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Category Archives: News & Opinion

Save the Rhino

I knew that Rhinos were poached for their horns’ value.  I knew they were endangered.  I knew they were being killed by the numbers.  I knew all of this, yet the elephants being poached for their tusks, and the pit bulls being used for dog fighting seemed more important.  I did not even think twice about Rhinos, such a random yet beautiful animal.

Then I saw this photo on National Geographic:

It’s of a Black Rhino that game scouts found wandering with bullet wounds and the poor thing’s horns cut off.  They had to euthanize him.

What is happening to these animals is a tragedy and going right under most of our noses.  This needs to be stopped and there’s something you and can do to at least help out.

First, and the most obvious, is donating to organizations that dedicate their time to saving this endangered species.  A good one that I have found is Save the Rhino International.  Check them out and see how you can help.

Second, do NOT buy anything with Rhino horn in it.  The horn is used in daggers, and is used in Asian medicine.  If you’re traveling abroad, just be careful about what souvenirs and products you purchase.

 Third, tell everyone you know about the dangers Rhinos are facing.  Rhinoceroses are such interesting creatures, so dinosaur like, and it would be an extremely sad thing if they weren’t around for our children to see.

 Check out more ways you can help the Rhino here.  Also, check out National Geographic’s feature article: Rhino Wars.

Please, the word about Rhinos needs to be spread.  Be active in wildlife conservation.

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*Note: Check out the links above for more information and for my sources.  The picture above was taken from National Geographic.  The words of this article are my own: © Kalie Lyn, 2012.*

Cupid, Trixie, and Maggie: The Story of 3 Survivors

Cat Shot With Arrow

An orange Tabby was dubbed the nickname ‘Cupid’ after he survived an arrow shot through his shoulder.  He was taken to the Brittmore Animal Hospital where the arrow was surgically removed.  Luckily, the arrow pierced no major organs and ‘Cupid’ is underway to a full recovery.  

This article, which I found on The Huffington Post, really affected me in a personal way.  If you read the original article, it states that the veterinarian who operated on ‘Cupid’ believes that the incident “…definitely wasn’t an accident”.  

My family and I have had our own trials of our animals being abused.  The first incident occurred with our cat Trixie.  

We lived outside of Detroit at the time and Trixie was an indoor-outdoor cat.  She enjoyed going outside during the day and roaming the neighborhood.  During one day, Trixie came home and my mother saw dried blood on her face.  Trixie’s eye was swollen and shut so my mom rushed her to the vet.  The doctor looked at Trixie and said that she had been shot.  Luckily, however, the bullet went straight through and missed hitting her brain.  

From then on, Trixie only had one eye, the shot eye permanently sewed up.  My mother knew that it wasn’t an accident and someone had deliberately shot our cat.

The other incident involved our dog Maggie.  We adopted the fawn-colored Boxer from the Michigan Humane Society and loved her at first sight – even with her one physical flaw.  

You usually see Boxers with their ears straight up and their tails as stubs, even though they are born with their ears floppy and down, and their tails long.  However, many breeders and Boxer owners crop the dog’s ears – a procedure, which occurs when the dog is 7-12 weeks old, that involves removing some of the earflap and nerve endings.  It is usually done for “physical beauty” and something that I find to be a very cruel practice.  

When we adopted Maggie, she only had one ear.  The MHS did not know the details to what had happened but they speculated that Maggie had suffered through a terrible cropping job.  Soft, silky, hairless, black skin – which I would curiously gently touch when I was a child – took the place of her one ear.  Fortunately, they had not gone as far as cutting her tail to a stub, so she had a long hard tail which I vividly remembered she would whack us with when she became excited.

My family has been known to adopt and take care of “misfit” animals.  We don’t care about their physical deformations, and would rather have a loyal companion than a beautiful show dog.  However, we do care about what happened to them, and why it happened.

Why ‘Cupid’ was shot with an arrow; why Trixie was shot through the eye with a gun; and why Maggie was subjected to the pain of an ear-cropping that went totally wrong: these are the things I think about.  It is so sad to hear and see that animals are still treated without respect.  They are still abused, taken advantage of, and treated like “things” instead of sentient beings. 

Whether it was a teenager who just received a gun/bow-and-arrow for his birthday, or a bored adult who has no respect or love for animals, these kinds of intentional abuse are still happening.

Animals do have rights, and they have the ultimate right to be safe and secure in a world where humans still think they are superior to every other species.

Please, if you witness an animal being abused, do speak up.  If you are hanging out with a group of your friends and they decide to test out their new BB Gun on a bird, do try to stop it.  And please do not feel embarrassed for standing up for a “lesser being”; you could ultimately be saving a life.

Animals need a voice, and we should be that voice.  Animal abuse is still abuse.

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*Note:  Click on the links above to read the full articles and to check my sources.  The picture was taken from the source.  I, however, summarized the article (the italicized section at the top) in my own words, and the opinions, thoughts, phrases, and words in this post are my own: © Kalie Lyn, 2011.*

Opinions, Shminions. What Do You Think?

