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Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.

Albert Schweitzer, French philosopher, physician, and musician (Nobel 1952)

Faith, Radicalism, and Saying What We Mean

September 12, 2014
by



Published on Aug 11, 2014: What did SHAC7 defendant Lauren Gazzola find harder than walking into prison?

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Proof That Barbaric Traditions like Hunting and Trapping Can Change: Indian court bans animal sacrifice

September 10, 2014
by
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Source The Guardian

Rights activists hail Himachal Pradesh’s decision to outlaw ‘barbaric’ slaughter of animals in Hindu temples

A court in remote northern India has banned a long tradition of sacrificing animals for religious reasons, deeming the practice cruel and barbaric.

The high court in Himachal Pradesh has asked police and other officials to enforce its ban on the slaughter, mainly of goats in Hindu temples throughout the state.

“No person will sacrifice any animal in any place of worship. It includes adjoining lands and buildings,” the two-judge bench of the court ruled late on Monday.

“A startling revelation has been made … thousands of animals are sacrificed every year in the name of worship,” the court said.

“Sacrifice causes immense pain and suffering to innocent animals. They cannot be permitted to be sacrificed to appease a god or deity in a barbaric manner,” it said.

The court also questioned the reasons for animal sacrifices, saying such rituals “must change in the modern era”.

The court was ruling on a petition brought by animal rights activists, who applauded the move on Tuesday as long overdue.

“We welcome this ban on animal sacrifice as it will end centuries of cruelty to animals in the name of religion,” local activist Rajeshwar Negi told AFP.

But state lawmaker Maheshwar Singh defended the practice, saying: “This judgment is against the age-old beliefs and customs of many people.”

Goats and sometimes sheep are often sacrificed at the start of winter in temples across Himachal Pradesh with the aim of pleasing Hindu deities.

Animals are symbolically offered to the deity and later taken home by villagers and their guests for eating during the Himalayan state’s bitterly cold winter.

Some of the sacrifices at festivals, including those of “shaand” and “bhunda”, involve large numbers of animals killed using a knife at the entrance of the temples.

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Animals can be ‘victims’ just like people, Oregon Supreme Court says

September 8, 2014
by
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

A good step, but would be a great step if it included animals exploited and sacrificed for profit, including animals killed for food and fur.

Source Oregon Live
By Aimee Green

In two landmark rulings earlier this month, the Oregon Supreme Court said that animals — whether they be horses, goats, dogs or cats — shall be afforded some of the same basic protections as human beings.

The dual rulings are expected to make it easier for police to rush to the aid of ailing animals without first obtaining a warrant. They also could result in harsher criminal repercussions for those found guilty of abusing or neglecting animals.

“These are hugely helpful to the prosecution of animal-cruelty cases,” said Jacob Kamins, a Corvallis-based prosecutor assigned to pursuing such cases across Oregon.

Specifically, in State v. Arnold Nix, the supreme court ruled that a Umatilla County man who was convicted of starving 20 horses and goats on his property could be sentenced — not just on one count of second-degree animal neglect — but on 20 different counts, meaning each animal counted as a separate “victim.”

For defendants in general, that could result in longer jail or prison sentences, and make it more difficult for defendants to — years later — expunge such convictions off of their criminal records.

“To acknowledge that animals are victims of crime, that’s really common sense to us,” said Lora Dunn, staff attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund in Portland.

Nix, who was 68 at the time of his arrest in 2009, argued that the ordinary meaning of “victims” doesn’t include “non-humans,” and Oregon law defines animals as the property of their human owners.

In State vs. Linda Fessenden and Teresa Dicke, the supreme court found that a sheriff’s deputy was legally justified in 2010 in rushing onto a Douglas County pasture to get medical help for a horse that was so malnourished every one of its ribs was showing. The state’s high court ruled that the deputy, who thought the horse was in immediate danger of falling and dying, didn’t need a warrant to step onto private property and get the animal to a veterinarian.

As Nix had argued, Fessenden and Dicke also argued that state law defines animals as property — and police should first have to obtain a warrant before bursting onto private property to prevent harm to property.

The high court agreed that animals are still defined by law as “property.” But the court ruled that the deputy didn’t violate the constitutional search and seizure rights of its two owners because “exigent circumstance” existed — that is that swift action was required to prevent harm to people or to property.

The deputy estimated it would take four to eight hours to obtain the warrant, and by then, it might not be possible to save the horse.

