SONG OF THE WEEK

In light of Madonna’s MDNA tour reaching North America and playing her first show in Canada in Montreal tonight – I think it was appropriate to choose a Madonna song as the song of the week.  Madonna is a trend-setter in music and fashion – she is a Director, Actress and the most successful solo-touring artist of all-time.  What more is there to say?

Today – I was picked as a ‘twitter’ winner of pit tickets to see Madonna in Montreal today (talk about the power of intention) and am so grateful to see her again in my favourite Canadian city!

The Madonna song I pick as ‘Song of the Week’ is called Physical Attraction – it is the first song I ever heard from her and I became a fan since!!!  Her self-titled debut album was the beginning music that would span from the early 80’s until today.  She has had countless # 1 singles and is the most successful female artist to date.  Physical Attraction takes me back to a time of fun, love, laughter and innocence and I’m going back again now…..ENJOY!

MADONNA – Physical Attraction

You say that you need my love
And you’re wantin’ my body, I don’t mind
Baby all I’ve got is time
And I’m waiting to make you mine

You say you wanna stay the night
But you’ll leave me tomorrow, I don’t care
All of your moves are right
We can take it anywhere, this

Chorus:

Physical attraction
It’s a chemical reaction
It’s a physical attraction
It’s a chemical reaction, yeah
Sweet satisfaction, yeah

Trying hard to get away
But I can’t seem to fight the way I feel
Even though you’re not for real
Your touch is driving me

Crazy and when you smile
It’s just makin’ me want you more and more
Baby won’t you stay a while
It could be such a fantasy, this

(chorus)

Intermediate:

Maybe we were meant to be together
Even though we never met before
We got to move before the sun is rising, mmm
And you’ll be walking slowly out the door
Out the door

(Spoken:)
You’re confusing me
‘Cause I don’t know if you want me
But I know that I want you
And that’s nothing to be ashamed of
What are you gonna do?

Well, you say that you need my love
And you’re wantin’ my body, I don’t mind
Baby all I’ve got is time
And I’m waiting to make you mine

You say you wanna stay the night
But you’ll leave me tomorrow, I don’t care
All of your moves are right
We can take it anywhere, this

Attraction [Physical attraction]
Reaction
It’s so much satisfaction

Attraction [Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh]
Reaction
So much satisfaction

It’s a physical, a physical
A physical attraction
A chemical, a chemical reaction

A physical, physical attraction
A chemical, a chemical reaction

A physical, a physical attraction
A chemical, chemical reaction

I WANT TO TALK ABOUT ”REAL MARRIAGE” ANN ROMNEY.

During the Republican National Convention on August 28, 2012 – Ann Romney spoke for just over 20 minutes.  She spoke briefly about how great it is to be an American but mostly, she spoke of love.  She spoke of how much love she and Mitt have for each other and said that some people thought they had a storybook marriage, here is her quote;  “…story book marriage, not at all.  What Mitt and I have is a real marriage”.  I know that many American’s do not think that same-sex couples being married would not be legitimate – but wouldn’t a same-sex marriage be as ‘real’ (it may not be legal right now) as a heterosexual marriage?  I’m not American and I am completely outraged at such a statement.  Is her marriage more legitimate and real than many same-sex couples who have been given that right to marry ?

I have been with my partner in a loving, caring, respectful and committed relationship for over 18 years.  We never really thought about marriage because it was not legal in Ontario, Canada until 2003 (see statistics below).  When it did become legal – we celebrated by ensuring our union was just as important as our peers and married each other.  I have shared so much with Jason.  We have gone through many, many good times but we also had moments that really tested our relationship – we argued, we cried, we laughed.  We grew together in our relationship – we learned to communicate with each other thereby creating a much stronger relationship and bond.  We have and still go through what most married couples go through – we are no different than our heterosexual peers.   Why must Ann Romney point out that she is in a ‘real’ marriage?

Republicans (and Conservatives in Canada), have got to stop throwing the importance of family and family values in our faces – do we not understand the importance of family as gay people?  I don’t understand what makes them think that their lives are so much more legitimate than ours.  Is it their religious beliefs?  Maybe,  but just because I don’t go to their church or belong to their congregation doesn’t make them morally superior than myself or my spouse.

