Category: Animals

Why Is There A Raiding Bear?

Why Is There A Raiding Bear?

My son-in-law sent through a photo of a bear raiding their rubbish bin one night, and it got me thinking.


The first thought when I saw the images was that, thankfully, everyone (including the cat and dog) was inside. Then I started to think about why the bear raided the rubbish bin in the first place. It was frequenting the neighbours’ bins as well.

It’s not the first time my daughter’s family has had visits from bears, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last. They live in a forest area in Northern California, so it stands to reason they live with wildlife around them.



Thankfully, only the recycling was tipped as they are very careful about what rubbish they put out.

In the grand scheme of things, humans have multiplied exceptionally quickly, and in doing so, we’ve encroached into the wildlife’s home.

We are diminishing their world by destroying forests and laying waste of the land with chemical fertilizers that have excessively polluted the environment.

We’re the only species (to my knowledge) that don’t regulate the number of offspring we produce. In the wild kingdom, the animals reduce their numbers when food is scarce. When food is plentiful, the numbers increase.

There is also a balance in nature when animals, insects and plants, are allowed their freedom to live as they should.

Humans, on the other hand, do not follow nature’s laws.

It doesn’t seem to matter to us that food is scarce. We keep breeding. We also don’t have predators to control our population, and we live a lot longer than we should because of modern medicine, so there are more of us. It doesn’t help the balance.

We are encouraged to have children. Don’t get me wrong, having children is beautiful, and I’m not suggesting we stop altogether. What we need to do is reduce the numbers. Of course, governments don’t want this simply because of capitalism. But what is it doing to our environment?

It’s bad enough that animals must try to adapt to urban sprawl encroaching. But they also have to live with fires and floods destroying their homes, all due to climate change we have exacerbated.

We have to live in harmony with nature. I certainly don’t have the answers, but I’m heartened when I see countries helping to re-establish ecosystems, such as shown recently by India. They are about to introduce Namibian cheetahs into their wildlife reserves as the Indian cheetahs went extinct 70 years ago. It is hoped that these big cats will help to balance the ecosystem. Of course, humans and their cattle will have to be kept out of the area.

Now, just think about what we could achieve with nature if we didn’t have such a massive reliance on animal agriculture.






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A Night With Leo

A Night With Leo

I honestly can’t call myself a doggy person – but a night with Leo changed all that.

During my illustrious career as a house-sitter, my number one rule was “no dogs”. Now, admittedly, it did reduce the house pool somewhat, but I remained firm. That is until I met Leo.

I have long retired from being a permanent house-sitter deciding that I do prefer to have an anchor, somewhere to call ‘home’. Besides, I needed to get my stuff out of storage before it all became worthless junk, or the heirlooms got forgotten.

So I hung up my shingle and settled into my existing abode and only agreed to look after two cats for a couple who had become friends.

Then I met Leo. Leonardo di Corgio to be precise. Yes, a corgi who snuck into my life and tugged my heartstrings. This dog seemed to have the innate ability to ferret out my ‘don’t do dogs’ opinion, hone into my psyche and become an animal I enjoy being around. I have no idea how he did it. (I think I have a clue now as to why the Queen loves this breed.)

[ss_click_to_tweet tweet=”What is it about a corgi that just delights and captures the heart-strings? #corgisarethebest #corgilove #corgiworld” content=”” style=”default”]

The day arrived for me to dog-sit. And there he was, at the door waiting for me. He knows my car and is always at the door when I arrive unless he’s asleep!

at the door

He greeted me with exuberant excitement, racing around before rushing off to get his mauled blanket and deposit it at my feet.

Let me explain something about Leo. He loves to play fetch. He will bring you anything he can find and deposit it at your feet or on your lap in the slim hope you will throw it. These ‘fetch’ gifts can range from his blanket (as mentioned) to an empty toilet roll, a sock to a piece of bark from the garden. And he doesn’t tire of it. Seven socks ended up on the bench over the time I was there. And, I have no idea where he was getting them from!

