• DAY 305: HAVE I FINALLY LOST IT? RESCUING FROGS WHILST AVOIDING TINY DANCERS IN HANOI

    Jul 26 2013

    The start of this video is a little grim but don’t worry, it quickly fades into farce. At the time of making this I was all enveloped – now looking back on it I worry for my sanity.

    There is a lake in central Hanoi which is ‘protected’ from fishing. It lies serene in the heart of the old town amidst the incessant urban busyness around it. I have just released some fish and frogs into this lake from a rather brutal market. This sounds reasonable enough but I found myself walking round and round this lake, through dancers, badminton players, tourists, street vendors, tai-chi experts, all the while carrying a bag of frogs and live fish, panicking about where was best to release them.

    The street markets in Vietnam are fairly grim. I never thought I would wish death upon a creature like I have just done now. But seeing the way they kill – or rather don’t kill – the fish to keep them fresh right up until cooking is heartbreaking and makes me what to end it for them sooner rahter than later.

    It’s clear to me, as it shoudl have been a long time ago, that the suffering of fish is no different than the suffering of other creatures. Any distinction was in my mind, caused by a segmentation of compassion that I see echoed throughout the word: some creatures we care about, other creatures we don’t and the reasons and the reasons are never based on logic but prejudice instead.

    Vietnam is over and I feel empty-handed. How many pangolins did  I save?

    Zero.

    But how many could I have saved. I suspect zero .

    This is a global fight, and it begins in the hearts and minds of all of us.

    If you would like more information about pangolins or what you can do then see below:

    1) If you visit LAOS, VIETNAM, MALAYSIA, CHINA, CAMBODIA be aware that you are in pango territory. You might want to read up about them (see below), visit some conservation centres or make your feelings known to other travellers.

    2) Donate  money to the very small and  frugal pangolin research centre that I stayed in (click here for the CPCP) who don’t yet have a web site and are not government supported. $1 cares for Lucky or any other pangolin for a whole day.  Send money to myself marked PANGOLIN and I will pass it on. Like their facebook site here

    3) Support any of these with pangolin conservation programmes

     

    FINALLY – PASS ON THE LINK TO THIS BLOG.

    GO PANGOLINS!!! We have only a few years left to save them. WE CAN’T CRAWL INTO A BALL AND IGNORE THIS.

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  • DAY 276: ANTS WILL TAKE OVER THE WORLD AND EAT OUR FACES…unless we save the pangolin

    Jun 29 2013
    Pangolins are in a terrible hole? How can we help?.... read on...

    I shall save you from the ants…but you must save me. Pangolins are in a terribly dark place at the moment. How can we help?…. read on…

    For the last few days I’ve been living in a crappy bedroom by the forest spending much of my time clearing baby frogs from under my bed (WHERE DO THEY COME FROM??) and reading about pangos, photographing pangos and hanging out with LUCKY as though we might elope together. 

    We're off to tenerife to get wasted together

    We’re off to tenerife to get wasted together

    Here are some more essential pangolin facts including the little known notion that if they die out we may just be taken over by face-eating termites. Nevertheless, on a daily basis pangos are dying in bags rolled into balls staring at their own tiny penises ….not a way to go for such an important little creature.

    one of eight frogs I have now found under my bed and 'rescued'. What can I say, everyone wants to sleep with me...

    one of eight frogs I have now found under my bed and ‘rescued’. What can I say, everyone wants to sleep with me…

     

    ants will take over the world and eat your face...unless we save the pangolin

    ants will take over the world and eat your face…unless we save the pangolin

    1) WHY SHOULD I CARE? WHICH PANGOLINS EVER WROTE GREAT LITERATURE OR HELPED OLD PEOPLE ACROSS THE ROAD?

    Cuteness aside  pangolins are a vital part of the ecosystem. Kill them and the ants take over the world. Well, to be fair, we dont’ quite know but pangos do eat A LOT of ants and termites.

    But actually – forget that. Let’s be honest. As much as it matters, I don’t care about ants making lots of babies in the jungle and nor do you. If you were as eco-aware as that you’d sleep in a hemp bag and never read this blog because after all, electricity kills. Nevertheless the ants COULD get you.

