You can find beauty in the smallest of places

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Take a snail, a lot of patience, a macro lens, the artistic eye of Vyacheslav Mishchenko and you’ve got these incredible photographs. I was in awe of these photos when I first saw the “Magical World Of Snails” on Demilked (and still am!), so I had to share the magic with all of you. It’s hard not to anthropomorphize these images and wonder what’s going on in that little animal’s head. Vyacheslav has shown us that there truly is beauty everywhere, if you just take the time to look.
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Vyacheslav doesn’t limit his photographs to just snails. Along with this ant featured below, he takes amazing photos of a variety of other small plants and animals.
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Reproduction, copying, or redistribution is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of the author.

(To see more of Vyacheslav Mishchenko’s photographs, please visit his Facebook page)

Massive victory for whales & the world!

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When you share petition after petition after petition for years, you hope to one day hear the wonderful news that the change you’ve been waiting and wishing for has finally arrived. Well, today was that marvelous day! I woke up to this lovely news on my Facebook newsfeed this morning and have seen it everywhere online all day. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Japan’s “scientific” whaling is illegal and must end! It was finally determined that Japan’s whale hunt doesn’t meet the scientific whaling regulations, something that has been known by many for years. To find out more details, you can go to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)’s website here.

This is the best environmental/animal welfare news I’ve ever heard! I hope it comes to an end immediately and stays permanent…and that other whaling countries get the same ruling asap! This news was too amazing not to share with all of you… what great news!

(Original image via Greenpeace email)

I need you!

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Hi everyone! Can you please take just a few moments out of your day to take my dissertation survey? I would be so grateful if you were able to share it and ask all your friends and family to do it, too! I need a variety of participants from all around the world with various interests. Any help would be very appreciated :) 

I’m trying to get results to understand the public’s view on illegal wildlife trafficking and the more participants I have, the better! Doesn’t matter if they’ve ever heard of it, care about it, etc. It’s only 18 questions and should take just 2-3 minutes to complete. I plan on having it up for about a week before I close it down to analyze the data.

Thank you so much to everyone who takes it and shares it! You’re wonderful!

Click the cheesy picture of me above or this link here: http://bit.ly/QkYect

Hope for Orangutans: Kellogg’s committing to sustainable palm oil

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Over three years ago, I wrote about two Girl Scouts challenging Kellogg’s to drop palm oil from their Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies in order to protect endangered animals such as the orangutans and tigers, rainforests and tribes in Borneo and Sumatra. It may have seemed like a long time coming, but we finally have a victory!

Yesterday, I had a nice Valentine’s Day surprise when I saw an announcement that Kellogg announced a global commitment to fully traceable sourcing of palm oil with the requirement for suppliers to have palm oil “produced in a manner that’s environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable. To do so, Kellogg is working through its supply chain — from suppliers to processors to growers — to ensure that palm oil it uses is sourced from plantations that uphold the company’s commitment to protect forests and peat lands, as well as human and community rights” by the end of 2015, the statement reads.

Palm oil is extremely destructive to the environment, various species and the people whose homes are destroyed in order to produce palm oil plantations. A commitment like this by a huge corporation will go a long way and will hopefully lead to many others following in their footsteps.

(Image found on Care2.com)

Have you seen Blackfish, the movie that’s making waves?

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I hope this movie makes history. Right now, it’s looking like it’s on its way to doing just that.

I haven’t posted in a while, but I recently watched Blackfish and remembered why I started Four Leaf Clover in the first place. This documentary shows a little background history as to how killer whales got mixed up in the entertainment industry and focuses on one orca in particular: Tilikum.

Tilikum, at the time of writing this post, is 32 years old and has been captive for 30 of those years. In 2010, Tilikum killed one of his trainers at SeaWorld. There is no evidence that orcas are dangerous to humans or have ever harmed humans… in the wild.

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Have you ever been to SeaWorld and watched the killer whales jump in the air? Or seen any orcas in captivity for that matter? If you’re anything like my former self, you probably have and you probably went because you love animals and love seeing them. If you’d still go because of that reason, please watch this film.

For years now, it’s pained me to see these magnificent, intelligent animals living in these small swimming pools and performing tricks with the reward of dead fish for food. Blackfish expands on this even more along with information I had no idea about killer whales. It’s hard to see this movie as biased since it presents facts. The filmmaker even went to SeaWorld before filming this and started this documentary more out of curiosity and research than to send out an animal welfare message.

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll have picked up that I’m against keeping animals in captivity, but there’s just something about marine amusement parks in particular that feels cruel and completely wrong. I hope this film leads to the shut down of all marine animal performing parks. Have you watched/heard of Blackfish? What do you think? How do you feel about keeping killer whales, dolphins, etc. in captivity?

(Original images from the Blackfish Official Film Site)