Category: ‘Entertainment’

Week 41 World Animal Day (International)

Today is the 4th of October which means it’s…..

 World Animal Day!

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THE GOAL OF WORLD ANIMAL DAY IS TO RAISE THE STATUS OF ANIMALS IN ORDER TO IMPROVE WELFARE STANDARDS AROUND THE GLOBE

To achieve this, we encourage animal welfare organisations, community groups, youth and children’s clubs, businesses and individuals to organise events in celebration of World Animal Day. Involvement is growing at an astonishing rate and it’s now widely accepted and celebrated in a variety of different ways in many countries, with no regard to nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.

Events are organised under the World Animal Day Umbrella by being publicised on this website and advertised using the World Animal Day brand and logo. Global branding effectively ties all events together and, over the years we have found this approach to be particularly helpful to grass roots groups who struggle to attract media attention in order to raise awareness of their work and fundraise. This draws attention to animal issues and makes them front page news – a vital catalyst for change.

We currently have a team of 93 Ambassadors representing 75 countries around the globe.  (This is a great way to find out about people and organisations around the world- from Andorra to Zimbabwe- that genuinely care for animals).

Cyprus

CYPRUS – STELLA STYLIANOU
Animal Rescue & Protection Association (ARGOS)

Stella says: Animal awareness in Cyprus was non-existent before the World Animal Day events began. With each year that World Animal Day is celebrated, awareness grows and attitudes are slowly changing as people begin to see animals in a different light. 

One of the most significant statements that will forever remain imprinted in my mind was when a local village farmer visited me at the shelter following one of our World Animal Day events. A German Shepherd dog had wandered onto his farm and he brought him to our shelter.  He said that in years past, he would have shot any stray dog on his farm, dig a hole and bury it and that would be that but, he continued, “you are doing something truly wonderful and now I cannot bring myself to do such a thing.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – PAUL LUGHEMBE
Safe Environment for All (SEA)

Paul says: Our World Animal Day Campaign has increasingly reduced the abuse of animals during transportation, the killing of dogs and the mass killing of cats in the city of Goma and surrounding areas. World Animal Day is slowly swaying the attitudes of people towards respecting the rights of all animals wherever and in whatever circumstances. 

Nepal

NEPAL – KHAGESHWAAR SHARMA
Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust

Khageshwaar says: I’m delighted to tell you that World Animal Day is now being celebrated by government institutions in Nepal, such as the District Livestock Services Office, with whom we liaise to commemorate the day. 

World Animal Day events encourage people to work together to sensitise communities, making them aware of the needs of animals they live among, and also of how they can improve their lives. Creating an outlook that respects all animals is a slow process and World Animal Day acts as an annual marker to measure progress.

Australia

AUSTRALIA – PAM AHERN
Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary

Pam says: For as long as I can remember animals have shared my world and, indeed, throughout human history animals have been trotting along beside us; offering comfort, helping forge nations and a never ending source of wonder. I just love World Animal Day and the fact it is celebrated around the globe.  The day gives animal lovers an opportunity to unite, celebrate and empower much needed change for our animal friends.

To coincide with World Animal Day, the good people of Edgar’s Mission have devised

Be Kind to Animals Week.

They in turn have found a wonderful ‘lambassador’ for 2016 in Tamara Kenneally who is an animal photographer and founder of Lefty’s Place animal refuge in Benalla, Victoria.

Image result for lefty's place logo

 

I will finish with a letter I found on another Wordpress blog that seems a fitting treasure to have found on World Animal Day.

Letter to a new vegan

This was my submission for Letters to a New Vegan, a book that is being compiled by longterm vegans to welcome and support those who are just starting out. 


Dear new vegan,

Welcome. Speaking not only for myself but, boldly, for the billions of sentient beings who currently suffer at human hands, and for the straining, groaning planet, and for the people who go hungry and thirsty because we don’t know how to share: thank you for opening your eyes and acting on what you see.

I hope you will find your vegan journey to be endlessly inspiring, fulfilling and rewarding as do I and so many others I know who have chosen this path too. My motto is ‘the best things in life are cruelty-free’ and I believe this is self-evident the moment we embark on living in tune with our deepest values. There are no barriers once we have made up our minds and our hearts. Being vegan opens up possibilities while denying us nothing.

