Thursday, June 30, 2016

Animal Cruelty and Crimes

Great News! The Future of Leather Without Cruelty is Coming Soon. Great news, Green Monsters! It looks like the time we’ve all been waiting for – a time where we’ll finally be able to get all of the luxurious leather goods we want without a single animal being harmed in the process – is extremely imminent. The innovative folks over at Modern Meadow, a Brooklyn-based start up, have raised $40 million to push forward with their plan to become the top source of leather for the world’s makers of fashion and accessories, luggage, sporting goods, upholstery, and furniture! The best part, they’re doing it all without using animals.

Their process of “biofabrication” produces a material produces a material that has the same flexibility, smooth texture, and elasticity of leather without following the traditional manufacturing process. Modern Meadow assures prospective customers and investors that the tissue engineering technique is completely animal-free.

What Modern Meadow is trying to accomplish is monumental. After all, crafting leather goods is one of the oldest human activities. Back before industrial livestock production, people would rub animal fats on leather to render it flexible and tough and use the material for tents and clothing. Although leather may have had a humble beginning, the material has grown to be used all over the world, and according to forecasts from Research and Markets, sales of leather goods are expected to hit $91.2 billion globally by 2018.

Unfortunately, as with every process involving livestock, there is a lot of cruelty involved in creating the final product you see in the window displays of high-end retailers. While it may not seem like it at first, leather is actually just one of the many facets of the meat industry. Essentially one feeds the other. How? Leather is such a desirable product, that cows on factory farms are not just raised for meat, they are raised for meat and leather, equally. This way, farmers can profit from the sale of meat just as readily as they can from the sales of the leather byproduct from their animals.  This fact may have you raising the question, “well isn’t it good to be using every part of the animal?” And to that, we say: that’s exactly what society wants you to think. The reality of the matter, however, is that leather is immensely valuable to these industries, and are tightly linked economically. Leather is not produced to minimize waste on factory farms, it’s used to maximize revenue and profit, thereby perpetuating the industry rather than “lessening its impact” by making it waste-free.

Considering that meat production, as a whole, is far from sustainable, any ancillary support of this industry contributes to the environmental destruction it causes. Factory farming is responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, occupies almost half of our land, and uses 23 percent of global freshwater. Not to mention, the process of creating leather involves a slew of toxic compounds.  Between the tanning, dyeing, and other finishing touches, you’d be shocked at all of the hazardous chemicals that go into making a seemingly simple leather product.

Just as it is imperative for people to lower their consumption of meat if we’re going to move away from the environmentally-straining, animal abuse-filled livestock industry and start moving towards the real future of food, it is important that we realize how intertwined leather is in the whole process. Considering that leather is worth ten percent of the total value of the cow, buying leather goods isn’t simply “purchasing scraps” from the meat industry that would have otherwise gotten thrown out, it’s actually ensuring that the entire operation remains profitable.

Modern Meadow has taken into account all of these factors and wants to completely take animals, and cruelty, out of the equation. After all, if we can achieve the same end result without the negative impact on our environment and animals, why wouldn’t we? Now it’s just up to the company to take the process and figure out a way to make it affordable to the mass market. We wait with bated breath.
A Message from Bill Oddie on the 1st Anniversary of Cecil the Lion's Death

Wildlife campaigner and incoming President of the League Against Cruel Sports Bill Oddie OBE has called for the public to wake up to the UK’s own shameful animal cruelty record as the world commemorates the 1st anniversary of the trophy hunting killing of Cecil the African Lion.
Last week the shocking footage of fox cubs bring thrown alive to hunting hounds sadly demonstrated his sentiment. 
Commenting on the anniversary of Cecil's death, Bill had this to say, "The world rightly condemned the pointless killing of Cecil, a beautiful wild animal in Africa, but things are no different closer to home. Whether it’s an African lion stalked for fun, or a tiny fox cub thrown to the hounds of an English hunt to instil bloodlust, the cruelty is the same.
“That tortured fox cub is the UK’s ‘Cecil’. The League and I believe it’s high time the public wised up to the brutal persecution of animals that’s happening on their own doorstep." 

