tagged w/ humane education
PLEASE add your names to the "Animal Rights = Veganism" group and start contributing and commenting and helping make more and more humans aware of what's going on, and what each and every human can do to make life good and safe and happy for all sentient beings.
I see 62 "members" of the Veganism group, but only 13 in the Animal Rights = Veganism group. Of course, I hate groups and joining, and all that kind of stuff but, at the same time, since Current HAS groups, we need to make better use of them to speak our minds, share important information, ask for help, get petitions signed, and ever and ever so much more.
PLEASE add your names to the... more
KNBC News | Los Angeles...
No More Elephant Rides at OC Fair.
The rides were part of the fair for 25 years, and were stopped with a 6 to 1 vote.
By Samantha Tata
| Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 | Updated 6:25 PM PDT
Elephant Rides Nixed from OC Fair
Endangered Asian elephants were at the heart of the board's decision to nix elephant rides at the OC Fairgrounds.
Something big will be missing from the OC Fair this summer. Elephant rides, which have been part of the fair for 25 years, have been nixed.
The fair board voted 6 to 1 to get rid of the rides, which have drawn the ire of veterinarians, animal rights groups and elephant experts.
The private company Have Trunk Will Travel lost their contract with the fair after being notified 10 days ago that they were on the chopping block.
"It didn't make a bit of sense to me," said Kari Johnson.
Johnson said liability concerns were blamed for why she and her husband's company were let go from the fair after more than two decades.
"I think a lot of people are going to be surprised when they learn about this," said Johnson, who discovered from a blog that liability would play an role in Thursday's hearing.
She doubted the legitimacy of those fears, namely because her team of 6 elephants had never posed any problems on the road and the company has more insurance than the fair requires.
Still, animal rights concerns seemed to seep into the decision to stop the rides.
A television special chronicling elephant behavior inspired OC Fair board director Nick Berardino to examine how his own company was handling the endangered species, he said.
"I remember last year, right after I was appointed to the fair board, the fair had elephant rides and there were protesters there," he said. "So, I began to look into it."
That's when he suggested the board discontinue the rides, which cost about $7 per person and lasted for several minutes in a 50 by 100 foot grass enclosure.
Johnson's company would typically supply the fair with two to three elephants, and stay there for the five days a week that it operated before heading back to their Perris ranch.
"It was a month-long gig, and quite a chunk of income for us," Johnson said, adding that the company is privately funded and does not receive donations or grants.
The large audience, which spilled into the lobby, at Thursday’s board meeting was split on the issue.
Citing new research into how elephants react in captivity, advocates against elephant rides said using fear and "extreme human dominance" with such a large animal is unnatural and insensitive.
While others, including commercial animal trainers and singlular "nay" voter David Ellis, defended the rides by citing an incident-free history at OC Fair, coupled with a educational and sentimental value was proof enough to keep the attraction.
"We love animals elephants, and that's what we do," Johnson said, adding that Have Trunk Will Travel operates their own breeding program and is heavily involved in elephant conservation and research.
Supporters' "prime motivating factor is: we've had them for 25 years and we've never had an incident," Berardino said. "Now, given our action, we guarantee we will never have an incident."
More than 60 community members were each allotted two minutes to make their case in front of a packed board room.
Johnson also two minutes and was not asked questions by the board. She met with Berardino prior to the meeting, but suspects the rest of the board made up their minds beforehand.
"I don't think we could've done anything to please them," she said. Her husband, the company's co-founder and co-owner, was unable to make the meeting due to short notice.
Notable voices weighed in on the contested rides, including that of "The Price is Right Host"-turned-PETA supporter Bob Barker, who sent a letter to the board opposing the use of endangered Asian elephants for entertainment.
"Offering [elephants] for rides send the wrong message about how we treat our planet's rare and vanishing species," Barker wrote.
Have Trunks Will Travel is no stranger to the backlash that comes with keeping elephants in captivity. They had a similar issue at the San Diego County Fair.
That fair decided to keep the rides and revisit their liability worries in 2014, when new guidelines set by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) will go into affect barring trainers and elephants from sharing space.
Bererdino cited those restrictions as part of his decision, but Johnson said she's not sure why the blanket rule would apply to them.
AZA "continuously recertifies us, even though we offer rides, which is in conflict with their rules against elephant rides at zoos," she said. "We're not a zoo. ... We have a higher degree of training than most zoos can provide.
"I didn't quite get it."
Thursday's decision makes the fair the second Orange County entity in three months to end elephant rides.
The Santa Ana Zoo put an end to them last December following allegations of elephant abuse, which were not confirmed by a city investigation.
.KNBC News | Los Angeles...
No More Elephant Rides at OC Fair.
The rides... more
International Organization for the Abolition of Animal Slavery
31 December 2011
Make it your New Year's resolution to Help Animals!
Each year Animal Equality carries out many vegan outreach activities and investigations in defence of animals. With this work we aim to touch peoples’ hearts, in the hope that they will discover a lost empathy towards non-human animals. We aim to show them that it is easy to create a world without animal exploitation.
Much impassioned work was carried out during 2011, and it would not have been possible without the dedication of new volunteers and supporters just like you.
Read ahead to see how we carried out activism for animal rights in the UK and elsewhere in Europe throughout the year.
2011: a year growing up!
We believe that human education is the first step to equality, and a truly kind world. During 2011, we carried out dozens of events and info-stalls in the UK.
Here are some examples of our work:
• In the UK alone, during our Demonstrations promoting veganism and free vegan food giveaways, we handed out 12,000 vegan leaflets.
• We launched a brand new website called ChooseVeganism.org, Thanks to the website’s new video, 'A message of respect', we received more than 11,000 visitors in a few days.
• Hundreds of vegan outreach events were carried out in Spain, Poland, UK and Venezuela, more four undercover investigations.
Our dedication did not stop in these countries; in India we started to work to convince the Indian Government to prevent elephant deaths on railway tracks.
Another important event during 2011, was the creation of a new branch of Animal Equality in Italy, based in Rome!
International Animal Rights Day 2011:
A fantastic celebration of the International Animal Rights Day 2011, marked this year as being such a success in terms of recruiting new activists and achieving excellent worldwide media coverage on our activities. A brief summary of our events to mark this important day are as follows:
• LONDON (UK): Crime scenes featuring the outlines of the victims of the speciesism calling on passers-by to adopt a vegan lifestyle.
Photo gallery: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjxhi5Na
• MADRID (Spain): 400 activists gathered to show 400 corpses of dead animals, and demand justice for the billions of animals who continue to die each year as victims of speciesism.
Photo gallery: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjxgLviM
• ROME (Italy): For six hours, the Pincio's square was covered with 100 crosses, each one accompanied by a photo of an animal who had been exploited and/or killed for human consumption.
Photo gallery: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjxhWfTD
Behind the closed doors of the animal exploitation centers, Animal Equality's Investigation Team with hidden cameras exposed the reality and misery of animals' lives. With our investigation work, we aim to change society into one that respects animals by promoting a vegan lifestyle.
Some examples of our investigation work are as follows:
• We recording of the brutal killing of minks on one of the biggest fur farms in Spain.
• We carried out a unique and intensive undercover investigation into the most important zoos in Spain.
