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So long, Pete

A very important person in my life just passed away the other day. At 94 years old, and after a lifetime of changing the world through his singing, Pete Seeger’s angels decided it was time for him to move on. I suspect he’ll soon be busy strumming his banjo, the one that said “this machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender,” in heaven.

Dear readers, I just waPete Seeger 30961695nted to share with you one of my favourite songs performed by Pete. Some people know it as the “ticky tacky song”, but it’s really called “Little Boxes.” It was written by Malvina Reynolds, who also wrote the song about the rocking, rolling “Morningtown Ride.” Pete’s banjo-strumming version of “Little Boxes” became a hit record in 1963, when I was all of eight years old. Between that and the impact that his songs “If I Had a Hammer” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” had on me as a little girl, it’s no wonder I don’t fit into the mainstream. But, don’t get me wrong. I’m happy right where I am–as a writer and an environmental and peace advocate.

But, enough about me. Here are two versions of the great little song that satirizes suburbia and a conformist middle-class, “Little Boxes.” The first features Pete performing it solo in B&W, the second is a current and very clever version performed by Walk Off the Earth.

Pete Seeger’s TV Show version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-sQSp5jbSQ

Walk Off the Earth’s version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM8JhvfoqdA

So long, Pete Seeger. It’s been good to know you.

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A happy horse as we begin the Year of the Horse

Happy Chinese New Year, Everybody!

 © Laurin Rinder | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Laurin Rinder | Dreamstime Stock Photos

It’s the Year of the Horse starting today, January 31st, 2014. Here’s hoping it comes galloping in with

all manner of good things.

And speaking of good things, I just wanted to share with you this story about a horse named Brave Heart who was rescued from slaughter after he was retired as a fox hunter. Humane Society International says this magnificent beast now is living out the rest of his life nibbling on hay and running around his pasture. This is just the type of thing I’ve always wanted to do, but, alas, I don’t have the space to do it right now. Knowing that other people are looking after horses after they retire just makes my heart feel good.

You can read the whole story and see a photo of a happy Brave Heart and his new owner here.

Have a fabulous Friday!

shee

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Boycott “Made in Japan” Until Dolphin Slaughter Ends

Photo from Jan. 21, 2014 Irish Independent story:  Rivers of blood: Japan defends 'lawful' slaughter of dolphins as hunters prepare to kill 200 animals

Photo from Jan. 21, 2014 Irish Independent story: Rivers of blood: Japan defends ‘lawful’ slaughter of dolphins as hunters prepare to kill 200 animals

Sometimes it seems the best tool we have to bring about change is our buying power.

Please join me in the fight to save Japan’s dolphins from merciless slaughter by refusing to buy anything “Made in Japan” until this practice stops once and for all.

But, don’t stop there. Make sure your government and Japan’s government knows what you plan to do. As for me, I’ve just written a letter to my Member of Parliament and to John Baird, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. This is what I said…

Dear Messrs. Baird and Duncan,

I am writing to you as a concerned Canadian citizen who is completely shocked and disgusted by Japan’s practice of slaughtering dolphins. Please do all you can to put a halt to this despicable practice, including the enforcement of economic sanctions to clearly get the message across if that is what is needed.  We live and work and consume in a global economy. As such, Japan needs to heed the sensibilities of other countries and cultures it wants to trade with.

As for me, the best power I have is as a consumer. I will do everything I can to NEVER buy anything made in Japan again, at least not until the practice of dolphin slaughter in Japan comes to a screeching halt. For Japan to brush off  people’s concerns over this as people being “emotional” is a complete insult to my intelligence, not to mention the intelligence and emotional capacity of the dolphins, the latter of which has been scientifically proven.

For the record, I don’t eat meat very much at all, mostly because of how we choose to raise, transport, and slaughter animals destined for the dinner table. Again, I put my dollars where my mouth is, and do my best to only buy meat that has been raised in a cruelty-free and free-range manner. Sadly, as I am still deeply concerned as to how these animals are treated when it comes time to take them to the slaughterhouse (transportation) and then what happens to them at the place of their demise, I do my very best to consume as little meat as possible having gone about 95% vegetarian. Until we, as Canadians, decide to treat our livestock in a respectful and caring manner, I’d just as soon have as little to do with any economic practice associated with them.  I am not the only one who thinks this way; there are a growing number of us in Canada. If you don’t believe me, just go to your local grocery store and look at the how agricultural producers/manufacturers are trying to market their products: labels are now emblazoned with the terms “free range,” “open range,” “free from,” etc.) to get us to buy.

I look forward to hearing what you plan to do to protect the dolphins who are being mercilessly slaughtered in Japan.

Thank you for your attention to my concerns.

Sincerely,

Now I’m off to look for the phone number to a nearby Japanese embassy so I can call them and tell them what I think.

Please, please, please join the global effort to stop the dolphin slaughter. For more info, here’s a blog post from a doctor of veterinary medicine on the subject. He offers a petition to sign if that’s all you have time to do.

Even Yoko Ono Lennon has had her say on this (you can read her full letter here):

The way you are insisting on a big celebration of killing so many Dolphins and kidnapping some of them to sell to the zoos and restaurants at this very politically sensitive time, will make the children of the world hate the Japanese.

