Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pregnant Cow Shooting At State Fair Raises Animal Welfare Questions

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Protesters gathered Wednesday at the California State Fair in Sacramento, rallying against the shooting death of an escaped cow a day earlier. Police shot the pregnant dairy cow Tuesday after the animal got loose and panicked.

The cow and her full-term fetus died.

Fair officials said the stressed cow bolted while being transferred to a birthing area. They also said attempts to tranquilized the cow didn't work and officials feared people could me hurt.

"We stayed with it for about an hour, along with the veterinarians from UC Davis," State Fair Manager Brian May said. "It was very agitated."

Protesters said the cow was rightfully agitated since veterinarians brought the cow to the fair to give birth in front of fair-goers.

"You know the mayhem of the midway and a deep-fried churro walking by one of those creatures. How are you suppose to gain a real since of this animal's sentience and consciousness?" said Humane Society's Jennifer Fearing.

UC Davis officials said Wednesday it wouldn't rethink performing live births, but would review their procedures on dealing with stressed animals.

Oakland has reviewed its procedures after a wild deer was pursued into a backyard and fatally shot by housing authority officers.

As a result, Oakland Animal Control now carry tranquilizer syringe poles for sick or hurt animals.

"If they're up and moving and not laying down or unable to walk, we want to just leave those animals alone," said Megan Webb, who works Oakland Animal Services.
For the full story and video, please go here :
Let's think about this.  The cow was ready to give birth, and between the noise of the carnival rides, people, machines, music, etc the cow panicked. DUH!  Now there is no excuse why they had to shoot the cow to death.  They should have just used the tranq gun to sedate her.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

ACTION ALERT! : U.S. Citizens - Ask Your Senators To Pass A Crush Videos Act Of 2010

"Crush" fetish videos also called "squish" videos generally depict a woman, often in stiletto heels, stepping on small animals such as rodents and kittens. Crush videos are typically sold over the Internet for anywhere between $20 to $300 a piece. A 1999 federal law aimed at ending the trade in these videos and prosecuting those who market them was overturned in 2008; this decision was upheld by the Supreme Court in April 2010.

As an animal advocate, I am asking you to sign this petition to help pass this very important piece of legislation to help protect some of the most vulnerable from a horrific, dispicable death.  Please help be a voice 4 animals. Click the link below.

Catalonia is First Region in Spain to Ban Bullfighting

Advocates of the ban called the practice barbaric, but opponents say it is part of Spain's cultural heritage and see the move as an assertion of Catalan independence.

The independence-minded region of Catalonia on Wednesday became the first on the Spanish mainland to outlaw bullfighting, a move some say is as much about nationalist politics as animal rights.

Lawmakers in Catalonia's regional parliament approved the controversial ban, 68-55, with nine abstentions, after emotional speeches that mixed expressions of support for preserving tradition with denunciations of bullfighting as institutionalized cruelty. The ban will take effect in the region, of which Barcelona is the capital, in 2012.  Click here for full story :,0,2674342.story

I believe this is LONG over-due!  Some people say that bullfighting is part of the rich history and culture of Spain.  Well slavery, oppression against women and many other things were a big part of the way the world ran years ago.  People eventually realize that just because that's the way things used to be, doesn't mean that it is right.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rockstar Piglet Gets Lucky "Brake" After Falling Off Transport Truck

Discarded Pig Receives Rockstar Welcome at Final Stop on Cross-Country Tour -
Watkins Glen-Based Shelter of Farm Sanctuary

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – July 23, 2010 – The agribusiness industry is all too often predicated on devaluing the lives of farm animals for the sake of production and profit. That is why when a fragile six-week-old piglet fell off the back of a transport truck in South Dakota in mid-July, no one noticed, no one cared, and no one went back for her — that is, until Lanore Hahn and her rock ‘n’ roll boyfriend’s concert tour took an unexpected turn. Thanks to Hahn, late last night the tiny piglet, named “Kim Gordon” in honor of the legendary Sonic Youth vocalist and bass player, arrived to a rockstar’s reception at her new home — the Watkins Glen-based New York Shelter of Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization.

Lanore had been on the road for a long time touring with her boyfriend’s band (whose signature image, which she designed, and appears on all of their CDs, posters and shirts, is coincidentally a pig) when they strayed off course onto a backcountry highway on their way back to Wisconsin and spotted a little piglet running around in the middle of the road in Mitchell, South Dakota. Confused to see a piglet all alone in the middle of prairieland, with no buildings or farmhouses around, they stopped the car and attempted to catch her. Once she was caught, the compassionate couple placed the baby animal in their vehicle, where she promptly fell into a ten-hour deep sleep.

While the tiny piglet slept, the couple attempted to locate the origins of the exhausted animal. They spoke with people from three different farms farther down the highway, all of whom informed them that there were no pig facilities in the area and they didn’t know where the piglet could have come from. Perplexed even further at this point, Lanore phoned the local animal control authority which sent an officer to speak with her. Given the condition of the piglet, who had severe sunburn over many of the exposed parts of her body and painful road rash on her belly, chin, and back, the animal control officer was the first to surmise that she had fallen off the back of a transport truck. The officer then informed Lanore of a tragic truth: if she handed the baby pig over to authorities, they would most likely shoot the animal. At that moment, Lanore knew she had no other choice but to bring the piglet back with her to Wisconsin.

