The Honest Company: Formally Acknowledges and Associates With PETA

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The Honest Company – sounds good doesn’t it?  I like the idea of them.  I like their approach.  For those of us with sensitive skin, their products are supposed to be the way to go.  I try to be environmentally friendly when and where I can.  They don’t test their products on animals.  So what’s not to like?

Disappointed

PETA.  They’re associated with PETA.  That’s what is wrong.  PETA.  The group that kills animals by the THOUSANDS.  The group that doesn’t share their millions of millions of MILLIONS of your donated dollars to actual shelters or local humane societies.  PETA – the group that simply lines the pockets of lawyers and professional lobbyists.  That’s right – NOT to animals.

Claiming the “saving” of animals while plotting the DEATH of animals disgusts me to no end.  That’s right – in the eyes of PETA, your dog snuggled beside you on your couch, your cat on your lap, your horse grazing lazily in your field are all better off DEAD than with YOU.  While they’ve taken in animals at their facilities, claiming to “take care of them” – the animals are taken straight to the back and killed.

Look it up.  Really.

And so The Honest Company formally acknowledges and is associated with PETA.

The Honest Company PETA

For that reason and that reason alone – I cannot associate myself with The Honest Company.  You cannot associate yourself with only a part of an organization.  If you “acknowledge and associate” with them, you do so fully, with all of them and all of their mandates.

Maybe if enough of us tell The Honest Company that we love their products, but can’t deal with them due to their association with PETA, they’ll disassociate with them.  It’s the higher road we have to take. Yes, I’m suggesting you boycott them.

PLEASE.  Review the companies you are endorsing with your “Likes” and with your money.  You might be surprised at what you’ll find.  Hold their feet to the fire and make them realize that their associations will hit them in the pocket book.

It’s All About Distraction

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I had an epiphany. Distraction. It has to be the most effective and widely used approach to getting what you want. Don’t believe me?

It starts with babies. They grab something you don’t want them to have and jam it into their mouths, discovering the world around them. You say “Ta Ta”, take it away and give them something they can have. A rattle, teething ring…. A classic bait and switch. I know you had that, but take this! This is better. Soon the initial item is forgotten and the baby has been successfully distracted.

We don’t realize it as adults, but this same approach applies to our daily lives. Advertisements hope to distract you from their competitors. Politicians try to distract you from the opposition. Opposing sides in debates try to dazzle you with their approach so that you won’t see their flaws.

distraction

Take the “you need scientific proof!” approach. Fine. We do need scientific proof to validate many things. However the distraction here is that more often than not, the opposing side does not have scientific proof either. If scientific proof is truly a requirement, then it is a requirement of BOTH sides. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. The status quo is sometimes the status quo just because it always has been. Not because it’s been proven.

One of my favourite old tales:

A little girl is watching her Mother prepare a roast. Her Mother carefully prepares the meat, trimming excess fat, spicing it and cut the ends off of it. The child asks her Mother why she cuts the ends off the roast. “I don’t know Honey. My Mom always did so I always have. Why don’t you go ask Grandma why we do it?”

The little girl toddles off to find her Grandma. “Why do we cut the ends off the roast Grandma?” Her Grandmother explains “When I was a little girl I watched my Mother prepare roasts this way. They were the most tasty roasts! So I always have. Why don’t we go ask Nanny?”

Hand in hand, Grandmother, Mother and child go off to ask Nanny. “Nanny? When we’re making a roast, why do we cut the ends off? You’ve always been the best cook around. What’s the secret to cutting the ends off? Why does it work?”

Nanny smiled wisely and chuckled a little bit. “It has nothing to do with the flavour or the cut of the meat. I simply didn’t have a roast pan big enough to fit the roasts.”

Now while this doesn’t prove my distraction theory, it does prove that we need to ASK MORE QUESTIONS. Don’t be distracted by all of the flashing signs, loud music and authoritative speeches. Simply because it’s the status quo doesn’t mean it needs to remain. Or that it can’t be challenged! WHY is it done that way? I see you don’t want to change it but the claim of “all that extra work, for what?” is a distraction tactic. “It’s always been done this way.” is another. Trying to get you to justify your change without them having to justify why they shouldn’t.

If the conversation is worth having, it’s worth investigating on ALL sides. Don’t allow others to distract you from your true goal. A better deal. A smarter approach. A moral solution.

Be Your Own Health Advocate

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This will be a departure from my usual topics but this one comes from the heart. I post this not as a slam against medical care, or doctors, but as an empowering, enabler for you to take an active role in your health care.

When it comes to your health, you need to be your own advocate. Please don’t trust anyone else to be your champion. Not your doctor, not your family members, YOU need to do it. You are the most invested, the most greatly impacted if you get less than 100%. So YOU need to be an advocate for YOU.

Be Your Own Advocate

Delays in health care seem to be a necessary evil these days but that doesn’t mean you need to accept it or that you should. YOUR health is a priority for YOU. So if someone doesn’t call you back within the timeframe they said, call them back at that deadline. Don’t give them a few days or even a few hours. If they said they’d call you by 2pm on Tuesday, you call them at 2:10 on Tuesday saying “I haven’t heard from you. I need an update.” If they respond that they “still haven’t heard”, ask them to call again to get confirmation that the office they’re waiting to hear from has everything they need. GET that confirmation. Better yet – call those that you’re waiting to hear from directly.

