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Intro to Activist Burnout & How to Avoid It.

Jan 23 to 26 2013 016

You all now know LOKI, and this is just one of his latest pictures taken yesterday.  You have followed our journey since October 2010 and this is another long cold winter for us both, you also know that I will never give up with him.  There are so many times, that he has come to me, in my own time of need, given me the needed strength when my own is waning, when it became all too much to bare witness to the continued horrors, to cross post and even update this Blog properly with both good news and bad….

Watching him leap high into the air to land in deep snow banks, rolling on his sides and back, racing across the frozen snow….rejoicing in his freedom and in just being alive rekindles my flame to carry on the needed fight for animals everywhere.  As one follower remarked in a comment to me on Loki’s FB page, when looking into his beautiful gentle eyes it is as if one is falling gently and becoming one in spirit with him.

Closeup of Loki

Going through my long list of incoming emails, I was sent this particular one, by a very close and dear friend of mine who has been involved in animal rescue and advocacy for an extremely long time.

I honestly believe that there are many of us out  there in the real world that can say that at one time or another we have experienced the devastating result of the endless hours dedicated to saving, even just one life that has miraculously survived the rages of human indifference, lack of compassion and total disregard for life.

The extreme cost to our own personal lives encompasses many facets.  Loss of time with family, the use of personal finances to ensure rescue and proper care, loss of quality time with our own companion animals and of course the emotional and physical costs we must endure to continue our necessary work.

For all of you who continue the it hands on rescue, be it in your own homes, in shelters, at your computer day after day getting the message out there, signing petitions, lobbying for positive legislative changes to existing antiquated  Animal Protection Laws, public speaking on the issues, as well as being a source of strength and support to each other…..I THANK ALL OF YOU..for your continued dedication and commitment.

We all are the Champions who clean up the mess left behind.  We SAVE LIVES!!!

Intro to Activist Burnout & How to Avoid It. 

What is Activist Burnout? ‘Activist Burnout’ broadly encompasses all personally negative mental, emotional, physical, and behavioural changes caused by one’s activism, that in result hinder the effectiveness of that activist. It is common for activists to suffer from varying degrees of activist burnout, with a variety of symptoms, throughout their lifetime. One of the most important things activists can learn is how to use personalized coping methods to deal with stresses. Thankfully it is possible to overcome and avoid activist burnout and ensure a well balanced and successful life full of activism.


Why do Activists Experience Burnout? ‘Activist Burnout’ will have different causes depending on the individual and their environment. In general, activist burnout is due to the inability of an activist to effectively deal with the many stresses associated with their activist work. Activists should not feel at fault for their burnout. It is understandable why so many activists have difficulty dealing with their stresses when there is little and often no support for activists. Reasons Activists are Unable to Effectively Deal with Stresses: ● Workload ● Poor Habits(procrastination, inefficiencies, etc..)  ● Inexperience ● No Mentors ● No Support Network ● Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder/Compassion Fatigue ● Weltschmerz(pain for an unideal world)

What are the Symptoms of Activist Burnout? The stresses activists have to deal with on a day to day basis will affect everyone differently. Mental/emotional, physical, and behavioural symptoms are all interrelated and can exacerbate each other. This means that to resolve one symptom often means dealing with several. The following is a non-exhaustive list including many common symptoms of activist burnout: ● Mental/Emotional Symptoms –  ● Irritability ● Anxiety ● Depression ● Sense of Hopelessness/Helplessness ● Cynicism ● Lack of Motivation ● Difficulty Enjoying Life/Activities Once Enjoyed

There is a tendency for activists to remain silent about any painful emotions they may have. Activists will justify this for the reason that while they may be sad, angry and upset “it is nothing compared to the suffering of the ones they are trying to help”. While this reasoning is understandable, unwillingness to share and work through painful emotions will only worsen them. ● Behavioural Symptoms – ● Reclusive Behaviour/Isolation from Once Positive Relationships ● Disregard for Social Responsibilities ● Unwillingness to Accept Help ● Lack of Effectiveness ● Inability/Unwillingness to Fulfill Responsibilities ● Decreased Self-care(personal appearance, hygiene, etc..) ● Inability to Remain Focused ● Difficulty  Making Decisions

Behavioural changes are inevitable for activists experiencing burnout. These changes are most obvious to a third party, and often misunderstood as unpleasant character flaws. The negative changes in behaviour can isolate activists, and deter new people from joining the organization or movement.