There's no way to sugarcoat the cruelty of the fur industry. It's a violent and bloody business that condemns countless foxes, minks, and other animals to tiny, filthy wire cages and denies them the opportunity to engage in nearly every type of behavior that's natural to them. Workers gas, electrocute, or poison them or snap their necks before pulling the skin from their abused bodies. 

That's why, after years of plummeting fur sales, the International Fur Federation and other big players in the industry created the "Origin Assured" label, a meaningless hallmark whose sole purpose is to promote the use of fur to a public no longer interested in buying it. This bogus label can be attached to fur produced on farms in more than two dozen countries, simply because they have animal welfare laws, environmental standards, or best practice guidelines in place—whether those laws and standards are enforced or not. As you may remember seeing in PETA U.K.'s powerful video featuring singer Paloma Faith, the only thing that label assures about a fur garment is that an animal—and sometimes dozens of animals—suffered to make it.

Recently, the Dutch fur-marketing company Furlab made the bizarre claim that its products were "100% ethically sourced." The reason—according to its website—was that the welfare of animals used to make its products can be "guaranteed" because they were all reared and killed in countries that qualify for that same "Origin Assured" label. PETA Netherlands took issue with these claims and filed a complaint with the Dutch Advertising Standards Agency noting how utterly ridiculous such a guarantee is. Earlier this month, that agency agreed that the industry's claims are wholly unsubstantiated and that by attempting to dupe consumers with its "ethical" claims, Furlab was in breach of the Dutch Advertising Code. 

Regardless of what it says on the label, fur is always the product of an unethical industry that tortures and kills animals for profit. This latest victory proves yet again that attempts to paint it as anything but cruel are deceptive and untrue.
Beyond Harambe: Why Our Opinion About Animals in Zoos Desperately Needs to Evolve. Our nation was moved and saddened by the loss of Harambe, the silverback gorilla who was shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo earlier this year after a child fell into his enclosure. The heartbreaking incident has led to some very intense conversations and finger-pointing. But I hope that it also inspires a serious discussion about the antiquated concept of zoos. Our relationships with other animals are evolving and zoos need to change to reflect this.

Our Relationship With Animals
I remember visiting a zoo as a teenager in the late 1970s. As I looked across the moat into the face of a primate like Harambe, he looked back at me, and I was touched by his human-like presence. He was clearly someone who mattered, as curious about me as I was about him. I felt a tinge of sadness for this individual who seemed depressed, but like most people, I failed to think critically or deeply about his incarceration and the zoo’s role in normalizing the unfair treatment of other animals by human beings.

Thirty years ago, inspired by my own relationship with animals, I co-founded Farm Sanctuary to change how our society views and treats farm animals. Today, we operate shelters in New York and California for pigs, cows, chickens and other animals rescued from the factory farming industry. Once rescued, these animals become our friends, not our food; they receive the lifelong care and respect they deserve, and they teach us important lessons about ourselves as animals sharing the planet.

Zoos purport to protect endangered species, but they also benefit from the scarcity of these threatened creatures. Rare pandas and other animals are popular and profitable attractions. If we really want to help endangered species, we should stop destroying their habitats, instead of building zoos. It’s disturbing to envision a world where the only place animals are able to live is in zoos.

There is a growing understanding of nonhuman animals, and the ways social and physical environments influence their well-being. Rather than being displayed in barren cages, animals are provided some environmental enrichment. People who volunteer, work, and visit zoos often have a genuine concern about animals, and zoos are quick to espouse their role in education and helping the public better understand animals. Unfortunately, the most significant and impactful lesson that zoos instill is to objectify and disrespect nonhuman animals.

Seeing Animals Differently
At Farm Sanctuary, visitors come face to face with animals who are rescued from a variety of situations involving cruelty and neglect. At our shelters, they are provided the long-term care they need and honored for their individuality. These animals are recognized as someone, not something. Farm Sanctuary was the first of its kind when we were founded in 1986, but there are now hundreds of similar organizations around the country.

