Animal Care & Nature Connection - Comment

The Vegetarian MythBoycot Danish Zoos / Oct 2015
Just a year after Copenhagen Zoo butchered a healthy baby giraffe and then dissected it in front of children for "educational purposes," another Danish zoo has decided to murder a healthy lion and publicly dissect it as well. What is it about Danish society that it seems to think that killing healthy animals and publicly butchering them (and in front of children) is somehow acceptable? Well it's not. Contact the zoo and tell them what you think of their murderous activities.
The Vegetarian MythEdgar Kupfer-Koberwitz's writings on animals and suffering
"I refuse to eat animals because I cannot nourish myself by the sufferings and by the death of other creatures. I refuse to do so, because I suffered so painfully myself that I can feel the pains of others by recalling my own sufferings. I feel happy, nobody persecutes me; why should I persecute other beings or cause them to be persecuted? I feel happy, I am no prisoner, I am free; why should I cause other creatures to be made prisoners and thrown into jail? I feel happy, nobody harms me; why should I harm other creatures or have them harmed? I feel happy, nobody wounds me; nobody kills me; why should I wound or kill other creatures or cause them to be wounded or killed for my pleasure and convenience? Is it not only too natural that I do not inflict on other creatures the same thing which, I hope and fear, will never be inflicted on me? Would it not be most unfair to do such things for no other purpose than for enjoying a trifling physical pleasure at the expense of others' sufferings, others' deaths? These creatures are smaller and more helpless than I am, but can you imagine a reasonable man of noble feelings who would like to base on such a difference a claim or right to abuse the weakness and the smallness of others? Don't you think that it is just the bigger, the stronger, the superior's duty to protect the weaker creatures instead of persecuting them, instead of killing them? 'Noblesse oblige.' I want to act in a noble way." — Written in the early 1940s by Edgar when he was imprioned at the Dachau concentration camp in an essay he wrote called, Animals, My Brethren.
The Vegetarian MythCopenhagen Zoo Butchers Baby Giraffe / Feb 2014
If you needed a reminder of what zoos are really about, this is it. Copenhagen Zoo has just butchered a healthy baby giraffe in front of young children to "combat interbreeding". Despite Marius being offered a place at other zoos, a private buyer offering €500,000 for him, the possibility of him have a vasectomy, and the possibility of returning him to the wild, Copenhagen Zoo decided that the best course of action was to kill him with a bolt gun, butcher him in front of children for "educational reason", and then feed the flesh to the lions. And in case you think this is just a one-off incident, Danish media reports that Copenhagen Zoo destroys 20-30 animals a year, including bears, tigers and zebras. Zoos hide behind a veneer of "ethical conservation" but at the end of the day they are no better than circuses. Boycott all zoos immediately and stop this need to take out children to gawk at animals in cages, let alone allowing them to watch animals being butchered. Even safari parks are no better: recently, Longleat Safari Park put down two lions and four cubs rather than bothering to find them new homes. What a disgrace. If you love animals, visit them in the wild and if you are unable to do that, watch a wildlife television program. And please don't eat them!
The Vegetarian MythBOOK: The Vegetarian Myth / Dec 2012
Lierre Keith published a book a couple of years ago called The Vegetarian Myth, claiming that she was a vegan for 20 years and damaged her health in the process. Only problem is that Keith never was a vegan, admitting during a KPFA interview that she "binged on eggs and dairy every chance I got." No wonder Keith suffered health issues. Keith has jumped on the Weston Price bandwagon, and made loads of inaccuracies. Whilst it is true that pasture reared livestock is viable without additional feed, the question is whether enough pasture is available for the number of meat-eaters on the planet today (remembering that meat-eaters also need vegetables as well). In a similar vein, a vegan diet can be supplied by non-arable means (fruit garden growing methods and permaculture etc.), but can enough be produced to supply the human population? So comparing the ideal meat-rearing industry (pasture reared) with the non-ideal vegetable growing industry (arable) is disingenuous… we have to compare like with like, and most importantly take into consideration the practicalities of feeding an exponentially growing population of 7 billion humans. Truth is that, with the human populations we have, veganism is the only way to go. We published an article many years ago on this here. For an in-depth response to her poorly researched and misleading book, visit vegetarianmyth.com.
animal testingAnimal Testing at 30-Year High / July 2012
GM research on animals has pushed the figures for animal testing to a 30-year high. Last year in the UK, 3.8 million procedures were carried out on mice, cats, dogs and monkeys — with mice making up 71% of the animals tortured in this way. Two years ago the UK government had pledged to reduce animal experiements, but it appears this was just retoric. Please use only cruelty-free products when you can, avoid using anything remotely to do with genetic modification, and only use pharmaceutical products when you really need them. This way you can reduce suffering. And if you really want to go all the way, please consider becoming vegan. Most people can be perfectly healthy on a vegan diet (so long as it is not high in sugar and simple carbs) — a lot healthier than on a meat-based diet.
elephant abuse