    Well …how about this. A 70-million-year-old really cool species will go extinct, maybe in a decade or two.

    Actually – forget that too.

    Terribly controversial but I’ve never been as worried about extinction of a species as extinction of an individual. Shoot me now. Its not the idea of Pango as a taxonomic unit in a reference book with a latinate description that worries me as much as the thousands/millions of creatures that are utterly defenceless being killed in the most cruel way possible

    Pain is what hurts. Pain is what matters.

     

    I suffer

    Lucky again…

     

    2) OK, IF WELFARE IS THE ISSUE, HOW BAD IS THE SITUATION?

    Every day tens or even hundreds of pangolins are thought to be smuggled across the borders of Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and China. Exact numbers are not known but we can make a good guess: SHIT LOADS.

    Conservative estimates assume that seizures represent 10% of the total haul. And in 2011 a single seizure of a boat caught 17tonnes of the meat. The zeros in the death toll are too big to fit in my brain. The senseless slow deaths are are horrifying as they are totally SILENT.

    'Lucky' occasionally gets pissed off and sulks in this corner, clinging to the fence. ..but not for long

    ‘Lucky’ occasionally gets pissed off and sulks in this corner, clinging to the fence. ..but not for long

     

    3) BUT YES, HAVE PANGOLINS EVER WRITTEN GREAT LITERATURE OR MUSIC? WHY SHOULD I CARE??

    Actually, yes.Listen to Life’s a Ball and Roll with me (by Adam and the Ants) or try reading…er…that really amazing book with a pangolin pun in the title that I’ve forgotten but is great.

    Lucky takes a while to wake up in the morning (which is his evening) but he gets there in the end...

    Lucky takes a while to wake up in the morning (which is his evening) but he gets there in the end…

    blog3-8

     

    4)  ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT…SO EXACTLY HOW ARE PANGOLINS CAUGHT?

    These are the nets they now use to catch which are considered more ‘humane’ (ie. the pangos die eating their own shit rather than being shot or hung with razor wire). This is not because the traders care about pangolins but because living pangos are worth more.

    They then inject them with water – or if they are lucky, excuse the pun – with rice starch to make them weigh more to sell on the market for profit.Pangolins often die of stomach ulcers caused by stress or the wrong food.

    I repeat – no pangolin has ever bitten anyone. No pangolin ever fought back or swore at anyone. They are innocent.

    The wonderful Phoung of the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program (CPCP) in Cuc phoung national park showing the nets that are used to 'humanely' capture the pangolins for the illegal trade

    The wonderful Phoung of the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program (CPCP) in Cuc phoung national park showing the nets that are used to ‘humanely’ capture the pangolins for the illegal trade

     

    Fattening up pangolins by holding them down and force feeding rice starch through a pipe. If the pipe goes down the windpipe they die

    Fattening up pangolins by holding them down and force feeding rice starch through a pipe. If the pipe goes down the windpipe they die. Courtesy of ENV vietnam, see link below for the story behind this image…

     

    read this:

    http://envietnam.org/E_News/Daily_News/Fattening_up_pangolins_to_earn_billions_of_VND.html

     

    5) WHY AREN’T THE VIETNAMESE DOING ANYTHING?

    They are.

    A fair bit. But its not making enough of a difference.  There are a huge number of protected parks and there are laws and there are great organisations like the rescue centre I visited (CPCP) or ENV (click here). The problem is that a) the wildlife trade is getting rampant because winnings are high and punishment is low b) the country is somewhat corrupt and politically sticky. We need global support for the current vietnamese efforts (as well as other countries)

    For example, when pangos are confiscated at the border a loophole in the law allows guards to sell them on for ‘sicentific benefit’, which ends up meaning to restaurants or back into the trade. Pangolins are saved and then sold back to the enemy. We hope for this loop hole to close very soon but it could take years.

    When we visit Lucky at night he hears us coming and sticks his snout through the door.

    When we visit Lucky at night he hears us coming and sticks his snout through the door.

    blog3-16

    6) WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT PREACHER MARTIN?

