Happy Earth Day Friends!
Spring is my fav time of year…and I think for Miss Caroline Kitty, too! She just luvs sitting in an open window, watching the squirrels and chattering to the birds. lol
I think Caroline has the right idea. Sometimes we get caught up in our daily routines and don’t give ourselves time to enjoy and appreciate the world around us. Earth Day is a purrrfect reminder to do just that!
Also, World Day for Animals in Laboratories is April 24…just two days away! Sooo hard to believe the suffering that animals used in research and testing have to endure. World Day is a time to be proactive for animals so others can acknowledge their suffering, too.
But Friends, every day can be a day for the animals and the Earth! Ran out of dish soap? Look for the Leaping Bunny and buy cruelty-free! Want to be a more active activist? Share action alerts on Facebook and forward e-newsletters from your fav groups with your personal endorsement. Need a few groceries? Walk instead of driving. Got some bottles and plastic containers? Reuse and recycle!
There’s so much we can do every day to help animals and protect the Earth. We just need to do them!
Auntie Viv, I’m freaking out. I just found out that I’ll have to dissect three animals for biology class – a clam, frog, and CAT!! I’ve lived with cats all my life, and when I was a kid, me and my brother would hang out at the pond and watch the frogs. I don’t want to dissect them! Please help!
Cassie B. from Denver, CO
My Dear Cassie,
That’s awful! I’m with you. Isn’t biology suppose to be the study of life?
Well, good news. I know exactly who can help you…my friends at Animalearn! Go to their website animalearn.org. You’ll find The Science Bank there, and it’s choc full of alternatives to usin’ all sorts of animals in class….including clams, fish, frogs, grasshoppers, and cats!
The folks at Animalearn are super-duper. Nicole and Kat will give you advice on how to ask your teacher to use alternatives instead of doing dissection. They’ll also help pick out alternatives…and there’s plenty! Virtual dissection programs, life-size models and manikins, and simulators.
And, if my memory is right, I think that Animalearn once gave their Humane Educator of Year award to a teacher in Colorado…. I looked up the law there and didn’t see any bill or policy about dissection in your state. But, nonetheless, you have the right to stand up for your beliefs, and Animalearn will help to empower you!
Well my Dear, I must be going…. Miss Caroline Kitty has tried to sit on my keyboard three times. lol Good luck! And Cassie, please stay in touch.
Yesterday, I got an e-mail from a lovely young lady who wanted to know if the letters she writes make a difference and help animals. Well, it’s a good question! I’ve been asked this before, so I thought I’d share with all of you, too.
Auntie Viv, I’ve written so many letters and e-mails to companies, legislators, the President, USDA, FDA, my school district, universities; but do they really help animals? Feels like I’m asking for the same thing over and over.
Feeling frustrated in Freeport, Florida
My Dear Candi,
Oh, I know your frustration! In trying to help animals, it can seem like we’re doing things over n’ over. But Candi, please know that your actions do make a difference for animals…just look below for proof!
How ‘bout them chimps?! With the help of my friends at AAVS, I’ve been keepin’ up-to-date on what’s going on with chimpanzees living in labs. It was announced in December that over 100 chimps will be retired and moved to a sanctuary called Chimp Haven! Then in January, it was announced that another 400 chimps could be retired as well. The government is accepting comments on this issue. You should really visit my Friends at AAVS to learn more about how we can help ensure that there will be and end to chimpanzee research.
We spoke, United listened! Lots of folks have to been urging airlines to stop flying monkeys for lab research. AAVS reported that United Airlines is the latest company to say NO to research and YES to its animal-lovin’ customers like you and me.
Keep it cruelty-free! In June, AAVS told compassionate shoppers that Urban Decay turned its back on animals and planned to sell its makeup in China, which requires animal testing. Just weeks later, and after backlash from its loyal customers, Urban Decay put the kibosh these plans and stayed cruelty-free.
See Candi, all your hard work helping animals does make a difference! I know that change sometimes happens slowly, and that’s sooo frustrating. But remember my Dear, if you don’t try to make change happen, it never will.
Until next time,
My Dear Friends,
It’s the holiday season, and I’m gettin’ ready to share in the merriment with my family and friends.
I’m making a list. I’m checking it twice. Gonna find out which companies are naughty or nice. The easiest way to do this is to look for the Leaping Bunny Logo! The folks at Leaping Bunny are simply the best, and their cruelty-free certification program is the only one I trust. These companies sell lovely-smelling lotions and perfumes, fun makeup and nail polish, and even baby and animal care products. These goodies are purrrfect for gift exchanges and stocking stuffers…makes my holiday shopping sooo easy!
For the kiddies, I’ve found a great book. It’s charming, sweet, and fun; you should take a look! My Personal Panther is about a girl named Lucy and her pet ‘panther,’ a black kitty cat better also known as Aja. Lucy uses her wonderful imagination as she tells some tall tales about herself and her feline friend’s adventures. I’m sure it will be a favorite book for any tiny tyke!
And speaking of kitties, we can’t forget our four-legged furry friends during the holidays! Many years ago, I started an annual tradition. I make peanut butter biscuits to give out to the neighborhood pooches and knit catnip socks for every cat on the block. Of course, each gift comes with Caroline Kitty’s paw of approval!
Well, my Friends, as you might guess, my holiday list is quite long. So I best get straight to it, but first some vegan cookies to keep me going strong. I wish you good health and a wealth of cheer. And most of all, Happy Holidays and a Merry New Year!
I want to share with you one of my prized possessions…an artistic masterpiece of expressionism, created by one so unique, sooo pensive. When I look at this painting, I can imagine only the carefree freedom of fluttering butterflies. The artist you ask? Sheba…Sheba the Chimpanzee! lol
This introduction is meant only half in jest, my Dears. You see, Sheba knows sign language, and many times is seen signing, “Listen to me.” She has something to say, some idea, some thought to share. I’d love to know what she’s thinking…wouldn’t you?
Born in captivity, Sheba was used in communication studies before moving to Chimp Haven, a sanctuary for chimpanzees retired from research. Sheba is one of the lucky ones, though. Hundreds of her cousins still live in labs…but today I have hope for them! Last year, the government announced that it was suspending research on chimpanzees, and just last month it retired 110 chimps from New Iberia Research Center. Friends, do you remember the controversial lab in Louisiana? Months ago I saw a TV news report about the chimps there…they showed a heart-breaking video. Oh dear, it just brought me to tears!
The physical scars suffered by chimpanzees used in research are horrible, but I can’t begin to imagine the mental anguish that must haunt them, even long after they’re rescued from labs. What words would they sign?
Living in peace at a sanctuary, Sheba is free to do pretty much whatever she wants. To create her art, she likes to climb high into the treetops, perhaps to get lost in her thoughts and watch the world around her. Is this where she noticed the ‘butterfly,’ beautiful and carefree, fluttering to and fro?
Friends, no doubt, chimpanzees have intrinsic value. There’s nooo question in my mind about that. They feel…they think. And like Sheba, they have something to say. We just need to listen!
Until next time,