Vegan Rambles:
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Vegan Rambles: Index

January 2011

A story of Animal Love: A heart Warming Account of Animal Sentience and a Hunter's remorse

February 2011

Fox hunting

Animal Rights: A History

Sheep Intelligence

March 2011

Japanese Earthquake Disaster

April 10th 2011

Stop the Canadian Seal Hunt

May 2011

Reindeer: The Unlikely Farm Animal

July 9th 2011

Urgent Action

Stop the mass slaughter of Badgers

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September 2011

Domesticated rabbits and neglect

October 6th 2011

Rabbit Farming

October 8th
Meat eating and Spirituality
 

October 10th Determined to live

October 12th

Sheep Rescue

October 17th

Put and end to hunger

October 19th

Please sign petition to lift ban on famine video on British TV

November 24th

Possible Jail time for animal cruelty

December 7th

Primary Children taken on a duck shooting trip

February 4th

Welfare Reforms:
Urgent Action

Animal Rights Blogs I read

animalrighter.blogspot.

animalblog.

veganelder.blogspot.

beaelliottvegan.blogspot

veganmenu.blogspot.

walkingwiththealligators.

 

 

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Entries for the Year 2011

January

A Story of Animal Love: A heart Warming Account of Animal Sentience and a Hunter's remorse.

There are just so many stories concerning animal sentience that from time to time you just stumble upon them, here is one.

In her book, Red Rowans and Wild Honey , a memoir of the childhood and adolescence of a Gypsy traveller in Scotland before the end of the second world war,  Betsy Whyte shares this moving anecdote:

"In our simple society we regarded nothing in the world so precious as human life. Life of any kind, even animals, was loved with an almost fierce strength and compassion.

I remember four stout relations of mine being reduced to tears when they discovered animals too were capable of feeling this deep love for each other. They were young men and had been used to going on hare-hunts since childhood. One evening their dog raised two hares and eventually caught one. On this the other hare ran back and sat screaming pitifully as it watched the killing. Of course they called the dog in, and came home very, very shaken, and surprised that an animal should behave like that. The wife of one of the men started to chide him for being late for supper .' Dinne speak to me, women. I want nae supper .I could'nae eat a bit if God called on me'.

'Dinne tell me that the gamekeeper catched youze? his wife asked. 'Worse than that,' he answered. 'I will never be the same again if I live to be a hundred, and never again will I set a dog after a hare'. He and the others than related what  happened.

Their eyes were wet and their faces pale as they did so.

I was very moved by this story which the author told after discussing her shock and horror concerning  the atrocities of world war two and the callous reaction 'the gloating delight of many people around me' to the bombing of Japan.

I live within close proximity to some of the most unspoilt places of scenic beauty here in the UK, namely the Yorkshire dales and moors, the Durham Dales, Northumbrian National Park and the Lake district of Cumbria. My family and I often spend a day walking and enjoying the natural peace of these places. However during the autumn until late December it is the hunting season and you are likely to encounter armed men hunting for grouse, peasant and ducks and no doubt shooting rabbits and hares who they are of course free to shoot at any time of the year. The silence is often shattered by the sounds of gun fire as some poor defenceless creature looses his life. Its a chilling and sickening sound.

It is my hope that in time more and more people will come to understand that these creatures are sentient beings, aware of themselves and others, capable of suffering both pain and fear but also capable of love and friendship or bonds of attachment which we perhaps cannot understand. Most definitely animals form close bonds with one anther and suffer grief when their partner dies. Hopefully one day those who derive pleasure from taking the lives of another defenceless living being will someday understand the cruelty and inhumanity behind their callous acts and stop hunting and other forms of cruelty forever.

I am in the process of compiling a webpage that will feature stories of animal sentience and I am looking for accounts that show animal awareness. Such stories may include the bonds between two animals such as the bond of love or friendship or even jealousy - often a problem with dogs - or other stories that show that animals are sentient beings capable of a whole range of emotions such happiness or sorrow. Also stories of animal intelligence or ingenuity, indeed any anecdote either of your own or a story like the one above that you happen to come across would be most welcome.

If you have a story about any animal please contact me, I would be pleased to include it in this new section. barley77@aol.com

For more information about and stories related to animal sentience please click:

Sentience in Farm Animals

To help to bring an end to hunting and other cruel sports please visit the website below:

league Against Cruel Sports.org.uk/

February 2011

Fox Hunting

Concerning their attempts to reinstate the barbaric sport of fox hunting, within a few weeks of being elected the present British government  might do well to heed the following passage repeated from an appeal made by Charles Darwin against steel traps :

Bull-baiting and cock-fighting have rightly been put down by law; I hope it may never be said that the members of the British Parliament will not make laws to protect animals if such laws should in any way interfere with their own sports.

It is time that all hunting  was banned, it is an anachronism, a shocking cruelty not worthy of any nation which wishes to call itself civilsied.

Hunting CampaignIt was undoubtedly the League Against Cruel Sports' proudest moment when the culmination of eighty years' campaigning brought about the Hunting Act in 2004, protecting wildlife from the savagery and cruelty of the hunt.

However, despite the consigning of their 'sport' to the history books, the hunters are now stepping up their efforts to have the Hunting Act repealed. Moreover, some politicians want to repeal the hunting ban despite 75% of the public being in favour of keeping it.

Please visit the website of the League against cruel sports for more information and action you can take.

Information: league.org.uk/content fox hunt information

Action: league.org.uk/fox hunting action content.

February 15th 2011

Animal Rights :A History

I am in favour of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.
Abraham Lincoln

Here on this website in February 2011 I have included a new addition to the Animal Rights section of the website, Animal Rights a History.

This is by no means an exhaustive compilation of the history of animal rights but rather provides highlights of some of the events and people that paved the way towards our modern day concept of this ideology.  From ancient times to the present day, this section highlights the lives and writings of the advocates of animal rights, those who have made some contribution to helping humanity think differently about the millions of species of sentient life with whom we share this world. Some of the people included may not have intentionally set out to make a difference or were advocates of animal rights in the way we perceive this ideology today, but most certainly all the people I have included have contributed in some way towards the long and arduous struggle to procure the rights of animals to live their lives free from harm and exploitation. Contributors to the cause include scientists, philosophers, writers, religious leaders and ordinary people who have contributed their wisdom, time, efforts, and finances into helping the cause of liberating our fellow creatures from the appalling onslaught of abuse and exploitation.

The man who has become a thinking being feels a compulsion to give every
will-to-live the reverence for life that he gives his own.

Albert Schweitzer

Some people may question why animals should have rights, that is if indeed they consider the issue at all. Whilst compiling Animal Rights: A History I have endeavoured to comprehend the somewhat complicated rationale put forward by philosophers concerning the reasons why we should treat animals more humanely and  why we should grant animals rights and stop exploiting them. Such concepts as a "subjects-of-a-life", utilitarianism,  and other terms are perhaps not easy to grasp for everyone and we can often miss the point. Although with some exceptions many of these philosophies are sound, for me personally the reasons why we should grant animals rights is far more simplistic. We should grant rights to animals simply because animals like you and I just want to live, no creature wishes to die or suffer physical or psychological  pain. I know I do not want to die, nor do I want to feel pain either physical or emotional and this is the same for the vast majority of human beings including those who inflict death and suffering on billions of animals every year, year after year, after year. Yet they continue to contribute to the slaughter and exploitation of animals either directly or by complicity. And consider if you eat meat you are complicit, as is also the case if you use cosmetics that are tested on animals and contain animal ingredients, still highly likely despite an initiative by the EU to stop cosmetic testing (note a ban on testing does not mean the product does not contain animal ingredients, most cosmetics do unless the label states otherwise), if you ride a horse, own a pet, wear wool or leather or involve yourself in the umpteen varieties of ways that we use animals in our society, ways so numorous that few realise the extent to which this is prevalent.

