SONG OF THE WEEK

There are not many dance/club artists that make the cross-over transition to the world of pop – they may not be happy about that, but I surely am!!!!  Case in point – KRISTINE W.  Kristine W has been on the club/dance scene, officially since the release of her first commercial single Feel What You Want and she hasn’t stopped.  She worked on her first ‘official album’ (she released an album entitled Perfect Beat in the mid 90’s) called Land of the Living consisting of club floor thumpers, gentle ballads and high energy dance songs.  The album produced the song One More Try which charted on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart (#78).  On Billboard’s Dance/Club Play Chart, Kristine produced 3 chart toppers from Land of the Living:  Feel What You Want, One More Try and Land of The Living.

In light of the release of her latest effort – New & Number Ones, I have selected Everything That I Got as the song of the week.  This is the second time I have chosen a Kristine W song as ‘song of the week’, and she deserves it.  I recently purchased New & Number Ones on iTunes and am very happy Kristine has returned to her club/dance roots.  This album is definitely a club floor filler.  Kristine W has reinterpreted  the classic Chaka Kahn hit, Through The Fire and filled it with infectious grooves and a high energy beat.  Kristine W also reinterpreted a ballad by Donna Summer called Sometimes Like Butterflies – this song is beautifully sung and is filled with so much emotion, it has a tinge of that classic disco sound but with an awesome new groove that only Kristine W can accomplish.  I am sure that Donna Summer would have loved this re-interpretation if she was still with us!  Sometimes Like Butterflies, is currently my favourite on the new album and reminds me of a song from her Stronger album called – Let Love Reign, it has the same kind of emotion.  Kristine has also revamped old classics; Feel What You Want, One More Try, Land of the Living and Lovin’ You.  The classic club floor anthem and un-released Don’t Wanna Think has been given new life as I Get Up and finally – Kristine W has pumped new life in the great house track Love Come Home.

I am looking forward to seeing Kristine W tonight, she will be signing copies of her latest cd in a Toronto, Ontario Canada at Woody’s.  I will also see her on her New & Number Ones club tour singing her latest hits at Fly Nightclub in Toronto, Canada.    Everything That I Got, her latest single, is currently # 18 on Billboards Club/Play chart and looks like it is poised to become her 17th # 1 on this chart.  New & Number Ones will be playing very loudly on all my listening devices for years to come, just like all of her other hits.

Kristine W was named Billboard Magazine’s # 3 Club/Dance artist of the decade (2000-2009) only behind # 2 Beyonce and # 1 Madonna.  Definitely no small feat.

Kristine W – Album Releases

  • Perfect Beat (1994, Plain Rap Records)
  • Land of the Living (1996, RCA Records) – containing 3 Billboard # 1 singles: Feel What You Want, One More Try and Land of the Living
  • Stronger (2000, RCA Records) – containing 2 Billboard # 1 singles: Stronger and Lovin’ You
  • Fly Again (2003, Tommy Boy Entertainment) – containing 3 Billboard # 1 singles: Fly Again, Save My Soul and The Wonder of It All.  Also contains # 2 single: I’ll Be Your Light”
  • Hey, Mr. Christmas (2008 Fly Again Music) ***EP***
  • The Power of Music (2009 Fly Again Music) – containing 7 Billboard # 1 singles: Walk Away (Tony Moran featuring Kristine W), The Boss, Never, Love is the Look, Be Alright, The Power of Music and Fade.
  • Straight Up with a Twist (2010 Fly Again Music) ***jazz and chillout versions of Kristine W classic and reinterpretations of songs by some of Kristine W’s favourite artists.

The # 1 Billboard Club/Play single Some Lovin‘ (originally recorded by Liberty City) can be found on the American Queer As Folk Soundtrack.

To learn more about Kristine W, watch videos, discography or to purchase her fantastic music, please visit her official website or iTunes:

www.kristinew.com

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ARE YOU A NEGATIVE or POSITIVE?

Have you ever really thought about the words you speak aloud?  Are they encouraging, positive and empowering – do you speak the same way about yourself? 

