PETA: Immediate social media ban on influencers who harm animals

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Two recent incidents of influencers harming animals, one in which Twitch streamer Alinity Divine threw her cat and another in which YouTuber Brooke Houts hit and screamed at her dog, have outraged viewers.

Animal welfare organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok to impose an immediate and permanent ban on any user who post photos or videos of themselves harming animals.

Cleared after investigation
Natalia Mongollon, better known as Alinity Divine, was seen throwing her cat behind her while playing a video game. In another video she made her cat taste vodka and another she put stickers on her cat. After viewers reported her, Animal Protection Services went to her house and concluded the animals were okay.

Hitting and spitting on puppy
After she was ‘cleared’ another video showing animal abuse appeared online. In this video you see Brooke Houts hitting, spitting, shoving and shouting at her puppy. She uploaded it by accident a few days a ago. She denies being an animal abuser and says she was having a bad day. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is looking into the incident.

Don’t normalize animal abuse
In a letter sent to the social media companies PETA points out that such videos normalize animal abuse, particularly for younger, more impressionable viewers, and increase the risk of copycat behavior. “One day of outrage before the public moves on to the next scandal isn’t enough to stop streamers from hurting animals”, says PETA Vice President Joel Bartlett. “We’re calling for a zero-tolerance policy for animal abusers across all social media platforms.”

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Animal welfare organizations call for immediate boycott of 12 famous zoos

Dolphins performing stunts and being ridden as surfboards, elephants performing in shows with props, tigers and lions being forced to take part in theatrical shows and primates being used as photo props. These are some of the activities that wild animals are forced to do in zoos and aquariums around the world.

To make wild animals do these performances, they have to be trained hard. It’s not natural for them to ‘jump through a hoop’. The new study ‘The show can’t go on’ calls for an end of the suffering of wild animals at zoos and aquariums.

Animal welfare organizations World Animal Protection and Change for Animals Foundation visited ‘top’ zoos and aquariums in the world and confirmed that cruel and demeaning performances and activities are taking place, causing these animals great physical and mental distress.

They’re calling for an immediate boycott of the following zoos and aquariums that still practice activities causing tremendous harm to animals.

  • Dolphin Island (Resort World Sentosa) – Singapore
  • Zoo D’Amneville – France
  • Jungle Cat World – Canada
  • African Lion Safari – Canada
  • Cango Wildlife Ranch – South Africa
  • Sea World – Australia
  • SeaWorld – San Antonio, USA
  • Zoo Marine – Portugal
  • Puy du Fou – France
  • Avilon Zoo – Philippines
  • Mystic Monkeys & Feather Wildlife Park – South Africa
  • Ichihara Elephant Kingdom – Japan

The animal welfare organizations want the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the global alliance of worldwide zoos and aquariums, to take actions against these practices in zoos and aquariums. You can sign the petition here.

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Stealing milk from babies is extremely cruel

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When I became vegetarian, I would still drink milk and eat cheese. After a while I stopped drinking milk but absolutely loved cheese. I used to say ‘it’s so hard to give up, I just love it so much’.

Back then I didn’t realize how cruel the dairy industry is. Whether it’s organic or not, the core of the industry is just cruel. Stealing milk from a mom that she wants to give to her child is a barbaric practice.

All dairy products are made of milk. Milk that does not belong to us. Like humans, animals start producing milk in their bodies when they’re pregnant. Milk that’s meant for their baby.

It’s so logical to us that when a woman gets a son or daughter, her milk is meant for her child. Giving that child fake milk and pumping her breast so we could use her milk to make cheese or just to drink it, would be such an inhumane thing to do.

Yet, with animals it has become so normal. We find it okay to take a baby cow away from his mom and use the milk, that’s meant for her baby, for ourselves. Just because we love cheese so much.

For a cow to keep producing milk, she has to be pregnant constantly. And she doesn’t get pregnant in a loving way. Sperm is shoved up her vagina by humans so she can get pregnant. With humans it’s called rape.

It’s a sick industry and sadly one of the biggest industries in my country, Holland. People around the world just love our cheese so much.

