Sunday, February 28, 2010
If you haven't seen the BBC's 2001 documentary Blue Planet, you should definitely check it out. Some of the most compelling footage comes from the bottom of the ocean. I've included a film clip from the documentary (above), just to give you a small taste of what it's about.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Vehicles hit and killed seven, seven died of stress and 20 were never recovered, said the farm's owner, Lindsey McMullin.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
To advocate for the rights of animals is noble. But there is a wrong way and a right way to do it.
Let’s begin with the wrong way. Threats or violence never work. When flamboyant American figure skater Johnny Weir arrived in Vancouver recently for the Winter Olympics, he received numerous threats because of a piece of fox fur he attached to his costume.
The threats were serious and had Weir fearing for his life. He pointed out – quite correctly – that figure skaters wear skates made out of leather from dead cows. So why is the life of a fox more meaningful than that of a cow?
Weir admitted he likes “wearing dead animals.” He also added: “I just don’t like how animal groups go crazy about a fox or a beaver but say nothing about cows dying for shoes. They always seem to pick the cutest animals.”
The barrage of threats against Weir prompted him to jettison the small strip of fox fur on his outfit. He traded it in for pink ruffles and a pink tassel. But the episode left a bad taste in his mouth. It also made animal rights activists appear to be, in the words of Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford, “lunatics.”
Another example of the wrong way to approach animal rights occurred last month, when a misguided militant tossed a tofu pie in the face of federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea during a speech. Whatever moral high ground the animal rights movement enjoyed was momentarily lost on that day.
Such desperate protests do not help animals. Instead, the public gets caught up in the outrageousness of the act itself.
Animal rights activists have a powerful ally on their side: Truth. And they should use it to their advantage. Make whatever arguments you want to support killing animals for fur and leather, but it’s impossible to deny that it’s an ultra-violent act. Similarly, the factory farm system in North America kills billions of animals every year, yet it’s no accident that those companies make every effort to conceal the killings from the public eye.
Why? These companies know that millions of consumers engage in disassociation and denial every day in order to purchase their products.
Outrageous protests fail to draw attention to this reality. More often they end up polarizing the issue and marginalizing the fanatics.
Right now, the animal rights movement is at about the same stage the Civil Rights Movement was when the Montgomery Bus Boycott commenced in 1955. And the animal rights movement can go one of two ways: It can adopt the same rage-filled tactics used by the people who threatened Johnny Weir and the activist who tossed a pie at Gail Shea. Or it can move beyond these dead-end methods and follow the nobler path established by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. of reaching out to foes, educating the public and protesting nonviolently.
There are local groups such as the Canadian Animal Liberation Movement who are mounting effective and nonviolent protests to educate people about the suffering of animals. The organization has just launched a local anti-fur campaign and they engage in other creative forms of outreach.
Similarly, in St. Catharines, a peaceful anti-fur protest on Feb. 13 did a wonderful job of shining the spotlight on animal cruelty.
Some militants will insist the nonviolent route is ineffectual. But historically, in democratic societies, it has always been the surest way to spread awareness and win converts.
Andrew Hunt is an associate professor of history at the University of Waterloo.
Friday, February 19, 2010
This just in: Chickens can actually see colours better than human beings! This startling discovery was made at the University of Washington's School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. Joseph C. Corbo, assistant professor of pathology, immunology and genetics and a lead investigator in this case noted: "Based on this study, birds have certainly one-upped us in several ways in terms of colour vision. Colour receptor organization in the chicken retina greatly exceeds that seen in most other retinas and certainly that in most mammalian retinas." (Source) The eye tests will continue. Some may wonder why this is an important finding. Well, we now know that chickens: 1) learn math at an early age, while they're still chicks; 2) can see the world better than we human beings. I have a feeling we are only just beginning to understand the magnificence and intelligence of these birds. The more studies about the intelligence and abilities of chickens that are done, the better. Scholarly findings will verify what animal rights activists have been saying all along: These are incredible birds. Rather than eating them, we ought to live live with them and learn from them.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Animals are not our property. They deserve to live free.
Friday, February 12, 2010
From the "You Gotta Love It!" Department: What's Next in Switzerland? Probably Attorneys for Animals!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I think animals are treated very poorly. When I see people wearing fur it makes me so sick. Especially when I see young singers doing it, that sickens me. When I rocked up to my first photo shoot they had feathers and fur there and everything...I had to make it so clear that I just do not go there.
