dedication

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This blog is dedicated to the three most special people in my life:

my beautiful, big-hearted baby sister and her valiant, generous hubby, and my most loyal and supportive friend YS – thank you for helping me eat better, look beyond my feet, reach out, live my dreams and keep on keeping on, knowing always that I am loved!

pleasant thoughts

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I am tired out, run down and just exhausted – too much human interaction, and the intensity of emotion is overpowering. The sheer weight of the facts and figures, logical deduction and analyses, vs. the bog of perplexing inane arguments in response to critical truth, and yes, that Aspie thing, you know, questions still unaddressed, that really gets me down. A non-cadential stretto in raging crescendo. I need to leave the concert hall. Wagner would be proud of the drama, for sure.

In the midst of the noisome pestilence, the tumultuous churning of debris, there were some truly beautiful moments in my day. These little things actually do matter more on a personal level. They give me strength and offer tranquility. Safe havens for my thoughts and emotions, and clement grace for my fraught senses.

Lucy – there is no imperfection in her.

Food – I am thankful to have food, and to enjoy the challenge of making simple fare look and taste good.

Fruit! – my tomatoes have grown! I planted these from seeds taken from fresh tomatoes, and they are growing at last. Thank you, Rick, for keeping my plants alive (well most of them are alive, the important ones, so it’s all good!).

And now, I shall retire into bed with my beautiful warm vanilla hound. She is there waiting for me. Good night, everyone.

We wish for all Greyhounds to have this blessedness!

all kinds of minds

As I cooked lunch today, the brain-worm wriggling about was chanting the words of Temple Grandin, “The world needs all kinds of minds…”

As a visual and pattern thinker, I analyse my world according to pictures, textures, patterns and my perceptions lean towards the social-cultural paradigms. I am disturbed by the current discussions around Greyhound racing in Australia, on social media these days. These are often heated, mostly people reacting to the ABC Four Corners programme, and sometimes the comments are quite inane. That is fine. Passion is good for the intellect too. However, my own expressions revolve around my perceptual abilities, and I have been unable to address the accusations of those who claim that the statistics are wrong, or even more preposterous, make dark ominous allusions to “blatant lies” being bandied about.

I am so glad my friend Dr. Sonja K of Greyhound Equality Society made the effort to write that great mathematical piece to explain the same conundrum from the mathematical perspective.

This is not just for the dogs, but for all of decent humanity. Those who have ears, let them hear. Those who have eyes, let them see. It is out there. The truth. If you would let Truth set you free. That is. Still freedom of choice, an act of will. Of course.

Enjoy the lunches and dinners! :)

mathematical truth

cut the crap!

cut the crap already – talk to my paw!

There have been several assertions made by people on Facebook about “blatant lies” being spread by “certain (anti-racing) groups” about the Greyhound industry. The people making these assertions have not as yet clearly identified which groups they are mysteriously referring to. A practice I find questionable – if you are standing for truth, then go all the way. Let’s not tiptoe around imaginary mystery tulips while making veiled allusions to wrongdoing by others. It’s not only irritating, it is downright dishonourable. Anyway, here are the facts and figures. Even a maths-phobic visual minded Aspie like me can follow this very excellently written piece.

If you are on Facebook, do check out the Greyhound Equality Society.


*The Numbers Speak for Themselves*

Recently, we have had several people on our page denying the existence of a high kill rate in greyhound racing in Australia. Further they suggested that the numbers we have mentioned here on the GES webpage were wrong etc. and that we should first do some research. This amuses me as (1) I am in fact a researcher and (2) I have a maths degree. So, I am not only good at this kind of stuff, I also actually enjoy it! So I feel compelled to talk you through the numbers. Don’t worry; you do not need a maths degree to follow.

