Animal Rights Activist On Trial In Canada For Giving Water To Pigs

An animal rights activist is being tried in Canada on charges of criminal mischief because she gave water to pigs bound for the slaughterhouse.

Anita Krajnc faces a maximum of six months in jail or a $5,000 fine if convicted, and she has pleaded not guilty, according to the CBC. The pigs were on their way to Fearman’s Pork Inc. in Ontario last summer.

Animal rights group Toronto Pig Save posted a video, which you can watch here:

First, it shows Krajnc approaching a truck full of pigs and asking the driver to give one of the pigs some water.

He replies: “Don’t give him anything. Do not put water in there!” She says, “Jesus said if they are thirsty, give them water.”

His response: “No, you know what, these are not humans, you dumb frickin’ broad!” He threatens to call the cops as she repeatedly says, “Have some compassion.” When she attempts to insert the water bottle through a slot in the trailer for the pigs to drink, he threatens to slap it out of her hands.

Speaking outside the courthouse, Krajnc told reporters that this trial is about “putting pigs in the spotlight. … We want people to see them as individuals and not property.”

She told The Washington Post that her defense lawyers will argue she was not breaking the law but acting in the public good.

The trial opened this week and held two sessions. On Thursday, animal welfare expert Armaiti May testified in court that “in all likelihood they were in severe distress,” the CBC reported. May said she couldn’t be sure: “I was not there to examine the pigs, and they’ve been slaughtered now.”

Toronto Pig Save, which Krajnc founded, regularly holds “vigils” in front of Fearman’s and other local slaughterhouses to “bear witness” to the animals’ final moments,according to the group.

The driver, Jeffrey Veldjesgraaf, and hog farmer Eric Van Boekel maintained “the pigs were watered and transported according to industry standards,” as the CBC reported.

Veldjesgraaf testified that “his main concern was over what was in the water that Krajnc’s group gave the pigs, and whether it might contaminate the livestock,” CBC reported.

As the Star reported, Van Boekel told the court that he had other safety concerns: “One of my biggest fears — and it’s not if it’s going to happen, it’s when it’s going to happen — is one of the protesters has their arm in the slat, and the driver pulls away, they’ll get (dragged) under the truck.”

Defense lawyer Gary Grill told the broadcaster that he hopes “Justice David Harris will wear the [virtual reality] gear to experience what it’s like being an animal in a slaughterhouse,” which “will be instrumental in helping Harris understand Krajnc’s viewpoint as an animal rights activist, and why she gives water to pigs outside slaughterhouses.”

The trial will continue on Oct. 3, when Krajnc is expected to testify.

The case has attracted the attention of other animal rights activists, who are tweeting messages of support using the hashtags #PigTrial and #StandWithAnita.


Factory Farm 360


Last Chance for Animals (LCA)
February 2015

The first interactive, 360-degree video of animal life on factory farms. Brought to you by LCA’s Sam Simon Special Investigations Unit.

WATCH THE TRUTH about Pig Farms


  • On a factory farm, a breeding pig spends most of her life in a gestation crate too small for her to turn around in. The confinement is maddening; pigs bite on the bars until their mouths are sore and bloody.
  • After about four months, the mother is moved to a small, filthy maternity crate, where she will give birth and nurse her babies.
  • The piglets’ back teeth are cut with pliers, and their tails are clipped. The males are castrated with no anesthetic, so the meat tastes more pleasing to consumers.
  • Many piglets die of infection, or are crushed to death by their mother because her movement is so restricted. Dead piglets are gutted, and their intestines fed to mother pigs in an effort to immunize them from disease. After just weeks, the surviving piglets will be taken away and the mother re-impregnated.
  • These facilities are breeding grounds for harmful bacteria like salmonella, so pigs are given steady doses of antibiotics, spawning antibiotic-resistant germs.
  • Workers deface the pigs’ bodies with spray paint to mark their status, like whether they’re pregnant or that it’s time for them to die. Some workers have spray-painted “kill” or “die” right on animals’ backs.
  • Nearly all pork at grocery stores and restaurants in the U.S. – including bacon, ham and pork sausage – comes from these farms, where the pigs endure excruciating suffering every day of their lives.
  • You can help end this torture by choosing cruelty-free meatless options instead of pork.

WATCH THE TRUTH about Free-Range Egg Farms


  • This is a “free range” egg farm, but these hens are far from free. They know only concrete and metal, and beneath the grating under their feet sits piles of urine and manure.
  •  Dead hens rot among the living, spreading their disease.
  • All of these hens’ brothers were killed the day they were born, because to the egg industry, they are worthless.
  • In the U.S., no government-regulated standards exist for “free range” farms. Hens may go outside for just minutes a day. Some birds never even get outdoors, because access is blocked by the crowds.
  • The crowding and filth create a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites, making both birds and humans sick.
  • This is cruel, and it’s happening right now to hens all over the world. Help end their suffering by choosing plant-based alternatives to eggs and other animal products. Together, we can stop farm cruelty.

