老妈的朋友最近花2,800块买了一只狗。

真正爱动物的人,为什么需要花钱买狗呢?

口口声声说爱狗,怎么不去领养一只被遗弃的狗,给它一个避风港?

因为宠物店的狗比较可爱,干净,讨喜,对吗?

因为这样, 能满足你。

追根究底,花钱买宠物的人,其实爱的是自己,狗儿只是满足自己虚荣心的工具。

闲时玩玩狗,拍几张照放上网。 吃饱饭,带去公园炫耀一番。

狗儿可能过得很幸福,可是那未必能长久。

当新鲜感慢慢退去,当你发现照顾狗儿是一件相当繁琐的事(尤其生病的时候),当你为了某种理由必须搬家,当你有了小孩对狗毛过敏,当你找不到人帮你继续照顾它……

它的下场,可想而知。

还有,我劝考虑买狗的人面对这些现实故事——

http://dogpeople.org/PuppyMill.htm
http://sgpuppies.com/
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1153292/1/.html

如果你知道,很多宠物店里的小狗是在龌龊不堪的“狗儿工厂”,以不人道的方法“生产”的,你还会买吗?

记得,你的选择,是在告诉无良的饲养者,市场仍有庞大需求。

你说爱狗,其实是害了他们。

真正爱狗的话,请你去领养一只被曾经也很“爱狗”的主人抛弃的狗吧!

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无常

The fathers of two friends passed away in the past two months due to cancer. Visited one of them today with my mum, and they said “still can’t believe that he’s no more”. Uncle passed away just before Hari Raya, so they aren’t celebrating.

It’s depressing, but I guess it’s a good reminder of life’s impermanence and we should treasure everyone around us as if we’re spending the last moments together. It’s horribly difficult, but let’s all try.

我永遠無法忘記這趟旅程

I’m back from Surabaya, where the Asia Pacific Interfaith Youth Camp was held! Thanks to all the inspiring people I met there, I’m filled with renewed motivation to speak up for causes I believe in.

I also hiked up a mountain in four hours at night without any gear – the greatest achievement of my life thus far! Sustained minor cuts and slipped many times.. but I still came back in one piece! We prayed in the ways of our different faiths before setting off… and I’m so glad we did- because nobody was hurt in a big way. I’m so grateful to all who pushed and pulled me along the way. If not for them, I would have lost the will to continue.

The beautiful sunrise that was worth the climb and the freezing cold wait.

I feel so powerless yet awed in the face of nature. Love trees! During my hike I was reminded once again that the world is so vast and human beings are so small. What are our problems compared to that of the world’s? Sometimes we forget this when we get too caught up in the nitty gritty.

This is Pak Hidayat, my homestay host. I came empty handed but he gave me a carton of keropok to bring home!! Bought me durian some more! He’s responsible for the city’s environmental cleanliness, with 900 staff under his charge. He told me he works 24 hours a day. It’s probably true, because I think Surabaya is really clean compared to many other southeast asian cities!

The Indonesians are really warm and sincere.. I feel so overwhelmed. Quite sadly, though, I get the feeling that this camp probably does not mean a lot to MCYS… because we were not briefed at all prior to the camp- no official guidelines (so typical but strangely forgotten), no protocol; nothing. As a first-timer to such regional events, I went there really ill prepared. Other delegates were handing out name cards (some handmade even!) and little souvenirs from their countries! So embarrassing.

See what I mean? The Thai delegates looking so royal in their traditional finery:

They practiced their dance items before the trip, okay!! It just goes to show how much importance their country attaches to this event… They even sent an observer from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs! Us Singaporeans were bleached white in comparison: no costume, no performance, nothing to show. We did try brainstorming, but singing National Day songs was just weird and corny. I guess young Singapore’s common heritage and identity is still not distinct enough. Will it come through more strongly with time? What’s our national costume, by the way? Orchid prints?

We felt rather lost, unable to grasp or define a national identity. But it’s important not to be cynical. Bitterness doesn’t help things. This is the first time I really feel the need to reflect upon our national identity… I also felt a little more patriotic. Timely, huh?

Aww the organisers! They’ve been so very kind and warm to us… Can’t thank them enough for taking such good care of us!

Happy Tree Friends, quite literally- at Mojokoto, Pacet, a hilly village with superb cooling climate…. My homestay hosts couldn’t speak a word of English, but we felt their warmth all the same. I felt so bad for eating two free meals at their spartan home. I hope they’re given some form of compensation!

More photos here

Facebook group here

Our declaration here

Why aren’t kids made from Play-doh?

I might be an anti-men (generally) and anti-marriage bigot, but I do love kids from the bottom of my poor heart. The fact that men and marriage are the only politically-correct requisites for having kids of my own (apart from a working reproductive system, of course) pains me.

On a happier note, Thai kids have such funky hairstyles. And I so love their stubby little arms, fat little legs, bright little eyes and chubby little cheeks. They loll around pavements on their little diaper-wrapped bottoms, watched lovingly by proud parents and envious, cooing strangers. I have not seen a single Thai kid with a PSP/Nintendo in hand and am determined never to buy one of those malicious gadgets for my kid. Kids should run on the grass and play in the mud, not stare spellbound into cold, isolating, life-sapping machines.

*Aww* Fat little ball of joy! Spotted: Jatujak Market, Krungtheb.

We saw such a lot of cute children’s clothes; so much so that we started to toy with the ‘buy now, give birth later’ idea. I’m glad sanity prevailed. But the fact that my father has already gleefully reserved household items for “his grandchildren’s use” remains. The fear that I won’t be able to fulfill my parents’ wishes for “as many grandchildren as possible” is starting to haunt, even when I am (an anti-men, anti-marriage bigot) aged just 21.

Happy Belated Vesak

I went to KMSPKS on Monday to help sell Gratitude Concert tickets. More importantly, I dedicated whatever (little) merits I’ve accumulated to the victims of Cyclone Nargis and the Sichuan quake.

I’m going to be vegetarian for at least a month to accumulate merits for them. Sitting there teary-eyed whenever the news come on doesn’t help much. At the same time I feel more happy knowing I’m not eating the flesh of fellow sentient beings. 🙂

Donated some money to Firefly Mission. Just read their email updating donors on the situation:

We have finally managed to contact our partners in compassion in Myanmar They are all safe and have started their ground work preparing to help us distribute medicine and relief supplies.

I read on their website the volunteers there pay for humanitarian trips themselves and that’s really admirable.

From KMSYM:

Buddhist Explanation on Natural Disasters

Natural disasters such as cyclones and earthquakes are results of human beings’ incessant greed and hatred that has accumulated over infinite eons.

What Can Buddhists Do?

Immediate

1. Dedicate merits to victims.

2. If you wish to help in any other ways, it is best to donate cash.

Cash donations enable charities to buy the most needed type of food, medicine, clothing, shelter materials and other supplies.

By buying relief products locally or regionally, charities can reduce shipping costs and more rapidly deliver assistance.

Long Term

We can avert future natural disasters by acting now. Be kind and compassionate, be grateful to all and lead a simple and environmentally sustainable lifestyle with few wants.

May all sentient beings find peace and refuge in times of calamity. Let’s all be grateful for every little thing that we have.