So few people in Norway want to eat whale meat that it’s ending up in the feed manufactured for animals on fur farms, according to a new document released by the Environmental Investigation Agency, a London-based nonprofit, and the U.S.-based Animal Welfare Institute. The document shows that more than 113 metric tons of minke whale products—equivalent to about 75 whales—was bought or used by Rogaland Pelsdyrfôrlaget, the largest manufacturer of animal feed for Norway’s fur industry.
In addition to being one of three countries that continues to whale, Norway has a thriving fur industry. Last year, it exported between 258 tons of fox skins and 1,000 tons of mink skins to the European Union, according to the press release.
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Few stories are as inspirational as this one about Antonio Vicente, a man who has dedicated the past forty years of his life to reforesting the precious natural ecosystems of Brazil.
As one of fourteen children raised in a farming family, Vicente saw firsthand the adverse effects of clearing forests for farmland. He saw his father chop down trees at the order of wealthy landowners for the production of coal and cattle. Eventually, the natural water sources were depleted and the land dried up.
Far ahead of his time, Vicente saw this as a giant warning sign and made it his mission to re-plant the trees lost to deforestation. Beginning at a time where Brazil’s government encouraged the expansion of farmland, most people laughed at Vicente for his proposed initiative. However, no one’s opinion stopped Vicente from acting out his mission.
Today marks an incredibly positive step forward for Europe’s farmed rabbits. MEPs have voted in favour of species-specific legislation in today’s plenary vote.
A recent You Gov poll* showed that 78% of UK adults would support European-wide legislation to phase out the use of cages in rabbits farmed for meat, and the views of MEPs appear to be in line with members of the public.
In January, members of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee voted in favour of a report that set out key improvements for rabbit welfare. This report had the potential to pave the way for the protection of over 320 million** farmed rabbits across the EU. However, the amendment that included species-specific legislation for rabbits did not pass at that stage.
We are delighted to share the news that MEPs voted in favour of the report. The report calls for the phasing out of cages and will secure the protection and improvement of rabbits farmed for meat. Furthermore, we are happy to report that the amendment calling for species-specific legislation was also voted for.
Millions of Americans trust veterinarians to care for their companion animals’ health and well-being. We often think of them as Dr. Dolittle, compassionate and loving toward all their patients, regardless of species.
But what about the animals on their plates?
We asked Amanda James, a vegan veterinary student at St. George’s University, to explain why vegan should be the future of veterinary medicine. Here’s what Amanda had to say:
Men are considered a novelty in the veterinary field, but it’s even rarer to come across a fellow vegan. We’re basically unicorns. Sometimes I’m not sure if others even exist. I receive strange looks and unwelcome comments regularly. I’ve even been told that I shouldn’t disclose this information to potential employers, as they will think I’m unfit for the field. It can be daunting to feel like I’m in it alone, but I’ve jumped in headfirst and haven’t looked back.
I’m in this field because I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I’m a voice for animals of all kinds. My patients will be furry, feathery, scaly, and everything in between. They’ll come in all shapes and sizes, but that’s as far as their differences will go. They won’t be able to tell me where it hurts or what they’re feeling, but their stress, their pain, and eventual relief won’t vary across species.
In recent years, the Supreme Court has upheld the rights of animals and birds to lead a life of “intrinsic worth, honour and dignity,” even at the cost of popular faith and practices of human beings.
The starting point of the trend dates back to May 7, 2014 — the day of pronouncement of the judgment banning jallikattu, a bull taming sport practised in Tamil Nadu.
In Animal Welfare Board of India versus A. Nagaraja, the Supreme Court historically extended the fundamental right to life to animals. It held that bulls have the fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution to live in a healthy and clean atmosphere, not to be beaten, kicked, bitten, tortured, plied with alcohol by humans or made to stand in narrow enclosures amidst bellows and jeers from crowds. In short, the Supreme Court declared that animals have a right to protect their life and dignity from human excesses.
As an animal rights activist in Canada, I was familiar with meeting pigs in transport trucks outside slaughterhouses. We’d be there bearing witness in the freezing cold of winter and then the boiling heat of summer as part of the Save Movement, whose Anita Krajnc has become a hero with her shocking prosecution for giving water to a pig bound for slaughter. If you’ve never met a pig, it’s shocking. They have human-like eyes. They do look you in the eye. You can feel their plight.
Recently, I decided to take a step further and go inside a farm as part of a practice — open rescue — in which advocates openly investigate farms and rescue animals from harm. What I saw shocked me. I’d learned about Open Rescue via the animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere, whose investigations into so-called “humane” farms have made headlines from the New York Times to the Huffington Post. I longed to rescue a little soul and to find him or her a loving forever home. It sounded like an undertaking that would be a joyous project for an activist. Yes, we did rescue Madison, but what I’m left with is flashbacks and nightmares. I wasn’t prepared for the conditions inside a factory farm.
It is hard to describe the array of confiscated animals and animal parts that fills the shelves of the National Wildlife Property Repository, a federal warehouse on the fringes of Denver, Colorado. With multiple representatives of every species imaginable, it seems at first a bit like an ark, but a perverse one: perhaps fittingly so for our precarious ecological situation.
These animals did not walk up the gangplank as in familiar representations of the biblical scene. They arrived lifeless, inanimate: not really animals so much as things. They are arrayed not two-by-two or seven-by-seven, but scores upon scores, even by the hundreds. A fur coat may look like just one leopard, but in fact a dozen were skinned to make it; if you look closely, you can see where one dead creature ends and another begins. Tortoises, snakes, birds, deer (and pieces thereof) line industrial storage shelves from floor to ceiling; even when I climbed up the rolling step ladders, I couldn’t see over the top.