society International (HSI) who is sending a team to help with the rescue and to set up safe stations. The team will be working with PAWS and the Animal Welfare Coalition. Donations have come in from kind-hearted individuals, but supplies are never enough. Here are places where you can drop off your donations :

MAKATI - c/o PAWS Volunteer MARLA NICANDRO 360 Media, Rm 508, 5th Flr Chinabank Bldg (formerly Manila Bank) Ayala Ave, Makati (MON-FRI 9am-5pm)

QUEZON CITY - c/o PAWS Director RICH ILUSTRE 2-B Legaspi St, Philam Homes, West Ave, QC

PARC Aurora Boulevard, Katipunan Valley Loyola Heights, QC ( for map and directions). We are right at the boundary of Marikina and Quezon City. Contact Nos.: (02) 475-1688; 0917-7931097

MANDALUYONG CITY:c/o DR. MARGA CARPIOVets in Practice Animal Clinic 2F Doggieland, San Francisco St., Mandaluyongnear the rotonda of Mandaluyong City Hall.

PAWS are in need of the following:

For Humans:
1. Used Clean Clothes. 2. Canned Goods. 3. Bread and/or Rice. 4. Drinking Water.

For the animals:
1. Cat Food; 2. Dog Food; 3. Old Blankets/Towels; 4. Medicines (Antibiotics, Injectable Sedatives, Dextrose, Cefalexin, etc.) 5. Basins and Pails 6. Zonrox, Detergent and Liquid Soap.

Please give generously and as soon as possible.
Here are some photos from last weekend:

UPDATE: Oct. 5 2009 :