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一直覺得台灣是不妨多次到訪的國家,闊別6年後終於在四月的某一天突然決定一週自由行,再次開心地啟動背包客模式。

這次主要是想去探訪台南市徐園長護生園而啟程,順道一探沒到訪過的高雄、也必定要搜尋美味素食。不過,在此之前,先說說一些蠻有趣的景象。

走到何處,商店前的五角基都停滿機車(俗稱小綿羊),像是專賣店一樣,而且款式統一,很難發現其他種類的機車。

林立的商區中,大部分店面都放置突出且由上往下書寫的直立式招牌,不知何故就覺得有一種古早味。

美食林立的各大小夜市,竟然還有各類遊戲,大人、小孩都會光顧。有小時候流行的夾娃娃機、射氣球、彈珠機等等,就連賭桌、投籃和K歌廂房都可以找到,吃飽後逛到累了去唱幾首歌還不錯呀。

很多夜市都有類似大排檔的飲食區,讓人們享用新鮮出爐的美食,而且食物選擇眾多,主食小吃從湯麵、乾食、烘烤、煎炸爆炒類都沒在少的。印象最深的是台南「有氣派」的花園夜市,從入口就被高高的攤位「旗幟」鎮住一下,好有廟會的壯觀。

給素食者的小分享:高雄六合夜市看到的唯一素食檔口,檔口後有位子可以坐下現場享用。

台灣人獲得的普遍評價是好客有禮,相信這點依舊存在。當地發達的公共交通系統也跟多國相似,只要啟動google map的公交路線,幾乎都能準確到達目的地。

最喜歡的是,南部的生活步調比起6年前印象中的台北輕鬆,捷運站和車廂從不爆滿。5月2日下午抵達高雄國際機場,直接購買無上限的一週網絡配套就搭乘捷運(紅色線)前往最靠近預定住宿的美麗島站。

這裏必須特別介紹一下,這個比其他捷運站點霸氣、在特定時段還會燈光結合音樂演奏的大廳——「光之穹頂」。

「光之穹頂」(The Dome of Light) 費時近4年,由世界知名藝術大師水仙大師(Narcissus Quagliata)創作且親自監造完成,由德國裝運來臺裝置。穹頂創作主題分成4大區塊,整體創作依順時針方向依次為:水─生命的孕育、土─繁榮與成長、光─創造精神、火─毀滅與重生等四大主題,講述人的故事。(資料來自台灣觀光網)

我的旅行模式就是走走停停看看,喜歡不慌不忙的free and easy 多過touch&go行程,邊走邊上網探索景點和比較有特色的素食餐廳。

下篇會繼續敘述在高雄的三間,親自試菜後覺得值得推薦的素食喲。

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FULL ENGLISH TRANSLATION BELOW

前段日子开始接触动物收容所、独立义工、参与会议、观察网民留言和收集网络网讯等之后,关于流浪狗问题为何没办法解决一事,有了小小体会。

任何国家的流浪狗问题都不单靠政府一方就能解决,尽管政府扮演最关键的推动角色。因为在必要时刻,政府可以立法和加强刑罚,来强制人民守法,哪怕这是被强迫出来的「尊崇法治」。

除了政府方面,为什么马来西亚流浪狗还在受苦,可以归类于以下多种因素,其实都是环环相扣的。

第一,对动物的错误理解,产生仇视。多数人从小就被大人灌输错误观念,说「流浪狗会咬人,看到它们就拿起石头,假装丢向它们」,就这样无故地「启动」了狗狗的自我防卫模式,以为你要打它而先下手为强。我也是这几年开始关注流浪动物课题后,才全面了解对待狗狗的正确方式。

有些人会因为自己的无知而被狗狗咬伤后,就认为「狗咬吕洞宾」而怪罪它们,更多的人却只是因为听闻少有的「狗咬人」事件就产生敌意,极为抗拒而要政府「铲除」狗狗。如今网络发达,上网就能查询如何避免狗狗袭击、和接触狗狗的正确步骤等资讯。很多时候和流浪狗擦肩而过,它们都不搭理人,比较兴奋的最多会在身边绕几圈闻闻,看看有没有食物给它们。此时你就安静地呆在原地片刻,直到狗狗失去兴趣就会离开了。

