Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Give Long Jail Sentences to Animal Abusers

What some indescribable people did to this dog is so terrifying as to defy words.

People who commit atrocities like this should be locked in jail and the key should be thrown away. It's important that perpetrators of crimes, especially of this magnitude, against animals are treated with the same severity as those who commit them against humans, if we want animals to be protected from this barbarity.

Tidus was burned alive by teenage criminals and is still fighting for his life:
His name is Tidus, and what happened to him, could happened to your dog…

Two weeks ago, Tidus was happily playing in the park with his owner, a normal evening walk/play socializing with other dogs… All of a sudden, Tidus was nowhere to be seen.

His owner looked everywhere for him. He was wearing his collar, tag with telephone number, microchip, surely if he was lost he would be found and returned to her… Minutes passed, one hour and there was no trace of Tidus. The park and every adjacent street are combed. There was no trace.

Someone says he has seen a group of youngsters walking towards a solitary part of town walking with a tail wagging dog.

Tidus was found three hours later, and nothing could prepare it’s owner for what she was about to find...

One thing is for sure… even if his condition remains critical, Tidus is absolutely full of life, I have never before met a dog like him. Tidus EATS life… literally...
... and his little face remains as beautiful as ever.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mum Elephant Saves Baby Stuck in a Pit

Amazing video of a mother elephant saving her baby from drowning when he can't get out of a waterhole he fell into, in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

The mum elephant persists in her repeated attempts to rescue the baby, not an easy task, and only stops when the little one is safe.

As a commenter said: "It shows that animals do have intelligence, feeling, emotions, and not just raw instinct. It shows that they have the ability to problem solve."

Female Leopard Saves Newborn Baby Baboon

Incredible video of a young female leopard who, finding a newborn baby baboon in the fur of his mother she had just killed, saves the baby, protects and licks him, forms a bond with him.

Maybe her developing maternal instincts were stronger than her predatory ones? We don't know, but what we know is that altruistic behaviour is more common in nonhuman animals than we may be inclined to think, and has been observed repeatedly.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Indian School Textbook on Vegetarian Health Benefits Wrongly Slammed

A textbook which has been used in Indian schools since 2008 says that meat-eaters lie, cheat, don't keep promises, steal, commit sex crimes and violence.

The book in question, New Healthway: Health, Hygiene, Physiology, Safety, Sex Education, Games and Exercises by David S. Poddar, is aimed at Class 6 pupils (11 and 12 year-olds), and printed by S Chand, a reputed publishing company which prints books used in hundreds of schools in India.

On page 56 the book says about non-vegetarians: "They easily cheat, tell lies, they forget promises, they are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight and turn to violence and commit sex crimes."

New Healthway also highlights the health benefits of a meatless and vegetable-based diet.

Although inaccurately describing the fish-eating Japanese as vegetarian, it says about them something that is correct about vegetarian or even mostly vegetarian nutrition: "They are vegetarians and live longer than most other peoples. The generous use of green leafy vegetables, soya beans and grams has helped the people to maintain vigour, strength and endurance throughout the centuries".

Epidemiological studies within the same country and across countries do show that vegetarians live longer and are less vulnerable to major killers like cancer and cardio-vascular diseases than meat-eaters.

New Healthway has received very harsh criticism and raised concerns in India about control over school textbooks.

"This is poisonous for children," Janaki Rajan of the Faculty of Education at Jamia Millia University in Delhi, who was part of the committee that prepared a report raising concerns about textbooks printed by private publishers, told the BBC.

The book has also been attacked by some self-appointed "guardians of science" against the dark forces of superstition, in a post which is full of inaccuracies itself. The article author has relied on the BBC report and has never consulted the original Indian source of the news, otherwise he (or it coud be she) would not write that "It’s not know [sic] whether any schools have bought the book, but those that do will have some ‘splaining to do", because he would know that the book has been in use in several schools since 2008.

For someone who respects the rules of science, sloppy and superficial research is not a good starting point.

The reason why the activist atheist site in question, called Why Evolution Is True (like a book by Jerry Coyne which in fact I have), even covers the topic of this Indian textbook lies in its Christain connection: "The strongest argument that meat is not essential food is the fact that the Creator of this Universe did not include meat in the original diet for Adam and Eve. He gave them fruits, nuts and vegetables," reads a chapter entitled Do We Need Flesh Food?".

This is similar to the basis on which the vegetarianism of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a Christian denomination, is founded.

The irony is that, as far as health is concerned, science is on the side of this textbook's argument, however badly presented and stimulated by whatever inspiration, Christian in this case.

A book that promotes vegetarianism for ethical and medical reasons is a good thing, even if the style, admittedly, could have been more refined.

In fact, I would say that this book is very welcome and, despite its limitations, even necessary, if you consider this:
Despite a strong culture of vegetarianism and a religious taboo over beef-eating, Indians are consuming more and more meat as the country’s economy grows and consumers become better-travelled.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization last year said Indians’ per capita consumption of meat was running at 5.0 to 5.5 kilograms (11 to 12 pounds) a year, the highest since it began compiling records.

In short, India seems to be going the same way as China. Since we're on the subject, did you know that the much-vituperated McDonald's has announced that it will open two vegetarian restaurants in India next year, the first such outlets globally for the world’s biggest restaurant chain? McDonald's is trying to grow in India where it is still a relatively small presence and so is bowing to local demand.

Once McDonald’s has its first vegetarian restaurants in place in India, why not put pressure on the hamburger chain to open them elsewhere, indeed everywhere else?

Another assertion in the textbook that has given rise to controversy is in its life lessons, where it advocates marriage for girls between 18 to 25, adding: "To get married without a bad name is a dream of every young girl."

People could do much worse than follow advice of that kind. Again this book is attacked for the style and form in which it presents its arguments, rather than being analyzed for the substance of its content.

Unless, of course, someone thinks that it's preferable to have a high rate of teenage pregnancy, illegitimate births, fatherless families, sexually transmitted diseases, in short all the consequences of not stopping to consider whether sexual promiscuity is indeed the way forward.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Great News: Los Angeles Adopts Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday celebrity supporters

It may have done it partly for the wrong reasons (combat climate change) but partly, and importantly, for the right reasons (animal welfare and also human health).

It is great that on October 24 this resolution was adopted: "the Council of the City of Los Angeles hereby declares all Mondays as 'Meatless Mondays' in support of comprehensive sustainability efforts as well as to further encourage residents to eat a more varied plant-based diet to protect their health and
protect animals."

It is very, very good that, before this declaration, several Californian and US colleges and universities had added Meatless Monday menus in their cafeterias; in Maryland the Baltimore City Public School System had become the first US school district to adopt a 100% Meatless Monday policy in 2009, followed by other school districts in the States; the Council of the District of Columbia had designated Mondays as "Meat Free Mondays"; the City of San Francisco had designated every Monday as "Veg Day"; the Green Cincinnati Plan had recommended going meatless one day a week; and a growing number of American cities had passed "resolutions encouraging residents to explore vegetarian eating to help
protect their health, the environment, and animals".

Los Angeles has now become the largest city in the US to sign a Meatless Monday resolution.

The U.S. Meatless Monday campaign was launched in 2003 in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Now the "cut out meat one day a week" program is active in 24 countries and growing.

A great number of celebrities are participating in the Meatless Mondays campaign: the picture above shows a collage of some of them.

To start Meatless Monday in your city, download the free Meatless Monday Community Toolkit.

Catholics already have a meatless day, Friday, and have been abstaining from meat on that day for centuries. This is to commemorate the day of the Crucifixion of Our Lord.

Some Catholics, like the blog Maxine, have proposed that the meatless day should be changed to Friday. I understand the rationale behind Meatless Monday: it is the beginning of the week, so we want to start it well, on the right foot. But I also understand the Catholics who say that they
believe it would be a nice gesture (changing Meatless Monday to Meatless Friday) that would allow our society to be on the same page - even if we are doing much of the same thing for different reasons.
It would be a good thing, bringing together people from different viewpoints, making Catholics nearer vegetarianism and vegetarians nearer Catholicism: both good perspectives on life.

Don't forget that Jesus banned animal sacrifices and Christianity is one of the very few religions that do not practice animal sacrifices.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Ways to Help Superstorm Sandy Homeless and Missing Cats and Dogs

The video shows the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) Animal Rescue Team while it helps animals and families in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, that has left thousands of dogs and cats homeless.
In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, on top of the devastation to the city and the toll on the people in the area, thousands of pets from New York City and surrounding areas are missing.

While the storm raged, many people were parted from their pets. The Humane Society of the United States reported that around 15 million dogs, 14 million cats and 1.5 million horses were in the path of Hurricane Sandy's wrath.

In many cases, owners had to part with their pets when they evacuated their homes, while others tried to find accommodation where they could take their pets with them. Often the Humane Society collected pets for safekeeping, while the owners were evacuated to safety. But many were lost during the ordeal.

Shortly before the storm hit, New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg announced that all the city shelters were pet friendly and that around 70 pets had already arrived.
However, since Sandy passed through, there are thousands of pets desperately in need of shelter, as their homes have been destroyed, or cannot safely be occupied at present.

There are also many dogs and cats who simply panicked and ran when the storm hit and various lost and found pages are being set up on the Internet, including a Facebook page, Hurricane Sandy Lost and Found Pets.

Their "about" reads, "Posting photos of lost or found pets in the areas affected by Sandy, as well as posting animal shelters in need and temporary shelters that allow animals. We are animal lovers and advocates trying to help with networking to get animals reunited with their families."

Their photo feed of lost and found pets can be viewed here.

Craigslist is also getting many posts.

The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reports that New York and Long Island shelters became temporary homes to only around 400 animals, which is worrying to many desperate owners that cannot find their pets.

In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie announced on Friday that a rescue hotline has been set up for residents who had to leave their pets behind when evacuating. The number is 1-855-407-4787 and the hotline is open 24 hours a day. There is also a statewide pet hotline available: 1-866-407-4787.

There are many moving stories doing the rounds including one in Suffolk County. ASPCA chief Roy Gross told Long Island Press, “We had one couple who just left the shelter, they lost their house and their car, all they had left was each other and their little Pomeranian dog.”

“They kept thanking us over and over for everything,” he added.

Gross said that the agency has been staffing Pet Friendly Shelters around the clock since Sandy hit and asked for help: "Our biggest need is for supplies; dog and cat food; blankets; bowls leashes and volunteers," Gross said, adding that volunteers are also needed to help staff the Mobile Animal Hospital (MASH Unit) where dogs and cats are being sheltered. Volunteers will then be trained to staff the shelters in the event of another disaster.
With all the people, especially young, looking for a job, could not this be a golden opportunity to do some good, and at the same time get training and connections?

Neuter Your Cat, Not All Kittens Are as Lucky as Francis

This is the video of the rescue of a stray kitten left alone to freeze in the snow, who could not even see anything because of thick black goop covering his eyes, crying for his mother.

The good Samaritan who made the video took him in and healed him back to health.

He is now a happy and loved cat, named Francis, after St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

The maker of the video, though, reminds people that not all stray kittens and cats are so lucky, and that the best thing to do, if you don't want your cat's kittens, is to neuter your cat.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Similarity between Animal Sacrifices and Animal Experiments

I have written many times on this blog and on my site Human Health and Animal Ethics that animal experiments in biomedicine do not help human health: the method is scientifically wrong and, because of its lack of predictive ability and consequent unreliability, it can do great harm to humans as well as not doing good.

So animal testing is not only useless, it is dangerous because misleading.

I have explained at length the reasons why this is the case, and you can read them there.

As far as drugs are concerned, an important part of the solution to the problem of possible unwanted side effects is better control of the effects of medicines after they have been marketed.

“We need to encourage doctors and drug companies to watch for, report and take note of side effects in order to protect patients properly. If proper drug surveillance techniques had been available in the 1960s the thalidomide problem would have been picked up much earlier. We still don't have proper post marketing trials in place.”

Testing on humans is unavoidable whether or not you have experimented on animals first, because any new drug which is marketed is an unknown, due to the unreliability of previous animal testing.

There are cases where there is a correspondence between human and non-human animals. But how do we know that? Because we transferred the results of animal testing on humans. That is, for all practical purposes, we tested them on humans.

As I said, I have already extensively written on this. Now I want to make a connection.

Three days ago, on 26 October, was the Islamic festival of Eid-ul-Adha, which Muslims "celebrate" by sacrificing animals.

Eid al-Adha, in Arabic "feast of sacrifice", is celebrated in honour of Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his son Ishmael to show his obedience to God, before God stopped him and offered him a sheep to sacrifice instead of his son.

Almost all religions, from Islam to Judaism, from paganism to Hinduism, sacrifice animals to gods.

Nepal's Gadhimai Festival in Hinduism, a religion generally believed to be benign to animals,
calls for a mass animal sacrifice which is considered to be the world's goriest mass killing of animals.

A few hundred thousands buffaloes, pigs, goats, pigeons, rabbits and chickens are killed as part of the blood-soaked festival held every five years (November 24, 25) to honor the Hindu goddess of power.

...Animal sacrifice is an everyday occurrence in Nepal. One could visit one of the countless temples and suddenly find oneself witnessing the beheading of a goat, a chicken, a duck, or even a young buffalo. The visitor might catch the last sounds of a dying animal or find oneself wading through a stream of blood.
Christianity and Buddhism are the exceptions.

Jesus Christ banned the Jewish practice of animal sacrifices. Here, as in many other crucial areas, Christianity demonstrates once again its considerable enlightenment and progress in comparison to other religions. Christianity, along with Greco-Roman civilization, is what has made the West and its immensurable achievements over the rest of the world possible.

People have been sacrificing animals to their gods in the hope that the sacrifices would deliver them from evils.

Our culture is not so barbaric, but the hope that sacrificing somebody else, someone who cannot defend himself (or herself), will save us is still present.

God offering Abraham a sheep to sacrifice instead of his son Ishmael reminds me of the way animals are used in biomedical experiments to make them suffer and die instead of humans.

Animal experimentation is the heir to the ritual sacrifice, the modern-day equivalent of the hope that a "scapegoat" will take from us all the bad things and dangers and free us.

And it is just as irrational.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Moderate Muslims Sacrifice Animals for Eid Celebrations

Manchester police have allowed the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Adha, which this year falls on 26 October, to go ahead (via Christian Defence League).

What we are not told, though, is whether the "celebrations" will involve animal sacrifices.

Eid al-Adha, which in Arabic means "feast of sacrifice", is celebrated by Muslims worldwide in honour of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael in obedience to God, before God stopped him and provided him with a sheep to sacrifice instead of his son (funny how this reminds me of the way animals are used in biomedical experiments to make them suffer and die instead of humans).

Animal sacrifices are part of the ritual "festivities". The animals traditionally killed are cows, camels, goats and sheep depending on the region. In the Indian subcontinent, the festival is called "Bakr-Id" because of the tradition of sacrificing goats ("bakri").

In the post "Bakra Eid: The cost of sacrifice", that is only concerned about the economic cost anyway, Travel Wire Asia estimates that 7.5 million animals are sacrificed every year in Pakistan alone on Eid.

Last year, a County Commissioner in Florida tried to stop local Muslims from killing animals for Eid al-Adha on a field by getting the land owner to withdraw permission.

The voice of "moderate Muslims" in America, the Hamas-related Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), who had organized the ceremony, called her actions "disturbing".

This was the South Florida branch of a national organization which represents mainstream Muslims in the USA: they organized the sacrifices, they would slit the throat of sacrificial lambs.

Remember this next time you hear about "moderate Muslims". These are the moderate Muslims. Those who participate in this sort of bloodshed and complain if stopped are mainstream, ordinary, "moderate" Muslims.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

New Turkey Law Slowly Killing Stray Cats and Dogs

A new draft law presented to the Turkish Parliament, if passed, would condemn Turkey's stray cats and dogs to a slow and agonizing death.

The Government's plan is to abolish the current programme of TNR (Trap, Neuter and Return) and replace it with a policy instructing the municipalities to round up all free-roaming animals to place them in what are called  'Dogal hayat parklari' (natural life parks).

Now this may sound nice but these parks will just be fenced off areas, probably forests, far from populated areas where hundreds or even thousands of animals will have to fend for themselves. Those that don't die of starvation will probably suffer terrible injuries from fights over limited food sources and disease will spread through the population like wildfire.

At the moment many municipalities do not employ a vet to neuter or treat street animals, some cannot even support the animal shelters in their own areas properly so who is going to care for the animals in these out of the way parks? There will be no way to check on their welfare or even to find out if animals were actually taken there at all or disposed of in some other way!! These "parks" will become nothing but mass death camps!
Change has a petition to the Prime Minister of Turkey Tayyip Erdogan, "Stop Turkey’s proposed Death Camps for stray animals!".

Please sign the petition. They have now already collected more than 15,000 signature and need just over 9,000 to reach their target.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Vegan is Fashionable in LA

This is vegan chic and vegan exotic.

The New York Times has an article headlined "Making Vegan a New Normal", saying that vegan food is now mainstream in Southern California, which is experiencing a surge in popularity of plant-based diets.

The article reports that in Southern California omnivore’s restaurants court vegans and vegetarians, and particularly the high-profile advocates for veganism, glamorous, famous and powerful ones who fuel the dining economy there. And whatever happens in Los Angeles now will become the national trend later.

All this is replacing the public image of lentil-eating vegans in sandals with that of quinoa burger eaters in high heels.
That shift is under way in various cities around the world, but it’s happening in an explosive way in and around Los Angeles: at the elite gastronome magnets, at casual gathering spots and everywhere in between.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pets at Home Investigated by Watchdog

The BBC consumer programme Watchdog has investigated the chain of pet stores Pets at Home and found it wanting.
When buying a new pet you want to be sure it’s happy and healthy when leaving the shop. Pets at Home say its animals are all bred in comfortable and caring surroundings and that their pets are then looked after by staff dedicated to their welfare. It’s all very reassuring but in reality do they live up to their promises?

Christina Sage bought guinea pigs Batman and Robin from Pets at Home in the Cardiff Ty Glas store as a present for her 4 year old son Dylan. But within three days, Robin fell ill, losing all the hair on the side of his face. A vet later confirmed that both he and Batman were infected with the painful fungal infection, ringworm. As a result, Dylan is forbidden from playing with them whilst they undergo treatment and Christina can only handle them if she wears plastic gloves.

Ringworm is highly infectious and can spread easily between animals. But as 12 year old Chloe Cameron discovered, it can also be passed to humans too. She bought two guinea pigs from the Pets at Home store in Carlisle. They too fell ill, and shortly after their diagnosis with ringworm, Chloe noticed a circle up on her neck.

This circle spread, leaving her with painful sores all over her body. Unfortunately, Chloe already suffers from a condition that affects her immune system, so she collapsed and ended up in hospital, where she was treated for several days. To make matters worse, her dad then caught ringworm too. Thankfully Chloe, her dad and her pets made a full recovery, but the experience was a very distressing one for all concerned.

Unfortunately, some animals don’t recover. Caroline Parkes bought rabbits Frank and Wonky from the Pets at Home store in West Drayton. Both animals sadly died within 11 days and Caroline believes that they should not have been sold the way that they were.

After talking to unhappy customers, we decided to test out Pets at Home for ourselves. Vet Mike Jessop, former president of the Small Animal Veterinary Association, joined a team of Watchdog secret shoppers on visits to eight of Pets at Home’s stores across Britain.

In every store, our team came across fish that appeared to be suffering from disease. In four of the stores, we found fish with ‘white spot’, a parasitic and infectious disease of the skin that could have affected all of the other fish sharing the tank. In seven of the eight stores tanks contained dead fish – we counted over 50 in total. Some of the worst conditions were in New Malden and Stockport, stores that proudly advertise themselves as specialist ‘aquatic centres’.

In the West Drayton store, Mike Jessop was so concerned about the welfare of two of the rabbits for sale that we decided to buy them so they could be taken away for treatment. Later examination confirmed that one was underweight, while another had an obvious skin condition. We also bought a Guinea Pig in Cardiff Ty Glas store that later turned out to be suffering from scurvy.

Throughout our mystery shopping trips we found evidence of some Pets at Home staff members failing to follow their own welfare advice. A sign in the Carlisle store clearly states that you shouldn’t keep an Aquatic Dwarf Frog with small fish, yet we found one in a tank along with, you’ve guessed it, small fish. We also found a sign in the Durham store that says Syrian hamsters must live alone or else they’ll fight. So why did we spot three in one cage?

As well as the conditions of the animals, we’ve also had complaints about Pets At Home’s after-sales service. Before leaving the store with a new pet, staff are supposed to give customers all the care information they need, checking off everything they tell you on a tick list on your receipt. But, in half the stores we visited, the staff asked us to sign to say we’d received information that they simply hadn’t given us.

Sick and dead pets, hazardous conditions and staff failing to do their job. Not so reassuring afterall?
Read Pets at Home's response.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cemeteries for Human and Nonhuman Animals

The Corriere della Sera newspaper (via Pietro Melis) reports that in Fauglia, a village near Pisa, Italy, a "mixed" cemetery is being planned in response to the requests of many people who want to be buried with their pets, dogs, cats, horses and other domestic animals, nonhuman members of their families dear to them.

This is going to be the first in Italy. Animal rights people are all in favour, while some others are perplexed, often for religious reasons.

«The land has already been allocated» says Fauglia's mayor Carlo Carli, «the project is innovative and lots of people are looking forward to it».

In the UK such cemeteries already exist. In Cornwall, England, there are about 30 people buried with their animals, and 120 all over the country have "booked" their place in similar cemeteries.

The great Romantic poet Lord Byron, after unsuccessfully trying to get permission to be buried next to his beloved Newfoundland dog Boatswain, dedicated to him an "Epitaph To a Dog", which starts:

"Near this spot Are deposited the Remains Of one Who possessed Beauty Without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, And all the Virtues of Man Without his Vices. The Price, which would be unmeaning flattery If inscribed over Human Ashes, Is but a just tribute to the Memory of “Boatswain,” a Dog Who was born at Newfoundland, May, 1803, And died in Newstead Abbey, Nov. 18, 1808."

Byron spent several years in Pisa (and nearby Livorno) and probably knew those hills where the shared cemetery will be created. It is quite possible that this cemetery will be dedicated to him.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Save Dogs from Cops

Apparently in the USA police officers are too ready to kill innocent dogs.

A new Facebook group, K9 Partners of Monroe County, is "petitioning the White House to make it mandatory for police officers to undergo special training for handling dogs non-lethally".

Here is an interview with the founder and administrator of the group, Eddie Cintron.

With beloved family dogs killed impulsively by trigger-happy cops, a canine-friendly group feels it’s time for the Obama Administration to prevent this outrage by federal legislation.

Loose dogs may scare some people but loose cops can tear families apart with fear and grief. More often than not police officers raiding a house, sometimes the wrong one, don’t hesitate in shooting down family dogs outside or even inside the owner’s house, killing them in cold blood with the clich├ęd excuse of shooting the canine in self-defense. Then there also have been reports of police K9s dying while their officers left them in a hot patrol car. Such cases of cps killing dogs, in action or by neglect, led to the creation of the Facebook group K9 Partners of Monroe County, which is petitioning the White House to make it mandatory for police officers to undergo special training for handling dogs non-lethally. Founder and administrator of the group Eddie Cintron tells more about this initiative.

Ernest: Eddie, we frequently hear of cops shooting dogs not only outside but in their homes. How serious is this problem?

Eddie: Yes, this is a common occurrence that happens every day and many go unreported where there is a no-knock warrant or an officer simply has come to the address where there is a dog and come to find out they were at a wrong address to begin with and the dog ends up being shot inside the house. In Wayne County in Upstate New York, just recently, the Drug Task force forced a 75-year-old grandmother to the floor after executing a no-knock warrant, which is illegal and the woman having serious health issues was told to close her eye and they shot her dog where the dog bled all over the house dying in his doggie bed. This is how bad it's gotten. A Maryland mayor is asking the federal government to investigate why SWAT team members burst into his home without knocking and shot his two dogs to death in an investigation into a drug smuggling scheme. The mayor indicated that police are not to re-write the constitution and they found out that the judge did not sign the warrant.

Ernest: Why do you think the cops pull the triggers on dogs this way?

Eddie: Simple answer: because with all the professional training police officers get, they do not get trained in how to approach or handle an unfamiliar dog and many respond out of fear or fright; and there are some out of pure spite wanting to cause harm to the dog. I just received an email from the Chief of Police of Coconino, AZ, assuring me that appropriate actions would be taken on his Corporal Tewes that beat a dog to death with his baton and then crushed his head with his foot; the Chief was disturbed by these actions and gave him an administrative leave without pay until investigations were done.
Read it all.

Here you can sign the petition to the Obama Administration to institute mandatory training for police officers of non-lethal force in handling our canines family members.

Muslim Kills Horse By Anally Raping Him

Muslim Kills Horse By Anally Raping Him
A North African Muslim, an illegal immigrant living in Spain, killed a horse by anally raping him with a wooden handle.
The Guardia Civil has arrested a 53-year-old North African resident of El Ejido accused of abusing to death a horse that was with others on a farm in the municipality. The man arrested, identified as M.A., had been arrested in May 2011 for a similar episode and sentenced by a judge for abusing a female horse.

This latter arrest followed a complaint by the horse farm's owner, who reported that unknown persons had got into his farm by jumping the fence in the early hours of the 13th, although nothing seemed to be missing. The complainant reported that one of the horses had been immobilised with ropes tied to a storage room and that a wooden handle 70 cm long and 5 cm wide had been introduced into his anus.

According to the account of the owner, the horse had bruises on various parts of his body, and anal bleeding and internal injuries that had caused his death. The Guardia Civil began an investigation which discovered that the detainee had a previous record for a similar act committed in the same farm. Once the police interviewed M.A., who showed obvious signs of nervousness and gave contradictory answers, they arrested him on suspicion of a crime of animal abuse. The proceedings will take place in the capital's second court.
The previous similar crime committed by the same man in the same farm mentioned was perpetrated when he tried to rape a mare, who kicked him back, smashing his face bones and causing multiple hematomas.

And that was not the first time either. The farmer had caught the same individual twice before sneaking into the farm to have sex with the animals but hadn't filed charges against him.

After he was admitted to hospital and underwent an operation, the Muslim was identified by the police as an illegal immigrant and was expected to be deported to his country for an offense against the Immigration Law. Obviously - surprise, surprise - that didn't happen and now a horse is dead because of that negligence.

The practice of having sex with and raping nonhuman animals is much more common than we think in Muslim countries.

In Pakistan, a donkey was honour killed after being raped, a treatment ususally reserved to Muslim women. From Wikipedia:
Karo-kari is part of cultural tradition in Pakistan and is a compound word literally meaning “black male” (Karo) and “black female (Kari), in metaphoric terms for adulterer and adulteress. Once labeled as a Kari, male family members get the self-authorized justification to kill her and the co-accused Karo to restore family honor, although in the majority of cases the victim is female, while the murderers are male.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I am going on vacation on 31st August and will be back on 17th September, when I'll restart posting here regularly.

Live Goat Fed to Lions for Entertainment in Chinese Zoo

Live goat fed to lions for entertainment in China

Throwing a live goat into an enclosure of hungry lions and watching the poor animal trying to run, being caught and then torn to pieces is considered a form of entertainment for children in China.
"Oohs" and "aahs" filled the air as the children watched the goat being ripped limb from limb. Some started to clap silently with a look of wonder in their eyes.

The scenes witnessed at Badaltearing Safari Park in China are rapidly becoming a normal day out for many Chinese families.

Baying crowds now gather in zoos across the country to watch animals being torn to pieces by lions and tigers.

Just an hour's drive from the main Olympic attractions in Beijing, Badaling is in many ways a typical Chinese zoo.

Next to the main slaughter arena is a restaurant where families can dine on braised dog while watching cows and goats being disembowelled by lions.

The zoo also encourages visitors to "fish" for lions using live chickens as bait. For just £2, giggling visitors tie terrified chickens onto bamboo rods and dangle them in front of the lions, just as a cat owner might tease their pet with a toy.

During one visit, a woman managed to taunt the big cats with a petrified chicken for five minutes before a lion managed to grab the bird in its jaws.

The crowd then applauded as the bird flapped its wings pathetically in a futile bid to escape. The lion eventually grew bored and crushed the terrified creature to death.

The tourists were then herded onto buses and driven through the lions' compound to watch an equally cruel spectacle. The buses have specially designed chutes down which you can push live chickens and watch as they are torn to shreds.

Once again, children are encouraged to take part in the slaughter.

"It's almost a form of child abuse," says Carol McKenna of the OneVoice animal welfare group. "The cruelty of Chinese zoos is disgusting, but think of the impact on the children watching it. What kind of future is there for China if its children think this kind of cruelty is normal?

"In China, if you love animals you want to kill yourself every day out of despair."

But the cruelty of Badaling doesn't stop with animals apart. For those who can still stomach it, the zoo has numerous traumatised animals to gawp at.

A pair of endangered moon bears with rusting steel nose rings are chained up in cages so small that they cannot even turn around.

One has clearly gone mad and spends most of its time shaking its head and bashing into the walls of its prison.

There are numerous other creatures, including tigers, which also appear to have been driven insane by captivity. Predictably, they are kept in cramped, filthy conditions.

"Zoos like this make me want to boycott everything Chinese," says Emma Milne, star of the BBC's Vets In Practice.

"I'd like to rip out everything in my house that's made in China. I have big problems with their culture.

"If you enjoy watching an animal die then that's a sad and disgusting reflection on you.

"Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by their behaviour towards animals, as the value of human life is so low in China."

East of Badaling lies the equally horrific Qingdao zoo. Here, visitors can take part in China's latest craze, tortoise baiting.

Simply put, Chinese families now gather in zoos to hurl coins at tortoises.

Legend has it that if you hit a tortoise on the head with a coin and make a wish, then your heart's desire will come true. It's the Chinese equivalent of a village wishing well.

To feed this craze, tortoises are kept in barbaric conditions inside small bare rooms.

When giggling tourists begin hurling coins at them, they desperately try to protect themselves by withdrawing into their shells.

But Chinese zoo keepers have discovered a way round this: they wrap elastic bands around the animals' necks to stop them retracting their heads.

"Tortoises aren't exactly fleet of foot and can't run away," says Carol McKenna.

"It's monstrous that people hurl coins at the tortoises, but strapping their heads down with elastic bands so they can't hide is even more disgusting.

"Because tortoises can't scream, people assume they don't suffer. But they do. I can't bear to think what it must be like to live in a tiny cell and have people hurl coins at you all day long."

Even worse is in store for the animals of Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Mountain Village near Guilin in south-east China.

Here, live cows are fed to tigers to amuse cheering crowds. During a recent visit, I watched in horror as a young cow was stalked and caught. Its screams and cries filled the air as it struggled to escape.

A wild tiger would dispatch its prey within moments, but these beasts' natural killing skills have been blunted by years of living in tiny cages.

The tiger tried to kill, tearing and biting at the cow's body in a pathetic looking frenzy, but it simply didn't know how.

Eventually, the keepers broke up the contest and slaughtered the cow themselves, much to the disappointment of the crowd.

Although the live killing exhibition was undoubtedly depressing, an equally disturbing sight lay around the corner: the "animal parade".

Judging by the rest of the operation, the unseen training methods are unlikely to be humane, but what visitors view is bad enough.

Tigers, bears and monkeys perform in a degrading "entertainment". Bears wear dresses, balance on balls and not only ride bicycles but mount horses too. [Emphasis added]
Any comment would fail to describe the horror of this. Despite its economic advancements, China has a few millennia to catch up with the West in terms of civilization. So much for Buddhism being an animal-friendly religion, if these are the results! In fact, the irony is that some of the world's worst countries for animal abuse - China, Korea, Japan - have a Buddhist tradition.

Source: Daily Mail

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dogs and Pigs Are Unclean for Islam

Islam considers certain animals impure, notably dogs and pigs. This is not a “cultural” thing, it’s a “religious” thing: the Koran says this explicitly and repeatedly.

There have already been many cases of Muslim taxi and bus drivers who have refused to accept even blind passengers with guide dogs, because they consider the animals impure. This makes you wonder: what future will dogs have in a Muslim-majority UK, or Holland, or Germany, or Italy and so on?

Generally speaking, what will be the future of all animals, not just dogs, in a Muslim-majority Europe? Will the conquests (albeit small but still conquests) already made for the animals continue, will they be maintained or will they be eroded?

I very much doubt that we can be optimistic, if we look at how animals are treated in the rest of the world.

Continue reading

Anti-Halal-Meat on Facebook

I have posted on my other blog Enza Ferreri Anti-Halal-Meat Campaigns on Facebook:
There is a new flurry of activity of mostly British anti-halal-meat campaigns on Facebook. I have liked, joined, friended, subscribed to all I found, signed petitions, encouraged them and posted on their walls.

I invite you to do the same if you like them. Here they are.
Continue reading

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

UK Circus with Animals Closes Down, Few Remain

Circus march
The Great British Circus, one of just four remaining circuses that use wild animals in the UK, has announced that it will close down.

The Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS), as we all, is happy at the news but reminds us that there are still six other circuses using wild or domestic animals in performances in the UK.

Liz Tyson, Director of the CAPS, said that her organization will follow the developments to find out what will happen to the animals when the Great British Circus closes down, which is a matter of concern.

Continue reading

Much More than Instinct

Complex emotions and behaviours are not very easily explained with the sole concept of "instinct".

Mother grieving her baby

Monday, August 20, 2012

Man Faces Animal Cruelty Charge for Abandoning Dog on Colorado Mountain

We are on the right track. Charges like this should be levelled more often, followed by just punishments.

A man left on the mountains his dog Missy, who was then found moribund by a couple who intend to adopt her although the man would like her back.
Upon their return, the hikers entrusted the dog to a local vet, who told Washburn that it was “the miracle dog of the century, and although she was severely dehydrated she has, miraculously, no long-term or permanent damage.”

... The sheriff’s department also has a rescue team, and other hikers told them about Missy being stranded on Mount Bierstadt during the weekend. However, the rescue team was unable to respond because it is solely reserved for human rescues.
It shouldn't be. That is obviously not right.

What is particularly shocking in this story is that Missy would probably, like so many other dogs, have given her life for her human companion who abandoned her to what he knew was a probable death.

Source: ABC

Friday, August 10, 2012

Say NO to Halal Slaughter in Skegness

There is a new Facebook page: Say NO to Halal slaughter in Skegness. It campaigns against the opening of a Halal slaughterhouse in Skegness, Lincolnshire, England.

It started on 27 July of this year and it alreday has 114 likes (including mine) and 164 talking about this.

You can also sign the relative petition to the East Lindsey District Council. I signed it and encourage you to sign too.

If you're worried about this being an implicit endorsement of other methods of slaughter, you can write in the optional "reason" field what I wrote, or something to that effect:

"All slaughter of animals for food is wrong, distressful and painful for the animals. I oppose all slaughter, halal and non. The halal and kosher methods are more agonizing than the more 'humane', or rather less cruel, alternative."

Also check this website:

Boycot Halal

People are doing something for the animals. It's becoming a rather large, if not mass, movement. If you are for the animals, if you want to help them, what valid reason have you got not to contribute to it?

This anti-halal movement also has the great merit of putting animals on the map. Far from being an endorsement of non-halal slaughter, it makes people reflect on slaughter and what it does to animals.

Furthermore, it gives us an opportunity to explain what's wrong with all forms of slaughter, as in the example of the above petition.

Related posts:

Wake Up, Animal Rights People!

Anti-Halal is Our Battle Too

Intelligence and Bravery of Dogs Shown Yet Again

Heroic dog Amanda rescuing her puppies from a house fire

Explain this by mere instinct, if you can! How did the dog understand that the fire truck was the right place for the rescue of her pups?

Amanda, a heroic, intelligent mother dog, saved her 10-day-old puppies from a house fire in Santa Rosa de Temuco, Chile.

Realizing that her babies were in danger, the German Shepherd mix picked them up in her mouth, carried them one by one away from the burning house, and gently placed them onto the steps of the nearby firefighters' truck.

Mother and babies were then taken to the vet's. Although one of the puppies, Amparo, did not survive her burns, the other four were fine.

The vet, Felipe Lara, said that Amanda had been defensive of her puppies when people tried to take them away from her to look after them. Eventually she let them check over her pups but she remained with injured Amparo and never wanted to let her from her sight.

Anti-Halal is Our Battle Too

The opposition to halal meat in the UK is gathering momentum every passing minute.
A CAMPAIGN group opposing halal slaughter at a Skegness abattoir has gathered almost 100 members in a matter of days.
As I explain in my other blog, it's simply absurd that the animal rights movement does not get involved in the anti-halal campaigns.

All the politically correct or abolitionist objections are ridiculous.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

UK Vegetarians

I have just published a new article on UK Vegetarians:
"I launched out in search of a vegetarian restaurant [in London 1887], I would trot ten or twelve miles each day, go into a cheap restaurant and eat my fill of bread, but would never be satisfied. During these wanderings I once hit a vegetarian restaurant in Farringdon Street. The sight of it filled me with the same joy that a child feels on getting a thing after its own heart." [Emphasis added]

This is an extract from a speech delivered by Gandhi at a Social Meeting organised by the London Vegetarian Society on 20 November 1931.

We've come a long way since then. Being a vegetarian especially in London, but also in Britain in general, has now become very common, and life for vegetarians is easy, with restaurants, hotels, products catering exclusively for them or also for them. ...

Interestingly, Gandhi himself became a vegetarian by choice, as opposed to cultural tradition and upbringing, after having read Plea for Vegetarianism, a book by the British author Henry Salt, a true pioneer who also wrote Animals' Rights, one of the first books ever appeared on the subject. Here is the continuation of Gandhi's speech at the London Vegetarian Society meeting, quoted above:

"I saw among them Salt's Plea for Vegetarianism. This I purchased for a shilling and went straight to the dining room. This was my first hearty meal since my arrival in England ...

"From the date of reading this book, I may claim to have become a vegetarian by choice. I blessed the day on which I had taken the vow before my mother. I had all along abstained from meat in the interests of truth and of the vow I had taken, but had wished at the same time that every Indian should be a meat-eater, and had looked forward to being one myself freely and openly some day, and to enlisting others in the cause. The choice was now made in favour of vegetarianism, the spread of which henceforward became my mission."
Read it all.

Why We Should not Follow the Global Warming Scare Just to Make More People Vegetarians

Look at the statistics.

During the 1990s, the number of vegetarians in the UK almost doubled. Many people became vegetarian after various meat scares like BSE and Foot and Mouth, which led large numbers of people to rethink their diets, with 27 % of the population saying that they would consider giving up meat, and 12 % saying that they were vegetarian or meat-reducing.

Now that those scares, exaggerated and distorted by media and governments alike, have disappeared from the horizon, the number of UK vegetarians has decreased from 3 million in 2001 to 1.9 million in 2011.

The global warming theory is not a valid scientific theory. The predictions from computer models based on it have been refuted by the evidence of global temperatures going down when the predictions had said they would go up. And the behaviour of its supporters has contributed to discredit the theory repeatedly, including the latest global warmists scandal: "even the United Nations scientists who still support it formally asked for immunity from criminal prosecution before Rio de Janeiro's international climate talks in June 2012". 

When this hypothesis will be well and truly considered false, as all signs indicate it will, the number of vegetarians will go down again. Not only that: the vegetarian movement will have lost credibility for supporting a theory which, under even a superficial scrutiny, was clearly unfounded and fallacious.

We shouldn't bet on a losing team.

Even more importantly, we should only recommend a vegetarian diet on the strength of arguments that have a solid empirical and logical foundation. In Italy we say "Le bugie hanno le gambe corte" (Lies have short legs). Allegations which are not evidence based don't last in the long term.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Enforce Punishment for Abhorrent Crimes on Animals

Greek Dinos Koukos Preparing to Burn a Kitten's Eyes

This is the photo of Dinos Koukos preparing to burn a kitten's eyes with his cigarette.

The petition to enforce punishment for this Greek man is now closed, after having collected over 3,000 signatures, but there are still many more, similar petitions around, which you can easily find on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, www.change.org, www.care2.com, www.thepetitionsite.com, www.ipetitions.com, tweetmeme.com and others.

Crimes of this severity committed against animals just because they are vulnerable and defenceless and the perpetrators know that they are likely to get away with it are crimes of cowardice of the worst kind.

Let's make sure that they can't get away with it. Let's make sure that serious punishments for these crimes are enforced, so as to act as powerful deterrents.

Woman Arrested for Bringing Water to Animals in Scorching Heat

Incredible but true.

The people at Care 2 Make a Difference are doing a good job at hightlighting many serious animal issues:
Three years ago, I was driving home and noticed a farm with very thin horses without water. I stopped my car and got out and all the farm animals, goats, chickens, ducks, miniature horses called to me. It was 103 degrees on a sweltering summer day and I could see from the road that all of the water troughs were tipped over and empty. There weren’t even puddles near the troughs so these animals had been without water for a long time and were desperately thirsty. I called 911 and was put through to Animal Control who told me they would check on the farm within the next few days. Desperately thirsty means “Need water now, not in a few days.”

I climbed the fence and gave all of the animals water (photo above depicts the animals months later, after their rescue). I found distress of a level that I had never seen in my life. I couldn’t stop crying as I ran around and watered everyone. There was a bad smell, like dead animals and I found a dead rabbit rotting in his cage. Two skinny kittens ran after me screaming for food.

They Denied Everything

A few days later, Animal Control called me and told me they had checked the farm and everything was all right, my concern was ill founded. I felt like I had stepped into the Twilight Zone!

Some like this one are safe now and healthy but the offender continues to have animals on her property.

I continued to keep a close eye on these animals and found them all again without water two weeks later. I got the same response from Animal Control and proceeded to climb the fence and water them all again. This time I was arrested for trespassing and made headlines in the North County Times and Valley Roadrunner.

It took 9 months, several court appearances, a useless Public Defender, and then an Animal Rights Attorney stepped in and helped me.

Seven miniature horse died of dehydration and starvation and the owner, Mary Johnson, was eventually charged with six counts of Animal Cruelty and I was fined $50 for trespassing.

Would I climb that fence again knowing that a legal battle would ensue? You bet your ass I would! I had a group of solid supporters that the newspaper termed my entourage.

In the end, four animal rights activist attorney’s stepped in and put an end to the nonsense. I wrote a book about my life and my arrest that will soon be published entitled “My Wild Ride.”

Seal Slaughter Starts in Namibia

An alarm bell is rung by the WSPA and Care 2 Make a Difference:

Namibia’s annual seal massacre began this weekend for a culling season that will last from July to November in what is the second largest seal hunt on earth and the largest slaughter of wild animals in Africa.

This year’s goal is to kill 80,000 pups and 6,000 bulls for their coats, fat and genitalia, which will be used in Asia as an aphrodisiac. ...

Yet, a few continue to literally make a killing from this suffering with the small market that remains. One furrier, Australian-based Hatem Yavuz, reportedly controls 60 percent of the market and has a contract to continue killing seals with the Namibian government that extends through 2019.

“Each year up to 85,000 baby seals are killed in Namibia to make just a few dollars from their furs; this report highlights that they would be worth so much more to the Namibian economy alive. Eco-tourism is a growing part of Namibia’s identity but tourists will be shocked to find that a seal they photograph one day may be killed the next morning. There is a clear economic case for the government to protect these animals,” said Claire Bass, WSPA International Oceans Campaign Leader.

Hatem Yavuz may be "Australian-based", but doesn't sound very Australian to me.

Read it all and sign the petition against this atrocity.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Photo of Egg-Laying Hen at the End of Her Laying Life

Egg-laying hen at the end of her laying life

This is the photo of an egg-laying hen at the end of her laying life.

Her emaciated, exhausted appearance is typical of all hens at the end of their productive life.

This particular hen was rescued; but most commercial laying hens (including free range) are slaughtered at only 72 weeks of age, because, as their egg production drops, they are not considered profitable enough to keep alive.

Unleash the Dog

This is an ideal dogs kennel, as I think all should aim to be.

It's in Northern Italy, and its Italian name is "Slega il Cane", which means "Unleash the Dog".

Dogs live in packs here, as is in their nature, and roam in fields and woodlands.

It has the best of both worlds: it combines safety, protection and care for the dogs with their freedom.

Although this is actually a dog pension I think that it would be wonderful if animal homes and shelters, not just for dogs but for all animals, could be like this.

Hero Pit Bull Dog Saves Woman From Death

She lost a leg.

Lilly, the 8-year-old pit bull terrier who saved her human companion, Christine Spain, from death under a train, sacrificed herself for the person she loved. Lilly's front right leg had to be amputated after the train's wheels had sliced through it. Her pelvis was also fractured in multiple locations and she sustained other internal injuries.

Spain had lost consciousness and fallen on a railroad track in Massachusetts, and Lilly used her teeth to pull Christine off the tracks as the train approached. Spain emerged unharmed.

Lilly was a stray who had been rescued by Christine Spain's son, Boston Police Officer David Lanteigne, who thought she'd be a good therapy dog for his mother, who had fought against alcoholism, depression and anxiety for many years. He said Spain doted on the dog and eventually Spain's drinking decreased. She apparently had relapsed after some bad news, which led to her collapse on the railroad tracks.

There are two lessons from this episode.

One is that pit bulls should not be put to death just because of their breed. Individual dogs of the same breed are different from each other, just as individual humans of the same race are.

This is not an isolated case. Many pit bulls have acted heroically to save their humans and others.

The story of Lennox, the nice, harmless dog murdered a few days ago in Northern Ireland just because he looked like a pit bull, rightly caused outrage.

The second lesson to learn is how rescued dogs can give back as much as and even more than they got. Hopefully people will more and more realize that there is no need to buy them. Jut rescue dogs and cats from animal shelters.

Spain's son Lanteigne got it right: "We saved Lilly, and Lilly saved my mom's life. My hope is that this story is going to get out and show what pit bulls are truly about. I hope by Lilly going through this, it's going to get other dogs homes."

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Man Jailed in UK for Fox Hunting

Critics of the law banning hunting with dogs in Britain said it would not be enforced. They were wrong.

Richard Atkins jailed after admitting nine charges of animal cruelty. RSPCA say it was 'incredibly malicious and sadistic cruelty to animals.'

Caught by his own camera: The sickening photograph of grinning thug who used his dog to hunt and kill foxes and badgers

Monday, July 02, 2012

California Bans the Sale of Pate de Foie Gras

For once California has done something right, showing the way to the rest of the world, banning the sale of pate de foie gras, produced by force-feeding and making ill geese and ducks.

California bans sale of fatty gourmet treat

KATE WINSLET: Foie gras is sold as an expensive delicacy in some restaurants and shops, but no-one pays a higher price for foie gras than the ducks and geese who are abused and killed to make it.

To produce foie gras, ducks and geese are force-fed enormous amounts of grain and fat which causes their livers to swell to many times the normal size.