4 Poachers were arrested in Kruger National Park in South Africa including a South African National Parks employee. The four men were found to be in possession of freshly cut rhino horns, rifles and ammunition attempting to flee the park before being caught. Rangers were tipped off and managed to block the perpetrators from leaving essentially arresting them and confiscating their vehicles and possessions.
A representative for SANpark said that they are always upset when an employee is involved in these sorts of poaching activities but it is unfortunately commonplace. Rhino horns are worth a significant amount of money and poachers will often risk their lives to obtain these horns in hopes of financial gain. What's especially disturbing is that employees of the SANpark organization will attempt to get hired solely for the purpose of slipping under the radar and gaining access to these beautiful animals.
Greed is such a horrible trait attributed to humans because it will push us to do awful things without thinking. Obviously, the idea of wiping a species off of the planet is not enough of a deterrence so you have to wonder, what other things are these awful people capable of? I've had a lot of personal experience with greed and I know for a fact that it always leads to negative outcomes. Don't get me wrong, I've also always been very giving and eager to help my friends or family when they needed it but I know first hand the dangers of greed and the poisonous effect it has on us. Always longing for more despite having what we need will cause us to go out of our way to do things that are almost always wrong and will have negative outcomes. Greed is such a big motivating factor when it comes to poaching because the dream of getting rich trumps any common sense or logic about a situation making it one of the most dangerous of the seven deadly sins.
As I said, rhino poaching has seen a decline thanks to the hard work of everyone who fights daily to protect them but this fight is far from over. What I think we need to see is countries that are sourcing this ivory taking a stand and banning it entirely. These places that are taking in the ivory are just as guilty as those who go out and poach the rhinos because without demand there would be no need for poaching. As I said, this greed is a continuous loop of problems that will only end when either ivory is banned globally or when there are absolutely no rhinos left and we inevitably go to synthetics to create the goods we currently use ivory for. Knowing this, why are these countries not swapping out ivory now in place of synthetics because if they continue down this path, that will be the inevitable outcome.
Anyways, I hope these 4 men get exactly what they deserve and end up in prison for what they're done but I also hope that the people and places who are searching for ivory will get their heads out of their asses and realize that ivory is for rhinos and elephants and not for stupid trinkets, statues, and jewelry.
California is once again demonstrating its commitment to animals and a dedication to tackling climate change by introducing a bill that gives plant based options to students from kindergarten to grades 12 across the board. What this means is that plant based foods including veggie burgers, beans and lentils, and plant based milks will be readily available and dished out to students in place of meat / dairy in an effort to combat global warming and reduce their carbon footprint.
California is widely recognized as a leader in animal rights but it's their commitment to tackling global warming that's also deserving of recognition. After a year of devastating wild fires directly linked to global warming, they are determined to reduce their carbon footprint 40% pre 19999 by the year 2030 which is ambitious to say the least. As an area that has suffered exponentially because of a warming climate, they are breaking away from the United States overall denial of climate change thanks to President Trump and committing to reducing their impact significantly.
This bill will put plant based meals in cafeterias across California and also educate staff on the importance of plant based foods and their lesser impact on emissions. They intend to swap out beef burgers for veggie burgers and also offer plant based foods in place of other meat / dairy foods. Recognizing not only that plant based foods are less damaging to produce than their meat / dairy counterparts, they also recognize the health benefits of eating more plant based foods. These benefits include more fiber and nutrients and significantly less fat and cholesterol.
What I especially love about this is that it will allow students to make the choice more often to go plant based and by doing so, perhaps that will be brought home and parents too will get on board with more plant based meals in place of meat / dairy forward dishes. Our choices directly influence the course of global warming and with a government that is choosing to deny the existence of global warming, it's amazing that California remains steadfast in their commitment to tackling their emissions and doing their part to reduce their impact.
Congrats California! <3
A rare goat was hunted by a trophy hunter in Pakistan after the hunter paid over 100, 000 dollars to obtain the very limited permit. This money is reportedly to be put into future conservation which as you all know, I think is complete and total bullshit. To say that you are helping to conserve a species while shooting it dead is as hypocritical a statement as any I've ever heard.
As there are only reportedly 6, 000 or less of these goats left in the wild, Pakistan officials monitor the hunts to make sure that no laws are broken regarding the hunt. It's interesting to me that they acknowledge that there are minimal amounts of these beautiful goats left in the wild but still allow these sickos to come and shoot them dead if they pay the right price. It seems to work against the protection of a species when that species is already suffering in numbers. The worst part of this story is that the goat that was shot was sitting right next to a young goat, likely its offspring, when it was shot dead. Can you imagine the fear that little baby experienced as the adult next to it dropped to the ground from being fatally shot?
