The subject of bears has once again reared its ugly head this week.
Firstly, a friend drew my attention to the work of an organisation which is trying to stop the ‘sport’ of bear baiting in Pakistan. They’re selling bricks for $10 each to support their work. If you want to help them by buying a brick, go to http://www.bricksforbears.org.au/ . You’ll be no doubt horrified by the way bears are treated – from having their teeth ripped out, to being set upon by dogs. It’s amazing that from being one of the most noble of animals, bears are used so deplorably by humans.
If you’ve read my earlier blog on the state of animals in China, and in particular, about the way bears are farmed for their bile, you might be cheered by a small improvement in the situation. Apparently, bile from bears has been used in Chinese medicine for 3000 years! Even though now there are at least 50 natural and synthetic substitutes, bears are still kept in cages where a catheter is inserted into their gall bladder so the bile can be drained off. Animals Asia Foundation has rescued 276 bile bears and sent them to a refuge in Chengdu, Sichuan. Last Monday, ten bears were rescued in Weihai in the Shandong province. This means that 19 Chinese provinces are now bear farm-free. There are however, still twelve provinces, containing 10,000 bears still in cages, to go. I immediately clicked onto the website of Animals Asia Foundation to give them a donation. http://www.animalsasia.org/index.php?UID=2J0NIOGTVCWA If I can’t go to China to help with the work, then I fully support anyone who does. A story in the newspaper told of how, during the trip to the Chengdu refuge, they dropped into a hospital on the way, where one of the bears was given emergency gall bladder surgery due to the level of his suffering. In his gall bladder was a metal disc which had been put there to keep the catheter inside. Just imagine 10,000 bears in this situation! And I believe that there are bile bears in Vietnam too.
This rescue mission was sponsored by a Melbourne philanthropist, Sharon Pearson. What a wonderful human being! We hear so much about cruelty, but there are many genuinely kind people around who do wonderful things for animals.
See the Squidoo post on the Moon Bears at http://www.squidoo.com/asiatic-black-bear
I’ve taken the following picture from the website of Sharon Bowles www.sharonbowles.org.uk/images. Sharon Bowles is also fighting to draw public awareness to the plight of the Moon Bear.
And while I’m on about bears, I would like to give a big BOO to the British government for refusing to bow to public pressure and not agreeing to change the hats of the Buckingham Palace Guards from bear skin to a synthetic subtitute in a bid to save the American black bear. The big black fluffy hat is called a BEARSKIN – since it has traditionally been made from the skin of a bear (both black and brown bears). In April, English singer, Joss Stone, posed nude for Peta’s new animal right’s campaign to draw attention to this issue. Surely, since she’s a good friend of Prince William, she can exert a bit of influence? Each hat requires a complete bear skin and each year 50 to 100 skins are ordered for the silly hats. http://www.unbearablecruelty.com/bear-charles.asp
So it’s no joy being a bear on this planet! I could go on and on, but it’s too depressing!!!
After my last blog on the joys of shooting (not!), I was rather disturbed to read that Pamela Reeves, a senior vice-president of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia, thinks that shooting is a great family sport – “Everyone can come along. With other sports, you’re divided into age groups. Once people try it, they tend to come back.” Yep, I can picture the baby in a pram with a baby gun, a gun toting ten year old, a pregnant mum with a rifle and granny with a shotgun. If shooting is now a fun family sport, this could explain why it’s so dangerous on the streets at night as pre-teens and teenagers trawl the streets looking for someone to kill. Anyone who ventures out on the streets of Sydney at night is asking for trouble.
See www.news.com.au/breaking-news/national/boy-shot-in-hunting-accident-at-garrawilla-state-forest/story-e6frfku9-1225858377101 – Shooting is not a wholesome family activity.
Has anyone see the Squidoo website? I’ve seen a few great Squidoo posts in the past few weeks which highlight different environmental concerns.
http://www.squidoo.com/baby-hummingbirds-in-my-garden was a lovely post about the birth of baby hummingbirds in a backgarden.
http://www.squidoo.com/Orangutans-And-Palm-Oil is a lens on how palm oil is killing orangutans.
http://www.squidoo.com/tips-for-green-scrapbooking is a lens on some clever ways to recycle.
http://www.squidoo.com/why-are-there-trees is a lens on the benefits of trees to the world.
Tribune Media Services are reporting that the level of acid in the oceans is increasing at an unpreceded rate. The chemistry of the oceans is changing so rapidly that it is expected that ocean acidity could increase by 200% by the end of the century. According to the National Research Council report, carbon dioxide emissions are increasing so rapidly that natural processes in the ocean that maintain pH levels, are unable to keep up. Eventually, sea life will be adversely affected as it becomes impossible for them to live in a sea of acid. The one thing that separates Planet Earth from many other inhabitable planets in the universe, is the fact that we have oceans of drinkable water. When we are a planet of acid water, things will be quite diferent.
I am soooo happy as I’ve just seen an advertisement on television warning people about eating products containing palm oil as it is resulting in the destruction of jungles in South East Asia and hence the murder of thousands of orangutans as well as all other jungle dwelling animals. I’m so glad that someone has been prepared to pay for this advertisement. I was extremely disappointed recently when I travelled on Singapore Airlines and they served Nestle Tim Tam Cornettos made from palm oil, for dessert. I complained on the airline questionnaire. I’ve recently heard that Nestle is going to stop using palm oil in its products. Cadbury already has, due to loss of sales.
So, it’s wonderful to know that people really care about this issue. Companies are only using palm oil as a cheap substitute for a traditionally used ingredient. In any case, palm oil would be a big artery clogger – so it’s for your health benefit not to eat it.