Friday, December 9, 2011

Rats Choose Empathy Over Food

As reported by The Washington Post: "A study by Science/AAAS shows that rats preferred freeing caged rats rather than eating food placed in the cage, suggesting that the rats show empathy, a trait only previously known to primates. (Courtesy of Science/AAAS)" (source)

In the video, you can see the rat trying to find a way to free the other rat trapped in a bottle. The video mentions that rats choose to first save the trapped rat before even touching the provided food and even ended up sharing the food with the other rat. I haven't had personal encounters with rats, but I have released two mice into parks on separate occasions after noticing that my cat was playing with them.. the mice are really no different than your other small "pet" animals (hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits) who are inquisitive and try to live a safe and happy life.

Tabby's Toes Help Milwaukee Animal Shelter

This cute white and orange tabby named Daniel has 26 toes (8 more toes than an average cat), and every one of those toes came into use when Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center found themselves short of financing to continue their operations due to a doubling in rent. Daniel's special toes helped raise more than $50,000 at the shelter as the shelter asked for $26 donations, $1 per toe. Daniel was once an unwanted cat at another animal control that might have been put to sleep, but now he is one loved mascot at the Milwaukee center. (full article here)

Our animal friends really do bring us unexpected blessings, if only we would do more for them so that no unwanted animals would have to die.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Victory: Fur Ban in West Hollywood

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."- Edmund Burke (cite)

Two workers handle foxes at a farm in Russia, one of the countries with fur farms that supply fur to the "fashion" industry.

West Hollywood, California, one of the fashion hubs of the state, has recently passed a ban on the sale of fur in the city- making it the first city in the nation to take such a step. The ban will officially be enforced in 2013. There are various opinions on this ban, of course some are thrilled and some not so much. Whatever people make of this, I say that a step against cruelty and exploitation is a step in the right direction.

See the CNN article for the full story here.

To see my other posts on fur click here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Jilian Michaels at Ringling Bros. Protest

This clip is short but notable. Jilian Michaels, the trainer from the show The Biggest Loswer, stepped up and publicly spoke against animal suffering in the circus.

If you do not already know why going to circuses equates to supporting pure cruelty to animals, take one minute and visit If you are someone that thinks animal abuse is wrong, you will definitely be able to see that circuses do not support your values. Please share the word and, as JilianMichaels  said, make this viral so that everyone will be informed and make their own educated decisions.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Modern Meat Story As Told by Me

Tonight I came across a video titled "I am scared and don't want to die." It was a secretly filmed segment of one cow's last few minutes of life. The cow knew of its fate behind the door of the slaughterhouse and very obviously did not want to go in for fear of impending death.

Our society is very far removed from the animals that we consume, whether in the form of meat, leather, or dairy products. It was not always this way, but as countries became more industrialized and focused on mass production, efficiency, and profit in the past few centuries, they also lost their connection with animals as they moved out of the agricultural and farming lifestyles. As the meat industry expanded along with capitalism, so did the forced breeding and killing of animals. As objects of investment, the animals' natural needs and wants became disregarded and secondary to what would make the most money for those running the meat business.

This led to maximizing the number of animals kept within a certain area of space and thus inhumane, overcrowded quarters for chickens, turkeys, cows, and pigs. A lifetime of confinement in filthy, tiny cement stalls of farm factories is, to say the least, unnatural. This also led to feeding the animals unnatural foods including antibiotic and growth hormones to rapidly increase body mass and shorten the period between life to slaughter, again for the purpose of obtaining more profit per animal. Unnatural feeding not only harms animals and leaves them crippled and disabled due to the disproportionate weight of their bodies, but its consequences have also shown itself through the public health (for example through the rapidly increasing rate of weight gain and early age of menarche for young girls due to high level of estrogen).

Furthermore, the treatment of farm animals as objects of investment led to the most cheap yet most cruel methods of raising and killing animals. Aside from "living spaces" that often leave no room for animals to turn around, equivalent to a human living in something smaller and narrower than a public bathroom stall, other cruel methods include surgical procedures aimed to reduce fatality in the farm, which are often performed without anesthesia. Piglets have their tails docked off with scissors to prevent other pigs from chewing on them, a behavior due to stress. Baby chicks have their beaks seared off with a hot iron machine to prevent pecking and injuring other birds, which is again a behavior caused by stress. These are but a few examples of how our farm animals suffer a lifetime of invasive and forced procedures aimed to protect their value as products.

