Monthly Archives: September 2016

Because we are ALL animals (From Janet)

Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

When it comes to stereotyping, prejudice and racism, most people relate that ONLY to humans. But we humans do the same thing to animals, as we do to each other when it comes to that.

When it comes to animals, many feel that:

  • It’s okay to purposely and relentlessly breed animals because humans want breed-specific puppies and kittens.
  • It’s okay to tattoo your domestic animal because humans think it’s cool to do that.
  • It’s okay to cage animals in zoos, for humans to look at.
  • It’s okay to use animal fur in <anything> because it’s soft.
  • It’s okay to strike, intimidate, hurt, and hold back food to train an animal to get them to do what humans want.
  • It’s okay to have inhumane factory farming because as long as we provide meat to humans, it doesn’t matter how we do it.
  • It’s okay to tether an animal outside because it’s easier for humans to keep them outdoors.
  • It’s okay to look the other way when it comes to animal neglect or abuse because “they are probably used to living like that”.

It’s NOT okay.  None of it is. And yet, there are still so many people accepting of these ideals, and many of them fighting to keep them. Yes, as strong as we are in numbers defending against these very things, there are that many people fighting FOR them.

When did suffering on ANY level become just about “basic Human rights”? What about all living beings’ rights?  ALL are entitled, not just humans.

Who, really, gets to decide who is entitled, and who should be dis-included and/or denied?

Animals have social order. They communicate. They fend for and defend their families. They feel pain. They feel hunger. They feel cold. They get allergies. They know the number of offspring they have. They are role driven.  They are organized. They are territorial. They mourn. They get ill. They die. They know the difference between freedom and misery.

Humans have social order. They communicate. They fend for and defend their families. They feel pain. They feel hunger. They feel cold. They get allergies. They know the number of offspring they have. They are role driven.  They are organized. They are territorial. They mourn. They get ill. They die. They know the difference between freedom and misery.

However, animals DON’T kill, hunt, attack, capture or abuse any other living being for their entertainment, profit or gain.

Some might say that non-human animals are better than us, just for that reason.

A lot of people just don’t get that when it comes right down to it, we are ALL animals.

So many feel that because we are seen as the superior race, that we should act above ALL other sentient beings. In all things.

And that is simply wrong.

Given our “superiority”, one would think that we Humans should be able to see and cherish the fact that ALL living beings are worth being treated and celebrated for who they are, and what they represent globally.  We should be able to see the parallels and fine lines that put Humans and non-human animals in sync on so many levels.

It’s not just about the Human Race anymore. We are killing EVERYTHING at an alarming rate, doing despicable things to mostly every living creature on this planet. EVERY LIVING creature. Many to extinction. To extinction.

How does that make US the superior ones? What give US the right? The truth is, nothing GIVES us the right to do with as we please to whatever living being we come across. Yet, it’s allowed and even acceptable.

Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

We shouldn’t.

You shouldn’t.

So don’t.

Two legs or four legs, we are ALL animals.

Animal Advocacy Founder signature Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

 

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Guest Blogger, Patrick Koehnen (Bad Karma App)

Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

Bad Karma – an app inspired by intensive animal farming

My name is Patrick and I am an indie game developer. A couple of years ago I had two different interests that merged into one project.

The first interest was about video games. Especially games that on the one hand are entertaining and fun to play, and on the other hand educate the player in some way and confront him/her with a meaningful topic.

The second interest was about intensive animal farming also called factory farming. It started after reading the book “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer and watching great documentaries like “Our Daily Bread”. The most important insight for me was that animals in this industry are not treated as living beings and their natural needs are completely ignored. Instead they are treated as lifeless material that must fulfill the goal of maximized output.

There a lot of things that are worth to mention about this topic. One example is the treatment of piglets; being castrated, have their tails docked and their teeth are often clipped – usually all of this is done without pain-killers.

For me there was only the one conclusion: that I just need to do something. The first quite easy step was to become a vegetarian. I even try to live as vegan as possible. The next step was the idea to create a video game related to the topic of factory farming that resulted into the app Bad Karma. Manuel Tiranno (a good friend of mine is) a professional comic author and illustrator. He was excited about my idea and instantly joined the project.

Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

The app Bad Karma is a collection of mini games that represents one aspect of the world of factory farming. It was an intentional decision that the games are not in a happy ending style like rescuing a hen from a cage. Instead they should just be a mirrored image of reality. Currently the app consists of three mini games.

In “Egg Collect” the player has to collect eggs from hens in cramped cages. Until a game is over the camera is scrolling endless to the right to symbolize the immense size of the cage. One more detail is that some of the hens are dead already.

Shoot cattle with a captive bolt pistol is the goal of “Cattle Kill”. In reality a cattle should be unconscious after getting shot and gets killed afterwards. Sadly many are not unconscious or dead. In this case they hang head down on a hook, bleeding and struggle with their legs.

“Chick Sort” is about sorting chicks according to their gender. As only female hens produces eggs, there is no use for the male ones. Therefore the males are deliberately killed soon after hatching.

Beside these mini games, we have created some short animated video clips for each mini game that provide some background information and some facts like the number of male chicks that are killed worldwide. We have also created a wise sadhu (which is a good and holy man) that, after certain events, presents you a nice quote like this one by Mahatma Gandhi: “The greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress can be judged by the way it’s animals are treated”.