We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace. Albert Schweitzer, The Philosophy of Civilization

It is admitted that no one can be one hundred percent vegan, so entrenched in our lives is our dependence on the death and suffering of animals to provide the style of life that is modern living, at least for those who are supplied with an overabundance, mostly people in the west. Nonetheless the ideal aim is to become vegan and endeavour as far as is possible to abstain from food or other commodities that involve the death and suffering of billions of sentient beings and the denial of freedom which is vital to the well-being of any animal however large or small. Believe it or not size it seems is a criterion upon which many people judge whether or not an animal is worth saving! Consider how many people would be concerned if dolphins were exploited to the brink of extinction, yet few would care about the imminent extinction of an insect. Yet all lives are precious to every being who exists, all creatures fear death, wish to avoid pain, seek comfort and value their freedom. Caged and restricted animals soon develop neurosis and become depressed just like human beings. Animals being sent to slaughter cry out knowing the fate that awaits them. Cows cry for days when their calves are taken from them. Indeed all creatures wish to continue existing and for this reason if no other we should grant animals the right to live out the full duration of their lives unmolested, unexploited.

Sadly the road is a long and arduous one and progress, at least compared to the drastic increase in the abuse of animals, is slow and the horrors inflicted upon sentient beings ever more shocking from the mass slaughter of baby seals and the flaying of live rabbits and cattle for their fur or leather to the hideous experiments on animals in the name of science or simply to sell a product .

Sadly I doubt I will see during the duration of my life any drastic improvements in the lot of enslaved, suffering and abused animals, denied the basic of all rights, the right to live the duration of the life that nature intended.

I would like to see the cessation of farming of all kinds along with the banning of other abusive treatments such as the use of animals for labour or experimentation and an end to hunting . Basically the answer of course is to become vegan, a course of action we can all take if we wish to play a part in bringing about justice and freedom for our fellow creatures. Even if you can make no other contribution to the cause of animal liberation,  for the sake of all creatures including human beings and for the environment it is vital to adopt a vegan diet .

I hope that one day human beings will look back on the atrocities we have committed towards other species with whom we share this world with a sense of revulsion, much in the way we now look back at the horrors of slavery and the holocaust and finally see it for the evil that it is.

The numbers of beings who have met untimely deaths after months or years of suffering is staggering simply to sate the appetites of those, usually of the world's rich and over privileged, who crave a food that is not natural and comes at the expense of other sentient beings, not only animals but other human beings, and the environment. It has to stop, if we ever wish to find peace, and live in a fair and just world or consider ourselves truly ethical.

Since compassion for animals is so intimately associated with goodness of character, it may be confidently asserted that whoever is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.
On the Basis of Morality

Animal Rights a History is an on-going section and new inclusions will be added from time to time.

February 23rd 2011

Sheep Intelligence

Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: 'Because the animals are like us.' Ask the experimenters why it is morally OK to experiment on animals, and the answer is: 'Because the animals are not like us.' Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction."
Professor Charles R. Magel
 

Generally regarded as stupid creatures research is showing that sheep are far more intelligent than most people realise.

In the last few days several newspapers have run the story that scientists have discovered that sheep are as intelligent as rodents, monkeys and even in some tests humans. According to Cambridge scientists, sheep have relatively advanced learning capabilities, are adaptable and able to mentally map out their surroundings. Neuroscientist Professor Jenny Morton said that sheep are more intelligent than they get credit for.

Quoted in an article in the Telegraph she said:

 "They have a reputation for being extremely dim and their flock behaviour backs that up as they are very silly animals when in a group – if there is a hole they will fall into it, if there is something to knock over, then they will knock it over.

"So I didn't expect them to be so amenable to testing and certainly didn't expect them to be so smart. In our tests they performed at a level very similar to monkeys and humans in the initial learning tasks.

"When we then changed the rules they still performed as well as monkeys and better than rodents.

"They are quite intelligent animals – they seem to be able to recognise people and even respond when you call their name."


Tests were carried out on several Welsh mountain sheep to ascertain their learning ability as an indication of their intelligence. One test involved the use of different coloured buckets to see how long it would take the sheep to learn that food could be found in the same coloured bucket. The sheep learnt this in only seven sessions, the same time it would take rodents, monkeys and humans to successfully complete comparable tests. The sheep also adapted in the same amount of time as rodents and monkeys when the food was switched to a different coloured bucket. In addition the sheep also proved adept when a more complex test was carried out where they had to learn were food was located according to coloured shapes.

Other tests carried out by Professor Morton and her colleagues to assess the spatial memory of sheep demonstrated that sheep are able to navigate by forming memories of their surrounding environments.

So why are scientists interested in sheep intelligence? Unfortunately these tests are not undertaken to discount the sheep's reputation as a particularly unintelligent animal, rather these tests are carried out in the hope that sheep will be useful as an animal model in the research into Huntington's disease, a  neurodegenerative disorder that leads to dementia and affects muscle control, and other conditions such as Alzheimer's disease where the memory and cognitive abilities are impaired.

According to one article scientists in Australia have created a genetically modified sheep who displays symptoms similar to Huntington's disease. However at this stage it is not clear if these animals will present with a comparable decline in cognition and memory with humans.

Although the above information validates the fact that sheep are more intelligent than we give them credit for it is to my way of thinking a shocking incongruity to than use them as the subjects of experiments.

I usually say when writing about animal rights, that the right of an animal to live his or her life free from exploitation and abuse should not be considered on the basis of how intelligent the creatures is. Apparently concerning experiments researchers in fact give no consideration to an animal's intelligence never mind his or her ability to feel pain. It even appears here, that if an animal's intelligence is comparable to that of humans the animal is than considered as useful in experiments, and as a consequence such experiments are conducted regardless of the animal's intelligence or ability to suffer on either an emotional or physical level.

Since setting up this website I feel overwhelmed concerning the horrific nature of and the extent to which experimentation is carried out upon animals regardless of their intelligence or their awareness of the unimaginable cruelty perpetrated  against them; in the name of science it seem human beings will invariably consider such cruelty justifiable.

In the fight against animal exploitation, including animal experiments, people need to think differently concerning their relationship with the other creatures with whom we share our world - sentient creatures who wish to live their lives free from exploitation and its detrimental consequences -   and not see them as here for our use or abuse however good our misguided intentions may appear to be. Mark Twain in a letter to the Editor,  "Mark Twain on Scientific Research," of Animals' Friend said

I believe I am not interested to know whether Vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn't. To know that the results are profitable to the race would not remove my hostility to it. The pains which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity towards it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further.
Extract letter  Vivisection Society

To continue to read the entire letter:
animalrightshistory.org/animal-rights-timeline/animal-rights-t/twa-mark-twainscientific-research.htm

However noble the motivation may appear to find solutions to the dreadful infirmities with which humans are afflicted, and indeed other creatures,  - note tests are carried out in the course of veterinary medicine - in my opinion the dreadful cruelty inflicted on non human animals in order to bring this about can never be justified. 

Sheep are of course not the only creatures used as animal models for the type of research that requires an animal with an increased intelligence or who at least manifests similar facets of intelligence as humans. Primates are used in such research with the creation of a transgenic monkey in 2008


Researchers often rely on mice to study a host of genetic diseases in the lab. That's not a satisfactory approach for many neurodegenerative illnesses, which involve cognitive and behavioral symptoms that don't map easily from human patients onto rodents. Now, in a development that opens the door to modeling such illnesses in primates, researchers have created the first transgenic monkeys with neurological signs of Huntington's disease (HD).

Read More
news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/

Genetically creating transgenic sheep or primates with a disease carrying gene maybe technologically  "a tremendous advance," but unfortunately an ethical decline.

There are alternative methods available without recourse to animal experimentation, you can read about some of these here:
navs.org.uk/about_vivisection/

Also read

Animal research - a Worthless hindrance to medical progress: antivivisection.info/science/

It is Interesting to note in this article a reference is made to dogs having evolved to consume a carnivorous diet thus rending them of no value in experiments into heart disease in human beings. Surely this strongly suggests that heart disease in humans is the result of the misconception that the eating of meat is natural.

Animal experimentation is misguided, cruel and unnecessary and it has to stop.

"I have studied the question of vivisection for thirty-five years and am convinced that experiments on living animals are leading medicine further and further from the real cure of the patient. I know of no instance of animal experiment that has been necessary for the advancement of medical science; still less do I know of any animal experiment that could conceivably be necessary to save human life."
H. Fergie Woods, M.D.

Atrocities are not less atrocities when they occur in laboratories and are called medical research.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), the 1925 Nobel Laureate for Literature.

