Monthly Archives: October 2013

Ontario’s Farm Animal Sanctuaries

Well, it’s been a while since my last post… Life (and my dissertation!) got in the way, but I’d like to get back to it. I’ve been researching Ontario’s farm animal sanctuaries lately– mainly because I would like to start one myself in the near future.

One that I have actually visited is called the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada, near Guelph: http://www.thedonkeysanctuary.ca/ 

They do wonderful work for animals that are often forgotten about. They also offer humane education programs for children and school classes– a wonderful idea of a field trip! Educational programs like the Donkey Sanctuary’s are key ways in which children will learn about suffering and compassion, cruelty and love.

Another important part of their mission is advocacy, as is the case with many animal sanctuaries. In their “Animals and the Law” section, they offer a nice breakdown of the problems with Canada’s current criminal code, under which animal cruelty is prosecuted:

Canadian animal welfare organizations, on behalf of the country’s citizens, have been calling on the federal government to amend animal cruelty sections of the Criminal Code of Canada for more than 25 years. Bill after bill has been introduced in Parliament, but the Section remains unchanged, save for a limited modification in 2008 to the penalties for animal cruelty. In spite of this lack of substantive action on the part of Parliament, 76% of Canadians continue to support changing the law so that animal cruelty crimes are no longer treated as property crimes. It is important than animals be protected because they can suffer and not just because someone owns them. Increasing the penalties was note enough; parliamentarians must finish the job of bringing animal cruelty laws out of the 19th Century.

Well, this is the first of a few great sanctuaries I’d like to profile. Stay tuned for more!

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Start wearing purple! October is DV awareness month– make a statement!

WOMEN. HEALING. VIOLENCE.

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I typically ignore national awareness initiatives saddled to particular months. There are simply too many of them. For example, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month; Crime Prevention Month; Health Literacy Month; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender History Month; National Breast Cancer Awareness Month; National Cyber Security Awareness Month; National Disability Employment Awareness Month; National Family Sexuality Education Month; and everyone’s favorite, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Month. These are all worthy causes, which is part of the problem. There are countless important issues vying for our attention. The result is often despondency, if not numbness.

But an email I received announcing Domestic Violence Awareness Month stunned me. It shared that one in four American women have been physically abused by an intimate partner; the majority never tell anyone.

One in four women? Think of the kind of response one in four muggings would receive, or one in four carjackings. If one in four…

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