- Visit the website: Spanishzoos.org
• We infiltrated Tordesillas, one of the biggest bullfighting traditions in Spain.
• We documented the gruesome ritual slaughter of 6.000 lambs for the ‘Feast of Sacrifice’ in Melilla, Spain.
International Organization for the Abolition of Animal Slavery... more
Dead Cow Walking: The Case Against Born-Again Carnivorism
By Marc Bekoff
Dec 27 2011, 8:53 AM ET 614
Pigs, chickens, and other animals raised for food are sentient beings with rich emotional lives. They feel everything from joy to grief.
"Eating Animals," by Nicolette Hahn Niman, a livestock rancher, with help from deer hunter Tovar Cerulli and butcher Joshua Applestone, caught my eye because, at first, I thought this essay was authored by Jonathan Safran Foer, who wrote a best-selling book with the same title. While Niman and her friends do rightly argue against consuming factory-farmed animals -- who live utterly horrible lives from the time that they're born to the time that they're transported to slaughterhouses and barbarically killed -- these three born-again carnivores, all former vegetarians or vegans, now proudly eat animals and think that it's just fine to do so. They gloss over the fact that even if the animals they eat are "humanely" raised and slaughtered, an arguable claim, they're still taking a life. These animals are merely a means to an end: a tasty meal.
The defensive and apologetic tone of this essay also caught my eye, as did the conveniently utilitarian framework of the argument. The animals they eat were raised simply to become meals because Niman and others choose to eat meat. I like to say that whom we choose to eat is a moral question, and just because these three now choose to eat animals doesn't mean that other people should make the same choice. Note that I wrote "whom" we eat, not "what." Cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals raised for food are sentient beings who have rich emotional lives. They can feel everything from sheer joy to deep grief. They can also suffer enduring pain and misery, and they don't deserve to have the good and happy lives provided by Niman and others ended early just so that their flesh can wind up on what really is a platter of death.
Wolves, lions, and cougars are not moral agents and can't be held accountable for their actions. But most humans know what they're doing and are responsible for their choices.
Cows, for example, are very intelligent. They worry over what they don't understand and have been shown to experience "eureka" moments when they solve a puzzle, such as when they figure out how to open a particularly difficult gate. Cows communicate by staring, and it's likely that we don't fully understand their very subtle forms of communication. They also form close and enduring relationships with family members and friends and don't like to have their families and social networks disrupted. Chickens are also emotional beings, and detailed scientific research has shown that they empathize with the pain of other chickens.
Raising happy animals just so that they can be killed is really an egregious double cross. The "raise them, love them, and then kill them" line of reasoning doesn't have a meaningful ring of compassion. And this isn't mercy killing (euthanasia) performed because these animals need to be put out of their pain. No, these healthy and happy animals are slaughtered, and if you dare to look into their eyes, you know that they're suffering. If you wouldn't treat a dog like this, then you shouldn't treat a cow, a pig, or any other animal in this way.
As a field biologist who studies animal behavior, I feel that the authors' appeal to what happens in the natural world -- "life feeds on life" -- is an illogical justification for their food choices. I've seen thousands of predatory encounters. I cringe when I see them, but I would never interfere. Wild predators, unlike us, have no choice about whom or what they eat. They couldn't survive if they didn't eat other animals. And indeed, many animals are vegetarians, including non-human primates, who eat other animals only on very rare occasions.
Jessica Pierce and I wrote about how appeals to nature are misleading and illogical in our book Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals. We argued that wolves, lions, and cougars, for example, are not moral agents and can't be held accountable for their actions. They don't know right from wrong. On the other hand, most humans do know what they're doing and are responsible for their choices. When it comes down to whose flesh winds up in our mouths, we can make choices, and in my view, eating animals is wrong and unnecessary, even when they are "humanely" raised and slaughtered. Let me add a caveat here because, as a world traveler, I do know that many people do not have the luxury of making a choice about their meals and must eat whatever is available to them. However, those who do have that luxury can easily eat an animal-free diet. And we can work to show others that a vegetarian or vegan diet can be very economical and healthy.
Niman and her friends also note that vegetarian and vegan diets have "never really taken hold." So what? This hardly means that we shouldn't try to do the right thing. They write, "The vast majority of Americans who do try vegetarianism or veganism -- about three-quarters of them -- return to eating meat. Rather than urging people to consume only plants, doesn't it make more sense to encourage them to eat an omnivorous diet that is healthy, ethical, and ecologically sound?" No, it doesn't. What it means is that these people should try harder and not give up just because it might seem difficult to change their meal plans. Perhaps they just need more time and encouragement from other vegetarians who can show them how easy it is to stop eating animals.
It's easy to add more compassion to the world and to expand our compassion footprint. Excuses such as "Oh, I know they suffer, but don't tell me because I love my burger" add cruelty to the world, even if the animals people are eating weren't raised on factory farms and killed in slaughterhouses. You're eating a dead animal who really did care about what happened to him or her. When I ask people how they can dismiss the fact that an animal was killed for their pleasure, they usually fumble here and there and offer no meaningful answer. When I ask them if they'd eat a dog, they look at me with incredulity and emphatically say, "No!" When I ask them why they wouldn't eat a dog, they can't really tell me, offering statements laden with dismissive phrases, such as "Oh, you know...." Because I often travel to China to help in the rehabilitation of Asiatic moon bears who have been rescued from the bear-bile industry, people sometimes ask me, "How can you go there? Isn't that where they eat dogs and cats?" I simply say, "Yes, it is, and I'm from America, where they eat cows and pigs, who are no less sentient and emotional beings." Animals really are very much like us.
No matter how humanely raised they are, the lives of animals raised for food can be cashed out simply as "dead cow/pig/chicken walking." Whom we choose to eat is a matter of life and death. I think of the animals' manifesto as "Leave us alone. Don't bring us into the world if you're just going to kill us to satisfy your tastes."
Image: Kurt De Bruyn
Dead Cow Walking: The Case Against Born-Again Carnivorism... more
Mercy For Animals....
Butterball has become synonymous with turkey. But how do the millions of turkeys who end up in the grocery store, or served at restaurants, under the Butterball brand, really live and die?
A new Mercy For Animals undercover investigation reveals the truth: extreme cruelty and violence is the harsh reality for birds on Butterball's factory farms.
Between November and December of 2011, an MFA undercover investigator documented a pattern of shocking abuse and neglect at a Butterball turkey semen collection facility in Shannon, North Carolina.
Hidden-camera footage taken at Butterball reveals:
Workers violently kicking and stomping on birds, dragging them by their fragile wings and necks, and maliciously throwing turkeys onto the ground or into transport trucks in full view of company management;
Employees bashing in the heads of live birds with metal bars, leaving many to slowly suffer and die from their injuries;
Turkeys covered in flies, living in their own waste, with some unable to access food or water and suffering from severe feather loss
Birds suffering from serious untreated illnesses and injuries, including open sores, infections, rotting eyes, and broken bones; and
Severely injured turkeys, unable to stand up or walk, left to die without any veterinary care, because treating sick or injured birds was too costly and time consuming, as the farm manager explained to MFA's investigator.
