Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Let's talk about Suicide

There are a few things I rarely do on this blog, because I don't want this blog to turn into that kind of blog, I want this blog to be fun, with fun tips and interesting things I do with my family.  It's a way they can look back and see what happened over the years and stuff.  So I don't usually post anything political even though I have very strong views, and I don't usually post anything about those harder subjects either that parents have to face.  But today I'm going to talk about Suicide because it Sucks!!

On Monday there were 4 suicides in Red Deer.  Four families lost loved ones who were close to them, four families now have to face the reality of a world where that loved is not here.  And it SUCKS!! It sucks when you don't know the families because if  you are human you can empathize and you know they are going through hell right now.  It sucks even more when your kids were acquaintances and you have to talk with them about why someone would make that choice and how they can offer help to friends if they see them in that position ever again.  It sucks even more when you know the family because they are friends of yours who has lost someone to suicide.  It sucks when it's your friend, it sucks when it's your partner, it SUCKS!!!

And the truth is it can happen to anyone and it can happen for any reason.  When you are in that deep, dark place there is no exit strategy unless you have already built one in and sometimes that doesn't happen.  It's no one's fault, and you can "should" yourself to death but that won't change what's happened.  So don't dwell on those things that can't change this horrible ordeal, that will only make it worse,  suicide sucks and it's indicative of a bigger issue.  Sometimes people attempt and it's a cry for help and sometimes there is no attempt and loved ones are left with a million plus questions and scenarios running through their minds.  I've no other word for it Suicide sucks!!!

But what can we do about it? How do we help those we don't even know are calling for help?  How do we help those that shut us out, or have acted out time and time again and we are at our wits end with them?

I don't have a magic solution that will help everyone. I don't have the answer, and as much as I wish I did, because trust me I wish I did, I wish I knew what to teach people to help everyone from choosing Suicide, I just don't.  All I have are suggestions that come from my common sense.....they aren't fail proofs but I guess they are things that would help based on my training and education.

First I've taken A.S.I.S.T training for 6 years now. That stands for Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, it's a very good course but it can be quite emotional.  I've also taken some university counselling classes for my teaching degree. I'm by no means an expert, but if my writing this blog can help one person help another person, then this is worth it.

So here are some things I do that I've learned in communicating with kids.

1) Listen to what your kids are saying and what they AREN'T saying. Sometimes what they aren't saying is much more profound than what they are saying.  Don't interrupt your kids when they are talking and telling you things, especially if it's a question you've asked.  Let silence be your friend and the quiet prompter that encourages your kid to talk.  If you are always rushing them through their conversations they won't share fully, they will only share with you what they think you want to hear.

2) Invade their space!  It's your house, they just live there. You can go into their room from time to time, knock if they are in their and might be changing, but at the end of the day it's your house if you need to look in the room to figure out what's going on with them, to get a hint as to what their life is like when you aren't around then do it. Yes some parents are going to say that's an invasion of their privacy, my response is so what.  So what! It's my house and they are MY kid, I need to know what's going on so I can help them!! If I don't snoop and they aren't talking to me how am I going to find out.

3) Spend quality time with your kids.  I don't care what it is, but you should spend time with your kids each day.  Maybe it's supper, maybe it's watching a show, maybe it's going for a drive, cooking supper.  We are all busy, but giving your kids 15 mins of undivided attention does wonder for the kids.  I worked with a program called FAST (Families and Schools Together) that taught parents to spend 15 mins with their kids each night.  The feedback from the families was that it improved their relationships with their kids immensely and it helped them learn to have positive interactions with them.   We are all busy, there is so much in this world that is vying for our attention, sometimes we have to shut out the outside and just focus on the people that matter.  This 15 mins of quality time can change as the kids get younger.  I read to my littlest ones, but with my teenager, we cook together and then we also watch certain shows together on a regular basis, I would never watch some shows without him.

