The demise of Ringling Bros. is a victory for animal rights


 http://portsmouth-dailytimes.com/opinion/16082/the-demise-of-ringling-bros-is-a-victory-for-animal-rights
On Sunday, May 21, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will hold its final “greatest show on earth,” at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island.

For the last time, Ringling’s lions, tigers, camels and other captive animals will enter the ring and be forced to perform demeaning and unnatural tricks. It’s a momentous occasion that took the animal rights movement more than three decades to achieve.

I personally led some of the earliest rallies outside Ringling Bros. shows, back in the late 1980s. As the outcry from activists and advocacy groups grew, Ringling willfully ignored it. Instead of switching exclusively to human performers — who perform by choice rather than force — the 146-year-old institution continued to bully animals. This was its downfall.

The reason is simple: When it comes to animal rights, the tide of public opinion has turned. A 2015 Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans — 62 percent — believe that animals deserve protection, and 32 percent believe animals should have the same rights as people. In recent years, many businesses have been forced to change their practices.

SeaWorld announced it would end its orca breeding program last March, and the state of California outlawed such programs a few months later. Several years ago, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to ban the use of bullhooks on elephants, and the city of West Hollywood banned the sale of fur products. Many pet stores have stopped selling dogs from puppy mills.

But while the end of Ringling is a victory for every activist who wrote a letter, signed a petition or protested outside the circus doors, the fight to free animals from cruelty, including in the entertainment industry, is far from over. Other circuses continue to exploit animals for profit, as do zoos, aquariums and rodeos.

For instance, in 2002, an investigator for my organization, Last Chance for Animals, captured footage of elephant training at the Carson & Barnes Circus in Oklahoma. The video showed violent training methods in which elephants were abused with bullhooks, electric prods and blowtorches. At one point, a trainer yelled, “Make ‘em scream!” The footage shook the circus industry to its core. Yet the Carson & Barnes Circus still features animal performers.

The simple truth is that animals should not be used for human amusement. The process often is unnatural and cruel from start to finish. Many are taken from the wild as babies and watch as their parents are slaughtered. Others are born in breeding facilities and never know freedom.

Life for these animals is one of isolation, boredom and trauma — this is why they so often exhibit abnormal behaviors, such as pulling out their own fur, incessant swaying and bar biting.

As we have seen with the demise of Ringling, the power of sustained activism is strong, but legislation could help hasten and strengthen this hard-won progress.

In March, federal legislation was introduced into the House to ban the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling circuses and exhibitions, the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act. We urge Congress to pass it. In April, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to draft a ban on the use of animals for circuses and other live shows, including private parties. We urge the council to write a final version of the bill and enact it.

It took more than three decades for the animal rights movement to put an end to the cruelty Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus inflicted on animals. It shouldn’t take another three decades to eliminate similar animal mistreatment elsewhere.

Chris DeRose is president and founder of Last Chance for Animals (@LC4A), an international nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation.

Richard Dawkins: ‘When I see cattle lorries, I think of the railway wagons to Auschwitz’

The evolutionary biologist talks about becoming a vegetarian, Brexit, Donald Trump and, inevitably, God

Richard Dawkins’ application of logic applies right down to his socks, which he refuses to waste time matchingCHRIS MCANDREW FOR THE TIMES

Is this what it was like, Richard Dawkins wonders, for ordinary people in Nazi Germany? “There’s a kind of laziness if you live in a society where things are just accepted. People might have been vaguely uneasy about what was going on in Germany but also thought, ‘Oh well, everyone else is doing it’.”

What crime is it that he thinks that we, like Germans in the 1930s, are blind to? It is, perhaps, a surprising one from him: the crime of eating meat. Dawkins, 76, is not known for being a woolly, liberal, tofu-eater. He is better known for his espousal of red-in-tooth-and-claw evolutionary logic and, even more so, for his three million-selling atheist book The God Delusion. Speaking from his Victorian Gothic house…

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 https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/when-i-see-cattle-lorries-i-think-of-the-railway-wagons-to-auschwitz-m3t0hntmk

Why did the Crown waste resources prosecuting woman who gave water to pigs?