After viewing the undercover footage, Dr. Sara Shields, research scientist, poultry specialist and consultant in animal welfare, said, "Turkeys are fully capable of feeling pain, fear, stress and of suffering, and the way they are treated in the video is clearly abusive."
Dr. Debra Teachout, a practicing veterinarian with experience in farmed-animal welfare, agrees, stating, "The birds are not living a life remotely worth living. Their world is full of fear, distress, pain, injury and illness as witnessed by this video. A culture of blatant and severe animal mistreatment has been allowed to flourish unchecked, and for that reason, this facility should be shut down immediately."
Following the investigation, MFA immediately went to law enforcement with extensive video footage and a detailed legal complaint outlining the routine violence and cruelty documented by the investigator at this Butterball facility. On Thursday, December 29, state law enforcement officials obtained a warrant and raided the facility on grounds of cruelty to animals.
Unfortunately, the lives of turkeys in Butterball's factory farms are short, brutal and filled with fear, violence and prolonged suffering. While wild turkeys are sleek, agile and able to fly, Butterball's turkeys have been selectively bred to grow so large, so quickly, that many of them suffer from painful bone defects, hip joint lesions, crippling foot and leg deformities, and fatal heart attacks.
This genetic manipulation creates birds that are so large they cannot even reproduce naturally, meaning that artificial semen collection and insemination have become the sole means of turkey reproduction at Butterball facilities.
Even though domestic turkeys have been genetically manipulated for enormous growth, these birds still retain their gentle, inquisitive and social natures. Oregon State University poultry scientist Dr. Tom Savage says that turkeys are "smart animals with personality and character, and keen awareness of their surroundings." In fact, animal behaviorists, veterinarians, and scientists now agree that turkeys are sensitive and intelligent animals with their own unique personalities, much like the dogs and cats we all know and love.
While MFA works to expose and end animal abuse at Butterball and other giants of the meat, dairy and egg industry, consumers can help prevent the needless suffering of turkeys and other animals by adopting a compassionate vegan diet.
Click here to view undercover video:
Mercy For Animals....
Butterball has become... more
CBS News US...
December 6, 2011 4:38 PM
Kittens discarded in cat food bag rescued by dog
PHOTO: Reagan, the dog who saved the day by rescuing two kittens from a discarded cat food bag (WHOTV)
Two kittens who were thrown mercilessly into a a bag and then dumped in the middle of the road are now available for adoption from and Iowa rescue group But if it weren't for the heroic actions of dog named Regan, they probably would not have survived.
WHOTV reports that the two kittens, named Tipper and Skipper, were sealed in a Meow Mix bag with the rest of the litter, and then left in the street. The bag had been run over by a vehicle, killing some of the kittens and making it difficult to tell exactly how many cats were inside. Somehow, Tipper and Skipper survived. "It was not a pretty sight," Linda Blakely from Iowa's Raccoon Valley Animal Sanctuary said.
That's when Reagan stepped in. He grabbed the bag, and carried it home. He didn't stop whining until his owner opened the bag. Covered in the blood and remains of the kittens who were killed, she found two seriously injured survivors.
"The instinct of the dog was to nurture and not kill the kittens. With all the blood some dogs would have responded to the scent. Reagan the dog is a hero," Blakely said.
Tipper and Skipper were traumatized and weak from the experience, and had to be fed with a bottle every two hours. They have recovered, and are now available for adoption. Blakely believed their their survival is proof that there is always a way to make things right, and wanted to remind pet owners that there's always a safe method to finding a new home for pets if you are unable to take care of them.
.CBS News US...
December 6, 2011 4:38 PM
Kittens discarded in cat food... more
The Guardian UK...
Father who set up anti-gay-bullying campaign after son's suicide found dead
Roger Crouch's 15-year-old son Dominic leapt off a roof amid rumours he was gay after apparently kissing a boy for a dare
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 1 December 2011 15.43 EST
PHOTO: Roger Crouch with his son Dominic, taken from the Facebook anti-bullying website.
A father who campaigned against homophobic bullying after his son killed himself amid rumours that he was gay has been found dead.
Earlier this month Roger Crouch, 55, who launched a Facebook campaign after 15-year-old Dominic leapt off a roof after apparently kissing a boy for a dare, was named "hero of the year" by the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity Stonewall, beating the likes of Lady Gaga and Joan Armatrading.
He was pronounced dead after Gloucestershire police went to his home in Gretton, near Cheltenham, on Monday following "concerns for the welfare of a man at the address".
A police spokesperson said on Thursday that they were not treating his death as suspicious and that the coroner had been informed.
Crouch, who was clerk of Stow-on-the-Wold town council in the Cotswolds, was also a patron for Diversity Role Models, a charity campaigning against homophobic bullying. He lobbied schools to ensure anti-bullying policies are used and argued young people should be taught coping strategies, and visited the House of Commons to tell MPs what they could do about bullying.
Crouch's wife, Paola, wrote of her and daughter Giulia's heartbreak on the Facebook group she and Crouch created. She posted: "The changes you have started for young people everywhere, the work you have done against bullying, will remain as a towering monument to you."
Dominic leapt from the roof of a six-storey building near his private school, St Edwards in Cheltenham, in May last year. The inquest into his death heard that there had been rumours he might be gay after he was said to have kissed a boy during a spin-the-bottle game.
The inquest recorded a verdict of suicide, and his son's death prompted Crouch to begin his campaign against bullying.
Crouch said at the time: "It is clear that the banter and rumours were based on Dom's alleged sexuality. Some maintain that mystery still surrounds Dominic's death. There's no real mystery around why Dom was driven to take his own life.
"He was desperate that his happiness after the residential trip was punctured by rumours and being the butt of jokes. Over a single morning he felt he went from hero to zero. The real tragedy is not just that he died. It's that his death was preventable."
After receiving the Stonewall award last month, Crouch said: "I see this as an award for Dom. By choosing us for this award you've also chosen to take a stand alongside all the young people whose lives have been ended by bullying.
"We are parents who loved our son. We stood by him in life and we stand by him in death."
A spokesman for Stonewall said: "His tireless campaigning against bullying following the death of his son was an inspiration."
Joanne Dunning, of the Lesbian and Gay Foundation, said: "It seemed like he was only just getting the recognition he deserved for his anti-bullying work."
.The Guardian UK...
Father who set up anti-gay-bullying campaign after... more
Europe's first vegan supermarket opens in Dortmund
Photo: Forget beer and bratwurst, Dortmund now houses Europe's only all-vegan supermarket. Offering chocolates, fake tuna and even dog food, the store is hoping to cash in on a small but rapidly growing market.
Renowned for its mining industry and blue-collar attitude, Dortmund is an unlikely choice for Europe's first vegan supermarket.
"If someone opens a supermarket that has no animal products in them, that seems crazy," said animal ethicist and store owner Ralf Kalkowski. "But people are celebrating."
Vegilicious, which opened on February 26, occupies over 100 square meters in the city-centre, technically making it the only vegan supermarket in Europe.
Using soy, spices, and oils to supplement traditional animal-based ingredients, the shelves are stacked with over 1500 products. Vegilicious offers chocolate bars, cereals, and even meat imitations, like fake chicken wings, which use cane sugar sticks to serve as 'bones.'