Our words are really powerful for ourselves and for others – they can either empower someone or do your words disenfranchise or marginalize?  I do my best to use words that make people feel good and try to surround my ‘self speak’ with positivity.  The energy around someone who speaks with positivity, love and encouragement is infectious – people love to soak up that energy and enjoy being around these type of people.  We all know people who are the complete opposites – everything they say is negative, they are angry about anything they can think of and their words reflect that.  I have made a point to remove myself from that kind of negativity as it really drains your energy.

There was a point in my life when I was angry at the world – I felt that because of all the hardships I have gone through, it justified the anger and hate that I felt.  Until I learned to deal with all that hate and anger – nothing was going to change.  I learned to forgive those individuals for the hardships they caused because without forgiveness, I would never be able to move forward in a positive light.  I completed some inner-child work which included;  telling my inner-child that any past hardships was not his fault and that I loved him.  You can’t imagine how amazing that experience was.  I learned that mirror work was very important –  each morning, I would look in the mirror, look into my own eyes and say “I love you – you are loving, caring and compassionate.  I will make a conscious effort to avoid negative speak and will surround myself with the positive energy of the universe.  Today will be a great day filled with love and laughter and all negativity will not be able to penetrate my positive energy field.”  I found that by doing this – my days were excellent and without conflict.

How do you wake up in the morning?  Do you say to yourself “Oh, I hate mornings – I have to get dressed and go into that horrible office/job” – Waking up with those thoughts only ensure that your day will be filled with that same energy.  Your commute will be horrible, your day will be filled with conflict and negativity and you will end up going him with that same negative energy.  I know – I was one of those people.  I still have days that are challenging – but because I have the awareness, it is much more easier to change my thought process to a more positive mood. 

We all have experience in feeling positive and negative energies.  When you go to a concert – the energy tends to be uplifting, fun, exciting and very positive in anticipation of what you are about to witness.  Collectively – so many people are experiencing the universe’s good energy, it such an amazing feeling.  On the other end of the spectrum –  you know when you have entered a negative energy zone.  Think of a time when you entered a room and the air was thick and all of a sudden, you felt a big shift in your mood – maybe a meeting at work or after witnessing a confrontation between two people – you find that you are drained of all positive energy.  As hard as it may be – the best thing for you to do is to remove yourself from this draining energy. 

I know of 2 people (a friend of over 25 years and a family member) who only attracted negativity into their lives.  I have noticed that both of these people had many similarities – they both spoke very negatively about themselves and everyone they knew.  They both have also experienced very violent incidences in their past neither have really dealt with.  I believe because they haven’t really dealt with those incidences – their anger, hurt and fear grew within them.  Their resentment by those that caused them all their hurt and pain continues to live within them and encompasses their lives so they see no joy in anything – their partners, their children, co-workers etc.  Without forgiveness – we can not move forward in a positive light.

If you have noticed that your day is filled with negative energy, ask yourself why.  If there are things in your past that will not allow you to move forward in a positive light – think about what those things are.  If you need to forgive someone for something they have done to you – FORGIVE THEM because that forgiveness is really for yourself!  Tell yourself you love yourself (remember to look into your eyes when you say this), wake up in the morning and tell yourself “I am glad to be alive, it is a great day to spread love and positivity into the world”.  Allow yourself to be conscious of how you speak to yourself internally – try to remove all your negative ‘self-talk’ and when you speak to others, be encouraging, be positive, be loving, be empowering and be compassionate!  Your life will change and you will only attract people who are like-minded and all those in people in your life that are negative will slowly start to disappear.  Believe me, that is a good thing!

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!      

WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?

What is most important to you in your life?  Is it your career, being financial secure, having a loving partner, helping others in need?  We are all different, so what is important to you may not be as important to me.  Also – what was important to me 20 years ago is totally different from what is important to me now.
 
Have you really thought about what is important to you now and why that particular thing is important?  Think about it and right it down…..in a few years review your journal and compare it to your past, your present and what may be important to you in your future.
 
Personally – I live for today because I don’t know what will happen tomorrow.  I also don’t live in the past because it has happened and there is nothing I can do about it.  I live for the moment and right now, these are the most important things for me:
 
The love I have for my spouse
The love I have for the environment
The love I have for helping animals
The love I have for spreading love and positive energy into the universe
 
Without love – what are you left with?
 
Have you spread love into the universe today?

