How We’re Killing Off Tigers

It is estimated that all species of tigers will all be extinct within a decade.

Out of the nine different species of tigers, only six remain.Four of the remaining species are considered endangered and two are considered critically endangered.

SPECIES:

-Bengal Tiger

-Indochinese Tiger

-Malayan Tiger

-Siberian Tiger (critically endangered)

-South China Tiger (most critically endangered)

-Sumatran Tiger

-Bali Tiger (extinct in the 1930’s)

-Caspian Tiger (extinct in the 1970’s)

-Javan Tiger (extinct in the 1980’s)

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

One of the major reasons that tigers are going extinct is because of habitat loss. Tigers are constantly competing with humans for land.

Over the past 40 years, China’s population has doubled and 99 per cent of China’s forests have been destroyed, leaving the tigers with no where to live.

This causes another issue of tigers living in close quarters with humans. This means that many tigers are poisoned, shot or snared.

Here is a video that was shot in 2010 at a protected forest. In this video you will see a bulldozer encroaching on a tiger’s habitat.

IS THERE A SOLUTION?

To try and save the tigers, animal conservationists work with governments to set up wildlife preserves.

Unfortunately, most reserves are located on isolated islands which makes it very hard for tigers to survive. It will be extremely hard for the tigers to meet mates, there is threat of disease and threat of genetic drift.

Genetic drift: variation in the relative frequency of different genotypes in a small population, owing to the chance disappearance of particular genes as individuals die or do not reproduce.

Ultimately there is not one solution to make this problem go away. But if you would like to help, visit WWF’s website.

WWF is doing a lot of amazing work to help protect the tigers.

Some of the work that WWF is doing includes: protecting and connecting tiger habitats, monitoring tigers and their prey, eliminating tiger trade and working with governments to help them realize the benefits of respecting tigers.

Remember that even though you may not be the direct contributing factor to the problem, you can be the direct contributing factor in helping to find a solution.

 

the_status

 

SOURCES:

https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/tiger
http://www.tigersincrisis.com/the_status.htm
http://www.tigersincrisis.com/the_status.htm (PHOTO)

Easy Vegan Recipe!

Oh She Glows’ cacao crunch peanut butter-banana bites

What you’ll need:

2 large peeled bananas

3 tablespoons of peanut butter or almond butter

2 tablespoons of dark chocolate chips

½ teaspoon of coconut oil

2 teaspoons toasted sliced almonds

IMG_3216

Directions:

1. Line a large plate with a piece of parchment paper. Place the sliced bananas on the parchment paper. Carefully spread ½ teaspoon of peanut butter on top of each banana piece.

IMG_3223

IMG_3233

2. Place the plate in the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes, until the banana firms up.

3. In a small saucepan, gently melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together over very low heat. Stir to combine. With a small spoon, drizzle some of the melted chocolate on top of each banana piece

IMG_3235

IMG_3239

IMG_3242

IMG_3246

IMG_3247

4. Immediately sprinkle the banana pieces with the almond slices and stick a toothpick in each (if desired). The melted chocolate will quickly harden up. If this doesn’t happen, simply place the plate back in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes more, until the chocolate hardens.

IMG_3253

IMG_3279

5. Serve immediately. Store leftovers in a container in the freezer. Partially thaw on the counter for a few minutes, before serving.

IMG_3260

A review on COWSPIRACY

Cowspiracy is a documentary that focuses on animal agriculture and how it is the leading cause of rain forest destruction. Throughout the documentary we follow Kip Andersen as he talks to some of the biggest names in the agriculture world as well as environmental experts. Almost everyone who he interviews skips over the impact that animal agriculture has on rainforests.

We also see the ups and downs that Kip experiences while filming Cowspiracy. Kip was unsure if he wanted to continue with creating Cowspiracy after hearing about journalists and activists being “shut down” by large companies. But Kip realizes that this is a huge issue that deserves to be brought into the light.

One part of this documentary that really had an impact on me was when Kip broke down the numbers of how much water and food humans consume every day versus how much cows consume.

The human population drinks 5.2 billion gallons of water every day and eats 21 billion pounds of food, but just the worlds 1.5 billion cows drink 45 billion gallons and 135 billion pounds of food.

“This isn’t so much a human population issue, it’s a human eating animals population issue,” says Kip.