If Ann Romney wants to talk about the love that she and her husband Mitt have for their  fellow American ‘brothers and sisters’ – than why don’t they start by recognizing that love and real marriage should not be exclusive to many same-sex couples.   Most of us are as committed and in love as they are?  Don’t give me the religious argument either – I don’t buy it and besides, I believe and think that the religious beliefs of our elected officials should not affect any choices they make in their political careers.  Religion has no place in politics and politics have no place in religion!

My message to Ann Romney – There is no such thing as ‘real’ marriage because all marriage is real and my marriage to my wonderful spouse is just as legitimate as yours is to Mitt.

GAY MARRIAGE IN CANADA

Same-sex marriage became legal in all of Canada on July 20, 2005, when the “Civil Marriage Act” took effect. Before that, several provinces began legalizing same-sex marriage on their own, the first being Ontario on June 10, 2003. 

Other provinces legalized gay marriage on the following dates: 

British Columbia, 8 July 2003 
Quebec, 16 March 2004 
Yukon Territories, 16 July 2004 
Manitoba, 16 September 2004 
Nova Scotia, 24 September 2004 
Saskatchewan, 5 November 2004 
Newfoundland and Labrador, 21 December 2004 
New Brunswick 23 June 2005

In 2003, the Ontario Court of Appeals upheld a lower court verdict making same-sex marriage legal in Ontario. Ontario was the first jurisdiction in North America to have same-sex marriage legalized, leading the way for the eventual passage of the federal Civil Marriage Act (defining marriage as a “union of two persons”) in 2005 making Canada the fourth country in the world and the first in the Americas to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.

WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!

Together we can make the world a more positive one!

DOES A WOMAN HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE HER OWN DECISIONS ABOUT HER BODY?

There has always been controversy surrounding abortion.  A few of the arguments made by pro-lifers are:

  • that life begins at conception therefore, abortion is akin to murder as it is the act of taking human life
  • in terms of rape/incest – abortion punishes the unborn child who committed no crime; instead, it is the perpetrator who should be punished

Pro-choices argue the pro-lifers points as follows:

  • nearly all abortions take place in the first trimester, when a fetus cannot exist independent of the mother as it is attached by the placenta and umbilical cord, its health is dependent on her health, and cannot exist outside her womb
  • in the case of rape/incest – forcing a woman made pregnant by this violent act would cause further psychological harm to the victim

William Todd Akin is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s 2nd congressional district, serving since 2001. He is a member of the Republican Party and made the following statement on an interview in which he is asked whether he believes abortion is justified in cases of rape and replies that rape does not result in pregnancy.

“It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.

Shauna Prewitt not only got pregnant as a result of rape, but she decided to keep the baby and then was forced to go to court with her attacker over custody and visitation issues.  When researching her case, Prewitt learned that 31 states allow men who father through rape “to assert the same custody and visitation rights to their children that other fathers enjoy.”

I know of 1 woman who was raped as a child by her grandfather – that rape led to her contracting HIV.  I never asked but I always thought, what if she happened to get pregnant as a result of that rape – would the baby be infected to and would she entertain the thought of abortion?  The other woman (a young teenager at the time) – became pregnant as a result of not using contraception.  She indicated many reasons for not going through with the pregnancy – she was not capable of having this child and she didn’t the financial resources to ensure a proper upbringing.  She also incited fear of what her parents would do if they found out she was pregnant – would she be a pregnant and homeless teenager?  2 very different reasons to have an abortion but each of these reasons lead me to believe that we should be more honest and involve ourselves with our children’s lives.  In the case of the child who was raped – she should have had the support to deal with her trauma; instead there was denial, anger, resentment and disbelief from the child’s mother – which led the child to runaway from home.  The teenager who became pregnant was not informed about contraception and has misconceptions about birth control and sex that lead her to become pregnant – do we blame her?  Is this not the perfect argument for sex education in schools or for parents to be frank with their children in discussions of sex and how to be responsible when they do become sexually active?  What do we do as a society instead?  We let our judgements, our religious beliefs and politicians decide what is the right or wrong thing to do when, quite frankly, there should only be 1 person who should have the right to make a decision – THE WOMAN, she is the one who has ownership of her body, no-one else.