The final strike of our mistreatment of farm animals ends with their murder, which I need not go into detail here- all you need to know is that this kind of slaughterhouse murder would be punishable by law if it occurs to any human being or pet animal in many countries. Finally, the manipulation of the consumer market, which limits consumer knowledge, and promotion of meat and animals products through sales strategies and marketing by the meat industry is another issue that contributes to farm animal cruelty- however, it is a topic for another day.

We humans have unnaturally caused the existence and also suffering of hundreds of millions of animals through artificial insemination (or forced breeding) and cruel methods of farming all tailored towards human benefit. That is selfishness and a disrespect to the gift of sentient animals provided by the earth. The video that I posted above of the frightened cow refusing to enter the slaughterhouse is a perfect illustration of what I mean by sentience. You may take this with a grain of salt, but I have heard from others that cows not only cry (with tears in their eyes) but also talk as if they were begging for their lives when they realize they are meeting their end.

Furthermore, our farm animals share a similar basic nervous system with us and our pet cats and dogs and other mammals, which means they can think, feel, understand and plan. Although their cognitive abilities are relatively limited when compared to humans, there is no factor that will be good enough reason enough to condemn them to (for lack of better terms) a life of hell.. unless you believe that infants or mentally disabled people of less developed cognition deserve less than a fair chance at life and personal happiness. People who have interacted with animals know that cats, dogs, cows, chickens, and pigs are social animals that share close bonds with their companions and hold the capacity to feel pain, suffering, and happiness.

Before I end this note, I want to touch on one more thing. Where does this "value" (that I mentioned three paragraphs ago) for animal meat come from? The economic value of something is determined by what a consumer is willing to pay for a product, thus how much profit a company can reap through the production of something. It can be influenced but is not ultimately decided by the supply or corporate end of the market. Instead, it is decided by the choices of those with purchasing power- both you and I.

This post is based on my understanding and research over the last few years of the present day meat industry. It is a simplified overview of the development, nature, injustices and tragedies of our farm factories where innocent souls are brutally mistreated by the hundreds of millions. Modern farm factory practices are truly an atrocity for the disadvantaged whose voices and lives are sealed behind slaughterhouse doors.

If you have any thoughts, questions or feedback for me at all, please comment below- an Google account is not required.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Reminder Pet Owners Need

The commonly known figures are 6 to 8 million for animals taken to shelters every year and about 4 million for animals that are euthanized at these shelters. When numbers get so large (above hundreds, thousands, millions) that we can't wrap our minds around them, a number merely remains a number and there is no impact on us. But what if you could see everyday a few of the faces of the cats and dogs whose lives will be purposefully ended because no one has come their way to save them?

What if I told you that this one year old dog named Trudy will be put down in Texas TOMORROW if no one decides to take her in?

What if I told you this 7 months old girl will be killed within hours, TODAY, in Las Vegas?

What if I told you this 7 months old kitty was already put down today.. well as this two years old female named Faith?

There is the most thoughtful application on Facebook called "Pet Pardons" that allows people across the states to post up information on animals in shelters whose lives have a decided timeline:

If you have a Facebook account, this is one of the best thing you can do for animals truly in need. Simply add the application and share postings with your social networks. If you know of any animals that will be put down at a shelter, this is also one of the places to spread the word and get help for the animal.

I will leave you with two more tidbits of information.

For those that have found an animal, please refer to the lists of NO-KILL animal shelters for each state via

Also, if you are a pet owner or guardian, please consider neutering and spaying your pet. If you are an animal lover, I know you would want other animals to get the same chance at life as your pet. Always remember, what if your pet was in the position of being an unwanted animal in a shelter because there are not enough homes for all the animals out there?