Kip and Michael Pollan discus that there is no way to continue to support the amount of meat Americans are eating every day and that in the future the world will likely be eating a lot less meat.

“A plant based diet is the most sustainable” –Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food

Another part of the documentary that resonated with me is when Kip explains that he’s always had a disconnected view of where his meat comes from and that he couldn’t make that mental connection until he experienced a duck being slaughtered.

I highly recommend that everyone watch this documentary because it raises a lot of questions that I think most people are afraid to think about. Cowspiracy showcases that eating animals isn’t only affecting the animals but also the world.

 

Cowspiracy.jpeg

The harm that zoos are causing

It’s time to answer the age-old question, are zoo’s actually helpful towards animal conservation?

The answer is no.

It is commonly believed that zoos protect animal species from going extinct, but the truth is that they rarely favour animals that are on the brink of extinction and instead promote popular animals that will attract more people to come to their zoo.

It is also believed that zoos exist solely for educational purposes, but that’s not exactly true either. Most people stay at each enclosure for only a few minutes and in those few minutes, they rarely read the provided information about the animal. Onlookers instead have their cameras ready to capture the animal doing something entertaining. It should also be acknowledged that the information provided about the animals are very basic facts and almost never have any actual educational value.

Here are just some of the ways that zoos are harmful to animal conservation:

-Zoo’s can’t provide sufficient space for their animals.
-Animals die prematurely in zoos.
-Animals are put in unnatural habitats and climates.
-Animals are removed from social structures.
-Once baby animals have lost their “wow factor,” a lot of the time they are sold and/or traded.

The Humboldt penguins at Scarborough Sea Life Centre are a good example of how harmful zoos can be to their animals.

The Sea Life Centre sayid that the penguins became fed up of the “miserable British winters” and in result became very lethargic and depressed. After about a month of this behaviour, the penguins were prescribed with antidepressants.

Humboldt penguins are usually found in Chile and Peru, which explains why they would not be acclimatized to British winters.

Another example of zoos doing more harm than good is what has commonly been referred to as zoochosis.

Zoochosis is a form of psychosis in which animals in captivity suffer from. Signs of animals suffering from zoochosis include:

-Bar biting
-Self-mutilation
-Circling
-Rocking
-Pacing
-Frequent licking

In closing, animals that are captured in zoos are ultimately there for entertainment purposes and are not given the privilege of living in the same environments and conditions that they would be living in if they were in the wild.

How you can help:

Don’t visit zoos and encourage zoo sponsors to put their money towards protecting animals in the wild.

Just something to end off on and think about:

Here is a quote from an editorial published by The Globe and Mail

“How can you encourage children to feel compassion for endangered animals on far-off continents, or feel wonder at creatures in the wild, and then bring them face-to-face with a captive lion or bear and pretend that this is the same expression of nature?”

SOURCES:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/the-problem-with-zoos/article30273090/

http://www.care2.com/causes/zoochosis-the-disturbing-thing-that-happens-to-animals-in-captivity.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/the-
northerner/2014/feb/06/penguins-prescribed-antidepressants-scarborough-rain
http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-in-entertainment/animals-used-entertainment-factsheets/zoos-pitiful-prisons/

 

animals-in-zoos-21.jpg

 

Overpopulation of cats in Winnipeg

The overpopulation of cats in Winnipeg has been an ongoing issue for years and is only continually getting worse. Cats are reliant on human beings to take care of them and without that form of protection they are left defenceless, especially in Winnipeg’s freezing winters.

The number of homeless cats in Winnipeg grows every year, leaving animal shelters overflowed with cats. It is estimated that the majority of cats in animal shelters aren’t adopted and are consequently euthanized.

The overpopulation of cats is not only bad for the animals, but also for the humans who live in the area where overpopulation is an issue. The cats can carry deadly diseases that can be fatal to humans.

What the Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) and other organizations are doing to try to fix this problem is to spay and neuter all cats that come into their care and to encourage owners to spay or neuter their cats.

The WHS Clinic performs over 5000 spay and neuter surgeries every year, but doesn’t even scratch the surface of the problem of overpopulation of cats in Winnipeg.

For more information on how you can help end the overpopulation of cats in Winnipeg, visit the Winnipeg Humane Society’s  website .

