Last Chance for Animals

Not too long ago, I was walking on the beach and saw this van and it piqued my curiosity:

animal news van

What is the Animal News Van?

The Animal News Van (ANV) is Last Chance for Animal’s education and news reporting tool.

Partnered with the LCAnimal.org website, it effectively educates millions of people in Southern California on animal issues.

The van’s TV screens, speaker system, and LED message board impart important information. It is the first of its kind on the West Coast, reaching people across cultural and economic lines.

What Does the ANV Educate About?

The ANV educates the public about the plight of animals used in modern society for food, entertainment, clothing and scientific curiosity.

The ANV is committed to disseminating truthful information and promoting conscious, informed lifestyle decisions in order to improve the manner in which animals are treated in the American culture. Millions of dogs, pigs, rats and other animals will be grateful when human compassion and understanding finally reaches out its arms to embrace them. (Info from LCA website.)

I’ve been involved in animal activism for a long time, but I had never heard of Last Chance for Animals, so when I got home, I researched the organization and learned about their mission statement:

Last Chance for Animals (LCA) is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigations, legislation, and media attention.  LCA believes that animals are highly sentient creatures who exist for their own reasons independent of their service to humans; they should not be made to suffer for the latter.  LCA opposes the use of animals in food and clothing production, scientific experimentation, and entertainment and promotes a cruelty-free lifestyle and the ascription of rights to non-human beings.

Pretty cool, huh?

I reached out to local volunteers and offered to participate when there was an outreach event that needed some help. A couple weeks ago, there was an opportunity at the Escondido Street Fair, and I signed up for the morning shift.

It was a great opportunity to connect with the public and educate them about the plight of factory farmed animals and the myriad of vegan options that are cruelty-free and SO healthy.

We handed out lots of vegan chocolate chip cookies and plant-based “milk”.

If you’ve never heard of Last Chance for Animals, visit the website and get involved!

Last Chance for Animals
https://lcanimal.org/

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Ocean Warrior: Sea Shepherd’s Captain Paul Watson

Despite suffering from a sinus infection, Sea Shepherd’s Captain Paul Watson showed up on Saturday morning to meet and chat with the public when the vessel, M/V Farley Mowat, was docked in San Diego Harbor at the Maritime Museum, offering free tours all weekend.

Tcapt watson me

I took the train downtown and got there just in time to greet Capt. Watson as he arrived, and he kindly set aside time to respond to a couple of questions.

This is a man who walks the walk and talks the talk. He is a man of integrity and I admire him immensely and support his ideals and goals.

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While I’m waiting for the pics and video to download to WordPress, I’ll ask you a question…do you know who Farley Mowat was?

Canadian born, he authored one of the books that inspired me and shaped my existence as a wolf activist: Never Cry Wolf.

He created a body of work staggering in its quality and breadth: Sea of Slaughter, A Whale for the Killing, Grey Seas Under, Lost in the Barrens, Virunga: The Life of Dian Fossey (that became the movie Gorillas in the Mist), and many more.

One of Canada’s most popular and prolific writers, he became a champion of wildlife and native Canadian rights and a sharp critic of environmental abuse.

His writing spoke deep truths about humanity’s responsibility for the planet and the species we share it with. In doing so, he became one of the pioneers of the environmental movement.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship Farley Mowat was named in his honor, and he frequently visited it to assist its mission.

The M/V Farley Mowat has been in the Sea of Cortez saving the protected vaquita porpoise from gillnets: 

(https://enchantedseashells.com/2018/04/14/battle-in-the-gulf-of-california-for-the-traffic-of-sea-cocaine-maritime-herald/)

 

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Nothing happens without dedicated volunteers!

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Captain Paul Watson is a Canadian-American marine wildlife conservation and environmental activist who founded the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an anti-poaching and direct action group focused on marine conservation and marine conservation activism.

Since WordPress doesn’t allow me to post videos directly to a post (I have a free blog), here’s a link to a couple of videos of Capt. Watson I posted on Facebook. It can’t be embedded, but if you click on “Watch on Facebook”, you’ll be able to watch!

Harming an Animal…No Big Deal?

“Bang bang.”

During a late afternoon walk around the neighborhood, I passed by a house where three or four children (in the eight to ten-year age range) were playing in their front yard.

