The Life of Kiska

kiska solitude

Kiska’s life can be described in one word. Pain.

Kiska was captured off the coast of Iceland when she was just 3 years old.   She has been in captivity for 37 years, she has given birth to 5 calves that, due to the conditions, have died.  The eldest lived until the age six.

Her first calf was born August, 24, 1992. It was an unnamed male and died October, 25, 1992.  He died of drowning.

Next was a male named Kanuck, born August 28, 1994.  He died four years later in 1998. He was seperated from Kiska and kept in a warehouse. He died of traumatic shock.

Her third calf was a male named Nova, born November, 6, 1996.  He died five years later August 20, 2001, of starvation and pneumonia.

Her fourth calf was a male named Hudson. Of the calves he lived the longest. He was born September 15, 1998. He died six years later October 20, 2004. He died of meningitis.

Her final calf was a female named Athena.  She was born October 8, 2004.  She died  four and a half years later in Spring 2009 of untreated infection.

In the wild the lifespan of a female orca is 50 years and a male is 30, and there have been orca’s documented to live long beyond that in the wild.  Because of the conditions at Marineland Kiska has lost 5 calves, the eldest lived until the age 6.

Kiska’s health has also been at risk since her time in captivity at Marineland. Back in October, 2012 there was an article posted in the Toronto Star that said Kiska’s tail had been bleeding for months.   According to Christine Santos, head trainer for 12 years at Marineland, this bleeding had been occuring since July of that year, and had been getting progressively worse.

Santo’s was later fired.  Upon leaving she was asked to sign an agreement that said she did not see any animal abuse at Marineland. She did not sign as she did not agree with the statements.

At this time the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquiariums (CAZA) was concerned about the water quality in three of the pools at Marineland, stating that there was “an impact on the well-being of the animals, ”

In recent years, Kiska dorsal as well as blow hole show signs of collapse.  This is a condition known as “peanut- head” which is a distinctive shape of the head, caused by fat loss in the neck. Marineland denied any of Kiska’s health concerns.

kiska dorsal collapse kiska blowhole collapse

Unlike other aquariums, Marineland is privately owned, meaning that there are no shareholders.  In order for any changes to be made it is entirely up to the owner John Holer.  John Holer has been documented, uttering threats to protesters, and even petty name calling.  It is unlikely he would open his mind to the idea that the animals are suffering.  John has denied many statements of his establishment causing harm to the animals physical and mental well being.

Since 2011, Kiska has lived in complete solitude. Kiska’s last companion was a bull orca named Ikaika. He was on loan from SeaWorld in an attempt to breed, and removed in 2011 after a battle between SeaWorld and Marineland.  SeaWorld was concerned about the conditions in which the whales were being kept, and the physical and mental well being of Ikaika.  Kiska has lived in isolation since.  Orca’s are highly social mammals, and it is illegal in the United States to keep them in solitude.  However here in Canada there have been no laws to protect Kiska.  Until recently.

The proposed laws are a step in the right direction.  Many of the articles regarding the recent proposition take a particular focus to Kiska.  Many people can empathize with her lonliness, and pain. The new laws will ensure that not other orca in Ontario will suffer a similar fate.   Marine parks in Ontario will no longer allowed to breed, capture or sell orca’s in Ontario.

It is still too soon to start celebrating, as these are only propositions.  They have not been passed yet.  It is a step in the right direction, and lets not stop there.  Let’s keep pushing forward and end all marine mammals in captivity.  Dolphins, sea lions, the belugas.  If we can agree that we can not supply adequate conditions for an orca, what makes us think that concrete pools are suitable for other marine mammals. The fate of the belugas, dolphins, sea lions and other marine mammals looks grim unless we keep sharing Kiska’s story and pushing forward with demands.

Unfortunately for Kiska, these laws will not bring her companionship or freedom. If passed she will be the last orca in Ontario to suffer in captivity, but her story could spark a change for future orcas, belugas, dolphins, walruses, sea lions, and all marine mammals in captivity in Ontario.

Let’s end all marine mammals in captivity !

Please sign the petition below and help the animals of Marineland !

https://www.change.org/p/save-marineland-s-animals

Please sign the petition below to help end marine mammals in captivity in Ontario !

https://www.change.org/p/kathleen-wynne-hon-yasir-naqvi-steven-toy-connie-mallory-end-marine-mammals-in-captivity-in-ontario

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Simple Tofu Scramble & Facon

Weekends are a time for exploring, adventures, and  big breakfasts.  Today we decided to make the traditional scrambled eggs and bacon, vegan style !

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Tofu Scramble

1 package firm tofu, drained and crumbled

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1/2 a sweet bell pepper, thinly sliced

2 handfuls of spinach

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp curry powder

Salt and pepper

Hot sauce to taste (optional)

Begin by sauteing the onion and pepper.  When it begins to become translucent, add the chopped garlic.  Saute for 1 minute longer.  Then add the tofu and the spices.  Stir to coat all of the tofu with the spices.  Continue to cook until it begins to turn golden brown.  Add spinach and allow to wilt.  Serve hot.

Facon

Approximately 2 cups of soy bits, tempeh or other meat substitute.

1 tbsp molasses

1 tsp Worcestershire

1 bay leaf

4-5 drops of liquid smoke

1-2 tbsp of maple syrup

5-10 tbsp of vegetable oil

Salt

Begin by placing your soy bits in a pot and fill with water until they are covered.  Add the molasses, Worcestershire, bay leaf, and 1-2 drops of liquid smoke.  Boil for ten to twelve minutes or until tender ( If using tempeh or other meat substitute that doesn’t require rehydrating, allow to marinate in a cool mixture of water, molasses, wocestershire, bay leaf and liquid smoke for at least ten minutes )   In a pan heat 3-5 tbs of oil, 1 tbsp of maple syrup and 1-2 drops of liquid smoke over low- medium heat.  Strain the soy bits, add them to the pan and sprinkle with salt.  Flip often and add oil, and maple syrup as needed.  When they are golden and a little crispy they are ready to serve !

 

DIY Deodorant

Looking for a deodorant that is cruelty free and chemical free ? Having trouble finding a natural deodorant that works for your body chemistry ? Try this do it yourself deodorant that can easily be tweaked to your body chemistry and preference.

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1/4 cup arrow root powder

2 Tbsp baking soda

4-6 Tbsp coconut oil, room temperature

20 drops of tea tree oil

20 drops of your favourite essential oil (lavender is my favourite)

Start by mixing the arrow root powder, baking soda and essential oils * Decrease the amount of baking soda if you experience irritation.  Increase the amount of baking soda if you don’t experience enough odor control.* Next, use a fork to mash in the coconut oil.  Store in a glass jar.  Apply by adding a dime size amount of deodorant to cover the entire area of your under arm.  Be sure to cover the entire area to ensure odor control.

More DIY bodycare products to come 🙂

BEWARE OF THE TOXIC TEN !

Ever wonder if the natural bodycare product was worth the extra buck ? Looking for an inexpensive, toxin free alternative to commercial bodycare products?

Most bodycare products are chocked full of dangerous chemicals.  From tampons to toothpaste, and cleansers to moisturizers. Let’s look at the different toxic ingredients and where you can find them in your house.

The Toxic Ten is a list of chemical ingredients found in most bodycare products that you will want to watch out for !

THE TOXIC TEN

#1 SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE  – Used as a foaming agent in many shampoos and other cleansers.  It is a skin irritant and probable carcinogenic.

Found in : Shampoos, toothpaste, bodywash, and products that lather.

#2 FRAGRANCE – Hormone disruptor, carcinogen, allergen, and asthma triggering.  They are also environmental contaminants because of bioaccumulation.

Found in : Hair products, moisturizers, cosmetics, lotions, and even tampons.

#3 PHENYLENEDIAMINE – Known carcinogen, allergen and neurotoxin.  It is also very toxic to fish.

Found in : Hair dye.

#4 BHA & BHT (Butylated Hydroxyanisole & Butylated Hydroxytoluene) –  It is a preservative, that is an endocrine disruptor, as well as a carcinogen. In California products containing this preservative come with a warning label about its carcinogenic properties. These preservatives also have the potential to bioaccumulate so it is discourages from putting it down the drain.

Found in : Moisturizers, makeup, and fragrances. 

#5 FORMALDEHYDE RELEASING AGENTS (Quaternium-15, DMDM Hydantion, Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methenamine, and Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate) – Immune system toxicant and endocrine disruptor. Restricted in Europe, but no restrictions here.

Found in: Hair products, moisturizers, and cosmetics. 

#6 PETROLATUM (Petroleum Jelly) –   It can be contaminated with PAH’s which are carcinogens, skin allergens and other skin irritants.It also supports the petroleum industry that is known for its polluting nature.  It is also restricted in Europe, but not here.

Found in : Lip, skin, hair products, and moisturizers 

#7 PARABENS (Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, or Propylparaben) – Preservative known for mimicking estrogen and has been found in breast cancer tissues.  Also interferes with make reproductive functioning.  Has been banned in body care products for kids under the age three in Denmark. It is also an immune system toxicant.

Found in : Cosmetics and moisturizers 

#8 PHTHALATES  (Dibutyl Phthalate, DEHP, DEP) – Reproductive and developmental toxicant, and endocrine disruptor.  They will not likely be on the ingredient list, however if you see the word fragrance it likely contains phthalates. DEHP has been banned from children’s toys but can still be found in cosmetics.  These are restricted in Europe, however there are, again, no restrictions here.

Found in : Toys, cosmetics, tampons, and anything containing fragrance. 

#9 SILICONE CHEMICALS (Cyclomethicone, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane) – These chemicals are bio accumulating meaning dangerous to our environment, aquatic life in particular.  They are in the process of being restricted by Environment Canada.  In the mean time be aware of these chemicals when shopping for your skin care.

Found in : Hair products, moisturizers, and cosmetics

#10 TRICLOSAN – This is an endocrine disruptor and environmental toxicant.  It is a thyroid disruptor and may contribute to antibiotic resistance.  It has been found in dolphins in levels known to disrupt normal development.

Found in : Antibacterial products, antiperspirants, deodorant, cleansers, and hand sanitizers

Feeling a little bit lost or hopeless about finding bodycare products that are friendly to you, the animals and the planet? Do not fear ! Here is a list of my favourite products and links to recipes for the ones I make myself !

Deodorant – Keep a look out for my  DIY Deodorant Recipe

Shampoo & Conditioner – Live Clean Shampoos and Conditioners

Toothpaste – Keep a look out for my upcoming DIY Toothpaste blog

Sunscreen – Coconut oil

Cleanser, Toner and Moisturizer – Check out my Coconut Oil Cleansing Routine

Feminine Hygiene – Check out my post about Feminine Hygiene

Get a copy of The just Beautiful Personal Care Products: Pocket Shopping Guide by clicking the link below.

http://environmentaldefence.ca/reports/just-beautiful-personal-care-products-pocket-shopping-guide

Easy Peasy Pasta

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Looking to try a quick easy dinner? Try this super simple pasta, and “beef” it up by topping it with some soy bites.

Sauce:

1 onion chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic chopped

Olive oil

1 can diced tomatoes

2-3 Tbsp Italian seasoning

 

Begin by sauteing the onion in 2 tbsp of oil.  When it begins to turn clear, add the garlic and saute a minute longer.  Add the diced tomatoes and the Italian seasoning. Allow to simmer gently about ten minutes or until desires consistency.

 

 

Soy Bites:

Soy pieces (I purchased mine at the bulk barn)

3-4 cups of vegetable stock

2-3 Tbsp Italian Seasoning

1 onion chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic chopped

Olive oil

Begin by boiling the soy pieces in vegetable stock with 1-2 tbsp of Italian seasoning to re hydrate them.  While they are boiling, begin to saute the chopped onion in a pan with 1-2 tbsp of oil.  When they begin to turn clear, add your chopped garlic.  After about ten minutes the soy pieces should be squishy.  Drain the stock and add the soy pieces to the onion and garlic.  Sprinkle them with about 1 tbsp of Italian seasoning.  Continue flipping the soy pieces until they turn golden.

 

Toss the sauce with your preferred pasta and top with the soy pieces and onions.  Bon Apetit 🙂

Affordable, Vegan Makeup

Animal products sneak into our lives, not only on our plates, but in the clothes that we wear and the products we use on our bodies.  Makeup is a huge part of where animal cruelty, and even if the product you’re using is vegan that doesn’t necessarily mean it was cruelty free.  The majority of beauty products have been tested on animals.  I’d like to share with you the contents of my vegan, cruelty free makeup bag.

 

Here is a list of products that are in my cruelty free makeup bag.  Not only are they great products but they are also at a great price !

 

E.L.F Studio Eye Refresh – $3.00
E.L.F Studio Under Eye Concealer – $3.00
E.L.F Studio Pressed Powder – $3.00
E.L.F Matte Eyeshadow , Chestnut
E.L.F Pigment Eyeshadow, Naturally Nude
E.L.F Mineral Eyeshadow, Wild – $3.00
E.L.F Essential Liquid Eyeliner – $1.00
Arbonne, It’s a Long Story Mascara – $36.00
E.L.F Studio Baked Bronzer, St. Lucia – $3.00
E.L.F Studio Baked Blush, Peachy Cheeky – $3.00

 

Don’t forget about your cruelty free brushes ! I use Ecotools, the price varies on the type of brush but they are very affordable, and with regular cleaning last a long time.