Saturday, August 21, 2010

Why Vegans Don't Eat Honey

Mom's a vegan. As much as she likes organic eggs, cheese & organic milk, & especially Manuka Honey, she has decided to give them up again, just like 5 years ago. This includes the sacrifice of many other stuff as well like chocolates, pizza, vegetarian burgers (with eggs/cheese in them), etc.

Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude as far as possible & practicable, all forms of exploitation of, & cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

Altho' most may think honey doesn't involve in the killing of animals, but in actual fact, humans have made bees slaves... & STEAL their honey. Bees make honey to survive through the winter. It is stored specifically for the winter & the bees eat it during the winter (as they do not hibernate). Therefore, by stealing their honey, you're stealing their means to survive. Thus, vegans do not eat animal by-products.

Queen bees are also killed annually & replaced with new ones to the colony. Tell me that isn't cruelty - simply just so you could have some honey.

This is a good article from The Vegan Society.

Bees help polinate our flowers & plants, in return, honey is their wages. We shouldn't STEAL their wages because humans generally do not need honey to survive.

Anyways, honey is a very controversial food between vegans.

Other arguments are things such as driving cars with leather seats insteriors, riding a bike with leather seats, wearing leather/wool clothes or shoes etc.

Mom can truly say she doesn't weather any leather/wool clothes & shoes... but living life in this modern world & avoiding EVERYTHING else that's made from animals is pretty inevitable. What one can do is simply try their VERY best in reducing all these exploitation of animals in our everyday lives.

When you do not eat red meat ONLY, but eat fishes, you're a pescatarian (not a vegetarian).
When you do not eat red meat & fishes, you're a vegetarian.
When you do not eat red meat, fishes & eggs, but drink milk, you're a lacto-vegetarian.
When you do not eat red meat, fishes & milk, but eat eggs, you're a ovo-vegetarian.
When you do not eat red meat, fishes, eggs, cheese, milk, honey, you're a vegan.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

REDUCE the use of plastic bags!

Viral Video vs. Plastic Bags (Please share this video with all you know & educate them)

California is on the verge of passing a statewide ban against plastic bags (individual cities have already done so). Could a little bit of viral video marketing tip the scales in the ban's favor?

Oscar winner Jeremy Irons has narrated a mockumentary, "The Majesty Plastic Bag" for heal the bay, a 25 year old non-profit based in Santa Monica. It's part of an effort to highlight the importance of passing AB 1998, which would ban single-use of plastic bags from grocery stores and other retailers. If passed, the bill would make California the first state to ban plastic bags.

Iron's ironic voiceover may not sway opponents of the bill, but at the very least it serves to spread awareness of AB's 1998 existence -- and its potential impact. Check it out below.

As per our previous post regarding plastic bags, we hope more Singaporeans would come to know of the harm non-biodegradable plastic bags are bringing to our marine lives out there. Ultimately, humans will be the ones most affected.

If you've missed out our points in ou previous post, we talked about how you can play your part in reducing the use of plastic bags in your everyday life.

Bring your own tupperware when ordering take-aways. This would help reduce the use of styrofoam boxes which are equally as harmful as they DO NOT biodegrade.

Bring your own eco-friendly cloth bags when grocery-shopping.

If you MUST use plastic bags, opt for 100% oxo-biodegradable plastic bags instead. These bags will biodegradable over months & become part of our Earth's soil.

We're switching to 100% oxo-biodegradable plastic bags for both our food-stall & Natural Pawpals store as well.

We also try our best to educate both the young & old while at work everyday... even if that means ignorant people mistaking us for being stingy on plastic bags. We don't really care how these group of people view us... for our biggest clients should be the suffering sea creatures out there.

This is just one of our EarthEcho. Let this be yours from today on too.

What is your EarthEcho?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Human-Mom & her EarthEcho

This shall be a post dedicated to my human-Mom... all about my human-Mom... her strong beliefs... her EarthEcho...

Mom has decided to be a vegan as of today. Veganism is a philosophy & lifestyle whose adherents seek to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. Vegans do not consume meats, seafood, honey, dairy products like eggs/cheese.

Another great form of diet is fruitarianism - what being a fruitarian is all about. A fruitarian only eats what the Earth provides - fruits & nuts, & doesn't destroy or kill anything.

Freeganism is another different form of diet which involves foraging of foods in trash... somewhat like a dumpster. Freegans are self-sufficient & avoid paying for food, but rather consume what left-overs there're in the trashbins.

But Mom is quite satisfied with being a vegan (no meats/seafood/honey/dairy pdts like milk & cheese).