I really don’t understand women who require a man to make a decision for them, especially when the end result has no effect on the man.  If I was a woman – I would be livid at the remarks some of these politicians make in terms of women’s rights such as; pay equity, abortion, employment etc.  For me, there is not debate about abortion.  There should definitely be a conversation and discussion between the women and a proper health-care practitioner and even a psychologist but, ultimately it is the women who have the final say as to what they should or should not be able to do with their bodies.

According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) here are some current rape statistics:

  • 44% of victims are under age 18
  • 80% are under age 30
  • every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted
  • each year, there are about 207,754 victims of sexual assault
  • 54% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police
  • 97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail
  • approximately 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim
  • 38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance

For further information on the above statistics, please visit:

www.rainn.org

The above statistics do not support progress in the areas of sexual assault and rape, what these statistics suggest is that rapists can continue to do what they do without fear of the consequences of their actions.  So, when politicians like Todd Akin start spewing such bullshit as the statement above – they are perpetuating a rapist culture.  Mr. Akin would not have to make a retraction or apologize for his statement had he researched rape or sexual assault.  Statement like this only hurt one individual – the victim.  These politicians (mostly Republican or Conservatives) need to separate their ‘biblical’ ideologies and need to understand that it is a different world and they really need to be present to it.

I applaud all those who ‘stand their ground’ against intolerance and ignorance.  I applaud all those women who fought for and continue to fight against those who want to oppress them!  I applaud all those who fight for positive change in our world – this post is to THANK all those individuals who fight for positive change everyday!

Together we can make the world a more positive one!

SONG OF THE WEEK

My song of the week is by a band I have been listening to for over 20 years.  They are ERASURE.  My first ever cd purchase was the cd entitled ‘The Innocents’ (prior to that I was buying vinyl and cassettes) which included the North American hits ‘Chains of Love’ and ‘A Little Respect’.  I look forward to anything they release and always with great anticipation.  I have all their full-length cd releases and countless cd singles/maxis/remixes. 

I Say I Say I Say – was released in late spring of 1994 and easily became my favourite Erasure album.  I love the album artwork – cartoon versions of Andy Bell and Vince Clark in what seems to be a fairy tale world.  The songs seemed to reflect the album artwork of escaping to a world of fantasy were only love exists.  I won tickets (including backstage passes to meet the band) from NOW magazine on their  ‘Tomorrow’s World’ tour – I brought a limited edition cd of this album which I had Andy Bell and Vince Clark sign.  I was in awe in meeting Erasure because their music has been such a huge part of my life.  The one song that really stands out is ‘Because You’re So Sweet’ – as I mentioned, this album came out just as met Jason (who I am now married to).   I become very emotional each time I hear this song – as the mood, lyrics and music of the song capture exactly how I feel about Jason.  This was ‘unofficially’ our wedding song and I always fantazied that when Jason and I did get married, I would somehow manage to have Erasure – Andy Bell and Vince Clark,  come out and perform the song live for us. 

Erasure has released some of the most brilliant pop/dance/electronic music of the 20th century – Classic albums such as; Wonderland, The Circus, The Innocents, Wild, Chorus, I Say I Say I Say, Erasure, Cowboy, Loveboat, Other People’s Songs, Nightbird, Union Street, Light At The End of the World and their latest – Tomorrow’s World.   Their singles/hits are to numerous to mention but I absolutely love the songs – My Heart So Blue, Cry So Easy, The Circus, Spiralling, A Little Respect, Heart of Stone, You Surround Me, Piano Song, 2,000 Miles, Love To Hate You, Siren Song, Perfect Stranger, Because You’re So Sweet, Blues Away, Take Me Back, Rock Me Gently, Sono Luminous, Fingers and Thumbs (Cold Summer’s Day), Worlds On Fire, Save Me Darling, Where In The World, Alien, Catch 22, No Doubt, Breathe, Sweet Surrender, I Could Fall In Love With You, Be With You, Fill Us With Fire, A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot (whew) – those are just some of my favorites (not to mention all of the hits).