"People say they can't live without cheese, but we've got 30 different cheese alternatives," said Kalkowski, who co-owns Vegilicious with wife Kim. "You can have anything you think you might be missing, so there's no need to eat animal products anymore."
Starting with a café and online shop, the Kalkowski's and their 16 staff have so far maintained a customer flow of 120-150 people per day. They have even managed to attract non-human clients, selling vegan dog- and cat food.
"It's ridiculous if you rescue one animal, but feed them with another dead animal," he said.
Chickens are often artificially inseminated to produce large quantities of eggsWhat is veganism?
Vegans abstain from foods containing any animal products, including egg, honey and milk. This differs from vegetarians, who only renounce meat.
"Vegans believe animals should be left alone, it's not just about avoiding cruelty", said Amanda Baker, from the Vegan Society UK. "If animals are farmed, you have to take away their freedom."
Baker told Deutsche Welle that many male animals are killed at birth because they cannot reproduce, while females are exploited for artificial breeding, which dramatically decreases their life expectancy.
"For example, the dairy industry and the meat industry are the same industry. You can't separate one from the other," she said.
Aside from animal ethics, some turn to veganism to stem environmental problems. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector is responsible for 18% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, as well as being a major cause of deforestation and water pollution.
Veganism can also reap health benefits, as high meat consumption has been linked to cardio-vascular diseases, which are responsible for 49% of European deaths annually.
Kalkowski explained that many older customers have shopped at Vegilicious for health reasons as his products are cholesterol free.
Veganism has been stigmatized as expensive and excessive and vegans are often regarded as extremists for going beyond vegetarianism, according to Kalkowski, who laments the reactions of some meat-eaters to the opening of Vegilicious.
He said that when his supermarket was first mentioned in the press, the paper was forced to remove online comments inciting a pro-meat flash mob before his store.
He thinks these prejudices are based on myths, of which the biggest is the assumption that a meatless diet deprives the body of vital nutrients.
"You can get all necessary nutrients from a plant based diet, except for vitamin B12," Kalkowski explained, "and that's one thing we supplement with a product from the UK."
Importing products from the UK, US and even Australia is common, but a significant portion of vegan merchandise is produced locally, according to Germany's biggest Vegan Wholesaler, AVE.
AVE owner Tobias Graf believes veganism's popularity is expanding, not least because his business is booming.
"In the last few years a lot of new products were established, produced and discovered," he said. "We've personally grown year by year, 100% for the past three years."
It is not only vegans who are catching onto the craze, "No, I'm not vegan," one Vegilicious shopper explained. "I have never tried real vegan food. I think it's good so I can now try."
Ralf Kalkowski hopes his supermarket will entice more people to buy animal-free food, but the question remains - how do vegan products truly taste?
"It even tastes better," he said, "because you have a good conscience."
Author: Hannah Wandel
Editor: Nathan WitkopEurope's first vegan supermarket opens in Dortmund
Photo: Forget beer and... more
New Animal Cruelty Penalties Now Law
By 250 News
Sunday, June 05, 2011 05:08 AM
Prince George, B.C. The changes that were made to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in B.C. are now law.
The new rules mean B.C. has the toughest animal cruelty penalties in the country.
The changes provide for:
Increased penalties for animal cruelty to fines up to $75,000 and jail terms of up to two years.
Extension limitation period for offences under the act from six months to three years.
Greater accountability for owners, companies and others responsible for animals to protect their animals from distress.
New ability for government to set standards pertaining to the use, care and protection of animals - including sled dogs.
The legislation will also make it a provincial offence to harm or attempt to harm a law enforcement animal. Currently, police in British Columbia use both horses and dogs to assist in law enforcement purposes, such as crowd control, offender apprehension, search and rescue and drug/explosive detection.
The amendments to the act are a result of recommendations made by the provincially led Sled Dog Task Force in April of this year The amendments received royal ascent on Friday.Opinion 250...
New Animal Cruelty Penalties Now Law
By 250 News
Sunday, June... more
Former Doraville Mayor's Son Faces Animal Cruelty, Child Abuse Charges
Updated: Friday, 03 Jun 2011, 6:23 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 03 Jun 2011, 5:32 PM EDT
By MYFOXATLANTA STAFF/myfoxatlanta
DORAVILLE, Ga. - The son of a former metro Atlanta area mayor is facing child abuse and animal cruelty charges. Investigators say John David Norman, who is the son of former Doraville Mayor Jesse Norman, was arrested Thursday, but few details were given about what they found inside his home that led to the arrest.
John David Norman is charged with cruelty to animals, bestiality, and sexual exploitation of children. He was being held Friday on $110,000 cash bond. A judge also issued a temporary protection order for Norman to stay away from children under 18, as well as all animals and livestock.
Investigators removed boxes of evidence from Norman's home on Thursday. Little information was released about what was found in the home, or about the charges.
Neighbors told FOX 5 they’re shocked to hear of the charges.MyFox Atlanta...
Former Doraville Mayor's Son Faces Animal Cruelty,... more
Vinnie Vincent Denies Animal Abuse (A Top Story)
On Thursday Vinnie Vincent Denies Animal Abuse was a top story. Here is the recap:
(Rock News Desk)
Former Kiss guitarist Vinnie Vincent has slammed claims of animal cruelty following his arrest last month on suspicion of assault.
The 58-year-old says four dead dogs were found on his property because he hadn't had a chance to bury them. He explains he's spent years providing shelter to any and all animals he found who needed it, and he'd never be violent towards his "babies."
But he doesn't discuss the aggravated assault charges pressed after police believed he'd attacked his wife and dragged her through broken glass. Vincent, real name Cusano, says: "My dogs and cats have been, are and will be the most important thing in my whole life. I love them more than words can say – I look at them as 'perfect little people' that I believe God gifted to us to help comfort us through our lives, which always seem to be filled with pain in one way or another
June 2, 2011
Vincent’s tragic pet heartbreak
Ex-Kiss axeman Vinnie slams reports of animal cruelty circulated after his arrest – but won’t discuss his human cruelty charges
Attack: Vincent, real name Cusano
Former Kiss guitarist Vinnie Vincent has slammed claims of animal cruelty following his arrest last month on suspicion of assault.
The 58-year-old says four dead dogs were found on his property because he hadn’t had a chance to bury them. He explains he’s spent years providing shelter to any and all animals he found who needed it, and he’d never be violent towards his “babies.”
But he doesn’t discuss the aggravated assault charges pressed after police believed he’d attacked his wife and dragged her through broken glass.
Vincent, real name Cusano, says: “My dogs and cats have been, are and will be the most important thing in my whole life. I love them more than words can say – I look at them as ‘perfect little people’ that I believe God gifted to us to help comfort us through our lives, which always seem to be filled with pain in one way or another.
“I have 20 dogs rescued since 1999 from unspeakable abuse. I never turned my back if a dog or cat needed a loving home. Each one of them is spoiled rotten: great food, love, comfort, care and shelter. They sit wish me when I watch videos or when I play my guitar – the sound seems to fascinate them.
“I would never harm any animal – they are God’s most beautiful and innocent of creations. I’m a vegetarian because of my respect for all animals.”
