Discarded Greyhounds Imprisoned, Neglected, and Farmed for Their Blood/Getting every last drop from greyhounds

http://www.ohmidog.com/2017/10/11/getting-every-last-drop-greyhounds/

As if racing their hearts out weren’t enough, some greyhounds are retired to dog blood banks where they lived caged all day long, except for outings to get their blood drawn.

PETA last month exposed one such kennel, The Pet Blood Bank, Inc., in Cherokee, Texas, which houses about 150 retired greyhounds — solely for the purpose of extracting and selling their blood and blood products.

The products, PETA reported, are distributed by Patterson Veterinary Supply, Inc., which did about $3 billion worth of business in 2016.

After the the PETA expose and a story in The Washington Post, Patterson Veterinary Supply announced it would take steps to correct the horrible conditions they described.

bloodbankBut PETA says no steps have been taken, even after they had Paul McCartney send a pleato the company.

Patterson Veterinary Supply initially announced it would terminate business with the The Pet Blood Bank, Inc.

It also promised to support “efforts to ensure that the animals receive appropriate care.” Bu PETA says it has seen no evidence of any such efforts.

The whistle-blower was Bill Larsen, 60, a former employee of the blood bank who went back to work there and was horrified by how conditions had deteriorated.

Larsen, who took the incriminating photos, said he unsuccessfully sought help from local animal shelters and a state agency before contacting PETA. “I just like dogs,” he said, and “hate for any animal to get treated like that.”

The photos show kenneled dogs with open wounds, rotting teeth and toenails curling into their paw pads.

The blood bank was founded in 2004 by Austin entrepreneur Mark Ziller, who said he initially sought volunteers and used a bloodmobile. When that did not turn up enough dogs, the company began using retired greyhounds housed in a kennel on a private farm northwest of Austin, the Post reported.

Ziller said he sold the company in November 2015 to Shane Altizer, whose family owns the farm in Cherokee.

“The Pet Blood Bank had a noble mission: It provided blood for veterinarians to use in lifesaving transfusions,” Ziller tod the Post. After viewing the photos PETA obtained, he added, “To see the animals in that state is beyond depressing.”

Altizer did not deny that the images were taken there, but said they predated his 2015 purchase of the company or were “moment snapshots” unrepresentative of overall conditions now.

Blood banks help save thousands of animals a year, but they are also profit-driven and unregulated.

With more medical procedures being used by vets, transfusions are more often required, and animal blood banks struggle to meet the demand. Only one state, California, regulates such operations and requires annual inspections.

bloodbank2Greyhounds are considered especially desirable as donors because they typically have a universal blood type and have big neck veins that make drawing blood easy.

Veterinarian Anne Hale, former CEO of the nation’s first and largest commercial animal blood bank, said she visited the Pet Blood Bank this summer and was “pleasantly surprised” with conditions there. After viewing the PETA photos and video though, she said, “It appears that the facility was ‘cleaned up’ before our touring … I agree that this facility should be addressed. This certainly suggests that regional, state and/or federal regulation is warranted.”

Former Beatle McCartney, who wrote a letter on PETA’s behalf, wants to see all the dogs removed from the facility.

“I have had dogs since I was a boy and loved them all dearly, including Martha who was my companion for about 15 years and about whom I wrote the song ‘Martha, My Dear,’” McCartney wrote. “I join my friends at PETA in asking you to pay these greyhounds back, and to let them retire from the dirt-floored, barren conditions in which they are kept isolated and alone.”

(Photos and video from PETA)

Also see:  https://investigations.peta.org/greyhounds-farmed-for-blood/

Discarded Greyhounds Imprisoned, Neglected, and Farmed for Their Blood

Imprisoned in an old turkey shed are approximately 150 perpetually penned greyhounds—many already used, abused, and discarded by the notorious dog racing industry—who neurotically spin in circles, jump up and down, cry out, and hide in the jagged old chemical tanks that serve as their only shelter.