I abhor vivisection. I know of no achievement through vivisection, no scientific discovery that could not have been obtained without such barbarism and cruelty."
Dr. Charles W. Mayo, surgeon and governor at the leading Mayo Clinic research hospital.

More information

A selection of organisations campaigning against the use of animals in all forms of experimentation

National Antivivisection Society

Below you can find information concerning vivisection (animal experimentation) and participate in campaigns.
navs.org.uk/home/

 British Union for the abolishment of vivisection, whose vision it is "to create a world where no body wants or believes we need to experiment on animals".Information, campaigns and much more
buav.org/

National Anti-Vivisection Alliance

A new organisation in the campaign to stop animal experimentation founded in July 2010 is The National Anti-Vivisection Alliance (NAVA). The NAVA is the UK's leading grassroots organisation, fighting to bring a complete end to animal experimentation.

antivivisection.info/nava/index.html

The British Anti-Vivisection Association

More on the subject concerning the harmful effects of animal experimentation not only on the unfortunate animals but also as an impediment to finding a cure for the many diseases which ravage human and on human animals.

london77truth.com/BAVA.htm

Article

The Scientific Argument Against Animal Testing
 

There is a growing movement of healthcare professionals including doctors, scientists, and educated members of the public who are opposed to non-human animal-based experimentation on specifically medical and scientific grounds. They argue that animal research is based on a false premise, that results obtained through animal experimentation can be applied to the human body.

Coalition To Abolish Animal Testing (CAAT)

Read the complete article:

whitecoatwelfare.org/

Credits

Four of the Newspapers and magazines that covered this story from which some of the above information was gleaned:

Daily Telegraph
telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/Sheep-are-far-smarter-than-previously-thought.html

Daily Mail
dailymail.co.uk/news/article-Far-farmyard-dunces-sheep-intelligent-think.

Toronto Sun
torontosun.com/news/columnists/thane_burnett/2011/02/22/17366221.html

The New Scientist
hnewscientist.com/article/dn20109-zoologger-the-sharpest-mind-in-the-farmyard.html

 

March 17th 2011

Japanese Earthquake Disaster

My heart goes out to the stricken people of Japan during what is the worse humanitarian crisis I can remember. I cannot imagine the horror experienced during this devastating catastrophe or the continued misery and suffering . My sincere and heart felt sympathy for all who have lost loved ones and continue to suffer severe deprivation.

Animals also are suffering of course and many companion animals have had to be abandoned as shelters refuse to allow people to bring their animals.

PETA and other animals rights/welfare groups are going to the stricken regions of Japan in a bid to help destitute abandoned and injured animals.

Read More:

PETA Asia-Pacific Providing Aid in Japan.

peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2011/03/16/peta-asia-pacific-providing-aid-in-japan.aspx

Watch this moving video:

Ultimate Loyalty: Japanese Dog Refuses to Leave Injured Friend Behind

Dogs are known for their loyalty.  The dog in this video is not only loyal but compassionate as he stays close by his injured companion amongst the devastation of the Japanese earthquake, refusing to leave his side. Notice also how he approaches  the commentator and the person filming, it is obvious he is asking for help.

The good news is that both dogs have been rescued and are receiving medical care.

 

Help Animals

Animal welfare organisations are working to help Japan's stricken animals. Many thousands of cats and dogs and other animals have been left abandoned, injured and left homeless after the earthquake and tsunami.

Below are some of the organisations involved in helping

World Vets

World Vets has been monitoring the situation in Japan with regards to the impact of the earthquake and tsunami that has recently hit the island nation. We are currently working to coordinate relief efforts for the animal victims affected by these unfortunate disasters.

To read more and donate

worldvets.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=203

American Humane Society

Right now animals in Japan are in danger. Here's your opportunity to help. Support our efforts to provide aid to animal victims of disaster by texting PROTECT to 85944 to donate $10.

americanhumane.org/

PETA UK

PETA Asia-Pacific staff have gone to some of the hardest-hit areas along the eastern coast of Japan in order to offer aid to animals in distress. The ferocious tsunami in Japan has already claimed the lives of hundreds of people and countless animals.

Please make an urgent donation to support animals who are suffering right now. All funds donated to PETA UK via this donation form will be granted to PETA Asia-Pacific's critical work for animals.

blog.peta.org.uk/tag/japan/

To make a donation:

/rsm2.rsmsecure.com/cpterminal/cpweb.php

 

PETA USA

One of the first members of an international animal rights group to reach the disaster area, PETA Asia-Pacific senior campaigner Ashley Fruno has been in Japan with Isabella Gallaon-Aoki of Animal Friends Niigata since the day after the devastation.

Ashley and Isabella are providing food, water, and care to animals abandoned when their guardians fled to evacuation centers, and are also providing food to animals whose guardians are having a hard time getting supplies. They are visiting the worst-affected areas in search of animals who need help, and their team remains in touch with the local authorities.

You can help fund Ashley's work and other rescue work today through PETA’s Animal Emergency Fund.
 

secure.peta.org/site/Donation2?idb=27147755&df_id=4220&4220.donation=form1

Similar rescue appeals and opportunities to donate are available at all PETA' S international websites:

peta.org/index_landing.asp

WSPA

Even in Disasters Animals Matter

wspa-international.org/

To make a donation and check out their  blog  Animals In Disasters: animalsindisasters.typepad.com/

Help People

Most of us are familiar with emergency and disaster relief organisations which help people, below I have listed a selection, there are many more.

Oxfam UK

Donate to the emergency response in Japan
Oxfam is providing help where it is needed the most. Donate now to help support our emergency relief work.


oxfam.org.uk/donate/japan-earthquake-tsunami/index.php

Mercy Corps

Donate to Mercy Corps: Help Survivors of Japan's Earthquake
Mercy Corps is working to help survivors of Japan's earthquake and tsunami with our longstanding partner, Peace Winds.

mercycorps.org/donate/japan

Save The Children

We've launched an appeal to help families affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Our team is in hard-hit Sendai helping with the response.

Donate to our Japan Emergency Appeal
savethechildren.org.uk/secure/heading=Donate+to+our+Japan+Emergency+Appea

More information about animal rescue in Japan

Japan Rescuers Pull Together To Save Pets

While international relief organizations are pouring into Japan to help people after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami, a handful of animal welfare groups are pulling together to take care of the nation's displaced pets.

Japan is a country that loves pets so it is no surprise that rescue groups have teamed up to help the estimated thousands of cats, dogs and other animals that were injured or left homeless after the quake.

Read More
treehugger.com/files/2011/03/japan-rescuers-pull-together-to-save-pets.php

How to help pets in Japan
Thousands of dogs and cats have been injured or lost in the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Here's how you can help these four-legged victims.

Continue reading

.mnn.com/family/pets/stories/how-to-help-pets-in-japan

April 9th 2011

Stop the Canadian Seal Hunt

He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.
Immanuel Kant

Once again Canada ignores pleas from compassionate people world-wide to stop the barbaric seal hunt. This year the Canadian government has sanctioned the mass killing of as many as 400,000 helpless baby harp seals.
 

Below is a request from PETA for you to try and put a stop to this atrocity, please consider signing the petition and or making a domination:

In the weeks ahead, scores of these young animals will be beaten, shot, stabbed with sharp hooks, and sometimes even skinned alive—all so that someone can wear a coat, a collar, or cuffs made of real baby-seal fur.

PETA and caring people like you are fighting relentlessly to protect these animals. We must pressure the Canadian government to listen to the pleas of the international community and millions of people around the world who want this annual slaughter to stop. Seals need our help right now. Please take the following two important actions today:

Sign PETA's petition demanding an immediate and permanent end to the annual seal slaughter.

Make an urgent donation to PETA to help us win the fight to stop the killing of seals and other animals for their fur. Your generous gift will allow us to take on the fur industry—designers, retailers, and consumers—as only PETA  can.
 

Also from PETA:

More action you can take to stop this dreadful cruelty not worthy of any Nation wishing to be called civilised.

Canada's commercial seal slaughter is about to kick into high gear, but you can do something to help stop it. PETA has created a compelling new infographic that provides key information about the massacre, like how seals are bludgeoned and sometimes skinned alive and how much taxpayer money is wasted promoting a product that Canada loses money on every year.  
 

