Jerry the Rooster

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Saturday’s weather was gorgeous.   After two massively busy weeks and ongoing sickness in the family, it was a delightful respite to get out and enjoy the sun.

With my local Seed Savers group, I ventured to a local bee keeper’s property.  It was while wondering the grounds we met Jerry the Rooster – a huge yet gorgeous and proud looking animal.

Jerry was more like a puppy dog, as he followed us closely on our garden stroll.

Just wanted to share Jerry’s portrait with you – hope it puts a little sunshine into your day.

Renovating the Guest Accommodation

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‘Guest Accommodation’ is not exactly accurate.   More like accommodation for the locals – aka nesting boxes.

I picked up a couple of tiny bird nesting boxes that were in need of some love the other day.

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A quick paint job today and hopefully some smaller Australian native birds will decide to move in (not the larger introduced Indian Myna bird which is fast becoming Australia’s number one threat to our native birds).

Thinking I may add some ‘house numbers’ on each one i.e. ’43’ ’45’ ’47’ etc.

Once they are finished and installed I will photograph and share.

My Kinder, Healthier and Greener Diet

Over the years of blogging, I have written a number of posts about a diet that is ‘greener’ and kinder to animals.  Reading through all those posts today, I found my journey of change interesting.  From a meat eater, to only buying free range meat, to no longer eating bacon and more recently, stopping eating all red meat.

Here are three post examples:

In July of 2008 I wrote ‘A Pig Feeling’ – not long afterwards I stopped eating bacon

In May of 2010 I wrote ‘Joe Ludwig, I’m Angry Our Cattle is Being Tortured’ – not long afterwards I stopped eating all red meat

In January of 2011 I wrote ‘Choose The Fish You Eat Wisely’ – about my decision to only eat sustainable seafood

What does my kinder, healthier and greener diet look like today?

* Still only buy and consume sustainable seafood
* 24 months on and I have not consumed red meat
* 51 months on and I have not consumed pork
* Only eat free range chicken & turkey & eggs
* Reduced by 50% the amount of diary consumed
* Growing organically in my backyard many of my own herbs, fruit and vegetables

Yes this diet is kinder on the planet and on farm animals but how is my health?  According to my doctor, my iron levels are high, cholesterol is great and I am healthier than she has ever seen me.

In conclusion I wish to thank Animals Australia for their dedication to creating a kinder world for all animals.  Their work was my inspiration to change (yesterday I decided to support them financially on a monthly commitment after watching their ‘Make It Possible’ video).

My dogs Mini & Cooper have inspired me to better a better, kinder human - thank you puppies!

My dogs, Mini and Cooper are my constant inspiration to become a better and kinder human – thank you puppies!

Choose For a Future Full of Fish

Recently I returned from a photographic Alaskan adventure.  To witness Sea Lions, Humpback and Orca Whales in the wild (as well as Brown Bears and Bald Eagles) was just beautiful and moving.  It again was an important reminder to treasure our oceans and to personally take responsibility for my own lifestyle’s impact on the environment.   Check out more of my Alaskan images at Sarhn McArthur Photography.

Alaska marine animals composition by Sarhn McArthur

There have been two very simple lifestyle changes, I personally have made which will make a positive difference to the health of our oceans.  Firstly, I have limited the amount of ‘single life’ plastic bags in my life i.e. next time you go shopping, say “No thank you” to accepting plastic shopping bags. Check out Tim Silverwood’s blog for more ways to help clean up our oceans of plastic (Tim is an environmentalist – a plastic pollution educating legend).

The second way to very easily make a positive difference to the health of our oceans, is to choose fish you buy wisely.   This is a topic I have blogged about before, which is probably why Taronga Zoo invited me to experience their ‘fish 4 life’ program yesterday.

Despite the gloomy Sydney weather, Brett & I thoroughly enjoyed our ‘Sea lion’ encounter and ‘fish 4 life’ education.  In fact I personally found the whole experience positive, heart felt and inspirational.

Seven years ago, the Sea Lion zoo keepers and handlers made a pack amongst themselves that they would only purchase sustainable seafood for their own consumption.  It was this commitment that inspired Taronga’s ‘fish 4 life’ program – which is all about educating people as to what seafood is best to buy to ensure there will be plenty to go around for all species and for future generations.

The message at the Sea Lion show was crystal clear, ‘your choices can make a positive difference to our marine environment’.

Taronga Zoo's Sea Lion Show and Fish 4 Life Program

Brett & I were privileged to meet Nala, an Australian Sea Lion and the ‘face’ of Taronga’s ‘Fish 4 Life’ program. (above photo, bottom left: Brett & I with Nala)

Nala and Tarong’s staff educated us about the Marine Stewardship Council’s ‘Certified Sustainable Seafood’ guide (MSC for short).  With experts, the MSC developed standards for sustainable fishing and seafood traceability. They ensure that MSC labelled seafood comes from, and can be traced back to, a sustainable fishery.  Basically they have done all the hard work, so all we need to do is look for their logo when we go grocery shopping for ocean marine seafood.

