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    The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:10 pm



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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:13 pm



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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:53 am


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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:38 am

    Uranium - the 'demon metal' that threatens us all
    Chris Busby

    1st January 2014


    Ingested Uranium is linked with health impacts far greater than is explained by orthodox risk models. Chris Busby explains how the 'demon metal' does its damage - and why the nuclear industry is desperate to hide the truth.


    I am going to ramble about a bit here, but it's a bit of a rambling tale, which I hope will come together at the end. I start with Africa.

    A few years ago I was in the middle of nowhere in Tanzania, in a big thatched hall attempting to explain to the locals why it wasn't a good idea to allow the open-cast mining of Uranium in their tribal territory. I say:

    "At the beginning of time there was created the evil spirit Uranium, which deformed children and killed their parents with horrible diseases. Mungu (God) fought with the demon and trapped his power throughout the earth in the ground, tied into the rocks.

    "Now greedy men wish to free the demon to use his powers to make money, but the effects will be terrible and you must not allow it."

    Later, I thought this ad hoc explanation was quite accurate.

    Since 1910, childhood leukemia tracks Uranium and Radium

    In 2002 my friend Richard Bramhall, on the CERRIE committee, was thinking about childhood leukemia and the arguments of Sir Richard Doll about the disease.

    Doll pointed out that the death rates of this (then) entirely new condition began to increase around 1910 and continued up to the 1960s, after which medical treatment made death rate trends valueless as an epidemiological indicator.

    Since the increase began before nuclear energy and fission-product releases (Sellafield, Chernobyl, Caesium-137, Strontium-90) Doll argued these could not be the cause.

    But what Bramhall found was that the trend in global Uranium and Radium production fitted the trend in childhood leukemia pretty accurately. Not a proof, of course, but interesting.

    Fallujah - shake, bake, irradiate

    In 2009 I helped organize the first study of cancer and infant mortality in Fallujah Iraq - a paper which has now had 27,000 accesses and 18,000 downloads from the journal website and has been something of a phenomenon in the media (though not of course the BBC).

    The results showed an enormous increase in cancer, and this was most clear for in children (0-14) where the rate was 12.6 times the expected and in leukemia in young adults 0-34 where the rate was 38 times the expected.

    Now these are pretty astonishing findings. The biggest leukemia increase in Hiroshima was about 17-fold, and this was ascribed to radiation exposures. But whatever caused this in Fallujah, also increased rates of congenital defects in the newborn and altered the sex ratio at birth.

    The sex ratio, the number of boys born per 1000 girls, fell from 1050 to about 800, a signal of genetic damage. We looked for the cause of this genetic damage in the hair of the mothers of the birth defect children and found a huge excess of Uranium. This result also caused a splash, with 16,000 accesses to the paper since its publication in 2011.

    Uranium weapons cause genetic damage

    Of course, these Fallujah studies just confirmed what the Iraqi doctors had been saying ever since Gulf War 1 when the US vapourised about 350 tons of the stuff over the Iraqi population. Uranium weapons were causing the genetic damage.

    There were reports of similar effects in the Balkans and in Gulf war veterans and their children. Discussion can be found in these papers and the third one, where the congenital malformation rates are calculated.

    The UK Gulf veterans are now in their 40s and are beginning to develop cancer. There are studies showing that US veterans have had children with birth defects. I have been involved in a number of Gulf war cancer cases in Ministry of Defence Pensions appeals, and notably in a coroner inquest in 2009 into the death of Gulf Veteran Stuart Dyson.

    He died from colon cancer at the young age (for that disease) of 40, and the jury concluded that his cancer was caused by Depleted Uranium exposure, a finding that caused severe headaches for the Secretary of State for Defence.

    Bomb test veterans

    It is not only the Gulf veterans that were exposed to Uranium. The atmospheric nuclear tests involved huge bombs that were constructed entirely of Uranium.