True story: Serious health concern, specific tests need to be run in a particular order before treatment can begin. Several days of “nothing yet” pass, beyond all initial assurances of timing. A call to the receiving office reveals that the sending office never sent the appropriate files (or sent them to the wrong location). The receiving office hadn’t received anything and therefore, wasn’t responding because they had nothing to respond to.

The originating office didn’t double check, didn’t get confirmation, didn’t actually respond to the patients requests for updates. If the patient hadn’t been their own advocate and called directly, they’d still be waiting. Precious time would have been lost and more importantly, their life saving treatment inexcusably delayed due to “clerical error”. A poor excuse to those waiting, tormented by the difficult road ahead of them.

Research

If you have a health issue, you need to inform yourself about that particular issue. I’m not telling you not to believe the doctors and specialists. What I am telling you is to educate yourself. You need to know the terminology that will be used. You need to know what they’re talking about. It’s up to YOU not to let people who ultimately won’t be impacted the the decisions made, make decisions on your behalf because YOU allowed them to talk over your head and YOU trusted them at face value. At some point, you’re going to need to weigh in on what they’re telling you, what treatment options to take and which ones you’ll opt out of.

If you can’t follow the conversation, you can’t make an educated decision. Please don’t let anyone make you feel like you should know what they’re talking about. Or rush you through the discussion to the point where you can’t follow it. Have the courage to say “I don’t understand.” and “Can you please explain that again / in a different way?” This is your HEALTH. There is nothing more precious to you, than YOU. If anyone needs to understand it, it’s YOU. They’re getting paid for their time. So make them explain it 20 times if you need to. This is about YOU. Not them. They are working FOR YOU.

Establish A Rapport

Health is often measured against previous results. Having a known baseline will help in diagnosing new issues, give a basis for comparison and a point to measure from.

Jumping between various doctors and walk-in clinics robs your personal health files of this critical information. Gradual progressions of conditions are impossible to measure for those who don’t know you.

True story: A patient had a nagging cough and went to a local clinic since they didn’t have a regular doctor. They got treatment and left. No follow ups. Some time later, the cough was still nagging. They went to another clinic (they had moved). A different treatment was given this time. Some time later, an acquaintance with a medical background heard the cough and asked the patient about it. They were concerned and asked them to go to their doctor, but to request further diagnostic testing. More extensive tests revealed a very serious condition that would have been more successfully treated if it had been caught much earlier.

This is no one’s fault per se. The doctors had no history to compare the patients condition to. The patient didn’t have a regular doctor. Patient files had no opportunity to follow the patient to provide context to their condition.

The failing here is the medical machine which is terribly behind the times. Patient files don’t follow patients in real time. A system which allows people to doctor-hop either by choice or by a lack of options is horribly flawed.

My recommendation to you is to find a regular doctor that you LIKE, that you feel you have a rapport with and STICK WITH THEM. If you have to go to a walk-in clinic, ask them to send the records to your regular doctor or be sure to call your doctor to tell them about it. YOUR FILES MUST BE UP TO DATE AT ALL TIMES. While a little cough here or there doesn’t sound like anything to worry about, a recurring, progressive cough IS something to worry about. Even if YOU don’t think it’s something, let your doctor know about it. They are trained to see symptoms and patterns that you might not recognize. Enable them to help YOU and assure YOUR HEALTH.

Informed Consent

Informed Consent is:

Consent by a patient to undergo a medical or surgical treatment or to participate in an experiment after the patient understands the risks involved.

Sounds about right. No doctor should ever have the power to make decisions about you, your body or your treatment without your consent. There were horrific procedures performed on patients in the early years of conventional medicine. The medical community had a God-complex (many still do) where they would decide and force their approach on patients, essentially treating them like meat, void of presence of mind. Informed Consent was brought about so that the medical community would be forced to inform the patient of any treatments or procedures, complete with risks, so that the patient could make an educated decision. Informed Consent was born to empower patients.

Here’s where it falls down: Doctors explain what they can, what they choose to explain, they define what they feel is “enough” and pose the information in such a way that the patient feels that they’ve been appropriately informed.

Doctors are people too. They can be rushed. They can be distracted. Their information may be out of date (which they may be unaware of or simply don’t have time). They also have their own preference as to what they feel is the best approach, so will give a ‘hard sell’ for that option above others. They may have had great success with a particular approach. They may be short on time, so they’ll push the shorter option. Being business people as well, they may push the more expensive option too.

So what do you do? INFORM YOURSELF. Doctors must answer your questions if you ask them. However, sadly, many times YOU have to ask the right questions in order to get the right answers. The onus is on YOU to ask the right questions. If you’re unaware that those questions even exist, how can you ask them? If you don’t ask them, you may miss a critical piece of information that may have changed your decision to grant your consent.

Informed Consent fails.

