Geumdeung and Depo are two indo-pacific bottlenose dolphins who were illegally captured off the coast of Jeju Island in South Korea back in 1997 and 1998. Now, after 20 years, the two animals will finally be given their freedom! The wonderful news was shared by the Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS), who has been following the work of HotPinkDolphins, a marine mammals welfare organization based in South Korea, as they rehabilitated the dolphins.
In spite of how much time Geumdeung and Depo spent in captivity, in conditions very different from what they would be in their natural habitat, both animals are doing very well in the sea pen where they were transported on May 22, 2017. In the sea pen, they were able to readjust to life in the ocean, learning how to navigate currents and catch live fish all over again.
An 11 year campaign came to a screeching halt on June 21st when NYC lawmakers voted to ban the use of exotic animals in circuses. The bill, which has been championed by Council Member Rosie Mendez since 2006, passed with 43 votes. Only 6 Council Members voted against it.
NYC’s Public Advocate, who presided over the Council meeting when the vote took place, broke protocol by allowing animal rights activists in the Council chambers to break into applause when the vote count was announced, “Let it rip,” said Letitia James, who herself was a supporter of the ban.
The question of how we’re going to feed a population of 9.7 billion people by 2050 is possibly the most burning one facing humanity. Our current food system, which is heavily focused on meat and dairy production, already occupies around half of the world’s arable land and uses a majority of freshwater resources – and still, around one billion people lack access to food. What’s more, the massive amounts of air and water pollution, coupled with the greenhouse gas emissions produced by animal agriculture are contributing to climate change and endangering our ability to grow more food for people in the future.
The bottom line is we’re doing a better job at feeding animals than we are at feeding people – and if we continue to do so, we will be absolutely incapable of feeding ourselves in the near future. Luckily, many individuals and companies are taking note of the failures of our food system and looking to new technology and innovation to solve this pressing issue. Being that we’re familiar with the statistics surrounding just how damaging our food system is to people, animals, and the environment, we are cautiously optimistic about the change that has been happening with a rise in plant-based protein companies and consumer trends that favor eating less meat and dairy – but we recently heard something that has given us tremendous amount of hope for the future of food and the planet.
When it comes to debating which is better, overall, eating plant-based or eating a diet heavy in meat and dairy, there are countless (extremely heated) arguments on both ends. One can argue that eating more plants is better for your health, the other can argue that there are humane ways to raise animals for meat consumption. We could go in circles all day – but what these questions often fail to ask is how we are going to feed a rising population, which is set to hit 9.7 billion by 2050, with our current food system.
We might not be readily aware of this fact, but our current global food system is already being pushed to its absolute limit and as it stands, we are running out of land and water to produce more monoculture crops that primarily go towards feeding livestock. When you look at the volume of corn and soy we grow versus how many people are suffering from food insecurity, it becomes pretty clear we’re feeding our “food” more effectively than we’re feeding people. So how do you unite these feuding fronts to create a viable food system that can support the planet, people, and animals? Well, Gene Baur, President of Farm Sanctuary has some pretty impactful ideas.
Animals raised for meat in factory farms are often genetically manipulated to grow unnaturally large and hence more profitable for the agricultural industry.
Chickens slaughtered in the United States, for example, are bred to weigh a staggering nine pounds today compared to just two pounds in the 1950s. They are bred to grow so fast, in fact, that debilitating deformities are common.
According to a study by the Center for Food Safety, over 450 animal drugs, drug combinations, and other feed additives are administered to animals to achieve increased growth and keep them alive in conditions that would otherwise kill them. Indeed, 99.9 percent of chicken and 78 percent of beef consumed in the United States come from overcrowded factory farms. Since these factory farms are filthy and packed tightly with animals, disease and infection run rampant.
Brussels will soon ban the cruel practice of force-feeding ducks and geese for the production of foie gras.
According to Expatica, this is part of a movement to ban all force-feeding across the Belgian and Flemish capital. Recent research commissioned by animal rights organization GAIA found that 84 percent of Belgians support force-feeding bans.
Bianca Debaets, Brussels’s secretary of state for animal welfare, explains:
If you were a rabbit guardian, would you keep your companion locked in a tiny cage for her entire life, never allowing her to take a single hop, and neglecting her to the point that she developed painful lesions on her feet from the cage wire?
Most would consider this blatant animal cruelty, but what I just described is the reality for the vast majority of rabbits raised for meat in Canada.
In nature, rabbits are sociable, active, and playful. Their extremely strong hind limbs allow them to leap great distances—up to one metre high and three metres long.