From Peaches to Pork – Your Food is all Dodgy

In my last blog I discussed how just the simple purchase of a few items in the supermarket can be the end results of much suffering further up the line.

Well let’s talk about the bag of peaches. I have been told that a crop of fruit is sprayed with toxic chemicals between four to five times during the growing phase of the fruit. And then the peach is picked before it’s ripe, transported, kept in a cool room and then gassed to ripeness. How delicious! In fact it’s a well known fact that the big supermarkets store apples and pears for example for a year or more so that they can have apples available to sell all year round. No wonder fruit or vegies don’t taste like they used to. 

I fondly remember the sweet tomatoes we used to eat as children.  There was nothing as delicious as a tomato sandwich in those days.  I hadn’t tasted a decent tomato in years until I bought the organic tomatoes at the Organic Shop at Avalon.  Tomatoes, peaches and well many, many fruit and vegies these days are tasteless, floury and just not fit for consumption. I fondly remember the luscious, juicy apricots that grew on my grandfather’s tree and there is absolutely no comparison to the floury, juiceless apricots that I’ve since bought in the fruit shop.  How sad that children of today would believe that this is how apricots should taste! It’s also a rarity to find a juicy sweet carrot.

After the Chenobyl nuclear disaster in Russia a few years ago, fruit and vegetables right across Europe were tainted with radioactive material. I’m sure that’s still in the atmosphere and no doubt contaminating our food supply today. So what will be the case with the current nuclear disaster in Japan? How will that affect food supplies across the world – not to mention the air we breathe?

Furthermore, I wonder to what degree the constant cocktail of chemicals that have infused into the skin of everything we eat, is responsible for the huge incidence of cancer, alzheimers and every other ghastly illness that abounds today. Washing the fruit or vegetable can never remove it.

As for the poor native animals that have lost their habitats to man’s limitless demand for housing – when they actually do find an orchard in their search for a meal, then they are blasted to smithereens by a farmer with a shotgun. I am thinking of the flying fox or fruit bat which will no doubt soon be extinct. The hazards they face are horrible – being caught in electric wires, in barbed wire fences and netting.  Read more at . WIRES is currently running a promotional campaign to educate people about flying foxes . When you eat any piece of fruit there is no doubt that a possum or flying fox has been exterminated for it. With a little bit more effort farmers can surely be educated on how to animal-proof their crops and trees. WIRES would be only too happy to provide advice.

I quote directly from the WIRES website –

At least 1,635 grey headed flying foxes have been killed by firearms in the last 12 months. Since 2007 the number of flying foxes shot has doubled.

Killing flying foxes with firearms cannot be done humanely. They lie on the ground in the orchard dying slowly from injury, infection, starvation and shattered bones. They can take many days to die and back at the colony, their young are also dying in the trees from hunger, thirst and predation. It’s a long, lonely and painful death.

Flying foxes are essential animals to the future of our country and it’s no accident that they are nocturnal. They carry pollen between night-flowering trees over long distances and this is what gives us healthy trees and forests, jobs and ultimately an ability to withstand climate change.

Flying fox populations have declined by 35 per cent over the past nine years.

WIRES needs resources to educate people about the role of flying foxes in our environment and to convince the State Government to stop this cruelty. Please help us help as many flying foxes and other native animals as possible. 

As for the piece of fish we’ve bought for dinner, how could that possibly be a problem? The ocean is chockers with fish, all waiting to be caught and turned into fish and chips.

Or is it?

For my opinion (and the 2010 World Ocean Census’s opinion) on this matter, have a gander at and see what you think. But definitely don’t aspire to reincarnate as a fish. It will be a short and sad life spent darting between floating plastic and foam cups; evading oil slicks; manoeuvering around fishing nets, lines and hooks and other flotsam and jetsam in the ocean. As for the fish who are unfortunate enough to be anywhere near the recent flooded area in Queensland – the ocean near the Great Barrier Reef is now chockers with fertilizers and chemicals washed out to sea by the floodwaters.

So it’s a safe bet that that tasty piece of fish you’ve bought for dinner comes with a few extra ingredients that you didn’t particularly want – mercury, toxic chemicals, sewerage and degraded plastic. Well I suppose that’s extra value for your money!

Now for that pork chop.

When I worked as an accountant, one of my firm’s clients was a pig stud. One of their major purchases was antibiotics which were put in all the pigs’ food. Well of course pigs aren’t the only animals fed antibiotics. But isn’t that a worry for the consumer? I prefer never to have antibiotics if I can avoid them and I certainly don’t want them infused in the meat I eat. When doctors talk about the threat of antibiotic resistant diseases,  it is exactly this indescriminate use of antibiotics in the food supply that is making such diseases possible.

To read more about the sad story of how pigs are treated on farms, see and

To quote from those blogs and from Animals Australia Action Network

Many Australians are still unaware that in Australia it is legal to confine mother pigs in metal and concrete sow crates for their entire 4 month pregnancy in a space that only allows them to take one step forward or back. Mother pigs in a natural environment will spend the 24 hours prior to giving birth gathering together straw and twigs to make a nest to give birth to her babies in comfort. One can only imagine their distress at being forced to give birth on a hard concrete or metal floor in the same area that they toilet and then being unable to nurture their piglets due to the bars that surround their body. Their distress continues as they have no choice but to watch on helplessly as their piglets’ tails are cut off and needle teeth brutally clipped without pain relief in the first week of their life.