Back at home, Lanore did everything she could for her new friend — gradually introducing her to more solid foods, treating her wounds with antiseptic lotion daily, and giving her some much-needed T.L.C. While the piglet’s health remains somewhat shaky, she has been improving steadily.

“Unlike the factory farming industry which treated this sweet piglet with callous disregard, our sanctuary staff, volunteers and visitors value her already for the courageous girl that she is,” said Farm Sanctuary National Shelter Director Susie Coston. “Her future looks bright: she is well on her way to recovery and will become an ambassador for other factory farm pigs who suffer every day in hot, overcrowded transport trucks on their way to finishing facilities and slaughterhouses across the country. Her life on the road is over, but here, she will always be a rockstar.”

Kim Gordon piglet joins other famous rescued pigs at the New York Shelter who came to Farm Sanctuary under similar circumstances — including Truffles and Terrin, both found wandering interstate highways after falling off transport trucks in Indiana and Ohio respectively.

What a wonderful group of compassionate people Lanore and her friends are for caring enough to stop and help an animal that was obviously in need of some care.  What a cutie Kim Gordon is!  I will be visiting the sanctuary in a few weeks and hope I get a chance to meet this very lucky girl!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

World's Most Expensive Bottle of Beer - SERVED INSIDE DEAD ANIMAL!

It's billed as the most shocking, strongest and most expensive beer in the world, and if you want a bottle it's too late.

Only 12 bottles of The End of History beer were produced by Scotland's BrewDog brewery and they all found homes within a day of going on the market.

There are several things that make The End of History unique.

First, it has an alcohol content of 55 per cent.

Second, it sells for $800 Cdn.

And finally, each bottle is packaged inside a dead animal.

In a tribute to twisted taxidermy, roadkill gathered by the bottlers was used as a unique cloak for the costly bottles.

The initial run of 12 bottles was packaged in seven dead stoats, four squirrels and a rabbit.

The name is derived from a quote by philosopher Francis Fukuyama, implying that this is to beer what democracy is to history, according to the brewer.

"In true BrewDog fashion we've torn up convention, blurred distinctions and pushed brewing and beer packaging to its absolute limits," said BrewDog co-founder James Watt.

"This is the beer to end all beers. It's an audacious blend of eccentricity, artistry and rebellion; changing the general perception of beer, one stuffed animal at a time," he said.

How disrespectful to the animals that obviously suffered a sad and terrible death by becoming roadkill.  It's not bad enough that the were hit by a car, now they have to be humiliated during death in order to help sell a beer!?  This is unbelievable and unacceptable.  This company should be ashamed and anyone who buys this beer should be as well.  I just have to shake my head sometimes wondering where people come up with sick ways to exploit animals for a profit.  Is there no end?

Let them know how you feel about this by contacting them:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Farm Sanctuary Emphasizes Benefits of Plant-Based Diets to Dietary Guidelines Committee

Nation’s Leading Farm Animal Protection Organization Applauds Committee for Suggesting a Shift to Plant-Based Consumption, but Recommends Specific Suggestions Are Needed to Facilitate Shift

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – July 21, 2010 – On behalf of Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, the Lewis and Clark Animal Law Clinic has submitted comments to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding a newly issued report on the dietary guidelines for Americans. The report, produced by an advisory committee to the USDA and HHS, urges Americans to modify their diets to become more plant-based, but still condones moderate consumption of lean meats, poultry, and eggs as well as fat-free and low-fat milk products.

The report was borne of a meeting in October 2009 when the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a group of thirteen independent experts in the fields of nutrition and health, concluded that nutrition and dietary science had changed substantially since 2005, when the last set of dietary guidelines for Americans was published. The committee completed a study of new science and, based on that work, issued the Report of Dietary Guidelines Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. The report was then opened to public comment, which Farm Sanctuary acted upon.

“Our comments attempt to augment the committee’s suggestion of a shift toward a plant-based diet,” said Dr. Allan Kornberg, executive director of Farm Sanctuary. “Americans should be supplied with a list of healthy alternatives to animal-based foods. As a practicing pediatrician for many years, I know the transition to a plant-based diet would become more conceivable and easily accomplished for the majority of Americans if our Dietary Guidelines reflected healthy options and alternatives to meat, dairy and eggs.”

Paradigm Shift

Within the submitted comments, Farm Sanctuary applauds the Dietary Guidelines Committee for advising that Americans move towards a more plant-based diet, but believes that the final draft of the Dietary Guidelines should include ways to facilitate the recommended shift in dietary habits by suggesting specific plant-based alternatives for Americans to eat. Not only would a list of specific alternatives assist many Americans in making the suggested dietary modifications, but it would also make the guidelines applicable to those for whom meat, dairy, eggs, and poultry are objectionable for a variety of reasons.

Answer to the Age-Old Question “Where do you get your protein?”