VIDEOTAKE ACTION

At a kennel doing business as The Pet Blood Bank, Inc., in Cherokee, Texas, these animals, who’ve already endured lifelong deprivation, are now being exploited for blood products, most of which are distributed by Patterson Veterinary Supply, Inc., a corporate giant with sales of nearly $3 billion in 2016 alone.
Update: On September 22, 2017, one day after PETA exposed the blood farm, Patterson Veterinary Supply announced that “the conditions and treatment described and pictured … are horrific and unacceptable. … We have terminated business with [The Pet Blood Bank, Inc.], and we will work to support … efforts to ensure that the animals receive appropriate care.”
But for nearly a week, Patterson Veterinary Supply ignored questions about the specific ways in which it would assist the dogs. Then, on September 28, 2017, this multibillion-dollar company, which had pledged—in writing—to help the dogs, posted this cop out on a webpage created just a day earlier, which has nothing on it but this disappointing and unacceptable statement.

 

Solitary Confinement, Severe Deprivation

With few exceptions, the greyhounds are solitarily confined in unsanitary dirt-floored wire cages devoid of any form of enrichment.

They are deprived of everything that is natural and meaningful to them, including exercise, companionship, and the opportunity to bond with a human family. Out of boredom and despair, they just dig and chew on the old filthy chemical tanks that serve as their shelter, leaving sharp and jagged edges that sometimes injure them. Some dogs pace, spin endlessly in circles, jump up and down, and cry out when approached. Others are so terrified that they cower and lose control of their bladder or bowels.

 

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Vegan Demographics 2017 – USA, and the world

http://veganbits.com/vegan-demographics-2017/

vegan demographics

 It’s been a long time since I’ve written about vegan demographics. Do we care? Should we care? Probably not, but since Jane and I are coming up on ten years as vegans in a few months, I figured now was a good time to look at the vegan demographic statistics. As you might suspect, it’s not easy to determine how many vegans there are. It’s not like you enter that information on your census report. There are all sorts of polls on vegetarians and vegans. I like getting my data from faunalytics.org. Most, but not all of the following information is from their site.

We are the one (half) percent

So how many vegans are there in the USA? Based on a sampling of 11,000 adults, aged 17 and over, only two percent of Americans are vegetarian. Only one-in-four vegetarians — or 0.5% of the USA adult population — is vegan. Only half of one percent of the USA population — or 1.62 million of us — is vegan.

(Is 11,000 a reasonable sampling? Perhaps you are think that this sampling is too small and is therefore skewing the results. I suspect otherwise. This sampling is, by far, the largest such sampling that I’ve found. Most other such polls are usually only looking at about 2,000 people.)

There are many former vegans than there are current vegans; there are more than five times as many former vegetarians/vegans than there are current vegetarians/vegans. Said differently, 84% of vegetarians/vegans abandon their diet. Extrapolated out, that means that there are 8 million lapsed vegans as opposed to the 1.6 million current vegans.

Only about one-in-eight Americans has ever considered themselves vegetarian/vegan. Roughly 88 percent of Americans have always considered themselves omnivorous/carnivorous.

Vegan Demographics

So who are the 1.6 million vegans? You might be surprised to find that the average age of a vegan today is 42. I suspect that many people think that most vegans are in their 20’s and 30’s. According to this research, those young adults only account for about half of all vegans.

What is less surprising is that 74% — almost three-in-four vegans — are female. Most vegans are left leaning politically and are not religious.

So perhaps it comes as no surprise that the typical vegan is female, left learning, non-religious. Let’s look at longevity. As we have seen, there are many more former vegetarians/vegans than people who currently eat this way. The survey suggests that for many, it’s fleeting. Only about one-third (34%) maintained the diet for three months or less, and more than half (53%) of former vegetarians/vegans adhered to the diet for less than one year. So it appears that people try this lifestyle on for size and for one reason or another, half of them go back to their normal, traditional diet after a year or less.