Currently, I am reading Heat & Light: Advice for the Next Generation of Journalists by Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes and Beth Knobel, also a past 60 Minutes journalist whom now teaches journalism.

One of the subjects discussed is keeping objectivity in news reports, meaning the journalist should not appear biased, emotionally involved or provide their own opinion on the subject they are covering.  “Experience, yes.  Opinion, no.” quotes the book.

Under the Categories tab on the right side of my blog, I have an entire category called “News and Opinion”.  Here, I relate news and give my own personal opinion on it, and ask my readers to give their opinion also.  However, should I? Should reporters share their opinion?  Does a reporter’s opinion cause the reader to not have their own opinion and just agree with the reporter?

According to Heat & Light, Lou Dobbs, a former CNN reporter, was “one of the worst offenders” of opinion-based reporting.  Yet, Dobbs, along with other opinion-based news broadcasts and newspapers such as Fox News, MSNBC, The Rolling Stones, and the New Yorker, continue to stay on the air and get published, and have a high number of watchers and readers.  Is it because the reporters give their opinion and help the readers and watchers to create, or at least guide them, to their own opinions?  

Personally, I agree that there should be objectivity when covering “hard news”, or news about politics, world relations, health stories…etc.  However, I think that there is a place for opinion-based news in magazine pages – these pages are called “Op-Ed Pages” – and in “soft news” articles or broadcasts, such as fashion trends, stories which do not directly affect its viewers, news which happened a while ago…etc.  And of course, I think that there should be opinion-based news in blogs as the entire point of a blog is for the blogger to share their opinion.

What about you, what do you think?  Do you think news articles should share the reporter’s opinions or do you think the journalist should keep themselves out of the article and just report it without their opinion?  When reading an opinion-based news article, do you generally lean towards the opinion of the reporter or do you form your own response and opinion?

Let us know in the comment section below!

Happy Monday, All!

🙂

Here Comes Santa Claus

Christmas is 3 weeks and 2 days away.

It’s a time of giving, joy, celebrating with family and friends, decorating the Christmas tree, admiring the festive lights, and yes, Santa Claus.

Here in Spain, Santa became mainstream only recently while for years, and still now, it is the three Kings whom give the children their presents on the 6th of January (the 25th of December is the celebration of Jesus’ birth).

As an American, and a true believer in Santa Claus for my entire childhood, the thought of three Wise Men putting presents underneath the tree is quite absurd.  I mean, how do they get there?  Where are their flying reindeer?  Where do they live the rest of the year?  What is their equivalent of the North Pole?

Yes, a red-cheeked fat man coming down the chimney is loco in it’s own way, and to each culture its own, but I’m a fan of good ol’ Santa Claus.

I love the spirit of Christmas mainly because of Santa.  Ever seen Polar Express?  If not, you must.  Santa, for me, is not just some jolly never-dying guy who brings presents.  Santa represents the magical time of the holidays, the constant joy this time of year that seems to elude us during the other months, and the reminder that it is OK to believe.

This is the reason why I love Santa Claus, even at the age of 21.  In my personal opinion, I feel that every child should experience the magic of Santa, his reindeer and the North Pole.  My parents never actually told us that Santa did not exist.  As my sister and I got older, we just simply grew out of believing that he was a literal being – and of course we heard the non-existence of our favorite man from mean school bullies – and knew that those presents under the tree, even the ones which still said “From Santa” were actually from our loving parents.  

However, the magic and believing in the spirit of Christmas never left us, and still to this day, Santa equals magic for me.  Which is why I believe that children should never be told that there is no Santa.  

What is so wrong with letting them believe this one little thing while the rest of their world turns into constant stress, money, and worries?  If I ever met a grown man/woman whom still believed in Santa, I would never laugh, taunt or tease them.  No, I would bow down to them, maybe even propose, because in the sad, greedy world we live in, what’s the matter with believing in just a little magic and spirit?

All of the above got me thinking once I saw an article on the Huffington Post about a news anchor, who live on the air with children watching, said that there was no Santa Claus.

Watch it here:

Quite sad, isn’t it?  People were quite pissed at her comment and of course, I agree!  It is the parent’s job to tell their children about Santa, not someone who bluntly says, on the news, that “there is no Santa”.

So, what are your takes on all of this?  Do you think children need to know the “truth” about Santa at a certain age, or is it OK to let the children grow out of it on their own?  If you have kids, what age, if yet, did you explain to them about Santa?

Love to hear your thoughts!

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*Note: The images were taken from Google Images.  The video was taken from Youtube, its © belongs to NewsTsar’s Channel and FOX News.  However, the words, thoughts and opinions are my own: © Kalie Lyn, 2011.*

A Striped Thanksgiving

The biggest blessings seem to come in the smallest packages.

Five-year-old Kirana, a Sumatran tiger at the Chester Zoo in the U.K., gave birth on October 21st to three baby cubs, and on Tuesday, October 22nd, mother and triplets made their big debut.    

