Royal Canin &Animal Cruelty

The international Royal Canin pet food company supports bear baiting and animal cruelty, and they got caught.

Bear baiting is a cruel “sport” where dogs are provoked to attack a bear that has been rendered defenseless by being restrained, and usually having its teeth and claws removed.

Earlier this week when Four Paws International condemned Royal Canin’s participation in a bear baiting event in the Ukraine, Royal Canin went the typical corporate route of warding off bad publicity. They denied, denied, denied. Then they claimed they didn’t know what was happening at the Royal Canin-sponsored event and they had been duped.  Then they blamed the Ukrainian branch of the company.

I sent an email to Royal Canin Canada expressing my utter anger and got back three emails (one in German) full of styrofoam words.

The consumer affairs department reiterated some of what I had already read on the internet:

  • “they were “horrified and upset”
  • “they would be “changing policy” so it “didn’t happen again”

But of all the words they used to cover their collective rear ends, there was not a word about the bears or at a minimum, the dogs.

Both are victims in this. The bears are controlled by three heavy chains so they can be yanked in any direction or pulled off their feet during an attack. The dogs are tortured to be driven to attack. The sickening “game” goes on all day with fresh dogs sent in every ten minutes against a lone bear.

While the company indicated that every employee was horrified and quivering in their cubicles, their PR departments couldn’t spare one word for either the bears or the dogs.

Not one word for the sentient beings who are being tortured to death by this cruelty. Does Royal Canin only care about cute and fluffy puppies? Who, by the way, are thrown to the dogs in training so that they can acquire a taste for bear blood.

And their words about changing policy? What is the current Royal Canin policy? That if a bear is being choked by chains it’s okay as long as there are no dogs in the immediate area, as we must avoid the appearance of bear baiting?

Oooo, and after I told them I would no longer be a customer in any way, and l would inform as many people as I could about Royal Canin’s support of animal cruelty, they sent me coupons.

Seriously. How tone deaf are they?

I was totally incensed by all of this.

The head office blaming the local branch was lame on one hand. But on the other hand I have never attended a sponsored event that hasn’t had a representative onsite. I know bear baiting/killing goes on in many parts of the world and definitely in the Ukraine, but somehow Royal Canin representatives missed out on attending this particular marketing event.

They missed the noise, the smell, the screaming, the blood, the death.

I woke up this morning to a Facebook posting from Four Paws International saying that Royal Canin has finally agreed to meet with them next Tuesday to discuss the issue. But that doesn’t mean that we should let up on the pressure.

To contact Royal Canin Canada, click “Contact Us” on this page, or hover over “Royal Canin Worldwide” to bring up your country and click through to the Contact page. Or, you can leave a message on one or more of their Facebook pages:

If your country is not above, type Royal Canin in the search box and pick your country and post a message. Please make your feelings known to them.

Heart up, people, and deprive Royal Canin of what it loves most – money – until it helps put an end to animal cruelty.

Oh, and according to Yahoo Finance Mars candy company owns 60% of Royal Canin so they should be hearing from you as well – here’s the contact form.

Calgary Strong

Calgary, Alberta has undergone a very difficult time.  The flooding was very destructive and it will take a long time to recover from the damage.  The citizens have pulled together to help each other through this difficult time.  Their initial focus has been stripping out the damaged parts of their homes and businesses, and starting to rebuild.  It has been very stirring to hear of the volunteers getting out to help.

It would make any city proud except for the fact that they are working in overdrive to get the grounds ready for the annual animal torture fest known as the Calgary Stampede.  I thought maybe, for one year, at one site, animals might not be tortured; maybe the people of the city would replace it with something positive.

But apparently they feel the need more than ever to dig spurs into a horse’s flesh so they are covered with gore.

“I think more Calgarians are going to go this year because they want to say they went this year, because they have Calgary pride,” said Cliff Steedman, quoted on canada.com.

