Yulin dog meat festival to begin this weekend, defying Chinese declaration that dogs are pets not food

Yulin dog meat festival to begin this weekend, defying Chinese declaration that dogs are pets not food

June 19, 2020 0 Comments

Also in the video you’ll see puppies, who were on offer for slaughter and sale at a market just outside Yulin, being rescued by Chinese animal activists. The activists, upon seeing the 10 puppies, questioned the stall holder about how the animals had been acquired, and he agreed to let the activists take them. The dogs are now being cared for at our partner shelter.

“I couldn’t believe that anyone would even want to eat these adorable little darlings,” said one of the activists, Jennifer Chen, who can be seen lifting a puppy from the cage in the video. “My hands were trembling…he kept licking my hands, and unbeknown to him I could easily have been a dog meat eater.”

China has made progress in recent months toward ending the dog meat trade, most significantly by confirming earlier this month that dogs are considered pets and not meat. While this is not in itself a ban on the trade, two cities—Shenzhen and Zhuhai—have banned the consumption of dog and cat meat.

Promisingly, in Yulin, too, there appears to be less activity this year than usual. With the resurgence of the coronavirus in Beijing and continuing travel restrictions throughout the country, dog meat restaurants and markets in Yulin are quieter. Trade overall is also sluggish, as traders told activists, because the government is cracking down on animal transport between provinces. This makes it harder for the traders to acquire live dogs from outside the Guangxi province as they did in past years, when large numbers of dogs were transported in trucks, spending days without food and water.

While in past years dog meat was sold at stores around the city, a majority of such sales have now been consolidated into one central area called Nanchao market on the outskirts of Yulin. The notorious Dongkou market, once the epicenter of dog meat sales and the slaughter of live dogs, has much fewer vendors than it did in past years. Dr Peter Li, HSI’s China policy specialist, believes this could be because authorities may want to keep a closer eye on all the dog meat trade activity by centralizing it.

As our partner group activists found out over three separate trips to Yulin in the last 12 weeks, dog meat consumption among the city’s residents has also dropped. They heard from people like Xiao Shu, a young store owner who lives in Yulin with her three dogs and 10 cats, and, like most young Chinese, would not dream of eating dog meat.

While all this is encouraging, even one dog killed for this trade is one too many. We stand with Chinese animal activists who are urging local authorities in Yulin to embrace the national government’s declaration that dogs are companions not food, by halting the dog meat festival and the year-round dog and cat meat trade there. The world’s eye, once again, is focused on China as this gruesome event unfolds, this time even more closely because of the coronavirus pandemic and its link to crowded markets where animals are slaughtered for food. Most people in China do not eat dog and cat meat, and there is no tolerance left there—or in the rest of the world—for such abject cruelty.

Not just cruel to animals, these farms may breed the next pandemic

 | Opinion

ASPCA op-ed

As a consequence of the pandemic, slaughterhouses are shutting down as they become COVID-19 hotspots, their employees becoming sick in record numbers. Meanwhile, farmers who have no flexibility to hold animals for even a few extra weeks are deploying brutal forms of “depopulation,” including shutting off ventilation systems and allowing the animals to die from heat stress or suffocation, according to the ASPCA.

By Matt Bershadker

Today’s industrial farms raise massive numbers of pigs, chickens, turkeys, and cows in intensive confinement, mired in their own waste and lacking enough space to simply move about freely. These farms also breed animals for extreme growth and production rates that further endanger their health and welfare. Conditions like these have torturous consequences including lameness, skeletal disorders, and painful skin lesions. Yet, they are still standard operating procedure for the few large companies that control how most farm animals are raised and slaughtered in this country.

As a consequence of the pandemic, this cruel machine is now starting to crumble under the weight of its callous greed, layering even more tragedy on top of longstanding suffering. Slaughterhouses owned by enormous meat companies are shutting down as they become COVID-19 hotspots, their employees becoming sick in record numbers due to wholly inadequate worker protections.

Meanwhile, farmers raising animals for these companies — pressured by strict contracts to maintain factory-like production rates with razor-thin margins — have no flexibility to hold animals for even a few extra weeks and are deploying brutal forms of “depopulation.” One method involves shutting off barns’ ventilation systems with animals sealed indoors to die from hours of heat stress or suffocation.