 

cat-jpg

The harsh reality for elephants in the circus

I went to my first circus at the age of ten. I remember sitting in a crowded red and white tent impatiently waiting for the show to begin. I couldn’t wait to see the acts, but one I was particularly excited for was the elephants. Almost immediately after the show started, the elephants came out into the ring and everyone began applauding. I watched as the trainers got up-close and personal with the elephants. They started the act by guiding the elephants around the ring and proceeded to make them perform tricks (the kind you make your dog do for a treat). At the time I envied that the trainers were allowed to be so close to these wonderful animals, so when my friend’s dad asked if we wanted to ride the elephants after the show, my friends and I all squealed yes. The experience was lacklustre at best. It was very rushed and probably not worth the $10. Some man who could barely speak English picked my friends and I up one-by-one and plopped us onto the elephant’s back. The ride was maybe five minutes and before we knew it, we were back on the ground. I still have the picture of me and my friends sitting on the elephant’s back, we sat in an over-glorified saddle and looked absolutely terrified.

Nine years later, and I am now aware of the cruel environments that these elephants grow up in. The truth is that elephants that are born or raised in the circus are abused physically and mentally.

Elephants that are born in the circus are taken away from their mothers at under the age of two-years-old. This can cause the elephants to become depressed and irritable. Elephants are known for having a very strong bond with their family members. In the wild, daughters will stay with their mother for their entire life and sons say until they are out of adolescence.

When the elephants begin their circus training, they are typically standing for 23 hours a day and aren’t allowed to lie down or turn around in this time. To inforce some of these rules, trainers will use bull hooks, ropes and electric rods. Elephants will also be forced to travel in boxcars for up to 100 hours at a time, year round…This means that the elephants are exposed to all types of weather conditions in which the elephants are not acclimatized for.

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus say by 2018 they will no longer have elephants in any of their shows. Instead, the elephants that they own are being shipped to their conservation center in Florida. At this conservation they are “dedicated to the breeding and understanding of these amazing animals.” The conservation is 200 acres made up of five outside paddocks which consist of “an intricate system of 37 gates and walkways” … Not exactly an elephant’s paradise.

Help stop the abuse by not going the circus when it comes to town and by voicing your concern to the companies.

Every voice counts!

Sign this petition to help retire Nosey the elephant from the circus industry.

 

elephant-boxcar

 

sources:
http://www.peta.org/features/ringling-bros-elephant-cruelty/
http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-in-entertainment/circuses/elephants-broken-spirits/
 http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-in-entertainment/circuses/
 

 

 

 

Cruelty-Free Brands !

Over 100 million animals are abused in US labs every year, this includes mice, rabbits, cats, dogs and birds. Because of this staggering statistic, chances are that some of your favourite brands are testing their products on animals.

It may seem that animal testing is inevitable and that there is no way to avoid it, but cruelty-free brands are becoming more and more common. A lot of people are reluctant to switch over to cruelty-free brands because they fear it will be too difficult to find these products and that they will be extremely expensive. But that is not necessarily true, there are a wide range of cruelty-free brands (that can be found locally) with varying price ranges.

So for anyone interested, I’ve created a list including a variety of cruelty-brands under the following categories: makeup, hair care, cleaning supplies and body care. Hopefully this will make your hunt a little easier!

Makeup:

Kat Von D Beauty
Anastasia Beverley Hills
Hourglass Cosmetics
Urban Decay Cosmetics
Too Faced Cosmetics
Nars
Marc Jacobs Beauty
Charlotte Tilburry
Lush
BECCA Cosmetics

Hair care:

Yes To Carrots
Kiss My Face
Carol’s Daughter
SoapBox
Desert Essence
Paul Mitchell
John Masters Organics
Natures’ Gate

Cleaning supplies:

Sun and Earth
Bio-Pac CleaningProducts
Citra-Solv
Bi-o-kleen
Sound Earth

Body care:

Arbonne
Nature’s Gate
Beauty Without Cruelty
Bare Bones Body Care
The Fanciful Fox
Hugo Naturals
Sibu Beauty

1453796781963

Sources:

http://www.leahlovesmakeup.com/beauty-1/2016/1/26/are-your-cosmetics-cruelty-free (picture)
http://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/ultimate-guide-to-cruelty-free-makeup/

http://www.peta.org/living/beauty/best-cruelty-free-drugstore-shampoos-conditioners/

http://thevegantruth.blogspot.ca/2013/08/vegan-cleaning-products.html

http://www.peta.org/living/beauty/completely-vegan-beauty-and-body-product-brands/

oh she glows

Angela Liddon’s The Oh She Glows Cookbook is filled with many delicious and easy to make vegan recipes. I have been working through this cookbook for the last six months and have been absolutely loving everything that I’ve made…. So I thought for this week’s blog post I would share some of my favourites.

