Another day, another lawsuit for the Trump administration. The Center for Biological Diversity recently sued the National Marine Fisheries Service for their utter lack of effort in protecting two varieties of seal that have suffered tremendous habitat loss largely in part due to climate change. Unsurprisingly, Trump and his administration's continuous denial of climate change has proven to be a big hurdle for conservationists and animal welfare activists who are witnessing animals like the Ringed Seal and Bearded Seals become more and more endangered because appropriate efforts to protect them are not being put in place.
As ice caps continue to melt, these seals are losing their native areas to repopulate and live which is putting them in a very dangerous position. Under the Endangered Species Act, it is law that the government work towards a plan to save the animals and protect their environment. The Trump administration's lack of effort is once again causing serious problems in the animal kingdom and as I mentioned, these seals are at serious risk of going extinct if appropriate measures are not taken to address the root causes of their habitat loss.
This is not the first lawsuit for the Trump administration has been sued for their lack of effort. Most recently, they were sued for not doing enough to protect giraffes who are facing serious perils in the wild and are at risk of going extinct. The government has an obligation to the animals on this planet to protect them and his administration is repeatedly failing them. These lawsuits are continued proof that he has absolutely no regard for animal welfare.
With the seals, the administration MUST under the endangered species act work towards a realistic goal in reducing carbon emissions that are directly affecting the ice these animals live on. The reliance on fossil fuels and lack of effort in finding environmentally friendly alternatives is destroying their habitat and will continue to do so until there is nothing left to save. His administration needs to step up and do the responsible thing and better protect all species before we see the extinction of so many animals under his term.
I'll update you guys on this story as it develops!
A lawsuit from Animal Legal Defense Fund and Lockwood Animal Rescue center against Fur-Ever Wild in Minnesota will officially be moving to trial after it was decided that the wolves in its possession were still considered part of the Endangered Species Act. Let's back track here and discuss what this Fur-Ever Wild is all about.
Fur-Ever Wild is a working agricultural farm that celebrates the traditional connections to the land and mother nature according to their website. They operate as a roadside petting zoo but interestingly, they also breed wolves to use in their petting areas but this is not the only interesting part of this story. The owner has no qualms about admitting that she eventually skins the wolves and sells their pelts for profit which makes this entire establishment a disgusting, cruel, and exploitative business that operates solely at the expense of the animals they claim to have such a deep respect for.
What this story demonstrates is human kinds entitlement when it comes to animals. We have granted ourselves the right to use every single animal on the planet for our own devices and manipulate and exploit them however we please. Circus' that take animals that belong in the wild and force them to perform tricks for profit, Marine Parks that leave cetaceans in abhorrent and solitary conditions their whole lives and force them to perform tricks and shows, all for our own gain. In every case of exploitation, it is never the animal that willingly contributes nor do any of these animals ever have anything to gain, it's honestly shameful that the human race has continued to operate this way.
As made evident by factory farms where millions of animals are abused and live in squalor every single day for our plates, or the hundreds of thousands of animals that live in cages until the very minute they are skinned for fashion, we are a despicable creature. We will take and take and take until there is nothing left to take and the effects of these actions are showing. Animals that were once abundant are going extinct and rapidly no less, this is directly related to our constant need for wealth, or land, or these things we feel entitled to without even an ounce of responsibility or acknowledgment to the suffering and devastation we are contributing to.
In this case, I strongly feel like this will result in a conviction against Fur-Ever Wild. I feel this way because regardless of what they try to spin, these animals are endangered and have been listed as protected. These beautiful animals are in danger of becoming only a memory and places like hers breed them for petting zoos only to skin them and profit off of their skins, I can't think of anything redeemable about her operation. I believe she will be convicted because this cannot go unpunished, and her operation is unapologetically exploitative and for that, she deserves the conviction.
What do you guys think?
People across Canada and the United States have been boycotting places like Sea World and Marine Land drawing heaps of attention to the plight of marine animals. This was never simply about the exploitation of these creatures which was well documented, it was about the conditions that these highly intelligent creatures were living in that also drew so much outrage. First, let's discuss the most obvious of problems, the exploitation.