Animal rights activist Anita Krajnc gives water to a pig in a truck

Christie Blatchford: Why did the Crown waste resources prosecuting woman who gave water to pigs?

by Christie Blatchford

These days, you can hardly pick up a paper or click on a news site without reading another story about the woes of the Canadian criminal courts.

They’re chronically short of judges! There aren’t enough Crown prosecutors! Legal aid is a mess and no one qualifies to get a lawyer any more! The buildings are old and crumbling!

And delay: Such a hue and cry about delay in the courts.

Since about six months ago, when in a case called R v Jordan the Supreme Court of Canada pronounced upon the unacceptable length of time it takes to get a case to trial in this country, and blamed what it called “a culture of complacency,” knickers have been in a knot across the land.

Defence lawyers are pressing to have charges against their clients dismissed because of egregious delay, years sometimes. Prosecutors say no, wait a minute – we’re doing our best here with limited resources. Judges are all over the map, here throwing out cases, there throwing up their hands. There is wild talk of such drastic measures as doing away with preliminary hearings.

Halton Region, west of Toronto, is no different, and maybe worse.

A simple Google search reveals that for the past five years, there’s been a steady drumbeat of whingeing emanating from the bar and the judiciary in the area, particularly about the “unmitigated disaster” that is the Milton courthouse, as one local lawyer has called it.

Area judges have taken judicial notice of the situation, meaning they’ve worked criticism of government into their decisions.

“Let the ministries that fund and operate the various arms of our court system be forewarned,” Ontario Court Judge Stephen Brown said in a March 8, 2012 decision in which he tossed a case of impaired driving. “Failure to increase judicial and physical resources to match the growing population will quite possibly result in a floor of delay applications being granted.”

Seven months later, Brown was at it again: “Because of the chronic persistent and growing demands on the limited resources in Halton Region, we are slipping further into a crisis situation where the lack of allocation of government resources by way of an increase in judicial resources and a proper physical plant and infrastructure to deal with the explosive growth in this region is leading to a breaking point.”

So the point is made, and undoubtedly legitimate: There’s no time or resources to waste in the justice system.

It’s in this light that the trial of animal rights activist Anita Krajnc might be considered.

On June 22 two years ago, Krajnc and other activists on a traffic island took advantage of a stopped tractor trailer (it was stopped at a red light) to talk to and pet the 190 pigs inside being taken to a nearby slaughterhouse in Burlington.

As a short video that was played at trial shows, the pigs were clearly thirsty and some of them were panting, and breathing open-mouthed.

Krajnc began giving some of them water.

The truck driver got out of the vehicle, approached her and asked what she was doing, told her to stop, and then phoned 911. He later went to the local police station to file a complaint, and Krajnc was charged.

(In the interests of full disclosure, let it be known that I have a white-and-pink English bull terrier, aka “a pig dog”, so named for its magnificent resemblance to a pig – big pig ears, piggy sort of snout and body, sort of dogs in pig skin. Balancing off that bias, I eat bacon, or at least I did until I read the expert report of Dr. Lori Marino, a neuroscientist who testified at trial. Her evidence was that in fact pigs are dog-like, every bit as sentient and capable of feelings as dogs are. They are also ridiculously cute, but that’s just my view.)

In any case, however one sees Krajnc’s cause, the fact is that the overburdened and impoverished justice system nonetheless allowed this prosecution not only to proceed, but also to eat up seven full days of court time, and all the public resources that entails – seven days of salary for the judge and prosecutor Harutyun Apel, court officials and security officers, court reporter and clerk, etc.

Blessedly, both for Krajnc and the taxpayer, she was represented pro bono by lawyers Gary Grill and James Silver.

Prosecutors had offered to settle the case with a peace bond, Grill said in a phone interview, but that was hardly reasonable given “she believes she’s done absolutely nothing wrong” and also recognized a PR and public education opportunity when she sees one.