MEET A VEGETARIAN – KNOW THE FACTS

I have always loved animals but never really made an effort to think about why I was eating them – not until send me a video of a heinous crime committed against rabbits.  Since that day, I swore never to eat animals again!  Side note:  Many people are offended and get really upset when people try to show the reality behind how meat/fur is obtained for consumption or fashion, to those people I say – “The violence and inhumane treatment that animals go through needs to be witnessed by anyone who wants to challenge the benefits of a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle”.

A QUICK LESSON ON THE VARIOUS DISTINCTIONS OF VEGETARIANISM

A vegetarian diet consists of eating plant-based foods while avoiding animal products.  However, some vegetarians may also include eggs, cheese and yogurt, among other foods, in their diet.  Here are the differences in vegetarian types:

Pescatarian (also spelled pescetarian)

Individuals who abstain from eating all meat and animal flesh with the exception of fish.

Flexitarian/Semi-vegetarian

Individuals whose diet consists mostly of plant-based foods but will occasionally eat meat.

Vegetarian (Lacto-ovo-vegetarian)

Individuals who do not eat beef, pork, poultry, fish, shellfish or animal flesh of any kind, but do eat eggs and dairy products.

  • Lacto-vegetarian (vegetarian who does not eat eggs, but does eat dairy products)
  • Ovo-vegetarian (vegetarian who do not eat meat or dairy products but do eat eggs)

Vegan

Vegans do not eat meat of any kind and also do not eat eggs, dairy products, or processed foods containing these or other animal-derived ingredients such as gelatin.  Many vegans also refrain from eating foods that may contain animal products in the finished process, such as sugar and some wines. 

Raw vegan/Raw food diet

A raw vegan diet consists of unprocessed vegan foods that have not been heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius).  “Raw foodists” believe that foods cooked above this temperature have lost a significant amount of their nutritional value and are harmful to the body.

Macrobiotic

The macrobiotic diet includes unprocessed vegan foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and allows the occasional consumption of fish.  Sugar and refined oils are avoided.   

I identify mostly with Ovo-vegetarian but am slowly swaying towards a more vegan lifestyle. 

There are many misconceptions or myths about a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle that includes some of the following reasons:

  • Not enough food choices

You can make all the same food items you make with meat, using the same spices/herbs with a meat substitute.  Some meatless substitute brands include:  Tofurkey, Gardein, Yves, Sol and PC (President’s Choice).  I use Daiya/Soya cheese for my cheese substitutes.  Google any of these brand names and you can review any of their amazing vegetarian products.  Most of these items are made available to you at your local grocery stores (usually in their organic/natural foods section) 

  • Not getting enough nutrients (protein, iron and vitamin D)

This is a huge misconception as many foods contain the all the proper nutrients anyone requires to stay healthy. 

Protein:  tofu, tempeh (including soy milk), cooked beans, peas and lentils, peanuts and peanut butter and most nuts and seeds.

Iron Vegetarians are at no more risk of iron deficiency than meat eaters.  While the version of iron found in meat (heme-iron) is more readily absorbed than the non-heme iron found in plant sources, absorption can be enhanced by combining non-heme iron options with foods high in vitamin C such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli or berries.  Good plant sources or iron include dark green leafy vegetables, dried beans or legumes, iron-enriched products (check labels), nutritional yeast and dried fruit.

Calcium and Vitamin D:  Calcium is important for strong bones and vitamin D is necessary for your body to be able to absorb it.  Dairy products, almonds, sesame sees, dark-green vegetables (such as broccoli, bok choy and kale), and black strap molasses contain calcium.  (I avoid all dairy and prefer to receive calcium for the other sources listed – more information about why I avoid dairy below).  Other products are fortified with calcium, including soy and rice beverages, tofu and orange juice (check the ingredients).  Vitamin D is often added to milk and some yogurt (but not cheese), soy and rice beverages, and fortified margarine. While sunlight allows us to produce our own vitamin D through our skin, it is typically not sufficient during Canadian winters.  As a result, these supplemented sources are important, especially for babies, children and older adults.  Canada’s Food Guide recommends for men and women over 50 years of age to take a daily supplement of Vitamin D of 400 IU.

Vitamin B12This vitamin is necessary for cell division and blood formation.  It can be found in fortified cereals, soy and rice beverages, and some types of nutritional yeast.  It’s important to read labels to ensure you are getting enough B12.  

  • Never feel full

Because vegetarians are eating a variety of foods that are high in fibre, a vegetarian diet ensures that you are full throughout the day.

My main concerns for not eating dairy products are strictly ethical.  Many have linked cancer, diabetes, acne and asthma directly to milk consumption.  All you have to do is google the truth about milk – do your own research and make your own decisions about whether or not to include milk in your diet.

The main message that I want to communicate is that we all have to ask questions and not just buy what is being sold to us.  We really have to be our own advocate when it comes to our health prevention.  Just because we have done something for thousands of years doesn’t mean it is the right thing.  Have we not progressed as a civilized society.  Do we not have the obligation to ensure all living things are treated with decency, respect and in an ethical manner?  I have said this so many times and will continue to do so – we must remove the blinders and really think about why we are doing what we are doing.  Does the meat/agriculture industry have our best interests at hand or are they partially responsible for the huge increases in terminal illnesses?  Be responsible and seek the truth – do your research and lift the blinders!

Sources:

www.peta.org

www.heartandstroke.com

www.dietitians.ca

Information about milk:

www.notmilk.com

www.milkdocumentary.com

 

 

SONG OF THE WEEK

In light of not posting a ‘song of the week’ on my usual Thursday post – I have decided to post ‘the song of the week’ today.

I recently had the pleasure of going to a PEACHES show at the Drake Hotel in Toronto – let me tell you how impressed I was and how great the show was.  The following day – I went to the premiere of her rockumentary – PEACHES DOES HERSELF.  Again, I was thoroughly impressed.  In celebration of these 2 events, I have decided to pick a PEACHES song as the song of the week.  My song selection is ‘Lose You’

Lose You is from her fantastic electronic album called I Feel Cream.  Check it out……..the audio version is posted first – and the video follows:

LOSE YOU – PEACHES

I dont wanna lose you
I dont wanna lose you
I dont wanna lose you
I dont wanna lose you

How does it happen
All of a sudden
fingertip button
Push it and nothin
How does it happen
All of a sudden
Can’t fight the feelin
Someone just stealin’

I dont wanna lose you
I dont wanna lose you
I dont wanna lose you
I dont wanna lose you

Touch on the surface
I’ve lost the purpose
Hittin’ the ceilin’
No more concealing
Why does it crossing
Turning and dancing
Tossing and turning
your insides are burning

I dont wanna lose you
I dont wanna lose you
I dont wanna lose youu
I dont wanna lose you

Ooh Oh
Ooh Oh
OOh Oh Oh
Come over here
Or do we stay clear
Theres nothing to fear
Except when were near
I got a bad additude
I’m changin my mood
I wanna bring you
But its not true
Ooooh Ooooh Oh Oh

I dont wanna lose you
I dont wanna lose you
I dont wanna lose you
I dont wanna lose you
I dont wanna lose you
I dont wanna lose you
I dont wanna lose you
I dont wanna lose you

For Peaches tour dates, movie information, discography etc….check the website out:

http://www.peachesrocks.com

 

 

HOW WILL YOU SPREAD YOUR LIGHT TODAY?

How tired are you of hearing about politicians who don’t care about their constituents or celebrity scandals?  How about striking athletes who make outrageous amounts of money to play sports? Should we not be more concerned about what is happening in our environment or stopping wars?

Imagine if it was your job to inspire positive change in the world?  Would it not be great if you could make a living by helping the homeless, feeding the hungry, helping injured animals or making dreams come true.  It has happened.  Here is the story of how Make-A-Wish began, it is truly inspiring what people can do in order to create positive change for someone else.

Christopher James Greicius dreamed everyday of becoming a police officer.  In 1980, the 7 year-old was being treated for leukemia, which meant his dream would never come true.

A U.S. Customs Officer – Tommy Austin, befriended Chris and his mother – Linda Bergendahl-Pauling and promised that Chris to get him a ride in a police helicopter.  When Chris’ health turned for the worsened, Austin sprang into action by calling Ron Cox  an Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer, and they began planning. 