    Look, I know, I know. I feel like a chanting girl at a murder scene waving fluffy things around while crimes are being committed. And if you touch a pangolin it pretty much dies so what hope do I have? Elope with Lucky to a remote island and live off ants?  I’m trying damn hard: I’m going to try to get into the poaching areas or to the smuggling routes to at least witness the trade, but as one of you reminded me, this is a huge international criminal affair that doesn’t offer tourist sightseeing trips. And I’m not vietnamese – I’m 6’4″

     

    Food is stuffed and hidden in bamboo to make the pango work a little...

    Food is stuffed and hidden in bamboo to make the pango work a little…

    or put high up in containers covered with heavy stone...

    or put high up in containers covered with heavy stone…

    ...or stuffed away...

    …or stuffed away…

    7) IS ANYONE THAT IS MORE TALENTED AND POWERFUL THAN YOU, MARTIN, DOING ANYTHING USEFUL?

    For the first time ever, there is a world conference on pangolins happening RIGHT NOW (I think it actually finished today) . 50 of the top pangolin experts are rolling into Singapore to scale up their conservation efforts. The strange thing is WE STILL DON’T MUCH ABOUT THESE CREATURES so don’t think it’s all under control. It isn’t. But its a wonderful start. Dan Challender, Chris Shepherd et all – go protect!!

    http://www.pangolinsg.org/news/

     

     

    8) WHAT CAN I, THE BLOG READER,  DO TO HELP? 

    Strange as it sounds start by

    1)simple caring. Engage your head and heart. It does matter.

    2) Then tell others about it. Pass on this blog, read more about them

    3) Finally stop eating that pangolin burger and curing your baldness by balancing pangolin scales on your head. IT WON’T WORK. Go and pray to the moon – that will.

    4) If you visit LAOS, VIETNAM, MALAYSIA, CHINA, CAMBODIA be aware that you are in pango territory. You might want to read up about them, visit some conservation centres or make your feelings known to other travellers.

    5) donate  money to the very small and  frugal pangolin research centre that I stayed in (CPCP) who don’t yet have a web site and are not government supported. $1 cares for Lucky or any other pangolin for a whole day.  Send money to myself marked PANGOLIN and I will pass it on. Like their facebook site here

    6) Or support any of these with pangolin conservation programmes

     

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  • DAY 268: A GUEST PORTFOLIO FROM A GREAT DOG SUPPORTER

    Jun 20 2013
    A photo by Shane Green of a dog at the Tree of Life for Animals out in India.

    A photo by Shane Green of a dog at the Tree of Life for Animals out in India.

    One of the most heartwarming things about this year long journey is all of you.

    You’ve probably guessed by now that although I’m travelling a lot on the plane (and I’m off again in a few days – news to follow) this journey is more about visiting parts of my mind than it is other physical destinations. Places that I’ve neglected for too long: fears, doubts and contradictions in my understanding of our relationship to animals .

    And so it makes a huge difference to have you on the ride.

    An early supporter is a man called Shane Green who I have still not met but he clearly shares a huge love of dogs. He also happens to be a rather wonderful photographer. When I was out in India last it so happened he was too, visiting and taking pictures of dogs at a rescue centre in Rajasthan, India called Tree of Life for Animals who clearly do great work.

    Unfortunately we did not meet but he sent me these inspiring photos.Check out his slideshow here

    Check out Tree of life here: http://www.tolfa.org.uk/

    Helping animals – helping people. from shane green on Vimeo.

     

    Shane tells how TOFLA was started by an inspirational British Vet Nurse called Rachel Wright who saw how a small town in India was clearing the streets of dogs for a festival using inhumane methods that sometimes involved tying dogs to trees in the hot desert.

    Good work Shane. Wishing your dog Lulu a speedy recovery.

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    A photo by Shane Green of a dog at the Tree of Life for Animals out in India.

    A photo by Shane Green of a dog at the Tree of Life for Animals out in India.

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    SGGL0903

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

    Photo copyright Shane Green

     

     

     

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  • DAY 221: UPDATE ON DELHI STREET PUPPY

    May 07 2013
    Tammy with new bandage who is now safe at the Frendicoes rescue centre in Delhi.

    Tammy with new bandage who is now safe at the Frendicoes rescue centre in Delhi.

    I wanted to check up on the little Delhi street dog with the leg scar that had followed me the other day.

