Bonsai

Go Green or Go Home

Spotlight on Website: Greater Good January 12, 2014

Here’s a free website that allows you to help others, no account required. Greater Good is a site entirely dedicated to money donations for, well, the greater good. It sells fair trade items and donates percentages of your purchases to great causes. Each day they have a different project- today’s was getting 24 children to a hospital by way of donations and free-clicks-to-donate. In the past, Greater Good has done a lot of good with their clicks. Greater Good

Here are some of their click-to-donate successes.

They have:

  • provided 6 months of care to an orphaned moose
  • sent an orphan to school for 5 months
  • given a sea lion food for a month
  • matched 5 veterans with pets that will help them
  • fed 4,000 seniors
  • donated toys to children in the developing world
  • built ‘castles’ for shelter cats

And many more! Want to get in on the action? All you have to do is check out  Greater Good. It has many sub-sites such as The Hunger Site, The Literacy Site, The Animal Rescue Site and The Breast Cancer Site, all dedicated to the special causes that their names suggest.

With just one click, you can do things like:

  • give free food to an animal shelter
  • give a woman with breast cancer a mammogram
  • donate a book to a child in need
  • fight hunger and poverty every day
  • save land in a forest
  • help wildlife

And it’s freeAll you have to do is click a simple button. I love free click websites, because it’s so easy and you can do it every day. Free clicks are a great way to help whatever cause you want, like breast cancer help, encouraging literacy, or feeding the homeless. I have enormous respect for the donors who give the food/books/mammograms/etc when anyone clicks.

You can also sign up for a daily reminder. Each day, they will send you a email telling you to click the free buttons.

Don’t forget to click at care2.com as well! We’ve made a previous post about it.

greatergood.com

thehungersite.greatergood.com

Ceej

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PETA is Killing Animals November 16, 2013

Filed under: Animal Cruelty — mochi @ 11:27 pm
Tags: , , ,

I wasn’t a fan of PETA even before I learned the truth about its methods, but new findings just take the cake. PETA, a seemingly charitable organization- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals- is not only neglecting animals, but actually harming and killing them. Instead of letting the 89% of adoptable cats and dogs they keep in their shelters go to good homes, they euthanize the animals. Don’t believe me? You should. The death toll is currently 29, 398. This is wrong. Not only are they murdering innocent animals, they’re lying to the public and doing things that go to the exact opposite of their message. How can we stop them? The http://petakillsanimals.com/takeaction webpage has a part where you can add your name, but that won’t be enough.PETA IS EVIL

Here’s what you can do in addition to that:

  • Educating people about it is the most important thing right now. Posting online about it will help, as well as telling others.
  • Don’t buy anything to support PETA, don’t donate any money
  • If you know of a PETA building or branch near you, you can petition to have it shut down or investigated. IMPORTANT: Make sure that if it is shut down, all the animals have a place to go! Otherwise, the PETA officials may euthanize them.
  • Make sure any strays found are brought to good shelters, not ones like PETA shelters!

 

 

Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do without enlisting government help. However, this is a very important issue and I’d like to see PETA shut down. It’s not okay for them to treat their animals this way: it is cruel and hypocritical. Stop PETA! This is NOT ethical treatment!

Ceej

 

The Plastic Predicament September 22, 2013

Plastic is a menace to all ecosystems it comes in contact with. Non-biodegradable, toxic, petroleum-based, and easily mistaken for an ocean animal’s prey, it’s ruining our seas and filling up our landfills. The approximated amount of plastic recycled, out of the total plastic produced is almost certainly less than 10%. And do you know what happens to the rest of it? It sits around in a dump for thousands of

English: Ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA...

years, or is taken to the ocean to become yet another drifting patch of garbage. Plastic is not a biodegradable substance. It will break down over many years, but it will never fully go away. The molecules will simply divide and become smaller and more spaced out, until they are spread to other parts of the ocean and the Earth to become more pollution. It takes so many years for even a slight breakdown to occur that there is no difference made, and the plastic continues to pile up. Worse yet, even if the plastic does start to ‘decompose’- though I shouldn’t be calling it that, because it will never fully break down- the particles are then microscopic and harder to locate, especially harder to remove. They go into the water that many sea animals live in and breathe.

Sending the plastic to be destroyed isn’t a much better choice. The incineration of trash releases toxins and chemicals into the air, which create pollution in the air. So no matter where the plastic goes, it’s always a problem. Did you know that breathing the air in Mumbai for just one day is equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes? That’s how polluted it is. Plastic and other petroleum-based substances are not only ruining the Earth, but also the creatures living in it. Turtles in the ocean often think that plastic bags are jellyfish and consume the bags, which clogs the airways in their throat and eventually kills them.

