In fact, we’ve just recorded our busiest ever start to the hunting season, with more supporters contacting our Animal Crimewatch line than ever before.
This can only mean one simple, yet shocking thing: many hunts are out breaking the law that is in place to stop them chasing and killing foxes and deer with packs of dogs. We cannot stand by and allow this barbaric cruelty to happen.
With your support our investigators will be out all over Christmas and the New Year, working harder than ever to expose wildlife crime wherever they find it.
This is a time of year when the hunting fraternity will call loudly for a repeal of the Hunting Act 2004. As one of the Conservative Party manifesto pledges, we believe repealing the Act remains high on their agenda. We must be vigilant and prepared for whatever tactics they use to try and make hunting legal again.
With your support we will be lobbying MPs on the cruel truths about hunting, showing them the strength of public feeling against a repeal, and persuading even more of them to support and strengthen the hunting ban across England, Wales and Scotland.
Please make a donation to the League this Christmas and help us continue to protect some of our best loved wildlife from cruelty.
Your support today could help us:
• pay for surveillance equipment or fuel to help our investigators look for evidence of illegal hunting
• secure national media coverage to expose the truth behind the glossy façade the hunters wish to portray this Boxing Day
• continue to campaign against any effort to repeal the Hunting Act, directly influencing and persuading more MPs that hunting should be consigned to the history books.
I am sure that all you want for our majestic deer, our beautiful hare and our resourceful fox is to be safe from the hunters this Christmas and every Christmas.
Man VS Kangaroo Boxing Match
Elephant tourism is currently one of the most profitable industries in southeast Asia. Tourists pay to get up close and ride an elephant through a village or watch elephants perform tricks, thinking they are getting a “real” experience. What they don’t know, however, is that the behavior these elephants display is anything but real. In order to perform these tasks, these beautiful creatures have to go through atrocious abuse. This horrific process even has a name, “Phajaan.” This name references the crushing of the elephants’ spirit as a baby so they will learn to obey commands from humans and constantly operate out of fear.
Over half of Thailand’s elephants are currently in captivity, living this horrendous life. Thankfully, one incredible Thai woman, Lek Chailert, is taking a stand against this cruelty – and she has created her own elephant sanctuary, Elephant Nature Park. Running off a successful volunteer program, more and more people are spreading the word about the truth behind elephant tourism and helping rescue these beautiful, innocent animals.
To learn more about Elephant Nature Park and how you can help captive elephants, click here.
It’s a common misconception that racing animals receive the best of everything and live comfortable lives where they are loved. For most of these animals, their lives consist of nothing but stressful travel, rigorous training, and being injected with performance enhancing drugs and high doses of painkillers. It’s a life of suffering and heartache, and one that usually results in death when they are either injured or viewed as too old and broken to be profitable.
Even worse, these events are often promoted as family-friendly. What does that teach children about how animals should be treated? Nothing. What it does do, however, is normalize animal exploitation and abuse. There’s a big difference between an animal running freely where they are able to stop and rest when tired and being forced into a racing situation for the benefit of entertainment and gambling.
Here are three forms of animal racing that you should never get tricked into thinking are “fun.”
1. Greyhound Racing
Nancy W Beach/Wikimedia CommonsGreyhound racing involves muzzled dogs racing around a track, sometimes chasing an artificial lure — in the early history of field coursing, a live rabbit was used and eventually killed by the dogs — as spectators watch and place bets on who will win.
In this cruel spectator “sport,” dogs suffer injuries as a result of training and racing, including broken bones, toes and necks, and even paralysis or cardiac arrest. Over an eight year period, there were 13,966 documented injuries to racing greyhounds in the United States — and at one racing track alone, 369 dogs either died or were euthanized during this same time period. This doesn’t even include undocumented injuries and deaths, or those that occurred in Europe or other countries where racing also occurs.
The cruelty doesn’t stop there. Much like the dogs suffering in puppy mills, racing greyhounds spend their days living in deplorable conditions where they’re kept in enclosures for the majority of the day. A lack of veterinary care is also common, leaving them susceptible to illness and disease. Greyhounds can live into their teens but are retired much earlier than that, due to wear and tear on their bodies. And while some may be given to rescue groups, most are either sold back into the breeding cycle or euthanized.