第二,严重缺乏包容的爱心社会。世界这么大,但就是有些人眼里「容不下一粒沙子」。上个月我区住户投诉保安亭警卫不应饲养浪浪——小白,小白长时间待在保安亭附近,也没有扰民或咬人,就因为这些投诉,小白狗被送走了(还好保安公司老板有良心,没有随便丢在街上,带它到去看守工厂)。厌恶动物群体认为流浪狗不应存在,因为它们会翻垃圾和随地大小便。莫忘,地球也是属于动物的,应该获得人类的包容,而非嫌弃。

被赋予智慧和怜悯之心的人类,为何要怪罪没有判断能力的它们,不管愿不愿意接受,动物从古至今都是地球的成员,这本是事实。再说,有智慧的人类不好好把垃圾放进有盖垃圾桶,承包商不根据使用量来准备足够垃圾桶,怎么就轮到狗狗的错了?

就算没有狗狗,垃圾问题一直存在着。多少次我途径多处地段和商店后巷,垃圾一包包放在地上(小学老师就教了垃圾要丢进垃圾桶啊!),不然就是旧床褥、沙发、神台等大型垃圾,在路旁的草地上堆积成山。

肚子饿了要找吃本是天性,如果民众有更多的包容心,轮流喂养流浪狗(当然要带走饭后垃圾),它们又怎需要翻找垃圾。

第三,键盘侠远远超过实际行动者。社交媒体出现多个流浪动物救援群组,让更多人知道是好事,遗憾的是太多人只处于「up/comment/like」状态,救援人等待支援的时候,至少几千人到上万成员的群组中,却少有人能够伸出援手。

更心寒的是,还有一群人只会责骂发帖者「为何不自己救、不带回家」,我也听过某政府官员说「你们这么爱狗就应该愿意为他付出所有,多少钱都不是问题」。真心的救援人士当然想尽可能救完所有流浪动物,但生活还是要面对,大家都量力而为。

键盘侠在不知道救援者的家庭和经济状况下,凭什么就可以批判救援者的对错,把救援者的付出视为理所当然?单靠少数的救援人士和团体,流浪狗何时才能被结扎完,可想而知。

第四,弃养和宠物繁殖业者。不负责任的弃养事件越来越多,就因为不是人命。也因为政府没有严格执法,所以弃养人也不必担心被对付,导致除了浪浪以外,街边不时还出现没有谋生能力的名犬。

在流浪狗已经不受控制的我国,加上国人缺乏正确养狗知识、政府没有对付不合格的繁殖业者也是恶化流浪狗问题的帮凶之一。不明白为何政府还不效仿一些西方国家,禁止宠物买卖或向购买者和繁殖业者征收高额税收。

第五,收容所之间的不团结。某些收容所之间的「不和睦」关系已不是秘密,其实很可能是旗下一些「害群之马」在外的言行所引发。所有人的统一目标都是帮助流浪动物,只是管理方式和理念可能有差异,那又相煎何太急呢。

有些隶属特定收容所的义工可能「护主心切」,觉得本身所属机构才是最棒的而对其他收容所产生敌意或摆出高姿态。虽然只是个人的发言,可是你若自称属于某团体就会影响有关收容所的声誉。不要当害群之马,少说话、多做事。

与此同时,有另一类人是无故眼红规模较大或比较有名气的收容说,本身从未接触过就已有偏见和心结,这样的心态只会残害救援流浪动物的发展。

收容所其实更应该相互感谢和珍惜彼此,因为大家同样在拯救性命、减轻彼此负担,也唯有彼此才能同理救援这条不归路的艰辛。(当然不包括以盈利为主的收容所,甚至不配被称为收容所)

真心希望所有收容所能摒弃成见,团结到底,否则一盘散沙又诸多是非的状态,要如何跟政府协商?这也是为什么一些民众宁愿当个独立救援者,也不愿搅进是非圈。

至于不曾涉及其中的我们,不要因为曾和某义工有不愉快事件或纯粹听闻,就杯葛所属收容所,很多时候是个人人品问题,哪里有需要就帮忙哪里,因为最后受惠的是狗狗。

第六,收容所的有心无力。救援后的长期开销是收容所的最大挑战,所有收容所都面对同样问题。他们没有放弃,也不惜一直为狗狗生活筹款。如果正在阅读你是三餐温饱衣食无忧,还有能力旅行、买名牌,是否可以考虑将一点爱分给毛孩?