WATCH THE TRUTH about “Broiler” Chicken Farms


  • You are in a room of thousands of other “broiler” chickens, where you will spend your entire life never seeing sunlight.
  • Beneath you is a sludge of litter, urine and manure; it has so much ammonia, it’s burning your feathers off, so your chest is sore and bald.
  • You’ve been bred for constant hunger, and the lights are on all night to keep you awake and eating.
  • You’re so obese, you cannot stand (If you were a 10-year-old child, you’d weigh 500 pounds by now).
  • You probably have salmonella or another sickening bacteria, spawned from the overcrowding and filth.
  • Sound like torture? It is. And it’s reality for chickens found at nearly all stores and restaurants in the U.S.
Rescued Chicken--Pigs' Pease Sanctuary

Rescued Chicken–Pigs’ Pease Sanctuary

Four Minutes of “Pigman” Ted, Evil Incarnate

68439_10151399495155861_1116657731_nAlways known about the infamous Ted Nugent, but by reputation only? Never had the displeasure of seeing him in action? Here’s your chance.

This is a 4 minute compilation of Nugent and his cronies killing 100 animals on different continents, with bullets and arrows, and machine guns from a helicopter, in the blood-orgy that is their way of life.

[Watch as much as of him as you can stomach–I lasted about 4 seconds.]:

No Offense, but Have Yourselves a Merry Christmas

Christmas has always been my favorite time of year (you’ll notice I didn’t call it Xmas, or “the holidays”). It’s the season of chilly nights, snowy days

Text and Photography ©Jim Robertson

Text and Photography ©Jim Robertson

and cozy mornings by the crackling fire, that I long for during the dry summer months. The Solstice —with its leafless trees, longer days and promise of spring—adds its magic to the spell. To this devout unbeliever—this compassionate atheist—the arrival of winter has always been known as Christmastime.

Make no mistake; I don’t believe in virgin births, any more than I believe in Santa Claus or the Easter bunny or the talking walnut. It’s all a bunch of anthropocentric hooey. But I think it’s sad that Americans aren’t supposed to say “Merry Christmas” any more.

I wouldn’t expect store clerks to assume their customers are all church-going Christians. I for one am not and never have been—my church is the DSC_0082wild forest, mountains, rivers and oceans. Yet I still think of the giving season simply as Christmas. When I’m out shopping for Christmas presents, I’d rather hear a hearty “Merry Christmas” than a sheepish “happy holidays.” Instead of spreading good cheer, the latter comes across as an embarrassed, “the capitalist corporation I work for will fire me if I’m caught wishing you a Merry Christmas.”

I enjoy all kinds of Christmas music—as long as it’s joyous—and all sorts of Christmas decorations, particularly those that celebrate trees and greenery. I’m not offended by manger scenes, especially the ones that include lots of animals bedded down on nice dry straw. But the religious slant can definitely be taken too far. I get irritated when someone includes a cross in their Christmas display.

To me a cross is a symbol of cruelty, suffering and death, not peace, love and generosity. It doesn’t belong anywhere near Christmas. I’ve never believed in needing savior to achieve redemption. And I’m already painfully aware of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man (not to mention, to the pigsDSC_0101 and turkeys, as well as the ducks and geese I hear being shot at out there as I write this—all in the spirit of holiday feasting).

Not that I think anyone’s ever coming back from anywhere, but I can identify with this memorable line in the Woody Allen film, Hannah and her Sisters, when Max Von Sydow’s character, Frederick, laments about the garbage on TV: “You see the whole culture. Nazis, deodorant salesmen, wrestlers, beauty contests, a talk show. Can you imagine the level of a mind that watches wrestling? But the worst are the fundamentalist preachers. Third grade con men telling the poor suckers that watch them that they speak with Jesus, and to please send in money. Money, money, money! If Jesus came back and saw what’s going on in his name, he’d never stop throwing up.”

I’ve never thought of December 25th as the birthday of any god-incarnate or the day that reindeer can fly or when Santa visits every house in one night. But I’ll always call it Christmas—the name for a season that ought to last all year long. It’s not just a holiday—the spirit of selfless giving should be a year-round sentiment.

Oh, and if anyone up there really is listening, all I want for Christmas is world peace for all beings— and enough freaking snow to ski on.