On April 29, 1980 – Tommy Austin and a caring group of DPS personnel took Chris on a tour of the city in a department helicopter.  Three cruisers and a motorcycle officer greeted him before he met with the DPS command staff where Chris was sworn in as the first honorary DPS patrolman in state history.  Ron Cox also contacted the company that mad the DPS uniforms and they agreed to custom-tailor a DPS uniform for Chris.  On May 2, Chris was back in the hospital where he asked to have the room arranged so he could always see his uniform, his motorcycle helmet and his ‘Smokey Bear’ style campaign hat.  Chris passed away the next day.  If Tommy Austin and Ron Cox – along with the cooperation of the DPS and Frank Shankwitz, Chris would not be able to have his dreams come true.  Seeing how happy Chris was knowing his wish came true, and that the wish seemed to take some of Chris and Linda’s pain away – they thought they could do the same for other children.  They presented  a plan to the people who helped grant Chris’ wish – Linda and others endorsed the plan and the Chris Greicius Make-A-Wish Memorial (which later became known as Make-A-Wish) was born.

Sometimes it is very difficult for people to find their way out of darkness – especially when they are faced with overwhelming odds but, when people come together and spread their positive light, amazing things happen.  How will you spread your light today?

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

THINGS CELEBRITIES SAY……..

As a gay male and vegetarian – I am very interested on what celebrities have to say on these issues.  I have compiled a list of quotes from some celebrities (living and deceased) on various issues, here are some of my favourites:

“I think every person has the ability to affect change…through our every thought, our every word, the way that we interact with other people, we are constantly affecting the world”Adam Yauch (Rapper – Beastie Boys/Activist)

“I was horrified when Richard Chamberlain and Rupert Everett said gay actors should stay in the closet.  They were saying to people that they should live a lie and not be liberated, to live in fear of being found out” – Alan Cumming  (Actor – played Nightcrawler in X2: X-Men United and is currently on the television series, The Good Wife)

“There’s a cleanliness to how I eat now.  I’m much more in tune with my body, so now that I’m so in tune based on having become semi-vegan, I can tell what foods affect energy levels” – Alanis Morissette (Singer/Songwriter/Actress)

“Nothing will benefit human health and increased chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet” – Albert Einstein

“I try to eat healthy, but I won’t get on other people’s nerves about it” – Angela Bassett (Actress – played Tina Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It)

“I think I’ve always been bi-sexual.  I mean, it’s something that I’ve always been interested in.  I think people are born bi-sexual, and it’s just that our parents and society kind of veer us of into this feeling of ‘Oh, I can’t’.  It’s ingrained in our heads that it’s bad, when it’s not bad at all.  It’s a very beautiful thing” – Billie Joe Armstrong (Lead Singer – Green Day)

“Let us be the ones who say we do not accept that a child dies every three seconds simply because he does not have the drugs you and I have.  Let us be the ones to say we are not satisfied that your place of birth determines your right to life.  Let us be outraged, let us be loud, let us be bold” – Brad Pitt (Actor/Activist)

“I’ve been vegetarian for about 17-18 years now, since I was about 28.  And of course, my motto has always been ‘if you love animals, don’t eat them’.  I’m opposed to fur and any kind of use of animal products.  I don’t eat them and I don’t wear them.  I’m not for the killing of any creature – whether it be seals, cows, dogs, anything.  So anytime it comes to any kind of animal cruelty, I’m totally against it” – Bryan Adams (Singer/Photographer)

“I think and speak clearer since I cut the dairy out.  I can breathe better and perform at a better rate, and my voice is clearer.  I can explore different things with my voice that I couldn’t do because of my meat and dairy ingestion.  I am proud and blessed to be a vegetarian, everything became clear” – Common (Hip-hop artist/Actor)

“The fur industry butchers animals and pollutes our environment.  I could never wear fur”Fernanda Tavares (Brazilian model)

“Being vegan helped me realize I can say and do what I believe is right.  That’s powerful”Alicia Silverstone (Actress/Author)

“I gave up meat when I was twelve.  One day I was cutting up a chicken for my mom, and I hit a tumor with the knife.  There was pus and blood all over the place.  That was enough for me”Josh Harnett (Actor)

