Note To My Critics:

The links to the many sites that I've included contain information that I believe to be relevant, be it the graphics, the videos, the undercover investigations, etc. . Exposing & and ending the brutality and savagery inflicted on the non-human animals is what I am focused on. I strongly believe that every voice against animal abuse/exploitation is of value and -and- collectively we have the power to end it. I am here for the animals, not for anyone's approval and for that I make no apologies. ** I do not promote violence towards humans. ___________________________________________________ Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Videos of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey workers as they beat animals

From: peta2.com
Date: 7/22/2009 1:59:24 PM



In 2009, PETA went undercover at "the saddest show on Earth"..........—Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus—and captured Ringling workers on video as they beat and whipped elephants dozens of times in venues across the country.

PETA has obtained other videos of Ringling workers as they beat animals, and former Ringling employees have even spoken out against the circus's cruel practices. A verdict is expected as early as summer 2009 in a lawsuit filed against Ringling, alleging that the circus's use of steel-barbed bullhooks, electric prods, and shackles on the elephants it forces to perform violates federal law.

These elephants should be sent to a sanctuary, where they would be able to roam across hundreds of acres of natural habitat, play in ponds, and socialize with their longtime friends—all of which elephants are deprived of in circuses.

Watch our video





Visit RinglingBeatsAnimals.com


Tell Everyone: Ringling Beats Animals!!!

Also, please remember, if you attend a Ringling circus―or any circuses that use animals―you are supporting this suffering. Please, stay away from circuses that use animals.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I’m With You…. VIDEO

Monday, July 20, 2009

Top 10 Reasons to Adopt a Black Dog




Reason #10: We won't clash with your furniture or clothing (and some of you actually worry about that).

Reason #9: We won't clash with any collar you choose! Ditto for the bandannas. Accessorize us!

Reason #8: Easy to vacuum our hair 'cause it's easy to see!

Reason #7: We hide the dirt well (doesn't mean we don't need that bath after rolling in the dirt, but your guests won't be able to see it as easily).

Reason #6: We make an excellent "backdrop" for a second lighter colored dog (if you choose to have one).

Reason #5: Availability!....!! We are available now at every shelter or rescue you can imagine, in every age bracket with no long waiting lists or difficult search.

Reason #4: No annoying queries of "exactly what kind of dog is that anyhow?" People are content with "big black dog" and don't ask anymore questions.

Reason #3: EXCELLENT night walk protection. The "bad guy" won't see us till its too late!

Reason #2: Status symbol potential. Black pearls are the most costly you know......


And the #1Reason: WE NEED YOU!






POSTEDBY ~STOP BSL~www.myspace.com/trixy2005

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Namibia Seal Hunt Filmers, Jim Wickens And Bart Smithers, Convicted Of Trespassing

Article:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/17/namibia-seal-hunt-filmers_n_237903.html

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

JOHANNESBURG — Two foreign journalists who were arrested in Namibia while filming the clubbing of seals were convicted Friday of entering a protected marine area without a permit.

British journalist Jim Wickens and his South African cameraman, Bart Smithers, appeared in a magistrates court in the coastal town of Swakopmund.

They were given the choice of 12 months in jail or a fine of 10,000 Namibian dollars each (about $1,200), along with a six-month suspended sentence, said Namibian police spokesman Angula Amulungu.

Their employer, the British investigative agency Ecostorm, has agreed to pay the fine, said spokesman Andrew Wasley.

In a matter the court did not consider, Wasley said the two men allege that the sealers attacked them.

The men were in Namibia to produce a documentary on the controversial seal hunt, which animal activists say is barbaric and outdated. Wasley said that Wickens and Smithers were filming near Namibia's Cape Cross Colony, on the isolated northern coast of the country on Thursday morning when sealers assaulted them.

"They were chased and attacked with the clubs used to kill the seals," Wasley said of the journalists.

Police arrived and arrested the journalists, who were detained for several hours in the town of Henties Bay before being released on bail. The attackers remain at large.

Story continues below

Namibia's seals number about 850,000 and live on a dozen remote, rocky islands off the coast of the sparsely populated southern African country.

More than 90,000 seals will be clubbed to death during the annual sealing season, which started in early July.

The hunt takes place under clandestine circumstances to avoid the glare of publicity – and to avoid upsetting tourists.

The government has said seals consume 900,000 tons of fish each year, more than a third of the fishing industry's catch, and that the cull is needed to protect fisheries.

Animal welfare groups counter that most of the seals killed are nursing pups.

Wasley said journalists' experience would draw more attention to the Namibian seal hunt, usually overshadowed by its more publicized Canadian counterpart.

"A lot of people aren't aware of its existence," he said. "This will put a spotlight on Namibia."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Animal Rights: A Main Stream Movement




One Voice



Animal Rights:

A Main Stream Movement

by Stephanie Ernst


Animal rights, at its heart, is the most unextreme philosophy I can imagine.

It is about nonviolence.
It is about compassion.
It is about not harming and not causing suffering and not killing when we don't have to.

That's it. It is really, truly that simple.

Indeed, perhaps it is even that simplicity that causes so many to mock the animal rights movement or dismiss it as silly or radical-....-because if they can marginalize it, they don't have to acknowledge the simplicity of it or truly ask and answer why they don't support it too.

And when exploiting, imposing suffering on, and killing our fellow animals (our fellow, kindred animals, not unfeeling, unthinking robots) is completely unnecessary for the overwhelming majority of people who support such exploitation, suffering, and killing--when none of that is truly required for a full, meaningful, healthy, enjoyable life--how does anyone justify not supporting animal rights? When killing is a choice--when there is a clear choice between a philosophy of nonviolence and a philosophy of killing for personal pleasures (such as taste)--how can anyone consider that philosophy of nonviolence to be "extreme" or "radical"? If we're going to question or even demean a choice, shouldn't it be the choice to exploit and kill for convenience and pleasure?

Animal rights and veganism are merely a consistent manifestation of values nearly everyone purports to hold. When there is a choice between (1) nonviolence and compassion and (2) exploitation and killing, animal rights simply asks that you choose nonviolent compassion. Others'--other individuals, movements, and organizations'....--perception and definition of animal rights as extreme or radical because of their personal discomfort with the movement and the sometimes-....difficult questions and changes it calls on them to contemplate does not make animal rights extreme or radical. The qualities others wish to attribute to animal rights are not qualities to which the animal rights movement must stipulate. I do not accept. We do not accept.

If compassion and nonviolence are not mainstream values, it is a sad world. If an individual's choice to extend compassion in ways that, for example, contribute far less to mass suffering and death, contribute far less to environmental destruction and global warming, contribute far less to the problem of world hunger, and contribute far less to myriad health problems is extreme, we need to reconsider the definition of that word. And if a movement advocating all this is radical, other "mainstream" movements calling for reforms and equalities far more involved than simple nonviolence must be just outrageous.

The sheer magnitude of death and suffering that humans yearly, daily, hourly, every second choose to inflict on their fellow feeling, thinking animals is unlike anything being experienced by the humans of this planet. The physical and mental abuse, the suffering, and the death are grand-scale and constant, and that deserves as much attention as any other contemporary issue or cause. There's no excuse-....-none--for mocking animal rights, for patronizing those who fight for animal rights, for dismissing animals' plight, or for marginalizing animals' suffering or judging all animal issues to be inherently less important than human issues. Animal rights deserve and mandate a place at the table--at the literal dinner table, in conversations with friends and family, in political conversations, in places of worship, in schools, and yes, here at Change.org. And I'm grateful and proud that this site gives animal rights a visible space here, alongside other deeply important issues, where it belongs.

Animal rights is mainstream.
The mainstream just doesn't want to acknowledge that.