So once I’d got settled in and made a coffee I told him we’d play ball. You’d think I’d given him the world as I went for the ball and throwing device.

dog with ball

He ran up and down the side path, skidding into the garden when necessary or banging into walls simply to retrieve the ball and bring it back.

Ears erect, eyes fixed, and brain focused. Nothing was more important than where that ball went.

Finally, I’d had enough. I’m quite sure Leo would have kept going until his little feet bled. But I had finished my coffee, my arm was getting sore, so I called “last one, Leo” and it was as if he knew because when he brought the ball back and dropped it at my feet, he went straight to his water bowl.

Naturally, there were a few more ball games during the day, and that night he jumped up on the bed with me and snuggled in.


I have looked after Leo again for a couple of nights and will be putting my hand up next time ‘mum and dad’ go away.

Fee figures open heart

Nice to have a man in my life.






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The Wins Of 2016

The Wins Of 2016

Looking back on 2016 … it wasn’t too bad a year and we did have some wins.

There were some wonderful moments for the animals such as a group of little ducklings were saved by awesome firemen after they fell down a grate. Mumma duck was sooooo thrilled to have her babies back. And, firemen rescued swans from freezing on ice, not just once, but three times.

However, I want to look back on some of the “wins” that didn’t necessarily make the “headlines” but will make life a little easier on those animals who are constantly abused – that is: animals used for human purposes. So here’s my top 12:

Let’s begin with a statistic I think shows why many people are turning to a plant based way of eating.

  1. 94% of Americans believe it’s important that animals used for food aren’t abused. The way the industry is with factory farming, this is a good sign that people are starting to become aware.
  2. In New Zealand battery cages are to be phased out by 2022, a great “win”. Unfortunately the egg industry managed to still have the cages by convincing the government to legalize the colony cage… still a cage, will be able to put more birds in – the campaign continues.
  3. Around the world many groceries, restaurants and even fast food outlets no longer support caged eggs. In New Zealand, McDonalds announced its switch to only free range eggs in all outlets in 2017. Many others committed to a particular date.
  4. In Australia the Woolworths supermarket chain went cage free and in N.Z. a campaign was launched for Countdown to do the same. Countdown is a subsidery of the above mentioned Woolworths.
  5. In North America the “Right to Farm” is a law that was brought in to deny nuisance lawsuits against farmers who use accepted and standard farming practices. Well, the U.S. Humane Society along with other organisations set out to expose this law for what it really is : allowing farmers to use reprehensible measures like extreme confinement, mutilation with painkillers etc. They were able to stop this Right to Farm measures from being introduced into some State legislatures. Still a lot of work to be done.
  6. The Blackfish Bill was passed banning SeaWorld and other corporations from imprisoning Orcas for profit.  SeaWorld also announced that it would no longer have the Orca breeding program. I believe that the movie “Blackfish” has had a huge role in getting both these “wins”.
  7. France became the 1st country to totally ban Neonicotinoids – the bee-killing component in pesticides.  This measure goes above and beyond the E.U. ban put in place in 2013. The German company Bayer is not happy and, in fact, has a lawsuit pending against the E.U. Learn more  It’s almost like France has put up its middle finger to Bayer.
  8. And on the subject of bees, Canada is also trying to put in place a ban however, again Bayer has their lobbying hat on tight and the pressure is on. You can help by signing the petition: Save The Bees
  9. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus ended their elephant performances and took the elephants off the road in response to growing public concern over how the animals are treated.
  10. The number of Tigers, Pandas and Manatees all increased quite substantially which, if this keeps going, these animals will be able to come off the endangered list.
  11. On another note – the environment … 40,000 New Zealanders, who opposed the secret giveaway of community water resources, celebrated when The Ashburton District Council backed out of negotiations with NZ Pure Blue – a deal that would have allowed the corporation to extract billions of litres of waters from the aquifers beneath the town. The message was loud and clear – the last thing the community needs is a bottled-water company sucking the town dry for profit, especially in a drought-prone region. Mind you, this applies everywhere – as is being witnessed currently in the U.S.A. with the town of Flint as well as the Dakota Pipe Line.
  12. This was a story that absolutely delighted me.
    The Australian mining company, OceanaGold, had a contract to build a massive gold mine in Cabanas, a country in El Salvador. Now this would have used the last remaining water source, so the country of Cabanas refused to issue permits. OceanaGold filed a lawsuit against El Salavdor. However, because of worldwide people power, the lawsuit was dismissed. But wait, there’s a bit of icing on this cake – OceanaGold had to pay El Salvador compensation and cover their court costs.

