My Vegetarian Journey

Before I even turned full vegetarian, I toyed with the idea of veganism. I never thought I will be a vegan. It’s a term, neither foreign, nor what I would even consider, since I was still struggling with giving up seafood. But as I read more about consuming eggs and dairy products, it gets harder for me to eat them.

For me, the egg and dairy part are the most difficult. Unless the eggs are in front of me, I’d remember that I don’t want to eat them. But when they get integrated into other food items, like cookies, cakes carrot cakes, etc. I forget that they are there! Just this morning, when I was at my friends’ for breakfast, they asked if I’d like to have french toast. I replied, “I’d prefer not.”. They were very understanding about it and offered me white bread and other pastries instead. I gladly accepted and ate those instead. And it wasn’t til about 2-3pm in the afternoon that it suddenly hit me that there may be eggs in those pastries. I must be confusing my friends when I refused their french toast and ate the bread and pastries instead!

Earlier this evening, I was at Coles and was shopping for fruits and some snacks. Without thinking, I bought a cheese snack. It totally slipped my mind that I was avoiding dairy products until I’m writing this blog.

Sign… I’m disappointed with myself for not remembering the suffering of the animals in order that those produce are made available in supermarkets.

I need an idea. One that would help me to be more vigilant in staying committed to my diet preference.

Image source from here

Image source from here


The Year of the Rabbit: Fortune or Misfortune?

Over the past weeks, I’ve been hearing friends discussing, media publishing, about the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration and that this being the year of the Rabbit. People are starting to pick up rabbit-inspired items with the thought of bringing that bunny luck into their homes. Some bringing the real deal; buying rabbits as pets to add on that bit of luck.

My sister’s friend who goes around the island rescuing bunnies told her that baby bunnies are being abandoned too. It used to be the adult rabbits who outgrew their cuteness once they reach adulthood that got abandoned. But now the baby ones are no longer a novelty too. There appears to be no empathy when spring-cleaning is done and the rabbits are just another piece of old furniture that needs getting rid of. When left out in the wild, these defenseless rabbits are either unable to fend for themselves or are often savaged by other bigger stray animals. There simply is no chance of surviving.

And what may not be enough just displaying them at home, there is now an option to consume them.

Really, eating rabbits aren’t a new culinary exploration or fad. New to Singapore maybe, but it has been a standard meat in some European countries. I guess what I am driving at is, do not consume for the sake of fun or a display of status.  If we are able to even peek into their lives as farmed animals, just for 5 minutes. I think you would not feel like eating them anymore when you get to see their living conditions.

Photo taken from TODAY publication on 15 Jan 2011

Photo taken from TODAY publication on 15 Jan 2011

Rabbit stew:

Rabbit Trend:

Dog allegedly hit by metal chain repeatedly

Animal abuse is not new news. It happens everyday, every moment in this world. I live in denial sometimes… I hate it when friends or sister forward me bad news on animals abuse. When I ride on the road and see a lump of mess that may look vaguely like a carcass, I pray hard that it’s NOT a carcass. But no matter how much denial I’m in, these sad stories occur and I came across this one today.

Update: She survived her 4-hour operation.

Her name is Wander.

The Way of a Broiler’s Life

When you arrive in this world, you find yourself living with thousands of your own kind right next to you. There’s barely any room for you to move. Not knowing better, you live in bright light 24 hours a day for the first week or so of your new life; your mind tells you that it’s daylight all the time so you hardly rest and you eat more. Of which you shit more, but why is it that no one clears the crap?

Then you find that there was darkness, for about 4 hours a day, just enough to take a rest so that you don’t die of exhaustion. No wonder you start observing that some of your ‘friends’ start going mad or are in chronic pain or dying in front of your eyes.

The good new is; you will die in about 42 days’ time.

What do you do if you find an abandoned kitten?

You walk out of your house, you hear a soft meow somewhere, you think for a moment that there may be a little kitty out there meowing for help, you wonder if you should be helping, you wish you didn’t hear it, you wandered and found a tiny little kitten looking pitifully at you and still meowing away… now you can’t just walk away wishing you didn’t see it. You bring it home.

Stray Kitten

Image by Adriane Lee

What’s next? Give it a warm shelter (you can try wrapping it in a towel and massage it gently). Put it in a small box or crate because it will feel more secure. Make sure the area is safe from small children and other animals. Line the box with newspaper that you can throw away and clean everyday.

It should be very thirsty and hungry, so make sure the kitten gets a fresh supply of water. For food, if you have no cats at home, then pop by the nearest pet store and buy a pack of dry food or canned food for kittens. If you are not sure, ask the pet store assistant.

You can also try to clean it with a damp cloth; use short and gentle strokes.

If you have pets at home, then separate the new found kitten away from your house pets in case there are any spread of bugs or diseases.

If you intend to foster it for a while, then bring it to the vet as soon as possible for a quick check to make sure it is in good health.

You can seek help from your local animal shelters or animal welfare societies. A quick Google search should help you find a list. Many animal welfare societies may be able to help you deflect some costs involved in caring for the stray, so do ask them for help.

They should also be able to give you tips on how to put the kitten up for adoption. But if you should decide to keep it, then I think it’s a wonderful thing to do!

Broilers or layers?

Yes that is the question I learnt today (reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer) and the answer is how chickens are categorized in the world of factory chicken farming.

They are engineered and bred to already fit into these two categories; broilers and layers.

Broilers are used for their flesh. Chickens have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years, but in modern age farming, they are now pumped to grow to full size in six weeks! I can’t help to think how unnatural that is and do these growth aids play a part in cancer-causing? I’m no scientist so I don’t know the answer…

Layers are used purely for producing eggs. Each layer is placed in a space between the size of a paperback novel and a printing paper (A4 size) in their lifetime. To sweeten the deal, their feet stand on wire grills. It’s hard not to imagine some turning violet, hysterical or simply going mad. Oh these cages do open though, once in their lives… at the end of it, that is.

So how about the layers? Obviously female. What happens to the male chicks? They are destroyed; by dropping them through a pipe where they get electrocuted. This is in more technologically advanced farms. In smaller farms, they are dropped in big containers where the weaker ones suffocate slowly at the bottom and the stronger one meets the same fate but on top of the pile. And the survivors, along with the dead ones are then pushed through a macerator where trash is compacted. One way or another, there’s just no escape.

Factory farming chickens

Image Source

Kittens Used for Pediatric Studies in Hospitals

I came across this article online and had a shock…

Once a widespread practice in hospitals and now down to one or a few (known) sites, cats serve as a model for teaching students child intubation procedures—meaning hard plastic tubes are forced down cats’ (and ferrets’) windpipes. This can cause bleeding, swelling, collapsed lungs, scarring of throat tissue in the cats—or even death.

That’s for a course in Pediatric Advanced Life Support, but cats are also used in a procedure where air is forced into cats’ chest cavities, and students then practice inserting a needle to remove the excess air.