Monday, July 25, 2011

The Abbey by the Sea...

My weekend was gladly spent sitting in a castle chapel, gothic windows open to the sea, musicians with hurdy gurdies, psalteries and tribal drums, spellbinding bellydancers, wonderful conversations and beautiful costumes, a jewelry booth in one of my favorite settings ever. Oh, and a chambord brownie. Yum!

In my downtime, I took many photos of the inspirational architecture and the museum's collection of artifacts both real and replica. These images were taken only in my small area if you can believe it, you just have to visit yourself to see the rest of the magic :) John and Rich, the "keepers of the castle" are great folks too, and I was really happy to see them again after too many years. 

Sadly I have to mention my grievance with the prevalence of fur tails at festivals lately.
I find it a very sad "trend" and do not feel any better by being told that they are "humanely harvested" or gathered from roadkill (are there really that many animals killed on the road with undamaged fur to support that amount of business?)

Finny where he was happiest, at the ocean's shoreline

All it looks like to me is the tail of my beautiful dog Finny, may he rest in peace, chopped off and stuck on someone's behind. In my mind, foxes, raccoons, coyotes and rabbits are no different than the cats and dogs that bring so much joy and love into our home. I do not believe in PETA style confrontation or shaming, that tends to create the "I wear it to spite them" mentality, instead of having a thoughtful, empathetic dialogue about the realities of the industry. Just hoping that this trend goes away doesn't feel like a good enough option for me, but I really don't know what else to do but speak my mind on this controversial subject. 

Luckily, I am not alone in speaking out for those who cannot speak for themselves. Please view the below links if you are so inclined, but please be advised that some may contain upsetting images and information. Sadly for some it needs to be seen, to learn the truth.

 The Discerning Brute: Tail between the Legs: blog 1 & blog 2

an eyeopening article from the Guardian: Happy Animals: a shared capacity for feeling demands a radical shift in our relationship with the animal world 
I also like these quotes by the wonderful Tim Gunn:

"Wearing fur is like wearing a big sign reading, 'I'm in favor of inflicting cruelty and pain on animals as a fashion statement.' Unspeakable torture is inflicted on dogs, cats, bunnies, raccoons, foxes, minks, and myriad trapped, helpless creatures in the name of fashion—yes, dogs and cats."

"I would say if you're going to use fur, you have a responsibility to know its origins. "

and finally: Meet Gidget & Gadget . Warning: they will steal your heart away!