You will find a  link to a larger graphic below

 
All you have to do to spread the word is follow
this link to the infographic, then tweet it, e-mail it to your friends, or post it to your Facebook and MySpace pages. With your help, millions of people will instantly see the truth behind Canada's shameful excuses for failing to put a stop to this travesty.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Blog entry from The PETA Files:

 

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
Ghandi


What does this annual massacre of helpless baby animals say about Canada's moral progress? As you can see by reading some of the comments in the above PETA blog, this brutal slaughter does little for Canada's image at home or aboard.

Like thousands of people throughout the world I have written letters to Stephen Harper (Prime minister of Canada) and other Canadian government officials and  signed petitions. Animal rights and welfare groups have campaigned tirelessly for a cessation of this slaughter and the EU and the USA have banned seal products, yet the government of Canada have remained impervious to all pleas for compassion and a cessation of this annually brutality.

It is time that the Canadian government listened and stopped this massacre here and now. 

I along with many others say to Stephen Harper:  Please stop this shocking cruelty now and forever. If human beings are to ever progress towards a peaceful society we must stop killing the creatures with whom we share this world.

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages."
Thomas Edison

May 22nd 2011

Reindeer: The Unlikely Farm Animal

From today in the selection bar you will find a new page called simply reindeer. This is the introduction page to a series of articles about reindeer.

When my son suggested that I include a section about reindeer I was at first a little hesitant as reindeer do not come to mind when considering animal rights.  When most of us think of reindeer, if we think of them at all other than at Christmas time, we think of them as wild animals roaming free in their native habitats, not farm animals or animals used as entertainment and so on. And rather like this website which at the beginning was intended only for general information about sheep, breeds history and son on, this section was not intended to highlight the plight of reindeer as an animal seriously exploited by man but was meant to be simply a few pages about such topics as the natural history of reindeer, reindeer in art and myth and other interesting aspects concerning this gentle timid animal, about whom most of us including myself know so little.

The sad fact is that reindeer in many parts of the world, although mainly Nordic countries and Alaska, are exploited more than most of us realise. There is even a reindeer farm in Japan.  Yes reindeer are farmed.  From the ice age until today man has exploited reindeer, first as pry, than as nomadic herders such as the Sami and other indigenous people in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia who subsisted on reindeer not only as food but also clothing and shelter following the migrating reindeer as they progressed on their annual migrations. During the last century much has changed and nomadic subsistence dependence on reindeer has evolved to commercial exploitation with the consequence of a considerable detriment to these nervous gentle creatures as they are herded with helicopters and snow mobiles instead of men on skis and on foot. Domesticated Reindeer are often confined to corrals prevented from migrating, herded into vehicles and slaughtered in large numbers for an ever expanding meat market throughout the world. In additon these creatures are used to promote tourism and are increasing exploited as entertainment in shops such as Hamleys in London at Christmas time, or in parades, shopping centres and the like. Reindeer antlers are even used as an aphrodisiacs in some Asian countries.  Reindeer are exploited in more ways than I ever imagined. They are of course hunted even by aspiring potential US presidential candidates namely Sarah Plain who shot a reindeer for the TV reality Show Sarah Palin's Alaska. It is a sad fact that reindeer are exploited and really none of us should be the least surprised, and I feel a little awkward about my naivety in the matter of reindeer, as man it seems manages to exploit just about every creature who draws breath.

Read various issues of interest concerning reindeer including the history of their domestication and modern day exploitation beginning with Page One 
 Reindeer: General Information were you can access pages concerning the following topics:
Reindeer Migration, Reindeer: Myth, religion and Tradition, Reindeer in Art Reindeer:Domestication a Short History, Reindeer the Unlikely Farm Animal: Reindeer Domestication in Recent Times and the issue of Animal Rights,  Reindeer: Emblems on Coins and Stamps,  Reindeer: Random facts

July 9th

Stop the slaughter of badgers

 

Please participate into The Humane society's campaign to stop the mass slaughter of badgers in the UK. Please read and take action by clicking the links below.

 
The mass slaughter of badgers in parts of England, as a means of controlling tuberculosis in cattle, now looks likely tHSI: Stop Wildlife Abuseo go ahead -- but you can still make your voice heard for badgers -- please speak out now!

Tuberculosis is a serious disease, causing suffering to both cattle and farmers, and imposing a huge economic burden on the taxpayer.

But slaughtering badgers in huge numbers isn't the answer; it will result in the suffering of individual badgers and the disruption of badger populations across our countryside.

Stricter controls on cattle movement and testing, introduced in 2008, have already resulted in significant improvements - and all without a single badger being slaughtered.

Make your voice heard: Speak up for badgers. Tell Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Caroline Spelman, that you oppose the mass slaughter of badgers.

Help prevent the unnecessary decimation of the badger, one of our few remaining iconic wild mammal species. Please act today!

Thank you for all you do for animals.

 

Sincerely,
Mark Jones
Mark Jones
Executive Director
Humane Society International/UK

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For more information:

hsi.org/world/united_kingdom/work/badgers/factsheets/badgers_tb_uk.html

 

September 2011

Domesticated rabbits and neglect

Please note I am not an expert in the care of rabbits and the comments below are derived from information I have gleaned as I try to educate myself in the best ways to care for our adopted rabbit.  The best place to get advice is most probably from your rabbit's vet.

Below is a photograph of our adopted rabbit Sooty.

 

She came to us last winter during the bitter cold and heavy snow that we had here in the UK. She was lucky to survive as she had been left outside in her tiny hutch during one of the coldest Decembers I can ever remember. As a result of unfortunate circumstances her owners had had to leave their home and although they returned to feed her this poor little rabbit was left all alone for the rest of the time outside even during the extreme cold of the night.

Now we do not agree with keeping pets (I prefer the term companion animals), particularly animals who are restricted to cages and hutches or other close confinement, and would not go into a pet shop to buy a rabbit or any other animal. However the situation is that there are many animals who have been abandoned. An RSPCA representative has told us that it is a big problem with rabbits and many get either let loose to fend for themselves or taken to the RSPCA or animal sanctuary when for various reasons the owners are no longer able to or wish to continue to care for their rabbit. There are situations of course when the owner because of illness or other dire circumstance cannot care for his or her animals, as was the case with our neighbours but mostly it is because the novelty has worn off or the animal is not as easily cared for as was anticipated.

Rabbits purchased to please children are soon ignored and neglected after the child becomes bored. Rabbits are not suitable companion animals for children as they do not like being picked up. Sadly the rabbit either ends up abandoned or left in a tiny hutch all alone at the bottom of someone's garden seeing only the occasional visitor who perhaps throws in some hay or pellets and cleans the hutch whenever - mostly not very often as was the case with the former owners of Sooty who said they cleaned her hutch about every three weeks! Some rabbits many be taken to organisations such as the RSPCA or an animal sanctuary but many may simply be turned out into the wild to fend for themselves where they soon become food for pry animals.

Regardless of the circumstances rabbits should not be abandoned into the wild where they will most likely die but should be taken to a safe place, such as an animal sanctuary with a no kill policy to be re-homed. Neither should they be neglected in a hutch often left to die of hunger and cold or eaten alive with maggots as a result of fly strike.

We knew the people who owned Sooty so we offered to give her a home after we removed her from her tiny hutch one bitterly cold night when a neighbour of ours alerted us to the fact that she has been left in the garden. When we brought her inside, she was just so cold she stretched out in front of the radiator. After looking after her for a few months while the owners were away they agreed to let us keep her.

We are now looking for a suitable companion for her from the RSPCA rabbit re-homing scheme, rabbits need the company of other rabbits and can get lonely when they do not have another rabbit as a companion. In the meantime though she is so much better off with a large hutch and run and free range access to the garden under supervision. Although she clearly prefers to be outside she has a place inside throughout the winter months and when the weather is reasonable during the winter she can go outside for some exercise during the daytime.