A recent Gallup Poll showed that the majority of Americans believe animals deserve protection from harm and exploitation. Just three percent of the population sees animals as “just animals.” In fact, the same poll highlighted that a third of Americans believe they deserve the same rights as humans.

It is time for zoos to embrace the sanctuary model. Their historic role of collecting and displaying and commodifying animals needs to end. Instead of institutionalizing exploitation they can play an important role in reshaping and improving our fraught relationships with other species. Zoos can help rehabilitate injured creatures and threatened species, and give homes to animals unable to be returned to the wild. By respecting other animals, we also awaken human empathy. Kindness to animals is also good for people.

Responding to changing societal values and the resulting public pressure, SeaWorld has announced that it will no longer keep or use captive orcas, and Ringling Bros. agreed to phase out their elephant shows. More recently, the Mayor of Buenos Aires called zoos “degrading” and announced that the Buenos Aires zoo would shut down after 140 years. These are positive steps that reflect changing societal values.

The way we treat other animals says a lot about us as a people. I hope zoos continue to evolve, to practice compassion, and to care for animals as companions, not commodities. If we can live well, without causing unnecessary harm to other animals, why wouldn’t we?

Heartbreaking Photo of Dog in Yulin Meat Market Will Inspire You to See Animals Differently. Dogs hold a very special place in the hearts and minds of animal lovers. Our dogs are more than just household companions, they’re our best friends, our confidants, and the embodiment of everything that is good in the world. Quite simply, the world is a better place because of our dogs. Because we hold this opinion of dogs, we typically elevate them over other animals, keeping them far separated from the animals we consider “food” – like chickens, pigs, and cows. While there is real evidence that farm animals feel and understand the world in the same way that dogs do, we have conditioned ourselves to see them differently.

In some parts of Asia, dogs are not exempt from this view and considered food just as readily as chicken. Dog meat is consumed all year round, but during China’s Yulin Dog Meat Festival, thousands of dogs are rounded up – some who are even pets – brutally killed and prepared for consumption. This festival is held in celebration of the summer solstice and dog meat is typically consumed because it is believed to have “warming” properties.

Reading the statistics of how many dogs are killed for the festival and the lengths that meat traders go to get more animals for slaughter are enough to make any animal lover boil over with rage, but it isn’t until you look into the eyes of the poor victims of this “celebration” that you can really understand the injustice.
This pup is just one of thousands that was forced into a small cage and likely left to sit, quivering in fear as others around him were mercilessly beaten and killed by meat traders. The sadness in this dog’s eyes is palpable and only matched by the squalid conditions that surround him.

Thankfully, this dog was rescued from the horrific fate of becoming meat thanks to the efforts of Humane Society International (HSI). HSI and many other organizations are campaigning to end this cruel practice by raising awareness for the dog meat trade. We can all help them achieve their goal of ending this festival and shutting down the dog meat trade by sharing articles like this one.

The abject cruelty wrought on the world’s animal population for the sake of our food can only end when we stop seeing animals as commodities, but instead open our minds to see them as individuals. Like this dog that can convey such emotion and intelligence with one look, all animals share the ability to feel just as we do.

If we hope to move towards a more compassionate future, we must first recognize the suffering in an animal that we typically love and adore and apply that same thinking to all of the other animals that we might not necessarily know as pets. Together, we can help make the world a better place for animals and ourselves in the process. 

To learn more about how you can help HSI end the dog meat trade, click here. Image source: HSI/Facebook

Tragic Image Will Make You Rethink Everything You Know About Sharks. Every summer, people go crazy over sharks. It seems like the news suddenly gets saturated with news about shark sightings or shark attacks and then, of course, there is the start of “Shark Week,” that draws the attention of millions of viewers. Through all of this hype, sharks are portrayed as man-eating vicious animals that exist for the sole purpose of instilling an overwhelming sense of fear in humans. While getting to watch retellings of real-life shark attacks might seem exciting and invigorating during Shark Week … the other 51 weeks of the year, this media-driven fear of sharks causes an enormous amount of damage to this marine animal’s population.