Places like Marine Land or Sea World take in millions of dollars of profit from these animals at their expense. Shows where dolphins or killer whales perform tricks for adoring customers seem harmless enough but the fact is simple, they live shitty lives away from the cameras and excitable tourists. These creatures naturally live in the ocean with endless amounts space to swim, feed, socialize etc., and in these parks they live in tanks equivalent to the size of a bathtub where they spend their entire lives. It's been proven that in almost every case, they suffer psychological problems and constant emotional and mental distress. There's absolutely nothing acceptable with the conditions in which they have had to live and it is even less acceptable that their pain and suffering is what brings in money for these theme parks.
Secondly, it's a well known fact that these creatures are some of the smartest on the planet. Their intelligence is well documented along with other facts about them that would lead us to believe that their lives at theme parks are emotionally and mentally distressing for them. Some of these beautiful cetaceans spend their lives in these tanks with absolutely no contact with others of their kind. As I mentioned, they have very complex social ability and living in solitary confinement is hardly good for them. All of this on top of the repeated reports of suspicious whale and dolphin deaths at Sea World and it's completely evident that there is no place in our society for cetaceans in captivity.
This is a major victory for Canada which frankly, doesn't have the best track record for animal rights. Bestiality in some cases still remains legal due to unchanged animal rights laws, fur is still produced, and the seal hunt continues to happen every year which is the biggest demonstration of animal cruelty if I ever saw one. Canada has a long way to go when it comes to animal rights but making history with banning the captivity of cetaceans is definitely the right kind of start!
Included in this list are giraffes, rhinos of all variety, and different shark species, all of which face the same perils. Typically, illegal poaching is the biggest threat these animals face because of human's salacious desire to hunt these beautiful creatures for their perceived values in medicine or the black market. Although there are several initiatives to protect them, so much more work is to be done to truly prevent these creatures from being wiped off of the planet.
In my opinion, the two biggest hurdles that we must tackle are HABITAT LOSS and ILLEGAL POACHING. Habitat loss is often due to human expansion which unfortunately cannot be helped but where we choose to expand is the probloem. Included in human expansion is the agriculture industry which continues to grow as the need for livestock and produce increases with human population growth. Livestock agriculture is the leading culprit in habitat loss because of the vast land needed to house, feed, and slaughter these animals. If the planet made a conscious decision to reduce or remove the need for livestock, we could protect so much more land for these animals that are facing extinction as produce agriculture requires significanlty less land and resources.
Poaching is also a leading cause of endangerment. There are several countries working towards tackling illegal poaching but the black market continues to thrive causing illegal poaching to remain relevant. What makes illegal poaching so surprising is that these people often forget that once they've wiped out all of these animals, there will be nothing left for them to poach essentially putting them in a position of desperation and financial ruin once again. Slaughtering rhinos or elephants for horns, tigers or leopards for their percieved medicinal purposes, giraffes for their parts, etc., is leading these animals to extinction. Once there are none left, there will be no more black market but we cannot allow this to be why the black market fails. We must put an end to any form of hunting of emndangered animals once and for all.
The U.S. Wildlife Services killed almost 1.5 million native animals last year and almost all of them were to protect the agriculture industry, in otherwords, livestock, livestock feed and grazing areas, and produce. Among these animals intentionally killed were endangered gray wolves, cougars, bobcats, coyotes, and black bears including cubs. This also includes animals unintentionally killed which included bobcats, foxes, bears, and other non target species like cardinals, eagles, and otters.
Their aim to protect the agriculture industry is their only explaination for such an astronimcally high amount of animals slaughtered and often times these animals are killed in outdated and barbaric ways.
“I’m outraged that the Department of Agriculture continues to needlessly slaughter our important native wildlife,” Collette Adkins, carnivore conservation director at the Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement. She goes on to state that there is no scientific data that supports killing these animals even in the case of protecting the agricuklture industry. This is especially true when you consider that gray wolves are endangered and face extinction if not properly protected but it appears that profitsn once again trump the severity of protecting a species from extinction.