有人质疑善款会否被私吞,这非常合理。不过,若大家都因此分毫不舍,收容所无法维持开销,又怎能继续救援。如果你不愿意出钱,那就出力当收容所义工,如果你只能出钱但又怕被骗,那就捐物资或者不定期到访收容所和参与其中活动亲自了解,再或者加入成为当中委员。如果你不出钱又不出力,那你没有「话多多」和举报的权利,而且要感恩自掏腰包的流浪动物救援者和收容所。

老实说,我也拍被狗咬(还在学习克服中),平时只能随缘喂食眼前的浪浪或集资。这条路上经常被质疑「与其捐款给动物,不如帮小孩和老人?」我想说的是,

第一,你怎么知道我没有定期赞助国际救援小孩团体?;

第二,因为人类至少还有一张嘴能告诉他人,自己的痛苦和所需要的帮助;

第三,因为帮毛孩发声的管道和团体实在太少;

第四,因为地球不止是属于人类, 地球是万物共有的。

(注:本人不属于/不代表任何机构,以上仅为个人感想,不喜勿喷。文中流浪狗是指一般无传染病/疯狗症/无攻击性的狗狗)

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Stray dog issue in any countries isn’t just depends on government alone, but undeniable that it plays a crucial role in promoting the solutions. At least during critical time, government has legislative power and able to enforce punishment to make sure people abide the rules , even though it’s by forced.

Other than government’s role, there are few main factors that could be the answer of “why stray dogs in Malaysia are still suffering” , these are all co-relevant.

First, misconception on animals that led to hatred. Many of us when younger, were taught by adults that strays will bite, grab a stone and act like going to throw on them if we see them, this is how the dog’s self protection mode is “activated”, so it started the attack as it thought you are going to harm.

Certain people blame dogs for biting but in fact they are the ignorant one who used the wrong ways to approach dogs. Whereas, there are much more people raise their hatred to stray dogs just because “heard of” the biting case which hardly happened, and then call for local council to “clear” the dogs in neighbourhood.

In a century of internet convenience, we can learn how to avoid dog attack and the right steps to approach dogs. Most of the time, stray dogs are afraid of human and won’t bother us, some excited dogs may only go a few round by us and sniffing, to see if any food for them. Just stay calm and quiet for a moment, until they lose interest in you, that’s just their nature.

Second, seriously lack of a loving society that tolerate. The world is huge yet there are people who just couldn’t even “tolerate a grain of sand” in their eyes. Last month, some residents of my living area complaint the security guards shouldn’t adopt a stray which I named Littlewhite. The dog was then sent away just because of those persons don’t want to see strays in the area. In fact, Littlewhite never harrassed residents or biting anyone.

The group of person who think no stray animals should exist in the world, given the reason that dogs make a mess in rubbish and shits everywhere. But these people forgot that, the Earth also belongs to animals, they should get acceptance by human, not being marginalised.

Born as human granted with wisdom and compassion, why do we blame these creatures that don’t have the ability to judge what’s right and wrong. Willing or not, we have to accept the fact that animals are members of this planet since ancient time. Furthermore, how come it became the dogs fault when human are the one don’t handling rubbish properly, the contractor not providing sufficient facilities to cater the needs?

Even if there’s no stray dogs, the improper rubbish management issue does exist long time ago. Umpteen times I pass by lots of places and backstreet of shops, rubbish bags are on the floor (instead of thrown in the rubbish bin with lid), also not surprising to see big items such as mattress, sofa and altar pile up like a hill next to road shoulder.

It’s by nature to look for food when hungry, if the community have high level of toleration and compassion, sharing food to strays (provided to clean up afterwards), stray animals never need to looking for food in the dump.

