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

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

When You Want To Quit.

This article is repost from MySpace, I never met this woman, I wish I had because in my eyes, she was a hero.


This was written by the woman who founded PyrAngels, the Great Pyrenees rescue network, who died at home over the weekend. She was a huge resource, a source of inspiration for many, and a very tough act to follow.


I Want to Quit (This Is What Animal Rescue Is Like) By Joan C. Fremo (R.I.P.)

I want to quit!

My health is bad. There are days I feel so terrible that I can barely move. My phone bills are outrageous, and I could have replaced my van with the funds I have spent these last 3 years---on animals that were not my own.

I want to quit!

I spend hours and hours emailing about dogs. There may be 500 messages when I start---and at 4 AM, when I finally shut down the computer, there are still 500 emails to be read.

I want to quit!

Gosh, I haven't the time left to email my friends. I can't remember the last book I read, and I gave up my subscription to my local newspaper--- I used to enjoy reading it, cover to cover, but now it often ends up in the bottom of the squirrel's cage---unread.

I want to quit!

I've spent days emailing what seems like everyone-....--trying to find a foster home, help for a dog languishing in a shelter---but his time has run out, and the shelter has had to euthanize to make room for the next sad soul.

I want to quit!

I swear, I walk away from my computer to stretch my legs---let the dogs out---and come back to find another dog in desperate need. There are times I really dread checking my email. How will I find the funds, the help, to save yet another dog?

I want to quit!

I save one dog, and two more take its place. Now an owner who doesn't want his dog---it won't stay in his unfenced yard. An intact male wanders... This bitch got pregnant by a stray... This
3-month-old pup killed baby chicks.. The dog got too big... This person's moving and needs to give up his pet. I ask you, friends---what town, what city, what state doesn't allow you to own a pet?

I want to quit!

I just received another picture, another sad soul with tormented eyes that peer out of a malnourished body. I hear whimpering in my sleep, have nightmares for days...

I want to quit!

Many of the "Breed People" don't seem to want to hear about these dogs. Breeders either don't realize, or just don't care, how many dogs of their breed are dying in shelters.

I want to quit!

I just got off the phone. "Are you Pyr Rescue? We want to adopt a male to breed to our female." How many times do I have to explain? I have tried to explain about genetics, about health and pedigrees. I explain that rescues NEUTER! I usually end up sobbing, as I explain about the vast numbers of animals dying in shelters across the country, as I describe the condition many of these animals are found in. I wonder if they really heard me...

I want to quit!

It is not like I don't have enough rescues of my own to worry about---but others have placed dogs improperly and aren't there to advise the new owners.

I want to quit!

There ARE some unscrupulous rescues out there---hoarders, collectors, and folks who will short change the care of the animals to make a dollar. They save them all, regardless of temperament, putting fellow rescuer's and adopters at risk by not being truthful.

I want to quit!

I have trusted the wrong people--- had faith and heart broken...

I want to quit!

AND THEN... My dog, Magnus, lays his head in my lap, he comforts me with his gentle presence---and the thought of his cousins suffering stirs my heart.

I want to quit!

AND THEN... One of those 500 emails is from an adopter. They are thanking me for the most wonderful dog on earth---they cannot imagine life with out their friend---their life is changed, and they are so grateful.

I want to quit!

AND THEN... One of my adopted Rescues has visited a nursing home. A patient that has spent the last few years unable to communicate, not connecting-- -Lifts his hand to pat the huge head in his lap, softly speaks his first words in ages--- to this gentle furchild.

I want to quit!

AND THEN... A Good Samaritan has found and vetted a lost baby, "I can't keep him, but I'll take care of him until you find his forever home."

I want to quit!

AND THEN... "Jamie took his first steps holding on to our Pyr." "Joan, you should see this dog nursing this hurt kitten!" "I was so sick, Joan, and he never left my side..."

I want to quit!

AND THEN... I get an email from a fellow rescuer, "Haven't heard from you in a while---you OK? You know I think of you..."

I want to quit!

AND THEN... A dozen rescuers step up to help, to transport, to pull, and to offer encouragement. I have friends I have never seen, but we share tears, joys, and everything in between. I am
not alone I am blessed with family of the heart, my fellow Rescuers. Just days ago it was a friend who shared her wit and wisdom, whose late night email lifted my heart. Sometimes it is friends who only have time to forward you a smile.

Often, it is my friends who forward me the notices of dogs in need. There are Rescuers who see a flailing transport and do everything they can do find folks to pull it together for you. Rescuers who'll overnight or foster your Dog while you seek transport. There are Rescuers not used to or comfortable with your breed, but who put aside their discomfort to help.

There are Rescuers whose words play the music of our hearts. Foster homes that love your Rescue, and help to make them whole again---body and spirit.

Foster homes that fit your baby in, though it may not be their breed. Rescuers whose talents and determination give us tools to help us. Rescuers we call on for help in a thousand ways, who answer us, who hear our pleas. Rescuers who are our family, our strength, our comrades in battle.

I know I cannot save every Pyr in need. I know my efforts are a mere drop in a sea. I know that if I take on just one more---those I have will suffer.

I want to quit! But I won't. When I feel overwhelmed, I'll stroke my Magnus's head while reading my fellow Rescuers emails. I'll cry with them, I'll laugh with them---and they will help me find the strength to go on.

I want to quit! But not today. There's another email, another dog needing Rescue.

This piece is dedicated, with love and gratitude, to all my fellow Rescuers.

Joan

A Dog's Unending Loyalty

 

For all the horror stories I hear about the way we humans treat dogs I frequently wonder why they are so loyal to us when I'm sure we don't deserve that level of loyalty and unconditional love......but that's just me……

 

 

 Ella, a Rottweiler, was in a car crash and scavenged for food on the highway for weeks. Ella was reunited with her family but as Steve Hartman tells us, the story doesn't end there.

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Watch CBS News Videos Online

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Meet the Faces of Animal Research


One Voice




Animals Used in Research


Over 100 million animals are used every year in the United States as models in biological and medical research to study human disease, injury, development, psychology, and anatomy and physiology. Animals often suffer greatly in these studies, as they are inflicted with diseases, traumas, and pain they would not normally experience in order to mimic human conditions.

An entire industry has been built around supplying animals for research that treats animals as tools rather than as thinking, feeling beings. Animals are purposely bred for research or bought from auctions, pounds
, shelters, ‘free to good home’ ads, or other random sources. Kept in sterile environments with little attention or enrichment, treated roughly for not ‘cooperating,’ and transported under unacceptable conditions, the pain and distress that animals used in research experience actually starts long before they enter a laboratory.


Mice and Rats

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Mice and rats bred for use in research are not protected under the Animal Welfare Act, yet they comprise nearly all of the animals used in modern research. The Animal Welfare Act, which sets minimal standards for the care, housing, sale, and transport of animals used in research, specifically excludes these animals, as well as birds bred for research and cold-blooded animals.

As a result, it is impossible to know how many mice and rats are used each year for research in the U.S., for what purposes, and the pain and/or distress experienced by these animals. It is estimated, however, that roughly 95 percent of the animals used in U.S. laboratories are mice and rats – some 100 million individuals.

Mice and rats are used in virtually every area of research, and the number of mice and rats used continues to grow with the field of genetic engineering. Sequencing of the mouse (mus musculus) genome was completed and published in 2002, and since then, scientists have been engaging in every possible genetic manipulation of these animals. A researcher, following the prevailing ‘what if we tried this’ attitude, can custom-order any mutant or genetically engineered strain of mouse desired from any of a number of suppliers. Thousands of animals’ lives are wasted to ‘create’ each strain, and suffering is often inherent in the mutations and genetic abnormalities before the experiments even begin.

Mice and rats are housed in shoebox-sized plastic containers that slide into vertical racks so that something that is not much bigger than a bookcase can house hundreds of mice. Without even the minimal protections afforded by the Animal Welfare Act, researchers can use mice and rats without considering alternatives to their use or minimizing pain and distress.



Guinea Pigs and Hamsters

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Long associated with the pet trade as small companion animals, guinea pigs and hamsters are extensively used as laboratory animals. Over 200,000 guinea pigs and approximately 170,000 hamsters are used in research each year in the U.S. Of the animals covered by the Animal Welfare Act (i.e., not including mice, rats, and birds bred for use in research, fish, and other cold-blooded animals), only rabbits are used more.

Guinea pigs continue to be used in significant numbers for toxicity and safety tests
, to investigate the effects of cigarette smoke, alcohol, and drugs, and to research spinal cord injury, tuberculosis, the auditory system, kidney function, osteoarthritis,...... nutrition, genetics, infectious diseases, and reproductive biology.

Hamsters are frequently used to study sensory systems such as taste and vision. They are also used as models for cardiopulmonary......, inflammatory, and neoplastic diseases; cardiomyopathy;...... estrogen-......induced carcinogenesis;...... drug and carcinogen metabolism; muscular dystrophy therapy; aging; asthma; pancreatic cancer; prion-type (mad cow) diseases; and various aspects of natural and artificial biorhythms.

Disturbingly, in 2006, 12 percent of guinea pigs (nearly 25,000 individuals) and 20 percent of hamsters (more than 33,000 individuals) were used in experiments that involved significant pain and distress
that was not alleviated by either anesthetics or analgesics.


Birds

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There are no available statistics on the use of birds for research in the U.S., as birds bred for research are currently excluded from coverage by the Animal Welfare Act. In the UK, however, birds are the third most commonly used animals after rodents and fish, with over 100,000 used each year (four percent of all animals used). More than 650,000 birds are used across the entire European Union annually. In the UK, the vast majority of birds used in research and testing are domestic fowl.

The largest single category of procedures in which birds are used in the European Union is fundamental research, aimed at discovering how animals function. Such research often involves surgery, trapping birds from the wild, and/or prolonged confinement in order to study phenomena such as migration and bird song.

Overall, however, most birds are used in the research and development, production, quality control, or safety testing of human and veterinary medical products, often in studies related to animal diseases. Much of the toxicity and safety testing involves lethal tests such as the LD50, or acute or subacute tests that involve high exposure to the test substance, causing significant suffering and distress.

Birds are further stressed as a result of the poor housing conditions in which they are maintained, which are too small and/or crowded for the birds to stretch their wings or perform a range of natural behaviors.



Fish

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Since the early 1990s, fish have been increasingly used in biomedical research as models of human development and disease, in toxicity testing as subjects for measuring harmful effects of chemicals, and in aquaculture research to expand the farming of fish for food. It is not possible to determine the exact number of fish used in the U.S. because fish are not covered by the Animal Welfare Act. It is estimated, however, that roughly seven percent of all animals used in research are fish, meaning that some 3.5 -7 million fish are used annually in the U.S.

From the researcher’s point of view, fish provide simpler systems for the study of complex processes. Because fish are small, inexpensive, and relatively easy to house, they have become a ‘convenient’ test subject for many scientists. In addition, scientists are increasingly looking towards fish as an alternative to studies that more traditionally use mice and rats, thus, in theory, reducing animal costs by using a ‘phylogenetical......ly lower species.’

The zebrafish, in particular, has become ‘the fish of choice’ for a variety of investigations....... Since zebrafish embryos are transparent, develop outside of the mother, and grow rapidly (hatching in just three days), they are frequently used to study vertebrate development and physiology. Scientists are increasingly creating mutant zebrafish to identify genes that are essential for normal development.

Platyfish and swordtails, another kind of small fish, have been used as cancer models for more than 70 years. The Japanese medaka is one of the most commonly used fish models for carcinogenicity...... testing. Fish are also used in environmental toxicity testing to measure the effects of exposure to chemicals or pollution in the environment. Similarly, fish are also used as sentinels of environmental contamination.

While the use of fish is considered a refinement alternative to the use of mammals, the danger is, because fish are so small and cheap, and because we do not have a good intuitive sense of how they feel or suffer, we will consider them expendable, not value their lives, and use them in tremendous quantities. Indeed, as evidenced by the large-scale mutagenesis projects currently underway, this is already happening. Emphasis needs to be placed on the development of alternatives that completely replace the use of all animals.



Rabbits

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More rabbits are used for research in the U.S. than any other covered species. In 1987, an all-time high of 554,385 rabbits were exploited for research and testing. Over the past two decades, rabbit use has gradually declined, with the latest reports indicating that over 200,000 rabbits are utilized annually.

Rabbits are widely used for experimentation...... and testing mainly due to practical rather than scientific considerations....... They are small and usually docile, easily restrained, cheap to maintain, and breed prodigiously.

Most people associate the use of rabbits in laboratories with toxicity testing
for cosmetic, personal, and household products. The best known tests are the Draize eye and skin irritancy tests, which are extremely painful and cruel. While being experimented upon, rabbits are also often locked into full-body restraints to prevent them from touching eye or skin sores. These tests are not very reliable, and increasing attention is being paid to the development of alternatives to replace the use of rabbits for these categories of toxicity testing.

For medical products such as vaccines, drugs, and medical devices, rabbits are used to test pyrogenicity (the ability of the product to induce a fever). Additionally, because of their high rate of reproduction, rabbits are also used to test developmental/..........................embryotoxicity (the danger that a product will harm a pregnant female or developing fetus).

Rabbits are also used in basic and biomedical research, as models for diseases and disorders of the eyes, skin, heart, and immune system, as well as asthma, cystic fibrosis, and diabetes. Another common use of rabbits is in a painful procedure to produce polyclonal antibodies, which are widely used for a variety of research and diagnostic purposes.

In addition to the suffering caused by the experiments, the laboratory environment itself is also particularly noxious to rabbits, causing great stress, weakening their immune systems, and making them more prone to illness.



Non-human Primates

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The numbers of nonhuman primates used in research has gradually increased in the last decade and significantly exceeds the numbers of nonhuman primates used when the USDA first began to record numbers of animals utilized in research. In 1973, the first year for which records were kept, 42,298 nonhuman primates were used, and in 2006, the latest year for which records are available, 62,315 were used. These figures do not take into account the nonhuman primates used for breeding. In addition, 47% of nonhuman primates, some 29,000 individuals, were subjected to painful and distressful experiments in 2006.

Primates are increasingly used in pharmaceutical and bioterrorism experiments, and researchers continue to promote the "development of a portfolio of non-human primate models for a variety of human diseases and conditions." For example, primates are used in experiments related to infectious disease (e.g., AIDS, malaria, TB, Lyme disease, Ebola), cardiovascular disease, diabetes, drug abuse, xenotransplanta......tion (cross-species transplants), toxicology, vaccinations, age-related research, gene therapy, neurosciences, and reproductive biology. Primates have rich emotional and social lives, however, and suffer greatly when confined in laboratory settings and used in scientific procedures.

Cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis), also known as crab-eating macaques, make up the majority of non-human primates imported for research. Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) are the second most imported primate species. Other highly-......imported species include common marmosets, squirrel monkeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys (also known as grivet or African green monkeys), and night monkeys (also known as owl monkeys). Wild populations of primates all across the world are being devastated to supply the research community.

The chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) is the only nonhuman great ape species used in biomedical research. The majority of research involving chimpanzees is invasive, meaning that the projects involve infectious agents, drug testing, and/or surgery or biopsy. Because of their similarity to humans, chimpanzee research in particular raises serious ethical and scientific concerns, and there is growing public support in the U.S. for a ban on the use of chimpanzees in research.

There have been milestones along the way towards that goal. In May of 2007, after prodding from AAVS and other concerned organizations, the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Research Resources announced that it would permanently end the breeding of government-......owned chimpanzees. In December of that same year, the Chimp Haven is Home Act was signed into law, closing a loophole in the 1999 Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance, and Protection (CHIMP) Act and assuring permanent retirement in sanctuaries for chimpanzees who have been removed from federal laboratories.

Great Britain, New Zealand, The Netherlands, and Japan have already restricted or prohibited great ape research.



Farmed Animals

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Humans have been using animals to produce food and fiber for thousands of years. Within the last few decades, however, increasing numbers of biomedical scientists are using domestic livestock as ‘models’ of human conditions. This has occurred partly to replace the use of animals such as cats, dogs, and primates, which is no longer widely supported by the general public.

Even more recently, an emphasis has been placed on the use of livestock for cloning
and genetic engineering experiments, largely due to the fact that there is little oversight for such activities. In January 2008, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that products from cloned cows, pigs, and goats can be sold as food without labels, and the FDA is in the process of approving drugs produced in the milk of transgenic animals for human use.

Animals used in agriculture-......related research have no effective protection under existing animals welfare laws. In contrast, domestic livestock (excluding chickens or birds bred for research) who are used as ‘human models’ in biomedical research and testing are covered by the
Animal Welfare Act. They are, however, routinely subjected to a wide variety of experimental manipulations, including induced diseases, injuries, and behavioral pathologies.

Pigs- More than 57,000 pigs were used in research in 2006, the latest year for which data are available. The number of pigs used in regulated research activities has been declining over the years, but a significant percentage of pigs continues to be used in experiments that cause pain and/or distress. Nearly two-thirds, or 66 percent, of pigs used in 2006 were involved in such experiments.
Due to the pig’s large adult size, a variety of mini- and micro-pigs, who consume fewer resources and require less space, have been ‘created’ by laboratories through genetic manipulation and selective breeding.
Pigs are commonly used in experiments regarding cardiovascular systems, blood dynamics, nutritional deficiencies, alcoholism, drug abuse, general metabolic functions, digestive-......related disorders, respiratory diseases, diabetes, kidney and bladder diseases, organ-specific toxicity, dermatology, and neurological studies. Pigs are also used in painful burn studies, cystic fibrosis research, and
xenotransplanta......tion experiments. The pig is such a popular animal model that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invests over $100 million annually in swine-based research projects.

Cows- are used in projects on narcolepsy, reproductive physiology, and safety testing of recombinant vaccines. They are also used in infectious disease research, and in experiments related to cartilage damage. Cattle, particularly calves, continue to be used in heart experiments as well, even though the results do not translate reliably to humans.

Sheep- Over 3,700 sheep were used in research in 2006, with 72% experiencing pain and distress. Sheep, particularly females (ewes), are preferred because they are relatively easy to house, they are docile, and their larger bodies allow for ease in performing multiple experimental procedures on them. Sheep are considered the animal of choice for pregnancy-......related research, and are also used to study multiple sclerosis, medical device implants, burn injury, and smoke inhalation.

Goats- are not widely used in biomedical research in the U.S. They are, however, frequently used to produce polyclonal antibodies, which are widely used for a variety of research and diagnostic purposes. Goats are also used to study cartilage repair, respiratory physiology, medical diagnostic procedures, gene therapy, and the effects of anesthesia on brain activity. In addition, goats are increasingly subjected to genetic modifications to produce human drugs in their milk, blood, or urine (a process known as pharming).


Cats

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Over 20,000 cats are used in research every year in the U.S. A significant proportion of these animals, nearly half, are used in experiments that cause pain and distress. Cat use has been declining gradually, but often they are being replaced with smaller, less protected species such as mice and rats.

Cats are frequently used in neurology research to study spinal cord injury, as well as problems related to vision, sleep, and hearing. They are also used to study Parkinson’s disease, cancer, genetic disorders, and other human conditions and ailments. Cats have been used so often that they are usually the species of choice because so much is known about their neurological functions. This type of research is extremely invasive, however, and almost always results in the euthanasia of the cats after they are subjected to grueling vivisection procedures.

In addition, cats are also commonly used in HIV and AIDS research due to a pair of AIDS-like feline viral diseases: feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficienc......y virus (FIV). However, there are numerous important differences between the feline and human diseases, making cats a problematic and unsuitable model for HIV/AIDS research.

The primary reason cats are used in such research has more to do with logistical and practical criteria. Cats are easy to handle, house, and subject to experimental manipulations, especially when compared to primates, the other species of choice for HIV/AIDS research. In addition, cats are readily available, as easy to purchase as inanimate laboratory supplies, and can even be found for sale on the internet. Many are still removed from
pounds or shelters to be used in this lethal, scientifically unsound research.


Dogs


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Every day in the U.S., dogs just like those who share our homes and sleep in our beds are used in harmful and deadly experiments, treated as expendable ‘tools’ or ‘models’ in laboratories. In the U.S. alone, over 87,000 dogs were used for research in 2006, a sharp rise from previous years in which 65,000-70,000 dogs were used annually.

Many dogs are still obtained from shelters, animal control facilities, and/or other random sources, including ‘free to a good home’ ads, auctions, and greyhound racetracks. Many other dogs are bred either in laboratories (to be born either healthy or with a specific genetic deficit) or by private companies that sell strictly to laboratories.

Dogs are routinely used by medical schools and laboratories in heart and lung research, transplantation...... experiments, cancer research, microbiology, genetics, orthopedics, surgery, and veterinary medicine. Dogs are also commonly used in toxicity studies to test the safety of human drugs, food additives, industrial chemicals, and other products.

Puppies, or dogs under one year of age, are frequently used in these experiments. The most common dogs used in laboratories are beagles, but not because scientists view them as the best ‘models’ for humans. Rather, beagles are convenient to use because they are docile and small, allowing for more animals to be housed and cared for using less space and money.



Pain and Distress
The USDA breaks down the number of animals used by the category of pain and distress they experience during the experiments. No Pain, No Drugs (Category C) means that the animals experienced no or only momentary pain and distress. With Pain, With Drugs (Category D) means that the animals were used in experiments that did cause significant pain and distress, but received medication to relieve or treat the pain. With Pain, No Drugs (Category E) means that animals experienced unalleviated pain and distress as part of the experiment. Over 73,000 animals, seven percent of the total, experienced unalleviated pain and distress in 2006.


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Source: AAVS
Posted By: One Voice

Friday, September 25, 2009

~The Vegan Philosophy~

~The Vegan Philosophy~
By definition, a vegetarian is one whose diet consists of vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, and sometimes animal products such as eggs, milk, or cheese. A vegan is someone who lives solely on the products of the plant kingdom without the addition of eggs, dairy or animal products.


The term "vegetarian" refers only to what one eats and does not pertain to any other aspect of one's life. The impetus for becoming a vegetarian however, may be based on ethical, religious, health, environmental, or economic concerns, or any combination of these.


The motivation for becoming vegan however, is fundamentally rooted in a compelling set of ethical beliefs. Both total vegetarians and vegans abstain from eating all meat, fish, or fowl, as well as any other foods of animal origin such as butter, milk, yogurt, honey, eggs, gelatin, or lard, and any prepared foods containing these ingredients. But veganism encompasses far more than just diet.


The Vegan Society in England defines veganism as follows: "Veganism is a way of living which excludes all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, the animal kingdom, and includes a reverence for life. It applies to the practice of living on the products of the plant kingdom to the exclusion of flesh, fish, fowl, eggs, honey, animal milk and its derivatives, and encourages the use of alternatives for all commodities derived wholly or in part from animals."


Therefore, in addition to adopting a total vegetarian diet, vegans make a conscious effort to avoid all forms of exploitation, harm, and cruelty to animals regardless of any "beneficial" end result or any perceived "value" to society. Thus, vegans do not hunt or fish and abhor the unnatural confinement, cruel training, and degrading use of animals in circuses, zoos, rodeos, races, and other forms of "........entertainment....."


Vegans oppose the unnecessary and barbarous testing of cosmetics, drugs, and household products on animals. They also denounce experiments performed on animals for the alleged potential benefit to human health. Vegans make every effort to abstain from medical procedures or drugs that have involved animal suffering. The use of animal products for adornment such as pearls, ivory, or tortoise shell; or clothing including items made from silk, wool, leather, or fur is also shunned. Furthermore, vegans do not use soaps, cosmetics, or household products which contain animal fats or oils, perfumes which are made from animal products, brushes made of animal hair, or pillows, comforters, or parkas stuffed with feathers.


Although this may appear to be a lengthy list of "dont's," it illustrates the extent to which human beings have come to rely on animal-based products and will advocate animal exploitation when it involves making a profit. Nevertheless, vegans do not bemoan what they cannot have and instead view their philosophy and lifestyle as surprisingly liberating.
Love & Light,
~Christopher ;)

MySpace.com: Read Bulletin

Free Range rescued chicken 1 year later

This blog post is from Peaceful Prairie, Please follow the link below to an EXCELLENT blog site:

http://peacefulprairie.blogspot.com/2008/10/restoration.html

Restoration


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It's like the pitter-patter of rain, the sound of their small feet rhythmically tapping, patting, stamping the ground, stirring up dirt in their enthusiastic rush to greet you and follow you around – a soothing, rustling, living sound. They follow you excitedly, flapping their wings, fluffing their feathers, craning their necks the better to behold you.

If you stop, they stop too and, with them, the sound. They surround you in expectant silence, their befeathered selves all aflutter with curiosity and excitement, billowing around you like a cloud – a radiant cloud of waking minds, throbbing hearts, hankering souls, living memories, passionately lived lives – riveting you at the center of their focused attention, lifted on almost tiptoes by the sheer force of their fascination with this new, rich feast of scents, sounds, shapes, colors, textures, thoughts, rhythms, and inner weather that you are to them.

It's hard to believe that these vibrant birds, crackling with life and wonder, are the same "free-range" hens who arrived at the sanctuary one year ago, bruised, battered, bewildered, disconnected from the world around them and from their own selves, unable or unwilling to inhabit their own lives (what was there to inhabit?).







Yet here they are today, fully present and fully immersed in the lives they managed to reclaim, restore, and rebuild from nothing, the absolute nothing to which we reduce persons like them for a handful of eggs. Here they are today, fully engaged in living, playing, exploring, learning new skills, solving problems, tackling the daily challenges of living, enjoying the fruits of their efforts and finding them good. To our relentless attack on life, they responded with life; to our dimwitted view of life, they responded with intelligence, to our contempt for life, they responded with wonder. Each in her own way.

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After the first flush of excitement, the flock scatters and they all go back to their usual activities in the barn, in the far reaches of the yard, in the nests and perches and straw bales and wheelbarrows. But Blaze sticks around.

She looks into your bags, pecks at your jeans, pulls at your shoe laces. If you sit on the ground, she is right there, inches away from your face, walking across your lap, inspecting the photo lens, the knobs, the flash, the shoulder strap, posing unflinchingly for the camera – bright eyed, broad chested, chin thrust forward, comb reddened scarlet – clucking back at the shutter as it rattles back its metallic clicks.

– Click!
– Cluck!
– Clack!
– Cackle!
– Whirr!
– Churr!

She examines you at such claustrophobic close range, that she is almost impossible to photograph.

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She walks under and around the camcorder tripod, checking its legs, its buckles, its dangling chords, looking straight into the viewfinder with directorial authority, pecking at the Record button (and once or twice actually pausing it). She beholds you (and everything about you – your clothes, your stuff, your toys, your cameras, your equipment) the way she beholds everything else in her world: with interest, curiosity, excitement, pleasure, sometimes wonder, sometimes annoyance, or impatience, or displeasure, or suspicion, but always with rapt attention.

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Everything interests her. She is the first to dart out of the barn in the morning, bursting out the door the second it opens, aimed at the new day like a missile, avid for all the sights, tastes, sounds, experiences of living.

She is constantly pulled by the splendor of the world, or rather, the mundane world in all its infinite nuances, which she finds splendid. It pulls her past caution, past comfort, past self preservation, straight into the unpredictable open where something new presents itself every living minute to be investigated, to lend its rich nourishment to Blaze's avid mind and intoxicate her with its novelty. She lives always in the singular, blazing, effervescent throb of the moment, in the thick of life, in the mud-..........................straw-..........................spit-grit-gold of the messy moment, mired in it, literally covered in it.

She was the first of the flightless 100 to spread her scraggly wings and try to fly. She backed all the way up to the farthest fence and started running full speed, as fast as her brittle legs could carry her and, before she reached the end of the "runway", she managed to lift herself off the ground for a couple of ground-free feet and a couple of exhilarating, gravity-free seconds.

Soon, others followed suit and began practicing flight on "Blaze's Trail", running and flapping their wings, and trying to lift off, and almost succeeding, then falling to the ground, and repeating the running, the attempted takeoff, the brief liftoff, savoring the fleeting intoxication of flight despite the inevitable and repeated crashings. From a distance, all you saw was a massive agitation of white feathers roiling about blizzard-like, with clouds of white dawn flying, floating, and filling the sky like snow.

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Today, most of them have accepted the limitations of their flightless wings but Blaze has not. She still tries to fly, hurting herself in the process. It's impossible not to admire her determination. It's also impossible not to wish she'd stop her futile, bruising effort, or not to realize she never will. The longer you know Blaze, the more you realize that the pursuit of flight is not a game, or a "project", or a phase in her adjustment to her new life. It's who she is.

Blaze is fascinated by things she can't have, things she cannot get to, things she's never seen or known in her life. Like flight, which she feels swelling within her own body as a powerful urge to spread her wings and lift off, the flight which she never stops trying to initiate, which she sometimes attains briefly, which she repeatedly fails to sustain. Like the wild world on the other side of the protective fence, the endless prairie with all its wonders and perils, which she keeps trying to get to by working relentlessly to lift herself higher and higher off the ground to get past the fence and find herself in the midst of the big, bad, dazzling world. Or like the call of the vertical stretch of sky above, the endless reach of sky calling on the other side of her earthbound wings.

She sees what others don't, what is not there at all but is imprinted in her soul and is felt as a yearning to fly, or as a hankering for the wild world on the other side of the fence, or as an ache for the rapture of the limitless sky. And she not only has the ability to "see" these invisible wonders, she has the boldness, the chutzpah, the moxie, the nerve, the gall, the temerity, the supreme self confidence to pursue them. And the determination to will them into being.

By contrast, Edith and Pillar see, love, want, and seek to have what is immediately within their reach – the good, small, tangible things of their daily existence. The things they can see and taste and touch and keep.

Of all of the pathetic hens rescued from that "free-range" egg farm, Edith and Pillar were the most pathetic. Pillar was so hunched over that she seemed collapsed within herself – breastbone and pelvis almost touching, as though compressed by opposing forces, backbone derailed from its long, horizontal slope into a short, vertical slump that forced her featherless tail to point down in a permanent gesture of defeat. She hardly moved at all. She stood in one place, bent to the earth, as if crushed under the weight of an invisible burden, but looking around with a dreamy expression that made her seem oddly disconnected from the painful reality of her wrecked body.

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Edith fared no better. Her skeletal body was completely bald except for the spikes of a few tattered feathers stuck to her wings and tail as though glued in a cruel joke, in a mockery of wings. For the first two days, she ran around in a manic frenzy – not eating, not drinking, not resting – just darting around as if desperately trying to escape the attacks of an invisible foe. Eventually, she collapsed, exhausted, and we brought her in for treatment along with Pillar.

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At first they were so weak, so feeble, so unresponsive, that there were times when the only visible sign of life was the faint fluttering of their hearts beating in unison under the skin of their featherless chests. It took them two whole weeks to gain enough strength to eat and drink on their own. And two more weeks before they felt strong enough to leave their pen. But, even after they had completely recovered, they rarely ventured out into the large, open room. They preferred to stay tucked in their little corner, hidden inside their carrier, partly because they still felt too vulnerable to share the open space with other birds, partly because it's simply their natural inclination to watch from a distance and learn from the trials, errors and successes of others.

They kept to themselves, in polite isolation from the other patients, except for the brief time in the morning when the others rushed out of the rehab room to join the hustle and bustle going on in the rest of the house and left the room empty. That's when they both came out in full celebration gear, puttering and clucking and busily scuttling around. Space! All to themselves! It was one of their high pleasures and they savored it every morning for the duration of their convalescence. It became a ritual, a thing to share, enjoy and and look forward to, and probably the tie that bonded them most.

Their connection may have begun by chance, when they were separated from the rest of the flock and treated together in isolation, but it grew by choice and held by affinity. They have similar preferences, similar burdens, similar pleasures, similar aversions, similar fears, similar small, silly or serious questions (How do I get to that tasty morsel? How do I bathe in a water dish that's half my size? How do I make the pain in my crippled body go away?). They have similar temperaments that incline them to observe rather than participate, and that steer them towards quiet, secluded spaces and away from the comfort of big groups. If they do mingle with other hens, they seem to do it more for camouflage than connection.

Back in the big barn, the big yard, the big flock, they are still together, still inseparable. A flock of two. A distinct and separate culture within the culture of the larger flock.


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You can see them watching from a distance and observing how others react to new things (a new resident, a new visitor, a new object) before deciding how, or if, to respond to that new thing themselves. It's how they learn, by, watching not by doing. They are observers. They detect patterns, they remember behaviors, they connect relevant dots and they figure out how to use what they know to obtain the things they want.

For instance, they have figured out how to secure the best sunbathing spots without ever fighting, bickering or competing with stronger, healthier chickens – they simply watch and wait until a favorite spot becomes vacant for a few moments and then Edith, who is faster, rushes over and claims it while Pillar hobbles behind her in small, slow, stilted steps.

They have also figured out how to not only "steal" eggs – that delicacy that chickens love and crave but are unable to crack open with their mutilated beak stumps – but they have devised a way to break the shells and to keep the contents all to themselves. This is how they do it. If they spot a lone, stray egg, they wait till there are no other hens around and then, with Edith standing guard, Pillar, whose beak stump has healed into a sharper point, not a round blob like Edith's, pecks at the egg until she breaks the shell. Then they both enjoy the contents as quietly as possible so as not to alert the others.

But, most impressively, they worked out a way to get the one thing they love, seek, crave and enjoy above all: the empty barn all to themselves. They watched, observed, detected and remembered relevant patterns, they connected relevant dots, and they figured that, when certain visitors come, the whole flock is likely to rush to the gate leaving the barn completely deserted for a few precious minutes.

So, as the flock of 100 rushes to the gate, their flock of two rushes to the barn – Edith running in long, rickety strides on her skinny legs, Pillar tottering behind on her short, stubby legs – and they claim their prize, their moment of wonder, with absolute, vocally expressed delight.

There they are, just the two of them in the whole barn, puttering and clucking and busily scuttling around in the treasure trove of the empty place. A space filled with soaring possibilities, free of the challenges and limitations of a space shared with others. And, oh, the sheer joy of it! The sheer pleasure and play of it! No obstructions, nothing to watch out for, nothing be cautious of, no one to compete with (and lose), just the two of them expanding in the suddenly widened world.

There is no practical usefulness for it, only the wonder of it. Once there, they don't do anything different -- in fact, they do exactly the things they normally do (forage, eat, drink, scratch the dirt, cluck to each other, preen each other, dustbathe, doze off) – only they do it with infinitely more zest – as though their very senses and abilities are heightened: their movements are more precise (even graceful), their voices are stronger, their eyes are sharper, their finds are infinitely better: and they act as though the mere gravel tastes delicious, the daily grain is a rare delicacy, and treats like grapes and cucumbers are divine! Alone in the empty barn, they have the world all to themselves. But it's not just the world as they know it and struggle to live in. It's infinitely better, it's the world as they wish it, the world as two crippled hens like them, these two crippled hens, Edith and Pillar, want it and wish it to be.

And they find it delicious.

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The only other soul "allowed" in the perfect, 15 minute world they create by their will, wit and work alone is Dora. She is not exactly "invited" but, if she happens to be there at the time, she is usually tucked in one of her cubby holes and she inhabits it so gently, so quietly, that she hardly seems there at all.

She treads so lightly on the earth that she barely leaves a mark, barely moves a straw, barely ruffles a feather. No matter where she lies down, where she sleeps, what dirt she dustbathes in, what puddles she crosses, her feathers remain immaculate, untouched by dirt, dust, mud, spit, murky water, soggy straw. Her nest is always undisturbed as if no one ever sleeps in it.

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In the months following her rescue, she coped by hiding in the most unlikely places, in the most unsheltering shelters, in small nooks that barely covered her face while leaving the rest of her exposed, and she used to peck at phantom targets for hours, as if the repetition of behavior could obscure the happening world around her and reduce it to one controllable action. She rarely came out of the barn then and she still seldom comes out today.

Open spaces still frighten her and, to this day, she remains shy, melancholy and reclusive, attached to her solitary spots from where she does not watch and observe the goings on, the way Edith and Pillar avidly do, she just avoids the goings on altogether. She is focused on her own inner happenings, her own inner feelings and responses to outer events, not on the events themselves. She is aimed inward, alert to the rich world within not the roiling world without.

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She avoids gatherings and chatterings and chasings and greetings, and she sunbathes alone in her secluded snugs even though the sun hits them only briefly every day. But she'd rather wait for the sun to come to her cloistered roosts than go out in the yard where it shines all day. Then she stretches herself in the straw, wings relaxed, comb flopped to one side, lids lowered, beak slightly parted, legs sticking up at such improbable angles that they look broken, and she soaks up the sun, and the dirt, and the grit, and the mud, and the whole messy bliss of the moment with earthy abandon.

Once in a great while, if you wait around long enough and sit quietly enough, she may come to you. She won't exactly walk up to you. She'll sidle up to you obliquely, crossing the open space that separates you in small hurried scurries, running from hiding place to hiding place, from the nearest straw bale to the nearest box, to the water dish, to the ladder, to the wheelbarrow – as if dodging sniper fire – until she finally gets near the spot where you sit. There, she'll stop at a short distance, not making eye contact like the others, not even looking in your direction. Just standing there, waiting, swaying, listening as though for a signal from within.

Then, with a swift, gentle thrust, she'll ease her lowered head under your arm, keeping her body as far away from you as possible, safely out of your reach (by her calculations) but offering you her neck, her trust, her jugular, nestling her head under your arm as though under her own wing.

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I don't know why she does this. I don't know why someone as shy and reclusive as Dora would leave her safe spots, the world that she can predict and control, to expose herself to the unpredictable hands of an ape.

But I know that, as she stands by me today, head tucked in my sleeve, body sticking out at an awkward angle, she is using the shield of my arm in the same way she used the shelter of those impossibly small nooks and crannies that masked her face while leaving the rest of her exposed – not hiding her face, so much as separating her head from the painful reality of her frail body, not making herself invisible to the predatory world, so much as protecting the only place in the world where escape is possible for a defenseless being like herself. The dream-filled mind.

She dreams of her peaceful world, head snuggled under my arm, I dream of mine: a world where the wretched of the earth are free to live on their own terms – not ours – and die of their own failings – not ours. But it's one and the same world – the world we carry imprinted in our sentient souls. The world we all need, seek, crave, bruise ourselves struggling to build, ache to have and to hold, and wither without. The world on the other side of the catastrophicall......y unjust and unbalanced world that our species has created. We call it a vegan world. But it is not a new, separate, or special world. It is not a world apart. It's just the world. This world. Restored.

Joanna Lucas
© 2008 Joanna Lucas

PEACEFUL PRAIRIE SANCTUARY

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Do You Find It Outrageous? VIDEO :For the Love of the Dog

 

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 By Admin - Deanna 

Take a minute and a half of your time and watch this video, it’s thought provoking and touching.  It will bring tears to your eyes without words.  It’s different than most anything you’ve seem but the message is so powerful.  Then you need to share this, especially with people who don’t get it yet.  Don’t worry, it’s not graphic but you’ll understand exactly what I mean in a minute an a half!

Gives you a little different perspective, doesn’t it?  Now share it with friends, family, groups.  This is too powerful not to.

Do You Find It Outrageous? VIDEO :For the Love of the Dog

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How to Build Inexpensive Feral Cat Shelters

Reposted with thanks to: Wildlife




How to Build Inexpensive Feral Cat Shelters



These links tell you all you need to provide shelters for feral cats in winter:



Indy Feral



Urban Cat League

PACT Humane Society/Winter Shelter

Build An Inexpensive Feral Cat Shelter



The Neighborhood Cats Winter Shelter


Posted by


Moon Warriors

REPORT CRUSH VIDEOS TO FBI




This alert is the result of a collective work. Only working together we can make a difference, that's why your help is needed.


The alert concerns some horrific crush videos where puppies are tortured
and killed in the most atrocious ways. I warn you to be careful...


***VERY IMPORTANT***
Do NOT complain to the site owner, otherwise
they may remove the video, and then authorities and animal protection
agencies have no evidence to work from.


Please report these videos to the Authorities:


http://www.fbi.gov/contactus.htm

http://www.interpol.com/Public/contact.asp

http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx


For those reporting via IC3, please remember that many fields will not be used; do not let this stop you. IC3 is the correct org through which to report these monsters. Do not worry about you are doing anything incorrectly. The IC3 site will not have an "animal abuse" selection, but that is who investigates these crimes. Follow these directions:


Click "File a Complaint"

Click "I Accept" at bottom

Click "no" it's not spam

Click "no" not from FBI

Click "threats" (well, whichever you feel best represents the animal cruelty)

Click "no" not terrorist

Click "Somebody threatened you or someone else with violence (and you think that there's some chance that they might do it").


Then enter your personal info; many of these boxes will not be used - don't worry about that.


At bottom "Description of the Incident" (copy&paste):
I have been notified of a particular website that depicts violent acts of animal cruelty. These images are extremely disturbing and clearly establish blatant and vicious crimes against animals; once you review the provided material, you will understand this is demonstrative of unlawful acts of animal cruelty as established by the AWA and relevant local and international statutes. I respectfully request that your resources be applied to investigating and prosecuting these perpetrators and disbanding the website.