Every year, an estimated 100 million sharks are pulled from the oceans, either as the unfortunate victims of bycatch from the commercial fishing industry or for the sake of the shark fin soup trade. Now, 100 million might seem like an inordinately high number for an animal that is known as the ocean’s top predator … but all it takes is one look at this image to understand the gravity and true to this situation.
This image is just a single example of the abject destruction human beings have wrought on the shark species. Shark fin soup is considered a delicacy in certain parts of Asia and the demand for this meal costs the oceans around 75 million sharks every year. We might have grown accustomed to thinking that sharks pose an undeniably larger threat to humans than we do to them, but looking at this image, does that seem to really be the case?

The fact is, we need sharks to maintain our ocean ecosystems. Without this top predator, smaller prey species increase in number and wipe out the aquatic vegetation that produces oxygen into the marine environment. The oceans provide us with around 70 percent of our oxygen, so it is vital that we keep this ecosystem in balance and do all we can to maintain it. We do not need shark fin soup, we do, however, NEED oxygen.

We can all take action for sharks by raising awareness for this species. Instead of sensationalizing the “blood-thirsty” nature of sharks, we should spread the reality of how important these animals are to our own survival. If you want to help sharks survive, share this post and encourage others to as well. You can also help reduce the number of sharks killed by the commercial fishing industry by lowering or eliminating your seafood consumption. Together we can help save this species and save ourselves in the process, the alternative … well, we’d rather not think about that! Image source: Paul Hilton/Instagram 

Idiots! Group of Tourists and Lifeguards Drag Shark Out of the Ocean for Selfies. Something terrible has happened to our society. We’ve become more obsessed not only with capturing “Instagram-worthy” moments but trying to create them regardless of the expense they might cause to others. We put our phones up at concerts and block the views of those trying to enjoy the show behind us, we’ll let our food (and our friend’s food) get cold so that we can show the world what we’re eating, and we take innocent animals out from their natural habitats all for a selfish photo opportunity.

Nowadays, it seems like every other week there is a group of individuals who decide that nature and all of its inhabitants are there merely for entertainment. Sometimes it’s one person, like this woman who decided wrangling this swan out of the lake for a photo was necessary. Other times it’s a whole group of people like these folks who grabbed a sea turtle out of the ocean and decided to mount it because that’s totally what you should be teaching children about interacting with other living beings. And then there’s the most recent bout of idiocy – a group of tourists that pulled a blue shark out of the ocean for selfies. Oh wait, it gets worse. The lifeguards on duty not only allowed this to happen, they joined in!

That’ right. In Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, near the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, a group of tourists and a group of lifeguards didn’t just stumble upon a beached shark, they dragged the poor marine animal out to shore themselves!
Shark Idiots 1
One individual even decided to have his own photo shoot with the shark by lifting the dying animal’s tail in one hand and posing.
Shark Idiots 2
If you’d like to see the stupidity unravel in real time, here is a video captured by beachgoers at the time of the event.
This may not seem like a huge deal, after all, it’s just one shark out of hundreds, if not thousands, in the ocean, right? Wrong. The egotistical and cruel behavior exhibited in this one incident is representative of a much larger problem with how humans interact and coexist with marine life, especially sharks. Every year, over 100 million sharks are ripped from the waters either as bycatch from the commercial fishing industry or for the shark fin trade.

And while there are many people who are afraid of sharks and may think “well, the fewer sharks there are the better,” the reality of the matter is that sharks are vital for the health of the ocean and in turn ours. Sharks are apex predators and play an important role in maintaining the health of our ecosystems. If we continue on the path we are on, eventually all sharks will be gone, causing a massive domino effect that reaches all the way back to humans. Right now it may seem like sharks and humans are vastly different and the demise of these creatures could in no way affect us. But it can. And the sooner we start treating sharks as the important animals they are, the sooner we can start the path towards a more sustainable future for sharks AND humans. All image source: Facebook

UGGs Are Made of Skin
Where Hermit Crabs Come From
Live Hermit Crabs' Shells Crushed for Pet Trade
Live Fox Cub Fed to Hounds, Punish the Killers Now.
Fox Cub by Andrew Smithson
Target:  David Shaw, Chief Constable of the West Mercia Police
Goal: Prosecute persons responsible for feeding live fox cubs to dogs.
Footage has emerged that seems to show live fox cubs being fed to dogs. The footage, allegedly from South Herefordshire Hunt Kennels, in Herefordshire, U.K. shows a man taking a fox cub into the kennels, followed by loud barking. The man is then shown disposing of the cub’s body. This practice is known as ‘cubbing,’ and is intended to teach the dogs to kill.  
Fox hunting is banned in the U.K., but hunters are allowed to pursue drag hunting — where hounds follow an artificial scent trail. Intentionally killing foxes is illegal, but accidentally killing foxes is not. There have previously been allegations that fox hunting kennels engineer ‘accidental’ encounters with foxes.
Three people have already been arrested and released on bail based on the video. The kennel has closed, and is under investigation. However, the only way to guarantee that the people responsible are prosecuted is to make it clear that cruelty against animals will not go unnoticed. Sign our petition and demand the prosecution of the people responsible for feeding fox cubs to hounds.
Dear Chief Constable Shaw,
I was sickened to see that the South Herefordshire Hunt Kennels has been practicing cubbing. I urge you to do everything in your power to ensure that those responsible are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
As you know, the practice of cubbing has been illegal in the U.K. since the 2005 fox hunting ban. Under that ban, accidental kills of foxes are legal. Since, there have been allegations that hunts have engineered “accidental kills.” Given that drag hunting is based on artificial scent, it is unclear what the purpose of cubbing is. If the purpose is to teach the hounds to hunt and kill foxes, that fact may well raise questions about any accidental fox kills at that kennel. I urge you to investigate the South Herefordshire Hunt Kennels to ensure that these cruel practices do not extend past this instance.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Andrew Smithson 
Service Dog Taken Out by Hit-And-Run Driver Who Fled Scene.
Target: Bernie McCabe, Florida State Attorney
Goal: Find and charge driver who hit a service dog and then drove away.
A service dog named Zephyr was severely injured in a hit-and-run incident while helping his owner across the street. Zephyr was just doing his job when a speeding car ran him down. The seemingly deliberate attack occurred when the driver reportedly sped through a red light, slowed down, and then plowed straight into the dog. The driver of the car sped away without stopping, leaving Zephyr to die in the street. Zephyr suffered numerous broken bones, including a broken pelvis, but miraculously survived and is now recovering.
Zephyr provides comfort and security to his owner, who suffers from PTSD. So, when a hit-and-run driver sped through a red light and hit Zephyr, his owner was devastated. Zephyr’s owner, Paul Kostora, stated “whoever it was gunned it, right as my dog was in front of the car, and plowed him,” Kostra recalled. “I chased the driver for, like, two seconds, then I realized my dog is probably dead, so I ran over.”
The person responsible for this hit-and-run is still at large. Demand justice for this innocent service animal. Sign below and demand the maximum penalty for this dangerous hit-and-run driver.
Dear State Attorney McCabe,
A hit-and-run driver reportedly plowed through a red light and hit a service dog, leaving the dog to die in the street. The dog survived, but sustained numerous broken bones and other injuries.
Zephyr, the service dog, has an important job. He provides comfort and security to his owner, who suffers from PTSD. So, when a hit-and-run driver sped through a red light and hit Zephyr, his owner was devastated. Per reports, the driver gunned through the intersection, slowed down, and then plowed straight into the service dog.
This dangerous driver is still at large. We demand the maximum penalty for this hit-and-run driver.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Paul Kostora
It's a sound that haunts me: Angora rabbits scream at the top of their lungs and writhe in pain as their soft fur is violently ripped out of their sensitive skin.
Will you help PETA end this and all violence against animals who are abused and killed for their fur and skin?
Soon after PETA Asia's undercover footage was released, outraged consumers around the world took action—and retailers took notice:
  • Today, more than 120 retailers—including H&M, Ann Inc., bebe, French Connection, ASOS, Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, and Tommy Hilfiger—have committed to not selling angora wool. 
  • After hearing from PETA, Inditex—the world's largest clothing retailer—banned angora wool and donated its remaining stock of angora wool products to help refugees.
Such wonderful progress couldn't have happened without support from PETA members—but we need to do more.
We must end the barbaric treatment of rabbits and all other animals who are exploited, tormented, and killed for their skins. But we cannot do that without you.
We work to expose and end the cruelty inflicted on animals in the name of sport.
Yesterday we were able to show the world the true face of fox hunting. Covert footage from cameras set amid the buildings of the South Herefordshire Hunt told a shocking story – two fox cubs apparently being taken alive into the kennels, followed by the sound of hounds barking, then the cubs’ dead bodies being removed.

The impact of this story could be massive, and with the support of people like you, we have been able to tell the world about this atrocity. The footage was shown throughout the day on BBC News, including prime time segments on BBC Breakfast and the Six O’Clock News. It was also covered on Sky News, Radio 2, Radio 4 FM, and in all the major newspapers – the Sun, Metro, the Telegraph, the Guardian, the Independent, the Times, the Daily Mail and more.

Three people have been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty in connection with the incident shown in the footage. All three individuals have been released on police bail, and so their faces are blurred out in the footage. The League does not want to prejudice legal proceedings, and we are committed to seeing justice being done.

We believe this footage shows the reality of how hunts across the UK train their dogs to kill. Dogs don’t naturally kill foxes, which is why they have to be trained to do it. In other cases, hunts surround areas where fox cubs are living and urge the younger hounds to kill, also known as ‘cubbing’. A fox hound that doesn’t attack foxes is of no use to the hunts.

The footage forms part of an ongoing League investigation, using former policemen and independent groups, into the way foxes are captured to be used by hunts. Congratulations to the brave team of investigators who worked with us on this and captured the horrific pictures. Such cruelty to foxes by hunts is widespread – don’t think for a second that this case is a one-off.

We need your help to fight to protect fox cubs like these – please make a donation today. Your gift could help fund further investigations and expose the cruelty through the media.

Then, contact your MP about the footage, so that we can make sure the country’s decision-makers understand the reality of fox hunting.

Why People Keep Taking Deadly Selfies With Animals. Experts say a desire to be close to nature overwhelms our understanding of safe behavior—leading to the death of people and wildlife. The photos, or the stories behind them, are horrifying.

Last week a group of lifeguards and tourists in the Dominican Republic pulled a shark from the water and posed for photos with it until it died.

It was just the latest in a disturbing new trend of people trying to take selfies with a wide variety of wildlife, ranging from seals and swans to elk and even lions.

Sometimes, as in the case of the shark, the animals die as a result of these interactions. Other times people put themselves at risk. Last month a Chinese man died while trying to take a selfie with a walrus at a zoo. A year ago—long before the infamous case in which tourists put a bison calf in their car—a visitor to Yellowstone National Park was gored and tossed into the air by an adult bison while she tried to pose for a photo just six yards away from the massive animal.

What drives this risky behavior?

Part of it, it seems, is just human nature. “I think we’re drawn to what’s left of wilderness,” said Margo DeMello, program director for human-animal studies at the Animals and Society Institute. “We have a desire to feel close to wildlife and wild animals.”

Unfortunately, she said, modern society has left us detached from the reality of how wild animals live and behave. “Other than pets, we’re very disconnected from animals in our lives,” she said. “We don’t spend a lot of time near and around animals the way our ancestors did.”

Even our beloved pets don’t fill our need, DeMello said. “I think a lot of people see domesticated animals as not ‘real animals.’ They’re a little bit less than animals because of that domestication and because they’re so common.” At the same time, pets habituate us to the idea that we can touch and pick up animals, but that doesn’t quite satisfy our desires. “A koala or a shark or a penguin is just so much closer to nature and that thing we lack,” she said.

Adam Roberts, chief executive of Born Free USA, said most people possess “a profound affinity for wild animals” but noted that the modern world does not fulfill that in a helpful way. “Zoo exhibits, barbarous circus acts, and the ready availability of exotic animals as ‘pets’ and television performers all dramatically desensitize people to animals’ very wildness,” he said. Numerous studies have shown that seeing animals in commercials and other entertainment contexts disconnects people from the idea that species have wild behaviors.

