This Week On "I've Been Had"

Ewe've been had.

Gosh, I love puns. Hee.

The latest hoax to hit rich (and stupid) Japanese women comes courtesy of an online company, 'Poodles As Pets'. Their instant-million scam was selling lambs disguised as miniature poodles. Seriously.

A Japanese movie star, Maiko Kawakami, has been left looking sheepish (hee!) after she was told a miniature poodle she had bought online was actually a lamb. The movie star complained on a talk show that her new poodle refused to bark or eat dog food. She showed a photo and was devastated when told it was actually a lamb.

And it appears she is not the only rich Japanese woman to have the wool (double hee!) pulled over her eyes. Hundreds of dog loving women then contacted police to say they had also been sold the young sheep instead of pedigree poodles.

The police believe up to 2,000 women were fleeced (triple hee!) in Sapparo, Japan. One customer only discovered the hoax after a dog beautician said she could not clip the poodle's claws - because they were hooves.

The price for the lamb in poodle clothings? £630.

'Poodles As Pets' has since shut down.

But hats off to those guys. As if the idea of selling fake poodles wasn't wild enough. They actually found a market!

Now, I only need to find enough rich, stupid people to sell some Gourmet Fertilizer to.


Mother Nature Says "NYEH NYEH"

First, a little background on Canada's cruel seal hunt.

This hunt is the largest slaughter of marine mammals on earth - yes, even more than the shooting of stray dogs by our beloved municipal councils. For the past 3 years, more than one million seals have been killed for their fur. The hunters target baby seals - the babies can't run as fast, and their fur is softer. Their preferred killing method? A swift club over the heads of the seals.

Believe it or not, the seal hunts are subsidized by the Canadian government, who insist this is just like any other animal production industry. They also claim that their methods of killing are humane.

However, a group of independent veterinarians have proved otherwise:
  • 79% of the sealers did not check to see if an animal was dead before skinning it.
  • In 40% of the kills, a sealer had to strike the seal a second time, presumably because it was still conscious after the first blow or shot.
  • 42% of killed seals examined were found to have minimal or no fractures, suggesting a high probability that these seals were conscious when skinned.
Mother Nature also disagrees with the Canadian government and their hunters.

In the most recent hunt, foul weather left several boats trapped in thick ice off the country's Atlantic coast. Several of the boats were threatened with damage or sinking and five crews had to abandon their vessels in conditions fishermen described as the worst for more than 20 years. As many as 500 men were stranded off the coast of Newfoundland province.

A boat stranded in the ice.

As one hunter said, "I have never, ever experienced anything like this."

Ok, so maybe this is really caused by the impact of global warming.

But I like to think it's Mother Nature's way of saying "ENOUGH!"


Foie Gras: Tak Nak

Murder most fowl. How much cruelty can you swallow?

Ok, I'll stop with the puns.

Foie gras. Fatty liver. Or the Delicacy of Despair.

Firstly, why would anyone want to eat liver? It tastes feral, crumbles into powder in your mouth, and… did I mention it tastes disgusting?

Secondly, eating duck or goose liver that has been specially fattened by force?

Here’s how it’s manufactured:

The 8-10 inch steel pipe of the feeding machine is attached by a long hose to a hydraulic machine. This machine shoots several pounds of food directly into the stomachs of the birds in just a few seconds.

A farm worker force-feeds the birds by shoving the steel pipe down the birds' esophagus, up to 3 times a day.

80% of birds used in foie gras production are kept in tiny, box-like cages.

Force-fed birds with engorged livers have difficulty balancing, and every step is a struggle.

Rough handling during the force-feeding process results in bloodied birds, many of them with broken bills.

Birds who die from being force-fed are dumped in bins. Common causes of death includes burst stomachs, choking on their own vomit and aspiration pneumonia where the food is accidentally forced into the birds' lungs.

In a Foie Gras factory in New York, workers receive a “special bonus” if they caused fewer than 50 burst stomachs a month.

In that same factory, spy video cameras recorded ducks trying to "walk" using their wings because their legs had given out.

Liver on the right has been fattened by force to make foie gras, as compared to the size of a normal duck liver.