Edit: And just as importantly, please choose to adopt and save a life rather than buy.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Kids & Where Meat Comes From

Tonight I came across an article with an article of Ruby Roth, the author of the children's book That's Why We Don't Eat Animals. I found myself thinking that this woman has created the perfect book to lay down the truth about meat in a manner highly appropriate and suitable for children, while maintaining educational value. To see the article visit here:
This book is full of hand-illustrated graphics that explain farm factories, the lives of farm animals, and the consequences eating meat has on these poor animals as well as the overall environment. It is truly something I would consider reading to my future children so that they will grow up with an understanding of the meat industry and the sentience of animals. (However, the decision will ultimately be their own.) Here is an accompanying introductory video to this book that touched me because children are really true to their instincts about what they feel is right:

Just something to share with anyone wanting the children in their life to have the ability to make decisions regarding consuming animal lives.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Real Planet of the Apes

Hi everyone,

I'm sure most of you know about one of the newest movies in theaters right now: Planet of the Apes. While production crew did not use real apes in the making (fortunately), the movie shows how cruel and sad it is for primates that are locked up in small cages for experiments. Theses animals who share 99% of our DNA are intelligent and share similar needs and emotions for us. They need socialization, fresh air, and natural lives just as much as we need love from others and our own will to do what we want. These primates suffer post-traumatic stress disorder and depression from living such miserable lives, just like we would in their position. Luckily for us, there is no higher and more powerful being that is sadistic enough to stuff us in cages 24/7, cut us up or probe us for their research and then toss us back into the cage when we are not being used. So who are we to take what (or who) we want for our own purposes while neglecting the basic needs of our primate cousins?

Sometimes experiments can be conducted humanely- however, as many animal welfare organisations have found, animals in labs are more often than not treated as lab objects- something you can cut up or inject chemicals into, something you can toss back into a cage until your next experiment. Their lives look a little something like this:

Furthermore, we are the last industrialized nation that continues to perform invasive operations on great apes, even when we know primates do not develop HIV or other diseases like Hepatitis C like humans do.

Whether it be chimpanzees, apes, or any other kinds of animals being used in experimental lab testing, more and more evidence is being found that the physiological effects of chemicals and substances do not manifest in the same  for us humans as it is for other species- in other words, animal testing is unnecessary, ineffective, and inaccurate (and perhaps even an obsolete method of testing) for "health and medicine" purposes.
There is a Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act that needs your support: please visit here and here to find out more.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Don't Support Brands That Sell Fur

Companies that sell fur steal the lives of others that don't belong to them. But really, I don't need to tell you why, just see for yourself.

photo credit:

Don't forget, other animals used for fur suffer similar if not worse fates. Also, those who support cruelty to animals for unnecessary and unreasonable purposes really are not animal lovers- having pets does not count either.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Why Love One But Eat the Other?"

You might have seen the title phrase above through animal compassion campaigns by Mercy For Animals.
This isn't just an ad, it's a nudge towards re-evaluating our core values because our beloved pet animals are inherently no different than the intelligent and social farm animals that suffer needlessly for our food choices. A new video (less than 3 minutes in length) uploaded by Mercy For Animals gives us a reason to stop, think, and hopefully make compassionate choices for these pigs that are abused beyond belief, just because we choose to eat pigs but not dogs when the lives of both are equally valuable.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The New Food Plate

USDA has come out with a new food guide in the form of the icon below. All information regarding these new dietary recommendations can be found here: At the website you can click on one of the five components to find out what foods fall into each category. The USDA lists the following non-meat options to fulfill the protein category (source):

Beans and peas

black beans
black-eyed peas
chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
kidney beans
lima beans (mature)
navy beans
pinto beans
soy beans
split peas

Processed soy products:
  tofu (bean curd made from
  white beans
  bean burgers
  veggie burgers
  texturized vegetable
   protein (TVP)

Nuts and seeds*
  hazelnuts (filberts)
  mixed nuts
  peanut butter
  pumpkin seeds
  sesame seeds
  sunflower seeds

An interesting thing to note:

PCRM's new article on the food plate brings up the point that USDA's modified food icon is at opposition with federal subsidies for meat and diary. PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) states that currently over 60 percent of agricultural subsidies have instead supported meat and diary production, leaving only 1 percent to go towards fruits and vegetables. The USDA is advising people to take on a healthier diet with less fat content, and I wonder if it knows its suggestions clash with the federal government subsidies which give billions of tax money to the meat and diary industries.

PCRM also has a food guide that can be found here: It is resemblant of the new USDA power plate and has "proteins" replaced with "legumes, definitely for good reason as about 68% of Americans are obese or overweight. According to the same PCRM article, more than 60 perecent of the deaths in the U.S. are caused by heart disease and other diet-related diseases. The PCRM power plate is also interactive, so feel free to click on the portions to find out how to best balance your diet!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Have You Ever Fallen for these Vegan Myths?

