Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Eye-popping bug photos

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"The Greater Akashic System" – July 15, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) (Subjects: Lightworkers, Intent, To meet God, Past lives, Universe/Galaxy, Earth, Pleiadians, Souls Reincarnate, Invention: Measure Quantum state in 3D, Recalibrates, Multi-Dimensional/Divine, Akashic System to change to new system, Before religion changed the system, DNA, Old system react to Karma, New system react to intent now for next life, Animals (around humans) reincarnate again, This Animal want to come back to the same human, Akashic Inheritance, Reincarnate as Family, Other Planets, Global Unity … etc.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle
American zoologist played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist would have been 82 on Thursday (16 January 2014)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Stopping the Dog Meat Trade

Jakarta Globe, Sylviana Hamdani, May 21, 2014

A recent event in West Jakarta had dog lovers from across the country
 dressing up their pets to raise awareness about the cruelty of the dog
meat trade. (Photo courtesy of Central Park Mall)

Dog enthusiasts along with more than 500 canines of various breeds gathered at Tribeca Park, Central Park Mall, West Jakarta, last weekend. They were participating in “Dog Does Disco,” an annual event for pet dogs and their owners at the mall’s expansive park.

All of the dogs seemed to be happy, healthy and well-cared for — their bodies were plump and agile, their fur was lush, and their eyes were sparkling and playful. Many were dressed up in cute dresses and superhero costumes, almost as if their owners had entered a canine cosplay event. The dogs, freed from the restrictions of home delighted in the fresh air and touching base with fellow pooches for a few hours. They jumped and sniffed and frolicked with other dogs and their owners in the park.

As a country with the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia tends to shun dogs in public places.

Many Muslims believe that if parts of the body come into contact with a dog’s nose or saliva, they must rinse them with water and soil seven times before they can go to pray.

On the other hand, dog meat is considered to be a delicacy for some non-Muslims in the country.

You can easily find dog meat delicacies in North Sumatran restaurants, or lapo, across the country. Known as “B1” (dogs are called “biang” in the Batak language), dog meat is usually diced, cooked in wine and spices and served in caramelized gravy in these restaurants.

In Manado, North Sulawesi, dog meat is known as “rintek wuuk” or RW. It is usually cooked in chili and spices and served in black gravy.

People living in Yogyakarta are familiar with “seng-su,” an acronym for “tongseng asu” (in Javanese language, a kind of soup containing dog’s meat), commonly served at roadside foodstalls at night.

Its aficionados swear by the unparalleled delicacy of dog’s meat with its high levels of protein, claiming it is a good source of nourishment for the body.

Many also believe the flesh of man’s best friend helps to improve blood circulation in the body, thus keeping the body warm, boosting its stamina and making it less prone to illnesses.

“None of those beliefs are scientifically proven,” says actress and model Davina Veronica Hariadi.

The scientific facts are quite the contrary. According to the Office Internationale des Epizooties (OIE, or World Organization for Animal Health) and Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), the international body that implements the FAO/WHO Food Standards Program, dog meat is deemed unfit for human consumption.

“Scientific studies have shown that dog’s meat may cause cholera, rabies and trichinosis in the human body,” says Davina, who chairs the animal lovers’ community Garda Satwa Indonesia (GSI, Indonesia Animal Guards).

Since dogs are not listed as livestock under Indonesian law, their breeding, trade and slaughter are not governed or supervised by the ministries of agriculture or health.

This fact surely doubles the health hazards of consuming dog’s meat.

“Most of the dogs to be cooked are taken from the streets or abducted from their houses,” Davina claims. “Their health conditions vary. Some have rabies and parasites that may also infect humans who eat them.”

Sometimes the kidnappers use poison to bait and kill the dogs before they are taken from their houses.

“So if you eat their meat, you’ll be eating some of the poison too,” Davina says.

GSI was established by Davina and her friends in Jakarta in June 2012.