Photo taken from World Animal News
It saddens me to think that there is a price associated with shooting rare or exotic animals dead. Like we somehow own these animals and have a right to decide how much their lives are worth. I think that's what bothers me most of all about trophy hunting is that we as humans have given ourselves the ownership of wild species and allow such despicable acts to occur if someone is willing to pay the right amount of money. Think of all the good you could do with over one hundred thousand dollars like, how many charities could benefit from that money and yet some pervert douche bag spends it on stalking and shooting a wild animal dead. It's so twisted.
Until these places accept that trophy hunting is the opposite of conservation, then we will continue to see these awful stories and pictures. Pictures of jackasses smiling behind corpses they for some reason are super proud of slaughtering, like the one above for example. There ARE some places however that are coming around to trophy hunting being abhorrent and Columbia is one of them.
Columbia has introduced a bill that will come into effect in 2020 that effectively bans sport hunting. They stated that it was contradictory to their efforts to protect their diverse wildlife and could no longer allow people to come and pay money to shoot animals. They said that they recognize that animals are alive, feel emotions, and have a will to live, one that cannot be bought and this couldn't be any more true. Finally, a place that recognizes the hypocrisy in conserving a species through shooting them.
My hope is that other countries / places will follow suit and recognize that trophy hunting is unnecessary and simply allows people to get their perverted fantasies fulfilled. There's nothing redeemable about hunting animals and it's time for the world to join together and ban trophy hunting entirely.
A small Russian town has declared a state of emergency after over 50 polar bears have wandered into town infiltrating housing areas, apartment buildings, and school yards. The authorities are unsure of what to do because it is illegal to hunt polar bears as they are classified as a protected species so precautionary measures have been put in place. School yards have had fences erected in an effort to keep the bears out and people are being shuttled to and from their jobs in military trucks. Previous attempts to scare the bears away like warning / alarm shots have been unsuccessful and residents are now reportedly scared to leave their houses.
We know for a fact that there are parts of the world where humans are already feeling the effects of global warming. Whether you're a believer or not, hurricanes are getting stronger. Whether you believe it or not, weather patterns are changing. Whether you believe it or not, low lying villages in third world countries are subject to constant flooding because of rising sea water. Places like Venice Italy are speculated to be fully submerged in however many years at this alarming rate. The fact is, everyone and everything is suffering and will continue to unless we take some seriously drastic measures to start countering these ill effects.
The polar bear is the most widely recognized creature that has suffered at the hands of global warming. Pictures emerged last year of an emaciated polar bear supposedly looking for food, suffering from starvation. Now, there were reports the bear was actually sick but regardless, they depicted a grim scene. What we saw was a once thriving species dying off before our very eyes. All of their hunting ground is disappearing and they are left to rifle through garbage or find somewhere else to look for food. This won't stop either if the arctic continues to warm up at this rate, it will become worse and worse until they have completely disappeared. Habitat loss is among the top predecessors to an animal going extinct aside from poaching.
What will they do about the bears? Well, what can they do? It is illegal to hunt them, expensive to relocate them, and we've kind of left them with absolutely no options. So, what can we do?
This article I found from World Animal News really does beg the question, when do we abandon traditions when we know they are wrong? This question is brought to you by Wisconsin United States where the annual Ridgeland Pioneer Days is celebrating its annual Free Chicken Fly where over 200 chickens are thrown from rooftops to a crowd that gathers below.
Animal advocates and the Wisconsin Animal Law Associates have asserted that the chicken toss is a violation of the animal cruelty law, past district attorneys have stated that the chickens do not suffer unnecessary pain or suffering nor do they incur unjustifiable death. Now, is this coming from factual evidence or is this solely based on the protection of a tradition that is extremely questionable? I can tell you from an outside perspective that there is something seriously wrong with this. How can anyone argue that the chickens don't experience unnecessary suffering when they're being thrown from the rooftops of buildings to a cheering crowd below?
These chickens are likely suffering emotional and mental distress from the moment they are brought up to the tops of these buildings as people scream and cheer below. They likely suffer emotional and mental distress as they are wound up to be thrown off the building and if they're not caught by the people below who participate, they likely suffer immense physical distress if they hit the ground. Anyone in a right state of mind could not argue that these chickens don't suffer so it's my belief that whoever is defending this is only defending the tradition and neglecting the actual distress of the birds who are forced to participate.
As animal advocacy, veganism, and a general concern for animals continues to become more prevalent in our society, I don't see these activities continuing forever but there is no better time than the present to put an end to them. There is something so disturbing about wanting to see chickens thrown from rooftops. There is something so disturbing about watching a terrified calf flee for its life as someone riding a horse chases it down and ropes it aggressively pulling it to the ground. There is something disturbing about watching a bull fight for its life as it is repeatedly jabbed and prodded risking its life for our entertainment. We cannot continue to argue for tradition when our traditions are rooted in evil. There has to come a point where we evaluate what we are doing and look for less cruel options you know?
If you want to lend your voice to the end of the chicken toss, you can head to the original link at the top of this post from World Animal News and follow their instructions to help put an end to this atrocious tradition. They neglected to post the date for this event likely to avoid animal advocates knowing in advance to protest but it's reported it will take place mid February. Even if it commences, the more people who speak out against it the better!
When you think about what animal activism means, it's hard not to think of a traditional idea. Protests, vigils, cubes of truth, word of mouth etc., these types of everyday activism are what we're using to reading about or seeing and although they most definitely classify as activism, there's a whole world of activism out there and some of it is incredibly dangerous.
Africa has some of the most beautiful and unfortunately, most at risk animals on the planet. Animals like rhinos, elephants, and big cats are poached regularly and there's an all female, vegan anti-poaching group in Africa that is risking their lives everyday to help protect and conserve these animals. The group, Akashinga which means "The Brave Ones" were most recently featured on CBS news and in the past year alone, have arrested 80 poachers and likely saved hundreds of animals.
What's especially great about this group of hard-working women is that they have a solid plan for their growth and for putting an end to trophy hunting and poaching. By 2030, they expect to have a working group of over 2000 women and hope to completely eradicate trophy hunting altogether.
As we know, trophy hunting is often disguised as conservation because the money these assholes pay to hunt these endangered animals is claimed to go towards conserving them but there couldn't be any more of a hypocritical statement then that. There is absolutely no logic behind this and frankly, trophy hunting needs to be banned completely. What kind of a sick person would spend tens of thousands of dollars just to stalk and shoot a living creature? It's sick and is driving beautiful animals to extinction regardless of these claims of conservation.
Kudos to these amazing women who risk their lives to protect some of the most endangered animals on the planet. This is what true activism looks like and I can only hope to one day be as valuable to the animal kingdom as these amazing women are.
A farmer who'd been raising lambs for slaughter for over 47 years decided to bring his latest group of lambs to an animal sanctuary instead of the slaughterhouse costing him in upwards of 10, 000 pounds. He states,
"“It was approaching autumn, the time I would usually take my lambs to market. I realized this year, I couldn’t do it. For many years, the issue of killing the animals played on my mind. I used to unload sheep at the abattoir and witnessed first-hand how they would huddle in terror at the back of the lorry. They knew what was going to happen.”
He has since gone vegetarian and plans to sell plant based cuisine at local farmers markets and pending his success, hopes to open a plant based restaurant in his hometown in the near future. What an inspiring and wonderful story of compassion. You know, it's never too late to make the right choice and as he said, the knowledge of bringing his animals to slaughter and witnessing them huddle in terror knowing what was coming was eating away at him. As someone who has never witnessed that sort of life, I can't even begin to imagine what that feeling must do to you over so many years of raising animals and delivering them to their deaths.
As he states, he witnessed the lambs huddled in terror because they knew what was coming and that speaks to me. These animals most definitely feel fear and they can always tell when the fee;ling of the atmosphere has changed. They can sense when things are about to get bad and this causes them immense fear and emotional distress. It's indisputable the fear they must fear as they are lead to their deaths and to be able to do that on a daily basis is simply too difficult a thought for me to bear.
The good news is, stories like this are not as unique as you might think. I've reported before on situations like this where farmers have a change of heart after years of leading animals to their deaths and frankly, it needs to happen more often. If you spend enough time with these animals, you cannot deny their sentience. They feel fear, love, distress, sadness, happiness etc., so once we recognize on a global level these things about animals, we will hopefully see more and more farmers turning away from raising livestock for slaughter.
Kudos to this man for his change of heart and I hope these lambs enjoy their new lives on a sanctuary where they will live out their remaining years being happy and well taken care of.
It looks like Hawaii might be the next place around the world to put an end to the production and sale of fur. Fur Free Society has been working with Senator Mike Gabbard to put together and introduce a bill that will ban fur entirely within the state. Hawaii would join a growing list of people / places that are abandoning fur due to its extreme cruelty to animals.
Despite the temperatures suggesting that fur wouldn't be sold there, there are plenty of higher end designers in the state that offer fur products to travelers and this bill would see that put to an end. Fur is still seen by some as a luxurious product despite the common knowledge that it is obtained cruelly in every case and is the result of immense cruelty to animals. This feeling of luxury is what continues to drive the sales of fur and bills like the one being introduced are completely necessary to put an end to fur altogether.