Any time you feel disconnected from people around you who still buy in to the relentless tide of mainstream thinking, remember your deep connection to those whom you have spared. Let yourself feel the lightness with which you tread and be lifted up by it. No injustice can end while we as individuals take part in it. You, for your part, are free of that now.

Of course, it is not a vegan world, and while this remains the case there is much to be done. There are countless ways to help spread the vegan consciousness, and we can fit what we do to our talents, our passions, and the time available to us. A great way to start is simply by speaking your truth. I was quiet about my veganism for the first few years, having been schooled in the art of keeping a low profile as a vegetarian growing up. I was the only one in my family and the only one of my friends bar one. I learnt to say “it’s a personal choice thing” and “I couldn’t hurt a fly”, which let people off the hook: they could attribute my choice to my sentimentality or unusual sensitivity, without looking at themselves. But about a year in to being vegan, a feeling of courage and confidence began to blossom inside me as I realised that my previous ‘live and let live’ philosophy was leaving the victims out of the equation… It wasn’t hard once this realisation dawned. I began to feel that being vegan wasn’t even about me any more. So I began to speak up, looking for bridges to build and sparks of consciousness to ignite, entirely bypassing my natural reticence and finding my true voice – for the voiceless. I hope it will be the same for you, and you find your voice at your own pace and in your own way too.

Becoming vegan sadly involves becoming aware of some heart-breaking truths, and this can be very painful to carry with us. But amidst it all – all the despair, the disbelief, the anger – we have every reason to be joyful, because we are making a difference every day. We are taking a stand for freedom and that means something for every being who is not forcibly brought into this world to be exploited and violently destroyed as a product for us to use.

The world we dream of is a paradise indeed. Space for all species to coexist, free from anthropocentric domination, suffused by a compassionate human consciousness, free from the pathological ideology of ‘carnism’ which entails an arbitrary disregard for the most basic interests of certain species even while preaching values such as kindness and non-violence in other walks of life.

You are part of this future, which need not be a far-off fantasy: all it needs is enough people to make the connection as you have. The world is vegan if we want it!

Ahimsa,

Catherine

 

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ahimsa: a Buddhist and Hindu and especially Jainist doctrine holding that all forms of life are sacred and urging the avoidance of violenceahimsa

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Week 29 Friends of the Hound (Australia)

Some great news this week –

NSW and ACT acted to ban greyhound racing.  That’s now two big paws up to the Liberal Party this year.  Federally, they also outlawed testing of cosmetics on animals and the sale of new products tested on animals overseas.  Who knows what other wonders the future may hold!  (Derryn Hinch in the senate could be a very good thing for further animal justice).

As the week has rolled on Premier Mike Baird has been under enormous pressure from the industry (who can talk), but if only they could talk, he would be getting even more kudos from the animals he has moved to protect.  Fortunately an industry vet who can talk and knows his stuff has spoken up today supporting the finding industry is beyond salvation.

A former greyhound racing insider is lifting the lid on horrific animal cruelty and corruption in the sport, saying what he has witnessed shows the sport is incapable of cleaning itself up.

I was disgusted by what I witnessed. I saw some horrific injuries and I saw some of the worst aspects of human behaviour too, said Dr Bryant, who was an on-track vet in 2014 and 2015.

Dr Bryant was on the inside of the industry when the sport was thrown into turmoil by revelations on the ABC’s Four Corners program of widespread live baiting in February 2015.

I can remember there was a lot of nervousness from management of Greyhound Racing NSW.

They were in a way relieved the program only focused on live baiting because [there were] other issues they were worried about, like money laundering that takes place and the horrific injuries and wastage in the industry.

When I left Greyhound Racing NSW, my view of the industry was that it was a very cruel and corrupt industry.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-14/the-tail-was-torn-off-former-greyhound-vet-reveals-cruelty/7629906

The producer of the Four Corners program has an interesting personal angle to add to the story: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-07/sam-clark-moment-extent-greyhound-live-baiting-became-apparent/7578704

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bull(In other news: a matador was gored to death in Spain.  Apparently the crowd was ‘horrified’…but didn’t they pay the ticket price specifically to see blood and misery?   They should have offered to pay double! This is the first matador to die in this unfair ‘fight’ in 30 years; they are far more likely to die in a car crash.)

