The traditional term for homosexuality in China is “the passion of the cut sleeve boys” (断袖之癖), so named from the story of Emperor Ai of Han (27 BCE - 1 BCE) and Dong Xian (23 BCE - 1 BCE). As the story goes, Emperor Ai fell in love with a minor official named Dong Xian. Dong Xian quickly gained the Emperor’s favor. One afternoon as they slept in bed, Emperor Ai woke up. Rather than wake his lover, he cut the sleeves of his robe to let his lover sleep longer. Homosexuality was regarded as a normal affair up until the late Qing dynasty when the government attempted to westernize the country.

Gay history!

» Save Endangered Animals in China

From ThePetitionSite:

"Traditional Chinese medicine is a multi-million dollar industry but many people don’t know that endangered species in China are being killed and used as ingredients in these medicinesThe Chinese government needs stop this practice.»Medicines like Chinese herbal tea often contain the DNA of endangered Asiatic bears or Saiga antelopes. Both of these animals are perilously close to extinction.It is time to put a stop to this practice. Besides being dangerous to those who consume them, these medicines threaten the livelihood of endangered animals that could soon become extinct.

If you take action today, we can protect the endangered species in China! »

I’m not even sorry for how anti-Chinese this may sound, but fuck Chinese “medicine”. This industry has been the cause for the severe cut into many wildlife populations, AND poverty of people who rely on these animals for food, clothing, and income themselves. It’s nothing more than exploitation of ethnocentrism (“western world tells you use their meds, but ancient family recipe of ground tiger penis will treat you like it has faithfully treated us!”), tourism/culture appropriation freaks (“oh, a talisman made from real seahorse! isn’t that just nifty?”), and the environment.

» Save the Rhino

From Avaaz:

The rhino is being hunted into extinction and could disappear forever unless we act now. Shocking new statistics show 440 rhinos were brutally killed last year in South Africa alone — a massive increase on five years ago when just 13 had their horns hacked off. European nations could lead the world to a new plan to save these amazing creatures but they need to hear from us first!

Fueling this devastation is a huge spike in demand for rhino horns, used for bogus cancer cures, hangover remedies and good luck charms in China and Vietnam. Protests from South Africa have so far been ignored by the authorities, but Europe has the power to change this by calling for a ban on all rhino trade — from anywhere, to anywhere — when countries meet at the next crucial international wildlife trade summit in July.

The situation is so dire that the threat has even spread into British zoos who are on red-alert for rhino killing gangs! Let’s raise a giant outcry and urge Europe to push for new protections to save rhinos from extinction. When we reach 100,000 signers, our call will be delivered in Brussels, the decision-making heart of Europe, with a crash of cardboard rhinos. Every 50,000 signatures will add a rhino to the crash — bringing the size of our movement right to the door of EU delegates as they decide their position. Sign the petition below then forward this email widely:

So far this year one rhino has been killed every day in South Africa, home to at least 80% of the world’s remaining wild rhinos. Horns now have a street value of over $65,000 a kilo — more expensive than gold or platinum. The South African Environment Minister has pledged to take action by putting 150 extra wardens and even an electric fence along the Mozambique border to try and stem the attacks — but the scale of the threat is so severe that global action is required.

Unless we act today we may lose this magnificent and ancient animal species permanently. Some Chinese are loudly lobbying for the trade in horn to be relaxed, but banning the trade in all rhinos will silence them. With the EU’s leadership, we can bring these international gangsters to justice, put the poachers in prison, and push for public awareness programmes in key Asian countries — and end this horn horror show for good.

In the next few weeks, the EU will be setting its agenda for the next big global meeting in just a few months — our best chance of turning the tide against the slaughter. We know that rhinos will be on their agenda, but only our pressure can ensure they challenge the problem at its source. Let’s build a giant outcry and deliver it in a spectacular fashion — sign now and together we can stop the slaughter across Africa:

In 2010, Avaaz’s actions helped to stop the elephant ivory trade from exploding. In 2012, we can do the same for the rhino. When we speak out together, we can change the world — last year was the worst year ever for the rhino, but this can be the year when we win.