Today, the nonprofit organization has another branch in Bandung and more than 4,000 followers of their Twitter account, @GardaSatwa.

GSI supports animal rights and fights for animals’ “5Fs,” which are freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury and disease; freedom from fear and distress; and freedom to express normal behavior.

After the organization received hundreds of reports about dogs being hunted on the streets or abducted from their homes it collaborated with Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) and Animal Friends Jogja (AFJ) to conduct a seven-month investigation into the dog meat trade in Yogyakarta and Jakarta in 2013.

“The cruelty toward these dogs is beyond words,” Davina says. “It’s truly unspeakable.”

Some parts of the investigation have been filmed and compiled into the movie “Stop Perdagangan Daging Anjing” (“Stop the Dog Meat Trade”). The three-and-a-half minute clip was uploaded to YouTube last month and has been viewed more than 6,000 times since.

The video, which was screened at the press conference that launched “Dog Does Disco” shows dozens of dogs being taken from the streets and brutally beaten, before their kidnappers hog-tie them and throw them into the back of a pickup truck.

“The people taking the dogs just threw them into the back of the truck, one top of one another, as if the dogs couldn’t feel any pain,” says Davina, who has six dogs at home. “I believe if these dogs could speak, they would already be screaming.”

The truck then carried the bound and beaten dogs to a shabby slaughterhouse, where they were killed one by one in front of the other dogs.

“This is definitely cruelty against animals,” Davina says. “It’s a violation of Article 302 of the Indonesian Criminal Code [KUHP] on animal protection and the laws on animal welfare.”

Few, if any, of these cases are ever reported to the police.

Based on their investigation, the animal rights groups discovered that approximately 1,000 dogs were slaughtered each week in Jakarta and Yogyakarta for their meat.

“Obviously this number is a lot higher in places like North Sumatra and North Sulawesi, where eating dog meat is more widespread” says Davina who estimates that around 3,600 dogs are slaughtered in those provinces alone each week.

“Then, if you add in other areas of the country that number increases,” she adds.

So worried are GSI, JAAN and AFJ about the scale of the dog meat trade across the country that they have pooled their resources to launch a “Dogs Are Not Food” campaign last month.

The campaign aims to convince people that dogs are not a menu item but have a long tradition of being close to humans.

Indeed, the saying that dogs are man’s best friend is testament to that attachment.

“Dogs are social animals,” Davina says. “They are destined to be companions to humans, so it’s definitely wrong to slaughter and eat them.”

A series of talk shows and fun activities have been arranged to spread the message among the public.

An online petition to stop the trade in dogs and their meat has also been launched on the website Change.org to encourage the country’s netizens to get involved.

“We hope that if we can get plenty of support, we can get this trade made illegal,” Davina says.

So far, more than 9,700 people have signed the online petition and the animal rights groups are hoping to add to that number.

“If the number is quite significant, the government will see that this is an important issue that needs their immediate attention,” Davina says.

One of the people who has signed the online petition is actress Wulan Guritno.

“Dogs are our friends,” she says. “They’re not toys. They’re not food. Therefore, they shouldn’t be mistreated or eaten.”

Putri Andika, a freshman at Jakarta’s Atmajaya Catholic University, has also signed the petition.

“Eating dog meat is just so totally wrong,” says the 19-year-old, who showed up at the event at Central Park Mall with her two Alaskan Malamute dogs. “I mean, why do people eat dog meat? There are already so many cattle and fowl that we can eat.

“Dogs are our good friends,” Putri adds, “and we don’t eat our friends.”

GSI, JAAN and AFJ plan to send the results of the online petition to the local governments of Jakarta and Yogyakarta as well as the Agriculture Ministry (which oversees animal husbandry) by the end of this year.

Davina says she hopes that their online petition may trigger better treatment for all animals and for the environment in general.

“Humans should realize that we don’t own this Earth,” she says.

“We share the Earth with other living beings in it. So let’s be kind to one another.”

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