If you are thinking that the current vegetarians/vegans might return to their former omni eating ways, only 12% of the current vegetarians/vegans in the survey have been eating this way for less than a year. Therefore, 88% of those who claim to be vegetarian/vegan have been so for over a year, presumably many have been eating this way for several years.

Income

While this might come as a surprise to some, there are more vegans in the lower end of the income range. The average American earns $54,000. The largest concentration of vegans is in the sub $50,000 income range.

This, according to data gathered by VRG as reported by the Huffington Post.

Why the discrepancy? It’s probably age related; there are more vegans in their 20’s and 30’s than there are in their 50’s and older. Older adults are more likely to have higher incomes than younger adults.

The Huffington Post article suggest that younger people are more likely to be vegan and tend to have lower incomes than older people:

Six percent of survey respondents between 18 and 34 were vegetarians compared to only two percent who were over 55. Young people are also more likely to make less money than older adults as more of them are students or are starting their careers.

(The information reported above from Faunalytics indicated that the average age was 42. This survey from VRG suggests that there are far fewer vegans in their 50’s than in their 20’s. The VRG survey which sampled 2,000 adults also found a closer ratio of vegans based on gender than the Faunalytics survey of 11,000 found. The VRG survey suggests that women make up only 55% of vegans. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that Faunalytics determination that women account for 74% of vegans seems more accurate to me.)

Why are you vegan?

Participants in the study were asked about their motivations for eating a vegetarian/vegan diet. A great many people indicated that they are vegan for health, taste, and humanitarian reasons.

The same questions were asked of former vegetarians/vegans. There is a statistically significant association between nearly all of the motivations tested and whether an individual is a current or former vegetarian/ vegan, with the exception of cost, social influence, and wanting to follow a food trend.

Most Vegan Friendly Cities in America

According to PETA, the most vegan friendly cities in America are:

  1. Portland, Oregon
  2. Los Angeles, California
  3. New York City, New York
  4. Detroit, Michigan
  5. Nashville, Tennessee
  6. San Diego, California
  7. Honolulu, Hawaii
  8. Austin, Texas
  9. Seattle, Washington
  10. Richmond, Virginia

There are many websites which have their own way of determining which cities are most vegan-friendly. Having never been to Detroit or Richmond, I have to say that those locations come as a surprise to me. Several of the other large cities appear on everyone’s list.

Vegan Demographics: Largest Concentration of Vegans (by country)

The following two tables are derived from data gathered by Wikipedia

  1. United States
  2. Japan
  3. Germany
  4. Poland
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Israel
  7. Italy
  8. Sweden
  9. Spain
  10. Finland

These are the only ten countries that they have listed for vegans. It comes as a surprise to me that there are so many vegans in Japan. Maybe it’s just the volume of people that skews this data somewhat. According to this table, there more than 3 million of the 127 million residents of Japan are vegans.

Vegan Demographics: Largest Percentage of Vegans (by country)

As you can see, Israel has the largest concentration of vegans, with five percent of the population indicated to be vegan. The USA only ranks fifth on this list.

Please not that the data from Wikipedia suggests that 1.5% of the USA population is vegan, whereas the data from Faunalytics indicates that only 0.5% of the USA population is vegan; just one-third as many.

Appeals Court Hears Case Accusing Officials of Animal Cruelty for Bow-Hunting Program

 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY PARKS

Several weeks into the Montgomery Parks bow-hunting season, appellate judges in Annapolis on Thursday heard attorneys argue about whether this method of culling deer is animal cruelty.

Bethesda resident Eilene Cohhn has spent about two years challenging a deer-management policy that she believes is inhumane and unnecessary. Her representative, a staff attorney with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, argues that it’s also unlawful.

“The (Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission) has the right to kill deer. They don’t have the right to make them suffer before they die, if that is avoidable,” attorney Jenni James said, adding that using sharpshooters is preferable.

But an attorney for the park system contended that prohibitions against mistreating animals deal primarily with harming pets, not killing deer.