“People get offended by animal rights campaigns.  It’s ludicrous.  It’s not as bad as mass animal death in a factory”Richard Gere (Actor/Activist)

“In some roles I have to wear fur, and I always make sure it’s fake, like in Austin Powers:  The Spy Who Shagged Me.  Faux fur is great because it shows people that faux can look fabulous”Kristen Johnston (Actress)

“You need to hunt something that can shoot back at you to really classify yourself as a hunter.  You need to understand the feeling of what it’s like to go into the field and know your opposition can take you out.  Not just go out there and shoot Bambi”Gov., Jesse Ventura (Former Governor and Pro-Wrestler)

“I’m picky when it comes to food – as long as there’s not meat in it”Orlando Bloom (Actor)

“Meat is dirty.  I wouldn’t touch a hot dog without a condom on it”Bill Maher (Comedian)

“To become vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to nirvana”Buddha

“Some people are still going to want to eat meat…we do agree though that vegetarianism is a healthier diet”David Stroud (American Meat Institute)

“I abhor vivisection.  It should at least be curbed.  Better, it should be abolished.  I know of no achievement through vivisection, no scientific discovery, that could not be obtained without such barbarism and cruelty.  The whole thing is evil”Charles Mayo (founder of the Mayo Clinic)

“If any kid ever realized what was involved in factory farming they would never touch meat again.  I was so moved by the intelligence, sense of fun and personalities of the animals I worked with on Babe that by the end of the film I was vegetarian”James Cromwell (Actor)

“The medical argument for animal testing doesn’t stand up.  Even if it did, I don’t think we should kill other species.  We think we’re so much better; I’m not sure we are.  I tell people, we’ve beaten into submission every animal on the face of the Earth, so we are clear winners of whatever battle is going on between the species.  Couldn’t we be generous?  I really think it’s time to get nice.  No need to keep beating up on them.  I think we’ve got to show that we’re kind”Paul McCartney (Singer/Actor/Activist)

“I grew up in cattle country – that’s why I became a vegetarian.  Meat stinks, for the animals, the environment, and your health”K.D. Lang (Singer)

“You ask people why they have deer heads on the wall.  They always say, ‘because it’s such a beautiful animal’.  There you go.  I think my mother’s attractive, but I have photographs of her”Ellen DeGeneres (Talk Show Host/Comedienne/Actress)

“How can you eat anything with eyes?”Will Kellogg (Inventor, Corn Flakes)

“Behind every beautiful fur, there is a story.  It is a bloody, barbaric story”Mary Tyler Moore (Actress)

“Fur used to turn heads, now it turns stomachs”Rue McClanahan (Actress)

“When I was old enough to realize all meat was killed, I saw it as an irrational way of using our power, to take a weaker thing and mutilate it.  It was like the way bullies would take control of younger kids in the schoolyard”River Phoenix (Actor)

“I think there will come a time, and this is down the road a great many years, when civilized people will look back in horror on our generation and the ones that have preceded it:  the idea that we should eat other living things running around on four legs, that we should raise them just for the purpose of killing them!  The people of the future will say, meat-eaters in disgust and regard us in the same way we regard cannibals and cannibalism”Dennis Weaver (Actor/Humanitarian/Environmentalist)

“The thing that has been weighing on my mind this week is that I wanted to go and save all the little live lobsters in restaurants and throw them back in the ocean.  Imagine me being arrested for that”Drew Barrymore (Actress/Director)

“The average age (longevity) of a meat eater is 63.  I am on the verge of 85 and still work as hard as ever.  I have lived quite long enough and am trying to die; but I simply cannot do it.  A single beef-steak would finish me; but I cannot bring myself to swallow it.  I am oppressed with a dread of living forever.  That is the only disadvantage of vegetarianism”George Bernard Shaw (Playwright/Co-Founder of London School of Economics/Writer/Nobel Prize Winner(Literature) 

“They’ve been trying to test on animals for the past 50 years.  Nobody’s come up with a cure.  If you want to test on somebody, test on me”Montell Williams (Former Talk Show Host)

“Many years ago, I was in a Broadway show and I had to wear a fox fur around my shoulders.  One day my hand touched one of the fox’s legs.  I t seemed to be in two pieces.  Then it dawned on me….her leg had probably been snapped in two by the steel trap that had caught it”Bea Arthur (Actress)