As I've stated several hundred times before, I can't think of any other product derived from animals that is more abhorrent and unnecessary than fur. The animals used for fur are not utilized in any other manner which means after their fur is ripped from their bodies, they are useless and disregarded. Minks, foxes, and coyotes most recognizably suffer at the hands of the fur industry and as I stated, they serve no other purpose to the industry which means that their corpses are discarded in vain. There is absolutely no place for fur in today's society considering the plentiful alternatives available to us.
The world is shifting its attitudes towards animals and we are seeing animal rights take center stage which means that fur is probably going to be one of the first "products" stolen from animals to be abolished from our planet. As I said, there are plenty of luxury fashion brands that have recently banned fur from their future collections and places around the world that have banned its production / sale entirely. It's only a matter of time before the millions of animals that continue to suffer for fur products are spared a life of cruelty at the hands of fashion.
Kudos Hawaii for your recognition of the cruelty of fur and here's to a complete ban on all fur products :)
Activists were met with aggressive bullying at a rodeo event in New Zealand while filming the horrors that happen within the walls of a rodeo event. Although most activists protested peacefully outside, a few decided to purchase tickets and take it upon themselves to film within the event where they were met with aggressive bullying and harassment. This aggression is not surprising when you consider that the rodeo is literally a sport centered around the abuse of animals.
Most recently, a horse escaped a chute at an event at the Gisborne Rodeo and was killed while a bull had to be shot and killed after dislocating its leg at a bull riding event. Rodeo organizers would have you believe that these are "freak accidents" and don't reflect general happenings but in the same token won't allow you to film within the walls of the events because the videos can be taken out of context...Interesting.
The fact is, rodeos are horrendously cruel events that exploit animals for the sake of human entertainment. As we see more and more circus' banned around the world that use wild animals for entertainment, it's curious to me that rodeos have not yet met that same fate. Both exploit animals for entertainment except at the rodeo, that cruelty and abuse is on full display for all to see. How can someone watch as a baby cow runs for its life while people on horses chase it down and rope it aggressively to the ground? It's a sickening display of cruelty that needs to be put to an end!
The fact is, a lot of these types of things are rooted in tradition and that's why despite people turning against these types of events, they are harder to shut down. Organizers and traditionalists will claim that this is their heritage and it is an integral part of their history. Much is the case with horse drawn carriages you know? We can get around now much more easily with vehicles, bikes, electronic scooters / bikes, public transit etc., but because horse drawn carriages are a part of our supposed heritage, they remain on the streets.
It's time to accept that the world is ever-changing and some parts of our heritage need to buried and become part of our history. Any kind of sport or entertainment that exploits animals for our benefit needs to be put to rest permanently. Times are changing and we need to move forward, reflective of the changes in attitude towards animal cruelty. Enough with using tradition or heritage as an excuse to abuse animals for entertainment!
A roadside zoo in Pennsylvania is facing animal cruelty ;lawsuits after the discovery of several of its animals living in horrid conditions, some of which fall under the ESA (Endangered Species Act). The Farmers Inn roadside zoo was discovered to have several animals that appeared to be in desperate condition on its property and now they face cruelty lawsuits from the Animal Legal Defense Fund who exposed some of the conditions of the animals.
These animals were found to be living in cramped cages and appeared to be poorly cared for by the roadside zoo. A ring tailed lemur found on the property was found to be in solitary confinement despite the fact that they are extremely social animals which undoubtedly causes the animal unnecessary mental and emotional distress. Black bears were found to be dehydrated, foxes appeared to be suffering from untreated mange, a goat suffered from malnutrition, and one of their rain forest mammals was suffering from an untreated infection of the eye.
I've reported on the problem with roadside zoos before but the fact is, these places rarely get their animals in a legal manner and almost always poorly care for them. Roadside zoos are often monitored poorly and that's why they are able to operate under the radar for so many years before being exposed. Although recognized and licensed zoos have their share of problems, they often operate with proper intentions when it comes to their animals. They will have appropriate space for their animals to live and veterinary services readily available in the case of a sick or injured animal. Roadside zoos simply do not have these services at their disposal and solely operate to exploit animals and make money off of unsuspecting tourists are passing through.
Please guys, never ever stop at a roadside zoo. In fact, let me take this one step further, should you spot a roadside zoo on your travels, notify your local animal rescue organization of their operation so that they may take the opportunity to visit and determine whether their animals are properly cared for. As I said, these zoos often operate under the radar and without someone to expose them, they will continue to exploit animals for profit.
Stay educated and remain involved in animal welfare. Together, we can all make a difference!