This innate passion for animals and our lack of daily connection to them are a dangerous combination. “The desire to be close to animals, the opportunities to do so—plus the misguided, trusting belief that it must be safe—results in people taking massive, dangerous risks for a mere photo opportunity,” Roberts said.

This hazardous behavior may be enhanced by social networking and the need for “likes,” clicks, and shares. “We’re in this highly self-promotional social media age where we need to not just document everything we do but place ourselves into it as a way to document the experience and share it with others,” DeMello said. Indeed, many recent wildlife selfies have gone viral, something that may inspire other people to take similar risks.

DeMello said most people really do know better, but the sight of wild animals creates a cognitive dissonance between the desire to be close to them and the understanding of how they should be treated. “We know that certain things are better for animals—not pulling a shark out of the ocean, for example—and yet that competes with that desire to be close and near. The desire overwhelms our sense of what’s OK, and we don’t even think about it or realize it anymore,” she said.

One element affecting that is that people tend to ignore posted warning signs or instructions not to interact with animals. “I think a lot of people feel like they know better,” DeMello said. “They feel, maybe the people who wrote the sign don’t know enough or don’t care enough.”

That, in a way, helps to justify grabbing an animal in the wild, even when it ends in tragedy. “We have to justify that to ourselves in some way so that we don’t feel bad,” DeMello said. “Nobody wants to be a killer.”

Unfortunately, these behaviors may only get worse. “I think it’s going to continue as we get more urbanized and isolated from the world outside of us,” she said.

Is there a solution? DeMello isn’t sure. “I think we’ve got to acknowledge that this is part of us, and then figure out a way to provide that extra layer of education that acknowledges that people aren’t going to want to stop reaching out and touching and grabbing,” she said.

Until then, she said, publicizing the stories with bad endings may be the most effective way to get across to people that they shouldn’t put an animal, or themselves, at risk for the sake of a selfie.

Last, we desperately need your help to save countless dogs from a life of suffering. I need your help to save animals like Cupcake, who was used as bait in the depraved world of dog fighting. You may remember Cupcake’s story from when you kindly signed our petition recently.

She is thought to have been tethered to a post and forced to fight against bigger, more powerful dogs. Her face was covered in scars, and her teeth had been broken and ground down to stubs to make it harder for her to defend herself.

She was submissive, traumatised…terrified.
A dog fight takes place every single day. Fights range from impromptu one-on-one street 'rolls', to professional, organised fights with high-stakes gambling involved.

Animals undergo brutal ‘training’ to become fighters, such as:
  • being forced to run on a treadmills for several hours a day;
  • 'head slamming' – where the dog’s head is violently and repeatedly slammed into a wall to toughen the skull;
  • using bait animals, like Cupcake. Typically rabbits, cats and small dogs are used, and most will be torn to shreds.
When pitted against other dogs in fights, they inevitably suffer horrific injuries. Those who survive the fight will often die later as a result of their injuries. Those who lose will often be killed as punishment for bringing shame to their handler or for losing them money, such as by being beaten to death.

By adding your signature to our recent petition you joined a growing movement of compassionate people who are speaking out against dog fighting. We would be so grateful if you could go one step further today by making a donation. Your gift could help us expose this barbaric cruelty and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Over the last few months, the League has been using police models for dealing with terrorism to pilot a strategy to end dog fighting once and for all. As the lead investigator, I worked at the heart of local communities, collecting evidence and educating people about the signs of dog fighting, and how to report information through our confidential Animal Crimewatch service. By May, our intelligence and analysis experts had processed 40 intelligence reports from local people.

Now we are ready to go national - and we need your help.

Please make an urgent donation and you could help put investigators and other experts on the ground across the country to set up education and prevention programmes, and collect more vital evidence.

We also need your help to establish tougher sentences for convicted dog fighters. Britain’s dog fighting laws are some of the most lenient in Europe, with offenders receiving a maximum prison sentence of six months.

Your donation could help significantly increase the sentence – making it a much more effective deterrent.

A dog fight is taking place today Don.