“I’d like to see animals removed from the entertainment business.  Chimpanzees and apes won’t perform unless you beat them.  Circuses keep elephants in chains 90 percent of the time.  Elephants need freedom of movement.  In circuses, they live in cramped quarters, which is not the life intended for them by nature.  Some are beaten daily, forced to do ridiculous tricks and robbed of every shred of dignity”Bob Barker (Television Game Host/Activist)

“If you look at the course of western history you’ll see that we’re slowly granting basic right to everyone.  A long time ago only kings had rights. Then rights were extended to property-owning white men.  Then all men.  Then women. Then children.  Then the mentally retarded.  Now we’re agonizing over the extension of basic rights to homosexuals and animals.  We need to finally accept that all sentient creatures are deserving of basic rights.  I define basic rights as this – the ability to pursue life without having someone else’s will involuntarily forced upon you.  Or, as the framers of the constitution put it, the ability to have “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.  By what criteria can you justify denying basic right to any living thing?  Realize that by whatever criteria you employ someone could deny basic rights to you if they objected to your species, sexual preference, colour, religion, ideology etc.  Would you eat your house cat, or force a mentally retarded child to ingest oven cleaner?  If not, then why is it ok to eat cows and test products on sentient animals?  I believe that to knowingly commit actions that cause or condone suffering is reprehensible in the extreme.  I call upon you to be compassionate and treat others as you want to be treated.  If you don’t want to be beaten, imprisoned, mutilated, killed or tortured then you shouldn’t condone such behaviour toward anyone, be they human or not”Moby (Singer/DJ/Activist)

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”Mohandas Gandhi (Preeminent Leader of Indian Nationalism)

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

ADVOCACY AWARENESS – HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?

Jason (my spouse) was recently reviewing the status of his friends on Facebook to see what kind of things people were up to.  He noticed that an acquaintance of ours posted how inappropriate it is for animal activists to post violent images/videos of animals being tortured.  She indicated that Facebook was not the appropriate place to post these types of images and also not appropriate for children.  She went on to say that she is against violence towards women but would never post a woman being raped on Facebook (I hope not).

I figured I would address this issue to ensure people understand why I post or share such images on social media and with my friends and family.  If you don’t see what is happening, most people would tend to believe it doesn’t exist.  So ensuring that people see the images of animals being treated in an un-ethical way is detrimental to creating awareness.  If you didn’t know the types of abuse that animals endure and the extent of their abuse, wouldn’t it make it easier to make a decision to defend them? 

I try not to watch the news (and rarely do) but, on the times were I have – the images they show are sometimes very violent.  Stories of war, genocide, murder, rape, child abuse, child porn etc….if they stopped reporting the truth – would be tend to forget and not want to advocate against these horrible events/things?  Personally, I am much more moved to act when I see images of whatever it is people are advocating for.  The government made it law for tobacco companies to add graphic images to their cigarette packages – these images are effective in communicating the dangers and health implications if you smoke.  Maybe we need to ask our government to include images of how cows/pigs/chickens and fish (and all other animals) are slaughtered or how horrible they are treated prior to being slaughtered on the outside of the package to create awareness? 

It is convenient for us to accept violence when we are not attached to it or are disconnected from it – but when it becomes personal, we make any excuse we can to not want to see the truth.  This is the reason why I became an animal advocate – I woke up!  I wanted to know what I was eating and why I was eating it – I didn’t want to just follow blindly because it was the ‘normal’ thing to do.  I learned that animals have voices – they scream when they get hurt, they are sad when abandoned, – they understand and feel, so why would I not want to ensure that we see the images of what they go through?  Animals can’t speak – they can’t tell the people who slaughter them that they don’t want to die.   Elephants, tigers, bears, lions and other circus animals can’t tell you that they do not want to be beaten in submission in order to entertain you.  Whales, dolphins, seals and sharks can’t tell you they do not want to be cooped up in a tank their whole lives in order for us to gawk at them.  Foxes, chinchillas, wolves, polar bears and other animals can’t speak to let you know that their fur isn’t made for you to wear.  Alligators, snakes and crocodiles can’t communicate that they don’t want to be murdered in order to become handbags, boots or luggage sets.  We need the images, because without them, we are completely disconnected and blind in how they are treated.

