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15th March 2011

Highlighted Campaign for March 2011

Hello from Sierra Leone!

After being here for only a week and a half, I am saddened by the sheer numbers of stray dogs roaming the streets of the capital city, Freetown. While one day I smiled watching a very cute toy Chihuahua playing with an equally cute medium sized bitser, generally I am deeply upset by copious numbers of stray dogs, many of them looking hungry or ill, yet with most females either nursing or pregnant. I wasn’t sure if I would find anything about this issue on the internet, but I did go ahead and google it as I am aware of programs elsewhere in the world trying to help stray dog populations, such as in Bali, Indonesia.

I did find that the UK arm of WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals) has a posting about this issue which really explained to me what I am seeing. It explains that the huge population of stray dogs in Freetown has come about because of the overcrowding and desperately poor living conditions present in the capital city since the end of the civil war in 2002 (the population in Freetown exploded from 1 million to 2 million in less than 5 years). A build up of refuse and biological waste has provided a food source for stray dogs and consequently they have bred freely. It is now believed that Freetown has the highest stray dog population in the whole of Africa. From what I have seen I can truly believe this to be true. Although solutions to this problem can’t be easy and may not happen in a timely manner, WSPA is working with Sierra Leone Animal Welfare Society (SLAWS) to try to address the issue in a humane manner.

To read the posting take a look at:

Also an interesting read is:

Although since it was posted back in February 2010, I am unsure if this gentleman is still active in Freetown. I hope he is!

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6th February 2011

Highlighted Campaign for February 2011

RSPCA Flood Appeal

With the recent devastating flooding in Queensland (and indeed further south also) and with now the effects of Cyclone Yasi too, I think it’s important to remember not only to help all the humans who have been impacted, but all the animals who need our help too.  There are several organisations out there committed to this goal, RSPCA being one of the major ones.  You can donate to them at the following link to help their work:  https://donate.rspcaqld.org.au/flood

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5th January 2011

Highlighted Campaign for January 2011

My apologies for skipping November and December 2010 – Please don’t take the lack of a campaign posting to mean that I can’t find a good one to mention…  There are so many groups out there campaigning on a variety of issues which are important to vegetarians and vegans.  Let’s start 2011 by highlighting a campaign which has a very simple message:

Meatless Mondays Australia  – Check out their website at http://meatlessmondays-australia.com/ 
The Australian arm of Meatless Mondays is one of ten around the globe,  including in USA, Canada and Britain.  Aiming to promote the benefits on both the environment and on health, Meatless Mondays is encouraging people to at least eat meatless one day of the week.  Reducing meat consumption by 15%, ie one day of the week, lessens the risk of chronic preventable illness and helps slow climate change.  The website has some easy to read facts on the state of Australian’s health and our environment.  The site also has some great vegetarian and vegan recipes, highlighting how delicious vegie food can be.

How can we support them?  Spread the Meatless Mondays message – the more people who take part, the greater the difference that can be made.  So get your family, friends, school, workplace, organisation, cafe, restaurant, shop, EVERYONE, involved.  The website has downloadable posters, flyers and pamphlets.

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1st October 2010

Highlighted Campaign for October 2010

International Veg Week Challenge October 1 – 7

“Vegetarian as a general concept is a brilliant thing… We’ve got to stop eating so much meat. We are eating too much meat.” — Jamie Oliver

Can we encourage our non-vegie friends to save the lives of two animals in the next week by taking the challenge of being meat free for at least one week??

International Vegetarian Week celebrates a compassionate choice for a kinder world.  If all Australians went meat-free for just one week, we could spare almost 10 million animals from the horrors of factory farms.

Check out the campaign at: http://www.animalsaustralia.org/features/veg-week/ 


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9th September 2010

Highlighted Campaign for September 2010

GM Food: Our Right to Know

“People have a right to know what they are eating.” Margeret Fulton
“I want my grandchildren to taste real, natural and healthy food.” Stefano de Pieri
“If we are to get GM canola, it should be labelled, and if it is not labelled, we should all ask why.” Dr Rosemary Stanton, nutritionist

The introduction of genetically modified food in to the food chain is removing a choice that we Australians take for granted – that of choosing what we do and don’t want to eat.  Many people hold real concerns about the safety of GM foods and therefore consumers should have the right to know if either an ingredient in the food they are buying is GM or if the food is a product of an animal which has been fed on a GM food. 

You can sign a petition to the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, the Honourable Nicola Roxon, calling on the Federal Government to keep its promises and to protect public health and consumer choice by introducing, and strictly enforcing, legislation to ensure that:

  • GM crops are only approved if they are proven to be safe ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ using evidence from independent, long-term, published studies – measuring indicators relevant to human health.
  • All GM foods are clearly labelled, including highly processed products such as oils, starches and sugars from GM crops; and meat, milk, cheese and eggs from animals fed GM feed.

Find the petition at http://www.truefood.org.au/OurRightToKnow/

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22nd August 2010

Campaign Update for August 2010

As an update to last month’s highlighted campaign, it is exciting to report that the campaign to ban bullfighting in the Spanish region of Catalonia was successful.  See more at the following website:  http://www.care2.com/causes/animal-welfare/blog/success-bullfighting-banned-in-catalonia-spain/

It is encouraging and hopefully just the beginning of a major change in Spain with regards to the barbaric bullfight which many people are disgusted by, both Spaniards and the international community alike.

