Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bizarre fanatic runs off at the mouth

I came across a truly unbelievable blog post where a holier-than-thou raw vegan fanatic has had the balls to slam the Fauna Foundation – of all things, criticizing the way they feed the chimpanzees who are living out their retirement at the sanctuary.

As a loyal supporter and regular volunteer at Fauna I am floored that this woman has done such a thing, and on such a public forum as the internet. If she really had any of the positive intentions that she feigns to have, and if she had a brain in her head, she would have addressed her concerns privately to the owners of the sanctuary.

She starts her post whining about how “conflicted” she was about writing it in the first place, then she rattles off a few misinformed details about how horrible the lives of laboratory chimpanzees are. But the line that started the war for me is where she says – and I quote “At Fauna Foundation, the chimps are spared such torture, but they are not spared from human ignorance.” Excuse me? Is this woman mistaking herself to be an all knowledgeable resource on the proper care and nutrition of chimpanzees?

Let’s step back for a minute and try to figure out exactly what it was that she was trying to get out of her visit to Fauna. Many of her blog posts boast about her strange obsession with eating the same regime as a bonobo. So it stands to reason that what she hoped to get from her visit to Fauna was a plethora of new bonobo-appropriate raw vegan recipes. And now, in retaliation for coming away with an empty recipe box she’s attacking Fauna.

OK - so this woman wants to eat like a bonobo – good for her. She has obviously chosen not to really eat like a bonobo or her diet would include worms, insects and the occasional raw fish. This shows that she makes choices – she keeps what she wants and ignores the rest. Her argument against Fauna is caused by her retaining what she has conceived, by her own lunatic standards, as being wrong and conveniently ignoring everything else.

Her wild assumptions that the Fauna chimps eat eggs (which they never do) and that their diets are high in fat, cocoa and salt (which they most definitely aren’t) are ludicrous. Her entire argument about us forcing protein on the chimps is outrageous – the chimp’s diets consist of about 2% protein which is perfectly normal for a chimpanzee. Her accusations that the chimps are deprived of generous quantities of fruits and vegetables are insane – she obviously visited at a time when the trolleys had been out all day and hadn’t yet been replenished. Full trolleys are a thing of beauty. They overflow with a huge, colourful variety of fresh, ripe fruits and vegetables in abundant quantities. What she doesn’t know is that at the end of the day there are always a few fruits and vegetables left on the trolleys…for the simple reason that the chimps have had their fill.

I can make wild assumptions too. Maybe Via811 yearns so much to be like a bonobo that she spends all of her free time screwing like a bonobo too. Maybe what really frustrated her when she visited Fauna was that she wanted to witness some good hard core chimp sex and was disappointed that she wasn’t able to glean any new kinky ideas.

She accuses us of killing the Fauna chimps, like Tommy, with kindness – “loving them to death” as she puts it. She even exaggerates by saying that 9 chimps have died over the years at Fauna. Um, I don’t know where she gets her numbers from because the rest of us only know 6 chimps who have gone over the rainbow bridge – and it certainly had nothing to do with their diet. She seems oh, so concerned that we should make changes so that we can love Tommy for many more years, but implies that we are forsaking that because of our human arrogance and ignorance.

I’ll tell you what’s arrogant and ignorant. Statements such as the following from her blog: “BTW, there's plenty of protein in fruit”. In what universe? Oh yeah, I forgot. This woman actually entertains the possibility of eating 30 bananas a day. 30 bananas a day! So, yeah, I suppose if you eat copious quantities of fruit that you might get a small enough amount of protein to register on the idiot scale. I don’t know where she gets her information from, but it’s definitely not the same place as the rest of us.

It’s really hard to believe that someone who is a raw vegan can be so full of krap. Maybe it’s the accumulation of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides in her blood stream that are making her think she is better than everybody else. Or maybe it’s the lack of protein that is making her hostile. Who knows, maybe she’s just naturally arrogant, obnoxious and full of herself. I don’t know, and frankly I don’t really care.

But I will say one thing. If she ever decides to invest all of her life savings and to dedicate every waking moment of her life to creating and running a chimpanzee sanctuary of her own like Gloria has done, then I will let her throw stones. Until then, every time she throws a stone I will throw it back, and with a vengeance.

Probably deep down inside she isn’t really a bad person. If she was having “conflicts” it’s because she knew that she was doing a horrible injustice to the founders of The Fauna Foundation and everyone who puts their hearts and souls into the work they do there.

The next time this woman is feeling “conflicted” my suggestion would be that she stick to writing about the stuff that nobody cares about – like her usual lunatic ranting about the unhealthy fanatic diet she is on.