Recent developments are being made to create plant based plastics, rather than petroleum based ones. While this will certainly help to stop creating trouble for the ocean, it won’t decrease what’s already there. Thankfully, inventions are being made, and it’s believed that they can help. Take Dutch teenager Boyan Slat’s robotic ocean cleaning invention: it gleans its energy from ocean currents, so it’s sustainable, and it directs plastic particles to collection platforms. The plastic particles will then be recycled in a way that people can profit from it.Dutch Ocean Clean Up Device

Will this fix every plastic problem our oceans face? No. In fact, it’s estimated that only a third will be collected, but it’s a revolutionary solution that’s still going to change a lot for ocean wildlife. However, the robot cleaning devices are just an experiment, say the team of engineers working on them, though they also say that it looks promising. It’s not clear when these cleaning platforms will be put into use, or even if they will be put into use. So what can we do to help?

Ways to Help:

  • Bring a reusable grocery bag to the store with you, and make sure the rest of your family does as well.
  • Recycle as much of your plastic as you can- preferably all of it.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle everywhere. Stop buying plastic ones! If you’re in desperate need of water, and plastic is the only option, recycle that bottle, or reuse it for another day.
  • Talk to your local grocery store about stopping the usage of plastic bags altogether. Be sure to remind them that it will boost their profit because they can also sell reusable cloth bags.
  • If you have a lot of plastic grocery bags already, use them to line small bathroom trashcans. You can also iron a couple of bags together to create a reusable grocery bag.

If we could outlaw the dumping of plastic into our oceans and landfills, companies might be able to sell it to other organizations, such as Terracycle, and they could turn it into recycled products. What do you think? Got any ideas to help?

Ceej

 

Shark Finning- The Cruel Industry August 19, 2013

Shark finning is a disgusting way of gathering food, and sadly, it is on the rise. Fishermen will catch a shark, remove all fins for consumption and trading, and throw the shark back into the ocean, dismembered and traumatized. The shark, without its fins, can hardly swim and will sink to the bottom, starve to death, or be attacked by another animal. This is not the natural cycle. It is not the way sharks were meant to live, and most certainly not the way sharks were meant to die. Many people enjoying their shark fin soup are not even aware of the inhumane practices that go into it. According to the Endangered Shark Database, more than 1/4 of all sharks are being commercially exploited, and their survival in the long-term is doubtful. 

English: NOAA agent counting confiscated shark...

 

 

You can help. We here at Bonsai never underestimate the power of a good petition, and in this case, we’ve got plenty for you. You too can add your virtual signature and join the movement to stop shark finning. A large masterlist of petitions can be found at http://www.stopsharkfinning.net/stop-shark-finning-petitions/, and the rest of the website is helpful and fascinating as well. Shark finning is an abusive practice that harms many sharks, including endangered ones, the species of whom are already in danger. You can help spread awareness about shark finning in your community, there are many ways. First of all, you can immediately strike interest in people who have been blind to the practices before whenever you are confronted with shark fin soup. Refusing to eat it and asking others to is a small, but effective way to help. stopsharkfinning.net says, “If local communities realise that they can make more money by conserving sharks than by killing them, then we will ensure the survival of sharks. If you are considering a holiday in a location where there are sharks, you might want to go shark diving. This is a source of income for communities that encourages shark conservation.”

 

 

 

Ocean activities are a large tourist attraction that won’t harm the wildlife. Speak to restaurants offering shark fin soup or marketplaces allowing it to be sold and tell them how it is harming the ecosystem and our oceans. Check out the rest of the Stop Shark Finning webpage for other ideas, if you’re wondering what to do. Together, we can get ban shark finning in as many places as possible, and save the sharks.

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Ceej

 

No-Kill Shelters July 8, 2013

Filed under: Animal Cruelty,Animals — K @ 9:06 am
Tags: , ,

*I was inspired to write this while watching Animal Cops: Detroit

Have you ever heard of the Humane Society animal shelters? Chances are you have one in your very town or city! The Humane Society is a national organization that has shelters geared towards the comfort and well being of all animals brought to them. Most shelters do not have law enforcement as part of their staff, unlike those featured on Animal Planet, but that doesn’t stop them from legally seizing abused animals from awful conditions, or giving life saving surgery to a cat with a fishing hook stuck in their paw. The Humane part of Humane Society means that, among other things, all H.S. shelters are no-kill. That means that all the animals that are brought or taken to them stay there until adoption or natural death.