There is definitely pressure to be a stick insect. Generally, in life, there is. All the magazines have tiny stick insects on their covers. But no one has ever said that to me. Everyone says I've lost weight but I don't see it. It's just eating healthily. (Source)
Monday, February 8, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
- Most cows imprisoned in the factory farm system are never allowed outside. Instead, they're forced to stay in dark, cramped, cold spaces.
- Factory farm cows routinely have their tails docked without painkillers, so the tail won't get caught in milking machines
- Many of the factory farm workers abuse the cows by hitting them, pushing them, dragging calves across the ground, etc.
Cows, like all other factory farm animals, are not ours to abuse, use, exploit, enslave, drag around, kill, etc. Simply improving conditions and making sure the cows are more comfortable is not the solution. And passing laws or enacting regulations to protect the welfare of the cows will not address the deeper issue.
Now. The factory farm system must go.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
I'm the owner of two dogs and have had pets all my life. There is a human obligation to treat animals humanely and we need to do everything we can to stop these appalling acts. We know that there is a link, that people who are capable of committing acts of cruelty against animals [are also capable of behaving] in a similar manner against human beings.
Monday, February 1, 2010
The following alert was sent out from the wonderful folks at Farm Sanctuary in New York. It's fantastic news and has the potential to be a huge breakthrough in animal rights!
Dear friend of farm animals,
For years, Farm Sanctuary has worked with dedicated members like you to help pass some of the most important reforms in the history of the farm animal protection movement. With you by our side, we helped ban gestation crates in Florida, gestation crates and veal crates in Arizona, and, for the first time in U.S. history, gestation crates, veal crates and battery cages with the recent landslide victory of Proposition 2 in California – the nation’s largest agricultural state.
Standing together with you, we continued to build on the momentum gained from these successes as anti-confinement legislation was enacted in more states across the U.S., including Oregon, Colorado, Maine, and Michigan. Now, we have our sights set on passing the most sweeping initiative yet in Ohio, and we need your support to make it happen.
Over the next five months, we will be working to collect 600,000 signatures in the Buckeye State for a ballot initiative that will:
End the use of cruel factory farm confinement systems for tens of thousands of veal calves, 170,000 breeding sows and roughly 27 million egg-laying hens who are denied even the ability to turn around or stretch their limbs.
Stop the slaughter of downed cattle for human consumption, and consequently bring an end to the practice of dragging, prodding, pushing, and beating these sick, weak or injured non-ambulatory animals to move them to slaughterhouse kill floors.
Ban the use of inhumane euthanasia practices that cause tremendous suffering for sick and injured animals prior to their deaths.
Never before has one ballot initiative proposed to do so much to end cruelty to farm animals. But the road ahead will not be easy. Factory farm interests will use every means available to them to maintain the status quo and continue engaging in these egregiously cruel practices. Ohio farm animals are counting on us to stop them, so we must win this fight!
Please find out what you can do now to help us with efforts on the ground. If you live elsewhere, please send this alert on our Ohio initiative to any friends, family and colleagues you have in the state and help us build the network and team we need for a successful campaign to pass this measure.
It is only through your support that we are able to create meaningful change and bring relief to suffering farm animals state by state. Thank you for your dedication and compassion. We look forward to making history with you once again!
Yours for farm animals,
Co-Founder and President Farm Sanctuary
Lucy's health issues--which include upper respiratory problems, arthritis, obesity, and chronic foot ailments--are the result of the substandard conditions at the Valley Zoo and are further aggravated by the region's frigid climate, which is ill-suited to an Asian elephant. Lucy has also been alone for the past two years, spends most of her time in a small barn, and exhibits behaviour that indicates severe psychological distress. Consultations with experts have convinced PETA and Zoocheck that Lucy's life is at risk in Edmonton, and no evidence has been presented to show that there is a greater than normal risk in moving her to a suitable sanctuary. Even Dr. James Oosterhuis, the Valley Zoo's own consultant, acknowledged that the zoo's indoor facilities fail to meet the industry's minimum standards. (Source)
To move her at the [limit] of her respiratory capacity, her ability to breathe . . . is tantamount to signing a certificate of her death. (Source)