Congratulations to everyone who raised their voice in support of the ban!

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23rd July 2010

Last Minute Highlighted Campaign For July

Every year, hundreds of thousands of bulls die in the name of entertainment. But this may change because the Catalonian government is on the verge of voting for a ban on bullfighting.


After a huge anti-cruelty campaign by the Catalonian public, the regional parliament will vote on July 28th whether to ban bullfights for good. You can sign a petition to let every Catalonian MP know there are thousands of people around the world who want to end this cruel ‘sport’.  Go to http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/191/648/950?z00m=19868613 to sign your name.  But hurry!

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28th June 2010

Highlighted Campaign for June/July

(My apologies for a lack of highlighted campaign for May, and this one barely scraping in to June, I may as well marry it up to July…)

While the World Cup is in the media’s headlines, activist groups are taking the opportunity to campaign against the slaughtering of kangaroos and their joeys to make football (soccer) boots.  Read the following newspaper article in the Daily Mail, 22 June, 2010: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1288639/WORLD-CUP-2010-John-Terry-kangaroo-skin-football-boots.html
There are some graphic photos there, so please be prepared.  Have a look at VIVA (Vegetarians International Voice for Animals) website at:  http://www.viva.org.uk/  for further information about the campaign.  There is a link on their website to their Save the Kangaroo campaign (http://www.savethekangaroo.com/) where you can sign a petition asking the EU to become a kangaroo meat and leather free zone.

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9th April 2010

Highlighted Campaign for April 2010

Being the season of “Easter”, or as we Orthodox call it, “Pascha”, I thought it appropriate to highlight the plight of chickens.  This topic occuring to me because for many months in the lead up to the season, we see chocolate chickens and Easter eggs for sale in the shops, and on Pascha, it is the Orthodox tradition to have boiled eggs which are dyed red,  and play a game of smashing them at the table whilst saying “Christ is Risen”, seeing whose egg will be the strongest and not break.  The egg symbolising new life and the red the blood of Jesus. And while chicken dishes may not be the traditional food of Easter for many of our ominverous friends, why not take the opportunity to talk about the plight of both the laying chickens and the “broiler” chickens (those destined to be eaten).

Outlining the cruelties which occur in the farming of both these groups of chickens on this site would be “preaching to the converted”, so I won’t go in to it too much.  If you want to read further about the welfare issues in the farming of “broiler chickens” go to:

If you want to read something on the welfare issues of battery hens, go to:

 Check out this British campaign to get people to go free range: http://www.chickenout.tv

In Australia, approximately 80% of laying chickens are kept in cages.  But it seems that slowly the public is changing it’s mind and the demand for free range eggs is increasing.  Both Woolworths and McDonalds are talking about decreasing their use of cage eggs.  People argue that the demand for cage eggs will never cease as it is the most affordable option for the budget conscious shopper, but we can always hope that over time, with the increasing awareness of the public, that figure of 80% will at least drop.

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8th March 2010

Highlighted Campaign for March 2010

Some time ago, I was looking at various websites about preventing animal cruelty, and promoting animals rights and all the things that we vegetarians are interested in, as we love and want to care about animals and protect them from the evils inflicted upon them.  One of the websites (which one I unfortunately can’t remember) said something about animal lovers wanting to care for their fellow human beings, as they are animals too.  It struck a chord with me at the time, as I think you will agree with me that in general, people who love animals are the sort of people who also tend to try and help others (ie their fellow humans) where they can.  Thinking about it has given rise to this post, which doesn’t highlight a campaign exactly.

Following is a short list of some of my favourite groups or charities which aim to alleviate the plight of a suffering humanity (in no particular order, with perhaps the exception of the first one!)

  • Mercy Ships (www.mercyships.org) – a global charity bringing “hope and healing to the world’s forgotten poor”, operating hospital ships in developing nations
  • CityCare Brisbane (www.citycare.org.au) – provides community services to marginalised people in Brisbane, eg the homeless, empowering them for a better future, bringing hope and opportunity to those facing hardship
  • Medecins Sans Frontieres (www.msf.org) – also known as Doctors Without Borders – an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural or man-made disasters
  • Lifeline (www.lifeline.org.au) – crisis support service, with the well known telephone crisis line
  • Christian Blind Mission (www.cbm.org.au) – an international development organisation dedicated to improving quality of life for people with disabilities in the world’s poorest countries
  • Australian Red Cross (www.redcross.org.au) – provides over 60 community services, ranging from blood supplies and disaster services to first aid and refugee services.
  • Paradise Kids 4 Africa (www.pk4a.org.au) – seeks to help “break the vicious cycle of poverty through love and education.” Supports the work of Rev Dr Themi Adamopoulo who heads the Orthodox Mission to Sierra Leone
  • Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA (www.apheda.org.au) – fights for global social justice, for human rights, genuine sustainable development, self-determination, workers’ rights, equality, freedom and democracy. Most projects are in partnership with local unions or community organisations, and provide education and training to working people.

Certainly this should not be taken as anything like a comprehensive list, as there are a multitude of committed organisations out there doing great things for people every day.

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