“I would submit that the animal cruelty code really has no application to hunting at all,” MNCPPC attorney William Dickerson said.

James rebutted that she doesn’t believe the archery program counts as “hunting,” in the legal sense. While most people think of hunting as a sporting activity done for fun or for food, MNCPPC established the archery program to help control the deer population, she said. Therefore, it shouldn’t qualify for the hunting exemption to the state’s animal cruelty law, James argued.

The three judges who listened to the roughly hour-long debate pressed James to explain what distinguishes Montgomery County’s bow hunting from similar lawful activities across the state.

“Why can’t they, on their land, authorize the same thing that could be done on Fort Frederick State Park?” Judge Donald Beachley asked, referring to a park west of Hagerstown.

James said the park system’s purpose—to thin the deer herds—and ability to choose other options set this situation apart.

Beachley also referenced a state bear hunting program and asked whether that, too, violates the animal cruelty laws because its objective is population management.

The PETA attorney responded that the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has greater authority to run hunting programs than MNCPPC.

The judges spent less time questioning Dickerson, although they did ask him whether the MNCPPC hunt follows DNR guidelines. Dickerson said it did.

They also pushed back on Dickerson’s suggestion that the animal protection laws don’t have any bearing on hunting activities; Judge Andrea Leahy noted that the statute requires hunters to use the “most humane method reasonably available.”

Montgomery Parks in 2015 added archery to its deer management program, which also includes shotgun hunting and Park Police sharpshooting. Through the program, groups of insured archery hunters take aim at deer in parts of Great Seneca Stream Valley Park in Germantown and Watts Branch Stream Valley Park in Potomac from September through January, according to its website.

For about 20 years, MNCPPC has been hunting deer as a strategy for controlling an overpopulation problem that can damage wild habitats and increase the likelihood of car crashes.

It decided to explore bow hunting in parks near communities or other areas where shooting a firearm might be unsafe.

Cohhn said her home backs up to Stratton Local Park in Bethesda, and she often has deer meandering through her yard.

“I’ve gone out at night, and they’re on my porch. They’re the babies,” she said. “They’re beautiful animals.”

Cohhn said she wishes people could coexist with deer, but if officials find it necessary to curb the population, sharpshooting is a more humane approach than archery.

The likelihood of maiming a deer instead of killing it rises with archery, compared to shooting, James said. Deer shot with an arrow tend to die more slowly, she added.

Parks officials report that in its first two seasons, the archery pilot program wounding rate was 7 percent and 3 percent, an indication of how many deer were shot but not immediately killed.

Cohhn filed her lawsuit about two years ago in Montgomery County Circuit Court. After a judge last year ruled against Cohhn and PETA, she appealed her case to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals for consideration.

James said she doesn’t know when to expect the appeals court judges to issue a decision in the case.

Why I Choose Not to Hunt

FreeImages.com/Kenn Kiser 

https://www.peta.org/living/for-men/choose-hunt/?utm_campaign=0315+Why+I+Choose+Not+to+Hunt+Post&utm_source=PETA+Facebook&utm_medium=Promo

I consider myself an outdoor enthusiast and will gleefully take on any challenge that nature can throw at me: scaling ever higher mountain peaks, hiking across continents or whitewater rafting. Overcoming my fears and pushing the limitations of my body past what I thought was possible—that’s the best feeling of victory that I can imagine. My trophies are the blisters on my feet and the sight of a sunrise from 14,000 feet above sea level captured on my iPhone. I don’t need a head on my wall or to watch an animal needlessly bleed to death in order to feed my ego.

