Friday, December 13, 2013

Wild Swans Enjoying a Surf on Australia's Gold Coast! (video)

Four playful black swans decided surfing looked like fun and decided to give it a go...repeatedly! Certainly shows these birds are smart and well as know how to have a good time!

Watch Documentary "Permaculture: A Quiet Revolution" here

Half hour documentary - Over 200 permaculture design course graduates and their mentors gathered in Brazil, uniting 43 countries in the common goal of preparing for and mitigating our current world environmental crisis. Their strategy - to create sustainability through self-reliance.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

If you care about animal welfare, particularly those living in London and Europe, please read this post...

On 22nd May 2014, along with counterparts in other European countries, the UK's Animal Welfare Party will attempt to make history by returning dedicated representatives for animal welfare to the EU Parliament for the first time ever.

The Animal Welfare Party UK needs around 140,000 votes in London (target constituency) in order to win a seat. With a huge number of pet owners, wildlife and animal enthusiasts, plus an estimated half a million people following some kind of vegetarian diet in the electorate of London, the required number of votes is highly possible.

If you live in London, please support the Animal Welfare Party campaign to make history for animals! And please share this information with other like-minded individuals in London to help make this happen!

More information about the Animal Welfare Party from the party itself:
The Animal Welfare Party is a small party, to date run entirely by volunteers. But although we may be small, we have huge ambition – because the animals don't deserve anything less.

The Animal Welfare Party's vision is of a fairer, more equitable and sustainable society for all and some of their key policies are to:
Redirect subsidies from livestock and fisheries farming to plant-based
agriculture
Phase out the failed practice of animal experimentation with binding
targets for reduction and funding and support for alternatives
Phase out farming practices with poor welfare consequences for animals
Increased penalties for those convicted of animal cruelty

We're looking to raise around £85,000 for our EU Election Campaign by the end of 2013, please click here for further details on our fundraising.


Vanessa Hudson - Leader of the Animal Welfare Party UK

We know that might sound like a lot but we also know there are around 4 million adult vegetarians in the UK - millions more worldwide. Since the ripples of success in these elections would be felt around the world, we hope kind-hearted, compassionate people all around the world will see the value in donating to our campaign. We know times are hard and many people don't have much money to spare. But if we can make this a worldwide effort then we really don't need to ask for a lot from each individual. Even donating a little as £1 (about $1.60 US) and then sharing details of our campaign with your friends, family and networks will help. After all, if every vegetarian adult in the UK donated £1, we'd have £4 million. If every vegetarian in the US joined in, that would be another £22 million. If pet owners, wildlife enthusiasts and all those who love animals joined in too we'd have even more. Get the picture? We like to think big!

Of course, if you can donate more than £1 that would help our campaign even more – but every amount, however small or large, will help.
How the Campaign Funds Will Be Spent

The £85,000 we're hoping to raise would be to help us undertake the following crucial steps in spreading the word about our party as far and wide as possible:

Design and print enough leaflets for every household in the London constituency – that's around 3.5 million leaflets – and if we can print them, Royal Mail will distribute them for free!

Produce a party political broadcast and other video content

Advertise and promote our party on social networks

Produce content for and purchase advertising space in prime locations in the media and out of home

Design and produce promotional merchandise including a wider range of AWP clothing for humans and some of our four-legged friends

Hire bigger office space for our growing network of interns and volunteers who want to get involved in our campaign

Hold information stalls across London and the UK

And, if we make more than our target figure, we'll review whether or not to stand in additional constituencies around the UK. There are 12 constituencies in total and it costs around £5000 to stand a candidate in each one.

And, if we don't reach our entire goal, the funds will go first towards ensuring we can print enough leaflets to reach every household in London.




What You Get


Well, apart from that warm, fuzzy feeling knowing you've played your part in making the world a better place, we've got some pretty unique perks on offer for all those lovely, wonderful and kind-hearted people who help our campaign.

Donate £1 and receive our eternal gratitude for acting to make the world a better place – and we really mean that!

Donate £5 and you'll be entered into our prize draw to win just one copy of the 'Meat the Truth' documentary on DVD, signed by the Leader of the Dutch Party and the film's presenter, Marianne Thieme

Donate £7.50 and be entered into our prize draw to win a 1.5 hour, private cookery lesson with award winning vegan chef, Tony Bishop Weston at Brighton VegFest (29th and 30th March 2014). Tony is the author of four books and is passionate about demonstrating that creating mouthwatering and healthy plant-based dishes is within the capabilities of all. Tony will tailor this one on one, bespoke session to your current culinary ability. Prize can be redeemed on 29th or 30th March 2014. Travel to location not included. More information on Tony can be found at foodsforlife.org.uk

Donate £10 and receive an AWP badge and personalised thank you note from the party Leader, Vanessa Hudson (to UK addresses)

Donate £15 and receive an AWP badge and personalised thank you note from the party Leader, Vanessa Hudson (to non-UK addresses)

Donate £40 and receive an Animal Welfare Party fair trade t-shirt signed by the party leader, Vanessa Hudson, an AWP badge and personalised thank you note (to UK addresses)

Donate £45 and receive an Animal Welfare Party fair trade t-shirt signed by the party leader, Vanessa Hudson, an AWP badge and personalised thank you note (to addresses within Europe)

Donate £50 and receive an Animal Welfare Party fair trade t-shirt signed by the party leader, Vanessa Hudson, an AWP badge and personalised thank you note (to addresses outside Europe)

Donate £100 and receive a 'Writer' credit on the 'History' page of our website, an Animal Welfare Party fair trade t-shirt signed by the party leader, Vanessa Hudson, an AWP badge and personalised thank you note

Donate £500 and receive a 'Writer' credit on the 'History' page of our website, coffee and vegan cake for two with party leader, Vanessa Hudson in a central London location, an Animal Welfare Party fair trade t-shirt signed by the party leader, Vanessa Hudson, an AWP badge and personalised thank you note (coffee and cake to be taken January to March 2013)

Donate £1000 and receive a 'Writer' credit on the 'History' page of our website, dinner for two at a London vegetarian restaurant with the party leader, Vanessa Hudson and Veterinary Advisor, Andre Menache (Andre is listed in Who's Who in the World, 19th edn., Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare, Millennium edn. and is a recipient of a 21st century award for achievement from the International Biographical Centre (Cambridge).(Dinner to be taken January to March 2013)

Donate £2500 and receive a 'once in a lifetime' dining experience brought to you by award winning, vegan chef Tony Bishop Weston. Tony is the author of four books and is passionate about creating mouthwatering and healthy plant-based dishes. Tony and assistant will come to your home and create a sumptuous dinner for 6- tailored around your likes. All you have to do is decide which friends you want to impress! Prize must be redeemed between January and June 2014. (Due to UK regulations this 'perk' can only be made available to UK residents, registered on a UK electoral register).


