Friday, November 13, 2009

Video Proves that Cruel Denmark Engages in Brutal and Cruel Dolphin and Whale Slaughter

I’ve included videos below for those who don’t believe this is happening.




There is a petition to sign to demand an end to this useless cruelty. It can be found at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/tell-denmark-to-end-whale-dolphin-slaughter-in-their-waters

Here is the description given at that site regarding the brutal event:

Islanders in motorboats first drive the whales into a bay. The chase may be lengthy. The exhausted, terrified and confused whales are eventually driven into the shallows. Here the bloodbath begins. The islanders repeatedly hammer 2.2 kg metal gaffs into the living flesh of each whale until the hooks hold. A 15 cm knife is then used to slash through the blubber and flesh to the spinal column. Next the main blood vessels are severed. The blood-stained bay is soon filled with horribly mutilated and dying whales.

The Faroese celebrate the butchery of their victims in an carnival atmosphere of entertainment. Indoctrinated from an early age, children are often given a day off school to watch the fun. They run down to the bay and clamber over the carcasses of slaughtered whales.

Every year around 2,000 whales are driven ashore and cruelly slaughtered in the Faroe Islands, mid-way between the Shetland Islands and Iceland. For centuries the Faroe Islanders have hunted pilot whales, driving entire schools into killing bays, where they are speared or gaffed from boats, dragged ashore and butchered with knives. Although the Islands are a protectorate of Denmark, they have their own Government and regulations governing the pilot whale hunt or "grind" as it is known.

Aside from the fact that the number of North Atlantic long-finned pilot whales is unknown and they are listed as 'strictly protected' by the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, this is an act of barbarism and pointlessness. By slaughtering 100 whales at a time, the Faroese are wiping out entire pods and family groups. They are removing building blocks from the gene pool of the species and damaging the web of life in the North Atlantic and the North Sea.

The drive hunt is a practice abandoned elsewhere many decades ago, and now outlawed by other European states. The inhabitants of the Faroe Islands have no subsistence need for whale meat, and much of the flesh is left to rot and be dumped; it cannot be exported, as it is polluted with heavy metals and other toxins and therefore cannot meet EU heath standards for human food.

According to Faroese legislation it is also permitted to hunt certain species of small cetaceans other than pilot whales. These include: Bottlenose dolphin; Atlantic white-beaked dolphin; Atlantic white-sided dolphin; and Harbour porpoise (There are also specific regulations for the hunting of harbour porpoise. Harbour porpoises are killed with shotguns).

Video Proves that Two University of Utah Facilities Engaging in Animal Torture: “purposely paralyzing mice..injecting chemicals into kitten brains..."

“purposely paralyzing mice, drilling holes in monkey skulls, injecting chemicals into kitten brains, and giving rats epileptic seizures”

Sad that once again the realty of vivisection is exposed (see video below). This time it’s the University of Utah.

Video doesn’t lie, as you’ll see below. Footage taken includes “purposely paralyzing mice, drilling holes in monkey skulls, injecting chemicals into kitten brains, and giving rats epileptic seizures”





Article:

PETA detective uncovers alleged animal cruelty - November 12, 2009

http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/2009/11/peta_detective_uncovers_allege.html

An eight-month undercover investigation by a leading US animal rights group has documented alleged mistreatment of animals inside two University of Utah facilities.

Officials from the Virginia-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which opposes all research with animals as well as their use in food and clothing, said they will file formal complaints to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture after the group's undercover agent, who worked as an animal support technician at the Salt Lake City University from 12 February to 29 October, gathered videos and photos that

PETA says violate the federal Animal Welfare Act.

University officials defended the lab's practices, arguing that the PETA investigator does not understand routine procedures in animal research. "None of the things she alleges are substantive," said Tom Parks, the University of Utah's vice president for research. "It's a remarkably banal list of ordinary events in an animal-care facility." (Salt Lake Tribune)

The alleged cruelties that the PETA investigator observed, according to a PETA press release, include purposely paralyzing mice, drilling holes in monkey skulls, injecting chemicals into kitten brains, and giving rats epileptic seizures.

NFL Tight End Tony Gonzalez of the Atlanta Falcons and His Wife October Pose for an Anti Fur Ad: Gonzalez Again Living Up to His Words


As readers of this blog know, I’m a big fan of Tony Gonzalez. Ever since his decision to look more closely at his decisions in terms of food, I’ve seen a positive role model for a more compassionate life. I wrote about his promotion of a diet with less meat in this article - http://geari.blogspot.com/2008/08/kansas-city-chiefs-all-pro-tight-end.html .

He’s obviously since learned more about the realities of life, including the horrors of the fur industry. I thank you again Tony for being a real man and stepping up to educate. You are bringing others with you. We need guys like you.

Proving his new outlook, here is a great quote from him regarding fur: ''We should be protecting animals, not sacrificing their lives for the sake of fashion or luxury,'' Gonzalez says. ''October and I have changed many of our habits in light of the inhumane treatment of animals that occurs not only in the fur industry but also on factory farms.''

Article:

Tony Gonzalez, wife pose naked

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/quickhits/1880452,Tony-Gonzalez-PETA12.article

November 12, 2009

ELLIOTT HARRIS Sports Columnist

No nudes is good news.

So it appears to the naked eye — as well as other body parts.
There will be no reference to tight ends in this caption: Tony Gonzalez of the Atlanta Falcons and wife October pose for an animal rights ad campaign from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Quick Hits promises not to make any wisecracks about tight ends or make anyone the butt of any jokes, but ...

Tony Gonzalez of the Atlanta Falcons (yes, he plays tight end) and his wife October appear in a new ad for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. They also appear to be totally unclothed.

''We had clothes on,'' Gonzalez told media in Atlanta on Wednesday.

It would appear that seeing is disbelieving, if Gonzalez is to be believed.

''We should be protecting animals, not sacrificing their lives for the sake of fashion or luxury,'' Gonzalez says. ''October and I have changed many of our habits in light of the inhumane treatment of animals that occurs not only in the fur industry but also on factory farms.''

The Falcons had a chance to see the ad and gave Gonzalez some typical locker-room reaction.

''My wife is a pretty woman,'' Gonzalez said. ''She's like a flower. It's nice to be looked at.''

Hey, as long as it's OK with him ...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Was Mark Twain America's First Animal Welfare Advocate?

I received this interesting email regarding the work of a Stanford professor and leading Mark Twain scholar which “…suggests that Mark Twain was one of the first prominent Americans to raise awareness of animal cruelty.”

Interesting reading, and I suggest you all take the time to visit the site at: http://humanexperience.stanford.edu/twainanimals

Here is the email I received:

Mark Twain - America's first animal welfare advocate?
Stanford professor and leading Mark Twain scholar, Shelley Fisher Fishkin's latest research suggests that Mark Twain was one of the first prominent Americans to raise awareness of animal cruelty. Using a range of Twain's works including private letters and essays Fishkin demonstrates that Mark Twain was an ardent animal welfare advocate who, through his writing, sparked the animals rights movement in the U.S.

Twain, inspired by Darwin, took on topics ranging from cockfighting to animal experiments, and made Americans reflect on the relationship between animals and the human animal.

Fishkin's research is outlined in her new book, Mark Twain's Book of Animals.

A Publisher's Weekly review had this to say about Fishkin's findings, "Fishkin reports that Mark Twain's career-long fascination with instinctual yet intelligent creatures inspired Chuck E. Jones's creation of cartoon icons Wile E. Coyote and Bugs Bunny. Fishkin... showcases the humorist's shrewd observations of both exotic and common animals, including his nemesis, the housefly (“I would go out of my way, and put aside my dearest occupation, to kill a fly”). This collection of letters, stories, travelogues and personal recollections—some appearing in print for the first time—effectively juxtaposes witty morality with bitterness manifested in his later work in which he rails against microbes and an uncaring Creator after losing three children to illness. Animal lovers and fiction readers alike will want to read this illustration of an unfamiliar facet of an American literary giant. The anthology succinctly represents Twain's admiration for the animal kingdom and relentless optimism in the face of human inadequacies."

You can read short story about the research here:

High resolution images are available.

Monday, October 19, 2009

National Primate Liberation Week Pushes On: Schedule of Local Events by City and State

National Primate Liberation Week runs from October 17th - 24th 2009. Here is a webpage that lists local events by city and state. Please visit any of the events to show your support. http://www.all-creatures.org/saen/event-nplw-2009.html

"Race to Save the Bears" Contest by Humane Society Intl. to Raise Awareness About Bear Trophy Hunt in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest

I received this email regarding the horrible bear trophy hunt taking place in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest. Please read below for more information and for what you can do to help attempt to end this ridiculous and unnecessary annual killing festival.