BECAUSE YOU’RE SO SWEET

Because you’re so sweet
You lift my heart and I fall back again
But I don’t know quite which way to turn

The light in your eyes
Touches the sky and I’m your man again
And you hold me as close as close can be

And many’s the time
That you’ve enchanted me
Now I want you back
Here in my lovin’ arms for eternity

Your look and you smile
Warm me inside ’cause you’re so good to me
A beauty filled with the joys of spring

No love is too pure
To give to the world in her naivety
Or too tender to caress with a simple kiss

And many’s the time
That you’ve enchanted me
Now I want you back
Here in my lovin’ arms for eternity

And many’s the time
That you’ve enchanted me
I want you back
Back in my lovin’ arms for eternity

To my wonderful and beautiful Jason!

For information about Erasure releases, tours, news etc – please visit http://www.erasureinfo.com/

10 Destinations I Would Most Want To Visit

I am sure there are many beautiful countries, cities and destinations in the world that would pique my interest and curiosity but none would be as exhilarating as the following:

1.  The Mahabodhi Temple (Great Enlightenment/Great Awakening) in Bodhgaya, India

This Buddhist temple is located in Bodh Gaya – the location where Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha), is said to have attained enlightenment.  Located next to the temple is the holy Bodhi Tree (“Tree of Awakening” also know as Bo Tree).  After 49 days of meditation, it was here that Siddharta Guatama became the Buddha, the “Enlightened One”.

http://www.sacred-destinations.com/india/bodhgaya-mahabodhi-temple

2.  Uluru/Ayers Rock, Australia

The cultural landscapes of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park resonate with meaning. They contain creation stories and the associated knowledge of law, relationships, plants, and animals, all of which live in the shapes and features of the land.

Places where significant events in the Anangu story occurred are held as sacred sites. Anangu have the responsibility and obligation to care for the land in a proper way. As such, tourists are not permitted access to certain significant or sacred sites. Even inadvertent access to these can be sacrilegious.

http://www.sacred-destinations.com/australia/uluru-ayers-rock

3.  Temple of Confucius, China

Kong Miao, the Temple of Confucius, is located in Qufu in Shandong province. The origins of the temple date back to the 5th century B.C., shortly after the Sage’s death.

Living in the State of Lu (Qufu City in Shandong Province) during the Spring and Warring Period (770 BC – 476 BC), Confucius was a great educationalist, ideologist and the founder of Confucianism and private schools in China. He was born on September, 8th, 551 BC. Through his righteousness, optimism and enterprising spirit he has influenced greatly the character of the Chinese people from generation to generation.

His main idea is to administer the country with morals. Regarding personal relationships he once said that ‘Do not do unto others what you would not want others to do unto you’. He advocated the syncretism of nature and human beings and suggested that people live harmoniously with nature.

In addition, he thought that a country should develop culture and economy at the same time. People should not only be benevolent to others but also cherish every object. In short, he aimed to establish a world of great harmony. For over two thousand years, Confucianism has guided numerous people’s behavior and has been the mainstream of Chinese culture. In recent years, his great ideas have been accepted by many people all over the world.

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/704

Meiji Shrine, Japan

Meiji Jingu is a Shinto shrine. Shinto is called Japan’s ancient original religion, and it is deeply rooted in the way of Japanese life. Shinto has no founder, no holy book, and not even the concept of religious conversion, but Shinto values for example harmony with nature and virtues such as “Magokoro (sincere heart)”. In Shinto, some divinity is found as Kami (divine spirit), or it may be said that there is an unlimited number of Kami. You can see Kami in mythology, in nature, and in human beings. From ancient times, Japanese people have felt awe and gratitude towards such Kami and dedicated shrines to many of them.  This shrine is dedicated to the divine souls of Emperor Meiji and his consort Empress Shoken (their tombs are in Kyoto).  Emperor Meiji passed away in 1912 and Empress Shoken in 1914. After their demise, people wished to commemorate their virtues and to venerate them forever. So they donated 100,000 trees from all over Japan and from overseas, and they worked voluntarily to create this forest. Thus, thanks to the sincere heart of the people, this shrine was established on November 1, 1920.