Marine Stewardship Council Ecolabel

Taronga’s Facebook page can also be of assistance in finding stores near you that sell sustainable seafood. By the way, Taronga’s ‘Cafe Harbourview’ is the first cafe/restaurant in Australia to be given the MSC certification i.e. all the seafood sold is MSC certified.

It is commendable that Woolworths has partened with Taronga so to help its customers make informed decisions about the sustainability of their seafood choices purchased from their Woolworths stores.

Speaking with Woolworths Head of Sustainabiltiy yesterday, I learnt that Woolworths has introduced a pilot trial for its star rating ‘how to pick sustainable seafood’ system in four Sydney stores:

  • Woolworth’s Bondi Junction store
  • Woolworths’s Eastgardens store (which is where we shop)
  • Two Woolworths’s Neutral Bay stores

Woolworths Fish Sustainability Ratings

The above ‘How to Pick Sustainable Seafood guide’ will provide Woolworths’ customers with easy to understand information on making their seafood choices.

In closing I wish to whole-heartily thank Taronga for the invitation to meet Nala, the zoo keepers and staff yesterday.  Also thank you for sharing about Taronga’s ‘Fish 4 Life’ program with us.  I highly recommend everyone visit Taronga soon and attend their free Sea Lion show – learn about the positive difference we all can make for the marine life and oceans.

At the Sea Lion Taronga Zoo Show

Does Julia Gillard Think, Ban Live Export Outrage Will Go Away?

Over 200,000 signatures have been presented to the Gillard Government, from across Australia, to Ban Live Export.  Yet our Government is strangely quiet?

From ‘inside’ feedback I have received, there are some within the meat industry that believe the anger people have, will quieten down soon.

Their thinking is that it is only the vegetarians, vegans and nutters who are outraged by the footage and therefore as the vegetarians and vegans are not the meat industries market anyway, it doesn’t really matter.

I am not a vegan and I am not a vegetarian and I am sure my regular readers will vouch for me, that I am also of sound mind. Therefore I can assure the meat industry that I am their market and I am disgusted by any indifference that anyone from within the industry may have to what is happening to our livestock export.

Furthermore Julia Gillard & Joe Ludwig you say you were unaware of our exported catttle being tortured, however you are fully aware now.

I am not going anywhere!  I also know GetUp, Animals Australia, RSPCA and 200,000 plus Australian voters are not going anywhere either.

Just to prove this and put some of my money where my mouth is, I have just donated towards having the Ad below put on TV (Ad created by GetUp, Animals Australia and RSPCA working together).

You can help by spreading this Ad through your social media networks (and of course old fashioned word of mouth).  If you can contribute a little towards putting this Ad onto Australian Television, that is fantastic too.

Yours in Loudness

Sarhn  🙂

 

Read my original post ‘Joe Ludwig I’m Angry Our Cattle is Being Tortured’

Joe Ludwig, I’m Angry Our Cattle is Being Tortured

Many people have been asking me today about my thoughts about the Animals Australia footage, shown on 4 Corners last night (about the torture of Australia’s exported cattle in Indonesia).  Sickened and very angry I have been tweeting and emailing.  Here is my email to Australia’s Minister for Agriculture Joe Ludwig:

To Joe Ludwig,

I am emailing you so to add my name in support to ‘Ban Live Export’.

Yes I watched 4 Corners last night and yes I am sickened and really angry about it.  Hasn’t Australia spent millions of tax payers money in educating these abattoirs already?

I choose to believe you were not aware of the sickening torture of Australian cattle in Indonesia before the Animals Australia footage was viewed on 4 Corners last night.  This however means that if Australia’s Minister for Agriculture was ‘in the dark’ about these horrors, then I would argue that tax payers money to educate and improve conditions for our cattle in Indonesia has been wasted.

I have lost confidence that Australia can control or ensure the humane treatment of our exported livestock, once overseas.  For this reason I support the Ban on All Live Export from Australia.  I will not support any industry in Australia that profits from the suffering of any person or animal.

I’ll be watching with great interest and dedication, the decisions made by the Australian Government on the future of the Live Export Trade in Australia.

Thank you for your attention.

Sarhn McArthur

Want to do something to help?

1) Did you miss 4 Corners?  As distressing as it was, it is a story that needed to be told.  Click here to watch it.

2) Email Joe Ludwig (Minister for Agriculture)
Joe.Ludwig@maff.gov.au

3) Let Julia Gillard know your thoughts

4) Sign the Ban Live Export petition

5) Watch Animals Australia & RSPCA Ad (and donate towards having it aired on TV)