Where Our Garbage Ends Up – the (not so) Great Pacific Garbage Patch


Remains of an Albatross chick showing plastic it had likely been fed by its parents.

Remains of an Albatross chick showing plastic it had likely been fed by its parents. Likely suffocated or starved because it could not expel the plastic.

This is merely one example of the plight of the natural world at the hands of what man has earned. At the cost of fauna and flora, ecosystems, and the health and integrity of the entire planet we’ve chosen the “convenience” of simply tossing out things we no longer need. While the sad reality is that we never needed them in the first place.

We lead such a horrible consumerist lifestyle that we are blinded by how much garbage we are literally feeding the planet whence we become board of our gadgets and our belongings. We end up creating such a horrible mess, leaching toxins, and killing wildlife, while we live our oblivious lives, ignorant of the giant impact we have on the planet. I’m talking about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which really is not a great thing at all. It’s horrible.

Simply and quite frighteningly, every little bit of garbage we either intentionally dump in the ocean, or that “un-intentionally” reach there from our littering the lands and waterways get drawn into the North Pacific Gyre. This gyre, like any other, is simply a vortex, a whirl-pool, in the ocean caused by the cyclical ocean currents, wind, and the rotation of the Earth.

North Pacific Gyre - Now a vortex of garbage

North Pacific Gyre - Now a vortex of garbage.

More after the break including a beautiful picture of a Laysan Albatross Chick>>>

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Un-Halal Treatment of Animals – WARNING: GRAPHIC


This is not what Islam teaches us about how to treat animals.

Source:GoVeg.com

In fact, many of these practices deem the meat un-halal for Muslim consumption.

Check out these references:

Rights of Animals in Islam

Animals that are diseased and/or eat feces are not Halal.

Note for our Judaeo-Christian readers who are unaware of what halal is. Briefly, Halal means “permissible”. In the context of foods for human consumption, Halal means “permissible to eat”. It is analogous, but not equivalent to kosher. There are many ways that food is considered Halal. For example: dead land animals are NOT Halal, while dead sea animals ARE Halal. Animals that are properly drained of their blood are Halal, while animals that are treated like the some of those in this video are NOT Halal. Some animals in general are not Halal for consumption, such as pigs, animals with talons, claws, or that are scavengers, or carnivores. Also, anything that would harm you, or intoxicate you is deemed un-Halal. Oh, and the proper term for “un-Halal” is Haraam, which you may come to conclude means “un-permissible” or “un-lawful”. This, by no means, is the full explanation of Halal. You’d be better off checking one of these links.
We generaly tend to forget that Allah tells us in the Quran to only consume things halal and “tayib” (clean, good, pure, healthy).

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The Beauty of the Reefs (NG Slideshow)

Lets try not to destroy these beautiful spots around the globe

“The seven heavens and the earth, and all beings therein, declare His glory: there is not a thing but celebrates His praise; And yet you understand not how they declare His glory! Verily He is Oft-Forbear, Most Forgiving!” Quran 17:44

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Plant a tree for $5.50 & see it on Google Earth

If you are the kind of person who doesn’t like to get outside too much, and abhors the idea of getting your hands dirty, but are still concerned with how little you are doing for the health and beauty of our planet, consider this. You can, for as little as $5.50, have someone plant a tree for you in Indonesia, and watch it grow.

The program offered at MyBabyTree.org allows you to simply and securely pay to have as many trees you as you want to be planted on your behalf. On top of that, you will receive a note indicating that you tree will be planted and the exact coordinates where it is located. Through integration with Google Earth you can then watch your trees progress, as well as receive information about the forest it is now a part of.
This is the response I received when I donated to have a tree planted in Borneo:

Alternatively, you can participate locally with you municipality or local organization when they go out to plant trees. Organizations in Ottaawa, such as Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, and even the City’s Municipality offer programs for planting trees locally. Even MAC and MYO have organized programs to initiate tree planting in and arround Ottawa.

Besides, if you plant a tree locally, yourself, you get this personal connection to it, plus you can go out and give it a hug

whenever you feel like it.

Tracking Foxes, Ducks, and Squirrels in Ottawa

The other day I had an interesting experience in the woods near the Rideau river. I was on the train going back and forth enjoying the scenery, as I often do with the hour before the radio show, when I happened to spot a couple of foxes sitting on the snow. I regretted not having my camera with me for the sight was worth capturing. Not to be defeated, I jumped off the train at the next stop, and ran down the tracks towards where I had seen the foxes. Surly enough, they were still there, but had realized my presence. They looked on at me with intrigue as I walked closer. The encounter, through brief was beautiful. The two rusty coloured creatures against the contrast of the silvery snow was simply beautiful. I crept closer only to induce them to dodge into their den.

I walked on, finding my self at the edge of the woods at a local park on the bank of the Rideau river. There I also happened upon a crowd of ducks and loons. They walked along side me as I walk along side the river, as if in anticipation of some food. I had nothing regrettably. I continued onwards to cross paths with a couple of birds that took no offense to my presence and hopped but a few feet away from me to peck at some seeds strewn on the snow by some previous visitors of this park. They were truly bold in their manner as well as their appearance. A soft blue breast with an outline of brown, crowned with a black mask across their eyes giving them the appearance of police scouting the area.


I trekked on to come across a family of red squirrels. What seemed to be the youngest of the three was all alone. As the other two bickered on about what seemed to be who got to be on a particular branch, the youngin’ nestled at the base of a near-by tree. The fighting went on until the youngster built up the courage to scurry over to the other two and join in on the action.
At this point it was nearing the time for my radio show and I had to run through two feet of snow to the nearest road in soggy shoes to the radio station; a 30 minutes walk away. I most definitely recommend to anyone, if you see, or think of something exciting, go after it. Have fun with the little time in your life. Forget routines, and live as life was meant to be. As a passage.

