Tag Archives: incitytimesworcester.org

Worcester news you can use – always in style!

flier MPS(1)

PRESS CONFERENCE

Monday, April 24 – 6:30 p.m.

LOCATION: OUR LADY OF MT. CARMEL CHURCH
24 Mulberry St., Worcester

RAIN OR SHINE

OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL CHURCH, WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS, USA, WAS UNJUSTLY CLOSED BY THE CHURCH LEADERSHIP ON MAY 1ST, 2016

The church was neglected by the Diocese of Worcester, which had a fiduciary responsibility to assure its maintenance, knowing that viable solutions to repair and sustain it are available and at hand.

It is scheduled for demolition in May 2017.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church is a community anchor, an iconic, irreplaceable historically significant cultural center, as well as a centerpiece for Worcester’s large Italian American population.

It was also awarded the distinction as one of the top seven historic resources in Massachusetts.

The Mount Carmel Preservation Society is working diligently to save Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. It is unjust to see this historical treasure demolished unnecessarily.

Your support in any way, be it in-kind service or donation would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You!

Mount Carmel Preservation Society contact@preserveourladyofmountcarmel.org

********

linked_image(1)

linked_image(4)

Fire Works Studio will be opening their doors to the public:

Friday, May 12 – 4 pm – 8 pm

Saturday, May 13 – 10 am – 6 pm

Come chat with artists…

see demonstrations…

purchase unique pieces!

Find the perfect Mother’s Day gift among the mugs, bowls and potted plants. Various other artists will be set up in the lobby.

linked_image(2)

linked_image(5)

The Fire Works Studio
38 Harlow St., Worcester

*******

iStock_000006516808_locke_rd

Just a Reminder to All our Interested Agencies/Organizations — We Need Your Forms:

Our upcoming “Day of Hope” event on June 10th at University (Crystal Park), Main South

This event is the beginning of a long-lasting momentum that has the power to transform people’s lives, inspire compassion and service and bring people and organizations together like never before.

This community event, previously known as Worcester Convoy of Hope, is a collaborative effort to bring hope to Worcester County through FREE groceries, health screenings, job and career services, family portraits, haircuts, prayer, “Kids Carnival”, community services and entertainment.

This all-volunteer event mobilizes residents to serve and make a difference in their community.

Strong participation by local businesses, churches,community agencies, and individuals is crucial to the success of this event.

Through this collaborative effort we do together what no one could do alone.

This year Hope for Worcester seeks to mobilize 1,000 volunteers and honor 5,000 guests.

We look forward to partnering with you to provide our guests with the quality services/information you graciously supply every day.

The Community Services tent will allow for Hope for Worcester to host 40 organizations and the Health Services tent will allow for Hope For Worcester to host 16 organizations. In an effort to bring the best service providers to our honored guests your organization/company is formally invited to fill one of these spots.

This event will be held on
Saturday, June 10th in Crystal Park (University Park) across from Clark University, from 11 am to 4 pm.

Hope for Worcester schedule for the day:

Agency/Company representative arrives for set up: 9:30am
Set up complete by 10am
Doors open at 10am
Event wrap up/agency clean-up of booth site: 4pm

There is no registration fee to participate, but all donations are welcome and tax deductible.

We hope your participation will have a positive impact on your current and future efforts to serve our community.

We look forward to having you, please contact me with any questions…

Brittany Brown, MS, RN
Community & Health Services Leader
Hope for Worcester
www.hopeforworcester.org

*******

20170405_160034
pic: R.T.

Attention Families!

You and your children are invited to Worcester Family Partnership’s 8th Annual…

FREE HEALTH & SAFETY FAIR

BIGGER and BETTER than ever!

Wednesday, April 26 – 3:30 to 6:30 pm

AT THE YWCA – One Salem Square

RAFFLES and PRIZES

SUMMER PROGRAM INFORMATION

FREE FOOD and DRINKS

HEALTH SCREENINGS

CAR SEAT SAFETY

BIKE SAFETY with HELMET GIVE-A-WAY
(Both parent and child must be present for fitting)

A visit from UMass Memorial Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, a WFD firetruck, police car and more!