Industrial animal agriculture isn’t just cruel to animals, dangerous for workers, and economically unstable for farmers — it may also become a breeding ground for the next global pandemic. While COVID-19 likely originated in wildlife, groups like the Food and Agriculture Organization and scientists around the world have long been warning that industrialized animal farming practices can increase the risks of zoonotic diseases. Industrial animal agriculture hallmarks like extreme crowding of animals, poor air quality, inadequate waste management, and reliance on antibiotics are all kindling for the brushfire of pandemics.

The real-life evidence to justify these warnings is stark and sobering. Between 1997 and 2006, highly pathogenic strains of H5N1 bird flu were linked to poultry farms in China, with a 60% mortality rate in humans who caught the virus. In 2009, the H1N1 swine flu jumped from commercially raised pigs in Mexico to humans and killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

To prevent illness in stressful conditions that would typically sicken animals, many farms resort to the prevalent use — and overuse — of antibiotics. Currently, in the EU and the U.S., over 75% of all produced antibiotics are used in animal agriculture. The bacteria found in animals — Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli — are the same ones that cause illness in humans, and the drugs used by industrial farms are the same ones we use to cure those illnesses. This indiscriminate misuse of antibiotics to prevent — rather than treat— infections is vastly increasing the rate at which bacteria gain resistance. A 2019 study showed that antibiotic resistance has nearly tripled in farm animals.

As drugs lose their effectiveness on farms, they’re not working to cure human infections either. In the U.S. alone, 35,000 people die each year from antibiotic-resistant diseases.

This dangerous situation has long demanded a bold solution, but the pandemic has raised the stakes even higher for humans and animals, creating even more urgency but also a unique opportunity for action.

First and foremost, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) should immediately stop allowing slaughterhouses to convert to even faster slaughter speeds, which endanger animals as well as workers. The USDA must also heed the call of Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and 21 other members of Congress who recently urged the agency to block the use of the most inhumane depopulation methods. But we cannot stop there.

Congress should also promptly enact the Farm System Reform Act, ambitious legislation introduced by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA) that would put an end to factory farming by 2040. The legislation includes a phase-out plan that would provide funds to help farmers transition from the factory farm model to more humane and sustainable farming systems. The public can help by asking their congressional representatives to support and co-sponsor this vitally important bill.

These goals may seem too lofty to some, but the unprecedented dangers we now face makes this the right moment to build a more humane and resilient food system that values animals, people, and the planet.

Viewpoint: It’s time for state to close live animal markets

As world leaders continue to debate the closure of wild animal wet markets across the globe, New York can act right now to stem the spread of zoonotic diseases caused by the exploitation of animals by closing such markets in the state.

Live animal markets have for too long cruelly consumed millions of wild animals and endangered the planet’s health. Experts have said the COVID-19 pandemic likely arose from a wet market in China.

COVID-19 is not the only deadly disease to emerge from such markets across the globe. SARS, MERS, Ebola, Nipah virus and many others have jumped from animals to humans because of the wildlife trade.

In fact, three out of every four new or emerging infectious diseases in people come from animals and more than 34 million people worldwide have died from zoonotic diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization.

New York state is home to more than 80 live animal markets, including in Schenectady, Buffalo and New York City, the latter of which hosts the majority of them and where more than 21,600 people so far have died from COVID-19. Smuggled illegal bush meat from imported exotics such as monkeys, pythons and civets can make their way into such markets to be sold to consumers.

Many of these markets operate next door to schools and homes despite health laws prohibiting slaughterhouses near residential buildings, according to Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and state Sen. Luis Sepulveda, who have introduced a bill (A.10399) to shut them. The markets are not regulated by the USDA, but by state agencies, which have weaker oversight rules and a small staff of inspectors who struggle to keep up with the quarterly inspections mandated by state law.

It would be shameful if state lawmakers failed to act on a bill at the center of the crisis, one that will save lives, end exploitation and suffering of humans and animals and help prevent future pandemics.

Priscilla Feral is president of Friends of Animals.

