All Animals Matter

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A personal perspective on animal welfare

The Bond: Our Kinship to Animals, Our Call to Defend Them

I’m looking forward to reading the new book, The Bond: Our Kinship to Animals, Our Call to Defend Them, by Wayne Parcelle, the President of the Humane Society of United States. Whether you’re a fan of the organization or not, there will be things here that you can learn about the general state of animal welfare and cruelty, and how we can contribute to make it a kinder world for animals and humans alike.  See except below:

As harsh as nature is for animals, cruelty comes only from human hands. We are the creature of conscience, aware of the wrongs we do and fully capable of making things right. Our best instincts will always tend in that direction, because there is a bond with animals that’s built into every one of us. That bond of kinship and fellow-feeling has been with us through the entire arc of human experience—from our first bare-footed steps on the planet through the era of the domestication of animals and into the modern age. For all that sets humanity apart, animals remain “our companions in Creation,” to borrow a phrase from Pope Benedict XVI, bound up with us in the story of life on earth. Every act of callousness toward an animal is a betrayal of that bond. In every act of kindness we keep faith with the bond. And broadly speaking, the whole mission of the animal welfare cause is to repair the bond—for their sake and for our own.

In our day, there are stresses and fractures of the human-animal bond, and some forces at work that would sever it once and for all. They pull us in the wrong direction and away from the decent and honorable code that makes us care for creatures who are entirely at our mercy. Especially within the last 200 years, we’ve come to apply an industrial mindset to the use of animals, too often viewing them as if they were nothing but articles of commerce, the raw material of science, or mere obstacles in the path of our own progress. Here, as in other pursuits, human ingenuity has a way of outrunning human conscience, and some things we do only because we can—forgetting to ask whether we should.”

Pre-Order at Amazon.com

Filed under: animal cruelty, circus, environment, farm animals, humane farming, humane organizations, hunting, international issues, local issues, puppy mills, seal hunt, Take Action

Why You Should Boycott the Circus

There are a lot of people out there who either don’t know the horror that goes on behind seemingly wonderful world of circuses, or those who insist that those like Ringling Bros or Big Apple Circuses has humane animal programs in place. But it’s no secret that animals get abused for our entertainment. Imagine baby elephants, pulled from their herd shortly after birth, shipped, then begin their training with ropes, beaten with bull hooks, forced to perform. It will break your heart.

Performing animals live their entire lives in trailers traveling from show to show, often endure long unhealthy journeys across the world in crowded, stuffy conditions. Worse, they suffer beating by their handlers in order to get them to perform UNNATURAL acts. Animals are not meant to dance, sit up on their hind legs, jump through fiery hoops. You may have heard that circus animals go wild and tromp their handlers to death. Who can blame them, to escape from such a life filled with discomfort and pain? The animals do not make any money, humans do. And if you go to the circus, you are paying for them to suffer.

Below are some pictures of a baby elephant in training, photographed by an undercover operative. I don’t care how anyone can justify this – the poor animal is miserable.

Circus like Cirque Du Soleil is a wonderful and even more spectacular alternative, as performed by only people. Set a moral example for your children – teach them that forcing animals to do anything just for fun is wrong.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t teach your dog tricks. You are its owner and you do it out of love and your dog loves you. You don’t beat your dog, at least I hope not.

Filed under: animal cruelty, circus, farm animals, local issues

Help Animals This Summer

10 things you can do

I’ve gathered 10 items from various sources with suggestions on how you can help the animal causes this month. They are all easy to do and some will feel really rewarding. Small steps – big leap for animals!

1. Write to corporations and governments that practice or support puppy mills (including your local pet shop selling puppies), factory farming, and other abuse you feel passionate about.

2. Learn to cook a fabulous vegan or vegetarian meal, and share the recipes with your friends! Get recipes here

3. Meet people like you anywhere like online communities, who advocate for animals – share ideas and debate. Go to Causecast.org and learn more, or social sites like Humane Society Network.

4. Volunteer at your local animal shelter or the ASCPA, in New York City/Brooklyn, a great one that needs a lot of help is BARC Shelter in the Dumbo district. You will help walk dogs around the park, bring a friend.

5. Scout out 3 animal welfare organizations that fit your cause, and donate $25, $50 or whatever you feel comfortable with to each organization. You would be surprised how much good a little money can do. My favorites are Defenders of Wildlife, Humane Society of the United States, International Fund For Animals. Local shelthers like the Northshore Animal League is no-kill, and Bide-a-Wee in NYC as well as BARC in Brooklyn.