Pride in snapping a little calf’s neck with a rope, heaving the calf on its’ side and tying up its feet?  A 150+ lb. man against a maybe 25 lb. calf?  A baby taken away from its’ mother and tortured?

Nothing screams pride in Calgary more than torture apparently.

Pride in whips that cut into a horses’ flesh because it isn’t running fast enough; ropes (again with the ropes) tied so they cut into an animal’s genitals to make the animal buck harder.

Wait, what kind of blog am I writing?  Should I be doing an expose on S&M and bondage at the stampede?

Do you suppose the guys (and gals perhaps) get a little tingle in their crotch when they see what the ropes do to the animals genitals?  Is there a waiting list to do this job?  Are bribes being paid to have the first chance?

Do parents know what is going on behind the scenes as they trot in with their innocent children?

As I’ve demonstrated there are too many unanswered questions right now to fully expose the BSM culture at the Calgary Stampede.  Would the dominatrix in the city care to comment?  Anyone interested in doing a thesis?  A psychologist to do an in depth analysis [there is serious symbolism here]?  Perhaps a royal commission?  Reality show?  The CBC presents….

Ah well, the developing story of the under culture of BSM at the Calgary Stampede aside, it is still a gory animal torture fest that nobody should feel pride about.

Calgary strong, meh.

Fast & Loose (with our money) Senator Wallin

Well, Canadians can rest easy because it doesn’t look like Pamela Wallin spent any of her senatorial pot o’ gold on a publicist. I’m pretty sure a publicist would have said (screamed?) “Don’t do an interview with Peter Mansbridge,” or anyone for that matter.

But you know how the urge to get the “truth” out in front of the “people” can drive you.

Even though it was a softball, low lobbing interview (shame on you, Mr. Mansbridge), it sharpened her image as a self-absorbed, I-can-do-no-wrong narcissist.  Yes, I know those are categorically the same thing but it bears repeating in various forms.

The amount of money over a certain period of time keeps changing in the articles I read, so let’s just say Ms. Wallin spent $350,000 over a 24 month period in travel alone.

That’s $3365 a week. That’s more money than I and most Canadians earn in a month. On average Ms. Wallin spent that in one week.

She falls on her sword and takes responsibility for the expense reporting but I’m pretty sure the sword was one of those movie ones that retract. She says she “should have gone over it [her expenses] with a fine tooth comb.” With the level of accountability that senators are held to, she could have used a comb with four out of every five teeth missing and her result would have been the same.

One of her deflections was that she felt she needed to be out there, Doing Things, not sitting behind a desk. When she threw out “When the prime minister asks you to go to Afghanistan,” the penny dropped for me. Of course, that has to be where most of the money went:  she went to Afghanistan and she picked up the cost of the cargo/troop plane that flew her there. Makes perfect sense—easy to miss the difference between the cost of an Air Canada flight from Ontario to Saskatchewan, and a troop flight to Afghanistan. Simple mistake. Now, do we have to start auditing the Ministry of Defense and Peter MacKay?

Another favourite was “I don’t charge my per diems in many, many cases if I’m sitting on airplanes.” Such a sacrifice but she doesn’t have to purchase the inflight bagged ham sandwich because the gourmet meal comes with her first/business class ticket.

And by that comment does she mean that she charges the per diems when she is on some airplanes? That it’s noon somewhere so I should claim that meal? I wonder if the per diem has a cap or if it’s calculated for each time zone. Let’s see, it’s now 12:01 AM in Newfoundland, so I should charge for a breakfast?

I read that the senate per diem is $87.55 (no receipts required) while the senator is in Ottawa on senate business or while the senate is sitting. Sitting on an airplane somewhere does not seem to meet the criteria.

And why would they need a per diem in Ottawa when they are given a housing allowance so that presumably they can have a residence with a kitchen? A kitchen that should go beyond the function of displaying high-end appliances. A kitchen where you can cook a breakfast, bake a cake and bag a lunch for the day. The same things most of us senate-funders do every day.