I’m tired of hearing the same defensive arguments from hunters, who actually constitute only 5 percent of U.S. adults. (They’re just really loud.) Look, if killing cornered animals with enough firepower to take out a small nation compensates for the lack of power that you feel in the rest of your life, just say so. But don’t perpetuate myths about hunting that don’t hold up. My favorites of the bunch include the following:

  1. It’s better to eat animals who lived in the wild their entire lives than it is to eat animals from a factory farm.

    This argument confounds several issues. First, anyone with a brain knows that the factory-farming system is a problem for the animals, the environment, and our health. Eating almost anything is a better option. But let’s drop the BS: Hunters are not killing animals primarily to feed their families. Meat from a kill is a byproduct, yes, but hunting is a “sport”—and an expensive one at that. And I’m not just talking about the $10,000-a-head safari hunters—big-game hunters actually spent more than $4 billion in 2011 on “special equipment” (items such as dune buggies and snowmobiles) and another half-billion on taxidermy alone. Tell me that’s all in the name of putting good-quality food on the table. A third of all hunters go for small game, as in squirrels and raccoons—and I just don’t believe that grilled ‘possum is being served at 4 million dinner tables.

  2. Hunting is necessary to keep down the population of “pests.”

    Let’s not forget that we are encroaching on land that was the home range of those “pests” in the first place by building highways, developments and strip malls. When we take more and more land away from animals, of course they’re going to venture onto “our” roads and farms. A much more humane way of dealing with the problem is through sterilization, which has been proved to work by ecologists. Hunting actually increases the population problem by killing off the oldest male animals for their trophy quality while leaving the females and young to—guess what?—expand the population.

  3. Kids should learn early that nature is harsh.

    Yes, animals experience pain and suffering. But they also have complex lives that include time for play, tenderness, and care. Watching dolphins leap into the air from a kayak just a few feet away can teach far more about the natural world than shooting a frightened animal with a high-powered rifle can. I want to teach my kids about respecting all life and not taking what isn’t theirs just as much as I want to teach them about keen observation and physical endurance. Besides, killing animals doesn’t teach kids that nature is cruel—it teaches them that humans are cruel. And sadly, that’s a lesson that kids will learn all too soon anyway.

Shocking video shows fox cubs being raised in cramped cages on a fur farm before being ELECTROCUTED to be made into coats

Over 110,000,000 animals are killed on fur farms every year according to Animal Defenders International (ADI), an animal protection charity
It placed hidden cameras on a Polish fur farm to give insight into the fur trade
The film follows the short lives of three fox cubs named Borys, Eryk and Aleska
Almost £4.5million of fur products were imported to the UK from Poland in 2016

Shocking footage shows arctic foxes being raised from cubs in cramped cages before they are electrocuted to death at seven-months-old for the fur trade.
Over 110,000,000 animals are killed on fur farms every year according to Animal Defenders International (ADI), an animal protection charity.
The organisation placed hidden cameras on a Polish fur farm to give a rare insight into the fur trade.
The film, called A Lifetime, follows the lives of a family of foxes, focusing on three cubs named Borys, Eryk and Aleska.

Throughout the video, the cubs are kept in a small wire cage until the day of their death.
The video starts as the cubs are nursed by their mother and baby Aleska takes her first halting steps.
After a few weeks their mother is removed and the growing cubs explore their small world and play together.

As their coats change to the thick white fur that should protect them through the winter months, their days are numbered.
At less than 7 months of age, Borys and Eryk are dragged from their cage by their tails, hung upside down, and electrocuted.
Aleska can only watch on as her terrified brothers are killed in front of her.

Aleska will be used to produce next year’s babies for the fur trade.
Actress Joanna Lumley, who supports the campaign, said: ‘Be comfortable in your own skin, and not that of a poor defenceless animal caged and killed to provide it. Say no to fur and yes to helping these fashion victims. Please help ADI stop this brutal trade.’
The UK trade information database shows that almost £4.5 million worth of fur products were imported into the UK from Poland in 2016.
Europe-wide exports value over €994 million, with Italy, Greece, France, Germany and the UK reporting the highest export value.
Despite a ban on fur farms, the UK is one of the largest exporters of fur in Europe, exporting over €25 million pounds worth of garments per year.
The UK imported over £4.5 million worth of fur skins, and clothing items from China in 2016.

http://www.ad-international.org/fur/go.php?id=4440&ssi=19

Animal Defenders International
Millbank Tower, Millbank
LONDON, SW1P 4QP, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7630 3340

‘Showing the human side of seal hunting’ (!?!)