Joe Exotic says Carole Baskin getting his zoo is a ‘treachery’ that ‘must not go unchecked’

(CNN)In response to the lawsuit that awarded Carole Baskin the zoo once owned by Joe Exotic, the “Tiger King’s” management team released a statement that said Baskin’s “treachery” has to be challenged.

This month, a judge ruled in favor of Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue in her suit against the Greater Wynnewood Development Group, LLC, the company Joe Exotic once owned, giving her control of the G.W. Zoo in Oklahoma.
Exotic, whose legal name is Joe Maldonado-Passage, is still in prison serving a 22-year sentence for a murder for hire plot against Baskin and animal abuse, among other charges. The allegations against him were documented in the smash Netflix docuseries “Tiger King,” released after he was sent to prison.
So his team spoke for him from Twitter.
“While we again acknowledge it is truly time to pray for justice for George Floyd’s family as well as an end to systemic racism in America, we must address Carol [sic] Baskin’s treachery before it goes unchecked,” a tweet from an account run by Maldonado-Passage’s management team read.
His team released a longer statement on the website “Help Free Joe,” in which the “Joe Exotic Team” said it “prays for justice for George Floyd’s family as well as an end to systemic racism in America.”
A few lines later, the statement said Maldonado-Passage’s legal team is filing appeals while his media team drums up public support.
CNN has reached out to Maldonado-Passage’s attorney for comment and is waiting to hear back.
The court order that awarded Baskin control of the G.W. Zoo gives her 16 acres of land in Garvin County, Oklahoma, as well as several cabins and vehicles, court records show.
The zoo’s current owner, “Tiger King” supporting player Jeff Lowe, must vacate the premises within 120 days of the order and remove all the animals, too.
Lowe’s attorney told CNN that the judgment wasn’t unexpected, and Lowe’s currently focused on opening a new “Tiger King” park within the next 120 days.

(CNN)In response to the lawsuit that awarded Carole Baskin the zoo once owned by Joe Exotic, the “Tiger King’s” management team released a statement that said Baskin’s “treachery” has to be challenged.

This month, a judge ruled in favor of Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue in her suit against the Greater Wynnewood Development Group, LLC, the company Joe Exotic once owned, giving her control of the G.W. Zoo in Oklahoma.
Exotic, whose legal name is Joe Maldonado-Passage, is still in prison serving a 22-year sentence for a murder for hire plot against Baskin and animal abuse, among other charges. The allegations against him were documented in the smash Netflix docuseries “Tiger King,” released after he was sent to prison.
So his team spoke for him from Twitter.
“While we again acknowledge it is truly time to pray for justice for George Floyd’s family as well as an end to systemic racism in America, we must address Carol [sic] Baskin’s treachery before it goes unchecked,” a tweet from an account run by Maldonado-Passage’s management team read.
His team released a longer statement on the website “Help Free Joe,” in which the “Joe Exotic Team” said it “prays for justice for George Floyd’s family as well as an end to systemic racism in America.”
A few lines later, the statement said Maldonado-Passage’s legal team is filing appeals while his media team drums up public support.
CNN has reached out to Maldonado-Passage’s attorney for comment and is waiting to hear back.
The court order that awarded Baskin control of the G.W. Zoo gives her 16 acres of land in Garvin County, Oklahoma, as well as several cabins and vehicles, court records show.
The zoo’s current owner, “Tiger King” supporting player Jeff Lowe, must vacate the premises within 120 days of the order and remove all the animals, too.
Lowe’s attorney told CNN that the judgment wasn’t unexpected, and Lowe’s currently focused on opening a new “Tiger King” park within the next 120 days.

Wildlife markets are the tip of the iceberg and not just in China

For our free coronavirus pandemic coverage, learn more here.

In the heart of central Jakarta, about 20 minutes from Joko Widodo’s Presidential Palace, the Pramuka Bird Market is open for business.

The aisles throng with people, few wearing masks, and hum with the din of humans, birds, reptiles and mammals all mixed together. It stinks too.

A live lizard is displayed for sale in a cage at the Satria market in Bali, Indonesia.
A live lizard is displayed for sale in a cage at the Satria market in Bali, Indonesia.CREDIT:AMILIA ROSA

Today, Vonis, a local trader who uses just the one name, is holding forth about the origins of the coronavirus that has infected nearly 6 million people, killed more than 360,000, up-ended the global economy and more. It is thought to have passed from bats, via an unidentified animal, to humans at a wet market in Wuhan, China.