Ms. Wallin states that she didn’t have any concerns about her expenses until she was given a head’s up by the committee. She says that none of her expense claims were rejected.

That gives me pause for thought. When does the auditing of the office that processes the senators’ expenses start?

Nine Seconds

Nine seconds is the time it takes me to cross the street near my house.

A street that is a four way stop and has crosswalks.  Which should indicate that there will be crossing of said street; and cars, trucks, bicycles, etc. should be stopping to let the people, cats, dogs, occasional squirrel, cross the street.

It takes about six seconds for me to lose my temper when crossing and a guy driving a large white truck can’t wait for me to get to the other side.  He pauses at his stop sign and then roars up to stop a few feet away from me.

For some reason vehicles moving toward me cause me to stop walking.  Not sure why and it may turn out to be unhealthy but it is what it is right now.

The driver and I exchange glances…more like a glare on my part.  He revs the engine.  This action does not calm my temper and I glare at him some more.

He flaps his hand at me to move on, an annoying gesture I detest, and revs the engine some more.

I would like to say that I went all Ghandi on him and with a small lift of my chin continued to walk.  I really would like to say that.  But alas, I break eye contact, continue to walk and throw a right handed procreation sign at him.

I berate myself for not being like Ghandi or even Russell Brand who seems like a nice centred British gent.

As truck roars down the street I comfort myself with the thought that the handicapped plague on the rear view mirror must be there to let us all know that the driver is a brain dead scum sucking mutant.

Works for me.

Celebrities….

….who have children need to realize that their children and their children’s friends can access the media.

I’ve grumbled about celebrities lack of self-censoring for awhile, but silently.  However, Michael Douglas’ statement that he got throat cancer because of oral sex was just too much.

It isn’t that he shouldn’t necessarily talk about it but does he ever focus on repercussions, think things through?  You think you had it tough on the playground because your father was goofy or your parents had the wrong type of job?  Or you were poor or too rich?  Imagine Michael Douglas’ children staring down a kid making fun of their father talking about oral sex.  And did he get cancer from their mother?

Oral sex or the HPV virus might be a contributing factor in throat cancer but so are alcohol and smoking which Mr. Douglas says he did as well.  Perhaps Mr. Douglas felt it was best to talk about it as a public service?  I don’t think his children will thank him.

Nicole Kidman is another one; she whines on and on at various times about Tom Cruise.  Does she have a movie coming out?  Okay, drag out the Tom Cruise stories.  Does she not realize that she has re-married and has two children that are Scientology free?  And young though they may be, they will be able to google at some point and see what mummy has said.  If an interviewer asks, isn’t it possible to say, “that was the past and I’m not going to talk about it”?

Sean Penn stated that he doesn’t think he was ever loved.  Way to slag everyone in his life.  His ex-wives were probably shaking their heads and his children were probably hiding theirs.  He just makes me want to say here’s the wood and the nails, sir, you know what to do.

Those are just a few of the celebrities spilling their guts in the media.  It is their right to do so, but I wish they’d think of someone else besides themselves in the moment.  May not be possible in this day and age.  I wish they would just quietly talk to a therapist and work things out there, instead of in public.  Their children would probably thank them and it would save on the children’s future therapy bills.

There are so many “celebrities” who go about their work, on the stage, in movies & television, in sports, etc. without needing to rattle on about everything in public.  They usually support good causes in understated ways as well.  I admire their discretion.  To the rest I just want to say, please think of your children before speaking.  Thank you.

Surrounded by Geriatrics

I received a letter from my veterinarian the other day.  She wrote to tell me that my cat Jade was going to be nine in June, which in human years means she is the equivalent of sixty.

Well, I thought, maybe that explains it.  I have been wondering why she seems to be forgetful or why she thinks I am.

If I so much as twitch she is up and running to the kitchen, crying that she needs to be fed.  I tell her that there is food in her bowls, both kinds, her usual smorgasbord but to no avail.  I have to pick her up, carry her over to the bowls and show her that there is indeed food in them.  She looks, sniffs, takes a few licks and walks away.  And repeat when I twitch again.

