Saturday, May 29, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill's Animal Victims Struggle

ON BARATARIA BAY, LA. - In the Louisiana marsh, oil-coated pelicans flap their wings in a futile attempt to dry them. A shorebird repeatedly dunks its face in a puddle, unable to wash off. Lines of dead jellyfish float in the gulf, traces of oil visible in their clear "bells."

These scenes, scientists say, are confirmation of what they had feared for a month. Now that oil from the Gulf of Mexico's vast spill has come ashore -- in some places, as thick as soft fudge -- it is causing serious damage in one of the country's great natural nurseries.

In nature, oil is a versatile killer. It smothers the tiny animals that make up a coral reef. It suffocates blades of marsh grass, cutting them off from air and sunlight. It clumps up a bird's feathers, leaving it unable to fly; then, trying to remove the oil, birds swallow it.

For now, scientists are seeing the worst effects only in one corner of the Louisiana coast.

But they're concerned about what they're not seeing -- and worried that the impact on animals and plants will only get worse.

"Now that the stuff is really sort of coming ashore, it really is living up to its potential. It's certainly breached the sort of outer defense system of Louisiana," said James H. Cowan Jr., a professor at Louisiana State University. "It's the very worst-case scenario for things like birds and mammals."

On Wednesday, the oil company BP started a "top kill" of its leaking well, 5,000 feet below the surface and more than 40 miles off Louisiana. The procedure involves shooting high-pressure mud into the well, hoping the mud coming in will eventually overwhelm the oil shooting out.

But even if that works, it will do nothing to rein in the oil that has escaped.

That oil began washing up in Louisiana last week, about a month after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and sank. It first appeared in the remote marshes near the Mississippi River's mouth. Then, this week, it began washing into the vast complex of islands, lakes and bayous just west of the river.

"Unfortunately, it's looking like a real oil spill now," said Larry McKinney, who heads the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, part of Texas A&M University. "This is the stuff that does the damage."

On Tuesday morning, Louisiana scientists ventured out here into Barataria Bay, looking for oil and oil-covered animals. They found both.

Near Isle Grande Terre, a brown pelican -- the state bird -- sat atop a piling, its chest and head feathers matted down with oil. As the boat approached, it flew away. But within seconds, the pelican alighted on a nearby rock. It was already too weak to fly long distances.

"It's hard to capture a bird unless it's totally oiled or it's dead," said Rowan Gould, acting director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The official count of the spill so far: 440 birds, 393 of them dead, the rest captured alive. Dozens more turtles and dolphins have been found dead; scientists are still conducting tests to determine how many died from oil exposure.

They say this is a fraction of the total animals impacted. Some, such as the pelican on the piling, are still strong enough to evade capture. Others might die at sea, or deep inside marshes, and be eaten before any human spots them.

"The predation here is so fierce, the carnivores clean them out," said Tom Strickland, assistant interior secretary for fish, wildlife and parks. He was looking out at the gulf from Fourchon Beach. "We don't know what's happening in the oil spill itself."

What scientists and environmentalists have already seen in this area, however, is enough to leave them shaken.

Robert J. Barham, head of Louisiana's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, said he had seen dozens of oily pelicans on remote islands. Some were trying in vain to get oil off their wings. They may have touched the oil while diving for food.

"They think this is water sticking to their wings, but it's not, and they can't get it off," Barham said. "It's heart-wrenching, when you grow up in Louisiana and you are in love with this part of the world. . . . It just is a blow in the pit of your stomach."

On Isle Grand Terre, LSU researcher Richard Gibbons saw a black-bellied plover, a skinny-legged shorebird, with oil on its face. He said the bird had no way to clean the oil off -- its only tool is its beak -- and instead was plunging its face into a shallow depression full of water.

"It was just repeatedly, you know, dipping its head into the water," Gibbons said. "I was like, oh man, this is bad."

Both BP and the federal government have emphasized the scale of their response: They said that more than 16,000 people are involved, some cleaning off oiled shorelines with shovels and rakes. More than 3 million feet of "boom," floating barriers to the oil, has already been placed. But both environmentalists and scientists say they've seen evidence that the oil seems to be getting past these barriers. On one recent trip in these waters, Doug Inkley of the National Wildlife Federation said he saw an island filled with nesting brown pelicans. It was ringed by two layers of floating boom.

And, inside the boom, there was oil.

"It was kind of like a bathtub ring, about six inches from top to bottom, in all the vegetation surrounding the island," Inkley said. Inside, one pelican on the island was already oiled, using its beak to scrape the goo from its feathers. "The appearance is that the booms make no difference."

One of the spill's most eerie scenes was encountered offshore, by Cowan at LSU. He said he saw dead jellyfish, which had been arranged into straight lines by wind patterns. He said it's easy to tell a live jellyfish from a dead one: In some cases, drops of dark oil were actually visible in their clear insides.

Another sign: These jellyfish had stopped contracting their "bells" to move across the water.

"Live jellyfish swim . . . so they're very easy to tell from the dead ones," Cowan said. "Their tentacles will be falling off, but mostly it's just a total lack of mobility" that tips off the dead ones.

By Juliet Eilperin and David A. Fahrenthold

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Farm Sanctuary Offers Rescue and Refuge for Animals Victimized in Ohio Dairy Farm Cruelty Case

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — May 27, 2010 — Today, as the nation continues to express outrage over the vicious and malicious animal cruelty documented by undercover video inside the Conklin Dairy Farm in Union County, Ohio, Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, has contacted local authorities to offer rehabilitative care and lifelong refuge for any of the abused cows and calves in need as a result of the ongoing investigation. The undercover footage, which was released yesterday and obtained over the past several weeks by the animal protection group Mercy For Animals, shows workers beating cows in the face with crowbars, stabbing them with pitchforks, breaking their tails, and punching, throwing and kicking calves— all while bragging and gloating about the abuse.

“Thousands of people are calling for Conklin Dairy Farm to be shut down and the animals removed,” said Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary. “We have received countless calls from people all across the country expressing outrage upon viewing this video, and calling not only for prosecution of those individuals involved in these abusive acts, but also the rescue and refuge of the animals on this farm. We are equipped to provide protection for abused farm animals and we have expressed our willingness to help with local authorities.” In a statement issued yesterday, Baur called the video “an eye-opener to anyone still unsure of what all the fuss is about concerning the treatment of farm animals in Ohio,” a reference to the campaign currently underway in the state to place a measure on the ballot to enact modest reforms and protect farm animals.
Farm Sanctuary operates the largest rescue and refuge network for farm animals in North America through a 175 acre shelter in New York State and a 300 acre refuge in northern California, as well as an extensive Farm Animal Adoption Network. Since 1986, the nonprofit organization has rescued more than 8,000 animals and found homes for another 2,500 in need. The group also works with local law enforcement on farm animal cruelty cases helping to document conditions of the animals in partnership with local veterinarians, provide rehabilitation at their shelters for the most vulnerable animals in need, and find permanent placement for seized farm animals.
“Throughout our many years caring for abused dairy cows and calves, we’ve seen firsthand the severe toll such abuse takes on these sensitive, gentle beings,” said Susie Coston, national shelter director for Farm Sanctuary. “Fortunately, we’ve also seen how resilient their broken bodies and spirits can be when given proper rehabilitative care and treated with kindness and respect for the first time in their lives. On behalf of our 230,000 members and supporters, and the scores of outraged citizens we’ve been hearing from who have taken up our cause to end cruelty to farm animals after seeing this video, we hope to see justice and a safe refuge for the animals on Conklin’s farm.”
Citizens are now collecting signatures to place a measure on the Ohio ballot to enact modest reforms and protect farm animals.

If you would like to speak with Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, a leading supporter of Ohioans For Humane Farms, or Susie Coston, national shelter director for Farm Sanctuary, please contact Meredith Turner at 646-369-6212 or

Photos of Farm Sanctuary’s shelters available upon request.

Jacques Cousteau's Grandson Takes 'Nightmare' Dive Into Oil Spill

Carl Franzen (May 27) -- The Gulf oil spill's toll on the environment remains difficult to quantify at this time, but a new video of a journey into the dark heart of the spill taken by Philippe Cousteau Jr., grandson of legendary undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau, reveals a "nightmarish" scene.

Cousteau was investigating whether Corexit, the environmentally-tenuous chemical dispersant that BP has been spraying into the Atlantic since the spill began is "breaking down the oil or if the byproduct they are forming is causing more damage to see life." ABC Good Morning America reporter Sam Champion, who was along for the ride, was shocked and appalled at what he found.

"The entire water column is thick with this oil and chemical dispersant mix and it's absolutely disgusting," said Champion, "I think that this has got to be one of the most horrible things I've ever seen underwater."

The display, Cousteau said, was but "a snapshot of what's happening in the Gulf. This is a nightmare, this is nightmare."

Cousteau also told Champion that what frightened him the most was that volume of the oil spill dispersant mix was unprecedented, thus it is impossible to predict its side effects.

Nalco, the company that manufactures Corexit, today released additional technical information about the product, saying it "is a simple blend of six well-established, safe ingredients that biodegrade, do not bioaccumulate and are commonly found in popular household products," according to Marketwatch.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Farm Sanctuary Issues Statement on Graphic Undercover Video of Abuse at an Ohio Dairy Farm

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — May 26, 2010 — Gene Baur, President and Co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, today issued the following statement about the disturbing undercover video showing wanton animal abuse at an Ohio dairy farm in Union County, west of Columbus, that was obtained by the animal protection group Mercy For Animals. The footage shows workers beating cows in the face with crowbars, stabbing them with pitchforks, breaking their tails, and punching, throwing and kicking calves.

“This video should be an eye-opener to anyone still unsure of what all the fuss is about concerning the treatment of farm animals in Ohio. The cruel and violent behavior depicted in the video is indicative of an attitude that sees farm animals as mere production units, rather than as living, feeling animals. Undercover investigations at farms in Ohio and elsewhere routinely turn up instances of systemic cruelty. Farm Sanctuary has witnessed these cruelties on farms firsthand.

“Bad has become normal on today’s farms as workers brag and gloat about torturing animals and agribusiness leaders insist that it’s humane to keep animals confined in cages so small that they can’t walk, turn around, or even stretch their limbs.

“Conklin Dairy, the subject of Mercy For Animals’ investigation, asserts that its farm operates according to high standards, but the video shows that they operate by a different set of standards than most Americans. The cruelty and violent behavior that is now common on farms where animals are seen as commodities is outside the boundaries of acceptable conduct in our society.

Most people oppose animal cruelty, and Ohioans now have an important opportunity to prevent animal suffering in their state. Citizens are now collecting signatures to place a measure on the Ohio ballot to enact modest reforms and protect farm animals. It’s a positive step in the right direction for Ohioans who feel justifiably outraged by the abuse at Conklin Dairy Farms.”

Click here to see the video

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mercy for Animals Goes Undercover at an Ohio Dairy Farm : Warning - Graphic Video

Chilling undercover footage recorded during a new Mercy For Animals investigation exposes dairy farm workers sadistically abusing cows and young calves.

Captured on hidden camera, the shocking scenes of abuse reveal a culture of cruelty at Conklin Dairy Farms in Plain City, Ohio.

During a four-week investigation between April and May, MFA's investigator documented farm workers:

Violently punching young calves in the face, body slamming them to the ground, and pulling and throwing them by their ears

Routinely using pitchforks to stab cows in the face, legs and stomach

Kicking "downed" cows (those too injured to stand) in the face and neck – abuse carried out and encouraged by the farm's owner

Maliciously beating restrained cows in the face with crowbars – some attacks involving over 40 blows to the head

Twisting cows' tails until the bones snapped

Punching cows' udders

Bragging about stabbing, dragging, shooting, breaking bones, and beating cows and calves to death

After viewing the footage, Dr. Bernard Rollin, distinguished professor of animal science at Colorado State University, stated: "This is probably the most gratuitous, sustained, sadistic animal abuse I have ever seen. The video depicts calculated, deliberate cruelty, based not on momentary rage but on taking pleasure through causing pain to cows and calves who are defenseless."