“It’s hoax. It is not true that bats caused COVID-19. I’ve been selling this [bats] for many years, nobody gets sick here. No one. Also, many Indonesians eat bat meat and nobody is sick. I myself healed my asthma after consuming bat. It happened when I was around 25 years old. I’m a bit over 40, I am healthy now,” he says.

Vonis sells birds, mostly, as pets, but he also has bats (about $25), civets (about $40) and squirrels. It’s for traditional medicine, he hastens to add. He sells about 30 bats a week and is happy to offer cooking tips.

“Just fry it, don’t put too many spices in like the Manado dish. Just a little salt. For chronic asthma you have to consume it twice a week. If it is only for keeping you healthy, eat it once a month.”

A man feeds bats for sale at the Satria market in Bali.
A man feeds bats for sale at the Satria market in Bali.CREDIT:AMILIA ROSA

If you want a pangolin – thought to be the potential “bridge animal” between bats and humans in Wuhan – he can get you one of those, too.

“Nobody has it here [at the market]. But if you want, we can look for it. I have someone who can do it.”

The small, scaly mammal cost between $250 and $300 to source, and you have to pay half in advance.

Civet cats for sale at a market in Bali.
Civet cats for sale at a market in Bali.CREDIT:AMILIA ROSA

Vonis is far from the only person in the Pramuka market selling exotic animals for consumption. Indonesia is home to some large wildlife wet markets, such as the Beriman Tomohon in North Sulawesi, the Satria in Bali, Hewan Pasty in Yogyakarta, Depok in Solo and Jatinegara, also in Jakarta. There also smaller markets – up to 1000, according to the Jakarta Animal Aid Network.

At the Satria, pet shop owner Nengah Wita sells bats, rabbit, chickens, song birds and geckos. He’s at pains to stress he sells very few bats (they retail for about $120 each) and says they are only sold to help with asthma in traditional medicine.

He says people have “exaggerated” the part played by bats in the origin of the coronavirus.

“I would’ve fallen sick weeks ago if it was true. But I am fine, I sleep in the shop, I care for them every day, I even got bitten last week but you can see, I am not sick. Just like the last time, the bird flu, I sell birds too, but I was fine then too.”

These market traders are just the tip of the iceberg. Civets are widely available for sale on Tokopedia, Indonesia’s answer to eBay (some listings describe them as pets, others note they are very tasty). It isn’t hard to find pangolin scales for sale, either.

While experts such as Professor Wiku Adisasmito, who is part of the Indonesian government’s national COVID-19 taskforce, have warned that wild animal markets are an “animal cafeteria for pathogens” that could lead to the next coronavirus, the national government has shown little appetite for tackling the problem. Instead, it has suggested that it the responsibility of provincial governments.

It’s a similar story throughout the region where bats, pangolins, civets, rats, rare birds, dogs, and parts of rhinos, elephants and tigers are regularly traded.

China has, since the emergence SARS-CoV-2, flagged plans to ban the trade of live animals for food – but left exceptions for traditional medicine and fur. That’s more than most countries. A Vietnamese plan to ban the trade and consumption of wild animals seems to have stalled.

The illegal trade in wild animals for food, medicine, fur and as pets is big business worth an estimated $7 billion to $23 billion annually. The legal trade – loosely regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species [CITES] of Wild Fauna and Flora – is worth perhaps 10 times as much and, until the new coronavirus was unleashed, it was booming.

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What is a wet market?

What is a wet market?

Protests sweep across the US

What is a wet market?

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3:25

What is a wet market?

The reopening of China’s wet markets has sparked global debate and prompted calls to close them entirely. But with confusion around the definition of the term ‘wet market’, we take a look at exactly what it means, and how their permanent c…

Scott Roberton, the Bangkok-based director for Counter-Wildlife trafficking for the Wildlife Conservation Society, praises China for its post-COVID-19 plans to curtail the wildlife trade, though he admits it could go further.

“It’s a much bigger problem than a single market in Wuhan. We really need to break this idea that it’s only about markets. They are an important location, but huge volumes of the trade in wild animals in the region takes place outside of markets and poses similar risks of virus emergence,” he says.