Below is a quote by 1 of Mom's heroes (other than Richard O'Barry) whom is against whaling, clubbing of seals, shark finning & dolphin captivity.

''I believe that veganism is the morally right thing to do but most importantly I believe that veganism is something we must adopt to cleanse the earth of the damage the meat, fishing and dairy industries have cause to global eco-systems.''

Paul Watson (Captain of the Steve Irwin, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society)

Mom has been an ovo-lacto vegetarian at age 17, vegan at age 19, pesco-vegetarian at age 23, & has decided to move on back to a lifestyle of veganism now at 25... so as to play her part to help the Earth (read on below).

Over-fishing is another one of the world's most disturbing problem that many have not come to realize about. Fishes in the wild are being depleted at an alarming & extraordinary rate that many fishermen have resorted to killing dolphins & whales for meat & to prevent them from consuming fishes. Is it us HUMANS or the whales that are "over-fishing''? Think about it. Humans CAN survive w/o fishes, but can the whales? How selfish can the human species be just so as to consume fishes everyday.

"We are in massive denial & continue to bicker over the last shrinking numbers of survivors, employing satellites & sensors to catch the last fish left. We have to understand how close to extinction some of these populations really are. And we must act now before they reach the point of no return. I want there to be hammerhead sharks & bluefin tuna around when my five-year-old son grows up. If present fishing levels persist, these great fish WILL go the way of the dinosaurs."

Extracted from : THE END OF THE LINE (Book & DVD)

Scientists have discovered that if the entire marine-ecological system is "tampered & interfered" with, what will eventaully be left for us are jellyfish & plankton. Do you fancy a jellyfish-burger in future?

Needless to say, Mom greatly DISAPPROVES of anyone eating sharks' fins. They have little nutritional values & contain high toxic mercury (bigger impact on pregnant animals & babies) as sharks like whales, are the top predators in the foodchain. Please refer to this article on Singapore being high on the list of consumers for sharks' fins. Shark finning is one of the most inhumane criminal acts on Earth, slicing off their fins whilst leaving them to SINK & DROWN to death... a slow & agonizing death...

Please Love Sharks, not eat them. Please also save childish & irresponsible remarks to yourself... for eg "but sharks eat humans! we should eat them!" Anthropocentrism is NOT the way to go. Biocentrism is! (Biocentrism - The idea that all species on the planet have an equal right to exist & that all species must have the right to exist, even habitats. The interest of a species must take precedence over the interest of an individual or a group of individuals within any one species. The rights of any species must take precedence over the desires & concerns of any one group of human beings. Culture is not a justification for exploitation of a habitat or a species.)

SAY NO TO SHARKS' FINS & educate the people around you.

"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men."

Alice Walker

Another great DVD to watch will be FOOD INC which depicts what most (if not all) humans are exactly eating everyday. We urge you to consume more organic/free-range produces to reduce the sufferings of caged-up chickens that NEVER get to see sunlight or even spread their wings in their entire lifetime... & many other farmed animals like cattle etc.

Now, altho' Mom's a vegan, she still buys & prepares (organic) meats for us. In short, she comes in contact with meats everyday both at home & at work. We aren't vegans like her because she believes that its morally right for animals to consume animals, just like how you'll never see a vegetarian lion anywhere.

Mom's also a weight-watcher as she tends to lose & gain very easily. From as low as 38kg to as high as 51kg... so as of now, she has lost nearly 11kg (in 2 months) & intends to maintain her weight at 40kg via a good diet & lotsa exercise (jogging with us or for her half-marathons of 21km).

Anyone whom knows her well, knows she is very dedicated to feeding us an organic raw natural diet coupled with lotsa daily exercise. Other things that she likes to do are watching Animal Planet, Nat Geo Wild, or any shows depicting wildlife, brave people risking their lives to save endangered species, etc.

Mom is not a fan of captivity of wild animals. So in that, she obviously doesn't like (nor visit) zoos/dolphinariums especially with smart creatures like dolphins/seals taught to perform stupid tricks to entertain humans. Most of these lovely intelligent creatures are wild-caught (locally & worldwide, watch THE COVE to witness the entire inhumane process)... & it's simply morally wrong to separate them from their families (to live in tiny enclosures) as they're social creatures that swim hundreds of miles per day in the open-sea to tease, socialize & play.

Mom & Dad also supports certain (non-profit) organizations that vow to save, & even die for the creatures they so love & vow to protect from extinction from being hunted down. Altho' Mom cannot do much from over here, she donates as & when she is able to. She hopes more people will come to realize about our dying animal species & planet... & do something about it before its too late, before your future generations can only see such wonderful, intelligent, self-conscious creatures from BOOKS & PICTURES instead of in their Natural Wild Habitat.