Maybe at this point I should highlight the fact that I live in a SoCal beach town; solid middle-class, lots of healthy living, outdoor activities, and for the past thirty-plus years, it’s been relatively crime-free.

I’m still troubled by what I witnessed.

I wasn’t paying too much attention to the children until I heard one of the boys say, “The cat, do the cat!” and I saw a black and white cat running to hide in a stand of low growing bushes near the sidewalk.

I heard a popping sound at the same exact time I saw another little shit boy with a plastic gun-type thing pointing it at the cat. Whatever little plastic thingy that was shot out of the gun actually hit the cat, who yelped and ran in a different direction.

What made this abuse even more egregious to me was that the little shits  boys LAUGHED.

Harming an animal on purpose was a source of amusement.

WTF is wrong with people?

Never one to ignore bad behavior or shy away from standing up for animal rights, I turned to the two laughing and gawking little shits boys (the girls had run off at this point) and stated, “You just shot at the cat. I saw you.”

Pretend you are saying those words with the scariest, meanest tone in your voice that you could possibly conjure up. Add a frown, squint your eyes, and you come up with a fair approximation of ME at that moment. I wasn’t referred to as “Mommy Monster” for nothing…

One of the boys ( the blame shifter) quickly pointed to the other boy and said, “I didn’t do it, he did”as he showed us all HIS true colors. Then he too ran away before I followed HIM home because he’s the one who set up his friend to shoot at the poor kitty.

I said to the future sociopath, “Is that your cat?” He nodded. “Do you live here?” He nodded.

“Go in the house RIGHT NOW and come back with your mother or father.”

“Harming an animal is NOT acceptable. What you did was NOT OK.”

The little future Jeffrey Dahmer went in the house and a few minutes later a man reluctantly opened the door a crack and peered out.

I introduced myself and told him what I witnessed. I explained to him that I loved animals, I’m an animal activist, and hoped he would appreciate the serious nature of what his son had done. He said he would discipline his child and let him know what he did was wrong. I explained to him that in my opinion, he should take away the gun because it’s obvious his son didn’t have respect for animals and should not be allowed to hurt another one.

That’s when it got ugly, guys.

The big shit  dad told me that he didn’t need my help raising his children, and I responded by saying that it’s clear to me that he wasn’t doing a very good job if his son thought it was funny to hurt a cat.  He then informed me in a snotty tone not to raise my voice (I was not raising my voice at all, but that’s something stupid people say to shift the conversation away from the actual content) AND he would raise his children HIS way and I should raise mine MY way and GET OFF HIS PROPERTY.

Since I NEVER miss an opportunity to not-so-humblebrag about my Angel Boy, I pointed to my t-shirt which said “Somebody at Yale LOVES You” as I proudly proclaimed, “I DID my good job, that’s why my son has a Ph.D. from Yale”, and as I sauntered down his driveway, I turned to him and said I might call the police because animal abuse by children could be a red flag sign of future sociopathic crime. He got in the last word by yelling, “Go ahead and call the police!”

I’m drinking a glass of wine now, wondering if I actually should call the po-po to reinforce the concept that abuse of any animal for any reason is horrible behavior and should not be tolerated. There is a very real correlation between children who harm animals and those who commit more serious crimes later in life.

What do you think I should do? And how was YOUR Monday?


This distressing incident made me think of my darling Bandit. I miss her every day.*Sniff*
How could anyone hurt an innocent creature?

banditsofa

Meet Vegan Handbag Company, Angela & Roi

Vegan cheese, vegan meat substitute, veggie dogs, now vegan leather has come a long way from the days of pleather.

There’s nothing more I love to do than to support an ethical business, and especially one who makes handbags (one of my favorite accessories!) with vegan leather.

Angela & Roi is a luxurious yet accessible online handbag brand with a ‘Donate by Color‘ social mission.

By innovating traditional channels, utilizing vegan leather, and engaging with customers directly, they’re able to create high quality and luxurious handbags at a revolutionary price point, while supporting cancer and disease fighters in a unique way.

Learn more at www.AngelaRoi.com

P.S. I was sent an email about this company but have received no compensation nor product. This post is merely informational.

The Sunday Black Tote supports Melanoma fighters! Plus, the bag is made of 100% animal-free materials in fair practice setting

V Chain Cross-body

 

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One Is The Loneliest Number #BlogHer14

BEFORE I arrived Thursday afternoon, I had been SO excited to be a part of a gathering of women bloggers…but the sad reality is that I never felt more alone in my entire life than I did in the midst of 2,500 women.