“Wildlife is moved over provincial and international boundaries, stored in houses, warehouses, refrigerated storerooms, restaurants, shops and farms.”

Roberton, who was based in Vietnam for more than a decade, describes China as less of a “source” country now and as more of a destination for wildlife consumption, as well as a transit country for animals coming from places such as Cambodia and Laos. Indonesia, too, “is a source, destination and transit country”.

Live turtles for sale at the Xihua Farmers' Market in Guangzhou, China.
Live turtles for sale at the Xihua Farmers’ Market in Guangzhou, China.CREDIT:EPA/AP

Laos and Cambodia, some of the poorest countries in south-east Asia, operate as a source for both farmed and illegally caught wildlife. There is a domestic market, too, for consumption by tourists, as is the case with Thailand.

“This is one of the most valuable illicit trades, up there with drugs, weapons, human trafficking and counterfeit goods; it’s worth billions of dollars annually,” Roberton says.

“One reaction from some governments is that they don’t have the trade of wildlife for meat like in China, yet they do have trade for wildlife as pets and traditional medicine. The fact is that the conditions that lead to the emergence of zoonotic pathogens like COVID-19 and SARS occur in the wild animal trade whether they are being sold for meat, fur or medicine, so policies focused on only wildlife meat won’t significantly reduce the future threat of pathogen emergence.”

Australia has backed an international review of wildlife markets in the wake of the virus, which it has labelled a “big risk” to human health and food production.

Leanne Wicker, a senior vet at Healesville Sanctuary who worked in Vietnam for years and is an expert on species threatened by the wildlife trade, says such infectious organisms are “no risk to people when wild animals are left in the wild”.

The problem is that human behaviour, such as habitat destruction, ecotourism, hunting, the trade and consumption of wild animals and the farming of wild animals brings “people and wildlife into unnaturally proximity enabling the spillover of disease between species”.

Aside from COVID-19, she reels off rabies, Ebola, Hendra virus, henipavirus, the first SARS coronavirus, monkey pox, HIV, leptospirosis and rat lung worm, salmonella and toxoplasmosis as examples.

“The SARS-CoV-2 virus is not the first significant pathogen to arise from the wildlife trade and it most certainly won’t be the last.”

She’s also frustrated by the focus on wildlife or wet markets, arguing that restaurants, for example, can also pose a significant risk in spreading new and exotic viruses.

Australia’s Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said markets that exist across Africa and north and south-east Asia and sell animals for traditional medicine and food consumption are a “particular concern”.

“Even before COVID-19, we knew these sorts of markets posed a serious potential risk to human health and, if we obtain the scientific backing, we would like to see these markets phased out to ensure public health,” he says.

As Wicker says, the impact of the global wildlife trade is “devastating”.

“While I am acutely aware that the public health risks are significant, it is very hard to ignore the fact that this is a problem caused entirely by human greed. For me, the real tragedy lies in considering the fear, pain and discomfort felt by every single one of the many millions of individual animals who find themselves unlucky participants in this human atrocity.”

– with Amilia Rosa

What’s Love Got to Do with It?

Imprisoned chicken with eyes closed
Photo credit: Vancouver Chicken Save.

By Karen Davis, PhD,
President, United Poultry Concerns

“Share the fact that you are an animal lover.”
– Advice to farmers depopulating their animals.

There’s love and there’s “love.” There’s humane and “humane.” There’s euthanasia and “euthanasia.” There’s euphemism.

According to Merriam-Webster, “Euphemism derives from the Greek word euphēmos, which means ‘auspicious’ or ‘sounding good.’ The first part of ‘euphēmos’ is the Greek prefix eu-, meaning ‘well.’ The second part is ‘phēmē,’ a Greek word for ‘speech’ that is itself a derivative of the verb phanai, meaning ‘to speak.’ Among the numerous linguistic cousins of ‘euphemism’ on the ‘eu-’ side of the family are ‘eulogy,’ ‘euphoria,’ and ‘euthanasia’; on the ‘phanai’ side, its kin include ‘prophet’ and ‘aphasia’ (‘loss of the power to understand words’).”

