A Mother’s Love

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This is a relatively new post about a not-so-new subject. Though the linked article & video embed are from some time ago, instances such as these have continued to occur regularly. Not limited to a single species, similar atrocities have been happening all over the world, in everyone’s proverbial “backyard,” in varying form. Please take a moment to read this story of a mother & her child, followed by my description of how it affected me. Please also make time to view the embedded video to learn how we can help to make life better for others.

The article below was in fact the final blow of horrific inspiration which pushed me toward journalling my thoughts in archival format once more. This is not only an account of a terrible ordeal experienced by Black Asiatic bears (aka “Moon Bears”), but also a detailed scenario of a mother’s love and compassionate wish to spare her child from a lifetime of agony. It is a painful story of measures anyone might feel obligated to take in order to end relentless suffering and protect one’s child from having to endure years of torture and anguish eventually ending in one of the the most miserable, agonising deaths imaginable.

This is also the type of experience which has been chronicled many times by survivors of ‘race’-bound slavery, WWII-era prison camps and other assorted POWs. However, so many similar modern-day stories remain ignored and untold due to the simple fact those experiencing these injustices are incapable of verbalising in any human language other than their cries of pain. If our race could read the etchings or care enough decipher the cries of non-human animals, this is the type of story we would likely see each day.

For anyone out there still desperately hanging on to the false notion (or hope) that the human species is alone in its ability to think, reason, emote or feel deeply, the following is an account which should certainly cause reason to seriously reconsider.


Traps were laid in the wild illegally. When the bear
was trapped, she lost not only her paws and four limbs
for a good fortune of money, but she was locked up in 
the cage and had to endure daily torture of bile 
collection up to 25 or 30 years. This bile collection 
process requires a hole to be cut in the bear stomach 
and an iron pipe inserted into the bear gall bladder. 
Bile was then taken several times a day. The entire 
procedure was done without anaesthetic in order to 
save cost... (click to read more)

Oh, God. =(

Before I managed to finish reading this (rather extensive) article in its entirety, I was interrupted by a blinding flood of tears and the sound of my own screaming. I began to stand and fell to my knees, sobbing as I crawled into the washroom in search of a cloth for my face.
My head began to pound after having a massive breakdown for nearly 30 minutes on the tiled floor…

HOW can it be that this has been allowed to happen???!!!
Is the rest of the human race in a coma? Some type of idiot trance?

…And then I realised something: I speak out and act against this sort of thing every day. These bears are no different than the pigs or cows in one of those factory farms, or that cat I saw skinned alive by sadistic imbeciles on the internet. They are also no different from the children I see suffering in China whose plight drives me to spend 4x the amount of money on pumpkin seeds, just for the comforting certainty that my food is fair trade and organically grown on US soil.

This sort of thing is precisely the reason that I am, and will always be, active and outspoken for those who can neither speak nor depend on human decency or law to protect them.
That particular article is one of the most horrifying accounts I have read in ages, yet I am fully aware that it is no isolated incident. Things such as these have been happening all around the world with alarming regularity, whether or not any of us choose to acknowledge the instances as legitimate issues worthy of attention. The fact that so many of us choose to stay silent or turn a blind eye to such practices is exactly why they have been allowed to continue without so much as an eyebrow being raised by the masses of homo sapiens sharing this planet with other Earthlings being subjected to this type of treatment.

“Look away, and perhaps we can forget it exists.”
“It’s a necessary evil, which will perhaps go away eventually.”
“How else are we supposed to make a living?”

I am absolutely certain that here is no amount of money in the UNIVERSE which could possibly justify one being inflicting this type of suffering onto another, or turning a blind eye whilst continuing to support such actions through consumerism or other forms of silent consent.

Wake up, people! THIS IS NOT OKAY!

All beings on this planet possess the ability to feel pain, love, hope, anguish… even to reason and solve problems when necessary. Every living creature deserves the right to live their lives in peace.

While the story of the Moon Bears is just one of many serving as more than adequate proof that humans are certainly NOT the only species on this planet with the aforementioned traits and abilities, it does bring to mind one burning question relating to the great differences between us:

Can there possibly be any other creature anywhere in existence who can parallel the human race in its ability to carry out such monstrous deeds (or simply allow them to happen) in the name of greed, sadism or pure ignorance?

If so, I am in absolutely no hurry to make contact.

* * * * * * * * * * *
I was eventually able to finish reading the article, and thus decided to complete my composition of this post. This video (found just before the conclusion of the story) made me want to help the bear rescue organisations as much as possible:

Each and every day of my existence on this planet, I faithfully work toward helping to bring more consciousness and humanity into existence. It is my fondest wish for everyone to THINK, FEEL, and also CAREFULLY CONSIDER every aspect of what went into whatever it is they’re purchasing for use or consumption.