Blind Following

True story: Patient had a cesarean section with her first child due to breech. Her OB casually mentioned “once a section, always a section” at her 6 week follow up. It was stated matter-of-factly and the patient nodded dutifully. Without context, it meant nothing. A new mother with a 6 week old infant is hardly thinking about her next baby!

The seed was planted. The “condition” didn’t even exist, but the biased statement had been made. Why? There wasn’t any discussion about future pregnancies. It wasn’t even on the radar and yet the suggestion was made.

In reality, “once a section, always a section” is NOT true. Not to get into a debate but the statement was absolute and obviously, there are options. Period. Full stop. If this statement had been said to someone who wouldn’t think to question it, question authority, or question the validity of the statement itself, they simply wouldn’t. They’d take it for face value and blindly follow that one, casual statement.

The patient would have the impression that they had given Informed Consent. In reality they had been given incomplete information. Active omissions eliminate the ability to give Informed Consent because the patient hasn’t been completely informed.

B.R.A.N.

Another Mom once shared this incredibly powerful anagram with me. For that, I’ll be forever in her debt.

Use BRAN when evaluating ANY medical (or for that matter, life) decision.

B – Benefits. What are the benefits of what they’re suggesting?
R – Risks. What are the risks of what they’re suggesting?
A – Alternatives. What are the alternatives (other options) to what they’re suggesting?
N – Nothing. What happens if we do nothing?

Use BRAN when evaluating treatments, interventions, surgery or anything for that matter. It’s such a powerful tool, to help you slow down and ask the RIGHT questions, even when you don’t know what they are. BRAN will help you get there.

BRAN

Document Everything

If you’re anything like me, you have lots of questions and concerns to ask about when you go to an appointment. Then you get INTO the appointment and promptly forget to ask them or what they were in the first place.

When tackling a serious illness, you need to document everything. The date and time that you spoke to medical offices, the dates and times they promised you’d hear from them, what your questions are and then to refer to those questions while you have their attention. Literally have your booklet and go down your list. Check them off as you go.

Set reminders so that you know when to follow up. You need to be as organized as you’d like your medical providers to be. At some point, someone will ask you “When did XYZ happen?” and you’ll need to be able to give them accurate information.

Questioning Authority

This is where things can get uncomfortable. Some people don't want to question authority. They feel that questioning authority may be disrespectful. They don't want to upset the doctor that is responsible for their care. What if the doctor takes it personally and drops them as a client? What if the doctor gives them substandard care out of retaliation?

The truth is that questioning authority is not disrespectful. You can ask questions regarding YOUR health. It is YOUR HEALTH! You don't have to be rude about it. Questions can be polite.

Those who bristle at being questioned need a reality check. You're not questioning their ability. You're requesting the best health care possible that is appropriate for you. In order to get that, you must have an active role.

Also note that if your doctor doesn’t welcome your questions, if you feel they’re being condescending to you or even bullying you – you need to find a new doctor. Your health is very personal. There are many issues that may happen with your body that may be embarrassing to you. You NEED to feel completely at ease with your doctor so that you can tell them anything. If your feelings about your doctor hinder your ability to share information with them, it is hindering your health.

Please ensure you are comfortable with your health care provider.

Health Care As A Business

Think like a business when it comes to your health care. You are the CEO. You are the most heavily involved, the biggest investor and will suffer the fall out if it isn’t successful. Failure isn’t an option. Opting out, is not an option. To not engage, to not evaluate, to not research and review is to fail yourself.

It’s not to say that your doctor isn’t invested. Most are! However in the face of failure, it’s you who pays the ultimate price.

In The Face Of Cuts

There are budget cuts which are impacting medical care. You may encounter health care professionals which are stressed, tired, distraught or a combination of all three. It’s not an excuse for poor service, but it is something you need to be aware of. If someone drops the ball, you will pay the price.

Again, be your own champion for your own cause; YOU!

In Conclusion

I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories. I don’t believe the medical profession is out to get everyone. I’ve met and feel truly blessed to have met and been under the care of some incredible people. I do feel that ultimately, the medical profession wants us all to be well.

That being said, I also truly believe that you must be an active participant in your health care. You are MORE than an equal partner. You must have an active role. In the end, doctors work for you. Hold them accountable!

Only you know if the treatment approach being taken is right for you. Be your own advocate. Ask questions, get answers. Hold people to the promises that they made to you and make them follow through.

Your life may depend on it.

Horse-pocalypse?

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“The West Is On The Brink Of A Wild Horse Apocalypse, No Really”

Really? No, really?

So the result of mismanagement is MORE mismanagement? C’mon now boys, you can do better than that.

I’m going to bring the footnote of the article to the top:

“…82.5 percent of the forage in wild horse herd management areas is actually reserved for livestock grazing, while just 17.5 percent of the forage is allocated to the horses themselves.”

mustangs wild horses

Forage

These areas are “wild horse herd management areas” and yet they only have 17.5% of it? So the areas aren’t being over foraged by the horses. They’re being over foraged by the livestock! Get your heads on straight.

It would be my guess that of the land set aside that the ranchers took the cream of the crop. I’m sure they didn’t take rocky hills, cliffs and barren areas. Of the land available, I would suspect that the land taken was the best and the worst was left for the wild horses.