Facts about Meiji Jingu:
Enshrined deities: souls of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken
Foundation: November 1, 1920
Area: 700,000 m2 (inner precinct)
Forest: 170,000 trees of 245 species (as of 2008)

http://www.meijijingu.or.jp/english/

4.  Lotus Temple, New Delhi, India

The Bahá’í Faith is a world religion whose purpose is to unite all races and peoples in one universal Cause and one common Faith. Bahá’is are the followers of Bahá’u’lláh, Who they believe is the Promised One of all Ages.

The traditions of almost every people include the promise of a future when peace and harmony will be established on earth and humankind will live in prosperity. We believe that the promised hour has come and that Bahá’u’lláh is the great Personage Whose teachings will enable humanity to build a new world.

http://www.bahaihouseofworship.in

5.  Po Lin Monastery & Tian Tan Buddha, China

Once merely a remote monastery hidden by lush, mountain scenery, the Po Lin Monastery made it to the world map when the extraordinary Tian Tan Buddha statue (informally known as the Big Buddha) was erected in 1993. Sitting 34 metres high and facing north to look over the Chinese people, this majestic bronze Buddha draws pilgrims from all over Asia.

The eyes, lips, incline of the head and right hand, which is raised to deliver a blessing to all, combine to bring a humbling depth of character and dignity to the massive Buddha, which took 12 years to complete. Climb the 268 steps for a closer look at this remarkable statue, and to enjoy the sweeping mountain and sea views that can be seen from its base.

Opposite the statue, the Po Lin Monastery is one of Hong Kong’s most important Buddhist sanctums and has been dubbed ‘the Buddhist World in the South’. Home to many a devout monk, this monastery is rich with colourful manifestations of Buddhist iconography and its pleasant garden is alive with birdsong and flowery scents. You can also enlighten your appetite at their popular vegetarian restaurant.

Extracted from: http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/see-do/culture-heritage/chinese-temples/big-buddha-and-po-lin-monastery.jsp#ixzz24KOsCceq

6.  Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor is one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia. Stretching over some 400 km2, including forested area, Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. They include the famous Temple of Angkor Wat and, at Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple with its countless sculptural decorations. UNESCO has set up a wide-ranging programme to safeguard this symbolic site and its surroundings.

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/

7.  Nepal, Tibet

This Buddhist shrine was built around 600 AD by King Songsten Gampo whose Nepali wife converted him to Buddhism (his other queen was Chinese). With the arrival of thousands of Tibetans in 1959, Bodhnath has become an important center of Tibetan Buddhism. From the air, the complex resembles a huge mandala (Buddhist representation of the cosmos). Looking out at the mountains from the base of the stupa, with the chants of Om Mani Padme Hum echoing softly around is a deeply calming experience.

http://www.buddhagroove.net

8.  Serengeti National Park, Africa

The human history of the Serengeti is largely the history of the African people, from the hunter-gatherers of  the distant past who roamed the vast plains, to those today who preserve it as a prime destination for visitors.  Apart from Olduvai Gorge, which is formally part of the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area but an extension of the Serengeti and part of its ecosystem, the area’s history has been virtually ignored.  Tsetse flies in the woodlands, and with them sleeping sickness, ensured that the Serengeti was spared the type of European encroachment, and with it the decimation of the wildlife that other African countries were subjected to.  The Leakey’s famous excavations at Olduvai Gorge show that our forebears lived and hunted in the area for some two million years before the German and then the British colonizers arrived.  Man has always been part of the Serengeti and many people, tribes and remarkable individuals have left their footprints on its endless plains.

http://www.serengeti.org

9.  The Pyramids, Egypt

There are three main Pyramids here, which were built in the 4th Dynasty (circa 2550 B.C). The Pyramids of Ancient Egypt were built as tombs for Kings (and Queens), and it was the exclusive privilege to have a Pyramid tomb. However, this tradition only applied in the Old and Middle Kingdoms. Today there are more than 93 Pyramids in Egypt; the most famous ones are those at Giza.

http://www.ask-aladdin.com/pyramid.htm

10.  The Amazon, Brazil

The Amazon is a vast region that spans the border of eight rapidly developing countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana, an overseas territory of France.