I think Yoko has it 100% right! Please consider doing your part to save our world’s dolphins from inhumane slaughter.

In peace, shee

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Can’t get tix to Neil Young’s Honour the Treaties concert?

NeilYoung_genericAre you like me and disappointed you can’t get tickets to a Neil Young concert supporting the fight against oil sands expansion? If so, here are some other things you can do to still feel a part of it all…

  1. Dig out an old album of Neil Young’s, put it on your turntable or in your tape or CD player. Or maybe you’ve got some Neil Young nuggets in your iTunes library. (Recommended listening: Comes A Time, Ohio, and Round & Round.)
  2. Get the music going, then head to your computer where you can learn more about the oil sands and how their development is  affecting the local people, plants, animals, and water, not to mention the rest of us here on Earth.
  3. Go online and donate to the Athasbasca Chipewyan First Nation Legal Defence Fund, the same fund Neil Young is supporting with his four-concert Honour the Treaties tour.
  4. Head over to EcoJustice, an organization that uses the law to protect the environment, to make a donation. EcoJustice just today filed a lawsuit to block approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline, a proposed project that would result in oil sands bitumen being transported across mountainous terrain to Canada’s fragile west coast.
  5. Add your name to 350.org’s petition in support of Neil Young and his environmental efforts.
  6. Share this post with your friends and family and followers to help spread the word.

After all, Canada, there “Comes A Time” when we have to stand up for what’s right! Eh?

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Today is International Peace Day!

Today, September 21, 2013, is a biggie.

In our northern hemisphere, it marks the Fall Equinox and a gradual heading into the months of winter. But, September 21 is also a big day all around the world for a much different reason–it’s International Peace Day.

In honour of International Peace Day, I am pleased to present you with the live 24-hour global broadcast of the Peace One Day celebration. These online  events will feature Jeremy Gilley, Jude Law, Elton John and many others celebrating the International Day of Peace.

May you find peace in your world every day.

Here’s to Peace One Day!

shee

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It’s a Terrific Turtle Kind of Day!

Well, what an auspicious day to return to my blog after a year or so away:
World Turtle Day!glyptemys-muhlenbergii-bog-turtle-reptile_w725_h547

I truly regret being MIA for so long, but I’ve only recently come to realize why. It turns out I’ve been suffering from WIFS, short for Well Informed Futility Syndrome. Bottom line: I just couldn’t bear to write one more blog on some despicable or short-sighted error on humanity’s part.

Anyhow, knowing your demons goes a long way towards healing. I guess this is my long-winded way of saying I’m back, I’m energized, and I’m ready to kick a little butt in the world of blogs. And, it feels good!

Hope you’ve all been thriving (or at least surviving) since I’ve been gone.

Three cheers for the turtles, gentle creatures who have been roaming our planet for over 200 million years. Sadly, our turtles are now starting to disappear due to our thoughtlessness and greed. Together we can change that, right?

shee

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No Joke: Baby Left in Wall to Die

It’s no April Fool’s joke. A baby, in this case a little puppy, was left in a wall to die. Actually, he was thrown through a hole in a wall in an upper-story apartment and fell down several stories to the basement of the building where he was abandoned, despite his tiny cries for help, for two weeks. It’s inconceivable to me, and I’m sure many others,  how anyone could do this. (Read the pup’s entire sad story here.)

Emmanuel, rescued from being trapped in a wall

I’ve long believed that we’ll start treating each other better when we start treating the animals around us better. It’s no surprise to me that humankind constantly struggles with bullying, neglect, rape, torture and all manner of abuse when it seems that all kinds of animal cruelty can regularly take place.

But, where there is darkness there is also light. Emmanuel, the wee pup who was trapped in a wall for two weeks, was rescued and survived. And he also sparked a worldwide rescue effort for his fellow animals. Emmanuel’s plight has led to the World’s Biggest Baby Shower for Animals. Baby shower gifts in the form of donations will help bring food, water, veterinary care, shelter and protection from cruelty to thousands of baby animals around the world.

The baby shower is sponsored by The Harmony Fund. The animal rescuers there remind us that we can’t do this alone anymore.

So, our participation in the World’s Biggest Baby Shower for Animals will not only help rescue animals in dire straits; it will also help us shout out to the world that we simply won’t tolerate such bad behaviour by our fellow humans anymore.

And that’s no joke.

shee

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My Favourite Astrologer Says…

Here’s an excerpt from my astrological forecast the other day. Although I left the part out strictly intended for us Virgos, I wanted to share what I thought was a rather insightful message from British astrologer, Jonathan Cainer.

Trees do not seek planning permission before they take root. Birds do not clear a flight-path before they take off. Rain does not request a licence before falling. It’s amazing how many natural processes can manage to occur without the intervention of the appropriate authorities. No doubt, in time, governments will find some way to regulate them. Meanwhile, it is nice to know that in a world of conformity and regimentation, there is still some scope for spontaneity….  

–Jonathan Cainer, excerpt from Virgo Horoscope, Feb. 4, 2012

I am hoping for more spontaneity and less control in 2012. What about you?

Cheers, shee

PS – Find out what the stars have in store for you and visit Jonathan’s website at www.cainer.com.