Pull the livestock and TA DAAAA! There’s forage for the horses again. No starving, no suffering.

The second part of the footnote is worth noting here:

“So another possible option to alleviate overcrowding could be to scale back livestock grazing on public lands. That’s likely to be controversial among ranchers, but it’s worth noting.”

Funny, it’s almost as if the option of returning the land to the horses is brushed off because it’s “likely to be controversial among ranchers”. Now while I’m not a rancher and I don’t wish them any ill-will, my response to that is SO WHAT?! Starving horses on a fraction of the land set aside for them, facing possible slaughter weighed against upset ranchers and ranchers win before it’s even considered? Who the heck writes this stuff?

How about a return of land to the horses at 50%, with a rotation of the available land by plots. That way all of the land is rotated evenly between wild horses and ranchers, good and poor. Poorer plots would be larger to make up for the lacking forage. The rotation would likely result in better land management as different animals feed differently, which would allow the land to rejuvenate. There could also be stale dates, where nothing was allowed on the land to completely allow it to regrow.

Now THAT would be management that is fair and workable.

Water

I’m willing to bet the 82.5% of land that’s been taken by livestock also has their own water sources. I’m also willing to lay money that the 17.5% left for them have no water sources, or the ranchers would have taken those areas too. TA DAAAA! No more trucking in water either. Funny how leaving horses on land allotted to them that is capable of supporting them, DOES, when given the opportunity to do so.

Lack Of Money

So if 82.5% of the land has been used by ranchers, where’s that money they were paying back into the BLM to pay for wild horse management? I would think it would be a fair sum, considering the hardship they were willing to put on their organization in order to allow so much of the land to be given to the ranchers for use. Certainly there’s money to be had there.

Over Population

No, this doesn’t take care of the over population of horses. That is a different issue. One problem at a time. I hate it when people start throwing new problems into the mix as to why it won’t work. One at a time. Better to fix each problem on their own merits as the possibilities of fixing multiple problems with one fix is very unlikely.

There are round ups. Why aren’t horses gelded? Geld the boys, fewer stallions, fewer pregnancies. Only leave the cream of the crop intact, so that they may continue to generate powerful stock.

Administer the birth control methods to mares while you’re at it. You have them penned already.

Apples To Oranges

Comparison to Australia’s problem with horse over population? Really Henny Penny? Give us a break. The mandated numbers for wild horses are 23,622 as per the article (seems like an odd number, but hey, I’ll take it at face value). There are currently 33,000 roaming free. That’s a difference of 9,388 over the mandate. Apparently there are 45,000 horses in private care or “retirement facilities”. Can they be counted? Is the government really paying for them? If they’re not free, are they still the BLM’s concern or do funds come from elsewhere? Either way, that would bring the “overage” of the mandated numbers to 54,388. Even if we take ALL of the American horses – that is a total of 78,000 horses.

Australia’s numbers have “soared past 400,000”. The US numbers aren’t even a quarter of that! Why on earth would anyone suggest that they follow their proposed methods? Add that the USA is larger than Australia and also has more grasslands than Australia. Are they really worth comparing? Sure if you’re convinced the sky is falling. The rest of us are standing under the same sky and we see that you’re simply not based in reality any longer.

Why Not Slaughter

I scoff when I hear pro-slaughter people whine that they’re not allowed to slaughter horses “to ease their suffering”. Give me a break! Slaughter is NOT HUMANE! They SUFFER during slaughter processes. The capture, the handling, the shipping, the handling again, the actual process itself has all been well documented to be inhumane to horses on all counts.

Add the factor of the horses being wild and terrified in the company of humans just compounds the issue. Don’t substitute one supposed torture (which if the above is taken into account, should no longer exist) for another form of torture. Torture is torture. Regardless if it lasts seconds, days, weeks, months or years.

If you’re truly interested in easing suffering. Then do it. Eliminate it. Anything less is a lie.

Euthanasia

You really want to put them down? Then put them down humanely by euthanasia by veterinarian. Separate them, drug them in their feed, put them down via lethal injection. Calmly as possible, safely as possible. Render them into compost.

“But all of that wasted money in meat!!!”

There you are! I knew you were hiding around here somewhere! Your REAL interest comes to the forefront. You’re not interested in slaughter to ease their suffering, you’re looking for another angle to make money off the backs of wild horses that you don’t own! Thank you for rearing your ugly little head.

This isn’t about the horses at all. This is about getting your greedy hooks into what you perceive as an easy payday.

Fund Raising

During round ups take young prospects and sell them. The proceeds to go back into the BLM to further support their herd in the wild. Adopt-a-thons, training programs, land rental fees, tourism, fund raisers, documentaries, etc…. There are many ways to raise money to support these horses.

Management

Just because previous management attempts have failed doesn’t mean that we suddenly need to cull herds by the most inhumane practices possible. Poll the public, involve ranchers, get the equine industry to chip in!

I’m fully aware that I’m giving very simple solutions to very complex problems. I’m also fully aware that there are other issues at hand that I may not be aware of that will make my solutions null and void. However I do know that panic theory articles such as the one posted above has deep roots in the ranching and pro-slaughter industries. The “studies” of the GAO are wrought with conflict of interest and “cherry-picking” the data which best serves industry and ignored the rest.