🎵🎶🎵 music to our ears!

SzekelyOra4.17(3)
Ora Szekely

From Clark University …

(I’ve made some sentences bold. – R.T.)

The nature of international conflict has evolved in recent decades.

Rather than conflict between state militaries, warfare increasingly takes place within regional conflict systems involving both states and non-state armed groups.

Understanding the internal dynamics of these organizations is an important part of understanding the nature of international conflict, according to Ora Szekely, Clark University assistant professor of political science. Their sometimes surprising policy choices have important (and sometimes unintended) consequences for both their long-term prospects and for the conflict itself.

Szekely explores these dynamics within the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict in her latest book, “The Politics of Militant Group Survival in the Middle East: Resources, Relationships and Resistance.”

Szekely draws from field research conducted in Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Egypt to compare the performances of four key non-state actors of the Arab-Israeli conflict ecosystem: The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Hamas, Amal, and Hizbullah.

Her research reveals how strategic domestic and foreign policy choices affect certain groups’ ability to “militarily resist and politically recover from confrontations with far more powerful adversaries.”

“We tend to think of wars as being either traditional interstate wars, like WWII, or smaller, local civil wars,” Szekely said. “But today, most conflicts take place as part of complex conflict systems involving multiple states and armed militant groups. Yet, even within the same conflict system, different militant groups often demonstrate very different abilities to resist attacks by their enemies, and to recover politically afterward. Understanding the roots of those differences can help us understand the dynamics of these conflict systems more broadly.”

In the course of researching the book, Szekely attended events organized by Hizbullah in Beirut and political protests led by communists in Amman.

She interviewed former PLO members in both the spacious Ministry of the Interior of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and in the decidedly less well-appointed offices of various Palestinian factions based in the in refugee camps of Damascus and Beirut, as well as members of the Palestinian parliament sympathetic to Hamas in the West Bank.

“I met with members of the Lebanese parliament from parties across the political spectrum, veterans of the Israeli military, and Palestinians in both refugee camps and political offices,” she said. She also spoke with journalists, aid workers, and UN officials around the region. “These interviews, combined with secondary sources, helped me to understand and compare the internal dynamics of a set of extremely complicated organizations in an extremely complicated region.”

Szekely’s research straddles the intersection of comparative politics and international relations.

She focuses primarily on foreign and domestic policies of non-state and proto-state military actors (rebel groups, guerrillas, insurgents, terrorists, etc.), particularly in the Middle East.

At Clark, she teaches courses on Middle Eastern politics, identity politics, civil war, and forced migration. She also is affiliated with the University programs in Peace Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from McGill University.

*****

******

Tonight! Abby’s House Spring-Tacular!🌺🌻🌼🌷

Parlee and Athena 2
Parlee (left), Abby’s housing advocate, will be at Holy Cross tonight.

IMG_20170419_184358340-1
The Abby’s House event also features Dorrie, proud mum of just rescued Peggy Sue. Here’s Peg resting – a few hours earlier she had a tooth extracted at the vet’s.😢 pic: D.M.

The annual Abby’s House Spring-Tacular fundraiser, a food and beverage tasting event, will take place TODAY – Thursday, April 20 – from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the College of the Holy Cross’ Hogan Campus Center.

The event will feature:

14 tasting stations🍤🍷

jewelry sales💍💎💍💖

surprise Buy-A-Bed boxes💕

and a silent auction.💋

The cost is $65 per person.

Money raised will help to support Abby’s overnight shelter, affordable housing programs, and advocacy for homeless women and their children.💙💜💛

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.abbyshouse.org/spring-tacular or contact Justina at Abby’s House at (508) 756-5486 Ext. 14.