From the moment they’re born the calves are kept away from their moms. They don’t get a sip of their milk. They never get to experience those beautiful moments a newborn should have with his or her mom. They basically never see each other again.

If you still drink milk or eat cheese, I hope watching these videos will change your mind. The milk of a cow is simply not meant for us but for her baby. And ‘loving cheese’ is not a reason to support this industry. I wish I realized that sooner.

Mom running after her child after just giving birth.
This baby just wants and needs to be with his mom. Notice how hard the man pulls the baby away.
This video is from Mercy for Animals. This proces happend over and over again.
This was the biggest undercover dairy investigation this year. This was at Fair Oaks farm, that Fair life milk which is a part Coca Cola Corporation.
See how happy the baby and mom are when they’re reunited.


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Animal rights activists to follow on Instagram

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More and more animal advocates are using Instagram to keep their followers up-to-date with their actions. It’s a quick way to share their actions and thoughts to help animals.

These are the animal rights activists that I follow on Instagram. I like that they all fight for animals in their own way. What I’ve realized since I’m a vegan and since I started this blog is that everyone who’s still harming animals, directly or indirectly, needs to be approached differently.

There’s not one way that will make someone stop eating meat or buying fur or leather. In my case it was watching those horrible videos of animals in factories that made me stop eating meat. I couldn’t watch them till the end and always had to cry so it was logical to me to not be a part of their suffering anymore.

I’m very grateful for the people who went undercover in those times, more 10 years ago, to show people like me the truth. Just like I’m very grateful for these people fighting for animals because they get a lot of negativity and yet keep going.

Following these people motivated me to start this news website. Let me know in the comment section which activists motivated you to change.

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70.000 sheep stuck on ship for two weeks in extreme heat, many will die before arrival

The live stock ship Al Shuwaikh that departed from Romania with 70.000 sheep on the 14th of July has announced it will arrive two weeks later in the port of Kuwait, leaving the animals stuck onboard in extreme heat. They will now arrive on August the 2nd.

There was already extreme outrage over the departure of the ship and the delay has only made this worse. According to animal welfare organization Eyes on Animals many sheep will die the coming weeks from exhaustion, thirst and stress. The delay doesn’t come as a surprise for them since the route is known to be very busy and Al Shuwaikh should have given honest arrival dates.

Animal welfare organizations and members of the European Commission tried stopping the ship from leaving in these hot temperatures. But Romania ignored every plea to save the animals from extreme suffering and authorized the transport.

And even though the country is violating Art 3 of the EU Regulation (EC) 1/2005 which clearly states that animals shall not be transported in a way likely to cause injury or undue suffering, the European Commission didn’t stop the transport. They have announced an investigation, but for these animals stuck on sea it comes too late.

The animals that are still alive in two weeks, will be slaughtered for the Islamic holiday Eid al-Hadha on the 12th of August.

In this video from Eurogroup for Animals you see what extreme heat does to sheep being transported.


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Deadly year for horses at Calgary Stampede in Canada

Six horses died during the chuckwagon racing at the annual rodeo festival Calgary Stampede in Canada. Chuckwagon racing is a rodeo sport in which drivers in a chuckwagon led by a team of horses race around a track.

On Monday a horse fell to the track. It needed instant veterinary care and died later that night. Wednesday a horse went down in the final lap of the race due to a running injury. Stampede officials called in help. The animal was loaded onto a trailer pulled by a tractor. Later that day the horse had to be euthanized.

And on Thursday night, a horse crashed into the inner rail of a track, died instantly and injured three other horses.

On the last day of the races three horses had to be put down. The lead horse of one of the chuckwagons got a running injury, a fractured left hind cannon bone. He fell and two other horses on the wagon team sustained serious injuries too. The veterinary medical team determined there was no option for treatment. All three horses were euthanized.

The sport is very controversial as horses are frequently injured or killed. Animal welfare organization Calgary Animal Rights Effort (C.A.R.E.) demonstrated on the last day of the rodeo holding signs saying ‘Cruelty is not Family Fun’ and ‘It’s 2019 not 1919’.