So I’ll end this post on that absolutely corker win… showing that the little guy can take on the giant.

You’ll be able to find lots of other stories on the internet, but these ones were either close to my heart, or a little different to the usual.

All my heartfelt thanks for supporting me with my journey this year. May your 2017 be blessed for you and your family and may we have many more “wins” so we can ease the suffering of the many animals who endure so much for us.






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The Story About A Sheep

The Story About A Sheep

Once upon a time there was a sheep who was all alone.

Well, the story goes like this.  While I was in the country (yes, I’m back in the city now), I would take a morning perambulation to survey the countryside around me and take in the beautiful refreshing air.

In the paddock that ran alongside the road, the sheep meandered, munching on grass, heads down as sheep do, until I walked past.  Then it was heads jerked up, ears attuned and when I got too close it was off with a race to put a bit more distance between us.

But, at the top of the road where there were no sheep, there, on his/her lonesome was a single sheep just sitting, doing nothing, almost like he (we’ll call it he – saves on me having to type the letter “s”), was waiting for something – or maybe someone?

The first couple of mornings he bleated when he saw me and actually wandered over to the fence.  However, I couldn’t get to him as there was a double fence line with quite a gap between, so I have no idea if I could have pat him as I would have liked to have done.

He was there every morning for a couple of weeks.  Then just as quickly as he’d appeared – he was gone.

Now, I’m going to make up the story that he had been feeling a little depressed and had wanted some “time out”.  Then, on feeling back to his old self again (maybe my visits helped), he’d gone back to join his mates in the flock.  That is a far better image than him having been singled out to fatten up for the Christmas table.

Oh, and just so you know that I really was in the country …. I photo bombed the sheep and the chooks where I was staying.

At time of writing I had, in fact, left the country and was already ensconced in the first of the house-sits for 2017 … but I did have Christmas here.



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Harbourmaster Uses Council Boat To Free Orca – Stood Down

Harbourmaster Uses Council Boat To Free Orca – Stood Down

A Coromandel (N.Z.) Harbourmaster has been stood down because he used a Council boat to go and free an Orca.

A breeding female orca was trapped in a cray pot line for 16 hours – Yup 16 HOURS!!!! and the DOC (Department of Conservation) peeps were “too busy” to go and free her. So, in the end, the Harbourmaster along with a volunteer who had training in Dolphin and Whale rescue went out to her aid.

She was being held up by other members of her pod – if that’s not distress I don’t know what is!

Read More Here

They did get her free and she swam away.

But now the Waikato Regional Council is

“checking whether any regulations were breached or operational procedures not followed during the rescue”

and the Harbourmaster has been stood down.

This is P.C. gone afoul – as usual. Who gives a toss if regulations have been breached! The Harbourmaster knew what he was doing, didn’t put anyone at risk and saved the Orca. He should be commended not reprimanded!

I’ll get off my soapbox now.






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About Me

About Me

Thanks for dropping by, my name is Fee O’Shea. I’m a mother and grandma, an author and an Improver. I’ve got a resource website to help peeps go plant-based, I’ve scribbled six books centred around veganism, and have helped others write and publish their own stories.
But this blog is for my thoughts, my rants, raves, reviews and things that have grabbed my attention. From politics to social media to beauty, health and the environment. Fee’s Ramblings Over Coffee is written to bring you a smile or get you thinking. Enjoy.



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