A Big Win for Hens #CageFreeEggs

On April 5, 2016 the Humane Society United States excitedly reported some compelling news for hens.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and biggest food seller in America announced that by 2025 they will source 100% of their eggs from cage-free sources.  This will apply to their Canadian stores too.

Needless to say, a huge victory for the HSUS, who has been working on this for over a decade and more importantly, for the hens.

Walmart is joining a growing list of restaurants and retailers that are demanding more from their egg sources, based on public pressure and proof of the inhumane conditions that hens (and other farm animals) have been forced to live in year after year.

What does this mean?  A big change will have to be made by the egg sources in how they treat their hens and the conditions in which they are raised.   It will also put pressure on more retailers and restaurants to follow suit.

But it shouldn’t stop with the eggs.  We need to continue plowing forward and putting more and more pressure on factory farmers and the shameful conditions that American farm animals are raised in.   Animals that eventually find their way into your grocery stores and onto your tables.

Back in 2014, Craig Watts, a factory farmer for Purdue, invited in an animal advocacy film crew to show the real conditions of a chicken factory farm.   Despite claims that the chicken you are purchasing at your grocery store is coming from a “natural” source, these chickens live out their lives in deplorable conditions.  Often sick, sometimes abused and more than likely walking around with broken body parts.  You can watch the full video here.

You can help speak out for the chickens and all farm animals by joining and supporting the  Compassion in World Farming organization.   The CIWF is out there every day working hard to grow public awareness and make a difference to these animals.

Just as you spoke out for the hens, (bask in the glow of this huge victory) please take a moment to speak out for all other farm animals.  And if you didn’t, now is the time to start.  Not only are you helping those without a voice, live out their lives in a comfortable and enjoyable way, but your demanding better food for you and your family.

Your voice does make a difference.   #animalrights 

 

 

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SeaWorld Steps Up

I was so happy to hear the news as my inbox was flooded with emails from animal rights groups on the latest news about SeaWorld.  Only this time, the news was positive.

It appears that after much fierce controversy and criticism, spearheaded by the 2013 Black Fish documentary, SeaWorld is finally taking (baby) steps in the right direction.

They announced on March 17th that the park will officially end it’s Orca breeding programs.  (Yay!)

Additionally, they promise to phase out the current Orca show in their San Diego park in 2016. It will be fully replaced by 2017 with an “experience that highlights orcas’ natural behaviors”   according to ABC News.   Hopefully this will spread to all SeaWorld theme parks as well.

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SeaWorld also announced it partnership with the Humane Society, hoping this relationship will help reshape them in the publics’ eye.

What does this mean for the 29 orcas in captivity?  Nothing … except that they won’t have to jump through hoops anymore.   Sadly they will live out the remainder of their lives in captivity because they cannot survive on their own in their natural home … the ocean.  PETA is fighting this and asking SeaWorld to release their orcas to sea sanctuaries.  (Basically open water play pens that would allow the Orcas to swim “freely” in the ocean in a contained area, for their safety)

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Obviously this is a less than ideal situation for these majestic animals that have never been given the chance to be what they really are … an orca swimming freely in the open waters.

But baby steps are better than none.  One small step for the SeaWorld orcas and a big step for all animals that are being held in captivity.

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The Numbers Are Strong – END Cosmetic Animal Testing

An exciting poll published by the Human Society International tells us that people worldwide want to end painful and cruel cosmetic testing on animals.

I’m smiling.

The HSI and the Humane Society of the United States teamed up with their partners, #BeCrueltyFree and LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics  to take a worldwide poll in major cosmetic markets such as Brazil, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the US.  The numbers were staggering.

“61 percent agreed that animal testing “can cause pain and suffering to animals and it is not worth causing this kind of suffering just to test the safety of cosmetics, especially when there are safe ingredients already available.”   And this was the lowest percentage in the poll.  You can read the full report here but the response is overwhelmingly in favor of ending this testing once and for all.

