Animals are not ours to use and abuse. All the uses that animals are put to can now be met through cruelty-free means. By disregarding animal life, we disregard human life, for in killing and abusing other sentient beings we destroy our humanity, integrity, health and the planet.
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!
Blackfish - 2013 documentary on the cruelty of SeaWorld (Nov 2013)
Keeping whales and dolphins in pools for the entertainment of crowds as happens in SeaWorld is extremely cruel. This documentary examins this abuse and how his cruelty probably lead to the deaths of trainers. Please boycott SeaWorld and similar water animal parks.
Gary Yourofsky puts forward the case for becoming vegan (Dec 2010)
This lecture was given by animal-rights activist, Gary Yourofsky, at Georgia Tech in the 2010. It is probably one of the best videos to persuade meat-eaters and lacto-ovo-vegetarians to become vegan. The abuse of animals highlighted in this video is absolutely breathtaking.
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.
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.
Philip Wollen: Animals Should Be Off the Menu Debate (May 2012)
A stirring speech by humanitarian Philip Wollen who calls a vegetarian diet the Swiss Army Knife for world problems because if humanity stopped eating meat it would save the planet, stop our ill health, but most importantly, stop terrible suffering of sentient beings. Go Vegan!
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.
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.
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.
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]