A request for comment to prosecutor Apel Thursday resulted in a referral to the spokesperson for the attorney general’s ministry, who at first referred the query to the agriculture ministry, but when pressed – this is an issue which is clearly within the AG’s bailiwick — then declined to comment until the appeal period is over.

The government is considering an appeal? What, insufficient public funds haven’t yet been squandered?

As Gary Grill said, “There’s definitely real money being spent on this. Nobody in Milton can ever say they don’t have the resources.” Amen.

United Airlines accounted for a third of animal deaths on U.S. flights in last 5 years

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/04/26/united-airlines-animal-deaths-flights/100925100/

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The death of a giant rabbit on a United Airlines flight from London to Chicago focused the spotlight again on the carrier that has struggled with more than one-third of U.S. animal deaths aboard flights during the last five years.

United had 53 animals die on its flights from January 2012 through February 2017, the most recent month available, according to the Transportation Department’s Air Travel Consumer Report. That compared with a total of 136 animals that died on all flights of airlines.

In a statement, United said it was saddened by news of the death of Simon, a 3-foot Continental Giant rabbit, on the flight to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

“The safety and well-being of all the animals that travel with us is of the utmost importance to United Airlines and our PetSafe team,” United said in the statement. “We have been in contact with our customer and have offered assistance. We are reviewing this matter.”

The rabbit’s breeder, Annette Edwards, said the animal had an exam three hours before the flight and was fit as a fiddle.

Onboard animal deaths don’t necessarily mean an airline was negligent, as revealed in summaries of department investigations.

Among the four deaths on United flights in January, a Jan. 28 incident involving Hope, a 9-year-old cat, was suspected as heart failure, according to the department. Rocco, a dog, died on a flight Jan. 21 from a cardiac abnormality due to congenital heart disease, according to the medical exam. Two geckos were found dead upon arriving at Raleigh-Durham airport on Jan. 12, but no medical exam was performed.

The department requires airlines to report any deaths, injuries or lost animals from flights with at least 60 seats.

Transporting pets has become contentious in recent years as more passengers seek to bring emotional-support animals in the cabin with them. While pleasing the owners, the larger number of animals that include birds, pigs and monkeys has sometimes upset fellow passengers.

The department considered limiting the species or sizes of animals but hasn’t acted yet. Another concern for pet owners is what might happen when animals in portable boxes are transported with checked luggage.

United didn’t have the worst statistics when compared with how many animals it was transporting during the last couple of years.

During 2016, when United transported 109,149 animals, it had incidents of deaths or injuries in 2.11 out of every 10,000 animals, according the department. Hawaiian Airlines, which transported only 7,518 animals, had a higher rate of 3.99 deaths or injuries out of every 10,000 animals.

During 2015, when United transported 97,156 animals, it had 2.37 incidents per 10,000 animals, according to the department. Envoy Air, which transported only 1,673 animals, had 5.98 incidents per 10,000 animals.

United hasn’t always been near the top of these statistics. In 2010 and 2011, Delta Air Lines had the most deaths with 16 and 19, respectively, for nearly half the deaths in those years. But since then, Delta’s totals dropped significantly, to five deaths and five injuries last year, or 1.23 incidents out of every 10,000 animals.

Delta’s latest animal policy updated in March 2016 allows for pets either in the cabin or cargo for flights less than 12 hours. If the animal’s carrying case fits under a seat (other than international business or Delta One seating), it can count as one of two carry-on bags so long as the airline is notified 48 hours in advance. In cargo, a separate booking is required 14 days in advance. Members of the military and foreign service with orders to move can transport a pet as checked baggage.

“We know that pets are important members of the family, that’s why we updated our pet travel options over a year ago to ultimately ensure that we have a high-quality, consistent service for pets when their owners choose to ship them with Delta Cargo,” said Ashton Morrow, a Delta spokeswoman.

Seven airlines didn’t transport animals in cargo at all last year: Allegiant, Frontier, JetBlue, National, Southwest, Spirit and Virgin America.