Speaking of farmed animals, euphemism is the cover-up equivalent of the mass burials of these animals in the ground or the stomach – their “euthanasia.” Call it collusion, conspiracy, complacency or corruption, a pact between agribusiness and the major news media guarantees that the animals will not truly be seen, heard or empathized with. A stock photo or video clip of a piglet “nursery,” a “meatpacking” plant or a “poultry processing” plant does not enlighten a public content to let industry and the media interpret the meaning of these images. See, for example, Meat Plant Closures Mean Pigs Are Gassed or Shot Instead and Millions of Pigs Will Be Euthanized As Pandemic Cripples Meatpacking Plants.

Though current society seems to have forgotten that the word “euthanasia” means, literally, a good death, or to die well – exemplifying a “loss of the power to understand words” – there’s a kind of implicit social agreement that this term can magically relieve us of culpability for inflicting horrible death and atrocity on innocent nonhuman creatures.

Yet there is awareness of the real meaning of euthanasia, as is evident in the fact that we do not call mass-killing, live burial, suffocation, throat-cutting, gassing, paralytic electric shock and the like “euthanasia” in the case of ourselves. Speciesism is not a mere abstract concept. It’s the wellspring of our attitude toward nonhuman animals. It determines the fate we subject them to and our language of justification.

I’ll wager that once the coronavirus news cycle has passed, the sympathetic attention being paid by the media to the plight of “meatpackers” will dissipate. For the animals, nothing will change, since the major media have shown them no mercy, compassion or acknowledgement to begin with. The occasional op-ed or letter to the editor expressing sorrow for our animal victims is overwhelmed by the standardized coverage. An example of the rare exception is Our Cruel Treatment of Animals Led to the Coronavirus.

An article in the Progressive FarmerHard Decisions: How Consumers View Mass Depopulation, in which I’m cited, draws attention away from the euphemistic use of the word “euthanasia” as a synonym for the mass-extermination of “livestock,” focusing instead on how to manage the negative publicity of “mass depopulation.” An industry representative is quoted: “producers should expect to see visuals hitting the news and social media that will be shocking.”

Actually, this prediction is what has not happened. Farmers needn’t worry that the major news media will blow their cover. Or that “visuals,” if shown, would shock a public worried about having enough “meat” on the table – a worry amped up by the media. As for social media, these outlets seem mainly to attract those who already care strongly one way or the other.

So what’s a farmer to do? Advises the industry representative: “It’s okay to share that this is an incredible crisis for you and your family just like it is for families all around the world. Share the fact that you are an animal lover and have dedicated your life to spending more time with animals than humans. Remind people you are just one person in a community of farmers all dealing with this heartbreaking reality.”

But what, for the farmer, is the “crisis,” the “heartbreaking reality”? It can’t be what the animals are being put through, since for them a terrible death and its attendant pain and terror await regardless. More to the point, the “crisis” is the loss of income, the “waste” and disposal of animals whose purpose, from the farming perspective, is to become a marketable product.

Imprisoned chicken
Photo credit: Vancouver Chicken Save.

Back in the days when I attended farm animal “welfare” conferences, I used to wonder, listening to the speakers and watching their slides, “Do they honestly, personally believe that the filthy, cobwebby, manure-filled buildings, cages and related contrivances of cruelty to chickens constitute welfare?” To what extent, I wondered, did self-deception figure in the professional deception that relies on euphemisms, including that the captive birds are “happy,” “content,” and “singing,” and that farmers “care” about their animals above the bottom line.

Currently, some animal advocates seek to turn agribusiness adversaries into allies in an effort to change the chicken industry from maniacally cruel to marginally kinder. The ultimate goal of this undertaking is to reverse the business of transforming plants into “chicken” by transforming “chicken,” so to speak, into plants. Real chickens in this remake no longer figure in the plant-based version of themselves or in the cellular meat version either.

This reminds me a little, inversely, of how in ancient Greek and Roman mythology, people seek to transform the goddesses of vengeance and retribution, known as the Erinyes or Furies, by giving them the euphemistic name Eumenides, meaning “the Kindly Ones.” A thing to remember about the Furies, though, is that they personify guilt and the pursuit of justice in the wake of murder and other crimes, so transforming them into “the Kindly Ones” amounts to a euphemistic subterfuge to avoid moral reckoning.