    ‘Tommy’, (who is in fact a girl – let’s call her Tammy for now) ended up being taken to a charity shelter called ‘Friendicoes’, which happens to be the dog shelter started and run by Kartick’s working partner at Wildlife SOS, Geeta Seshamani

    I went to visit the shelter and Tammy bounded up to me perfectly happy despite the large strapping on her legs that had been put on to treat the wound.

    'Tammy' rushes to play with me. Puppies seem to be immune to a certain amount of misery.

    ‘Tammy’ rushes to play with me. Puppies seem to be immune to a certain amount of misery.

    Tammy posing

    Tammy posing

    Friendicoes, a dog sanctuary/charity in Delhi

    Friendicoes, the dog sanctuary/charity in Delhi

    Geeta Seshamani, who runs the dog sanctuary Frendicoes and also co-runs Wildlife SOS, posing with some of her rescued dogs

    Geeta Seshamani, who runs the dog sanctuary Frendicoes and also co-runs Wildlife SOS, posing with some of her rescued dogs

    People waiting to be seen at Frendicoes

    People waiting to be seen at Frendicoes

    The enthusiasm of youth seems to immunise puppies from a certain amount of pain. And now her life had changed completely and she didn’t seem too fazed – from a dirty car park to a rescue centre and soon…she’ll be going to a new home.

    While I was at the centre I looked around at the other dogs there. Whereever you go in the world there is a level of brutality to some dogs that is hard to understand.

    Another dog that came in with severe burns. Sometimes people throw battery acid over dogs they don't like.

    Another dog that came in with severe burns. Sometimes people throw battery acid over dogs they don’t like.

    This dog was attacked multiple times with a knife. Who knows why...

    This dog was attacked multiple times with a knife. Who knows why…

    This dog had his lower jaw totally crushed in an accident but is now already able to eat again thanks to the help of Frendicoes

    This dog had his lower jaw totally crushed in an accident but is now already able to eat again thanks to the help of Frendicoes

    Tammy is going to be cared for until she recovers and then they’ll look to find her a new life.  I’ll try and keep up with her story but if anyone wants to donate directly to the centre they are desperately in need of cash (or to me, marked ‘TAMMY’ and  I’ll make sure its passed on to her directly)

    Tammy with an old man hanging outside the rescue cetnre

    Tammy with an old man hanging outside the rescue cetnre

     

    A dog watches the scenery outside the rescue centre

    A dog watches the scenery outside the rescue centre

     

    As per usual you can buy any prints from this blog according to the sizes of the prints here, marking your donation TAMMY so I can make sure it gets to them.

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  • DAY 207: A SHOCKING READ ON FLIGHT TO JUNGLE GIVES ME MOTIVATION

    Apr 24 2013
    A recently released photo of a cheetah hunt in 1891. Wildlife hunting and abuse has a long history in India

    A recently released photo of a cheetah hunt in 1891. Wildlife hunting and abuse has a long history in India. Courtesy of the BBC.

    I’m on a plane to Bangalore to visit Kartick’s rescued bears.

    His sanctuary is some way into the jungle beyond the city. I like the idea of a jungle being just outside the city. It makes a change from Surrey.

    I’m flicking through a book that he gave me: ‘Handbook on Wildlife Law enforcement in India’.

    It is not something I’d buy for a beach trip but it makes uncomfortable reading.

    This is partly because I’m in a really small seat.

    This is ‘Spice Air’ (India’s answer to Ryan Air but with less room and more chilli in the food) and as the person in front leans back my knees fold towards my chest. I’m feeling terrible anyway –a cold from the UK along with all this insipid heat along with unmarked street food from the night before leads to some strange energy moving through my body.

    Not a snappy title but the book has bite.

    Not a snappy title but the book has bite.

    But it’s uncomfortable reading for two other reasons

    Firstly, for just how NASTY the illegal wild life trade is. And secondly, for making me realise I knew next to NOTHING about it.

    The illegal trade in wildlife is the third largest illegal trade in the world after drugs and arms. Estimates value the annual haul at $20 billion USD or even more. That’s a lot of money and a load of death. How exactly did a BBC-news-skimming liberal like myself know so little?

    Perhaps because the trade is fairly complex. Perhaps because the effects are not as vividly felt as bombs or as newsworthy as heroin.