The contest just began and ends November 12, 2009. You can learn more about it here: http://www.hsicanada.ca/protectbears

For more information about HSI's work to end the BC trophy hunt of bears visit here: http://www.hsicanada.ca/wildlife/grizzly_bears/bears_at_risk.html


I thought you and your Canadian readers might be interested in the "Race to Save the Bears" contest being launched by Humane Society International. We've launched the contest to help raise awareness about the bear trophy hunt in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest, in which vulnerable bears are killed for entertainment, and to help raise funds for HSI/Canada's campaign to end this killing.



Canadians are eligible to join the virtual "race" and compete for a chance to win great prizes. The grand prize winner, who raises the most funds, will receive a trip for two to British Columbia's Great Bear Lodge for two all-inclusive nights and a bear-viewing trip to experience the grizzly and black bears of the Great Bear Rainforest.



The bears of the Great Bear Rainforest deserve to live in peace and free of the threat of being hunted purely for entertainment. BC's grizzlies are now classified as "Special Concern" (or vulnerable) by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, and are categorized as a difficult species to manage. This means we need to act now to help protect such a threatened animal.



The contest just began and ends November 12, 2009. You can learn more about it here: http://www.hsicanada.ca/protectbears



For more information about HSI's work to end the BC trophy hunt of bears visit here: http://www.hsicanada.ca/wildlife/grizzly_bears/bears_at_risk.html

U.S. Department of the Interior Submits Proposal to Ban the International Trade in Polar Bear Parts and Products

Though we cannot say that the Obama Administration is a huge fan of animals, what a change from just a year ago. We can only hope such a ban will occur and that the administration will act on other issues as well.

Article:

U.S. Interior Department proposes international ban on the trade in polar bears

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2009/10/us_interior_department_propose.html

By Abby Haight, The Oregonian

October 16, 2009, 3:00PM

Animal rights groups today praised the U.S. Department of the Interior for submitting a proposal to ban the international trade in polar bears.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife
The United States wants to ban international commercial trade in polar bears.
If approved by the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora at its meeting next March in Qatar, the proposal would make commercial trade in polar bears illegal. Currently, international commercial trade is regulated.

The ban would not apply to native subsistence hunting of polar bears.

"International trade in polar bear parts and products is exacerbating the devastating impact that climate change is already having on the polar bear," said Teresa M. Telecky, director of wildlife for Humane Society International.

An estimated 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears live in arctic regions, where they are dependent on sea ice for hunting, reproduction and movement. Some scientists predict the bears won't survive past the end of the century because of the complete loss of summer sea ice from climate change.

Polar bears are hunted for trophies, as well as skin, fur, claws, skulls and even stuffed bears that are commercially traded. More than 500 polar bear skins are traded annually -- mostly from Canada to Japan.

Polar bears were added as a threatened species to the Endangered Species Act in 2008, ending the importation of polar bear trophies killed by U.S. sport hunters.

"While we cannot stop the impacts of global warming on polar bears immediately, one thing we can do is quickly address other threats which are heightening the bear's problems, such as the commercial trade. By increasing protections for polar bears under CITES, we can start to give the polar bear some more protections while we take the necessary steps to address global warming," said Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife.

Horrified by the Cruelty of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, German Citizens Force Cancellation of all German Shows

Amazing. Quite a story not only about the reality of the cruelty behind circuses, but of how mass voicing of concern can help stop cruel events.

For more about the cruelty behind the circus including VIDEO PROOF see http://www.circuses.com/

Article:

RINGLING BROS. GERMANY TOUR CANCELED!

http://supervegan.com/blog/entry.php?id=1342

by Tod EmkoOctober 16, 2009 2:51pmFiled under: Activism Circus

Some of the tortured animals of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
Horrified by the way the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus beats its animals, thousands of concerned German citizens appealed to the venues that would have hosted the Circus in Germany.

This concern for animal welfare made it clear that Ringling Bros. is not welcome in Germany because of the way Ringling tortures animals. The result is that Ringling Bros. canceled their entire tour of Germany!

If Germany can stop the circus from coming to town, what's stopping us in the US from opposing such blatant useless cruelty?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"At the Edge of the World": Powerful Documentary Concerning Sea Shepherd's Antarctic Campaign Against Illegal Whaling: In Portland, OR Oct 16th to 27

At The Edge of the World

Clinton Street Theater Beginning Fri, Oct 16
2522 Se Clinton Street. Portland, OR. (503) 238-8899

There will be Q&A with two of the key crew members after selected screenings.

Shows at 5pm, 7pm and 9pm. No 9pm show on 10/16, 10/22 and 10/23.

No 7pm screenings on 10/24-26 and starts at 9:30 instead of 9pm.

General Admission - $6

Tuesday Admission - $4

You can also view the film’s trailer, notes, and photos at www.AtTheEdgeOfTheWorld.com and at www.WhaleCampaign.com. I've also attached it to the end of this posting.

Winner of the Audience Award for Top Environmental Film at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

I’d like to thank the director Dan Stone for putting the time into such a worthy project. Many of you are aware of the Sea Shepherd's Antarctic campaign against illegal whaling by the Japanese brought to life via the show Whale Wars. If you are in Portland, Oregon during Oct 16th to Oct 27th, please support the film. If you are not, please spread the word and also visit www.AtTheEdgeOfTheWorld.com to view the tailor and access other information.

Awards and Reviews:

“Over the weekend, At the Edge of the World won the Conservation Award at the Bend Film Festival. (Since our premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, At the Edge has been honored to receive the Elizabeth Taylor Environmental Award, the Haskell Wexler Cinematography Award, a Jury Award for Cinematography, a Jury Award for Best Documentary and an Audience Award for Best Documentary.)”

"An intrepid record of modern-day piracy. Directed by Dan Stone to highlight moral as well as legal conflicts, this strikingly humane film may function as a prequel to Animal Planet's 'Whale Wars' but is light years ahead in visual clarity and narrative ambition."
Jeannette Catsoulis
(The New York Times)
NYT Critic's Pick

"A bizarre and breathtaking high-seas adventure set in the remote, spectacular Ross Sea off Antarctica, 'At the Edge of the World' is the summer season's most surprising and thought-provoking documentary."
Andrew O'Hehir
(Salon.com)

"It's a true David-and-Goliath story. For anyone interested in real environmental activism, this passionate film is a must-see. The best scenes run on sheer adrenaline. For a real thrill, be sure to keep an eye out for this one."
Michael Lee
(Film Forward)

"This real-life drama and its vast setting demand to be experienced on the big, instead of the little screen-men go overboard, skiffs go missing, and the long arm of the law threatens in this lean, sharply directed film."
Elena Oumano
(Village Voice)
"Highly recommended" Selection

"At The Edge of the World is a superb advocacy documentary and travelog that presents a compelling cause, fascinating cast of characters, eventful and dramatic story and artful cinematography. It takes you to a place you might not otherwise know and presents it in the genuine fullness of event and experience."
Jennifer Merin
(About.com)

"'At the Edge of the World' is one of those rare documentaries that could easily function as a compelling fiction thriller. Superbly shot from a wealth of angles and perspectives and edited to emphasize the tension in their quest, it's a grand entertainment that only offers time for reflection once the lights go up."
Robert Levin
(Critic's Notebook)

New York Times review (NYT Critic’s Pick): http://movies.nytimes.com/2009/08/28/movies/28edge.html?8mu&emc=mua1?em

Salon.com review: http://www.salon.com/ent/movies/btm/feature/2009/08/28/edge_of_world/index.html

Village Voice review: http://www.villagevoice.com/2009-08-25/film/at-the-edge-of-the-world/

Film Forward review: http://www.film-forward.com/attheedge.html

About.com review: http://documentaries.about.com/od/revie2/fr/AtTheEdgeOfTheWorld.htm?p=1

Critic’s Notebook review: http://www.criticsnotebook.com/2009/08/at-the-edge-of-the-world.html


The Aftermath of Michael Vick: Life through the Eyes of a Dog Traumatized at the Hands of the Convicted Animal Abuser Michael Vick

What a great story. Written from the experience of one of the pit bulls that Michael Vick was planning to have mauled in his sick dog fighting ring. As was typical of how Vick treated dogs, this dog Frodo was five months old and, like all puppies, chained outside exposed to the elements. Michael Vick has a large disrespect for life, and this proves it.

Frodo was one of the lucky ones. He was found alive and nursed to health by BAD RAP (Bay Area Dog Lovers Responsible About Pit bulls). As this article states, BAD RAP is a group that “…takes troubled rescue dogs and places them in loving homes. There, they can learn to become family-friendly.” They hope to offer “…a response to the "difficult issues facing this misunderstood breed."

Here are some excerpts from the story below:

“Whatever happens, Frodo won't care much. He was five months old when cops raided the Vick property. The puppies there were chained to a partially buried car axle, left largely exposed to the elements. Frodo was taken to a shelter where he lived for seven months with little human contact.”

