Saturday, September 13, 2014

Date with your dog: the best cup of tea, RSPCA weekend activities and rethinking speciesism

Contender for the world's most awesome tea pot is road-tested by my mum. The puppies are the salt and pepper shakers she scored for Christmas.

This has to be in the running for the best-tea-pot-in-the-universe prize. I was not even intending to buy a tea pot but when I walked into the Tea Centre and saw this bull terrier looking at me I envisioned hosting all kinds of world-changing tea parties (none of which have happened thus far I should add, but one has to be prepared, and now I feel ready).

Meanwhile the RSPCA is holding an innovative fund-raising weekend in October called Reigning Cats and Dogs (and let’s hope it won’t be raining cats and dogs as it seems to have done for the last month or so).

Saturday is Rescue Me: Rescue Dog Adoption Day. It’s an opportunity to meet and greet dogs that are up for adoption, and see them in park surroundings engaging with other animals – including your own dog if you have one to bring.
On the Sunday night the International Cat Film Furstival will be held under the stars. As someone who has spent the last countless weekends writing papers and marking assignments, it sounds almost perfect (just add a world-changing tea party and it would be perfect). More info and bookings here.

Rethinking speciesism

Speciesism, or the way we treat different species differently, is a well known topic in animal ethics and worthy of discussion. It raises some interesting, and sometimes quite shocking, contradictions in our belief and value systems.

If you are based in Queensland, Voiceless is hosting a fascinating looking panel discussion on rethinking speciesism at the University of Queensland on October 16.

We love our dogs and cats, yet continue to eat pigs, cows and chickens in their hundreds of thousands. We condemn other nations for hunting whales and dolphins, but happily consume seafood and hunt fish for sport.These contradictions are often justified on the grounds that some animals simply matter more than others. But why? And how do we decide who matters and who doesn’t? Voiceless Rethinking: Speciesism is a seminar which will unpack the concept of “speciesism” – namely, giving preference to some animals, including humans, based solely on their species.
The seminar will feature a panel of renowned speakers who will consider the psychological and ethical underpinnings of speciesism, the laws that regulate our relationship with animals and how these laws facilitate discrimination on the basis of species. 
For more information or to register, click here.

And if you are still stuck for something to do, enter our competition to win tickets to a night talk at the Australian Museum here.