A ‘Kill Shelter’ is a shelter that puts inhabitant animals to sleep after they have stayed in a cage or slotted space for more than the alloted time without meing adopted. This has been protested against by thousands of people across the United States because this doesn’t give all the animals a fair chance at lfie or adoption, or even foster care, which certainly is a very viable option for many animals. The shelters put their animals to sleep, partially because they are taking up space neededd for others, though that isnt a good reason, even if the shelter is low on funding, but also because younger kittens and puppies have a better chance of being adopted. The reason for that is as follows: If a younger couple is looking for a pet – say they have a four year old daughter at home- they’ll naturally lean towards an easily domesticated animal verses one who has matured distrustful and afraid of humans. It takes a rare person willing to adopt an older cat or dog, the two main animals placed in shelters.

Another problem with kill shelters is that many people don’t know about their local Humane Society, so they only take their unwanted or discovered pets to the other shelter, the one that doesn’t let the animals live past six weeks. There is an abundance of kittens and puppies, as very few owners actually spay and neuter their pets .This leads to a booming reproduction rate that leaves hundreds of baby animals homeless and abandoned because their owners never bargained that they would have this number of animals to deal with. The average size of a feline litter is 4 to 5 kittens, with about a 35-4 day gestation period. The dog’s litter is usually 3-4 puppies. That’s a lot of required time and energy to deal with these many hyper, energetic baby animals at once.

Do you think this is wrong, to kill animals simply because they haven’t been adopted yet? No. This is no excuse for animal cruelty, because there are foster programs and plenty of people who are willing to adopt.

Here are some things you can do to help:

1.) Research your local humane society location and see if you can volunteer to spread the word and/or volunteer with the cats and dogs that have been placed there.

2.) Make flyers/print some out from an online website encouraging pet owners to spay/neuter their pets

3.) Raise money for your local Humane Society Animal Shelter! This can be super fun if you can get a group of friends together to have a bake sale or a car wash.

4.) Watch Animal Cops on Animal Planet to get a better understanding of what Humane Societies do. WARNING: viewer discretion is advised, only because some of the animals they rescue have been abused awfully or have been rescued from very bad situations.

But above all, love your pets hat you have at home, and take good care of them so they’ll never have to end up in an animal shelter.

Happy Reading!

-Katherine Flynn, Author at Bonsai

 

Not So Vegetarian After All: Animal Traces in Seemingly Meatless Food July 2, 2013

I recently converted back to an all-vegetarian lifestyle, and I’m even eating vegan most days. However, we all could be eating food made with some disgusting ingredients taken from animals, without our knowing it! Things like gelatin and cochineal are hidden in our day-to-day snacks, right under our noses. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you should educate yourself very well on hidden dead animals in your  cake or hot sauce. Yes, you read that right- cake and hot sauce. Here, from Buzzfeed Food, are 9 Surprising Things That Might Not Be Vegetarian.

Not So Vegetarian After All

Why is this such a big problem, not only for non-animal eaters, but for omnivores as well? Food companies are concealing things from us, cheating us out of a lifestyle that many of us go to large lengths to preserve.  And even if you’re alright with an occasional tuna salad sandwich, I’m not sure how much you’d enjoy a fish’s bladder in your alcohol, crushed bones in your sugar, or intestines in your cheese. (Don’t forget the beetles in your Swedish Fish.) Have you lost your appetite yet? 

 

And what about people who are allergic to these hidden ingredients? Not only will they have a reaction, it might be confusing to bystanders who don’t know what’s really in the food the allergic person just ate. I’d also like to point out that eating cheese lined with intestines isn’t exactly what you’d call a gourmet meal. It’s dangerous, it’s gross, and it’s hiding information that the public deserves to know.

 

Not only is it revolting to think of such unseemly parts in your food, it’s ruining vegan and vegetarian meals for anyone who buys it. Always check the ingredients before buying.

 

For Your Reference:

Vegan Brands by PETAKiDs

Bone Char Sugar by Vegan Products Guide

Vegan Alcohol by Barnivore

 

Ceej

 

Success! P.A.L.S. Course Won’t Hurt Cats June 4, 2013

Filed under: Animal Cruelty,Animals,Projects — mochi @ 3:48 pm
Tags:

Washington University used to use live cats and other animals as part of their testing for the Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course, but thanks to the efforts of petitioners, they will no longer torture the cats. Thanks to the person who started the petition. I signed it, but was surprised to find it had gotten that far; I’m so glad it did! They’ve stated that this is a permanent change for PALS. However, it’s still unknown whether the rest of the courses will follow in their footsteps and put an end to animals cruelty at Wash. U forever. Way to go, PALS, you’re making the right choice.

 

 
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