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Sharing some thoughts, ideas, and some laughs

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Just the Facts M’am

It has taken some work and a heck of a lot of research but I think I may have finally figured out the players and their positions on animal welfare, animal rights however this tends to change depending in the direction of the wind at any given moment which makes it difficult to stay current.

I have made every effort to acquire information that is fact based. If I have made any erroneous statements in this blog I would request that I be informed as soon as is practicable WITH documented back up information. I will then make and share corrections, deletions, and additions as is appropriate.  I have no interest in pandering to one group or another but rather feel it is imperative that those of us who are concerned with animal welfare and animal rights are not only informed but also possess the facts.

One thing we all know is there is probably no other “cause” that elicits such emotion and passion as the animal welfare  and animal rights movements. We have all witnessed how the plight of animals brings out the absolute best and worst in all of us and I am no exception. One thing I have learned is that in order to succeed in any “cause” it is imperative that one is knowledgeable and armed with facts. Granted emotions will at least temporarily render most deaf (not mute unfortunately) but ultimately those that truly wish to succeed will gravitate towards the truth and the facts.

There are a number of organizations that are front and center when it comes to animal welfare and animal rights. Each has their own raison d’etre and each have their own criteria under which they operate and for some unknown reason each seems to have problems with the others. Again, I can only assume it is due to the passion and emotion involved with animal welfare  and animal rights that causes humans to become unreasonable, unkind, insulting and in some cases dangerous to those who may not be in TOTAL agreement because partial agreement clearly is not acceptable.

Lets take a look at some of these agencies/organizations and learn who they are and what they do AND what they do NOT do for animals and animal’s welfare. For the purposes of this blog I am focusing on the position the various agencies have stated are of their concern e.g. Mandatory Spay Neuter Legislation (MSNL), Trap Neuter Return (TNR), No Kill (NK)

PLEASE NOTE: the writer does not list the agencies/organization in this reporting in any order of importance, size, and preference. They are just listed! Please also note it would be wise to have your pain relief of choice handy as this is guaranteed to bring on a headache.

Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA):click here for website

“The Ontario SPCA is an open admission, For Life, organization; we strive to accept all animals.”

The OSPCA is comprised of over 50 adoption and animal welfare centers throughout the Province of Ontario. Of these 50 centers 15 are actual branches of the OSPCA and are governed by a central Board of Directors, the remaining 35 offices are Affiliates and are governed by their own Board of Directors. The OSPCA and Humane Society are synonymous.  please click here for OSPCA Facts

The OSPCA is funded by public donations however in many cases, the Branch or Affiliate will enter into a City Contract in which the Branch or Affiliate resides to service shelters, stray pick ups, licensing, investigations and cruelty complaints and numerous other services.

The OSPCA has clearly stated that it is opposed to No Kill and does kill in order to make space. Ontario SPCA Communities keep the animal as long as space permits and an adoptable animal remains physically and mentally healthy.” “Sadly, in some cases animals may be euthanized due to shelter overcrowding. Overcrowding threatens the lives of all the animals in our care due to stress, weakened immune systems and increased risk of disease transmission” please click here for FAQ

The OSPCA operates 3 high volume low cost spay neuter clinics in Ontario These clinics are state of the art facilities and when at peak efficiency will perform over 10,000 procedures per clinic per year. CEO Kate MacDonald states, “the Veterinarian should never see the metal of the operating table”. The OSPCA promotes TNR but as yet does not operate any programs such as TNR at this time.

Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS): click here for website

“Our role is to educate Canadians about responsible pet ownership and other animal welfare issues; to advocate for the humane treatment of all animals (in communities, on farms, in research labs and in the wild); and to unite & strengthen our member societies, helping them save the lives of more animals in their communities.”

The CFHS is a national voice for ALL animal welfare advocacy including, wildlife, domestic farm and companion animals. CFHS also addresses the many concerns animal advocates have for animals used in entertainment, breeding for profit and animals used in research. CFHS is a strong voice and promotes companion animal licensing, identification and spay neutering. Without actually stating their position the inference is that CFHS would be amenable to MSNL.

The CFHS does not actively operate shelters, clinics, TNR but rather is a watchdog for animal welfare in this country. The CFHS and its programs are funded entirely by donation from the public.

The position of CFHS on shelter killing would appear to be similar to that of the OSPCA that indicates that killing for space while not encouraged is necessary. I am unable to find a direct reference to the position taken by CFHS on No Kill in the CFHS information available but have requested their position and will report same upon receipt.