These three births were very special, not only because they are just so darn adorable, but because they may be one of the last glimmers of hope for this particular species of tigers.  There are less than 400 Sumatran tiger left in the wild in their home of Indonesia, and have been claimed critically endangered.

 ‘”It’s estimated that there are just a few hundred left in the wild and only around 7% of their original habitat remains, which is why these triplets are so, so important,” Tim Rowlands, the zoo’s curator of mammals, told Sky News.’  

So, while the zoo still does not know the sex of the cubs – since they’re still too small – these three cubs could be the future for the Sumatran species.  It seems that we should all be thankful for something this Thanksgiving.

Sumartan Tiger cubs at Chester Zoo

Sumartan Tiger cubs at Chester Zoo

To see the full article and more pictures of these precious blessings, click here to visit the Huffington Post.

Happy Thanksgiving All and remember, there is always something to be thankful for!

🙂

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*Note:  Click on the links above to read the full articles and to check my sources.  The pictures were taken from the source.  I, however, summarized the article (the italicized section at the top) in my own words, and the opinions, thoughts, phrases, and words in this post are my own: © Kalie Lyn, 2011.*

Miracle Dog’s Story: Let’s Not Let It Happen Again

Miracle Dog

Daniel, a beagle mix dog, emerged scared but unharmed from a gas chamber on October 3rd, after trying to be euthanized by Animal Control in Alabama.  He is now considered “Miracle Dog” because he survived.

Daniel was eventually flown to Eleventh Hour Rescue in New Jersey, a volunteer based organization which saves dogs from being put down.   Now, two weeks later and he has found a home.  Joe Dwyer and his family, along with four other dogs – a two dachshunds, a beagle mix, and a pit bull mix – have given Daniel a comfortable and permanent home.

This article really touched me in different ways.  First, I was so glad to hear that the “Miracle Dog” Daniel was able to become adopted after surviving such a horrible death attempt.  And while that is all good and dandy, it irks me to no end that nowhere in the article (the article above is my “summarized-in-my-own-words” version) does it mention the horrors of gas chambers and how to stop shelters and animal control facilities from using them.  

So, because it was not mentioned anywhere in the article, I will take it into my own hands and cover how truly inhumane a gas chamber is and how we can try to stop them.

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Humane vs. Inhumane:  Euthanasia by Injection (EBI) vs. Gas Chambers

It takes up to 25 to 30 minutes for an animal’s life to end in the gas chamber and during that long half hour, the animal does not lose consciousness and brain function until after their organs shut down, which causes a prolonged suffering.

It takes 3 to 5 seconds for the animal to lose consciousness and brain function with EBI and death happens within 2-5 minutes.  The fact that they lose conciousness before they die means they have less suffering and pain.

Euthanasia by Injection is done one animal at a time with a worker who comforts and and holds the frightened animal when it is injected; maybe the only kindness that animal has known.

In gas chambers many animals, of the same species, are put there in at once.  The noise, heat, and smell of the gas coming into the chamber frightens the animal and causes them to fight and attack one another, making it an even more inhumane way to die.

It has obviously been reported, as seeing from “Miracle Dog” above, that not all animals die from gas chambers, making their experience that much more horrifying.

All animals humanely and peacefully die with EBI.

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The above was summarized from the Humane Euthanasia of Shelter Animals Fact Sheet from the American Humane Association.  Click on the fact sheet’s link to read detailed reasons why gas chambers are chambers of horror.

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Now, how to stop shelters from using gas chambers.  It is reported that only nine states have laws that ban all forms of gassing on every animal in shelters.  To see that list, visit the fact sheet link above.

How can you get your voice heard against  the use of gas chambers as a method of euthanasia?  Well, for starters, visit the American Human Association’s Stop Gassing page and see what you can do to speak out and help.

Remember, we are a voice for animals.

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*Note:  Click on the links above to read the full articles and to check my sources.  The picture was taken from the source.  I, however, summarized the article (the italicized section at the top) in my own words, and the opinions, thoughts, phrases, and words in this post are my own: © Kalie Lyn, 2011.*

Queer Kids: A Project

Growing up gay himself, M. Sharkey wanted a voice and acceptance.  However, being a gay teenager in the 1980’s made acceptance much more difficult.

Comprised of videos and photos, Sharkey began the Queer Kids project in 2006.  Now, five years later, he is still providing a voice for those who need and want it; those who are living queer in a world where being gay isn’t fully accepted just yet – though we’re getting closer and closer to that full understanding and approval.

Below, are some of my favorite pictures from M. Sharkey’s Queer Kids project:

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To see more of the photos and videos, and to read the full article, check out the links above.

Because in a world where you are still discriminated due to your race, sexuality, religion, and choices, everyone needs a little haven of their own.

Love All, Hate None.

*Note:  Click on the links above to read the full articles and to check my sources.  The pictures were taken from the sources.  I, however, summarized the article (the italicized section at the top) in my own words, and the opinions, thoughts, phrases, and words in this post are my own: © Kalie Lyn, 2011.*