Chocolate, Easter bunnies and child slavery

The first step in making cocoa is to harvest the cocoa pods, open them up and remove the beans. This is how it happens. (Screenshot from "The Dark Side of Chocolate")

I went to lunch with a friend last week and we stopped in at a local gourmet chocolate shop. The place was mobbed with people stocking up on the upcoming Easter holiday but all I wanted to do was ask the owners if they knew where their cocoa came from.Chances were quite good that the cocoa they used to make their sweet goodies was harvested by child slaves.I wondered if the people filling their shopping baskets knew that 42% of the world's cocoa comes from the Ivory Coast, where children … [Read more...]

Some thoughts on modern slavery – refuse to do nothing but don’t be overwhelmed trying to do everything

refuse to do nothing cover

As I write, I'm sitting in a cafe in a small village that, in our area, was one of the last legs on the Underground Railroad. So it's fitting that I'm writing about slavery and reflecting on the book "Refuse To Do Nothing", by  Shayne Moore and Kimberly McOwen Yim.Modern day slavery. Human trafficking. The buying, selling, bondage, abuse and forced servitude of human beings.Does it come as a surprise to you that there are slaves in the world today? Would you be surprised to know that the … [Read more...]

International Justice Mission celebrates 15 years fighting oppression – not for puppies, but for people

I wanted to share a non-animal story with you today, because it's so important to me - and if you're the compassionate reader I think you are, it will be important to you, too.This year, International Justice Mission celebrates 15 years of seeking justice around the world on behalf of the oppressed, the abused and the forgotten. Their team not only rescues people from oppression and slavery, but uses the legal systems in their countries to bring the perpetrators to justice.This is on my … [Read more...]

Hollywood plays host to the 26th Annual Genesis Awards, Saturday March 24, 2012 (Updated with winners)

Ian Somerhalder will be presented with the Wyler Award at the 26th Annual Genesis Awards.

Tomorrow night, the Humane Society of the United States and Hollywood will honor the major news and entertainment media who over the last year have produced "outstanding works that raise public awareness about animal issues" with the 26th Annual Genesis Awards.The list of nominees includes (full list at the end) features films like "Dolphin Tale," "Rio," "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," and "War Horse" as well as talk shows like The Ellen DeGeneres Show."Dancing With The Stars" judge Ca … [Read more...]

Sgt. Rex to be reuinited with Iraq War veteran Corporal Megan Leavey (Updated)

Iraq War veteran Corporal Megan Leavey and Sgt. Rex (photo http://schumer.senate.gov)

  Iraq War veteran Corporal Megan Leavey and Sgt. Rex (photo http://schumer.senate.gov)  ** See end of post for updates!** U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer launched an online petition last week, urging the United States Air Force to reunite Sergeant Rex*, a military working dog, with his former partner, Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient Corporal Megan Leavey. The two had served together helping to identify and disable roadside bombs in Iraq. Leavey and Sgt. Rex were severely injured … [Read more...]

Meat consumption down, fur sales up?

This is a mink. Someday he'll become a coat. And maybe some lipstick. (Photo credit Jesper Clausen/Fur Commission USA)

Last week, I stumbled upon an editorial New York Times' columnist Mark Bittman did for American Public Media's Marketplace questioning whether America is still the land of "meat and potatoes". In the commentary, Bittman cited a Department of Agriculture statistic that predicted meat consumption in America will be 12 percent less for 2012 than it was in 2007.I've been mulling that over for the last week as I contemplated why that might be - more people aware of their food choices? Meat too exp … [Read more...]

Romney’s son follows “Crate Gate” with another pet that “rides outside”?

romneyfish5

I told you this week about the story of Mitt Romney and "Crate Gate," the 30-year-old story about a family trip where Seamus, the family dog, was forced to ride on the roof in a carrier.Several people have asked me if maybe it was time to forget about the story, given that it happened 30 years ago. I think that if there was a sense that Romney realized that making a dog ride for 12 hours strapped to the roof of a car was a bad way to treat an animal, then yes, I would say it's time to … [Read more...]

Story of Romney’s dog tied to roof angers dog lovers (and voters)

You can get your own bumper sticker at DogsAgainstRomney.com

With the Republican primaries well underway and the 2012 election looming on the horizon, it's not the economy or immigration or war that's captured the attention of some voters. It's dogs.Specifically, Mitt Romney's dog and his questionable treatement of the family pet on a 12-hour trip to Canada in the 80s. A story at BusinessInsider.com sums up the story this way:"Back in 1983, Mitt Romney traveled 12 hours to Canada with his Irish Setter, Seamus, strapped to the roof of the car in a … [Read more...]


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