On Pigs



This is such a disturbing image. The animal doesn’t know its’ fate but the word on her back says everything: what will happen to her, how her babies will suffer without her, and how she’s been treated up until now-like a tool, something used and used again for human gain, and then after doing everything the humans wanted, she is thrown away like garbage when she is no longer needed.

Pigs are social creatures who communicate with each other, who love to play, who have good memories, and some say that they are as smart as a monkey or a dog.

“While it is hard to see an animal and a mother so obscenely devalued as to be spray-painted with the word “Destroy,” at least this farm is not trying to prettify or distract from the fate of farmed animals by using humane labels and euphemisms. Because the truth is that no matter how “local & pasture raised” or “certified humane” or “animal welfare approved,” all animal agriculture is based on the grossest devaluing of life: when you maintain that an animal’s dearest wish for continued existence, and its entire potential lifetime of meaningful experiences, are worth less than the taste of bacon or hamburger or cheese; that animals should be killed for food despite an abundance of nutritious plant-based alternatives; then you are saying in effect that those animals are garbage. You may as well be holding the spray paint and the slaughter knife yourself. Don’t buy the myth: there is nothing ethical or humane about exploiting and killing others we have no need to harm at all.”
– Free from Harm   http://freefromharm.org/

Read more on the hidden lives of pigs the pork industry doesn’t want you to know about:

The Hidden Lives of Pigs


Angora Wool

Many people love the look and feel of angora wool. Most people however would be appalled to find out how their lovely angora sweaters, scarves, hats and gloves were made.

Most animals used in our society for human consumption – be that in the meat, fashion or entertainment industries – are neglected,  ignored – treated as property.  Often they are unnecessarily abused as well. They rarely, if ever, receive veterinary treatment when they need it. They often go without food and even without water.

And these are just the basics that all creatures need.  Animals need enrichment and to socialize. Farm animals rarely are treated humanely even on so called ‘humane farms’.

Are you ready to see how angora rabbits are treated?  People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals recently did an investigation in the UK and here is what they found:


If this upsets you, you can do something! Stop buying angora wool! Stop buying any wool.


Tell people about it!  Share this blog!

Get involved to support animals:


Let companies know that you do  not support this by taking action!

No animal should be treated in this way.  No animal should be left in a cage by itself. No animal’s injuries should ever be ignored.

Not every angora rabbit in this industry has it this bad, but they all suffer.  Ask yourself is it worth it for a piece of clothing?



Dear Justin Trudeau

I just saw a great video addressed to Justin Trudeau. It talks about he and his family being bundled up in fur coats and blankets in press photos and in a family Christmas card.

I  wrote him (well the Liberal Party) a letter supporting this video. Here it is:

Hello Mr. Trudeau,

Please take an honest look at this wonderful video that was made just for you!

This young woman speaks her heart very well and I passionately agree with her. As an animal rights activist myself, and a volunteer for an organization based in Vancouver called Fur Bearer Defenders http://furbearerdefenders.com/, I also ask that you reconsider supporting this cruel industry.

In June of 2014, one of my very first blogs was about this very subject: https://newveganblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/animals-need-their-fur-more-than-we-do/.

I am not asking that you become vegan or even vegetarian, but I am asking you to seriously think about the animals whose lives are taken needlessly for fashion. Fur is not necessary for survival here in Ottawa, nor in many parts of our country where these coats are so popular.

And as the woman in this video says, the Canada Goose company is no longer a Canadian business. So, why support them?

Please teach your children the greatest of compassion – that towards innocent animals who need us to not only protect them, but definitely to not hurt, abuse nor exploit them either.

Please stand with us as we try to protect the most innocent of creatures.

Thanks for listening,

Linda Orrell


The Animal Kill Counter

Click this link to learn see and learn more about how many animals are killed for food globally: http://actionforanimalskansas.blogspot.ca/2008/11/animal-kill-counter.html

When I first saw this “Kill Counter”, I couldn’t believe it and I actually felt panicky realizing that every second of every day, thousands of innocent animals are being slaughtered for food. Watching the counter, I wanted to do something to make it stop!

In many parts of the world, eating meat is simply unnecessary.

Make a change!  Feel your humanity! Feel for the animals!

How can you not when looking at that counter?

Something is definitely very wrong.

Beyond Carnism

I watched an excellent presentation by Melanie Joy yesterday on YouTube about our meat-eating, animal-using culture.

Melanie Joy is the Founder and President of a charitable organization called ‘Beyond Carnism / Carnism Awareness and Action Network (CAAN)’.  The organization’s mandate is to raise awareness about ‘carnism’ as she calls it – the invisible belief system that conditions people to eat certain animals.

In the presentation, Melanie talks about how our culture sees certain animals as food (though interestingly, not all animals) and how we are in denial due to these cultural beliefs. We think that eating animals is normal, she says.  We are also unaware of how these animals are treated before they appear in our grocery stores and on our plates.