6. Start a blog about animals, whether it’s just about the pure love of your favorite animal, breed. Or get even more active with a welfare blog. Make taking pictures this summer fun by starting a photo blog of the dogs and cats you see in your neighborhood.

7. Go to a local dog park, and enjoy a nice summer day. Appreciate the simplicities of life.

8. Attend a show at Cirque Du Soleil, a non-animal circus. They are amazing and far more entertaining than watching elephants get whipped into a standing position. See their show listings and schedule here.

9. Adopt a cat or dog at your local shelter. If you can, adopt one from a kill-shelter, as you can save lives, especially an adult who has a lesser chance of getting a loving home, or a cat with one eye who suffered abuse. They deserve your love. Go to Petfinder.com and browse the thousands of animals.

10. Decide on an animal welfare topic most close to your heart, and make a simple flyer (don’t forget to include instructions on what they can do to make a difference) and pass it out at a farmer’s market, dog park, supermarkets, etc. This one takes a little bit of guts – I’ve done it once on the subject of Veal Cows – you will get positive encouragement from people, or some people just don’t care, but that’s how you start something important!

And finally, have fun!

Filed under: circus, dogs and cats, farm animals, friends, humane organizations, Take Action, , , , ,

Bear Baiting

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Animal cruelty is truly a global issue. Take for instance, in the Middle East and possibly elsewhere in third worlds, the medieval sport of bear baiting is a typical entertainment. As a bear cub, it suffers the trauma of capture and his teeth and claws yanked out. Grown into adulthood, the bear is dragged into the ring each day and chained with a metal hook to its nose permanently, he defends himself  with merely his own weight against a pack of dogs tearing into their flesh. Both bear and dogs fighting to the death. This is gruesome, cruel, and senseless. This is not that different from animal circuses in modern countries, where animals suffer at the hands of reckless and irresponsible trainers, except here the entertainment intentionally ends in animal deaths.

Please help today by going to the WSPA (World Society For the Protection of Animals) site and learn more and perhaps make a donation. Even as we are worlds away from the countries that practice such inhumane entertainment, our voices will be heard. You count- really.

Filed under: animal cruelty, circus, dogs and cats, humane organizations, international issues, Take Action, , , ,

The Ugliness of the Circus

When I was a little kid, my summer camp instructor took us to the circus. I was overjoyed at seeing all the acrobats do all these amazing stunts. The show was full of animals and they performed gloriously at the snap of a finger, and I thought how wonderful it all was. I thought they were so obedient and had wondered if I could get my pets to do tricks too. Now that I’ve grown up I have come to the horrific conclusion that not only is animal performance unnatural, it is extremely cruel.

Elephants are captured in the wild either from Africa, Thailand or India, usually as infants kidnapped from their herd, and shipped back to our country to endure long, painful lives in chains. They are often beaten with bull hooks and starved when they don’t obey their handlers. Along with them, other animals such as bears, tigers, monkeys are forced to travel long hours, wear uncomfortable costumes, eat poor diets and abused in some way in order to perform tricks over and over again. Have you ever heard in the news where elephants or tigers that suddenly went crazy on their masters, even killing some of them, in order to escape? They are disheartened, sick, and hopeless creatures, living in fear each day for the rest of their lives.

Kindly consider this the next time you want to bring your kid to the circus. Do you want you child to learn that it is okay to treat animals in such a way for the sake of entertainment? Go see Cirque De Soleil, a people-only circus, among many nowadays which are all amazing. Boycott Ringling and Barneys- they are closely watched by PETA and many animal welfare organizations. Visit Performing Animals Welfare Society and learn more about the subject or make a donation!

Filed under: animal cruelty, circus, local issues, Resources, , , , , ,

On My Mind

I’ve been on vacation so running a bit behind on posts. While on vacation I thought about my top animal issues that I’d like to write about. Stay tuned for these subjects: Yellowstone Wolves, Whaling, Fur, Veal Factories, Circus Animals, Dogs and Cats as food in Asia, and more…. please write me if there are any issues you feel strongly about and I will do my best to highlight! Thanks for reading!

Filed under: animal cruelty, circus, dogs and cats, Global Warming, humane farming, international issues,

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