 The following link contains the position statements of the CFHS on a number of issues pertaining to animals in Canada. click here for more information

This link describes the many ways that CSFH has made an incredible impact on the welfare of animals in Canada in 2012 click here

No Kill Advocacy (NKA):click here for website

NKA is about Shelter reform. That is it, not rescue, nor other animal welfare issues, however, in order to be successful in obtaining and maintaining a No Kill Shelter a number of steps are required. These mandatory steps are called the No Kill Equation,  No Kill Primer. The NKA has become a very successful product created by Nathan Winograd that calls for the cessation of shelter killings. The NK premise is that of all the animals that find themselves in shelters across the United States, at least 90% of them are savable. These animals are healthy treatable animals that are adoptable and must not be killed for any other reason than irremediable suffering and vicious dogs.  See the following Matrix-2

The focus of NKA is on Shelter reform. They do not venture into animal cruelty, breeding for profit, rescue or other welfare issues. They do however have positions on these and many issues that do impact the aforementioned. NKA is opposed to MSNL, licensing, restricting the number of companion animals per location. For further information mandatorylaws-2

NKA is nothing if they are not rabid (pun intended) in their position on shelter reform, which is a really great thing. Do not even consider suggesting that there may be a better idea or another way or maybe try something else as this will find you in violation of the code which in turn will get you slapped with at least a verbal spanking by the powers that be or even worse find your self in litigation. These folks take no prisoners. It their way or the highway and there s no other way!

The No Kill Advocacy Centre is funded by donations.

The following is a statement from the NKA Center website:

Please note: There are other organizations that use the principles and ideas of the No Kill Advocacy Center, such as No Kill Nation, No Kill Revolution and others. While we encourage and welcome them, neither we nor Nathan are affiliated with them. There has been a lot of confusion on this issue.

No Kill Nation (NKN):click here for website

What they do I am not really sure. They advocate and vehemently support everything that NKA and specifically Nathan Winograd does, says, writes, walks and talks

NKN like NKA does not get involved with anything other than shelter reform although there was at least one rescue operation for which they solicited funding,click her for link

I believe, the main focus is on the “political” and “legal” side of shelter reform.  It would appear that any and all positions taken by NKA are echoed by NKN.

NKN solicits donation from the public in order to operate

No Kill Revolution (NKR): click here for facebook page

This is a Facebook group that espouses the NKA programs

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA):click here for website

Peta is the premiere All things Animals Rights organization. They are funded by donation dollars that exceeded $35,000,000 in 2011. Love ‘em or hate ‘em it is indisputable they are the biggest, loudest, strongest animal rights operations in the world, all 3,000,000 of them. It cannot be disputed that Peta has had a significant impact on animal rights and as a result many cruel practices have been shut down and many animal now live in peace and harmony in their natural environment. They have made massive inroads into combating the fur industry with their crazy and sometimes offensive use of nudity but again it gets results. Ingrid Newkirk, founder is militant in her position on animals. She is opposed to animals being “used” in any way shape or form including companion animals guard & service dogs in fact Ms.Newkirk would like to see companion animals bred (or not ) out of existence. Regardless, there is no denying how much good Peta has accomplished for wild animals, animals used in farm, research, and entertainment. The problem begins when the nasty word euthanasia/killing crops up. Peta is all about killing any and all animals rather than have them spend time in cages or shelters. Ms. Newkirk brags of her experience in a shelter where she “killed hundreds and thousands “ of cats and dogs rather than have them suffer waiting to be adopted or euthanized by others. Apparently she kills much better than others.

Personally I think that Peta would be wise at sticking to what they do best and stay out of the sheltering business, they do a very poor job and it is obviously something in which they have no interest or any affection for. Killing 97% of the animals that enter the Norfolk Virginia Shelter is not exactly going to win over friends of the companion animal set. Again, Peta brags having some of the most important and high profile personalities amongst their supporters. That I truly do not get but heck I am just one little voice in the wilderness. For Peta’s position statements on many animal rights issues go here

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA): click here for website

“Founded in 1866, the ASPCA was the first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere. Our mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.” The ASPCA works to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws and share resources with shelters nationwide.

Over the years the ASPCA has become much more than a shelter for animals in need. The ASPCA has been involved in fighting for animals rights and their welfare at the grassroots level and all the way to the supreme court.