In recent times it is now advised that people should either bring their rabbits indoors during the winter or at least put them in a suitable shed. If neither option is available the hutch should be made as warm as possible. The following website offers advice on how to keep your rabbit warm during the winter rabbitrehome.org.uk/care/winter.asp

However in my opinion if you cannot provide either a shed or have the rabbit indoors during the winter it might be best not to give a home to a rabbit who will spend a miserable time during the winter out in the cold and damp and suffer detriment to his or her health and maybe even die. Indoors is really preferable as I would think that even in an unheated shed it is too cold for any rabbit, it was very cold last year during such extreme weather when temperatures dropped to minus 11. I can well imagine that many rabbits left in hutches last year died. After all many wild animals died last year, including eighty percent of one species of owl. If you can't cope with a free range house rabbit there are plenty of good sized pens available for you to use to keep your rabbit safe and warm indoors. Click on the following link and scroll down to see how you can use rabbit pens to house your indoor rabbit 3bunnies.org/housing. Some good advice here however some of the linked suggestions on this website show cages and pens which in my opinion are far too small even for temporary use at night time or while you are out, let alone for regular confinement, some of the arrangements do not even allow enough height for the rabbit to stand on his or her hind legs. It is recommended by the RSPCA that a rabbit should be able to hop for at least three consecutive hops, that is the minimum in any confinement, more would be better. Rabbits should also be able to stand on their hind legs without their ears touching the roof, lie fully stretched in any direction and to turn around unimpeded*

Rabbits kept in a pen will need as much exercise time as you can give them, advice about this is included in the 3 Bunnies orglink above and some of the links that follow.

There is an abundance of advice on the internet about the best way to care for your rabbit and it is not possible to include it all here. As already mentioned it has become more popular recently for people to allow rabbits the run of the house with only a pen or other confinement at night or when no one is at home. This however does need preparation, for instance wires and electrical cables need to be protected to avoid fatal consequences. In one website advice is given concerning irritation to rabbits from frequencies emitted from TV and stereos, to avoid this it is suggested that rabbits are not allowed into rooms that contain such equipment, however this advice I have not found elsewhere and many people seem to allow house rabbits free range of the entire house. It can be difficult to know which advice is sound and you can become very anxious when you first begin to look after any animal who you are not familiar with. Common sense needs to be used, most obviously electrical wires need to be bunny proofed as rabbits chew through anything!

There are a number of websites that provide advice for both indoor and outdoor rabbits and there are many forums were you can ask questions about anything of which you are uncertain.

Suggestions for accommodating rabbits are included in the following links :

rabbitwelfare.co.uk/resources/index.php

rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/pets/rabbits/environment Be sure to download the pdf file
Rabbit Housing Advice

House Rabbit Society rabbit.org/

gawa.org.uk/education/rabbit-care

forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/

Personally I consider that in cold climates rabbits should be kept indoors during the winter months if possible and not taken from one extreme of temperature to another, for example from a warm centrally heated house into the garden.  Ideally a rabbit should be kept in the coolest room of the house and most certainly not in conditions of 80 degrees or more.

Sooty is a mixture of both. I think every creature needs time outside in the sunshine and fresh air.

Here is some important advice from Rabbit Rehome about indoor/outdoor bunnies

It is ok to bring your rabbit inside for play times during winter, or let it out for play times if he/she is usually an inside bunny. However remember an inside rabbit won't have developed the same thick winter coat of an outside bunny so keep playtimes to the warmest parts of the day. If your outdoor bunny spends lengthy amounts of time inside they may start loosing their winter coat in response to the warm temperature

During the winter Sooty has her special bunny accommodation in the bathroom where she will be comfortable but not too hot, she also has the run of the kitchen and part of the sitting room. It is not easy with an indoor/outdoors rabbit because of the advice to avoid sudden changes of temperature so we will need to see what happens this year as this will be the first full winter she has spent with us. Last year after she came to live with us she stayed indoors throughout with the occasional exercise outside when the weather was relatively mild, but during the spring and summer it has became clear that she is not too happy to be indoors all the time, though of course we can never be sure what any animal wants and like humans all animals are different, so we will see how this will work out.

Whatever you do it is really never enough and I often feel sad that no matter how large a space she has it is still confinement. She often heads towards the garden gate peering through the cracks in the wood as though she wants to go outside. Such an inquisitive creature, I can imagine her frustration at always being presented with barriers. Yes its better if you have a garden, a large run and hutch and free run of the house but in the end it is still an unnatural confinement. But sadly this is the best we can do. I hope that in time the need for people to own animals, mostly for their own needs and not for those of the animal, will one day be a thing of the past and all animals will live out their lives freely in their own environment as nature intended. In the meantime we can only do out best and offer an abandoned animal a home and provide for him or her the best life we can.

Rabbits and other pets are the way they are because of selective breeding. They are completely dependent on their human caretakers and unlike wild rabbits they have neither the physical make up nor the basic instincts to survive. We have created the problem and we now need to care for all domesticated animals including rabbits and offering an home to an animal who needs one is the best way we can help abandoned and unwanted animals rather than go into a pet shop which perpetuates the pet trade. 

Always though remember that if you cannot care for your rabbit find him or her a suitable home in a sanctuary or similar NEVER ABANDON YOUR RABBITS TO FEND FOR THEMSELVES  IN THE WILD, THEY WILL DIE.

Finally many people consider that rabbits are not that intelligent or as aware as are animals such as cats and dogs and are simply cute fluffy fur balls. Perhaps the following stories will make such misinformed people think again.

By clicking the link below you can read a recent story concerning an heroic rabbit who saved his owner from a fire.

As the house was burning a brave rabbit saved his owner and her daughter from fire by scratching her chest until she awoke. Both the mother and daughter escaped unharmed. Sadly the little rabbit died from Smoke inhalation.

dailymail.co.uk/news/article-Hero-rabbit-saves-family-house-scratching-owner.

 

References

1) http://www.rspca.org.uk/ImageLocator/Locate

 

October 6th 2011

Rabbit Farming

In additon to the abuse and neglect of rabbits as mentioned in the above entry there are many rabbits who are farmed for their fur and meat. Seen as a quick way to make money rabbit farming is on the increase and is just as abusive as any other kind of factory farming. Here in the UK  rabbit farming is mostly small scale touted as a high profit making relatively problem free enterprise. In other countries such as Australia it is becoming one of the fastest growing new industries.

When considering the abuse of factory farming we seldom consider rabbits as victims of this atrocity. Yet world wide approximately 865 million rabbits are subjected to a short and miserable life as battery rabbits treated in the same appalling way as  battery hens.

These unfortunate creatures like battery hens are crammed into cages measuring only about 45 cm in height with only wire for a floor arranged in either single rows or stacked two or three tiers high with spaces measuring only about 0.56Square metres of floor space to accommodate eight or more growing rabbits. This is approximately the size of an A 4 piece of paper, yes that is the tiny amount of space allocated for one rabbit..

rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/farm/rabbits/farming

Beside the obvious cruelty of inflicting pain and death upon any animal the condition in which these poor creatures are housed until they are sent to the slaughter or used as breeding machines is nothing short of inhumane and an atrocity against a living feeling thinking being.

For anyone who cares for any animal it is obvious that such tiny spaces are inadequate. However in case you are not familiar with rabbits or have ever thought about how these animals we use and abuse once lived in the wild here are some of the reasons why imprisoning these animals is cruel.

It is obvious that these tiny cages are inadequate for rabbits to exercise, to hop, jump and run. The height makes it impossible for rabbits to stand on their rear legs with their ears erect as rabbits in the wild and those domesticated animals properly cared for in a sanctuary and in good homes are able to do and which of course is a natural behaviour. Can you imagine not being able to perform a normal functional movement such as stand to your full height. Beside the basic discomfort regarding movement foot injuries are caused by wire in the floor of the cages, a far cry from the grass of the wild or soft hay to sit or lie on. Furthermore these cramped conditions can lead to skeletal, spine and leg disorders in older rabbits that are used for breeding. Of course rabbits killed at eight or ten weeks naturally do not suffer these effects because they have been denied the full quota of their expected life span, which is about three years in the wild and up to ten in a well cared for domestic situation.