Peaceful Rodeo Protest, Photo Credit: Calgary Animal Rights Effort


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Woman gets 10 year animal ban for treating horses so badly they had to be put down

Thirty-one Arabian horses were rescued from a horse breeder in Blackpool in England who kept them in horrible conditions. The animals were found in very filthy stables which had not been opened in months. Eleven of them had to be put down on veterinary advice to end their suffering.

Inspector Carl Larsson of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA): “We had to force open some stables with a hammer and
screwdriver. Dirty bedding was stacked halfway up the doors and once opened they wouldn’t close again because so much muck spilled out.”

He continues: “There were horses with such crippling lameness from overgrown hooves that their legs were shaking with pain. They were unable to step down off the pile of muck out of their stables. One collapsed as it reluctantly made its way off.”

Video: RSPCA

The woman who owned the horses was convicted of two offences under the Animal Welfare Act at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

She can’t keep any animals for 10 years with no appeal for five years. She was ordered to pay costs of £4,000 and £85 victim surcharge.

The 20 horses that survived are in care of RSPCA. They’re looking for suitable homes for the animals.

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Seven finalists in plant-based business investment competition

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Vegan junk food, ethical aftershave, organic local tempeh, dried jackfruit, popped lotus seeds, cacao-consciousness and skincare made with only 5 ingredients. These seven business ideas will be pitched this Saturday at the Plant Based Business Bootcamp in London.

The Pitch+Plant event is organised by Vevolution, a movement to inspire a plant-powered generation of people creating positive change in the world.

Co-founder Damien Clarkson from Vevolution said they were overwhelmed by the quality of applications this year: “There is an abundance of entrepreneurs creating exciting plant-based businesses that represent a brighter way of living on the planet. We look forward to investing in the winners of Pitch+Plant and helping them on their entrepreneurial journey.”

These seven finalists will be pitching for seed investment in their startups.

The Green Grill & The Green Butchers
The Green Grill makes healthy vegan street food. Food that’s good for your body, the planet and animals.


KINGS
Kings is an ethical aftershave fragrance and grooming brand on a mission to inspire and empower men to live healthier and happier lives.


Club Cultured
Club Cultured makes organic tempeh in London. High in protein, gluten free and also plastic free.


JACKED
Jacked creates products using unique fruits and flavors and uses ethical supply chains to create new markets for the farmers of Uganda.


Native Snacks
To experience a country, you need to experience its food. They bring native snacks, like popped lotus seeds, from across the world for you to discover.


Well Bean Company
They promote the positive relationship between chocolate and the mind. They call it cacao-consciousness.


Five Dot Botanics 
Five Dot Botanics offers proof that effective skincare can be formulated with minimal ingredients. Their products are made of only 5 ingredients.

Panel of experts
The seven startups will pitch to a panel of investors and plant-based business experts including Matthew Glover from Veganuary, Damien Clarkson from Vevolution, Swatee Deepak from With and For Girls at Purposeful, Jonathan Petrides from allplants and Grace Regan from Spicebox.

This is the third annual Pitch+Plant. Previous winners have included UpCircle Beauty, Purezza, One Planet Pizza and FRUU

The Animal Reader is an animal news organization. We need your support to create news stories where animals are the focus. Big or small, it would mean a lot if you could sponsor us.



Allowed to grow old: portraits of elderly animals from farm sanctuaries

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For nearly a decade, writer Isa Leshko visited farm animal sanctuaries across the United States to make photographic portraits of old rescued animals. These pictures are featured in her book Allowed to grow old.

In those 10 years of visiting sanctuaries and portraying the stories of rescued animals, she discovered how much suffering these animals endure.

Nearly all of the animals she met for this project went through horrific abuse and neglect prior to their rescue. Leshko: “Yet it is a massive understatement to say that they are the lucky ones. Roughly fifty billion land animals are factory farmed globally each year. It is nothing short of a miracle to be in the presence of a farm animal who has managed to reach old age. Most of their kin die before they are six months old.”