Besides animals, Mom is also trying to be environmentally friendly to our planet Earth. Do you know about the harm (non-biodegradable) plastic bags are bringing to our marine friends? They get wrapped up & die via choking from plastic bags... friends like the turtles, fishes etc. These plastic bags (& styrofoam boxes etc) will exist FOREVER because they can't bio-degrade, & they're dumped into the ocean because of over-population & hence, marine life are the ones whom SUFFER, no thanks to humans.


(Oxo) Biodegradable: Waste that will eventually break down & become part of the earth & soil like (oxo-biodegradable) plastic bags.

Non-Biodegradable: Waste that will NOT break down. Egs are plastic, metal & glass. Dangerous chemicals & toxins are also non-biodegradable, as are plastic grocery bags, styrofoam (polystyrene) , & other similar materials.

Some basic & simple ways that Mom helps to reduce the use of plastic bags are by bring her own eco-friendly bag when grocery-shopping, or simply saying NO to plastic bags especially when the distance from the shop to home is so near.

Should you have a recycling bin around your residence, please fill them up! With recyclable materials of course... we'll let you have an insight of our own daily collection before filling the recycling bin up!

Bringing your own tupperware when buying take-aways is also a way to reduce the use of harmful styforoam take-away boxes.

Mom is also switching to 100% oxo-biodegradable plastic bags for our family's Nasi Lemak stall, as well as for the Natural Pawpals' products. We hope more people will come to realize about these eco-problems we're facing today... & help to play their part in it. The ones to suffer first will be the animals, but ultimately, it will be us humans most greatly affected.

"All social changes begin from the passion of an individual." Please do not have the mentality that A PERSON doesn't make a difference. If one person reduces the use of 5 plastic bags a day, what about ten people? What about an entire NATION? Learn to look at the bigger picture. We really hope to do more, but til then... we will keep trying to be eco-friendly in our everyday-lives.

Mom & Dad likes to do stray-feeding as well. We follow them too & currently have 3 groups of stray dogs that we feed almost daily with lotsa table-scrapes collected from their food-stall. Most of the time, "beggers can't be choosers", & this is the best they can do currently. That way, at least the stray dogs won't go starving.

Photography (mostly of us & nature) is another of Mom's fav. thing to do. She hopes to invest in a better DSLR (for us) soon.

Of course, we're definitely no saints. We play a part in ruining our environment as well. For eg the use of air-condition (Mom has decided to slp w/o aircon anymore, which is really hot for us, but we just withstand it with Mom & Dad =] ), driving a car (having a car is mainly because of us, it is hard to bring dogs around Singapore w/o your own mode of transport & Mom's car's mileage is extremely low as she tries not to drive that much & uses public transport instead whenever she can. Mom drives WITHOUT aircon 90% of the time) etc. So in that sense, we can all play a part in REDUCING these harmful everyday acts.

Another of Mom's beliefs is Intuitive (Animal) Communication. That all animals, plants, micro-organisms, & elements are conscious.

There's alot more things about Mom & her beliefs, but we'll end here for now (or maybe add on to it when we've more time). Here's one of Mom's fav. quotes to end it off.

"The pyramids, the Old masters, the symphonies, sculpture, architecture, film, photography... All of these things are worthless to the Earth when compared with any one species of bird, or insect, or plant. The life of a human being is worth less than the life of a worm."

Paul Watson (Captain of the Steve Irwin, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society)

What is your EarthEcho? Everything you do makes a difference.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Exercising a Miniature Schnauzer (or any other breeds)

We came across this rather cute article on how much exercise a typical Miniature Schnauzer really needs. But we believe this really goes for ALL breeds... even the tiny ones as well.

Before we get onto the article, we'll let you have an insight of our current daily exercise routine.

Mom drives us out on weekdays at 6am to our usual favorite secluded hide-out for our 4.4km jog&walk session lasting about 45mins to 1hr. After which we'll drive to another location to feed the usual mongrels aka stray dogs with table scrapes from Mom & Dad's food-stall. So all in all, the entire session to & from home will take about 2hrs.

Altho' our exercise is fixed on every weekdays (5 days a week), Mom also makes an effort to give us a fast-walk of 4.4km on weekends around the estate (for a change of environment). So all in all, we'll usually clock up a minimum (jog&walk) distance of 22km (in 5 days), maximum of 30.8km (in 7 days) per week. Pretty somethin' for a small breed like me weighin' only 5.4kg eh?