Ringling Bros circus abuses animals including baby elephants (Dec 2009)
When you go to an animal circus, never forget that the obedience and tricks the animals are performing are the result of many hundreds of hours of torture and abuse. Elephants don't stand on their heads unless they are beaten into submission by cruel profit driven human beings. The picture on the right is of a baby elephant being abused so that it leans to lie down on instruction. The handlers use polls with spikes and electric shocks to "encourage" compliance, as well as ropes and tethers. This abuse is unacceptable in any civilized society, so please STOP going to the animal circus tents of horror. For more info visit: www.ringlingbeatsanimals.com.

Eating Animals by Jonathan FoerBOOK: Eating Animals / Jonathan Safran Foer
It is so nice to find a book that does not solely argue against a meat-based diet for health or ecological reason, but also because such a diet causes terrible suffering. From the factory farms to the slaughter, Eating Animals tells the story of the abuse on which human society is build and sustained. Foer looks at some of the absurd contradictions involved with keeping some animals as pets and eating others, and how an animal-based diet will finish the human race ecologically. This book is beautifully written.
Gentle Thanksgiving

Save Turkeys - Visit Gentle Thanksgiving (Nov 2009)
Each years, half a billion turkeys are slaughtered so that we can enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas. Gentle Thanksgiving is an organisation that encourages us, our friends, families and neighbours to adopt more compassionate alternatives to unnecessarily cruel turkey dinners. Visit www.gentlethanksgiving.org. Please help to minimise suffering with compassionate and responsible dietary choices.

Starving DogThe 'Art' of Guillermo Vargas
Costa Rican artist Guillermo Vargas 'Habacuc' is alleged to have paid some children to catch an abandoned street dog and then tied the animal up in an art gallery in Managua, Nicaragua, and left it there for several days, without food and water, until it died. His excuse: it would have died anyway. There was such a public outcry by this that Vargas and the art gallery have now denied it ever happened, although their stories are inconsistent and keep changing.
BOOK: The Silent Ark / Juliet Gellatley
Written by one of the UK's most ardent and effective vegetarian campaigners, and the person who set up the charity Viva!, this book is a devastating expose on the whole meat industry. With chilling clarity, Gellatley shows how something as seemingly innocuous as a particular food preference is actually responsible for a huge proportion of global environmental destruction and suffering (both animal and human). She argues that the meat culture has to go if the human race wants to have any future at all.
But don't plants have feelings too? This is a retort you will often get from meat eaters to the vegetarian position that killing animals for food is cruel. Whilst it is true that plants do react to their environment and have remarkable sensitivity, the question of whether they suffer or feel pain cannot support meat eating because, even if they do feel pain, in eating animals we have effectively consumed all the plants that fed those animals (or that fed the animals that feed these animals). So the number of lives we have taken as a meat eater is far greater. To minimize suffering and ecological damage, it is advisable to eat as low food chain as possible, and that means being a vegetarian.
Animal testing in the EU is on the rise (Nov 2007)
New figures on animal testing show that the use of animals in EU laboratories is on the rise. Between 2002 and 2005, the number of animals used in experiments increased by 3.2% (this figure does not include the research done by the new EU member states). In real terms, the numbers of animals used in lab experiments has increased from 10.7 million to 12.1 million. Alarmingly, the number of animals used in cosmetic research, which is of high public concern, rose 50% during this period, despite the fact that the EU is legislating to cut down on cosmetic testing. [source]
BOOK: The Happy Rat / E
Most people believe that rats are just disgusting vermin to be exterminated whereever they are found. But anyone who spends the time getting to know these little creatures, as Kaycee Peta has, will discover that rats are adorable little friends each with a unique personality. The Happy Rat is a compilation of the authors experiences with rats, and presents them in the bigger perspective of veganism and animal rights. A beautiful read.
If you truly care about your health and Earth's life-support system, you need to turn vegetarian. No "ifs" and "buts". It is our voracious appetite for animal flesh and gland secretions that is literally destroying us and our planet. And how can a "civilisation" ever claim to be civil if it is built on the suffering of countless creatures? The fact is that if the public could see what goes on in slaughter houses, 90% or more would be vegetarian. Visit www.meatrix.com & www.meat.org.