Spring/Easter thoughts …

flier MPS(1)
photos submitted by Mauro DePasquale

By Mauro DePasquale

The sun shining through the clouds on this cool but warming April morning. It wakes up something deep inside us. Savoring that sweet scent for spring air, it takes me back to spring vacations at my grandparents’ house on Bell Hill, joyfully playing and running through their yard while my grandfather, singing happily, began clearing the garden of fallen dead winter debris. I loved it. That scent brought hope, dreams of summer, and all the happiness that would be ahead. Spring air is such a wonderful gift to be thankful for.

That sweet scent has a grit to it: mud, tree mold, dried, dead leaves, old annuals rotting out of a thaw, and yet it is a scent springing hope eternal.

It’s something we all awaken to during this time of year. No matter what our faith, our heritage, we all feel it and know it at once.

For this Catholic, it’s a gift, a sign of Easter’s promise. The scent of spring, somehow as a resonant hint of an ancient sacred covenant, an elusive reveal of the Mystery made tangible. The promise of life everlasting.

It’s more than the scent of a dead world resurrecting, it’s a spiritual resurrection. Resurrecting from the grit of our ties to this world, the mud of our faults, the mold of our participation in injustice, the rot of our sins. It is also an awakening to the mystery of life eternal exemplified in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Christ is the sun shining the light of Truth. Warming and gracing the morning of our lives, each and every day. This beautiful warm light that shines on each and every one of us for no reason, and yet, through that mysterious and Holy Spirit, we welcome it as unconditional love and mercy.

For us this seems to happen in the season after winter, however whereas time does not exist except in the profane, the Resurrection of Christ is continual, in Holy time, and every breath we take is the gift of an opportunity to share in that eternal spring. Forever in His Light, forever singing happily, forever joyful, in a life forever in love.

At the end of this day, here in this plane, we can be thankful. There is nothing to worry about. Spring is always around the corner. Although the culture of death may surround us here, we look for hope not in what is dead, rotting and bound in sin, but what is living in the promise of the eternal. Hope comes from that spirit living within us. Just remember “He is Risen” and we will also with Him rise from death. Why? Because God loves you as sure as that gift of spring air.

CROSS at MT CARMEL(2)

Mauro DePasquale is Executive Director of WCCA TV “The People’s Channel” and President of the Mount Carmel Preservation Society.

The Boys and Girls Club of Worcester – feeding our kids!💛

Childhood Hunger Rate in Worcester Higher than the National Average

The Boys & Girls Club of Worcester Serves Kids a FREE Dinner 5 Nights a Week

linked_image(3)
Steve “Tank” Tankinow, the Kid’s Café Director💜💙💛

We don’t need to search very far for statistics on childhood hunger:

1 in 4 kids goes to bed hungry in Worcester.

That’s higher than the national average of 1 in 5.

Childhood hunger is linked to lasting effects on our kids’ social development, physical health, and academic performance.

In fact, 93% of educators are concerned about the long-term damage hunger can have on our youth.

When children are hungry:

88% are unable to concentrate in school

87% struggle with lack of energy or motivation

65% exhibit behavioral problems

84% have overall poor academic performance

Often times, the foods they have access to pose no nutritional value.

80% of our Club members live at or below the poverty level, limiting their exposure to fresh, healthy foods. The financial limitations on our families force parents to serve fast food or processed and packaged meals.

Our Club is the only place in the city where kids can receive a FREE, nutritious dinner 5 days a week.

Kid’s Café provides approximately 300 youth a day with nutritious meals.

Steve “Tank” Tankinow, our Kid’s Café Director, has been cooking home-style meals for our members for over 17 years, dedicating himself to serving the hungry children in Worcester.

linked_image(2)
Eating good food at the Club💜💛

If you’re interested in helping our Club provide dinner 5 nights a week for our kids, please consider making a donation!

How it all Began:

Tank’s Story:

“I’ve been a member of the Boys & Girls Club since I was a kid. To me, it was a safe place. I always felt at home. When I came back as an adult, the sounds and even the smells were the same as I remembered as a kid.

I was inspired to start Kid’s Café as a way of giving back to the community. Because my career has been involved in nutrition, I wanted to do something that provided good, healthy food for kids. I worked with the Worcester County Food Bank and the Boys & Girls Club, and formed a non-profit organization. We started by making supper for a handful of kids 17 years ago; now we feed about 300 kids a hot, nutritious meal 2 days a week (3 days a week we are provided meals through the Federal Government). We’re helping keep kids healthy. It’s an important part of the mission of the Boys & Girls Club.

I’ve been fortunate that so many people have volunteered to help, or responded when I called. We’ve had everyone from executives to high school students contributing food or money to buy food. They pitch in as teams to cook and serve. It’s a lot of work to feed 300 kids, but with the community support we always get it done.”- Steven “Tank” Tankinow (excerpt from alumni profile in 2011 annual report)

Fallon Health Opens Food Pantry at Our Club

We’re thrilled to provide our kids with nutritious food while at the Club, but we also want to ensure their health at home.

Fallon Health has opened a food pantry at our Harrington Clubhouse to help our organization further fight childhood hunger.

This crucial addition to our case management department will provide Club families with food and resources during tough times and emergencies such as a death in the family or unemployment.

Several Fallon Health employees volunteered their time to set up the pantry and stock the new shelves with non-perishable items such as canned vegetables, pasta, and cereal.

The pantry will be restocked throughout the year to ensure we can continue assisting our families. The generosity of Fallon Health has enabled our staff to help our families in a new and pivotal capacity.

If you’re interested in donating to our food pantry, please contact Liz Hamilton, Executive Director, at:

Boys & Girls Club of Worcester
65 Tainter Street, Worcester, MA, 01610-2520, United States
www.bgcworcester.org

linked_image(4)

SPEAK OUT AGAINST TRUMPISM!!!

linked_image(2)

linked_image(3)
Chiderah Okoye

NSBE Boston invites you to join us at the March for Science Boston on Saturday, April 22nd from 1pm – 4pm, at the Boston Common.

This is a family friendly event and it will be outdoors.

March For Science is a celebration of people who love and support science.

The Boston rally is part of the National March for Science taking place in Washington, DC.

NSBE Boston is an exhibition partner for the 2017 the March For Science Boston and will have an exhibition stand. NSBE Boston chapter President, Chiderah Okoye, will be a featured speaker at the Rally.

Date: April 22
Time: 1 pm – 4 pm
Location: Boston Common

Volunteer with NSBE Boston : If you are a interested in being a volunteer at the Boston March for Science, please contact Lenny – PCI@nsbeboston.org

March for Science champions publicly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.

We are committed to making science accessible to everyone and encouraging people from diverse backgrounds and experiences to pursue science careers.

Diverse science teams outperform homogeneous teams and produce broader, more creative, and stronger work. This group is inclusive of all individuals and types of science.

For more information, please visit the March for Science website – www.marchforscienceboston.com

Innocence Project director to speak at Clark University, April 20:

Justin-Brooks
Justin P. Brooks

The California Innocence Project, founded in 1999, espouses three goals:

to free innocent people from prison

to help train law students to become great lawyers

and to change laws and procedures to decrease the number of wrongful convictions and improve the justice system.

The California Innocence Project’s founding director, Justin P. Brooks, will talk about the organization’s crucial efforts to accomplish those key goals, during a talk at Clark University, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20, in the Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons, Maywood and Florence streets.

This event, free and open to the public, is sponsored by Clark’s Study Abroad and LEEP Center, and by CAPA – The Global Education Network.

Brooks is executive director at the Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy and professor of law at the California Western School of Law, in San Diego, where he also directs the California Innocence Project, a law school clinic that is a founding member of global Innocence Network and has helped launch organizations throughout Latin America.

“Over the years, it has given me great joy to see our work go global in an ‘innocence movement’ that grows bigger and stronger every day,” Brooks writes.
Brooks has spent his career litigating wrongful conviction cases. He recently was featured in Time magazine, and presented popular TED Talks. His high-profile cases include the exoneration of Brian Banks, a former NFL player wrongly convicted of rape when in high school.

Brooks teaches a global seminar, titled “Wrongful Conviction,” at the CAPA London Study Center.

The seminar is open to Clark University students.

Global Seminars are three to four-week, 1-2 unit summer programs providing students with intensive study and experiential opportunities.

Spring in Woo’s inner-city💙💙💙💙🎵

S-p-r-i-n-g !🌷💐🌺🌹🌻🌼🐰

20170405_155237
Central Mass Kibble Connection dog and cat food give-away with Dorrie!🌻 – outside the Mustard Seed on Piedmont Street, every Wednesday🌷, 4 – 5 p.m pics: R.T.

20170409_084727-1

20170405_151654-1
At the Mustard Seed soup kitchen with volunteer “Autumn” – free meals each day at 6 p.m. – for the needy and homeless.

20170219_155934

20170219_160015

20170219_160029-1

20170318_145139

20170416_094256

20170410_114644-1

20170408_112113-1

Alden Family gallery opening
At the Worcester Historical Museum Alden Family gallery – opening. photo:WHM

linked_image(1)

20170405_160932-1
Central Mass Kibble Connection dog and cat food give-away with Dorrie!🌻 – every Wednesday🌷, 4 – 5 p.m.💐

20170405_155244-1
Thank you, Dorrie!!!!

Let’s let spring keep springin’!:

Do you believe in climate change?

By Heather Moore

A recent report by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans believes that the climate is changing, mostly because of human activities, and that carbon emissions should be scaled back.

If you’re one of them, or if you’re concerned about pollution, water scarcity, food shortages or deforestation, then you really should go vegan. And Earth Day, April 22, is a fitting time to do so.

According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, animal agriculture adds 7.1 gigatons (that’s a lot) of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year. And animal agriculture is the single largest source of both methane and nitrous oxide, which are 25 and 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, respectively.

So, if you really want to scale back carbon emissions—and curb other, more potent, greenhouse gases—then scale back your consumption of cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, pulled pork and other animal-based foods. Research shows that meat-eaters are responsible for around 2.5 times more dietary greenhouse-gas emissions per day than vegans.

A recent Arizona State University study found that Buddhists in China offset roughly 40 million tons of greenhouse gases per year just by eating plant-based meals.

Scientists at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have calculated various ways to combat climate change and found that cutting greenhouse-gas emissions from transportation and energy use alone isn’t enough. They concluded that curbing meat and dairy consumption is the key to bringing them down to safe levels.

Still proud of yourself for switching to LED light bulbs?

Well, you should be—but just don’t stop there. You can do more. Buying a hybrid car and installing solar panels might not be affordable for everyone, but anyone can prioritize vegan foods over meat, eggs and dairy products. Choosing bean burritos over beef is an easy—and effective—way to combat climate change.

Oh, you say that you’re one of the 12 percent who don’t believe in climate change?

Well, it’s a big world with plenty of other problems caused by animal agriculture that need to be addressed, too. Do you believe in pollution? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that nearly 70 percent of the nation’s lakes, ponds and reservoirs and more than half of its rivers and streams are too polluted for their intended use. The EPA places the blame largely on animal agriculture.

And speaking of water, it takes a whopping 850 gallons of water just to produce 8 ounces of beef but only 174 gallons to produce 8 ounces of soy burger.

And Food Tank reports that just 43 gallons of water can produce a whopping 16 ounces of dried beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils. Plus, the production of beans releases only 5 percent of the volume of greenhouse gases as beef production—if you’re worried about that kind of thing.

If you aren’t, well, did I mention that scientists at Florida International University say that the demand for meat is likely to cause more worldwide species extinctions than any other factor?

Or that researchers with the Institute of Social Ecology in Vienna believe that the best way to meet the expected global food demand in the year 2050—without sacrificing any forests—is for everyone to go vegan?

Believing that our climate is changing isn’t the only reason to go vegan—there are billions of other living, breathing, feeling, mooing, oinking, clucking “reasons” as well.

But if you agree with the 70 percent of people who told Yale researchers that they do believe in climate change, then it’s only sensible for you to choose (and enjoy!) vegan meals on Earth Day and beyond.🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸

Happy Easter!

20170415_092350-2-1
Heading to a family gathering today🌷🌷… Have to be up and ready early (ugh), have to get my political funnies in pre-dawn😂😂!! Have a holy day🎻! No more wars, Mr. President! Stop bombing everybody! Save the planet! Stop killing the trees, birds, bears and bees! Please!!!! pic: Rose T:

*****
Also, from Franny:

If you are interested in adopting a rabbit or just want to know more about caring for a house rabbit or even sponsoring or fostering a rescued rabbit, you can contact the House Rabbit Network of Woburn, Ma. either by email at www.rabbitnetwork.org or tel 781-431-1211 There is always someone available to call you or email with advice.

IMG_20160413_233033
pic: Franny McKeever

******

Here is Dorrie’s newest cutie, precious Peke, Peggy Sue💙! Dorrie brought her home Friday:

IMG_20170413_204958767
💛💛💛💛 pics: Dorrie Maynard

IMG_20170413_202758190-1
Happy Easter, Peggy Sue!🌺🐰

********

And with bunnies on the brain. From PETA.ORG …

Old-BWB-Logo-400x250

Do you check PETA’s database every time that you shop and look for our cruelty-free bunny? Or do you toss whatever product is nearest to you in your shopping cart without thinking twice? Whether you’re a die-hard label-checker or someone who’s never even thought about checking a label, we’ve got a cruelty-free checklist for you!

It’s hard to believe that some companies still test on animals purely for vanity’s sake, as we don’t need to have animals burned and blinded for yet another mascara, shampoo, or body wash. With so many compassionate companies in our cruelty-free database, we think it’s the perfet time to clean out your cabinets, purse, and shower and get rid of your old products that may have been tested on animals. With that in mind, we want you to figure out how cruelty-free your products really are.

Here’s how this will work:

Print this image, and tape it to your bathroom mirror. Voilà! The checklist is yours to use.

Go through all the items on the list, giving yourself a pat on the back for each cruelty-free product you own and tossing out the offenders.

how-Cruelty-Free-is-your-morning-PETA-shareable-beauty-768x1365

New-BWB-Logos-400x407

Whether you’re new to checking labels for PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies logo or you’re a compassionate queen or king, here are some of our favorite products to help you round out your cruelty-free morning routine:

1. For body wash or soap, try Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap, Lush Wash Behind Your Ears Shower Gel, or Method, which can be found at Target.

2. If you’re looking for your new favorite face wash, try Aveda’s Outer Peace Foaming Cleaner or Pacifica’s Kale Water Micellar Cleansing Tonic.

3. For shampoo and conditioner options, try Avalon Organics Scalp Normalizing Tea Tree Mint Shampoo or Carol’s Daughter Rhassoul Clay Enriching Conditioner.

4. In terms of toothpaste, Nature’s Gate Crème de Peppermint Toothpaste or Desert Essence Ultra Care Toothpaste are fantastic options.

5. We love freshening up with JĀSÖN mouthwash and Tom’s of Maine Wicked Fresh! Mouthwash.

6. Herban Cowboy and Kiss My Face both offer heavenly deodorant scents.

7. Le Labo and Flower Beauty are just two of the many perfume companies that carry vegan options.

8. We love Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics and Pacifica for all their lovely vegan nail polish shades.