The carefully constructed obliteration of our animal victims from the coronavirus coverage shows how casually we turn our Furies into “Kindly Ones” where other species are concerned. In this instance, “the Kindly Ones” function as a disabled conscience. With our words of commission and omission we muzzle our guilt – the condition of guilt we refuse to feel. The animals are being euthanized – put to sleep – so we can rest easy and return to normal.

https://upc-online.org/slaughter/200519_whats_love_got_to_do_with_it.html

Hindustan Times Article Supports International Respect for Chickens Day!

Hindustan Times, a leading national news daily in India, has published an article in the May 2 edition, It is time to rethink the way humans treat animals.

From the moment they are born, these birds spend all their lives in total confinement. 
      Broiler chickens are born in large incubators with hundreds of others; crammed into small, often filthy spaces
From the moment they are born, these birds spend all their lives in total confinement. Broiler chickens are born in large incubators with hundreds of others; crammed into small, often filthy spaces. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

https://upc-online.org/respect/200503_hindustan_times_article_supports_international_respect_for_chickens_day.html

The article begins:

“On May 4 each year, since 2005, a non-profit in the United States (US) called United Poultry Concerns celebrates International Respect for Chickens Day. It spreads the message that we need to rethink how we treat all food animals, especially chickens, since poultry is the most consumed meat in the world.

“The rest of the world needs to join them in celebrating May 4 as International Chicken Day. . . .”

Read the full article here: It is time to rethink the way humans treat animals.

Unfortunately, the article does not promote a plant-based alternative to chicken consumption, even suggesting that chickens “sacrifice” themselves for low-cost animal protein. Fortunately, the writer emphasizes the suffering, sensitivity and intelligence of chickens, and we are grateful for that.

UPC thanks Vegan India for bringing this timely coverage to our attention.

To learn more about International Respect for Chickens Day & how YOU can help chickens in May and every day, visit:

International Respect for Chickens Day

Is COVID-19 The Beginning Of The End For McDonald’s?

McDonald’s has temporarily closed. Is this a sign of things to come for the fast food giant?
Are McDonald's famous golden arches on the way out? (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

Are McDonald’s famous golden arches on the way out? (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

From the time the UK saw its first set of golden arches go up in 1974, our nation had never experienced a widespread closure of McDonald’s restaurants… until COVID-19 crossed our shores.

As of 7pm on March 23, each of the 1,270+ McDonald’s locations across the UK closed their doors, with no set date for their reopening. These are unprecedented times.

A bad thing

For the first time in decades, people no longer have access to the American company’s signature burgers and chicken nuggets. But is this such a bad thing for customers? And how will this impact animals?

With growing concerns about food safety in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and estimates that three out of every four new or emerging infectious diseases in people come from animals, it’s about time that food companies ramped up their efforts to prevent the spread of such diseases.

It’s been proven that the immune systems of animals raised on lower welfare factory farms are far weaker than any other; couple this with the immense overcrowding seen on these intensive farms – where some 90 percent of farmed animals are raised – and the risk of contracting and spreading dangerous diseases is worryingly high.

McDonald’s contribution

That being said, how is McDonald’s contributing to this issue? In part due to their size, chickens are the land animals raised in the greatest numbers by far. Every single year, approximately 25 million chickens are bred and slaughtered for McDonald’s UK alone.

That’s nearly one chicken for every two Brits, before even factoring in the many other animals that suffer immensely in order to maximise the company’s profits.

But maybe these birds are raised to high welfare standards and meet a relatively painless end…? Sadly not. Despite key competitor KFC adopting a robust set of chicken welfare standards in July 2019, known as the Better Chicken Commitment, McDonald’s is still yet to follow suit.

Chickens in a factory farm

Every single year, approximately 25 million chickens are bred and slaughtered for McDonald’s UK alone

Welfare issues

Among other issues, the company has failed to make a commitment to end the use of fast-growing chickens, meaning that the millions of birds in its supply chain grow so big, so fast, that their legs and organs are pushed to the absolute limit.