He explains his big and small dogs are fenced off from each other for safety, but the larger animals managed to break free and killed three of the smaller ones before he could stop them.
“I was shattered – too devastated for words,” Vincent says. “I will never get over it and will always live with a pain greater than anything I will ever know. I wrapped them each in blankets and laid them to rest in ‘caskets’ where I made a cross and wrote the words to Danny Boy on each.
“The weather had been pretty bad here for a while. An excavator was to come to the property to dig up the ground so I could give them a proper burial when this terrible thing happened.”
The “terrible thing” took place on May 21. Deputy Joseph May of Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee told Rock News Desk how Vincent’s wife Diane Cusano appealed for help after leaving the couple’s home covered in blood.
May said: “Diane stated she and her husband Vincent Cusano had gotten into an argument about a female he was talking to. She stated Vincent became verbally abusive, swearing and telling her to ‘Get the fuck out of the house”.
“Diane stated that Vincent then smacked her in the face. She stated he grabbed her by the hair and threw her to the ground, then dragged her through a pile of glass from a broken plate. She stated he threw her on the ground a total of four times before he let her get up and she drove to the sheriff’s office.”
Vincent continues: “You must know my domestic situation is a private matter that I cannot comment on at this time. Please don’t believe everything you read. I would never hurt anyone – ever. What has been reported is an absolutely inaccurate depiction of the events that occurred that evening. When it’s time, the truth will be known.”
But he adds the drama has had a “silver lining” because it put a “long-lost family back together” and “for that, it’s worth what I’m going through.”
He says: “I’m an immensely private person and these events have caused me great pain and emotional anguish. I am requesting that you respect my privacy and that of my family during this difficult time and not engage in harmful useless gossip posted on blogs and forums.”
Vincent was known as the The Wiz and the Ankh Warrior when he replaced original guitarist Ace Frehley in Kiss in 1982. He had a tumultuous relationship with the band and was fired the following year, only to be re-hired for two more brief stints in the following years. He formed Vinnie Vincent Invasion in 1984, which released two albums before splitting in 1988. He put out a solo album in 1996.
He’s due to appear in court on June 23 to answer the charge of aggravated assault.AntiMusic...
Vinnie Vincent Denies Animal Abuse (A Top Story)
Photo: Shot in the head with 40 pellets, bound at the legs and muzzle, and buried alive, Star's miraculous will to survive has inspired citizens of the tiny island to pass stricter animal cruelty laws.
Continue reading on Examiner.com Animal cruelty protest in Malta brings about huge support - National Pet Rescue | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/pet-rescue-in-national/animal-cruelty-protest-malta-brings-about-huge-support#ixzz1OSzhxwwN
Animal cruelty protest in Malta brings about huge support
June 5th, 2011 6:25 pm ET
Pet Rescue Examiner...
It was an afternoon of protests against animal cruelty in Sliema, organized by Fleur Cilia Buckett, Joanna Attard, and Myriam Kirmond united as the March Against Animal Cruelty. Nearly two-thousand people were expected to attend.
Protestors carried signs stating "Stop Animal Cruelty," and many were accompanied by their dogs who wore colored ribbons in their collars symbolic for the support of Star, the dog who was cruelly beaten, shot with pellets in her head, and bound and buried alive in a shallow grave near Ghar Hasan in Birzebbuya. The dog's miraculous will to survive helped her scratch and push the dirt away from her nose at the spot her abusers left her to die.
Popular singer Shauna Vassallo sang Fejn, a song about animal cruelty.
The egregious torture and suffering of Star serves as a reminder for the country and for the people to enact stronger animal cruelty laws - not just for Star, but for all of the animals whose lives wind up in similar tragic fates. Buckett also wants the courts to invest in psychological counseling and provide help for animal abusers stating these offenders often abuse again.
Star was not able to attend the rally today since she is still too weak, but continues to slowly recuperate at St. Francis Animal Welfare Center in Tal Qali. The dog's horrific story and her amazing survival has touched people from all over the world - as far as Canada, Venezuela, and Australia.
Star's Facebook page entitled, " Star, the dog who lived," has more than 50,000 fans. Her page has become a place to encourage help for other dogs in dire need as well as a place for people to vent their anger. A reward page has been set up to help find the people responsible for Star's injuries.
Continue reading on Examiner.com Animal cruelty protest in Malta brings about huge support - National Pet Rescue | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/pet-rescue-in-national/animal-cruelty-protest-malta-brings-about-huge-support#ixzz1OSzbnNvcPhoto: Shot in the head with 40 pellets, bound at the legs and muzzle, and buried... more
Kitten’s death marks need for education
Published 8:35pm Saturday, June 4, 2011
By Michele Thames
Earlier this week, I learned about a case of animal cruelty in Suffolk in which a 12-year-old boy allegedly threw a kitten against a wall, kicked the kitten and attempted to stab the kitten with a pocketknife. Before the 12-year-old was able to hurt the kitten with the knife, another child stepped in and stopped the abuse.
There has been an outpouring of anger at the 12 year old child for his actions. There has been a flood of support for the heroic action of the child that stopped the mistreatment of the helpless kitten.
There are many different reasons why people hurt animals, and sometimes it is because they are simply cruel. Studies show that there is a correlation between animal abuse, child abuse and domestic violence. For some children, exposure to violence makes committing violent acts more probable.
The hope of the Suffolk Humane Society is that the 12-year-old child gets the help he needs so he can stop the cycle of abuse and cruelty.
Unfortunately, the kitten in this case died, but the boy who attempted to save his life deserves all the accolades in the world. It is very difficult to stand up for what is right, and it is never right to harm an animal in an act of violence.
The Suffolk Humane Society would like to publicly thank this boy for his heroic actions. Our hope is that all children will feel empowered to stand up for what is right and just as they grow up.
The Suffolk Humane Society is committed to a humane education program that teaches compassion and kindness toward both people and animals. We want to teach ways to commit to living an ethical, sustainable, and peaceful existence on earth with animals and humans alike. We have a team of committed volunteers and certified therapy dogs that are able to visit schools, community centers, churches and other gathering places to educate both children and adults.
Please visit our website, www.suffolkhumanesociety.com, or call 538-3030 and leave a message to find out more about our services or how you can help. The way that we treat those least able to defend themselves speaks volumes about our community.
Michele Thames is the humane education director and president of the Board of Directors for the Suffolk Humane Society.
PHOTO: This is NOT a photo of the kitten who was killed.Suffolk News-Herald...
Kitten’s death marks need for education
Animal rights in Egypt: Truth or myth?
Amany Aly Shawky
Sat, 04/06/2011 - 11:53
Although the term “animal rights” may sound like Chinese to many, the Cairene community seems to be becoming gradually interested in the welfare of domestic animals.
“Comparing to other governorates, Cairo is animal heaven,” says Dina Zulfikar, one of the most renowned animal welfare activists in Egypt.
She says there are 11 animal rights organizations and they are all in the capital. “There is Brooke, an international organization dedicated to improving the lives of working animals in poor countries, the donkey sanctuary, and the Egyptian Mau Rescue Organization (EMRO) for Mau cats, which also encourages adoption,” adds the activist, explaining that there are also sanctuaries concerned with the welfare of cattle. Finally, there are three animal shelters: the Egyptian Society for Animals (ESAF), the Society for the Protection of Animal Rights in Egypt (SPARE) and the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA), which currently shelters 632 animals (cats, dogs and horses).