Of course, many of you reading this are already vegan or interested in veganism and although the presentation may have as its subject matter something you already know about, one segment I found particularly moving is the part about each animal  having a distinct personality, an individual life and the desire for freedom to live as it was intended to – and that animal cares about and will fight for its life as much as you care about and will fight for yours.

Every animal fights for its freedom and for its life just as we would when it is being taken away.

Each animal suffers when pain and misery are inflicted – just as we do.

And we (our culture) cause them suffering and take their freedoms away and ultimately take their lives, usually with no thought or care for them.  We don’t have respect for all life – we see animals as ours to do with as we want.

Here is a moving photo of two cows seeking comfort in each other:


When we choose to believe that animals are not like us, that they do not matter, we are fooling ourselves and I believe, diminishing our own humanity.

The following quote by Joanna Lucas of the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary captures the horror inherent in our meat-eating society:

‘We know things about her that no one should ever know, or want to know, about a fellow being – the sight of her flayed body, the weight of her severed thigh, the taste of her burned, bone-punctured flesh, the charred crunch of her fractured ribs, the flavor of her spilled marrow, the taste, texture and flavor of every aspect of her despair, degradation and defeat.

We know every detail of what we have forced her to be – an object to consume and excrete. What we don’t know, what we don’t want to know, is what we must know if we are to restore our own humanity: who she is.’

Each and every animal has a personality, a life they will fight to keep, eyes that see, and a body that feels.

Melanie says that a shocking 1.2 billion farm animals are killed weekly for food and yet we don’t see any of this. This shocking reality is hidden from us as these animals live on factory farms in ‘windowless sheds in remote locations’.

The short video about how animals are treated that Melanie shows the audience part way through her presentation is disturbing, but she will warn you to look away or close your eyes and not listen if you feel you cannot witness it – I encourage you to watch it though.  It could change your life!  I know learning about the way our society treats animals certainly has irrevocably changed mine.

So, here it is:

Many people wish they had known the facts earlier so they could have made changes to help animals earlier. So please share this—help me get the word out!  Animals deserve better than this – I know you agree.

Click the following link for more information on Melanie Joy’s organization: http://carnism.org/

Thank you for reading.


A true animal loving vegan

Jill’s Story


Jill Phipps was killed trying to protect animals. She was a passionate and dedicated activist who was crushed to death in the UK, by a livestock vehicle transporting live veal calves heading for continental Europe via Coventry Airport.

I, like Jill, do not believe that we have any right or dominion over animals. We should not believe that we are ‘allowed’ to use them for any of our selfish purposes (including food).  As for any set of values, I admire and respect anyone willing to die for them.

I hope that people soon start to see things differently and already I see that some are just by hanging out with me! The issue for me is that people are so disconnected. Not many people have worked in a slaughterhouse and have seen that horrific side of their food. Not many people know that male chicks in the egg industry are ground up alive as soon as they are born. Not many people know that ¼ of animals trapped for fur chew their legs off in an attempt to free themselves. Not many people know that piglets that are not growing quickly enough or that are ill are ‘thumped’ on the ground to death instead of taken care of or treated by a veterinarian – treated humanely. Not many people know that pigs in transport trucks freeze to the sides of them in freezing cold weather and die of heatstroke in them in severe heat waves before arriving at their destinations. The animals we use are seen as ‘products’ long before they are killed and as such, are denied basics such as food, water and proper shelter from the elements in many cases.

Not many people know these things because they are too disturbing.

And no, it doesn’t happen all the time, but I will not support any of this in any way anymore.

My hope is that someday we all know how horrid the lives of the animals we use are……and that we look for and make important changes to our system.

Evolve I say!

Some of us don’t have the choice anymore-it is a ‘calling’ to help.

See more of Jill’s story here:

Make The Connection

When we wear fur, we are taking the life of an innocent animal.

For what?  For warmth? Because there are no other options to keep warm?

No-for fashion!  We don’t need fur in our societies.  There are so many other options for keeping warm in our cold climate.

I would ask anyone who wears fur to take a look at the industry they are supporting. It is not a pretty picture.


An animal (or many animals) died for your fur trim or fur coat. It didn’t just die either-it was most likely cruelly treated, cruelly trapped, and cruelly killed too.

Maybe it lived on a fur farm for its whole life deprived of contact with other animals, and deprived of proper food and clean water. Animals used for fur are deprived of veterinary care too when they need it. Or maybe the animal was caught in a leg hold trap. Animals lay in leg hold traps without food or water and in severe pain, often for days on end waiting for the trapper to return to kill it.

According to one website:

“Some animals will even bite off their own limbs in a desperate attempt to escape. The fact that an animal would sever her own limb shows how horrible the experience of being caught in a leg hold trap is. A study in Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge found that 27.6 percent of mink, 24 percent of raccoon, and 26 percent of trapped fox would actually bite their limbs off in hopes of surviving.”


Help ban the use of cruel traps by educating others and signing petitions. Here is one of many:


If you have fur trim on your coat or boots you are supporting an inhumane industry. An industry that keeps animals cramped in small cages, often sick and dehydrated.  An industry that uses animals to make money – an industry that doesn’t care about the lives of those animals – that doesn’t care if they become hurt or injured or if they have to wait for days in misery before the trapper returns to kill it.