Wondering about the exact distance? That's cuz Mom uses an iPhone GPS app to monitor the distance & time we take.

Mom is a firm-believer of exercising dogs (aside from a natural raw organic diet for us) for good health. Dogs without any exercise remain lethargic... & just like humans without any exercise at all... will do them no good in the long run.

For most dogs, its to the local dog-run for them to chase, play & mingle with other dogs. But Mom doesn't like the idea of us there as the chance of contracting ticks (or any other diseases from other dogs) is very high compared to our regular secluded hide-out. We do meet our usual pawpals there daily too (as well as other new pawpals around our estate)... so there's definitely interaction involved with our species.

But for me, Velvet, I do not play with other dogs at all as I'm an Alpha Female. So there really isn't any point in going to the dog-run for me (I'll only end up sniffin' the entire grass-area there the whole time).

So have you brought your pawpal(s) out for a gd ol' long walk already?

"Regular exercise is essential for optimal health. Sustained, vigorous use of the muscles stimulates all tissues & increases circulation. Blood vessels dilate & blood pressure rises. As a result, tissues become oxygenated, which helps to clean the cells of toxins. Digestive glands secrete their fluids better & the bowels move more easily. Nearly all dogs benefit from half an hour or more of daily vigorous exercise." Holistic Vet Dr. Pitcairn

Mom also believes that since humans detox via perspiration (via exercise), the same logic would apply for dogs as well. Since we do not have sweat glands on our bodies, we perspire 99% via panting, 1% via our pawpads. So detox is really a major combination of both exercise & (natural raw) diet.


And here's the article for all! (or simply read below)

The subject of Miniature Schnauzer exercise provokes a wide response. Speak to 10 different owners and you'll get 10 different answers as to how much exercise their Mini needs.

One reason for the growing popularity of the breed is indeed their versatility. As far as exercising a Miniature Schnauzer goes, these small dogs can adapt to living in a small home in the suburbs, an apartment in the city or a log cabin in the middle of nowhere.

This dog breed is suitable for older people, single people living alone or as a pet for the whole family..

However, being an excellent companion dog to people doesn't mean that the Mini Schnauzer has no needs of his own - he DOES!

Regular Exercise

One thing all dogs - including Miniature Schnauzers - have in common is that they do need daily exercise – preferably regular walks. At the very least they need a garden or yard to run around in.

Regular exercise keeps your dog's heart pumping, blood flowing, muscles working and joints functioning.

Exercise helps to keep your dog healthy and free from disease and illness.

Whether you live in a condo or on a farm, it’s a good idea to start regular exercise patterns early so the dog gets used to his daily routine and apapts to a constant amount of exercise.

Before we got our puppy Max, we read that as far as Miniature Schnauzer exercise goes, these dogs are easy to please They are as happy running round the garden as going for a five-mile hike.

That is largely - although not entirely - true. Max is definitely happier going for a 5 or even 10-mile hike than staying in the garden!

However, this is partly because he has been used to a lot of daily exercise since being a pup. Establishing regular Miniature Schnauzer exercise routines early is a good idea.

If you have a busy life and can only take the dog out once or maybe twice a day, get into the routine early on. This will help your dog's body and mind to adjust to your lifestyle.

How Much?

Veterinarians advise that you take your Mini out for at least one decent walk every day - and 2 or 3 times daily is even better. At least 30 minutes a day is the minimum recommended Miniature Schnauzer exercise.

You shouldn't think about getting one if you cannot commit to at least one daily walk with your Mini.

Like humans, dogs' energy levels do vary and a dog with lots of energy will need longer than half an hour. Mini Schnauzers are not slothful by nature, they are similar to terriers and enjoy running around given half a chance.

Max gets about 90 minutes a day spread over 3 walks. We've taken him on 6-hour hikes in the hills and he's still running energetically at the end of the day. (Although, once back home he sleeps and snores all evening and night. I think this is where the expression "dog tired" comes from!)

The Mini Schnauzer loves playing games. Their compact bodies lend themselves to a short stride and small turning circle. This is helping the breed gain success in agility classes in both the USA and UK.

Throwing a ball or a toy is a good way of burning off your dog’s excess energy. Although if he’s anything like Max, you’ll get more exercise than the dog! I usually have to fetch the ball myself when Max drops it and goes off to sniff something more interesting found along the way.

In a dog's mind, nothing can beat going for a walk. Whether to a new place with new smells or revisiting regular haunts - just see how excited he gets when you get out the lead already.

Look on the bright side, a brisk walk is a great way of keeping both you and your dog fit...!