If you’re not already aware, animals like mice, rabbits, rats and guinea pigs are put through great pain.  They have substances dripped into their eyes, shoved down their throats and smeared on their skin.  You guessed it — PAIN, BURNING, ITCHING. Than they are killed.   And for what?  Shampoo, mascara and other cosmetics.

I know what you’re thinking.  Aren’t there already safe ingredients that cosmetic manufactures could use?   Yes!   Can’t cosmetic companies use natural and organic ingredients that would completely eliminate their “need” for animal testing?  Double yes!

So why do they continue to test on animals?  I for one would love to hear their answers and how they would justify torturing and killing a living being.

I’m a firm believer that animals are not ours to abuse, hurt, torture or injure in any way or for any reason.  With the knowledge and ingredients that are out there today, this is a completely unnecessary practice.

I don’t know when we became a society that believes it’s ok to take another living being and hurt it.  I read about the angora rabbits and cried so hard seeing the horrifying pictures and reading about the torture these animals go through.  When did it become ok to rip the fur from live bunnies, only to throw them back in a cage and do it all over again once their fur grows back?   (Warning – the photo on angora rabbit link will shock you.)  Yes, another completely unnecessary practice and all for the sake of fashion.

But I’ve regressed and I don’t want to take away from the highlight of this piece.   It seems that the world is becoming increasingly aware of the unnecessary need for animals testing and pushing for their countries to ban it once and for all.

I sign petitions, tweet stories and support animal right groups that I’ve mentioned in this piece.  I hope that you will take a moment to do the same.

Will you help to end the cycle of torture?

 

 

 

 

 

 

German Shepherd Dumped Over His Size

I was (and still am) heartbroken when a friend forwarded me this article from the Examiner via Facebook.   Apparently on January 8th this beautiful German Shepherd was dumped at the Carson Animal Care Center by his family.  Why did they turn him over to a shelter?  According to the family, “the dog grew too big”.

Wait … what?!?    You mean your German Shepherd Dog grew out of his puppy size and grew into a full-sized German Shepherd?  How dare he!

I am outraged.  Truly.  I have a German Shepherd who I rescued at the age of one and a half years.  He was dumped after having been mistreated by his owner, thankfully at a wonderful center called German Shepherd Rescue .  The woman couldn’t handle his large size and after neglecting him, brought him to the center.

When I found my dog, Wolfe, he looked just as sad as Oso looks.  No dog understands why their “pack” abandons them, but a GSD even more so.  They are such loyal dogs, sworn to live, breath and protect their pack … so when they are abandoned, they take it really hard.  My Wolfe was sad, refusing to eat, skin and bones, and very sick.   It took a while for him to realize that I wasn’t going to leave him or hurt him as his previous owner did.  Within a few short months, he was healthy, gaining weight, and realizing that he was loved and part of a pack … forever.

Today, we can’t imagine life without him.  He makes my little girl squeal with laughter when our 85 lb plus GSD tickles her with his nose or plays hide-and-seek with her.  He is my rock and has been there to lick my tears, listen to me complain, protect me and make me laugh.  On my saddest days, he’s right by my side, unconditionally.

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Every dog owner, scratch that, every PET owner has a responsibility to their pet to care for them and take care of them.   That is the pact you make when you buy them, adopt them, or rescue them.  Part of that responsibility is knowing the breed before obtaining them to ensure they are a right fit for you and your lifestyle.  There is plenty of information online to ensure you can find the right pet for you.  Anything other than that is simply irresponsible.

To take in a pet only to abandon them later is nothing short of cruel.

Unfortunately, I cannot take in Oso, otherwise I would.  So I feel it’s my obligation to help him find his forever home by spreading the word about his sad story.  My hope is that he will find a loving family who will appreciate him for who he is instead of punishing him for it.  I know in my heart he will have a bright ending to this sad time.

Please share his story and give a voice to those without.