What is especially important to note is why these animals are being killed, to protect agriculture. I find myself wondering if this is the ONLY way to prevent these animals from disrupting agriculture or if this just happens to be the easiest way. The major problem I have with this is that almost all of these animals are natural predators / carnivores. Animals like bears, wolves, coyotoes, and foxes are responsible for keeping other animals like deer, mice and rats from overpopulating. By removing alkl of the predators, what do they think will happen? Ultimatelym, these other herbivorous animals will overpopulate and they will face the exact same problems which will undoubtedly lead to more killing to protect the agriculture industry.
It's another unfortunate downside of the livestock industry as if we all needed another reason to loathe them. Not only do these industries continue to take more and more land away from native animals, pollute the environment, and slaughter millions of livestock every year, but now we must worry that because of the native animals lack of land to roam, that we will see them suffer at the hands of this industry as well. Why can't we recognize that if we continue to take their land for our own agendas, they will be faced with no other options but to roam into what we have designated our own space. This vicious cycyle fo taking everything for ourselves and killing everything that stands in our way is the exact reason the gray wolves have seen such a sharp decline in their numbers. Are we honestly this stupid?
In what will hopefully spur a chain reaction, Gupo Livestock Market in South Korea will be shutting down 19 of its stores in the market stating that, "They have reached a tentative agreement in terms of the grand trend of the times.". Basically, they are recognizing that the dog meat trade is an abomination and has garnered negative global attention that has shone a very poor light on the industry but also on the Asian utilization of dogs for consumption.
Through out the past few years, there have been repeated stories of farms shutting down after people from all over the globe have come and rescued dogs from these awful conditions and taken them back to their respective countries to get them treated and adopted out. There has also been repeated boycotts of the dog meat industry along with the negative global attention these dog meat festivals and frankly, the consumption of dogs period, has garnered these countries. Given all of this, it's no surprise that one of the largest producer of dogs for consumption has recognized this shift and decided to close 19 locations.
Pigs for example, are recognized as being some of the smartest animals in the world. They can solve puzzles, recognize their names, form relationships with people and other animals,and feel fear and emotion much like we do. Knowing this, we can still put them through unimaginable torture for the sake of bacon or sausages and yet we find it so difficult to imagine a dog or cat being put in that position. This is all because of how we are brought up and how ingrained in us it is that cats and dogs are pets while livestock is nothing more than food.
The same thing goes for these Asian countries who engage in dog and cat meat festivals and such. They are brought up believing that eating cats and dogs is totally normal so it's interesting to me that we are so outraged by this but have been brought up not to realize it's the exact same thing happening to the animals people here have chosen to eat.
Ultimately, all animals feel fear, that much is certain. We must celebrate the fact that this international attention has shone a negative light on the dog meat industry and they are now feeling the effects. We must celebrate this massive dog meat store closure and hope that it continues a trend of more and more of them closing. I think we also must recognize that there are so many problems here with how our animals are treated and work towards phasing out the factory farming industry for what it does to animals and our environment.
Botswana has come to the decision that they are going to lift a nearly 5 year ban on hunting elephants citing issues with farmers and elephants interrupting their livelihoods. On top of the farming industry, Botswana aims to promote and increase their Safari Hunting industry while maintaining the elephant population within its historic range. Basically, they are concerned more with profit than the livelihood of an entire species' survival, shocking.
What I can see here is once again, profits trump survival of an entire species. Africa has seen some of its most recognized and respected wildlife end up on the endangered species act because of poaching and illegal hunting. In fact, animal like leopards, lions, elephants, and rhinos, are all in danger of going extinct if proper conservation efforts are not put in to place. It's bad enough that illegal poaching is wiping these animals out, but then to allow regulated hunting of elephants on top of it? It sickens me to the core to try and understand the logic or lack thereof behind this decision.
When you think of animal exploitation, it's easy to look at any organization that takes money on behalf of animals being the attraction which in essence, is not incorrect. However, I truly think there are some seriously big differences between the exploitation that occurs in places like Sea World or the Circus, versus accredited zoos. Allow me to dive into this further;
In every instance of the above mentioned establishments, they profit at the expense of the animals. In every case, the animals are living sad existences suffering immensely for the profit of a human led organization that could care less about the damage they are causing to these animals. It's important to note that all of these organizations are currently embroiled in various bans, boycotts, and investigations leading to charges of animal cruelty.