BREAKFAST: Overnight Oats

1 cup of oats
1 ½ cups almond milk
¼ cup of chia seeds
1 large banana, mashed
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

for serving:
fresh fruit
hemp seeds
pure maple syrup

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oats, almond milk, chia seeds, banana and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight to thicken.
2. In the morning, stir the oat mixture to combine. Serve the oats in a jar or parfait dish, alternating with layers of fresh fruit, hemp seeds and a drizzle of maple syrup if desired.

LUNCH: Walnut, avocado & pear salad with marinated Portobello caps & red onion

2 large Portobello mushrooms
½ red onion, thinly sliced
Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 (5-ounce) box mixed greens
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and chopped
1 avocado, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted

1. Gently rub the outside of the mushrooms with a damp towel to remove any debris. Remove the stems by twisting the stem until it pops off; discard it or freeze for another use, such as a stir-fry. With a small spoon, scrape out and discard the black gills.
2. In a large bowl, combine the mushroom caps, onion, and half of the balsamic vinaigrette and toss until fully coated. Marinate the mushrooms and onion for 20 to 30 minutes, tossing every 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Place mushroom caps and onion on the pan and grill for 3 to 5 minutes per side, until grill marks appear and the vegetables are tender. Reduce the heat if necessary. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside until the mushroom caps are cool enough to handle, then slice the mushroom caps into long strips.
4. For each salad, place a few handfuls of mixed greens into a large bowl and top with half of the chopped pear, avocado, walnuts, and grilled mushrooms and onion. Drizzle the salad with some of the remaining balsamic vinaigrette and enjoy!

DINNER: Creamy vegetable curry

½ cup raw cashews, soaked
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 green jalapeño, seeded if desired and diced
2 medium yellow potatoes or 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons mild yellow curry powder
½ to ¾ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 cup of frozen or fresh peas
Basmati rice, for serving (optional)
Toasted cashews for serving

1. In a blender, combine the cashews with ¾ cup water and blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Stir in the green jalapeno, potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, tomato, curry powder, and salt. Sauté for 5 minutes more.
3. Stir in the cashew cream and peas. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet with a lid. Simmer, covered, over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender, Stir every 5 minutes throughout the cooking process. If the mixture starts to dry out, reduce the heat and add a splash of water or oil and stir to combine.
4. Serve the curry over a bed of basmati rice, if desired, and sprinkle with cilantro leaves and toasted cashews.

 

 

ohsheglowscookbookpiccover

Empty the tanks

Tilikum, SeaWorld’s most infamous killer whale died on  January 6, 2017 at the age of 35. The average life expectancy for a male killer whale, living in the wild, is around 60.

The outrage behind Tiliklum’s captivity began after the CNN documentary, Blackfish was released. The documentary focused on Tilikum and his life in captivity.

Tilikum was caught on the coast of Iceland in 1983 and was taken to “Sealand of the Pacific” which was located in Victoria, Canada. Tilikum stayed there for a total of 24 years, then was transferred to SeaWorld after he was involved in a Sealand trainers death.

A former SeaWorld trainer said that when Tilikum first started his training, he was “eager to learn” and caused no concern. Complications soon arose when an older whale was put with Tilikum for training purposes. The older whale would get frustrated when Tilikum did something wrong and would cover Tilikum in “rakes”(teeth marks). Tilikum would perform in shows with open wounds, this raised concern to the public. One scientist that spoke in Blackfish said that this was the beginning of Tilikum learning aggressive behaviour.

Tilikum killed two trainer’s at SeaWorld.

One morning in 1999, a man’s lifeless body was found draped over Tilikum’s back. It was assumed that the man snuck into the park after the park had closed, but authorities were unsure if the man jumped into the pool or if he was dragged in.

On February 24, 2010, one of SeaWorld’s top trainers Dawn Brancheau was dragged into the pool by Tilikum and was scalped and dismembered before she was drowned.

Howard Garrett, an Orca researcher said that there are no records of killer whales killing humans while living in the wild.