The lack of floor space also prevents normal interactions with other rabbits. Rabbits are social animals who construct burrows and form groups of sometimes hundred or more  rabbits. Forming close bonds rabbits like to groom and play with one another and form close friendships. Rabbits also love to dig of course, our rabbit sooty - see entry above- is obviously enjoying herself when with great gusto she digs and throws her soil everywhere. Rabbits like to hide, Sooty has her own box into which at times she retreats, as pry animals rabbits need at times to feel the security of an enclosed space.   Gnawing on hard edible objects is yet another behaviour denied these caged rabbits. Last but most certainly not least, behaviours  associated with mothering such as preparing and covering the nest and moving away from her off spring are impossible within the confines of this abusive system.  Each doe will have around five litters of between eight and ten babies (called kits or pups) each year. At about eight to twelve weeks of age, after being weaned at four weeks these babies are taken to slaughter. Naturally once her breeding days are over she will be slaughtered, both does and bucks (male Rabbit) are slaughtered between eighteen to thirty six weeks of age. Some rabbits are artificially inseminated

Confined in sheds rabbits never of course see the light of day or feel a breath of wind. They are never  able to run or dig and burrow, form bonds with other rabbits and do all the things that rabbits are meant to do in the wild.

Yes this is what happens to rabbits just like the ones people think of as cute cuddly fluffy animals with whom they share their homes. I can well imagine that there are rabbit owners who love their bunnies and who give them a good home yet may still eat a rabbit stew. Although rabbit meat is not as popular as lamb, beef or pork it is nonetheless widely eaten   the world over. Here in the UK 250 to 1 million rabbits are reared for meat though many people think that the rabbit on the menu in a restaurant or for sale in the butchers is a wild rabbit. Not that this of course would mitigate the atrocity of killing this sentient being any more than it does any other of the millions if not billions of other sentient creatures who are murdered every year for their flesh, fur or wool.

Rabbits just like all animals, like your cat or your dog, are thinking feeling sentient beings. Their lives matter to them as yours does to you. They have the capacity to suffer as you do, to feel pain, loneliness and fear. Yet like so many animals they are treated as a means of satisfying our appetite for a food we do not need and to gratify the fickle minded who put fashion above the lives of other sentient beings. Rabbit fur, like fox and mink fur, belongs to the animal to keep him or her warm, it is not for human use. The killing of animals for their fur is a disgusting anachronism, remnants of a bygone age and has no place in a modern civilsied society any more than the slaughter of billions of helpless defenceless creatures for their meat.

What Can I do

If your really want to make a difference stop eating rabbit meat and do not buy rabbit fur

Read the shocking facts about rabbit farming in Australia in the article Battery Bunnies

alv.org.au/issues/misc.php

See the shocking reality of rabbit farming in Portugal


Undercover footage of Portuguese rabbit farms shows the grim reality of intensive factory-style rabbit farming, which may now make a comeback in the UK Plans to build half a dozen rabbit farms across the UK could see an increase in intensive caged rabbit and fur farming in the UK.

Watch the video showing shocking cruelty and the dreadful conditions in which caged rabbits are confined.

theecologist.org/battery_rabbit_farm_proposals_could_see_return_of_fur_farming_to

Petitions you may like to sign

Say no to rabbit farming in the UK

thepetitionsite.com/1/say-no-to-rabbit-battery-farming/

Help  PETA's campaign to stop cruel rabbit slaughter

Undercover Video Shows Rabbits Screaming During Slaughter

Rabbits are slaughtered in both China and France for their fur.

The undercover investigations of rabbit fur farms in China and France—two countries from which Armani buys rabbit fur—revealed pitiful living conditions for rabbits, who are confined to tiny wire cages before they are slaughtered.

Read more of the PETA article and watch the video if you are able to stomach such sickening cruelty perpetrated against a gentle helpless animal to take his fur and use his dead flesh for meat.

Includes an opportunity to write to Giorgio Armani and urge him to keep the promise that he made by permanently removing all fur from his collections.

secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1137

Urge Rushcliffe Borough Council to Reject Plans for Two Rabbit Factory Farms

In December 2010 and January 2011, Philip Kerry of T&S Nurseries submitted two applications (10/02115/FUL and 11/00030/FUL) to build rabbit factory farms in Nottinghamshire. The proposed sites are in East Bridgford and Granby.

To read more information and send a letter to the council

action.peta.org.uk/ea-campaign/clientcampaign.do?ea.client.id=5&ea.campaign.id=10656

More information and action you can take from

Rabbits United Forum

forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/showthread.Rabbit-Battery-Farms-IMPORTANT-Please-Read

It is important to realise of course that animal welfare while providing better conditions in the short term continues to perpetuate the use of animals as food and clothing and other uses.

The ultimate answer to end animal suffering of this nature is the cessation of all kinds of animal farming and the adoption of a vegan diet. if you want to stop the suffering of animals do not eat meat or other animal derivatives or, wear fur or wool.

October 8th

Meat eating and Spirituality

I have heard so many reasons why people think they have to eat meat, reasons put forward perhaps to justify themselves during a discussion or simply to pacify the niggle of conscience. Such reasons include health, religion, culture, habit - our family has always eaten meat - lack of time and not knowing what else to cook and taste - I won’t deprive myself of this pleasure. Some of the most erroneous justifications are: our anatomy is “designed” to eat meat - not really if you need to cook it and use a weapon to kill it - and we can’t get sufficient nutrition without meat- sufficient nutrition can be derived from non meat sources.

However there is no argument so unsettling as the following justification extracted from a message left in a environmental website recently in reference to a story about a lamb who befriended the farmer’s dog and became a family pet, with the assurance that he would not meet the fate of his flock mates. Along with such spiritually emoting words as Karma, meditation, soul along the fact that she was eating lamb that evening the author of the message wrote:

Thank you to the lamb who gave her life so that I may eat!”

This type of glib justification draped in the clock of spirituality obviously not seen as a wrong doing against another living sentient being is to my mind particularly unsettling. Such justification is often more difficult to dispel by reason for the person has already found for herself an acceptable validation which has removed any pangs of conscience that might other wise make her reconsider. Surprisingly spiritually and religion can be huge stumbling blocks in the campaign to liberate animals from human exploitation, although the above rhetoric often does not belong to a specific form of spirituality, such as a recognised religious belief system, but rather comes under the New Age umbrella of a mishmash of ideas often using a mix of terminology derived from a diversity of religious belief and some simply born of the philosophical notions of the individuals concerned. With the exception of Jainism most religions and philosophies may be interpreted to allow the believer to justify the consumption of meat. 

In fact such reasoning can be used to justify all manner of atrocities perpetrated against all animals including man and against the very earth itself. It is this way of thinking that is often used validate war and other outrages. I cannot understand the kind of mind that can so easily accept such a justification whether born of their own philosophy, or the philosophy of others, or the distortion of religious belief, without it would appear the least degree of analysis. Hardly the mentality of a great thinker, but than that is the crux of the matter is it not. People simply do not think even when they belong to an environmentally aware internet group where at the very least this person must have come across mention of the problem with meat eating and how it contributes to the destruction of the rain forest and the allocation of land given over to grow fodder for crops to feed well off people in rich western countries while other people die of malnutrition. It is as though such people are blinkered, as if they see only so far. Often this is simply not a deliberate intention, but they are it seems incapable of thinking otherwise despite other opinions literally being in front of their eyes. This person had a complex profile filled with the usual new age platitudes about love and peace. How does such a person expect to have a loving peaceful world when she considers it okay to slaughter animals, for surely she cannot seriously think that the lamb she was to eat that night voluntarily gave his or her life to feed her. Here is my reply to the message

"Lambs or any other farm animals do not give their lives so that you or anyone else can eat. Rather lambs are forcibly taken from their mothers and slaughtered. Animals are here for their own purposes and wish to live as much as we do. You do not need to consume meat in order to live, in fact meat is not a natural diet for human beings otherwise we would not need to cook it . Meat as I am sure you know not only destroys the lives of animals, but eating meat takes up land to grow crops to feed farm animals at the expense of other human beings. So both for human and non human animals it is a practice that we can well do without."

I have not given references as doing so would most likely appear to the person concerned as a personal attack. Such I feel is not appropriate when making references to people who leave comments on forums. The above comment is in any case a generic one, many such comments can be found on the internet in similar forums.

October 10th

Determined to live

Here is a heart warming story that may bring tears to your eyes and renew your determination to make the best of a difficult life if you are unfortunate to suffer.

On a personal note. I have a number of painful and chronic conditions that make life increasingly difficult at times and often it is not easy to make the best of things and all to easy to slip into depression and despair. The story below about this little lamb's determination to make the best of things really moved me.

