India was the first and only country in the world to completely ban the import of foie gras infuriating some of the nation's leading chefs. (2014)
Production of foie gras is prohibited
Foie gras production is illegal and is considered a grosse mistreatment of animals
Several countries across Europe have banned either the sale or production of foie gras. There are only 5 countries that still produce it throughout Europe.
The force feeding of geese / ducks was banned in 2005 and a bill proposed in 2013 would ban the production entirely of the product.
So what exactly is Foie Gras? Foie gras is the fatty liver of a duck / goose and is considered a delicacy in the world of food. The problem with foie gras is the method in which it is attained. Ducks / Geese have large tubes shoved down their throats and are forcibly fed obscene amounts of corn regularly to fatten up their livers. Ultimately the birds are slaughtered and their fatty livers are extracted and prepared as a "delicacy".
The biggest problem with the production of foie gras is the entire system itself. If you've ever been unlucky enough to watch a clip or witness the force feeding first hand, it's utterly shocking. Producers will argue many different things including that these birds have no gag reflex and therefore are not bothered by the large tubes shoved down their throats. They will also argue that these birds regularly gorge themselves during migration. Both of these stories are utter garbage and as I said, if you've witnessed the force feedings, no explanation will make up for seeing something like that.
Images of birds covered in food, cramped in tiny spaces, and having their beaks grabbed and forced open to allow this giant feeding tube to be shoved down their throats, that's the reality of foie gras. There's nothing "natural" or acceptable about it. The only people who argue that it's totally fine are the producers who don't want to lose the income, and greedy chefs who care only for money and not about the welfare of the animals that are being slaughtered for their stupid menu.
I'm so happy California reinstated this ban. The entire world should be on board considering the torture those birds go through. I can't imagine the emotional and mental stress those birds go through on the daily.
We're headed to Georgia for our latest story involving a tiger that was shot dead by police this week. Suzy, a bengal tiger that was recently released from the Ringling Brothers Circus, was shot and killed near an Atlanta highway after police describer her as being aggressive towards house pets. They also stated that it was done quickly and humanely. I hate that statement.
What the story fails to mention is what happens to the driver of the truck transporting these animals? He is reported as saying that he couldn't figure out how she got out and had no idea she had escaped. What does this say about his obvious mistake in not securing the vehicle properly? Is he accountable? Is the company he works for accountable? How does this work?
What it boils down to is the driver of the vehicle and his company. How in the hell is a tiger able to escape a vehicle unless there are extremely lackluster security measures being taken. This sort of thing is entirely preventable and that's what's most disturbing about it. THis gorgeous creature is slaughtered for a human's error.
It's my opinion that the driver and company should most definitely be fined. I also believe they should be forced to upgrade their security measures within an allotted time limit or face additional fines and potential charges. This is extremely negligent and now Suzy has paid the ultimate price.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Leave your comments or fb / tweet me with your comments. Do you think the driver & company should be held accountable or is this an unfortunate accident?
These stories really fry my ass when I read them for so many reasons. Zoo's are meant to be educational, informative, and safe for visitors and animals alike. They are supposed to have the animal's health and well being looked after and are supposed to provide a clean, well maintained space for animals to live and roam while enclosed. Unfortunately, roadside zoos often disregard all of these things for the sake of profits. Small, cramped enclosures, lack of veterinary care, and animals that are obtained illegally are all common among these pop up zoos. With that in mind, this takes us to Indiana where PETA recently visited Maple Lane Wildlife Park and discovered a slew of problems regarding animal welfare.
What's especially interesting is that this is not the first time the USDA has been involved with Maple Lane. In 2011, they were slapped with official warnings regarding lack of veterinary care, lack of clean space for animals, and lack of maintained safe enclosures for animals. Considering all of these things, is it really surprising that PETA discovered what they did at this attraction? Not at all.
Despite all of this, there's a much bigger picture here that needs to be addressed. With this and really any roadside zoo or attraction, it seems that there is a real problem with accountability. This roadside zoo in particular has apparently received official warnings several times since 2011 and yet here they are, operating without addressing a single issue. Animals continue to live in unsafe, dirty enclosures. They're apparently still lacking veterinary care and are still displaying signs of distress and emotional torment. So how does this happen?