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I chose to support this week’s charity as it no doubt very much in need at this time, but I do it with a grain of sand… firstly, it annoys me that good people are constantly called on to clean up the mess after animal users (this includes people who buy baby animals as pets and dump them as their novelty fades) and abusers have had their fill.

Animal carers understandably want to rescue as many animals as they can so they are unwilling to ‘rock the boat’ and do anything that discourages needy animals from being brought to them…The users/abusers skip off unscathed after dumping their unwanted animals at sanctuaries/shelters and get the feel-good glow that they have ‘done the right thing’…but…

Is there a donation to go with it, to cover the significant ongoing co$ts? …and…

Do they learn from their failure as carers and use this experience to educate others? 

Unlikely.

I’m also not supportive of encouraging people to adopt animals willy nilly, just to prevent them being euthanased:

  • Feeding pet animals costs the environment dearly.  Kangaroo meat means another animal has died specifically so a pet can eat.  This is not right.
  • The money spent on keeping one pet, might be better spent on a charity that looks after the needs of a greater number of desperately needful animals.  There are some great charities already on this fabulous blog and 23 more to come!
  • People are living closer and closer together and having a dog barking in a residential environment is not fair on neighbours.
  • Many people just don’t have what it takes to be own any animal, let alone something with high needs such as a dog. The Victorian government recognises this and has created an awareness campaign  Making Victoria better for pets . After surveying 2,362 dog, cat, bird, rabbit, rat, mouse, guinea pig, ferret, lizard, snake, turtle, and frog owners in Victoria, they found that many pets aren’t getting the care they need to stay happy and healthy.  And this was amongst people decent enough to take the survey!

 

 

Cat Your cat’s welfare needs

Dog Your dog’s welfare needs

Bird Your bird’s welfare needs

Rabbit Your rabbit’s welfare needs

Your ferret’s welfare needs

Your guinea pig’s welfare needs

Your rodent’s welfare needs

Your frog’s welfare needs

Your reptile’s welfare needs

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But as someone said, and I agree, don’t blame the greyhounds.  

And, also let’s celebrate people who are trying to spread kindness and care:-)

Without further ado, I choose to make a one off donation to

Friends of the Hound Logo

http://www.friendsofthehound.org.au/about-friends-of-the-hound/

Our Mission

Our mission is to save the lives of Greyhounds and reduce the mass wastage that currently occurs by promoting awareness about the welfare of Greyhounds and advocating their suitability as pets and companion dogs.

Through a continued program of promotion and education, Friends of the Hound Inc. aims to dispel the public misconceptions about Greyhounds and change the perception of the breed as “just a race dog”. The organisation works tirelessly to rescue Greyhounds and rehome them into suitable, permanent homes as family pets and companions.
It is all about the dogs.

 

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Thought for the day:

Greyhound trainers emphasise how much they ‘love’ their dogs – then why are they so quick to dispose of them when they are not profitable?

 

 

Week 28 AnimaNaturalis (Spain)

Everyone knows about Spanish bullfighting.

This week is the running of the bulls in Pamploma.  There is a recent article where you can read about it here.

If you are still unsure whether bullfighting is something you support or not, there is a very well written article here.

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I will leave bullfighting with those links as it is already well known and well documented.  It is propped up by tourism, so if you are tempted to attend, please make sure you go in with full knowledge of what you are supporting.

Sadly, I have been volunteering for years in animal welfare and since I was 15 have carried the heavy knowledge in me that bullfights are not the only brutalising of animals done in Spain (or the world) in the name of entertainment, usually under the guise of ‘cultural tradition’.

How does a recently made up tradition EVER trump the rights of an animal to live free from abuse such as is detailed below?

 

Warning: The following is extremely distressing.

 

http://www.animal-rights-action.com/spanish-festivals.html.