A compassionate Chinese farmer Cui Jinxiu has spared a two legged lamb from slaughter because of his determination to live. The little lamb was born with only two legs and was hand reared by Cui who says:

‘He was so determined to live he pulled himself up onto his own two feet and started drinking his mother's milk. I couldn't let him die,’

It of course goes without saying that rather like the previous entry it is a tragedy that any sentient creature, which clearly is obvious in both cases concerning sheep and indeed of course other farm animals, should be slaughtered in any circumstance, however the above is nonetheless a heart warming story of determination and compassion. A tiny light of hope in a long and dark tunnel of apathy and indifference towards our fellow creatures which sadly seems to pervade most of the world concerning our treatment of non human animals with whom we share this world

Read the full story

metro.co.uk/weird/836829-two-legged-lamb-saved-from-the-chop

October 11th

Sheep rescue

More on Sheep

The link below will take you to a story about a sheep rescue with a happy ending

all-creatures.org/stories/a-buttercup.html

October 12th

Anyone who continues to condone the eating of meat could do well to read the new article on this website.

Guest Article:
Meat = Death

This timely article discusses the devastating effects of a carnivorous diet for animals, man and the planet.

October 17th

Put an end to Hunger

For me personally the animal rights ethic/vegan ethic should include the welfare of our own species.

One of the great injustices of mankind is that of allowing millions of people to die of hunger. In the coming months as many as 70,000 people in Somalia could die. In the last three months 30,000 children have already died and 12 million people are at risk.

Please take action today to prevent the deaths of thousands of people

Please watch the short video  " The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity” and sign the petition which will be sent to world leaders at the Group of 20 (G20) Summit in November, they have the opportunity to break the cycle of famine.

act.one.org/sign/hungry_no_more/

For more information continue reading

From One's website

 

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch ONE’s new video “The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity” and sign the petition.

http://act.one.org/sign/hungry_no_more/

Dear world leaders,

The famine in Somalia could kill 750,000 in the coming months, and tens of thousands have already died. When you meet at the Group of 20 (G-20) Summit in November, you have the opportunity to break the cycle of famine and ensure people are hungry no more. Lives are in your hands. Please keep the promises you have made to the 2 billion poor people who depend on farming for their livelihoods.

The reasons for the famine in the Horn of Africa are complex and solutions are difficult, especially in Somalia, but we can’t lose sight of some simple facts:

1. 30,000 children have died in just 3 months.  Thirty thousand.  With over 12 million people at risk.

2. Famine is not a natural catastrophe – drought doesn’t have to lead to famine.  It can be prevented, as we’ve seen in much of Kenya and Ethiopia.  

In the 21st century, it’s an obscenity that people are dying because they can’t get enough food to eat.  Every one of those 30,000 children is part of a family – a son, a daughter, sister or brother.  We can’t imagine what it must be like to starve to death, but most of us know what it’s like to lose someone we love.

Please watch the film and make use of the voice you have -- sign the petition.  It will make a difference in putting pressure on world leaders to do more to help those in need right now, and live up to promises already made to invest in the things proven to work – early warning systems...irrigation...drought resistant seeds… and of course, peace and security.

Thanks!

 

The film is produced by One International a grass roots grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, by raising public awareness and pressuring political leaders to support smart and effective policies and programs that are saving lives, helping to put kids in school and improving futures.

act.one.org/sign/hungry_no_more/

October 19th

Petition to lift ban on famine video

ONE's new public service announcement 'The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity' (see entry above) has been banned from being broadcast in the UK.

Please sign a petition which directly concerns the a ban on the broadcast on British television of the above video that focuses the world's attention on the famine and food crisis in the Horn of Africa, aiming to save millions of lives from slow, cruel starvation.

Please sign the petition

Please click the link below for more information and to sign a petition asking those responsible to lift the ban and allow ONES film to be broadcast

Take Action Link http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AgUx1/zLjA/DPco



November 24th

Possible Jail time for animal cruelty

A women Gena Robinson in a vengeful act microwaved her former best friend's kitten. Her than friend had reported Robinson's abusive partner to the police and Robinson decided to take it out on the tiny ten week old kitten in an unimaginable and callous act of cruelty that turns the stomach of most people. Yes maybe it was an act done in the heat of the moment, not that I imagine such an act of cruelty would present in the minds of most people who might have broken a valuable ornament or other inanimate possession of which the owner was fond, not that primitive acts of vengeance serve any purpose. But to use this defenceless animal in this wanton act of cruelty is truly shocking. And besides the kittens owner was sent a text message saying: "Remember the saying 'What goes around comes around'? It has started already to bite you in the a**e. The cat? Karma." So seemingly not a lot of remorse there

Perhaps if the law took a firmer stance and and punishment was more appropriate to the crime there would be less cruelly to animals. With the continuing increase of cruelty and neglect it is time the law was changed to reflect these serious acts of crime perpetrated towards defenceless sentient feeling thinking beings who like you and and I feel pain and wish to live. Here is how this act of cruelty was described in the Hufftington post:

Ms Knutton, (
kittens owner) who is hard of hearing, was able to hear a noise "like a crisp packet being popped", followed by a loud "screeching" while in the lounge, separated from the kitchen by a hallway and two doors.


Sounds horrific! Most of us cannot understand the mind state of a person who commits such an act of hideous cruelty.

Read the complete article and comment, the more people who speak out the better.

huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/11/23/gina-robins-faces-jail-cooking-kitten-microwave

Please sign the following petition calling for:
Harsher punishments and jail sentences for Animal abusers
epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/2765

 

December 2nd

Primary school taken on a duck shooting trip

Animals give me more pleasure through the viewfinder of a camera than they ever did in the crosshairs of a gunsight. And after I’ve finished “shooting,” my unharmed victims are still around for others to enjoy. I have developed a deep respect for animals. I consider them fellow living creatures with certain rights that should not be violated any more than those of humans.
Jimmy Stewart

The shocked father of a primary school child has complained to the school after his daughter came home in tears after seeing ducks shot. What he thought to be a bird watching trip was actually a wildfowling trip organised by Ely and District Wildfowlers' Association.

As Ray Poolman packed his 10-year-old daughter Danielle off with a little chair and binoculars to go on a birdwatching trip, little did they know what lay ahead.

But the schoolgirl arrived home later that day in floods of tears after being subjected to a "harrowing" hunting experience. Instead of lessons on the "different species of wildfowl" and "conservation of the landscape", as promised by the school, the Year Six pupils witnessed birds being shot and killed for sport.

Read More
huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/12/01/pupil-reduced-tears-wildfowling-trip-duck-shooting_

Now not being of the hunting fraternity I would have had no any idea what wildfowling is and this was most likey the case with the father and no doubt other parents also. The exact nature of the school trip was not fully explained. Yes perhaps parents should have checked it out more carefully but hey we trust schools do we not and quite honesty how many of us would actually consider that a school would organise a trip that included the barbaric slaughter of helpless animals, usually referred to as "sport", as a good choice for a school outing. Wildfowling has a more acceptable ring  to it than duck shooting and had the latter term been used rather than the former I think many parents would not have given permission for their child to go. The concerned father had thought that this was a bird watching trip and considering comments included in the information parents received along the lines of seeing an  "evening flight" with no mention of guns or shooting, it is easy to see how this trip could be seen simply as an opportunity to observe wild birds.

I think it's shocking that any child should be subjected to the barbaric cruelty of killing any animal and introduced to the practice of hunting for pleasure, which of course is all hunting is nowadays as no one needs to eat the dead flesh of any animal and most certainly no one needs to go out and shoot one for food. Should children who tend naturally to see such actions as innately cruel as did this child be gradually desensitised into thinking that it is okay to kill another living being for fun. Or brain washed into thinking  that it is the right thing to do for conservation purposes as was implied by the head teacher in response to the complaint:

"It is not just 'let's go out and shoot ducks'; there is a whole conservation issue which the school deals with."