Book cover. Copyright: Isa Leshko

By showing the beauty and dignity of elderly farm animals she wants to invite viewers to think about what we lose by not allowing these animals to grow old.

Isa wasn’t vegan when she started the project, but became vegan during the proces: “When I began this project, I had been a vegetarian through most of my adult life, with a few occasional lapses in my early 20s. I became a vegan after I met Valentino, a Holstein cow who had been rescued from the dairy industry.”

Isa Leshko

The difference between the rescued animals and farm animals is huge. Isa: “Rescued farm animals that live at well-run sanctuaries are treated as individuals with unique likes, dislikes and needs. Farm animals on commercial farms are treated as commodities first and foremost. Decisions relating to their care, as well as when they will be killed, are driven by financial reasons.”

Wild vs bred turkeys
Isa: “Nearly all commercially raised farmed animals have been bred to become as obese as quickly as possible, including those who are reared on ‘humane’ farms. For example, most commercially bred turkeys cannot walk properly let alone roost because their breasts are so large. Even if they are kept in a yard with trees, they are unable to fly up onto tree branches. At sanctuaries I have visited, wild turkeys mingle with rescued turkeys. The difference between a wild turkey and a Broad Breasted White turkey is astounding.”

Through her experiences in the past 10 years Leshko has become a passionate advocate for animals: “The sad reality is that the vast majority of farmed animals reside in factory farms where they live in horrific conditions that deny them the ability to move freely, much less engage in any natural behaviors.”

Isa Leshko is an artist and writer whose work examines themes relating to animal rights, aging, and mortality. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and their cats Alfred and Higgins.


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Horrible conditions for animals on livestock ships to Israel

Lack of ventilation, high temperatures, intense humidity, high levels of ammonia, wet bedding, animal injury and death by suffocation from overcrowding are common problems that vets witness when they inspect the livestock ships that arrive in Israel.

This was presented at a Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument of the European Commission (TAIEX) multi-country workshop on animal welfare during sea transport. Different countries, like Israel, Ireland, France and Romania share their experiences with sea transport of animals.

The presentation by Lauren Stein, a government veterinary officer from the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture, was basically a horror story for animals. We know this already from videos made by animal welfare organizations but this time the Israeli government itself is admitting that it’s just horrible.

The live export ship Maysora left Australia for Israel in May and arrived after delays at the beginning of June. The terribly violent “offloading” lasted five days. Video: Israel Animal Save

Vets concluded that the ships are dirty, old and not well kept. They arrive in bad conditions with leaks, rubbish and rust. Veterinary officer Stein wonders how these ships are even authorized to carry cows and sheep. Fans are frequently insufficient or do not work at all and automatic water dispensers blocked with so much dirt that they stop functioning. So animals are left with no water.

The pens are very crowded. Sheep have no space to move or even lie down. They’re stuck against the walls of the pen. Sometimes they come from Australia which means they’re cramped for three weeks.

No food
Stein also mentioned that often if the ship arrives at feeding time, the animals go unfed until they arrive at the quarantine station. Even if unloading will take some time, they don’t get fed.

Background
Cows and sheep are imported only by sea to Israel. The animals mainly come from Europe and Australia. Most of the animals are used for fattening and are then slaughtered. The animals that arrive in Israel are intended for both the Israeli and Palestinian markets.

The number of animals imported yearly is rising, despite public concern regarding the animals welfare. In 2018 almost 686.000 animals arrived at Israeli ports.

According to animal welfare organization Animals Now many people in Israel don’t know that their meat comes from animals that have been on a hell journey only, if they survive, to be fattened and killed.

A survey conducted by Animals Now showed that 86% of Israelis support legislation to stop live transports. 60 rabbis, including members of the Chief Rabbinate Council, joined a public statement calling to stop live transports of animals. 245 lawyers signed a petition calling for the end of live transports, due to excessive abuse, which violates Israel’s Animal Protection Act.

The following pictures are made by Israel Animal Save on the ships, the quarantine area and feeding lots.


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