OK, so you’re probably aching to see what it is exactly that has got me so riled up.

Here is the link to Via811’s putrid post – please feel free to leave her a nasty comment

I have let her know (via a comment on her blog that I’m sure she will not publish) that when she removes her blasphemous post about the Fauna Foundation, that I will do likewise and remove this one.

Let the games begin!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Spring wildflowers in my yard

One of the perks of living in the country is that I don’t have to care if there are dandelions in my yard nor worry what my neighbours might think if there are. Some say that dandelions are evil weeds – I like to refer to them as wildflowers. You see it’s all a matter of perspective. How can anyone despise a flower that is so pretty and that can pull off such a splendid imitation of the shining sun?

Yeah, I know – everyone hates them except me I guess.

To welcome wildflowers into your life and to enjoy their company (to me) is bliss! Although many wildflowers are wee in stature they endure being trampled on, being mowed repeatedly and getting munched on by critters. Our lawn is a colourful mix of green grasses and weeds, white clover, purple violets, yellow mustard and wood sorrel, plus a pretty mix of little pink and purple flowers that I don’t know the names of. Twice a year, in May and again in September our lawn bursts into bright yellow with dandelions. Maybe I would hate dandelions if we had them all summer, but the particular variety we have only blooms twice a year and after a couple of mowings they are only a memory.

Our woods are full of tiny strawberry plants and wild raspberry bushes. There’s something special about berries that grow in the dappled sunlight of the forest floor. Watered by Mother Nature and fertilized by the natural accumulation of forest leaf mulch these berries are more delicious than any that can be bought.

The spring has awakened the dainty little trout lilies (named for their leaves that resemble speckled trout) and is also treating us to the fleeting beauty of these lovely trilliums. The pine trees are covered in pretty little pink buds and the hawthorns and other flowering trees are in bloom and sweetening the air with their perfume.

I love to walk through our woods in the springtime. The air is fresh with the scent of spring flowers, the birds are singing, the bees are buzzing and the newly sprouted leaves rustle gently on the wind. The little river trickles lazily by and the sunshine bursts into sparkles on the water.

I’ll never take for granted the joys of living on this little piece of heaven on earth.

Kathleen (aka TheNatureNut)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fauna Shop Days

I spend every Tuesday volunteering at the chimpanzee sanctuary at the Fauna Foundation. If you would like to read my first post about Fauna you will find it here.

I didn’t do my usual weekly post about Fauna last Wednesday because I didn’t do my usual work of preparing enrichment packages in the chimp house. Although Fauna is not a zoo and they are not open to the public, with the arrival of the good weather the sanctuary will be offering limited educational visits. When I started volunteering at Fauna last spring my first job was to set up the little Fauna shop where they sell t-shirts and other promotional materials that help to fund the work they do. I think they were pleased with the set-up I did because they asked me to do it again this year.

So I spent last Tuesday folding t-shirts and taking inventory. I thought you would find it kind of boring to hear about how I obsessively folded each t-shirt just so and I would have you snoring by the time I finished telling you all about how I counted the inventory. So I decided to spare you.

It usually takes me more than one day to get the shop all set-up to my liking so this week I worked in the shop again and now I've got it looking the way I want it to.

Oh, the big news of the week is that the new Fauna website is up and running! Here’s the link to the new site where you can read all about Fauna, see lots of great pictures of the chimps and read their stories:

(photos used with permission from the Fauna Foundation)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Bird Nest experiment results for May 2 to 9, 2008

If you haven’t been following my backyard bird nest experiment from the beginning you can read my first post about it here.

As I had hoped, it has been a busier week in nesting land. Things are picking up and more nest helper cages are getting inspected and picked at.

The robin nesting in the juniper tree outside of our dining room window has laid her eggs so she’s there full time now keeping them warm. I have not been able to see how many eggs there are because the nest is too high up for me to get a look without dragging the ladder out there. I don’t want to disturb her just for the sake of getting a picture for you, so we’ll find out how many eggs there are when the wee ones hatch. When she does get out to stretch her legs she has been helping to control the ant population on our crabapple tree for which we are eternally grateful. Here’s a shot of her in action.

The goldfinches were regularly visiting the string and sisal nest helper until it met with an early demise on May 5th. No remains have been found but we do have two suspects in the case.