The landscape contains:

  • One in ten known species on Earth
  • 1.4 billion acres of dense forests, half of the planet’s remaining tropical forests
  • 4,100 miles of winding rivers
  • 2.6 million square miles, about 40 percent of South America, in the Amazon Basin

There is a clear link between the health of the Amazon and the health of the planet. The rain forests, which contain 90-140 billion metric tons of carbon, help stabilize local and global climate.

http://www.worldwildlife.org/what/wherewework/amazon/index.html

These destinations would definitely allow me to connect with myself, spirit, the environment and to the universe.  I feel grateful that I am able to experience these places through photos and video – but to see them in person and experience the sites, sounds, smells and people would be beyond my wildest dreams.  I am still young and hope to travel to all these destinations at some point.

I hope that you can appreciate all the beauty that is around you – be grateful and respectful, love the planet and let us heal the environment so that we can continue to be in awe of its beauty.

Together we can make the world a more positive one!

WHO IS TEMPLE GRANDIN?

“I think using animals for food is an ethical thing to do, but we’ve got to do it right.  We’ve got to give those animals a decent life and we’ve got to give them a painless death.  We owe the animal respect.” “Nature is cruel but we don’t have to be.” – Temple Grandin

I recentley watched the HBO film ‘Thinking in Pictures My Life with Autism” depicting the life of Temple Grandin who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 4.  The movie stars Claire Danes as Temple, Julia Ormand as Temple’s mother and Catherine O’Hara as Temple’s aunt.  This movie was very successful in helping us understand what individuals with autism have to face as well as breaking down the stereotype that those who live with autism should be institutionalized.

Temple was not able to talk until she was about three and half years old.  She was diagnosed with autism in 1950 and her parents were told that she should be institutionalized.  Her mother did not want to accept that and was adamant to see her child succeed.  Succeed she did – Temple is now the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world.  She is a doctor of animal science, professor at Colorado State University, best-selling author, animal and autism activist.

Temple has written the  book entitled ‘Emergence:  Labeled Autistic’ about how she overcame the obstacle of autism along with;  Different…Not Less, The Way I See It, Animals Make Us Human, Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships and Animals in Translation.  She has received a ‘Proggy’ Award from PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals) and received and has been featured on Primetime Live, The Today Show and Larry King Live.

Individuals have an opportunity to ask Temple questions via her webiste, www.templegrandin.com here are some of her responses:

I highly recommend watching the film ‘Thinking in Pictures My Life With Autism’ – I was amazed at how easily dismissive we are when we don’t make an effort to try and understand someone through patience and without judgements.  If someone who lived with autism all her life can clearly see that we (as a society) need to be more respectful, loving and compassionate to animals and other people – why is it so difficult for so many others.  Temple was very lucky to have the support of a loving mother and aunt and a science teacher who knew she was special from the day he met her.  Here is the trailer for the film:

Together we can make the world a more positive one!

WE MUST CARE and WE MUST SAVE THE ARCTIC!!!!

I want to start my blog by asking you to watch this video – open your mind and your heart.  Really watch it and think about what you do daily that contributes to climate change – can you make a difference?  YES, you can!

Here are the facts:

In the last 30 years, we’ve lost as much as three-quarters of the floating ice cap at the top of the world. The volume of that sea ice measured by satellites in the summer, when it reaches its smallest, has shrunk so fast that scientists say it’s now in a ‘death spiral’.

For over 800,000 years, ice has been a permanent feature of the Arctic ocean. It’s melting because of our use of dirty fossil fuel energy, and in the near future it could be ice free for the first time since humans walked the Earth. This would be not only devastating for the people, polar bears, narwhals, walruses and other species that live there – but for the rest of us too.

The ice at the top of the world reflects much of the sun’s heat back into space and keeps our whole planet cool, stabilising the weather systems that we depend on to grow our food. Protecting the ice means protecting us all.