Now, I'd like to dive into what makes accredited and licences zoos different although not entirely without exploitation.
I have fond memories of being brought to the zoo as a child and have visited a few times since my youth. In the case of accredited zoos, there are some major things that set them apart from the organizations I've mentioned prior, let's take a look at some of the differences.
Ultimately, the zoo still profits off of animals which essentially is wrong, but the money they make goes towards a variety of good causes along with profiting. As mentioned, they work to educate people about the animals and the perils they face in the wild, they work towards repopulating these animals and working with conservationists to aid in their efforts to conserve these species, and they provide appropriate care to the animals.
Zoos are not without scandal, there have been multiple reports of zoo employees being attacked or killed by animals, animal escapes resulting in euthanasia, and children falling into enclosures. All of these situations shed a truly negative light on the operations of zoos but as I said, if you are going to put your money towards any of the organizations mentioned, accredited zoos are the ONLY of these organizations the have a purpose outside of profit and exploitation.
I'm not telling you to ignore what's wrong with the zoo, I'm telling you to recognize the difference between accredited zoos and what they aim to achieve versus organizations like circus' or marine parks where animals are performing unnaturally and living horrendous lives outside of the public eye. There is a difference and we should recognize that although the zoo is NOT perfect by any means, they still make attempts to help in areas where animals are suffering and at risk in the wild and I think that should be recognized.
The owner of the Zoo St-Edouard in Quebec is charged with neglect and cruelty to animals under Canadian Criminal Code after the Montreal SPCA and other animal welfare groups seized over 100 wild & exotic animals from the property.
Roadside zoos often slip under the radar because they lack proper registration and licences to operate or be in possession of exotic or wild animals. These zoos typically lack veterinary care or the education on how to properly care for these animals which leads to them being in states of distress constantly. It also leads to the animals being kept in adequate enclosures, alone, and without proper access to food or water. These zoos exploit and profit off of these animals without any of the money going towards real initiatives like conservation of a species which is the worst kind of operation. Without the accreditation to operate legally and with general concern for conservation or other charitable intentions, these zoos are no different than the circus or places like Sea World where animals are forced to perform for our entertainment and are often kept in horrid conditions.
I implore each and every one of you to take note of these sorts of attractions should you pass them on your travels and notify the local Humane Society. There is a very good chance that animal welfare groups simply are unaware of them and chances are, should they investigate them, they would likely discover animal cruelty and neglect. It's so important to expose these places so that these animals can be sent to sanctuaries where they will be taken care of. As I said, make note of where you spot these places and always notify your local animal welfare groups so that they may take it upon themselves to further investigate.
CALIFORNIA ADVANCES BAN ON WILD ANIMALS IN CIRCUS'
The California Senate has advanced a bill banning the use of wild animals in circuses with a unanimous vote of 34-0. The bill will ban the use of any wild animal in a circus for performance and entertainment purposes.
This is great news but also an indicator that we have so much more work to do when it comes to animal welfare. Circus' that use wild animals in their shows should be banned across the globe and this process is taking much longer than I think any animal lover would hope. Big thanks to California for taking the steps to put an end to wild animals in circus'.
PRADA GOING FUR FREE
Prada is the next big name fashion label to go fur free announcing that beginning with its Spring/Summer 2020 line, they will cease using fur altogether. Prada joins a growing list of big name labels that have made the commitment to ditch fur in their fashion recognizing that fur is despicable and unnecessary.
Prada will join other big name labels like Ralph Lauren, Victoria Beckham, Calvin Klein, and Phillip Lim in banning fur. As more big name labels come out in support of banning fur, I believe this will continue to have a trickling effect on other labels, pressuring them to ditch fur as well. Here's to a fur free planet where animals are the only ones using their fur!
Stay educated and remain involved in animal welfare. Together, we can all make a difference!