The Chicken Economy

  • Written by  Steve Hinchliffe
  • Published in Opinions
The Chicken EconomyBukhanovskyy

24Apr
2017
2017 is the Chinese year of the chicken. This year, the best estimate suggests a record 94 million tonnes of chicken meat will be produced

That’s roughly 52 billion chickens. In the last 50 years, chicken has moved from being a rare food item, too perishable to mass market, to a staple of protein-rich (and low-fat) diets for a growing human population. But it’s not just the numbers that have altered. In the UK, supermarkets have led the field in changing the ways in which chickens are farmed and processed. Agricultural science and military-style logistics have converted a supplementary source of farm income into a highly organised, vertically-integrated industry.

Chickens are now reared under optimal conditions for economic profit and biological growth. High throughput of densely housed and specifically bred birds increase turnover (or the rate at which fully-grown chickens can be sold for meat). The result is a high-volume, low-margin industry, where the profit on each chicken is small but the real money is to be made in developing market share and volume.

Chickens now reach market at almost twice their previous slaughter weight. More astonishingly, improved housing, the use of enriched feeds and growth-promoting antibiotics mean they reach these new weights in half the time; less than 45 days to grow to market weight (sometimes only 38 days). An average poultry farm now houses several hundred thousand birds, arranged in sheds with 30,000 or so in each, all ‘growing’ in a tightly choreographed system to an established end, when they are ‘harvested’, transported and processed to reach supermarket shelves on time and at the correct price. Industry vets say the birds go through the process like ‘race-horses’.

This is an economic model (pile it high, sell it cheap while tuning biological processes to work as hard as possible at the lathe of production) that some say is symptomatic of our age. The journalist Felicity Lawrence suggests the chicken ‘is one of the defining commodities of our era… the sugar, tea and opium of the age.’ If Henry Ford and his motor cars defined the early 20th century, then the chicken and the often casual labour used to harvest and process its meat, Lawrence has suggested, defines our current times. These times can be characterised by global supply chains, precarious labour conditions, and biological stress.

platformAn average poultry farm now houses several hundred thousand birds, arranged in sheds with 30,000 or so in each (Image: Guitar photographer)

This year is also a year of seemingly unprecedented incidences of bird flu. By the middle of January there had been nearly 650 outbreaks of a deadly and virulent form in Europe, involving more than 200,000 cases. This European strain is currently thought not to be dangerous to people. But in China, another strain was, and has this year reached new levels of infection and mortality. The concern is that this may spread globally. By virtue of its ability to adapt, avian flu is known as a ‘potential pandemic pathogen’.

Standard explanations for the increased incidences of bird flu include failures in something called biosecurity. Disease experts often focus on the site of an outbreak. Those farms that allow poultry to mix with wild birds, or places such as live bird markets (particularly in parts of Asia where there is insufficient hygiene), are often blamed for disease spread. These may well be important points for contagion. Yet, there is another pressing question to ask: are the intensively raised, factory-farmed birds that make up the bulk of the 52 billion killed annually also part of the problem? When you add so many birds to the world’s biomass, all growing at rates and in conditions that change their immune responses, then it seems logical that you have changed the conditions for disease. Perhaps instead of sites, we need to focus on this global disease situation?

The evidence for this shift of attention is starting to emerge. First of all, it is important to say that all farms and forms of production involve plenty of opportunity for microbes, like the avian influenza virus, to circulate. Viruses can move with stock, pests, and with staff. The teams that often move from farm to farm to harvest poultry ‘crops’ may be a particular risk. Second, densely farmed birds may be more infectable. Immune systems are compromised at such growth rates, and once the virus is in a flock, it is clearly going to spread with impunity. Third, there is evidence that this avian biomass is altering the genetic make up of the viruses. In evolutionary terms, if you change a microbe’s environment, you are also going to provide the conditions for changing the microbe. Microbes evolve rapidly, and bird flu viruses are known to be particularly promiscuous, adapting quickly to hosts and so on. The raw material for the flu viruses has increased in number and availability as global production has expanded. The microbes are getting better at taking advantage.