After almost two years of hard work, we are very happy and proud of our app. For the future we have already a couple of ideas for new content and further improvements. So let’s see what comes next.

We hope that we  reach and influence many people with our app. And maybe there will be even a blog that starts with the words “Inspired by the app Bad Karma I knew that I just had to do something…”.

Peace and love to all living beings.

– Patrick Koehnen
Indie Game Developer.  We donate a part of our income to animal welfare organizations.

Find them on Twitter! Facebook! You can contact Patrick at badkarma@padasoft.com.

Animal Advocacy Guest Blogger Thank You Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

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The Hero In You (from Janet)

Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

Pick a day, any day.  EVERY day is a difficult day for someone. It doesn’t matter if that someone is human, or a four-legged being. Every day, every where, someone is suffering, dealing with something. No-one is immune to “something”.

Many days, no-one else may know the reason for someone else’s difficult day, unless the pain is obvious, seen and others are made aware.

Today has been a difficult day. You only need to look at the calendar to know why. Sometimes there just aren’t any good ways to make a difficult day better – until you meet a hero.

Heroes come in all shapes, sizes, and species. Sometimes they appear out of nowhere, and sometimes it’s someone you already know who you know will just be there when and if needed.

Heroes don’t need capes. They don’t need special powers. And they don’t need recognition, popularity or applause.

Actually, ANYONE can be a hero. All it takes is compassion, the desire to do right, and the courage to act on that desire – no matter what.

Because sometimes being a hero is scary. Being a hero means that from time to time, you will find yourself doing things outside of your comfort zone as you put someone else’s well-being ahead of your own.

Because sometimes being a hero is overwhelming. Being a hero means that sometimes you need to make tough choices that literally take the breath out of you, even when you know that you are doing the very right thing.

Because sometimes being a hero is lonely. Being a hero means that occasionally you are going to stand alone, steadfast in your convictions, no-matter what anyone else says or does to deter you.

Yup, being a hero can be tough and thankless. But a true hero doesn’t care about that.

A true hero knows the worth of his/her actions, and what it means to carry them out.  Knowing that you have selflessly risen above yourself, above others, to make a difference, to alleviate pain and fear, to comfort and protect, to speak up for and defend those that cannot speak or defend themselves – there is no better feeling to know that because of your actions, you have saved or bettered a life.

Being a hero isn’t just about the grandiose acts of valor and courage either.

Being a hero also means championing where and when you can to make a difference no matter what the roadblock or emotion. There are millions of heroes who do just that, every day.

How can you be a hero for animals every day?

  • Speak up
  • Spread awareness
  • Share information
  • Educate others when an opportunity presents itself
  • Take action
  • Stay alert
  • JUST DO SOMETHING

The world needs every hero it can get.  NO effort is ever wasted when it comes to saving or bettering the life of an animal in need.

So, go be a hero – right now. And don’t stop. Why? Because it matters.

Here’s to the hero in YOU.

Animal Advocacy Founder signature Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

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Holiday Forgetfulness (From Janet)

Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

What do you think of when you hear the word “Labor”? For today, for you, that might mean “fun three-day weekend” or “peacefully sleeping in” or “relaxing with family and friends”.

Now take that word, and apply it to what you might know, or think you know, about animals in need.

It takes on a whole other meaning – and NONE of it is fun, peaceful, relaxing or good.

Many times on holidays (and other “special” events), there are those humans out there that put aside advocating and keeping eyes open so THEY can have fun, get some peace and relax with family and friends.

Animals in need don’t get a break, ever.

“Holiday forgetfulness” strikes too many people when it comes to animals.

Despite the many warnings and articles highlighted in social media when it comes to animal safety  and the “do’s & don’ts” of holiday and special events – there are still those who might feel they and their pets are above all that, and continue to do dumb things that put animals at risk.

Or there are those that simply turn their backs over long holiday weekends with the thinking that “I will get back to it tomorrow.”

Many animals in need don’t have a tomorrow.  And the tomorrow they do have, is the same miserable day they are having today, right now.

There are many kinds of stupid when it comes to animal care. But the easiest stupid to find and fix are these:

  • The animal owner who thoughtlessly brings their pets to holiday events where it’s too hot or too cold, and doesn’t come equipped for their pets’ care and consideration.
  • The animal owner who keeps their pet chained 24/7 and doesn’t think twice about that.

 

 

With so many animals WITHOUT owners, how blessed are those that have a family.  But it’s up to that family to take care of them, and plan for them.

If YOU’RE hot, they’re hot.

If YOU’RE tired of walking in the heat, they’re tired of walking in the heat.

If YOU’RE getting bitten by bugs, they are getting bitten by bugs.

If YOU’RE thirsty, they’re thirsty.

If the pavement is too hot for your YOUR bare feet, the pavement is too hot for their paws.

AND SO ON.

Common sense goes a long way, if you are not in the throws of Holiday Forgetfulness.

If you see someone where stupid has found them and stuck to them this Labor day holiday, please speak up.   An animal’s life may depend on that.

Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

Animal Advocacy Founder signature Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

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  • How wonderful the world would be if everyone took the time, every day, to JUST DO SOMETHING. #ROC

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