4) Ask the hard questions.  If you suspect, or fear or even want to know what they know about it ask them.  Kids aren't dumb and if you aren't asking they aren't sharing.  Don't think it can't happen to you, because it can happen to anyone.  And do not think that by asking you are putting the idea in their head, if they aren't thinking it when you ask they won't be afterwards, and if they are, it happened before you asked and their are other questions you are going to need to follow up on.  You are the parent or adult you need to be willing to have these conversations. If you aren't they won't think it matters. You can't put your head in the sand!!!

5) In the end if the person you are talking to says they are suicidal, don't condemn them! Don't tell them they shouldn't feel that way! Don't talk to them about all they would be leaving behind! Be present with them, be there in that moment with them and then work on a plan to get them to the next day or get them to someone who is a professional to help them.  Not everyone is going to tell you, not everyone will talk about it, but if you aren't willing to talk to them they won't talk to you.  Make a plan, and give them control.  So if you are struggling with helping them through this, due to emotions or it being a foreign concept for you to wrap your head around don't just thrust them on a stranger without their approval, let them choose the counsellor, let them make choices is different options.  If you don't know how to offer those choices call the kids help line, a suicide hotline, Health link.  Get help for you, but be honest with them too, let them know you are struggling, let them see that you are scared, be authentic. you don't have to have all the answers, but you have to be willing to look for them.

These are some other helpful websites you could go check for more information!! I hope this helps and I hope that anyone dealing in this issue finds peace!! My heart goes out to anyone who's been affected by Suicide!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Be-YOU-tiful Blog: Hair 101.2

So the last blog I talked about the hairstyles I've had through the years and which were my favs and why.  I don't think I posted one that I didn't like and really there haven't been any, just ones I like less because of the problems they bring (styling wise).  But today I want to talk about what I think makes beautiful hair and how to have beautiful hair.

I think the best hair is healthy hair!! It's not about the coif, it's about how healthy it looks, if it looks greasy or brittle maybe we need to fix that but hair doesn't have to have a fancy style, up do, whatever it just has to be healthy.

I suffer from dry hair.  It drys out really easy and then it gets frizzy. I have a natural wave (that's what I call it) so it has these kinks in it and can drive me crazy!! But the worst is when my hair feels dry, because then it makes me feel like it's unhealthy and that's when my split ends seem to multiple.  I use Hair masques and deep conditioning conditioners to battle my dry hair.  I don't have any one product that I've found that I love, I do like to try different things to find the one I love.  I guess because I don't have to deal with dry hair all the time (this is a brutal winter situation) I forget what I've used and love so I find new things.  Right now I'm using a product from L'oreal.  It's really good, and I love Redkins moisture shampoo and conditioner.

I was very disappointed recently by the Big Sexy Hair line. Their Big Healthy Hair shampoo and conditioner for moisturizing hair did not live up to my expectations of the other products I have tried. I didn't find that moisturized my hair but my hair did smell good!!

After my hair is washed I like to use Moroccan Oil to give it that added moisture that i need.  I also don't use a lot of product when styling my hair.  I don't use a lot of hairspray if any and like I said before I don't use irons on my hair that often either so that's one of my blessings.  I know not everyone has that, we will call it an opportunity, because some people have to style their hair because their hair has a mind of it's own.  I do love the Big Sexy Line of products they are my favourite but I also like the Chi line that's a very good line especially for my flat iron!

What hair problems do you have struggles with?  What products do you love for your hair?

Monday, 20 April 2015

I'm losing it!!

I'm seriously losing it!! Now not everything is telling me that I'm losing it, but the most important indicator is saying I'm losing it and that's what's important!

I feel conflicted by this news, I mean for years I've depended on the balance to let me know where I was and now I can't count on that, everything is off balance and nothing is being correctly indicated in that area. Now I've found a new way to test and it's almost compulsive the way I use this tool to check what I've lost, but at the end of the day I'm losing it!!

Now any of you who read my blog on a regular, semi regular basis probably have guessed to what I'm referring or are least know that it's not my mind (let's be honest I lost that a long time ago).  I'm talking about my journey to physical health and I'm getting there and losing the unwanted extras that have attached themselves to my body.