On December 7, 2010, PETA’s president sent a letter to SeaWorld regarding an announcement that stated SeaWorld was limiting Tilikum’s access to human contact. PETA pointed out that they were only frustrating Tilikum by keeping him confined and that this would only cause more problems. The letter referred to Tilikum as SeaWorld’s “chief sperm bank” and said that they were hoping it wouldn’t take another death to get SeaWorld to release Tilikum.

On March 19, 2016, SeaWorld’s blog, SeaWorldCares announced that Tilikum’s health was failing due to a bacterial lung infection.

On June 29, 2016, SeaWorldCares gave an update on Tilikum’s health and said that he was gaining weight and doing better. That was the last update that SeaWorld gave on Tilikum until on January 6, 2017 when they announced that Tilikum had died.

________________________________________________________________

As I was doing research for this post, I found a quote in a National Geographic article that I think sums up this blog post, Blackfish and everything that is wrong with SeaWorld.

“Tilikum’s life was the subject of Blackfish, but when I began the film, I was terrified of him. I had nightmares about him,” says Cowperthwaite. “It was only when I learned about his capture, his life in captivity, that I began to understand the depth of this tragedy on so many levels.”

Do you agree that it’s time to empty the tanks? Check out emptythetanks.org for ways you can help put an end to marine life living in captivity.

01tilikum

 

 

 

 

Vegan vs. Vegetarian

Veganism and vegetarianism are very overwhelming topics to those who don’t know much about the lifestyles. Many people admit that they are “turned off” by the idea of going vegan or vegetarian because of the way these lifestyles are portrayed in the media. So I thought that I would dedicate this blog post to try and explain the differences between veganism and vegetarianism and the benefits of switching to those lifestyles.

DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert in either of these lifestyles and I do not claim to know everything. I just recently became vegan and I am continuing to expand my knowledge 🙂

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let’s start with vegetarianism.

The definition of vegetarian is “a person who does not eat meat, and sometimes other animal products, especially for moral, religious, or health reasons”

That definition sums up the lifestyle pretty well, but of course everyone is different. For example, some vegetarians will also not eat any animal bi-products or wear fur, where there are other vegetarians who will.

Here are the different types of vegetarians:

Lacto-ovo vegetarians: Do not eat meat, poultry, or fish, but do eat eggs and dairy products.

Lacto vegetarians: Eat no meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, but do consume dairy products.

Ovo vegetarians: Eat no meat, poultry, fish, or dairy products, but do eat eggs.

Partial vegetarians: Avoid meat but may eat fish (pesco-vegetarian, pescatarian) or poultry (pollo-vegetarian).

A major reason that some people choose to go vegetarian is for health reasons, here are some of the main health benefits that can come along with the diet.

Health benefits of going vegetarian:

  1. Less risk of stroke and obesity
  2. Having lower cholesterol
  3. Lesser chance of developing kidney stones
  4. Helps reduce the risk of cancer
  5. May improve mood
  6. May improve symptoms of psoriasis
  7. Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
  8. Reduce risk of cataract development

 

_________________________________________________________________

The definition of vegan is “a person who does not eat or use animal products”

I don’t think this definition explains vegan well and that is because there is a difference between eating vegan and living a vegan lifestyle. If you live a vegan lifestyle you do not eat any animal products or and you don’t use any products that are tested on animals or contain animal by-products.

Personally I have not taken the full plunge of purging all of my household and cosmetic products that have been tested on animals or contain animal by products as of yet, but hey maybe in the future.

There are many health benefits that come along with going vegan, but one I would like to highlight in particular is the increase in energy that you will have. I am not a morning person at all, but when I started eating a vegan diet it became a lot easier to get out of bed.

Health benefits of going vegan:

  1. Reduces risk of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease, hypertension, stroke, obesity and some cancers including prostate and colon cancer
  2. lessens bad breath and body odor
  3. Boosts energy levels
  4. Can help with arthritis
  5. Can help with skin conditions

_________________________________________________________________

 

I hope this article was somewhat informative and helpful to anyone who is thinking about changing their diet/lifestyle.

 

vegan-680x276

 

Sources:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/becoming-a-vegetarian

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/9-health-benefits-of-a-vegetarian-diet/

http://www.ilovevegan.com/resources/benefits-of-a-vegan-lifestyle/

http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/diets/549526/Vegan-diet-benefits