We really need to understand the consequences of our actions and must make adjustments to ensure the fate of our environment for the generations that follow.  We also have to stop making the excuse that there is no way that by changing our behaviour that we can not make a difference – YOU CAN!!!  WE ALL CAN!!!  It really is not that difficult.  Here are some things that you can do to help on an on-going basis:

GO VEGETARIAN or VEGAN once a week.

By eating a vegetarian or vegan diet once a week (or more) – you will help the environment because raising animals for food requires about as much water as all other water uses combined.  Also – In November 2006, the United Nations released a massive report that details the environmental consequences of eating meat. It’s called Livestock’s Long Shadow, and it concludes that raising chickens, pigs, and other animals for food is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.” Yes, no matter what environmental issue you’re looking at—from resource use to water pollution to air pollution to global warming—funneling crops through animals in order to eat meat is one of the top three causes.

vegetarianism-in-a-nutshell-environment.aspx (reference to the above).

DON’T BUY BOTTLED WATER and cut POP/SODA CONSUMPTION

Invest in a water dispenser for your home, preferably – reverse osmosis as this does not have any harmful chemicals and is better for your health.  I fill up 2 re-usable bottles weekly at my local health food store.  How many times have you purchased a bottle of water and thrown it into the garbage?  I have done it and I bet, most of you have too!  Buy a re-usable bottle that you can fill at anytime.

Also – stop buying pop/soda!  There is no nutritional benefit to carbonated beverages for you or your children.  Imagine the health benefits from not drinking pop/soda – you may even shed a few pounds.

Another benefit to not purchasing bottled water/carbonated beverages is that you will be cutting down on waste.  I know that many cans/bottles are recycled but how many end up in landfills, parks, the side of the road, on the street, etc?

MAKE AN EFFORT TO BUY NATURAL HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS/PRODUCTS

Many of us make the excuse that natural products are too expensive and we are too busy to make an informed decision on what natural products are best to use.  All you have to know and understand is that buying things that are biodegradable without the harmful chemicals that pollute our soil and water are best.  If you can’t read the label – you should probably avoid it.  You can also google alternatives to what you currently use and find natural alternatives that you can make yourself.

IF YOU CAN WALK or RIDE A BIKE – DO IT!!

Have we become that reliant on our vehicles that we can’t even make an effort to walk or ride our bikes to our local shops?  Cut the gas emissions and walk – not only is it good for the environment – it is good for your health!

SUPPORT A GOVERNMENT THAT SUPPORTS THE ENVIRONMENT

If are governments do not take environmental issues seriously – then don’t support them and let them know you won’t support them.  Governments should not answer to the automobile industry or the oil companies, they should answer to their constituents.  Electric cars are possible and other renewable energy is possible, we just have to want it and stop listening to those who oppose it.  Imagine the jobs that can be created by converting to solar power homes and electric cars?  Did you know that there are mechanics that can convert your current ‘gas guzzler’ into an electric car ?  Our governments should be advocating for sustainable energy and stop fearing big corporations.

SUPPORT BUSINESSES THAT SUPPORT OUR ENVIRONMENT

Support local businesses that are contributing to a greener, healthier environment and healthier you!  Don’t believe everything you read print or on television about what you should buy, eat, wear or drive.  Do the research yourself and make an informed decision on the products that will be best for you, your health and our environment.  If the companies that make those products are not considering you, your health or the environment – buy the products from a company that does.  Companies rely on consumers not to be educated and informed about their products – they make billions of dollars on that assumption but, if we make informed decisions on what we are buying and understand whether or not those products are beneficial to us, our health and our environment – those companies will start changing to reflect our needs.

We are becoming sick because of our environment – pulmonary diseases (asthma, lung cancer) have increased around the world.  Coincidence?  The air we are breathing is making us sick – to me, that statement is frightening.  If we can send a camera into the far reaches of the universe – why can’t we fix our environmental problems?  We must be instruments for change and demand better from our leaders.  We must fight for our planet, for our environment and for wildlife!  We can do it, all we have to do is spread the word because I know that together, we can make the world a more positive one!