Here are some defensive comments made by Foie Gras manufacturers, when questioned about the inhuman methods of production:

Force-feeding mimics natural gorging of birds before migration.
FACT: Ducks used in foie gras production are of a species that does not migrate. No duck in the wild would ever consume as much food as these ducks are forced to consume in a day, let alone for two to three weeks.

Force-feeding does not injure the birds because they have hardened esophagi.
FACT: Ducks or geese do not have hardened esophagi. And there are no records of these animals ever evolving to adapt to these cruel methods.

Ducks enjoy being force fed because they run to the feeders.
FACT: This is the most offensive of the many lies appearing in Michael Ginor's book, "Foie Gras, a Passion." There is simply not a grain of truth in this statement, and it is all the more offensive since Ginor keeps most of the ducks at Hudson Valley Foie Gras in isolation cages so they can't move anyway.

We have so many choices of food to choose from. Why create a demand for food that has been produced so cruelly?

And liver? Euw, gross.


Weekend Dog Blogging #81

Busy days. Yes, even too busy to blog about Bessy, I'm ashamed to say.

I recently did this little compilation of photos I took of Bessy when she was 8, 10, 11 and 12-weeks old. With the most recent being her age today, 16-weeks old. This was really for my sister in the UK, who has never met Bessy and wanted to see how much she has grown in 2 months.

The pics are also for Geek, who has yet to come to KL to shake hands/paws with Bessy (*hint hint!).

Bessy attended her very first Puppy Training Class today. She wasn't the best student in the class. In fact, she was the naughtiest. I wasn't amused, but the rest of the doggie owners were when she:
  • Pooped during one of the heeling routines.
  • Decided to exert her authority by firmly holding the leash in her mouth while we walked, as if to say "I'm walking YOU".
  • Jumped up numerous times to bite my jeans while we walked.
  • Tried to steal another dog's treat.
Still, it's only her first class. 9 more to go. So there should be progress by then.

I hope.

For more doggie pictures, head over to Sweetnicks who is doing the roundup for this week's Weekend Dog Blogging!


Meme! Me! Me! : Episode 4

I've been tagged by Think Tank.

9 parts of me? Wow, I've always thought I only had 8.34 parts.

Part 1: on the outside
name : Gan Yue-Li (yes, there really is a hyphen in my name)
date of birth : 28 March 1977
current status : Happily single
eye color : Dark brown
hair color : Brown ends, black roots
right of left handed : Right
zodiac : Aries

Part 2: on the inside
my heritage : Uh, Malaysian?
my fear : Cockroaches
my weakness : Coke Light
my perfect pizza : Thin crust, with broccoli and brown rice topping (What?!)

Part 3: yesterday, today & tomorrow
your first thought waking up : I get to sleep in cos I worked till 4.30am last night
tomorrow : Yay, another day nearer to the weekend
your bedtime : So far away
most missed memory : Waking up at 5am with my grandma when I was about 5-years old, and going with her to the padang near my house and watching her do tai chi

Part 4: your pick
pepsi or coke : Coke Light!
mcD or burger king : Macs the one with delivery rules!)
single or group dates : ish
adidas or nike : Adidas
lipton tea or nestea : Lipton
chocolate or vanila : Vanilla
cappuccino or coffee : Both

Part 5: do you..
smoke : No
curse : You bet your %#!! I do

Part 6: in the past month
drank alcohol : Yes
gone to the mail? : Does DHL count?
been on stage : No
eaten sushi : Yes.... yuuum.... sushiiii

Part 7: what were you doing
1 minute ago : Doing this meme
1 hour ago : Making coffee
4 1/2 hours ago : Being rudely woken up from much needed sleep by servicing who thinks the whole world revolves around their account
1 month ago :Wrapping up Fruit Of Eden's birthday present!
1 year ago : Bumming around and leeching off my sister at her place in Norwich

Part 8: finish the sentence
i love : Sleeping by the beach
i feel : A bit dazed and blur from lack of sleep
i hate : Being depended upon by stupid AND spineless people
i hide : My cereal from my Dad who is as much a cereal monster as I am
i miss : Sleeping in (I have been waking up every morning at 6.30am for 2 months to feed my dog)
i need : To be more nasty and mean

Part 9: tag five people
Mowpea (and this means about YOU clare, not Mow or Pea)
Ooj (who's probably too diver-cool to do memes)
Fruit of Eden (sorry, another tag.. haha!)
Wandernut (even though you have already been tagged)
The Box (yoohoo? where are youuuu?)