Pigs have been touted as the smartest, and the cleanest domestic animals in the world. The phrases, “sweat like a pig” or “smell like a pig”, may come to mind. But, consider that pigs don’t have sweat glands, and therefore, can’t sweat (except on the very ends of their snouts). The lack of sweat glands means lack of odour – affording no credibility to either statement.
Read more at Suite101: The Intelligent Pig: The Smartest Domestic Animal in The World

To quote directly from the above article –

Intelligence research was done with pigs in the 1990s. One of the experiments was to train the pigs to move the cursor on a video screen with their snouts. When the pigs used the cursors again, they were able to distinguish between the scribbles they already knew, and the scribbles they were seeing for the first time. The pigs learned this skill as fast as the chimpanzees.

All species of pig are smarter than dogs, and capable of abstract representation. “They can hold an icon in their mind, and remember it at a later date,” says Professor Stanley Curtis of Penn State University, who discovered that pigs dominate at video games with joy sticks. Curtis goes on to say, “Pigs are able to focus with an intensity I have never seen in a chimp.”

Other tests were done where the pigs were taught the meaning of simple words and phrases. Several years later, the instructions were repeated, and the pigs still remembered what to do. The same thing was done with different objects placed in front of them. They were taught to jump over, sit by, or retrieve the item. Three years later, they could distinguish between the items.

The pig farmers hated the movie BABE as people turned away in droves from eating pork. It seems very wrong to eat a creature that is so intelligent but even more wrong to mistreat them (and of course all animals)  in a farm situation.

Of course the same story as the above applies to your lamb chops. And have you ever seen poor sheep crammed into a semi trailer transporting them to the abattoirs? There isn’t even enough room for a sheep to faint although I’m sure they’d all like to.  As for cruel farming practices for sheep – apart from mulesing (see, there is the practice where a rubber band is placed around a sheep’s testicles so that they eventually fall off.  And this is common practice to neuter sheep.

And so it goes on… farm animals are a commodity and are treated accordingly. My friend Barbara who has an organic farm, knows the names of all her cattle and makes sure that they have every conceivable vitamin and mineral in their food. When they are sick she doesn’t use antibiotics, but natural treatments and they always get well. But such care is very labour intensive and expensive for her. Most farmers would say it is laughable. However her cattle are  the best looking and healthiest animals you could ever see.

Finally there’s that paper you bought. I suppose you think I’m going to complain about the trees being chopped down. Well no. I accept that unless we make our paper from hemp (which produces excellent paper by the way) then we have to have timber plantations.

But did you know that many plantations including Gunns Ltd plantation in Tasmania, control native animals in their plantations by poisoning them? 

It works like this. Gunns  Timber Ltd for one example (but they are not the only ones), plants their saplings in old growth forests where there are many wallabies, wombats etc. When the saplings are growing, wallabies pop around with the intention of nibbling on the shoots.

Workers from the timber plantation leave out carrots for the wallabies and wombats to eat. Once the animals are used to eating the treats, then the carrots are laced with a deadly poison – namely Poison 101. The death is horrendous as every cell in the animals’ bodies shut down.

To read more about the misery inflicted on native animals by some timber plantations read my blog

Well I guess I could buy anything in the supermarket and then sit back and think about the cost to an animal or to my health, but then I’d just make myself sick thinking about it and I’d probably die of starvation. For starters I check the list of ingredients and immediately discard any product containing palm oil (as this costs the lives of every animal, reptile and bird in the jungles that have been burnt down to produce it) and I discard anything with ingredients that I can’t understand (you know – those frightening lists of chemicals with indecipherable names).

But why don’t you do your own research? Start with a loaf of bread, a kilo of rice or a hand of bananas and think about the inside story behind all these products – you might get a nasty shock. (A clue – if your mum has ever made home made bread from scratch, you might be wondering how the supermarket’s sliced white bread which turns into a paste when wet, could possibly be described as bread. I often wonder what on earth it’s made of – it has no resemblance whatsoever to any traditional bread product from any country I’ve ever visited. My brother reckons that it has been made from crushed feathers from China. I think he might be right.)



A most unpleasant sounding law student (how amazing!) showed his true colours when he stomped on an ibis who dared to look at his sandwich. He wrestled the ibis to the ground and stomped on it until the bird was so badly injured it had to be put down.

Quay Wee Meng threw his food down, wrestled the bird to the ground and stomped on it five times.

The court was told the bird’s wing was shattered and a blow to its neck caused it such difficulty in breathing that it had to be put down.

A warning to anyone who meets this charming (not) young man – don’t try to take his food or anything else off him!

It’s a shame that a conviction wasn’t recorded for this offence because now the brat can practice law and then he can really stomp on people!


Have a look at these spectacular photos taken by an award winning photographer. He’s photographed some pretty amazing sights around the world.


So what to do with all that space junk that are orbitting around the earth.

The cloud of debris — discarded bits of spacecraft, bits from collisions in space and satellite explosions — poses an increasingly dangerous hazard as most of it floats within 850 kilometres of the Earth’s surface, getting in the way of spacecrafts and satellites.

Scientists suggest that a mid-powered laser shined through a telescope could slowly push pieces of orbital debris out of a collision course.

But it will still be there! In my opinion people are the most dangerous kind of beings as, unlike animals, their rubbish is not biodegradable. We scream about dog pooh, but it does break down naturally – but the space junk and the ocean flotsam and jetsam will clog the seas and skies for eternity.

Read my opinion on



My gorgeous dog, Indy (wearing a wig)

Are you lucky enough to have a dog as a friend? Then you’ll never have a truer friend – one that will love you whether you’re fat or thin, rich or poor – for better or for worse. Don’t expect that kind of love from all human beings. Dogs just want your company and yet what do we do? We call bad people or people we don’t like  ‘dogs’ or  ‘mongrels’.  How fair is that?

And so it was that in the middle of the devastation in Tokyo, a dog stood by his injured friend, refusing to leave.  Watch it for yourself. What a loyal companion.

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