[You be the judge…]

 September 27 at 12:47 PM


Harp seal hunting. Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. 2014.


LEFT: A seal hunter looks for prey on the icy waters of the gulf of the St. Lawrence river in Quebec. RIGHT: An adult gray seal on a hook. Magdalen Islands, Quebec. 2014.

Yoanis Menge was waiting for his train in Paris when he first saw the ad. “There was this huge poster for a campaign against seal hunting,” he says. “It was a Photoshop montage of an adult seal holding a club and about to crush the head of a human baby on the ice.”

Menge wanted to go beyond the cliches of ice floes covered in blood — the kind of images that end up in campaigns against seal hunting. He wanted to show the human side of seal hunting: the men and women who survive on the trade, often in parts of the world where fishing and hunting are the only choices available to them.

“It wasn’t easy to get access,” he says. Accustomed to being portrayed as cruel seal killers (photos usually focus on the large trails of bloods left in their wake), the hunters have shied away from journalists.

To gain their confidence, Menge trained and received his license as a bona fide seal hunter.  …

More: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-sight/wp/2017/09/27/showing-the-human-side-of-seal-hunting/?utm_term=.71b581158a09

Alberta not likely to follow through with spear hunt ban until fall 2018

‘The legislation would refer to firearms and archery equipment as the only permitted weapons to be used.’

The Canadian Press Posted: Sep 21, 2017

Alberta does not expect to make good on a promise to ban what it has called the archaic practice of spear-hunting until at least next fall as it considers rule changes that could include prohibiting other methods of taking big game.

The government made the pledge in August 2016 after an online video surfaced showing an American hunter throwing a spear at a black bear in northern Alberta and then cheering to celebrate his kill.

People around the world reacted angrily to the video. Some called the use of a spear barbaric.

Matt Besko, director of wildlife policy for Alberta Environment, said the province is looking at updating regulations that already spell out rules for standard hunting weapons such as firearms and bows, but say nothing about other methods.

“It is not just about spears,” Besko said. “When we looked at our legislation, there are other potential inhumane or unethical methods that could be used.

“The legislation would refer to firearms and archery equipment as the only permitted weapons to be used to harvest game species in Alberta. All other methods would be prohibited.”

Some other non-standard hunting methods include the atlatl, a kind of stick a hunter can use to throw a dart or a short spear at prey.

Using rocks to kill game or running an animal to the point of exhaustion or death could be prohibited under changes.

Besko said Alberta began surveying the public about non-standard hunting methods in 2014.

‘Very small’ segment of hunting community

There was already opposition to the use of spears before the government received a storm of angry letters, emails and social media comments about the 2016 bear video.

“The large majority of respondents to that survey disagreed with the use of those so-called non-standard weapons, including spears,” he said.

“There is a segment of the hunting community — and it is a very small component — that actually use spears and atlatls.”

The government has been getting some pushback.

Earlier this year, the Alberta Fish and Game Association approved a motion that called on the province to maintain legal spear and atlatl hunting.

Martin Sharren, the association’s vice-president, said there aren’t a lot of people who use spears, but the organization is wary of hunting restrictions.

“It is another hunting opportunity that if it gets taken away, it gets taken away,” he said.

Brent Watson, president of the Alberta Bowhunters Association, said his members have different views on spear-hunting and clear rules are needed to ensure that animals are hunted humanely.

Besko said no final decisions have been made and the government could include hunting rule changes as part of a broader update to Alberta’s Wildlife Act.

Draft proposals are to be presented to the government within a year.

“The earliest that a decision could be made would be for the fall of 2018 and that is if all things would align in terms of the external review process.”

