Finnish animal advocacy history

I recently finished reading the book “Jonkun on uskallettava katsoa: Animalian puoli vuosisataa” (“Someone has to dare to look: the half century of Animalia”) by Tiia Aarnipuu (2011), which depicts the history of Finland’s biggest animal protection organization, Animalia. At the same time it also gives a picture of Finnish animal protection and animal rights history in general.

For me, who is still relatively new in the animal advocacy movement, reading the history behind it is both interesting and gives me a better understanding of the situation we are in now. I appreciate more the work that has been done for the animals long before I was even born; the struggles that the organizations and individual animal advocates have gone through during the years, and the victories that have been celebrated. As in every other movement, knowing the history is very important if you want to be able to move forward.

Some important happenings in the Finnish animal advocacy history, based on the book, include:

  • 1901 – the foundation of Uudenmaan Eläinsuojeluyhdistys, today SEY (Suomen Eläinsuojeluyhdistys)
  • 1961 – the foundation of what later became Animalia
  • 1971 – the foundation of the Juliana von Went Fund for Research Without Animal Experiments
  • 1991 – Peter Singer’s book “Animal Liberation” was first published in Finnish
  • 1995 – the foundation of Oikeutta Eläimille

Another interesting book, which depicts the rise of the new animal rights movement in Finland in the 1990’s, and the creation of the animal rights organization Oikeutta Eläimille, is “Ulos häkeistä! Kaksi näkökulmaa uuden eläinliikkeen sisältä” (“Out of the cages! Two perspectives from inside the new animal movement”) by Salla Tuomivaara and Joni Purmonen (1998).

Are there any other good books on the history of animal advocacy – especially in other countries – that you would recommend?

Compassionate reading: Vegan’s Daily Companion

As I told you before, I love reading – especially books – and there are so many books out there on veganism, compassion and animal activism. So many that I most of the time find it hard to know which one I should read next. However, I’ve read quite a few already and feel it could be a good idea to write about some of them to give you guys a tip on what to read.

Vegan's daily companion

A book on the subject that is great even for those of you who are not crazy about reading is Vegan’s daily companion by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. The book consists of short essays, one for every day of the year, divided into six different categories depending on the day of the week:

  • Monday/For the love of food
    Talks about different vegan foods, their origin and use.
  • Tuesday/Compassionate communication
    Talks about techniques for speaking on behalf of veganism, such as typical questions vegans get and their answers, and alternatives to violent animal idioms.
  • Wednesday/Optimum health for body, mind and spirit
    Talks about staying healthy as a vegan and an activist, in mind, body and soul.
  • Thursday/Animals in the arts: Literature and film
    Talks about and gives excerpts from books and films that in some way tangle the issue of animals and compassion.
  • Friday/Stories of hope, rescue and transformation
    Gives stories of rescued animals and people changing into becoming vegan, both written by Colleen herself and by others.
  • Saturday & Sunday/Healthful recipes
    Provides healthful vegan recipes.

All the essays are maximum one page long, easy to read and provide information on many different subjects concerning veganism, compassion and animal activism. It is truly a companion for someone who is not a vegan but wants to know more about veganism, or for someone who is already vegan but would like to learn more and become strengthened in their beliefs.

My favorite category in the book is definitely the “Stories of hope, rescue and transformation” one, because while there is much sadness in being an animal advocate and witness of the suffering of animals, these stories give hope and happiness to me. They prove that things can change and become better.

I highly recommend this book!

Personal library

I’m a person who is very hungry for information, it seems I can’t have enough. I read books and articles and watch documentaries. Most of all I read books, anything from easy-going novels to philosophical works. There’s no stopping me.

This has led to that I have started building a small library of my own, of books on animal activism, ethics and vegetarian/vegan cooking, as well as some of my favorite novels. I borrow a lot of books from the library as well – most novels that I have read have been borrowed ones, I only buy the ones I really like – but some books are not available in the library, or then I just prefer buying them so that I can make my own notes and go back to read the book later on.

books

I have a long list of books I haven’t read yet but that I want to read, just a few days ago I got a package with a few of those books – a birthday gift for myself. I own books in all the three languages that I speak; Swedish, Finnish and English.

R sometimes says I read too much. I think he’s just jealous.

In the face of change

I’m sorry for the silence lately, I’ve been so busy with life that the blog has been of less priority. Now we are however all moved in to our new apartment in Helsinki, our wedding is in the past (yes, I just got married – more about that and the great vegan food we had during the wedding in another post), and next week I start my new job.

I’ve just been in Helsinki for a few days now, except the visits I’ve made during the last month since R moved down here. I’m a countryside girl and my thought when I knew we were moving to a big city was something like “Oh no, how can I stand it with all the buildings, traffic, people and busyness?”, but the fact is that I pretty much love the area where we live already. It’s close to the water and beaches, it has several parks and other nature areas and nice places to go walking or running, and still it only takes about 15 minutes to go to the city center by public transport. I think I can enjoy my life here.

The fact that Helsinki is a bigger city also means more options of vegan food, products and restaurants, which I haven’t had time to check out that much yet, but I will, sooner or later. One place that I have had time to visit though, is the all vegan store Heluna Shop in Sörnäinen (Torkkelinkatu 3C, close to the metro station). It’s small and cosy and the woman working there when we visited was very friendly. The store sells some food stuffs, shoes, hygiene products, household products, cosmetics, books, vitamins and even dog food – all vegan. The store is open Tuesdays 1 pm- 7 pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays 1 pm- 5 pm and Saturdays 10 am- 2 pm. Check it out if you happen to be in Helsinki! If you’re not, but live somewhere else in Finland or in Europe they also have an online shop.