Specific suggestions Farm Sanctuary would like to see taken into consideration for the final draft of the dietary guidelines include an emphasis on plant-based sources of protein, such as lentils, nuts and tofu, as well as non-dairy options for calcium. The group would also like to see a listing of specific “solid fats” to be avoided, most of which are or contain animal products, and a related listing of accepted substitutions for those fats, including unsalted nuts, soy products and vegetable-based oils.

Evidence-Based Review

The final suggestion that Farm Sanctuary makes to the Dietary Guidelines Committee is that it would be valuable to undertake an Evidence-Based Review addressing the benefits of a low-fat vegetarian or vegan diet in the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases. Already, many influential groups, such as the American Dietetic Association (A.D.A.) and the Mayo Clinic have noted the benefits of vegetarian and vegan diets and it would be extraordinarily worthwhile to do an empirical study addressing the role plant-based diets play in disease prevention and control.

“Many vegetarians and vegans already know the health benefits of their diet but by requesting an Evidence-Based Review of the impact of plant-based diets in preventing and treating chronic illness, we will further prove that plant-based diets are best not only for the animals, but for the people’s health as well,” continued Kornberg. “Past studies have already linked vegetarian and vegan diets to the prevention of Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity. We hope the Dietary Guidelines Committee will consider the suggestions we have made when writing the final draft of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.”

As a vegan I can say it is EASY to go vegetarian/vegan! It is the best thing you can do for yourself, the animals and the earth!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Amazing Grace - The 2 Legged Kitten

Came across this video the other day and though that it was just wonderful.  This is a great example of compassion in action.  When most people would look the other way about adopting a kitten like this, this family opened their home and their hearts to her.  What a beautiful story!

Janet Jackson is the face of a new campaign for the fur label Blackglama.

Blackglama is famous for their “What Becomes a Legend Most” advertising campaign which – in the past few decades – has featured such style-stars as Sophia Loren, Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor, Diana Ross, Lauren Bacall, Lena Horne, Liza Minelli, Judy Garland, Faye Dunaway, Joan Rivers, Lillian Gish and Audrey Hepburn.

More recent legends have included Cindy Crawford, Elizabeth Hurley, Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson, Giselle Bundchen and Linda Evangelista

PETA Senior Vice President Dan Matthews has published an open letter blasting Jackson who was once anti-fur: “You told me that you were always aggravated at photo shoots when stylists would try to throw fur on you and that you were even wary of wearing fake fur out of concern that it might actually be real or look real in photos and send the wrong message. You were very straightforward and sensible about it. What happened?”

Another PETA spokeswoman, Amanda Schinke, added, “It’s amazing what celebrities will do when their careers are on a downslide, but we didn’t think that Janet was this desperate.”
Being that I am a HUGE Janet Jackson fan, it seriously pains me to see Janet doing this.  She is a super talented, super beautiful and I thought a super smart woman, who could put her name or endorsement on anything and it would be great.  I am very disappointed that Janet would be a spokesperson for the fur industry.  I seriously hope that she will reconsider her position after many people have already flooded her twitter and website with complaints of disapproval.  Janet, you've made a BIG mistake.
To tell Janet how you feel about this send her a message on twitter or go to her website,

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dog Trapped in Car Honks for Help

ALLENTOWN, Pa., July 14 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania woman who forgot her dog in her hot car after running an errand said the Labrador honked the car horn twice to draw her attention.

Donna Gardner of Upper Macungie Township said she forgot the 11-year-old dog, Max, was in the car when she returned home from running errands and went inside the house, WFMZ-TV, Allentown, Pa., reported.

"I came in and started cleaning and about an hour later I heard a horn blow," Gardner said.

Gardner said she did not see anyone in the car so she returned to the house then heard the horn sound a second time. She said the dog was sitting in the driver's seat when she came back outside.

Gardner said Max was checked out by a vet, who said the canine was weak but otherwise unharmed by his ordeal.

Please check twice before you leave your car, that you remember to take your children and your companion animals!!!   ESPECIALLY in the hot summer weather were the temperature in a car can rise very fast, and can be fatal.

BOOK REVIEW : Where the Blind Horse Sings: Love and Healing at an Animal Sanctuary

Written by the founder of Catskill Animal Sanctuary, a haven for abused farm animals, the book depicts a world in which distinctions between “human” and “animal” are meaningless, a world where care and affection trump years of neglect and abuse. Readers will meet animals like Dino, an old toothless pony who survived an arson that killed 23 horses; Rambo, the sheep who informs the staff when an animal needs assistance; Paulie, the former cockfighting rooster who eats lunch with the humans and accompanies the director around town on her errands; and dozens of other critters, all larger than life. Side by side with them is a staff of hilarious, irreverent, but always loving humans, for whom every animal life—even that of an injured frog rushed to the vet for emergency surgery—has merit. These tales will profoundly—and joyously—change your life.

This was quite a moving book. The real life story of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Kathy Stevens, the woman who envisioned a place where abused animals could come to experience love and safety for the first time in their lives, for the rest of their lives. Beautifully told and quite humorous too. I am fortunate enough to live only 45 minutes from the sanctuary and have been there several times to see the wonderful work Kathy and her dedicated staff of animal lovers do. This is a must read for anyone who calls themself a lover of animals.
You can purchase this book at Kathy's  website or
And Please check out Catskill Animal Sanctuary site :

Ocean Conservancy's Executive Vice President Dennis Takahashi-Kelso's Statement on the Temporary Capping of the BP Deepwater Horizon Well

Washington, DC — Dennis Takahashi-Kelso, Ocean Conservancy's Executive Vice President, issued the following statement in response to the announcement that BP had capped the well and for the time being the oil has ceased to flow:

"After some eighty-seven days, news that oil has stopped gushing into the ocean is an enormous relief. We will await the full results of integrity tests to learn if the Macondo well will remain shut, but the recent developments are a very positive step forward."

"Earlier this week I was on the water in Bay Jimmy, Louisiana, viewing the devastation this tragedy has inflicted on the Gulf ecosystem. The impacts of BP's disaster will be felt for decades."

"BP's obligations in the Gulf of Mexico do not end with stopping the flow of oil: they are only just beginning. The President must be relentless in ensuring that BP does not walk away from the communities of the Gulf, or the fragile ocean ecosystem that has come under assault from tens of millions of gallons of oil. BP must be held to account year after year after year for the long-term consequences of this tragedy."

"The challenge we now face is to restore and enhance the Gulf ecosystem and make the people and wildlife affected by the spill whole. Ocean Conservancy will continue its longstanding commitment to the Gulf, and will work with local communities to achieve that goal."

Takahashi-Kelso was Alaska Commissioner of Environmental Conservation at the time of the Exxon Valdez spill. A few hours after the Valdez ran aground, Takahashi-Kelso boarded the tanker to assess the environmental impact and began enforcing clean-up standards. For the next two years, he worked in the spill area, in the state legislature, and in Congress to strengthen Alaska's environmental laws and to advocate passage of the federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

You can learn more about the Ocean Conservancy by clicking HERE

Now as happy as I was to hear that the cap is working and has stopped the gusher, there's still one question left to ask.  How long will it take to get a permanent fix to this disaster? Hmmmmm

Monday, July 12, 2010

Great Nutritional Video - Foods That Kill Healthy Eating

For anyone who is interestede in learning some of the nutrition aspects of changing to a plant-based diet, PLEASE watch this video.  It just might surprise you!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Finnegan The Squirrel


Debby Cantlon, who plans to release Finnegan, the young squirrel, back into the wild, bottle-fed the infant squirrel after it was brought to her house..

When Cantlon took in the tiny creature and began caring for him, she found herself with an unlikely nurse's aide: her pregnant Papillion, Mademoiselle Giselle.

Finnegan was resting in a nest in a cage just days before Giselle was due to deliver her puppies.

Cantlon and her husband watched as the dog dragged the squirrel's cage twice to her

Own bedside before she gave birth.

Cantlon was concerned, yet ultimately decided to allow the squirrel out and the inter-species bonding began.

Finnegan rides a puppy mosh pit of sorts, burrowing in for warmth after feeding, eventually working his way beneath his new litter mates.

Two days after giving birth, mama dog Giselle allowed Finnegan to nurse; family photos and a videotape show her encouraging him to suckle alongside her litter of five pups..

Now, Finnegan mostly uses a bottle, but still snuggles with his 'siblings' in a mosh pit of puppies,
Rolling atop their bodies, and sinking in deeply for a nap.

Finnegan and his new litter mates, five Papillion puppies, get along together as if they were meant to.

Finnegan naps after feeding.

Send this along to brighten someones day!

Wouldn't it be nice if we could all get along like Finnegan and the gang?

MORAL OF THE STORY: Keep loving everyone, even the squirrelly ones..

Tricks Are For Kids, Not Circus Animals! : By Michael Tiedemann

A family goes on a trip to a circus.  The Big Top Experience!  Flying people on a trapeze making people nervous and exhilarated.  Clowns running through the audience making people laugh.  Popcorn, cotton candy for the kiddies to munch on! And at center stage, ANIMALS BEING ABUSED FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT!! What a wonderful way to spend a day!  There are many animals used in the circus performances, or should I say SLAVE SHOWS.  Tigers, elephants, bears, monkeys, etc.  Animals in their natural habitat DO NOT spin in circles, climb up ladders, walk across tight ropes, stand on their heads, jump through fire, jump of platforms into bathtubs, etc.  In order to make these animals look as though they are having a wonderful time ENTERTAINING their captive audience, they are BEATEN until they, out of fear, learn to do the moves the audience marvel at.  The handlers use chains, ropes, chairs, bullhooks, electric shock devices, etc.  These animals should not be treated like this, and we as patrons should not go to these types of shows.  There are so many other "non-animal" circuses around the world, like  and  that are just unbelievably entertaining that they do not need to use innocent beings to get the oooos and ahhhhhhhs from their audience. I have had the privilege of attending productions by both of the companies I mentioned and they BLEW ME AWAY!  Amazing Amazing Amazing! 

Please think twice before you attend a circus that has animal acts.  By doing so you are contributing to the suffering of those beautiful creatures.  Be compassionate.  Thank You.