Ah Geek, I didn't tag you so that Nut can ;p


Meeting An Old, Wise Man

Mt Kinabalu. How beautiful art thou.

While making my way down from the mountain, I kept up with an old Australian man who was trotting down the mountain at a brisk pace.

Actually, he was walking down at a far quicker speed than I was comfortable with. But we were having a very interesting conversation. And despite protests from my quivering hamstrings, I forced myself to keep up.

He told me stories of his younger days, when he had visited Laos in the 1960s, spent months in Pattaya before it became the seedy town it is today, travelled Vietnam with just a little knapsack, got robbed in Phillipines in the early 1970s, and spent nights at a roach-infested hostel in Angkor Watt before the rise of accommodation with any form of star-ratings.

"And where have you travelled to?" he asked me.

"Erm, nowhere interesting," I replied, already over-flowing with paiseh-ness.

Here was this old Australian man, who has visited and travelled to far more places in my own region than I have. And during the days when travel was not half as comfortable or cheap as it is today.

"Well, you should start with the countries in South East Asia," he chirped. "I really don't think there are more beautiful countries anywhere else in the world."

The conversation ended there. I had to stop at a rest hut to stretch my leg muscles, which were trembling from bearing my lump of weight all the way down.

The old man showed me a few stretches I should do.

"Catch up with me after," he said.

Then the old man, easily more than twice my age, went on briskly walking down.

Needless to say, I never managed to catch up.


On Turning Old-er

Ok, so there I was. At 1 minute before midnight, on the eve of my birthday.

As the minute hand reached 12, I closed my eyes. And then opened them. I looked up, down, and all around.

Where was the cloud that would bring forth the rain of wisdom and riches? Hello?

Kena con.

Some key highlights of my 30 years here on this planet.

My first ambition was to be a doctor. Like the other brainwashed kiddies, that was my answer to the teacher's question of "What do you want to be when you grow up?".

My first car crash happened when I was 10-years old. I wanted to wash my mother's car (1980s, solid iron Volvo). As the car was parked in the porch, I sought ways to push the car back a little, so it was outside in the garden. All attempts that I knew of (short of turning on the engine) - release handbrake, push till I burst a jugular - failed. Then my dad enlightened me: release the handbrake and free the gear. So I dutifully followed my dad's advice - and the car rolled down the slope of my driveway and hit my neighbour's car. A Mercedes.

I failed my ballet Grade 5 exam. I did it on purpose, so I could get out of ballet classes. My plan failed. I had to endure another 3 years of prancing around in leotard and tights before my mother finally realized her lump-of-a-daughter would never be a graceful ballerina.

I was caught for cheating in a school exam when I was in Standard 3. I remember the headmistress remarking to another teacher how I "looked like an angel, but am so capable of So Much Badness".

When I was about 9-years old, I was the proud owner of 3 kittens, kept illegally in my room. I diligently took care of them for one week before getting busted by my dad. He immediately drove off with them and dumped them at a bus stop in Jalan Gasing. My last memory of the 3 kittens was of their little faces pressed against the side of the pink plastic bag my dad threw them in.

I loved playing with matches. When my mother found a stash of burnt matchsticks, I told her my sister did it. Later, when I was slightly older and wiser, I questioned my logic in keeping a stash of burnt matchsticks, instead of throwing away all evidence.

In Standard 4, I was hauled by my teacher for trying to forge my mother's signature on my report card. While the strokes were almost professional, my choice of stationery wasn't. I had used a blue coloured pencil. It wasn't even sharpened.

Sigh. The memories of childhood.

Seemed like only yesterday when, in the heat of an argument, my sister pulled out a fistful of my hair.

Thanks for the birthday wish, Nut!