Modernising agriculture is clearly of benefit to a world that needs to eat, and eat safely. And yet, we need to be wary of those tipping points at which the gains of modernisation start to backfire. As I write, the international restaurant chain Chipotle, which uses 64,000 tonnes of chicken meat annually, has announced that it is abandoning fast-growing chickens. Driven by food safety concerns and evidence that slower growth results in less disease, we may be seeing the start of a  crucial shift. The health costs of cheap meat may now be tipping the balance. Redressing that would make this year of the chicken one that could be good for all of us.

Karmic Disaster: Dead Meat as Gastronomic and Economic Sustenance

http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/ar-karmic-disaster-dead-meat.html

An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

John R. Hall, The GreanvillePost.com
April 2017

A nation of zombies feeds on the flesh of dead animals, salutes, pledges allegiance to, and sings the patriotic songs of the Empire which spreads death and destruction worldwide. Few have noticed Bad Karma nibbling away at their sorry asses. Few have noticed the Fall of Empire in progress. Their national borders are prison bars, their economy in shambles, their hopes and dreams gone. When it comes to neighbors, love has been replaced by fear. More firearms than humans populate the land…

sue coe
By Sue Coe, the world’s foremost political artist focusing on humanity’s tyranny over non-human creatures.

Hindu scriptures teach that anyone who kills or causes harm to other sentient beings is in for a big dose of Bad Karma as a result. The shit can hit the fan in this lifetime or in some future reincarnation, but it will happen. Not that I personally subscribe to Hinduism or any other religion, but I do believe that there’s a large dose of merit in their world view. A lot can be said for lifestyles which involve veganism and peaceful coexistence with our fellow beings. Stray from the path, commit the crime, and you’ll eventually do the time. Like the Hindus, we’ll define “sentient beings” as including (most) humans, all other creatures with eyes and mothers, and most importantly Mother Earth herself; for she’s borne the brunt of harm caused by her thoughtless, careless, greedy human children.

Dead meat is the fuel that powers Empire, and the resulting karmic disaster now bites all its citizens in the ass in oh so many ways. We’ve been told since birth that we need to kill and consume cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, sheep, goats, rabbits, and/or squirrels, to maintain a necessary level of protein in our diets. Whack ’em, gut ’em, skin ’em, cook ’em (optional), and eat ’em. We’ve also been instructed to drink the milk meant for calves, in its many forms, and to ingest the embryos of large birds. If you are a believer in the studies and lifework of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, or are even mildly observant, you understand that your morbidly obese friends and neighbors (or you) are dying prematurely from meat/dairy/egg-intensive diets, in ever-increasing numbers. Heart/coronary artery disease, cancers, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and untold other karmic paybacks are their rewards for either directly killing animals or buying their dead flesh from Safeway’s meat case, and consuming it. If Dr. Esselstyn is correct, by the time the average meat-consuming high school graduate in The U.S.A. accepts his diploma, coronary artery disease is already ravaging his body.

Dead meat is the fuel that powers Empire. War is its business, and fast becoming its only business. Bombs, bullets, missiles, rockets, warships, and warplanes are its preferred delivery methods. Its young people are lured into the bloody, tangled web of death and destruction by slick-huckster, pseudo-patriotic, U.S. Military-glorifying advertising schemes. The lucky do their time, emerging with bodies largely intact, suffering only a lifetime of residual mental anguish and PTSD, souls stolen away, brains scrambled, expressionless, and aimless, demented, self-doubting heroes to the masses who cheerlead Empire’s wars. Warfare for profit drives the stock markets. In my lifetime alone: A few million dead Koreans, a few million dead Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, a few million dead Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans, and Syrians, and the market values of Boeing, Exxon-Mobil, Raytheon, Halliburton, Monsanto, and Northrop Grumman soar. Billionaires, corporate executives, bankers, and politicians rake in the blood money. Combat boots leave their marks upon the faces of dead populations across the globe, as the looming shadow of Bad Karma darkens the land.