    But the effects are just as deadly.

    The wildlife trade is not only the story of ivory and tiger skin. It is the story of peacocks being killed for their feathers, of owls being sold for witchcraft, of sharks being destroyed for their fins, of tigers being embalmed for wine, of baboons being slaughtered for bushmeat, of bears being sold for the ‘medicinal’ quality of their penises. It is a collection of stories that make up one terrible tale of animals being abused for man’s superficial ends: ornamentation, taste and (so-called) health.

    Man smuggles live eggs

    Man smuggles live bird eggs

    Depressing read

    The list of ways in which animals are killed – guns, pits, electric wires, nets, poison, leg traps, snares, is matched only by the list of animals that are killed – tigers, bears, elephants, rhinos, peacocks, leopards….and on and on.

    And it’s all getting so much worse.

     

    An elephant killed by electrocution. Grim

    An elephant killed by electrocution. Grim

    With increasing globalization (poachers can coordinate by phone and sell online) and better technology (easier international travel, better killing techniques) and relatively weak punishments for those that are caught (trading in narcotics or arms leads to much heavier penalities), more and more organized criminals are turning to the joys of stuffing pangolin scales down their knickers.

    Very little illegally traded wildlife is for the Indian market - it all goes abroad

    Very little illegally traded wildlife is for the Indian market – it all goes abroad

    Conservation vs welfare

    Many people argue against the wildlife trade on conservation grounds. I don’t see it that way. Although the pangolin itself is traded so ruthlessly that it is fast on the way to extinction I care more about the suffering of the individual. The pain of the pangolin forced into a plastic bag, transported inhumanely, killed brutally is what should upset us most. That pain multiplied many thousands of times over is more concerning than a statistic or downward graph in a newspaper of the whole species.

    Welfare is what upsets me. The eyes of this bird are sewn shut to stop it flying away.

    Welfare is what upsets me. The eyes of this bird are sewn shut to stop it flying away.

    Now I understand why Kartick dedicates his life to busting the criminal networks involved in wildlife crime. Although India doesn’t consume wildlife like China does, this countries need for money along with its criminal and corrupt underclass means that wildlife here are suffering grotesque levels of misery.

    From BBC

    From BBC. My camera is better than this.

    Maybe I should man-up and join Kartick on a rescue after all. He keeps whispering to me that a bear cub will need rescuing in a few days. ‘when we have all the intel together’.

    I’m ready.

    Except I think I have bronchitis.

    Rhinos can bleed to death after losing their horns to poachers.

    Rhinos can bleed to death after losing their horns to poachers.

    NEXT BLOG: MEETING HUNDREDS OF RESCUED BEARS. BUT HOW AM I MEANT TO HELP?

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  • DAY 198: WE DID IT! MANGO IS FLYING BUSINESS CLASS TO THE UK

    Apr 12 2013

    rescuemangodone

    MANGO IS COMING TO THE UK! 

    thank you…once again

    We’ve hit the target…and shot over it

    £1300 raised

    A new life for a small dog. The donations were going up nicely when we got blasted with a £750 donation from a pet lifestyle site called Petspyjamas in the UK taking us WELL OVER the target.

    Mango can now fly business class!

    Thank you to each and everyone one of you. Whatever your donation, big or small, you made this happen. I’m so incredibly touched. And a big  thank you to Petspyjamas, please take a look at their lovely site here, a totally unexpected donation.

    The royal reaction has already been positive

    The Queen is reportedly delighted

    Costs covered

    This money will now cover all of Mango’s medicals in Manila, the customs checks, her crate, the flights to London, the UK customs checks AND give Mango a lovely bed and toys in London.

    Any left over, if there is some, will be given back to Network for Animals who are doing amazing work trying to rid the Philippines of the dog meat trade. We are currently investigating if it might even be viable for me to go out again to escort her back safely…

     

    Mango is doing really well in Manila

    Mango is doing really well in Manila but looking forward to a new life in Britain.

    Here she is at her temporary residence with the mother of Network for Animals’ resident vet.

    She’s put on some serious bulk in a few weeks (gulp – we may need to get her a bigger crate still – check out those paws), apparently she has really come out of her shell and she’s had her full medical done and will be microchipped shortly.