“We get calls every day from law enforcement in Oregon and other states that say ‘I need help right now. These animals are on the brink of death’ — whether it’s a hoarding case with cats or dogs in a puppy mill or horses that are starving,” said Dunn of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

“Absolutely, we recommend ‘Get a warrant if you can,’” Dunn said. “Because we don’t want to deal with these constitutional issues down the line.”

But sometimes, Dunn said, an animal’s life might be in jeopardy in the time it takes to get a warrant. Dunn said that’s why her organization is “thrilled” about the Fessenden/Dicke case.

In making its findings — some of the strongest favoring animal rights to date — the high court noted how Oregon law is evolving to reflect the sentiments of society in general.

Justice Martha Lee Walters, who wrote the Fessenden/Dicke opinion for the court, noted that household pets, such as dogs, and even a farm animal — the horse — “occupy a unique position in people’s hearts” and that’s reflected in the development of animal-welfare laws.

Walters referenced a legal fight by American attorneys trying to establish the right of a chimpanzee to sue its owner for poor living conditions, and even a zoo in India that won’t allow the exhibition of dolphins because of their advanced intelligence.

Walters also cited a 2013 study by the Animal Legal Defense Fund that ranked Oregon second and Washington seventh among states for their laws protecting animals. Among Oregon’s strengths, the study said, were laws that increase penalties if the harm to the animal happened in the presence of a child and the power of judges to require mental-health counseling.

“As we continue to learn more about the interrelated nature of all life, the day may come when humans perceive less separation between themselves and other living beings than the law now reflects,” Walters wrote. “However, we do not need a mirror to the past or a telescope to the future to recognize that the legal status of animals has changed and is changing still…”

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Role Reversals and the Death of A Thousand Cuts

September 5, 2014
by
Those Vegan Hedonists

Those Vegan Hedonists

Source Those Vegan Hedonists
By Kimberly

As a sheltered, suburban child, I remember many public “awareness” campaigns that were designed to scare me straight. Many of these campaigns had the intended effect. I never abused drugs, smoking cigarettes never stuck, and sex was a highly-plasticized, “safe” experience.

Paranoia can be a good thing. I’m glad I was warned about the awful things that can happen to those who aren’t careful, even if the result was an inhibited, easily terrified young person who seldom went out at night and who could count the times she was genuinely drunk on one hand. Because of paranoia (and sometimes it was outright unfounded paranoia, such as in the case of marijuana smoking) I ended up disease-free, addiction-free, and without any unwanted pregnancies.

Now I am getting to the age where my contemporaries are beginning to suffer aches, pains, excess weight, fatigue, constipation, and mental fogginess. One of my ex-boyfriends died of a particularly violent cancer at the age of thirty-seven. Another ex died of a mysterious aneurysm at age forty. The rest who survived the twenty year high school reunion have become portly or flabby and consistently haggard. When I enter a room full of people “my age”, I feel like the female Dorian Gray. This is true every time I am among people of my age group except when I gather with my vegan contemporaries. My vegan pals are my fellows in youth and vibrance. Their eyes are bright, their minds are sharp, and they almost always look younger than their years. They are living proof a plant based diet is not a panacea for every ailment, however, it can be extremely helpful in the avoidance of heart disease, diabetes, and cancers. Why? A plant-based diet lowers inflammation. Inflammation, as far as I understand it, tends to be the root of almost all human diseases.

I was born in 1973; you do the math. I went vegetarian at age seventeen and vegan at age thirty-seven. I have never felt better in my life, including my teens. I know from my experiences with birth control and addiction avoidance that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure. Yet the very people who taught me everything I know are now losing the battle against their own addictions.

My parents have made major strides in their diet of late, but they have a long way to go. They are Baby Boomers who were indoctrinated to believe the pinnacle of a healthy dinner features a chunk of grayish-red cadaver surrounded by a starch, usually white, and a cooked vegetable. Said plate is accompanied by a large glass of cow’s milk and followed by a creamy dessert where fruit is used mainly as a flavoring to give the sugar dose more dimensionality.

My parents came of age in the nineteen sixties. The sixties are an era marked by colossal ignorance of food’s impact upon human health. If you want to view the apex of disgusting, dismal, health destroying foodlike-substances, simply open any cookbook from the sixties. The funniest thing about my parent’s generation is their superstitious reverence of protein, a myth so well-perpetuated it persists today. Never mind that excessive protein consumption is a smoking gun on-switch for cancer. Similar beliefs proliferate around the calcium in bovine milk (hint, there isn’t any, it’s fortified artificially), olive oil, and almost every other not-so-superfood out there. People believe what they want to hear. No generation is more guilty of this than the Boomers, who paved the way for the success of “Eat All The Garbage You Want And Wait for Someone To Invent A Magic Pill” mentality.

