Tag Archives: Catskills Animal Sanctuary

Stopping the Live Animal Trade Overseas

Shock horror! 

Are we really surprised that cattle were being tortured in eleven abattoirs in Indonesia?

Not so long ago we were all shocked and horrified that sheep were being squashed into unbearably close quarters as they were shipped overseas to the Middle East.

We were shocked that at the other end their legs were broken so they could fit more neatly into a car boot from where they could be carried live to their slaughter.

Yes, it is all horrifying. And I’m very glad that at least for the time being or at least until nobody is looking again, we have stopped transport to those abattoirs. However I have heard that it is impossible to ban livestock going to those eleven abattoirs since all livestock is delivered to a central point from where it is distributed. Nevertheless, we have all been assured by the PM that this is the case, and she wouldn’t lie to us, would she?

Whatever the case, give them a couple of months and the situation will undoubtedly return to normal. These days Australia doesn’t have that much  to offer the world by way of exports. We don’t manufacture much and really all that is left are minerals and animals.  So we can’t afford to be too uppity about the way foreigners treat our cows and sheep.

Animals Australia did a marvellous job putting this abomination in the spotlight so give them a donation if you can. I did as it would have cost them a lot of money to put together a sting like this and they are doing great work. http://www.animalsaustralia.org

The implication however, is that these abattoirs are undesirable and horrific, so the rest are fine.

Well I wonder. I would imagine that the very nature of dying when you’re healthy is a horrific thing to face. Don’t tell me that a cow or sheep in any abbattoir doesn’t know what awaits them.

They can smell the fear in the air. They can hear the terrified bellowing of their friends.

I’ve heard that when cows face death they find their friends and huddle together. Just like we would.

I wonder about the public outcry if they saw this video – kangaroo hunters shooting kangaroos for dog meat and for your dinner via Woolworths and Coles; hauling the joey out of the dead mother’s pouch and bashing out its brains on their bumper bars. Incidentally, this is as per the government’s recommendations.

To meet our insatiable demand for poultry, a continuous conga line of over inflated chickens are sent along a conveyor belt and down the shoot where a blade chops off their head.

Now that wouldn’t be a nice way to die either. Recently a poor man who had been called in to do a repair above the conveyor belt, fell and went down the shoot where he was decapitated.

They wouldn’t even stop the machinery for ten minutes while the unfortunate fellow repaired it!

In the West animals are supposed to be stunned before slaughter. However, apparently Halal and Jewish methods of slaughter forbid the stunning of the animals. They have their throats cut and the blood is drained out of their bodies while they are still alive.

And add that to a bit of extra torture prior to their deaths – breaking their legs,  gouging their eyes, beating them – we can all be thanking our lucky stars that we weren’t born as animals.

Read this article on the nasty religious methods of slaughter http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/54850,news-comment,news-politics,after-scientific-proof-of-pain-should-we-ban-islamic-and-jewish-religious-slaughter

The problem is that modern civilisation is incredibly reliant on meat. The average restaurant has a menu that is heavily meat laden. Maybe there is one vegetarian choice if you’re lucky and it’s often just a salad.

And yet recently I saw a documentary about some indigenous New Guineans. They were saying that every two weeks they need to eat some meat and they catch a bat to eat. A bit different to our daily gorging on meat. In the West each of us probably eats half a sheep every month.

If I cook a vegetarian meal for my partner two times in a row,  I hear an awful lot of moaning. My friends tell me the same thing about their husbands.

We are overly reliant on meat as a filler and I’m wondering how dangerous this is for our health and if an excess of meat is behind our soaring rates of bowel cancer. I imagine that due to the nature of our intestinal tracts, there is an awful lot of decaying meat stuck in our systems.

The Western culture does not traditionally offer ranges of vegetarian dishes. For the first eighteen years of my life I ate the same thing every day – a chop and three vegetables. Hardly inspirational.

However, go to Turkey and you’ll get stuffed capsicums and eggplant and the yummiest vegetarian dishes. Similarly, India which has a very high non-meat eating population, has a wonderful range of vegetarian dishes which are absolutely delicious.

If you want to help animals then try to replace at least a couple of meals a week with a vegetarian option. Buy a good vegetarian cookbook and you’ll see there are  some delicious dishes. Personally, I love vegie burgers.

Try this recipe as it is really terrific.



1 medium carrot, grated

i small zucchini, grated

1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 egg, lightly beaten 

2 x 300 gm cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

3 teaspoons ground cumin

plain flour to coat patties

oil for shallow frying

lettuce leaves; Turkish bread rounds; 1 Lebanese cucumber, 1 sliced avocado and mild sweet chilli sauce to serve

1) Squeeze excess liquid from grated carrot and zucchini. Process carrot, zucchini, coriander, garlic, egg, chickpeas and cumin in a food processor until almost smooth.

2) Divide mixture into four portions; shape into patties. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Coat patties with flour and shallow fry in hot until browned on both sides.

3) Divide lettuce leaves over split bread rounds; top with patties, cucumber and avocado. Drizzle with chilli sauce.

P.S. I buy organic eggs as caged hens also suffer unbearable torture being stuck in a cage for their whole lives and forced to lay eggs under hot lights. I don’t trust the ‘free range’ label on boxes either as I understand that their would not be enough free range hens in the whole of Australia to keep up with demand. Furthermore, those that are ‘free range’ are hardly ‘free’. They are squashed in a shed with thousands of other hens and never see a blade of grass.  In fact, because it is necessary to eat green grass to get yellow yokes, they have a colouring added to their food so  that their yokes turn yellow.


Chop up an onion, a stalk of celery and thinly slice a sweet potato. Stir fry and add mirin and soy sauce to taste.  When the sweet potato is cooked, add brown lentils which have been soaked and boiled till they are cooked. Mix well and add an egg to bind.

Make into patties and serve as in the previous recipe.

This is a fantastic recipe although quite messy to eat!!!

Another organisation that does wonderful work drawing attention to the plight of farm animals is Voiceless.  Go to their website to see what they are up to http://www.voiceless.org.au/

I also support the Catskill Animal Sanctuary in Saugerties, New  York, USA. which rescues abused farm animals http://casanctuary.org/

P.S. Bob Katter was quoted regarding the Live Meat Trade with Indonesia forWednesday’s Sydney Morning Herald. He said ‘A people without land will look for a land without people.” Hmm, do you think you’d like to be invaded by Indonesia now you’ve seen what they do to our livestock? I don’t think so!

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Happy Mother’s Day – But Not For Pigs!


Aren't they cute?

This Sunday it’s Mother’s Day – so happy Mother’s Day for Sunday!

Maybe some of you are familiar with the above picture of a tiger with piglets. This came from a widely circulated email about a mother tiger whose baby died. She was inconsolable and the zoo feared she’d die so they thought of an ingenious method to cheer her up. They dressed some piglets in tiger material (golly, I hope they didn’t use tiger skin!) and introduced them to the tiger. This could have gone so very wrong! However, as you’ll see, the experiment was a huge success and the result was one happy tiger and a number of very relieved piglets.

I just received an email from Animals Australia Action Network http://www.animalsaustralia.org/action/ . To quote from their email –

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.

They ask us to write to the editor of your local newspaper to encourage people to spare a thought for the sad plight of factory farmed mother pigs on Mother’s Day and urge consumers to stop supporting this cruelty by refusing to purchase factory farmed pork products.

Have a look at their website. They are committed to animal welfare and list the latest actions in helping the plight of animals. If you decide to write to your local paper about cruelty to pigs, have a look at their tips and let them know on this link http://www.animalsaustralia.org/action/get_active.php?action=&feedback=1

Of course, it would be inaccurate to think that pigs will be the only animals suffering this Mother’s Day. We all know this isn’t true! Pick an animal! If you trawl through my blog you’ll find a plethora of animal issues.

But we are talking about pigs today.

The RSPCA has put together a fact sheet on the plight of pigs http://www.rspcaqld.org.au/campaigns/quitstalling/Kids-fact-sheet.pdf  .  Have a read of it as it debunks popular myths about pigs.  They’re not dirty – they roll in mud to keep cool because they can’t sweat. They love to socialize and they are very smart.

Pigs have an excellent sense of smell and are used to hunt truffles in Europe. They can solve puzzles and be trained to perform tricks.

However, our poor treatment of pigs extends not only to farming practice and often cruel treatment in abattoirs, but to medical practice where they are used in experiments.  Recently PETA reported that they were able to save a large number of pigs in Europe which had been earmarked for an experiment. The plan was to bury the pigs in snow and then see which ones survived! The premise of the experiment was that when skiers are buried in an avalanche, some survive and others don’t – so are there pockets of air in the snow? So what? Why would they have to kill a lot of pigs to do such a silly test? http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/01/avalanche-study-will-bury-pigs-in-snow-to-watch-them-die.php Luckily, due to the outrage of animal lovers, they dropped the proposed experiment. But there’ll be others…

People who have pigs as pets love them dearly. George Clooney had a pot bellied pig as a pet whom he kept until it died. They are faithful pets and are excellent company at home. But if you can’t keep a pig, then maybe you’d like to sponsor one.  The following organisation allows you to sponsor one of their farm animals.

A number of times I have spoken about the Catskills Animal Sanctuary. They rescue abandoned and ill treated farm animals and nurse them back to health. They have a regular newsletter in which they advertise farm animals searching for homes. Go to http://www.casanctuary.org/ and you’ll see a pig on the homepage today. They have a number of pigs in their care.  Incidentally, last year a very kind benefactor offered to meet donations to the Sanctuary dollar for dollar to the amount of $1.5 million up to 31st. December, 2010. It’s wonderful to know that someone cares enough to make that offer! So if you donate $10 to the welfare of their pigs, they’ll actually get $20!

I just checked their adoption alerts for today and would you believe – there is one for a pig! Here it is – ring them if you are in the US.

URGENT Miss Piggy is a very friendly, elderly pot belly pig. Her family’s farm is in foreclosure and she must be placed ASAP. Located in Orange County, NY. Please contact Paula at 845-551-5765.

By the way, I used to prepare the  financial  accounts for a piggery and I noticed an awful lot of antibiotics in their every day purchases. I got the impression that it was put in all the pigs’ feed. So beware, if you eat pork, you’re also getting a big dose of antibiotics which you didn’t order! And don’t forget – due to the over the top consumption of antibiotics throughout the world, there are now super germs which are antibiotic resistant. Don’t eat pork (sorry but that includes ham and bacon) and you won’t be contributing to their suffering and you won’t be getting an unknown dose of antibiotics. Anyway, why would you want to eat processed pork products? They’re full of unknown preservatives and the method used in curing the pork uses toxic materials which are carcinogenic.

Hire the movie “BABE” on Mother’s Day in sympathy for pigs.


If you read my last blog on the bears, you might like to read the latest from Animals Asia.org  http://www.animalsasia.org/emailupdate/html/emailUpdate_en_30042010_bearAppeal.html?tkn=m1081507&eid=719&sou=AL10MBRGENEM&b=html  . I urge you to read it.


Last week I travelled to Muswellbrook as guest of the Muswellbrook Library.  During the week I visited six of their regional libraries and spoke to a large number of local schools. I had a wonderful week and would like to thank the library for their kindness to me. I also found a fantastic olive grove which sold wonderful, freshly squashed (extra virgin)  olive oils. It’s called Pukara Estate at Denman. I was thrilled when the library gave me a bag of goodies from Pukara Estate as a present. Lucky me.


