4Got me. J’accuse and yep, I’ll take it. Chalk it up.
And I suddenly understand. Your world is still filled with normal.
What landed on you as
emotional blackmail was
pitched over from the other side of our Facebook fence
as sheer facts.

I hadn’t seen it from your side.
Because it’s a fact
that all types of animals are eaten
and bred to be eaten worldwide.
It’s a fact
that some lives are cut short into just weeks and some
don’t make hours.
It’s a fact
that female cows only produce milk for
their own calves
and first they have to be pregnant.
Chances are they weren’t impregnated
by an actual bull.
Think about that.
(here’s a toothpick).

It’s a fact
that we choose which species of animal
to glorify
and call family
and which to torture, kill and eat. Kingmakers.
(Except we hunt the kings. Oh, but don’t eat them.)

Just facts.
My wording might be off in parts
but that’s that.
Need more? I can look it up

It makes me sick.
The longer I’ve known
the more I’m alone.
The more frustrated I get as things continue
It’s different for you.
I’m twenty years in to this.
>>>No wonder I’m coming on strong.
So I’ve also become snappy –
I’m asked the same questions so it’s gonna happen
>>>but my answers are always wrong…

and I can’t be bothered, actually, to sugar coat it.
Or excuse you.
Why are no horrors enough
to make
*your taste preference*
less important than what it’s funding?
You know what I mean by horrors.
If that made you feel guilty then good.
If you’re genuinely baffled
look it up.
For God’s sake look it up.
I can’t stop looking it up
and I’m
only finding the truth.
I can’t unsee it either.

And not just for ‘the animals’.
Yeah yeah – they’re cute, it’s awful, whatever.
It’s the landtake.
The pollution.
The waste.
The greed.
The violence and yes the gore.
The human cost too, and
the aggressive corporate core.
The utter pointlessness of it all.
The fact
that the way we treat our fellow earthlings is simply
a shadow
of how we all treat each other.
We dominate and take,
concerned only with our own desires.
Attention flavour security status.
Wars famines greed exploitation: of course I should focus on them.
I choose not to contribute using the one thing I can control: what I pay for,
and I won’t promote eating meat.

(Am I really doing the opposite, when I alienate my friends. All told, the influence I’ve had has been zero in that zero of them have moved any nearer to an animal free life of ease.
I win best promoter of a carnivorous lifestyle! But oooh Iet me share some amazing plant-based recipes.)

I bet this won’t be the first Facebook block I’ve had.
Maybe we weren’t friends after all.
Maybe underneath it *was* emotional blackmail.
Part of me *was* hoping
a fun fact about
the pitiful lifespan of the cutest animal I’ve
would be enough for you to cave and
Come over, Red Rover.
(It’s soooo quiet over here.)
I spoiled the parade I realise now.
That cute animal deserved its awww.
So did you.
It’s been a shitty day.

I learned a new word though –
cognitive dissonance.
I had to look it up.


Woodland Matters

Our long partnership with Ancient Tree Forum has involved a fascinating exploration into the UK’s incredible tree heritage. We are pleased to welcome Hannah Solloway, Development Officer at the Ancient Tree Forum, as a guest blogger, to talk about how the V.I.Trees campaign links it all together:

“The Ancient Tree Forum (ATF) held its autumn field visit at Newnham Park near Plymouth. The site was described by our local Devon group as ‘a real gem of the South West’, with its many distinctive and wonderful ancient oaks, and yet the trees on this site, like many others, are not formally recognised and have little or no specific protection in law.

The Woodland Trust’s Very Important Trees campaign supports the work of the ATF and the Tree Council in calling for the establishment of national registers to record, and to help celebrate and protect our nationally important and best-loved trees.

