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.