Donate to Greenpeace now – let’s SAVE THE ARCTIC TOGETHER!

http://www.savethearctic.org/?id=

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/ (Greenpeace website – read their 2011 annual report, you will be amazed at their accomplishments and their intended goals).

vegetarianism-in-a-nutshell-environment.aspx (PETA – great nutritional advice and an excellent resource for buying cruelty free products, make an informed decision about PETA and not based on what you have heard – they are great advocates for animals, our health and our environment).

I AM AN ANIMAL LOVER and PROUD OF IT!!!!

I don’t know why it took me so long to stop eating meat.  There may be several reasons – it was a learned behaviour, I never asked about why or what I was eating, being told that I had to eat meat for proper nutrition or I just didn’t care but I am certainly glad I made the ethical decision to do so.  Don’t get me wrong – I am not perfect and I am sure that I have purchased something that may have had some devastating effect on an animal somewhere in this world but the point is, I am making a conscious effort to avoid and stop buying products that may lead to the inhumane treatment of animals.

As a pet owner, I am constantly reminded that animals do feel and do have some understanding of what is happening around them.  When I talk to my dog or say to him, “Bradley, do you want to go outside”? – He briefly jumps for joy and then automatically (and patiently) waits for me to put his harness on.  If I accidently hurt him – he yelps out in pain.  If I irritate him with too much love – he growls at me as if telling me to back off.  He gets upset when he knows he has to go to the vetenarian’s office for a check up.  Animals have the capability to feel the same emotions we do and because of this, my decision was made perfectly clear – no more bacon, beef, fish or anything with a heart-beat.

Today, it is not as challenging to find clothing, shoes and restaurants that are cruelty free – especially if you live in a big city.  I am amazed at how many companies  made commitments to stop experimenting on animals.  As I have mentioned – I make a conscious effort to buy from companies who do not test on animals or don’t use animal products in any way.  I never understood this obsession with leather and fur.  Are people inclined to buy leather and fur because they are luxury items?  Do they think it feels great to wear the carcas of a dead animal on them?  Does it make them feel important?  Whatever the reason – everyone should witness or watch a video of how that product was made in order for them to feel whatever gratification they get from wearing them.  I am tired of seeing celebrities drapped in fur and leather – holding snake skinned bags or boots, proudly displaying the carcas of dead animals on them, wearing lashes made from some poor exotic dead animals etc.  Again – they should be made to watch how those products were made prior to buying them.

I would challenge anyone to take care of a pig from its infancy – nurture it until it is a full grown and then make a conscious decision to eat it.  Some may be able to do that but I really believe that most people will not.  The same goes for cows, horses, sheep, lamb or whatever other animal we consume.  Every time I see truck loads of chickens, pigs or cows I am reminded of how so many humans were lead to gas chambers for slaughter.  I think, “Do those poor animals have an understanding of where they are going and what their ultimate destination is”?  I think they do. 

I believe that people should be made aware of the consequences of the choices they make.  Do people understand the health implications of eating meat?  Do they understand the environmental impact raising cattle is having on our water supply and our environment?  Do they understand that eating meat is a learned behaviour and not something that is essential to their well-being?  I think that we become too complacent in everything we do and don’t even care about why we are doing those particular things.

Someone made a comment on Facebook recently – they brought their kids to a circus and were confronted by protesters.  They indicated that they were appalled at the behaviour of the protesters – especially in front of children.  They also had to point out how hypocritical it was that a protester was yelling about the inhumane treatment of animals yet they wore leather shoes.  I don’t condone aggresive behaviour but why was that the only comment made about the protester – why not think about why they were there?  Was pointing out the protester’s leather shoes more important than thinking about the reason they were protesting to begin with?  Besides, how did he know they were leather – they could have been fake.  This incident reminded me of how so many of us are too busy trying to find the faults in other people so that we don’t have to deal with the things we may find uncomfortable.

I love animals and have made a commitment to help save as many as I can.  This doesn’t mean that I am better than anyone else or that I am more compassionate – it just means that I have made a conscious decision to ask questions, learn the truth and come to the conclusions that best serve me and my life for this moment.