That having been said, I feel it necessary to reiterate the following statement:
Although this particular instance involves illegal poaching, there are millions of similar operations happening all over the world which operate legally and treat various types of animals (human as well as non-human) much the same. Slavery and torture are still atrocities, even if some government agency gives it the thumbs-up.

I also feel inclined to mention the fact that veganism was quite easily one of the simplest and best decisions I ever made in my life. However, from the very beginning of my quarter-century+ of existence on a plant-based lifestyle, I have always known that it was just a start, and there is still a great deal more to be done.

To all of my fellow vegans: Let’s all be more active! Displaying compassion in consumer habits is a great beginning, but silent protest only goes so far.

To Everyone: Please open your eyes/hearts/minds and begin to pay attention to what’s happening around you.

Life itself is a fragile thing, and we are all a great deal more alike than many of us seem to realise or truly care to admit. However, if we don’t begin to act more cooperatively & consciously when it comes to ALL inhabitants of this planet, we will inevitably die out and take countless innocents along with us.

It is well within our power to make a difference in this lifetime, and positive change begins in each and every one of us. Each and every action we make is subject to accountability in some way or another, so why not practice kindness?

In closing, I will simply post some links to this petition from Animals Asia, in addition to a recent story posted on The Bush Warriors’ blog, which also call for action on behalf of the Black Asiatic Bears held in captivity for their bile on Chinese farms.
Please join me in helping them, along with countless other sentient beings who would otherwise be forced to endure endless torture until death.

This is an issue which has haunted me since I first learned of it. It affected me so much that I felt compelled to blog about it here, and also to make spreading the word of this part of my own personal mission. These horrors must be stopped, not only in Chinese medicine but as far as ALL medicine & cosmetic use is concerned in the East and West. We share a planet with other creatures, but that does not mean that Earth or Her other inhabitants belong to humans.
They most certainly do not.
Please join me in making compassion part of everyday life, starting NOW. Below are a few links for anyone who wishes to get the facts, get inspired, and get active. Blessings and gratitude to all who have read this and care about ending suffering for ALL beings on this planet (humans & non-human – we are all connected).

Animals Asia Foundation
MoonBears.org

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EverNotebook

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Greetings!

This is the Evernote journal for DarkStardust.com. Here will be the place to find things posted from iPad, phones or wherever else Evernote seems to be the ideal method for journalling…

Also, there will imminently be a segment set aside within these postings meant specifically for LiveScribe journalling (electronic transfers in actual handwriting) via Evernote. This will likely include notes from classes, doodles, recipes, thoughts, compositions, lyrics and other random things which have been jotted down in ink to be archived on actual paper (for whatever reason)…

Let the fun begin! =)

Created with ... Evernote.com

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Toy Piracy

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The following entry was originally posted as a “note” on FaceBook (tagging connected accounts of fellow Bowie fanatics) on the 25th of March, 2011. It was subsequently posted to my journal on VF, as the majority of my connections there are musicians, music-obsessed and/or heavily influenced by David Bowie’s work. Considering the nature of the site, it also seemed a more appropriate place for a music post.

This article was passed along to me by another friend today who knows quite well of my (seemingly lifelong) Bowie obsession and fancied catching my reaction.
I had personally been wondering what had happened with this album since 2001, when it was promised to be released, and was quite surprised to read what had happened with it.

I can’t imagine having worked on a piece of art for so long, having it hyped up so much, and then having to see it shelved, quite possibly forever. It makes me wonder how long it would take for someone to drop this ‘hot potato’ once such a prolific and highly-inspirational artist should pass from this world (Gods forbid)…

In any case, I’m now passing this along to those who I am fairly certain will care as much as I do, and pondering how the lot of you may feel about this having been “leaked” out into the world.

Yours in kindred admiration,
-D

Unreleased Bowie on BitTorrent: Pirate Sabotage Turned Cultural Blessing

After a decade in the dark the unreleased David Bowie album ‘Toy’ has just hit BitTorrent. Bowie is reportedly “livid” at the leak but his fans, who have expressed themselves in hundreds of postings, appear to be universally delighted. TorrentFreak tracked down the leaker to discover his motivations and learned that this controversial release was made to deliberately sabotage commercial pirates.

In mid-2001, a new David Bowie album was scheduled for release. Titled ‘Toy’, the LP contained some of Bowie’s earliest work but following some kind of dispute at record label Virgin, it remained unreleased.