If you have fallen for any of the myths below, I highly recommend you check out this article that breaks each item down for you. To be honest, I haven't really thought about #4 or #5 and I am still apprehensive about #1 (for multiple reasons that I will discuss someday). #2 is the one that I was already certain of, because I recently explained to a friend why I would eat plants and not meat since plants are also living things. I definitely draw the line based on a being's physiological and biological traits which would allow it to have perception, awareness, feelings, and a capacity for pain.

1. Myth: You need to eat meat to be healthy.

2. Myth: Plants feel pain too.

3. Myth: Vegan foods are expensive.

4. Myth: They're destroying the rain forests to make tofu.

5. Myth: Cows have to be milked.

Again, the article link is here.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Picture Story: Animals in Fukushima

This is a follow-up post to Urgent: Animals in Fukushima

JEARS May 4th Animal Rescue at Namie Fukushima

All photos and captions below are from JEAR's (Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support) facebook page: These photos remind us why we need to support animal rescue groups and continue to send our thoughts to the Japanese government regarding the evacuation of animals left behind.

"After reading a leaflet left by volunteers near their evacuated home in Fukushima, Moko's family hoped against hope that their dog was one of the lucky rescues. “I never thought we'd see her again,” said the mother of the family through her tears. As joyful a reunion as one could hope, Moko, a fluffy and cheerful brown and white mixed breed, greeted her family enthusiastically when they arrived at Animal Garden, Niigata, on May 2nd to take her home with them. /Joan"

This woman shared her concerns with us about evacuating from her home in the 30km zone. She said she would stay as long as possible, and imagined that she could take her cat with her when the time came to leave. She worried that her large-sized dog, however, might be a different story. She agreed to contact us for help when evacuation is imminent, and before we said goodbye we left her with some food for both pets.

These cats were left behind when someone evacuated. All three are at the Animal Friends Niigata shelter now. It is difficult to see from the photo, but the kitty closest to Susan was the most severely emaciated, and is the one we are most concerned about. After this photo was taken, she gobbled up several packets of wet food, so I have hope that she is a fighter and can recover. A vet was on hand for her arrival at the shelter, and she received immediate medical attention.

"Dennis, a Kinship Circle colleague, at a small dairy farm near the border of the 20km zone; this was the team's second visit to offer what help we could. This family-owned farm is doing the best they can with limited resources, and someone has stayed behind to care for the cows. We spoke with one of the sons, who wanted people to know that each of the cows is deeply cared about, and he does not want them to suffer. /jh"

"As we were driving through an abandoned area around Fukushima we saw a dog wandering down the street. Unsure of where he was headed we slowed down and stopped. He glanced over at us and continued on his way. We were close enough to notice a cut over his swollen eye and the scratches on his nose. His fur was also scuffed and the skin looked raw underneath. As we stopped and got out of the van he turned around and approached us, not in the least wary. After giving him some food and noticing that the vicinity was completely empty we leashed him and he jumped excitedly in the van. We named him Benji. Now we are all on our way to the shelter."

"One of our volunteers feeding a very hungry kitty that the team rescued in Fukushima."

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Please No More Animal Death Traps

Last November I wrote a post about glue traps that was based on my personal views and experience. You can see my story about the little mouse I set free here: Humane Mouse Traps & My Personal Story.

What I left out is how extremely inhumane these devices are, for they literally fuse an animal's body on to the thick, sticky substance and upon immobilizing the animal, they leave the animal to die a slow, painful death either as their body deteriorates and weakens.

PETA, on their facebook page, posted this photo: "Glue traps are (obviously) indiscriminate and ensnare any animals who are unfortunate enough to wander across their path. If you know of any local businesses, schools, or property management companies that are using glue traps, urge them remove the traps immediately and contact PETA if they won't."
The bird that you see here hopefully immediately lights the notion of how cruel glue traps really are, whether or not they adhere non-targeted animals birds, kittens, squirrels, and hamsters or "targeted" animals like mice. The story behind the photo is that there were two songbirds stuck to a glue trap in a Walmart store in Indiana, and customers took action to take the birds to a wildlife rehabilitator as well as contact PETA. Walmart in reply stated that it had only meant to set the traps for rodents, but glue traps obviously have no mercy for anything that gets in its way. According to PETA, a variety of many animals die in glue traps every year-- a kitten in Boston almost starved to death in this fashion. You can see the kitten story here.

