If you haven’t already seen, you must watch Blackfish. It’s a documentary about orcas in captivity – in particular follows the story of one orca, Tilikum – and exposes the adverse impacts of killer whales (i.e orcas) in captivity.
The documentary adds an emotional anchor to keep the audience engaged as it tells how Tilikum was captured, torn away from his family at the tender age of 2 years (orcas have a similar life span to us), and ended up in Sea World. It is a heartbreaking story of his life as an unwilling performer at Sea World for over 25 years. Before Sea World, Tilikum spent some years during the 80s & early 90s at ‘Sealand’ which has since been shut down.
It highlights that the orca entertainment industry is destructive, not only to orcas but also to humans, by presenting 3 deaths of trainers, a near death experience and multiple unpublished incidents.
Following the OH&S legal trial in 2012, Sea World is no longer allowed to undertake interactive shows with orcas. This is good for the safety of the humans, but what about the orcas?
Orcas are mammals who have great intellectual capabilities. They have the biological capacity to have a sense of self. They are very close knit to their families. What must Tilikum’s life been like? In a concrete tank, completely isolated from his family, no (or minimal) enrichment, and ‘forced’ to turn tricks to survive. Just imagine…
Without any graphic footage, the movie Blackfish still pulls at your heartstrings.
On Friday 6th January 2017, at the age of 36 years and after spending 33 years of his life in captivity, Tilikum has died.
Rest in Peace at last.
Image Posted on Updated on
I am taking an Edx course called “UQx: Think101x The Science of Everyday Thinking”. Lesson 7 of this course discusses why it is hard to change people’s minds about various things, particularly when it comes to long held beliefs. I thought this is particularly relevant to veganism as we know how frustrating it is to hear the same motivational excuses repeated over and over again as the basis for carnism.
Why it is hard to change people’s minds? The Edx course says that it’s because of the following two things:
1) Source amnesia. We have difficulty remembering why it is we believe in something. Think about this. What makes you think you have access, that you can instantly recall the exact basis for why you believe something?
2) It is hard to reconcile what it is you believed previously with this new data. It’s cognitive difficulty. You can’t replace your former belief in the heat of the moment. It takes some work and time to put new wealth of evidence.
Evidence alone is not enough to get people to change their minds. We need evidence and a good story to show people what they can change their minds to. The course suggests the following 6 leads for prompting opinion change.
6 Leads of Opinion Change
1) Ask yourself “what do you really believe anyway?”
2) How well based is the opinion that you already hold?
3) How good is the evidence for changing your opinion? Is it based on experiments or appropriate research?
4) Does the evidence really contradict what you already believe?
5) If the answer to question 4) is “no”, then what would be enough evidence to contradict what you already believe?
6) Is it worth finding out about? Why or why not? What is the cost of changing your belief?
It’s the month of Christmas spirit.
Please take a moment & think.
Spare a thought for those who suffer –
In the name of food, clothing, fun & games.
Yes we can cease that suffering –
Cruelty so void, so unnecessary.
We can live & thrive as vegans –
Live our lives without taking others’.
Rabbit farming is often a topic that is overlooked by everybody, including the vegans. They are often regarded as promiscuous animals and a pest. But the truth is they aren’t. They often pair up for life. Rabbits are very affectionate and social creatures.
In early 2016 Animal Liberation NSW printed an investigative expose on the rabbit meat industry in Australia.
Rabbits are extremely disadvantaged. They suffer not only in the food industry, but also in vivisections, and in the fur industry. They suffer in mass numbers.
They are kept isolated in tiny battery cages, similarly to the hens. Like with hens, many battery cages are stacked on top of each other so all the waste from the top just falls through the other cages. The cages are of course wire cages which cause significant foot injuries to the rabbits.
Please watch this video and bear witness to the suffering of these innocent creatures (graphic WARNING)
I am sorry I took a while before getting on to part 2 of my letter to you. You know why it took this time, but I better explain it to our readers.
On September 4th I accidentally opened the garage door without realising you were in there. You freaked out and bolted out. I didn’t even see you. I spent an entire day searching for you inside the house without even realising you had escaped the house via the garage door.
When I finally realise what had happened, I was devastated. I thought that was it. I thought I’d never see you again. But I didn’t want to give up so easily. See I knew you a little more than you give me credit for. So I kept leaving food out for you every night. Surprise surprise they were eaten by the morning. But was it you? I couldn’t be sure.
Then I was racking my brains out as to what to do. I mean were you near by or had you gone wondering far? Ah I had crazy ideas, I nearly bought a $600 video camera to confirm if you were the one eating the foods.
But then a better idea occurred. I dropped some leaflets into our neighbours with your picture asking if they have seen you. I wasn’t expecting anything, but alas I got 2 leads! You were still in our unit complex. The word was that you were living under our neighbours deck. I was relieved to know that you had some form of shelter. But seriously, it wasn’t comfy as our soft cushiony beds now was it? 😜
Nevertheless, knowing where you were was good. I knew I had to lure you back with noms. And you know what, I DID! Remember, 2 weeks after you left the house you wondered right back inside. I guess you knew your house 🏡
Anyway, I just want to let you know Rocko, that I love you very much and I am glad you are home. I want to say that I love you and care about you very much. I wish you weren’t so scared of me. I have nothing my love for you. I will take care of you. I will give you lots of noms, comfy beds and lots of love. So please don’t run away when I want to give you a hug. But I understand why you run away. You haven’t had good experience with humans. But I am hear to show you that not all humans are bad. I am a good one. I care for you.