    I’ll give you an update as to her health and expected return time soon. We expect it to take another few months

    THANK YOU SO MUCH AGAIN. YOU’VE GIVEN THIS DOG A NEW LIFE.

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  • DAY 191: BUY PRINTS TO GIVE MANGO A NEW LIFE

    Apr 04 2013

    bringmangohome

    Meet Mango. She is the puppy that  Network forAnimals and myself rescued from the street where they sell dogs for the meat trade. I want to bring her home by selling prints of her. Please help!

    Shivering, chained to a wall and covered in ticks we bought her for $4 and got her to a vet. Now I desperately want to bring her back to the UK for a new life. It will take a few months…and some money.

    I’ve stupidly promised to bring her back. But to do so I will need at least £750.

    I need your help! I know you’ve given so much already but now I’ve gone and done it…I want to give a puppy a whole new life and somehow we are going to make it happen. Many many other dogs like mango don’t have this chance.

    TO SEE THE PRINTS SCROLL DOWN

    This is how we found the puppy, chained to a wall in a dark corridor. We think she is 3 months old.

    This is how we found the puppy, chained to a wall in a dark corridor. We think she is 3 months old.

    The street where they sell dogs for meat

    The street where they sell dogs for meat and where we bought Mango for $4

    TO BUY ONE OF THE BELOW PRINTS OR TO SIMPLY DONATE PLEASE CLICK HERE AND MARK AS ‘MANGO’ (see info on choosing prints below)

    All money will go to his vets bills, his care, his travel and finding him a loving home.

    I will keep you updated as to his progress as money comes in. THANK YOU!!!

     

    HOW TO BUY PRINTS

    1. Choose which images you want (note the NAME in capitals below each image)

    2. Choose the size (available sizes marked under each image)

    3. Add up the price

    4. Add packaging/post costs

    UK – £10

    EU- £15

    Rest of World – £20

    5. Hit the big red DONATE button or click here and send the total WITH A FULL DESCRIPTION OF EACH IMAGE AND SIZE WANTED.

    DON’T FORGET POSTAGE AND ALL IMAGE DESCRIPTIONS. IF YOU WANT ANY IMAGES WITHOUT LETTERING PLEASE SAY SO

     

    MANGO SIMPLE PORTRAIT Longest edge: 12" £20 / 16" £35+PP / 24" £60+PP

    MANGO SIMPLE PORTRAIT No. 1  Longest edge: 12″ £25 / 16″ £50+PP / 24″ £75+PP

    STOP THE MEAT TRADE 16" £35+PP /  24" £60+PP

    STOP THE MEAT TRADE. Longest edge: 16″ £50+PP / 24″ £75+PP

    FISH AND CHIPS Longest edge: 12" £20 / 16" £35+PP / 24" £60+PP

    FISH AND CHIPS Longest edge: 12″ £25 / 16″ £50+PP / 24″ £75+PP

     

    MANGO SIMPLE PORTRAIT  NO.2 Longest edge: 12" £20 / 16" £35+PP / 24" £60+PP

    MANGO SIMPLE PORTRAIT NO.2 Longest edge: 12″ £25 / 16″ £50+PP / 24″ £75+PP

    HANGING OUT: Longest edge: 12" £20 / 16" £35+PP / 24" £60+PP

    HANGING OUT: Longest edge: 12″ £25 / 16″ £50+PP / 24″ £75+PP

    BRING ME HOME: Longest edge: 12" £20 / 16" £35+PP / 24" £60+PP

    BRING ME HOME: Longest edge: 12″ £25 / 16″ £50+PP / 24″ £75+PP

    JUST SITTING: Longest edge: 12" £20 / 16" £35+PP / 24" £60+PP

    JUST SITTING: Longest edge: 12″ £25 / 16″ £50+PP / 24″ £75+PP

    THAT UGLY MAN AND MANGO Longest edge: 12" £20 / 16" £35+PP / 24" £60+PP

    ME AND MANGO Longest edge: 12″ £25 / 16″ £50+PP / 24″ £75+PP

    SO SLEEPY Longest edge: 12" £20 / 16" £35+PP / 24" £60+PP

    SO SLEEPY Longest edge: 12″ £25 / 16″ £50+PP / 24″ £75+PP

    SAVE MANGO Longest edge: 16" £35+PP / 24" £60+PP

    SAVE MANGO Longest edge: 16″ £50+PP / 24″ £75+PP

     

     

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  • DAY 191: A PUPPY SAVED FROM THE DINNER TABLE!