Dead meat, the fuel that powers Empire, brings a tear to the eye of Mother Earth. Mega-corporate meat-growing mass-execution operations grow sentient mammals and birds in immobile squalor, pumping them full of antibiotics and growth hormones, raping (force-breeding) them, stealing their progeny and milk, unceremoniously slaughtering them, and feeding them to the masses of sick, mindless, obese humans. Filling the atmosphere with the stench of uncontained defecation and urination, and contributing more greenhouse gas emissions than all other sources combined. Crops feeding death-row, USDA-inspected, four-legged or feathered prisoners consume more water in Empire than all other uses combined, both domestic and agricultural, not to mention the associated, indiscriminate use of toxic soil-killing herbicides and pesticides connected with corporate agriculture.

Dead meat. Populations of third world countries cry out for food and drinking water, but receive bombs instead. Citizens unfortunate enough to live in oil-rich lands yearn for basic needs, but find themselves to be testing grounds for Empire’s newest, state-of-the-art WMD’s. But who needs rice when you can have depleted uranium? Countries ravaged, war’s ultimate goal; death, destruction, chaos. Dead meat litters broken countrysides. Empire’s exceptional citizens stuff their fat faces full of dead meat. They watch in awestruck approval the fireworks of death, in countries they can’t find on a map, on their favorite corporate “news” channels. Meat; it’s what’s for dinner. Meat; it’s what you become if you’re not in sync with Empire’s agenda. Meat; it’s what all sentient beings are, in the eyes of those who push the buttons and pull Empire’s strings. Resources to be harvested. Meat.

sue coe
By Sue Coe, the world’s foremost political artist focusing on humanity’s tyranny over non-human creatures.

The U.S.A. is now ground zero for karmic disaster. A nation of zombies feeds on the flesh of dead animals, salutes, pledges allegiance to, and sings the patriotic songs of the Empire which spreads death and destruction worldwide. Few have noticed Bad Karma nibbling away at their sorry asses. Few have noticed the Fall of Empire in progress. Their national borders are prison bars, their economy in shambles, their hopes and dreams gone. When it comes to neighbors, love has been replaced by fear. More firearms than humans populate the land. Pawnshops and porn stores offer temporary solace from wretched lives of impending poverty and loveless relationships with despised partners. Self-loathing zombies cover their bodies, head to toe, with senseless colorful graffiti, squalor of the skin, ill-conceived epidermal etchings. Drug and alcohol addiction run rampant. Hungry, homeless, hopeless people beg on every street corner, while others turn a blind eye. The Police State grows like a malignant tumor across the land, but soulless faces buried in miniature electronics fail to pay heed.

It would be easy to end this sordid little piece on a hopeless note, for Empire’s apparent future appears to hold little in the way of hope. If only there was someone who might have a chance of gaining enough power to turn things around, end constant warfare for profit, and bring a degree of sanity to The U.S.A. before Bad Karma brings the wrath of the rest of the world down upon us in a big and final way. Someone who would have the huevos to run for and be elected POTUS, buck the power of The C.I.A., The U.S. Military, the neocon/neolib war consortium, and Wall Street. A John F. Kennedy reincarnate. Maybe a disillusioned combat veteran who’s also a beautiful, well-spoken, and fearless U.S. Congresswoman from Hawaii. Someone who’s travelled to Syria (with Dennis Kucinich), spoken with President Assad, doubts that he was responsible for the sarin gassing of his people, and would be extremely hesitant to EVER AGAIN start another war. How about a lifelong vegetarian Hindu? President Tulsi Gabbard….hmmm. We can only hope and dream. Karmic disaster is imminent as our karmic debt comes due, but there may yet be time to bury Empire and save The U.S.A. Hope springs eternal.


The Greanville Post Senior Contributing Editor, John R. Hall is a street-trained agnotologist with an advanced degree in American Ignorance. Other hats include: photojournalist, novelist, restaurateur, mountaineer, grocer, nurseryman, and janitor. He’s written three novels which have been read by almost nobody: Embracing Darwin, Last Dance in Lubberland, and Atlas fumbled. An untrained writer and college drop-out, he began his short career in journalism writing the ‘Excursion’ column for The Jackson Hole News & Guide. More recently he penned the ‘Left Column’ for The Molokai Island Times; appropriately on the island once known as a leper colony. John currently resides, writes, and protests injustice in the shadow of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and walks among the spirits of those who once occupied the 79 Disappeared Pueblos.