I will continue to post these images/videos on Facebook, as a matter-of-fact – I would encourage all advocates to continue to post the truth because without it – it really doesn’t exist and this type of dialogue would not be happening.  If you can’t handle being faced with the truth or don’t want to see these images – ‘un-friend’ me or whomever is sending you those images.  I only hope that when you do disconnect yourself from the truth, that you don’t forget the plight of whatever cause you shut yourself from.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

SONG OF THE WEEK

Today’s song of the week is by DEPECHE MODE.  The music of DEPECHE MODE has always been constant throughout my life.  From the first time I heard ‘People are People’ – I was hooked.  DEPECHE MODE are pioneers of Electronica Alternative.  I have countless favourites songs but the one song that stands out the most for me, would be – ‘Strangelove’ from the album Music For The Masses.  Music For The Masses was released in 1987 and includes the hits, Strangelove, Behind The Wheel and Never Let Me Down Again it also includes the amazing songs I Want You Now, Little 15 and Nothing.

Depeche Mode’s music catalogue is extensive from 1981’s Speak and Spell to most recently Sounds of the Universe and compilation album Remixes 2: 81-11 – I look forward to all future Depeche Mode releases with great anticipation and know that I will never be disappointed.  In the meantime, enjoy Strangelove – it stands the test of time and is completely relevant today.

STRANGELOVE – Depeche Mode

There’ll be times
When my crimes
Will seem almost unforgivable
I give in to sin
Because you have to make this life livable
But when you think I’ve had enough
From your sea of love
I’ll take more than another riverful
And I’ll make it all worthwhile
I’ll make your heart smile

Strangelove
Strange highs and strange lows
Strangelove
That’s how my love goes
Strangelove
Will you give it to me
Will you take the pain
I will give to you
Again and again
And will you return it

There’ll be days
When I stray
I may appear to be
Constantly out of reach
I give in to sin
Because I like to practice what I preach
I’m not trying to say
I’ll have it all my way
I’m always willing to learn
When you’ve got something to teach
And I’ll make it all worthwhile
I’ll make your heart smile

Pain will you return it
I’ll say it again – pain
Pain will you return it
I won’t say it again

I give in
Again and again
I give in
Will you give it to be
I give in
I’ll say it again
I give in

I give in
Again and again
I give in
That’s how my love goes
I give in
I’ll say it again
I give in

The videos:

For further Depeche Mode information, discography, tours, cps/dvds/singles etc visit:

www.depechemode.com

“I JUST FELT THAT IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO”

A young man in Roanoke, Virginia was a victim of a hate crime and had his car vandalized with the words ‘fag’ and ‘die’ scratched on the side of the car – it was also found with a window smashed out on a separate occasion.  A young owner of a body shop (Quality Auto Paint & Body) heard about the situation and offered to fix the car.  The victim – Jordan Addison and the mechanic shop owner – Richard Henegar recently appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show to explain their story.  Ellen asked the mechanic what compelled him to act out of such kindness and his response was as follows:  “I just felt that it was the right thing to do”…..watch the clip:

On a different note…..Jón Gnarr- mayor of Rykjavik, Iceland recently wrote to the mayor of Moscow – Sergey Sobyanin asking him to reconsider the ban of Gay Pride marches.  The letter indicated that festival has had a positive impact on the city’s image and on the attitude of the public towards the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) community and is now one of the city’s biggest outdoor festivals.

“The festival has given the citizens of Reykjavík a change of heart and has led to a more progressive society – not only for LGBT people (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans-sexual), but for all Icelanders,” Jón explains.

Here is the link to the article:

http://www.icelandreview.com/icelandreview/daily_news/Reykjav%C3%ADk_Mayor_Appeals_to_Moscow_over_Gay_Pride_Ban_0_393423.news.aspx

It certainly says a lot when I am still surprised of the great attitudes and actions from our straight allies and friends when showing their support of the LGBT community.  I only say this because I have always seen the darker side of society when it came to the acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gendered community.  I am so grateful to live in a country where this type of hate and discrimination is not as visible as it is in other countries.  After all – we are all the same!

Together, we can make the world a more positive one.