Every time I go to London I notice there is an insane amount of fur around. It gets me every time. Makes my blood boil and makes me despair at mankind’s fickle nature. It’s as if all the campaigning in the 90’s never happened. Now all the fur is even intended to actually look like a dead animal – half of it looks like road kill. There is no attempt to cover it up.
I was at a car boot sale last weekend that specializes in antiques and as you might expect there was a lot of fur, taxidermy, skulls and all that stuff. It doesn’t bother me too much; part of me thinks ‘well hey, if it’s there and it’s old it’s a shame to waste it’. But then, I can see that fur is becoming fashionable and maybe it’s the ‘vintage’ rage that’s causing it.
I saw a stand selling fur hats, cuffs, trims and the like. All strewn about on a tarpaulin on the floor and it was all brand new. This stuff was £1-3 a piece. That’s how little the life of an animal is worth. Fur used to be an expensive, special item and now anyone can afford to wear an abused animal. There were so many people rooting through the stuff it made me sick to the bottom of my stomach. It even made my dad angry (and I had just, that morning, rowed with him because he had bought factory farmed bacon).
There is something about fur that just makes me so much angrier than leather or meat. Perhaps it’s the boastfulness of its cruelty. The way it so shamelessly flaunts it’s self as ‘glamorous’. Leather can be justified in the “normal” mind as a byproduct of meat; something we actually use. But fur? When was the last time anyone ate fox?
I had an idea to make up some stickers to go and stick on people wearing fur. A little reminder for them, and everyone around them, that it is cruelty at its very worst and least justifiable.
A bloodied carcass with some hard-hitting wording. I’ll have to get pondering on that one.
I absolutely love The Yellow Dog Project
. It's a simple, sophisticated and perfected idea.
If you see a dog with a yellow ribbon, you can be sure this dog needs some space. He might be afraid of strange people or other dogs, have an injury, be in rehabilitation or be in training.
If every dog owner (and park user!) knew this simple rule we could avoid many of the unfortunate incidents of dog attacks that result in innocent (if a little fearful) pooches being destroyed .
I'm a huge fan of TED, and today I stumbled on this very intriguing talk 'How pig parts make the world turn'. It seems pigs don't just make bacon and gelatine sweets - their hair is used in bread and paintbrushes, their bones in concrete, train breaks and fine bone china, and other parts in paint, ammunition, artificial heart valves and more.
Meindertsma makes a key point at the end of her talk; 'it is odd we do not treat these pigs as kings and queens'.
Pigs are used so extensively throughout food and other products that it is baffling as to why the very vast majority are treated so inhumanely. Sometimes I think people conveniently ignore the fact that these animals are as intelligent as a 3-year-old human so that they can be exploited for the sake of the whims of human kind.
"The most distinctive feature of the majority of the Ancyloceratina is the tendency for most of them to have shells that are not regular spirals like most other ammonites. These irregularly-coiled ammonites are called heteromorph ammonites, in contrast to regularly coiled ammonites, which are called homomorph ammonites."
"The biology of the heteromorph ammonites is not clear, but one certainty is that their uncoiled shells would have made these forms very poor swimmers. Open shells, particularly ones with spines and ribs, create a lot of drag; but more importantly, the orientation of the shell, with the body hanging below the buoyant part of the shell, would have created a serious impediment to efficient swimming. It's more likely these ammonites either drifted in the plankton, collecting small animals on long tentacles like modern jellyfish, or else they crawled along the sea floor feeding on sessile or slow-moving animals such as clams."
Image copyright Drake
Now that winter has rolled back around (and fully taken its grip I might add!) I've started to spot more fur trim around again. Last year I had a couple of overwhelming moments when I felt surrounded by shoppers in fur so I figured it was about time I tried to do something about it. Sadly it was February by the time I got my act together so It's safe to say I didn't achieve much.
I had a little Idea though. I figure when people try on a jacket in a shop the first thing they do is put their hands in the pockets to get a feel for what it might be like to wear said jacket on a blustery day. As such, the pocket is the ideal place to drop a little bit of a reminder as to the origins of the fur trim on said jacket.
So please find below a little design I created for A6 'pocket-drops'. I decided not to go down the typical 'animal rights' style design - this is about engaging with the public in a way that gets them thinking and that doesn't give them any excuse to think that the message was left by some 'crazy vegan bunny hugger'. Please do feel free to download and use this flyer in any way you see fit!
I felt like doing a simple illustration with some text for today's blog entry.
Some things I’ve seen I’m sure I’ll never forget. Of course there’s sweeping vistas, amazing works of art, precious photos I can recall on command and all those things but today I’m talking about those images burned into my mind. Those that shocked me, upset me and angered me. Those of animal cruelty.
Those of you who, like me, have exposed your self to emails and websites in the desire to know more and to become an informed fighter against animal cruelty will probably also recall some of these images.
I’ve decided to make a list of all those video clips and photographs I will never forget.
1. The moment when that skinned raccoon dog, laying limp and bloodied with no fur left apart from it’s eyelashes, blinks.
2. The moment that farm worker’s boot comes crashing down on the head of a newborn calf, and the moment when it’s head bounces back up off of the concrete.
3. The moment I realized that the reason I couldn’t work out what the group of seven or eight cows were standing on was because they were standing in several inches of the blood of those that came before them. A pool of blood that reached from wall to wall.
4. The moment when the cow regained consciousness after it had had it’s throat slit, right back to the spine, and it began to thrash around desperately trying to right it’s self.
5. The monkey with her eyes sewn shut. Huge stitches poking out in every direction like twisted eyelashes.
6. That little chinchilla, struggling desperately while electrodes are shoved into her vagina and mouth to kill her. Slowly. So that her coat is not damaged.
7. The cat whose eyes have exploded out of their sockets and who had blood pouring from its screaming mouth. It had been thrown from a high tower block but survived the fall.
8. The sheep being bundled up, and tossed into the boot of a saloon car ready to be taken away to be slaughtered by someone with no idea what they are doing.
9. The horse that wouldn’t die. I couldn’t count the number of captive bolt shots right into its skull. I couldn’t watch to the end. It just wouldn’t die.
All these things and more enrage me. But they don’t make me cry any more. I never am sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I feel stronger, more able to fight all of this. But I worry too. What normal person (especially someone who, like me, cries all the time about other stuff) doesn’t cry when they see these things?
I hope I always have the strength to dedicate myself to do my bit of fighting against all this horrible, horrible cruelty.
I came across a lovely story today. It’s over eight years old, but it beautifully sums up the passion and love so many have for the creatures we share our planet with.
Back in 2005 a group were attempting a world record in domino tipping when a house sparrow joined the crew – landed on one of the domino bricks and knocked over some 23,000 dominos. If the group had not set up safety gaps in the domino chain the sparrow could have knocked over all 4million and set his very own world record.
The unfortunate sparrow, part of a protected species, was hunted down and shot dead before it could do any more damage. He was just one bird.
Shortly after news broke, thousands of people came together in protest and over 24,000 people left tributes on a website that was set up for the ‘domino sparrow’. An animal protection organization took the exterminator to court for shooting and killing a protected species. They won the case.
It seems the death of this lone little sparrow triggered more than one domino effect. He won the hearts of thousands and gave some much-needed publicity to the cause of this beautiful but underrated bird that is facing such extreme population decline.