    The UK Grapple Y 3 megaton test on Christmas Island in 1958 (video here ~ 1 minute) involved a 4 ton lump of the stuff that was atomized by the explosion and created a black rain of Uranium oxide nanoparticles that fell from the sky (along with fish that had been sucked from the sea into the cloud).

    The nuclear test veterans have suffered all the same effects: cancers and a whole range of health problems. And birth defects in the children. I know about the birth defects as a result of an epidemiological study I carried out with Mireille de Messieres in 2007. This showed a 9-fold excess risk of a congenital defect in the children and an 8- fold excess in the grandchildren.

    And I know about the Uranium in the bombs and the black rain as it is evidence in the case I am currently fighting in the Royal Courts of Justice in a nuclear test veteran Pensions Appeal.

    read on:  Arrow http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2205213/uranium_the_demon_metal_that_threatens_us_all.html

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:39 pm

    Planned Obsolescence - HD The lightbulb conspiracy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui_HbEN9k1M


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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:26 pm

    Graham Hancock - The War on Consciousness BANNED TED TALK

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0c5nIvJH7w


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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:20 am

    Soy Story / Full version

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y063CinbEuI


    Factory farming and the destruction of lands and lives in Argentina - See more at: http://www.raw.info/SOY#sthash.A1VCxl7F.dpuf

    Arrow http://www.raw.info/SOY

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:30 pm

    Blood on our clothes

    Four protestors have been shot in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where hundreds of thousands garment workers are protesting against unfair working conditions. Alessandra Mezzadri reports ...

    Last Friday garment workers, alongside a wide range of activists, blocked a road south of Phnom Penh. In the ensuing clash security forces opened fire, killing four people and injuring many more.

    This was the culmination of a week of increasingly violent protests in which garment workers' demanded an increase in their meagre salaries - from the current US$100 per month to $160.

    At the time of writing, the Cambodian government has issued a ban on assembly and public gatherings. These clashes represent the escalation of a rather complex political crisis in Cambodia, involving not only workers and unions but also opposition parties and different civil society groups, united against Prime Minister Hun Sen.

    Capitalism at its ugliest

    But they also once more remind us of the unacceptable model our global manufacturing system is hanging onto. The 'modern' ready-made garment industry has always been a case of capitalism at its ugliest, its abysmal working conditions and practices persisting since its birth in the industrial revolution.

    It was in 1911 that a fire in New York consumed the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and claimed the lives of 146 garment workers, primarily young migrant women. The economist John R. Commons coined the word 'sweatshop' as early as 1901.

    Over the past century, the sweatshop model has globalised, travelled the world, and continually relocated in its endless search for new reservoirs of cheap labour. This has accelerated with the rise of neoliberalism and 'export-orientation' has become a byword for speedy development.

    The relocation of garment factories to the developing world has been accompanied by a progressive decline of prices for consumers, and consumerism has been framed as a means to alleviate world poverty, not only through fair trade schemes but also through "aid for trade" rhetoric.

    Today, in the context of what is known as the 'retail revolution', western consumers can purchase a pair of jeans on the high street for £5 - and also be gratified by the thought that, after all, they are shopping to save the world.

    Violence and exploitation are the norm

    In the garment industry, violence and exploitation are pretty much the norm, experienced by workers in various ways. In many cases, workers sweating in global garment factories are migrants coming from rural areas, 'ejected' from their villages by poverty, unemployment or landlessness, with the pallid hope of a better future for their families.

    In many cases they are young women, passing from the hands of the family patriarch to those of the market patriarch, who loves the lower wages they are willing to accept. Once in the factories, they face harsh and intense working conditions and extremely low wages.

    After ten years of studying, researching, and investigating this industry, I am still astonished by the innumerable shades in which its exploitation is manifested, and by the myriad struggles garment workers face not just at work, but in their daily lives.

    In India, workers struggle to find decent housing, and live in filthy shacks at the margins of urban metropoles, enlarging the perimeters of Mike Davis' "Planet of Slums".

    In China, workers are instead locked into companies' dormitories, each and every moment of their lives fully commodified and regulated.

    read on:  Arrow http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2228943/blood_on_our_clothes.html

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:33 pm

    West Virginia chemical spill hits water supplies



    Up to 300,000 face tap ban and schools and shops close after 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol spills into Elk river in Charleston

    A chemical spill along a West Virginia river has resulted in a tap water ban for as many as 300,000 people, shutting down schools, bars and restaurants and forcing residents to queue at stores for bottled water.

    Governor Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency for nine counties as a result of Thursday's spill of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol, a chemical used in the coal industry. The spill occurred along the Elk river in Charleston, the capital of the eastern US state.

    Health officials were advising residents to use the water only for flushing toilets and fighting fires.

    "West Virginians in the affected service areas are urged not to use tap water for drinking, cooking, washing or bathing," Tomblin said in a statement. "Right now, our priorities are our hospitals, nursing homes and schools."

    Local media showed pictures of West Virginia residents queuing at stores for bottled water, and shelves that had been emptied of their supplies.

    Dr Rahul Gupta, health officer for the Kanawha-Charleston and the Putnam County health departments, ordered the closure of all restaurants, tattoo parlours and schools that received water from the West Virginia American Water company.

    Schools would be closed on Friday across many counties, including Boone, Cabell, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Pocahontas, and Putnam, the West Virginia department of education said on its website.

    "You can't have schools without water," said Tomblin's spokeswoman, Amy Shuler Goodwin, who added that she did not know when the ban would be lifted.

    read on:  Arrow http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/10/west-virginia-chemical-spill-elk-river-charleston

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:05 pm

    "The lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house as a guest, and then becomes a host, and then a master."

    Khalil Gibran

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:13 pm

    Black rhino hunting permit auctioned for $350,000 U.S.

    Jan 12, 2014


    A permit to hunt an endangered African black rhino sold for $350,000 US at a Dallas auction held to raise money for conservation efforts but criticized by wildlife advocates.

    Steve Wagner, a spokesman for the Dallas Safari Club, which sponsored the closed-door event Saturday night, confirmed the sale of the permit for a hunt in the African nation of Namibia. He declined to name the buyer.

    Protecting the species

    The Safari Club's executive director, Ben Carter, has defended the auction, saying all money raised will go toward protecting the species. He also said the rhino that the winner will be allowed to hunt is old, male and nonbreeding — and that the animal was likely to be targeted for removal anyway because it was becoming aggressive and threatening other wildlife.

    But the auction drew howls from critics, including wildlife and animal rights groups, and the FBI said it was investigating death threats against members of the club.

    Officials from the Humane Society and the International Fund for Animal Welfare have said that while culling can be appropriate in abundant animal populations, all black rhinos should be protected, given their endangered status.

    An estimated 4,000 black rhinos remain in the wild, down from 70,000 in the 1960s. Nearly 1,800 are in Namibia, according to the Safari Club.

    Critics have also said any hunting of a rhino sends a bad message to the public.

    "This auction is telling the world that an American will pay anything to kill their species," Jeffrey Flocken, North American regional director of the Massachusetts-based IFAW, said this past week. "This is, in fact, making a spectacle of killing an endangered species."

    read on:  Arrow http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/black-rhino-hunting-permit-auctioned-for-350-000-u-s-1.2493480

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:45 pm

    West Virginia chemical spill

    The coal processing chemical that spilled into West Virgnia's Elk River has reached Cincinnati, OH. The city is taking no chances and will rely on stored water for 48 hours.



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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:57 pm

    Natural flavoring ...



    Have you ever wondered where artificial raspberry, vanilla or strawberry flavor come from? These are the dried perineal glands of the beaver. They contain castoreum — a food additive usually listed as ‘natural flavoring’ in the ingredient list. Castoreum is the exudate from the castor sacs of the mature North American Beaver, it is a yellowish secretion in combination with the beaver’s urine, used during scent marking of territory. In the USA, castoreum as a food additive is considered by the FDA to be generally recognized as safe, often referenced simply as a “natural flavoring” in products’ lists of ingredients. While it can be used in both foods and beverages as a vanilla, raspberry and strawberry flavoring. While it sounds downright disgusting, the FDA says it’s GRAS, meaning it’s “generally recognized as safe.” You won’t see this one on the food label because it’s generally listed as “natural flavoring.” It’s natural all right. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20588763_11,00.html

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:02 pm

    Today's Modern Food: It's not what you think - Part 1 of 2

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhhnHA8c_Y0


    Today's Modern Food: It's not what you think - Part 2 of 2

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R1ixshimfM


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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:04 pm

    SUPERMARKET SECRETS & DECEPTIONS PART 1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9cEoSDyfLo


    SUPERMARKET SECRETS & DECEPTIONS PART 2 HQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj70xz6U6w4


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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:57 am


    Sperm whale dies bringing us a message; a stomach full of plastic

    July 29, 2013, a sperm whale was stranded on Tershelling, a northern island in the Netherlands. A rescue attempt was attempted, but unfortunately the whale died. A young adult at 13.5 meters was taken for a necropsy at the port of Harlington. The sperm whale had plastic in its stomach, an increasing common phenomenon say researchers at the Biodiversity Centre Naturalis.

    In March of this year, a 10 meter long sperm whale washed up on Spain’s South Coast. This whale had swallowed 59 different plastic items totalling over 37 pounds. Most of this plastic consisted of transparent sheeting used to build greenhouses in Almeria and Grenada for the purpose of tomatoes for the European market. The rest was plastic bags, nine meters of rope, two stretches of hosepipe, two small flower pots, and a plastic spray canister. Cause of death was intestinal blockage. These are not uncommon incidents.

    In 1989, a stranded sperm whale in the Lavezzi Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea died of a stomach obstruction after accidentally ingesting plastic bags and 100 feet of plastic sheeting. In 1990, a sperm whale examined for pathology in Iceland died of an obstruction of the gut with plastic marine debris. In August of 2008, a sperm whale washed up in Point Reyes, California with 450 pounds of fishing net, rope, and plastic bags in its stomach. The California Marine Mammal Stranding Database tells of another sperm whale stranded in 2008 with stomach contents that included an extensive amount of netting from discarded fishing gear. The sperm whale that stranded in the Netherlands had a large part of its lower jaw missing. Among hundreds of thousands of sperm whales that whalers harpoon, regularly encountered are sperm whales with broken or deformed lower jaws. Most of these whales have full stomachs and are healthy right before being slaughtered. This, and the fact squids are found in their stomachs whole and seldom show bite marks, lead to a theory that the lower jaw plays no significant role in catching of prey and that these sperm whales instead suck their food in. If this theory is true, sperm whales are just as vulnerable as baleen whales to the ingestion of marine debris.

    read on: http://www.naturalcuresnotmedicine.com/2013/10/sperm-whale-dies-bringing-us-message.html

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:59 am


    19-Year-Old Develops Ocean Cleanup Array That Could Remove 7 Million Tons Of Plastic From the Ocean


    19-year-old Boyan Slat has unveiled plans to create an Ocean Cleanup Array that could remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans. The device consists of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms that could be dispatched to garbage patches around the world. Instead of moving through the ocean, the array would span the radius of a garbage patch, acting as a giant funnel. The angle of the booms would force plastic in the direction of the platforms, where it would be separated from plankton, filtered and stored for recycling.

    At school, Boyan Slat launched a project that analyzed the size and amount of plastic particles in the ocean’s garbage patches. His final paper went on to win several prizes, including Best Technical Design 2012 at the Delft University of Technology. Boyan continued to develop his concept during the summer of 2012, and he revealed it several months later at TEDxDelft 2012.

    Slat went on to found The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, a non-profit organization which is responsible for the development of his proposed technologies. His ingenious solution could potentially save hundreds of thousands of aquatic animals annually, and reduce pollutants (including PCB and DDT) from building up in the food chain. It could also save millions per year, both in clean-up costs, lost tourism and damage to marine vessels.

     Arrow http://www.naturalcuresnotmedicine.com/2013/10/19-year-old-develops-ocean-cleanup.html

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:01 am

    Know your plastics



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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:41 pm

    History of Monsanto in 2 minutes

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyKZR8WujTk


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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:51 pm

    China starts televising the sunrise on giant TV screens because Beijing is so clouded in smog

    The smog has become so thick in Beijing that the city's natural light-starved masses have begun flocking to huge digital commercial television screens across the city to observe virtual sunrises.
    The futuristic screens installed in the Chinese capital usually advertize tourist destinations, but as the season's first wave of extremely dangerous smog hit - residents donned air masks and left their homes to watch the only place where the sun would hail over the horizon that morning.
    Commuters across Beijing found themselves cloaked in a thick, gray haze on Thursday as air pollution monitors issued a severe air warning and ordered the elderly and school children to stay indoors until the quality improved.

    The air took on an acrid odor, and many of the city's commuters wore industrial strength face masks as they hurried to work.
    'I couldn't see the tall buildings across the street this morning,' said a traffic coordinator at a busy Beijing intersection who gave only his surname, Zhang. 'The smog has gotten worse in the last two to three years. I often cough, and my nose is always irritated. But what can you do? I drink more water to help my body discharge the toxins.'

    More...
    Never before seen Challenger disaster pics: Photos discovered in an attic dramatically capture the 1986 tragedy that killed 7 and nearly ended the space shuttle program
    Nasa reveal plans for the biggest rocket ever made to take us to Mars - dwarfing the shuttle and the Saturn rockets that took man to the moon
    The city's air quality is often poor, especially in winter when stagnant weather patterns combine with an increase in coal-burning to exacerbate other forms of pollution and create periods of heavy smog for days at a time.
    But the readings early Thursday for particles of PM2.5 pollution marked the first ones of the season above 500 micrograms per cubic meter.



    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2540955/Beijing-clouded-smog-way-sunrise-watch-giant-commercial-screens-Tiananmen-Square.html#ixzz2qmzoR5ED

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:34 pm

    Study reveals world’s highest deforestation rate on uncontacted tribe’s land
    21 January 2014


    A new scientific study has revealed that Paraguay’s Chaco forest – the last refuge of the uncontacted Ayoreo tribe – is being devastated by the world’s highest rate of deforestation.

    The study by the University of Maryland found that ’Paraguay’s Chaco woodlands (…) are experiencing rapid deforestation in the development of cattle ranches. The result is the highest rate of deforestation in the world.’

    These dramatic satellite images show the astonishing extent of forest destruction in the Chaco between 1990 and 2013 – and also that the area claimed by the Ayoreo (red outline) is one of the last remaining patches of forest left.

    see image:  Arrow http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/9911

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:23 am

    First Earth [full]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjzI2JDvsNA


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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:33 am

    5 Worst Ways Animals Are Exploited in the Fashion Industry

    What we choose to wear and how we choose to wear it provides an inexhaustible flow of information about the modern human society. Historians of human culture know the importance of looking toward the style of dress across different time periods and different cultures in order to better understand the values and lifestyles held by their wearers. Our personal fashion also says a lot about us, and helps us present who we are — or who we want to be seen as — to our audience, whether that audience is a potential friend, potential employer, or potential significant other.

    Much of our life will be shaped by the various styles that lay the foundation for an entire industry of fashion. And as much as fashion choices can enrich our own lives, fashion that isn’t consumer conscious can have grave negative effects on the lives of others. This becomes quite apparent when we look at what sort of materials are considered essential in the high-end competitive fashion world, what we see celebrities promoting through use every day. These “materials” — such as leather, fur, wool, or animal skins — have a much higher cost than their non-animal counterparts, and I’m not talking about the number on the price tag.

    When fashion literally kills, it’s time to start looking into just how animals are exploited in the fashion industry, and what we can all do together in order to change the negative reality of fashion into a positive, progressive, and even empowering means of expression.

    1. Fur

    Fur farming continues to be a widespread practice despite minor bans of fur production in select countries. Criticism for China is popular as a major importer of fur pelts, and thus a major exporter for finished fur products, but critics seldom seek to address the fact that European ‘farmers’ are the largest producers of fur, having approximately six thousand fur farms across the EU.

    Canada is also known to exceed the U.S. in fox fur farming by 10 to 15 times as much. Those who continue to wear fur in the Western world have been given a false impression: that animal cruelty for the sake of fur may or may not happen, but if it does, it is millions of miles away from their own doorstep. It takes only a second of research to know this is not the truth. Yet, it shouldn’t matter how near or far a fur farm is from us — in a world burgeoning into a global market, a fur trim coat purchased in New York could be traced to Beijing, a fur lined scarf bought on a shopping spree in London can be traced to a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada.

    Our responsibility for documented cases of “trapping animals in bone-breaking steel traps, clubbing them to death, electrocuting them through the mouth or anus, breaking their necks and backs, skinning them alive” is a responsibility we all share. Animals caught in the grasp of the fur industry include mink, chinchillas, foxes, dogs, rabbits, and cats.

    While the U.S. and other countries attempt to ban the import, export, and sale of dog and cat fur products, mislabeling makes tracking dog and cat fur difficult. The countries which ban dog and cat fur but permit the furs of other animals, who can feel pain and emotions as equally as any house pet, do so with disgust at the thought that anyone would be wearing the remains of a dead dog or killed kitten. It’s time to extend the limits of fur farming and opt for fur free, or faux fur alternatives which produce a similar look and feel to our favorite fur based fashions.

    2. Leather

    Arguably more popular than fur as a centerpiece of fashion is leather, which makes its appearance at every interval of the common fashionista’s wardrobe: leather handbags, leather boots, leather jackets, leather accessories, leather pants, leather belts. The abundance of leather and the appreciation it receives from modern consumers is innumerable. Appreciation for the life of the cow who had to die after months of inhumane transport for the handbag or in-style leather jacket is, however, not such a common occurrence.

    As if the human rights violations rampant in the production of leather weren’t enough, documented cases of cows being skinned alive, having their tails broken, and dying before they even reach their slaughter should warn against giving into wearing leather to follow recent trends. The focus of why one should opt for a less cruel leather alternative is rather simple: killing for the sake of a piece of clothing or another accessory is never necessary, especially when other options are available.

    In a time where many young women are encouraged to add tougher overtones to their feminine style — such as throwing a slim leather jacket over a simple dress and leggings — it’s important to remember that feeling empowered, physically and mentally, need not come at the cost of another. Exploiting animals doesn’t make us tougher. Leather fashion products, like many other animal-based materials, are getting an upgrade in the recent years with the advancement of vegan-friendly and eco-friendly leathers.

    3. Wool

    Wool is perhaps the most misunderstood animal-based material used for clothing and other products, because in theory, the wool industry should not have as much cruelty as it does.

    Those who have never done research into how wool is produced simply say that sheep obviously don’t die for wool, so “what is so wrong in wearing it?” Those who have done a little research into wool production know that some breeds of sheep, such as the Merino, need to be shorn for their own safety. Merino sheep have such thick wool that if they are not shorn, they risk dying of heat exhaustion. But the reason for this is not that Merino sheep have always needed to be shorn: humans have specifically bred domestic sheep so that they cannot perform tasks that are natural to them, and we have done so for the sake of profit.

    Sheep in the wool industry also face the same fate as other animals used for fashion — premature death in transportation, suffering in tight holding pens for months, and often being conscious when eventually slaughtered. The reality of wool is not a pretty sight, no matter how much one might try to ignore these facts as they put on a new oversized wool sweater currently in style.  The worst of the wool industry, known as mulesing — a process done with the claim that it is to prevent flystrike and disease, even though better care of the sheep could prevent this — is possibly crueler than some common practices within the meat industry.

    4. Feathers

    Feathers don’t come first to mind when one thinks of what constitutes today’s fashion. As far as I can tell, the everyday girl isn’t strutting her stuff in her new goose or swan dress (with the exception of the Icelandic singer-songwriter known as Bjork, and the actors in the 2004 comedy flick “White Chicks”).

    Feather hair extensions and feather earrings, however, make strong appearances in the youthful wild wardrobe. And feathers, like wool, share the common trait of being easily misunderstood in just how they are harvested. As Discovery News reports, “Some might not know taking the feathers requires killing the roosters.” They also note that rooster breeders have often tried to claim that they lead cage free facilities for the birds before they are slaughtered, when this was not the case.

    Luckily enough, fun feather earrings can be had without the cruelty of slaughter and confinement with false feather products – the only mayhem we need to get up to on a Friday night involves much less animal cruelty, but possibly more hangovers and a pair of sore legs from dancing all night.

    5. Cosmetics

    Cosmetics are the finishing touches of the fashion industry. They can take a simple Monday office outfit to new heights, turn an average date night dress into a stunning romantic ensemble. Cosmetic substances are found in the room of millions of women, even those who eschew the larger world of fashion. Many young women begin their journey into personal expression through makeup, and many more seek new and creative ways to give their average style that extra boost it needs.

    While animal testing is not necessary for cosmetics, and in most countries there is no law saying that cosmetics must make use of animal testing for legal sale, the exploitation of animals for makeup has yet to be phased out.

    Testing cosmetics on animals has been banned in the EU, but major companies such as Cover Girl, Maybelline, and L’Oreal still employ animal testing for their products. Mice, birds, rabbits, monkeys, dogs, and cats are the common victims of vivisection (live testing).

    As the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS) describes, animals are subject to “testing new drugs to infecting with diseases, poisoning for toxicity testing, burning skin, causing brain damage, implanting electrodes into the brain, maiming, blinding, and other painful and invasive procedures.”

    Cruelty free cosmetics do exist, and thanks to online search engines that catalogue the practices of cosmetic companies, it has become easier to find your favorite gloss or powder without having to fund the painful life of an animal in testing facilities.

    Check here for links :  Arrow http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/5-worst-ways-animals-are-exploited-in-the-fashion-industry/

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    mudra

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:36 pm

    Big Coal's annus horribilis

    2013 was a bad, bad year for Big Coal, writes Bob Burton. If the coal industry's PR dream is for a stream of exuberant articles selling the story line that coal is clean, cheap and desirable, then 2013 delivered the opposite. 2014 will be even worse.

       If there is one issue which encapsulates Big Coal's fall it is the deadly smog which blanketed Chinese cities in January and then again in October and December.

    During 2013 the coal industry became mired in debates over air and water pollution, escalating health costs, corruption scandals, damage to farmlands, water supplies and the global climate.

    Around the world, citizens, farmers and community groups are standing up to Big Coal as never before and often winning. Exhausted old coal power plants - such as in Europe, the US and Australia - have been shuttered or have been slated for closure.

    In the United Kingdom alone, coal plants with an installed capacity of 7,270 megawatts shut down. New power stations - such as the Gerze power station in Turkey - have withered in the face of community opposition.

    read on:  Arrow http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2253292/big_coals_annus_horribilis.html

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:44 pm



    MOUNTAIN OF BISON SKULLS: This historic photo from 1870 shows just how brutally efficient European settlers were in nearly wiping out the American bison. The two men are literally standing on tens of thousands of bison skulls from the once mighty herds of the Great Plains. The bison were not only seen as impeding development, their slaughter was also used to weaken Native American resistance to American expansionism since many tribes depended on the bison for food and culture.

    It's a sobering reminder on the 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act why we still need laws protecting our wildlife and why the restoration of the bison to the Great Plains is so symbolic for Native Americans.

    source:  Arrow [url= http://www.earthjustice.org/] http://www.earthjustice.org/[/url]

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