Beloved pets also lost, displaced by mudslide

[Only now, after the human death toll has been tallied up, do we hear about the no-human casualties of the Oso slide.]


By MANUEL VALDES, Associated Press Published: Mar 31, 2014
DARRINGTON, Wash. (AP) – After a rescue worker called her animal clinic saying dogs had been extracted from the destruction left behind by a massive mudslide, veterinary assistant Cassna Wemple and her colleagues raced to this small Washington town near the debris field.

They found one of the dogs at the fire station among a flurry of rescue workers and townspeople. Bonnie, an Australian shepherd, was wrapped in a comforter. She was muddy and had a broken leg in a splint. One of Bonnie’s owners had just died in the slide. The other had been pulled out.

“She was just very much in shock,” Wemple said.

In this rural community north of Seattle, Wemple said it’s common for residents to have plenty of animals, including pigs, horses, rabbits, chickens, dogs and cats. When the deadly slide struck March 22, beloved pets and livestock also perished.

The full number of pets and livestock killed may never be known. Authorities also don’t have a clear number of how many pets are missing or displaced by the slide, incident spokespeople have said. There are at least 37 horses displaced and at least 10 dogs that were missing, according to different animal services helping the recovery efforts.

“To know that their animals are lost and may or may not be found. It’s heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking for the people and the animals,” said Dee Cordell of the Everett Animal Services.

Wemple said rescue workers could hear horses crying from the debris hours after the slide, but because of the unsafe conditions, rescuers couldn’t go in.

For those animals that survived, the community and outsiders have rallied in support with donations. Bag after bag of food for dogs, cats and chickens have filled up the rodeo grounds outside Darrington, which are serving as a makeshift shelter. At last count, it totaled nearly 45,000 pounds. On Saturday alone, 27 tons of donated food from Purina arrived.

Lilianna Andrews’s seven horses are now at the rodeo grounds. Their house wasn’t buried in the mud, but the displaced earth formed a dam, backing up the Stillaguamish River into a lake that rose waist-high in the house and as high as 10 feet in the barn.

“We got them out before they got any water on them,” the 13-year-old said after helping unload hay at the rodeo grounds on Saturday. “But they would have drowned. So we just had to evacuate them from the water, and they’ve been staying here ever since.”

The Andrews were in Seattle when a friend called to check on their whereabouts. When they realized it wasn’t just a small mudslide blocking the road, they hurried home. Their dog, cats and chickens are fine too, Andrews said, although they haven’t been able to get in to feed the chickens.

Volunteers are also tending to 20 horses that belonged to Summer Raffo, a farrier who died in the slide.

Wemple’s clinic, Chuckanut Valley Veterinary, treated three dogs hurt from the slide. One of those dogs, named Blue, had to have one of his legs amputated last week. His owner is still hospitalized. The owner’s daughter has visited the dog daily.

“He’ll be happier in the long run. No more pain in that leg,” Wemple said.

Bonnie’s owner was Linda McPherson, a retired librarian. She was in her living room reading newspapers with her husband, Gary “Mac” McPherson, when the slide hit. She died. He lived. Bonnie has been kept at the clinic for rehabilitation. At night, one of the staffers takes her home.

A memorial is planned for next week for Linda McPherson. Wemple said the staffer will bring the Australian shepherd to the memorial for a reunion with her surviving owner.


Associated Press writer Jonathan J. Cooper contributed to this report.

Action Alert: Don’t Let Abusers Cover Up Cruelty!

Kentucky: Don’t Let Abusers Cover Up Cruelty!

Just a few weeks ago, The Humane Society of the United States exposed horrific cruelty at a major Kentucky pig factory; including pigs locked into cages so small they couldn’t turn around and mother pigs being fed the remains of their diseased piglets. But instead of cleaning up their act, the state’s big meat producers are now trying to silence whistleblowers. The industry and its backers in the legislature are trying to sneak through an “ag-gag” law aimed at criminalizing anyone who exposes food safety violations or animal abuse on factory farms. Even worse, they have attached this poisonous provision to a formerly pro-animal bill.

Please call your legislators right away and ask them to oppose this undemocratic effort. Look up your legislator’s phone number here. You can simply say: “I am outraged that an ag-gag provision was sneakily attached to HB222. I urge you to stop the ag-gag provision, which would threaten animals and consumer safety.”

After making your phone call (please do not skip that crucial step!), personalize and submit the letter in the form below to automatically send a follow-up message to your legislators and Gov. Steve Beshear.