Tony Bishop Weston - Vegan Chef


Other Ways You Can Help

We know that not everyone can contribute financially, but that doesn’t mean you can't play a part in this exciting page of history or maybe you've been able to donate and would like to help further. Below are other ways you can get involved today:

Use the indiegogo share tools to share this campaign with others who might be interested

Find us on Facebook and Twitter and make a commitment to sharing our posts and tweets once or twice a week (write it in your diaries and calendars so you don't forget) – sharing our posts with your networks only takes a second and will cost you nothing but it could help us reach a whole new audience who aren't aware of our existence. You could be the vital key to us winning the 140,000 votes we need

If you live in London and are eligible to vote in the EU elections then you can vote for the Animal Welfare Party

If you haven't already, register to vote today. Visit aboutmyvote.co.uk

Visit our website animalwelfareparty.org and pledge to vote AWP today – knowing ahead of time how close we are to our goal of 140,000 votes will really help our campaign be as effective as possible – so don't delay, pledge to vote AWP today

Do you live in London and have regular free time? Could you be a volunteer involved in our election campaign? If so, get in touch via the contact form on our website animalwelfareparty.org

Could you help with leafleting closer to election time? If so get in touch via the contact form on our website animalwelfareparty.org

Mark the date of 22nd May 2014 in your diaries and calendars, don't plan anything that would prevent you from making it to the polling station that day

Remember, at the last EU election 66% of the electorate didn't vote. Why not make a commitment to voting early in the morning and then posting on facebook or twitter about the fact that you've voted. Your friends and family might be reminded to vote – or even better inspired to vote at the last minute – and all because of you!

If you have ideas of your own for helping to spread the word about us, please feel free to get in touch via the contact form on our website animalwelfareparty.org

With the help of kind-hearted, compassionate, creative people like you we know we can do this!
A Pan-European Movement

The Animal Welfare Party is proud to be one of five European animal protection parties contesting the May 2014 EU Parliament elections. Our shared goal is to return dedicated representatives for animals to the EU Parliament for the first time ever.

More information about each of these parties can be found below:

Partij voor de Dieren - The Netherlands

partyfortheanimals.nl

PACMA - Spain

pacma.es

Partei Mensch, Umwelt, Tierschutz - Germany

tierschutzpartei.de

PAN - Portugal

pan.com.pt

Please take action today, in whatever way you can, to make our shared goal happen.

On behalf of the animals – thank you!



Monday, December 9, 2013

The horror and inhumanity of animal testing needs to stop...

Please sign the petitions listed below to help stop this barbaric and unnecessary abuse and murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent animals.



Petition | STOP the sadistic torture of primates at British Columbia University! | English


British Columbia University, located in Vancouver, Canada, is trying hard to be famous in the academic world. Thus, they have decided to implement a complex scheme of sadistic / barbaric / inhumane torture of primates, as they are on the verge of “a very important discovery that will change all we know about humans”.

Sounds good, but here is exactly what is happening: monkeys and baboons have their head scalped, in order to properly study brain functions. They have their hands and feet tied to chairs and metal detectors shoved in their eyes and ears. During these complex operations, some primates wake up because the anesthesia is gone. The pain cannot be described. After surgery, they are kept without water of up to three days. Many do not survive, but who cares, as long as the tests have been completed.

It is pretty obvious that no such tests will cure any human diseases. Consequently, we urge the University to immediately stop the brutal research and let the primates live in peace!

Click here to sign - http://www.yousign.org/en/torture-bc



And to help stop cruel testing on animals in the UK, please click and sign at the link below.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/287/409/935/stop-all-animal-testing-in-the-uk/





More information on animal testing can be seen here - http://hopeandjoynetwork.weebly.com/animal-testing.html

Free book on why animal testing is invalid and unscientific here - http://hopeandjoynetwork.weebly.com/free-book-why-animal-testing-is-unscientific.html

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Pale Blue Dot - the Only home we have ever known - Carl Sagan video

The Earth is where we make our stand – The Pale Blue Dot and the Only home we have ever known. This photograph of Earth taken by Voyager 1 was dubbed "Pale Blue Dot."

Video narration by renowned scientist Carl Sagan

“From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."

"The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves."

"The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."



Comment - S.D. - Online Publisher - Great Mystery Publishing
We are not helpless. We, humanity, have created these problems the world now faces. It is up to US to fix them, or let the problems we have generated destroy us and every other living thing. Speak up, act on the principles of compassion, vote for those who have policies of welfare, kindness and ecological responsibility, live a lifestyle that helps not hurts the planet and each other, make a small difference, and together we will make a BIG difference. If we act now, if we act together, we can turn this around. Are you ready to make a positive difference?

More information about this video - The Sagan Series is an educational project working in the hopes of promoting scientific literacy in the general population. Created by @ReidGower http://twitter.com/reidgower - Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. All copyrighted materials contained herein belong to their respective copyright holders, I do not claim ownership over any of these materials. I realize no profit, monetary or otherwise, from the exhibition of these videos.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The futility and barbarism of animal testing...

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and this picture says it all. Animal testing needs to stop...immediately! If you want to find out why animal testing harms humans as well as non-human animals click here. And to download a free book about how animal testing harms humans written by Hans Ruesch click here.

Animals Have Souls
This is one of the most heartbreaking pictures I have seen about animal testing. The hand of an unknown monkey at testing facility, grasping the side of the trash can after they discarded her for dead.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"Earthflight - Africa" - Documentary video

One of the most spectacular nature documentary series ever made. The "Earthflight" documentary series gives you a "bird's eye" view of life and our beautiful planet. Fly over Africa on the back of a vulture and see the most animal-packed continent with fresh eyes. Arrow-dive with cape gannets among sharks, dolphins and whales as they join the great sardine run. Soar with fish eagles as they discover an S-shaped living island comprised entirely of flamingos.


We recommend that you check out the whole series on dvd.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Touching video about Christian the Lion

An amazing, true story about a lion who was raised by humans, friends John Rendall and Ace Bourke. The lion grew to big and strong to keep so John and Ace made it their mission to find a way to return Christian safely to the wilderness. This is Christian's remarkable story and the reunion of Christian with John and Ace. It is a reunion that you will never forget.

Tender, beautiful video - Man reunites with a gorilla he raised.

A touching reunion of a man with the gorilla he raised before releasing him into the wild five years ago.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Petition to stop abhorrent cruelty to bears...

The plight of the "dancing" bear is horrendous. Please follow this link, sign the petition and share... - http://www.change.org/petitions/ministry-of-environment-and-forests-director-ministry-of-finance-we-ask-the-indian-government-to-end-this-cruel-and-barbaric-practice?share_id=dPpzROWhMh&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition
Zero Tolerance For Animal Abusers
Please read the below, it is a deeply disturbing reality, and then SIGN & SHARE the below petition, to expose and end the dark truth behind the dancing bear. Here is what bear cubs suffer: 1. First few days are spent in the dark under an upside-down basket without food, water, or contact of any kind. 2. Tied to a post in the village where the children torment it. 3. At 6 months, a red-hot poker is forced through the bone, cartilage and nerve membrane in the top of the muzzle and a coarse rope pulled through the wound - a second piercing is necessary, usually done before the first wound has healed. 4. At less than one year of age, their teeth are knocked out with a hammer -- with no anaesthetic. Between 60% and 70% of the cubs die before they can be trained due to the punishing regime of beatings and starvation. 5. To train the bear to dance, hot coals are placed under their feet and the muzzle pain is exacerbated as the trainer pulls on the rope forcing the cub to stand upright. Under their thick collars, cuts are made to inflict more pain, thus the bears' undivided attention and complete compliance. A total of 60% to 70% of the cubs die before training. 20% from shock of separation from their mothers 20% to 40% die during transportation 20% die during early handling 40% of the remaining cubs die during their first year. http://www.change.org/petitions/ministry-of-environment-and-forests-director-ministry-of-finance-we-ask-the-indian-government-to-end-this-cruel-and-barbaric-practice?share_id=dPpzROWhMh&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition

Monday, October 14, 2013

Help Stop Dolphin Murderers setting up Dolphin Tourist Park!

The town of Taiji, notorious for their regular slaughter of dolphins, are preparing to set up a Dolphin Tourist Park (AND continue their regular dolphin slaughter!) This "Marina Prison(park)" will be used to fund their dolphin massacre. Please sign this petition to help stop this inhumane project from happening!



There is nothing more heartwarming than to take in the sights of the graceful dolphins swimming in their natural habitat. They seem to be smiling as jump in and out of the water. With the love of this gorgeous being, many have a quest for swimming with the dolphins, which has become big business for the hungry money-makers, like those in Japan.

Unfortunately, the town of Taiji in Japan is trying to encourage tourists to swim with the dolphins for the mere pleasure of generating funds for its establishment, which is just a ploy for killing more dolphins. The Cove, as it is known, is an area just a short distance from where tourists can swim with these majestic creatures. In fact, they are proposing to open a Marine Park in the Cove while still continuing their practice of dolphin killing in nearby Hatakejiri bay where the waters are pink from slaughter.

The proposed Marine Park would allow tourists not only to swim with the dolphins but also enjoy kayaking alongside dolphins and small whales. The Cove would be divided to allow for people to enjoy these water “sports” while also tasting various marine products, including whale and dolphin meat. Government official Masaki Wada also states that the town also plans a whale safari park spanning around 69 acres to open within five years, with a net installed at the entrance to a bay in the northwest of Taiji.

The sad part is that just a short distance in Hatakejiri bay, the waters are turning red as dolphins are lured there and slaughtered. This cruel and inhumane practice dates back more than 400 years with locals claiming that such traditions is no different than the slaughter of cattle for food. Opening the Marine Park is being condemned as exploitative to lure more of these gorgeous creatures to Taiji except that the mammals do not belong to this cruel town. Mr. Wade goes on to say that "marine mammals migrate across oceans, and internationally public opinion is that wildlife should be allowed to live as they are. The plan will only ignite more protests over dolphin-hunting.” Let’s band together to help protest and stop this cruel act of dolphin slaughter in Japan. Please sign and share, share, share in order to stop such animal abuse and cruelty and save the dolphins!

Please sign this petition, to help save wild dolphins from a horrible fate!

Petition author: SUE LEE

Monday, October 7, 2013

Did you know horses snore?! (video)

This funny clip shows how other animals are not so different after all, from the human animal. :) (We also have a cow snoring video on one of our other posts!:D)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

NBC Sports show Host Guns Down Elephant for TV ratings and Ivory

In a recent episode of "Under Wild Skies," an NBC Sports show about big game hunting, the host (an NRA lobbyist) and his guide gun down a helpless bull elephant and take the ivory with them.



As if big game hunting wasn't disgusting enough on its own, it's horror is compounded when a national sports channel broadcasts the entire thing, and when the animal being hunted is under constant threat from cruel and relentless poachers. Sign and share the petition below and tell NBC Sports that you won't stand for this inhumane treatment of these majestic, intelligent animals.

In a recent episode of this show, the host and his guide stalk and shoot a bull elephant, who trumpets and writhes in pain, even charging after the two men. The host then shoots it again between the eyes. After the elephant falls, the two men stand next to the dead elephant to gloat about their "achievement." Upon returning to their camp, they discuss how "special" it is to bring back an elephant's ivory.

This show demonstrates an absolutely horrific lack of respect for wild animals in their own habitat, a lack of any kind of empathy for the suffering of these animals, and a complete ignorance of the problems facing these animals every day.

Please join the thousands of people who are voicing their outrage at this episode and this show. Tell NBC Sports to remove the show from their programming immediately! Please sign and share this petition.




Help stop the cruelty that is Live Animal Export

With a new Australian Prime Minister in office, now is the best time to convince Australia to permanently ban all live animal exports. For that to happen, we must show the new government that there is strong public support for ending this cruelty.

Former Australian Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig defended live animal exports, calling shocking footage from Egypt an "anomaly". It's been seven years since the government first issued an identical statement, yet evidence of cruel and malicious export practice still surfaces regularly.

We watched shocking videos of terrified Australian cattle who were shipped to Egypt, having their eyes stabbed, tendons slashed, throats cut open, and bodies otherwise tortured while they were still alive!

This is not a practice Australia should be associated with and cattle are not the only species that suffer. Australian livestock groups have called on the government to exclude Egypt from our live export trade agreements, and even that doesn't quite tackle the principle of the issue.

Tell the Ministry of Agriculture that we need to forego live exports for their viable alternatives, and we must act immediately before our country's credibility is tarnished even further.

Please sign and share this important petition.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Koala's Cry for Help - Koala's in urgent need of protection

Every day enormous tree harvesters are cutting down around a thousand eucalyptus trees in Australia. Each tree is cut down within seconds, trimmed and then piled up. No plant biodiversity can be found in the monocultures of the Australian eucalyptus plantations. Please sign the petition here and share.

The natural habitats of the koalas are vanishing which forces many koalas to live on eucalyptus plantations. The endangered animals are slow and cannot escape the approaching harvesters. They hold on to the trees until their painful death.


Loggers have recently informed Australian television broadcasting services about the slow and horrible deaths of the innocent koalas. If the animals are badly injured, they will just be left on the plantations until they die.

“How often does it happen?” the journalist asks the logger. “Sometimes two koalas per hour are killed, sometimes it’s only one koala a day. And the injured animals are left out here to die”, the man answers.

“We have found the animals in horrible condition. Broken limbs, impact wounds, broken backs, dead mothers with babies that are still alive and trying to survive”, says animal rights activist Tracey Wilson. Animal rescue centres are treating some of the injured koalas, but it is very rare for a company to call for help for injured animals. They do not want to be associated with dying koalas.

Instead, they refer to the certification label of the ‘Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)’. In 2006 the plantations were recognised as ‘responsible forest management’. The painful death of large numbers of koalas does not seem to be as important as the profits the industry makes, says the journalist.

The logs are chipped and exported to China and Japan, where they are processed in pulp and paper mills.

Please help to protect the beautiful koalas with your signature.

Start of campaign: Sep 13, 2013

Petition provided by The Rainforest Rescue

Tiger Protection Petition - Tigers threatened by Deutsche Bank

Only 1.800 Bengal tigers can be found in India today. Their last habitats are threatened by Coal India. The biggest coal miner in the world plans the establishment of new coal mines right next to the last tiger reserves. - Sign petition here and please share.

Deutsche Bank is helping Coal India to finance the construction of these coal mines. Please sign our letter of protest and ask Deutsche Bank to cut ties with Coal India.

Petition shared by Klaus Schenck - Rainforest Rescue (Rettet den Regenwald e.V.



The Indian state-controlled coal mining company Coal India needs money to persue the construction of new coal mines. The company has mandated Deutsche Bank to organise the increase of capital in return for stock worth a total of US $ 1 billion. Coal India is not only the largest company in the world in terms of coal production, it is also one of the worst. It has forcibly displaced forest communities, destroyed critical tiger habitat and even used child labour.

In Central India, thirteen new coal mines and numerous coal-fired power plants are about to be constructed. Greenpeace India has researched the effects of these construction projects on the tigers. About 1.1 million hectares of tropical rainforest and at least ten tiger sanctuaries are at stake.

The environmental officer of a subsidiary of Coal India, Mr. Shinde, makes it simple: “We have to choose if we want electricity or we want tigers.” Environmentalists and locals strongly oppose the project due to its negative impact on the tigers.

Deutsche Bank, however, has made a decision against the tigers. They have hoped that helping to finance environmental destruction would go unnoticed. The bank’s support for Coal India can only be stopped by public backlash.

Please help us to change Deutsche Bank’s view on this issue. Sign our letter of protest and force Deutsche Bank to rethink their decision and to cut ties with Coal India.

Start of campaign: Sep 20, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Australian Greens promise to halt Live Animal Export if elected.

The Green Party's promise to halt Live Animal Export and set up an Independent Office of Animal Welfare if elected, is attracting attention of Aussie voters who care about animal welfare.
Animals Australia
GREAT NEWS! The Australian Greens today announced that if re-elected they will reintroduce legislation to end live export AND establish an Independent Office of Animal Welfare!(www.bit.ly/1fnvjtp) These two key policies have the potential to impact the lives of millions of animals – and with political support, could spell a revolutionary change (for the better!) in the way animals are treated in Australia. The Greens’ promise today will ensure that animal welfare becomes one of the first issues a new or re-elected government will be forced to consider. Find out what other parties are standing up for animals this election: www.AnimalsAustralia.org/election #BanLiveExport #AusPol


More here - www.AnimalsAustralia.org/election #BanLiveExport #AusPol

Aussie TV Networks Refuse to Run Anti-Murdoch ads by Get Up

"TV networks are refusing to put GetUp members' ad on the air. Channel 7 refused outright on the grounds that it was "distasteful", while Channel Ten and Channel Nine have told us directly that they won't continue running the ad because it criticises Rupert Murdoch. Channel 9 withdrew the approved ad from broadcast after having accepted payment for the ad spots, and haven't confirmed they'll refund the money."
To support this campaign go to: http://www.getup.org.au/you-decide-th...

Murdoch may have given up his right to vote in Australia's election, but he hasn't given up using his power to influence yours.

The Gosford Anglican Church's sign perhaps said it best: "Thanks Rupert, but we'll choose our own Government."

They're supported by the Australian Press Council who issued a warning to newspapers this week, saying "a paper's editorial viewpoints and its advocacy of them must be kept separate from its news columns."*

News Corp employs some of the best journalists in the country, and until recently, The Courier-Mail in particular has been a reasonably balanced newspaper. But during this election campaign, News Corp Australia have consistently used the front pages of The Courier-Mail and The Daily Telegraph to launch aggressive political campaigns against one side of politics**, while failing to scrutinise the other.

The Murdoch-owned News Corp publications account for 65% of national and metropolitan daily newspaper circulation***. In Brisbane, home to more marginal seats than anywhere in the country, The Courier-Mail is the only state-wide daily newspaper available. What's more, News Corp have been turning their front pages into huge political ads, installing them as bus-shelter and outdoor advertisements in key electorates.

We expect news from our newspapers. We expect to hear from journalists reporting the facts fearlessly, not from editors who have been flown in to run an attack-dog political campaign.

Let's send a message loud and clear: Australian voters decide this election, not Mr Murdoch: www.getup.org.au/you-decide-this-electio­n

[1] Australian press watchdog chides Murdoch media, Reuters. 27th August 2013.
[2] Murdoch's election coverage 'insult to Australians', SMH. 26th August 2013.
[3] FactCheck: does Murdoch own 70% of newspapers in Australia? 8th August 2013.



Information and video above provided by Get Up Australia.

US Cop commits terrible atrocities towards family dog

then tries to hide the evidence by throwing the dog in the rubbish. Read more below from Huffington Post (follow link)

Cop Spike Project
I didn't actually believe this story until I read it in the news. Here's the link to the story & the facebook page to help this family. (See shaded box at the bottom of the article) www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/12/la-deputies-shot-dog_n_3586993.html

www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/12/la-deputies-shot-dog_n_3586993.html

A US Community shows how we can beat climate change (video)

A bunch of young geniuses show us how it's done...

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Obama Makes Statement Against (dog) Breed Specific Legislation

Last week was an important one for dogs in the White House. Not only did the Obama family welcome Sunny, a 14-month-old Portuguese Water Dog, but President Obama made a statement against breed-specific legislation.

Here’s the official White House Statement on WhiteHouse.gov:

“We don’t support breed-specific legislation — research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources.


In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at twenty years of data about dog bites and human fatalities in the United States. They found that fatal attacks represent a very small proportion of dog bite injuries to people and that it’s virtually impossible to calculate bite rates for specific breeds.

The CDC also noted that the types of people who look to exploit dogs aren’t deterred by breed regulations — when their communities establish a ban, these people just seek out new, unregulated breeds. And the simple fact is that dogs of any breed can become dangerous when they’re intentionally or unintentionally raised to be aggressive.

For all those reasons, the CDC officially recommends against breed-specific legislation — which they call inappropriate.

As an alternative to breed-specific policies, the CDC recommends a community-based approach to prevent dog bites. And ultimately, we think that’s a much more promising way to build stronger communities of pets and pet owners.”

Although it is not yet a federal law, Pit Bull lovers nationwide are pleased to see that Obama is opposed to BSL at all government levels. Responsible Pit Bull owners are often misrepresented by the small percentage of irresponsible owners contributing to the negative stigma attached to the breed.

Bay Area Dog Lovers Responsible About Pit Bulls (BADRAP) has been educating the public with their monster myths. In a recent study of 122 dog breeds, by the American Temperament Society (ATTS), Pit Bulls achieved a high passing rate of 83.9, compared to the 77% score of the general dog population.

What you can do to help end BSL
Although BSL currently often indirectly refers to Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes, the targeted breed appears to change every decade. In the ’70s it was the Dobermans. In the ’80s, the German Shepherds. (That, of course, all changed when German Shepherds became guide dogs and military working dogs.) Then in the ’90s, the bad dogs were the Rottweilers. It’s been the Pit Bulls for the last couple of decades, which only adds to the huge number of Pit Bulls that end up in shelters. Is breed discrimination really any different than human discrimination? It’s basing false premises on the skin color and appearance of a dog, rather than a fair observation of their behavior.

Paws crossed that Obama’s statement against breed-specific legislation is noticed and heard!

What you can do to help end BSL

Become educated. The National Pit Bull Awareness Campaign is a nationwide effort to bring positive awareness and attention to the American Pit Bull Terrier.
Speak up. When you hear neighbors and friends speak negatively about any breed, gently provide educated statements to help them expand their thinking.
Volunteer at your local shelter. Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes are overcrowding shelters. Help in whatever way you can.

What do you think of Obama’s recent statement? Do you think Pit Bull’s are discriminated against unfairly? Thanks for posting your thoughts in a comment below.

Have you seen the new Adoptable Pets page on Care2? Â Please also share with your friends. We’d love your help in finding homes for these adorable animals!

Delivering Calm, four paws at a time!

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Calm your Canine Companion music series when you sign up for the Through a Dog’s Ear newsletter and/or Lisa’s Blog. Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!

Article by Lisa Spector Courtesy of Care2.com here - http://www.care2.com/greenliving/obama-makes-statement-against-breed-specific-legislation.html

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Animal Shelter Evicted, Urgently Looking to Rehouse around 900 animals!

With the City of Bakersfield taking over the Kern County Animal Shelter, county officials say they don't know yet what they will do with nearly 900 animals. This comes after city officials served shelter staff with an eviction notice Wednesday. County shelter staff have until September 30th to vacate the shelter. But, their main concern is moving all the animals. County officials say if they don't find a place in time, one of their options would be to euthanize them. "Our paramount concern is the safety of the animals and that 40-day notice from the city puts those animals in jeopardy," said County Administrative Officer John Nilon.

The Kern County Animal Shelter houses nearly 900 animals and many come from the city. County officials say after receiving an eviction notice from the city, they are working hard to find a new place to operate. "We don't know what's going to happen to those animals. We don't think the city's concerned so we're going to have to do whatever we can to protect the health and the well-being of those animals," said Nilon. "When we get to the day that we have to move, we literally have to take every animal in the facility, which includes dogs, cats, horses, pigs, everything we have so we leave an empty facility behind," said Kern County Animal Control Director Jen Woodard. The shelter on Mount Vernon Avenue is leased from the city and the one-year agreement with the county expired in June.

The city and county had plans to run a joint animal shelter, but according to the city, it wasn't getting the necessary feedback from the county. "When there's not that sense of urgency to get something done in an efficient manner, that does not bode well for the continuation of of a relationship whether it be for a year or two years or longer," said Steven Teglia, Assistant to the City Manager. But, the county says there was communication during a meeting three weeks ago and also through e-mail, illustrating shelter staff wanted to move forward with a joint shelter. But, with an eviction order in place, the county's main focus is the animals. According to county officials, there are three options. "One of which is to move the animals. One of which is to release them, and in releasing them we can use some of the rescue agencies, that sort of thing. Or third, those animals would have to be destroyed," Nilon continued. County officials say they do have a couple of facilities they plan to look at to house the animals.

Read more here.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Curious Baby Elephant Seal - Up close and personal (video)

Video and description contributed fotomotofotograf "A baby elephant seal curious, brave, and too comfortable with and among people it turns out. Petermann island, Antarctica. Antarctica is remote wilderness (yes, even the Peninsula that gets the lion's share of small but increasing tourist numbers). There is no baiting, feeding, tracking or approaching the animals to facilitate interaction with tourists. All close interaction happens by chance and is initiated by the animal itself. The number of people landing at each site is closely monitored (no more than 100 allowed at once) and they leave no footprint (no flags, food, or any waste).

Petermann island is visited mainly for the scenery and large bird colonies (two penguin kinds, blue-eyed shags etc.). Not seals. Seals in large numbers are more easily observed on the beaches in the sub-antarctic islands. That is why I was thrilled by this spontaneous encounter with the baby seal on a not-so-large piece of rock. I did not film the end of this encounter but was told both seal and its observers were sad to part ways and head each to their more permanent abode: seal back in the water and people back onto the mother ship. Canon HF100 with a wide-angle Raynox 6600 lens attached was used to film the seal.

Curious sheep try to help a fallen bird (video)

Only the intelligent are curious, and these sheep are showing both curiousity and compassion. Isn't nature amazing?!

Chuckles the rescued fox shows why foxes are adorable!

If you have never heard happy fox noises, you will love this sweet video...:D

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Guest Post - Support Adoption for Pets

Support Adoption For Pets Adoption Centres Support Adoption For Pets have increased their fundraising efforts year-on-year and have so far raised £608,636 for rescue and rehoming centres across the UK this year. But how is this money used? Here we look at a couple of rehoming centres from different parts of the UK to discover how this money can benefit pets in need of help!

The first of these is the Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter, which cares for more than 3,000 lost or unwanted animals every year, and has been working for the benefit of animals since 1896. Whilst it is named a Dogs and Cats shelter, it has also provided refuge, care and love for a number of extra animals who have graced its doorstep in recent years; including guinea pigs, chickens, donkeys and even pigs! The annual costs for the shelter are close to £800,000; £50,000 of which are spent on vet’s bills which is a necessity when looking after around 250 dogs and 100-150 cats at once. Help from Support Adoption For Pets is therefore vital to the continued success of this great animal charity.


A more specialised rescue centre can be found in the west of England. Greyhound Rescue West Of England (GRWE) cares for up to 80 of these wonderful pets each year, taking care of dogs of all ages. They literally go the extra mile to help greyhounds in need, just last year rescuing two Lurchers and their 9 puppies from being put to sleep at a pound in West Sussex.

Their 100 volunteers also hold regular collections at Pets At Home stores and have also received a number of grant awards from Support Adoption For Pets to help them continue their valuable work caring for the dogs and their puppies. They are also running their own emergency appeal this summer, hoping to raise £10,000 for animals in need of their help.

These are just two of the hundreds of rescue centres that Support Adoption For Pets help every year. Their animal fundraising events and charity drives help Pets At Home staff and their customers to support their local animal rescue centres, giving unwanted or abandoned pets across the nation a second chance at happiness.



Events
Support Adoption For Pets is lucky to have incomparable support from Pets at Home customers, suppliers and colleagues alike, up and down the UK and in Northern Ireland. The charity runs three main charity events every year in a bid to raise much needed funds for animal rescues and rehoming centres nationwide; with the help and unwavering support of all involved we are raising increasing amounts of money for animal rehoming centres and sanctuaries; year on year.

In spring, the first Fundraising Drive of the year launches, with all the Pets at Home stores being able to nominate up to two animal rescues or rehoming centres to support – then the fun begins! Whether it’s a “Name the Bunny” competition, a national raffle or the ever favourite tombola, Pets at Home stores come up with interesting and fascinating ways to fundraise for their chosen charity. Support Adoption For Pets rewards this determination by incentivising the stores to raise as much as they can. This is usually met with fierce (friendly) competition and an eagerness to be the highest fundraising store!

As the summer draws to a close we leap into the autumn Fundraising Drive, following the same guise as the earlier fundraising event, Pets at Home stores are again able to nominate up to two animal rehoming centres to support and again we are always thrilled to hear about the new and ingenious ways the store colleagues raise much needed funds for their charities of choice

We wrap up the year with one of the stores favourite fundraising appeals – Santa Paws. This festive appeal is vital to many animal rescue centres as December and January is often their busiest time of the year. Colleagues have many special ways to fundraise during this time; however the favourite of many is asking customers, friends and colleagues to donate a gift to an pet that may not be as fortunate as others and who may still be looking for their forever home. Many people will purchase that extra bag of dog food, cat toy or a bale of hay so that the stores can send a very special Santa sleigh to a local animal sanctuary.

Many of these events have captured the imagination and hearts of colleagues and customers alike and without those; we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Find out more about our fundraising events, such as the October Fundraising Drive 2012, Santa Paws 2012 and Spring Fundraising Drive 2013

Support Adoption For Pets is an animal charity with a single, passionate aim. It exists to help give abandoned and homeless pets a second chance of happiness.

Every year, thousands of pets end up homeless through no fault of their own. Thanks to the tireless work of animal rescue and re-homing centres across the UK, many of these animals are given a new life in the loving home they deserve.

Most animal rescue charities are completely reliant on donations and public support to continue their vital work.
It is our mission, with your generous help, to provide a financial lifeline and help secure the future of rehoming centres and vulnerable pets in need.

More here: http://www.supportadoptionforpets.co.uk



Friday, July 26, 2013

Is gross cruelty justified so we can enjoy a "delicacy"?

Look into the eyes of sadness and pain. This poor goose, suffering the daily injury of having food forcefully jammed down its throat, until its liver is ill and swollen, and this dejected bird's life of suffering is ended violently so some human can enjoy their (cruel) "delicacy" of foie gras.

Please sign the petition at the following link and share, to help stop this gross cruelty to these sad creatures.- http://www.thepetitionsite.com/10/we-the-undersigned/

Man helps save 1000's of animals from cruel deaths,

and is sentenced to prison. Peter Young, at his sentencing before the court -

"This is the customary time when the defendant expresses regret for the crimes they committed, so let me do that because I am not without my regrets. I am here today to be sentenced for my participation in releasing mink from 6 fur farms. I regret it was only 6. I'm also here today to be sentenced for my participation in the freeing of 8,000 mink from those farms. I regret it was only 8,000. It is my understanding of those 6 farms, only 2 of them have since shut down. I regret it was only 2.


More than anything, I regret my restraint, because whatever damage we did to those businesses, if those farms were left standing, and if one animal was left behind, then it wasn't enough.

I don't wish to validate this proceeding by begging for mercy or appealing to the conscience of the court, because I ...know if this system had a conscience I would not be here, and in my place would be all the butchers, vivisectors, and fur farmers of the world.

Just as I will remain unbowed before this court- who would see me imprisoned for an act of conscience- I will also deny the fur farmers in the room the pleasure of seeing me bow down before them. To those people here whose sheds I may have visited in 1997, let me tell you directly for the first time, it was a pleasure to raid your farms, and to free those animals you held captive. It is to those animals I answer to, not you or this court. I will forever mark those nights on your property as the most rewarding experience of my life.

And to those farmers or other savages who may read my words in the future and smile at my fate, just remember: We have put more of you in bankruptcy than you have put liberators in prison. Don't forget that.

Let me thank everyone in the courtroom who came to support me today. It is my last wish before prison that each of you drive to a nearby fur farm tonight, tear down its fence and open every cage.

That's all."

~Peter Young

Please help us find this soldier's dog!!

Soldier on deployment,while he was gone, the person who was watching his dog sold it or gave it away on Craigslist...(nice friend grrrr)...have you seen this dog?? Please help this soldier reunite with his pup!

LAKEWOOD– A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier was devastated when he returned home from deployment to find his dog was missing — and possibly sold on Craigslist.

Brandon Harker returned last week after an 8-month deployment to Afghanistan. He was excited to see Oakley, his 2-year-old purebred yellow Labrador retriever.

Harker had asked a friend to take care of Oakley while he was deployed. When he contacted the friend to pick him up, he was told the dog had been given away.

He turned to social media to find his dog and was contacted by numerous people who said they’d seen Oakley listed for sale in February on Craigslist. Harker has been calling local veterinarians and shelters, hoping for word on his dog since Oakley is micro-chipped and registered.

“I am just trying to get him back since he was wrongfully given away or sold without my permission while I was deployed,” Harker said.

To see the Craigslist ad or to contact Harker, click here:http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/pet/3956713351.html


Olympia Memes
Help this soldier reunite with his pup! LAKEWOOD– A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier was devastated when he returned home from deployment to find his dog was missing — and possibly sold on Craigslist. Brandon Harker returned last week after an 8-month deployment to Afghanistan. He was excited to see Oakley, his 2-year-old purebred yellow Labrador retriever. Harker had asked a friend to take care of Oakley while he was deployed. When he contacted the friend to pick him up, he was told the dog had been given away. He turned to social media to find his dog and was contacted by numerous people who said they’d seen Oakley listed for sale in February on Craigslist. Harker has been calling local veterinarians and shelters, hoping for word on his dog since Oakley is micro-chipped and registered. “I am just trying to get him back since he was wrongfully given away or sold without my permission while I was deployed,” Harker said. To see the Craigslist ad or to contact Harker, click here: http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/pet/3956713351.html Source: http://q13fox.com/2013/07/25/deployed-soldier-returns-home-discovers-his-dog-was-sold-in-his-absence/#ixzz2a6iY05N4

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Humans poisoning bees to extinction!

Recent scientific studies have shown what is causing mass bee deaths. (Bees are crucial to the propagation of our food crops, and therefore our very survival!) The mass die-off of honey bees that pollinate $30 billion worth of crops in the US has so decimated America’s apis mellifera population that one bad winter could leave fields fallow. Now, a new study has pinpointed some of the probable causes of bee deaths and the rather scary results show that averting beemageddon will be much more difficult than previously thought.




Scientists had struggled to find the trigger for so-called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that has wiped out an estimated 10 million beehives, worth $2 billion, over the past six years. Suspects have included pesticides, disease-bearing parasites and poor nutrition. But in a first-of-its-kind study published today in the journal PLOS ONE, scientists at the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture have identified a witch’s brew of pesticides and fungicides contaminating pollen that bees collect to feed their hives. The findings break new ground on why large numbers of bees are dying though they do not identify the specific cause of CCD, where an entire beehive dies at once.

When researchers collected pollen from hives on the east coast pollinating cranberry, watermelon and other crops and fed it to healthy bees, those bees showed a significant decline in their ability to resist infection by a parasite called Nosema ceranae. The parasite has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder though scientists took pains to point out that their findings do not directly link the pesticides to CCD. The pollen was contaminated on average with nine different pesticides and fungicides though scientists discovered 21 agricultural chemicals in one sample. Scientists identified eight ag chemicals associated with increased risk of infection by the parasite.

Most disturbing, bees that ate pollen contaminated with fungicides were three times as likely to be infected by the parasite. Widely used, fungicides had been thought to be harmless for bees as they’re designed to kill fungus, not insects, on crops like apples.

“There’s growing evidence that fungicides may be affecting the bees on their own and I think what it highlights is a need to reassess how we label these agricultural chemicals,” Dennis vanEngelsdorp, the study’s lead author, told Quartz.

Labels on pesticides warn farmers not to spray when pollinating bees are in the vicinity but such precautions have not applied to fungicides.

Bee populations are so low in the US that it now takes 60% of the country’s surviving colonies just to pollinate one California crop, almonds. And that’s not just a west coast problem—California supplies 80% of the world’s almonds, a market worth $4 billion.

In recent years, a class of chemicals called neonicotinoids has been linked to bee deaths and in April regulators banned the use of the pesticide for two years in Europe where bee populations have also plummeted. But vanEngelsdorp, an assistant research scientist at the University of Maryland, says the new study shows that the interaction of multiple pesticides is affecting bee health.

“The pesticide issue in itself is much more complex than we have led to be believe,” he says. “It’s a lot more complicated than just one product, which means of course the solution does not lie in just banning one class of product.”

The study found another complication in efforts to save the bees: US honey bees, which are descendants of European bees, do not bring home pollen from native North American crops but collect bee chow from nearby weeds and wildflowers. That pollen, however, was also contaminated with pesticides even though those plants were not the target of spraying.

“It’s not clear whether the pesticides are drifting over to those plants but we need take a new look at agricultural spraying practices,” says vanEngelsdorp.

Above story courtesy of http://qz.com/107970/scientists-discover-whats-killing-the-bees-and-its-worse-than-you-thought/
Photo :AP Photo/Ben Margot

Help Stop Wild Duck Carnage (petition and article)

Stop Duck Shooting in Victoria, Australia
The barbaric and nonsensical killing and maiming of ducks in Victoria continues with the annual duck hunting season every year. Even though recreational duck shooting has been banned in QLD, NSW, the ACT and WA, the Victorian state government continues to support it. Aside from the cruelty and pain inflicted, duck shooting wounds as many birds as are actually killed. For every three birds killed one is wounded and left to die a slow and agonising death. For every ten ducks bagged six are crippled.

Endangering native bird populations and causing mass injury and suffering solely for the twisted pleasure of a minority of perverted individuals is irresponsible, unethical and immoral. This year's season saw over 200 rare and threatened Freckled and Blue bill ducks and 50 Swans killed.

In a 2012 survey three out of every four Victorians wanted recreational duck shooting banned.

As a veterinarian who has an ethical responsibility to animal welfare the Premier should be outraged at this totally senseless cruelty.

It is time that this barbaric practice which has for too long been misleadingly portrayed as a "sport" was stopped.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Florence + The Machine - "No Light, No Light"video

I have never heard a song by Florence and The Machine I haven't loved. Another superb piece of music!

Spectrum EP is OUT NOW (iTunes):



Directed by Arni & Kinski

Music video by Florence + The Machine performing No Light, No Light. (C) 2011 Universal Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Live Export sending pregnant cows to horror death...

Due to a 'loophole' in the laws on exporting live animals, Australia was able to send thousands of pregnant dairy cows to die in Qatar. Photos and reports from two whistleblowers reveal that within one week, one in four of the animals died of thirst or malnutrition. Mothers watched as their baby cows died in agony.

Despite these photos and eye witness accounts, the Australian Government didn't investigate this incident because breeding animals are excluded from live export regulations. The dairy cows were pregnant when they were shipped, so they weren't part of any Government-sanctioned 'supply chain.' When breeding animals are shipped out of Australia, no one knows where they'll end up or what suffering they'll face.

So far, it looks like no one will be held accountable for the deaths of these animals, and nothing is stopping this from happening again -- unless we speak out! Please sign the petition below.

If you are an Australian citizen, call or email your local MP to tell them to close the loophole on exporting breeding (pregnant) animals!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Baby elephant in desperate need of your help!

Please sign and share this petition to help this poor tiny baby! The terrible fate of Raja the baby elephant, chained and held hostage by an angry mob: An image that will haunt you and a story that will enrage you. In this shocking expose the Duchess of Cornwall's brother reveals how baby elephant Raja was shockingly mistreated as he was kept captive in Sumatra. Following the deforestation of the land to produce palm oil, elephants have been forced to live with humans, destroying farms, flattening houses and sometimes killing people. Villagers took Raja, and demanded compensation after his family ruined crops in the area.

_____________
Article and petitions courtesy of Andres.Grijalva.Vi

In all the 30 years I have been working in Asian elephant conservation, I thought I had seen it all – blatant corruption, the rape and total disregard of our beautiful planet and sickening wildlife atrocities, to name but a few. All due to the most dangerous animal of all: homo sapiens.

Not much shocks me any more, but something happened in recent weeks that shook me to the core when the charity Elephant Family and the Ecologist Film Unit set out to document the environmental genocide that is out of control on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia.

Sumatra is special to me because I spent a lot of time there on expeditions when I was younger. It was a paradise – vast pristine forests, intact coral reefs and abundant wildlife.

All this has changed now and their elephants are the most endangered on the planet. In a single generation, the population has been cut in half, with countless other animals disappearing at breakneck speed.

During the filming, a helpless, emaciated baby male elephant called Raja, who was barely a year old, was found in a village, shackled with heavy chains to a tree. He had been taken hostage by the villagers, who were demanding compensation from the Sumatran government for the damage his family had done to their crops.

Can you believe that we are now living in a world where people are actually holding baby elephants to ransom? It is almost unthinkable. But just look at the photographs – look at Raja, as he strains against his chains, waving his little trunk for food and reassurance. He is bellowing in desperation for his mother.

I have heard that sound of distressed calves many times in my life. It never fails to haunt me. But it is his eyes that haunt me more than anything – pleading for help – innocent, desperate and helpless.

A war is being waged across Asia. In the face of relentless deforestation, elephants are being forced out of their natural habitats and they have no choice but to share their living space with humans. As the elephants’ forest home is destroyed, stressed and starving herds flee from the chainsaws straight into villages.

They demolish everything in sight, trampling crops, flattening houses and often killing people. Frankly, you really cannot blame the villagers for taking such drastic steps in the sheer desperation to survive and feed their own families.

Capturing a baby elephant and holding it to ransom is grisly and depressing, but it is reality as humans and elephants fight for space.
People need to know why this is happening. They need to understand what is driving this madness.

The cause is an innocently named product called palm oil. It’s a constituent part of almost everything that we use and consume – biscuits, margarine, ice cream, soap, shampoo. The list is endless.

And the blame lies firmly with the greed of the large corporations in the East that produce it as a cash crop to fuel the insatiable consumerism of the Western world.

The thirst for palm oil is apparently unquenchable and its cultivation is ripping out the last great rainforests.

Although forest destruction and its lethal impact on endangered species are plain to see, palm oil is practically an invisible ingredient, listed under the generic term ‘vegetable oil’.

April, Duta Palma, Sinar Mas and Sime Darby may not be household names, but these are just some of the companies producing palm oil in Indonesia and selling it on to the market for about £500 per ton.

L’Occitane, Ferrero, Cadbury, Ginster’s pasties, Clover margarine, Pringles, Kellogg’s, Haribo, Nestlé and Mars are just a few of the more familiar names of those that use palm oil.

All the major supermarkets use palm oil in their own-brand products. Some are better than others in getting palm oil from responsible sources, but the point is that it is everywhere and in everything. It is a silent assassin. Not until 2014 will there be a legal requirement for manufacturers to label palm oil on their products.

And, to make matters worse, the only certification body to monitor the production of so-called ‘sustainable’ palm oil is immensely flawed. Consumer industries are hiding behind a fallacy.

The verdant rainforest of Aceh in North Sumatra is one of the largest left in South-East Asia. It is the only place in the world where elephants, tigers, orangutans and rhinos all still live together – a real life Jungle Book.

But, right now, the Aceh government is close to adopting a plan that would see hundreds of thousands of hectares of this forest opened up for the cultivation of palm oil. This ironically titled ‘Spatial Plan’ is nothing more than a deforestation plan – an extinction plan, seeking to legitimise the illegal felling that is already happening.

They will become unrelenting and vast areas of land will flood.
Wildlife will be forced into ever greater conflict with people, and elephants like Raja won’t stand a chance.

Sadly for him, it is too late. He died alone, still chained to that tree, though Elephant Family worked tirelessly for a week to negotiate his release.

Already we’ve discovered that another calf, this one just a month old, has been captured and held to ransom by local farmers. Everyone is working around the clock to make sure that this little calf survives. I am doubtful.
But in the grander scheme of things there is hope. If there wasn’t hope, I would have packed up my bags a long time ago.

If we can protect these forests and stop the new plan in Aceh from going ahead, then we’re taking a giant step in the right direction.

Hundreds of supporters have already written to the Aceh government urging them to stop destroying their forests. But we need help. We need everyone to write.

Increased knowledge of palm oil and compulsory labelling will finally allow shoppers to make informed choices about what they buy. We need to push food manufacturers and retailers to support a transformation of the industry towards genuine sustainable palm oil, and we need to do it quickly.

__________________________


The most useful thing we can do to help is educate ourselves and avoid buying products that contain palm oil whilst urging companies to stop destroying the rain forests.

More information about palm oil and the products to avoid: http://a-z-animals.com/palm-oil/products/

Petition: http://www.change.org/saveAceh

You will also find more ways to help at: http://www.elephantfamily.org/


Read the full article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2351609/The-terrible-fate-Raja-baby-elephant-chained-held-hostage-angry-mob-An-image-haunt-story-enrage-you.html#ixzz2XeMYaH00