There is a problem here. Several huge ones as a matter of fact. The least of which is the wild horse population.

Welfare Vs. Rights – Do You Know The Difference?

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I’ve struggled with this post. People are pretty passionate about animals. Be it as pets, companions, food, work, sport or protection of those in the wild. Everyone’s got some sort of opinion.

The issue I have is the animal RIGHTS movement, posing as animal WELFARE advocates. Some may be nodding emphatically right now. Others may be shrugging while others may be rolling their eyes. Is there a difference? You bet.

informed decision

Animal Welfare

Animal welfare is the physical and psychological well-being of animals. Seems simple enough. If you have an animal under your care, you are fully responsible for every aspect of their well-being. Food, water and shelter aren’t enough. You’re also responsible for grooming, socialization, exercise and emotional needs. An animal that would associate with other animals in the wild, requires the humans to care for them to provide that association either by providing interaction themselves or providing additional animals to socialize with. Their happiness matters.

If you love animals, you want their welfare to be ensured. I think that’s a fair statement.

Animal Rights

Animal rights is about granting RIGHTS to the animals themselves, to not be influenced by humans. An animal with rights would not choose to be behind fences, on a leash, in a home or in a pen. An animal with rights would not choose run for human sports or to to have veterinary care. Sure, your pet may choose to be with you NOW. However you wouldn’t be able to take a young animal and raise it. You wouldn’t be allowed to feed an animal. No interaction or influence would be allowed, at all.

Think about what that means. No pets. No animals in your home. No animals on your property that aren’t wild with complete freedom of movement. No animals for food. No animals to work with or play with. Of course no beasts of burden or service animals either.

While animal rights activists are against animal cruelty, their approach is to remove all animals from all aspects of our lives.  So while they pull at your heartstrings, they’re pulling a quick one behind your back.  Treat all animals with respect and care – by having no animals at all.  If we were to follow their line of thought, the only way to ensure that no animals would ever be harmed by humans, would be to remove any and all interaction with them.

Ownership Vs. Guardianship

I’ve seen a disturbing trend of animal lovers saying that they don’t own their animals, that they are their guardians. I hear what they’re saying, what they’re hoping to convey. They want to imply that it is more of a partnership, that their pets are not simply objects to be owned. However those two terms have MASSIVE legal ramifications.

An owner can make decisions for an animal under their care. What foods to feed, what medical treatment to give (or not for that matter), how to raise and train their animals and making end of life decisions, when that time comes.

A guardian is only a ‘watcher’ or ‘protector’ of the being in their care. They are held to outside standards and evaluations. They have no rights to make decisions regarding the care they provide. Rather, it is dictated to them, evaluated outside of them and the relationship may be terminated by outside forces.

I’m hoping that last paragraph has some of you raising your eyebrows. Do you want some pencil pusher telling you how to train your horse? Or how to feed your dog? Or how to medically support your cat? Or when you can or can’t provide medical care or what kinds for that matter? Of course not!

But THAT is what is at stake when you remove ownership from the equation.

I own my animals. I am fully responsible for their care. I decide what I feel is best for them.

Animal Rights activists WANT you to think that being a guardian is okay. If you accept it, you release any rights you had to your animals and decision making rights regarding them. They want you call yourself a guardian so that one day, they can be removed from you. Achieving their final goal of no human interference on animals. Please don’t take the bait!

Who Is Who?

WSPA is the World Society for the Protection of Animals. By their own description their ultimate goal is:

Our vision: a world where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty has ended.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals exists to tackle animal cruelty across the globe. We work directly with animals and with the people and organizations that can ensure animals are treated with respect and compassion.

This is animal welfare at it’s finest. If you read the above statement and agree, then you are for animal welfare.

Then you have those who claim to be for animal welfare, but are actually for animal rights. Or even more confusingly, claim welfare but fight for rights, as if they are the same thing, which they are not.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) states is mission statement as:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 3 million members and supporters.

PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in the clothing trade, in laboratories, and in the entertainment industry. We also work on a variety of other issues, including the cruel killing of beavers, birds, and other “pests” as well as cruelty to domesticated animals.

PETA works through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns.

While it sounds all warm and fuzzy, it doesn’t STATE anything. It says they’re a group. It says what they focus on. It says where they work. But if you really look, there is no mission statement at all.

mis·sion state·ment
Noun
A summary of the aims and values of a company, organization, or individual.

What values do they hold? What is their aim? What are their ultimate goals?  How do they intend to achieve them?

In order to find this information, you have to leave the PETA site, which is written by brilliant marketers, who have PURPOSELY omitted this information.

Animals With Rights Of Their Own

Animal rights groups will take whatever steps necessary to meet their ultimate goal of giving animals rights. Even if that means killing animals currently under the care of humans. Their long term goal of no ownership or human influence would be achieved. An animal under the influence of humans in their eyes, is better off dead. Yes. Your cat currently purring on your lap. Your dog currently dropping a ball at your feet. Your horse nickering to you as you walk into the barn. All of them are better off DEAD than to be with you.