The nature shows on television never had a
tiger jumping through a hoop of fire!

I have never seen a bear in the woods that was dancing!

Here is a picture of an elephant being trained to stand on his
 back legs and hold that position.
As you can see the animal is tied on the leg and bullhooks are used
 to keep the animal in position.
You can actually see the fear in this poor animals eyes!
Trainers always say that they give the animal treats
 and positive reinforcement  for
learning the dangerous stunts.

FDA Allows Unsafe Drugs To Be Fed To Livestock - by: David Gutierrez

(NaturalNews) The FDA continues to allow use of a dangerous livestock drug banned in 160 countries, including across Europe, China and Taiwan, even though the agency itself admits that the chemical is highly toxic to humans.

The drug in question is known as ractopamine, and it increases the body's synthesis of protein -- thereby causing animals to bulk up and yield more meat. Ractopamine is in the family of drugs known as beta-agonists, which contains many asthma drugs.

Yet ractopamine is so dangerous to human health that the FDA requires it to be labeled, "Not for use in humans. Individuals with cardiovascular disease should exercise special caution to avoid exposure. Use protective clothing, impervious gloves, protective eye wear, and a NIOSH-approved dust mask."

Nevertheless, three different variants of the drug have been approved for use in U.S. livestock immediately prior to slaughter. This is the exact opposite of the rules relating to other livestock drugs, such as antibiotics and hormones, which must be stopped as slaughter nears.

Research has shown that up to 20 percent of ractopamine given to an animal remains active in its meat after slaughter. More than 1,700 people were poisoned after eating ractopamine-fed pigs in 1998, according to the Sichuan Pork Trade Chamber of Commerce.

Also of concern is the implications of "adding these drugs to waterways or well water supplies--via contaminated animal feed and manure runoff -- when this class of drugs is so important in treating children with asthma," said David Wallinga, MD, of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

Ractopamine is sold under three brand names, all made by the same company: Paylean, Optaflexx and Tomax. Paylean is fed to pigs for the last 28 days of their lives, Optaflexx to cattle for the last 28 to 42, and Tomax to turkeys for the last 7 to 14. According to manufacturer Elanco Animal Health (a division of Eli Lilly), fully 45 percent of U.S. pigs and 30 percent of non-grass-fed cattle receive some form of ractopamine.

Elanco was also the maker of Stilbosol, also known as diethylstilbestrol or DES, an estrogen drug widely prescribed to pregnant women starting in the 1940s. In 1971, the drug was shown to cause birth defects, but the company did not cease production until 1997.

The company also recently purchased the rights to recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBST), also known as Posiliac, from Monsanto. Noting this connection, "CounterPunch" author Martha Rosenberg draws parallels between the approval processes for rBST and ractopamine.

"Like rBST, ractopamine increases profits despite greater livestock death and disability," she writes.

"Like rBST, food consumers are metabolic, neurological and carcinogen guinea pigs so that agribusiness can make a profit. And like rBST, 'Mothers Of Growing Children' was not marked as a visiting group on the Food Safety and Inspection Service's public calendar next to the ag lobbyists."

A full one-third of all Food Safety and Inspection Service meetings in January 2009 took place with Elanco lobbyists.

U.S. farmers have complained that ractopamine induces hyperactivity, muscle damage and even a 10 percent death rate in their pigs and cattle, a concern confirmed by a 2003 study published in the Journal of Animal Science.

The FDA even acknowledged these effects in 2002, when it accused Elanco of concealing data from the agency. It referenced complaints such as, "animals are down and shaking," and "pig vomiting after eating feed with Paylean."

"Our representatives requested a complete and accurate list of all your [Good Laboratory Practices] studies involving Paylean ... . In response, your firm supplied to our representatives multiple lists which differed in the names of the studies and their status. In addition, your firm could not locate or identify documents pertaining to some of the studies," the FDA's Division of Compliance director wrote.

Yet none of this stopped the agency from approving the drug in 2003 for cattle, and then again for turkeys in 2009.

Source of story:
So, Do you think the FDA has any concern for the well being of those who eat the slaughtered animal flesh?  If you weren't sure before, I think that this article would make it a little clearer for ya!

Friday, July 9, 2010

'The Cove' Star Says Dolphin Video Shows Cruelty - By Yuri Kageyama (AP)

Video at the end of article

TOKYO — The star of a film about Japanese dolphin hunting said Friday that new video footage showing a dolphin jumping out of an aquarium tank underlines the cruelty of captivity and demanded that all of the creatures be set free.

The startling footage of the dolphin, a species known as the false killer whale, shows the animal suddenly leaping out of a tank during a July 4 marine show at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, in southwestern Japan. An American tourist who was among the spectators shot the footage and sent it to Ric O'Barry.

O'Barry, 70, a former trainer for the "Flipper" TV show who now makes a career out of setting the animals free, made the videos available to The Associated Press.

In them, the dolphin lies on the floor. Workers wrap it in a mat and raise it by a crane to be placed back into the water. The other dolphins gather around the side of the tank.

O'Barry says the videos show a dolphin under stress.