Third, “keyboard heroes” overpopulated the actual mover. Plenty of strays rescue public group were formed in social media. It’s good to let as many people know, but sadly majority just remain to click “up/comment/like”, where the person who’s waiting for support hardly get help in a group that has thousands of members.

More upsetting is when there’s a kind of person prompt to questioning the post owner “why not rescued it/why not bring the dog to your home?”. I recently heard a government officer said: “you dog lovers should be willing to pay all your effort for dogs, no matter how much it cost”. Of course the dog lovers would like to rescue all strays if possible, but we have to face reality in life, rescuers are just trying their best to contribute in helping furkids.

What is the right of “keyboard heroes” to judge a rescuer without knowing a person’s family and financial ability, some more themselves are not on the scene? Rescuers’ kind effort shall not be taken for granted. If we just rely on the minority dog rescuers and NGOs to help, no doubt it’s still long way to finish neutered all strays.

Forth, abandoned pets and and illegal pet breeding. Pet abandoned cases are getting more, just because dogs are not human lives? Due to lack of enforcement by the government, these owners just not afraid there will be actions taken against their deeds. The rescuers not only have to deal with originally strays, also seeing more abandoned pet dogs that have no ability to survive the outside world.

We already have uncontrollable amount of stray dogs, on top of that, some owners lack of knowledge to keep a pet and lack of actions against illegal breeders, it just doesn’t make sense that Malaysia government is still not wanting to learn from some countries, to stop pet selling business or just apply high taxes on this business and the buyers.

Fifth, animals shelters are not united. It’s not a secret that certain shelters are dissatisfied with each others, this may be caused by “black sheeps” of the NGO of how they behave. Every NGO shared the same goal to help strays, the only difference might be the style of management and ideology, but so what?

Some volunteers attached to a single NGO have the mindset that the NGO they belong to, is superior than others, thus being arrogant or hated the others shelters. Though it’s just that particular person behaviour, but when you’re out claiming yourself from an NGO, your action is directly affecting that NGO’s reputation. Volunteers should not be the black sheep, talk less and do more.

Meanwhile, another kind of persons just jealous of other shelters that’s more reputable, became biased without actually interact with the other shelter, this wrong attitude is doing bad on the effort of strays rescue.

All shelters should cherish and be grateful of each other as all are having the same mission of rescue lives, lessen each other burdens, and only they can empathised each other as they know the hardship of the rescue mission.

Sincerely wishing all shelters can put behind their resentments, be united, otherwise how are they able to ask for discussion with government? This is also why some people prefer to be independent rescuer, rather than joining the “scandal loop”.

As for members of public, please don’t boycott a NGO just because of an unpleasant encounter with a particular volunteer or just by hear-says, as this mostly is that person private issue. Just help in whichever shelters that has more urgency, as the dogs are the one to get the benefits.

Sixth, NGOs mission is far exceeded their power. Financial sustainability is the biggest challenge to all shelters, however they did not give up and keep raising fund for the welfare of furkids. If you (who are reading this now) has less financial troubles, still afford to go for holiday and buying luxuries, could you please share some love to the furkids?

It’s totally normal when people may have doubts on the fund raised, but if we all refused to contribute due to this concern, how are those shelters continue operating and save more strays?

If you are not willing to sponsor money, then try to contribute your time as volunteer. If you could only contribute money but worried that money will be abused, then donate some materials/ ingredients they need, or join their activities regularly, or go further to become committee of the NGO. If you are not willing to contribute time and money, then just shut up and don’t complaint, instead you better be thankful to shelters and all rescuers that always contributing own money.

Personally, I am also afraid of getting dog bite (learning to cope with it), I can only contribute within my ability, such as feeding strays and gather funds from friends.

Often I was asked : “Why not donating to children or old folks, instead of helping strays?” I can only say,

First, how do you know that I didn’t become regular sponsors to the international NGOs?

Second, because human can convey their agony and able to ask for help, and animals doesn’t.

Third, because the numbers of NGO that helping and voice out for animal rights are way too less.

Forth, because the Earth is not only belong to human kind, it belongs to all.

