MY POINT OF VIEW

My opinion in a world with freedom of speech

Category: Activism and demonstrations

Closing your ears in a debate

It has been silent here for ages again, for which I am sorry. But in my defense I am officially back at school and I already see (and feel) how this will be a tough and challenging year. Last week I had one afternoon to just relax and today I fell asleep pretty soon after getting home from school. I also was without my computer for an entire week, so it has not been easy keeping the blog updated.

As we are heading towards our Elections (which will be held on Monday 9th of September) we had a panel debate at school today. One representative from the nine biggest parties in Norway participated in the debate and it was open for us to ask questions. This year is the first where I can actually vote myself. And I have to admit I do not quite know which party will get my vote. It is so much easier to eliminate some of them, and I am now facing the choice between two parties.

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Anyway. After the debate we could walk around and talk to each party as we wanted, and once again I had an interesting conversation. There is one party in particular that has bad animal politics. They want animals in circuses. They want the fur farming industry to continue (although they say they want to improve the situation, but still nothing is being done). They want to remove the few wolves we have got left in Norway to save the thousands of sheep we have. So I asked them about these things. Went up to them and said, “Tell me about your politics regarding predators.” And by his look I think he at once understood I knew what his answer was and that I did not support it.

The guy I spoke to in the beginning was nice though. He shared the party’s opinion. And ended with, “but I guess we do not agree on this?” with a little smile. I smiled and said, “Nope, not at all.” And we moved on to the circus question. Then to the fur farming. And it was on this topic that another guy from his party joined in. And the way he was talking, the way he just did not care to hear what I had to say and apparently had made up his mind completely and just shut me out in order to express himself (in an idiotic way) really provoked me. So in the end I just shook my head and left. I mean, I do not bother using my time debating with people who closes their ears for what others have to say.

debattThis is not the way to debate.

I am happy people have different opinions. That we do not always share the same thoughts and that we do not see the world through equal eyes. I respect that. What I do not respect is people who shut out everyone. Especially in a debate. Alright, you want to express your opinion, but you have to let the other one talk and give them a chance. I do not say you should change your own opinion, but everyone has got the right to be heard. And if you are representing a party it is even more important to behave calmly and polite, and letting the person you speak to express what they mean.

  • Have you ever debated with someone who closed their ears for what you said?

Monika

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I want to save the world

So I just got this crazy idea. All of my life really, but especially this last one and a half year, I have made up my mind about wanting to make a difference. Wanting to do something to help someone. Because if you help someone, you do make a difference.

As I have been looking for the right education for me lately I have realized how many people actually have this dream of “saving the world”. And seeing the amount of these people make me understand there is also a big amount of people who do not accomplish this dream in the end.

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Still, this is not a post to make anyone feel down. I actually want to see if my idea is interesting for some of you guys out where, which I really hope;

I want to share your stories. I want you to write me your story, your life-time dream related to helping someone out, and I want you to hear if you have accomplished it, are studying for it right now or still is looking for your right path to get there. If you have any advice for other people with the same dreams, please share them too. And then, anonymous or not (your call!) I will publish it here and let more people read it. Let more people get inspired – either realizing they want to do this too, or understand where they can study or in general just how to get there. If you happen to also have a picture related to your topic (e.g. yourself, you doing some of this work or another illustration picture) please add this too.

I really hope some of you want to join me on this idea, and I will of course publish my own story too. So if you are interested, please e-mail me your story on moonierh@hotmail.com and I will publish it.

  • What do you think of this idea? Are you interested in giving it a chance?

Monika

Fur farming ~ post two

Last November I attended the Norwegian animal organization NOAH’s torchlight parade against fur farming. 2012 was the 9th year in row where they arranged this, and this is also the biggest anti-fur farming demonstration in the Nordic countries. I was never in doubt on participating, so I did.

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The first we met, were nice representatives from NOAH, who sold cakes and coffee, buttons and torches; all very cheap. Following there was a little waiting before the clock turned six, and Marlén Næss Eriksen had an opening appeal. In her appeal she spoke about the fur farming industry and told that 2012 was the year us and the fur animals had waited for in a decade. She said the Parliament in 2002 said that unless the condition of the animals had improved over the next ten years, big changes would happen; filling our hearts with hope.

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We then filled the streets of the town, people with torches and screams of empty cages right away. Yells saying a life in a cage is a life in torture. People along the streets stopped to hear us, many took pictures. And I felt a really nice and relieving feeling of being able to participate in something like this, to fight for one of my “heart cases” in front of everyone. With a hope that now, together, we could maybe finally achieve something. Together we could show the fur animals our support and hopefully be heard.

