Sunday, August 22, 2010

I Am So Proud of You: working with rescued animals in British Columbia PT. 4

8/16 - 8/22

The mayor of Nanaimo and myself.
I asked him to pretend like I was someone really famous for the photo. no big deal. Also, you know someone's a good mayor when they ask you what "chick" you're trying to impress right after you get your picture with him.

I picked up a free mountain bike from a craigslist ad, and one that assured me that it still had some salvageable parts on it, only to find that every component was rusted nearly all the way through. Not having much else to do with it, I traveled to the steepest hill in the city (which is about a mile long and pretty freakin steep) and launched it ceremoniously at 3 am after I picked up Chuck from work. Ready to jump back in the car to follow it down, it made it about 20 ft and took a hard right into someones yard. Needless to say I was disappointed.
That next morning Chuck had her appointment with her psychic, and woke me up at about 9 am with a call right afterward. What I can remember of the conversation was a flurry of excitement on her end, talking about how her psychic knew all about her family situation and that she's making the right decisions etc. with me adding a sleepy and muffled "mmhmm" and "ya" in between. The conversation ended as quickly (and loudly) as it had begun and later I wondered if I had dreamt any of it. Incidentally I did not, but now Chuck is pretty certain that moving to the United States is the right decision for her. Whether this came about from her psychic reading, or maybe a combination of something else I do not know, but I'm glad that she's figured out what she wants and is taking steps to make it happen. It's good to finally be able to spend time with someone who's driven and self motivated, you know?

Drove down to Victoria a couple days ago and visited with a friend. We stopped by a pretty rad art gallery, had some decent vegan chinese food, spent way too much money at the local infoshop, and then bought a vegan gluten free pizza (with daiya cheese!) for the drive back up. Chuck has been really sick with throat ulcers, a fever and an incredibly sore back, but we still had a pretty rad day. I haven't spent much time in Victoria since I've been here and I'm looking forward to going back pretty soon for a show that I'm playing, maybe even riding the 80 miles from here to there.

The liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, who's running for Prime Minister, visited our town to give a talk and have lunch at a local french restaurant downtown. Michael Ignatieff is a big supporter of the Canadian seal hunt, so we organized a demo to hopefully have a discussion with him and raise awareness about the issue. He consistently uses the argument that the seal hunt supports First Nations people, and that opposition to the commercial hunt is a threat to their way of life. In reality, the commercial seal hunt is owned and run by white, male Norwegians, Newfoundlanders, Nova Scotians, and Quebecois; it has no correlation with any traditional indigenous hunt. Though we were getting media attention at first, we weren't sure Ignatieff was paying much attention to us protesting outside at all. We only had 10 or so people, but we still managed to be loud enough to disturb the proceedings inside. Eventually he had his PR person come out and guarantee us that he would answer some of our questions once he was finished inside looking like an idiot and kissing everyone's ass (my words, not hers). But, immediately afterward she asked us: "you guys aren't going to like, throw red paint on him are you?" we all had a really good laugh at that, so she responded with "well that's just what I heard some animal rights people do" hahaha. Here is the discussion once he came outside:

Last night I shaved off my beard, cut my hair and went for a 30 mile bike ride across 4 towns. Rode from our cabin to Chuck's work, treated myself to dinner, rode back to Chuck's work again, and then rode the last 13 miles back to the cabin at 10:15 (on a saturday night*). Riding across each town was fine, but once I got into the forest the moon went behind some clouds and I was left with only my 2 small bike lights to keep me safe on that windy rode. 8 miles of terrified biking, riding as fast as I could thinking that I'm being chased by Skinwalkers, bears, aliens or drunk drivers trying to run me down. Your mind tells you some crazy things when you're scared, and riding all alone on that stretch of road in the middle of the night was as nerve-racking as it gets. Because of how horrifying most of the ride had been I made it back in about 40 minutes from when I had left Chuck's work. Maybe I'll start doing velodrome and have Sasquatch chase me across the track.
Currently still dealing with family drama here and there, and our visit to the farm this morning was as shocking as it gets. Stanley (the ex-racehorse) had been wearing a fly jacket when we arrived and was kicking and shaking his head in a bizarre way. When Chuck removed the jacket she noticed that the chord had left an incredibly painful looking rope burn across his chest, and in seeing it immediately burst into tears. It was incredibly gruesome, and we spent some time afterward putting ointment on his cut and feeding him blackberries. Apparently his jacket had been on for several days, and Keres blames Chuck for "not taking care" of her horses, even though as of recently we've only been designated (and allowed) to come to the farm 3 days of the week. Set aside the fact that Keres was the one who put the jacket on him, which serves nearly no purpose.

We're still in the process of finding Stanley a new home. After all he's been through he doesn't deserve to be mistreated and neglected any further then he already has. It's hard to imagine that this incident wasn't intentional, and while running into Chuck's mom again while leaving lead to another argument and literally no empathy on her end. Animals deserve love and respect, and Stanley is receiving neither of those from Keres. Oh, how laws protect animal abusers... if we only lived in a world where people could actually be held accountable for the way that they treat other sentient beings.

Love always,
Mike XVX

*I will high five you if you can name the band that wrote this song.

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