The SCALE, that horrible thing that rates how your body responds to the gravity on the earth is a horrible liar!! It keeps saying I'm gaining and not losing at all, so I am done with that thing!! I hate it!! (But to be honest, I'll probably still go check it once a month to check if I'm losing any weight, but it's not my big indicator of what's going on not anymore, because it is a liar)

No I am losing inches.  In the last 8 weeks I have lost a total of 32 inches.  Now this is from an all over body measuring total, my body was a scary 370 inches when I started, measuring my neck, chest (2 areas) waist (2 areas), hips, legs (2 areas) and biceps.  And today after my measuring I am down 32 inches, that used to be my band size, it's not right now but I'll get back there. To break it down more I have lost 3 inches at the smallest part of my waist, 3 inches across my belly button and 1 inch across my hips.  I've also lost 1.5 inches under the arms and above the chest, but I've lost 5 inches across my nipple line.  I'm so happy with these results and yeah to not nursing anymore!!

So I'm on my way, I'm seeing a difference and I have 18 inches to go to be at my goal measuring at this rate I should hit that before I'm back to work full time.  It will be nice to be able to fit into my clothes for work again and actually wear clothes that aren't just yoga pants. Nothing against yoga pants but I like to dress up for work and right now that wardrobe does not fit and I need it to fit!!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Friday Five: It's all in the Brand!!

Well today's Friday Five with Mar, Cynthia and Courtney is all about Brands that we love.  I sort of struggle with this topic because as much as I appreciate brands, I am always looking for a deal and deals and brands aren't always synonymous with each other. So I am that girl that will buy the knock-off because it's that much cheaper, but there are a few brands I love and I can definitely say it has a lot to do with the marketing.  So here are 5 Brands I love!!

1) Anything Saskatchewan Roughrider!! I'm a prairie girl and I love me some CFL and I LOVE the Roughriders!! During the CFL season I bleed green!! This isn't a brand per se, but this company has invested a lot of marketing into it's brand and it's become a recognized name around the world.  I have found Saskatchewan Roughrider Wine from Chile.  Yeah it's made it's mark around the world!! So I love anything Saskatchewan Roughrider, if it's got the S Flag in it I probably want to buy it!

2) Nike.  I am a Nike girl through and through, have been since I was 14.  There is just something about their shoes and they way they fit my feet that I am beyond in love with!  I've tried other runners Saucony, which are great, but Nike runners are where it's at of this girl!

3) Apple! I've converted from a PC to an apple user. After getting my first iPhone and macbook I was hooked.  I love them.  Not so fond that some of my games aren't as easy to operate on the iOS but I've found loop holes and got love me some loop holes.  Who knows how long this love affair will last, but for now I'm on the Apple B(r)and wagon and you won't see me stepping down for anything!

4) Kate Spade! LOVE HER! I love her bags, her clothes, glasses everything! I love it and I love ebay for allowing me to be able to afford my Kate Spade obsession.  After my first work pay check I will be treating myself to a new Kate Spade purchase!! I love the durability and classic lines of Kate Spade's designs! I'm all about Classic looks!

5) Old Navy or Banana Republic.  Ok I've put these two together because even though they are separate brands they sister companies.  I love Old Navy for my casual wear and jeans, but I love Banana Republic for my grown up business attire, I especially love Banana Republic Factory Outlet stores!! Banana Republic has these great trouser jeans that I adore.  I must own like 4 pairs of the same jean!! They fit me like a dream and look amazing on me so how could I not.  But I love Old Navy for their classic cut jeans and for their casual tops and even their workout gear is cool!  So if you ever see me out shopping it will likely be at one of these two stores.

What are five brands you love?

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Be-YOu-tiful: Hair 101

I'm going to do a few blogs on things that contribute to outward beauty.  I think beauty is a package deal, inside and out, so your outside has to match your inside and sometimes, just sometimes the outside is easier to understand than the inside so let's start easy.  Let's talk about finding your Hair.

Wait, wait, I know it's on top of your head (yes I have voices of my friends making smart ass comments like that, so I answer those voices in this blog).  What I mean is how do you find the hair style that goes with your personality.  In my life I've had many different hair styles, and hair colours.  Any time I've changed my hair I've loved it (I love change, I thrive on it) but there are some hair styles that I like more than others.