HERE ARE PHOTO CLIPS OF VIDEOS


crush films


http://www.chinasmack.com/pictures/kitten-killers-return/2/

******


HERE ARE THE LINKS TO THE WEBSITE TO REPORT

(Warning: It will break your heart)


http://fuckingshocking.com/index/video/dog_tourture
http://fuckingshocking.com/index/video/2dog1rabmpg

ALSO GO TO MAIN NOTE FOR THE REST OF THE INFORMATION YOU WILL NEED TO REPORT.


"Tips for Reporting Internet Animal Abuse"


http://www.americanhumane.org/about-us/newsroom/fact-sheets/internet-animal-abuse.html

******


REPORTING CRUEL WEBSITES


http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm

http://www.usdoj.gov/contact-us.html


http://www.pet-abuse.com/pages/animal_cruelty/reporting_abuse/cruel_websites.php


******


PLEASE DO WHAT YOU CAN TO "SPREAD THE WORD" TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS


WE MUST TAKE ACTION AND REPORT THIS HORRIBLE ABUSE
PLEASE BE THE VOICE OF VOICELESS !!!

******

http://www.petitiononline.com/bancrush/petition.html


http://www.my-cause.com/cause/ban_these_cruel_animal_


http://www.pet-abuse.com/pages/animal_cruelty/crush_videos.php

http://www.hsus.org/acf/news/crush_video_091509.html
******

I (VEGAN BIG TONY) MADE SOME BANNERS FOR EVERYONE TO PUT ON YOUR PROFILE, BECAUSE I AM EXTREMELY UPSET BY THE PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF THESE HORRIBLE VIDEOS THAT ANIMALS ARE TORTURED AND MURDERED IN. PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THE WORD TO BAN THESE ATROCITIES BEING INFLICTED ON THESE INNOCENT BEINGS!


**CHOOSE THE ONE THAT BEST FITS YOUR PROFILE**


http://s182.photobucket.com/albums/x306/playboys_charm/?action=view&current=MyCrushWide.jpg


http://s182.photobucket.com/albums/x306/playboys_charm/?action=view&current=MyCrushLong.jpg

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR HELP AND SUPPORT !!!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rescue Ink

Rescue Ink



One OF ONLY THREE WOLF-PAIRS KILLED IN OREGON -- For Ranchers


by ..Stephanie Ernst

categories:

Endangered Species, Farm Animals, Hunting, Politics and Law, Wildlife/..FreeLiving Animals

Monday, September 21, 2009

Change.org - RAYMORE, MO OFFICER SHOOTS HELPLESS DEAF 19 YEAR OLD CAT & STUFFS IN TRASH BAG

Please follow the link to sign the Petition 

Change.org - RAYMORE, MO OFFICER SHOOTS HELPLESS DEAF 19 YEAR OLD CAT & STUFFS IN TRASH BAG

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Latest News on Pigeon Slaughter of PA.



Phil

De : Deliberate Cruelty Is Sports Hunting

Date : 19/09/2009 15:28:35

Objet : Latest News on Pigeon Slaughter of PA.


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Latest News on Pigeon Slaughter


In the past few days there have been FIVE great editorials in the Pennsylvania press condemning the inhumane slob hunters that take pleasure in the slaughter of innocent animals in the worst of all manners - pigeon shoots. Please take a second and read them - click on the quotes below or any of the first five headlines to the left.

The Pocono Record called pigeon shoots: "Barbaric live-bird target practice."
The Lebanon Daily News said pigeon shoots are: "Diametrically opposed to the philosophy of hunting."

The Patriot-News said: "Legislators should end this cruel practice."

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ATTENTION HUNTERS

Unbelievably, the NRA has taken a stand FOR Pennsylvania canned pigeon shoots. In defiance of all the facts to the contrary, they claim that "animal rights extremists are trying to ban this longstanding traditional shooting sport." What a load of rubbish. 49 other states have done away with this cruel practice not because of extremists, but rather because of real sportsmen who don't want this barbaric practice in their state. We have yet to hear of a single NRA member or hunter who is not making money off of pigeon shoots who stands up for these inhumane slaughter-fests and defends them.

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In fact, the Lebanon Daily News says that Pigeon Shoots are "diametrically opposed to the philosophy of hunting". We URGE all hunters to contact the NRA and tell them they aren't speaking for you on this issue. See for yourself - you can check out an NRA-ILA "Action Alert" on the issue here

Killing Contests: Cruel and Cowardly in Pennsylvania
Pigeon shoots are competitions wherein hundreds to thousands of live birds are shot at to win prizes. A typical 3-day shoot contest can kill and injure up to 15,000 birds.

The pigeons are captured and collected for weeks ahead of time, then released from trap boxes only yards away from the so-called "sportsmen". The birds are generally dazed and suffering from dehydration or starvation as they are sprung out of the boxes.

Rather than mercifully being given a quick death, 70% of the birds are injured when shot and either left to suffer slow deaths or collected and killed by pigeon shoot "trapper boys" or "wringers", traditionally children, who break their necks, step on them, tear off wings, suffocate them, or cut off their heads with garden shears, among other abuses.

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Pigeon shoots are nothing more than a vile excuse for entertainment for the dull-witted or psychopathic. Illegal in other countries and in all but a couple of American states, most people realize the despicable nature of these bird-killing contests. .


See SHARK's investigative footage of these brutal pigeon Shoots!
For too long, pigeon shooters have enjoyed their killing contests in relative obscurity. No longer! Supported by the National Rifle Association and the Ku Klux Klan, pigeon shooters are among the lowest form of humanity. CLICK BELOW TO WATCH:

  
Are Pigeon Shoots Hunters' Ethics? Pennsylvania is the only state allowing pigeon shoots. This killing contests are supported by the National Rifle Association and the Ku Klux Klan, but does the NRA truly speak for hunters and gun owners when it comes to this issue? Hunters and gun owners have a chance to state their position.
This is another in a series of SHARK videos exposing Pennsylvania's live bird shoots, all of which are supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA). Is this hunting? Do hunters support this? If not, why do they allow the NRA to lump them in with these slob thrill killers?
NRA, KKK Love Live Pigeon Shoots : It's 2008, and Pennsylvania is a last bastion for live pigeon shoots, a "sport" of cowards supported by both the National Rifleman's Association and the Ku Klux Klan. A new law could end these slaughters, but one politician, House Majority Leader William DeWeese won't bring the bill up for a vote.

A Pennsylvania State Police Officer behaves in a most peculiar fashion. Is it shocking incompetence, or something far worse?

For more on Pigeon Shoot click here

Support SHARK's fight to end Pigeon cruelty and all forms of animals cruelty click here

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Case For an Animal Bill of Rights: Dr. Tom Regan

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A contestant at the 2009 Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo

From: SHARK

Date: 9/17/2009 11:45:05 AM

A contestant at the 2009 Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo demonstrates his "love and respect" for animals. With "friends" like this guy, rodeo animals don't need enemies










www.ShameOnCheyenne.com

www.CorporateThugs.com

www.CokeCruelty.com

www.SHARKonline.org

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Resurgence of Animal ‘Crush’ Videos Reinforces Need for Federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law | The Humane Society of the United States

 http://www.hsus.org/press_and_publications/press_releases/resurgence_of_animal_crush_videos_reinforces_need_for_depiction_of_cruelty_law_sm_091509.html

September 15, 2009

 

With the U.S. Supreme Court set to consider the constitutionality of a federal anti-animal cruelty law on Oct. 6, The Humane Society of the United States revealed the results of a new investigation showing a recent resurgence in the same horrific animal "crush" videos that sparked the law's passage a decade ago, now once again widely available on the Internet as enforcement efforts have been hindered.

The enactment of the Federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law in 1999 halted the proliferation of animal crushing operations, and has also been used to crack down on commercial dogfighting operations, in which the animals often fight to the death for the amusement of viewers. The HSUS' most recent investigation shows that since the law was struck down by an appellate court last July, crush videos have re-proliferated on the Internet in response to the court's ruling.

"The federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law is the only tool available to crack down on this horrific form of extreme animal cruelty," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. "We wouldn't allow the sale of videos of actual child abuse or murder staged for the express purpose of selling videos of such criminal acts, and the same legal principles apply to despicable acts of animal cruelty."

"More than 10 years ago law enforcement in my district alerted me to the problem of thousands of 'crush videos' on the Internet. To combat these perverse videos that show horrific acts of animal cruelty, I introduced the Depictions of Animal Cruelty Act and it was enacted into law in 1999 with strong bipartisan support," said Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif. "HSUS' investigation revealing the widespread proliferation of crush videos since the law's legal challenge makes the need for the this sensible but strong federal animal protection law perfectly clear."

The videos and photographs show women, often in high-heeled shoes, impaling and crushing to death puppies, kittens and other small animals, catering to those with a fetish for this aberrant behavior.

The HSUS recently conducted extensive Internet research and undercover email communication to ascertain the availability of small animal crush videos for sale on the Internet. The crushing videos were easily available for purchase and horrifying in the cruelty inflicted on the victims. The password-protected part of one Web site had 118 videos for sale. The videos were of small animals, including rabbits, hamsters, mice, tortoises, quail, chicken, ducks, frogs, snakes and even cats, being tortured and crushed. The animals were burned, drowned and had nails hammered into them.

Videos ranged in price from $20 to $100. Each of the videos for sale contained footage of multiple animals, translating into hundreds of small animals being tortured and crushed to death for the profit-making of this one Web site alone.

Undercover investigators also established contact with another crush Web site and were offered for sale 12 crush videos featuring rabbits. Another Web site contacted offered for sale 17 newborn mouse crush videos.

"We wouldn't allow people to sell videos of people actually abusing children and raping women, and for good reason. It's vital to protect the community from the violence that flows from those who perpetrate such inexcusable crimes," said Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va. "The same legal principles apply to the malicious acts of cruelty revealed by The HSUS' recent crush video investigation. We do not tolerate illegal animal abuse, and we should not tolerate those who profit from it."

The Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law

  • Congress passed the federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law (Section 48) in 1999 with overwhelming bipartisan support.
  • The law criminalizes the interstate sale of depictions, such as video, in which "a living animal is intentionally maimed, mutilated, tortured, wounded, or killed, if such conduct is illegal under Federal law or the law of the State in which the creation, sale, or possession takes place."
  • The law targets the commercial production and distribution of depictions of animal cruelty to remove the profit incentive for producing such depictions and to deter the underlying acts.
  • The law contains a broad exemption for depictions with any "religious, political, scientific, educational, journalistic, historical, or artistic value," and the statute therefore does not impact art, journalism, or educational materials, among others, related to animal cruelty.
  • In addition, under the plain terms of the statute, no depiction is prohibited unless the underlying cruelty is (a) unlawful in its own right and (b) being sold for profit.
  • Depictions with serious social value, such as media coverage of animal cruelty, are exempt. Hunting videos and other depictions of legal animal activities are also exempt.

Timeline of United States v. Stevens

  • January 2005: Robert Stevens was convicted in a jury trial of knowingly selling graphic depictions of animal cruelty with intent to place those depictions in interstate commerce for commercial gain. Stevens had been selling graphic videos depicting actual dog fights, which are illegal in all 50 states. 
  • May 2005: Stevens appealed his conviction to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which overturned the conviction and found that the Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law was facially unconstitutional because it violated First Amendment free speech guarantees.
  • December 2008: The U.S. Solicitor General filed a petition for certiorari requesting that the Supreme Court review and overturn the Third Circuit's decision. The HSUS filed an amicus brief in support of the Solicitor General's petition. 
  • April 2009: The Supreme Court agreed to review the Third Circuit's decision

Resurgence of Animal ‘Crush’ Videos Reinforces Need for Federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law | The Humane Society of the United States

Cruelty to Animals: A First Amendment Right?

http://awearnessblog.com/2009/06/cruelty-to-animals-a-first-ame.php

kitten.pngShould videos depicting dogfights and the killing of small animals be viewed not as animal cruelty, but as expressions of free speech?

This coming fall the U.S. Supreme Court will decide just that, as they review "whether a federal law outlawing the sale of graphic videos of animal cruelty amounts to a violation of free-speech rights."

In 1999, the federal government passed a law (Public Law 106-152) that makes it illegal to "create, sell, or possess videos depicting animal cruelty with the intention of profiting financially from them." In the past, this law has been used for prosecuting dog fighting videos, yet the impetus behind first passing the law was to stop the production of "crush videos." Crush videos are videos that "cater to fetishists who gain sexual gratification from watching women torture and kill small animals by stepping on them." In these videos, "women, often in high-heeled shoes, impale and crush to death puppies, kittens and other small animals...," and, if that isn't terrible enough, "The cries and squeals of the animals, obviously in great pain, can also be heard in the videos."

In 2004, the law was used to prosecute Robert Stevens, a Virginia man who sold videos of pit bulls attacking other dogs. Last summer however, a federal appeals court reversed Stevens' conviction on the grounds the video was an expression of his free speech. Thankfully, at the request of the federal government, the Supreme Court recently agreed to review this court's ridiculous ruling that "the depictions at issue are 'protected speech' and that preventing animal cruelty is 'not a compelling state interest.'"

In my opinion, the very idea that videos glorifying animal cruelty could be considered an "expression of free speech" is both disturbing and ludicrous. These videos do not depict fake events -- the animals' pain and suffering are actually taking place and result in death. This is what is being filmed and sold for sexual "entertainment" and profit! How can we condone such violence and cruelty and still consider ourselves "civilized"?

"We wouldn't allow the sale of videos of actual child abuse or murder staged for the express purpose of selling videos of such criminal acts, and the same legal principles apply to despicable acts of animal cruelty," said Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). According to HSUS, "Before the law was enacted in 1999, there were some 2,000 crush videos available in the marketplace, selling for $15 to $300 each. Over the last decade, that market all but disappeared. However, since last July, crush videos have proliferated on the Internet in response to the appellate court's ruling."

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