● Physical Symptoms – ● Fatigue ● Trouble Sleeping ● Weight Loss/Weight Gain ● Decreased Immunity ● General Lack of Physical Fitness While not always associated with activist burnout, the physical aspects are incredibly important  to deal with because physical weakness/ailments only exacerbate the taxing mental effects caused by activist stresses. Maintaining physical fitness will help to improve quality of life and alleviate activist burnout.

What Can Activists do to Avoid or Overcome Burnout?

 As activists it is important to spot the warning signs that might indicate we or our fellow activists are becoming burnt out. Whether warning signs are apparent or not, it is important for all activists to take proactive measures to ensure they effectively deal with any stresses they might have

. It is essential for all activists to have the ability to use stress management techniques in order to overcome and proactively avoid activist burnout.

The following are a few of the many ways to effectively cope with activist stress: ● Learn to prioritize better and focus on priorities ● Destress though healthy activities(physical exercise, music, reading, etc..) ● Maintain healthy eating, sleeping, and exercise habits *this is crucial\

● Develop better work habits ● Try to focus on tasks you are good at and enjoy doing ● Use a journal ● Attain support groups you can rely on and talk about your stresses with ● Maintain friendly relationships with fellow activists and non-activists ● Find a mentor/mentor a less experienced activist ● Understand that activist work is a lifelong process ● Make your work more enjoyable/fun ● Moderate to Intense physical exercise *great fix for depression ● Reduce workload but improve quality of work being completed ● Understand there are  highs and lows of initiatives/organizations/movements ● Maintain activities outside activism that fulfill you ● Resolve negative thought patterns and never discount the worthwhile work you do ●

Reward yourself and others for the important work they do ● Examine how your activist work affects your attitudes and behaviours ● Understand  “successes” and “failures” are not dichotomous, every initiative has some degree of success. The real failure occurs when activists become inactive. ● Understand change is possible (thinking otherwise is internalized repression)


● Realize feeling sad and angry about the world is normal and justified ● Maintain a sense of humor ● Therapy has a tremendous potential to help individuals struggling to effectively manage their stress. Therapy should be sought if symptoms are severe.



May 11, 2012 by Zephr | Edit

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More and more, public awareness of the outrageous, unforgivable treatment inflicted on the lives of innocent animals is proving to be a driving force for positive action.

One year ago today, a VIGIL, protesting the needless murder of 102 unlucky shelter animals held at the Newmarket, Ontario shelter was launched. Below are just a few of the many pictures taken during the 2011 VIGIL.

Today, May 11, 2012 marks the Second Anniversary and once again, dedicated, caring people are gathering to honor these lost lives taken due to indifference and apparent complacency on the part of the caregivers to which these precious lives were entrusted.

The fact that today’s MEMORIAL VIGIL is even taking place is evidence in itself, that SOMETHING HAS GOT TO CHANGE IN ONTARIO.  This incident SHOULD NEVER have happened in the first place!!!!!

In March 2009 a great deal of Hype was publicized about Ontario enacting the Strongest Animal Protection Law in Canada.  Congratulations to Ontario!!

  Note the sarcasm here!!!!

McGuinty Government Modernizes Animal Cruelty Laws

“Today is an historic day for our province when it comes to animal protection. Ontario has passed legislation that will give us the strongest animal protection laws in Canada, and bring more abusers to justice.”

 – Rick Bartolucci
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Service

Clearly obvious by the scandal and subsequent Inquiry launched by Mr. Klees resulting in the report finally being published:

Excerpt: “The report said a couple of things which made my blood boil, one of them being 57 animals euthanized. Well we all know that is not true. From the very beginning in their attempt to make themselves look transparent to the public they itemized exactly where the 102 animals were, how many were in foster care and those that went to alternate clinics. So how do they get off saying there were only 57.  Please do not blame the investigators for that.”

A great deal must be done to improve the Ontario situation.  Thus far it is most questionable as to whether anything at all POSITIVE has been done to protect the lives of innocent animals in Ontario, whose sole crime was to be born. 

Many animals have AND CONTINUE TO FALL VICTIM to irresponsible and uncaring owners that allow continued breeding, failing to spay and neuter their pet, allowing them to roam freely and THUS  contribute to an ever expanding population of unwanted and discarded animals.