Here I had long blond hair for my wedding, it was great!! I am pretty proficient at doing various up does and it always allowed me to have different styles. Funny tidbit, I didn't think my hair was that long when it was this length but it was very long!!

Here I had my shortest hair ever and it was a brown with highlights.  I really liked this hair style because it was super easy to do, I would literally just wake up, run my fingers through my hair and it was good to go.  My hair has volume in it so that made it easy.  It's just growing it out from this length sucks there are so many in between lengths that are no fun to get through!

Here I have long hair and I went a deep auburn colour. This colour definitely makes my eyes pop and I loved it!! But I'm not a fan of all one colour for my hair, I like to have tones and highlights.  Yeah I'm picky that way

Here I have short blond hair in and angle cut. It was probably one of my favourite hair styles. It was still long enough to put in a pony tail, and it was off my shoulders and felt so light and nice.  I really loved this hair style!!

But this is my favourite hair style and cut.  It's just past my shoulders to the mid of my back when straight but it curled really nicely and it was a nice caramel colour with blond peek a boo high lights. I Loved this style and this is the one I want to get back to.  Plus it's easy to maintain and easy to style.

So as you can see I've gone through a multitude of hair styles and I've loved every one of them!! There are styles I've loved more than others.  I'm not the biggest fan of the really blond short hair, it was fun but it wasn't my favourite.  I didn't feel my best with that hair, but the caramel with blond that's the style I loved and felt my best with!  I have four more inches to go and I should be at the right length then it's just a matter of getting the cut right!!

One thing I've learned is that I need to take care of my hair.  I personally don't wash it every day, I've been blessed with great hair, it holds curl and it straightens well, it doesn't get too greasy EVER, so I wash it two to three times a week, like every third day or so.  There are certain times of the year when I have to wash it more, especially during marathon training, but I like to let the natural oils condition my hair to help keep it healthy and it does.  I also use Moroccan Oil on my hair once a week.  My hair can get dry so using the Moroccan oil helps it stay healthy.  I also try not to use heated tools on my hair too often. If I straighten it one day I won't straighten it or curl it until after I've washed it again.

I think it's very important that you find a hairstyle that fits your personality. Once you have that it bolsters your confidence in such away that it's impossible not to feel amazing.  It's why we love going to the hairdressers ( and for the shampooing and scalp massage) because when we leave we feel amazing, even if we know we will never be able to do the hairstyle we left with!!

So what is your favourite hair style?  DO you have a colour you prefer? Who is your hair role Model?

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

11 Months, seems like Forever!!

I remember getting Lil Man's school calendar in September and thinking it was going to be forever before May hit, 9 months away, and yet here we are two weeks out of May and I can't believe how fast the time has gone.

Prince T has grown into a delightful baby!! He's mostly happy, quite stubborn but easy to get along with, he just knows what he wants and he knows how to get it.  He's really started doing some neat things now.  He's not walking yet, but he's pulling himself up and standing with assistance, he claps, he waves hi and bye and he still blows kisses.  He loves his brothers and he enjoys spending time with Daddy.

There are some marked differences between him and Lil Man when Lil Man was that age.  Prince T doesn't fight sleep, he lays down for his naps without fuss and sleeps well during his naps. He's still taking two naps a day and he is in bed by 7 every night.  He's a creature of routine.  Lil Man wasn't quite this easy, he'd fight naps, he'd walk around and do anything to stay awake when he was tired and bed by 7 forget it, Lil man wouldn't go to sleep until 9 or 10 and he had to have you sleep with him.  Lil Man and Prince T have an equally determined attitude, when they get an idea in their head that's what they want and so help anyone who stands in their way.

Prince T loves to play with his brothers, he loves to be read to, and he really likes Justin Time (thanks Lil Man).  Prince T also likes to eat, but he's particular about what foods he feeds himself and what foods you are allowed to feed to him.  Going outside is another favourite activity of Prince T, he loves being outside as long as he's bundled up he'd love to be outside all day long.  I'm so glad it's nice out again, soon he'll be playing in the yard and chasing his big brother around.