Three days ago, however, Bowie fans worldwide began waking up to a dream. All 14 tracks of Toy, running for around 1 hour in 256 kbps quality MP3, had been uploaded to BitTorrent.

While these kinds of controversial uploads are often made to big sites like The Pirate Bay, ‘Toy’ was initially placed on a lesser-known tracker called Mind Warp Pavilion and as far as we can see is yet to have migrated further afield, aside from a couple of brave blogs hosting it for direct play.

So where did the release suddenly come from? TorrentFreak decided to try and find out. During the course of our investigations we were initially informed by someone who claimed to be close to the uploader but requested anonymity that the album had been obtained via eBay. The sale we were shown took place on March 14th and was apparently shipped from Australia.

Today, though, we managed to make contact with the original uploader. Brigstow, as he is known online, hails from Bristol in the UK and is clearly a big Bowie fan. Not only did he categorically deny that he had purchased a bootleg CD and uploaded it, he said that it was because people were trying to make a buck from ‘Toy’ on eBay that he decided to leak it himself and sabotage their game.

“Myself and a few friends were very angry that certain people only seem to want to profit from recordings like the Toy album, so when we saw the eBay auction and heard of someone else selling discs for $55, I decide to upload it and give it away,” Brigstow told TorrentFreak.

Brigstow went on to explain that this upload was “not a new concept” to him as he used to run Savage Jaw, a BitTorrent tracker from a few years back which listed only quality David Bowie bootlegs and rare recordings.
While Rolling Stone says that Bowie’s office has refused to comment on the ‘leak’, The Sun in the UK is reporting that the star is ‘livid’ that the album has become available.

If true, this reaction is in stark contrast to those coming from Bowie’s adoring fans. After reading through hundreds of comments, we only managed to find one which complained directly about the leak and even then it appeared to be focused on a desire for it to have remained secret for the exclusive enjoyment of the ‘real’ fans and not for the masses.

Indeed, many Bowie fans are describing the leak as “magical”, “heavenly” and “a dream” and there are already dozens of fan-inspired pieces of artwork circulating as potential album cover candidates. What cuts through in page after page of discussion though, is just how passionate these people are about David Bowie.

“Nearly all the comments I’ve read from fans about this album have been positive, and most of them would still quite happily purchase a copy if it were given an official release,” said Brigstow.

But of course it’s not officially available and, depending on the location of the consumer, in theory and in extreme circumstances sharing it could even have a prison sentence attached. However, since this album was destined to spend its life in some dark dusty corner of a record exec’s office, never to see the light of day, its release this week cannot mean (even by record company calculations) that a single sale has been lost – quite the rarity among pre-release uploads.

The end result though is that many tens of thousands of Bowie fans are in line for an absolute treat, a delicious forbidden fruit of an album which, if not for the Internet, may have been permanently deleted from our musical culture due to label politics.

So the question remains. What is the most important – the pure enjoyment of the fans and ultimately the preservation of culture by any means, or the wishes of a record label and the rule of law that, in many instances, they helped to create?

Whatever the conclusion, it’s impossible to wind back the clock. Toy is out of the box now, and it’s never going back.

Original article may be found here.

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Emilie Autumn

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This entry was originally posted on 13th December of 2009, as an introductory post for episode 019 of Twilight Vision TV. This particular blog is an (currently) unaltered copypasta from my little used blogger.com account, therefore the font is a bit small in comparison to that which I would normally use.

Greetings and salutations!

Not only am I a fan of the musical and literary work of Emilie Autumn, but also fully appreciative of her as a human being.

As a classically trained vocalist, synthpop lover, literary geek, activist and crazed Bowie fanatic, her music immediately struck many chords with me at once (pun unintentional).

Her particular fusion of classical violin, electro, creative and literary references, political provocativeness and dramatic presentation simply floored me upon first hearing her Opheliac album a few years ago.

It was as if I had finally encountered someone who managed to accomplish precisely what I had been aiming for in my own artistic endeavours!

After having learned that she was also vegan, I became a fully dedicated supporter of this amazing artist in every single way possible.

I of course jumped at the chance to interview her when asked to do so for TwilightVisionTV, and even took time to hand make special treats to present to her and the Bloody Crumpets on behalf of TVTV and The Lorax Community Project!

I must say here that she is all that I had hoped for her to be, and so much more. She was delightful, engaging, informative, forthright and (in addition to all of that) such a fabulous flirt!

Her graciousness, sweet acceptance and seemingly infinite love toward all of her fans was also very touching to see, and I’m glad to have had a chance to interview and interact with so many of them personally.

Amazing people do seem to have a way of attracting equally amazing people. =)

Love and infinite blessings to all,

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Why Raw Food?