    Apr 03 2013

     

    The ride home with the rescued dog. Time to piss all over Martin's legs

    The ride home with the rescued dog. Time to piss all over Martin’s legs

    I’m afraid we never managed to intercept a truck at night with dogs bound for the meat trade and with me dodging bullets – I apologise for the lack of drama and for not getting shot – but I do have some GOOD news.

    We saved a single, quivering, chained-up puppy from the dinner table.

    And I want to bring her home. Gulp.

    Meet MANGO. 

    MANGO - weird name, but curiously sweet

    MANGO – funny name, but curiously sweet

     

    Perhaps it’s for the best that we did not intercept a truck. Andrew told me that the stench alone of opening the  back of a vehicle full of dying dogs stuffed in bags and cages would be enough to stay with me for life. But all the same I’m frustrated. I came here to help.

    So instead we paid a trip to an area where the dog traders are known to live – and ply their trade. A small street on the outskirts of Manilla: charming, backwards, hot. Hot but chilling, because this is the very street where dogs are frequently purchased (or stolen) to then be shipped up to places like Baguio where they are made into stew. Mmmm.

    Andrew, Frank and Ros talk to a man on the street where dogs are frequently collected for dog meat. A few minutes later we saw the puppy

    Andrew, Frank and Ros talk to a man on the street where dogs are frequently collected for dog meat. A few minutes later we saw the puppy

    We almost missed the puppy. It was tied up in the shade by a small chain, shaking. The owner, who spoke no English, was more than happy to sell it for only $4.  A sure sign that when the dog was bigger and fatter he would have happily sold it on to the traders

    This is how we found the puppy, chained to a wall in a dark corridor. We think she is 3 months old.

    This is how we found the puppy, chained to a wall in a dark corridor. We think she is 3 months old.

    I called the puppy ‘Patrick’ at first after briefly checking he was a boy (I was filmed for a charity whilst checking his bits) and then found out later from the vet that he was in fact a her (I didn’t do GCSE biology – which is hardly an excuse).

    I then called her Mango. Erm. Mango are the most popular fruit here…and kind or…er…sweet.. (Just get over it!)

    The man was more than happy to sell the puppy for a few dollars.

    The man was more than happy to sell the puppy for a few dollars..and handle her roughly.

     

    Proud dad.

    Proud dad.

    She rode back in the car with me staring out at her old life passing away with no idea what that $4 could change so mcuh.

    And then, out of gratitude she peed all over my legs (does she own me now? Mango, I will be your lampost any day of the week) We took her to the best vets in the whole of the Philippines where she was checked over, de-ticked and kept in observation.

    Life and death is so brutal out here. And death is so pervasive out there that saving one dog may seem pointless: but it is a vote for life

    Waiting at the vets.

    Waiting at the vets.

    Check me out on this tall table...

    Er…what’s going on?

    Promise to get you a new home

    Promise to get you a new home

     

    Weirdly the vet was being filmed for Filipino TV when I came in for some reality show...when asked what I was doing here I made the fatal mistake of saying I liked Indonesia. I am now officially an idiot...ON INDONESIAN TV (i mean filipppino tv)

    Weirdly the vet was being filmed for Filipino TV when I came in for some reality show…when asked what I was doing here I made the fatal mistake of saying I liked Indonesia. I am now officially an idiot…ON INDONESIAN TV (i mean filipppino tv)

    A decent meal

    A decent meal

     

    Can Mangoes be imported to the UK?

    I’m now in serious trouble.

    I HAVE PROMISED TO GET THIS DOG BACK TO THE UK.

    Double gulp.

    I don’t want her to be another Cordelia.

    This little thing REALLY perked up when she had some attention. It will take months to get all the paperwork and tests together but I am determined. In the meantime she will stay with the vet’s mother but it is NOT a long term solution.

    There is no dog-shelter in the Philippines that I am leaving this dog in, there is no home we can be sure she will do well in and  I am determined that at some point this dog will be in the UK in a new home.