Much gratitude is due to ALL those who continue to fight, in Ontario, the injustices inflicted upon  animals in Ontario.  Gratitude must be given to those who REMEMBER and who continually REMIND us that WE are all RESPONSIBLE.  Reminding us too, that each and every one of us CAN DO something POSITIVE, to MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!!  Special thanks to you for allowing me to use these pictures.


2011 VIGIL

“Miracle of Life”

Come quick”, their mother said, “The time is getting near”;
She feels that when the kittens come the children should be here.
She told them that a big orange Tom took “Kitty” as his wife,
“It’s wonderful, a gift from God, the miracle of life”.

At half a year young “Kitty” feels too painful and too scared,
To appreciate six miracles, blind-eyed and yellow haired.
But she knows these lives depend on her and nature tells her how,
And as she cleans them, children ask “Mom, can we go now?”

But now and then, for six more weeks the children visit her,
To play with six new magic toys, made of life and fur.

The six weeks pass, the newness gone and new homes yet unfound,
Mom bundles up six miracles and takes them to the pound,
Where lovingly, with gentle hands and no tears left to cry,
The shelter workers kiss them once and take them off to die.

And “Momma Kitty”, now she’s called, mourns her loss and then,
She’s put outside, and of course, she’s pregnant once again.
Dad tells “Kitty” STOP THIS NOW or you won’t live here long!,
But deep inside of Momma Cat, this time something’s wrong.

Too young, too small, too often bred now nature’s gone awry,
Momma Kitty feels it too and she crawls off to die.
She too is freed from this cruel world, and from her time of strife.
How harsh the truth, how high the price, this “Miracle of Life”

Veterinarian, Dr Barry Taylor-from Manxalot Rescue

OSPCA Scandals are readily located by Googling:



« In the News: All about Horses


April 5, 2012 by Zephr | Edit




New NWT Dog Act passed March 4, 2011

66 days have come and gone since Bill 16 was passed, enough waiting!!!

Messages from the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada

Personal Message:

The AAEV is the only registered political party in Canada that can actively speak out on animal and environmental issues;  that can effectively reflect the growing concern and outrage of Canadians across Canada with the way animals are treated in this country.  

A situation that has not  been addressed by the former Canadian Government, former Prime Ministers and those prior  Members of Parliament whose salaries are dependent solely on the taxpayers of Canada.

International eyes continue to focus on the dismal and antiquated standards of animal care and protection in Canada.  Canada’s ongoing negative record continues. 

Positive change is needed, positive action needs to be taken. 

Please use your vote to support a Candidate that will take positive steps to effect strict animal and environmental protection legislation in Canada. 

AAEV Ad against Seal Hunt

 AAEV Ad on Factory Farming

In Contrast

One need only look on Face Book or search the Internet to learn exactly what is going on in this Federal Election.  Countless reporters are conducting their own interviews with each candidate, getting a feel for the mood of not only candidates but the Canadian Public.  The media is in frenzy as Candidates tap into the thousands, millions of taxpayer dollars, to travel cross country, to advertise via the media, grab the photo ops and to promote their own party platforms and unfortunately what may be seen as one leaders personal  agenda (power, control, power).

Fortunately a relatively new party, the AAEV  prefers to utilize more subtle methods of reaching the electorate, via education and awareness:  by speaking out on the issues that other candidates ignore, and the AAEV is doing so without spending, spending, spending….

Some parties chose to make seemingly impossible grand  promises (those of Mr. Harper’s) which one must be reminded will not come to full fruition until such time as the Canadian deficit (Billions) is eliminated.  It must  be remembered that this deficit was accomplished during his tenure as Prime Minister and he plans to cut $11 Billion from our current Health Care to help wipe out his deficit. We have of course all witnessed  the  candidates bashing each other in front of the cameras for National Television, (televised debates).  Great entertainment when you have nothing better to do with your time.

Conservative strong arm tactics and scandals are well known…then and now.  The list is lengthy. This latest piece is now circulating.

Psychopathology in Canadian Politics: Stephen Harper’s Ruthless Drive for Power

Most certainly we all have a choice, we can exercise our Democracy and our God given right to vote in this election.

Do we vote to retain our Democracy and Inherent Rights, our Freedom of Speech, to keep Big Brother out of our bedrooms?  Do we vote to ensure that future generations will have those same privileges? Do we vote to eliminate strong arm tactics and manipulations?   Do we vote to ensure that Canada will remain Canadian?  Do we want to protect our Environment passing the legacy onto future generations?  Do we want a country free of scandal? Do we want to feel proud again?

