Archive | March, 2011

DANCING!

26 Mar

You may not know that I absolutely LOVE dancing. Not just the act of dancing but watching great choreography. You will know by now that I have a great love of music videos and I thought that I’d find a new way of sharing my faves with you. So this is my mix of 10 of the best dance videos. I’ve got other categories to come too.

Let’s start with the ultimate dance – one that we can all dance along to. Check out that jump onto the table at the very beginning!

Grease – Greased Lighting

MJ clips have always been favourites of mine. The are more like short films with singing and dancing. The original Bad clip is around 20 mins! So I’ve just included the 7 minute version! Great moves!

Michael Jackson – Bad

This next one is from my top 20 list but it’s too good to miss! The mirror and the rope dance are wonderful

Madonna – Human Nature

And speaking of Madonna, here she is again with JT. This clip is a favourite of mine for so many reasons. I especially love the giant lights counting down the duration of the song. You might not think that the dancing are choreography are all that good but think about it – jumping around on cars is hard! AND anything have involves having fun in the supermarket wins points with me. Oh and one more thing… Treadmills!

Madonna & JT – 4 Minutes

For something a bit different here’s Florence and the machine. This vid is just gorgeous. Filmed in a decorative church her dancing (and her hair) is amazing! Love the slow-mo cape!

Florence And The Machine – Drumming Song

Next, here’s Janelle Monae. She’s so small and cute and a wicked dancer. I love the subplot that dancing is illegal.

Janelle Monae – Tightrope

Ok let’s talk Lady Gaga. I would never have even knew who she was if her clips weren’t selected by rage guest programmers so often! They are undeniably good. Last year she won some record amount of awards for her music videos. Like Michael Jackson, her vids are a bit long and melodramatic but they are bold, offensive and completely WEIRD, just like gaga herself. I know many of you can’t stand her but I’m a huge fan, give me shocking, bizarre & risqué any day. This first clip may as well be a porno. It pushes the boundaries so perfectly and the dancing is just superb. And just when you think it’s getting tame, and she puts some clothes on… out comes the machine gun bra…. Love it!

Lady Gaga – Alejandro

This is a long one and you know that I LOVE this vid. It’s worth watching the whole thing just for the WTF value! This clip has my favourite dance scene ever. It’s short but seriously HOT. Look out for the dancing for about a minute from 3:18. The wonder woman dance at the end is pretty funny too.

Lady Gaga – Telephone

And now on to Beyonce. She’s a pretty awesome dancer you have to admit but of all of her vids, this DEFINITELY takes the cake> I bet you couldn’t even WALK in those shoes!

Beyonce – All The Single Ladies

And to finish off here’s a bit of Spike Jonze love.

Fatboy Slim – Weapon Of Choice

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Animal Products

26 Mar

I’ve been avoiding writing about this topic for a while now but I’m not sure why exactly. Maybe to avoid being labelled as a preaching vegetarian or a vegan activist. Or maybe because the net is already SO full of blogs and websites about this stuff – and we’ve all had enough of it. Well fuck it. No more excuses. I’m not aiming to please on this blog so I’m just going to share my shit and you can take it or leave it. I appreciate you taking the time to read this.

So here’s my thoughts on human’s use of animal products.

The term “animal products” is something I’m quite desensitised to but when you actually stop and think about it, it’s pretty fucking gross. Eating, drinking, wearing stuff that came from animals – it seems normal in our society. I find it hard to imagine my leather shoes once being a cow. That’s because we’re programmed not to think about it.

Occasionally you may associate a cut of meat with the animal’s body part: ribs, breast, rump etc but even then it’s easy to detach. In fact detachment is essential if you want to continue to eat meat. Human’s are compassionate beings by nature. I’ve seen meat eaters brought to tears, turn away in disgust and become instant vegetarians after watching footage of animal slaughter for food production. I’ve also seen cowardly meat eaters refuse to watch footage like this or even hear THE TRUTH about the treatment of animals raised for food. It seems strange to me that anyone would prefer not to know the truth about anything – even if that means feeling something that challenges you. I spoke to Bob’s Dad just after I had finished reading Eating Animals and told him about the book. He seemed quite interested so I offered to lend it to him. He declined and said that he liked eating meat and probably wouldn’t want to eat it anymore after finding out the truth so he’d prefer not to know.
There’s only one word for that in my opinion: Gutless.