If you see any businesses or property that uses glue traps, please raise your concern and if necessary, contact PETA via their Report Cruelty to Animals page:

Last but not least, I recommend using humane methods for rodent problems, such as this one:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bet You Didn't Know These Facts

Here are some facts that blew me away today (although I did know a few). Tell me- how many of these do YOU know?

Btw, these facts were playing on a slideshow that I could not pause, so I typed furiously away and repeated them until I could catch every word! All credits to PETA2: Photo credit:

  1. Each time an animal is bought from a breeder or pet store, an animal in a shelter loses a home.
  2. Pet shops acquire most of the puppies they sell from puppy mills.
  3. About 25% of dogs dropped off at shelters are purebred. 
  4. Many "no kill" shelters  are, in reality, "slow kill" shelters.
  5. Kittens and puppies can be spayed or  neutered as young as 8 weeks old. 
  6. Neutering makes male animals less likely to roam or fight, prevents testicular caner, and reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
  7. Areas with mandatory spay-and-neuter laws have reported a significant reduction in the number of animals who are taken to their facilities and subsequently euthanized.
  8. Every year, 6 to 8 million unwanted dogs and cats enter U.S. animal shelters
  9. 8 million unwanted dogs and cats = the population of New York City or Switzerland
  10. Nearly half of all dogs and cats entering U.S. shelters ever year (3-4 million) are euthanized because there are not enough homes for them.
  11. In U.S. shelters, more than 900 animals are euthanized every hour-- that's more than 10,000 animals a day.
  12. Approximately 70,000 puppies and kittens are born in the U.S. each day.
  13. In only six years, one unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies.
  14. In only seven years, one unaltered female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 kittens. 
  15. It is estimated that between 30 and 40 million homeless (feral) cats live in the U.S. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Urgent: Animals in Fukushima

You might be aware that the government of Japan has set a policy that prohibits entry of the Nukushima Nuclear Power Station within a 20km radius. This is to protect people from radiation, but the problem is that there is an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 domestic animals still left behind in this zone. The no-go zone has been enforced since April 27, 2011, which is seven days ago. This means it has been seven days since many animals have received any food or care by local citizens and rescue groups. There are many willing individuals and organizations that want to go in and rescue the animals NOW before it is too late.

The video above will give you a rundown on the situation and show you exactly why we, people all over the world, need to step in and help. I'm sure many of you would agree that animals are like our family and children. It brought tears to my eyes to see the misery of the animals left behind in Fukushima- you can see their dampened spirits in their saddened eyes and their emaciated bodies. In the video, you can see pets staying loyally at their homes, waiting for their families to return.

JEARS (Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support) is one group that is actively pursuing efforts to save as many animals as possible. You can follow their facebook page to keep updated on the status of their rescue efforts. Here is a photo from their facebook shared by one of their volunteers with the following caption:

"This kitty seemed to be waiting for someone to come home. When she realized that I was really there, she literally ran up to me and jumped into my arms! I am so glad that I was combing this particular area for kitties, as the house was set back from the road and we may never have seen her. She is emaciated and suffering from an upper respiratory infection, but ate non-stop after joining me on my lap in the van; she is now receiving medical attention at the shelter in Niigata."
If you feel impelled to help, as I am, there is one direct and immediate way to reach the Japanese prime minister's office. You can send them a message to save pets in the exclusion zone through this page:

This is my brief but straighforward message to them:

In all due respect, I am a graduate student from the U.S. and have heard that there are thousands of animals that are suffering in Fukushima. Animals are our children and family, and I am disappointed that their lives are being treated with less regard as they are being left behind due to the 20km policy. My heart is breaking as I know it has been one week since many of them have had any food. Please allow willing local citizens and rescue groups to save the beloved pets of your nation in one mass effort before it is too late. Thank you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Brushing Maru

So much fun watching Maru get brushed... if only my cat would let me brush her without any surprise attacks (on me)!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cat vs Internet

Something cute and funny to start off a new week.. or end the current one :)

A peek of kitty versus internet (credits to 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Real Fur in Urban Outfitters Clothing

It has been recently discovered that Urban Outfitters was selling cardigans with real fur trimming, under the labeling of faux fur. This issue is twofold. First, the use of any real animal fur should be correctly labeled as such- customers deserve to know what exactly they are purchasing. There is actually a new law, the Truth in Fur Labeling Act, which goes into effect in March. Secondly, the use of real animal fur is not only wrong on all grounds, but Urban Outfitters is actually among one of the fur-free retailers and designers in the Human Society of United States website. The company has also made a public agreement to PETA in 2009 to commit to fur-free clothing.