It could be in a barn in the middle of nowhere. It could be in an abandoned urban warehouse. It could be happening in your neighbourhood, right this second.

For the dogs who have already fought and lost their lives, and for the dogs who will be forced to fight tomorrow - please give today.

Britain’s dog fighting laws are some of the most lenient in Europe, with offenders receiving a maximum prison sentence of just 6 months. With your support we can change this. 
117 MPs signed EDM 402 on the use of cages to rear birds for shooting. This is an amazing achievement, given that it was 7th out of 1,474 Early Day Motions.
Is This Finally the End for Thailand's Tiger Temple?

Under animal welfare legislation that went into effect last year, 137 tigers from Kanchanaburi's Tiger Temple in Thailand have been seized and transferred to animal refuges around the country. Tigers at the now-closed temple spent almost every hour of their lives confined to barren concrete cells and were allowed out only to make money for the temple. READ MORE
Cattle Killed With Sledgehammers in Vietnam

Routine abuse runs rampant in the meat industry, and the release of a disturbing new video from a slaughterhouse in Vietnam serves as a powerful reminder that all animals abused for food are stripped of their dignity and their inherent worth as living beings. READ MORE
Animal Charities Warn: Rescuing Yulin Dogs Will Backfire

As media coverage of the infamous Yulin Dog Meat Festival grows, so do the number of visitors traveling to the festival to save animals by buying them. Learn why dozens of Chinese animal groups are now warning that buying these dogs may be fueling the very market so many are trying to end. READ MORE

New Shows starting this week at Live Jam 107; "One" by U2 Live is Playing Now!

The World's first and only all live radio format where every song played is the live version.

Get the Led Out Live is broadcast every Thursday night at 6PM for an hour and a half of Live Led Zeppelin music!

Live 'Skrillix' from the Ultra Music Festival to start off the first episode of Clubland Live, Live Music for two hours every Saturday Night at 7PM by EDM, DJ and House music artists!


Live at AccorHotels Arena, Paris, France (iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour) - 06 Décembre 2015
Wonderous Stories
Mr. Spaceman
The Battle Of Evermore
Led Zeppelin
Mike the Mike 1977-06-21 [Disc 2]
Comfortably Numb
Pink Floyd
Delicate Sound Of Thunder - Disc 2
Raspberry Beret
From the Soundboard Vol. 1: Detroit Fox Theatre
The Spirit Of Radio
Different Stages - Live (CD 2)
Locomotive breath
Jethro Tull
Bursting out
The Logical Song
Paris (A&M 6702)
Live Light and Day

Recipe Of The Week: Caprese Sandwich With Cashew Mozzarella

There is nothing quite like a grilled cheese sandwich. Gooey, melty cashew mozzarella is sandwiched between two buttery slices of Italian bread with an easy balsamic vinaigrette dressing, fresh lettuce, and thick slices of tomato. Behold, the vegan Caprese sandwich! Because everything is better when you put it on bread.




  • 1/4 cup cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons tapioca flour
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Italian bread
  • Tomato
  • Fresh basil
  • Cashew mozzarella
  • Balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)


  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper



  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until liquid.
  2. Heat in a small saucepan on low heat, stirring constantly.
  3. The mixture will start to form clumps. Continue stirring until thick and stretchy.


  1. Combine equal parts red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper.
  3. Whisk to combine.


  1. Cut 2 thick slices of your bread.
  2. On one slice, brush with the vinaigrette, on the other slice, add a thick layer of the vegan cheese.
  3. Top with tomato slices and fresh basil leaves.
  4. Grill in a hot, buttered skillet to your liking.


Cheesy Recipes (Vegan)


The Surznick Common Room is co-written by Sarah and Nick, a couple of 20-somethings living in (and loving) Pittsburgh, PA. Their blog showcases DIY projects, delicious recipes, fun adventures, budget-friendly fashion, favorite reads and more while sticking to a post-college budget. By day Sarah works in human resources and Nick is a music teacher. When not working on their blog you can most often find them at a concert, enjoying happy hour with friends, or indulging in their latest Netflix obsession.