With hope,

Iain, Sam, Maria Paz, Emma, Ricken and the whole Avaaz team”

» RE: Apple Suicides


Last week Apple customers visited stores on four continents to deliver 250,000 petition signatures demanding better working conditions at factories making iPads and iPhones. (The delivery made news on CNN, the BBC, Al Jazeera, and NPR).  Yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced immediate factory inspections, showing that the pressure is working! But experts doubt how reliable the monitoring group’s findings will be and there are still no worker-protection plans for new product releases (when workers are forced to work so hard to meet deadlines that some die of exhaustion — and others commit suicide). Click here to sign Mark’s petition and keep up the pressure on Apple.


Reacting to the Russian and Chinese veto to a United Nations Security Council resolution to stop the killings of civilians by Syrian security sources, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Turkey’s doors were “open to all Syrians who want to flee from oppression.” 

“We are ready to host them in our homes if necessary,” Davutoğlu added as part of a new stage to step up pressure on the Bashar al-Assad regime.

The move is interesting since Turkey has announced that there could be only two conditions for Turkish involvement in military action in the Syrian situation; a U.N. Security Council decision based on humanitarian reasoning or a massive flood of refugees into Turkey.


» iPhone neurotoxins

From SumOfUs:

"Every day, tens of millions of people will swipe the screens of their iPhones to unlock them.

On the other side of the world, a young girl is also swiping those screens. In fact, every day, during her 12+ hour shifts, six days a week, she repetitively swipes tens of thousands of them. She spends those hours inhaling n-hexane, a potent neurotoxin used to clean iPhone glass, because it dries a few seconds faster than a safe alternative. After just a few years on the line, she will be fired because the neurological damage from the n-hexane and the repetitive stress injuries to her wrists and hands make her unable to continue performing up to standard.

Sound like a nightmare? According to recent reports, scenarios like this have been all too real in Apple’s Chinese supply chain. I love Apple products as much as anyone else. I’m typing this on a Macbook, and I want to buy an iPhone 5 when it comes out. But like many consumers, I don’t want my money to support thousands of workers’ rights violations that investigative journalists are reporting extend throughout Apple’s supply chain.

Click here to sign the petition to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, demanding that he clean up working conditions in his supply chain in time to make an ethical iPhone 5.

Right now we have a huge opportunity as ethical consumers: The launch of the iPhone 5 later this year will be new Apple CEO Tim Cook’s first big product rollout, and he can’t afford for anything to go wrong — including negative publicity around how Apple’s suppliers, like Foxconn, treat their workers. That’s why we’re launching a campaign this week to get Apple to overhaul the way its suppliers treat their workers in time for the launch of the iPhone 5.

Can Apple do this? Absolutely. Apple is the richest company in the world, posting a record-breaking profit margin for the last quarter of 44.1%. They’re sitting on $100 billion in cash. According to an anonymous Apple executive quoted in the New York Times, all Apple has to do is demand it, and it’ll happen - “Suppliers would change everything tomorrow if Apple told them they didn’t have another choice.”

Click here to sign the petition to Apple’s CEO, telling him to make the iPhone 5 the first ethically produced iPhone, and improve working conditions for workers in all Apple factories.

- Taren, Kaytee, Claiborne and the rest of the team

For further reading:

  1. New York Times, In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad, 25 January 2012
  2. Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour, Foxconn and Apple Fail to Fulfill Promises: Predicaments of Workers After the Suicides, 6 May 2011
  3. This American Life, Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory, 6 January 2012
  4. SACOM, Another Foxconn worker dies, this time from exhaustion, 4 June 2010”






Daily Express 17th December 2011

Sign this petition to ban the tiger trade:



this is horrible… please help out by signing the petition or by spreading the word around :(

oh my god

Passing it on even though China doesn’t usually care what the world thinks especially in regards to animal welfare.