If You Eat Meat


If you eat chicken or pork, you’re supporting extreme animal abuse on factory farms;

If you eat beef, you’re supporting the livestock industry that kills bison, elk and wolves;

If you eat fish, you’re supporting the demise of our living oceans;

If you hunt, your selfish food choice robs a life and cheats a natural predator;

If you eat meat, you’re part of the problem instead of the solution;


Mom Left Kids In Frigid Car To Go Hog Hunting: Cops

A Florida mom was arrested after police say she left her two young children inside her car in near-freezing temperatures so that she could go hog hunting.

Kayla Shavers, of New Port Richey, was charged with child neglect on Thursday, WTSP reports.

The 31-year-old who said she went after the hogs because they had been tearing up her property, allegedly left her 9-year-old and 8-month-old alone in the car, which was not running, around 7 a.m. on Thursday. The temperature was 38 degrees, according to WPTV. The 9-year-old did not have a coat.

The 9-year-old called 911, saying he was cold and “a police car would be warmer,” according to Bay News 9. Police say they aren’t sure how long the children were alone in the car, but after arriving at the scene it was about 40 minutes before Shavers emerged from the woods, clad in camo.

“Kudos to that little 9-year-old boy,” Sheriff Chris Nocco told WTSP. Nocco says the boy may have saved the baby’s life.

Authorities say Shavers claimed she was close enough to the car to respond if her children needed help. She also allegedly said she left the keys in the car for the 9-year-old to turn it on if needed, but he apparently wasn’t able to do so.


Sick Second-Grader Wants to Make Others Suffer

Hopefully he–and his victims–won’t have to suffer much longer.


Aiming for a bear: 7-year-old Alto boy goes on hunt of a lifetime

By Sue Thoms January 06, 2014

ALTO, MI – Seven-year-old Wyatt Fuss has already enjoyed a Hunt of Lifetime – a bear hunt in the woods of North Carolina.

With help from an organization that arranges hunting and fishing trips for children and teens facing life-threatening illness, Wyatt recently spent a week at a hunting lodge with his brother and grandfather.

Alas, they saw no sign of bears. The animals were scarce because the weather was unseasonably warm for the area — near 80 degrees.

“All I got were three pigs and a deer,” Wyatt said. Still, he says he had a lot of fun: “I had the best time, even though I didn’t get a bear.”

“It was quite an experience,” said his mother, Jennifer Fuss.

Wyatt, a second-grader at Alto Elementary School, has battled a spinal cord tumor since he was 1 year old. He has undergone two surgeries to remove as much of the benign ganglioma tumor as possible and has received dozens of MRIs. The tumor causes, among other things, numbness in parts of his hands and arms.

But it doesn’t affect his aim.

“He’s quite a good shot – that’s what they tell me,” his mother said.

Wyatt lives on his family’s beef cattle farm in Alto with his parents, Jennifer and Gerald Fuss, his sister, Sophie, 11, and his brother, Dalton, 15. He began hunting at an early age, and it’s one of his favorite things to do, his mother said. He dreamed of going on a big-game hunting trip.

The family learned about Hunt of a Lifetime through a social worker with Hospice of Michigan’s Early Care program, which helps children with serious, chronic illness.

Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation was started by Tina Pattison, a Pennsylvania mom who was unable to get her son’s wish for a moose hunt arranged through another wish-granting organization. Hunting outfitters and the tiny town of Nordegg in Alberta, Canada, came forward and provided a hunt of a lifetime for her son, Matt, six months before he died of cancer.

The organization went all-out for Wyatt’s trip, Jennifer Fuss said. Wyatt, Dalton, and their grandfather, Doug Klahn, spent a week at Buffalo Creek Lodge near Clinton, N.C. Before the trip, Wyatt enjoyed a $400 shopping spree for hunting gear at Cabela’s. (Photos here: )

The hunters stayed in a lodge at a couple’s farm from Dec. 16-21, were served hearty meals and were brought to a hunting blind each day. Also staying at the lodge was another boy on a Hunt of a Lifetime trip.

Neither boy saw a bear. Jennifer Fuss wonders if her son would have been scared if he did. After he shot a boar in the hind quarters, his grandfather told him, “If you shoot a bear in the butt, we need to run.”

“I think that scared him a little bit,” she said.

But Wyatt said if he saw a bear, “I would have shot it.”

The three boars he shot weighed 45, 80 and 92 pounds. A taxidermist has volunteered to stuff the boars at the Ultimate Sport Show at DeVos Place in March.

Overall, Wyatt’s health is good, his mom said. His biggest issue now is dealing with sleep apnea, caused in part by the tumor. But his latest MRI in October showed no sign of growth, and the doctor said he can wait a year for the next scan.

“That was really good news,” she said.

Sue Thoms covers health care for MLive/The Grand Rapids Press.