    One of my promises to Ann on starting this year was that I would help as much as I can – and travel –  but our house would not become a refuge centre…for spiders, hens or dogs.

    Alldogsmatter in the UK will help me find a loving home over here for this dog but in the meantime…

    ..it’s over $1000 to do it wth flights.

    AhhhhhhhhhhhH!!!!

    Next blog. I’m desperately selling portraits of Mango to try and get the money to fulfil my promise. Pls help!!! Let’s get this dog some 

    Mango poses with Ros...she became SUPER affectionate in no time once she had some food.

    Mango poses with Ros…she became SUPER affectionate in no time once she had some food.

     

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  • Day 185: I HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN YOU, GALGOS – some cover designs for a possible book

    Mar 28 2013
    A possible cover for a book on Galgos (and podencos)?

    A possible cover for a book on Galgos (and podencos)?

    While we continue wait to rescue the dogs bound for the restaurants I’m still thinking very hard about the photo book I want to do on the Galgos, the spanish hunting dogs, to raise awareness for their plight.

    I want the book to be big, coffee table size, and hardback. So it sits on teh table and says ‘LOOK AT ME!’

    Here are some possible covers. I’m thinking they should be embossed in DISTRESSED GOLD to get across the regal nature of these dogs. Which do you think is best?

    By the way if anyone knows anyone with lots of cash who wants to make this book happen put them in touch. It will take a few visits to spain.

    OPTION 2: Big and bold? Gold lettering across the front

    OPTION 2: Big and bold? Gold lettering across the front

     

    A more understated book - covered in fine linen with gold embossing. The colours reflect the spanish national flag (but also of course bull fighting...and blood)

    OPTION 3:  a more understated book – covered in fine linen with gold embossing. The colours reflect the spanish national flag (but also of course bull fighting…and blood). This is more in the tradtion of the fine-art photo book

     

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  • Day 184: MALI – THE ELEPHANT THAT EVERYONE WANTS TO SAVE BUT NO ONE CAN. YET.

    Mar 26 2013
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    Mali, the elephant everyone is trying to rescue.

    The zoo in Manila isn’t that bad. It’s just an archetypal zoo.

    In other words its downright depressing. 

    While we wait for the Mayor to get back in touch about our dog rescue mission (he’s doing whatever Mayor’s do when they are unavailable) we decide to visit the local zoo and see a famous elephant that has lived here in isolation for decades.

    She is called Mali.

    Everyone but everyone around the world has been trying to get this elephant out but she’s STILL here. Pacing up and down.

    Watching Mali - she kind of does the same thing over and over. Like watching BIg Brother on TV at 5am but with no sofa.

    Watching Mali – she kind of does the same thing over and over. Like watching BIg Brother on TV at 5am but with no sofa.

    Mali, the elephant everyone is trying to rescue.

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    I find these photos kind of weird. Like my camera was possessed.. They are the closest thing I have done to war photography. Of course they are not war photography. But they do show the effects of a terrible between the oppressor and the oppressed.

     

    My main impression of this zoo is of concrete and flimsy fences. Everywhere you look there are vast animals – hippos, large ostriches, tigers and an even an elephant called Mali – that live mostly in isolation in very drab concrete enclosures protected by a poor permiter. The only thing stopping them jumping out is their learned helplessness. This place is the epitome of the zoo-prison, it doesn’t even pretend to be natural and for that sort of honesty you have to hand it to the zoo-keepers.

    Give them a single peso.

     

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    A local visitor getting into the mood of this crazy happy place.

    A local visitor getting into the mood of this crazy happy place.

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    And then Mali:  pacing up and down her bare cell. She’s been the subject of a huge international drive to release her. PETA have committed to flying her across the world to an elephant sanctuary and caring for the rest of her life and yet still the poor soul is still here.

    Why?

    Because the local mayor thinks that every zoo needs an elephant.

    TOMORROW: we wait for the green light to try and intercept the truck bound for the dog meat trade. Can we rescue any dogs? Can we get the mayor out of bed?

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    Andrew crosses the divide. Kind of seems a little easy to get close to the animals at this zoo. And yet they are so so far away.

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