Immediately upon completion of the investigation, Mercy For Animals contacted the City Prosecutor's Office of Marysville regarding the ongoing pattern of abuse at Conklin Dairy Farms. MFA is pushing for employees of the facility to be criminally prosecuted for violating Ohio's animal cruelty laws.

The deplorable conditions uncovered at Conklin Dairy Farms highlight the reality that animal agriculture is incapable of self-regulation and that meaningful federal and state laws must be implemented and strengthened to prevent egregious cruelty to farmed animals.

Although many of the abuses documented at Conklin Dairy Farms are sadistic in nature, numerous MFA undercover investigations at dairy farms, pig farms, egg farms, hatcheries and slaughterhouses have revealed that violence and abuse to farmed animals – whether malicious or institutionalized – runs rampant nationwide.

Compassionate consumers can end their direct financial support of farmed animal abuse by rejecting dairy, and other animal products, and adopting a vegan diet.

If this video doesn't compel you to go vegan, I don't know what will.  These innocent animals do not deserve this!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Old MacDonald's Factory Farm (Preface) by - C. David Coats

Isn`t man an amazing animal? He kills wildlife - birds, kangaroos, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice, foxes, and dingoes - by the millions in order to protect his domestic animals and their feed. Then he kills domestic animals by the billions and eats them. This in turn kills man by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal - health conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer. So then man tortures and kills millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases. Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals. Meanwhile, some people are dying of sad laughter at the absurdity of man, who kills so easily and so violently, and once a year sends out a card praying for "Peace on Earth."

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Quote to Think About

At the moment our human world is based on the suffering and destruction of millions of non-humans.  To perceive this and to do something to change it in personal and public ways is to undergo a change of perception akin to a religious conversion.  Nothing can ever be seen in quite the same way again because once you have admitted the terror and pain of other species you will, unless you resist conversion, be always aware of the endless permutations of suffering that support our society. ~ Arthur Conan Doyle

Thursday, May 20, 2010

eBay Auctions That Help A Cause!

Giving Works, a part of EBAY is where the seller donates a percentage of the sale of their item to charity!  How cool is that?!  You buy something that you want on ebay and the seller gives a percentage to a great cause!  Check out the latest auctions for some of my favorite charities!

Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

Farm Sanctuary

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mute Boy Spoke For First Time After Getting Puppy; Silent Again After Thieves Dognap Pup - by Stephanie Gaskell

He lost his puppy - and his voice.

A 4-year-old mute boy who spoke for the first time after getting a dog for his birthday went silent again after the puppy was stolen.

Liam Hainsworth, of West Yorkshire, England, is heartbroken over the loss of his best friend, a pug named Milie.

"There's no words coming out but you just know he's screaming 'Where is Milie? Where is she?' inside," his worried mother, Aimee Hainsworth, 24, told London's Daily Mail.

"Milie really was his best friend. They would play together happily for hours. None of his toys has ever held his short attention span that long, so this was incredible. Now he has just completely gone back into his shell," she said.

Little Liam suffers from a learning disability called global development delay. But just two weeks after getting Milie, Liam spoke his first words: "dog" and "mummy," his mom said.

The dog was snatched from the Hainsworth's back yard last Monday.

His mother gave him a new dog, but he "pushes it away."

"Liam and Milie were inseparable and Liam is heartbroken now. He'll go over to Milie's cage and just beat on the bars," his mother said.

His grandfather, Thomas Hainsworth, bought Liam the dog. "Liam's eyes just lit up when he saw Milie. He was so happy. And the puppy was all giddy with the attention so it was lovely to see," he said.

"The companionship transformed him, and within two weeks he had said his first words and was working on [saying] 'dad.'"

"Just last week his teachers and I were saying how much Milie had helped him. Now this happens," he said.

Experts said pets can play a crucial role in helping children with learning disabilities.

"People will talk to a dog where they wouldn't talk to another human being," she added. "A dog is non-judgmental and doesn't care if words come out wrong," said Maureen Hennis of UK-based Pets As Therapy.

Local police officers are investigating.

OK - Now if the thieves have ANY kind of soft spot in their heart and have heard about this little boy, they better bring back Millie ASAP!  Imagine what the love of an animal can do.  Animals Rule!

Tampa Couple Charged After a Dog Starves to Death - by Jennifer Leigh

TAMPA - A couple face animal cruelty charges after investigators say they found two pit bulls – one dead and the other barely alive – in a cage without food and water.

A third dog, an emaciated Chihuahua was wandering the couple's condo, Hillsborough County Animal Services investigators said. Authorities said they found dog food in the garage and "thousands and thousands of dollars" worth of tools and vehicles so feeding the animals shouldn't have been a problem.

"What we found was horrific. One of the worst cases of animal cruelty I've ever seen or been involved with," said Pam Perry, investigative manager for animal services.

Nicholas Kayne Aguilar, 26, and Ann Marie Whitmore, 19, both of 6034 Gibson Ave., were charged with three counts each of animal cruelty and confining an animal without food and water, sheriff's records show.

Aguilar, who worked for a pool company, was being held Wednesday at county jail with bail set at $7,500. Whitmore, a University of South Florida student who worked at the front door of a Tampa strip club, was released on $7,500 bail.

Investigators say they went to the condo off 56th Street about 6 p.m. Tuesday after receiving a tip of possible animal cruelty. They found the two pit bulls in a wire cage in an unventilated garage.

The dead dog "died a horrible, suffering death," Perry said. An animal services veterinarian said the dog hadn't eaten in 72 hours before her death, and she had been dead for at least a day.

The surviving dogs, the pit bull named Diamond and the Chihuahua named Zoe will be nursed back to health by the county and placed up for adoption, perhaps in four to six weeks.

Animal services may seek a civil court order that would ban Aguilar and Whitmore from owning any other animals in Hillsborough County, authorities said.

"They watched these dogs waste away in front of them and did nothing, and there's no excuse for that. There's no excuse for that. We are going to go after these people with everything our department has, including the state attorney's office. This is not a case that we're going to let go lightly," Perry said.

Aguilar had a criminal history that includes a grand theft charge, authorities said. Whitmore had no criminal record.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Puppy Killer Gets Shocking Sentence - by Kayla Coleman

A Fort Greene, N.Y. man convicted of aggravated animal cruelty received only four months in prison -- a sentence that shocked animal lovers, as well as the District Attorney.

Dudley Ramsey, a 25 year old, 270-pound iron worker, became angry with his Dachshund puppy, Junior, while trying to give him a bath. He slammed Junior against the side of the tub, breaking six of the puppy's ribs and damaging his lungs and liver. When he took the tiny Dachshund to a vet (six hours later), he died.

And this wasn't the first time a dog has died under Ramsey's care. After he was convicted, Ramsey reportedly shrugged off the measly four month sentence and admitted to killing another Dachshund. That dog, Viola, was later found buried in his girlfriend's back yard; there was not enough evidence to go to trial.

The "slap on the wrist" sentence was a shock to almost everyone involved with the case. The DA, Carol Moran, allegedly received over 100 emails pleading that Ramsey be given the maximum two year sentence for aggravated animal abuse. She, herself, was pushing for that outcome. Alas, for whatever reason, judge Michael Gary did convict Ramsey of aggravated abuse, a felony, but gave only a minimal sentence.

Ramsey's lawyer argued that "If he intended to kill or seriously injure [the dog] he would not be bathing it, or giving it medicine, discipline it or take it to the vet."

Whether killing the puppy was intentional or not, it's probably safe to say Ramsey has issues with rage, violence and abuse. His behavior certainly elicits a conversation about the link between animal cruelty and domestic violence.

Different states have different laws when it comes to animal cruelty. In fact, only 46 states have felony sentences for animal abuse -- meaning that in four states, Ramsey could have abused the puppy in any way and only have been charged with a misdemeanor.

Animal abuse is a serious, dangerous crime. Other animals are protected from mistreatment under the Animal Welfare Act, but this law doesn't include an individuals abuse of domestic animals.


Tell the U.S. Congress to add on to the Animal Welfare Act by signing this petition. Make animal abuse a felony crime in all 50 states, set a minimum sentence for animal cruelty convictions, and prevent those convicted of animal cruelty from owning another pet.

To help protect domestic animals throughout the world from violence, encourage the United Nations to set guidelines for the treatment of animals by signing this petition.

I believe that ANYONE that shows ANY sign of anger, rage, violence, abuse, or just plain irresponsibility should have to go through a screening process before EVER being able to look after animals.  Just like they have day care workers for children, and waiting periods to purchase a handgun.  It's no different.  Left in the wrong hands and under the wrong guidance, someone can and will get killed.  Period.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Alpacas to Help Fight Gulf Spill?

Four alpacas at an Alabama zoo are "donating" fleece to a group making hair-filled booms designed to keep spilled oil away from U.S. Gulf Coast shores.  Click for the whole story and video :

In my opinion, it's just another way that we "use" ANIMALS to help clean up human F***-UPS.

Dolphin, Turtle Deaths Eyed for Links to Oil Spill - by Steve Gorman

PORT FOURCHON, Louisiana (Reuters) – Scientists are examining the deaths of at least six dolphins and over 100 sea turtles along the U.S. Gulf Coast in recent weeks to see if they are victims of the giant oil spill in the region, wildlife officials said on Thursday.

All of the deaths are being looked at as possible casualties of the oil gushing unchecked since April 20 from a ruptured wellhead on the floor of the Gulf off Louisiana because of their proximity in time and space to the spill.

But none of the dolphins or turtles examined showed any obvious visible signs of oil contamination.

Necropsies -- the animal equivalent of autopsies -- are being performed, and tissue samples analyzed to determine if oil ingestion caused the deaths. The results are expected to take about two weeks.

"So far we have not seen any relationship with the deaths of either the turtles or the dolphins to oil," Dr. Moby Solangi, head of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, told Reuters TV in Gulfport, Mississippi.

But Solangi added it was only a matter of time before the spilled oil began affecting the dolphin population. "There is no question that the oil is in their habitat," he said.

Connie Barclay, a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), said scientists were investigating the deaths of six dolphins and 117 sea turtles along the coast of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida since April 30.

Sources close to the Gulf's wildlife spill-response teams put the number of dolphin deaths at seven.

Either way, federal wildlife officials said dolphin and turtle mortality seen since the oil rig explosion off Louisiana last month is not unusually high for this time of year.

A few of the deaths were ruled out as spill-related because they occurred before the spill or were animals that were known to have been sick or injured beforehand, the sources said.

Solangi said dolphins were at the top of the aquatic food chain in the ocean and also acted like the "canary in the coal mine" in that their experience and behavior can give advance warning to humans of impending disasters and catastrophes.

Wildlife officials have expressed particular concern for the well-being of sea turtles in the Gulf following the spill because all five species that inhabit the region are endangered, and it is their spring nesting season.

On a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, NOAA officials said it was still too early to draw firm conclusions from the latest wildlife casualties in the Gulf.

"We don't have definitive information for most of the ... (animals) that have been found," said Jane Lubchenco, Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.

Impacts on bird life has been relatively light to date, according to wildlife specialists.

"So far, relatively few birds have been brought in with oil on their feathers," said David Ringer of the National Audubon Society, who put the number at between 12 and 20.

"The birds that have been brought in are birds that catch fish in open waters" and would have come in contact with oil there, he said.

Farm Sanctuary Co-founder Gene Baur Profiled in Season Premiere of 50PlusPrime

Primetime Online News Program for Baby Boomers Premiered Sunday, May 16, 2010

Watkins Glen, NY – May 17, 2010 – On Sunday, May 16, Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, was profiled in the season premiere of 50PlusPrime, a primetime online news program for baby boomers, the 78 million men and women born between 1946 and 1964. 50PlusPrime, hosted by Tony Fama, a former TV news anchor and investigative reporter, speaks with baby boomers making a difference in their communities, and identifies resources and services benefiting baby boomers and their parents.

50PlusPrime spent two days in Watkins Glen, New York, at Farm Sanctuary’s original 175-acre home, meeting with Gene Baur, the 47-year-old baby boomer who co-founded Farm Sanctuary 24 years ago. During that quarter-century, Baur’s organization has grown into the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization. It operates the largest farm animal rescue and refuge network in North America, and has rescued thousands of animals from slaughterhouses, stockyards and farms and given them a peaceful place to live out their lives.

"About a year ago, when we began considering stories for our season premiere, I was introduced to the work of Gene Baur and Farm Sanctuary,” said Tony Fama, host of 50PlusPrime. “As I learned about Gene, in reading his book, in surfing Farm Sanctuary’s website, I knew we had to tell the story of Gene’s compassionate work on behalf of abused farm animals. 50PlusPrime will focus on baby boomers doing outstanding work. There is no question that Gene and Farm Sanctuary meet that description.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of the season premiere of 50PlusPrime,” said Baur. “Baby boomers have served as catalysts and helped bring needed and groundbreaking social change to our nation. The ideals underpinning the civil rights and environmental movements of the 1960s, which challenged the status quo, are helping to inspire a burgeoning food movement in our country today, along with a renewed interest in vegetarianism. Besides supporting environmental sustainability, eating fresh, whole plant foods instead of animal foods also helps lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other common ailments. Tony Fama’s commitment to inspiring and providing tools for conscientious living should be applauded.”

Where to Watch:

Gene is an inspiration to me and a hero to animals everywhere!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


This is NOT a typical picture of what a mother cow looks like in todays world.

A dairy cow is impregnated every year, so she continues to produce a steady supply of milk. This is usually done through artificial insemination.

Calves are removed from their mothers almost right after birth.

Especially in intensive dairy farming, cows are genetically engineered and fed growth hormones to force them to produce more milk.

The mother cow is continually impregnated year after year, her baby taken away, and after her "milk production" goes down, she is sent to slaughter to become someones hamburger.


THIS is what today's dairy cow looks like.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This Mother’s Day, Farm Sanctuary Encourages Public to Honor Mothers of All Species

Nation’s Leading Farm Animal Protection Organization Offers Opportunity to Sponsor an Orphaned Animal or Courageous Mother in Need

Watkins Glen, NY – May 5, 2010 – Last September, the heartbreaking story of Angelo, a lamb born inside a transport truck and rescued by a good Samaritan just as his mother was led to slaughter, made national headlines for shedding light on the callousness of an industry that routinely tears babies from their mothers just moments after birth. This Mother’s Day, Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, is encouraging people to honor the great love between moms and children of all species by sponsoring one of the rescued animals that reside at their sanctuaries as a gift for a special mother in their life or for themselves.

The animal residents at Farm Sanctuary’s shelters depend on adoptive “parents” to provide them with healthy food, a safe habitat, individualized attention and veterinary care. Each unique sponsorship package includes a personalized adoption certificate and beautiful color photo that make the perfect Mother’s Day gift.

“At our sanctuaries, we witness first-hand the strong maternal bonds formed between mother farm animals and their offspring,” said Farm Sanctuary’s National Shelter Director Susie Coston. “Unfortunately, on factory farms most farm animals are separated shortly after birth and never get to experience a life-long bond with their mothers. When farm animals are separated from their loved ones, they experience the same anxiety and depression that people do. I can’t think of a better way to honor the special mother in your life than by providing for the care of an orphaned animal or a courageous mother who fought to care for her child, even when her own well-being was neglected.”

Animals available for “adoption” include Blossom, a pig who was just a baby when she was separated from her mom and found wandering all alone; Debra, a goat who faced an uncertain future until she was rescued along with her two kids; Cupid, a calf who was torn from his mother minutes after birth and loaded onto a truck bound for slaughter; Katrine, a sheep who was severely neglected and arrived at Farm Sanctuary just in time to welcome her new baby into the world; Goodwin, a baby goat who was lost in New York City until rescuers brought him to safety; and June, a mother hen who, along with her chicks, was destined to suffer at the hands of cock fighters before they were saved and brought to sanctuary.

Those interested in sponsoring an animal for Mother’s Day may call 607-583-2225 ext. 225 or visit Farm Sanctuary online to view the orphaned animals and courageous mothers available for sponsorship including Blossom, Debra, Cupid, Katrine, Goodwin and June.

The public is invited to visit with these mothers and babies – and hundreds more cows, pigs, sheep, goats and chickens who were rescued from abuse and neglect – now through the end of October at Farm Sanctuary’s shelters in Watkins Glen, New York and Orland, California. For tour information, please visit

For more heartwarming stories about the close bond between mother farm animals and their children, please read our Sanctuary Tails blog entry for Mother’s Day:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Scientists Fear For Birds And Endangered Turtles in Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Story by Samuel Goldsmith

An injured sea turtle rests in a tub at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Miss., Saturday, May 1, 2010. The institute is gearing up to help marine mammals that may be injured by the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico.

Scientists say the worst is yet to come for Gulf Coast animals exposed to the devastating oil spill.

The full extent of the devastation won't be seen until the oil has washed ashore, which could happen Sunday or Monday.

So far there have been no confirmed animal deaths, but that won't last, said Michael Ziccardi, director of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network in California, who traveled to the Gulf Coast to oversee wildlife rescue teams.

"We hope the number is not catastrophic," he said. "We're hoping for the best but planning for the worst."

The animals threatened most by the spill are blue fin tuna, sea turtles, brown pelicans, shrimp and sharks.

Oil seeps into birds' feathers and impairs body insulation, exposing them to cold and making it difficult for them to move. They also wind up ingesting oil, which tears up their digestive tracks.

"There are certain songbirds and shorebirds that are going through their peak migratory period," Ziccardi said, pointing out that the spill came at a terrible time of year. "There are other birds for which this is a nesting and egg-laying period."

Turtles are also in the process of nesting in the gulf, he said, and blue fin are in the early stages of the spawning season.

The world's most endangered sea turtle, the Kemp's Ridley, only nests in the western Gulf. One of their major feeding grounds is in the area of the oil spill, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

"Kemp's Ridley turtles' numbers have been reduced over a long period of time, and here they are being battered again," said Richard Page, an oceans campaigner with the environmental group Greenpeace. "It's the most endangered species of sea turtle that there is, and they'll be ingesting oil and toxins. I'm sure there will be deaths."

But until oil reaches the shore, all scientists can do is wait.

"It's really only going to be clear in the coming days because there are a lot of unknowns," said Paul Kelway, a regional manager of the International Bird Rescue Research Center, which sent a team to Louisiana.

"All we can do is prepare these rescue facilities and get staff trained and be ready to help," he said.With News Wire Services

A Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research volunteer hydrates a Northern Gannet bird that was covered in oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon platform disaster off the coast of Louisiana.

I am not really sure exactly how much money we would save on gas if they drill in the ocean for oil. What I do know is that when the ecosystem is messed up by an accident like this, it is definitely not a good thing.  Innocent animals die needlessly, the whole ocean is polluted. Beaches are closed and massive cleanups have to take place to "attempt" to clean it up.  So if you ask me, we really need to step it up and get other ways to generate our cars, homes and everything else that we are using oil for.  How many times does something like this have to happen before anything is set into motion?

Read more:

Read more:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Stamps to the Rescue - Help Give Shelter Pets A Good Meal

In celebration of the new Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet stamps, the Postal Service™, together with Ellen DeGeneres and Halo: Purely for Pets, is giving shelter pets around the country a First-Class Meal.

During the launch of the stamps, Halo will be donating a million meals to animal shelters around the country.
You can buy them at your local post office, or
Related Posts with Thumbnails