Do I believe that? Of course not. But animal rights activists do. That is why PETA actually KILLS animals. Don’t believe me? Look it up. PETA encourages pet sterilization. Not because of claims of pet overpopulation, but because a sterile animal cannot produce more pets for humans to own. They support breed bans. Not because of claims of safety, but because fewer breeds owned means fewer animals in our homes.

Ingrid E. Newkirk

You may not know her name, but she is the President of PETA. If you want to know how she feels, you need to leave the PETA site and search for quotes of her statements.

There is no hidden agenda. If anybody wonders about — what’s this with all these reforms — you can hear us clearly. Our goal is total animal liberation.
“Animal Rights 2002” convention

Total animal liberation. It sounds fantastic doesn’t it? But what does that mean?

Liberation – The act of liberating or the state of being liberated. The act or process of trying to achieve equal rights and status.
Lib·er·at·ed, Lib·er·at·ing, Lib·er·ates. To set free, as from oppression, confinement, or foreign control.

Yes, liberated; from YOU, YOUR home, YOUR care. Don’t think your pet or animals need to be liberated from you? Neither do I.

So if Ingrid and PETA have their way – you’ll have to open your doors, shove your pet outside and abandon it. Open your pens and pastures, set all animals free. If you don’t think they’d survive outside on their own, you can’t put them down. They’re liberated! Too late.

Always Consider The Bottom Line

When choosing an association or cause to support, you have to consider their bottom line; their ultimate goal. If you don’t support their ultimate goal, you cannot support them. You have to agree with their methods, practices and goals and everything in between.

Can you support with some of what they do while ignoring their ultimate goal? No. If you want to keep your animals in your life, you can’t.

If you don’t agree with ALL animals being “liberated”, you cannot support PETA on their path to that goal. If you don’t agree with horse slaughter, you cannot support organizations like the AQHA that support slaughter.

Be an informed supporter. Know what adding your name to a membership roster means in the big picture. Be aware of where your money is being invested. Your support is not only acceptance, it’s encouragement. Make sure you are lending your name and money to something that speaks to both your mind and your heart.

Poll: Why Did You Ship Your Horse?

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whyThe phrase is “shipping” your horse.  If a horse is “shipped” it translates to being sent to auction.  An auction where it may or may not survive.  It may get purchased by an owner who will love and care for it.  It may become an “auction rat”, being shipped from sale to sale changing hands multiple times in an effort to generate more profit.  It may find its way into a rescue program.  It may end up dead in a slaughter plant.  In the end, there are no controls, no guarantees.

So the question begs to be asked:  If you have ever shipped a horse, why?

Now before anyone gets their knickers in a knot, I’m not on a witch hunt here.  You can reply anonymously here.  I’m not going to judge you.  Well, maybe a little bit.  But I don’t know who you are, so why do you care?

My interest is honest.  Regardless of who is at the lot bidding on horses – no matter what you think of those people – they had NOTHING to do with the choice of the horse being there in the first place.  If there was no horse to bid on, they wouldn’t be there.  Simple.

So the overly simplified answer to the incredibly complicated issue of putting an end to horse slaughter is to stop the flow of horses into these sales.  If a kill buyer had to go to each and every individual barn, to see each and every individual horse, talk to each and every individual owner and negotiate a price – they wouldn’t do it.  It wouldn’t be cost effective.  What makes this a solid business model is the ability to have “supply” merged into high volume bottlenecks where it is easy to purchase them.  Add that there is no effort on the part of kill buyers to get those horses into that bottleneck – the sales are doing the job for them.

Stop making it easy for them.  Stop the flow into the sales.  They can’t buy the horse for slaughter if it isn’t there to be bought.

So again, the question begs to be asked:  Why did you ship your horse?

Did you try to sell it privately?  Was there a family emergency?  Were there financial concerns?  Was the horse a danger to own?  Was it lame or ill?

It’s possible that we’ve been looking at it all wrong.  Stop the flow into sales and you stop the flow into slaughter plants.  Maybe there’s a common thread as to why horses are being shipped.  Maybe if we knew why, we’d be able to come up with other options.  Maybe we can stop the downward spiral before it gets to start.

How The AQHA Broke My Heart

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StopSlaughter

Forbes Article:

The majority of the slaughter horses are byproducts of the sport horse industry. Racehorses that no longer win races (or produce foals) constitute between 16% and 19% of the slaughter horse population; Quarter Horses account for a whopping 70% of all breeds slaughtered according to the USDA; and rodeo stock is well represented.

The American Quarter Horse Association, which makes money from registering foals, has been a client of Mr. Stenholm’s firm, Olsson, Frank, Weeda for years. And it’s only one of many groups seeking to profit off horse slaughter while hiding behind the ploy that horse slaughter actually benefits horses and reduces abuse.

Groups like the AQHA don’t get a mention in the GAO report—the one paid for by U.S. taxpayers, who will also be stuck with the cost of inspecting horse slaughter plants in the middle of sequestration and paying to clean up any environmental mess these plants historically inflict on communities.

My first horse was an American Quarter Horse. I loved that mare. I loved that mare enough to breed her and get my filly. Both were registered with the AQHA. I was a proud member. As life changed and I moved away from horses, I sold my filly and dropped my membership.