Prince T isn't a fan of staying up for long periods of time, he enjoys his sleep.  He also is showing signs of an allergy to Milk, so we've switched him to Almond Milk, which has helped.  He's no longer having explosive diapers that require him to be showered twice or three times a day, hopefully he will grow out of it or at least not be so sensitive to it that he can't enjoy other things like cheese and yogurt and ice cream, but if it goes the other way we will figure that out too!!

I have one more month at home with him full time, but actually only two weeks because I'm going back to work on May 4th.  And then I return full time on May 19th.  I'm excited and sad at the same time.  I'm hoping to work more in the evenings then the day time so I can spend more day time hours with my boys while they are awake!!

Happy 11 Months Prince T, we LOVE you forever and ever!!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Be-YOU-tiful: Defining Beauty

What it beauty? What makes a person beautiful? Who decides what the benchmark for beauty is? These are all questions society struggles with on an universal level.  But every culture, every society, every group has it's own definition which makes defining beauty one of the hardest tasks I've ever encountered.  Beauty is very subjective and we each have our own parameters for what makes someone beautiful, the funny thing is it's not often centred around physical beauty.

I've struggled with this term for most of my life.  I've never had self esteem issues that I wasn't physically attractive, but I've had self confidence issues that maybe I wasn't my best self and that others were better than me.  My friends were skinnier, better at fashion, funnier, had better hair and so on and so on.  And my battles have changed from year to year but they've helped me define Beauty for me.

Here are some of the big triggers of low self confidence for me!

1) I've struggled with having facial hair, not a lot but enough to be noticeable, at a time when I felt like I was the only one (I've since learned that most of us struggle with it, High Five Ladies who share my struggle) I eventually learned about waxing and well my life has never been the same!!

2) I've never been Kate Moss-esque.  I grew up in the height of Kate Moss as the "It" girl supermodel!! So depressing after Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington, Nikki Taylor who were all more or less built like me, then came Kate Moss, the tine waif like creature and that was the new look.  And she's pretty but for a girl with curves she is not someone to idolize, but she was everywhere, and people wanted her look, so because I was 16 I also wanted her look, not understanding that that look was an impossibility for me.  So I felt bad about myself because I could never been quite skinny enough. But beauty, or magazine beauty has a way of waxing and waning and now we are back to having girls with curves as our ideals.  I wish I could go back and tell my 16 year old self that I was fine just as I was.

3) My girlfriends were smaller than me.  I'm tall, I stand 5'8" tall, which isn't the tallest girl around but I was the tallest girl in my social circle, plus as mentioned above I have curves.  Therefore, I was bigger than most of my friends. So add this on top of not being like Kate Moss, which some of my friends were, and you have a compounding issue of self confidence destruction.

4) In my younger years I was very envious, and the traits I was envious of were those of physical beauty.  I envied my friend who could pull off all these neat hair styles regardless of the length of her hair. I was stuck in pony tail mode, with the rare occurrence of a braid.  I envied my friend who had tons of make up and could put on make up like it was no big deal, she knew different tricks and how to high light and contour before that was even something the general population really knew about.  I envied those girls who could wear single digit clothing, while I was stuck in my size 10-12.

5) I have imperfect teeth.  I never got braces as a teenager because an orthodontist told me that I had a gap in my teeth because my teeth were narrow and the braces could pull them together but they would still have a gap somewhere else in my teeth.  Not exactly a selling feature for having a mouth full of metal for two years at the pinnacle of my self esteem development.  So I never pursued it, and I have a gap between my front two teeth.  It's quirky and fun, but when having perfect straight teeth is desirable, well let's just say I have a lot of pictures where I'm smiling with a closed mouth.  I don't mind my gap now but I am still thinking of fixing it with braces. However, I am now at an age where I can afford some dentistry so maybe I will go for it, but it's not going to change who I am.

Those were and are my top five self confidence triggers.  Why is my self confidence important for defining beauty?  Well in my opinion, whenever I focused on my deficits, as I saw them, in any of those five areas, were the times I didn't feel beautiful, but when I accepted myself, with those "flaws" then I did feel beautiful.  See?

For me beauty isn't so much the physical attributes, they help, but your self confidence is what pulls the package together.  When I would focus on my flaws, I noticed more people noticed them, but when I would accept them and have a devil may care attitude about them I didn't notice people noticing the little things, I noticed them noticing ME.

So here is my definition of beauty.  Beauty is a fluid and subjective concept that takes attributes from physical and abstract concepts to create an ideal for the beholder.  One person's beautiful will be another person's ugly, but at the end of the day Beauty is about being YOU, being what you want the world to see and owning that part of you! At the end of the day it doesn't matter if you please everyone, it MATTERS that you accept yourself and that the people who care about you the most accept you for you!  Beauty is a whole package, it's not just the looks, but if the inside is incongruent with the outside it won't matter what the outside looks like.

What is your definition of Beauty?

Monday, 13 April 2015

Welcome back from Easter Break

It's been awhile since my last blog!! Not my longest break by any means, but a break none the less.  The last two weeks have been Easter Break in Red Deer.  The first week had the oldest son off and the second week the youngest was off.  I also had my nieces for the second week as they were off school as well. Needless to say this was a busy household and I was exhausted!!

I really don't know how people with lot's of kids do it!! I admire them, I mean I have three which is what I'd consider a do-able number.  Especially since there is an 11 year gap between my oldest and middle child.  So I really only have two children and a teenager, and my middle child, Lil Man, is becoming more and more independent each day so that leaves just the baby.

When my nieces were here they are 3 and 8 years younger than my oldest so they fit right in the middle of my kids.  I then had 5 kids from 16 to 10 months!! Scary thing is they could have all been mine with the age gaps.  I love my nieces but I'm so thankful I don't have 5 kids all the time.  It's exhausting!! How do you parents do it???

I suppose it's like anything, you get used to it, so then you aren't as exhausted as I am, and after awhile I'm sure things fall into a routine, but I'm sure you are exhausted by the end of the day and I don't blame you!! It also makes a difference that the youngest were off school the same time the nieces were here so there was a lot of what can we do, let's do something activities.  My personal parenting belief is that kids should be outside whenever they can be, for as long as possible! We have iPads, tablets, Netflix, Video Game consoles, but I like to keep those things for the weekend and not during the week.  I also think kids should earn those treats of screen time and it shouldn't just be something they do.  Not that giving your child screen time is lazy parenting, I've done it a time or too, but I would just rather they come up with other activities, and be active, burn off that energy as opposed to letting it build for the world's largest temper tantrum when you turn the screens off.  Or does this just happen in my house?

Well I'm back to blogging and I'm going to be doing a series of Beauty Blogs that I'm entitling Be-YOU-tiful!! They will be all about finding my beauty journey, inside and out.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have been enjoying the journey!!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

I Don't Need to Drink the Kool-aid

I like to surround myself with people that have different view points on the world because as they share their view points it broadens my view of the world.  Maybe that sounds selfish, but I feel that when we stop trying to see different points of views we become stagnant and closed minded and I don't want to be closed minded or seen as judgemental.  I guess I should clarify a couple things before I start.

Closed Minded individuals, for the purpose of this specific blog, are those individuals who refuse to see things from another perspective.  They grab onto a view or belief and anyone who does not agree with them 100% are classified as stupid (which is not a true use of the word).  They also push their viewpoint on you vigorously and when you give them facts to refute their claims, they mention their expert and how they wish their expert could set you straight.  Closed minded individuals live in a very black and white world, it's black or it's white there are no colours and shades of grey, forget about it.  I feel closed minded people are those people who bomb abortion clinics, who throw red paint on a lady wearing a fur coat, who shame you for working in the Oil Sands, and so on and so on.

Being judgemental is a human characteristic, but there are two types of judgemental people.  Those who judge a situation and base it on their life and their understanding of what they have experienced and those who judge another person's way of life as being right or wrong.  I fall into the first category, I hear different view points, I've seen different documentaries some of them I've adapted to my life, some I've dismissed.  But I don't judge those people that choose to do differently as right or wrong, good or bad, they are just making different choices and it works for them so that is completely fine.

I always like learning new things, and often after a conversation with a friend I will process what they have told me.  In the midst of the conversation I may not fall down as a blind follower and tell them they are completely right, but that doesn't mean I don't take into account what they have said and think of how to apply it to my life.  But I like to come to things on my own, I'm not a blind follower and just because someone says this is the way of the world, does not mean that that is my reality.  I'd make a very bad cult follower!

I get frustrated though when people assume I'm stupid because I won't drink the Kool-aid they are passing around. I may hold the Kool aid for a bit or I may out and out refuse it, but at the end of the day that is my choice and so long as I am not speaking negatively about the person it shouldn't matter if we have different beliefs.

I find that people become zealots about different things in life.  So they buy into what they believe to be true and won't or can't see another perspective.  For example, PETA participants (not all of them, but some) have been known to throw blood or red paint on women who wear fur coats because the fur coat came from an animal and killing animals for their skin is wrong.  Ok that's all well and good that they believe that and that they live their life according to that, but that doesn't mean everyone has too.  How do these people know that that fur coat wasn't a family heirloom the only thing their great grandmother was able to save in the war and bring over to this new world, and it was the coat she wore to get a job because it was the only nice thing she had.  That animal then died well before PETA existed, in a time where animals probably weren't just killed for their furs, and if they were that was the way it was.  It doesn't mean the lady wearing the fur was sending out people to kill more animals to make more fur coats for herself, she just wanted to wear a coat to feel connected to her familial past.  Now it's ruined because a PETA zealot decided that their way was the only way and anyone else continuing to perpetrate an old ideal was wrong (stupid, soulless insert your own adjective).  I don't wear fur, but I have shoes that are leather so I obviously don't buy into the PETA ideal, but I don't think people who choose to live that life are bad either.  They are making a different choice, I just don't believe in everything they stand for so I can't count myself in as a believe of them.  I do agree that animals shouldn't be mistreat or abused, that they shouldn't be used for testing products on.  I agree to support companies that are actively not testing on animals but I'll also support companies that are working towards not testing on animals.

I also think their's a line too.  I mean in the above example the PETA person was very concerned with the animal that had died to become a coat.  Very admirable but that person completely disrespected another HUMAN being!! For me it's not wonder they get a bad reputation.  If you are all for the dignified treatment of animals then you should at least be willing to treat humans the same.  You can't sit there and say it's wrong to disrespect animals and mistreat them, when you are willing to disrespect and mistreat humans.  That doesn't make sense, how can we treat animals better then we treat our fellow humans.

At the end of the day that's what it comes down to, for me.  I'm very much for the fair treatment of all the creatures on this planet, I think it's important to keep a balanced ecosystem, but I also think it's very important that we treat HUMANS fairly. That we become more upset about a group of missing women in our country as opposed to someone still eating Beef.  That we become more upset about the women who are forced into the sex trade instead of being upset that a company still tests on Animals because it's required to sell in China.  I can't get on board with all this animal stuff until I see things happening that improve how we treat humans.

Saving that animals has not shown any indication to how we will save ourselves.  People that save the animals aren't always concerned with the ramifications it has on the people, (again I'm not talking extreme cases)  People who don't believe in the Rodeo and Chuck Wagon Races because it's cruel to the horses, refuse to see the other human side of the issue.  Families that are involved with these sporting organizations are multigenerational, it's how they make a living, if they have to stop, who is going to support them? Who is going to help them learn new skills to contribute to society?  And then what of the horses?  Horses that have been bread since the Chariot Races in the Coliseum, to race are all of a sudden being put out to pasture, even those horses that are born to be racers but don't make the cut still naturally run, and race hard on their own and if they don't get enough work they become harder and harder to handle and dangerous.

The point of this blog is to promote tolerance, and acceptance.  I don't have to drink your kool aid to respect you as a person. I don't have to be aligned with your beliefs to understand your point of view or respect that you see things differently.  But just because I don't see them they same way doesn't mean I'm stupid, it doesn't mean that I have not given thought to what you said, it just means based on my own belief system I will respectfully disagree with you. It doesn't make your views wrong, it just means I'm choosing a different path.