One really is the loneliest number, just like in Three Dog Night’s lyrics.

#blogher14thursday

And two can be as bad as one if they both jump in the car and sneak away from BlogHer 2014 off to Carmel-by-the Sea to enjoy a lovely, romantic, magical weekend.

‘Cos that’s what me and my tugboat man did.


 *Another BlogHer 2014 Experience Analysis*

The feeling of Feeling All Alone is not a happy feeling.

NOT sour grapes.

TRUTH.

For example, the couple of times I did approach groups, I felt a distinct chill in the air. There was no kumbaya moment, no jumping in the air to greet me — no invitation to sit down, join the group, and take a smiley selfie.

I got the message. I left.

I mean, what would YOU do when you feel awkward and you don’t seem to fit in anywhere? blogher2

And that’s about it.

There were some bright moments…

It was beyond FUN meeting My Life As Lucille and A Mother Life.

And Not a Supermom Anna Parrs was an unexpected surprise; lovely and warm.

I never hooked up with my Buddy, so I can’t determine if she would have helped to more successfully guide my BlogHer journey.

Sponsorship-wise, I connected with three brands, so there’s that.

Ursula and Rhonda from Garden of Life are awesome representatives of a great company that makes ethical, organic vitamins and supplements.

gardenoflifeblogherpic

Wandering around and around the Expo, so many of the sponsors were geared to the still menstruating female with a working uterus, and well, um —  THAT ship has already sailed for me, if you know what I mean. (TMI, I know, I know.)

In a former life, I organized large events; expos, career fairs, trade shows  –  I understand how hard it is to secure sponsorship and funding –  and retain them year after year. For every sponsor we saw, there were probably ten that declined to participate. It’s hard work and I appreciate all the effort to bring in dollars to underwrite an event – but I would have liked to have seen companies that reflected more relevance to my demographic.

Social conscience, anyone?

I was disappointed not to see any booths or representatives of women’s advocacy groups…domestic violence, child abuse, human rights — or any animal rights groups that defend and protect animals against abuse, neglect, and abandonment.

I would have expected this conference to be a perfect forum for purposeful discussions and subsequent actions to build a solid platform for collective change.

As women, we ARE powerful, and our VOICES can be loud and purposeful, not only to push me out of the way to grab more swag, but to help those less fortunate and effect positive transformations.

About McDonalds…

Had I known prior to purchasing my ticket that McDonalds was not only a main sponsor but the provider of food for the closing party, that alone would have told me that this event was not right for me. I’m not a perfect vegan or a perfect human, but this is sort of non-negotiable. A deal breaker, as it were.

You probably don’t want to see this, and I can’t blame you, but there are many videos and undercover reports all over the internet about the abuse of animals that end up in your not-so-Happy Meal. This is one of them: http://www.mcdonaldscruelty.com

Most of all, I’m sorry that I didn’t have the same kinds of experiences I’ve been wistfully reading about.

Thank goodness my tugboat man was there to whisk me away to Carmel-by-the-Sea.

#BlogHer2014 was my first blogging conference.
And probably my last.


Did you know that Clint Eastwood was a former mayor of Carmel?

We found a room at the adorable, quaint, and very clean Normandy Inn. NormandyINN

In the evening, walking around the village, we heard a beautiful voice singing the kind of big band music we love from the 1940’s, and followed it to the Cypress Inn, owned by the AMAZING Doris Day!

Not only is Doris an accomplished vocalist and actor, she is one of the original animal rescuers and defenders. Her passion for saving abandoned, abused, and neglected animals is legendary. Click here to learn more about her foundation.

The lounge was full of well dressed senior citizens and a few tourists. Everyone had their dogs with them. Not only is the Cypress Inn dog-friendly; to our utter delight, so is the entire city of Carmel!

The lounge was standing room only. Vocalist Debbie Davis was amazing. She walked to the outskirts of the crowd in her sparkly dress and asked if we were celebrating anything special. I pointed to my tugboat man and told her it was his birthday. She located two chairs for us and serenaded him and everyone applauded and wished him a happy one. We both agree that Carmel has a great vibe and and we’ll definitely return.