“He now cuddles up to Ramirez and loves to eat treats from her hand. But it's no wonder that Frodo is generally shy around people and jumpy whenever he hears an unfamiliar sound.
‘Anything mechanical, the sound bothers him,’ said Ramirez, an information analyst at Kaiser Permanente. "We have ceiling fans at our house and he would become fixated on them, looking up at them with apprehension. If I opened a cabinet, he would shy away. Or popcorn in the microwave. I don't know, maybe the popcorn equates to gunshots for him. I don't think he witnessed any of the fights. But I'm sure he heard them."

“Ramirez at first calmed Frodo the way she would treat a frightened infant, by wrapping him tightly in blankets and gently petting him in her arms for 45 minutes straight, if necessary. In the back of her head, Ramirez wonders if Vick has ever done any of this stuff — for any dog, ever. The public apologies made by the Philadelphia quarterback haven't impressed her much.”

Article:

Purdy: The aftermath of Michael Vick

http://www.mercurynews.com/raiders-headlines/ci_13556373?nclick_check=1

By Mark Purdy

Mercury News Columnist
Posted: 10/13/2009 09:54:29 PM PDT
Updated: 10/14/2009 03:51:28 AM PDT

Frodo won't be at the Raiders' game Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. He will be way too busy.

Probably playing with other dogs.

"To him, dogs equal good," said Kim Ramirez, who adopted Frodo several months ago. "Humans equal scary."

Frodo is a pit bull. He really doesn't know much about football. But he knows Philadelphia's backup quarterback, Michael Vick. They once had a very personal relationship.

Unfortunately.

Vick was convicted two years ago of financing and participating in a dogfighting ring. He served prison time. This is his first regular-season road game since being reinstated by the NFL three weeks ago. But what of the dogs left behind at his grotesque kennel operation in Virginia? After spending several months in shelters, most found foster homes. A dozen of the dogs have ended up in the Bay Area.

Frodo is one of them. He came to Ramirez's home through a local non-profit organization called BAD RAP, which stands for Bay Area Dog Lovers Responsible About Pit bulls. Basically, the group takes troubled rescue dogs and places them in loving homes. There, they can learn to become family-friendly.

Ramirez understands that people can be skeptical about that. But that's why BAD RAP exists. The group was founded (quoting here from the Web site) as a response to the "difficult issues facing this misunderstood breed."

And for sure, the Michael Vick case definitely qualifies as a difficult issue. Crowds in Philadelphia have been largely supportive of his comeback. But what about this weekend? How will he fare with the public here in the animal-rights-intensive Bay Area?

Donna Reynolds, BAD RAP's executive director, said she will have an announcement today about the group's plans for Vick's visit to Oakland. She has been in touch with the Eagles, so the plan potentially involves the team — and maybe even Vick.

Whatever happens, Frodo won't care much. He was five months old when cops raided the Vick property. The puppies there were chained to a partially buried car axle, left largely exposed to the elements. Frodo was taken to a shelter where he lived for seven months with little human contact.

That's where BAD RAP co-founder Tim Race, met and named him. Race flew to Virginia and assessed which of the Vick dogs might best travel back to the Bay Area for adoption. A certain dark-coated dog reminded him of a Hobbit character from "Lord of the Rings."

Hence, Frodo. He now cuddles up to Ramirez and loves to eat treats from her hand. But it's no wonder that Frodo is generally shy around people and jumpy whenever he hears an unfamiliar sound.

"Anything mechanical, the sound bothers him," said Ramirez, an information analyst at Kaiser Permanente. "We have ceiling fans at our house and he would become fixated on them, looking up at them with apprehension. If I opened a cabinet, he would shy away. Or popcorn in the microwave. I don't know, maybe the popcorn equates to gunshots for him. I don't think he witnessed any of the fights. But I'm sure he heard them."

Ramirez at first calmed Frodo the way she would treat a frightened infant, by wrapping him tightly in blankets and gently petting him in her arms for 45 minutes straight, if necessary. In the back of her head, Ramirez wonders if Vick has ever done any of this stuff — for any dog, ever. The public apologies made by the Philadelphia quarterback haven't impressed her much.

"It's not about what you say, it's about what you actually do," Ramirez said. "Just because he's done the time for what he did, that doesn't mean everything's all right now. The damage done to these dogs will last the rest of their lives."

Martina McClay is just as skeptical. She has adopted another Vick dog, Leo, through her Our Pack rescue operation in Los Gatos. She has trained Leo to be a "therapy dog" who visits elder care facilities and cancer clinics to cheer up patients. McClay watched Vick's interview on "60 Minutes" and rolled her eyes.

"I just didn't see the remorse," McClay said. "Maybe he is remorseful and he's just not good at communicating it. But it looked very rehearsed to me. You know, like a sock puppet? He just says he made bad choices and what happened was bad. I haven't heard him say a word about the dogs. What should he do to show he has changed? Why ask us? I think the NFL should answer these questions, not us."

She has a point. It would be a fine thing in our world if, when athletes commit crimes beyond the pale, fans stopped buying tickets to watch and cheer them. But it's not going to happen, at least not in the country's most popular sports league. Eleven years ago in St. Louis, a defensive tackle named Leonard Little was convicted of manslaughter for killing a woman while driving drunk. He returned to the NFL. He is being cheered every Sunday. So is Vick.

Just not by Frodo.

Ridiculous Religious Festival in Nepal will Slaughter At Least 200,000 Animals - 60,000 Buffaloes, 140,000 Rats, Goats, Ducks, Roosters and Pigeons

Buddha Boy Uses Reason to Attempt to Stop

Here is a link you can visit to sign a petition to this mass slaughter - http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-gadimai/signatures.html

Apparently, this Ancient Nepali Festival takes place once every five years in honor of the goddess Ghadi Mai, also known as Durga. Unbelievably, “[t]he organisers plan to slaughter at least 200,000 animals — including 60,000 buffaloes and 140,000 rats, goats, ducks, roosters and pigeons in the two-day-long Mela.”

One man is attempting to stop this via simple and understandable reason. Palden Dorje, also known as the Buddha Boy due to his “…six year meditation at fifteen to promote world peace in May of 2005. He meditated for at least ten months in front of crowds apparently without sustenance in Bara District’s Ratanpuri before disappearing to continue his meditation in private. He interrupts his meditation once a year to give blessings to pilgrims. He is in the fifth year of his meditation.”

Palden Dorje uses simple logic to show how ridiculous and irrational this festival is:

“The belief that the divine blessings can be achieved through animal sacrifice is a mirage. It goes against the very fact that all living beings are a creation of the god,” he argues, appealing all to refrain from killings or harming the animals.”

“In a recent interview with mediapersons, Bomjan had said that the goddess represented mother of all living beings, including those animals and would never be pleased with the sacrifice of her own children. “Human beings have turned brutal by offering animal sacrifice to the goddesses. This practice must be stopped now,” he said. Geshe Ngima, meanwhile, urged the devotees to offer posy, fruits and vegetables, incense sticks, tika, sweets and coconuts instead of animals and their blood to appease the goddess and help restore peace in the country.”

I’ve posted the story below.

Here is a link you can visit to sign a petition to this mass slaughter - http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-gadimai/signatures.html

Article:

Palden Dorje Plans to Give Blessings to Pilgrims and to Protest Animal Sacrifice at Ancient
Festival

http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-331005?ref=feeds%2Flatest

In Nepal, from November 19th to the 24th, 2009 Palden Dorje a.k.a. Ram Bahadur Bomjan (Ram Bomjon) will bless pilgrims at the site of the Gadhi Mai Fair which is likely the largest animal sacrificing festival in the world. He plans this appearance in order to protest the killing of more than 550,000 large animals and countless small ones before they take place on the 24th at the Gadhi Mai Festival near Nijgad in Bara District. This Ancient Nepali Festival takes place once every five years in honor of the goddess Ghadi Mai, also known as Durga. The sacrifices are said to bring good fortune.

Palden Dorje, 19, has been negotiating the ceremony with the leaders of the Ghadi Mai Mela (fair). The priests of the fair are showing an unwillingness to co-operate as the sales of animals at the stalls provide a substantial profit. This year is foreseen to be the largest festival ever with a few million pilgrims, both from Nepal and India.

Palden Dorje became world famous when he began a six year meditation at fifteen to promote world peace in May of 2005. He meditated for at least ten months in front of crowds apparently without sustenance in Bara District’s Ratanpuri before disappearing to continue his meditation in private. He interrupts his meditation once a year to give blessings to pilgrims. He is in the fifth year of his meditation.

