Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Love Dolphins and Eating Tuna?

There are a few big surprises in this list. I thought buying albacore made eating tuna fish safer for dolphins. And I thought buying tuna at Trader Joe's made it safer yet. Wrong. Trader Joe's and Costco are in the red zone along with Target and Walmart. We can make a difference. Shop wisely.

To view the individual rankings and why they are ranked that way, click on the Greenpeace shopping guide, then on the individual cans.

2017 Tuna Shopping Guide

Open Tuna Can
How does your can stack up?
We’ve ranked 20 well-known canned tuna brands that can be found in grocery stores nationwide based on how sustainable, ethical, and fair their tuna products are for our oceans—and for the workers that help get the products to store shelves.
If you’re going to buy tuna, make sure to choose a responsibly-caught option.

How the Brands Ranked

Wild Planet Tuna Can

#1 Wild Planet

American Tuna Can

#1 American Tuna

Whole Foods 365 Tuna Can

#3 Whole Foods

Ocean Naturals Tuna Can

#4 Ocean Naturals

Hy-Vee Tuna Can

#5 Hy-Vee

Wegmans Tuna Can

#6 Wegmans

Giant Eagle Tuna Can

#7 Giant Eagle

Albertsons Open Nature Tuna Can

#8 Albertsons

ALDI Northern Catch Tuna Can


Ahold Delhaize Food Lion Tuna Can

#10 Ahold Delhaize

Kroger Tuna Can

#11 Kroger

Target Market Pantry Tuna Can

#12 Target

Costco Kirkland Signature Tuna Can

#13 Costco

SUPERVALU Wild Harvest Tuna Can


Chicken of the Sea Tuna Can

#15 Chicken of the Sea

Trader Joe's Tuna Can

#16 Trader Joe's

Bumble Bee Tuna Can

#17 Bumble Bee

Great Value Tuna Can

#18 Walmart

H‑E‑B Tuna Can

#19 H‑E‑B

StarKist Tuna Can 

Chicken of the Sea is owned by the world’s largest tuna company—Thai Union. Thanks to your support, Thai Union is exploring ways to ensure its products are responsibly caught. It’s up to us to ensure that Chicken of the Sea commits to protect the oceans and human rights.

Tell Chicken of the Sea to clean up its act!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

How can anyone drink this---?

Cluwak - Coffee Luwak - Tasting is Believing

Indulgence pack: Kopi Luwak Gold (200g) + Black (200g) Labels

Kopi Luwak Indulgence Pack 

Price: $349

What they want you to believe

"Kopi Luwak Gold Label beans are sourced from the Bengkulu plantations in Southwestern Sumatra, Indonesia, where freely roaming wild palm civets can choose the best and the ripest coffee berries through a process of natural selection. Digestive mechanisms enhance the flavor of the ingested whole coffee beans, resulting in an orange winey flavour with a hint of roasted truffles."

Do you really believe they have workers walking around collecting Civet "dropping?" Or is this the more likely truth?


Kopi Luwak is also known as caphe cut chon (fox-dung coffee) in Vietnam and kape alamid in the Philippines. It is coffee that is prepared using coffee cherries that have been eaten and partially digested by the Asian palm civet, then harvested from its fecal matter.[6][7] The civets digest the flesh of the coffee cherries but pass the beans inside, leaving their stomach enzymes to go to work on the beans, which adds to the coffee's prized aroma and flavor.[6] 0.5 kg (1 lb) can cost up to $600 in some parts of the world and about $100 a cup in others.[8]

A 2012 investigation by The Guardian newspaper found Indonesian civets held separately in cramped cages. The animals were force-fed a debilitating diet of coffee cherries in conditions described by the Traffic charity as "awful" and "horrific".[9] There is a campaign under way to encourage "ethical civet coffee".[10] Evidence suggests that the SARS virus crossed over to humans from Asian palm civets ("civet cats") which raised concerns over the safety of civet coffee.[11][12] 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Death in Slow Motion

 Trump gives pen to Dow's CEO
Do you see a link between the mindset of men who permit the use chemical warfare on their own citizens? Or is it just me?
On the same day Syria's president unleashed nerve gas on his own citizens, Donald Trump signed an "executive" order stripping away a number of environmental protections including the use of the Dow Chemical pesticide, chlorpyrifos, then handed the pen he signed with to Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical.

Chlorpyrifos is an endocrine disrupter, meaning it can cause "adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects," according to the National Institutes of Health. In other words, it's harmful to the brains of children.

Mother Jones
UPDATE (3-29-2017): EPA director Scott Pruitt signed an order denying the agency's own proposal to ban chlorpyrifos, according to a Wednesday afternoon press release. "We need to provide regulatory certainty to the thousands of American farms that rely on chlorpyrifos, while still protecting human health and the environment,” Pruitt said in a written statement. “By reversing the previous Administration’s steps to ban one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, we are returning to using sound science in decision-making – rather than predetermined results.”