If you’ve seen the sort of footage that I’m talking about you cannot deny that the whole process feels wrong on every level. I personally have given up watching footage of animal slaughter as it does nothing to enrich my life and I have never encouraged anyone to do so however, if you are curious however (as many are) here’s a few tame vids to give you an idea:
Cows
Chickens

I wasn’t able to find a pig vid that didn’t have the direct audio. The audio is usually the most disturbing part. Anyway I’m sure you can look further if you’re interested. Well let’s talk a little more about the killing process… most animals are “stunned” before being “knocked” by the bolt gun and having their throats slit (or decapitated in the case of birds). Stunned means that they cannot move but can still feel everything. In many cases, the animal is not killed instantly by the bolt and feels the full pain of bleeding to death. Pain that you could never imagine.

Now think for a moment about what pain, fear, anxiety, stress does to the bodies of any mammal… adrenalin and other chemicals run through the muscles/meat. I’ve read about fear and pain being stored in the cells of the meat and seen countless individuals become vegetarian as part of their spiritual journey and find that they can then easily surrender unhelpful fear in their own life. Coincidence?

It’s common for “conscious meat eaters” to only animals that are shot in the head outdoors rather than in an abattoir like kangaroos and deer (venison) or killed humanely. Personally I think that “killed humanely” is an oxymoron although I can understand the reasoning for these choices..

So, animals raised for meat live to die, we get it. So what about their life then?
Well it’s pretty shit.
Pigs and chickens are raised in indoor environments that are so far from their natural habitat it’s not funny. Pigs are kept on concrete floors in stalls that are only slightly bigger than their bodies. Their tails are removed without anaesthetic. They are not able to turn around, roll over, run, stretch lets alone walk on grass, cool off in mud, socialise or form a bond with their offspring. They’ve been selectively bred to be meat-heavy, grow unnaturally quickly and are given antibiotics to prevent disease. It’s a mystery why antibiotics are losing their effect on humans isn’t it?

Chickens beak’s are clipped with a burning hot blade. They do not see the sun. Their factory farms are unhygienic and pungent. Their 45 day life goes so quickly that often by the time they are due for slaughter they cannot walk under their own weight. Many chickens are so abnormally heavy that they go for days or weeks before slaughter with broken legs. It is common for chickens to go crazy in the light/fresh air deprived factory farms and attack other chickens (hence the beak clipping) and a high percentage of birds experience untreated infected wounds while on their way to becoming food.

So what about cows and sheep that get to run around free in paddocks? They have a great life, right? Well it’s arguable whether a life that exists purely to die and be eaten isn’t really much a of a life at all. Cows and sheep are forced to endure weather extremes often without adequate shelter and water. Why waste water on something that’s just going to die in a couple of weeks anyway? In fact all animals have to travel long distances, sometimes hundreds of kilometres to be slaughtered while exposed to the elements and denied food and water.

Certainly cattle that get to roam around in spacious paddocks and feed leisurely on grass have the most stress free life of all animals that are bred in captivity for food. This new wave of “grain fed” animals being a healthy alternative is a bit of a crock. For most non-organic meat, these animals are fed genetically modified, pesticide laden wheat and corn. And, err… why is this good?

If the food given to cows was instead given to people the 1 billion starving people in the world could have something to eat. I’m not making this up, it’s true.

So cows chilling in a paddock might have an arguably decent life, but there are other issues to consider… Like the planet!

40% of the worlds forests have been cleared for cattle grazing. Hello? Trees absorb carbon!
Cattle grazing destroys topsoil. Nutrient rich topsoil is essential to sustain plant life. Once it’s gone, it takes years to reform – and that’s only if erosion doesn’t continue which it normally does.
One third of the planet’s surface is dedicated to livestock. Imagine if that land was dedicated to growing crops of food for people.
Animal agriculture creates 40% more carbon emissions than all transportation in the world combined and is the number 1 contributor to climate change.

Do you need to read that again?

The highest contributor to global warming is meat/dairy production. Environmentalists who eat meat are a joke.

These are real stats – check em.