It is very hard to get correct numbers and statistics on stray animals in Egypt. According to Zulfikar the census office and the American Embassy are the most reliable sources. However, she believes that thorough statistics are really hard to get today because of the increasing number of slum areas in the capital.
Mona Khalil, chairperson of ESMA, says that “the government stands rigid against any project to gather statistics,” and the Ministry of Agriculture does not see the urgency of projects concerning stray animals. Mass killing using poison or shooting seems to be the most common method used by the government to ‘solve’ the problem of stray dogs, she adds. “Strychnine is an internationally banned poison but the Egyptian government pays in dollars to import it to kill stray dogs. It is a highly toxic alkaloid.”
According to Zulfikar, there are enough people interested in animal welfare in Egypt, but in order to make this fight a priority, they need to get involved in politics. “There has to be a serious attempt to the change the law concerning animals and that would be achieved through the parliament."
Khalil explains that the major problem related to animal welfare in Egypt is lack of awareness. “ESMA approached 20 public figures and only one showed interest and got back to us,” she says. “It is not the animals' fault that we live in a country that has no human rights! What happened to mercy?”
“In the 19th century, there were masaqy al-kelab (fresh water source for dogs) behind Al-Azhar supervised by a dedicated sheikh called al-Sawaf,” says Khalil.
Both activists think that the Organization for Veterinary Service, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and all society should all be involved in the passing of a new law on animal welfare. “We have the best laws for wild animal protection worldwide because they were passed through the Ministry of Environment. But domestic animals fall under the authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and are only mentioned in two vague paragraphs," Khalil says.
“The law that protects domestic animals is extremely vague, she explains, quoting the following excerpt: “It is forbidden to kill an animal without necessity,” stressing how the term “necessity” can be understood in many different ways.
"Donation money and sponsors are effective for animal rights organizations and shelters but awareness is even more important,” explains Zulfikar. She organizes events in public facilities and events to reach more people and raise awareness, for example at the Cairo Film Festival for children.
Zulfikar’s last event was “Orphans Day” in Saqqara, raising awareness on animal rights among a group of young children through games and drawing. “Children are the future,” she explains.
Breeders and pet shops also share responsibility for spreading awareness. “We all need to work together, the media, prominent NGOs, activists, animal welfare societies, law makers and enforcers, to reach a comprehensive and applicable law," Zulfikar says. “Do you know that most animal abuse is committed by kids? How do you expect to legally punish a child for abuse charges?"
“We have to refuse violations and report any incident of abuse to the police or to an animal organization,” says Khalil, addressing each and everyone one of us. “There has to be a change of attitude and animal lovers need to work together and know that they are not a minority anymore. There has to be an elaborate article in the Egyptian law concerning all types of animals, stray, owned, circus and working animals, in addition to exports and imports of animals.”Animal rights in Egypt: Truth or myth?
Amany Aly Shawky
Sat, 04/06/2011 - 11:53... more
Los Angeles Times...
Dogfighting phone app called 'cruel,' 'sickening' by LAPD union chief [Updated]
April 25, 2011 | 11:21 am
The head of the Los Angeles police union said Monday that a dogfighting game application for cellphones should be yanked from the market because it glorifies illegal activity and promotes "cruel and immoral" behavior.
Paul M. Weber, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said he was particularly concerned that the Dog Wars game created by Kage Games would be embraced by local gang members and encourage them to engage in dogfighting.
"It's sickening, absolutely sickening," Weber said. "They should take it down immediately. These animals are defenseless. It's absolutely the wrong message to send to our children."
The Dog Wars app for the Android smart phone operating system encourages players to "Raise your dog to beat the best" and allows players to train a virtual pit bull to fight other virtual dogs and build street cred that "puts money in your pocket and lets you earn more in fights."
The company's website notes that the game player has a "gun for police raids and can inject the dog with steroids."
The Humane Society of the United States also released a statement urging Android to drop Dog Wars from its applications and calling the game "a step backward."
The humane society and other animal rights groups have been trying to educate the public about the dangers of professional and street dogfighting in the wake of the federal conviction of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick in connection with a dogfighting ring at his former Virginia residence.
"Because Dog Wars actually instructs players on how to condition a dog using methods that are true to organized dogfighting, this game may be a training ground for young people to try the activity in the real world, encouraging cruelty to dogs and leading young people down a dead-end path," said Wayne Pacelle, the humane society's chief executive.
[Updated 1:30 p.m.: Michael Vick issued a statement Monday critical of Dog Wars. “I’ve come to learn the hard way that dog-fighting is a dead-end street,” Vick said in the statement. “Now, I am on the right side of this issue, and I think it’s important to send the smart message to kids, and not glorify this form of animal cruelty, even in an Android app.”]
An email to Kage Games was not immediately returned, but the creators have responded to criticism in an online statement, saying it is not illegal and other games on the video market include crime or killing as part of the gaming experience.
"Just because something is illegal in real life in certain countries, does not mean it is illegal to make a song, movie, or video game about it," company officials said in the statement.Los Angeles Times...
Dogfighting phone app called 'cruel,'... more
Los Angeles Times...
Marine fights Vietnam's dog-meat tradition
Robert Lucius is on what may be his toughest mission: trying to convince the Vietnamese that cruelty to dogs is an idea whose time has passed
Robert Lucius has started a nonprofit aimed at persuading Vietnamese people to stop eating dog meat. (December 12, 2010)
By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
December 13, 2010
More than three decades after the war in Vietnam, a Marine named Robert Lucius had a moment of reckoning on the road to Lai Chau.
A naval attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, he was bound for a rural clinic with a donation of medical equipment.
When his car was passed by a motorbike with a wicker basket full of dogs, he locked eyes with one of them. "There was an immediate sense of connection," he said. "You could see the fear, the dread, the helplessness."
A vision raced through his mind: Liberate the dogs. Have his driver overtake the bike and dig into his wallet — anything to keep them from being served up in restaurants down the road.
Lucius, now 42, did nothing. He didn't, he said, want to be seen as a "cultural imperialist" bent on changing a local custom merely because it offended him. But later that day, after a celebratory meal with Vietnamese colleagues, he saw a dog skinned and splayed out on a restaurant kitchen floor.
"That dog was every dog," he said. "Like a light switch, my life flipped … from darkness to light."
Lucius renounced meat. Then he became a vegan. Now, two years after his return from Vietnam, he has started the Kairos Coalition, a nonprofit aimed at ending animal cruelty and making amends for what he sees as his cowardice on the road to Lai Chau that day in 2006.
Kairos is a Greek term loosely translated as "timely opportunity." For Lucius, who today is a lieutenant colonel and assistant provost at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., that means training young people in Vietnam to stage performances about the immorality of animal cruelty. He calls it "humane edutainment."
Like the wandering "culture and drama teams" that Ho Chi Minh employed to rally support decades ago, the Kairos troupe is being trained to use puppets and masks, songs and dance. The members have put on a couple of events and have more scheduled at schools and universities throughout Hanoi.