All of us with compassion

No automatic alt text available.

“For as long as i can breath i will fight for the animals…
The day i stop breathing, on my final breath i will feel sadness, that i can fight no more.
Yet elated that i am freed from this living hell that all of us with compassion have to witness on a daily basis, created by fellow humans that i am ashamed to be connected with.~ X”

The Animals’ Vegan Manifesto

 By Sue Coe
From All-Creatures.org Book, CD and Video Review Guide

The intent of this book and video review guide is to help us to live according to Kingdom standards which bring Heaven to earth.

Author: Sue Coe, GraphicWitness.org
Reviewed by: Heidi Stephenson

Sue Coe

The Animals’ Vegan Manifesto By Sue Coe
Available from OR Books

Review:

“We are the Nazis, there is no escaping it. Nazi is a condition of humanity.”

Animal exploitation, killing and abuse is at an all-time high and the suffering we humans inflict so sickening, so shocking, so painful to bear witness so that the majority turn away from the activist photographs which shine a light on this darkness, in horror begging: “Don’t tell me. Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.” But Sue Coe’s clever political art gets right in, under the radar. She unlocks hearts like no other and forces the wilfully blind to see. Doing what art does when it’s at its best, inspired, courageous and just about bearable, she shatters our complacency with her vivid, evocative empathy, her highly memorable compassion. Sue Coe tells it as it is, from the animals’ point of view, in sharp, black and white woodcuts. She emblazons the need for change on our reluctant, human consciousness. She dreams the dream of a humane, vegan world, Martin Luther King-style.

This is a book in two parts. The reality of our man-made Death cult in which a slaughterman can pitch-fork a living baby piglet, a human fist can hover menacingly over a newborn male chick, ready to smash him into non-existence and a baby lamb can so casually be turned into so much minced meat, is presented with an uncompromising commitment to the terrible truth. God-given lives are Satanically alchemized into meaningless bags of money, by a gang of greedy men. Lobsters are boiled alive by indifferent chefs. We witness the terror of a cow being forced into the abattoir while her desperate calf tries to cling to her. We see (and our imaginations hear) the hysterical weeping, leaping and screaming, the terrible grief of some sows as they watch helplessly as one of their youngsters is stunned in preparation for his imminent murder. Organic, free range, crate free “Happy Meat” is shown to be anything but. While we eat, drink and continue to be merry, the animals die. A couple sit, wine in  hand, over yet another roast dinner – surrounded by the spirits of all the animals whose lives they have directly taken (over 11,000 per person, per lifetime, according to VIVA! figures).

Animal suffering – emotional as well as physical – is given full vent. We witness the abject misery, the highly conscious teardrops of a trapped, ‘battery’ hen, of a grief-stricken cow in the presence of her murdered calf; the depression, profound pain (and grave sense of injustice) of an innocent pig locked inside the dark hell of his ‘prison cell.’ Lions weep in their cages; elephants are literally brought to their knees in heavy ‘circus’ chains. In a bleak landscape, filled only with dark, ominous tower blocks and dead tree stumps, a lone wolf is trapped in agony, his front leg gripped by a deathly leg-hold trap. A crying angel comforts a bleeding goose whose feathers have been excruciatingly ripped out through live plucking. A ewe hugs her lamb-child with such tenderness against the terrifying backdrop of a missile attack: a bleak reminder that human bombs rain down on animals too. Genetic mutations, vivisection, the gassing of unwanted animals, Sue Coe does not leave a single tombstone unturned.

The Animals’ Vegan Manifesto also shows us the madness of it all: the two-faced, Janus heads of Man who with one arm affectionately strokes his dog, while with the other he stabs a baby lamb in the throat with a knife. Men devour platefuls of meat, while a Third World child starves to death. An autocratic father force-feeds his baby with a young piglet, creating the seeds of his own child’s premature demise. Another man devours two, huge turkey legs – and with them pus, salmonella, e-coli, and an early grave.

In part two, the tide finally, mercifully turns and we are shown what could be – what will ultimately be. Sue Coe has a Martin Luther King-scale Dream. There is love in the skies, in the heavens; animal angels are shown to be the guiding stars of their animal brethren. There is hope. And there is liberation. On pages 57 and 58 a cow cuts through the barbed wire of some hell-hole of a farm under a bright moon. Her act is deliberate and conscious, and we know that it will ultimately be effective. On page 63 a goat does the same. On pages 74 and 75 two brave pigs follow suit. Chains are broken, and the animals, literally, see the Light.

There are human cries too, vegan cries for “Freedom! Peace! Justice! Stop Violence!” The vegans become far greater in number, unwilling to participate any longer in the meat industry’s blood money scam. A thin, but determined donkey walks through the night towards a new Vegan World which is only 155 miles away. Other animals find the path too and begin to pursue it hopefully; they carry a V banner above them.

An Isaian world begins to manifest: a mule embraces a dog, a cow and a pig write a new law: “Eat veg, not us,” another cow scours The Vegan News for inspiration, and the animals unite in a common mission for love and unity. They help each other – and they find their freedom again. They share a vegan meal together, and they sleep soundly in the protective care of each other. A bat heralds rebirth and more Good News. The bears enjoy their tree tops again; bucks and fawns leap for joy, fish dance in ponds.

Shooting stars break out in the night skies as a choir of wolves sing to the new world; butterfly and grasshopper exchange flowers, a sunflowers bursts into fullest bloom. A woman holds a calf in her arms, expressing her deepest, motherly/sisterly love, clearly mourning all the terror, pain and violent death which man has inflicted on the animals for so long. There is great rejoicing as the world finally becomes vegan. Miraculously, a hardened scientist breaks out of his own man-made cage – and stretches out to embrace the animals, while a cockerel heralds a new vegan dawn.

Sue Coe grew up next to a slaughterhouse in Liverpool. In The Animals’ Vegan Manifesto she conveys the most important message of our times, about the last, most terrible, most prolonged, mass slavery and life-engulfing genocide the world has ever known. There is great love in these pages and her vision is Biblical in its moving magnificence. She has done what a thousand words from a thousand writers have failed to do.  She is a true prophet of our times – and her book is essential reading. If you buy just one book this year, let it be this one.

animals’ vegan manifesto
to 2 leggeds

1 close all slaughterhouses
2 the seas are salty with our tears,
leave us alone
3 turn all farmprisons into sanctuaries
4 we want to fly away
5 stop stealing our eggs
6 don’t take our lambs, or coats

from all of us, of fur, fin and feather
eat plants, not us, thankyou.

About the Author:

Sue Coe is a keen observer, a ‘graphic witness’ to realities more often overlooked or avoided. She is a journalist who uses printed images in preference to words. For a quarter century she has explored factory farming, meat packing, aparteid, sweat shops, prisons, AIDS, and most recently, war. Her commentary on political events and social injustice is published in newspapers, magazines and books. The results of her investigations are hung in museum and gallery exhibitions and form an essential part of personal fine print collections by artists and activists alike. Coe paintings and prints are auctioned as fund raisers for a variety of progressive causes, and since 1998, she has sold prints here to benefit animal rights.

http://www.all-creatures.org/book/r-animals-vegan-manifesto.html

International Respect for Chickens Day One Month from Today – May 4, 2017!

Chickens Ruby and Ivy.
For merchandise, posters and brochures, please visit our online store.

Please join us at the White House for UPC’s International Respect for Chickens Day/Month of May Public Outreach Event! We provide brochures, posters & banners – all we need is YOU!

When: Sunday May 7 Noon – 3:00pm
Where: Lafayette Park across from the White House at Pennsylvania Avenue
Why: Stick Up For Chickens!

For more information visit:
International Respect for Chickens Day

Karen and Liqin holding a 'International Respect for Chickens Month' banner by the White House.

MAY 7, 2017

Leafleting at the White House for International Respect for Chickens Day

Hosted by United Poultry Concerns

 

Thank you for taking action!