Getting back to animals having shitty lives, let’s think about animals that aren’t farmed for meat but for milk and eggs.
Let’s start with chickens. Battery hens surely have the most tortured existence of all. You’ve all seen photos of them, crammed into multi-level cages, no light, no space, no standing, flying or stretching. Just sit, eat and lay eggs. That’s it. And after 12 months as egg production slows, you guessed it… dead.
So you think you’re doing you’re bit by buying only free range eggs? Until last year the term “free range” was not regulated and could be used to describe just about any battery conditions, including hens that were kept inside but given access to a tiny outdoor area for an hour per day. This is now changing and the rspca give certification to legitimate free range eggs. But guess what? Even free range, organic “happy eggs” come from chickens which are kept purely for the purpose of making money and after 18 months the chickens reach their expiry date.
So even if you have your own chickens or choose free range eggs for home, whenever you eat out or go shopping and choose a product that contains eggs, you can almost guarantee that the eggs are not free range. A slice of cake, a bottle of mayonnaise… unless specified you can bet the eggs used were from an evil battery farm.

Now finally to the poor, old dairy cow. Their story is heart wrenching. Why? We’ve all seen the cute black and white dairy cows having a chilled out life in the paddocks next to the dairy. It doesn’t seem so bad…
The cows are continually artificially inseminated to keep them in a constant state of pregnancy/lactation. If you think human women have gruelling birth experiences, imagine giving birth to a cow! LOTS of cows! Then the minute after she gives birth her calf is removed instantly from her. Cows are programmed to care for their young and experience grief and depression in the same way that a human losing a newborn would. Male calves are slaughtered for veal (if you are a vegetarian who consumes dairy – you are still a supporter of the veal industry). Female calves are separated from their mothers “to avoid attachment” and are fed GM soy and corn as well as antibiotics and other medications to prevent illness.
How fucked up is that? The offspring never get to drink the milk that is produced by their mother for them.

Humans are the only species to drink the milk of another animal.

Here’s another situation where we’ve been brainwashed and desensitised to the idea. Think about it. Drinking the milk of a COW is fucking gross.
You would cringe at the thought of sipping on the milk of a cat or the milk of a monkey or even the breast milk of another human… but drinking the breast milk of a cow if perfectly fine?
It is common practice for milk producers to milk cows with sores/wounds on their teets meaning that blood and puss end up in the final product. And dairy products do not have to contain any information about additives, preservatives added to them during processing (in fact the same goes for meat and supermarket/non-organic vegies).
So milk is one thing but what about other dairy products? Cheese is SO far removed from it’s original state that it’s incredibly easy to forget that it comes from a cow (and rennet from stomachs of cows, sheep and pigs). The further away a product is from it’s source, the easier it is to forget about where it comes from. Cheese on toast may seem like a mouth watering, quick, easy snack but it actually at some point involved a significant amount of cruelty, not to mention a whole lot of processing and many kms of travel. Are you willing to accept that?

So why should we even care about these animals? Humans have been using them for so long that it just seems normal. Let me ask you this?
Why do you have a love of birds but have no trouble eating a duck?
Why do you protect your children and not respect the cow’s desire to protect her children?
Why do you love your dog and feel fine eating a pig? Did you know that pigs are more intelligent and more loyal than dogs? In fact they are more intelligent than 3 year old humans!
A question I often ask myself is: Why are there so many vets and animal lovers who are so fine with eating meat…

The answer is: selective information filtering and LOTS of conditioning.

It would just be WRONG to go to a cafe and not see bacon & eggs and cafe lattes on the menu. Would it?
I can’t imagine a Christmas without ham/turkey/chicken. Why not?

Excuses. I’ve heard them all on this topic. We get hung up on ‘tradition’ and can’t see past the ‘convenience’ of animal products. Considering the MASSIVE cost to the earth, meat production seems far from convenient.
In fact, while inflation has seen price rises in just about everything over the past 20 years, meat prices have stayed about the same. The meat industry uses low prices to keep us eating it. So who’s paying for the inflation? The animals living their short, tortured lives in factory farms and of course, the planet.

I haven’t even touched on seafood. This post is already long enough so I’l save that for another day. If this info has made you want to learn more or create change then here’s some books, websites and films that I recommend:

More info of milk
Eating Animals Book
Food Inc Documentary
Home Documentary
Food Matters Documentary