The Rights of Plants and Animals in Islam – Islamic Ecology

There is a Chapter in the Quran Entitled: The Spider.

Recap of the Previous two weeks:
First week: Islam’s attitude towards the Environment: 

  • balance
  • purpose
  • relationship:meditation, sustainable, utilization, care and nurture
  • Stewardship ( خلافة)

Second week: Conservation in Islam

  • Ecology: Water, Air, Land and Soil.
  • Conserve: DON’T waste – Allah says: “In deed those who are wasteful are the brethren of devils”
  • Justice and goodliness: DON’T harm – Allah says: “Do not cause ruin in the Earth after it has been developed”‘What may lead to a prohibition is prohibited itself’

This week: Animals and Plants in the Ecology of Islam.

  • Living resources of enormous benefit.
  • All with a purpose and in balance.
  • Part of a balanced ecosystem.

Plants:

“Then let man consider his nourishment: that We pour down the rain in showers, and We split the earth in fragments, and therein make the grain to grow, and vines and herbs, and olives and palms, and gardens of dense foliage, and fruits and fodder- provision for you and your cattle.”

  • Sustenance and nourishment for animals, and humans.
  • Plants enrich the soil and protect it from erosion
  • They conserve the water by impeding its runoff.
  • Habitat for other living things.
  • They moderate the climate and produce the oxygen, and store CO2.
  • Medicines (Periwinkle childhood leukemia, yew tree à anticancer), oils, perfumes, waxes, fibres, timber, and fuel.

The prophet Mohammed peace be upon him said: “If on the day of resurrection, and there is in the hand of one of you a sapling, then let him or her plant it”

It is forbidden to cut down trees even in the time of war.

“The is nothing in this Earth except that it exalts Allah with His Grace, but we do not comprehend their praise (of Him)” – Al-Issra’ 44

“See you not that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and Ad-Dawab (moving living creatures, beasts, animals etc.), and many of mankind? But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified. And whomsoever Allah disgraces, none can honour him. Verily! Allah does what He wills”. Al –Hajj 18

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَسْجُدُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ وَالنُّجُومُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَالشَّجَرُ وَالدَّوَابُّ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنَ النَّاسِ وَكَثِيرٌ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِ الْعَذَابُ وَمَن يُهِنِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِن مُّكْرِمٍ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاء

Al Hajj – 18

Animals:

  • Provide sustenance for plants (fertilizers), for one another, and for man.
  • Pollination, and distribution of plants.
  • Provide food for one another and provide mankind with leather and wool, medicines and perfumes, and means of transportation, as well as milk, and honey and other by-products.
  • aesthetic functions of these creatures
  • ECOLOGICAL balance – keystone species,
  • Worshiping Allah – Spiritual INTRINSIC VALUE – WHALES Singing

“The is nothing in this Earth except that it exalts Allah with His Grace, but we do not comprehend their praise (of Him)” – Al-Issra’ 44

“There is not an animal on the earth, nor any being that wings its flight, but is a people like unto you.” – Al- An’aam 38

  • Absolute destruction of any species of animals or plant is unjustified; harvesting rates should not excess the rate or its natural regeneration.
  • This applies to hunting and fishing, forestry and wood-cutting for timber and fuel, grazing, and all other utilization of living resources.
  • It is imperative that the genetic diversity of living beings be preserved–both for their own sake and for the good of mankind and all other creatures.

The prophet Mohammed peace be upon him said: “The merciful are shown mercy by the All-Merciful. Show mercy to those on earth, and He Who is in heaven will show mercy unto you.”

  • Taught mercy to animals:
    • The woman who was sent to Hell for torturing a cat to death.
    • The prostitute who was granted forgiveness and paradise for giving water to a dog.
    • The practice of sharpening and hiding the blade when slaughtering and being quick to ease the animal.
    • Forbidding killing for sport. Cursed who ever used living things as a practice target.
    • Not to startle a mother bird by taking its young
    • Forbidding the killing of livestock in the time of war.
    • Animals have a sacredness of life similar to that of humans.

“The rights of livestock and animals with regard to their treatment by man: These are that he spend on them the provision that their kinds require, even if they have aged or sickened such that no benefit comes from them; that he not burden them beyond what they can bear; that he not put them together with anything by which they would be injured, whether of their own kind or other species, and whether by breaking their bones or butting or wounding; that he slaughter them with kindness if he slaughters them, and neither flay their skins nor break their bones until their bodies have become cold and their lives have passed away; that he not slaughter their young within their sight; that he set them apart individually; that he make comfortable their resting places and watering places; that he put their males and females together during their mating seasons; that he not discard those which he takes in hunting; and neither shoot them with anything that breaks their bones nor bring about their destruction by any means that renders their meat unlawful to eat.”

في كل كبد رطب أجر The Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him said: “and in doing good to any living thing there is a reward”

Islam looks upon these created beings, both animals and plants, in two ways:

1. As living beings in their own right, glorifying God and attesting to His power and wisdom;

2. As creatures subjected in the service of man and other created beings, fulfilling vital roles in the development of this world.

Hence the binding obligation to conserve and develop them both for their own sake and for their value as unique and irreplaceable living resources for the benefit of one another and of mankind.

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَسْجُدُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ 

وَالنُّجُومُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَالشَّجَرُ وَالدَّوَابُّ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنَ النَّاسِ وَكَثِيرٌ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِ الْعَذَابُ وَمَن يُهِنِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِن مُّكْرِمٍ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاء – al Hajj 18

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