(Note:I am not attached to/represent any NGOs, this is just personal views based on own experience/observation/information gathering/meeting etc. Stray dogs mentioned in the article refers to normal dogs without contagious diseases/rabies, and not ferocious.)

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2017年三月,素食17年的我没有转为荤食者,反而成为饮食条件更加严格的纯素食者,自此不吃蛋、奶产品和任何含有剥削动物成分的制成品。

2019年年初,本来就喜欢狗狗的我开始行动,虽然不像其他热血义工,但也为狗狗筹款、分享救援帖、书写信函给政府有关当局、发电邮举报网络发布的虐狗事件、出席爱狗人士自组团队和流浪狗课题的对话会,尽一己之力。

然而这几年的这些改变和做的这些事,以及好几次被被说成极端或不正常。其实这些都不是突变,而是有理据的。

大家都知道素食救地球是一种趋势,但为什么要“极端”到连没有夺取动物性命的鸡蛋和牛奶都不吃?因为,世界有太多我们不知道的事实等着被揭开。

我也是在2017年开始,在网络上获知相关食物的来源后大感震惊,因为那是我们平时也不会去思考的问题啊!

你知道鸡蛋工业的残忍吗?为了不断地供应鸡蛋,所以雌的鸡宝宝才被“重视”,雄宝宝是活活被绞碎的啊。那种血腥的视频我看了前面几秒钟就停止,然后继续在网上查询真实性,查证后我就放弃任何有鸡蛋成分的食物。(哪怕鸡蛋是最爱啊~)

以为喝牛奶应该构不成没什么伤害吧,就像广告画面里,乳牛在广阔的草原上自由活动。可似你没有想过的是,为了供应牛奶给人类,它们以人工授精的方式被强迫不断怀孕,因为要生小孩才会有奶水啊!被生下的小母牛不断重复妈妈一生的厄运,小公牛则被送往屠宰场当作小牛排。

如果你想问素食者最常被问到的TOP1问题 : 「植物也有生命,空气和水也有微生物啊?”」,我只想说作为素食者的我们并没有要体现自己有多么“圣贤”,只是希望把伤害降到最低。再说如果你觉得连植物也有痛觉的话,为什么还继续吃上星期还在呼吸、有血有肉有感知的动物?以这样的问题咄咄逼人,到底谁才是极端者?

那说说流浪狗吧,有人问「那么多小孩、老人、病患你不救,去救一只不懂什么是知恩图报的动物?」

第一,帮助的任何对象都不应该为了图回报;第二,我也有长期助养非洲儿童和不定期捐款给慈善机构;第三,地球是万物共有,不是人类专属。

类似分散投资的概念,我觉得资源分散比集中火力只帮助同一群体更有意义。你在这里帮一点,我去那里帮一点,在我看来,让所有物种群体都得到帮助才是正确的。

人类至少有思考和表达能力能告知需求和痛楚,也会寻求援助的管道,也有较多援助机构的扶持,尽管还是救不完所有人。

可是相比之下,狗狗有什么?它们只靠少数付诸行动的救援和喂养者,还有能力有限的民间流浪动物组织的帮忙,不幸运的流浪动物,横尸街头也没有人帮忙埋葬。

我不明白,如果你忙工作、生活、和家庭或害怕、讨厌流浪狗无法出力,那在财务能力许可的条件下,为什么不能出钱帮帮它们?救援不难,难的是之后的生活和医药开销,很多时候义工也是自掏腰包。

很多人说这些义工为了狗狗真的是傻了、疯了,可是这些疯言疯语的主人是否为解决流浪狗问题,付出过任何实际行动?

最近对人性有一些怀疑,偶尔有些负能量,只好提醒自己我们不能控制他人的所思所言所作所为,但知道坚持做正确的事情,无愧于心。

有个朋友分享过一个正能量语录:「wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it; right is right, even if only you are doing it.」错的就是错的,就算所有人都那么做,对的就是对的,就算只有你一个人在做。

若问人间最喜是何物?是人间有爱;若问人间最悲是何物?是埋没良知。

不知道真的是这个世界越来越冷酷,还是这就是所有成长后必须面对的现实,最近我才领悟:恻隐之心,非人皆有之。

除了那么一点的文字分享,希望能让人思考一番,我真不知道还可以怎样让世界美好一点,还可以怎样帮助流浪狗了。

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马来西亚流浪狗到处可见,真正为他们送上温暖的屈指可数。随着公民意识、人权乃至动物福利的关注度越来越高,有更多民间组织和群众自组成为流浪动物保护者,无可奈何的是缺乏公德心的变态者却仍然逍遥法外。

政府说从流浪狗被抓到最后必须被安乐死的步骤都有一套标准作业程序,但现实中上演的往往滥权、残忍,甚至是不可理喻的方式,所以才导致一些民众与官员对质而发生冲突。

这些案件已经引发动保人士与官方的不利关系,导致当中有一些人士失去理智,开始咒骂抓狗队官员,但想想这样的举动有何成果?即为自己造口业、气坏身子,更重要的是无法改变流浪狗当下的窘境。

自掏腰包到各处喂养流浪狗的好心人,经常被民众指责喂食后没有清理现场,等同制造垃圾破坏环境,这些无心之举反而可能害了无辜毛孩儿。

首先可以做的是联署上书政府,再要求觐见有关当局领导人,若仍被敷衍了事,可考虑向警方申请准证要求和平集会,表达诉求。或许这些程序会受阻,但至少我们做了力所能及的事。

谩骂官员病无济于事,他们也只是打工族罢了,他们也有父母、家人。有人说可以换其他工作,但必须知道的现实是,不是每个人的家庭背景、经济因素和现实状况都能如他们所愿。追根究底,还是政府的无知,才导致流浪狗问题多年悬而未决。

尽管看到无辜的生命被带走,心很痛、很激动想要理论,但动保人士更应该冷静体现真善的一面,不让有心人借题发挥,阻碍大家为流浪狗发声的行动。

在流浪狗课题上,真善是顾及全面,而不是以捍卫福利为名而无止尽的咒骂另一方、真善是布施食水给狗狗后,妥善处理餐后所剩的塑料袋、盒子、报纸等、真善是切勿先入为主的针对某族群不爱护流浪狗,而一竹竿打翻一船人、真善是当有人阻止你喂养的时候,与其提高声量,不如安静地做完该做的事后离开。

当政客不断发表必须打造「有爱」社会的说词时,其实倒不如直接从政策上体现所谓的关爱,继续无止尽的捕杀只是在与世界洪流逆行,是在向世界体现出当政者的愚昧。

秉持着「地球是万物共同拥有」的原则下,作为一个人类,必须时刻谨记:莫因善小而不为,莫因恶小而为之,也要以印度圣雄甘地的名言赠送给马来西亚政府,好好体会「从一个国家对待动物的态度,可以判断这个国家及其道德是否伟大与崇高。」

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She has been back the second time from oversea, and she is getting more sad than before, though it’s the place where she grown up.

The first time, she is unused to the social manners and traffic flow in her city. Cars are everywhere, even need to spent maybe 30mins just to pass through a 3km road. Rubbish and plastic bags are here and there, people are just unwilling to bring own recycle bag and container.

Well, that’s beyond her control, and so she returned to New Zealand even though she knew that she is going to carry on with the tough job of yard again.

As time flies and the team members changed, she lost her best crew and gradually became mentally exhausted for having staffs that wasn’t responsible. She told herself to bear for a while until she couldn’t anymore.

Finally, she decided to fly home the second time, though she knew she wouldn’t like the working environment there. However, it’s more disgusted to continue facing an uncooperative crew.

This time, she re-adapt well to the culture. But, never did she expect that she’s more unhappy and stressed than the previous time.

As a dog lovers, it’s very unfortunate that she is living in a muslim majority country where dogs are seen as “not halal”. Whenever there’s a complaint about stray dogs, the local council has to take action, but what’s saddening is that some officers just don’t follow the SOP that they’re supposed to abide.

She feel so helpless every time she saw a FB post about the dog hunting team sent from council, with those pity photos. Most stray dog are actually not ferocious, they just lying at the corridor or road side, not hurting, chasing and biting public, but why they have to end up being caught and put down?