Some become unable to walk, while others die of heart attacks in just the first few weeks of their short lives. To make matters worse, these enormous birds are shockingly packed into sheds by the tens of thousands, each having as little space as an A4 piece of paper.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the miserable, pain-ridden lives of these animals couldn’t get any worse, but sadly that’s not the case. At just five weeks old, they will experience a distressing journey to the slaughterhouse, where they will face a terrifying end. Because of the current stunning methods permitted by companies like McDonald’s, there’s no guarantee that every bird will be rendered unconscious before having their throats slit and bodies dunked in scalding hot water. The thought alone is too much to bear.

Do the animal-loving people of the UK really want chickens to be raised in such a horrific way? No.

Do they want companies like McDonald’s to put the public’s health at risk by continuing these potentially dangerous practices? Absolutely not.

The fast-food giant has failed to keep up with its competitors when it comes to offering meat alternatives (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

The fast-food giant has failed to keep up with its competitors when it comes to offering meat alternatives (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

Meat alternatives

Could it be that McDonald’s has instead focused its efforts on reducing the sale of meat to tackle these issues? Unfortunately not.

While KFC has spared no time in introducing its first plant-based burger, and Burger King following suit with its veggie Rebel Whopper, McDonald’s has failed to satisfy the public’s growing appetite for good quality meat-alternatives. The company’s meagre offering of veggie dippers earlier this year certainly did not get its customers’ heart’s racing.

During this challenging period, we have a great opportunity to take stock of what’s going on in the food industry and reevaluate which companies are acting in the best interests of people and animals. Likewise, companies like McDonald’s have the chance to restrategize and start making meaningful changes that benefit society.

There has never been a better time for McDonald’s to step out of the dark ages of food production and into the modern day. 2020 is a dangerous time for food companies to ignore the growing demand for high animal welfare standards and delicious plant-based food. If these issues aren’t addressed soon, we could be looking at the beginning of the end for McDonald’s.

Shenzhen becomes first Chinese city to ban consumption of cats and dogs

Chinese animal rights activists stage a protest calling for people to refrain from eating cats and dogs.

(CNN)Shenzhen, in southeastern China, has become the first city in the country to ban the consumption of cats and dogs, the government announced Thursday.

Under new rules which will come into effect May 1, the government said it will be illegal to eat animals raised as pets.
In February, following the coronavirus outbreak, China passed a law to ban the consumption of wild animals.
Now Shenzhen will prohibit the consumption of state-protected wild animals and other terrestrial wild animals taken from the wild, as well as captive-bred and farmed terrestrial wild species.
In addition, the consumption of animals raised as pets, such as cats and dogs will also be banned.
Animals that can be consumed include pig, cattle, sheep, donkey, rabbit, chicken, duck, goose, pigeon, quail, as well as aquatic animals who are not banned by other laws or regulations.
“If convicted, they will be subjected to a fine of 30 times of the wild animal’s value, if the animal is above the value of 10,000CNY [$1400 USD],” announced authorities.
The coronavirus outbreak is thought to have started at a wildlife market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and authorities have acknowledged they need to bring the lucrative wildlife industry under control if it is to prevent another outbreak.
However ending the trade will be hard. The cultural roots of China’s use of wild animals run deep, not just for food but also for traditional medicine, clothing, ornaments and even pets.
This isn’t the first time Chinese officials have tried to contain the trade. In 2003, civets — mongoose-type creatures — were banned and culled in large numbers after it was discovered they likely transferred the SARS virus to humans. The selling of snakes was also briefly banned in Guangzhou after the SARS outbreak.
But today dishes using the animals are still eaten in parts of China.

Man dies after rooster attacks him on the way to a cockfight


Man dies after being attacked by his rooster on the way to a cockfight (MGN)<p>{/p}

A man in India died after he got into a fight with his rooster while they were on the way to a cockfight, according to CNN.

Saripalli Chanavenkateshwaram Rao, 50, was struck in the neck with a blade tied to the rooster’s claw, according to the report. A police spokesman told CNN the father of three was taken to hospital, where he later died from a stroke.

Rao was on his way to enter the rooster in a competition when it tried to break free, which led to the struggle. Cockfighting is illegal in India.

The cockfight went on as scheduled without any arrests, officer Kranti Kumar told CNN.