Everybody wants something for nothing. The idea we can eat pounds of animal fat and be perfectly fine illustrates a mendacious thought process most of us have fallen for at some point in our lives. Health problems are always blamed on someone or something else: environmental triggers, allergies, genetics. If only “they” would come up with a Cure!

Buying a pink ribbon bumper magnet or the suffering the momentary pain of dumping ice water over one’s head is far easier than taking the time to restructure one’s diet. It feels good to think nothing can be done about a problem, because that means you don’t have to do anything. Diet fads would have no market if it weren’t for the mentally lazy. Permanently changing one’s diet for the better involves research, planning, and scrutiny. It involves overcoming addictive foods like sugar, meat, dairy, eggs, and salt. It may mean learning to cook or to use new ingredients. We’re talking actual work! Most people would rather buy a book that tells them to avoid eating bread and rice so they can go into ketosis and drop serious pounds for a few weeks. When the weight crawls back, worse than ever, oh well. It was a quick fix. When disease comes, it’s only because the magic pill has not arrived on schedule, despite countless millions of dollars donated to fundraising efforts for supposed research.

My parent’s generation is dropping like proverbial flies, and they are not dying peacefully. Every week brings news from a random colleague or relative who is suffering what I call the Death of A Thousand Cuts. The Death of A Thousand Cuts was originally a torture invented by the Chinese. Body parts were hacked off, little by little over the period of several days, until the poor victim expired of blood loss and trauma.

The modern Death of A Thousand Cuts, inflicted by doctors and high-tech hospitals, is just a little worse than its old Chinese torture counterpart. Modernity insists in trying to keep the sufferer alive as long as possible through the very expensive dying process.

1. The Death begins with the odd trip to a clueless doctor who has received a sum total of two hours of nutritional training in medical school and who is paid by drug representatives to push various medications regardless of the interest of the patient. The doctor finds an aberration. Sometimes it’s an ulcer or a hernia. Sometimes it’s a small tumor. Who knows. The one thing we’re sure of is it requires a pricey surgery and plentiful drugs!

2. The next phase of the Death is a recuperation period where the patient is fed a joke-diet of chicken broth, cheese, and Jello (the melted down hooves, connective tissue, and bones of slaughtered animals with corn syrup and artificial cherry flavoring) and expected to get “better” LOL. Because the human body is very resilient, the patient lives to see another day, though there is almost invariably at least two pills he or she must begin a regimen of. Those pills will have lots of fun side effects, for which other pills will be prescribed.

3. Since absolutely nothing has been done to address the patient’s baseline health, the client will find himself in the hospital again. What’s this? Oh, the tumor is back. Or the patient now has diabetes. Or there’s an infection in the lungs that lingers for weeks and never gets better.

4. More surgery is scheduled. This time, the stakes are higher. A body part gets cut off this time. Dialysis becomes necessary. A lung collapses. The patient suffers a staph infection.

5. Lather, rinse, repeat until the patient is in a nursing home, strapped to a MRSA clogged IV, sitting in his own filthy diaper waiting for an overworked nurse assistant while watching endless reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond. His pain is so bad, even constipation-causing opiates do nothing to alleviate it. He wishes for death, because anything would be better than languishing in a destroyed, maimed shell of a body, humiliated when people do visit his freak show of agony and depressed when they do not.

I’d gladly put a gun in my mouth first, however, it’s not like the Death of A Thousand Cuts is a surprise. They know it is coming. They watch all their friends die of it. They fool themselves into a magic pill/there’s nothing I can do paradigm. This is my parent’s generation and it SUCKS.

Remember those commercials, so often lampooned, that asked parents if they had talked to their children about… fill in the blank: smoking, drugs, stranger danger?

I imagine a public service announcement in the vegan future that goes like this:

Have you talked to your aging parents about the Death of A Thousand Cuts?

I had this conversation with my parents a couple of times.

Mom, dad, do you realize you don’t have to repeat your friend’s mistakes?

Do you realize you can change your tune before the symphony is over?

Do you understand that meat, dairy, and eggs are addictive and that your doctor-dealer is suffering from the same addiction and papering over the effects in order to sell you drugs?

Do you realize you are being manipulated into buying addictive foods so you can be siphoned into expensive medical “care” which only ends in one result?