The idea is to draw audience members into the action, getting them to think about everyday cruelty.
At a workshop in Hanoi last month, Lucius and two American volunteers gave their players a situation that called for quick ethical thinking: A couple comes upon a suffering watchdog, chained outside a shop with no food or water. After discussing a number of alternatives, the actors decided to pressure the shop owner indirectly — by appealing to his neighbors.
One of the subjects that Lucius and his students discussed was the eating of dog meat. It was a touchy area, he said, particularly because of the torture and beatings suffered by many dogs bound for the table. In Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia, some believe that dog meat enhances the male libido — especially if the dogs are stressed before being killed.
"What we did agree on is that it's unnecessary to treat the animals so cruelly in the run-up to the slaughter," said Lucius, who has received a grant from Humane Society International.
Andrea Nguyen, an expert on Vietnamese cooking, said Lucius' group is fighting an uphill battle in taking on the dog-meat tradition.
"I certainly respect his effort to change people's minds, and Vietnam is indeed changing," said Nguyen, a Santa Cruz cookbook author whose family fled to the United States in 1975.
"On the other hand, there's this whole thing of how wonderful the meat is supposed to taste. Then there's the virility thing, and the fact that it's a longstanding source of protein. He's up against all that."
Dog is not part of everyday cuisine in Vietnam, Nguyen said: "It's nhau — noshing food. It's for when you and your buddies get together on the weekend over some beer, some rice wine, some moonshine."
In Vietnam, as elsewhere, people have consumed dogs and cats in times of privation. But many Vietnamese also have dogs as beloved pets.
"One of my biggest traumas was to leave my dogs behind when I was 11," said Andrew Lam, a Vietnamese American writer based in San Francisco. "We couldn't take them when we fled as refugees."
Lam, whose latest essay collection is "East Eats West," said Lucius' campaign "could be interpreted as a very condescending Western attitude."
"I doubt this one man will be able to change the mindset whatsoever," he said. "I see it as a quixotic effort."
Lucius is an optimist.
"We have a huge animal rights movement here jousting against factory farming, but they're making headway," he said, referring to the U.S. "Some people would say that's quixotic too."
In Asia, he said, local organizations are shifting public opinion against inhumane practices such as extracting bile — a traditional medicine — from the gallbladders of living bears.
As Vietnam prospers and more people have pets, attitudes toward eating dog have changed — but not, Lucius said, fast enough.
He has been a Marine for 22 years, trained to shoot down enemy aircraft and missiles. Then he was selected as a foreign affairs officer for Indonesia and then Vietnam.
In 2008, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals named him "the sexiest vegetarian" in the Marine Corps. He chuckles over the honor, but he's dead serious about the cause: When he retires next year, he may devote himself completely to animal rights.
"My time in the Marines has made me more sensitive," he said. "I've seen how cultures and traditions change over time."Los Angeles Times...
Marine fights Vietnam's dog-meat tradition
Posted on November 21, 2010 by timgier
Every person ought to answer important moral questions for themselves, only after they have thought them through, giving all due consideration to the facts in evidence. Children below a certain age aren’t generally equipped to answer these kinds of questions. Whether one wants to participate in the use of nonhuman individuals as things to eat or wear is such a question. We don’t expect young children to be able to understand complex moral reasoning, so it’s not likely that they can grapple with the concepts involved in human-nonhuman relations.
So what should the parents and grandparents of young children do? Should they let children eat “meat”? No.
Notice that I did not ask what the vegan parents of young children should do. If you’re the parents or grandparents of young children, it shouldn’t matter whether you eat other animals, or what your own moral reasoning informs you about the question. Young children shouldn’t eat other animals, period.
In a world where the eating of other animals is pervasive and normalized, anyone who eats other animals from an early age will accept and adopt, without question, the dominant views of society. When young children reach the age where they are equipped to answer important moral questions, if they’ve lived their lives up to that point participating in activities which are properly within the reach of such questions, it will be difficult for them to approach such questions with an open mind. Someone who has been told all of their lives that there’s no moral question at stake considering their use of other animals as food and clothing will have a hard time answering that question; they may not even recognize that there is a question at all. We know this is true; most people don’t even think about it, they just eat “meat”, because they always have.
Now, a parent who is a “meat” eater might object, saying that raising a child vegan handicaps them in the opposite way. If one was to teach a child from an early age that eating other animals is something they don’t do, it would make it difficult for the child to reach a different decision once they were able to think through the issue on their own. This objection will not stand.
At every turn, the accepted exploitation of nonhumans presents itself to us – we can’t escape it. Any child raised vegan will be reminded constantly that they are different, that they are in the minority and that, in order to conform, they ought to eat “meat”. If they one day decide that they should eat “meat”, they will face little resistance from the outside world; it would be easy to join in with the crowd.
At the same time, by virtue of having not participated in a behavior all of their lives, they don’t carry a predisposition to engage in the activity, but neither do they have a predisposition to do something else. One who doesn’t eat animals doesn’t substitute something else for them, they just eat all the other things that most people eat anyway.
To illustrate this point, consider another aspect of child rearing. Suppose that two people of completely different religions marry, one a Hindu and the other Catholic. They want their child to make up her own mind as to which religion to follow. So, they raise her without religious training of any kind. When the time comes, she has no predisposition for the Hindu, or the Catholic religion; neither has been substituted for the other, nor has any other religion been substituted for either of them. The child is free and unencumbered by prejudice to consider each religion on its own merits, and to adopt, or not adopt, the one she deems most worthy, as the case may be.
Now, I doubt that many well-intentioned people would deny that every adult competent person is free to adopt the religion of their choosing. Nor will it be doubted that it is most often the case that religious people adopt the religion of their parents. Since most religious people raise their children in their own religion, they must not consider their children competent to choose religion on their own. By choosing which religion their children will be raised in, they deny their children the very opportunity to adopt the religion of their own choosing. They do not respect their children as independent individuals, but they treat them as things upon which they can impose their own beliefs.
The same is true when children are raised eating “meat”. Nearly everyone will agree that whether one chooses to eat other animals is something one has the right to decide for oneself. Few would insist upon, or force another to, eat “meat” against their will. But many parents and grandparents think nothing at all of imposing their will on young children, denying them the full chance to exercise their autonomy. They treat children as things, upon which they can impose their own beliefs.
There are two final objections to consider briefly. The first concerns religion, and asks, what if something tragic happens and a child dies before choosing her religion, before “knowing God” . It begs the question of whether God exists, but supposing God does exist, it seems unlikely that God would hold a child responsible for not having made a moral decision which she is incapable of making. God would be more forgiving than that. The second considers eating other animals and asks, what if it is vital to the health of the child to eat other animals, aren’t the parents and grandparents then obligated to feed the child “meat”? If it were true that it is only by eating other animals that young children can thrive, then it would be the case that children ought to eat them. But, unless every major health and nutrition authority in the modern Western world is incorrect, it simple isn’t the case that a child needs to eat other animals to thrive. It may be the case that the parents and grandparents of a child raised vegan needs to be more attentive to the dietary needs of such a child. Paying close attention to the nutritional needs of youngsters ought to be considered a good thing, and not a problem. In any case, the overarching principle of respecting the autonomy of individuals should outweigh any issues of inconvenience or tedious planning on the part of parents.
Children are not things upon which parents and grandparents should impose their will, prejudicing the children as to the moral questions they eventually will face and have to resolve for themselves. Children are individuals, who are here for themselves, and until they are able to face and resolve moral questions on their own, the job of parents and grandparents is ensure that they remain free and able to one day face those questions with an open mind, on their own terms, without prejudice or the burden of predisposition.
Whether you think it’s OK to eat “meat” or not, you shouldn’t raise your child to eat or wear other animals. It is simply not your choice to make.tim gier
Posted on November 21, 2010 by timgier
* Roanoke Vegan Examiner
A brief criticism of animal sanctuaries
* November 15th, 2010 12:40 pm ET
Photo: Two lucky chickens at Farm Sanctuary, Watkins Glen, NY
Photo: Corey Wrenn
While non-human animal sanctuaries play a very important role in providing homes for rescued nonhumans, it is unfortunate that very few, if any, hold a much needed strong abolitionist stance.
Most sanctuaries like Rikki’s Refuge in Orange, Virginia may open its doors to any species of non-human animals, but fail to recognize how critical vegan education is to preventing many of the animals from ending up at their door in the first place. Having met representatives of the organization at the Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival, I was encouraged to attend an open-house with promises of free food. I asked if the food was vegan. It was not. It’s quite curious how a sanctuary maintains goals of rescuing non-human animals while continuing to promote the consumption of those same non-humans.
More importantly, however, those sanctuaries which do attempt to adopt a vegan message often confuse the message terribly. United Poultry Concerns in Machipongo, Virginia and Woodstock Animal Sanctuary and Farm Sanctuary in New York are three influential sanctuaries falling short of a hardline abolitionist stance so necessary to promoting equal consideration of other species and abolishing non-human animal use.
These self-proclaimed vegan-based sanctuaries and others like them support single-issue campaigns which single out specific practices or industries which gives the illusion that these issues are more important than others. Most of these campaigns simply focus on issues which are already agreed upon by most to be unacceptable and fail to make any substantial challenge to public thinking. Furthermore, campaigns can sometimes contribute to preexisting racism, sexism, or xenophobia which is problematic for humans as well as non-humans. For example, the United Poultry Concerns runs a campaign against the use of chickens in the Jewish ritual of Kaporos. Why focus on an obscure Jewish practice when the vast majority of suffering is on the dinner menu of the average American?
These sanctuaries support legislation which generally does very little to advance non-human animals. For example, Woodstock Animal Sanctuary takes issue with tail-docking. Certainly, ending this practice means a tiny improvement for cows, but does little to challenge their use. Instead, a focus on ending a small percentage of the cruelty done to non-humans might have the effect of making the public feel better about the use by giving the impression that the important cruelties are being addressed by non-human animal groups and that use is itself not the issue.
Finally, these groups may claim to take a strict vegan approach, but they continue to promote vegetarianism. Vegetarianism, of course, addresses only a fraction of the non-human animal use we wish to abolish. On my visit to Farm Sanctuary, I was quite discouraged to see them selling vegetarian books, stickers, etc. in their store. They also operate a Veg for Life campaign which promotes vegetarianism alongside veganism. The rescued battery cage hens and dairy cows on their farm are a testament to the inadequacy of vegetarianism.
Finally, some, though not all, sanctuaries fail to seriously address the inadequacies of "humane," "free-range," or "organic" non-human animal production. Farm Sanctuary, with its heavy focus on combating factory-farming is an important contributor to the public confusion over "happy" exploitation.
The reality is that, as a movement, we have extremely limited resources. Every minute, every dollar spent on a confusing or counterproductive messages or methods is a minute and dollar taken away from important, clear vegan outreach. Gary Francione has written extensively on the practices of animal sanctuaries and other animal welfare organizations (See also Rain Without Thunder 1996). Terming the phenomenon “new welfarism,” he argues that these groups may promote veganism and state an aim of ending animal use, but their message and methods speak otherwise and are often counterproductive.
It’s a tricky thing to criticize a sanctuary which is often very underfunded and does in fact work diligently to provide homes to animals immediately in need. Adoption is a very important direct action. However, given the limited resources available to the animal movement at large, we should always be open to the possibility that what little we have is being squandered on mixed messages and counterproductive actions. What's more, many of these organizations fail to engage in the discourse. No movement is perfect and every movement sorely needs to be open to self-criticism if it ever hopes to improve and grow. Sanctuaries are at a unique advantage to promote a clear abolitionist vegan message. With the public looking to them with hearts opened by real victims of institutionalized non-human animal use standing right in front of them, is that really the time to suggest vegetarianism, humane use, or ineffectual legislation?Corey Wrenn
* Roanoke Vegan Examiner
A brief criticism of animal... more
Advocating for Stray and Feral Cats – A Quick Guide
You don’t have to do Trap-Neuter-Return in order to help cats. You can make a difference in cats’ lives by working for change at the local level. Help build the movement to expand humane care for cats and end the killing by raising awareness and educating others about feral cats and about what’s going on in our nation’s animal shelters.
Five Ways to Advocate for Cats in your Community
Learn about issues facing cats.
Every day, Alley Cat Allies is on the front lines, mobilizing individuals and communities to support cats and press for changes that will end the killing and improve the lives of cats. Stay up to date on urgent legislative issues facing cats as well as upcoming events by joining our FeralPower! e-action alert list.
Want to get started now? Visit our online Action Center. With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can protect and improve the lives of cats by signing petitions and sending letters directly to your elected officials and decision makers.
Write an editorial for your local paper.
Each time an article appears in the paper about feral cats, or cats in general, it’s an opportunity to write a letter to the editor. Use your letter to educate the public—on the basic facts about stray and feral cats, Trap-Neuter-Return, the truth about shelter kill rates, and local programs and groups. Your letter will show others that there is a public movement on behalf of cats. Ready to send one today? Use Alley Cat Allies’ letter to the editor templates.
Distribute literature in your community.
Help educate your community by placing literature in locations that animal lovers frequent. Displaying brochures at your local pet store or veterinary office can help educate people with pets. For a display stand and pack of brochures, visit our Marketplace.
Educate your elected officials.
Don’t wait until feral cats are an agenda item. Teach your local elected officials about feral cats and Trap-Neuter-Return and encourage them to enact policies that protect and improve cats’ lives. Use our tips for organizing for strategic change.
Promote feline-friendly practices at your local shelter.
Encourage animal pounds and shelters in your community to adopt socially-responsible approaches that serve both the animals and the public. These include improving community education programs, refusing to accept feral cats into shelters, and providing free or low-cost neuter services for the public. Read our full list of humane practices that shelters can use to protect cats’ lives.Advocating for Stray and Feral Cats – A Quick Guide
You don’t have to... more
This is a message to all vegetarians and vegans out there. From rubber to adhesives to anti-aging creams to medicines to shampoo to instrument strings to plastic to charcoal to wallpaper to air filters: You can't run from beef!This is a message to all vegetarians and vegans out there. From rubber to adhesives to... more