The ASPCA works to protect farm animals, companion animals, wildlife and animals used in entertainment to learn more click here

The ASPCA supports a number of initiatives and provides many programs to promote the care and well being of animals in the US. To read of some of their programs go to this link

The ASPCA is a strong proponent of spay and neuter, TNR and while they readily admit to resorting to killing in the vent of over crowding they have this to say about No Kill;

The ASPCA strongly supports “no kill” community coalitions (as opposed to a single organization within a community) that are committed to reducing the number of cats and dogs in that community who are at risk of becoming lost, abandoned or relinquished to shelters. Toward that end, the ASPCA supports efforts to maximize accessible and affordable spay/neuter services; practice TNR of feral cats; promote the adoption of homeless animals; educate potential guardians on pet selection, the use of microchips and visible ID tags; and provide ongoing expert training and behavior assistance to guardians so that they may live successfully with their companion animals.”

It doesn’t get much better than that. For more information on ASPCA Policy positions please click here

Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for website click here

Much like the ASPCA, the HSUS is  an animal welfare and protection agency. The work of the HSUS is geared toward the prevention of cruelty to animals all over the United States and beyond in some cases. For the most part the HSUS works with the public by educating them. There are numerous programs to we encourage the public to watch for and report animal cruelty. By educating the public HSUS encourages better animal welfare in farms, the home, the entertainment industry and in the wild.

HSUS works with the many Humane Societies across the United States as a “back up” and works to “advocating for tougher laws, innovating programs to keep pets out of harm’s way in the first place, and by providing education and support to help shelters and rescue groups do the best job possible.”

To learn more about the important work of HSUS please go to this link

HSUS is funded by donations and operated a $231,000,000 budget in 2011

So these are the big players. You would think that the welfare of animals and the protection of animal rights would be the means to a positive, cooperative, constructive  and friendly platform for these organizations to work with one another. Not so. NKA is relentless in their vicious attacks on anyone and anything that even remotely disagrees with their positions. The attacks are personal and incredibly nasty. Be it HSUS, ASPCA and especially PeTA the gloves are off. The barrage of disgusting attacks on Ingrid Newkirk and PeTA are only exceeded by the attacks by PeTA on NKA and Winograd.

Why? How does this help the animals. How does wallowing in gutter attacks save the life of one cat or dog ?

Each of these organizations have made massive contributions to animal welfare and animal rights .  I admire the founders and those that carry on the missions of these fine animal welfare and animal rights groups. Do I agree with everything they say or do, heck no, but I respect their efforts to make the world a better place for the animals. What is it about people that makes us feel threatened by a different idea, position, approach, style and what is it about us that we resort to the lowest possible methods of attacking those by whom we feel threatened?

Very recently, I removed myself from the organizing committee of a movement about which I am very passionate. I did it because I knew by remaining involved on the “front lines” it would be divisive and as a result counter productive. There are strong able bodied people that are every bit as passionate if not more so that are at the helm of this cause  so I am in no fear of the desire to make the dream come true. So rather attacking  or undermining these fine people and their efforts, I choose to encourage from the sidelines and contribute where and when appropriate. I shall be among the first to congratulate their success applaud their efforts.

In their interim, there are plenty of animals in need. I shall find a niche to help.


The good, the bad and the very ugly

Bigot (big-uh t), noun, intolerant prejudiced person

Synonyms- chauvinist, diehard, doctrinaire, dogmatist, extremist, fanatic, fiend, maniac, monomaniac, racist, sectarian, segregationist, zealot

Antonyms – humanitarian, tolerant, liberal

I am appalled by the vicious, ugly attacks on the native community being made by supposedly intelligent, respectable citizens of this country against its first and true citizens.

Regardless of how one feels about an issue it is just plain wrong to take malicious attacks on the traditions, cultures, religions and beliefs of others.

There have been articles in newspapers and on line reporting the “flash” mob drumming circles and dancing in support of Idle No More. It is truly disturbing that there are so many people that feel it is their right to minimalize others just because they may be different. The comments that are being made and printed are nasty, unnecessary, viscious and in some cases racist. For the most part the comments have little or nothing to do with the movement but rather just shots at Native Canadians.

Idle No More is not just a native issue it is a people issue. I do not profess to understand or appreciate all of the ramifications of Bill C-45 but I am making it my job to learn so that I may speak with some knowledge and integrity. THEN, I will be in a position to comment. Sadly more people do not share in my desire to learn but would rather strike out in ignorance. click here for Idle No More Blogspot

Here in the Niagara Region, specifically St Catharines, there is a deer hunt scheduled for the next two weekends in one of the most beautiful and certainly the largest park in the area. This park is abundant with wildlife including many deer herds. “Brian Skye, one of three people in the Haudenosaunee’s wildlife and habitat authority which is organizing the hunt, said the park was picked because of reports of the overabundance of deer.” It is true there are a great number of deer in the park and yet it would appear there is a good balance of nature at this time. This is not a “cull” hunt. It is a hunt that was agreed to and is permissible by treaty. The hunt is 4 days long over two weekends.  There shall be about 20 hunters per day armed only with bows. It is a righteous hunt. click here for St Catharines Standard article

Assuming the hunt is carried out in the manner of native tradition and I do hope that it will be so,  I can assure all of those who are concerned about the welfare of the deer, these animals shall be treated with respect and dignity. That is a hell of a lot more than can be said about the millions of turkeys that were devoured Christmas Day or the millions of pigs, cows and chickens that are slaughtered to feed the vast majority of those who find this single hunt so reprehensible. Remember that when you are being asked “how do you like your steak?” Unless you are a vegetarian, opposing the hunting of deer or anything else is about as hypocritical as it gets.

“Part of what we originally had in our treaties was the right to harvest natural things,” he said. (Brian Skye)

Again, regardless of whether one agrees with the hunt or does not, it is totally inappropriate to make derogatory, disgusting, racist comments about those Native Canadians that shall be involved in the hunt.

This is prejudice, this is bigotry, this is wrong!

I recognize the names of a number of those who are opposed to the hunt and who have also registered their lack of tolerance for Idle No More movement and especially its participants. I am horrified to discover how many “pillars” of St Catharines Society are so incredibly hypocritical and intolerant.

Have we learned nothing? Every November we all wear poppies”Lest We Forget” and we all swear up and down that we shall never allow a repeat of the genocides in history or the persecution of the innocent for their beliefs. What is it about we humans that makes us hate the way we do. Why are we so threatened by different cultures and colours and beliefs. Truly, I am not being sanctimonious, I would really like to know why. I have been as guilty as anyone and I would really like to know what it is that is inherently in our nature to be cruel and unkind.

While researching for this blog I came across an absolutely fascinating website. It is called Understanding Prejudice. This is a really neat website as it offers the opportunity to not only learn about prejudice but also has a number of “tests” which are very enlightening. For those who are open minded and interested in learning more about themselves and their “prejudice”, it is well worth the investment of a bit of time. click here to go to Understanding Prejudice website

I am fully aware I am not going to make any friends by writing this post. Frankly those “friends” that choose to no longer enjoy my company as a result of this post are of no loss to me.  I do know however that I shall be able to look at myself in the mirror with complete comfort knowing that I have spoken out and stood up for that in which I believe. I believe in rights, human and animal rights. I believe that people have the right to love whom they choose, pray to their god or not, live in the manner they so choose so long as they are not bringing any harm to anyone else. I believe in the right to speak and write what is true. I may not agree with what others say, or do or believe but I will defend their right to do so. I am opposed to the violation of rights be it against humans or animals.

The following is the the Native American Code of Ethics:

  1. Each morning upon rising, and each evening before sleeping, give thanks for the life within you and for all life, for the good things the Creator has given you and for the opportunity to grow a little more each day. Consider your thoughts and actions of the past day and seek for the courage and strengthto be a better person. Seek for the things that will benefit others (everyone).
  2. Respect. Respect means “To feel or show honor or esteem for someone or something; to consider the well being of, or to treat someone or somethin with deference or courtesy”. Showing respect is a basic law of life.a. Treat every person from the tiniest child to the oldest elder with respect at all times.b. Special respect should be given to Elders, Parents, Teachers, and Community Leaders.c. No person should be made to feel “put down” by you; avoid hurting other hearts as you would avoid a deadly poison.d. Touch nothing that belongs to someone else (especially Sacred Objects) without permission, or an understanding between you.e. Respect the privacy of every person, never intrude on a person’s quiet moment or personal space.f. Never walk between people that are conversing.

    g. Never interrupt people who are conversing.

    h. Speak in a soft voice, especially when you are in the presence of Elders, strangers or others to whom special respect is due.

    i. Do not speak unless invited to do so at gatherings where Elders are present (except to ask what is expected of you, should you be in doubt).

    j. Never speak about others in a negative way, whether they are present or not.

    k. Treat the earth and all of her aspects as your mother. Show deep respect for the mineral world, the plant world, and the animal world. Do nothing to pollute our Mother, rise up with wisdom to defend her.

    l. Show deep respect for the beliefs and religion of others.

    m. Listen with courtesy to what others say, even if you feel that what they are saying is worthless. Listen with your heart.

    n. Respect the wisdom of the people in council. Once you give an idea to a council meeting it no longer belongs to you. It belongs to the people. Respect demands that you listen intently to the ideas of others in council and that you do not insist that your idea prevail. Indeed you should freely support the ideas of others if they are true and good, even if those ideas ideas are quite different from the ones you have contributed. The clash of ideas brings forth the Spark of Truth.

  3. Once a council has decided something in unity, respect demands that no one speak secretly against what has been decided. If the council has made an error, that error will become apparent to everyone in its own time.
  4. Be truthful at all times, and under all conditions.
  5. Always treat your guests with honor and consideration. Give of your best food, your best blankets, the best part of your house, and your best service to your guests.
  6. The hurt of one is the hurt of all, the honor of one is the honor of all.
  7. Receive strangers and outsiders with a loving heart and as members of the human family.
  8. All the races and tribes in the world are like the different colored flowers of one meadow. All are beautiful. As children of the Creator they must all be respected.
  9. To serve others, to be of some use to family, community, nation, and the world is one of the main purposes for which human beings have been created. Do not fill yourself with your own affairs and forget your most important talks. True happiness comes only to those who dedicate their lives to the service of others.
  10. Observe moderation and balance in all things.
  11. Know those things that lead to your well-being, and those things that lead to your destruction.

The following is the Ten Commandments:

ONE: ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.

TWO: ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

THREE: ‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

FOUR: ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

FIVE: ‘Honor your father and your mother.

SIX: ‘You shall not murder.

SEVEN: ‘You shall not commit adultery.

EIGHT: ‘You shall not steal.

NINE: ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

TEN: ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.

The Following are the Core Beliefs of Budhism


The First Noble Truth
Unsatisfactoriness and suffering exist and are universally experienced.

The Second Noble Truth
Desire and attachment are the causes of unsatisfactoriness and suffering.

The Third Noble Truth
There is an end to unsatisfactoriness and suffering.

The Fourth Noble Truth
The end can be attained by journeying on the Noble Eightfold Path.


1. Right View/Understanding
(Understanding the Four Noble Truths)See things as they truly are without delusions or distortions for all things change. Develop wisdom by knowing how things work, knowing oneself and others.

2. Right Thinking

Decide to set a life on the correct path. Wholehearted resolution and dedication to overcoming the dislocation of self-centered craving through the development of loving kindness, empathy and compassion.

3. Right Speech

Abstinence from lies and deceptions, backbiting, idle babble and abusive speech. Cultivate honesty and truthfulness; practice speech that is kind and benevolent. Let your words reflect your desire to help, not harm others.

4.Right Conduct

(Following the Five Precepts) – Practice self-less conduct that reflects the highest statement of the life you want to live. Express conduct that is peaceful, honest and pure showing compassion for all beings.

5. Right Livelihood

Earn a living that does not harm living things. Avoidance of work that causes suffering to others or that makes a decent, virtuous life impossible. Do not engage in any occupation that opposes or distracts one from the path. Love and serve our world through your work.

6. Right Effort

Seek to make the balance between the exertion of following the spiritual path and a moderate life that is not over-zealous. Work to develop more wholesome mind states, while gently striving to go deeper and live more fully.

7. Right Mindfulness
Become intensely aware of all the states in body, feeling, and mind. Through constant vigilance in thought, speech and action seek to rid the mind of self-centered thoughts that separate and replace them with those that bind all beings together. Be aware of your thoughts, emotions, body and world as they exist in the present moment. Your thoughts create your reality.

8. Right Concentration
Deep meditation to lead to a higher state of consciousness (enlightenment). Through the application of meditation and mental discipline seek to extinguish the last flame of grasping consciousness and develop an emptiness that has room to embrace and love all things.


The Five Precepts are basic ethical guidelines for the followers of Buddhism.
They are undertaken voluntarily, rather than as commandments from a god.

Essentially, these precepts promote harmony and reduce suffering between ourselves
and others. The underpinning moral code has two qualities: compassion (karuna)
and loving kindness (metta), which are used as the guiding principles in life.

1. I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.

2. I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.

3. I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.

4. I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.

5. I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicatants.