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Top 5 Ways to Make Your Holidays Count!

Top 5 Ways to Make Your Holidays Count!

Posted 1 July 2010   by _Matt         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: guest blog, advocacy, activism, holidays, school

So it's holidays... Hol-lee-dayzzzz!  Alright, alright - enough celebrating for now.

OK one more: HOLIDAYS!!!! 

Time to forget about school for 2 weeks (for most of us). No more 7am wake-ups, no more smelly canteens and smellier canteen men... and no more dissections (YES!).

I'm sure your schedule is already packed with movies to see, friends to visit, and shops to shop, food to eat... and maybe even a date? ;) But remember! The animals still need our help! And hey, is there a better time to be a hero for the animals than during the holidays? happy.gif

So let's get down to business... Here are 5 great ways to make your holidays count:

  1. Organise/join a leafleting session. (hit me up if this interests you!)
  2. Take your friends out for a great veggie lunch.
  3. Volunteer at a local animal shelter.
  4. Write a letter to someone (eg. PM, local member of parliament, editor of a newspaper, etc) about an issue that concerns you.
  5. Organise a movie night with your mates to watch Earthlings, or Meat the Truth.

So tell me, what are you doing for the animals these holidays? Don't forget to drop a line here and tell us all about it.

Stay loud!

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Who Hates Exams?
Posted By Jane

Who Hates Exams?

Posted 29 April 2010   by         Permalink | 15 Comments

Tags: animal testing, humane education, education, advocacy, activism, school, university, dissection

Hi, I'm Jane, and I've just joined the team, so this is my first ever blog!

So I have one exam to go before I receive my degree in Animal Science. While I'd normally be dreading any kind of exam, biting my nails, and overdosing on coffee while I'm cramming as much as I can get in the night before, I'm actually kind of looking forward to this one. I just heard your jaw drop on the keyboard, but hear me out!

This exam won't just be symbolic of me finally completing my studies. It's also the very last step in proving once and for all that it is entirely possible to attain not only a science degree, but an animal science degree, without having harmed any animals.

For three long years, I steadfastly refused to inject, kill or dissect any animal. Once I was even threatened with a fail, but I stayed true to my beliefs and said defiantly "Fail me then".

No one failed me. In fact, I have a Distinction grade point average and an Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, which further goes to show that I was actually better off not using animals.

A lot of people, students and teachers, think that it's impossible to study biology, physiology, genetics or medicine without using animals. This is really concerning, because the alternatives, text books, artificial models and computer simulations that are readily available make using actual animals in education completely redundant.

That's why this exam means a lot to me, and that's why I'm gonna blitz it!

Hopefully this can be a reference point whenever someone tells you that you have to use animals in science or at uni. Besides, the teachers HAVE to offer you an alternative if you ask for one, did you know that?

All too often, I was the only one to say anything, while my fellow students stayed quiet, did the practicals, and cried on the bus on the way home. We all know it's wrong to use animals this way, so if you're in school and don't want to hurt animals when the teacher tells you to, Speak Up! And encourage your friends to do the same.

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Top 5 Ways to Help Animals at School

Top 5 Ways to Help Animals at School

Posted 1 February 2010   by Jesse         Permalink | 17 Comments

Tags: school, activism, advocacy, dissection, stickers, leather

So it's that time of year again - time to pack your bags, dust off your uniform and head back to school. I know how you're feeling ... if only the holidays could've lasted a bit longer, right? But on the up side, a new year at school is full of great opportunities to help animals. So here are a few reasons to jump out of bed and embrace the new school year with enthusiasm!

Top 5 Tips for Helping Animals at School:

  1. Make Your Presentations Count
    What better chance to speak up for animals than when you've got a captive audience. Are you outraged that 10 million chicks are ground up alive or gassed to death by the egg industry each year? Or that rabbits have chemicals rubbed into their eyes to test everyday household products? Then make your class talks count and do them on issues your classmates should know about. Besides, when you're doing a presentation on something you know and care about, you'll get better grades!
  1. Ditch Dissection
    Just because an animal is small green and slimy, doesn't make it ok to kill her and cut her open. And as for our furry friends, rats - think of them as little dogs - these little guys are smart, playful and really, really cute. There's just no need for violence in science. So let your teacher know you don't want to dissect. Then prove there's no need for dissection by using animal friendly resources (eg. text books, videos and computer simulations) to stay ahead of the class.
  1. Make Your Uniform Animal Friendly
    I don't know about you, but there's no way I want to wear the skin of a dead cow on my feet. And seriously, with so many faux leather alternatives, there's just no need. If your school has a uniform policy with compulsory leather shoes, or woolen jumper, why not write a letter to your principal asking them to change their policy. Sometimes all it takes is one letter.
  1. Sticker Your Stuff
    What else are note pads, pencil cases and laptops for except to put stickers on? Grab yourself a sheet of the best stickers in town (or enter here to win some) and get stickering! Not only will you have the most stylish school gear around, you'll have all your classmates thinking about animal issues, asking questions, and of course wanting some flashy stickers of their own (so don't forget to tell them where they can score some for themselves).
  1. Veganise Your Tuckshop
    If your tuckshop is anything like mine was, then the menu is chock full of dead animals. Aside from the animal cruelty, it's not gonna do students' waistlines or the planet any favours either. Ask your tuckshop to offer more tasty vegetarian and vegan food. That won't just give you more to choose from for lunch, it'll give other students the chance to sample some cruelty free food.