The next day we drove down the coast looking for a place to camp. Big Sur was beautiful albeit shrouded in a heavy fog bank, but every so often the sun broke through. The views are incredible.bigsur1We never make reservations at campgrounds because we’ve always had good luck finding a spot, but not on this trip. This is what we found EVERYWHERE. NorCal tripAll the hotels were booked up too, so we drove straight home, which wasn’t as bad as it could have been, ‘cos everything’s better when my tugboat man’s around.

I’ll post more pics of our drive down California’s coast another time.

Sign the Animal Bill of Rights! | Animal Legal Defense Fund

I’m discovering my blogging path isn’t all seashells and Chanel…my tugboat man and I are both ardent animal activists — no, he doesn’t eat meat either, and abhors hunting or killing of animals. Hunting is not a sport. My tough merchant mariner is proud to stand up for and defend animals. What an awesome man I’m married to.

Sign the Animal Bill of Rights! | Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Open Letter To Boycott WALMART

Walmart puppy

Dear Walmart,

I’m writing this missive while suffering from a broken wrist which is causing me a certain amount of pain, but I need to make sure you realize why I won’t be spending any money at your store, and why I’m encouraging everyone I know to boycott Walmart.

A Kemptville Walmart employee was terminated for calling police about a dog locked in a hot car.

I join with my fellow animal advocates to ask all animal lovers to write Walmart’s head office and let them know you won’t shop in their stores until this has been rectified.

Walmart Home Office

702 SW 8th Street
Bentonville, AR 72716-8611
479-273-4000

Email Investor Relations or call 479-273-6463

**Also please share on Facebook and Twitter @Walmart #Walmart. 

If we all speak up, our individual voices become even more powerful.

This employee was doing the right thing and should be honored for this humane act and revered as a wonderful and compassionate role model — not fired — and, geez, what was the legal basis for termination, anyway?

I hope this employee has found a wonderful attorney and sues Walmart for wrongful termination.

This is exactly the kind of employee I would hire if I had a job opening.

What the heck is wrong with you, Walmart?

Sincerely,

Princess Rosebud

P.S. This was typed with one hand.
(If anyone wants to start a fund for the employee, please let me know and I’ll contribute)

Recent Reads

When my brother and I were little, we were both voracious readers; books, magazines, newspapers, street signs, cereal boxes, anything and everything. Since I know he reads my blog, I’ll give him a shout out–“Hi, Skip!” He’s much, much older than I am, practically doddering, as it were. He told me that he really began to feel old when he got his Medicare card. It represented the symbolic confirmation that he’s… OLD!  Ha ha ha. It was nice to grow up having an extremely older big (old) brother. I was the baby (still am) and could torture him all the time and never fear retaliation! All kidding aside, he was a great big brother until he went off to college and I was all alone with no one to torture except for our parents; they bore the brunt of my rebellious teenage “boy crazy” escapades. Ah, the good old days of ditching school and hanging out at Plum Street and listening to the Doors at ear screeching volume for hours on end!

Environmental/Animal Rights:
I’m not sure if he still reads as much as I do, but I am lost without a book.  I was out of chick books and picked up a novel my son sent to the captain, T.C. Boyle‘s When The Killing’s Done. It’s a real departure from my normal fantasy-based romance and witty banter menu, but it is a must-read; savagely compelling.  It’s based on the true story of how the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy rid the  Channel Islands (off the California coast) of  sheep, pigs, black rats and, finally, opportunistic golden eagles, in order to give the rare island fox and some nomadic seabirds a fighting chance for survival. As expected, animal rights activists protest and actively thwart the efforts by attempting to sabotage the killing of some species to “save” others. It’s not all about the animals; there are relationship subplots and twists and turns that made it impossible to stop reading. I had to skip over a few of the more graphic paragraphs (thanks to my son who warned me), but I don’t think that minimized the brilliance of the writing nor the importance  of the subject matter. It was an especially timely read for me during our great squirrel relocation program last week.
Nautical:
When I finished that book, I was searching around the house for something else to read and picked up one of the magazines delivered to the captain every few months. If you love nautical/maritime reads, you will love this. It was really interesting with beautiful pictures. Power Ships is a publication of the Steamship Historical Society of America. In this issue, they highlight the Providence Steamship Company. In the 1920’s the owner’s wife took over management of the tugboat company when her husband died. Some say she was the inspiration for the popular “Tugboat Annie” character.

Enough of that, I said to myself. I am excited to start reading Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand novel.