There is no pressure, we will go at your pace (and I know you are improving because I can reach for little head pats now). I have faith that we will get there. But in the mean time you have your dotting Speckles 😻
Your forever human ❌ ⭕️ ❌ ⭕️
This is a belated first-post kind of post. You know, the one where I introduce myself with who, what and why.
I am a passionate young woman. I have chosen to write this blog because I have ideas. My mind is like a flickering film role that doesn’t stop. I have million thoughts per minute that traverses my mind and without order. I suppose you can say it is like a plate of spaghetti. My thoughts mostly consist of humans and our ever fascinating behaviours – I suppose you can say a bit of cognitive and behavioural psychology, animals, and the relationship we, humans, have with these non-human animals. I am super passionate about equality, civil rights, animal rights, and understanding who what and why we do what we do. You might also find, in time, that I am a bit of a math geek. I value education, I value passion. I am on a journey of constant learning and I would like to share my learnings, my thoughts, the hurdles and the lot with you!
Why do I want to share this unkempt plate of spaghetti about equality, civil/animal rights, humans, non-humans, and all the rest with you? Well, I think the selfish reason is, I just want to be heard – I want you to hear what I have to say. The non-selfish reason is, I think I am worth hearing. I think you might find my thoughts and my life experiences (particularly relating to the topics I mentioned above) useful. You might feel ‘relatable’ when you read my posts, or you might think ‘wow this this blogger is totally whack’. Either way, if I can spark the slightest flame in your mind or you heart to do something positive, see the world from another point of view – maybe a view you hadn’t considered or thought of before, or give you even the tiniest bit of inspiration then I would say it has been worth blogging publicly instead of keeping a private diary.
I would love to connect with fellow bloggers who share my passion and education for equality, civil rights, animal rights, and understanding who what and why we do what we do.
I hope I can raise more awareness about these issues that I am passionate about. I hope that the things I post will make you question your own actions and behaviours. Maybe my experiences can teach you new things, and maybe you can share your own experiences and thoughts with me which can teach me new things.
Feel free to leave a comment to give feedback, or just to say hello 🙂
The shelter kitten who changed my life
I am an engineering professional in my late 20s. I had a pretty ordinary childhood, except during my childhood I was never allowed to have pets. Not because we particularly disliked animals, but because my parents were too busy. Both my parents worked full-time. My mother barely had any maternity leave when she had me and my sister. So I grew up being quite indifferent to animals, even scared of little kittens and puppies.
It wasn’t until my 21st birthday that I ever had a pet. On my 21st birthday my then boyfriend convinced me to adopt a kitten named Winkle from the RSPCA shelter. Winkle changed my life.
Winkle made me realise that animals have personalities; they feel joy, sadness and pain just like humans. And so my transformation began.
Following Winkle, I welcomed Billy, Meg, Lily and Speckles into my life. I have also watched hundreds of foster animals come and go. I called myself an animal lover.
But I felt something was not right. So I started questioning what was so different between the animals we love, like cats and dogs, and the animals we eat, like chickens, cows, pigs, and goats. The answer was nothing.
Subsequently I changed my lifestyle. I stopped consuming and using animals. I felt liberated to finally call myself an animal lover. My actions finally aligned with my values.
I have visited various farm sanctuaries. I have met Heather – a sow rescued from a piggery, Coco – a rooster rescued from a broiler farm, and Mary – a dairy cow who has had her babies taken from her for the majority of her life. My interactions with Heather, Coco, Mary and many of their other friends only confirmed that humans and animals share the same capacity to suffer and enjoy life.
The more I learned about the animal agriculture industry, the more I believed that I have done the right thing by eliminating the consumption and usage of animals. For example, I learnt that male piglets are castrated without anaesthetics and unwanted baby pigs are killed. Apparently this was standard industry practice.
I was heart-broken. I think any person who aspires to being a good, kind and compassionate person would be.
I also read the recently published 82-paged “Life of a Dairy Cow” by Voiceless which reports that the dairy cows are impregnated and their offspring removed within days of birth. The male calves are then killed while their female counterparts are grown to endure the same fate as their mothers.
The way the animals are treated in today’s society affects the way I function my life. This includes my work, what I buy, what I eat and what I do.
Living a life that has no direct contribution to the use and abuse of animals has benefitted not only those animals but also myself. My diet is much healthier now and as a result I am healthier. I am contributing less to adverse environmental impacts by not actively participating in animal agriculture, which causes greenhouse gases, water pollution, deforestation and climate change.
We are privileged to live in a time where there are various non-animal based products available – to eat, wear and use. So if we can thrive without hurting others, why wouldn’t we?
I believe that we should thrive for a world without the use and abuse of other creatures. It will lead to a better future for creatures on earth, including us humans.