At first I automatically blamed the tractor in the picture on the left, but I’m finding that the roll bar of the tractor on the right is also looking mighty suspicious. It’s just so heartbreaking that it’s gone and that I’ll never see it again and that I don’t know if it suffered a lot or if it’s death was swift and merciful…I guess I’ll never know :o( *sniff*

In the meantime this replacement string and sisal nest helper has been sent out into battle and hopefully it will fare better than the first one.

So here’s where we stand on the nesting materials that are starting to be taken:
- bull rush fluff
- cotton fabric
- dog fur (light)
- dog fur (dark)
- dried grass
- feathers
- raffia
- shredded paper
- straw
- string & sisal
And these nesting materials have had lookers, but so far no takers that I’ve spotted:
- corn husk
- dried moss
- dryer lint
- excelsior
- wool

The chickadees really do seem to have a preference for the white dog fur as opposed to the dark grey. As you can see I will have to be refilling the white dog fur soon because it is almost all gone already.

So that’s my news for this week. I hope you are enjoying following along with my experiment. I have been having a blast and my indoor cat has been glued to the “cat TV”.

Have a great week! See you next time :o)

Kathleen (aka TheNatureNut)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Bird Nest experiment results for Apr 25 to May 1, 2008

If you haven't been following my backyard bird nest experiment from the beginning, you can read the original post about it here:

It has been a slow week in experiment land. The temperatures have been more in tune with the season which means that the days have mostly been cold, rainy and windy and the nighttime temperatures have been hovering around freezing. Looks like someone realized that the beautiful weather we were having was a mistake so they recalled it and “fixed” it by sending us the krap we’re supposed to get at this time of the year :o( So there hasn’t been a whole lot of nesting going on this week because birds are smart enough not to nest when it's yucky out.

There is still a large population of birds that haven't started to nest yet. That’s because a lot of the birds around here nest in deciduous trees and most of the deciduous trees are still bare. A lot of varieties are starting to bud, but most of the trees in our woods are still just brown and grey with only the slightest bit of light green starting to show. Our willow tree is greening up nicely and that may be where this little goldfinch is building her nest. I caught her with a beak full of string just before she took off towards the willow. I wish I could have gotten a better shot of her, but it’s not like they stick around to get their picture taken – they grab their stuff and they’re gone!

Some of our feathered friends are already nesting because they prefer the protection of coniferous trees. A wonderful example is this robin. I’m so surprised that she has decided to use this poor old juniper to nest in. All of our junipers were attacked by some sort of problem 2 summers ago that made them loose pretty much all of their turquoise-greenery and darn-near killed them. Last summer my husband wanted to dig them out, but I begged him to leave them because they seemed to be trying to make a come back. They are still looking pretty thin and I worry that this robin really doesn’t have much cover, but she chose to nest here so I guess she feels comfortable. She has not laid her eggs yet, but her nest is all ready to go when the time comes. I’m so thrilled that we’re going to have baby robins again and right outside our dining room window (the pink hand in the picture is pointing to where the robin nest is).

The starlings are definitely nesting…but they are seriously driving me coo-coo! They never perch in the crabapple tree where the nest helpers are hung because they tend to hang out with the tough crowd – you know…with the grackles, cowbirds and blackbirds. They don’t use trees for protection – there’s strength in numbers and nobody dares mess with them! Anyways, it seems that every time I look out I see a starling hopping along in the grass with a beak full of nesting material, so I grab the camera and…damn – missed it! So I go about my business and later I glance out the window and there’s another one with a beak full of nesting material! So I grab the camera…and too late – it’s gone. This has been happening for 3 days now. I’m starting to wonder how wildlife photographers manage to keep their sanity.

Anyhoo, that my friends is pretty much all the news I’ve got for now. Stay tuned for more backyard bird nest experiment results in the upcoming weeks. Things are bound to get interesting real soon :o)

Keep on smiling!
Kathleen (aka TheNatureNut)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fauna family

I spend every Tuesday volunteering at the chimpanzee sanctuary at the Fauna Foundation. If you would like to read my first post about Fauna you will find it here.

You can’t work at Fauna without becoming attached to the animals and to all of the wonderful people who put their hearts and souls into caring for them 24/7. Yesterday was a very emotional day for me, but sometimes that’s just how it is at Fauna.

It is with great sadness that I must tell you of the loss of one of the most recent additions to our precious chimpanzee family. Sophie was one of the three chimps that came to us last November from the now defunct Quebec City Zoo. Sadly she passed away last Wednesday. She had been very sick with all sorts of health problems. Unfortunately I don’t know much about her history but I would normally see her for at least a few minutes every Tuesday. She was very quiet and always seemed a bit nervous. I thought it was because she was still adjusting to her new surroundings, but now I suppose it was because she wasn’t well. She was a very dear soul - may God bless and keep her tender heart. She will be remembered forever and missed by all at Fauna.