Of course we all want that.  We all want our government to reflect the values of each and every Canadian across this vast and beautiful land.  We want our leaders to listen to us, the Canadian People, we do not want continued  deception, scandal and propaganda. We do not want  Big Business to always get the major large tax breaks, we want those tax breaks to go to those who truly need it, the Poor, the Lower and Middle Income families and Seniors.  We do not want our social and healthcare programs cut, nor do we want them privatized.  We do not want our established Charities to loose their charitable status should they speak out against government policy.   We do not want our tax dollars supporting personal agendas and a personal quest for power or the stroking of an ego.  We do not want our tax dollars spent with abandon (G8 Summit) (Millions spent overseas to lift the EU ban on the seal hunt).  Better to spend that money on improvements to our healthcare, education system, the elimination of Green House Gas Emissions and developing alternative energy.

“The Animal Alliance Environment Voters party (AAEV) seeks to elect candidates who will fight for effective animal and environmental protection policies. In this election, however, AAEV’s candidates are campaigning for something more crucial to the Canadian way of life: a government that respects the rule of law, the principles of democracy and the values of most Canadians. ”  (excerpt from post article below).

National Post Animal Alliance Environment Voters op-ed‏

Have your say on May 2, 2011, exercise your right to vote. 


Liz White, Leader of Animal Alliance Environment Voters supervises the rescue of over 30 sheep that were destined to be sold to slaughter by the University of Guelph.

Just received from S. Best Official Agent, AAEV

Congratulations to Liz White and her team!!!

Working together we can make a difference!!!

Living with Deception: The Conservative Way

“Approved by the official agent for Bonnie Dawson.”

Living with Deception: The Conservative Way

Many across this vast and beautiful land we know to be our home, Canada, have yet to witness the brutality, not only inflicted on all living creatures here through acts of Criminal neglect and cruelty, but as well through the destruction of habitat so essential to all forms of life.

Canada’s dismal record on protecting the environment is known around the world and Canada continues to ignore World Leaders who pose these criticisms against our country.  It is the people of Canada who are suffering the effects of the continued failure of our leaders to effectively address these issues and to take measures to ensure the health and quality of life Canadians have enjoyed for decades.

As evidenced in the links below:  it would appear that the primary focus is placed on the $$ sign and the millions of taxpayers hard earned cash used to continue spewing out propaganda to support the lack of action on the part of government and their support of big business.

Would you want to live in Fort Chip and expose your children to this?

First Nations pay the price for John Duncan’s lobbying scandal, Posted on March 18, 2011

PRESS RELEASE,March 18, 2011

Former Harper advisor had deal with escort for First Nations water contracts: document

Canada is well known for the extreme cruelty that remains unchecked in the Factory Farm Animal industry, how Canadian law fails to protect these animals not only in these farms but also while these animals are en route to slaughter houses across the nation.

No one wants to hear about it, or to see the documentaries and videos of evidence.  Why?  Is it because it is to painful?  Is it because one does not wish to know just how that bacon actually arrived on your breakfast plate?

Or why that tender slice of veal is so tender?  Or are there actually too many Canadians that do not care?  Hopefully that is not the case, evidently it is not the case, because more and more Canadians have chosen to do their research and are speaking out.  More and more Animal Welfare Groups are forming.

If you dare, view these videos, if you wish to learn..view these videos… Some of the videos below were produced in the US, but don’t think it cannot possibly be happening here in Canada as well.  At least the US is doing something about it?  Will Canada?????

Factory Farming: Cruelty to Animals

Downed Cow

Canada: No Country for Animals

Review: Death On A Factory Farm

Sexual Deviance and Sexual Abuse of Animals: Factory Farming’s Dirty Little Secret
No one deserves to die this way, human or animal.  Please speak out and support the call being made to our government to be far more discriminating in the way tax payer’s money is handed out.
Urge our government to carry out inspections of such pig farms to ensure safety measures are in place PRIOR to handing out their cheques!!!

No longer can Canadians continue to stick their heads in the sand.  No longer can Canadians allow their government to ignore what Canada is so highly criticized for…be it on the antiquated Federal Laws pertaining to animals in this country or the continued failure to control Greenhouse Emissions, to end the destruction of natural habitat (which includes our fresh water resources).  No longer can Canadians ignore the hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted fighting the EU ban on the barbaric seal hunt, the deplorable spending of our tax dollars focused in presenting Mr. Harper’s case to the WTO in an attempt to convince them to lift the EU ban.