Here is a video by Joshua Katcher, the head of the anti-fur PINNACLE campaign, which shows four different ways to determine that the fur trim of the Urban Outfitters cardigan was indeed real fur. He contacted Urban Outfitters for an explanation, and also started a petition to demand an apology as well as reassurance that they will not sell fur products. You can see's updates on this matter here and here

After people found out about this, Urban Outfitters retracted their statements of denial and admitted that their clothing did contain real fur, although the blame was placed on the companies vendors. Of course, many people can say let bygones be bygones since Urban Outfitters has admitted their mistake. However, larger issues still remain.

What kind of product quality control did Urban Outfitters even have to let fur into their clothing? How will Urban Outfitters ensure that they only use synthetic materials in the future?

Why did UO's vendors end up giving the company real fur to use in place of synthetic fur? To answer this particular question, the sad truth is that live animals are still being killed in fur farms for their fur because real fur by itself is often cheaper than production of synthetic fur. Again, cost and not ethics is at the forefront of many, if not most, company values. Companies have separated the lives attached to the skin and fur of animals, and disregard that animal lives have any meaning or value. Otherwise, animal lives (priceless) plus their fur (insert dollar amount) should be completely out of the question, and synthetic faux fur should be the only option out there.

The last point I want to make is that: because there is a demand for fur clothing due to "fashion" reasons, there will perpetually be animals dying and stripped of their fur alive every single day. Did you know that by following this fur trend, you are promoting the look of clothing with fur and making it okay for people to wear things that resemble dead animal fur? Even if you are a hundred percent sure the "fur" in your apparel is fake, the consequences of wearing real or fake fur are much more far-reaching than you think- this Urban Outfitters incident is but one example of the toll it takes on real animals who value their own lives much more than any clothing company out there. I really don't want to preach, but even from an objective point of view I believe what I am saying is fact.. which is why I choose to not purchase anything resembling fur, real or faux even if they are "in" and popular.

 I have several posts on what you need to know about fur, just click on the Fur vs Fashion link above or here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's The Year of the Rabbit, But Rabbits Are Not Celebrating


Today is Chinese (Lunar) New Year, and this marks the beginning of the year of the rabbit according to Chinese astrology.
Rabbits are supposed to be a lucky entity this year, especially for those born as the rabbit zodiac sign, but rabbits themselves are not so lucky. In Asia, there is high demand for pet rabbits right now, but as with other past "animal trends," many rabbits will very well be abandoned when the year is over or will be mistreated as pets. For example, after the 101 Dalmatians movie, many people bought dalmatian dogs but later dumped them in animal shelters when the hype was over. Furthermore, rabbits need even more care than cats and dogs. Rabbits can not be just stuffed into a cage says Ashley Fruno, Asia representative for PETA. (source:

As with the recent chihuahua trend that originated from Hollywood (California) and led to widespread abuse and neglect of the chihuahua dogs, I believe that people need to rethink before deciding on a pet. People should definitely NOT be picking up a pet because the animal looks cute or brings luck, as I suspect many people are doing this year for rabbits.

Sadly, being adopted or purchased as pets for the wrong reasons are the least of the rabbits worries. Rabbits have become one of the most endangered animals on earth, and thousands face slaughter every single day for their meat or fur. Because meat is a much more multi-sided topic, I will only say that there is no justifiable reason for rabbits to be killed for their fur, which again happens every single day in fur farms.
  • In France only, 70 million rabbits are slaughtered for their fur on fur farms. 
  • Rabbits are stunned with an electrical device before being hung upside to have their throats slit. 
  • Being stunned does not make rabbits unconscious, but instead as you can see in the video, they are aware of their pain and continue to struggle.
  • Fur farms in China are just as cruel.
  • In a Shang Dong region in China, as many as 2,000 rabbits are killed each day. 
  • They are hung by their foot upside down on a wire and have their throats slit by a knife while kicking and screaming.
  • It takes 30 to 40 rabbits to make just one coat
  • source:
Instead of loving and respecting rabbits this year, many are instead killing, eating, or testing on millions of these gentle creatures all over the world. Please keep a conscious mind about this matter this year and for years to come, because simply boycotting fur-brands or avoiding eating rabbit meat (when you're not facing life-death situations) can reduce demand and prevent more rabbits from being killed.