So here is a small math exercise to show you what the statistics say. Let me first say that you can find some statistics online at Greyhounds Australasia (GA). (That’s what we do in research; we document and cite.) Greyhounds Australasia consists of representatives from the controlling bodies in the Australian States and Territories, and New Zealand. So basically, they should know this stuff, right? One might think… ( http://www.galtd.org.au/GreyhoundsAustralasia/index.php?q=node%2F111)

*Getting the Official Numbers Straight*

One problem is, that the statistics stop in 2011; don’t ask me why. However we also have published statistics from the Australian Greyhound Studbook (AGS) until 2013. Now, the bad news is, if you compare the numbers from both sources, you will find that they are not identical (for example the number of litters in the AGS is 2814 but if you add up the numbers from AG, you get 2887 litters). The good news is that nonetheless they do paint a very similar picture overall.

One third of puppies are not suitable for racing and are destroyed
Ok, so let’s go with 2011 for now because we have information from both sources and you can check the numbers online. According to GA, there were 2,887 registered litters and 11,800 greyhounds named. The AGS reveals that in the last years, the average number of pups in a litter was 6.2. Applying this to the 2,887 litters means that 17,899 greyhounds (=2,887×6.2) were born. Comparing the 17,899 greyhounds born to the 11,800 named reveals that only 66% of those born were actually named. So, over 1/3 of those born (34%) were not deemed suitable for racing or died before being named. That is BEFORE they even enter the racetrack.

*Industry Rehoming after racing*

Now it gets a bit trickier because the racing industry does not produce any figures on what happens with the greyhounds when they FINISH racing. However, we can approximate the number of adopted dogs by adding up the numbers from the rescue groups and the industry adoption programs. For simplicity, let’s look at one state only: Victoria. Victoria had 6,163 pups in 2011 out of which 3,820 were “named”. Hence it had a `wastage rate’ of 38% (slightly higher than average across Australia). Now, the official greyhound adoption program GAP, which is part of Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV), says that they have rehomed over 5,000 dogs over the last 16 years (http://www.grv.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/GRV_AnnualReport2014_FINAL_WEB.pdf). So basically they are adopting out 313 dogs a year (I know, the trend is increasing and in 2014 they had a record number of over 500 dogs but I think 313 is more reasonable to assume for 2011 – in any case, it won’t make much of a difference as you will see below).

*Rescue Rehoming after racing*

The other major greyhound rescue group in Victoria is Greyhound Safety Net or GSN (http://www.greyhoundsafetynet.org/). GSN say on their website that since 2006, they have rehomed almost 600 greyhounds. So they must have rehomed around 67 to 75 dogs a year. I am not sure whether Amazing Greys and Greyhound Rescue Victoria were already operating in 2011, but I think they must have run on a smaller scale than Greyhound Safety Net. But let’s assume, they, together with the RSPCA Vic and Australian Animal Protection Society (APPS) also rehomed between 67 to 75 dogs a year. So we can add 142 rehomed dogs by these rescue groups to the 313 rehomed GAP dogs, hence we have 455 rehomed dogs in 2011.

*Just Doesn’t Add Up*

In a steady-state, where the number of racing greyhounds is stable over time and the number of greyhounds that come into the system (born) is equal to the number of greyhounds that leave the system (`retire’), this has the following implications: It implies that, out of around 6,163 greyhounds bred in Victoria, some 2,343 (=6,163-3,820) never race and never enter the industry (38%), after racing 455 are rehomed (7%) and hence 3,365 are discarded (55%). So you would have to convince me that 93% (=38%+55%) of greyhounds are rehomed privately by their owners/trainers and not killed. Hmmm… This of course would imply that the industry funded adoption program GAP would be highly inefficient as it only manages to rehome 5% (with an industry funding of over $1,000,000 per year) whereas the owners/trainers are able to rehome 95% themselves. Sure, you can convince me that there is a proportion of trainers/owners who rehome privately: maybe 20% tops? This still means we are missing 75% of the dogs.