9. You don’t need beeswax or animal tests to keep your lips moisturized! Try Crazy Rumors or Shea Moisture.

10. wet n wild MegaVolume Mascara and Urban Decay Perversion Waterproof Fine-Point Eye Pen will give you bold eyes without the cruelty.

11. Get your eye shadow on with Lime Crime palettes.

Tragically, hundreds of thousands of rabbits, rats, mice, guinea pigs, and other animals who are full of life and personality are kept inside barren cages in laboratories and killed after substances are dripped into their eyes or rubbed onto their raw skin—or after being forced to inhale or ingest massive quantities of test substances.

20170409_174439

With every vegan, cruelty-free product purchase, you’re sending a message that you don’t support archaic tests on animals.

********

Bunny update from our gal pal, Franny!!!💐🌷🐰🌸

IMG_20160413_233033
Franny and her hubby and four kids share their home with their three much loved (and litter-box trained!) rabbits! Here is Linus and Gretta, best bunny buddies! pics: Franny McKeever

By Franny McKeever

Easter is approaching and, as a rabbit lover and rabbit rescue volunteer, I am writing to request you do not buy a rabbit for Easter!

If you are interested in having a rabbit, it should be for all the right reasons and not because of a holiday – and certainly not as a gift. Bunnies fill our animal shelters in the months following Easter. The unlucky ones get dumped outdoors to fend for themselves after families realize what is involved. They do not survive.

Rabbits are every bit as nice a pet as a family cat or dog and will live with you as a companion for eight to 10 years, if cared for properly. However, they are not low-maintenance starter pets, as some people assume. They have traditionally been kept in outdoor hutches or cages, and so it is no surprise that they are neglected without much thought. Rabbits are actually wonderful, sociable, skittish, demanding pets. They need a person to understand them and take them seriously!

First, rabbits need to live indoors. They will need a bunny-proofed area in your home to be free and exercise for at least four hours a day. Ideally, they will have a large exercise pen, bunny condo or bunny-proofed room in your home to call their own. They will have a litter box that is changed every couple of days and stocked with hay twice daily.

They will also receive a large leafy green salad of bunny-safe vegetables and fresh water. They need bunny toys to play with and chew on and lots of attention on their terms. They will need their nails clipped every few weeks and they will need to be brushed. They will also need an exotic pet vet, and you will want to have a separate fund or pet insurance, as exotic vets can be very expensive.

20170412_203302
Franny’s “Stella”!

Bunnies are very fragile prey animals that should never be picked up by a child. They don’t generally want to be picked up at all. If they do not get enough attention, they often do better with a bunny friend that they must gradually learn to trust in a process called “bunny-bonding.” This will not work with every pair of bunnies, since they are very particular about which bunny they can work things out with!🐰This can only happen after they are spayed or neutered – which is a necessary procedure to keep bunnies healthy and well behaved pets.

All bunnies should be spayed or neutered, and one way to avoid the $200 to $500 cost is to adopt a bunny!

Adoption is the very best way to bring a spayed or neutered rabbit into your home! You will be giving a bunny a home and at the same time perhaps become one less person perpetuating the bunny breeding business that causes the overpopulation of bunnies in the first place.

So if you are truly interested in having a bunny for the eight to 10 years they will live with you, absolutely do your homework first!!

Learn all you can about the care involved. Decide first if you have the time to dedicate to these wonderful, funny and spirited animals that need the same love and room to run around as any larger animal does.

Please understand that a bunny is not a novelty pet to be purchased as a seasonal holiday gift but rather a long-term commitment to be loved and cared for every day of their lives!

🎵🎵🎻 to our souls!💛 and … Make your own Easter Yum Yums!🍰

From PETA.ORG:

iStock_000006516808_locke_rd

Why You Should Celebrate a Cruelty-Free Easter

As Christians remember Christ’s crucifixion as the final sacrifice and celebrate His victory over death in the resurrection, let us resolve to emulate His compassion in our own lives by showing mercy to animals.