She doesn’t understand, she couldn’t accept why are people are not preaching what they’ve learnt since young — compassion. She thinks that everyone is taught, one should love and care for all lives. Yet the government does not set a good example to the people.

Strays animal issue is not just happened, years over years, people has voice out their views and suggestions, she questioned: “Why can’t the government listen? Why can’t we use a humane and civilised way to help the poor animals, instead of culling, which is just a temporary solution?”

Again she questioned: “If the government can afford millions bucks as a fund to catch and kill the stray dogs, shouldn’t that amount of money be used to neuter them?”

She is upset that she isn’t a millionaire. If she is, one of her missions is to buy a piece of land, built a shelter to help the furry kids, also to share the burden of other shelters.

If she could say something to the government in this issue, it would be “SHAME ON YOU”, and this also “dedicated” to those heartless owners who just abandoned their old or sick companions.

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It’s initially the religion that turned me into a vegetarian 17 years ago, only after getting to know more of the food source and bad treatment to animals and consequences to the mother nature,  I started to change my diet to be a vegan.

Wasn’t easy to give up the food I like though, eggs, chocolates, honey and cheese have to be out of my dietary few months ago. Afterward, I started to realize that, to be a vegan is more than just the food, it does including many of our daily necessities.

Other than the reason of not wanting animals to be exploited just to fulfill human desire (of tasty food), to minimize the harm to the earth is what important as well. (As farming is also one of the factors of pollution)

As a result,  I began to shop consciously for cruelty free/ no animal-testing/ environment friendly products, ranging from food to daily items such as detergent, skincare and personal care products .

It’s undeniable that I’ve got to pay higher for the same non-vegan items, sometimes it can be up to triple of the cost that I used to spend, however this won’t stop me and shouldn’t stop us to play our part to conserve the nature and to be kind to animals.

While some friends joking that being a vegan, “you shouldn’t kill plants as they have lives too”, and if I do really want to save environment, “you shouldn’t use a vehicle as not to release CO2 … you shouldn’t purchased items as those packaging are taken natural resources.”

Some other friends think that vegan are actually “ruining” the food chain, thus causing imbalance of the ecosystem.

Oh well, I truly agree with freedom of speech, I don’t confront them & respect their views. Nevertheless I do have my own justifications to stand firm as a beginner-vegan.

First, I personally believe that plants don’t have spirit & emotions like animals do, furthermore I don’t think Vegan is “destroying” the food chain as most meats consumed nowadays aren’t over-numbered wildlife animals, instead THEY ARE BREED ON PURPOSE TO SATISFY HUMAN TASTE BUD!

Secondly, I do bring my own recycle bag to shop whenever possible and reject receipts to be printed if not necessary. (yes and sorry to the earth that I’m guilty of still using a car)

I do wish to have a healthy cycling lifestyles, but there are some factors that make it impractical. WHY? If it were in my country, I’m either highly exposed to the risk of being a victim of criminal, or  have higher chance to die in an accident before arriving my destination with my bike (as not every nation is having cycling pathway, as well as parking facilities ready.)

If I were in NZ as currently, it’s much possible to cycle to work, the only concern is the extremely cold weather (for me, it’s 3/4 of the season) and the time taken. As I usually work for 12 hours, If I need to bike 1 hour to commute, plus preparing breakfast and dinner, I would be lack of time of resting, which I’d lost quality life.

Ok it may sound like excuses, anyway the message I wish to convey is what I always telling friends, “We are living in a modern world, we can’t deny that as long as we are still alive, we are “costing” the environment, but what we can do is to reduce the harm to a minimum level.” (That’s why some people are minimalist.)

For instance, computer is made from metal which they are thrown as waste when broken, thus it caused pollution. But the thing is we can’t eliminate to use them as a source of information and connect to the world using internet.

I think the key should be not changing gadgets frequently when new series of products are released. Send it to responsible recycle station/dealers only when it’s not responsive anymore, not just throw as a usual garbage,

Similarly, various factors make us not able to give up driving, thus we can choose to carpool with more people traveling to same destinations. They’re a lot more little things that we can do, shut the car engine while waiting, switch off power for anything not in use, reduce/reuse/recycle of  whatever you can think of.