But the letter got me thinking that I have three geriatrics in my life.  Jade, my aunt Charlotte, and my oldest brother Robert, who is almost seventy and has major health issues.  I’m not just dealing with intergenerational aging problems but also interspecies.

We live in the same metro area but in different corners of it.  My aunt lives alone in a very large house and constantly says how lonely she is.  However she will not consider selling her house and using the money to move to a nice seniors’ complex where they do everything for you on bended knee.  She could afford that type of service without even selling her house.

She still drives and should not be, but the licensing department renews her license without a worry on their part.  I, on the other hand, do worry.  She is about 4’5″ tall and drives a Cadillac.  She is a cliché.  I know if she’s in an accident that she will probably come out of it unscathed but I worry about the people she’ll kill.

Yesterday she was going to drive to the cemetery to put flowers on her mother’s grave.  It was the day before Mother’s Day but she didn’t want to contend with the crowds that would be there if she went on the actual day.  I know that I am far removed from the “going to the cemetery on any occasion group” but crowds?  Her parents, my grandparents have been dead for over 50 years and they were in their eighties  when they died.   Any one who might have relatives, mother or not, in that area of the cemetery are more than likely dead themselves.  For the life of me I can’t picture crowds, throngs at the cemetery.

Later in the day I checked in with her to make sure she had got home safe.  She had but she didn’t make it to the cemetery because she had gotten lost on the way there.  I thought, if you were lost, how did you get home?   This scares the stuffing out of me and there are many more stories where by the grace of the trees nothing awful happens.

My brother lives in a co-op and it is undergoing a major renovation / restoration.  As I mentioned he has major health issues.  He had bypass surgery three years ago and while the operation was a success, he had complications that were bad enough themselves but they also exasperated other health problems and continue to do so.

I find that he is constantly on edge with the renovations going on, and people constantly in and out of his property.  Part of that I understand but his reactions seem over the top at times.  He was recently informed that the construction company would need access to his unit over the next four weeks to make plumbing repairs.  He immediately panicked and to ensure he would be home when the company needed access, he cancelled all of his medical appointments for the next month.  Some of which he couldn’t reschedule until the fall.  Let me point out that he does not know exactly when they need access to the unit and that over the four weeks they only need to come in a few times.  The construction company also seems to be agreeable to changing dates if requested.

He also worries about being homeless, but that is another story.

So I have my aunt, my brother and my cat.  All tipping towards senility.  I deal with all of them on a daily basis, my aunt and brother over the phone, and Jade in person.  I will say that I am glad it is Jade that I deal with in person, because I just have to point out her food and litter box to her.  Hate to have to do that with the other two.

My 87 Year Old Aunt Does That

Takes pictures of food that is.

When I go to lunch or dinner with my aunt Charlotte, she whips out her camera and takes a picture of everyone’s food.  Not a picture even of the person with their food as you might expect from an elderly aunt, just their food.

I am bemused by this but I understand it is a trend among the trendiest.  Take a picture of your food and post it to your twitter or facebook or email it to your friends.  Imagine how thrilled they’ll be to see whatever.  Not even a special food arrangement as for a wedding but just the junk you’re eating for lunch.

I also wonder how trendy it would seem among the trendiest if they knew about my aunt.  She’s been taking food pictures for years.  Yet she has no twitter or facebook or email.  Her closest encounter with a computer to date was when she took a course at the seniors’ centre and learned to play solitaire.

When I say “camera” you are probably thinking digital or rather you are not thinking of a SLR with film.  Yes, she whips out her film camera and takes pictures of the food.

And when the film roll is full, she takes it to the photography store and has it developed.  Then she mails the picture of your food to you.

Not quite digital but the end result is the same.  I can’t understand for the life of me how this is trendy?  I’ll have to let her know that she is on the cusp of a trend.