By Friday, President Donald Trump's Environmental Protection Agency will have to make a momentous decision: whether to protect kids from a widely used pesticide that's known to harm their brains—or protect the interests of the chemical's maker, Dow AgroSciences.

The pesticide in question, chlorpyrifos, is a nasty piece of work. It's an organophosphate, a class of bug killers that work by "interrupting the electrochemical processes that nerves use to communicate with muscles and other nerves," as the Pesticide Encyclopedia puts it

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

About as Appalling as it gets

The dissection of Marius, at the Copenhagen Zoo, on February 9, 2014.
From the Jan. 16, 2017 New Yorker
My father was Danish. Rorby is a Danish name. This makes me none to proud of that fact. Not only do I think this is appalling on so many levels, I also don't think it's something children should be exposed to. I remember too clearly the day my first dog died. My Yankee parents moved to Florida and didn't know about heartworms. I was five when Butch and I raced up our porch stairs and he fell over dead. I was 9 or 10 when Mom took me to see the circus. We stopped to watch the elephants parade through downtown Orlando. Right in front of us, one of them collapsed and died. We never went to that circus, or any other. 

I write realistic animal stories, but I sure as hell wouldn't want a child of mine exposed to this inhumane practice. I'd like to continue laboring under the belief zoos teach us to respect and value animals, and are a refuge for the endangered. This practice, even if necessary on a financial level, teaches children to view animals as something less than we humans are. Teaching disrespect for nature only adds to our egocentric view of the world and is at the root of habitat destruction and the loss of animal (and plant) species. 

The Culling

Killing Animals at the Zoo


At Danish zoos, surplus animals are euthanized—and dissected before the public

"One afternoon last January, two years after staff members at the Copenhagen Zoo surprised many people by shooting a healthy young giraffe, dissecting it in public, and then feeding its remains to lions, another Danish zoo was preparing for a public dissection." 

"The Copenhagen Zoo has considered, and rejected, the idea of breeding animals that could be supplied to visitors as meat."

I guess we can consider this a moral high mark. GR

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Why I Write IV

I get letters from readers almost daily. I love them all, but once in a while one brings me to tears.
Hi Ginny!
Just wanted to update you a bit! Sorry it's been so long, things have been pretty busy, but I have some exciting news. 
I'm a senior this year, and I just received my acceptance letter to my top choice college for their Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing program English major. The school is renowned for its early- and special-education programs, and they have a 5-year integrated Bachelors and Masters program. This year my school introduced ASL as a class to fulfill the foreign language requirement, and my teacher is excellent with tapering to her students and having individual expectations from each so we get the most from the class. Also, they've added a relatively new Bridge program and I'm close friends with a Deaf student from the program. Her and her interpreter have been a tremendous help to me. I'll never forget the look on her face when I signed to her for the first time and pulled her into conversation with my friends. I truly feel like I'm making a difference, though a small one, because Joey's story gave me a glimpse of the Deaf perspective and helps me to understand that the little things matter. The message from Hurt Go Happy still sticks with me to this day, and it relates to my different life experiences as I grow older. My signed copy still sits rightfully displayed on my dresser; I would like to again say thank you. 
I hope all is well with you, and to hear back if you get the chance!

Friday, March 3, 2017

An Australian children's book author hates us. . .

 And who can blame her. If I was treated by Australian immigration the way she was treated, I'd feel the same. How is Trump's rhetoric making us safer? If you alienate your friends, who's left to care next time you need one.

Mem Fox on Being Detained by US Immigration: 'In That Moment I Loathed America'

By Mem Fox, Guardian UK
01 March 17
The celebrated Australian children’s author tells how on her 117th visit to the US she was suddenly at the mercy of Donald Trump’s visa regime
 was pulled out of line in the immigration queue at Los Angeles airport as I came in to the USA. Not because I was Mem Fox the writer – nobody knew that – I was just a normal person like anybody else. They thought I was working in the States and that I had come in on the wrong visa.
I was receiving an honorarium for delivering an opening keynote at a literacy conference, and because my expenses were being paid, they said: “You need to answer further questions.” So I was taken into this holding room with about 20 other people and kept there for an hour and 40 minutes, and for 15 minutes I was interrogated.
The room was like a waiting room in a hospital but a bit more grim than that. There was a notice on the wall that was far too small, saying no cellphones allowed, and anybody who did use a cellphone had someone stand in front of them and yell: “Don’t use that phone!” Everything was yelled, and everything was public, and this was the most awful thing, I heard things happening in that room happening to other people that made me ashamed to be human.
There was an Iranian woman in a wheelchair, she was about 80, wearing a little mauve cardigan, and they were yelling at her – “Arabic? Arabic?”. They screamed at her “ARABIC?” at the top of their voices, and finally she intuited what they wanted and I heard her say “Farsi”. And I thought heaven help her, she’s Iranian, what’s going to happen?
There was a woman from Taiwan, being yelled at about at about how she made her money, but she didn’t understand the question. The officer was yelling at her: “Where does your money come from, does it grow on trees? Does it fall from the sky?” It was awful.
There was no toilet, no water, and there was this woman with a baby. If I had been holed up in that room with a pouch on my chest, and a baby crying, or needing to be fed, oh God … the agony I was surrounded by in that room was like a razor blade across my heart.
When I was called to be interviewed I was rereading a novel from 40 years ago – thank God I had a novel. It was The Red and the Black by Stendhal – a 19th century novel keeps you quiet on a long flight, and is great in a crisis – and I was buried in it and didn’t hear my name called. And a woman in front of me said: “They are calling for Fox.” I didn’t know which booth to go to, then suddenly there was a man in front of me, heaving with weaponry, standing with his legs apart yelling: “No, not there, here!” I apologised politely and said I’d been buried in my book and he said: “What do you expect me to do, stand here while you finish it?” – very loudly and with shocking insolence.
The way I was interviewed was monstrous. If only they had been able to look into my suitcase and see my books. The irony! I had a copy of my new book I’m Australian, Too – it’s about immigration and welcoming people to live in a happy country. I am all about inclusivity, humanity and the oneness of the humans of the world; it’s the theme of my life. I also had a copy of my book Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. I told him I had all these inclusive books of mine in my bag, and he yelled at me: “I can read!”
He was less than half my age – I don’t look 70 but I don’t look 60 either, I’m an older woman – and I was standing the whole time. The belligerence and violence of it was really terrifying. I had to hold the heel of my right hand to my heart to stop it beating so hard.
They were not apologetic at any point. When they discovered that one of Australia’s official gifts to Prince George was Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, he held out his hand and said: “It’s been a pleasure to meet you, Ms Fox.” I was close to collapse, very close to fainting, and this nearly broke me – it was the creepiest thing of all.
I had been upright, dignified, cool and polite, and this was so cruelly unexpected, so appalling, that he should say it was a pleasure. It couldn’t have been a pleasure for him to treat me like that, unless he was a psychopath.
In that moment I loathed America. I loathed the entire country. And it was my 117th visit to the country so I know that most people are very generous and warm-hearted. They have been wonderful to me over the years. I got over that hatred within a day or two. But this is not the way to win friends, to do this to someone who is Australian when we have supported them in every damn war. It’s absolutely outrageous.
Later in the hotel room I was shaking like a leaf. I rang my friend, my American editor and bawled and bawled, and she told me to write it all down, and I wrote for two hours. I fell asleep thinking I would sleep for eight hours but I woke up an hour and a half later just sobbing. I had been sobbing in my sleep. It was very traumatic.
After I got back to Australia I had an apology from the American embassy. I was very impressed, they were very comforting, and I’ve had so many messages of support from Americans and American authors.
I am a human being, so I do understand that these people might not be well-trained, but they now have carte blanche to be as horrible and belligerent as they want. They’ve gone mad – they’ve got all the power that they want but they don’t have the training.
They made me feel like such a crushed, mashed, hopeless old lady and I am a feisty, strong, articulated English speaker. I kept thinking that if this were happening to me, a person who is white, articulate, educated and fluent in English, what on earth is happening to people who don’t have my power?
That’s the heartbreak of it. Remember, I wasn’t pulled out because I’m some kind of revolutionary activist, but my God, I am now. I am on the frontline. If we don’t stand up and shout, good sense and good will not prevail, and my voice will be one of the loudest.
That’s what it has taught me. I thought I was an activist before, but this has turned me into a revolutionary. I’m not letting it happen here. Instead of crying and being sad and sitting on a couch, I am going to write to politicians. I am going to call. I am going to write to newspapers. I am going to get on the radio. I will not be quiet. No more passive behaviour. Hear me roar.
Ginny's thought for the day: 
There is nothing scarier than a peon with power.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Shame, Shame, Shame.

Born male, seven-year-old Eli lives as a girl and attends a Jewish day ...
What makes which bathroom a transgender child uses so important to The Donald? With all the other messes he's created in his one month in office, how did this violation of the civil rights of CHILDREN, float to the top of his agenda? 

Could where a child pees be more important than, for example, sitting down for your daily intelligence briefing, or assessing the cost to American taxpayers of your weekend flights to Palm Beach on Airforce One? 

Transgenderism is the result of a prenatal hormonal mix-up, not the choice a rebellious two-year-old child makes. You cannot say antisemitism and racism have to stop out of one side of your mouth, and consign children to ridicule and a life of discrimination out the other.

 Trump at African-American History Museum denounces anti-semitism and racism: 'It has to stop.'

  Talk about timing...

  When We Rise