Canadians cannot ignore the millions wasted on the G8 Summit, money that should have been directed to improved health care, education, women’s shelters, ever increasing hydro and fuel costs, issues dealing with the needs of seniors….the list goes on and on…..remember that according to Mr. Harper himself, until the elimination of the deficit which grew and grew under his own administration all of his campaign promises will not come to fruition.  This online petition circulating is drawing thousands of signatures and is provided for information purposes.  Whether you choose to sign it is a personal choice.

Harper’s G8-Gate: Demand the Truth (petition)

Only recently the Chinese Government whom Mr Harper struck his deal with to accept Canadian Seal Products, saw the Chinese people launch their own protest against the import of these products. China is well known for human rights abuses, as well as having a deplorable international reputation for their importing of ivory, bear bladders, tiger parts, ( thereby supporting illegal poaching).  Mr Harper continues to allow Canada to import from China  dog and cat fur despite the outcry to put an end to this.  Where do you think the real fur used to make cute little puppy and kitten toys comes from.  You may be wearing dog or cat fur unknowingly on that beautiful sweater or coat.  China does not kill these animals humanely, often they are skinned alive left to suffer hours of excruciating pain before they finally succumb to shock and die.

With the Election looming over Canadian heads yet again, thanks to the Contempt of Parliament charges brought against the Harper government, one has a great deal to think about.

The future of all Canadians, not just the human population, but the populations of our diverse wildlife, of which we are so proud of is at risk.  Habitat and natural resources, our rivers, parks, lands, our quality of life is at risk, unless we speak loudly and strongly….what will be left to future generations?

Conservative strong arm tactics cannot and should not continue to be tolerated.  The post below is circulating and is for your information only:  it represents just one of the many control tactics used by Harper’s team.     

As Liz White, Leader of the AAEV has so eloquently pointed out, it is not just about the Environment and Animal Issues that the Animal Alliance Environment Voters is concerned about.  It is the Democratic Process, the ability to voice concerns, it is having an accountable, transparent and open Federal Leadership and a Leadership that will actually listen.

More and more Canadians are rallying their courage and determination to make change happen in this country.  Will you be one of them?  Others are!

We all have a choice.  Please exercise yours.

BE A GUARDIAN – Only You can Make that Choice

Each and everyone of us, every person on the Planet can and does make choices every day of their lives.

We can choose to be complacent and inactive, figuring someone else will step up the plate, or we can take an active role to make positive and much needed change.  Ultimately it is your decision and yours alone.

Having chosen my path at an extremely young age, I have continued to remain true to my belief that all living creatures, no matter how big, or how small have an inherent right to life, an inherent right to a life of quality.

I learned very early on about birth and death.  Awestruck by tiny featherless chicks in a Robins nest, fascinated by the tadpole that would become a frog, watching the birth of puppies and kittens, glorifying as I became so much a part of their developing lives and personalities.  I have experienced the pain of deep loss having had beloved pets die in my arms, as well as those I  rescued often too sick to survive as well.

I have shared the grief felt by the animal companions in my home which they felt so deeply at losing one of their own.

I have participated in programs whereby I visited respite care facilities with my two gentle Cavaliers, Rodney and Bentley (R.I.P.) and I experienced the joy and excited smiles and reactions of those patients at the sight of these loving little dogs.

I have seen how animals play such in important role in healthcare. How sensitively they respond to a terminally ill child or elder.  I have witnessed how straight a child will seat a horse, a child who otherwise may walk crookedly due to a disability, or how a child who may be autistic and none responsive to human contact will light up and respond to an animal.

We all have a choice, and I made mine a very long long time ago.  Often facing opposition to my views, and having to respect the rights of others to oppose me.  I will forever follow my beliefs, and I will forever defend and speak for those who cannot, regardless of the criticisms I may receive.  I made a choice, I am whom I am and if I ‘dance to my own drum’  then I dance with the knowledge that I have shared so may precious lives, that I have experienced the unconditional love that only an animal can give, and that I have made a positive difference to each and everyone one of them, yet nothing can equal the gifts I received from each of them.

Please enjoy this most Beautiful Video, it will bring tears to your eyes.  It did mine.

Be a Guardian