So there you have it. That should keep you busy for a while. And that's just the beginning! There are heaps of other creative ways to help animals at school. We'd like to hear your ideas. Leave a comment below to share your tips for helping animals at school.

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A Sweet Way to Help Animals in School
Posted By Ward

A Sweet Way to Help Animals in School

Posted 3 November 2009   by         Permalink | 25 Comments

Tags: school, vegan cupcakes, advocacy, activism, veg

Dont you wish you had a captive audience to discuss cruelty free living with? I know I do! If youre still in shool, then youre lucky enough to have that captive audience every time you do a class presentation. (And I cant say Im not a little jealous!)

I recently had the pleasure of reminiscing on my school days when I was asked to do a talk at a school in Caroline Springs. Hayley Walker an awesome year 11 student organised to do a presentation to her class about the treatment of animals and why she is vegan. Not only did she have good props (like our Darren Cordeux video on factory farming and a battery cage), but Hayley and her mother spent the Sunday afternoon beforehand cooking up loads of vegan food that she could bring in to class.

I met Hayley a few years ago whilst tabling at the Taste of Chaos concert in Melbourne and I handed her a leaflet and wrote "Be cool, go veg." And she did! Two years later she is a star activist, who is talking to her class about the treatment of animals, and handing out lots of delicious vegan food (including felafels, chocolate mousse, jelly, cupcakes with oreo frosting, rice paper rolls, etc).

As someone who has to do a lot of public speaking, it's easy to forget how hard it is to take that first step. So you can see why Hayley deserves to be in my hero's section on myspace for bravely standing up in front of her whole class, and talking about society's treatment of animals.

If youre still in school, then make the most of class presentations and inform your classmates about something you care about. As school is a learning environment, its an ideal place to do such a talk, and like Hayley, show people how great the alternatives to eating animals are. Looking back on how great her presentation was, I wish that I had used my time at school more effectively to help animals. When I was walking out of the school, I asked Hayley "What's next on your agenda?" and she said "Veganising my canteen." Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.

If you're planning a talk at your school and have questions, send us an email. Were always happy to help! Or if you want it straight from the horse's mouth (so to speak), send Hayley a message and ask her a few questions about what she did to organise the talk. No doubt youll get good grades if youre speaking about something you know and care about and who knows you might even score some kudos on the Unleashed blog!

Have you done any school presentations on animal issues? How did it go? Have you got any tips for others? Leave a comment below

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Mechanic Can't Fix Broken Down Horse

Mechanic Can't Fix Broken Down Horse

Posted 16 July 2009   by Jesse         Permalink | 5 Comments

Tags: jumps racing, horse racing, euthanasia, horses, sport, entertainment, language, advocacy

Another horse died yesterday in jumps racing in Victoria. You've got to wonder how much longer the Vic Minister for Racing, Rob Hulls, will let this go on. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to work out that no amount of 'safety measures' is going to make this 'sport' safe.

What really gets me (aside from the racing industry not seeming to care much about horses) is the language used by the industry and the media to talk about these tragedies. The most recent victim of jumps racing was All Square, who collapsed on the track mid-race and was killed - or as it was reported in the media:

"All Square faltered in the straight after the jumps, broke down and was destroyed after a vet examined it."

They may as well be talking about a car breaking down during the Grand Prix with that language! Sadly, we have a long way to go when animals are referred to as objects that 'break down' and are 'destroyed'.

I think that as animal advocates we each need to take every opportunity to do our little bit to transform our langauge to reflect the fact that animals are living, feeling creatures. Simply referring to animals as 'he' or 'she', instead of 'it' goes a long way to defining them as a someone, not a something.

But that's enough of my thoughts...

If you're outraged that the carnage of jumps racing has not been 'destroyed' for good, please write to Minister Rob Hulls and let him know how you feel: [email protected]

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12 Great Books to Help Animals

12 Great Books to Help Animals

Posted 9 July 2009   by Jesse         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: books, activism, advocacy, Striking at the Roots

I don't know about you, but when I see the horrors that go on in profit-driven animal industries I feel like I cannot do enough to help stop it. So I'm always delighted when I come across some helpful tips on how to be a better advocate.

Last year I picked up a book called 'Striking at the Roots: A practical guide to animal activism'. The author, Mark Hawthorne, does a brilliant job of laying out simple 'how to' guides for some of the most successful strategies to help animals. I could barely put the book down!

So imagine my excitement when I stumbled across his blog! And better yet found an entry entitled: 'Activism Guides for Everyone'. Here Mark suggests a dozen great books on advocacy for animals. And he even suggests who the guides would be best suited to (from newbie to seasoned activist).

I'd highly recommend anyone eager to help animals to check out this suggested reading list. Mark sums up very well:

Bottom line: We owe it to the animals to be the most effective advocates we can. And with titles available for individual activists, those working or volunteering for grassroots organizations and even kids, there seems to be an activism book for everyone. Whether its through reading one of these books, attending an animal rights conference, taking a public-speaking class or getting involved with a local group, please commit yourself to improving your activist skills and knowledge.

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