What I’m practicing now is self-controlled on buying desires, not because of affordability (as I’m not a materialist), it about needs vs wants. Regardless of the price, I learn to ask myself “do I need it?”, because I know that the producing process of every item costs resources.

Eventually, things in the life are relevant to KARMA (I’m not trying to spread Buddhist teaching, haha), I simply believe that everything is correlated to the principle of “you’ll get what you’ve done”. For instance, girls make-up so that they feel more confident… some people never skip the daily skincare steps, that’s why they can have perfect skin… A person is so lovable because he/she is friendly and nice to everyone etc.

So does the climate crisis now, because human have always been taken mother nature for granted instead of appreciation. I knew that I may not bring a significant change, but together WE SURE CAN! I can only practice what I believe and try to influence others, and hopefully this get pass on.

At the end of the day, we’re all responsible to the planet.

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From time to time in recent years, I keep thinking on how to improve my life to make it more meaningful and happier. Especially saying goodbye to my 20’s, entering a new life milestone soon.

I am not rich as others as this age, not having a professional career either. Working long hours as a forklift driver in NZ, but I keep remind myself, life is not only about work. Dedicated most time to factory life, that’s why I must do some other things to create a work-life balance lifestyle.

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I always believe in karma as a principle of everything, how do u treated something/ someone, you’ll bear the same consequences. So, in order to improve my skin condition and have a healthy body, I decided to have boiled vegetables for most of my meals , give up artificial meat and processed food. Giving my body good foods, wishing that it could put me in a better shape.

To be honest, it’s quite hard for someone who is a big eater and get hungry easily like me. I was famished the first few days of trying this, getting better now. I’m dealing with controlling the desire to eat rather the the real feel of hunger.

Another plan of this year is to turn into VEGAN from vegetarian, because I started to realize no animals are born to serve human. I respect different views, but for me EARTH IS FOR ALL, not just human!

Due to the inconvenience to get a bread,cake or cookies that’s egg-free, I would try to make all these by myself. And so I am renting a “studio” unit soon. It will surely double-up my living expenses, but getting a proper privacy and have the full kitchen by myself is what’s worth for. (NOTE to my dear friends, if anyone happened to read this, sorry that my flat will be totally a MEAT-FREE ZONE, haha)

As a human in this planet, I believe we need to have some contributions back to the society in whatever means, as we more or less are getting something from the society from time to time. So I finally put into action of what I always wanna implement — donation to child-focused charity organization in NZ, other than I already did for world vision Malaysia. (I thought I would donate to UNICEF, it’s SAVE THE CHILDREN NZ in the end, it’s just fate).

$NZD15 per month sound a little, but it’s what I’m afford for now and I do hope you can join this kind of good deed too if you are reading until here. If we couldn’t afford to be the permanent volunteer, why don’t we support those who put in effort to make this world more wonderful?

To add value to myself, I forced myself to revise the online Spanish lesson every night before going to bed, regardless of tiredness after 12 hours work. It’s quite interesting and this kind of “force” actually makes me feel happy instead of stress. I finally make it through for 30 days continuously and I will make sure I keep on going. The ultimate goal is to have a long travel in South America communicating with locals in Spanish, rather than using body language.

Although I am kind of “live the moment” person, somehow it’s necessary to plan for our lives. I don’t wanna procrastinate further because you’ll never know when is the last day of your live that I finally bought an accidental death policy. Surprisingly the monthly premium is so low.

Of course we don’t want bad things to happen, but if I unfortunately leave the world, at least I have something  to my family. We know that money is not everything, but the reality is you couldn’t get anything done without money. It’s better to pay a little to have peace of mind.

My other targets are to learn to be a minimalist, which required high level of self-control. I’m not a shopaholic, but I do have desires too. The only way to stop from spending on unnecessary items is to always remind myself  priority of things that need to achieve, and make the amount to be spend comparable to daily expenses or days of hard work. I will also try to  get rid of Facebook addiction, hopefully this will be my last post this month. Btw will still use messenger though as a mean for easier communication.

Plenty of thoughts & plans recently, hopefully all things can happen smoothly as I wish.

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