Last year, 2008, he gave blessings in November. Approximately 400,000 pilgrims queued in the Halkoriya Jungle to receive his blessings over a 12 day period. He made two speeches in which he urged people to recognize the compassion and loving kindness in their hearts.
This year Palden Dorje is expected to make two speeches at the opening and closing of the blessing ceremony encouraging people to reconsider this cruel practice and to make vegetarian sacrifices instead.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Supports Animal Cruelty by Vetoing a Pair of Bills Related to Convicted Animal Abusers and Puppy Mills

Well, Arnold proves again that he has more respect for animal abusers and less for those attempting to stop animal abuse. Both of these bills were pretty light, and he still vetoed them.

“AB 241 — would have limited the number of potential pets to 50 in the hopes of eliminating large-scale breeding operations colloquially known as “puppy mills…”

“The second bill, AB 243, was also vetoed, but would have required judges to prohibit convicted animal abusers from owning pets for a set period of time.”

Article:

Governor Denies Acts

http://www.dailynexus.com/article.php?a=19443

By Evan Sherwood

Published Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Issue 16 / Volume 90

On Sunday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a pair of bills authored by local assemblyman Pedro Nava aimed at strengthening animal rights.

The defeated legislation, authored by Nava, was part of a three-bill animal rights package Nava shepherded through the California legislature this year. While the governor approved a third law increasing the penalty for attending a dogfight, he vetoed similar bills that would have instituted stricter punishment for animal abuses and put a cap on the number of cats or dogs owned for breeding purposes, respectively.

The later bill — AB 241 — would have limited the number of potential pets to 50 in the hopes of eliminating large-scale breeding operations colloquially known as “puppy mills,” an approach Schwarzenegger did not agree with.

“An arbitrary cap on the number of animals any entity can possess … will not end unlawful, inhumane breeding practices,” Schwarzenegger said in a prepared statement. Nava said he disagreed with the governor and that the cap was not arbitrarily decided.

“We used the best advice from California animal control officers and law enforcement in coming up with that figure,” Nava said.

The second bill, AB 243, was also vetoed, but would have required judges to prohibit convicted animal abusers from owning pets for a set period of time.

Nava said he will reintroduce both bills next year.

“These problems don’t go away just because the governor failed to understand them,” Nava said.

The Philadelphia Eagles Make Good on Pledge to Support Animal Welfare Groups Due To Making Convicted Animal Abuser Michael Vick A Millionaire Again

We’ll see if this continues. I suppose it’s the least they can do for making a convicted felon and horrendous animal abuser / dog fighting supporter Michael Vick a millionaire again.

Though 50K is a drop in the bucket compared to Vick’s salary, it will help those groups who need money. Maybe they’ll be able to put a curb to any potential “little Vick” wannabes who see that you can get convicted of horrendous animal abuse and still become a millionaire.

Article:

Eagles hand out first animal welfare grants

http://news.lp.findlaw.com/ap/s/2020/10-13-2009/20091013033508_19.html

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Months after facing sharp criticism for signing convicted dogfighter Michael Vick, the Philadelphia Eagles are making good on a pledge to support animal welfare groups.

The team on Monday unveiled a program called TAWK, which stands for Treating Animals With Kindness. The initiative aims to reduce animal abuse, encourage spaying and neutering, and end dogfighting through public education and awareness.

The Eagles awarded grants of $50,000 each to Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, the Humane Society of Berks County and the Humane Society of the United States.

Team spokeswoman Pamela Browner-Crawley says Vick is working with children to discourage them from dogfighting.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Land Donated to Begin Construction of Location for the Northeast Nebraska Humane Society and Animal Shelter near Norfolk, Nebraska

Very positive to see that people have come forth to help this important facility become a reality.

As stated below, this should help with the pet abandonment issue and help with educational outreach. The facility will be built near Norfolk, Nebraska.

Article:

Land donated for animal shelter

http://www.omaha.com/article/20091010/NEWS02/710109829

By Kathryn Harris

WORLD-HERALD NEWS SERVICE

NORFOLK, Neb. — The Northeast Nebraska Humane Society is one step closer to having a home.

Sister Kevin Hermsen, a humane society board member, said four acres of land have been donated to the group. A fundraiser kicked off this week for the roughly 6,000-square-foot shelter the organization wants to build.

“The land was donated in honor of the donor's mother and aunt who were committed to animal rights,” Sister Kevin said.

She said she and other humane society members know raising the projected $250,000 for the building, which will be six miles north of Norfolk on the east side of U.S. Highway 81, will be “a tough go” but worth the effort.

The rough economy has played a role in the number of animals being surrendered. Some people are being forced to choose between feeding their children or feeding their pet, Sister Kevin said.

“As difficult as it is, those pets need to be surrendered,” she said.

Unfortunately, people often don't know what to do with their pets. “They're left on the front step when people move . . . or they're taken out to the country and just dumped off,” she said.

Sick pets are in greater danger of being abandoned because veterinary care can be expensive, she said.

“If you don't have the funds to take care of a sick pet, you don't know what to do,” she said. “We don't want to be judgmental about that.”

It's the goal of the Northeast Nebraska Humane Society to provide a place for people to take their pets when they can no longer take care of them.

Sister Kevin said the organization wants space for 25 to 30 kennels for dogs and roughly the same number for cats. For now, the organization won't be able to handle large animals such as horses.

The money raised also will include a cushion for hiring a full-time shelter manager and a couple of part-time workers.

“We're going to rely heavily on volunteers to help with cleaning the cages, walking the dogs and socializing the animals,” she said.

As with the land, Sister Kevin said, members of the humane society board are hoping citizens will offer to help build the shelter.

“We understand there's a lot of fundraising going on right now. This could be a struggle,” Sister Kevin said. “The need is just so great right now that we feel like we need to move forward on it.”

Green Party of Ireland Successful in Putting Forth Measure to Ban Fur Farming

Another positive step toward ending the unnecessary and overly-cruel issue of fur and fur farming. As stated below, the ban would not take place now, but in three years. Unfortunate that we have to wait, but a strong sign and message to the rest of the world.

Article:

Animal welfare groups welcome ban on fur farming

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/1012/1224256435882.html

SEÁN Mac CONNELL

ANIMAL WELFARE and rights groups have welcomed the Green Party Programme for Government as a victory for animals here, particularly the ending of fur farming in three years.

Caft Ireland (Coalition to abolish the fur trade) said it was “absolutely thrilled” its greatest goal had been achieved by the Green Party and it would now turn its attention to banning fur imports.

Bernie Wright of the Alliance for Animal Rights said it was the best day in 20 years in the campaign for animals.

She said the banning of fur farming, the ending of stag hunting after March next year, the ending of badger culling when a vaccine against bovine TB was found and promised new animal welfare legislation, was a major victory.

“Thank you Green Party and thank you John Gormley,” she said in a statement.

Compassion in World Farming said the ban on fur farming was a major step forward for animal welfare standards in the Republic of Ireland.

“We congratulate the Green Party on its commitment to improving the protection of animals.

The ban on fur farming will send out a strong message to the world that Ireland takes farm animal welfare very seriously,” said Mary-Anne Bartlett, director of the organisation here.

Will Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm Sign Legislation Requiring that Farm Animals Confined in Small Spaces have Enough Room to Fully Extend Limbs?

If the bill is signed, it will make Michigan “…the seventh state to ban certain cages and crates.”

As always, we aren’t saying that this bill is perfect, but, should it be signed, it’s just another positive step toward future stronger measures and toward educating people as to the realty of confining farm animals such as veal calf crates and gestation stalls affecting pregnant pigs.

As stated below, “[t]he bill applies to egg-laying hens, pregnant pigs and veal calves. Commonly used cages for hens and stalls for pregnant pigs will be banned in about 10 years - veal crates in three years.”

Article:

Law protects farm-animal rights

Granholm set to sign bill banning cramped cages, crates in Michigan

http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20091003/NEWS04/910030318/1005/NEWS04/Law-protects-farm-animal-rights

David Eggert • Associated Press • October 3, 2009 • From Lansing State Journal


Gov. Jennifer Granholm is expected to soon sign legislation requiring that farm animals confined in small spaces have enough room to fully extend their limbs and making Michigan the seventh state to ban certain cages and crates.

The bill is a compromise between the farm industry and animal rights groups, which have tussled in the Capitol over the care of farm animals. The Humane Society of the United States says it no longer will push a 2010 ballot initiative on the issue.

Granholm supports the legislation, her office said Friday, a day after the measure won final approval in the Legislature.

Michigan has about 200 industrial livestock farms that each keep thousands of animals in confined areas.

The bill applies to egg-laying hens, pregnant pigs and veal calves. Commonly used cages for hens and stalls for pregnant pigs will be banned in about 10 years - veal crates in three years.

Animal advocates consider close confinement inhumane.

"Giving animals enough room to turn around and extend their limbs is something we can all support," said Gene Baur, co-founder of Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, N.Y., the first haven for rescued farm animals in the country.