In the United States, laws banning greyhound racing are slowly helping to put this horrific industry out of business, with Texas and Arizona being two states recently having passed such laws. The “sport” of commercial dog racing is currently illegal in 40 states, and hopefully, the trend will continue until all tracks are closed.
2. Horse Racing
PixabayHorses are magnificent creatures and watching them run can be captivating, but behind the scenes of horse racing is a hidden cruelty that isn’t seen by spectators. Horse racing is lucrative, and in high-profile events like the Kentucky Derby, the stakes are high. The use of performance enhancing drugs is common, and when horses are injured or too tired to train or compete, painkillers are used to force them to push through the pain.
On the track, horses are at risk of injury, especially broken legs. In cases of severe injury, euthanizing them on the track is the only option. Each year, 750 horses die on racetracks, and that doesn’t even include horses who die during training or transport.
What happens when a horse is no longer winning, or their worn, tired bodies can no longer handle the physical stress of training and competition? A lucky few will find a home or be placed in rescue, but the rest are sold at auction, eventually ending up in slaughterhouses where they are killed for their meat.
3. Exotic Animal Racing
Rae Allen/FlickrOstriches, camels, and zebras are just a few of the exotic animals used for entertainment. And yes, people actually ride these animals as crowds cheer them on. These poor animals are placed in a starting gate with humans strapped to their back, then released for the race. As with horse racing, both animals and people can become severely injured when they fall.
In the United States, exotic animal races can be found at fairs and festivals, as well as racing tracks. It’s sometimes promoted as “extreme racing” to help draw crowds looking for a so-called exciting form of entertainment for their families. Camel racing is also highly popular in the Gulf states, where it has been part of Arabian culture as far back as the seventeenth century, and has been tied to human trafficking.
What You Can Do
As long as people pay to see these races, the cruelty will continue. Avoid venues that support animal racing, and share this information with others who might not know about the cruelty hiding behind animal racing. These events draw in a lot of money, so the battle isn’t an easy one, but making your voice heard can make a difference.
You can use your voice by becoming involved in local legislative efforts to either regulate or place an outright ban on animal racing. Support organizations that are making an effort to educate the public about these cruel practices, and those who work hard to rescue the animals who have become victims of these cruel practices. Lead image source: Paolo Camera/Wikimedia Commons
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife issued the so-called depredation order!
Save P-45 CA mountain lion, from being hunted!!!!
Change, The California Wildlife Protection Act 1990 Proposition 117 exclusion for residents whose livestock has been killed. "State wildlife officials said Monday they have issued a 10-day permit allowing a rancher in the Malibu mountains to hunt and kill P-45, one of the last remaining adult male pumas in the Santa Monica range. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife says it was required to give the special "depredation permit" to the rancher after P-45 was believed responsible for killing 11 alpacas and a goat over the weekend. P-45 also was blamed last month for the slaughter of a miniature horse at a ranch near Malibu and an attack on llamas at another ranch last year." LA Observed "The law ... essentially gives the aggrieved party — the livestock owner — the right to decide whether the lion should live or die." LA times The Times story says the state last year issued 265 permits to kill mountain lions that posed a threat to humans or livestock. With those permits, 107 lions were killed. It looks as if the state issues more than 100 permits to shoot mountain lions every year. "Mountain lions may no longer be killed for fun, but they are still far from safe. Around one hundred cougars are killed every year in California for conflicts with pets and livestock. Most of these encounters could have easily been prevented by the owners bringing their pets indoors at night or securing livestock in covered pens after dark. However, protecting domestic animals is not mandatory and lions continue to pay the price for this oversight. There is also no requirement for changing animal husbandry practices or limiting the number of lions an individual can have killed for depredation of pets or livestock. While MLF has tried to help repeat-permit-requestors safeguard their animals, this has been a difficult task due to confidentiality restrictions." Big Cat Rescue of "A 150-pound mountain lion showed up in the mountains near Los Angeles last fall, and wildlife biologists were wowed. The cat, which they dubbed P-45, was a new male that could add his DNA to an isolated cougar population severely threatened by inbreeding." Washington post Eliminating P-45 does not solve the problem, especially given there are at least four mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains that have killed livestock over the past year,” said Kate Kuykendall, acting deputy superintendent for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, in a statement. “Nor is P-45’s behavior abnormal or aberrant in any way. Read more
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Checking out Colin the chicken's life story before ordering him for dinner in an episode of 'Portlandia.' (Photo: IFC)
Though I have written here often about illegal fishing as a leading factor in the “empty oceans” crisis, I still feel like an ignoramus every time I attempt to make an ethical purchase at my supermarket seafood counter. As a crude rule of thumb, I could just assume that everything imported is illegal. But only about a third of imported seafood fits that description, and in any case, supermarkets seldom bother to label their merchandise by origin.
So why not just break out my Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guide to help me make a sustainable choice? That’s what I tell readers to do. But I am a hypocrite: Shopping this way makes me feel like those hipster restaurant customers in Portlandia fretting about whether the woodland-raised, soy-fed heritage-breed chicken named Colin is really the ethically pure choice for dinner. By default I end up buying anything other than shrimp, because I know shrimp is almost always terrible for the environment. Then my wife goes and buys the shrimp anyway, and we have a fight.
Is it any wonder that consumers everywhere opt for willful ignorance? If it’s pretty and the price is right, we buy it—and try not to think about whether somebody cut down a rainforest to produce it, or dumped antibiotics into waterways, or relied on child labor, or committed any of a hundred other ethical sins. Even consumers who care about such things seldom follow through by doing the research and sorting out the information to make the ethical choice. It’s just too damned complicated.
It turns out, according to a new study in The Journal of Consumer Psychology, that it’s worse than simply throwing up our hands. We also ridicule people who try to do better. Even worse, that ridicule (which is half the pleasure of watching shows like Portlandia) also makes us less likely to behave ethically in the future.
Ohio State University consumer psychologist Rebecca Reczek and her coauthors started out considering two opposing views of human behavior. One optimistic perspective held that seeing other people behave ethically would elicit “a built-in emotional responsiveness to moral beauty,” leading to what social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has called “warm or tingly feelings, positive affect, and a motivation to help others,” summed up as “elevation.” The other theory proposed that seeing ethical behavior might just lead to a lot of nasty commentary.
In the new study—surprise!—the second, pessimistic view of human nature turned out to be more accurate. Skip the elevation—bring on the denigration!
Reczek and company asked 147 test subjects to choose a pair of jeans based on a limited number of criteria, picking just two from a list that included style, price, color (dark or regular wash), or some ethical consideration. Most consumers skipped right past the ethical consideration, as the researchers expected from their previous work on willful ignorance.
But the real point of the study came afterward. Asked to comment on the behavior of other consumers, willfully ignorant test subjects conceded that ethical consumers might be more compassionate. But good luck with that: They were also odd, boring, and plain. Exactly why did these unsexy, fashion-blind little wackos even bother to buy jeans in the first place?
As Reczek interprets these results, “Willfully ignorant consumers put ethical shoppers down because of the threat they feel for not having done the right thing themselves. They feel bad, and striking back at the ethical consumers makes them feel better.”
Beyond that, the study also found that the implied moral admonition tended to make willfully ignorant test subjects even less likely to behave ethically in the future. “They think, ‘That person’s just weird and boring and stupid, and now that I’ve said that, I care even less about being sustainable in the future.’ ”
So what should we take away from this not altogether flattering view of how we behave? How should we act when the choices we make—for instance, whether to buy that beautiful and incredibly inexpensive bed made of Vietnamese rainforest wood—are destroying wildlife habitat everywhere? And when our seafood purchases are helping to empty the oceans?