*Still Doesn’t Add Up*

If you still do not believe me, think about this. If all the greyhounds survive, there would be AT LEAST around 17,899 pet greyhounds living in Australia in 2011 (17,899 pups born in 2011 according to GA). I say `at least’ because this calculation assumes that all greyhounds that have been adopted earlier have died in the meantime – highly unlikely. In NSW alone, for example, there would have to be at least 7,911 (=1,276×6.2 greyhound puppies born) pet greyhounds. There are however ONLY 2,552 registered pet greyhounds in NSW (http://www.olg.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/Annual-reports-of-dog-attacks-in-NSW-2011-12.pdf). With this calculation, we are also missing 67% of the dogs. This is the absolute best case scenario of missing greyhounds!

*Hello, Elephant in the Room!*

This makes me wonder, why do we actually need the revelation of recent accounts of live baiting to shut down the industry, when these basic numbers speak for themselves. When over ONE THIRD of puppies born disappear, never entering racing and the SURVIVAL rate of greyhounds is estimated to be between 7% to 33% (but nobody knows and the industry fails to provide us with a credible number), surely we can all agree that it is unethical that so many dogs die for our entertainment. The industry can claim that the numbers are not accurate, but then, is it not THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to prove to us that they account for at least the majority of dogs? It is not we who have to prove the numbers to them.

Isn’t this blatant deception if GRV’s information management system `Fasttrack’ lists every greyhound that is no longer racing as `retired’ when in fact 88% [1-455/(6,163-2,343)] of those are most likely destroyed/killed/euthanized as outlined above? In addition, the state controlling bodies GRV, GRNSW etc should theoretically know whether the dog has indeed become a pet greyhound or not as the `retired/disposal greyhound notification’-form (yes this is the official name!) which has been collected for years, collects information as to whether the dog has been euthanized, is used as a breeding animal, is deceased due to natural/accidental causes or retired as a pet or GAP dog. Fasttrack states that if a greyhound has been euthanized, the owner needs to send GRV a Vet certificate before retirement can be finalized. Yes, you read correctly. “Euthanasia” is a synonym for “retirement” at GRV.

*You Can’t Make This Up*

If you are still not convinced, I won’t bombard you with more numbers but simply quote the `Animal Welfare Penalty Guidelines’:
“The DEPI Code of Practice for the Private Keeping of Dogs states `dogs or puppies MUST NOT be killed by being drowned, poisoned or gassed ’, and although it does condone a gunshot into the brain at close range as being HUMANE, GRV does not endorse this method of euthanasia due to the serious damage it does to the industry’s reputation.”

Think about it. Just let this information sink in and think about it.

Hello! HELLO!

[Hint: THIS INDUSTRY MUST BE CLOSED DOWN!]

[Cheers, Sonja]

The Australian Greyhound Studbook
Year…….Litters…..Pups…….Named……% Named
2008……3322…….20654……13152……0.64
2009……3113…….18613……12564……0.68
2010……3006…….18397……12261……0.67
2011……2814…….17662……12882……0.73
2012……2783…….17694……12823……0.72
2013……2985…….18602……13010……0.70

http://www.grv.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/FastTrack-Quick-Guide-Retire-A-Greyhound.pdf

http://www.thedogs.com.au/Uploads/Userfiles/100913%20Form%20-%20Notification%20of%20Disposal%20of%20a%20Greyhound%281%29.pdf

http://www.grv.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/GRV_AnnualReport2014_FINAL_WEB.pdf
(p.12)

hamlet

She was just 18months old. Listen to the announcement at around 1:45. “The kindest thing to do … just euthanise the Greyhound.” For what? A broken leg. Any intelligent logical thinking person would ask some questions, no? I shall not list those questions here, because I assume that anyone reading my blog is well able to ask these questions unaided.

Here is my rant. Continue reading

Greyhounds love to run!

Greyhounds love to run!

Greyhounds love to run! Yes, Lucy shows that she does indeed! But for FUN!!!!! Not for your greed!

An old photo of Lucy (above), when still having to wear that awful dreaded muzzle, before she passed her ridiculously named ‘decommissioning’ test, as self-regulated by the now disgraced Greyhound racing industry. And a lovely video of happy Greyhound Sissy (below). This is how it should be!