Farming groups say the legislation is better than the ballot proposal threatened by animal welfare groups, which would have phased out the cages sooner and put more "onerous" penalties on farmers who violate the law.

"No one likes change and no one likes to spend money to make those changes," said Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association. "The fact of the matter is that agriculture recognizes we must be more responsive to consumer demand and perceptions."

National restaurant chains such as Burger King have been asking suppliers for more cage-free eggs and crate-free pork.

The Humane Society says Michigan is the second state to ban battery cages for chickens, the fifth to ban veal crates and the seventh to ban stalls for pregnant pigs. The stalls still can be used in the week before a pig's due date. Each hen will have to have at least 1 square foot of usable floor space.

The Human Society of the United States Animal Protection Legislation Web Page: Animal Rights-Related Legislation Facing the 111th Congress

I’m not naive enough to believe that any of these will pass, and, I’m certainly not saying that they go far enough or that this is a comprehensive list of needs. However, it’s good to be aware that at least these issues are being heard. We’ll see what becomes of each for the remainder of this year and into the next session.

You can view the various legislative issues at http://www.hsus.org/legislation_laws/

The U.S. Supreme Court Seeks to Decide Whether a Federal Law that Makes it a Crime to Depict Animal Cruelty Violates the First Amendment

It’s obvious what we think about this, but just wanted you all to be aware of this issue. We’ll see how it goes.

Article:

Hypotheticals Dominate Animal Cruelty Argument at High Court

http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202434344826&rss=newswire

Tony Mauro

The National Law Journal

October 07, 2009


It was a day of wild hypotheticals Tuesday, as the U.S. Supreme Court reached far and wide for help in deciding whether a federal law that makes it a crime to depict animal cruelty violates the First Amendment.

By the end of the riveting hour of argument in United States v. Stevens, it seemed likely that a sizable majority of the Court was ready to strike down the law as too broad or too vague.

"Certainly the tone of the argument would suggest that the statute is in trouble," said Andrew Tauber of Mayer Brown, who attended the argument and filed a brief against the law for the National Coalition Against Censorship. The law sweeps so broadly, Tauber added, that "it takes very little imagination to come up with dozens of hypotheticals" of depictions that could be vulnerable to prosecution but should be protected by the First Amendment.

That's just what the Court did, for much of the hour.

What if, Justice Antonin Scalia said, "I am an aficionado of bullfighting" who wants to spread the word about how it ennobles "both beast and man?" Would it be a crime to use a video to get that argument across?

The urbane Justice Stephen Breyer asked another one: would a video depicting "stuffing geese for pate de foie gras" violate the law?

The bow-tied Justice John Paul Stevens posited videos of "hunting with a bow and arrow out of season," when it would be illegal.

Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. asked if a law aimed at depiction of cruelty to humans -- not animals -- would pass constitutional muster.

Could Congress ban a video depicting modern-day Roman gladiators fighting to the death, asked Justice Samuel Alito Jr. Or what about a pay-per-view "Human Sacrifice Channel?" he asked.

Early in the argument, Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal sought to tamp down the "endless stream of fanciful hypotheticals" by asking whether there is a "realistic danger" that the hypos might come true.

In the 10 years the law has been in effect, Katyal said, no bullfighting videos have been prosecuted, nor would they be, given the legislative intent of Congress. The law also exempts depictions that are educational, historic or journalistic, but Breyer said the words were so vague that people won't "know what to do to avoid the risk of being prosecuted."

Katyal's argument drew an angry comment from Justice Anthony Kennedy, in effect stating that the Court has never found a law restricting speech to be constitutionally acceptable just because prosecutors have so far used restraint. Justices also seemed not to like the idea of leaving the determination of whether certain videos fit or do not fit the exceptions in the hands of prosecutors or jurors.

Kennedy's comment seemed to be a death knell for Katyal's argument, but he kept at it. He asserted that the law is constitutional because it, like laws against child pornography, is aimed not at expression but at "trying to dry up an underlying market," in this case for fetish and dogfighting videos that harm animals in their production. He said the law was successful in diminishing production of such videos until the law was struck down by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

After Katyal sat down, it seemed that his adversary, Patricia Millett of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, would have an easy task ahead. Millett represented Robert Stevens, a Pennsylvania man who was the first person prosecuted under the law, targeted for a series of dogfighting videos -- videos that he said were documentaries that did not foster or approve of dogfighting.

Millett did, in fact, face fewer tough questions than Katyal, as she acknowledged that a "properly drawn statute," aimed only at fetish videos that appeal to prurient interest in seeing animals harmed, might pass constitutional muster. But she said the Court should not rewrite the law for Congress. "Congress has a job to write with a scalpel and not a buzzsaw in the First Amendment area," she said.

Alito was the only justice who repeatedly challenged her to recognize that in the "real world," many of the hypotheticals raised by her and other justices would not in fact be prosecuted.

He also pressed Millett on whether, under her reading of the First Amendment, a cable channel devoted to depictions of human sacrifice could be outlawed. Millett hedged and seemed briefly in trouble, but Katyal in his rebuttal said such a channel would be hard to ban under the First Amendment, an answer that seemed to help his adversary.

GEARI Blog - Animal Rights Information and News Resource Blog - is Again Blogging / Posting Regarding Animal Rights Issues and News

GEARI Blog - Animal Rights Information and News Resource Blog - Companion Blog for www.geari.org – is again blogging / posting at http://geari.blogspot.com/ regarding animal rights issues and news.

GEARI would like to thank all who read this blog. We are again posting/blogging on issues related to animal rights. We follow animal rights news stories and present them to you so that you can stay up to date and not worry about tracking the various resources. Due to time, we took a month away from posting. However, after finding dedicated volunteers to help keep up with the unfortunate stream of news, our regular postings will continue.

As you know, GEARI (the Group for the Education of Animal - Related Issues) is a non-profit educational group dedicated to assisting you in your search for information on animal rights-related issues, the environment and human health. Your reference source for animal rights information. In essence, and briefly, the goal of this blog and of the main site - www.geari.org is to assist individuals in conducting research on issues related to animal rights.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Michael Vick: From Felony Dog Torturer and Convicted Animal Abuser to Millionaire Overnight: Only in the NFL & with Help from the Phildelphia Eagles

Very sad. Hard to believe that 1. The NFL would allow a convicted felon found guilty of horrendous charges of torturing and killing dogs / dogfighting to again play and tarnish the league AND to send the message that cruelty and torture and felonies are OK 2. The Philadelphia Eagles would allow him to come to their city and set up shop with a million dollar salary and to state the message that animal abuse is OK and that felony convictions are OK.

Don’t tell me that he won’t eventually go back to his thug gangsta’ ways. I guess we can tell a lot about that Eagles from this deal.


I posted an article below that sums up the disgust stated by decent people in seeing a felon returned to millionaire status. Also, in a related article, I pulled out these paragraphs to make us all remember just how disgusting Michal Vick is. I think this sums it up.

"PETA and millions of decent football fans around the world are disappointed that the Eagles decided to sign a guy who hung dogs from trees. He electrocuted them with jumper cables and held them under water," PETA spokesman Dan Shannon told The Associated Press.

"You have to wonder what sort of message this sends to young fans who care about animals and don't want them to be harmed."

Article:

Animal activists boo Eagles' signing of Vick

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/20090814_Animal_activists_boo_Eagles__signing_of_Vick.html?53182717=Y&submit=Vote&oid=2&mr=1&cid=8500281&pid=53182717


By Amy Worden

Inquirer Staff Writer

News that the Eagles had signed quarterback Michael Vick, a convicted animal abuser, was met with swift outrage last night by members of Philadelphia's animal-welfare community.

Many said they were concerned that the move would cast a pall over a state in which animal advocates - led by Gov. Rendell, who has three rescue dogs - have fought to improve conditions for dogs, particularly those who suffer in substandard commercial kennels.

"Over the last three years, Pennsylvania has made historic strides in bringing attention to the abuse and neglect that so many dogs suffer in this state and throughout the country," said Tom Hickey of Drexel Hill, a member of the governor's Dog Law Advisory Board. "For the Philadelphia Eagles, knowing the heinous crimes committed by this man, to sign him is unconscionable."

The initial reaction, which included the launching of a Twitter feed called "Boycott the Eagles," is a likely indication of the angry response to come.

"Michael Vick is coming to a city with some of the strongest and most outspoken animal advocates," said Bill Smith, founder of Main Line Animal Rescue in Chester Springs. "In a city where thousands of pit bulls are destroyed every year because we don't have the resources to rehabilitate them, it's shameful that we are willing to rehabilitate Michael Vick."

Vick, who played with the Atlanta Falcons, pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting charges in 2007, admitting that he participated in the destruction of dogs that did not perform, including drowning, hanging, and slamming them to the ground.

