the TAO of CHANGE

a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

Posts Tagged ‘animal rescue’

Jean-Claude Van Damme, the “Muscles From Brussels”, bares his soul and saves dogs

Monday, November 10th, 2008

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

The artist, Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, believes the world needs more heroes, which is why he covered a Barcelona Beach with the likeness of Barack Obama. T.K.V. Krishnamacarya , the late Indian scholar and yoga teacher, also believes that you can overcome the obstacles in your own life by considering and modeling the lives of people you respect and admire.

Movie stars can be heroes, too. Always a slippery slope, the business of becoming, staying – and leaving -  stardom takes more than just talent. Yet, many have risen and are rising to the occassion, following not just fame, but their own hearts, heads and conscience.

Martial Artist and film action hero, Jean-Claude Van Damme plays himself in the recent release of JCVD, portraying the rise and fall of his career. The movie was filmed in Bangkok, where Mr. Van Damme adopted seven stray dogs by the film’s completion – some of them disabled. In fact, he prolonged his stay when one of the dogs had a heart attack, sleeping with him in the clinic every night to help give him the will to live. For another, he built a “wheelchair”. The dogs have been sent to his home in Brussels.

The movie includes a 6-minute monologue in which he reflectives openly and emotionally about his life, career, dreams and failures.

He emphasizes the change in himself and the importance of personal stability. In his next film, will move on to writing, directing and producing, as well as acting. As he reclaims his career he wants to be seen as “an action character hero instead of an action star.”

Good enough for me. See you in the theatre.

Rescue Ink gets the job done

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

by Tracey Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

You know that poem from my friend? Well, it’s made me think a lot about “what [we] have to do”. Wow. Makes things more simple, doesn’t it? Many people, when asking me about my green habits in my lifestyle, shake their heads in a way that presumes some sort of sacrifice or at least, terrible inconvenience. I wish I could reveal fully the ways my life, my well-being and my happiness has grown within these changes. And once you get perspective and get started, it’s simply about “knowing what I have to do”.

If you doubt these words in any way, here’s another example of people in the “know” when it comes to what is needed out there, not just in the world, but on the streets.

Rescue Ink loves and rescues animals from all kinds of abuse – much of it in the cruelest form of dog-fighting. “Rescue Ink was formed to aid in battling animal abuse and neglect, and to assist existing animal welfare agencies and animal shelters.” The heroes have a message – “ABUSERS ARE LOSERS”.

Well, the story only begins here. There are 11 members of Rescue Ink, most living in the NYC area, where they volunteer their time, effort and “presence” to help in cases – often those unaddressed (or inaccessible to) other animal groups. They specialize in getting the abuser away from the animals but will often “work with” neglect cases by building dog houses or providing cost-free vet care and neutering for owners.

The team are an unlikely crew of such dedicated animal lovers – all big, strong, and practiced in urban life, including a body-building champion, Kung Fu Master, former police detective, hot rod mechanic, firefighter and other street-friendly occupations, lifestyles and experience. Their presence is appropriately menacing when needed – they “won’t tolerate animal abuse” – but they are not vigilantes. They don’t break the law, handing over the criminal cases to the authorities when necessary.

I’m happier today, just knowing they are out there, “doing what they have to do”, as reported in this NY Times article loved looking at the photos on their site and reading all 11 bios. Take a look.



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