My parents hated that I smoked for a few years because they watched my grandparents die painful deaths of smoking-related diseases. There was also the fact I used to come home reeking like an ashtray after a weekend with grandma. Because I am a little shitski, I have deliberately confronted them with the irony of their addiction to eating animals versus the addiction of their own parents to smoking cigarettes. I’m repeating history. I’m nagging them because I love them and because I care.

I like to think if I nag hard enough, one day they’ll listen.

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Even the Gorillas and Bears in Our Zoos Are Hooked on Prozac

September 3, 2014
by

OC: I am against zoos, no question. First, animals are enslaved, made to perform and strut for human entertainment, gleeful, sticky hands poking at fin and fur. Second, they are raped, made to reproduce under the guise of conservation, never establishing that funds and greed are the main desire. And third, now they are drugged, stifling their natural urges, made to parade in a halcion-induced stage of docility. Please defend animals by never using them as entertainment, be it in a zoo, and aquarium, or other such nonsensical human-endorced whimsy.

Source Stop Making Sense
By mrdsk

Laurel Braitman, author of Animal Madness, featured excerpts from her book in Wired:

Excerpted from Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves‘One of the first nonhumans to be given psychopharmaceuticals as a patient (and not as a test subject) was a western lowland gorilla named Willie B., who was famous in Atlanta, Georgia. He was captured in Congo as an infant in the 1960s and sent to Zoo Atlanta, where he lived for 39 years, 27 of them alone in an indoor cage with a tire swing and a television. According to Mel Richardson, who was working as a veterinarian at Zoo Atlanta at the time, Willie broke a glass window in his enclosure in the winter of 1970–71 and had to be transferred to a much smaller cage for six months while the glass was replaced with heavy metal bars.

“He weighed around 400 pounds, and the cage was way too small for him,” said Mel. “If he stood up and stretched each arm all the way out he could almost touch both sides of the cage at once.” The vet staff decided to medicate him so that the six months would be more bearable. They put Thorazine in the Coca-Cola he drank in the morning. According to Mel, Willie responded to the drug as many institutionalized humans do: He shuffled back and forth across his cage with dulled eyes. “It was a little like watching the men in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” Mel said.

Dolphins, whales, sea lions, walruses, and other marine creatures in parks like SeaWorld have also been given psychotropic drugs for what their vets see as depression, anxiety, compulsive regurgitation, flank sucking, or other distressing behaviors. Two marine mammal veterinarians who have spent decades on staff or consulting for American animal-display facilities and the military’s marine mammal program told me that antidepressants and antipsychotics are commonly used but that “no one was going to talk to [me] about it.” Even they wouldn’t speak about the subject on the record.’

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Animals Rights is the Greatest Social Justice Issue Since the Abolition of Slavery

August 29, 2014
by

Source Free From Harm
By Free From Harm Staff Writers

Philip Wollen shakes the rafters of the auditorium with this 10-minute speech to the St James Ethics Centre and the Wheeler Centre debate in Australia on May 16, 2012. The larger debate consists of six speakers, three that make the case for getting animals off the menu and three that make the case against it. Wollen is a former VP of Citibank and Australian philanthropist who is known to keep out of the limelight. But he sure rose to the challenge for this debate to deliver a huge performance and a powerful message. Bravo!

Join Philip Wollen and the Kindness Trust on their Facebook page. Watch the full debate with all six speakers.

This is the transcript to the speech:

On behalf of St James Ethics Centre, the Wheeler Centre,
The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, The Age
The City of Melbourne and the ABC
All of whom have worked together to make this event possible
I would like to welcome
Philip Wollen

((Applause))

King Lear, late at night on the cliffs asks the blind Earl of Gloucester “How do you see the world?”

And the blind man Gloucester replies “I see it feelingly”.

Shouldn’t we all?

Animals must be off the menu because tonight they are screaming in terror in the slaughterhouse, in crates, and cages. Vile ignoble gulags of despair.
I heard the screams of my dying father as his body was ravaged by the cancer that killed him. And I realised I had heard these screams before.
In the slaughterhouse, eyes stabbed out and tendons slashed, on the cattle ships to the Middle East and the dying mother whale as a Japanese harpoon explodes in her brain as she calls out to her calf.
Their cries were the cries of my father.
I discovered when we suffer, we suffer as equals.
And in their capacity to suffer, a dog is a pig is a bear. . . . . . is a boy.
Meat is the new asbestos – more murderous than tobacco.