I now know what I didn’t know then. I now know that my membership dollars, my number added to their membership count, helped to support horse slaughter. I was so naive then. How could I not have known? You can’t possibly register that many horses each year without some sort of “easy disposal” plan for older stock. How do you ensure that people keep breeding? Make it easy to get rid of the old to make space for the new!

I think I’m going to be sick.

You wouldn’t think that an organization which panders to your love of your horse, caters to it, encourages it and flaunts it – would want you to eventually slaughter it by inhumane means. It’s such a contradiction! However one cannot lose sight of the fact that they’re a business FIRST. Not everyone can hold to a moral code and turn down big money. They SHOULD. But they don’t.

I would be happy to own another American Quarter Horse. I love the breed. However I will NEVER be a member of the AQHA again. I will also make a point of asking any other organization involved with horses, their stance on horse slaughter. Point blank. If my membership support is going to encourage horse slaughter in any way, I will not support them.

If you are a member of any organization involved either directly or indirectly with horses, you may want to ask this question too. If their names DO NOT appear on this list – you need to ask them why.

Americans: You’re Being Lied To About Horse Slaughter, Abuse And The Money Trail

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I don’t want to lose this article.

Forbes: GAO Accused Of Fraud As Horse Slaughter Plants Fight To Open

What better way to make sure I capture it than to blog about it? Now why is a little blogger like me, so interested in a Forbes article? Forbes is (by their own description):

…is a leading Internet media company providing business information services and lifestyle editorial content designed to serve the needs of business leaders, professionals, investors and affluent consumers.

Forbes has published a study by http://www.equinewelfarealliance.org/ about the cherry picking of data by the GAO to suit their own agenda. Yes, agenda. I can hear you naysayers screaming at the screen. “But the Equine Welfare Alliance has THEIR own agenda too!” Sure they do. But they’re clear, open and honest about it. It’s in their name. Unlike the GAO which claims accountability to tax payers and is being used as a pawn by big money. Don’t let the wool be pulled over your eyes.

The GAO is the Government Accountability Office which is funded by taxpayers. As per their own self description:

Government Accountability Office describes its significant role in “providing Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonpartisan, non-ideological, fair and balanced.”

GAO Fraud

However their people DO have a conflict of interest and are far from objective. They’re employed by those who have a vested interest in horse slaughter. The presentation of data was clearly compromised by omitting the data that did not suit their needs. The tax payer funded report was influenced by groups desperate to continue their revenue stream.

Please read the article – please know that the absence of horse slaughter DID NOT INCREASE HORSE ABUSE. So please drop that sign and burn it.

He Disgusts Me. He’s Right, But Not Why He Thinks

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In March of 2013, a disturbing video was posted by Tim Sappington. He said “To all of you animal activists. $#@% you.” He then shoots his horse in the head. I will not post the video. You can google it if you wish. I won’t and I won’t post any comments that link to it. I refuse to post a still photo of it.

To say I’m disgusted by this man would be an understatement. There are not enough nouns or verbs to describe my feelings.

noun. loathing – nausea – abhorrence – repugnance – aversion
verb. sicken – nauseate – revolt

Why?

He apparently did it as a protest to those trying to block the reopening of a horse slaughter plant. To prove his point, he shot and killed his own horse, butchered it and stocked his freezer. He had plans to eat it and probably has by now.

Why He’s Right

He has the right under law, to slaughter and butcher his own livestock (horses currently fall under that category – if they should or not is another debate). He has a right to then eat that meat. He wants horse meat, this is what he has to resort to in order to get it. If he can’t get it from the plant, this is his recourse.

Regardless of how much it may disgust the rest of us. As a generally meat eating public, we have to acknowledge where our meat comes from – once living, breathing animals. Their slaughter is something that we are removed from and we choose to turn a blind eye to. It’s upsetting and we don’t want to think of it.

By killing his own horse, he supplied himself with the type of meat he wanted.

I would assume that he knew the horses medical history. No one would knowingly eat drug tainted meat. So I would think, that the horse was free from any drugs that may have affected Tim’s health. If you can’t buy organic, the next best thing would be to slaughter your own, so you would be fully aware of how they were raised.

Defeated His Own Cause

What Tim unknowingly demonstrated was humane slaughter. Other than by lethal injection by a licensed veterinarian (which then renders the meat inedible), this is the only other humane method, under its current definition.

The horse (unknown if it was a gelding or mare) was calm. He was in good condition, seemed sound, well fed and hydrated. He was trusting of Tim, willingly being led. He was in a known environment. There were no other animals signalling the alert to cause a need to worry. Tim even gave him a pat as if to set him at ease and say good bye. There were no fast movements or loud noises. He raised his gun and with a single shot provided an immediate lethal blow.

What he demonstrated was the exact situation that commercial slaughter houses will never be able to replicate in order to be considered humane slaughter for horses.

Commercial Slaughter Fails

Horses are not sold directly from owners to the slaughter houses. They go through auction sales, sometimes multiple sales, before they are finally owned by a kill buyer. Strangers handling them, strange surroundings, being separated from their herd mates, other animals calling out, disease, injuries, lack of quality feed and often left without water. This is a very stressful time for these horses.