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Wangari Maathai

In these posts I have been bemoaning the destruction of the jungles in South East Asia (to make way for palm oil plantations). The Amazon basin is still being razed although last year for the first time there was a reduction in the rate of clearing. Australia has cleared most of its original old growth forests too. It seems to myself and lots of people that developers will always be given preference in any trade off between development and preserving nature – and I don’t think that it matters what political party is in power.  Money always speaks louder than birds can tweet.
However, there is an amazing woman who speaks for the trees. Her name is Wangari Maathai from Kenya. As Sammy Cheboi wrote in the Daily Nation, December 24, 2009
She is the first woman in Central and Eastern Africa to hold a PhD; the first woman to head a university department in Kenya; the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize; and the 12th UN Messenger of Peace — with a special focus on the environment and climate change.
Wangari has devoted her life to saving trees and to this effect she has founded two movements –
The Green Belt Movement – Kenya and the Green Belt Movement International. These organisations are  focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women’s rights.
In October 1989, Maathai learned of a plan to construct the 60-storey Kenya Times Media Trust Complex in Uruhu Park in Kenya. Despite vehement opposition from the government, she was able to stop the development which she equated with building in the middle of Central Park, New York. Her name was subsequently placed on a list of high profile assassination targets in Kenya.
To read more about her go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wangari_Maathai.  There are many websites that laud her work.
I have previously said that a couple of dozen men with rifles can do a lot of damage, but in this case, one determined woman has also done much good.
Catskills Animal Sanctuary
I was pleased to read that the kind donor who had previously offered to match all donations made to 1st January,  2010 up to $1.5 million, has generously offered to extend the offer to the end of 2010. So please consider a small donation to the sanctuary as these people are really committed to helping farm animals http://www.casanctuary.org. I know that many people are distressed by the thought of horses being sent to the slaughter-house. Well, a donation to the Catskills Animal Sanctuary will certainly help save some horses, not to mention the fact that they have just rescued a huge number of goats which are now living in safety. You can see the animals they rescue on this link http://www.casanctuary.org/cas/animals.  I think they also have vegan cooking classes at the sanctuary.  If you live nearby you might like to contact them to find out.  They have just employed a vegan chef.
Talking about vegan food, have you ever eaten the delicious Japanese snack called mochi? This is pounded rice made into rice cakes and dried. If I eat two for breakfast I find that I am completely satisfied until lunch time and that’s saying something as I’m a greedy pig by nature. Mochi are absolutely luscious grilled – they puff up and are soft and creamy inside. Here is a description of mochi being made http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-make-mochi. If you get a chance, buy a bag of white mochi from a Japanese supermarket where it is much cheaper. Mochi from health food stores tends to be quite expensive.

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Catskills Animal Sanctuary

I can’t help but think at Christmas that although we have a jolly good time, animals – especially farm animals – don’t!

Christmas is not the best time of the year if you’re a pig, duck, goose, hen or a turkey. 

So I’d like to mention the Catskills Animal Sanctuary. The wonderful people who run this sanctuary rescue abandoned and mistreated farm animals and give them a warm and caring home for the rest of their lives. 

It’s not inexpensive to run such a place and funds are always short. However, this year a very caring and generous benefactor has made a kind offer.  They have said that they will match every donation made up to 1st January, 2010 up to $1.5 million!

This is a fantastic opportunity for the sanctuary to raise the funds they need to build new barns and to rescue more abandoned animals.

There are now only 6 days to go before the offer expires so even if you could only manage $10, that immediately becomes $20! 

This is your best opportunity ever to double your money in one week!!!

Go to http://www.casanctuary.org/challenge-grant 

And give abused farm animals a chance to finish their sad lives in a state of happiness!

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Bear Tales

I was overjoyed to read that the last dancing bear in India has just been released into a bear sanctuary and that there will no more dancing bears in India.
What a horrible life they must have lived!
Furthermore, so many bear cubs were stolen for the dancing bear trade that sloth bears are now an endangered species in India. It is only because of the marvellous work of WSPA,  Save the Bear (a Western Australian organisation) and other animal conservation organisations that this has been accomplished.

Sadly, the brown spectacled bear (the inspiration for Paddington Bear) in South America is now under threat. Only a couple of thousand bears now survive in the jungles and farmers and their cattle have encroached on their territory so much that the bears have started to supplement their traditional diet of berries and insects with meat from cattle they have killed. Of course this has enraged the farmers who are shooting the bears. There are caring scientists who are trying to work out a strategy to appease the farmers – hopefully with cash restitution.

It is definitely not an easy life for bears now that we have encroached so far into their territory.
Even the black bears in Yellowstone National Park are having a hard time of it. Their reduced territory now overlaps with the territory of the Grisly Bear and scientists have for the first time ever, found the bodies of three black bears who who were killed in separate brutal attacks by Grislys. Grislys lead a solitary existance and do not take kindly to other bears in their territory. However, the Grisly Bear territory has been so reduced that they have been entering people territory and have been shot. In fact, Grisly Bears are also now endangered.

Hard days for bears!

On a more cheerful note, these are the last few days for you to make a donation to the Catskills Animal Sanctuary which rescues abandoned farm animals.
A most generous benefactor has offered to match up to $1.5 million, any donation made before 1st January, 2010. So, for the sake of donkeys, hens, horses, cows, pigs and goats who have suffered so much at the hands of brutal humans, please give a donation so they can have new sheds and plenty of food!

In my next post I will tell you about a wonderful entomologist I met yesterday who is saving endangered species on Lord Howe Island.

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