When we arrived back afterwards, the arrangement continued with appeals by youth representing the Norwegian political youth parties SU, Rødt, GU and UV. In Oslo there were several famous people speaking, like Unni Lindell (writer), Mia Gundersen and Lise Myhre.

The police estimated about 200-250 were in the parade in my city, and all over the country almost 6000 people stood up for the animals this evening (about 12 % of the country).

  • Have you ever participated in anything like this?

Monika

Threatened with extinction

To have the opportunity to be involved and get information about different cases, I have signed up for receiving e-mails from both Avaaz and Care2. This is of course for free. Both movements have different signing petitions we can all sign – and these include topics like corruption, poverty, climate changes, animals close to extinction, etc. Weekly I receive at least one e-mail (I think Care2 send more than Avaaz) where I am introduced to one particular case, which also includes a link for their petition. So if you are looking for an easy way to be active and get information, this is one way.

Today I thought to pass on the e-mail I just got from Care2: Make the presence of Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil compulsory on NZ food labeling. (I am copying the follow information from their petition).

“Nearly one in ten of our supermarket products contains palm oil, but you’ll have a hard time finding it on any ingredient lists. Palm oil is often concealed as “vegetable oil” in supermarket products.

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The problem is, the consumption of palm oil is leading to the destruction of the rainforest – at a rate of approximately 300 football-sized sections every hour. Hundreds of species have seen their habitat destroyed, including orangutans.

Because of this reduction of habitat the orangutan is now threatened with extinction, their numbers having decreased by around 50% in the last decade. If we continue to consume products that contain palm oil at the current rate, we could be responsible for causing the extinction of a species that shares nearly 97% of their genetic material with us.”

I signed this petition as I do not support this at all. Will you sign?

My question for today:

  • Are you a member of Avaaz, Care2 or another movement? Or are you considering to become one?

Monika

Circus demonstration 02.06.13

The Norwegian circus “Circus Arnardo” had a show in my neighbour city on sunday, 2nd of June. They had visited a lot of towns in this area the last week, but because of work, this was the only one I could go to. And I did not go to see the “incredible” show, with horses, camels, an elephant, dogs and pigeons; I went to demonstrate against all of this, together with the Norwegian organization NOAH.

Altoghether it was a peaceful demonstration; we brought flyers and a few posters and were standing a few metres away from the ticket window and entrance. And with not too much audience, I had a lot of time to go see the animals, who live in poor conditions.

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DSC_0566The hump of this camel is lying on its side; showing it hasn’t had enough nutrients.

DSC_0567Their elephant, Baby.

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After the show had started some of us went to see the pigeons, where we found one wounded one. It was all sore and red on its chest, which we tried to get some pictures of.

arnardos-fuglerI do not own this picture, it was taken by one of the others, Per-Christian N. Eriksen.

While taking these pictures (not entering the circus’ area) one of the artists saw us and said he would “call the police now”. In order to not cause any problems, we then silently walked away, took a few pictures of the elephant and camels, before two of us had to walk past the pigeons to get back to the city. Andrejs Fjodorovs then called on us and asked, “Why do you want so many pictures?”, which led to an interesting conversation with this man; who is the circus artist using the pigeons.

duehviskeren_andrejs_fjodorovs__innholdslideThis is Arnardo’s picture, but here you see Andrejs and his pigeons
(the picture is linked to the circus’ web page).

I started talking to him about how I don’t support animals in circuses, and we had a small debate on this. He constantly said the pigeons were in good shape, so eventually I asked him about the wounded one. Firstly I want to add I am no animal expert, so of course I can’t say his explanation was incorrect. However I can give you his explanation: He blames spring, which leads to moulting, and that the pigeon uses its beak to remove its feathers (interesting how this was the only one with this mark then..?). He also says it has to do with mating and the pigeon wanting to “impress his girlfriend”. I could have bought the first one, but I do not buy this last one at all.

In my opinion this seems more like abnormality, where the pigeon is “going a little insane” because of stress etc. It is generally seen a lot of abnormality in circuses, which makes this a more reasonable explanation.

Even though we did not agree, he finally said, “well that’s your opinion and you’re allowed to say so. It’s a free country,” and we then parted with a smile and a “have a nice day”. Obviously I don’t support his work, but I was not there to be mean or rude to anyone, so we even debated calmly and were both polite. (<- Just a good advice if you want to do some activism).

I would love to hear your opinion about this;

  • Do you want animals in circuses?
  • What do you think is the explanation of the soar chest?

Monika