9 must reads for conservationists

Protecting the environment is becoming more and more urgent and is by no means a new issue. We need more conservationists. Our green conscience has been evolving since the beginning of the industrialisation. Here are nine must read books – some because they put the climate change debate and environmental protection into historical context and others because they are entertaining and have brought environmental issues to the masses.

Just click on the links in the carousel below. Should the carousel not load for you, below is the list spelled out again.

The list is:

  • Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens, 1865
  • Germinal by Emile Zola, 1885
  • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson 1962
  • Flight of Ashes by Monika Maron 1986
  • Farewell to Matyora by Valentin Rasputin, 1995
  • Purple America by Rick Moody, 1998
  • The Future of Life by Edward O. Wilson 2003
  • The Swarm: by Frank Schatzing,  2007
  • The World Without Us by Alan Weisman, 2008
self induced hearing loss & how to prevent it

self induced hearing loss & how to prevent it

Self Induced Hearing Loss

Attention has been focused on the potentially negative effects smartphones can have by way of emissions, privacy intrusion and unsafe driving practices. We haven’t yet shed sufficient light on the impact smartphones, MP3 players and other listening devices can have on our hearing.

1.1 Billion Young People Are at Risk of Hearing Loss

This has led to a situation where,  according to estimates by the World Health Organisation, about 1.1 billion young people worldwide are at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices.

Due to the prevalence of relatively cheap modern technology we are facing a sharp rise in self-induced hearing loss.  Luckily, however, state of the art remedies – including highly effective and almost invisible hearing aids- are available.

Prevention of Hearing Loss Requires a Change in Attitude

[Read more…]

Reflections on Mother’s Day

vcm_s_kf_repr_640x448It’s Mother’s Day again. We take the existence of modern day Mother’s Day for granted and it seems a great idea. Because mothers mostly put their children first Mother’s Day is designed to put mothers’ needs first for a change. It apparently is celebrated in more than 45 countries. Because, surprise, surprise, everybody has a mother! Hence – this day is relevant to all of us. Whether we want to remember our mothers or still have the opportunity to spend time or money on our mother or whether we are a mother – Mother’s Day is for all of us.

The modern day version of Mother’s Day originated in the USA and is just over 100 years old. Unfortunately and allegedly to the despair of the women who advocated for the day, it is has been largely commercialised.

Mother’s Day gifts that Won’t Cost the Earth

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International Women’s Day – make it happen – make what happen?

International Women’s Day – make it happen – make what happen?

International Woman’s Day marks the achievements and highlights the plight of women around the world.  This year’s theme is: Make it Happen.

Making what happen, you may ask. People often state that woman have achieved so much and enjoy equal rights and don’t require special attention these days and age.  This might be true in our immediate environment, BUT, there is one particular area where women seem to be most vulnerable.

Violence against women.

Here are some key facts: [Read more…]

From speciesism to compassionism

From speciesism to compassionism

It’s time we exercised some compassion – we have become pretty sufficient at being passionate just about everything. Passionate about food, cooking, design, music our jobs and the list goes on.

Now it is time to be COMPASSIONATE and exercise compassion-ism!   Compassionism is the practice of compassion for ‘all living things’ as opposed to species-ism, a term which was coined in the mid 70 ties to describe ‘the idea that being human is a good enough reason for human animals to have greater moral rights than non-human animals’. On what basis? And why do we eat some and not other animals?

 Did you know that, every year 65 billion animals are raised and slaughtered for their meat. That’s nine animals for every person on Earth.

[Read more…]

how to keep happy

how to keep happy

If you  do a lot of things at once with few resources, need to deal with negativity and at the same time, need to keep your energy levels up, these strategies might help you too to keep balanced and happy.

Here it goes*:

1. Take stock.

What do you like doing?  What is frustrating you? Focus on the bigger issues. Which of the things that frustrate you can you change and which are beyond your control? Don’t waste time on the latter. Identify and remind yourself of your goals and values. Be honest.

2. Eat well and set exercise goals.

If you are a meat eater and wine lover, commit to 2 or 3 meat & alcohol free evenings and [Read more…]

recommended reading for animal welfare reform

The following 3 books provide an entry point about different aspects and perspectives of our changing relationship to animals, the different attitudes to animals in different cultures, animal welfare issues in food production and related law reform.

The books are a must read for anybody with an interest in animal welfare. The 1st book is as relevant today as the day it was first published in 1975: [Read more…]

A Sea Change for Animals through Law Reform?

A Sea Change for Animals through Law Reform?

Between 250 and 300 babies are born every minute.

About 120 people die in the same time.

As the planet becomes more populated, more of us are aspiring to a middle class lifestyle with all its trappings – including the increased consumption of meat.

More people entering the middle classes = increased consumption

Consumption, including raising animals for meat puts enormous pressure on the environment and has led to questionable ‘farming’ practices.  As awareness of industrial scale factory farming methods increases, so too, does the opposition to “farming“ practices inconsiderate of the welfare of animals.

Recent publicity of abuse and cruelty to farm animals has put animal welfare on the public agenda and consumers are talking with their wallets.

Systemic change against animal cruelty!  [Read more…]

The Importance of Hearing Awareness

Did you know that this week is Hearing Awareness Week in Australia? Hearing Awareness Week has been around for a several years and takes place in August?

Unfortunately hearing impairment has a stigma attached and often people who are affected will hide the symptoms as long as is possible. In addition, awareness about the impact of hearing impairment is much too low and here is why we should take more notice:

The facts about hearing impairment

[Read more…]

How to Green your Easter

How to Green your Easter

Not the St Patricks’ Day way, the treading lightly for the environment way. As they say, every little bit helps … so here are 5 easy ways to green your Easter:

1. Ditch Unnecessary Wrapping

Easter is one of the biggest holidays for chocolates and other types of sweets. These sweets are often wrapped in plastic and cardboard in addition to foil around chocolate Easter eggs for example.  Make choices that avoid unnecessary extra packing in addition to taking your own shopping bags. Go for minimal wrapping or buy in bulk. Even better, make your own, like these chocolate Easter eggs or this lovely Easter Lamb Cake.

2. The Easter Basket Case  [Read more…]