There’s no better place to begin than the dinner table. As we break bread, let’s break ties with some of the most violent and ungodly places on Earth — slaughterhouses and factory farms.

312190518_c92d32a5d2_z-602x400-1455219768

Before they become Sunday’s centerpiece, animals on factory farms are denied everything that God designed them to want and do. They never breathe fresh air, nurture their young, play with other animals, or do anything to live out the biblical concept that “God’s mercy is over all His creatures.”

For example, pigs spend their entire lives in filthy concrete pens, and cruelty is rampant, as witnessed by PETA investigators.

vday-slaughterhouse-bb-1024x293

PETA’s investigation of Belcross Farm, a pig-breeding facility in North Carolina, resulted in the first-ever felony indictments for cruelty to animals by farm workers in the U.S.

PETA’s undercover investigation at Seaboard Farms, Inc. has resulted in the filing of felony cruelty-to-animals charges against a former manager at the facility.

Easter is also no celebration for hens on egg farms, who suffer constant confinement to tiny, filthy wire cages. Male chicks are killed — often through suffocation — since they don’t produce eggs, and female chicks have their beaks painfully seared off to keep them from pecking one another.

Cows on dairy farms are kept continually impregnated, and their calves are snatched away just after birth so that their mothers’ milk can be consumed by humans.

At the end of their short, miserable lives, these animals are crammed into trucks, with little protection from the elements, to suffer the ultimate terror of the slaughterhouse, where workers hang them upside-down and slit their throats.

What You Can Do

iStock_000073461461_Byrdyak-768x510

Plant-based foods can be found in supermarkets (editor’s note: check out TRADER JOE’S in Shrewsbury, Rt 9, just over the bridge) and on the menus of many chain restaurants.

Since eating vegan is easier than ever, there’s simply no reason for any animals to end up on our plates!

******

Homemade Vegan Easter Eggs!🐰🐰

peta-living-vegan-easter-candy

There are a variety of places online where you can order vegan Easter candy, and finding vegan chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, or jelly beans — just like those you remember filling your Easter basket with as a child — is no longer difficult. However, if you’re like me and you’ve waited until the last minute to plan for the sugar fest that often comes with the holiday, finding these goodies won’t be quite as easy.

But don’t fear! Those of us who tend to procrastinate — or are just super-crafty — can go the homemade route!

Below is a recipe for basic chocolate eggs, which you can then turn into a variety of designs.

🌷💙Chocolate Eggs💙🌷

1 8-oz. package nondairy cream cheese, softened at room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Decorations, e.g., chopped nuts, unsweetened cocoa, toasted flaked coconut

Beat the nondairy cream cheese in a mixing bowl until it is smooth.

Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until it is well blended.

Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and mix well.

Refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls or egg shapes and roll them in the nuts, cocoa, or coconut.

Store the finished chocolates in the refrigerator.

Makes approximately 5 dozen chocolates

🌷🌼Some “eggs-traordinary” ideas!!🌼🌷:

Roll egg-shaped chocolate in chopped nuts.

If you can find a cute Easter-themed mold, simply fill it with the chocolate and refrigerate.

Allow the chocolate to cool in a thin layer, then cut out your favorite shape with Easter-themed cookie cutters.

Decorate egg-shaped chocolate with dyed coconut. I recommend adding a few drops of food coloring to water and then adding your coconut. Allow to soak for a few minutes in the water, then remove and allow to dry completely before using to decorate.

Use plastic Easter eggs to get your desired shape, scoop out the center, and fill with peanut butter, nuts, or another favorite candy.

easter_eggs_6

Close the plastic egg and refrigerate until both sides are firm and have joined together.

Cover egg-shaped chocolate with holiday color foils or ribbons.

Cover egg-shaped chocolate with vegan nonpareils or another small vegan candy.

You can shape and decorate the chocolate any way you’d like, so get creative with it!

Enjoy!🐰🐰🐰🐰