The One Where I Ask You to Donate Money to Japan

Forgive me, dear readers. But I’ve taken a break from the utter insanity (and the rage!) that is the Boycott Thor website, to talk to you about non-comic related matters. *pulls out a battered, well-used soapbox from under her desk*

I’m posting the following links in the hopes that some of you will donate (if you haven’t already) some of your money to help the people (and animals) affected by Friday’s 9.0 earthquake and the resulting tsunami. (Then there’s the ever worsening nuclear emergency – though, I’d caution you about falling prey to the fear-mongering, the misinformation, and the panic. I know it’s easy, when news is scarce (and it keeps getting worse), to think that the world is ending or that nuclear energy is the devil and should be abolished or that we’re all going to die a horrible death from radiation sickness. Stop. Take a deep breath. Collect your towel and, above all else, DON’T PANIC.)

Since the tragedy, I’ve actively sought out stories of survival – the man they found hanging on to the roof of his house 10 miles out to sea, two days after the tsunami:

The four month old baby unharmed after being swept away from (and now reunited with) her parents.

Or, The 70-year old woman found in the wreckage of her home, now in hospital, conscious but suffering with hypothermia.

But, the stories that get me, that always make me tear up (which, embarrassingly enough, I’m doing right now) are the stories of the pets that are left behind or lost after a disaster such as this. Those tales of being reunited, when you think that the other is lost, or “Two survivors in Japan, reunited by a rescuer”:


(The photo and text come from the Tokyo Shinbun Takeo which has been translated as: ““A nameless rescue worker – one of many paid or unpaid highly trained professionals who dedicate their spare time or their entire lives to being ready to help strangers in emergencies, delivers the least of this day’s beneficiaries to a grateful and relieved loved one.”

Or refusing to leave an injured mate’s side (video) until both of you are able to be rescued, given veterinary care, and a warm safe place to sleep.

And, this just in, a video: “A woman enters her tsunami-ravished residence only to discover that her pet cat had managed to weather the devastation”.

Also, as reported by Discovery (via the Facebook page of the Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support) the people and cats on Tashirojima, the cat island are safe, despite the earthquake and tsunami. However, they are short of food (they’re trying to arrange a delivery by helicopter).

Which is why, in addition to the Red Cross and other human-centric charities that are working tirelessly to help, I’m including a list of charities that help the pets (see also: the plight of the animals after Hurricane Katrina). Please consider giving something to help if you’re able to. (Note: These are Canadian donation links for the most part; also, I’ve tried to ensure that all of these organizations are legit.)

Canadian Red Cross

Oxfam Canada

Médecins sans Frontières (MSF)/Doctors without Borders


Salvation Army

World Vision Canada

Canada Helps

Plan Canada

ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) Canada

Global Giving

The following charities help the animals:

Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support (a coalition of three separate groups: HEART-Tokushima, Animal Garden Niigata and Japan Cat Network)

Kinship Circle has a great list of resources that are Tracking And Assessing Animal Aid Response In Japan and their Animal Disaster Aid Fund

World Vets

Animal Refuge Kansai

I believe in the power of the human/pet bond and know that it’s just as important, as valuable, and as rewarding as other bonds are (as only unconditional love can be). I realize that I tend to look at it differently than many people do. Maybe it’s because I’ve been lucky enough to have a succession of exceptional furry family members. It’s also because I hope that, if I should ever be in a similar situation (*knocks wood*), that there will be someone who understands and will help reunite my Pomeranian and I, or, in the worst case scenario, to look after her if I can’t.

It could also be that, in the face of such loss being reunited with your pet is one step back from the void. It is one step away from being completely annihilated by that wall of black water that tosses cars and boats around like they were nothing. That, in the wake of tens of thousands missing and thousands of bodies washing up along the coastline, something remains and pulls you forward; something to hang onto when it seems like the world is ending.

In the end, whatever aid you give is going to help people devastated by what happened over the last five or six days. Whatever form that takes is no less worthy than another.

*toes soapbox back under her desk*

Shelley Smarz is a comic book scholar and a business woman searching for work. What may seem like pointless melodrama aside, she tends to get up on that soapbox a lot. But, unlike most times, she’s not crying as she does it. She’ll return to her angry feminist-panties-in-a-perpetual-knot, libertarian-situated, gay-marriage-protecting, basic-human-rights-for-all, pro-choice, pro-sex, pro-porn, pinko-Commie-scum, refuses-to-shut-up-liberal, socialized-healthcare-having agenda during her next post. In case you’re wondering, she’s strung together every “insult” that ever’s been lobbed her way (some of which she’s quite proud of and thanks you for the complement). Don’t worry. She’s got a Thaco of 1 and is a Beholder to your Magpie.


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