He spent 18 months of a 23-month sentence in federal prison, during which time he admitted "using bad judgment and making bad decisions," and vowed to redeem himself.

Since his release from house arrest last month, Vick has participated in events in Atlanta and Chicago with the Humane Society of the United States, where he spoke to inner-city young people about the cruelty of dogfighting.

Jen Utley, a board member of the Pennsylvania SPCA and the wife of Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, declined to comment last night specifically on the Vick signing, saying the PSPCA board would release a unified statement today.

"My goal has always been and always will be to prevent cruelty against animals in the city," said Utley, who adopted a rescue dog and who, together with her husband, has raised thousands to support PSPCA activities.

In a statement last night, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals expressed disappointment that the Eagles had signed a man who had committed such brutal acts against animals.

"What kind of message does this send to young fans who care about animals and don't want to see them be harmed?" the statement asked.

Monday, July 27, 2009

European Union Nations Gave Final Approval to a Ban on Importation of Seal Products: Could Force Canada to End its Annual Baby Seal Slaughter

Even if this doesn’t fully end the horrible and brutal Canadian baby seal slaughter, a move such as this, if permanent, will definitely help to lessen the numbers killed each year. This is a great example of getting a strong ban in place via an official body. We can only hope that it holds.

For those who need to be reminded of just how cruel the annual Canadian seal slaughter is, please see our posting at http://geari.blogspot.com/2009/03/sick-cruel-canada-begins-its-annual.html

Article:

EU gives final OK to seal product ban

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090727/ap_on_re_eu/eu_eu_canada_seal_hunt_2

By CONSTANT BRAND, Associated Press Writer – Mon Jul 27, 9:22 am ET

BRUSSELS – European Union nations gave their final approval Monday to a ban on imports of seal products in an effort to force Canada to end its annual seal hunt.

A majority of the EU's 27 member states see the way Canada conducts its hunt, the world's largest, as inhumane.

The EU's foreign ministers said the a ban was being put in place "in response to concerns about the animal welfare aspects of seal hunting practices."

The ministers said in a statement the ban would be implemented in all EU countries over the next nine months and will be in place before the annual seal hunt off Canada's eastern coast.

The ban was approved without debate at a meeting of the bloc's foreign ministers, although Denmark and Romania abstained from backing the measure, which Ottawa is protesting as an unfair trade restriction. Austria also abstained because it wanted an even stricter ban.

The measure was already adopted by the European Parliament in May.

The import ban will apply to all products and processed goods derived from seals, including their skins — which are used to make fur coats, bags and adorn clothing — as well as meat, oil blubber, organs and seal oil, which is used in some omega-3 pills.

It will exempt products derived from traditional hunts carried out by Inuit in Canada's Arctic, as well as those from Greenland, Alaska and Russia. However, they can only export products to the EU "on a not-for-profit basis."

Canada appealed Sunday to EU countries not to follow through with the ban.

Canadian Trade Minister Stockwell Day and Fisheries Minister Gail Shea appealed to the EU "to reconsider" the trade ban, rejecting European claims that the way the Canadian hunt was conducted was inhumane.

They said in a statement issued in Ottawa that the measure "will serve no purpose other than to damage the livelihood of coastal and northern Canadians and their families." It added that the EU was "misinformed" over Canada's indigenous Inuit community and its traditions.

Canada is pursuing a trade case against the ban at the World Trade Organization in Geneva.
Lesley O'Donnell of the International Fund for Animal Welfare said the ban will save the lives of thousands of seals.

"We expect the commercial seal hunt to continue its inevitable decline until it is wiped out once and for all," she said.

Canada's East Coast seal hunt is the largest in the world, killing an average of 300,000 harp seals annually. The EU bill targeted the Canadian hunt because of the size of the annual slaughter and the way seals are killed — either clubbed or shot with rifles. In the past, they also have been killed with spiked clubs, or hakapiks.

One-third of the world's trade in seal products passes through EU countries. Last year, Canada exported seal products — pelts, meat and oils — worth around euro3.5 million ($5 million U.S.) to the EU.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Cruel Namibia Once Again Allows Massive Seal & Baby Seal Slaughter: Expected to Club Over 90,000 Seals & 85,000 Pups: Videos Show Horror

Like the Canadian baby seal slaughter http://geari.blogspot.com/2009/03/sick-cruel-canada-begins-its-annual.html, this brutal and violent bloodbath has become an annual event in Namibia - http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/07/cruel-namibia-at-it-again-begins-bloody.html.

To see just how cruel and blatantly violent this is, see the following videos. Hard to believe that there are humans out there that can do this; and to do so with such hate. The second video even shows them cutting one open while still alive. Let the videos speak for themselves.






Article:

Namibian seal hunt to go on, 90,000 to be clubbed

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090706/ap_on_re_af/af_namibia_seal_hunt_1

Buzz UpSendSharePrint

By MICHELLE THERIAULT, Associated Press Writer – Mon Jul 6, 11:48 am ET

JOHANNESBURG – Namibia's annual commercial seal hunt will go on despite objections by animal welfare groups, a government official said Monday.

Frans Tsheehama of the Namibian fisheries and marine resources ministry said that the season started on July 1 and will run until Nov. 15.

Hunters are expected to club over 90,000 seals, including 85,000 pups.

The hunt was expected to begin last week, but there was confusion over whether the killings had begun after numerous media reports that a South African-based animal rights activist was in negotiations to halt them.

Namibia is one of only a few remaining countries with a commercial seal harvest. The government argues that the seal population needs to be controlled to protect fish stocks.

However, animal rights activists say the practice is inhumane and outdated.

Seals are hunted for skins, fur and meat, and seal genitals are sold as traditional medicines and aphrodisiacs in Asia.

Activist Francois Hugo of Seal Alert South Africa said last week that he had made a bid to buy out the company that purchases the Namibian seal pelts, effectively halting the hunt.

Hugo said that clubbing an animal to death is cruel, criminal and in defiance of international animal protection laws.

He also challenged the Namibian government's claim that the hunt maintained healthy seal populations, saying that in the past whole colonies had been devastated.

Namibia's seals number about 850,000 and live on a dozen remote, rocky islands off the coast of the sparsely populated southern African country.

The hunt takes place under clandestine circumstances to avoid the glare of publicity — and to avoid upsetting tourists.

The government has said seals consume 900,000 tons of fish each year, more than a third of the fishing industry's catch, and that the cull is needed to protect fisheries. Animal welfare groups counter that most of the seals killed are still-nursing pups.

AJ Cady of the International Fund for Animal Welfare said that the industry is "collapsing" worldwide, citing a recent European Union ban on the import of seal products combined with the global economic downturn. In this year's Canadian harvest, sealers killed less than a third of their quota on weak demand.

"The great question here is who is really buying these things?" Cady said. "The cruelty is so obvious."

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health & Columbia U School of Public Health & 27 Public Health Schools Start Meatless Monday Campaign

The direct link to the website for the Meatless Monday campaign is http://www.meatlessmonday.com/

The fact that it’s well known and respected schools of public health that are behind this shows that vegetarianism isn’t just an animal rights issue; it is a health issue as well. If you look at the website you’ll clearly see that the goal is to help people increase their level of health. And, quite simply, eating a meatless diet, even one day a week, will increase your level of health. As they state at their site:

“Our goal is to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

“Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.”

Here is an excellent video on the project and about the many people who have decided to pledge to go meatless on Mondays.






So check out the site. It also contains recipes and nutritional facts. The direct link to the website for the Meatless Monday campaign is http://www.meatlessmonday.com/

Article:

Here’s an article about the Meatless Monday Campaign

Meatless Mondays: Do Something Good for the Earth and Your Health

http://www.alternet.org/immigration/140978/meatless_mondays:_do_something_good_for_the_earth_and_your_health/

By Kathy Freston, AlterNet. Posted July 6, 2009.

A new campaign is focused on convincing the world not to eat chickens, pigs, and other animals -- just one day per week.

I love a practical solution, especially when it's good all around -- for personal health, the environment, and for living consciously. So when I received an email from Chris Elam, the director of the Meatless Monday campaign -- a project of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Columbia University School of Public Health, in association with twenty-seven other public health schools -- I was thrilled.

The campaign is focused on convincing the world not to eat chickens, pigs, and other animals -- just one day per week (on Mondays, as you may have guessed).

Since it's sponsored by a slew of public health schools, the campaign was set up to promote health, and since I've already written extensively about the fact that eating meat leads to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and lethargy (for example here), I'll skip extended analysis of these facts, other than to say: When Johns Hopkins, Columbia, the American Dietetic Association, and dozens of other health organizations argue that the less meat you eat, the better off you'll be, it's worth listening to them.

Chris wrote to share the fact that Michael Pollan had just argued in favor of the campaign on Oprah, saying, "[w]e don't realize it when we sit down to eat, but that is our most profound engagement in the rest of nature... To the extent that we push meat a little bit to the side and move vegetables to the center of our diet, we're also going to be a lot healthier..." I wasn't surprised, since Pollan's most recent book calls on all of us to eat "mostly plants," and his new movie (Food, Inc.) offers a stomach-turning look at factory farming and slaughterhouses (I highly recommend it).

As an aside on Food, Inc.: The scene that I found most interesting is the one where Joel Salatin, proprietor of Polyface Farm, was slaughtering chickens and talking a mile-a-minute through the process. He was talking about treating the animals with respect, but in the theater where I saw the film, this scene elicited perhaps the most audible shock of the entire movie because you can actually see the animals being slaughtered (contrast this with the secrecy of factory farms and slaughterhouses -- no one is allowed because, as Paul McCartney likes to say, the process would turn everyone vegetarian). Anyway, this scene seemed to shock a lot of people, even though this is poultry slaughter at its most humane. Actually, the scene reminded me of that Sarah Palin interview that she conducted in front of the turkey slaughter; it's worth remembering that most chickens and turkeys have a far more horrific experience in the factory farms that process more than 98% of the birds we eat.

Chris also wanted to share their new video, in which their scientists tell us that if all Americans switched from eating chickens and pigs to eating beans and grains for just one day per week, that would stop as much global warming as if everyone in the U.S. shifted to ultra-efficient Toyota hybrids (which is the weekly equivalent of using 12 billion fewer gallons of gasoline). Of course I have to point out the obvious: If we all stopped eating animals completely and shifted to vegetarian foods, that would save 84 billion gallons of gas per week (and all the troubles that go with that kind of consumption).

I know that some readers will argue that the issue is not the meat industry, but factory farmed meat. But in fact, environmentally, all meat requires exponentially more resources to produce than eating grains and beans, as eloquently discussed in the Audubon Society's magazine a few months back. And all meat contributes to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and so on. Some meat may be "less bad," but according to the science, no meat is good.

And I know that some vegetarians pooh pooh Meatless Monday as not enough. I'm sympathetic to that view, but I think it's unnecessarily strident. For people who think that going totally vegetarian is too challenging, the Meatless Monday campaign offers a gentle entrée into the idea of eating without eating animals. My hope is that people will use the campaign as a stepping stone -- first one meatless day per week, then three, then five, then seven. As we lean into meatless eating -- switching out more and more meat meals for meatless meals -- we end up feeling better, both physically and ethically.

And another point for those who might think that Meatless Monday is not enough: The first family of vegetarianism -- Sir Paul McCartney and his daughters -- recently launched the campaign in the UK. Stella and Mary have been vegetarian since birth, and Paul has been a vegetarian for more than two decades.

For recipes and cooking information, check out the Meatless Monday site. And for tips on making the transition to vegetarian eating, please click here. http://www.meatlessmonday.com/

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cruel China at it Again: Brutally Kills over 36,000 Dogs in City of Hanzhong: Dog Killing Squads Beating Dogs to Death with Sticks and Rocks

Some Burned Alive

I’ll tell you….China just never stops being the cruelest country on Earth. In this ridiculous episode of torture and cruelty, they have allowed the brutal, bloody massacre of ALL dogs in a city because of A FEW cases of rabies. And of course, being China, they make sure the killing is cruel, bloody, painful and merciless via the use of sticks, bats and rocks. As you’ll read below, some are burned alive.

A few articles have been published about this. I have included an email below that I received that has some links that you can follow to take some action. I don’t endorse the group (or any for that matter), but they seem to be the only one doing anything (if they are). Nonetheless, I wanted to bring this to your attention and make sure that everyone still knows that China is the cruelest country on Earth.

For more information on just how cruel China is, also see our article “Crash Course in the Unbelievable Cruelty Behind the Eating of Cats and Dogs in Korea and China: Sick Countries Beyond Ethically Challenged” at http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/03/crash-course-in-unbelievable-cruelty.html

The email below has this link too, but to send an e-mail to the Chinese Ambassador urging China to stop mass dog slaughters like the one in Hanzhong City follow this link: http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw_united_states/get_involved/take_action/take_action_2.php?msource=DR090601001#x

Email I received:

A massive cull in the Chinese city of Hanzhong has claimed the lives of more than 30,000 dogs - and now we need your help to make sure that it never happens again.

To contact the Chinese Ambassador in your country to call for an end to mass slaughters like this and to encourage China to pass legislation that protects all animals, including companion animals follow this link: http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw_united_states/get_involved/take_action/take_action_2.php?msource=DR090601001#x

The local government ordered the mass slaughter of all dogs as the result of a few cases of rabies deaths. Dog killing squads are stalking the streets, mercilessly beating dogs to death with sticks and rocks.

Friendly dogs - even healthy family pets - are being slaughtered right in front of their owners. Can you even begin to imagine how you'd feel if that happened to your dog?

IFAW has pleaded with government officials to stop the killing - and now we turn to you.

Please help us stop these cruel and massive slaughters once and for all.

Horrifying scenes of cruelty

Some of the pictures from culls like these are so horrifying that I can't even show them to you. And I hate having to describe this, but I think you need to know the truth about what's happening.

In one series of pictures, several small and fluffy white dogs - you can just tell they're used to snuggling on the laps of their loving owners - are trapped in a makeshift cage. One by one, the dogs are pulled out with a pair of long metal tongs, and brutally beaten with a stick. And then - even though it appears that some of the dogs may still be alive - they're tossed into a pit to be burned.

I can't even imagine the pain and terror these poor dogs endure when the fire is set.

So many dogs will suffer slow and painful deaths...we must stop this cruelty now!

What we're doing and how you can help

We have received so many messages in the past few days from animal lovers like you inside and outside China - pleading with us to step in and stop the slaughters like the one in Hanzhong City.

I assure you, IFAW is working to end these culls:

* We've already contacted local authorities in Hanzhong City to urge them to end the slaughter. Now you can help by contacting the Chinese Ambassador in your country.
* IFAW is creating an emergency rabies vaccination fund so that we can offer rural communities in China an alternative to mass slaughters like the one in Hanzhong. Please give generously to our emergency rabies vaccination fund.
* We're working with the central government to pass animal welfare legislation in China that will ensure the humane treatment of all animals. IFAW has already helped major cities like Beijing establish dog regulations that mandate humane vaccination and population control.

We CAN stop culls like this

We recently joined with concerned animal lovers in China to stop a similar mass slaughter in the city of Heihe by pointing out that the killing of dogs that have rightful owners is a violation of the basic rights of a citizen - owned dogs and cats are considered the "personal property" of Chinese citizens, and should be protected under China's Constitution.

Plus, it has been proven that rabies can be effectively controlled by a well-managed vaccination program. In fact, a humane vaccination and neuter program in Chennai, India, has dramatically reduced rabies cases there by over 95%.

So we must act now to stop the killing! Please click here- http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw_united_states/get_involved/take_action/take_action_2.php?msource=DR090601001#x to contact the Chinese Ambassador in your country to call for an end to mass slaughters like this and to encourage China to pass legislation that protects all animals, including companion animals.

And then please donate what you can today to help us set up an emergency vaccination fund to help cities in China establish rabies prevention programs, help eliminate these mass dog culls once and for all, and to continue our mission to protect animals around the world from cruelty.

The slaughtered dogs of Hanzhong City deserved a better fate. Please help us ensure that dogs in other communities in China are protected from similar mass killings.

To contact the Chinese Ambassador in your country to call for an end to mass slaughters like this and to encourage China to pass legislation that protects all animals, including companion animals follow this link: http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw_united_states/get_involved/take_action/take_action_2.php?msource=DR090601001#x

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Jane Goodall States that Global Economic Crisis Affecting Chimpanzees and Other Non-Human Primates

So, all primates – human and non-human affected.

Article:

Monkey business hard to sustain in slump, Goodall says

http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE5570UX20090608

SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - Chimpanzees, long under threat from humans encroaching on their habitat, are now facing another risk caused by that same member of the Great Ape family: the global economic crisis, says primatologist Jane Goodall.

Funding to the Jane Goodall Institute, a nonprofit organization that aims to conserve primate habitats and increase awareness of animal welfare activities, has declined by about 10 percent since the financial crisis hit.

"Money that came in last year was less than we had expected," Goodall told Reuters in Singapore while visiting for events related to World Environment Day. "The private donors and some of the foundations pulled back."

The institute, which has an annual budget of $10-11 million which funds its activities in Africa, has had to dig into its endowment fund to keep some of its programs running. Some projects were cut and staff laid off.

Goodall, who rose to fame in the 1960s through her ground-breaking study of chimpanzees in East Africa, said the root cause of most problems was overpopulation and the materialism of most human societies.

"Underlying everything is the sheer number of people on the planet," said 75-year-old Goodall. "We take far, far, far, far more than our fair share of these precious natural resources."
"We have to help people understand that enough is enough. We have so much more than we need, we have a throwaway society."

Such strident demands on the environment have seen previously forested areas being taken over by humans for housing, agriculture and business, leading to a dwindling population of chimpanzees and other animals in the wild.

Goodall estimates there are currently there are about 300,000 chimpanzees spread across 21 nations in Africa, down from the 1-2 million in 1960.

The animal rights activist, who fulfilled her childhood dream to live in the wild and write books, spends 300 days a year on the road using her personal story and fame to inspire youth to become more environmentally responsible.

"Root & Shoots," a youth organization she started with 12 high-school students in Tanzania in 1991, now involves people from pre-schoolers to university students and prisoners across 111 countries. It aims to raise awareness about the planet.

"People understand a lot more, but it doesn't mean they always change their behavior though," Goodall said. "The last hurdle is to get people not only to understand, but take action. The bigger problem is that again, again and again that people honestly cannot believe that what they do makes a difference."

Taiwan will Enact Strict law on Labeling Vegetarian Food: New Categories will Indicate if Food is Fully Vegan

Very incredible movement. Who would have guessed that Taiwan would lead the way. Read on below to see just how far this important act is going. Truth in labeling move that we can only hope other countries follow.

Article:

Taiwan to enact world's strictest law on veggie food labeling

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/272296,taiwan-to-enact-worlds-strictest-law-on-veggie-food-labeling.html

Taipei - Taiwan is to enact the world's strictest law on labeling vegetarian foodat the request of Buddhists and people who eat vegetarian for health reasons, the health ministry said Monday. Starting from July 1, Taiwan foodmanufacturers must use five categories, up from the current two, to identify the content of vegetarian food. Violators will be fined from 40,000 to 200,000 Taiwan dollars (1,200-6,000 US dollars), the Department of Health said.

Currently the labelling only indicates whether food is pure vegetarian or contains no meat but egg and milk. Now added are categories separating egg and milk as well as vegan.

Pure vegetarian refers to food which does not contain meat, egg, milk or plants including onion, garlic or leek, which are spicy and considered unclean and bad for meditation. They are banned for strict Buddhist practitioners. Vegan, on the other hand, may contain the "unclean" vegetables.

The new rule also bans food manufacturers from labelling food as vegetarian if it is fermented - like chilly sauce - and its alcohol content exceeds 8 per cent.

"We request clear labeling of vegetarian food to meet the needs of the growing number of vegetarian food users of about 2 million, and to help religious practitioners not break food taboos," health department official Hsu Ching-hsin said.

Most Taiwan food manufacturers support the government's labelling requirements, but find it difficult to implement them.

"We will comply with the rule, but we are afraid that it could be confusing to consumers if we print too much information on the food packages," Wu Hsu-hui, a spokeswoman for Uni-President Enterprises Corp, Taiwan's largest food conglomerate told the German Press Agency dpa.

But Pasadena Bakery, which sells more than 100 kinds of cakes and bread in three outlets in Kaohsiung, south Taiwan, sees no difficulty in following the new rule.

"We are already using the pure veggie and egg/milk veggie labels. It is easy for us for us to expand that to five labels," Chien Su-ling, the bakery's brand name manager, said.

Tebala Shrine Circus Accused of Mistreatment of Elephants

Another circus sticking to the cruel and antiquated use of Elephants.

Article:

PETA Calls for Seizure of Elephants at Loves Park Circus

http://www.wifr.com/news/headlines/47169197.html

Elephants are the iconic symbol of circus' around the world, but animal rights activists are calling for the seizure of three of them being used in a circus right here in the stateline. 23 News Reporter Chris Norman takes us under the big top with a look at this creature controversy.

Wide eyed excitement at the Tebala Shrine Circus, tainted by allegations of animal mistreatment. PETA, or people for the ethical treatment of animals, says three elephants, one seen here lost a combined 18-hundred pounds, just in the last year.

"These elephants are dragged around the country in over heated trailers for most of the year instead of walking up to thirty miles a day free of chains with their extended family in their native homeland," said RaeLeann Smith, PETA Circus amd Government Specialist.

Hamid Circus brought the elephants to the Indoor Sports Center. Its VP James Hamid Jr. says he and other circus owners hear these allegations all of the time. He denies PETA's claims and says there's nothing wrong with how his elephants are treated.

"There are certain people out there that don't do the right thing, and it's up to the producers to go out and find people who are following the letter of the law and treating their animals correctly, everyone on our show we feel does that," Hamid said. Hamid says he stays up to date with the US department of agriculture. An inspector was actually just out on Sunday. But PETA wants the government to step in now.

"We're hoping the USDA will act swiftly to ensure that these animals are pulled off the road and receiving adequate vet care before it's too late for them, " Smith said.
Hamid asks us to look at the animals, and judge for ourselves.
In its history the USDA has only confiscated two elephants. Over the weekend about 10,000 people attended the shows..

Biomedical CO Bioreliance Corp.Cited - 18 Violations of The Animal Welfare Act: Animals Regaining Consciousness in Refrigeration Unit for Carcasses

Includes Animals Regaining Consciousness While in a Refrigeration Unit for Storing Carcasses

More disturbing proof of the reality behind the doors of organizations that engage in vivisection or animal testing. It’s bad enough to be tortured, but then to wake up in a refrigerator full of carcasses and then die of freezing. Unacceptable.

Article:

MD Research Firm Accused of Lab Animal Misuse

http://wamu.org/news/

June 08, 2009 - An animal rights group says a leading figure in Maryland's biomedical industry, the BioReliance Corp., has been cited for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. The charge includes up to 18 instances in which seemingly euthanized animals regained consciousness while inside a refrigeration unit meant for storing carcasses. Research facilities like BioReliance come under regular inspections by the USDA. But animal welfare groups like PETA say the government office is doing little more than reporting violations when they occur and that inspections are too often based on information voluntarily reported by the labs themselves.

Dr Broom of Cambridge University Veterinary School on Cognitive Ability of Pigs: Also, Summary of Recent Laws Affecting Pigs in Factory Farms

Great article. Here are just a couple of quotes from below that provide a great summary of this issue:

“They have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more so than dogs – and certainly three-year-olds.”

“I wonder if any of these people would dare keep their beloved companion Fido in the same conditions they deem perfectly acceptable for pigs?

Article:

Getting pig cruelty into the closet

http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/opinion/2481992/Getting-pig-cruelty-into-the-closet

About pigs, Dr Donald Broom of the Cambridge University Veterinary School says: “They have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more so than dogs – and certainly three-year-olds.”

So, what would you think of a neighbour who kept their three-year-old in a steel crate just a few centimetres bigger than the child was?

From the Stuff website: “I wonder if any of these people would dare keep their beloved companion Fido in the same conditions they deem perfectly acceptable for pigs?

“How do these people look at themselves in the mirror knowing they are deceiving the public and forcing such intelligent and social animals into a life so miserable I can hardly begin to imagine?

“They should try it out – go lock themselves in a closet. It might just make this world a better place.”

Some other facts that may help you if you fear that the bacon and egg argument about cruel confinement of pigs and poultry is simply an issue driven by wild-eyed, unworldly eccentrics in darned woolly jumpers and sandals. Plus someone you may rate as an odd columnist.

On May 12, the state of Maine passed a law banning gestation stalls and veal crates. Animals there will have to have enough room to stand up, extend their limbs and turn around freely, for the majority of the day. The law takes effect on January 1, 2011. A happier new year, indeed.

Colorado recently passed a law to phase out veal crates and pig gestation cages on the recommendation of what was described as an unlikely coalition of Colorado-based animal agriculture organisations and the Humane Society of the United States.

As long ago as 2002, Florida banned intensive caging of pigs in gestation crates – the first such measure in the US.

In 2006 Arizona overwhelmingly outlawed cruel confinement of breeding pigs as well as veal calves.
In June 2007, Oregon banned pigs in gestation crates.

Its act says: “A person shall not tether or confine any pig on a farm for all or the majority of the day in a manner that prevents such animal from lying down and fully extending its limbs or turning around freely.”

At that time, the US Humane Society, the largest animal protection organisation in the US – with more than 10 million supporters – said: “Even animals raised for food deserve humane treatment. Gestation crates are notoriously abusive.”

Tethering is banned entirely in the European Union and at least three countries, Sweden among them, have already stopped the use of gestation crates altogether.

That ban will effectively reach the rest of the EU by 2013 when all member countries will have phased out gestation crates entirely.

The United States’ largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods, and Canada’s largest pork producer, Maple Leaf Foods, have both announced they will begin phasing out gestation crates in their pork production.

Burger King and restaurant chain Wolfgang Puck have also said they are moving away from pork producers who use them.

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