And if you think domestic animals are more important than wild ones, well they are accidentally getting caught in these traps too:

Here is one such story:


How often do I see a person with fur trim walking their dog after work? Many fur farms in other countries use cat and dog fur that is imported to Canada.

Are you sure that fur on your coat or the fur on the toy you bought your pet isn’t from a cat or a dog?



If you care about animals, stop buying and wearing fur. If we don’t buy it they won’t continue to make it.

Stop fur farms where animals live out their entire lives in misery.

Stop the use of leg hold and other traps.

Read more here:



Watching over the ones who need us


This photo breaks my heart.

It is why I am vegan.

I want to do my part to protect animals. I want to watch over them. Look out for them. Just as the bigger piglet seems to be doing for the little one.

I want to pick them both up and take them out of there to a pasture somewhere to be free. Free from harm and suffering to a life they truly deserve and not the one they will get – so full of misery.

I would honour the little guy by burying him – not by putting him out with the trash which so often happens on huge industrial farms.

We need to do better than this. We can do better.

Let’s all try to do better by using compassion when choosing what we eat. 

The Impact of Our Choices

When autumn turns to winter, and people pull their parkas out readying themselves for the cold weather, I get so sad all over again. So many of those parkas have fur trimmed hoods. I know you have seen them – they are everywhere!

Each year, activists around the world try to make people see where fur comes from, and how the lives of so many animals are taken for this unnecessary ‘decoration’.

I get optimistic again over the summer thinking that maybe next winter those coats with the fur trim will no longer be fashionable, and the Canada Goose company will be out of business, but for many years now, I have been wrong.

People everywhere – women and men – are wearing these coats with fur trimmed hoods made from the skin and fur of innocent animals.

These animals were simply living their lives and suddenly found themselves stuck in a leg hold trap or worse, were bred to live in tiny cages until their untimely and violent deaths, never having even a day of freedom.

Fur comes from animals-if you like animals don’t buy fur. You are encouraging the murder of more innocent creatures if you do.

It’s very hard to understand – though I remember myself not knowing the impact that my choices were having not very long ago. I have only been vegan for six months so up until then my choices were having a huge impact on animals – the milk, butter, and cheese I ate as well as the wool, leather and down that I wore.

When you know, you can never look back – but until then, you may not be aware of how much hurting you are causing.

We like to think that even if we are eating and wearing animals, there must be some humanity in the system.

There is not.

Even “humane” treatment usually ends in death. Killing is not humane.

And most animals that we use are bred for us and so, have no freedom – have no life at all. These sentient beings suffer so terribly for us and usually pay with their lives. We don’t need to do this. Not at all. Not for food, not for clothing and certainly not for entertainment.

Most facilities have to treat animals as things because of time and money constraints.

Think wool: Sheep on factory farms are so violently handled while being sheared – some die while being sheared just from the violence of the act. Sheep shearers are often paid by the number of sheep they shear rather than by the hour.

Think milk: Cows are repeatedly impregnated so they can produce milk. Their newborn calves are taken away immediately so we can have their milk.

Think veal: Newborn calves are taken away from their mothers just after birth and put in a dark place alone and afraid until they are killed for us to eat.

Ever hear of slink leather? That is the skin of an unborn calf-yes an unborn calf stolen from its mother usually while she is being killed for meat. I could not even believe this was possible until I read about it and saw a website selling slink leather products.

Eggs? Only females needed- male chicks are suffocated in garbage bags or ground up alive as soon as they are born. If you eat eggs, you support this cruel practice.

Pigs: In many countries gestation crates are still the norm. Pigs are forced to live their entire lives in tiny crates that they cannot even turn around in and are repeatedly impregnated. Once born, their babies are quickly taken away from them. Any parent could relate to that pain for both mother and baby. And sick piglets are “thumped” to death – their heads smashed on the ground until they die. Or, they are just put out with the trash while still alive.

Older animals are put out with the trash while still alive too if they are sick.

You might say that it can’t be that way everywhere… and I agree. But it happens far too often and if I partake of it in some way, then I am guilty of helping this sick system continue.

We need to evolve. Animals are miraculous – spend time with one – you can’t help but see the miracle of any creature if you spend the time to look.


How can we continue to do what we do to them? How can we stand it anymore?

We should be ashamed.

Let’s start to protect them by leaving them alone.

Sheep Shearing


The business of sheep shearing is just awful. I almost bought a pair of wool gloves at a local artsy store I love. Other items were made from recycled wool (the only kind of wool I will buy from now on) and I assumed that the gloves were too. But when I asked the woman who was working there, she said they were not made of recycled wool.

So, lovely as they were, I put them back on the shelves.

I will not support this cruel industry any longer:


It’s easy not to participate in what our culture calls ‘normal’ when you know what it costs the animals. You can help too-don’t buy wool and educate others on the reality these animals face.