On a happier note Thursday May 1st is the day that Tom’s birthday is celebrated. Nobody knows exactly when this handsome fellow was born, but we do know that it was some time during the 60’s in Africa. Tommy was torn away from his family and endured 30 years of life in the cold world of laboratories at the Buckshire Corporation and at LEMSIP. His birthday will be celebrated on Thursday and Fauna is gearing up for the celebration by decorating the chimp house with streamers and banners. They bought lots of presents for Tom and for all the other chimps too. He’s going to have a great party!

When I had finished preparing the enrichment packages yesterday I was invited to work in the kitchen to help prepare the chimp’s supper. I was working behind the counter that you see on the right side of this picture. I had quite an audience as I washed and set out mounds of fresh, ripe fruits and vegetables for them - and I got to see almost all of the chimps.

Tom’s best (human) friend Pat came by for a visit while I was working on preparing supper. It was so endearing watching the two of them together. Tommy just adores Pat and I was seriously tearing up watching them together. Pat dotes on Tom and there isn’t anything Pat wouldn’t do for him. Tom shows his affection for Pat by giving him kisses through the bars and by acting like a big old softie. I totally cracked up when Pat was leaving and was offering Tommy his favourite foods. Tommy managed to stuff 3 or 4 apples into his mouth all at the same time so his cheeks were blown out like a great big chipmunk’s and then every fruit or vegetable that Pat handed to him was piled into his arms - a few heads of lettuce, a bunch of tangerines, a few mangoes and I can’t remember what else. It was hilarious to see Tom all piled up with food, his mouth full, his arms totally over-loaded and to see him disappear out back all happy, carrying his “loot”.

Every week my heart is warmed by the amazing personalities of the chimps at Fauna. Every week my respect grows for the wonderful people who spend their lives caring for all of these special beings. I hope that one day I will be invited to become a permanent part of the Fauna family staff. It would genuinely be a dream-come-true for me.

(photos used with permission and provided by the Fauna Foundation)

Kathleen (aka TheNatureNut)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bird Nest experiment results for Apr 22-24, 2008

If you haven't been following my backyard bird nest experiment from the beginning, you can read the original post about it here:

OK – now it’s official…I’m never looking out at the nest helpers for the rest of this experiment without having the camera glued to the front of my face. If I told you how many great shots I missed over the last 3 days it would make you shake your head in disgust. So I won’t disappoint you with the ones I missed, instead I’ll thrill you with the great moments that I did capture!

First of all let me mention that we have been given a reprieve from our usual battering winds out here since I hung the nest helpers on April 20th. This has been an absolute blessing and we have also been having beautiful sunny weather. On April 23rd we had a bit more wind and we did get some rain in the evening, but I’m happy to report that only a few feathers were blown away by the wind.

It has become obvious over the last few days that the only birds who are nesting this early are the black-capped chickadees. I must say, I’m totally in love with these little chickadees!

They explore and investigate EVERYTHING! I don’t think there isn’t a nest helper that hasn’t been thoroughly inspected by them at this point and I really love their open-mindedness. They check out everything to see if it can be useful and I've had loads of fun watching their acrobatics.

The chickadees are certainly not letting any of the dog fur go to waste. They have been picking at the light and dark fur equally and have not shown any preference for one over the other. I have a feeling that I will be out there refilling the dog fur sooner than the other nest helpers.

I suspect that the goldfinches will start nesting pretty soon. Most of the males haven’t finished molting into their brilliant summer yellow colouring yet, but there is definitely some courting going on! I caught this cute little couple checking out the nest helpers. All the goldfinches are really drawn to the bull rush fluff. These two each pulled out tufts of it, but then they wiped their beaks on a branch to release it. They seemed to exchange a look of “OK, we’ll be coming back for some of this stuff when we’re ready”. More than one goldfinch couple has done this over the last few days.

A few of the other nest helpers have been getting some attention too. Some raffia may have been taken and perhaps some straw and it looks like the shredded paper has been picked at too.

The bird feeders are still as busy as ever. Pine siskins and purple finches have been added to our group of regulars over the last few days.

Oh, and the best news of all – the great blue herons are back for the summer! Of course they won’t be coming to use the nest helpers, but I am just so thrilled to see them back again. I hope some of them will nest on our land down by the river this year. I’ll have to tell you all about my special relationship with the herons at some point – but that’ll be a story for another day.

Kathleen (aka TheNatureNut)