Things need to get a lot stricter and punishments must start being doled out to prevent further neglect and abuse. It's evident that the USDA is aware of the issues with this zoo but their warnings are falling on deaf ears. This investigation by PETA proves that since their original warnings in 2011, nothing has changed. What do these official warnings even mean as far as accountability? Clearly they're a problem under the law, so why is nothing being further done about these problems? 2011 - 2017 is a long time. That's 6 years that Maple Lane has been warned repeatedly and continued to operate at the same level. This is not acceptable by any means.
In my opinion, there needs to be much more focus put on offering fines, punishments, and deadlines to rectify the problems. Had there been appropriate pressure put on Maple Lane in 2011, who's to say they'd even be operating at this point? Those animals could have been in a sanctuary somewhere by now if more had been done or at the very least cared for by a veterinarian. The USDA needs to step up their investigations and do more to ensure change.
What do you guys think? Do you think the USDA needs to step things up? Leave your comments on twitter, fb, or here of course!
I became a Vegetarian 16 years ago, and since then I've eaten meat only 3 times with two out of the three times being a complete accident. (The other time involved too much booze mixed with excruciating hunger) My question here is why are they eating it when there are plenty of solutions to this miniscule problem.
Solution number one is follow through with your commitment to animals and find a job as a vegetarian / vegan chef. Admittedly, I worked at KFC when I was younger and became a Vegetarian during that time. I wasn't as passionate as I am now and would never consider working in a kitchen that served meat. I haven't had anything to do with meat for years and would never compromise my beliefs for the sake of a job regardless of the pay. In my opinion, you can't truly be devoted to a vegetarian and cruelty free lifestyle while eating meat for the sake of a job. It's a bit of a hypocrisy if you ask me.
Solution number two would be to have the second chef in command the designated taster. I understand it being the chef's kitchen and any bad food is a reflection on them but eating it is a direct compromise of the supposed beliefs they hold. If you have a staff that you truly trust and appreciate, how can you not put your trust in them to taste for the very things you claim to be tasting for. Frankly, it makes no sense to me that they would continue eating meat for any reason.
Anyone can be a vegetarian or vegan if they want, but without a passion for the lifestyle, it's quite obviously easy to compromise those beliefs.
What do you guys think? Would you be willing to compromise your beliefs for the sake of a job? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
I found this story this morning and after reading it I realized it was right in line with everything I've been saying about animal cruelty charges. The story comes from the U.K. and it reports that almost 92% of animal cruelty convictions avoid jail time. It also reports that the current laws only see a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail which is the lowest in all of Europe. Knowing that very few cases see jail and that the maximum sentence is so miniscule, it is evident that there is a problem with the current system in the U.K.
With that being said, the same problems are happening here at home as I've reported in the past. Unfortunately, jail time doesn't accommodate convictions as often as it should and this is a real problem. Our punishments for convictions are harsher than those in the U.K but we will struggle to see jail time doled out as often as it should be in animal cruelty cases.
The problem with this is without an example being set, these things are going to continue happening. Animal cruelty is a serious problem and unless it is treated as a serious problem, there is no deterrent from committing the crime. Laws are put in place to deter someone from committing a crime, punishments that associate a conviction should be adequate and support the nature of the crime. As I've said, if there are little to no punishments associated with the crime, what is there to stop someone from taking part in animal cruelty?
In my opinion, animal cruelty needs to be viewed as a serious crime. Someone who abuses, neglects, exploits, or tortures a defenseless, innocent animal, needs to be punished to the full extent of the law. Jail time must be associated with animal cruelty simple as that. Without jail time, what kind of punishment is that? When you consider that any kind of crime against an animal is comparable to a crime against a child, it's hard for me to fathom that the punishment doesn't support the nature of the crime. Things most definitely need to change.
To read the full story, visit the link at the top of the post. What do you guys think? Do you think jail time should be mandatory for animal cruelty convictions or do you feel the current system is working? Would love to get your comments!
Animal rights advocates have been around for ages and they've definitely grown in abundance over the years. Everyone has a friend / family member who is passionate about animal rights and / or living a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. This indicates a shift in the views on animal welfare and the effects of animal agriculture on the environment. If I've learned anything during my time at Healthy Mama restaurant, it's that there are a growing number of people investing in this lifestyle and more people wanting animal rights brought to the forefront.
Despite this growing shift, there is and always will be one very large hurdle in the fight for animal rights and that's our very own Government(s).
When you think of the ag-gag bill for example, this bill is the result of these industries growing tired of being exposed for their atrocities and wanting it to stop. Governments recognize the value of the meat industry and somehow, these bills find their way into fruition despite opposition from many an animal rights organization. Instead of working towards a solution to the animal abuse and torture documented in these industries, we are seeing bills like the ag-gag instated to prevent exposure. A bandaid to the problem without actually fixing the root cause. If these industries were forced to monitor their businesses more intensely and they were regularly checked up on / reviewed, the abuse would stop. All of the injustices will continue and nobody within any position of power seems to bat an eye. This is the problem!
Another example of this is my very own fight. As I've mentioned in the past, I discovered that Canada's bestiality laws were severely outdated and actually condoned sexual activity with animals. Upon discovering this, I immediately started shooting off emails and letters to anyone of authority who could answer to this. My only hope was opening a dialogue but I was rejected on every level. It was absolutely devastating and really made me question whether my concerns were even important.
I finally spoke to my local MP looking for help and I was shocked to discover the sad reality of animal rights. She told me that their party had introduced several bills protecting animals and were rejected on every one of them. Our government here in Canada cares not for animals, not in the least. Look at our seal hunt, it's a shame we participate in this unnecessarily cruel sport but evidence that our government is against us on the issue.
As I said, the biggest hurdle will always be the government. Very few countries have advanced animal rights with the exception of switzerland, the U.K, and Austria. Despite the countless advocacy groups emerging, our governments are not receptive to this change and are working against a more humane and peaceful treatment of animals.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
It is in the continued efforts of advocacy groups, bloggers like myself, and public displays, that our governments will have no choice but to at least allow a discussion. Stories involving animal cruelty within the slaughter industry are frequent and people are not impressed. Why haven't these industries done more to protect and preserve their animals? Why are they continuing to live in squalor? The simple fact is, we must continue to expose them, document and share these stories, and spread the positive vibes in our everyday lives.
I suggest contacting your local / federal representatives expressing your displeasure of our current animal welfare standings. Talk to your friends / family and educate them (without dramatic slaughter videos or negativity) about the negative impact of the meat industry. Show up for rallies or demonstrations, even organize one if you feel confident to do so. We must continue to expose these atrocities and set in stone our country's dedication to animals. Perseverance is the best approach and as our community continues to grow, so will our voices. So will our opportunities.
Never give up on this fight for animals, they deserve so much more than what we've given them. It's time for that to change!
Check out my animal rights stories and let me know your opinions!
Great news for shelter animals in Vancouver as the city has just approved a ban on selling cats, dogs, and rabbits in pet stores. This is big news for shelter animals who compete with pets bred for sale to be adopted.
Pets bred in facilities and sold at pet stores often live in poor conditions prior to their arrival leaving them in physical or emotional distress and with potential disease and behavioural problems. All of this while animals in shelters are struggling to be adopted and risk being euthanized due to overcrowding. It's a vicious cycle that sees several hundred animals euthanized while pets at pet stores get adopted out frequently.
What this ban actually means is that overcrowding in shelters will see these animals moved to pet stores as opposed to being euthanized. Several animals will be spared from being euthanized and given another opportunity to be adopted out. This is going to see less animals euthanized, more animals adopted out, and less taxpayer money going to housing animals heading to be euthanized. It's a win win from every angle.
It's long overdue but definitely a step in the right direction. The allure of store bought pets has long been the reason many shelter pets are euthanized. Pet store pets are bred for sale and are often young and seemingly more appealing that an older pet in a shelter. People rarely consider that these pet store pets have been bred for sale and shelter pets who once knew love are struggling to be noticed.
Adopting an animal is a magical thing. It's an opportunity for us to give a home and love to an animal who once had everything and ended up in a shelter. It's such a personally rewarding feeling that can't be compared to purchasing a kitten / puppy from a pet store. Saving an animal should be enough of a reason to go the shelter route and now with this bill coming into action it will be the only route. I'm so happy to know that so many shelter animals will be given another opportunity to find their perfect family!
Canadian Veterinarians have spoken out and confirmed that they have had to regularly euthanize healthy pets at the owner's request. Although it is happening less and less, it is still a fact that is a hard pill to swallow.
As animals are still considered "property" of their owners, there are no rules or guidelines for veterinarians when it comes to this subject. Basically, despite a veterinarian's reservations about performing the procedure, it is still up to the owners what happens to their animals and therefore euthanizing healthy pets is unfortunately accepted.
This is most disturbing and incredibly frustrating at the same time. How is it that our animals are so poorly protected that we get to decided when they die? How is it that there are no rules or regulations regarding euthanizing an animal? It's utterly disgusting to think that people bring their animals in because they don't want them anymore, or are moving, or something trivial like that and that a veterinarian will end the animal's life at the request of the owners.
In the case of terminal sickness, euthanizing an animal is obviously sparing it months or years of agony but there are few other reasons deemed acceptable to me when it comes to euthanizing a pet.
Here's my problem. If the government is NOT WILLING to improve our laws protecting animals and their rights, why aren't the veterinarians speaking out and approaching our lawmakers? They are in a position to have their voices heard and yet they quietly refuse / say nothing at all. They are employed to care about our animals, to help them when they are in distress and yet they will euthanize your pet if you ask them nicely?? What the hell is that?? That is not something someone who truly cares about animals would do. How could you possibly euthanize a healthy animal knowing it to be healthy? You're knowingly ending a life that could have spanned several more years, it's despicable.
Euthanizing an animal should be a last resort and Veterinarians should have the right to refuse euthanasia based on health. They should also have the authority to report this as animal cruelty because that is exactly what this is. Taking a happy, healthy animal and trying to have it put down because you don't want them anymore? That's not a crime?!?!?!?! As far as I'm concerned, the complete disregard for life should be punishable by law or at least result in a ban on owning animals.
I know I have said in the past that bans on owning animals are not suitable punishment for animal abuse but in the case of unnecessary euthanasia, I feel it is most appropriate. Strip away that person's right to ever own an animal again. Strip away the privilege of having a companion animal, strip away their right to ever experience animal love again. They don't deserve it anyways!
Look, responsible pet ownership is so important. Never adopt an animal if you are not financially secure enough to care for it. Never adopt an animal if your life is not stable otherwise you are bringing it into a situation that is not best. Never ever think that euthanizing your pet is "way out", it's literally the most disgusting thing I've ever heard.
As far as the Veterinarians, I think you people should collectively challenge this protocol and demand that certain qualifications be met for euthanasia. I also believe there should be reports to the authorities for unlawful euthanization. Time to step up and demand the very best for the animals you supposedly care so much for.
Canada, wake the f!@k up! We project an image of peace, compassion, and empathy, yet we participate in morally questionable activities involving animals and have absolutely no regard for their rights or worth. Our laws allow molestation of animals, our laws allow repeat offenders to receive nothing short of a slap on the wrist. The fact is, our tax dollars are contributing to the slaughter of innocent babies in the name of profit. Canada is not as empathetic and peaceful as we've been lead to believe now is it?
Bothered and want to help? Visit the Humane Society International's website to find out how!
Also, take the time to use your voice! Send your complaints into the Prime Minister's inbox(https://pm.gc.ca/eng/connect) or contact your local MP and find out what you can do to help. At this very moment, babies are being killed. We can't allow the government to think we stand for this barbaric earning of money in the name of blood.
Easter means a lot of different things to different people. If you're a religious person, the sentiment is obvious while if you're a child, it's about the baskets filled with wonderful sweet treats. If you're a bunny, easter is a very sad time full of abandonment. Bunnies are the third most adopted pet in America and also the third most abandoned.
As the article states, people have many misconceptions about bunnies in regards to their care, their lifespans, and the importance of providing them with a loving home. They are not gifts to be given at Easter to children who may or may not understand how to care for them. They are living beings that require love, patience, and care.
Bunnies can live up to 10 or more years and are not a gift to give to someone who is not ready for that kind of commitment. Unfortunately, they are given up all too frequently because people are not ready to commit themselves to these precious little animals and therefore end up at adoption centers soon after Easter is over.
If you're considering getting a bunny, please consider not only the commitment you must be willing to make but consider the bunnies themselves. These beautiful, adorable animals are not fly by night gifts, they are living beings who will provide you with love and lots of fun. Do your homework before adopting so that you are prepared for the challenges ahead. Know their diets, study their actions, and be ready for everything that comes along with owning a pet. Don't let these bunnies suffer because of our own selfishness.
Stay educated and remain involved in animal welfare. Together, we can all make a difference!