“Greyhounds LOVE to run.” Yes, that is one of the most popular exclamations one hears from the pro-racing humans, bleating justifications for their indulgence in this barbaric and cruel form of animal circus entertainment. Reaping in money for themselves, no doubt.

Amidst the live-baiting horrors, the backlash and the vile hitting back at the “bloody animal activists” who bravely ventured forth to uncover the sick evil in the racing industry, here is a lovely and happy visual capture from Sissy, the gorgeous Greyhound. A former racing dog, just like Lucy, Sissy now at last enjoys the life she deserves: as a beloved pet in a responsible and loving family environment. This is how all Greyhounds ought to be.

Yes, indeed, Greyhounds do LOVE to run. And so they should be allowed to run. But not to feed human greed and lust for blood and violence. (Did you hear those ‘top trainers’ cackle away in laughter as they broke the backs of the live bait animals in that ABC exposé video? Did you see what they did to the black Greyhound, shoving its nose into the live bait and lifting its hind quarters? – See previous post.)

Run, run, run, and have lots of fun, Sissy and Lucy! Show the world what truly HAPPY Greyhounds are like!

blood

r1388345_19720005

Blood on our hands. Humans have much to answer for. I am not talking about the centuries of horrific travesties, I am just going to cite one small example. It is a relatively ‘insignificant’ example in the grand cosmic wealth of evil that humans generate relentlessly. Who cares about dogs or pigs or rabbits or possums, when there are millions of humans dying by the second?

You may not, but I do. And I care a lot more now than ever before. Because I’ve had the joy and honour of having one of these magnificent animals live with me, bring me immeasurable wonderment and bless my life in ways no other animal, human or other, has ever done before. It breaks my heart to think Lucy and thousands of others came from this life. Yes, Lucy was one of the lucky few. This should not be.

Watch this. If you are able to view it, use Hola unblocker on Chrome. Before you start babbling about the pros or cons of Greyhound racing, or saying stupid things like, “Let’s not judge,” etc. WATCH THIS FIRST. You will either be utterly shocked and repulsed, or you might proceed to make your excuses to support this terrible sick form of entertainment. Reminder: these are TOP people in the industry. And this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

OK, if you support this disgusting entertainment, yes, then I suppose you will now begin to make your excuses and disclaimers. Whichever way, I do think this has brought everything out into the open. Time to stand and be counted. Either way. Do it.

wisdom

I cooked boiled chicken and chicken broth for Lucy and her little friend Blanquita yesterday. Lucy, of course, paid very close attention to the goings on in the kitchen.

Here is a word of wisdom from Dr. Lucy Nose-All:

Never leave for tomorrow what you can eat today!

folly

Sensory & cognitive juxtaposition for the day: Fools and Fish.

Folly is a trait of fools. Today, I committed an act of folly, and hence for those moments, I donned the fool’s hat and cape. I saw a post on a good friend’s Facebook feed about smacking of young children, and I commented. The problem was my opinion is a controversial one and touches on a somewhat sensitive subject – one that the majority of humans, regardless of neurological culture, tend to share a common perspective on. The superiority of the human creature, and the ultimate wonder of the human young. I do not share this view, and I was open about it. I stated that I am dead against smacking. But I also offered some contrary views. Note that I very carefully worded my language to reflect a personal viewpoint. I was in no way declaring that anyone ought to adopt my Universal Truth. However, I was viciously attacked by one of my friend’s friends.  Continue reading

look me in the eye

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Looking in the eye

Demon of Anxiety

Not with a kiss

Nor with a sigh

Soft steady gaze

Resigned

If all hope should die

Inside inevitable tragedy

I have come this far

I should still be

Proud

of Me. Continue reading

dissimulation

I detest hypocrisy. Yet, sadly, over and over, I find myself resorting to shameful and disgusting pretense just to live ‘comfortably’ within the constructs of prevalent social constructs. All in the name of being ‘socially correct’ and not ‘rocking the boat.’ There are too many examples of this tiresome practice to cite in this one blog post, suffice to say all of them emanate from the miry tangled depths of the complex, gaseous-fluid nebulous neurotypical social system. Continue reading