"The habitat of that false killer whale is so unnatural it leaped out in desperation," he said in a telephone interview from Florida. "It wanted to end it. Why does a person jump out of a building?"

Hideshi Teruya, who manages the dolphin section of Churaumi, said the dolphin suffered minor scratches and bruises on its head and fin but was fine, and had a healthy appetite for mackerel and squid almost as soon as it was returned to a tank.

"It was playing around and jumped out by accident from the momentum," he told The Associated Press.

The age of the dolphin, a female named Kuru, which means "black" in Okinawan dialect, is unknown. It was captured about six years ago in the seas around Okinawa, Teruya said.

Teruya acknowledged that dolphins sometimes spring out and so he has placed mats around the tanks to prevent serious injury.

He denied the captivity was cruel, and said the tank was not overcrowded and followed general aquarium guidelines.

O'Barry believes such guidelines are inadequate. Dolphins are used to roaming for many miles a day, not swimming in a circle and doing flips at shows, he said.

Sound is the most important sense for dolphins. So keeping them in a concrete box is cruel, bombarding the animal with strange sounds and depriving a key sensory skill, according to O'Barry.

"It proves that captivity doesn't work," he said of the videos. "They are free-ranging creatures with a very large brain. They're self aware and putting them in a small tank in a stadium setting is abusive."

O'Barry said many other animals, including snakes, tend to get zoo cages that look more like their natural habitat than do dolphins.

"Release all of them and find a cruelty-free way of making a living," he said.

"The Cove" depicts O'Barry's efforts to stop the slaughter of dolphins for food in the Japanese town of Taiji. It uses hidden cameras to show how the dolphins are killed, being herded into a cove and pierced with spears as they bleed and writhe in the water.

The film, which won best documentary at this year's Academy Awards, opened at theaters in Japan this month despite protests and threats by nationalists, who say the work ridicules Japanese culture.

When watching the video, notice the dolphins in the water huddling around the glass, obviously concerned for their friend.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Farm Sanctuary Responds to Clearing of Ohio Dairy Farm Owner of Criminal Charges

Farm Sanctuary President and Co-founder Gene Baur: “It is nothing short of a dereliction of duty for a professional trained to provide medical care to animals to support practices such as kicking them and to say that it is to the benefit of the animals.”

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – July 8, 2010 – On Monday, an Ohio grand jury decided to clear Gary Conklin, owner of Conklin Dairy Cattle Sales LLC, of criminal charges in connection with the abuse of cows on his farm. In a disturbing video distributed worldwide in May, Mr. Conklin is shown kicking a “downed” cow too weak to stand by herself. According to a statement given to the media by the prosecutor in the case, four large animal veterinarians told law enforcement officials that “delivering a sharp blow” to a sick or weak animal is necessary in order to avoid risk of “injury and death” and is standard practice in the dairy industry as an “entirely appropriate” means to get non-ambulatory animals to move.

Today, Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, issued the following statement in response to the clearing of Gary Conklin of criminal charges:

“The involvement of experts in excusing cruelty to animals on the grounds that it is ‘standard practice’ in the industry is unconscionable. With the eyes of the world watching, this case represented an important opportunity to send a strong message of compassion. It is unfortunate that the four veterinarians called to testify in the Conklin Dairy case sided with commercial interests, instead of denouncing a clear example of abuse. The sordid notion of ‘standard practice’ is commonly used to justify cruelty in an industry where bad has become normal.

“There are humane ways to address this issue, but when animals are viewed as unfeeling commodities, the time and effort required to handle a downed cow in an appropriate manner is often set aside in favor of expediency at the expense of the animal’s welfare.

“I’m reminded of a quote by Ruth Harrison, author of Animal Machines: ‘If one person is unkind to an animal it is considered cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to a lot of animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is defended. And once large sums of money are involved it will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.’

Farm Sanctuary Offered to Accept Victims of Conklin Dairy

Soon after the video came to light, Farm Sanctuary reached out to the Union County Humane Society, one of the agencies handling the investigation, with an offer to accept and provide shelter for any animals confiscated during the investigation. Unfortunately, the investigation did not result in the seizure of any animals. Baur added, “It is heartbreaking that to date not a single mistreated cow has been given a second chance at a life free from fear and pain.”

If you would like to speak with Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, please contact Meredith Turner at 646-369-6212 or

About Farm Sanctuary

Farm Sanctuary is the nation's leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the "food animal" industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Orland, Calif., provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming. Additional information can be found at or by calling 607-583-2225.
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With the obvious abuse caught on camera for the world to see, this judge turned a blind eye to the abuse and cleared the owner of criminal charges.  Obviously the judge believes that kicking a beating a defenseless animal into submission is standard practice.  And whatever the industry claims is "standard practice", it is allowed to do.  What a crock!  I would love to make up my own rules too.  I have many words to describe this travesty, but I like to keep my blog PG.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Puppy's Best Friend

A puppy trapped in a remote Arizona canyon is getting a second chance thanks to rock climber Zak Anderegg. 'Today' correspondent Kristen Welker chronicles the daring rescue of the dog, now affectionately known as "Puppy." On a weekend hike through the canyons along the Arizona-Utah border, Anderegg was shocked to find the dog at the bottom of a narrow 350 foot deep canyon, "emaciated, all alone, and scared."

An animal lover at heart, Anderegg sprung into action. "Borrowing a cat carrier from a local animal hospital, and attaching it to his ropes, Anderegg was able to lift the dog from the depths of the cavern all by himself," Welker explains. With the help of a local vet, Anderegg was able nurse the miracle pup back to health. Puppy is temporarily living with Zak and his wife while they search for a permanent home.
There are still caring and compassionate people in the world!  This story gives me hope for humanity.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Farmers Defend Industry Via Social Media

Denair, CA – An animal rights group video showing farm animal abuse, posted to YouTube has sparked outrage from farmers seeking to defend their industry. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), a number of farmers are utilizing social media such as Facebook and Twitter to counter accusations by animal rights groups, and say abusive practices are not representative of their industry.

Ray Prock Jr., a second-generation Central California dairy farmer, who blogs and tweets about his field of work, is quoted by the AP as stating of the motivation for turning to social media to relay messages, “There is so much negative publicity out there, and no one was getting our message out.”

Prock is further quoted as stating in a blog post, “Every other farmer I know who cares for animals has at one time or another put those animals’ well being ahead of their own or their families’ time or needs.”

The latest in Social Media News
Until people stop demanding animal products, the negative publicity will inevitably continue because the abuse will continue.  As I always say, MONEY and PROFITS will always come before animal welfare.  The biggest thing that we as consumers can do to help stop the abuse is to not participate in it.  Go Vegan!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fourth of July: Keeping Pets Safe and Happy - By Jen Reeder

Brad Benz remembers the Fourth of July he spent in Seattle with his Border collie mix, Maggie – and not in a good way.

“At about midnight, our neighbors had an impromptu fireworks display that lasted over an hour,” he recalls. “Maggie was terrified. She was up on the bed panting and shaking – a nervous wreck. Nothing could calm her down.”

The Fourth of July and its accompanying celebrations can be a traumatic experience for pets like Maggie. A little preparation can go a long way toward making sure that they are safe and happy when the festivities begin.

Eliza Mazzaferro, MS, DVM, PhD, DACBECC, director of emergency services at Wheat Ridge Veterinary Specialists in Colorado, says the Fourth of July is a busy time because of the inherent risks the holiday poses to pets. The most common culprit: fireworks.

“Pets get anxious and break out of kennels, jump through windows and get lacerations, and when loose, can get hit by cars,” Mazzaferro says. “We have also seen where people toss a firework or firecracker into the air, and the dog jumps up, swallows it, and the firecrackers cause severe damage to the internal organs.”

Obviously pet owners should prevent their dogs from swallowing firecrackers, but even the noise can injure their stomachs; in large breed dogs, Mazzaferro has seen an increased incidence of bloat or GDV (gastric dilation and volvulus), where the stomach twists. This occurs when dogs are nervous or excited, which happens during firework anxiety.

You can tell if the noise is affecting your pet if they tremble, bark, howl, try to hide, or get so anxious that they attempt to break free from their enclosures. In these cases, Mazzaferro recommends staying with them to help calm them down, rather than leaving them home alone. It’s a good idea to keep them inside, making sure that they don’t chew anything in their excited state.

“Moving things that can be destroyed or are harmful is beneficial,” Mazzaferro says. “However, in very anxious pets, I have seen them bite through a metal cage and injure their teeth and gums, and also jump through plate glass windows. They try to escape the noise, not knowing that it is outside. I have seen dogs chew through doors and dry wall, so just keeping them confined to a room or a dog crate is not always foolproof to prevent injury.”

In such extreme cases, it may be wise to have a prescription for anti-anxiety medication from your veterinarian. Testing the medication before the holiday is a good idea to ensure that it has the appropriate effect.

In case your pet does run away, it is important to be sure their collar has a tag with the current phone number on it. Mazzaferro suggests that all pets be microchipped, and that the contact information it contains is current as well.

“Too frequently, we see pets brought in by Good Samaritans having been found injured, and we attempt to contact the owner with the information provided by the microchip company, and find that the numbers are not current or have been disconnected, and we cannot reunite the pet with their owner,” she says.

Other problems for pets that occur around the Fourth of July include pets getting wounded during fights at backyard barbecues with other animals, or eating table scraps like corn cobs, ribs, hot dogs or shish kabobs that can cause gastrointestinal upset (vomiting and diarrhea) or even pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. Cats can get an obstruction in the stomach or intestines that can be life threatening without surgery. To keep pets safe, partygoers should not put their plates or drinks on the ground where pets can reach them.

Barbecues can also attract bees and wasps. Allergic reactions to insect stings can cause swelling of the face, hives, itchiness, vomiting, diarrhea, and in the worst case scenarios, respiratory distress and collapse. If a pet shows any of these signs, they need to go to the nearest veterinary hospital for treatment.

Finally, summer heat can create health issues. Mazzaferro stresses that pets should never be left in a car under any circumstances to avoid heat stroke. She also suggests walking or exercising pets during the coolest part of the day, with plenty of shade, and access to water every 20 minutes to avoid heart exertion. If your pet is tired, collapses, or starts making increased breathing sounds, stop the activity, have your pet rest in the shade with cool water, and have them evaluated by a veterinarian.

By taking these precautions, you’ll ensure that both you and your pet enjoy a happy Fourth of July!

Jen Reeder is a Denver-based freelance journalist who loves both fireworks and barbecues.

Why Does My Dog Eat Grass? - By Jack Sommars

Benjamin Hart, DVM, PhD, who has studied animal behavior for almost 50 years, says that one of the questions he hears most frequently from pet owners is: “Why does my dog eat grass?”

Until recently, veterinarians like Hart could only speculate on the reason. Common theories included: The pet must be sick and needs to vomit. Or perhaps there is something wrong with his diet.

But according to new research by Hart and his colleagues at the University of California–Davis, neither of these answers appears to be correct.

With support from the school’s Center for Companion Animal Health, Hart studied 1,500 dogs that had eaten grass at least 10 times in the past year. They found that very few — about 9% — appeared to be ill before eating grass. And less than one in four vomited afterward. Diet or lack of fiber also had no effect on the dogs’ desire to eat these leafy greens.

So if most of these dogs weren’t sick, seldom vomited, and diet wasn’t a factor, why were they eating grass?

“We believe it’s a trait they inherited from their wild ancestors,” Hart says. “We know that wolves and cougars eat grass. That’s because they carry intestinal parasites. That’s just part and parcel of being in nature. Wild animals don’t have anything like the medicines we have for controlling worms. But by eating grass on a regular basis, they can prevent a buildup by purging their systems of these parasites.”

Hart’s study also revealed that younger dogs are more likely to eat grass than their adult counterparts.

“This is also true in nature,” he says. “Younger animals have weaker immune systems, and they need all the protein they can get in order to grow.”

So should you ever be concerned when your dog eats grass?

“Don’t allow your pet on a lawn that has recently been treated for pests or weeds,” Hart advises. If you are concerned about anything your dog has eaten, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

Hart says that pet owners should be alert to any changes in a pet’s behavior, such as a sudden increase in grass eating.

“Keep in mind that 9% of the dogs we studied showed signs of illness before eating grass. This suggests that the dog is trying to medicate himself. Grass isn’t bad when you’re living in nature. But your veterinarian has far more effective medications to treat the problem.”

But What About Cats?

Cats eat grass less often than dogs, Hart says, but they tend to eat a wider variety of plants. This can present problems, because cats are increasingly kept indoors where the only plants available may be houseplants, several of which are poisonous. The 17 most common poisonous plants are listed in the table.

If your cat likes to eat plants, Hart suggests putting out a homegrown or commercial grass garden.

“By having grass readily available, cats will tend to avoid the other plants and will be less likely to go after something that might be toxic,” he says.

Common symptoms that might indicate plant poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation and irritation of the lips.

If you suspect that your pet has eaten a poisonous plant, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline at (888) 426-4435.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Farm Sanctuary Issues Statement on Landmark Animal Welfare Agreement

Watkins Glen, N.Y. – June 30, 2010 –— Today Ohioans for Humane Farms reached an agreement with agriculture interests brokered by the Governor’s office to adopt several measures to protect farm animals. Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, has been on the ground in Ohio with the Humane Society of the United States, other humane groups and tireless volunteers working to gather signatures for a ballot initiative to stop cruel factory farming practices in the state.

This agreement includes several reforms that outlaw and phase out cruel practices in Ohio, a state known to have some of the weakest anti-cruelty laws in the nation and no meaningful protections for farm animals. The agreement includes the following measures for farm animals:

A ban on veal crates, to be phased out within six years.

A ban on new gestation crates in the state after December 31, 2010. Existing facilities are grandfathered, but must cease use of these crates within 15 years.

A permanent moratorium on permits for new battery cage facilities in place immediately.

A ban on the transport of downed cows and calves for slaughter.

A ban on strangulation and other forms of on farm killing that are not included in euthanasia standards as outlined by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Enactment of legislation establishing felony-level penalties for cock fighters.

“These reforms represent important progress for farm animals and other animals in Ohio, and we're grateful to all our volunteers in the state who worked so hard to make this happen,” stated Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur. “With each step forward, the momentum grows. And as progress is made, the days of factory farming are numbered.”

This agreement was reached on the same day Ohioans for Humane Farms would have delivered more than 500,000 signatures to the Secretary of State. The group gathered enough signatures to put an anti-factory farming measure before Ohio voters in November.

Ohioans for Humane Farms has been supported by several organizations including the Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary, Ohio SPCA, Toledo Area Humane Society, Geauga Humane Society, Ohio League of Humane Voters, ASPCA, Mercy for Animals, Center for Food Safety, United Farm Workers, Consumer Federation of America, Center for Science in the Public Interest, and many others.

About Farm Sanctuary

Farm Sanctuary is the nation's leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the "food animal" industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Orland, Calif., provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming. Additional information can be found at or by calling 607-583-2225.
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