They can remain in this “limbo”, owned without having an owner, for weeks or even months at a time.

“R-CALF USA has members who have ceased marketing their unusable horses to Mexican horse slaughter buyers due to concerns that their horses would be subjected to undue stress during transit to foreign horse slaughter plants and then suffer inhumane slaughtering techniques once they arrive at foreign slaughtering plants,” said Bill Bullard, R-CALF CEO.

The same applies to Canadian Slaughter plants, so don’t fool yourselves into thinking they’re any better.

Once they arrive at the plants, often hungry, injured, dehydrated, weakened due to heat stroke, their stress is raised to alarm. Other horses are screaming. Many are now bleeding and lame, often being beaten to go into shoots. There is nothing calm or reassuring about this place. Even the handling is often brutal. They smell the death. They see the other dead or dying horses.

Their “fight or flight” behaviour is not congruent with commercial slaughter. Anything held by their heads causes panic in their heightened state. The “death blow” often fails. It has been documented that the “approved” methods of killing a horse often have to be applied again and again and again. This is horrifically abusive and torturous. Horses have been documented being butchered while still alive.

These aren’t isolated events. They have been documented over and over and over again. Even when the plant was sanctioned and promised to fix the issues – they continued to occur. Commercial slaughter of horses simply cannot be humane.

Sorry Tim

What Tim did is horrible. No one wants to see an animal die. Much less a trusting animal who he clearly had an affinity for or he wouldn’t have patted and reassured it. However he highlighted what it would take to humanely slaughter a horse. Calm, cool, collected, handled with care, demonstrating trust between man and horse.

Sorry Tim. You may have wanted to prove a point. That you were going to get your meat anyway and “animal activists” weren’t going to stand in your way. On that point, you’re right. You have every right under current laws to slaughter your own horse and eat it.

On the other hand, you failed miserably at proving a need for horse slaughter plants to reopen. In fact you proved why they need to remain closed. Your method of slaughtering your horse may have been shocking, but at least it was humane. Your demonstration proved the animal activists point. Horse slaughter cannot be humane at a commercial level.

The Rescue Dilemma

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In all business, the ruling factor is supply and demand.  If your supply exceeds your demand, you’ll fail.  Funds wasted in production and storage whittle away at your profit margin until there is none.  Once a business is in the red, most fail miserably.  Dumping all of it’s stock in one last ditch effort to recover funds and hopefully pay creditors.

What if there was a way to dump your unwanted stock for a profit?  Maybe not as much profit as you originally had forecast, but a profit.  So that you wouldn’t have to invest into storage or maintenance.  Eliminating your costly continued effort into a failed product.  What if you knew that safety net was there, whether you wanted it or not?  That it was independently run, managed and offered to you, for free?

Any other industry would LOVE to have such and easy out.  A cushion, supplied by others to cover up your mistakes.  Either by producing an inferior product, or by damaging that product during your use of it – now someone wants it!  WIN!  There are even middle men who run businesses that will take that supply for you, no muss, no fuss.  Without a horribly painful penalty to their failure, they can continue to produce like they always have.  

Enter Rescue

Horse rescues provide that fail-safe for unscrupulous breeders and owners of horses. They produce a horse that is unsound, dangerous, too small, too tall, even simply unpleasing to the eye or the “wrong” colours or markings. Either by accident or by poor training practices the horse “doesn’t produce” they way they had hoped. It isn’t fast enough, collected enough, doesn’t jump high enough, or it’s mannerisms aren’t pleasing enough.

Any of the above are grounds to dump a horse. Especially when there are people out there willing to take them off your hands. There’s no penalty to producing a product you didn’t want. There’s no corrective measure to take. At least nothing drastic. The cycle continues.

Rescues will provide a home to those unwanted horses.  That ‘stock’ generated that no one else wants.  The ‘supply’ that is eating into your profits by maintaining them.  You can quickly and easily, dump them and make a bit of cash on the side.  What was once a miserable failure now has a profitable safety net. 

Why Rescue?

For those in rescue, it’s a non-starter.  “Of course we’re going to rescue a horse in need.  It’s not their fault.”  But should they? If they stopped, individual horses would suffer. However the businesses would have to tighten up their programs if they could no longer make a profit from their mistakes. They’d be forced to change.

Is that too high of a price to pay? To allow horses to die at slaughter? Surely there has to be another way that doesn’t sacrifice innocent horses to a painful, terrifying and horrific end.

Devil’s Advocate

Of course I’m playing devil’s advocate here. I believe that rescue is needed. Horses didn’t ask to be bred. They didn’t ask to be worked until they were injured. They are innocent by-products of the horse industry. They deserve to be rescued.

However the discussion does need to be had. If rescue is only helping in the short-term, but by doing so, is enabling the long-term abuse to continue, should it continue?

Maybe there needs to be breeding regulations. Maybe there needs to be ownership registration like that of cars, so that they can be monitored and not dumped. Maybe there needs to be licensing. Either way, the status quo cannot remain. The current cycle is reinforcing.

Something needs to change.