Josh Bowmar, the hunter who killed the bear with the spear, was not charged after the province determined that he had legally harvested the animal.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/spear-hunting-albetra-1.4301433

How Do We Oppose Murderous Psychopaths?

by Captain Paul Watson:

In 2003, Sea Shepherd brought the issue of the dolphin slaughter to worldwide attention. In October of that year we sent photographer Brooke MacDonald to Taiji. Her pictures appeared on the cover of newspapers around the world and her video was aired on CNN.

Yet the killing continued.

In November two Sea Shepherd volunteers including Sea Shepherd Global Director dove into the Cove, cut the nets and freed 16 Pilot whales. They were both arrested and spent a month in prison and were fined $8,000.

And the killing continued.

In 2009 Louie Psihoyos and Ric O’Barry made a documentary film called The Cove. It won the Academy Award for best documentary film and exposed the horror of Taiji to hundreds of thousands of people.

Yet the killing continued.

Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians were on the ground every year since 2009. Seven years for six months, a total of 42 months on the ground, livestreaming, witnessing, filming, photographing, protesting, monitoring – watching dolphins die and unable to do anything to physically stop it.
During that time we sent in hundreds of volunteers.

After yet after 14 years the only dolphins saved were the 16 freed when Sea Shepherd cut the nets in 2003.

Since 2014 Japan has been denying entry to Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians eliminating 100% of our Cove Guardian leaders and most of the volunteers.

This year, Japan has made Sea Shepherd tactics subject to charges of terrorism. Under the new laws, 2 people with a camera may be charged with terrorism.

This is, to put it bluntly – insane!

These official decisions have convinced me that we are dealing with a psychopathic attitude where every single obstacle is being thrown into the path of anyone who opposes the mass slaughter of dolphins in Taiji.

Since September 1st, Sea Shepherd has received some criticism for not being in Taiji this season. This criticism is quite unfair. How can the Cove Guardians be in Taiji when they can’t even get into Japan? And how can they expect us to send inexperienced volunteers into a position where they will be charged with an act of terrorism just for being there?

Some critics say that the Dolphin Project is there, so why is Sea Shepherd not there?

It is true that Ric O’Barry has been banned from Japan but very few Dolphin Project Cove Monitors have been denied entry – yet. Sea Shepherd is happy that Dolphin Project people can be on the ground but I predict their freedom to do so will soon be greatly diminished.

The Japanese government wants to remove observers.

The thugs in Taiji are psychopaths completely lacking compassion and empathy for the dolphins. The attached image screams the word – psychopath!

The politicians enabling the mass slaughter are also psychopaths lacking empathy and compassion.

Being on the ground in Taiji now is a fruitless endeavor. Years of documentation and live-streaming have not made a difference. The killing continues and the killers become more entrenched in their ruthlessness to the point that their very identity as Japanese is equated with the merciless massacre of dolphins.

It has become painfully evident to me that they simply have a perverse lust for killing. They do it for money AND they do it because they enjoy it. We can see it in their eyes, this lust for inflicting gross suffering and death.

The Dolphin drives are an organized highly ruthless slave trade. Slavery is where the money is, the meat trade is minor by comparison. They could enslave dolphins without killing any and still make a huge profit. The reason they don’t do so is very simple – they like to kill.

What has been going down in Taiji can only be understood as a form of collective insanity. We cannot expect reason, compassion, pity, empathy and kindness will have any influence on the minds of psychopathic individuals and collectively Taiji has become a community of psychopaths backed up by the not surprising psychopathic politicians, passing laws against compassion, empathy, kindness and pity.

Because of this I came to the realization that continuing to be in Taiji, with the increasingly difficult possibilities of even being there, was becoming very unproductive.

We have achieved nothing since 2003, not a single dolphin saved since 2003. Yes, we have raised awareness throughout the world but Japan does not care what the rest of the world thinks or feels.

Sea Shepherd is not abandoning our opposition to the despicable cruelty and killings. We are simply changing strategies and developing new tactics.