Some folks insist that believing
in animal rights is like a religion.
But religion asks followers
to believe in things nobody can see,
while animal rights advocates ask followers
to see things nobody can believe.
-Craig Burton


Source: animalrights-change-org-blogs
Posted By: One Voice


ANIMAL RIGHTS~ANIMAL COMPANIONS AND THE ELDERLY

Animal companions and the elderly

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Everyday pets bring love, laughter and companionship to elderly people all over the world. Doctors, social workers, home care workers and nursing homes recommend companion animals to help the elderly lead happy, healthy lives and give them independence and hope..
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Everyday pets bring love, laughter and companionship to elderly people all over the world. Doctors, social workers, home care workers and nursing homes recommend companion animals to help the elderly lead happy, healthy lives. Birds, cats, dogs and other pets help to keep seniors active and give them a chance to nurture and receive love in return for caring for a pet..
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Benefits of animal companions include:

• A feeling of unconditional love
• The addition of joy and laughter to daily life
• The alleviation of depression, anxiety and fatigue
• A sense of purpose and fulfillment
• Physical contact with a living thing-......-something that can be missing from an older person's life
• A diversion from everyday problems and worries
• A pleasant reminder of past pets
• A way to encourage communication (both with pets and other people)
• A way to stimulate physical activity

Advantages of Companion Pets

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Companionship


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Pets are great companions for elderly people who live alone and have little contact with family and friends. Animals help cure seniors’ loneliness. Pets give them a different outlook and bring laughter and love into their lives. They make seniors feel needed and keep them active seeing to the pet’s daily care..

Acceptance

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Pets accept their elder owners as they are. They are devoted, forgiving and loving. They don’t hold grudges, bring up the past or stop interacting with their owners because of a difference of opinion..

Touch

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Research has proven that touch is very important to the well being of humans. We all need to be hugged and be able to hug in return. A cat curled up in the lap of a senior or the friendly touch of a dog’s nose will help the elderly feel safe and secure and gives them a sense of reassurance and satisfaction. Stoking a beloved pet can lower blood pressure and lift depression..

Keeping Active

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There’s nothing that can bring laughter into the life of a senior like animal antics. Seniors keep active by feeding, grooming and caring for their pets. Dogs get the elderly out of their living quarters and into the fresh air and sunshine. While out walking, they meet other people who they can converse with. Caring for pets keep seniors active both mentally and physically..

Responsibility

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By caring for a pet’s needs, such as feeding, grooming and walking, animals give seniors the incentive to maintain their own hygiene. Pets give the elderly a sense of independence, boosts self esteem and motivates them to perform daily tasks that may otherwise be ignored, such as bathing, eating and getting out of the house..

Safety and Security

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Pets give the elderly a sense of security. Dogs alert them when someone comes to the door. Seniors feel safer answering the door when there is a dog present. Dogs can also alert seniors who are hard of hearing to a ringing telephone or the ringing of a door bell..

Socialization

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Dogs are an especially good choice for seniors who need socialization. Seniors who walk their dogs get to know the people in the neighborhood. Animals help break the ice and encourage friendly conversation between people who might otherwise feel they have nothing in common. Seniors need to socialize to maintain good mental health and a pet provides them with stories to share with others..

Staying in Touch with Nature

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When people lived in rural areas and were still allowed to keep chickens, ducks and other animals in cities and towns, they were constantly in touch with the natural world. Today’s society is largely urban and industrialized....... Animals other than pets can only be found in petting farms and zoos. People have lost contact with nature which is always balm for the soul. Pets help seniors to stay in contact with nature and they fill voids that can otherwise lead to anxiety and depression..

Living for the Moment

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Pets live for the moment. They cope with life’s ups and downs and then forget about them. Pets help the elderly to keep focused on the present and keep them in touch with the small pleasures of life. Pets take time to stop and smell the roses every day. Seniors who have a companion pet tend to do the same. The innocence and trust of a companion pet help seniors to be less cynical toward life and to overcome feelings of isolation and rejection..
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If you have an elderly family member who is either living alone or one that has limited contact with family or friends, an animal companion can be the best option to help an elderly family member overcome loneliness and isolation. Animals can give elderly seniors unconditional love, companionship, and gives them reason to greet the next day with a smile. Animals make elderly seniors feel needed and wanted which does help them to stay active which benefits their health..
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Animals help brighten up our lives every day. How can anyone harm these innocent and loving animals? Please help save these beautiful animals from anyone who would want to harm them. Please report animal cruelty/......neglect immediately to your local authorities and/or humane rescue organization..

love
These animals love us with all their hearts. Please help save them before it is too late.. If not you, who? If not now, when?
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If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us and we will respond as soon as we are able
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Support animal rights

-Olivia

Dairy Cows~

 

One Voice

So you ask...
What's so cruel about Dairy?

Even though most people have never visited a slaughterhouse,........ the panic, dread, and terror that await innocent creatures, and the gruesome sights and sounds which emanate from these hidden "houses of death" are not at all difficult to imagine.
What many people do not realize is that these same horrors are the fate of every factory-raised dairy cow

Milk's Got Plenty of....Cruelty

A dairy cow's life is a continuous cycle of impragna-tion, birth, and milking to provide one thing only -- a constant supply of milk for human consumption and profit. She will be milked for 10 months out of the year, including seven months of each of her consecutive nine-month pregnancies. Two to three times a day, seven days a week, she will be attached to an electric milking machine, like just another cog in a factory. Then she will be returned to her cramped, narrow, concrete stall to do nothing but await the next milking.

Within hours after giving birth, the cow's calf will be forcibly taken from her. Male calves will be sold for pet food, killed at just a few days old to make "bob veal", or raised for beef.

Others will be auctioned to producers of "formula-fed veal".
On veal farms, male calves are confined in tiny crates to restrict their movement in order to keep their muscles tender. They are fed an iron-deficient diet which causes severe anima but which keeps their flesh white, making it more valuable when they are sold for meat. Subjected to total sensory deprivation and stripped of any measure of joy, 20% of veal calves will die before even reaching the typical slaughtering age of 16 weeks.
So think about it. In every glass of milk,
is a slice of VEAL

The female calves will be sequestered in tiny stalls in preparation for their enslavement to the dairy industry. When they are old enough to be artificially inseminated, they will begin the drudgery of a dairy cow. Their mother will be promptly put back into intensive milk production, where she will remain at risk for numerous stress related illnesses, infections, and diseases, many of which can be fatal.

A dairy cow will survive a mere four years of this cruel, hollow life, whereas under natural conditions, she might live up to 25 years. At the end of her days, when she can no longer keep up the demanded level of milk production, drained and exhausted, she will be packed onto a crowded truck for transport to her final destination -- the slaughterhouse.........
After a life of slavery and servitude, her retirement gift will be to end up like her fellow "food animals" -- on somebody's plate.
So be aware...if you continue to drink milk while unwittingly clinging to the myth that it is benignly begotten, you should be outraged to know that 40% of America's hamburger is made from "spent" dairy cows!

Break The Chain
From Animal Rights Online www.aronline.org

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

New life enters upon the earth
but greed fouls the precious birth
He takes his first baby breath
unknowing of his destined death

Mother protects him all she can
but she's powerless against man
As soon as he was able to stand
he met the harsh human hand

To the dairy farm he is waste
mother's milk he'll never taste
All of her milk we humans take
he's denied mother for dairy's sake

He arrives at the farm for veal
from innocent birth to someone's meal
In his lonely, barren crate he cries
hopelessness and terror in his eyes

His would-be loving mother
has frantically lost another
Her relentless bellows easily heard
and her anguish clear without word

Dairy kills ~ that's the deal
but the solution is to boycott veal?
Break the chain at its start
don't have dairy ~ have a heart

Posted by: One Voice

Try Rice or Soy Milk, Ice Cream + Dairy Products 
 

The busine$$es lied to get your $$$
Have a Happy weekend too, going to a awesome concert with some friends tonight after working at the airport! See my page, blogs, top veg friends + past posts by clicking "see all bulletins by user" in the upper right corner.
ChooseVeg.com (helpful info, recipes, free veggie starter kits)
VeganHealth.org (RD)
VeganBodyBuilding.com
veganoutreach.org/video (Factory Farms)
Goveg.com/theissues.asp (facts)
FamousVeggie.com
HappyCow.net (shops near you!)
Animal Activism: myspace.com/vegetarianveganparadise (help 100000's of lives)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pit Bull Blues by John Shipe

No Justice

I don’t know why I am even surprised any more! Nicole Spatig, 22, formerly of Beaver County, PA, the heartless bitch who let her German Shepherd, Mya, starved to death locked…
No Justice for Cruelly Starved Beaver County, PA Doghttp://fortheloveofthedogblog.com

Monkeys in Army Lab Need Your Help! | PETA.org

Sign The Petition:

 https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2346

Monkeys in Army Lab Need Your Help!

The U.S. Army is currently injecting toxic drugs into live monkeys, causing the animals to suffer violent seizures and difficulty breathing and fall into what the Army calls a "crisis" mode.

Contrary to the Army's claims, PETA has uncovered government records that state that monkeys used by the Army in chemical and biological casualty care training exercises have suffered and died. Veterinary records indicate that some monkeys used in these procedures have died after their internal organs burst and others from "terminal cardiovascular collapse" or other trauma and sickness related to their exposure to the poison. These documents also show that several monkeys suffered serious wounds from fighting with one another. The Army also repeatedly tests each monkey for tuberculosis by injecting the bacteria directly into the animals' eyelids. 

There are many non-animal training methods that the Army can use to train soldiers in chemical casualty management exercises. In fact, the Israeli Defense Force uses high-tech computerized patient simulators, rotations in hospitals, and computer programs to prepare its troops for managing chemical and biological injuries, and researchers there write, "An animal laboratory session is viewed as unacceptable."

Please take a minute of your time to help these monkeys. Urge your congressional representative to restrict funds in the Defense Appropriations Act so that the Army cannot spend public tax dollars on these cruel and wasteful chemical casualty training exercises.

Monkeys in Army Lab Need Your Help! | PETA.org

https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2346

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sharks are being attacked all over the world

REPOSTED WITH GRATITUDE FROM: OCEAN SENTRY

Credits: WikipediaThe expression "shark attacks" has taken on a new and ominous meaning. The number of people bitten each year by sharks is minuscule. Attacks on sharks by humans, however, have reached unacceptable levels around the world, putting some of these great predators on the threshold of extinction. We are killing more than a half-million tons of sharks each year.

The Shark Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has published alarming news about the conservation status of more than 60 species of sharks and rays that inhabit the world's oceans. Almost one-third have been classified as "threatened with extinction." For species that restrict their activities to the high seas, seldom approaching coastal waters, the proportion is even higher; more than half are threatened with extinction. The loss of even a single species of these awesome carnivores would diminish the world's wonders. The loss of more than 20 species would be shocking. The IUCN experts give various reasons for the decline in some species. One reason is that shark fisheries are not sustainable industries because of the animals' life history. Most sharks produce few young, juveniles grow slowly and sharks tend "to take many years to mature." This means a population cannot replenish itself quickly. Despite this, sharks are overfished and under protected, with few regulations that apply in international waters. On the high seas, no international catch limits apply for sharks. Furthermore, new markets are opening for shark meat, one of the most appalling being an Asian delicacy known as shark fin soup.

To acquire shark fins for this unsustainable luxury, fishermen cut off the fins of captured sharks then throw the body back into the ocean. The process, called "finning," has no redeeming qualities whether one considers it from the perspective of animal rights, population ecology or the ocean ecosystem. According to the IUCN report "finning has been banned in most international waters, but enforcement standards are lenient. The EU (European Union) finning ban is among the weakest in the world."

Sharks, rays and skates belong to a subclass of vertebrates known as the Elasmobranchs, which have cartilaginous skeletons. Many are magnificent, awe-inspiring creatures. Among the globally endangered species that are familiar to most people are hammerhead sharks. The great hammerhead shark, which can reach a length of 20 feet, has a diet that includes other sharks, squid and stingrays. Hammerhead attacks on humans are rare; sadly, the reverse is not true. The relentless assault on hammerheads by the shark fishery industry could drive the species to extinction within a few years.

One reason for the steady decline of hammerhead sharks is that they "are highly desired for shark fin soup. Millions of hammerheads end up in the Hong Kong fin market each year." The meat of these sharks, however, is generally viewed as unpalatable, so the hammerhead carcasses are simply cast aside. Spain and Portugal are two of the top three shark-fishing nations, yet the EU places no limits on the catch of hammerhead sharks. As a result of the shark fin soup craze, lax fishing regulations and loose enforcement of existing laws, hammerhead sharks are disappearing from the world's oceans. This is inexcusable.

Another species that is hanging on by a fin is the giant devil ray or devil fish, the enormous ray of the Mediterranean region. With a wingspan that can reach 17 feet and a body length of 21 feet, one of these spectacular animals leaping from the water might be a model for interstellar spacecraft. The greatest human-caused mortality to devil rays is accidental capture in longlines, drift nets, purse seines and traps set for other species. But death by accident is no less lethal than deliberate slaughter. Like some other Elasmobranchs, rays cannot replace their numbers quickly. A female devil ray produces only one offspring at a time, often at intervals of two years. That's not enough recruitment to replace individuals being removed every year by uncontrolled, unregulated oceanic fishing.

Decadent, self-indulgent dietary preferences in some cultures and weak or unenforced regulations on ocean fisheries are threatening the sharks and rays of the world. We need to make our protests heard before we lose some of the world's most extraordinary creatures.

(From aikenstandard.com, by Whit Gibbons)

Sharks are being attacked all over the world

Animal Welfare Reform: Total Denial, One Step at a Time

 

Animal Welfare Reform: Total Denial, One Step at a Time

posted by: Angel Flinn 1 day ago

Animal Welfare Reform: Total Denial, One Step at a Time

Animal Welfare Reform: Total Denial, One Step at a Time

Hello, I saw this article on Care2 and thought you'd like it as well. Care2 is the largest and most trusted information and action site for people who care to make a difference in their lives and the world.

Care2.com

 

"There is a reason why human rights groups do not endorse 'humane' methods of executing political prisoners, and why children's rights advocates do not collaborate with the pornography industry to develop standards for films that make 'compassionate' use of runaway teens. To do such things is to introduce moral ambiguity into situations where the boundaries between right and wrong must never be allowed to blur."
- James LaVeck


Whenever discussions occur about the future direction of our society, there are always differing views. But when the discussion revolves around an issue that concerns the habits of individuals, a debate often devolves, sadly, into an argument laced with personal attacks. In such situations, it can be hard to get to the truth of an issue.
Sometimes disagreements occur because the core values people hold are very different. However, there are times when they occur because of deliberately perpetrated misinformation. There is one such issue that continues to re-surface, and it revolves around the fundamental difference between animal welfare and animal rights. 
While many people believe they understand the key differences between the two approaches, there are underlying truths that have been deliberately obscured, by none other than those who profit from the continued legality of non-human animal slavery.


As detailed in numerous books and essays published by Professor Gary Francione, creator of The Abolitionist Approach, the animal advocacy movement of the past has, in recent years, been largely replaced by a different movement altogether, that promotes a diluted, contradictory and confused version of the original message. In his pioneering work, Professor Francione lays bare the hypocrisy of a movement that seems to have all but forgotten its founding principles.


"The new welfarists have become partners with the institutional exploiters to sell animal products. It is nothing short of obscene that the new welfarists are developing labels, such as the Certified Humane Raised and Handled label, the Freedom Food label, and the Animal Compassionate label, to help the institutional exploiters to market animal corpses and products. These efforts have nothing to do with the animal rights or abolitionist approach. Indeed, this is exactly what the abolitionist movement opposes."


Discussions about terms such as 'cage-free', 'free-range' and 'humanely-raised' have come to dominate the debate around ethical food options. Labels such as these go a long way toward winning consumer confidence, especially when the claims are backed by well-known animal advocacy organizations such as HSUS and PETA. What further evidence that products are animal friendly could the 'conscientious consumer' ask for than the stamp of approval of the world's biggest 'animal protection' groups?
In his essay, The Four Problems of Animal Welfare: In a Nutshell, Francione explains his objection to welfare reform efforts:


* First, animal welfare measures provide little, if any, significant protection to animal interests.


* Second, animal welfare measures make the public feel better about animal exploitation and this encourages continued animal use.


* Third, animal welfare does nothing to eradicate the property status of animals.


* Fourth, every second of time and every cent of money spent on making exploitation more “humane” is less money and time spent on vegan/abolition education.

Professor Francione provides substantial evidence to back up these four bold statements, yet mainstream animal advocacy groups continue to largely reject the abolitionist approach, in favor of efforts to regulate and reform the institution of animal slavery.


This division is the cause of much of the conflict that the modern animal movement faces. Weakened by the dilution and trivialization of its message, and crippled by in-fighting, the movement itself seems not to notice that it has come to a kind of stand-still, walking in circles around issues such as how big the cages should be, how much sunlight a prisoner should have access to, and whether death by gassing is more humane than electrocution; questions that only serve to distract from the real issue, which is that we humans, for the sake of nothing less than our very morality itself, need to rise above our desire to feed on the bodies of other creatures.

In short, the animal protection movement, having lost sight of its goal, has gone wildly off course, while the animal exploitation industry, no doubt, is watching in delight.
But what many people do not know is that this shift did not occur organically, but as a result of a cunning and insidious PR campaign executed on behalf of the animal food industry. As part of a deliberate attempt to co-opt the values of the movement, the very language of animal advocacy is now being used to further the interests of those who peddle flesh and blood. Horrifying, barbaric and cruel practices are now being described as 'humane', 'compassionate', and 'cruelty-free'.


The remarkable essay by James LaVeck, Invasion of the Movement Snatchers, published in late 2006, "asks its readers to note how recent events in the US animal protection sector strikingly parallel a step-by-step plan of sabotage developed by a PR consultant retained by the Cattleman's Association in 1991."


Does anyone remember 'Trust Us, We're Experts' or 'Toxic Sludge is Good for You: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry'? Authors John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton have made it their business to expose the dealings of MBD, a PR firm "involved in the dismantlement of citizen movements concerned about problems ranging from acid rain, dioxin, biotechnology and toxic wastes, to apartheid, nuclear energy, endangered species and oil spills."


With those credentials, who better than MBD to organize the campaign to discredit and thereby conquer the movement to protect the interests of animals, an effort that has threatened significant financial loss to the industries that profit from exploitation and enslavement?
"You never know when a PR agency is being effective; you'll just find your views slowly shifting." – a PR executive
'Toxic Sludge' describes an MBD presentation given to the Cattlemen's Association, where they outlined a plan to dismantle the animal advocacy movement:


1) Isolate the radicals


2) "Cultivate" the idealists and "educate" them into becoming "realists"


3) Co-opt the opportunists into agreeing with industry.
"The key to dealing with opportunists is to provide them with at least the perception of a partial victory."


It is the next part of LaVeck's article that is of particular interest here, and might be somewhat surprising to readers:


"The widespread adoption of 'cage-free' eggs? 'Animal Compassionate' lamb? Uncrated 'pink veal'? Today, these and similar developments are being widely characterized as victories by organizations with reputations for staunchly opposing animal exploitation."


The Humane Myth website, where LaVeck's article (along with many others) is published, shines a much-needed light on truths that have been obscured by the propaganda spread by the cattlemen's PR firm, assisted by unwitting animal advocates. Genuinely well-intentioned people, who truly care about animals, have been sucked in by the alluring promise of frequent 'victories', and by the claim that 'improving conditions' can help animals now, whereas to uphold the noble vision of the abolition of use is to be 'unrealistic', and thereby abandon the animals who are currently enslaved.


65 years ago, under the bold leadership of Donald Watson, there was a movement born in response to the unethical treatment of animals used for food and other human pleasures. The pioneers of this new movement had a clear, unequivocal message: that our use of animals is fundamentally immoral, and that since the industries in question exist to serve our human desire for unnecessary 'pleasures', there can only be one reasonable way to stand up against them: an uncompromising and permanent rejection of their products.


Those early ethical vegetarians were awakening to a larger truth: that all our uses of animals are unethical – from dairy and egg production, to leather, wool, fur, entertainment and vivisection. The simplicity of the message was beautiful – those who care about the suffering of animals are glad to renounce their participation in cruelty. It is a joy, it is liberating and it is easy, because the individual who is awake to the suffering inherent in every form of animal exploitation has no desire to participate in it
For all readers who are genuinely concerned about the suffering experienced by animals used for food, please do not fall into the trap of believing that these 'humane' animal products are an ethical option. These labels have been carefully created with the purpose of covering up the extreme cruelty that occurs whenever animals are used for food.


For consumers who are genuinely seeking humane choices, there is only one reasonable option – go vegan, and encourage others to do the same. 
For more information, please visit the following sites:
www.AbolitionistApproach.com
www.HumaneMyth.org
www.PeacefulPrairie.org

Read more: humane, vegan, abolitionist, animal welfare, animal rights, free range, cage free

Animal Welfare Reform: Total Denial, One Step at a Time

PetSmart Would Be Wise To Stop Selling ALL Animals

 

PetSmart Would Be Wise To Stop Selling ALL Animals

posted by: Heather Moore 15 days ago

PetSmart Would Be Wise To Stop Selling ALL Animals

PetSmart Would Be Wise To Stop Selling ALL Animals

Hello, I saw this article on Care2 and thought you'd like it as well. Care2 is the largest and most trusted information and action site for people who care to make a difference in their lives and the world.

Care2.com

Although PetSmart does not sell dogs or cats because so many of them are euthanized in shelters every year—and the company stopped selling large exotic birds three years ago for ethical reasons—the pet store chain still sells smaller birds, reptiles, hamsters, rats, chinchillas, and other animals. Most of these animals come from deplorable breeding mills, similar to puppy mills, and are treated with no more kindness and care than the tug toys and chew bones sold at PetSmart. (See www.PetSmartCruelty.com to read about PETA’s undercover investigation at Rainbow World Exotics, a breeding mill that supplies tens of thousands of animals to PetSmart.)


Just recently, former madam Heidi Fleiss attended PetSmart’s annual meeting in New York City and asked company executives to stop selling all exotic birds. Fleiss, who cares for about 20 parrots, macaws, and other tropical birds who she inherited or took in, pointed out that birds are complex, intelligent animals who require a great deal of care and commitment. "Birds are meant to fly, not be caged," said Fleiss, who spent 21-months in prison for running a prostitution business. (The birds Fleiss cares for live uncaged on a 10-acre compound.)


In the wild, birds preen each other, fly together, play, and share egg-incubation duties. In pet stores, they’re confined to tiny cages, their wings are clipped, and many are denied the companionship of their own kind. They become aggressive and neurotic—pulling out their feathers, incessantly screeching and bobbing their heads, pecking frantically at the bars of their cages, and shaking from anxiety.


Pet stores shouldn’t put a price tag on birds and other animals—they’re living beings, not merchandise. While PetSmart has taken some commendable steps to help stop the suffering of large exotic birds, and to combat dog and cat overpopulation, the company would be wise to stop selling all animals and focus only on adopting out homeless animals from shelters and rescue groups. Since animal sales make up a small percentage of PetSmart’s annual sales, it’s not “unreasonable” for the company to stop selling them. PetSmart could better meet the needs of people with animal companions if it sold only food, toys, and other supplies.


Until then, it’s really just stupid to shop at PetSmart. If you have an animal companion, please only support pet stores and online companies that do not sell any animals. To send a message to PetSmart and find you what else you can do to help animals bred for PetSmart stores, see  http://www.petsmartcruelty.com/what_you_can_do.asp. And, to sign the Care2 petition, go to http://www.thepetitionsite.com/18/help-stop-animal-cruelty-in-big-chain-pet-stores.

Read more: animal welfare

PetSmart Would Be Wise To Stop Selling ALL Animals

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

First Case Under Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Heard in San Jose, CA | CommonDreams.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 13, 2009
2:31 PM

CONTACT: Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)

Jen Nessel, 212.614.6449, jnessel@ccrjustice.org
David Lerner, Riptide Communications, 212.260.5000

First Case Under Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Heard in San Jose, CA

Rights Attorneys Challenge Unconstitutionally Vague Law

SAN JOSE, Calif. - July 13 - Today, the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) was put on trial by attorneys with the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Civil Liberties Defense Center, and co-counsel who demanded it be struck down as unconstitutional. The challenge comes in defense of four animal rights activists who are accused of chanting, making leaflets and writing with chalk on the sidewalk in front of a senior bio-researcher's house, as well as using the internet to research the company whose actions they planned to protest. This case is the first to be prosecuted under the November 2008 law. Under the AETA, the activists are charged with acts of animal enterprise terrorism.

"The AETA is so overbroad and vague that picketers protesting labor practices at WalMart who mount a successful boycott could be charged with animal enterprise terrorism because WalMart sells lunch meat," said CCR Cooperating Attorney Matthew Strugar, who argued the challenge today. "And it is impossible to know from the language of the law whether your activities might be covered. The AETA is unconstitutional, and if it remains on the books it will be a genuine threat to free speech."

U.S.A. v. Buddenberg is a federal prosecution of four animal rights activists in California. On February 19th and 20th, 2009 the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the FBI arrested four animal rights activists for conspiracy to commit animal enterprise terrorism. The indictment against Joseph Buddenberg, Maryam Khajavi, Nathan Pope and Adriana Stumpo (the AETA 4) charges them with conduct including protesting, writing with chalk on the sidewalk, chanting, leafleting, and the alleged use of "the Internet to find information on bio-medical researchers." According to the rights attorneys, these acts are all protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

"The First Amendment and the Bill of Rights both protect the rights of citizens to voice  unpleasant, unpopular sentiments, or even statements that cause businesses to lose money," said Lauren Regan, attorney  and director of the Civil Liberties Defense Center. "The AETA and the government's prosecution in this case are an attack on those rights and drastically curtail the constitutional rights of everyone in this country. We must be vigilant in protecting the sanctity of the rights to free expression because once lost, they will be difficult to regain."

Passed by Congress in November 2008, the AETA is aimed at suppressing speech and advocacy by criminalizing First Amendment-protected activities such as protests, boycotts, picketing and whistleblowing. CCR and the defense team have asked the Court to strike down the AETA as unconstitutional because it criminalizes a broad swath of protected First Amendment activities and is so unclear as to fail to give people notice of whether or not their conduct is lawful.

For more information on the case, click here.

For more information on the AETA click here.

###

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.


Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) Links:

First Case Under Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Heard in San Jose, CA | CommonDreams.org

Monday, July 13, 2009

Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Challenged in Court!

Reposted With Thanks to: Media For Animal Liberation

Strugar argued the motion in Federal District Court in San Jose on July 13 (TODAY) at 9 am. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act is now being challenged in court.

KPFA Interview of Lawyer Defending Joseph Buddenberg & Challenging the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act








Help fight the extralegal battle against the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act by defending these activists and opposing the act in these articles' comment sections. Doing so is more important than you realize:

Federal judge to weigh constitutionali..ty of animal rights anti-terrorism law

First Case Under Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Heard in San Jose, CA

Animal rights anti-terror law challenged

If you don't know much about the AETA 4, first educate yourself before you do anything else:

FBI Don't Like Free Speech, Support the AETA 4








You can learn more also at MySpace Support for AETA 4 & at the Support AETA 4 Website. If you want to learn yet more about AETA, visit GreenIstheNewRe..d and Coalition to Abolish the AETA.

And, finally, repost this bulletin! Silence against injustice only serves the oppressor!

------- Bulletin Post from Media for Animal Liberation -------..
......

Sunday, July 12, 2009

HOW TO: (Activists) Becoming the Media & Getting Creative

Taken From A MySpace Bulletin:

From: Media For Animal Liberation



I came across useful videos aimed to help animal rights activists from the Let Live Foundation. They have an entire page dedicated to this. You can also find their stuff on their Vimeo page or BlipTV or search iTunes for podcatses (do a search for letlivemedia). Check out their awesome videos on many activist issues!

There is one in particular that I would like to highlight in this bulletin:

How To: Becoming the Media and Getting Creative






How To: Becoming the Media and Getting Creative from Let Live Foundation on Vimeo.



As my profile states:

We need to become our own media. The corporate media either ignores social movements entirely, distorts or marginalizes their messages, demonizes or trivializes those within it, and it nearly always prioritizes the perspective of the very status quo's institutions being challenged by movements.

We need to take a more active role in our usage of media and in our relationship with corporate media. This means:

(1) Activists creating their own media.

(2) Activists challenging/..refuting corporate media, politicians'. and industry propaganda that distorts, fabricates, omits, etc against the animal rights/..liberation movement.


I am not anyone special. I have a laptop, software, and the Internet. People says thanks to me all the time for my videos, but often I feel like saying that my videos aren't extraordinary in the sense that I am just someone with ordinary capabilities. Anything you see in my videos is self-taught. I haven't taken any film classes. I have no special training or anything fancy.

It is important for us to step up our media involvement and creation. As I say a lot: media shapes our views and views shape our choices.

For the animals, this is an incredibly important thing.

---------- Bulletin Post from Media for Animal Liberation ----------
............

Korean Dog Meat Market *Heartbreaking-Graphic*






Your compassionate attention can help stop animal cruelty and strengthen the Animal Protection Law in Korea.
By CARE- KoreaA series of shocking cruelties to animals, which are unparalleled and unprecedented to date, were recently reported in Korea. We therefore urge the Korean government to strengthen the Korean Animal Protection Law so that these cruelties can be prevented from happening again. Korea remains one of the few places in the world where dog meat is still eaten. The horrific conditions in which dogs are raised for meat on farms - as documented in Incheon City - are tragically all too common in Korea, as is also the case with pet breeding farms.Worse still, the proposed amendment to the Animal Protection Law, which is still far behind general global standards, fails to include basic provisions to prevent cruelty to animals. While the Korean Government’s economic development efforts are consistently substantial, it does virtually nothing to prevent cruelty to animals. The amended bill falls short of even Taiwan’s Animal Protection Law, which was revised 10 years ago. Major shortcomings of the proposed bill are as follows:[1] The bill does not stipulate systemic measures to provide immediate and temporary protection to abused animals from abusers. It must be ensured that maltreated animals are removed from abusers and given immediate refuge by reputable animal organizations. In Legalizing seizure of abused animals would ensure that animal protection workers in Korea will no longer be forced to risk their freedom and safety by rescuing abused animals.[2] In the proposed bill, the definition of “Animal Cruelty” does not meet internationally​.​.​.​.​ accepted definitions and criteria for that term. It is vague and only limited to inflicting pains and injuries on animals without good cause. Anticruelty laws in the bill are too broadly worded and do not provide a list of specific conduct to be outlawed. The bill also fails to list and define provisions of “Animal Neglect,” which is generally defined as failure to provide adequate care and medical attention, resulting in substantial harm to animals.[3] The bill does not prescribe the participation of animal protection groups in an Animal Ethics Committee. Scientific ethics in Korea have reached the crisis stage, as evidenced by the scandal involving Dr. Hwang Woo-Suk. The Korean government must take steps to prevent cruelty to laboratory animals by introducing an Animal Ethics Committee that will enhance the transparency and accountability of the research process. According to the current bill, establishing an Animal Ethics Committee is not compulsory. Researchers, in conducting experiments using animals, are not required to receive any education regarding humane care and use of laboratory animals. Also, the bill does not state any punishment clauses for cruelty violations in relation to animal testing.[4] The current bill does not include provisions for educational programs and welfare policies for the proper care of animal companions. The Korean government must provide adequate programs to educate guardians on responsible animal care so that they fully understand their responsibilitie​.​.​.​.​s toward their companion animals when they register for licenses.[5] The bill must stipulate compulsory humane slaughter of farm animals. Currently, the amended bill does not even ban burying farm animals alive. Monitoring and enforcing humane handling and slaughter regulations are internationally​.​.​.​.​ recognized practices.[6] A national animal welfare committee must be established, as in many other countries, requiring the participation of non-​.​.​.​.​governmental organizations. While the Korean government calls itself the “participation government,” there are no channels available in which non-​.​.​.​.​governmental organizations can participate and present their ideas regarding animal welfare policies. Current policies resort to bureaucratic decision making, which leads to a dearth of expert advice and democratic approaches.[7] The Korean Government’s insistence on keeping dog meat consumption legal instead of banning it is disappointing. The Korean Government must initiate policies to stop the dog meat trade, not only to address short-term sanitary concerns but also in recognition of the intrinsic value of animal life that has universally been acknowledged.​.​.​.​.​Until Korea’s Animal Protection Law is updated to match global standards and dog meat consumption is forbidden, Korea will remain a nation stuck in the dark ages and be ineligible to host the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. We urge the Korean Government to strengthen the country’s Animal Protection Law so that it is commensurate with the country’s international stature.

Click here to view a PDF (925k) with photos that expose the cruelty at two particular dog farms.

What You Can Do

Take Action: Urge Korean Prime Minister to Strengthen Animal Protection Law

Write to the South Korean government and ask that they amend the Animal Protection Law as described above.

Ambassador Lee, Tae-Sik
Embassy of the Republic of Korea
2450 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202)939-5600
Fax: (202)797-0595
E-mail: korinfo@koreaemb.org

Korean Dog Meat Market *Heartbreaking-Graphic*







..


Your compassionate attention can help stop animal cruelty and strengthen the Animal Protection Law in Korea.
By CARE- KoreaA series of shocking cruelties to animals, which are unparalleled and unprecedented to date, were recently reported in Korea. We therefore urge the Korean government to strengthen the Korean Animal Protection Law so that these cruelties can be prevented from happening again. Korea remains one of the few places in the world where dog meat is still eaten. The horrific conditions in which dogs are raised for meat on farms - as documented in Incheon City - are tragically all too common in Korea, as is also the case with pet breeding farms.Worse still, the proposed amendment to the Animal Protection Law, which is still far behind general global standards, fails to include basic provisions to prevent cruelty to animals. While the Korean Government’s economic development efforts are consistently substantial, it does virtually nothing to prevent cruelty to animals. The amended bill falls short of even Taiwan’s Animal Protection Law, which was revised 10 years ago. Major shortcomings of the proposed bill are as follows:[1] The bill does not stipulate systemic measures to provide immediate and temporary protection to abused animals from abusers. It must be ensured that maltreated animals are removed from abusers and given immediate refuge by reputable animal organizations. In Legalizing seizure of abused animals would ensure that animal protection workers in Korea will no longer be forced to risk their freedom and safety by rescuing abused animals.[2] In the proposed bill, the definition of “Animal Cruelty” does not meet internationally​.​.​.​.​ accepted definitions and criteria for that term. It is vague and only limited to inflicting pains and injuries on animals without good cause. Anticruelty laws in the bill are too broadly worded and do not provide a list of specific conduct to be outlawed. The bill also fails to list and define provisions of “Animal Neglect,” which is generally defined as failure to provide adequate care and medical attention, resulting in substantial harm to animals.[3] The bill does not prescribe the participation of animal protection groups in an Animal Ethics Committee. Scientific ethics in Korea have reached the crisis stage, as evidenced by the scandal involving Dr. Hwang Woo-Suk. The Korean government must take steps to prevent cruelty to laboratory animals by introducing an Animal Ethics Committee that will enhance the transparency and accountability of the research process. According to the current bill, establishing an Animal Ethics Committee is not compulsory. Researchers, in conducting experiments using animals, are not required to receive any education regarding humane care and use of laboratory animals. Also, the bill does not state any punishment clauses for cruelty violations in relation to animal testing.[4] The current bill does not include provisions for educational programs and welfare policies for the proper care of animal companions. The Korean government must provide adequate programs to educate guardians on responsible animal care so that they fully understand their responsibilitie​.​.​.​.​s toward their companion animals when they register for licenses.[5] The bill must stipulate compulsory humane slaughter of farm animals. Currently, the amended bill does not even ban burying farm animals alive. Monitoring and enforcing humane handling and slaughter regulations are internationally​.​.​.​.​ recognized practices.[6] A national animal welfare committee must be established, as in many other countries, requiring the participation of non-​.​.​.​.​governmental organizations. While the Korean government calls itself the “participation government,” there are no channels available in which non-​.​.​.​.​governmental organizations can participate and present their ideas regarding animal welfare policies. Current policies resort to bureaucratic decision making, which leads to a dearth of expert advice and democratic approaches.[7] The Korean Government’s insistence on keeping dog meat consumption legal instead of banning it is disappointing. The Korean Government must initiate policies to stop the dog meat trade, not only to address short-term sanitary concerns but also in recognition of the intrinsic value of animal life that has universally been acknowledged.​.​.​.​.​Until Korea’s Animal Protection Law is updated to match global standards and dog meat consumption is forbidden, Korea will remain a nation stuck in the dark ages and be ineligible to host the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. We urge the Korean Government to strengthen the country’s Animal Protection Law so that it is commensurate with the country’s international stature.

http://www.idausa.org/campaigns/korea/korean.html

http://www.abolitionist-online.com/article_korean-dogmeat-trade.shtml


http://www.koreananimals.org/index.htm


What You Can Do

Take Action: Urge Korean Prime Minister to Strengthen Animal Protection Law

Write to the South Korean government and ask that they amend the Animal Protection Law as described above.

Ambassador Lee, Tae-Sik
Embassy of the Republic of Korea
2450 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202)939-5600
Fax: (202)797-0595

We Are The Living Graves of Murdered Beasts

Reposted With Thanks To: One Voice


One Voice

We Are The Living Graves of Murdered Beasts

~George Bernard Shaw


We are the living graves of murdered beasts
Slaughtered to satisfy our appetites
We never pause to wonder at our feasts
If animals, like men, can possibly have rights

We pray on Sundays that we may have light
To guide our footsteps on the path we tread
We’re sick of war We do not want to fight
The thought of it now fills our hearts with dread

And yet we gorge ourselves upon the dead
Like carrion crows we live and feed on meat
Regardless of the suffering and pain
We cause by doing so. If thus we treat
Defenseless animals for sport or gain

How can we hope in this world to attain
the PEACE we say we are so anxious for
We pray for it o’er hecatombs of slain
To God, while outraging the moral law
Thus cruelty begets its offspring: war.

Posted By: One Voice


Saturday, July 11, 2009

When Animals Show More Compassion Than People

Ban Hare Coursing in Ireland!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Hare-Days-John-Fitzgerald/dp/1905513674


July 7, 2009 - Tuesday 

 

Battling Bloodsports and Protecting Wildlife

The protection of animals may not be the most important cause on earth, but it is a legitimate one and a cause close to the hearts of many people. It can be a challenging one too, as I have discovered.

It can bring us into conflict with some very powerful, menacing, and even dangerous forces in society.

I know that animal protection campaigners worldwide will identify in some measure with my own experience, as conveyed in Bad Hare Days, of taking a vigorous public stand against those who kill or abuse animals for “sport”.

-John Fitzgerald

The publisher’s blurb

Bad Hare Days by John Fitzgerald

In Ireland the 'humble hare' has been the subject of great controversy.
After years of an abusive sport, which resulted in its child-like death
screams being heard regularly throughout Ireland, a result was achieved.
For those few dedicated people trying desperately to save the gentle
creature from the horrors of the cruel sport of hare coursing, the
struggle was painful and fought against great odds. The author writes
about one of the 'world's most barbaric blood sports' continuing during
a deadly period for the hares, the 1980s.
His own peaceful and non-violent action and that of, initially, a few
others' did arouse the public and achieve what at first appeared to be a
hard-won benefit to the hare. But the hare's troubles were - and are -
far from over. Though it can no longer be torn apart by greyhounds, now
muzzled, it can still be mauled, injured, and tossed about like a rag
doll on the coursing field.
In addition to highlighting the hare's sad plight, this is also a
campaigner's story. The author recounts vividly the ups and downs of his
own fight against cruelty. He paid a major price in suffering as a
result of being persecuted for his beliefs. The gentle hare, apart from
its use and abuse in coursing, has now become an endangered species in
Ireland, and this book reinforces its right to be protected.

About the Author

John Fitzgerald is a free-lance journalist and writer living in Callan, County Kilkenny, Ireland. Before taking up these twin pursuits, he had worked for almost a decade in a farmers' Co-operative, during which time he wrote hundreds of letters to newspapers exposing cruelty to animals in general, but hare coursing in particular, as part of a national campaign against blood sports in Ireland.
He has been involved for almost three decades in Ireland's anti-hare coursing movement and the present book focuses on a tumultuous phase in the campaign that had a devastating immediate and long-term impact on his life.
John Fitzgerald has contributed articles to a number of national and provincial Irish newspapers and to the popular Ireland's Own magazine.
He is also the author of four previous books, all dealing with aspects of his native county's heritage, history, and folklore: Kilkenny – People Places Faces, Kilkenny – A Blast from the Past, Callan in the Rare Old Times, and Callan through the Mists of Time.

(From website of Olympia Publishers: www.olympiapublishers.com )


***



Review by Harriet Egan (blogger)

A book I heartily recommend is Bad Hare Days by John Fitzgerald. It’s the memoir of a dedicated animal protection activist.

The theme is so topical, and certainly one familiar to animal lovers worldwide…an animal rights cause is taken up by people who have different ideas about how to tackle the issue…while some favour peaceful legal means such as letter-writing to the media and protest pickets, others resort to “direction action” methods that entail acting outside the law.

But the author of this book gets blamed for the activities of “underground” activist groups despite having no dealings at all with them.

You don’t mess with those fellows! Irish anti-blood sports campaigner John Fitzgerald is thus warned by an elderly “wise man”, who is referring to hare coursing clubs in Ireland…but the teenager shrugs it off, his youthful enthusiasm holding sway.

After visiting a hare-coursing event, at which he sees hares being ripped to pieces in front of a cheering crowd, he joins an animal protection group. He begins writing letters to newspapers about the subject and picketing coursing fixtures.

But he soon finds himself up against the might of Ireland’s blood sport fraternity. He learns to his personal cost that politicians, wealthy business people, and high-ranking members of Ireland’s police force, are among the most ardent hare coursing fans.

John Fitzgerald is bullied in the workplace, in the streets of his hometown, and assaulted by coursing fans at work. Then the campaign costs him his livelihood.

But more direful challenges lie ahead: The anti-coursing campaign takes an unexpected turn with the “exporting” of the British-based Animal Liberation Front to Ireland. The ALF is blamed for a nationwide wave of incidents in which hares are released from coursing compounds and baiting venues sabotaged.

Tensions between pro and anti coursing factions erupt into fighting on the picket lines. Police swoop on the homes of known anti-coursing campaigners, believing that these might be implicated in the sabotage. John Fitzgerald is among those targeted. His home is ransacked. He is subjected to lengthy interrogations.

The militant activism then escalates into what has all the hallmarks of a terror campaign when hay barns owned by coursing officials are torched.

As a high profile anti-coursing campaigner, the author is accused, wrongly, of involvement in “terrorism”…though it turns out that the barn burning spree has been the work, not of the “ALF”, but of coursing fans embroiled in bitter infighting over ownership of captured hares and other grievances.

The author then has to fight to clear his name…while still battling blood sports.

Against a background of ferocious bullying and intimidation, tension-racked court hearings, further sabotage of coursing fields and blazing hay barns, John Fitzgerald treads a bitter and lonely path that leads to justice.

In a book that grips your attention the whole way through, the author describes in a compelling, highly readable style his sometimes frightening…and occasionally humorous…battle of wits with the power of the State, and his struggle to end hare coursing in Ireland.

Anyone with the remotest interest in subjects ranging from animal rights, animal welfare, blood sports, activism generally, environmental politics, the rights and wrongs of policing, or the psychology of bullying, will find this book an exhilarating read.

***



        Review by Chris Morris (writer)

John Fitzgerald is a freelance journalist living in County Kilkenny, Ireland. He is an avid campaigner against blood sports and is well known throughout Ireland for his stance on hare-coursing
This memoir opens with the fourteen year old Fitzgerald walking through the “church field”, enjoying a break from his studies, when he hears loud voices in the distance.

Curious to find out what is happening, he walks in the direction of the voices and sees a group of men and boys combing the church field…“like I’d seen on television when they are searching for a missing person”. When he gets closer to the group he feels un-nerved by the expressions on their faces.
Fitzgerald takes refuge in an abandoned church in the “church field” and looks through the fuchsia bush that covers the opening, where one imagines there was once a Harry Clarke religious stained glass window. Hysterical voices echo around the old church as he watches the leader of the group holding aloft a badly injured hare.

The leader passes the trembling hare to a boy, around the same age as Fitzgerald, and tells him to “stiff” it. When the boy fails to kill the hare the leader snatches it from him and proceeds to batter the hare against the church wall…“in a mounting frenzy of excitement until another man taps him on the shoulder and tells him it’s dead now you’re ok.”
When the group, led by their alcohol-swigging leader, walk off with the dead hare, Fitzgerald examines the scene and sees the hare’s blood splashed on the church wall and on blades of grass.

The image of the blood on blades of grass reminds one of the poem: I see his blood upon the Rose, composed by the Irish Roman Catholic poet, Joseph Mary Plunkett (1887-1916). One is also reminded of St Francis of Assai who loved and revered birds, bees and all of the animal kingdom. On the feast of St Francis, adults and children bring their pets to be blessed by the priest at a special mass.
As he walks home, shaken by what he experienced, Fitzgerald meets an old man and tells him what he had witnessed in the church field. The old man advises him: “You’ll say nothing, not a word. You’ll only get yourself into trouble.”
When he leaves school and starts work, still haunted by the memories of what he witnessed in the church field when he was fourteen years old, Fitzgerald starts to write letters to the national papers, highlighting the cruelty of hare-coursing. 

One day the parish priest, Fr. Aloysius, visits Fitzgerald in his place of work and asks him to stop writing letters to the papers.  He tells Fitzgerald his letters have caused great distress to Fr. Carrigan, who had been a curate in the parish for many years.

Fr Carrigan, Fitzgerald reminds the reader, used the pulpit at Sunday mass to appeal for volunteers to help in the netting of hares: “He would follow the final blessing with a favourable reference to hare-coursing or a rallying call.”

One would be forgiven for thinking Fr Aloysius’ visit to Fitzgerald’s place of work on that day was a kind of warm up act because within an hour a man smelling of whiskey enters Fitzgerald’s place of work. He verbally abuses Fitzgerald and then physically attacks him for writing letters to the papers about hare-coursing.

This does not deter Fitzgerald. If anything, it makes him more determined: besides writing to the national papers, he goes on local and national radio highlighting hare-coursing as a barbaric form of entertainment.
Early one morning there is a loud knock on Fitzgerald’s front door: “Standing on the footpath outside the door were five tall men in suits. They looked like men dressed up for a wedding.”

The leader of the men introduces himself as Detective Sergeant Michael McEvoy of the Garda Special Branch: “…We’re here to search this kip”, he said, as he pushed his way into the house. The Special Branch men raided the house and when they found a leaflet from the Animal liberation Front, McEvoy chortled “Hip hip! We’ve nailed him!”
Fitzgerald gives a graphic account of his arrest and interrogation. McEvoy and Garda Collier sit behind a desk in the barren investigation room and Fitzgerald is ordered to sit on a high stool. From time to time, McEvoy circles around Fitzgerald using all kinds of threats to try and extract a confession from him.

One sees Fitzgerald in the same terrifying environment as the hare caught in the net in the church field. McEvoy tells Fitzgerald, as he is about to take his fingerprints, “I can break every one of your fingers if you don’t co-operate.”
McEvoy continues to circle Fitzgerald trying to get him to sign a false confession. When he refuses to sign the already prepared statement, McEvoy tells Fitzgerald he will have his very ill father brought down to the station and interrogated. It is this threat that breaks the strong willed Fitzgerald and he signs the false confession.

Within three months Fitzgerald is arrested for the second time. This time the Special Branch’s interrogation tactics don’t have the same terrifying effects on him. Though he is held in Garda custody for forty-eight hours, the Special Branch fail to break him down or frighten him into signing a false confession, so they take him to court, using the original signed “confession” as evidence.

Fitzgerald describes how the jury is selected for his trial; this in itself makes interesting reading.  The jury try to restrain their giggles as the prosecuting barrister, “…in his refined, Anglo-Irish accent…” reads aloud to the court the foul language and obscene expletives from a letter Fitzgerald is accused of writing to members of the hare-coursing fraternity. 

This court scene’s dark comedy lends light relief to an otherwise tragic, gruesome story.

Fitzgerald goes to the funeral mass for Masher Whelan; leader of the group in the church field on the day the fourteen year-old Fitzgerald witnessed the brutal killing of the hare.

Having read of the brutality this man acted out on vulnerable helpless creatures, I can’t help thinking a more appropriate name for him would have been “Basher” Whelan.

When five priests and two cannons parade from the sacristy to the altar, “…someone in the congregation joked that the big guns had been wheeled in to give Masher a mighty send off…”

As he watches the altar boy swinging the thurible of incense over the coffin, Fitzgerald gets flashbacks to that time in the church field when he watched Masher Whelan swinging the helpless, terrified hare and bashing it against the abandoned church wall.
This is a splendidly crafted work. Fitzgerald’s writing skill captures the reader’s attention in the way he describes, in vivid imagery, each event as though it is happening as one reads. 

The religious imagery in the opening chapter is all the more daunting when one remembers that the abandoned church in the church field was once a sacred building.

This abandoned church once displayed the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, symbolised by the lighted sanctuary lamp.

Though the names in this memoir have been changed, I feel this does not detract from its authenticity.

It is to be hoped this memoir will inspire its readers to do what they can to have hare coursing outlawed in Ireland: a land of breathless beauty…and dark shadows of obscene cruelty to animals?

***





Review of Bad Hare Days…

There have been very few books that have made me lock myself into the bathroom, bolting the door to ensure I simply could not be interrupted. None, in fact, until Bad Hare Days. Oblivious to the demands of life outside, I read on spell-bound, horrified yet enthralled, by this incredible true-life story.

As a young man John Fitzgerald’s accidental witnessing of the secretive and brutal killing of a wild hare led to his revulsion of the cruelty inherent within the traditional Irish sport of hare coursing. His campaign to educate the Irish public and politicians about such cruelty was entirely understandable, 100% legal, and motivated by compassion.

Until the publication of this book, few would have believed the depths of hatred and vilification that such a campaign could provoke, in a supposedly modern society. Most disturbing of all, was the prolonged harassment of the author by Ireland’s now notorious Garda Siochana, or national police force. The sordid role of the Gardai in these events was disturbingly similar to that of a secret police force, tasked with the harassment or suppression of political dissidents.

Repeatedly arrested at dawn, and taken to locations kept largely secret from his family and friends, the author endured the most appalling psychological interrogation techniques, all aimed at securing false confessions, and implicating others. The use of such blatantly unethical and illegal techniques has deeply stained the honour of the Gardai.

The author is to be commended for surviving these prolonged interrogations, with his resolve intact to continue his campaign against animal cruelty. Bad Hare Days provides a vital warning for social activists of any persuasion about what might lie in wait for them, should their campaigns become more than a minor irritation to the powerful.

By publishing his gripping story, John Fitzgerald has cast a spotlight upon a profoundly rotten core of our society. Such corruption severely undermines public confidence in Ireland’s justice system, and must be rooted out.

(From review by Andrew Knight BSc, BVMS, CertAW, MRCVS, FOCAE

Fellow, Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics)

Bad Hare Days can be acquired from Borders UK, Waterstone UK, Fishpond (Australia), Bestsellers.ie (Ireland), among other book outlets, and from Amazon UK at

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Hare-Days-John-Fitzgerald/dp/1905513674

July 6, 2009 - Monday 

Ban Hare Coursing in Ireland!
Category: Pets and Animals


Hare Coursing in Ireland…

Please Help the Campaign to End this Cruelty in the Name of “Sport”!

Hare coursing in Ireland consists of terrorising hares (better known as Jack Rabbits in North America) by setting trained and “blooded” greyhounds in pursuit of them in a large, wired-off enclosure.

The so-called “sport” revolves around forcing captive hares to run for their lives in the enclosures…each hare being pursued by two greyhounds. Every coursing event has about eighty “courses”, with that many hares being baited by pairs of greyhounds.

The aim is to see which greyhound will be the first to “turn” the hare…to divert it from its straight run to an escape hatch at the opposite end of the enclosure.

The dog that causes the hare to run sideways is declared the winner. If the hare manages to reach the escape hatch, it survives to run again, later in the day at the same coursing event…or at another coursing fixture elsewhere in Ireland. But many hares do not make it to the escape hatch, instead getting struck or mauled by the greyhounds.

Though the dogs at official coursing events are muzzled, they still routinely kill or injure the hares. It is regular sight to see hares being tossed into the air by the competing dogs. Because it is a brittle boned creature, the hare cannot recover from the wounds and bone breakages inflicted.

Gamblers, greyhound owners, hunters, and other coursing fans laugh and applaud as the hares are forced to perform for their amusement.

Coursing involves playing a kind of “Russian Roulette” with the hares…a hare might escape death or injury…or might not. That element of uncertainty is what seemingly “turns on” the fans. But the hare that survives today may come to grief later when re-coursed.

In parts of Ireland where hares are scarce, and insufficient numbers are available for coursing, the ones captured are used repeatedly until their luck runs out.

At pre-coursing “trials” (dress rehearsals for the official events) at which no rules apply and the public is kept away, un-muzzled greyhounds are unleashed against hares, resulting in live tug-of-war spectacles in which the animals are literally torn asunder.

The hare’s plight begins even before coursing day. Its suffering commences about a month before the day it is taken to the coursing (baiting) venue to be coursed. This is when the coursing clubs scour the countryside in search of hares for their baiting sessions.

They use large nets to capture the animals. Many hares are injured while being netted. This renders them unsuitable for coursing. These injured hares are commonly used in a training method called “blooding”, a viciously cruel practise in which hares and rabbits, and occasionally cats, are fed live to greyhounds to give them a taste for blood and thus boost their performance in the coursing arena.

There are seventy-eight coursing clubs in Ireland, all committed to this organised cruelty to animals masquerading as “sport”. Approximately 10,000 hares are coursed each year, with an unknown number of these being killed, mauled, or injured in the process.

Independent marketing surveys show that a majority (75%) of the Irish people oppose hare coursing and want it banned, as Britain has already outlawed it. Yet the government, yielding to pressure from the powerful coursing clubs, permits this barbarism to continue.

Not only are coursing clubs allowed to abuse this beautiful and inoffensive creature… they actively encourage visitors to Ireland to attend their sickening events and promote hare coursing as a “tourist attraction”.

They attract like-minded people from nations where the blood sport is banned or does not exist, in much the same way that bullfight organisers promote their form of animal cruelty.

I have been involved for more than three decades in the campaign to have the innocent hare protected in Ireland. I have written a book, Bad Hare Days, a memoir focusing on the ups and downs of that campaign, and how campaigners as well as the hares have suffered at the hands of the coursing fraternity. Those who inflict pain and suffering on animals are more than capable, I have discovered, of subjecting their fellow human beings to bullying and violence.

I have also, in the book, recalled the small triumphs along the seemingly never-ending path to success…the milestones that hopefully point the way towards the end of the hare’s sad plight.

I hope the book will bring closer the day when this nightmarish cruelty is banned from our beautiful countryside. I believe it is a stain on our image as a nation and, like all forms of “sport hunting”, an affront to civilised values.

To watch a brief film showing what happens at Irish hare coursing events, click on this link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D58qbzC-GI4


To appeal to the Irish Government to ban hare coursing, email your message to Ireland’s Minister for the Environment, Mr. John Gormley
: minister@environ.ie


Bad Hare Days
(the book) can be acquired from Borders UK, Waterstone UK, Bestsellers.ie (Ireland), or from Amazon UK at

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Hare-Days-John-Fitzgerald/dp/1905513674

Thanking you for your attention,


John Fitzgerald

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