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This archived entry was originally posted on 13th December of 2007 in my personal journal (and also vegan forum) on another site owned by a friend and fellow vegan (VampireFreaks.com). Any addendum to this entry have been italicised and highlighted in purple.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Is it really vegan? Who can you trust?
How & why I became a “raw foodist”

I believe in (and am firmly committed to) a life of absolute consciousness, especially when it comes to consumerism. My distaste for corporate handling and greed when it comes to target marketing toward “the vegan dynamic” eventually led me to my current lifestyle as a raw foodist.

Please allow me to give an example:

Boca Burgers.
Boca was acquired in the year 2000 by Kraft foods. Before the time of acquisition, Boca Burgers were organic, non-GMO and also vegan.

Here is where it all went downhill…

Kraft is the number one manufacturer of genetically modified “food” products on the market today. They use clever wording to hide the fact that every one of their products is a “Frankenfood,” but they taint everything they touch with GMO crap. “Made with organic soy” can mean that they used 1% of organic material in their product, while the other 99% is GMO. They are legally allowed to print that something is made with organic materials, provided at least 1% of what they used is organic.

Fun, no?

Let’s move on to the even better stuff.

Kraft is owned by Philip Morris, a company now known as Altria. Philip Morris changed their name as a PR/marketing tactic which was a rather clever attempt to distract consumers from the bad press they had been getting for problems related to their tobacco products as well as animal testing.

So let’s do the equation:

Altria = Philip Morris = Kraft = Boca = vegan? I think not.

Supporting corporations who test on animals for ANY of their products still funds their stupid behaviour.

Something I would like to add here is that PeTA and PeTA2 have been encouraging people to patronise the fast food/burger joint Johnny Rockets since they have decided to add a “veggie burger” to their menu. Care to make a guess as to who is providing Johnny Rockets with their “awesome vegan burger”?

PeTA runs the smokinganimals.com website which speaks out against Philip Morris for their animal testing. I’m disgusted that they would use one hand to point a finger at a company and the other to fondle them under the proverbial table.

SHAME ON PETA.

Morningstar farms uses eggs in many of their products. The eggs they use in their manufacturing plants come from factory farms which debeak chicks and force their birds to live in horrendous, unsanitary conditions. Are their so-called “veggie burgers” really vegan either?

I’m thinking no.

I could list dozens of examples, but it really can become depressing after awhile…
There were also other factors involved after awhile – my newly discovered gluten intolerance (gluten free + vegan + WHOLE ingredients = not easy to find in most places), my unreasonable addiction to soya, the amazing high and rejuvenated sensation I felt on days/weeks/months when I would adhere to an entirely raw diet and finally my eventual realisation that most things I was consuming as cooked (such as rice/grains, beans & other high-volume bulk ingredients) were coming from massive factory sources where the lives or habitats of other animal species were barely considered or spared by large machinery when it came to harvest time.

In any case I suppose in retrospect my decision was as highly politically and consciously motivated as my adherence to an entirely vegan diet for so many years preceding the change.
It really did seem at that point that a 100% raw diet was the only answer after years of endless boggling over research and juggling between one company gone bad to the next one sold.

Now that I have been eating only organically grown/raw/chemical-free/unprocessed foods year-round for over 5 years, I suppose I continue to stick with it because of the way I feel: healthy, energetic, strong and truly able to enjoy vibrant flavours of fresh food with all nutrients and enzymes fully intact. =)

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Greetings & Welcome

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…to the personal blog of Miss Damiana K. at DarkStardust.com.

For those of you not already familiar with my journalling habits: I generally post things related to music, animals, food, spirituality and political/environmental/world issues related to all of these. I am also known to occasionally post musings related to philosophy, mysticism, the Universe and all of its wonders. =)

This sub-site is meant to be an ever-growing compilation of postings relating to all of my work, interests, experiences and random thoughts. This journal will combine past archives of my writings from other places, in addition to new material to be added as regularly I am able to find time to post.

I recently decided to transfer certain past entries from external sources to here as a means to archive, explain and retrospectively account for my motivations, thoughts and feelings in relation and comparison to my current everyday existence. Essentially, I’m keen to consolidate as much as possible into one space and use my own words for reflective purposes…

In an effort to better achieve this goal, some entries may be updated, highlighted or completed (as writings in general are quite often simply “works in progress” on which to build indefinitely). Any addendum to entries will be noted, and likely be italicised, likely appearing in text blocks of a different colour.

Some entries will be private and shared with subscribers only, so please do feel free to register if you’re interested in interacting and keeping up to date with my posts. =)

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