A register would…

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This week every day is #CTWW change the world Wednesday! My challenge? Get as many people as I can to hear about this 🙂

Woodland Matters

*Update! Our petition is now live! Please join more than 25,000 others and back our call*

In all of the talk about Common Agricultural Policy reform over the last few months including all those technical policy concepts such as greening, modulation and budgets, a simple fact has slipped unnoticed under the radar. During 2014 and 2015 there will be no funds to allow any new entrants into woodland creation or woodland management schemes in England. This affects landowners, conservation groups, communities, local authorities – anyone wanting to plant trees.

True, if you had rushed to get your forms in by August 2013 and your application is signed off by the end of December, you can carry on planting in 2014 and 2015. And if you are already in an existing five year contract with the Forestry Commission for woodland management or creation management, you will continue to get paid until your…

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Hmm, I might have known – what do you think?


By Magda Fahsi

Last week, while touring Dakar, Senegal’s capital, President Obama touted his vision to reduce hunger in Africa. He emphasized food security, saying that far too many people on the continent endure poverty and chronic hunger while speaking of a “moral imperative” to rectify this. He also announced that Senegal had become the tenth country to join the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. This “alliance,” however, has been fraught with controversy since its launch last year.

The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition is a partnership between the G-8, African governments and private companies including Monsanto, Syngenta, Cargill and Yara, a Norwegian nitrogen fertilizer company. The Alliance was launched by President Obama in May 2012 at Camp David to “support agricultural development” and aimed at “lifting 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa out of poverty over the next ten years.”

Officially, the idea is…

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I missed Wednesday again this week. I don’t know where the days go right now, but I did get to see what the Change The World Wednesday (#ctww) challenge was and it’s something that is very do-able: banish paper towels and napkins from your life!

The challenge to banish paper made me smile and it makes total sense. And I thought ‘This one’s going to be tricky’.  Small and the gang have been such a joy to read when I do catch up with them, I’m being so inspired… but straight off I knew this week that I couldn’t do it.

So, fabrics and doing without is the call. I’ll certainly think twice in future at a restaurant, it hasn’t really crossed my mind til now so I’m pleased that already Small and the #ctww crew are helping me as ever. When I started thinking about it, I wondered whether recycled kitchen roll and paper was actually more eco than cloth?

Cloths are more durable but they need to be washed presumably adding grease and food dust plus shudder germs to the water course. Whereas if I use paper on grease, I fold it inside out dip it in some seeds and leave it out for the birds. I spritz my kitchen and bathroom with eucalyptus  or peppermint oil and wipe it off with kitchen roll, which is then composted along with tissues and also when I finish my windows, after a quick clean with white vinegar and newspaper. I wasn’t quite sure tissues were ok for the compost but my friend Clara does so I’ve started composting them too.  I use recycled paper to clean the bathroom along with a plastic scourer and white vinegar and borax. It’s static cloth dusters for furniture already.

I’ve always liked the thought of buying bulk to reduce my footprint and often choose fairly-traded and 100% recycled paper products at a vegan wholesalers, I’m not sure if at Lembas they sell cotton/fabric products in bulk but it’s worth a look.  Cotton, that wonderful material, isn’t grown in the UK – something I keep being asked about my NEAT bags (another blog!) – so then paper produced by sustainable timber and recycled helps keep our flailing forestry industry moving (gosh only knows our trees need help). Don’t get me started on toilet roll produced from intensive agri-timber, though – loo rolls should all be recycled paper, trees are so important! While I’m all about increasing the UK’s lamentable native tree cover, I just can’t reconcile the idea that it’s ok to grow trees just to turn them into toilet roll (it just offends me; I can’t help it.)  But anyway…  cotton is also recyclable of course, and hemp and bamboo fibres are making great cloths. But then, recycling does use a tonne of water; ah doesn’t the initial paper-making process too?

Hmm.  Still, I’m enjoying channeling with the #ctww crew towards Small’s way of thinking. So yep, a little late perhaps but challenge accepted! I could probably do without paper napkins and I can use less rolls. Problem is, I’ve just bought 100.

http://wtcampaigns.wordpress.com/category/nature-in-education/ Three great posts giving a policy, pupil and parent perspective about planned changes in the English primary school curriculum, from Woodland Matters