A last note: I do NOT believe in categorizing whole groups/ethnicities of people (Chinese, French) and attacking them simply because a small % of their people engage in animal cruelty. In this particular case for fur farming, I believe (1) you and I as consumers are responsible for generating demand and giving clothing companies incentive to outsource and pay people to kill animals, and (2) designers and clothing corporations who continue to use real fur are greedy, inhumane beings who needs to be pressured to change or go out of business. I only say such a harsh statement because many of them still refuse to drop real fur from their clothing even when they are aware of animal cruelty. 

Two examples:
Donna Karan is one designer that knows about the suffering of rabbit in fur farms, yet she refuses to stop butchering them for their fur- find out more here: Sign a petition against DK here

Giorgio Armani continues using real fur in his new deigns, such as fur coats for babies and children. Sign a petition here.

Did You Know Sled Dogs are Routinely Killed?

Recently, news has been circulating about the killing of 100 huskies in Whistler, British Columbia (Canada). The mass slaughter of these 100 healthy sled dogs occurred in April 2010 and has been investigated by SPCA of British Columbia as well as RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police).

The incident actually became revealed when the employee who did the killing for Outdoor Adventures Whistler, a dog sled tour company, filed for Worker's Compensation due to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). PETA has reported the reason for the killings is that business for dog sled operations have slowed down since the Vancouver Olympics. 

The man (employee) clearly chose to take the killing orders and also chose to kill the dogs inhumanely by both shooting and cutting their throats and then dumping them into a mass grave, yet he has claimed to be a victim and wants compensation for his acts of murder. Furthermore, this man has described to authorities how the dogs faces had to be shot multiple times and have their faces blown off. Furthermore, the dogs were killed in front of all the other dogs at the Outdoor Adventures site.  

Here is an excerpt from an article by NowPublic.

"The first significant incident occurred when he noticed a female, Nora, who he had shot approximately 20 minutes before, was crawling around in the mass grave he had dug for the animals. He had to climb down into the grave amidst the 10 or so bodies already there and put her out of her misery....He also had to perform what he describes as execution style killings where he wrestled the dogs to the ground and stood on them with one foot to shoot them."

However, according to PETA, sled dogs are routinely shot, abandoned, bludgeoned, or drowned by mushers of dog-sled operations when the dogs fall ill, run too slow, or are unneeded anymore. For example in 2005, a dog-sled tour company in Aspen, Colorado (U.S.) was exposed for killing as many as 35 dogs every year because it was "part of the circle of life" for the dogs. 
My thoughts: People everywhere use animals for various purposes, but all too often the animals become exploited and subjected to inhumane conditions. I would never support dog sled tour operations, and I encourage you to do the same if you believe sled dogs deserve to be treated with gratitude, respect, and love, rather than objects to be used and disposed. Also, sled dogs are only one among many examples of how innocent animals are harmed everyday without justice. 

Dogs Killed When Dogsled Business Slows (PETA):
note: There is a facebook page that you can join for Boycotting Outdoor Adventures in BC, Whistler. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pit Bull Hanged From Tree, Burned to Death

In Columbia, South Carolina, 65-year old Mariam Smith admitted to killing her nephew's female dog by hanging the pit bull on a tree with an electrical cord and then burning its body. The reason behind his gruesome act was that the dog chewed on her Bible, and she thought it was a "devil dog" that would be dangerous to the neighborhood. She is charged with felony of animal cruelty and may face from 180 days to five years in prison if convicted. Sadly, authorities found the dead dog with part of an electrical cord still around its neck. 

My thoughts: I'm not sure if the dog is the "devil" or if she is. Although there is not enough information on the temperament of the dog, I would think that measures would have been earlier by the owners or community if the dog had shown an aggressive or dangerous personality. Furthermore, she based her heinous actions on a superstitious thought-- all dogs like to chew on items that they can get a hold of or get away with, and this particular pit bull happened to chew on a religious book. If it had been any other object like a novel book or slipper, would the dog have been condemned to being hung and burned to death? 

original article: