Friday, March 31, 2006

About the Canadian Baby Seal Slaughter and Very Simple Steps to Take to Stop It

A good website with lots of information. Easy steps to take.

http://www.stopthesealhunt.ca/site/pp.asp?c=
dhKPI1PFIqE&b=437193

Former Smiths Frontman Morrissey Joins Those Opposed to the Canadian Baby Seal Slaughter, Saying he Won't Perform in Canada as a Protest

Now this is courageous and honorable. You can imagine how much money he will lose out on.

Great quotes from him in this article. Certainly very thoughtful. Here is one that really sticks out as to the logic of continuing this disgusting practice:

"Construction of German gas chambers also provided work for someone – this is not a moral or sound reason for allowing suffering," he said.

Article:

Morrissey snubs Canada to protest against seal hunt

Last Updated Tue, 28 Mar 2006 10:24:57 EST
CBC Arts

http://www.cbc.ca/story/arts/national/2006/03

/28/morrissey-snub-sealhunt.html?print

Former Smiths frontman Morrissey has joined those opposed to the seal hunt, saying he won't perform in Canada as a protest.

"I fully realize that the absence of any Morrissey concerts in Canada is unlikely to bring the Canadian economy to its knees, but it is our small protest against this horrific slaughter," he said.

The British singer has just released his new single You Have Killed Me and is gearing up for a world tour to promote his new album Ringleader of the Tormentors.

Morrissey issued a statement on his website Monday condemning the annual hunt and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's defence of it.

"The Canadian Prime Minister says the so-called 'cull' is economically and environmentally justified, but this is untrue," the singer writes. "This slaughter is about one thing only: making money."


Morrissey also alleges that Harper "states that the slaughter is necessary because it provides jobs for local communities."

"Construction of German gas chambers also provided work for someone – this is not a moral or sound reason for allowing suffering," he said.

The 46-year-old singer concludes his message by calling for his fans to boycott Canadian goods, saying that Canada has "placed itself alongside China as the cruelest and most self-serving nation."

Harper has defended the hunt as humane and said that Canada has been targeted by "an international propaganda campaign" by opponents.


Morrissey is the latest entertainer to criticize the hunt. Earlier this year, former Beatle Paul McCartney and his wife Heather Mills McCartney visited Charlottetown to campaign against it and even appeared on CNN's Larry King Live to debate Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams.

Brigitte Bardot, who first criticized the seal hunt in the 1970s, returned to Canada last week to visit Ottawa and renew her protest.


Over the years, other celebrities have also joined in the protest, including Martin Sheen, Richard Dean Anderson, Mick Jagger and Pierce Brosnan.

For the First Time in More than 100 Years, California Condors Were Spotted Nesting in the Northern Part of California

And for some good news finally…..

Rare condors seen nesting in Northern Calif.
Discovery follows efforts to protect endangered species

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12078245/


The Associated Press
Updated: 8:15 a.m. ET March 30, 2006

BIG SUR, Calif. - For the first time in more than 100 years, California condors were spotted nesting in the northern part of the state, scientists said.

The condor couple was found Monday displaying typical nesting behavior inside a hollowed-out redwood tree in Big Sur, a mountainous coastal region south of Monterey, the Ventana Wildlife Society announced.

"For the past 10 years when this sort of thing came up, it turned out to be just in my dreams," Kelly Sorenson, the group's executive director. "Now it is a reality."

The male and female took turns guarding the nest every two or three days, never leaving the nest unattended for more than several minutes, the scientists said.

"Although the view into the cavity is very limited and we can't actually see the egg, we strongly suspect they have an egg based on their behavior at the nest site," said Joe Burnett, a wildlife biologist.

Scientists have worked for years to bring the condor back from the brink of extinction.

Ventana, a nonprofit group, began releasing condors into the wild in 1997 and now monitors a population of 38 condors in Central California. The last known condor egg in Northern California was collected in 1905 in Monterey County.

The condor recovery effort has increased the number of birds tenfold over the past two decades. But about 40 percent of released condors have died from attacks by golden eagles and power lines, among other causes.

Biologists said the mortality rate of condors in Big Sur is much lower.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Canadian Speaks Out about the Canadian Baby Seal Slaughter: Images He Personally Took and Witnessed on Display at University of Winnipeg

What’s so different about this story is that this man was there and took video AND, he’s Canadian. He also makes the same point many have been making: justifying bashing in the skulls of defenseless baby animals that can’t even move by using economic reasons doesn’t suffice. As he said, "Slave owners had to get other jobs, too."

I go one step further and bring up the case of industrial layoffs. Just recently Ford announced up to 30,000. The people may be angry, but they accept it and find other work. It’s the way it’s always been.

Why these complaining brutal Canadians and their incompetent government who can’t bring additional work to them are given excuses I’ll never know.

And it shows why the Prime Minister and Local Politicians support the brutality: they’re simply incompetent and cannot find alternatives to local economies! So, instead, they need to go or think of new ideas in order to look to the long run and get beyond these barbaric practices.

Article:

Seal-hunt foes flog case here
Show gory scene at U of W

http://winnipegsun.com/News/Winnipeg/2006
/03/30/1511985-sun.html

By JOYANNE PURSAGA, STAFF REPORTER


A small animal lies in a pool of blood as a spiked club punctures its pelt.

The gory scene is part of an anti-seal hunt video, played at the University of Winnipeg's Rideau Hall yesterday.

Winnipeg activist David Nickarz said the death is just one of many he witnessed aboard a ship during the 2005 seal hunt in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Nickarz made the journey with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an animal rights group, last year.

"We'd pass by piles of the seals and they would be skinned and there was blood all over the ice," said Nickarz. "There's no honour in the hunt. It's a slaughter."


Nickarz manned an information booth with AnimalWatch Manitoba at U of W Tuesday and yesterday.

But supporters of the East Coast seal hunt say almost all seals are now shot rather than clubbed, making the practice more humane.

The hunt is a critical source of income, due to demand for pelts and seal oil, supporters said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has also spoken in support of the hunt. Harper declined requests from celebrity-activists for meetings about the issue and said the hunt has suffered under an "international propaganda campaign."

'DISGUSTING PRACTICE'

Actress and animal rights activist Pamela Anderson added her voice to the protest this week.

But Nickarz said financial loss or unemployment, should the seal industry collapse, doesn't justify the hunt.

"Smashing seals on the head is a disgusting practice," he said. "Slave owners had to get other jobs, too."

Nickarz has gathered 100 signatures on his petition against the hunt.

The forms lined a small white box covered with articles about the tradition.

Similar boxes will be sent from several Canadian cities and used to erect a protest monument on Parliament Hill.

Nickarz and AnimalWatch are also leading a boycott of all Canadian seafood, in objection to the industry's support for the hunt.

The Gulf hunt began Saturday and a second hunt in Newfoundland and Labrador is scheduled to begin in April.

Cat Stuck in Wall Waves Paw for Help: Story Shows the Ability of Cats to Reason and Think

Yes, there are still many out there that claim that all actions beyond human actions are instinctual. Well, I have bytes and bytes of information that proves otherwise. Here is another example. If purely instinctual the cat likely wouldn’t’ have equated a hole with freedom. And the voices of people with help.


Article:
Cat Stuck in Wall Waves Paw for Help

Location: COLLIERVILLE, Tenn.

Posted: March 29, 2006 6:23 PM EST

URL: http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/ /314729.html


COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A cat stuck in a wall at a house under construction initiated his rescue when he caught the attention of a prospective buyer by meowing and waving his paw out a small hole. The cat had gotten stuck behind the wall but found a gap between a gas pipe and the wall board where he could stick out his paw. He was spotted Saturday by someone touring the house.

Collierville Animal Services supervisor Nina Wingfield said she heard a "hoarse meow" after she arrived at the house.

"When he knew we were there, it was a very hoarse, frantic meow," she said.

Wingfield freed the feline by cutting away the wall board with a knife.

"He had his paw out touching - not clawing - the whole time, like he was saying 'Come on! Come on,'" Wingfield said.

She thinks the cat, who had been stuck without food long enough for his ribs to be showing, is a lost pet. The owners have until Friday to come forward and claim him before he will be offered for adoption to someone else.

In the meantime, the animal shelter is calling him by a new name: Wally.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A Couple Actions You Can Take to Attempt to Stop the Canadian Baby Seal Slaughter

Simply follow this link. They say to boycott Canadian seafood. Well, that’s good if you actually buy it. But, other groups advocate for the more sensible and encompassing move of boycotting ALL Canadian products as well as travel to there. That’s the only real boycott. And, tell restaurants you frequent to not buy Canadian seafood or products.

There’s also a link to contact the Prime Minister. If you do, tell him you’ll be engaging in an all encompassing boycott of Canada and Canadian products.

https://community.hsus.org/humane/notice-
description.tcl?newsletter_id=3742883

Canadian Seal Killers: Hate Baby Seals and People Too: Criminal Acts Prove that Not Even Humans are Safe From their Blood-Thirsty Rampage

I mentioned this before, but it’s quite clear the difference between the subsistence takes of Canadian natives and the mad-dash-for-cash brutal killing of the baby Seal killing Canadians. The killers bash in the heads and then only take the pelt, leaving the rest to waste.

Also, it seems that they’re not only brutal to baby animals, but to people as well. Due to their unabashed support from their buddies in the government that they are actually engaging in harassment and even assault (via throwing dead seal guts onto boats of those monitoring the hunt) as well as hitting the boats with their own. Very sick people. And yes, all gladly supported by the Canadian government. See, it’s who you know. If you know the right people, you can do whatever you want.

Here are a few quotes from the article below:

“Once the animals are killed, they are skinned and taken into the hunters' boats. The pelt is taken to make coats while the rest of the carcass is usually left behind.”

“And on how already affected and diminished. "It's disgusting when you stand out here and look at what the seals have been through already. They're clinging on for life as it is, thanks to the effects of global warming."

Article:

Canada hunters start killing seals, tempers flare

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=2
631&ncid=2631&e=3&u=/nm/20060325/ts_nm/
seals_dc_2

By Paul DarrowSat Mar 25, 3:39 PM ET

Canadian hunters started shooting and clubbing harp seal pups on Saturday at the start of an annual hunt that is the focus of a tech-savvy protest by animal rights groups.

This year, 325,000 young seals will be killed on the ice floes off the East Coast where the animals gather.

Unusually warm weather means the floes are a fraction of their normal size and thickness, prompting hunters to kill the seals individually rather than clubbing them to death en masse as they cluster on the ice in pools of blood.

"It's slow going. The ice is not full of seals all over the place," said Roger Simon of Canada's federal fisheries ministry, which oversees the hunt.

The crack of rifle fire could be heard continually as hunters in boats shot seals as they lay on tiny floes and then dashed over to the bodies in hopes of retrieving them before they slipped off the ice and sank.

Once the animals are killed, they are skinned and taken into the hunters' boats. The pelt is taken to make coats while the rest of the carcass is usually left behind.

At one point a hunter, frustrated at the activists' presence, picked up the bloody carcass of a skinned seal and threw it at a small inflatable craft full of protesters and journalists. It hit the boat and sank.

One sealing boat steamed straight toward the journalists' craft and turned at the last moment, sending a wave crashing over the observers.

Canada says the hunt gives the local economy a crucial boost and helps keep a harp seal population of almost six million animals in check.

The Humane Society of the United States has chartered a 110-foot (30-meter) boat to follow the hunt and is putting film and videos of the killings on its Web site.

"It's disgusting when you stand out here and look at what the seals have been through already. They're clinging on for life as it is, thanks to the effects of global warming," said the society's Rebecca Aldworth.

"I'm really appalled the Canadian government continues to allow this slaughter. There's no need for anyone to be out here killing seals," she told Reuters from the hunting zone.


Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada was behaving responsibly and would enforce rules ensuring that the seals were killed humanely.

"Unfortunately here we're to some degree the victim of a bit of an international propaganda campaign," he said on Friday.

Celebrities such as former French film star Brigitte Bardot and ex-Beatle Paul McCartney called on Ottawa this week to stop the hunt.

Aldworth repeated calls for an international boycott of Canadian seafood to protest what she said was "incredible cruelty at the hunt, including dragging conscious seals across the ice with boathooks, shooting seals and leaving them to suffer in agony and skinning seals alive."

The first part of the hunt, which takes place near the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, usually takes about 10 to 12 days to complete. This year's quotes is just over 90,000 seals.

The second and larger stage, off the coast of Newfoundland, starts on April 4.

Coyote-Kill Programs Don't Protect Farms, Study Finds

This has been obvious for years.

A few quotes from the article below:

“To protect sheep from coyotes, U.S. federal, state, and local governments—along with private livestock associations—have killed about 80,000 coyotes a year in recent decades.”

“But these efforts have not prevented a dramatic decline in domestic sheep populations—and the sheep industry—over the past 60 years, according to a report in the March issue of Conservation Biology.”

“The theory behind predator control is that reducing the number of carnivores will decrease livestock losses. But it's economic conditions that are pushing sheep numbers down, not predators, the new study says.”

"If the goal is to kill carnivores, then we've clearly been very successful. But if the goal is to actually help sheep ranchers earn a living and stay in business," she continued, "then I think we're targeting the wrong problem.

"You've had a [predator control] program in place for over 60 years, and you've lost 85 percent of the sheep producers," Berger said.


Article:

Coyote-Kill Programs Don't Protect U.S. Farms, Study Finds

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/
03/0328_060328_coyotes.html

Nicholas Bakalar
for National Geographic News
March 28, 2006

Predator-control programs are very effective at killing coyotes, but they do little to help the United States sheep farmers they are designed to protect, according to a new study.

Black bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions, bobcats, and wolves have been effectively removed from most U.S. farming areas, leaving coyotes as the top livestock predators.

To protect sheep from coyotes, U.S. federal, state, and local governments—along with private livestock associations—have killed about 80,000 coyotes a year in recent decades.

But these efforts have not prevented a dramatic decline in domestic sheep populations—and the sheep industry—over the past 60 years, according to a report in the March issue of Conservation Biology.

The theory behind predator control is that reducing the number of carnivores will decrease livestock losses. But it's economic conditions that are pushing sheep numbers down, not predators, the new study says.

Kim Murray Berger—a conservation scientist with the Bronx, New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)—authored the study.

She used historical data to establish that the most important factor in the number of sheep produced over time is the price of the animals' main food, hay. The study says that 56 percent of the variation, year to year, is attributable to this alone.

Farmhand wages and the prices farmers receive for their lambs account for another 21 percent of the variation, according to the analysis.

The amount of money spent to control predators contributes about 6 percent to changes in sheep numbers.

Peter Orwick is the executive director of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI). He agrees that there are many factors that affect the profitability of sheep farming. But he sees predator losses as among the most important.

Citing a report published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service, he said that "predator losses, even with the predator [control] programs, represent over 37 percent of the losses in the industry."


The numbers that WCS's Berger found make her skeptical about the significance of predator control in the economics of sheep farming. But she doesn't dismiss predators completely as a threat to the industry.

"There are absolutely circumstances in which removing an animal that is causing predation losses will save some sheep," she said. "So this is really a question of what we hope to achieve by investing public resources to control predators.

"If the goal is to kill carnivores, then we've clearly been very successful. But if the goal is to actually help sheep ranchers earn a living and stay in business," she continued, "then I think we're targeting the wrong problem.

"You've had a [predator control] program in place for over 60 years, and you've lost 85 percent of the sheep producers," Berger said.

Again, Orwick disagrees.

"Clearly, the program does work in helping minimize losses, and it does it without significantly impacting the predator population," the ASI director said.

"That coyotes are the primary predator is not a 'perception' issue. Coyotes cause the majority of predator losses to sheep operations."

Orwick maintains that eliminating predator management "would take the predator losses of today—37 percent—and move it up so that 80 or 90 percent of all losses would be due to predators.

"I don't understand what the reasoning would be to take predator management out of the picture."

If predator control isn't having a great impact, as WCS's Berger says, could it be because not enough coyotes are being killed?

"It would be fair for sheep farmers to say that the program doesn't work because we're simply not killing enough coyotes," Berger said. "But that doesn't explain why you see the same trends in sheep production in areas where you have coyotes and areas where you don't. They're virtually identical."

Times have changed, according to Berger.

"It's important to keep in mind that, at the time that the predator-control program was conceived, public feeling in the country about large carnivores was quite different," she said.

"We were interested in civilizing the landscape and making it beautiful for humans only. That's changed. A lot of people are looking for a place where they can get away from civilization and experience nature and wildlife," Berger said.

"Maybe it's time to revisit our policy of controlling predators and also revisit what it is we're doing to help livestock producers, since what we're currently doing doesn't seem to be working."

ASI's Orwick sees predator control from a different perspective.

"I don't know of one magic solution to eliminate conflict between wildlife management and agriculture," he said.

"I argue that farmers and ranchers subsidize the public and the public's wildlife by providing private land and property for coyotes to make their living. Therefore, the public has a responsibility to assist in limiting or managing the severity of the damage and loss of private property."

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Canadian Government and Baby Seal Killers: Corrupt Partners in Crime

You’ll see in this article below that it’s clear that the government is actually taking the side of the slaughterers and performing false arrests. This is all with the motivation of using fear to prevent people from witnessing the horrors. So, they know just how bad what their doing is and are trying to prevent the world from seeing it.


Article:

Seal hunt protesters dispute official account of arrest on Gulf ice floes

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=
1845&ncid=1845&e=2&u=
/cpress/20060327/ca_pr_on_na/seal_hunt

CHRIS MORRISMon Mar 27, 2:58 PM ET

CHARLOTTETOWN (CP) - Animal rights activists say their rights are being abused by Canadian police and federal officials trying to protect the much-maligned East Coast seal hunt.

Rebecca Aldworth of the Humane Society of the United States, said Monday she has been told she cannot return to the ice floes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence while an investigation is underway into possible violations of hunt regulations.

Aldworth, along with six other hunt protesters and a freelance cameraman working for Reuters Television, were arrested Sunday - the second day of the annual hunt - for coming too close to a sealing boat.

They were later released, but video footage shot by the Humane Society was seized and the group doesn't know when it will be returned.

"I'm a Canadian and I'm humiliated in the presence of these international observers that our government would choose to sink to these levels to ensure that the seal hunt can continue in secrecy," said Aldworth, a native of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Aldworth insisted she did not come too close to a sealing operation.

She said a sealing boat manoeuvred close to the observers' small boat, forcing them within the 10-metre buffer zone.

The sealing boat was carrying RCMP and Fisheries officers.

Reporters covering the hunt from the ice floes confirmed that several sealing boats charged observer vessels.

On Saturday, seal guts were hurled into a boat carrying mostly journalists.

On Sunday, a sealing boat rammed one of the protesters' inflatable Zodiacs, damaging a propeller.

Roger Simon of the federal Fisheries Department, said no charges have been laid.

He said an investigation is underway, but it will take several weeks or months to reach a conclusion.

"The decision to charge or not to charge is a long process," Simon said, adding that the seized video footage will be analyzed for evidence and will be held until the issue of charges is resolved.

He said Aldworth and other protesters still can apply for observer permits, which are renewed on a daily basis.

However, he said the investigation into the alleged violations would be a factor in deciding whether to renew her permits and those of the others.


This year's Gulf hunt got off to a slow start because of poor ice conditions and low numbers of seals.

The quota for this year's Gulf hunt is 91,000 seals. Another 234,000 can be taken in a second hunt that begins in April off Newfoundland and Labrador.

University of Wisconsin Does the Unthinkable and Actually Allows a Debate Concerning The Use of Animals in Research

I say unthinkable because it’s rare for any large entity that receives huge amounts of money to engage in animal testing to expose itself. Probably the last one for another eight years.

Article:

Animal rights debate rages

http://badgerherald.com/news/2006/03/24/animal_rights_debate.php

By Emily Clark
Friday, March 24, 2006

For the first time in eight years, a debate concerning the use of animals in research was held Thursday on the University of Wisconsin campus.

Eric Sandgren, chair of the All Campus Animal Care and Use Committee, agreed to go head-to-head in a debate with Rick Bogle of the Alliance for Animals’ Primate Freedom Project on issues concerning animal use in UW research.

The crux of the debate on animal use in research Thursday centered on whether the same rights persist for animals as for humans.

Sandgren defended his stance, saying he does not believe animals have the same rights as humans, which makes them appropriate test subjects. He added that limits are put on primate centers to ensure the appropriate type of animal is being used and in moderation.

However, Bogle viewed these efforts as unacceptable, stating that all primate centers across the country should be shut down.

“We have been seduced by promises for too long that have not been fulfilled,” Bogle said. “We need to put our money into clinical research that looks at human disease and not some made-up mouse disease.”

Bogle set his sights on defending animal rights, specifically rights for monkeys. He claimed that research done on animals is irrelevant to the medical advancements concerning human diseases.

Following incidents of harassment from animal-rights activists, Sandgren said he decided to speak out on behalf of researchers.

In addition, Sandgren countered Bogle’s argument, saying animal research is crucial for providing effective medical care for humans, especially with regard to drug development.

“There is an undeniable difference between animals and humans, but the benefit of animal testing arises when we are able to eliminate 90 percent of the drugs because we know they will not work in humans by using them in animals first,” Sandgren said.

But Bogle said he strongly believes that although animals may be unable to communicate their pain and emotions, they still experience feelings and interact with one another much like humans do.

Sandgren recognized there was a polarization on both sides of the debate and that both have valid arguments, adding that small steps are being made to reduce the amount of animals used in research along with the exploration of alternative methods.

Though other options are being considered, Sandgren said he believes a complete abolishment of animal use in research is impossible because animal use is a necessity in medical advancements.

However, Bogle refused to recognize these advancements and said not enough is being done.

Mediated by Deborah Blum, a UW journalism professor and science writer, the audience was invited to ask questions concerning the issues brought up by Sandgren and Bogle.

UW sophomore Katie Keller, who attended Thursday’s debate, said she believed Sandgren did not address his side of the debate as specifically as Bogle.

“[I]t was an incredibly interesting debate that surprisingly made me question my own beliefs,” Keller said.

Sandgren told the audience attending the debate that the importance of the issue is undeniable, and by providing transparency to both sides of the debate, the public can make its own educated decision on where it stands.

Bogle expressed similar thoughts on the issue’s importance.

“I think that things can change, and I think things aren’t changing,” Bogle said. “Not many people are educated on this issue, and, therefore, the public has no idea what’s going on. I believe in education.”

Richard Pryor, Animal Rights Supporter Gives Again to the Issue: Bowl he Painted Brings over $7,000 to Ohio Animal Rights Group


A good man with a huge heart. Actually donated this bowl to an animal rights group. Shows how committed he was.


Article:

Bowl Pryor painted nets $7,099 for animal rights group

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ent/celebrities/3738198.html

Associated Press

SOUTH RUSSELL, Ohio — A ceramic bowl painted by Richard Pryor raised $7,099 in an online auction benefiting an Ohio animal rights group.

The bowl, in which Pryor painted a self-portrait before he died, was sold to GoldenPalace.com, an Internet-based casino company known for buying items online for charity and publicity.

Pryor sent the bowl to the Geauga Humane Society weeks before his death on Dec. 10. The actor-comedian, who was 65, died of a heart attack. He had been ill for years with multiple sclerosis.

The portrait was surrounded by the painted words, "Little Black Man in Big White World." The side of the bowl has Pryor's signature and drawings of a martini glass, lips and a cigarette.

"Richard and were both there in spirit and I know he did everything he could to help the auction along," Pryor's widow, Jennifer, said in a statement. "I couldn't be more delighted that he's still helping animals."

Monday, March 27, 2006

Canadian Seal Slaughter Continues: Vanity vs. Subsistence: Natives Do to Live, Take Little. Canadians Do to Support Vanity and Make Money: Waste Much

A few points here taken from the article below. Very important to realize. Number one is the difference between what the brutal, blood thirsty slaughterers are doing and what the natives do. Quite simply, it’s survival and subsistence and limited take and using all take vs. bloodthirsty, greedy, cruel abuse of baby seals. You’ll even see that one tribe member clearly states that they don’t do it for money.

And the second part is that these defenseless babies. So, not much of a “hunt” or challenge. Just sick men bashing in the skull of a baby that cannot really move.

"No matter how you measure it, these baby animals - and they are babies - have their brains smashed in, often just a few feet from their mothers," said Mary-Ellen Walsh of the group End the Sealhunt.”

“Caught on the sidelines in this dispute are Canada's aboriginal people, particularly those that live in the Arctic: the Inuit, the Innu and the Dene. These people hunted seals for their own purposes for millenniums.

"Our hunt is perfectly sustainable, otherwise we would have killed all the seals a thousand years ago," said David Diog, of the Dene nation.

"And we use every part of the seal, nothing is wasted.

"We don't do this to make money."


Article:

Eight weeks of pain: record seal kill tipped


By Richard Reynolds in Toronto
March 25, 2006

http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/eight-
weeks-of-pain-record-seal-kill-tipped/2006/
03/24/1143083994112.html?page=fullpage#
contentSwap1

CANADA'S annual seal hunt begins today on the ice floes off the country's east coast, where, despite decades of protest and boycotts of Canadian products, a record number of seals will be killed this year.

In all, 325,000 seals - most just weeks old - will be clubbed to death by hunters over the next eight weeks. The hunters are mostly fishermen who use boats to reach the new-born pups.

The French film icon Brigitte Bardot was in Ottawa this week to protest at the hunt. Her visit to an ice floe 29 years ago kicked off the first major opposition to the hunt.

Paul McCartney also visited the ice two weeks ago, courtesy of the US Humane Society, and posed with a days-old whiteback seal, so-called because of its stunning white fur. With its big soulful eyes and pure white coat, a whiteback laying helplessly on the ice epitomises cute.

At one time most thought the hunt would die out. By 1983, only 25,000 seals were being killed. But in the early 1990s the hunt was revived with the support of the Canadian Government, as a substitute for the failed cod fishery off Canada's Atlantic coast.

Hunters are no longer allowed to kill whitebacks, even though the image of the baby white seal remains the symbol of protest. They must wait until the pups moult into a light-grey mottled coat, usually in about 14 days. But this is the only major concession to decades of protests against the hunt, which is called barbaric and inhumane by critics.

But even though the once prized white fur is no longer available, prices for the seal pelts have nonetheless risen dramatically. The best pelts now fetch more than $A140 - in real terms, the highest prices ever.

The provinces on Canada's east coast are called the Maritimes. The money is obviously important for Maritime fishermen, but the history actually seems almost as important.

"My father hunted seals, my grandfather hunted seals, my greatgrandfather hunted seals" said Newfoundland fisherman John O'Connor in his thick, almost Irish drawl.

"And I'll be damned if any Frenchie actress is going to come here and tell me to stop doin' what my family's been doin' for hundreds of years."

That sentiment, plus the fact that supporters believe the hunt is no more inhumane than the slaughter of cattle, chicken or pigs, sums up the arguments in favour of the hunt.

But lined up against it is a formidable array of animal rights groups.

They claim the seals are "skinned alive" and the hakapik - the club used to kill the baby seals; bullets might damage the pelt - is a cruel, inefficient instrument.

"No matter how you measure it, these baby animals - and they are babies - have their brains smashed in, often just a few feet from their mothers," said Mary-Ellen Walsh of the group End the Sealhunt.

"And this just so some fashionable people can have some nice trim on their coat or wallet - even the meat is essentially wasted."

While in the past the carcass of the seal was left on the ice to rot, the Government has made a point of trying to use the entire animal. But for the most part that means the meat is sold to pet-food or fish-food manufacturers.

Government spokesmen insist that studies have shown the animals are almost never skinned alive and the hakapik is as efficient as a "bullet to the brain".

"This hunt is perfectly humane," said Phil Jenkins, a spokesmen for the federal fisheries ministry.

Caught on the sidelines in this dispute are Canada's aboriginal people, particularly those that live in the Arctic: the Inuit, the Innu and the Dene. These people hunted seals for their own purposes for millenniums.

"Our hunt is perfectly sustainable, otherwise we would have killed all the seals a thousand years ago," said David Diog, of the Dene nation.

"And we use every part of the seal, nothing is wasted.

"We don't do this to make money."

Traditionally the Arctic peoples cure the meat, use the fur for clothing and even use the guts to make laces and ties that won't freeze up in the intense cold. Many still follow this practice.

Bear Wrestling: Humans Newest Ridiculous Way to Abuse Animals: Tortured Bear Acts out of Fear

The one thing the article leaves out is why the bear doesn’t just kill these guys. Well, because he’s been beaten into submission and knows that if he does something wrong he’ll be tortured and beaten to death. The same tactic used to make elephants, lions, tigers, etc. do stupid tricks in circuses.

Animal Rights Groups Decry Bear Wrestling

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060322/ap_on_re_us/bear_battles_1

By M.R. KROPKO, Associated Press WriterTue Mar 21, 7:36 PM ET

Lance Palmer, a 140-pound high school wrestler and four-time state champ, taps into his substantial skills whenever he takes on Ceaser Jr. Skill comes in handy when your opponent is a 650-pound black bear.

Palmer recently wrestled Ceaser at the annual Cleveland Sport, Travel & Outdoor Show, pinning the animal on its back.

Although he says he never hurts the bear, Palmer and the bear's owner have been criticized by animal rights groups.

Norfolk, Va.-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has sought to make owner Sam Mazzola a focal point of its national efforts to ban bear wrestling.

PETA is demanding that the U.S Department of Agriculture revoke Mazzola's license to exhibit exotic animals. For a small fee, Mazzola allows people to wrestle the bear or have a picture taken inside a cage with his other bears or a tiger.

"Sam Mazzola continues to flout federal regulations and expose the public to very real danger," said Debbie Leahy, PETA director. "Bear wrestling is as ludicrous as it sounds, and it's high time that it was relegated to the dustbin of history."

PETA said bear wrestling is banned in 20 states, but not in Ohio.

Mazzola said bear wrestling has been part of his business — World Animal Studios Inc. — for over 20 years and he has no intention of stopping now. Most of his shows are at county fairs in Ohio.

"To be able to bring an animal out into the public and do what we do is not easy. I mean we're talking about a bear! Do you even realize how much work, time and love we put into that? It's like nobody stops to realize that," Mazzola said.

Randy Coleman, a USDA inspector, attended Saturday's wrestling match but declined comment.

Palmer, 19, a senior at St. Edward High School in the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood, has been wrestling bears since he was four years old. His father is an animal trainer for Mazzola.

Palmer, who gets paid by Mazzola, said animal rights activists are, in his view, misguided.

"Bears are probably eight times stronger than people," said Palmer, who is headed to Ohio State as a collegiate wrestler. "If they wanted to, they could do a whole lot of damage to people. But if they are having fun, like Ceaser was, then they will play with you all day.

"To them it's just fun, because they are not using all of their strength," he said. "Maybe I might use all of my strength to pin him, but he's just playing around."

Palmer said he's had a few scratches and bruises wrestling bears, but no serious injuries. He views it as another training method, even if there's potential for danger.

Ceaser doesn't wear a muzzle during the wrestling matches with Palmer.

"It helps the bear out to not have to keep his mouth closed the whole time," Palmer said. "It's kind of unfair to the bear to keep him muzzled. We want it to be fun. We don't want it to be a sport. That's why the animal activists don't know what they are taking about when they come out here and try and go against what we do."

Crash Course in the Unbelievable Cruelty Behind the Eating of Cats and Dogs in Korea and China: Sick Countries Beyond Ethically Challenged

Unbelievable. I mean just beyond disgusting. I am in shock and disbelief. Really shows Korean and Chinese people as ethically questionable. Very, very sick people. Following area few paragraphs from the article below. Photos are also found in the article below. It’s tough to make it through it, but for the sake of knowing the truth, you owe it to read it all.

In South Korea, it is common to eat dogs. This is not done in a humane manner, but by torturing them to death by hanging, strangulation, and beatings with such objects as bricks, large rocks, heavy rod-like objects and electrocution. They do this for long periods of time in order to terrorize and cause great suffering to the animal.

This brutal execution is done to dogs, because many South Koreans believe the flesh from a dog who is tortured to death has aphrodisiac qualities and tastes better. Some South Koreans torture cats by hitting them on the head repeatedly with hammers, by placing them in sacks which are then pounded on the ground, or by other methods that produce slow and painful death. Dead cats are cooked along with ginger, dates and chestnuts to make a brown paste or "Liquid Cat"

Before dogs are killed for meat, they are often strung up by their legs and beaten. Dog butchers extol the virtues of their product, linking the adrenaline rush dogs experience as they are bludgeoned to death to enhanced male virility.

In order to meet the demand for dog meat (estimated at 2-2.8 million dogs and cats per year), farms exist throughout the country to breed these animals for slaughter. Dog meat, at £15 Sterling per kilo, costs more than beef and is eaten more than lamb.

Animal rights advocate says

"Korea Should Stop Eating Man's Best Friends"
Abuse of Dogs Still Rampant in S. Korea, China

http://theseoultimes.com/ST/?url=/ST/db/read.php?idx=3165

Dogs in a case are waiting to be sllaughtered at Moran Market in Seongnam east of Seoul. Moran Market is the largest dog meat market in South Korea.

Currently, many people in South Korea and China are angry over a respective case of animal abuse.

The abuse of hundreds of dogs by its owner in Incheon west of Seoul infuriated South Korean citizens. The dogs have been left unattended in squalid conditions out in the open for several months. Many of them starved or froze to death as its owner left them out in the freezing weather. The owner was seeking compensations from Incheon City Administration.

South Korean citizens as well as many Chinese were also in anger over a Chinese woman who killed a puppy, a cat, and a rabbit by trampling them with her shoes. The vivid photos of her inhumane behavior are now widely circulating on the South Korean websites as well.

Faced by the strong protest, she apologized to the Chinese public, saying that she was suffering from manic depression. But her excuse made Chinese even angrier. The woman, named Wang Jue, is known to be a nurse working at a local hospital in Heilungjang (Black Dragon) Province.

Chinese nurse Wang Jue kills a puppy with her shoes.

Do people's reactions over these two cases mean that overall conditions for dogs and other animal treatment have been ameliorated a lot? The answer could be yes and no.

But still, overseas foreigners or foreign visitors keep complaining about the rampant abuse of animals, particularly dogs in Korea and China.

The following letter is from a world's renowned animal rights advocate. The letter is full of cases of animal abuses in Korea in particular.

I am amazed and shocked that you do not use your power to expose and condemn the disgusting cruelty to dogs and cats in Korea. I am writing to all media worldwide to join forces and protest to FIFA and The Olympic Committee in Geneva that Korea and China should not be allowed into interntional games until the cruelty in both countires is eradicated. If tourism and trade to both Korea and China were withdrawn by the West then perhaps both countries would treat cats and dogs with the basic decency they deserve. Perhaps you would take the time to read the following accounts published on a Briitsh website — thank you, Suzanne Thorpe, Lincoln.

If I told you In South Korea, it is common to eat dogs. This is not done in a humane manner, but by torturing them to death by hanging, strangulation, and beatings with such objects as bricks, large rocks, heavy rod-like objects and electrocution. They do this for long periods of time in order to terrorize and cause great suffering to the animal.

A Chinese man piles up dogs after the killing.

They die a very slow and painful death. This brutal execution is done to dogs, because many South Koreans believe the flesh from a dog who is tortured to death has aphrodisiac qualities and tastes better. Some South Koreans torture cats by hitting them on the head repeatedly with hammers, by placing them in sacks which are then pounded on the ground, or by other methods that produce slow and painful death. Dead cats are cooked along with ginger, dates and chestnuts to make a brown paste or "Liquid Cat" which is foolishly thought by many South Koreans to be a remedy for rheumatism and joint problems,"

http://www.animal-lib.org.au/lists/korea/korea.shtml

The Treatment of Dogs and Cats in Korea
hanging dogShould the brutal treatment and death of a dog or cat concern us more than if the same were done to a cow, or a sheep, or a chicken. It shouldn't, but animals that the "Western world" looks upon as companion animals are treated very differently in Korea.

Many Koreans still believe that if one eats dog meat from dogs that have been tortured to death, it will make them more sexually active. The marketing of dog meat as a health food was initiated and perpetuated by the dog meat dealers to keep their billion dollar businesses going. The rationale behind savagely beating a dog to death lies in the primitiveness that when a dog is beaten they produce high levels of adrenaline hence the selling of their meat as a kind of "natural" viagra for impotence and vitality!

This adrenaline rush is achieved by hanging dogs from ropes on trees and leaving them to slowly strangle to death, and then while still alive, their fur is blowtorched off.


A cruel scene of dog abuse

Cats do not hold any position of affection in Korean society. They are not eaten as dogs are but many attempts have been made to eradicate them, not by humane methods, but rather by beating the animals to death in sacks or, in some cases, boiling them alive in large pressure cookers to supply the insatiable demand for another "herbal" remedy – although clearly animals do not fall into this category.

The Korean government does not enforce its animal welfare laws so people make an assumption that farming dogs, slaughtering them and selling their meat is legal. It is not. The sale and cooking of dogs is illegal under Korea's food and sanitation laws.

http://www.idausa.org/news/currentnews/
activists_stage_bark_in.html

South Korea's laws prohibiting the consumption of dogs and cats have been routinely ignored and disregarded by law enforcement. Korea's Ministry for the Office of Government Policy Coordination announced in January that it was to begin inspecting dog meat for sanitation, thus giving dog meat its seal of approval. The Government promised that it was backing away from this deplorable plan in February after being inundated with thousands of letters, phone calls, and e-mails from concerned citizens and animal protectionists around the world. However, the Government is once again leaning toward supporting the Ministry's back door efforts to legalize dog meat.

Before dogs are killed for meat, they are often strung up by their legs and beaten. Dog butchers extol the virtues of their product, linking the adrenaline rush dogs experience as they are bludgeoned to death to enhanced male virility. Cats fare no better—viewed as pest animals, they are boiled alive so their "juices" can be extracted for supposed health tonics which butchers claim can be used to treat rheumatism.

"It's inconceivable that as the rest of the modern world is strengthening animal protection laws, the Korean Government is allowing 'man's best friends' to be boiled alive, beaten, butchered, and eaten under its knowing watch," says IDA president and founder Elliot M. Katz, DVM.

Dogs brutally and illegally butchered by a man with knife

For more information on IDA and its Korean Animals Campaign, please visit www.IDAUSA.org. For more information on Animal Freedom Korea, please visit www.animalkorea.org.

http://www.oozemagazine.co.uk/korea.htm
Scandal in South Korea
You may find this article extremely harrowing It sounds mediaeval doesn't it, a country where dogs and cats, loved as companion animals around the globe, are served up as a 'gourmet' food. Yet this is the reality today in South Korea.

Many Koreans claim that eating dogs is a long tradition although others believe that eating dogs only began as a result of the Korean war, when starvation was rife. The popularity today has come about because dog dealers and restaurants began to invent stories about the health benefits to be gained from eating dog meat.

In order to meet the demand for dog meat (estimated at 2-2.8 million dogs and cats per year), farms exist throughout the country to breed these animals for slaughter. Dog meat, at £15 Sterling per kilo, costs more than beef and is eaten more than lamb.

Dogs can commonly be seen in Korean markets being killed (hopefully) by hammer blows to the head before being skinned. Sometimes the dog is electrified instead, with electrodes fixed to the tongue. Yet another favoured method is slow strangulation by hanging. The flesh is then singed by a blowtorch to improve its appearance. On some occasions, the animal remains alive throughout, eventually dying from shock. This is all performed in full view of other dogs crammed in cages awaiting the same fate.

The Koreans actually believe that the adrenaline released into the dogs' bloodstreams by their sheer terror and agony will increase the sexual potency of the consumer.

Shocking eye-witness testimony

Not surprisingly, photographs of this form of "slaughter" are difficult to obtain. The following is an account from an eye-witness, "The reason why dogs are beaten for so long is that there is a belief that the slower & more painful the death is, the more potent the dog's meat will be. Killing the dog slowly causes the dog's adrenaline to flow, and this flow of adrenaline throughout the dog is believed to increase the aphrodisiac power of the meat. While the dog is slowly being killed, it is of course screaming in pain, and trying to resist the grip of the man doing the killing. One method is to tie the dog from his hind legs upside down. (All other accounts say that the dog is hung from the neck). The man or men than beat the dog's body all over with clubs or bats. Beating it this way is said to do two things. One is to increase the flow of adrenalin and the other is to tenderize the meat.

Dogs in squalid conditions in South Korea

"While the dog is being beaten, it gets to the point where it urinates and defecates on itself, and the urine & faeces typically flow down the dog's body, getting in its eyes and causing more pain. Eventually, during this intensive beating, blood flows out of the dog's mouth and nose due to internal bleeding, and it finally dies. This beating process has no set time. ... It can be a few minutes or it can take an hour, depending on the man doing the killing and how much he is into the belief that beating it slowly is best for a quality aphrodisiac. I hope this clarifies why the dogs are beaten first. In a large facility, the dogs may not be hung by their hind legs. Instead the man enters the large dog cage, selects the dog, grabs it, and while holding it by the neck, begins to beat it in the head in order to crush the skull. Of course, there are so many methods of beating the dogs because there is no regulation on this."

CATS

Although cats are eaten in South Korea, it is more usual for them to be rendered into a "medicine" to treat rheumatism and arthritis. Unlike dogs, cats are not bred on specialist farms. This would not be cost effective when there are always starving strays. These are collected in sacks and, if lucky, are beaten to death with either a stick or hammer blows to the head. More commonly, they are boiled alive with herbs (sometimes after having their limbs broken to reduce their ability to struggle) until their flesh liquifies. The resulting "liquid cat" (known as "Goyangi soju") is then sold in small sachets. An average size cat, when cooked with dates, herbs and chestnuts, will produce 20-25 of these sachets.

Shocking Eye-witness Testimony

The following is an eye-witness account, reported to the Korean Animal Protection Society (KAPS) by one of its members, Miss Mun Juyoung.

"While passing by the Kyoung-il Health Food Restaurant, Miss Mun looked in through the window and saw a middle aged women walking slowly among the rows of hissing and boiling cauldrons. In her arms she held a cat, who seemed undisturbed by the water on the floor or the stream so thick in the air. Stopping at one of the hot kettles, the women sniffed once and dropped the cat in to the boiling water. Hideously scalded by the boiling water the cat screamed and clawed its way out but, the blank-faced woman, pushed it back in the water with a stick over and over again until the cat finally lost consciousness. The woman fished it out once more, the cat mewing and whimpering in pain, whereupon the woman pushed it back in for the final time."

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Brutal Canadians Begin Annual Canadian Baby Seal Slaughter: They Love to Bash in the Heads of Defenseless Baby Seals With Spiked Clubs











Normally I take off from posting for the weekend. Yet, this is an issue beyond horrendous so I must post on it.

As I said before, these cowardly and savage people use what are called s hakapiks, or spiked clubs to crush the seals' skulls, rather than possibly damage the pelts with bullet holes. You'll see a picture of it above in the image with the sicko deviously smiling. Also, due to the nature of the cowards, they tend to harass anyone who protests their actions. So, not only brutal and savage to baby animals, but also to people.

Also, you’ll see it is often called a hunt. This is no hunt, this is an easy slaughtering that takes nothing more than hatred and brutality. A hunt implies some sort of challenge. It’s no challenge at all to walk up to a baby seal that can’t more and bash it’s head in. Yeah, a real hunt.

The article below also displays photos of the brutality. Sick, sick people.

More on the Canadian seal slaughter and what you can do to stop it can be found at: http://www.seashepherd.org/seals/seals_faq.html

Article:

Canadian Seal Hunt Begins Amid Protests

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/

20060325/ap_on_re_ca/canada_seal_hunt

By PHIL COUVRETTE, Associated Press Writer Sat Mar 25, 6:38 PM ET

GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE - Sealers took to the thawing ice floes off the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday, the first day of Canada's contentious seal hunt, confronting animal rights activists who claim the annual cull is cruel.


Protesters dodged flying seal guts pitched at them by angry hunters on the first day of the spring leg of the world's largest seal slaughter. Reporters and activists tried to get as close as permitted to the hunt on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but their presence infuriated sealers hunting for scarce animals on small, drifting ice pans.

At one point, a sealing vessel charged up to a small inflatable Zodiac boat carrying protesters, and a fisherman flung seal intestines at the observers.

"They threw carcasses at our Zodiac and they came rushing at us in their boat and tried to capsize us in the wake," Rebecca Aldworth of the Humane Society told The Associated Press. "This is standard behavior out here; the sealers feel that they're completely above the law."

The fishermen in the isolated island communities of Quebec and Newfoundland say the hunt supplements their meager winter incomes, particularly since cod stocks have dwindled dramatically during the past decade. They resent animal-rights activists, who they say have little understanding of their centuries-old traditions.

The hunt brought $14.5 million in revenue last year, after some 325,000 seals were slaughtered. Fishermen sell their pelts, mostly for the fashion industry in Norway, Russia and China, as well as blubber for oil, earning about $60 per seal.

The federal government maintains Canada's seal population is healthy and abundant, with a population of nearly 6 million in the Arctic north and maritime provinces.

Regulations require the sealers to quickly kill the seals with a pick or bullet to the brain. The pups also must be over 2-3 weeks old and have shed their white downy fur before being killed.

Mark Small, president of the Northeast Coast Sealers Coop, has been sealing off Newfoundland for about 40 years. He said the activists do not understand how important the hunt is to family fishermen.

"I think the Canadian public realizes these are coastal people who live off the sea and depend on the hunt to survive in small communities where the fish stocks are not there," Small told the AP in a telephone interview from St. Johns.

Animal rights activists claim the fishermen often skin the seals alive or leave some pups to die if they are not immediately knocked unconscious.

The Humane Society has had high-profile allies in celebrities like Paul McCartney and his wife, Heather Mills McCartney, who traveled to the Gulf of St. Lawrence two weeks ago to pose with the newborn pups.

In a video message from London, the McCartneys proposed that Canada could end the slaughter by offering a license buyback program to sealers.

The French film legend Brigitte Bardot came to Ottawa earlier this week. She said she was stunned that a developed nation would still let such a practice continue, three decades after she first came to Canada to frolic with some pups in an attempt to end the slaughter.

The unseasonably mild temperatures in the Gulf of St. Lawrence have made the ice thin and many of the harp seal pups appear to have drowned, prompting protesters to call for the quota of 325,000 kills to be lowered to compensate for the natural deaths.

John Grandy, a veteran animal-rights activist on board a plane chartered by the Humane Society to monitor the hunt and report any abuses, also said fewer pups were on the ice this year.

"That tells us many have died, they fell through before they could swim," Grandy said.

Roger Simon, spokesman for the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, disputed concerns about a high natural seal mortality this year.

"There will always be some mortality and some drowning," Simon told The Canadian Press.

Aboriginal and Inuit hunters began the commercial kill in November in Canada's frozen Arctic waters; the spring leg will move off the coast of Newfoundland in April. The St. Lawrence hunt can last from three to 10 days, depending on hunting conditions.

Martin Dufour, a helicopter pilot from Quebec who was ferrying the Humane Society protesters out to the ice, said he was not opposed to the hunt, only the way in which the seals are killed.

"I don't know why they use the picks," he said. "It's a savage way and the seals are too young."

The hunters prefer to use spiked clubs called hakapiks to crush the seals' skulls, rather than possibly damage the pelts with bullet holes.

_____

More on the Canadian seal slaughter and what you can do to stop it can be found at: http://www.seashepherd.org/seals/seals_faq.html

Friday, March 24, 2006

Annual Canadian Baby Seal Slaughter Will Begin This Saturday 3-24-2006: Up to 325,000 Baby Seals Will Be Slaughtered Using Clubs with Hooks and Nails





Sorry to report that the annual display of the worst of human primal nature – the annual Canadian baby seal slaughter will begin tomorrow. The article below reports a few different numbers of the victims that will occur. However, up to 325,000 baby seals will be allowed to be slaughtered. It’s done in a very brutal way too, using clubs or bats with sharp claws or hooks or nails attached. They literally bash the baby seals in the head with these primitive killing devices. Very brutal, very inhumane.

More on the Canadian seal slaughter and what you can do to stop it can be found at: http://www.seashepherd.org/seals/seals_faq.html



Article:

Seat hunt protesters say global opposition growing to East Coast slaughter

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1845&ncid=1845&e=7&u=
/cpress/20060323/ca_pr_on_na/seal_hunt

Thu Mar 23, 5:29 PM ET

CHARLOTTETOWN (CP) - Canada's East Coast seal hunt will be under a global microscope when sealers take to the ice Saturday to begin the annual hunt in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The federal Fisheries Department announced Thursday that the Gulf hunt, which has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, will begin at 6 a.m. Saturday, allowing sealers from Atlantic Canada and Quebec to begin taking 91,000 harp seals.

A much larger hunt off the northern coast of Newfoundland, where hunters can take 234,000 seals, is expected to begin early next month.

Rebecca Aldworth of the Humane Society of the United States, one of several animal rights groups opposed to the hunt, said protesters believe international momentum is building for their cause.

Aldworth said the anti-hunt movement was a victim of its own success when, in 1983, the European Economic Community banned the importation of the distinctive white fur pelts of newborn harp seals.

She said many people thought that was the end of the hunt and did not realize Canada continued to allow the yearly slaughter even though markets had largely collapsed and the killing of whitecoats was banned in 1987.

Between 1983 and 1995, the industry took about 52,000 seals annually - a fraction of the number killed during the 1950s and 1960s when the hunt first attracted the attention of conservation groups.

"Our challenge has never been convincing the world that it is wrong to kill baby seals for their skins; the challenge has been telling the world that the hunt goes on," Aldworth said in an interview.

The commercial sealing industry surged back to life in 1996 as demand for seal skin increased and the federal government continued subsidizing the sale of seal meat - a practice that ended in 1999.

Between 1996 and 2002, an average of 240,000 seals were taken every year, but that number jumped to over 300,000 when the federal government announced in 2003 a three-year total allowable catch of 975,000 animals.

That's when the protesters started to regroup.

"Most people out there believed the hunt ended in the 1980s," said Aldworth. "When the Canadian government subsidized the hunt's return in the 1990s, it was very difficult to educate the world to the fact the hunt was back. But now, the world is aware."

Aldworth said the visit to the ice floes by megastar Paul McCartney earlier this month focused international attention on the hunt once again.

As well, 71-year-old actress Brigitte Bardot - the French film star whose visit to the floes in 1972 marked a pivotal turning point for the anti-hunt movement - visited Ottawa earlier this week to plead for an end to the harvest.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was asked about some grisly videotapes of the seal hunt aired by Bardot.

"The policy of federal governments for many years . . . including governments of different partisan stripes, helps to improve this hunt and obviously it worries me if the laws are not respected," Harper said, speaking in French.

"Other than that, I don't have any intention of commenting on the publicity of the celebrities."

Harper refused to take a follow-up question so it was not clear what laws, if any, he is concerned are being flouted by seal hunters.

Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, who will not be attending the Gulf hunt this year, said he is focusing his attention on promoting a boycott of Canadian seafood products.

"We figure it has already cost Canada over $140 million," Watson said. "It's really growing. It usually takes about three years to get a boycott up and running. We're way ahead of schedule. It's the only thing Canada will listen to."

Phil Jenkins, spokesman for the federal Fisheries Department, said the animal rights groups are spreading lies about the seal hunt and the boycott.

"It's all flim-flam," Jenkins fumed. "The industry has reported no effect on their operations at all as a result of this boycott."

The Humane Society says Statistics Canada figures show that Canadian snow crab exports to the U.S. have dropped by more than $150 million or 36 per cent since the campaign began last year, nearly 10 times the value of the hunt.

But people involved in the Canadian crab fishery said other factors were at work in the decline last year.

"Demand doesn't appear to be lower," said Peter Noel of the Northeast Crabbers Association in New Brunswick. "There has been an oversupply on the market in the last year or so, which has slowed things down."

Noel said people should be suspicious of the protesters' motives.

"They're not there for the welfare of the animals," he said. "They're there to fill their pockets."

Jenkins said the Canadian government feels the same way.

"What this is really all about is a ton of money," he said. "I think the Humane Society last year had revenues of about $87 million. This is a huge business."

The Humane Society says that over 400 restaurants and food distributors now are boycotting Canadian seafood, figures disputed by at least one restaurant lobby group in the United States.

Orlando Hitzig, a restaurant operator in Washington, D.C., said he signed the Humane Society boycott even though he does not traditionally buy Canadian seafood.

"It's senseless killing," Hitzig said of the seal hunt. "But generally, I don't buy Canadian seafood so the boycott doesn't affect me much."

Two Professors Discuss the Core Values of Animal Rights: An Interview Not to be Missed

Attached below is an excellent interview with law professor Darian
Ibrahim at the outstanding blog "Animal Ethics" - http://animalethics.blogspot.com/ moderated by Dr. Keith Burgess Jackson – Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Darian Ibrahim is an associate professor of law at The University of
Arizona. One of his scholarly interests is the legal status of nonhuman
animals.

An amazing interview that gets to the core of the philosophy of animal rights. Done, I should add, but a professor of philosophy and a professor of law. So, in other words, but two thinking men.


By the way, the blog “Animal Ethics” is a must bookmark. It can be found at - http://animalethics.blogspot.com/


Interview:

An Interview with Darian M. Ibrahim, B.S., J.D.

http://animalethics.blogspot.com/2006/02/interview-with-darian-m.html


Darian Ibrahim is an associate professor of law at The University of
Arizona. One of his scholarly interests is the legal status of nonhuman
animals. I asked Professor Ibrahim whether he would "sit" for an
interview via e-mail. He graciously agreed to do so. Rather than ask the
questions all at once, I asked them one at a time, so that I could follow up
on his answers. I hope you enjoy—and learn from—the interview.

KBJ: Tell us about your background, Professor Ibrahim. Where were you
born and reared; where were you educated; what were your main
influences? I'll ask specifically about animals in my next question.
DI: Thanks for having me. I grew up in Clemson, South Carolina, where I
also went to undergraduate school and earned a B.S. in Chemical
Engineering. This was followed by law school at Cornell University in Ithaca,
New York. I gravitated toward corporate law, which I practiced first as
a summer associate at a large firm in New York City, and then as an
associate at a large firm in Atlanta. I worked in my father's small
businesses while growing up, which may have had something to do with my
choice of corporate law, and particularly corporate law as applied to small
businesses, as a field of legal practice. I now teach and write on
corporate law at Arizona.
KBJ: How and when did you become interested in animals? Would you say
that you love animals, or only that you respect them? Did you take a
course on animal law in law school? What did you think about Pierson v.
Post, which I assume you studied in your property-law course? (You might
want to state the facts of the case—and the court's ruling—for readers
who are unfamiliar with it.)
DI: I became interested in animal rights after my wife and I decided to
get a dog, which quickly led to two, and then three. Although I had
always realized, as an intellectual matter, that there was much animal
suffering in the world, the experience of rescuing dogs from bad
situations (literally) brought it home for me. After struggling with the
realization that the animals on my dinner plate were morally indistinguishable
from the dogs I was doting on, I gave up eating meat and a few months
later became a vegan.

I both love and respect animals, but more importantly, recognize that
they have inherent value inconsistent with the law's treatment of them
as mere property like tables and chairs. Pierson v. Post, which dealt
with the claims of two hunters regarding ownership of a fox both were
pursuing, illustrates that the law sees animals as nothing more than
resources to be owned and used for human ends. I did not take a course on
animals in law school—I'm not sure Cornell even offered such a course, or
that it does now. My education on animal law has come primarily from
the works of Rutgers law professor Gary Francione, who explains the
importance of abolishing animal exploitation through the incremental
eradication of the property status—a position I fully agree with.
KBJ: Is it important that those who agitate for animal rights be
vegetarians? As you know, philosophers say that arguments stand or fall on
their own merits. If this is so, then the fact that the person making the
argument consumes animal flesh is irrelevant to whether the argument is
sound. Even hypocrites can make sound arguments. And yet, many people
think it a criticism of an argument that the person making it does not
live in accordance with its conclusion. They say to the arguer, in
effect, "Who are you to try to get me to abstain from meat, when you don't?"
How do you make sense of all this?
DI: Great question. I think that veganism is mandatory for those who
argue in favor of animal rights. Anything less is inconsistent and
irrational. There is no logic in arguing that animal exploitation is wrong,
on the one hand, but then supporting it through purchases and
consumption, on the other hand. While the source of an argument may not matter
logically if the argument is sound, as a practical matter it is
unrealistic to ask others to stop eating animals if we as animal advocates will
not even do so.

What I think is even more troublesome is that many animal advocates are
not even arguing for or focusing on vegetarianism, let alone veganism,
despite the fact that food accounts for 98% of our domestic animal use.
The fallback position is often something to the effect of "eating
animals is okay if they are treated humanely," which is the essence of the
animal-welfare (as opposed to animal-rights) position. In my opinion,
"humane treatment" is an oxymoron. Most of our uses of animals, including
for food and experimentation, simply cannot be accomplished without
inflicting tremendous suffering and also death upon the animals used. To
think it can be otherwise is unrealistic. Whether one is an advocate of
animal rights or animal welfare, the choice as I see it is either to
avoid animal exploitation or to support it largely as is.
KBJ: Isn't there a morally relevant difference between factory-farmed
meat and meat from free-range animals? Peter Singer argues that there
is. Our first goal, he says, should be to end factory farming, since that
is where most of the suffering occurs. Many people who do not object to
the use of animals as resources find it troubling that the animals
whose flesh they eat were made to suffer. It seems to me that there is room
here for rational persuasion. Surely it would be a better world without
factory farming than with it, even if animal flesh is still consumed.
Do you agree?
DI: It is not possible to produce affordable meat, dairy, or eggs
without factory farming. Commentators including James Rachels have
recognized that large-scale food production necessarily involves much animal
suffering and cruel methods. Even Peter Singer writes in Animal Liberation
that "It is not practically possible to rear animals for food on a
large scale without inflicting considerable suffering. Even if intensive
methods are not used, traditional farming involves castration, separation
of mother and young, breaking up social groups, branding,
transportation to the slaughterhouse, and finally slaughter itself. It is difficult
to imagine how animals could be reared for food without these forms of
suffering. . . . The flesh of animals reared and killed with equal
consideration for the welfare of animals while they were alive would be a
delicacy available only to the rich." (Animal Liberation, 3rd ed., p.
160)

I think the "free-range" concept is very dangerous. Contrary to common
opinion, it does not mean a return to family farming; rather, it is a
non-legal, industry concept that allows corporations to charge more for
animals who are treated largely the same as factory-farmed animals. It
also allows consumers who might otherwise become vegetarians or vegans
to continue purchasing animal products under the false premise that the
products are "cruelty-free." (A quick search revealed this website
discussing the free-range myth.)

Apart from my view that the humane treatment of exploited animals is
possible only in theory, I disagree with Singer and others who claim that
animal suffering is all that matters. I believe that animals have an
interest in continuing to live above and beyond their interest in not
suffering, and that to kill an animal for food or other human purposes
under even the best circumstances is a moral wrong in and of itself. And I
hope to convince those who think otherwise!
KBJ: Let's turn to the law, Professor Ibrahim. You mentioned that the
law treats animals as "mere property." What is the alternative? Surely
you're not advocating that animals be treated as persons for legal
purposes. But what other legal status is there? What exactly would you like
to see changed, and how would these changes play out in practice? In
other words, describe what you would consider a just legal regime with
respect to nonhuman animals.
DI: I am in fact advocating that animals be treated as legal persons,
but only for very limited purposes. The law treats even artificial
constructs such as corporations as legal persons for a multitude of
purposes. For instance, corporations are considered persons under the
Constitution's equal-protection clause enacted for the benefit of freed slaves.
Given that, animal personhood does not seem that strange an idea to me.

Of course it is silly to say that animals should be given all the
rights that human persons have. Rights should correspond to interests.
Humans have an interest in education; animals do not. Therefore, only humans
should attend schools. But both humans and animals are sentient, which
means they both have interests in not suffering and in their own lives
that should be respected. To classify animals as property by definition
negates all of their interests. To classify animals as persons solely
for purposes of recognizing that they are not human resources is what I
would consider to be a just legal regime.
KBJ: What about insects, reptiles, and rodents? How would the law deal
with these animals? Would you abolish hunting? How about rodeos,
circuses, and zoos?
DI: If an animal is sentient, we should respect its interest in not
suffering and continuing to live. Sometimes we do not know whether an
animal is sentient—insects are a perfect example. But there is no doubt
that the animals we eat, experiment on, hunt, and use for entertainment in
rodeos, circuses, and zoos are sentient. Therefore, all of these
activities must be abolished under the theory I adopt.

Interestingly, Professor Francione points out that there is already
widespread agreement on most of this, if you really think about it. We all
agree that because animals can suffer, we should not cause them to
suffer without a good reason. Indeed, every state has an anticruelty law
that purports to prevent "unnecessary suffering." The problem is that
almost every use of animals these laws allow cannot be described as
"necessary" in any sense of that word. It is not necessary to eat meat, and
in fact it is bad for us—we only do so because we like the taste. But
this is not necessity, it is something far less. So the problem is that
we do not practice what we preach. If we did, we would not use animals
for any of these unnecessary purposes because they cause unnecessary
suffering—the very thing we claim to reject.
KBJ: Is there a prima facie obligation to obey the law? If so, under
what circumstances is disobedience justified to protect animals? If you
believe that disobedience is sometimes justified to protect animals,
must it be nonviolent? I guess what I'm wondering is what you think about
the tactics of organizations such as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF).
If you believe violence is sometimes permissible to protect animals, do
you believe that it's prudent? Won't it alienate precisely the people
you hope to bring around to your view of animals? I believe this is
Peter Singer's position on violence. As a utilitarian, he won't rule it out
categorically, but he thinks it is counterproductive. If you share his
view, will you publicly condemn violence in behalf of animals, by ALF
or others? And if you do condemn it, do you condemn it categorically or
only conditionally? If only conditionally, what are the conditions in
which it is justified?
DI: I categorically condemn violence as a means of protecting animals.
I believe it alienates those who could be convinced, and is
inconsistent with a movement whose ideal is based on peace and non-violence toward
all beings. While I understand the frustration felt by those who engage
in such tactics—the amount of animal suffering in the world is
mind-boggling, after all—I think they are going about things in absolutely the
wrong way.
KBJ: Name some people—lawyers, philosophers, scientists, laypeople—who
have inspired you in your work on animal law. Please explain the nature
and extent of the inspiration. Do you feel as though you are standing
on the shoulders of giants? From whom have you learned the most?
DI: I am most inspired by the work of Gary Francione and his
rights-based theory of animal law. The way he has combined philosophy and law to
show how Jeremy Bentham's utilitarianism and the property status of
animals combine to eviscerate the force of animal protection laws is just
brilliant, in my opinion. He has been criticized within the movement
for drawing a hard line between animal rights and animal welfare, but I
think he has many good reasons for doing so, which I attempt to expand
on in my work. I think the rights position is far more coherent than the
welfare position, even if the goal is simply to protect animals from
suffering. I do not consider myself to be a radical person, actually—I am
a corporate lawyer after all—but animal rights and veganism as its
baseline makes sense to me.

I have learned the most from Professor Francione, and also a good deal
from UCLA law professor Taimie Bryant. I very much hope to come to know
other animal-law and animal-rights scholars as I continue my work, as I
still have much to learn.
KBJ: What can humans learn from dogs?
DI: I learn the meaning of unconditional love and kindness from my
three incredible dogs each day. What is also important is that nowadays the
only animals with which most humans interact are the dogs or cats they
keep as companions. As I said in my first answer, my dogs caused me to
rethink my relationship with other animals, and ultimately to make the
connection that I was harming these animals through my purchases and
consumption of their flesh. If other people who love their dogs and cats
also made this connection, I think there could be many, many more
vegans in the world and a significant reduction in animal use and suffering.
Also, whenever scientists "discover" that animals are intelligent or
have distinct personalities, as we sometimes read about in the news, I
imagine that anyone who lives with a dog or cat finds this rather
obvious.
KBJ: Tell us about your animal-related scholarly projects. Can we
expect a book from you anytime soon?
DI: I have three forthcoming law-review articles on animal law, each of
which should be in print sometime in 2006. For those who might be
interested, these will appear in the Journal of Animal Law & Ethics (Penn
Law); the University of Chicago Legal Forum (Chicago Law); and Law &
Contemporary Problems (Duke Law). Then I will turn to other projects that
expand my work on the connection between corporate law and animal
mistreatment, which I hope will include a book at some point. Animal law is a
rapidly growing field, and I am thrilled to be a part of its expansion.

Thanks again for interviewing me—it has been a pleasure. And keep up
the blogging!
KBJ: You're welcome, Professor Ibrahim. Thanks for taking the time to
answer my questions. Keep up the good work in behalf of animals.

Factory Farming: A Moral Issue: For Low Meat Prices, the Animals, the Environment and Rural Neighborhoods Pay Steeply

From the great philosopher Peter Singer - a philosopher and professor of bioethics at Princeton University and laureate professor at the University of Melbourne.

As logically consistent and tight as ever.


Article:

For Low Meat Prices, the Animals, the Environment and Rural Neighborhoods Pay Steeply

Factory Farming: A Moral Issue

For Low Meat Prices, the Animals, the Environment and Rural Neighborhoods Pay Steeply.

http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2006/03/22/67620

By Peter Singer

There is a growing consensus that factory farming of animals — also known as CAFOs, or concentrated animal feeding operations — is morally wrong. The American animal rights movement, which in its early years focused largely on the use of animals in research, now has come to see that factory farming represents by far the greater abuse of animals. The numbers speak for themselves. In the United States somewhere between 20 million and 40 million birds and mammals are killed for research every year. That might seem like a lot — and it far exceeds the number of animals killed for their fur, let alone the relatively tiny number used in circuses — but 40 million represents less than two days’ toll in America’s slaughterhouses, which kill about 10 billion animals each year.

The overwhelming majority of these animals have spent their entire lives confined inside sheds, never going outdoors for a single hour. Their suffering isn’t just for a few hours or days, but for all their lives. Sows and veal calves are confined in crates too narrow for them even to turn around, let alone walk a few steps. Egg-laying hens are unable to stretch their wings because their cages are too small and too crowded. With nothing to do all day, they become frustrated and attack each other. To prevent losses, producers sear off their beaks with a hot knife, cutting through sensitive nerves.

Chickens, reared in sheds that hold 20,000 birds, now are bred to grow so fast that most of them develop leg problems because their immature bones cannot bear the weight of their bodies. Professor John Webster of the University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Science said: “Broilers are the only livestock that are in chronic pain for the last 20 percent of their lives. They don’t move around, not because they are overstocked, but because it hurts their joints so much.”

Sometimes their legs collapse under them, causing them to starve to death because they cannot reach their food. Of course, the producers then cannot sell these birds, but economically, they are still better off with the freakishly fast-growing breeds they use. As an article in an industry journal noted, “simple calculations” lead to the conclusion that often “it is better to get the weight and ignore the mortality.” Another consequence of the genetics of these birds is that the breeding birds — the parents of the ones sold in supermarkets — constantly are hungry, because, unlike their offspring that are slaughtered at just 45 days old, they have to live long enough to reach sexual maturity. If fed as much as they are programmed to eat, they soon would be grotesquely obese and die or be unable to mate. So they are kept on strict rations that leave them always looking in vain for food.

Opposition to factory farming, once associated mostly with animal rights activists, now is shared by many conservatives, among them Matthew Scully, a former speech writer in President George W. Bush’s White House and the author of “Dominion: The Power of Man, The Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy.” In Scully’s view, even though God has given us “dominion” over the animals, we should exercise that dominion with mercy — and factory farming fails to do so. Scully’s writings have found support from other conservatives, like Pat Buchanan, editor of The American Conservative, which gave cover-story prominence to Scully’s essay “Fear Factories: The Case for Compassionate Conservatism — for Animals,” and George F. Will, who used his Newsweek column to recommend Scully’s book.

No less a religious authority than Pope Benedict XVI has stated that human “dominion” over animals does not justify factory farming. While head of the Roman Catholic Church’s Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the future pope condemned the “industrial use of creatures, so that geese are fed in such a way as to produce as large a liver as possible, or hens live so packed together that they become just caricatures of birds.” This “degrading of living creatures to a commodity” seemed to him “to contradict the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible.”

Some people think that factory farming is necessary to feed the growing population of our planet. The truth, however, is the opposite. No matter how efficient intensive pork, beef, chicken, egg and milk production becomes, in the narrow sense of producing more meat, eggs or milk for each pound of grain we feed the animals, raising animals on grain remains wasteful. Far from increasing the total amount of food available for human consumption, it reduces it.

A concentrated animal feeding operation is, as the name implies, an operation in which we concentrate the animals and feed them. Unlike cattle or sheep on pasture, they don’t feed themselves. There lies the fundamental environmental flaw: Every CAFO relies on cropland, on which the food the animals eat is grown. Because the animals, even when confined, use much of the nutritional value of their food to move, keep warm and form bone and other inedible parts of their bodies, the entire operation is an inefficient way of feeding humans. It places greater demands on the environment in terms of land, energy and water than other forms of farming. It would be more efficient to use the cropland to grow food for humans to eat.

Factory farming, overwhelmingly dominated by huge corporations like Tyson, Smithfield, ConAgra and Seaboard, has contributed to rural depopulation and the decline of the family farm. It has nothing going for it except that it produces food that is, at the point of sale, cheap. But for that low price, the animals, the environment and rural neighborhoods have to pay steeply.

Fortunately there are alternatives, including eating a vegan diet, or buying animal products only from producers who allow their animals to go outside and live a minimally decent life. It is time for a shift in our values. While our society focuses on issues like gay marriage and the use of embryos for research, we are overlooking one of the big moral issues of our day. We should see the purchase and consumption of factory-farm products, whether by an individual or by an institution like a university, as a violation of the most basic ethical standards of how we should treat animals and the environment.


Peter Singer is a philosopher and professor of bioethics at Princeton University and laureate professor at the University of Melbourne.

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