The Pero Palo Festival In Villanueva de la Vera, Spain

Every year, a terrified donkey is violently forced through the streets of the village of Villanueva de la Vera in Spain, surrounded by drunk, rowdy, young men. The men think it is great fun to beat, kick, bite, shove, drag and crush the terrified donkey, as they all laugh as it is done. The animal regularly collapses from exhaustion and fright, only to be forced back to its feet by violence from the mob of drunken men. Guns are fired close to the panicked animal, alcohol is forced down it’s throat and it is ridden by the heaviest men in the village.

The ordeal often leaves the donkey badly injured or crushed to death. After this mental and physical torture has finally ended, the shattered and traumatised donkey is forced in to a trailer and taken away to meet an unknown fate.

Animal charity campaigners, who work at the only donkey sanctuary in Spain, were refused when they asked if their vet could check the donkey over after the festival. A member of the charity, Jose Rodriguez Gil, said “”When I tried to film the donkey I was repeatedly threatened. They knew very well that what they were doing was cruel.”

Toro De La Vega – The Lancing Of The Bull

The Toro De La Vega is a cruel and bloody Spanish festival which takes place in the streets of Tordesillas.

A Bull is chased through the streets and over a bridge in the town by in excess of one hundred men and youths armed with sharp lances. Once over the bridge, the animal is attacked by the men thrusting their lances in to him. The Bull tries desperately to get away from this agonising torture, but the poor animal has lances repeatedly plunged in to him until his flesh is torn so badly, and he is bleeding so heavily, that he can eventually go no further.

On his collapse, his testicles are cut off, often while he is still alive. This is all watched by rowdy and cheering crowds. This spectacle in this Spanish festival is considered suitable entertainment for the whole famly, with many parents taking their children. This horrific tradition was illegal for years, but, incredibly, it was again legalised in 1999!

The Tradition In Spain Of Hanging Spanish Galgos

The Galgo is a Spanish Greyhound used by hunters in Spain. It is traditional in Spain at the end of the hunting season for the hunters to kill their dogs, as they do not want to look after them when it is not hunting season. Sadly, this tradition is still very much alive.

The most traditional way the hunters kill their dogs is by hanging them from a tree. There they die a prolonged, frightening extremely distressing death.

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Fortunately the mindless cruelty of another stupid Spanish festival was outlawed in 2002. Goat-throwing-in-Spain

Celebrated on the fourth Sunday of January, Goat throwing was a festival in Manganeses de la Polvorosa, province of Zamora, Spain where a group of young men threw a live goat from the top of a church, based on local legend. A crowd below would then catch the falling goat with a canvas sheet.

Some survived the fall and some did not. Not much attention is given to the death of this animal, the fiesta began regardless.

The goat was then paraded through the streets on the shoulders of party goers.

(Extracted from http://www.marbella-guide.com/goat-throwing-in-spain/ and Wikipedia)

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Anima_Naturalis_logo.png

This week I am happy to donate to AnimaNaturalis.  God (what God?!!) knows they need it.

In times of need of, most us pray to a God to show us mercy, but here we are, with the power of virtual Gods on this earth, and look how incapable of mercy we are.  What happened to ‘do unto others?’

If anyone wonders why I care so much about animal issues when there is also so much human suffering in the world, let this week’s topic form a large part of my answer to you.

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From Wikipedia, as their site is in Spanish:

AnimaNaturalis is an international non profit animal rights organization whose mission is to “Establish, promote and protect the rights of all animals in Spain and Latin America. These rights include the right to life, liberty, and not to be tortured stop being considered property.”[1] It was founded in March, 2003 by Leonora Esquivel Frías and Francisco Vásquez Neira.[2]

AnimaNaturalis has offices in Spain, as well as several Latin American countries (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Venezuela).[3

AnimaNaturalis speaks out against the use of the animals as food (concerns with industrial farms, industrial fishing and foie gras);[4] in laboratories (animal testing);[5] to wear as clothing (concerns with using fur, leather, silk, wool and feathers);[6] as entertainment (circuses, zoos, aquariums, sports, hunting, and racing);[7] and raises awareness about cruel traditions such as rodeos, bullfighting, cockfighting, and dogfighting.[8]

Companion animal programs include education about issues like keeping pets out of hot cars, the importance of spaying and neutering, and pet adoption.[9] They also raise awareness about the connection between abuse of animals and violence toward humans, including children.[10]