We have 14 years of documentation so there is little that continues to happen that we have not already captured on film. We need to get these images out to the public – in Japan.

We need to develop a Japanese website and Japanese social media. We need to make the Japanese people at least as aware as the rest of the world. We need to develop economic strategies aimed at Japan with a special focus on the Olympics in 2020. We need to research legal options.

Unfortunately we’ve done all that we practically and strategically can accomplish on the ground in Taiji.

We are refocusing and planning for a new strategy.

The Cove Guardians were heroic, steadfast and I appreciate the efforts of each and every person who spent time on the ground there. They suffered harassment and abuse including numerous abuses from the police and fishermen and most importantly they had to endure the trauma of witnessing the monstrous acts of cruelty and murder.

They did all that could have been done within the context of having to do so within Japanese territory under the ever present watch of the police and rejection from border guards.

When I first organized the Cove Guardians I felt confident that it could have success but I did not take into account the one factor that makes it difficult to overcome such a heartless behavior and makes it impossible to deal with the situation in any meaningful way.

That factor is insanity. We can’t reason or appeal to the heart of a Psychopath because we have been looking for something that does not exist – their heart!

We must develop a new and effective approach.

Uncover Photo

Galicia’s wild horse roundup pits tradition versus animal rights

herd of wild horses being rounded up in Sabucedo, Galicia, Spain

Photo: avarand/Shutterstock

The hardy Galician horses of northwestern Spain typically spend their days foraging in the rugged surrounding forests and hills. Left to their own devices, they graze and roam free, only once in a while spotted by villagers and the occasional tourist.

Until roundup time.

Once a year, typically in summer, locals in villages throughout rural Galicia trek into the hills to herd the horses back home. For the Rapa das Bestas, or Capture of the Beast, the semi-wild horses are corralled by their rancher owners as villagers celebrate the longstanding ritual.

Records of the event date back to at least the 18th century, but some believe it started even earlier. As the horses are caught, their manes are cut and deloused and foals are microchipped and sometimes branded. Some animals are kept to be sold. The rest are returned to the hills until the roundup is held again the next summer.

According to the New York Times, the ranchers consider letting the animals roam free an efficient way to deal with the underbrush that is prone to forest fires. Although their numbers were as strong as 20,000 just 15 years ago, it’s thought the horses number only about 11,000 today.

The popular annual ritual is coming under fire from animal rights activists who say the horses are mistreated during the rough-and-tumble event. Some even liken it to bullfighting.

Laura Duarte, an official from Pacma, a political party promoting animal rights, told the Times that elements of the roundup are hard to justify.

“We don’t criticize what’s being done, but how it’s been done, because it causes terrible stress to animals that live in the wild and aren’t used to human contact,” she said.

“To brand a horse with hot iron can only cause huge suffering.”

Even if a wild horse roundup isn’t on the same level as bullfighting as far as cruelty is concerned, Duarte said “tradition” is still the same defense given for both.

“Any tradition that harms animals must be reviewed,” she said, “and doing something for a very long time doesn’t mean it shouldn’t now be adapted to our times.”

Please Sign on for 24 hour Mandated Trap Checks!

Will you please add your name to a letter, that our friend, Zack Strong, of NRDC, so diligently compiled, insisting Montana implement a 24 hour mandated trap check time period?

Montanans, in particular, are asked to sign as FWP continually emphasizes out of state comments as if Montanans don’t care!

Simply reply to this alert and provide:

  • your name
  • your town and state

Also requested, but not required:

  • your occupation, especially if in wildlife, animal, or science related professions

We will then see that you are included on the letter to Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks before the deadline for the 2017 Trapping Proposals

Please reply before July 13!

Feel free to pass this on so others can sign on, too! A very big thank you, to Zack, for his dedication and persistence!

Everyone, PLEASE don’t forget to submit your comment on ALL the Montana 2017 trapping proposals before the July 16 5pm mst deadline.