First, says Reczek, manufacturers and retailers need to step into the breach. “We know that people are not going to seek out the information about ethical considerations. So it’s not enough to put it on your website and assume people are going to find it. It needs to be right on the shelf or on the product.” If you’re the manufacturer or the retailer of that bed, say, you need to tell people where the wood comes from and whether it was from a certified sustainable forest. “The onus is on you as the manufacturer to push that information out to the consumer,” she adds.
Consumers like me also need to overcome our fear of looking like ethical idiots and ask the questions, or at least confine our shopping to businesses that provide the answers: Where did this wood come from? How were these fish harvested? Because of social media, says Reczek, willfully ignorant consumers are now more likely to find out when a friend goes the extra mile on some ethical consideration. That means we also need to beware this “vicious circle where you put down people who make ethical choices and then that leads you to care less and act less ethically in the future.”
Finally, for people who are making the ethical choices and hoping to get other people to follow their good example, it may help to step off the moral high ground. Reczek has a vegan friend who blogs about it as “this very moral choice, and every time I see it, I think, ‘I know you’re trying to win people over, but you’re turning them off. They think you’re weird, and it makes them hostile.’ ”
In short, hold the sermons. (No promises here, but maybe we’ll hold the disparaging comments too.) The road to better behavior is paved with high spirits and good recipes.
100 Cats Per Day Butchered and Sold as Rabbit Meat in China.
A man decapitated, froze, drowned and skinned thousands of stray cats before selling them to restaurants in China. Authorities found one ton of feline carcasses in his warehouse. Sign this petition demanding that this man be prosecuted fully and that China take animal welfare seriously.
Petitioning The Maschhoffs, Julie Maschhoff, Dr. Bradley Wolter. Tell the Third Largest Pork Producer in the U.S. to Stop Abusing Hogs
The Maschhoffs are the third largest pork producer in the U.S. Go to almost any grocery store and many of the pork brands that you see get some of their meat from The Maschhoffs. Consumers buying these products have no idea they are supporting inhumane animal practices.
Recently, undercover video from the Animal Legal Defense Fund uncovered horrifying conditions and treatment of their hogs. (video link at bottom)
In addition to the sadistic behavior seen in this video, the Maschhoffs still adhere to extreme confinement practices of hogs. For four months, pregnant, breeding pigs are confined 24 hours a day in gestation crates: tiny cages roughly the same size as the animals’ bodies, designed to prevent them from even turning around. The pigs are subsequently transferred into another crate to give birth, are then re-impregnated and put back into a gestation crate. This inhumane cycle repeats, pregnancy after pregnancy, for their entire lives, adding up to years of immobilization.
Many in the food industry have recognized the need to end the use of inhumane gestation crates. It is time The Maschhoffs do the same. To prevent further animal abuse and ensure all animals are treated respectfully, we are calling on The Maschhoffs to adopt the following animal welfare practices for both family owned and contract farms:
- Phase out the use of gestation crates within a specified time period for both family owned and contract farms; and
- Strictly enforce your zero tolerance policy for all acts of animal abuse, neglect, or failure to provide necessary veterinary care, with reporting of all suspected incidents of abuse and neglect to law enforcement.
Consumers no longer want to buy meat from farms that support extreme animal confinement. Until changes are made, we cannot and will not accept The Maschhoffs' claim of commitment to "the humane care of our animals." Please help urge the Maschhoffs to do the right thing. Take action by signing and sharing the petition.
Watch the undercover video from the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Photo credit at top: Stock photo. Sign the petition
|Wool In Reverse|
Send Mike Chedester to prison for killing two dogs. Animal cruelty is a felony in all 50 states.
Here is the original post made by Pete Byers:
I would like to thank Mike Chedester of St. Clairsville, for murdering the only things in this world which I had left to love. I have had really tough time with life since Kat left me this July. Those dogs he killed where my best friends, my buddys , my foot warmers and my companions. I loved those dogs with all my heart. I don't know how you didn't hear me screaming for them from every hilltop in the valley, especially when you where 300 yards from one place I yelled. I think worst of all Mike, you kept their collars as a trophy.
I know the temptation is very strong, but please stop DOXing him.
#JusticeforEmmyandBella should come through legal means, not illegal ones. Sign The Petition.