It is not conservation, it is not culture, it is not sport, or any other of the more respectable labels hunters give to this barbaric pastime, it is merely a sadistic practice that has no place in a modern society. The excuse of conservation to my mind is an attempt to add some respectability to what is still a sadistic pastime and is nothing more than an excuse to justify taking the lives of these animals who have as much right to live as you or I. Since when has conservation been about killing animals. Conservation means to preserve, protect or restore the natural environment, natural ecosystems, vegetation and wildlife, not to destroy them. What right have human beings to control populations of other creatures, to mould them to our needs. We cannot even control our own populations. For God's sake leave nature and other animals alone. The veneer of conservation might make such acts of brutal and cowardly cruelty more acceptable, but in reality it is used as a facade for those who get some sick pleasure in killing another creature and a tool to brain wash others into seeing the practice as a benefit rather than a detriment, as ethical rather than immoral, as a necessity rather than an outdated indulgence

Notice that the Ely wildfowlers.elywildfowlersrog.uk/elywildfowlers/ refers to shooting and conservation in the same sentence. What has shooting got to do with conservation. Many people including myself take the word conservation literally to mean preservation and consider that conservation is about saving and protecting animals not killing them. It seems we have to be so very careful about applying literal meanings to these relatively new concepts that for many are still unfamiliar and not take them as face value. Mostly though conservation is not about killing animals but rather protecting them, sadly the meaning as become distorted to add respectability to this primitive behaviour.

When I was a child such a trip would not have taken place. I cannot imagine the reaction that would have ensued had my parents received a letter asking permission to take my sister and I to witness a duck shoot, as such would not have been veiled in words as wildfowling or conservation of course.

The father has a right to complain. He though is a fishermen who sadly does not see his pastime as killing and most likely does not understand that a fish is an animal as is a duck. Nevertheless he was right to complain and I would have done much the same had my child been subjected to such an unsuitable school trip. 

Why the school has had no other complaints is probably due to the continuing desensitisation of children towards their more natural response of horror to the killing of animals by using such justifications as conservation and the like. Children's minds are so easily shaped into thinking what they are told to think. We know do we not that at first a child's reaction to meat is often one of abhorrence and it is not easy to get children to eat it. But eventually they do as a result of adult pressure and than they in turn go on to influence their children likewise

What shocked me more than anything though was the comments from readers of the newspapers below and here I quote just a few:

We are all Carnivores for goodness sakes!! What's wrong in shooting an animal if you are going to eat it????

No we are not all carnivores, neither are we omnivores, human beings are naturally herbivores. Think about it,  if humans were carnivores we would not need a weapon to kill our food, we would have sharp canine teeth and claws to tear the flesh and we would not need to cook it. Name any other animal who cooks their meat.

Its hunting. Get over it child. Someone should toughin the child up a little bit.

Toughen up the child so she can go about killing ducks, or become so desensitised that she no longer notice's the horrors that take place in our world concerning man's cruelty to man and other animals which sadly is the case.  I think she is just fine as she is, a little more sensitivity in the world would go a long way to stopping all the violence that we humans subject each other and other species to.

30 years ago the school used to give kids an excused absence on the first day of hunting season. Now they don't even want you to talk about it...not to mention that awful G word......­gun.

Not only should the hunting season not be mentioned but it should be banned, hunting animals is an anachronism in the modern world and it no longer necessary . For the cave man yes but for twenty-first century man most certainly no. In the twenty-first century people mostly man, but I am increasingly shocked to see more women, kill animals because they enjoy to do so, it is as simple as that. There is rarely if ever any justification.  I have lived in a rural areas for 40 years and never recalled days of school absence for hunting. And yes gun is an awful word for an awful weapon that kills and maims countless millions of animals and humans.

It's about British heritage though, conservati­on and something specific to their area, they should be learning about where they come from or we all end up as nationwide clones. Her father is a fisherman, he should fully understand the interest of keeping heritage sports and activities alive.

Heritage, sports, conservation all words to mitigate the fact you are killing another sentient being which in the modern world here in the UK is not necessary. Heritage now really has no place as a justification, hunting was once a necessary in a by gone age but in modern times is it a barbaric throw back, one that should not be promoted as Heritage. Is war an heritage that we must persevere, like hunting we have always practiced war, should we preserve that as an heritage. I think its time we need to look at heritage and consign some of its more violent less civilised manifestations to history were they belong including, but certainly not limited, to hunting.

"hunting has always been and will always be a part of our culture"

Odd, I always think of culture as something ennobling such as art, the humanities shared values of a more evolved and elevated way of life as in for example the definition included in the following entry from Dictionary.com

Culture:

1.the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc.
2. that which is excellent in the arts, manners, etc.
3. a particular form or stage of civilization, as that of a certain nation or period: Greek culture.
4. development or improvement of the mind by education or training.
5. the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group: the youth culture; the drug culture.
dictionary.reference.com/browse/culture

Yes indeed culture can mean a pattern of behaviour regardless of its enhancement or otherwise as in the example of the drug culture but most people when they hear the world culture rarely think of barbarous acts of cruelty

People used to say that about segregatio­n...just might want to think a bit before using absolutes like "always.".

By the way: hunting to survive is a WHOLE different animal from huntin­g for "sport", even when it's sanitized by 'well we eat what we kill".

In the main this comment is more realistic, the use of the word "always" needs to be questioned, because something has always been done does not make it right, nor does it mean that we cannot change it. There has always been hunting and there as always been war both absolutes often used to justify or accept a continuance of these practices. You can imagine the word always was once used as a justification for slavery, child labour and so on and such would have persisted had not some one made a stance against their continuance.

And yes hunting to survive, now not generally a necessity for survival in the twenty-first century, is entirely different from hunting for sport. Sport of course implies pleasure does it not, so hunting is for pleasure, even with lame attempts at its justification by " we eat what we Kill"

Meanwhile 10 year old school children in Iraq and Afghanista­n and a multitude of other places, 10 year olds don't have a school and witness their family members, friends and neighbors being shot and killed for oil and money

Yes indeed you are correct but two wrongs do not make a right and comparing one with the other does not mitigate the fact that hunting and killing innocent animals is wrong just as killing innocent people in war is wrong,  in both these cases they are done for self interest, one for pleasure, the other for oil and money sought by the greedy profit ridden capitalist system at the expense of humans, other animals and the environment.

Surely a child who cries over the killing of ducks is less likely to go to war to kill another human being.

Many crimes of brutality begin will the perpetrator killing animals with out compunction or killing for pleasure

I think that a person who is able to shoot a duck or other animal is one step closer to killing a human being. I am not saying that every hunter is likely to kill another human being only that they are one step closer to doing so perhaps than someone who would not kill any animal

Consider the following quotation from Pythagoras

"As long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other.
Pythagoras 570–c. 495 BC Greek philosopher and mathematician
 

I fear when I read stories like this, heaven help us if we ever have another war, with whimps like this.

With "wimps" like this perhaps we would never have another war.

Leave the child with her sensitivity, be pound that she has such sensitivity do not destroy this natural propensity.

I fear when I see people with guns, people who can so easily take the life of another being. I dislike this time of year when in such places as the Durham Dales, the Yorkshire Dales and everywhere there is natural countryside when taking a walk you suddenly come across these people carrying guns ready to kill any creature that moves, usually those tiny  grouse. Big brave sportsmen. Remember the shocking killing spree in Cumbria by David Bird a man who used to shoot rabbits! He killed 12 people with no qualms whatsoever. Had guns not been licensed for the killing of animals these twenty people would still be alive today. Read more on this website.

Yes gun is an awful word and for children to see the shooting of ducks is an outrage

Read more comments.

telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8925937/Fathers-anger-over-primary-school-duck-shooting-trip.html

So sad is it not that few if any, as I have not read them all, condemn hunting.

Here is how children should be introduced to nature, to ducks and other birds - with a pair of binoculars and a camera. An old cliché perhaps but the only shooting should be with a camera.

Don't these beautiful gentle harmless animals look so much better alive

Children will probably learn more about how to appreciate wildlife and these sentient beings with whom we share this world in the old fashioned way by a trip to the park or lake to feed the ducks on a Sunday afternoon

Preserving nature such as in nature reserves is fine in fact desirable up to a point and that point is reached when we start to kill animals who have as much right to live as you or I. Nature takes care of her own and needs no man or women with a shot gun for assistance.

Odd how I thought conservation was about saving animals

When I was twelve, I went hunting with my father and we shot a bird. He was laying there and something struck me. Why do we call this fun to kill this creature who was as happy as I was when I woke up this morning.”
Marv Levy


February 4th

Urgent Action

Up Date February 9th

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A blog in support of animal and human rights and the environment

 

http://rantingsfromavirtualsoapbox.wordpress.com/