CO2, Methane, and Nitrous Oxide from the livestock industry are killing our oceans with acidic, hypoxic Dead Zones.
90% of small fish are ground into pellets to feed livestock.
Vegetarian cows are now the world’s largest ocean predator.
The oceans are dying in our time. By 2048 all our fisheries will be dead. The lungs and the arteries of the earth.
Billions of bouncy little chicks are ground up alive simply because they are male.
Only 100 billion people have ever lived. 7 billion alive today. And we torture and kill 2 billion animals every week.
10,000 entire species are wiped out every year because of the actions of one species.
We are now facing the 6th mass extinction in cosmological history.
If any other organism did this a biologist would call it a virus.
It is a crime against humanity of unimaginable proportions.
The world has changed.
10 years ago Twitter was a bird sound, www was a stuck keyboard, Cloud was in the sky, 4 g was a parking place, Google was a baby burp, Skype was a typo and Al Kider was my plumber.
Victor Hugo said “there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come”.

Read the rest on Free From Harm

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HSUS betrays animals. Again.

August 27, 2014
by
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Source Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary

This is a vigil for the billions of individuals whose lives are shattered for the palate pleasure and amusement of consumers whose taste for animal suffering trumps justice and compassion. It is a protest, a rejection of, and a necessary remedy for, the mockery that animal welfare advocates, “conscientious” consumers, and “humane” farmers have made of the word ‘respect’. It is a direct response to “RESPECT YOUR DINNER”, an HSUS sponsored event where participants are invited to experience the superior taste and texture of “humanely” enslaved, and “respectfully” murdered animals.

As participants will be “Hoofin it” around Denver for four consecutive days, savoring the burned remains of a different animal each day—a bison, a pig, a lamb, a calf—we will stand in solidarity, in sympathy, in outrage, and in deep sorrow with the animals whose lives, hearts, minds, memories, languages, and unique identities will have been obliterated into the ugliness of meat.

Join us in opposing the elitist notion that other animals exist for human use. Join us in celebrating the mind, the heart, the mystery that each sentient being brings to the world. Joins us in restoring the true meaning, practice, and moral significance of word ‘Respect’.

Live vegan and educate others about the vegan imperative.

A Follow Up To Our Four Night Vigil

It is with heavy hearts and exhausted souls that we had to shine the light of truth on the HSUS sponsored “Hoofin It” event which, as egregious as it was, was only one of countless events and partnerships that HSUS has had with animal killers for years.

HSUS’ crimes against the animals have been hidden in plain sight for anyone to see.

Although our original 4 night Vigil series was intended to present the “hoofed animal menu” victim’s perspective during each night’s horrific event, the entire Vigil was also meant to expose a much larger, more pervasive trend that not only the HSUS has been engaging in, but most major animal “rights” organizations, as well as major sanctuaries.

Their insistence on using the language of “factory farming” rather than “Animal Farming”, and their focus on “humane” reforms — which imply that animals can be enslaved, raped, kidnapped and murdered “humanely” — is what opened the flood gates for events like the HSUS sponsored “Hoofin It” atrocity, and many others.

This was not the first of its kind and will not be the last of its kind — sponsored by, sanctioned by, and created by the animals’ advocates’ refusal to include all animals in their advocacy.

What we’ve seen is a swapping out of one group of victims for another, and organizations calling it “progress”.

What we’ve seen is that huge multinational corporations (Tyson, Goodtimes Burgers, Chipotle…) are now using the language that animal protection organizations have given them, to promote the sale and consumption of “non factory farmed” animals.

What we know is that, when confronted with the horrors of factory farming, the public’s default response is now to look for products of animal misery that are labeled “humane”– thereby increasing the demand for animal suffering and death — instead of understanding that the only way to end this massive injustice is to become vegan.

At Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, we know the victims of all animal farming, and we know that our job as their advocates is to tell the public — and Vegans — the whole truth about the cruelty and injustice inherent in all animal farming/ use.

We call on all vegans to please realize that the consequences of opposing “factory farming” instead of “all animal farming” are devastating for the animals.

Promoting the feel-good lie that “humane” farming is, or can ever be, anything but an atrocity results only in increasing the demand for its blood products and, with it, in perpetuating the horror that the victims are forced to endure under the label “high welfare”.

Please tell the whole truth in your own advocacy, and call on all animal protection organizations and sanctuaries to do the same.

Live vegan and educate others about the vegan imperative.

Order a FREE vegan kit: http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/free-vegetarian-starter-kit.aspx

Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click on the below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend.

PETA: http://www.petacatalog.com/catalog/Literature-39-1.html

Action for Animals has a very low price : http://store.afa-online.org/home.php?cat=284

Have questions? Click HERE

Read more…

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