There’s an extremely active year behind us, our head office and our ten branches worked on all forms of animal abuse – fur industry, meat industry, diary and egg industry, circuses, wildlife issues, neglecting and abandoning of animals, vivisection…
There was really a lot of actions and campaigns so we hope that we managed to make many people give some thought to animal suffering and to do something to reduce that suffering. We especially want to remind you about all the animals who are going to end dead on the plates in the name of the holiday “spirit”. This is the time of peace, nonviolence and good wishes to everybody, so we encourage you to follow the words of Axel Munthe from the preface to The Story of San Michele: “All that is best in me I have given to (animals) and I mean to stand by them to the last and share their fate whatever it may be. If it is true that there is to be no heaven of rest for them when their sufferings here are at an end, I, for one, am not going to bargain for any heaven for myself. I shall go without fear where they go, and by the side of my brothers and sisters from the forests and the fields, from skies to seas, lie down to merciful extinction in their mysterious underworld, safe from any further torments.”
Protest against Iams in Zagreb
Twenty and something Animal Friends Croatia activists, holding signs reading “Stop Iams Animal Tests” and some of them, crammed into four cages and being dressed in prisoner suits and dog and cat masks, protested on December 1 against Iams – a pet-food company. Iams, owned by Procter & Gamble (P&G), which also manufacture Eukanuba, unexpectedly encountered opposition in Croatia as well, and mostly thanks to PETA UK activist Andrew Butler, who on his anti-Iams tour also visited Zagreb and organized very attractive and mediawise interesting action. The purpose of this protest was to illustrate the misery of animals neglected and killed in crude ‘nutrition’ tests conducted by Iams. After a very successful action in Zagreb, our five activists headed to Ljubljana. It was the first protest ever in Slovenia! Together with native forces and with the technical support of Animal Friends Croatia, Andrew from PETA UK rose the whole action to an international British-Slovenian-Croatian level which impressed Slovenian media to the point that only our activists gave interviews for radio, newspaper and Slovenian National Television. Some would say, This is as good as it gets! and we agree with that.
Nemo in Croatian theaters
A long expected Disney block-buster arrived in Croatian theaters on December 4, so we used this opportunity, like our American colleagues from organization PETA, to welcome it! Heavily armed with leaflets, movie posters and samples of vegan food, our activists intercepted moviegoers before the opening show as well as the second and third screening and educated them that fish are friends, not food, thus encouraging them not to eat the real-life counterparts of the film’s stars. Aside from that, our activists warned moviegoers not to buy fish as pets and to take good care of their fish pets they already bought. While Finding Nemo is still the top movie in theaters in Zagreb, on our Croatian web site there is a prize competition with three underwater Finding Nemo cameras as prizes.
Protest against Japanese dolphin slaughter
On December 10, throughout the world an International Day of Protest Against the Japanese Dolphin Slaughter was held, so our organization, as an organization for protection and promotion of animal rights of all animals, joined Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (www.seashepherd.org) with the request to free their activists. Namely, Sea Shepherd activists, Allison Lance-Watson and Alex Cornelissen, were arrested on November 18 in Taiji for releasing dolphins captured and penned in by Japanese fishermen. Sending an International message to the Japanese government to free Allison Lance-Watson and Alex Cornelissen, Animal Friends Croatia condemned the slaughter of the helpless and innocent.
Why veg? tours at full tilt!
In cooperation with FARM Sabina Fund (www.farmusa.org), we continued with the project Why veg? this month, too. This project started on October 1, World Vegetarianism Day, with information stands, an information billboard, and with handing out of leaflets and small packages of vegan food, and it continued with projections in secondary schools and colleges on November 5, November 18, December 5, December 13, and December 15. After the projections, very interesting debates about vegetarianism, factory farming, egg and milk industry, animal experimentation and fur farms took place. To remind you, the project Why veg? will last until August 2004.
Some people would say that this was one of our most attractive campaigns, whilst others would say that it was the most shocking one. Plausibly both of them are right, but what is most important to us is that it made people think.
On December 18, in front of Europa cinema in Zagreb, our activist Zeljko “slaughtered” our coordinator Luka and, in order to more easily “bleed him to death”, hung him head first on the hook attached to the iron construction holding the sign “Ban kolinje”. This show took place as a response to the statement of the spokesman of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry that this “custom” must be preserved even after Croatia joins European Union, which banned this primitive practice long time ago. Therefore, we sent a report on the situation in Croatia and a short film showing the custom of yard party called kolinje to addresses worldwide. We have also sent a word about the international campaign for banning of kolinje to Croatian political parties, NGOs, individuals and the media, as a beginning of lobbying for the new bill for Animal Welfare Act of Croatia our organization has been working on for the last 18 months. In the new bill, amongst other things, kolinje as the unhygienic and brutal way of animal slaughter – as well as the source of disease such as Trichinellosis – shall not be allowed. The whole bill could be found on our web site come the beginning of next year. We would also like to use this opportunity to thank everybody who supported us by signing the protest letter so far. Thanks to you, in only two days, we have received over 1.000 signatures.
🙂 Our correspondent Susan Cava from New York City this month took part in collecting letters of support to Albio Sires, Speaker of the NJ Assembly and Joe Roberts, Majority Leader of the NJ Assembly, who are receiving intense pressure from agribusiness to prevent the veal bill (A 1948) from coming up for a vote on the Assembly floor. This reasonable bill requires that veal calves be given enough space to turn around and a diet that does not cause anemia.
If you want to support this noble efforts, please write to Assemblyman Albio Sires (e-mail: AsmSires@njleg.org) and Assemblyman Joseph Roberts (e-mail: AsmRoberts@njleg.org).
🙂 New on our web site! On our English web site we have a new column Golden Drops of Bare Truths! Thanks to Adela Pisarevsky from New York, who made a great effort in collecting several hundreds pro-animalistic thoughts from all parts of the world, now you have a chance to see this great collection, too.
🙂 New on our web site! Did you hear about The Matrix? Of course you did! But, did you hear about its version The Meatrix? Most of you probably did, and those of you who don’t know what it is about, we ask to visit www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr/meatrix and see a short animated film about Leo and Moophius, farm animal liberation activists, stars of The Meatrix.
🙂 New on our web site! We provide news and new texts, as always. Browse through our web site and we are sure that you’ll find something new that will shock you again. Unfortunately, what you see on our web site is true, and the truth is not somewhere out there – in cyber world. It is our duty to present you the truth as it really is, cruel and ugly.
🙂 The legislation regarding animal rights in Croatia sometimes even works! A poacher from Gerova has recently been found guilty of poaching lynx and the financial penalty is cca 3.800 Euros. This is the first major penalty for poaching a protected animal species in Croatia.
🙂 For this year “the best dressed Croatian woman” continues to fill her wardrobe with the fur of dead animals and the feathers of exotic birds. She may be a singer and she may be a popular talk-show hostess, but we say, “Shame on you, Vlatka!”
🙂 Mad Cow Disease in the U.S.! The US government proclaimed that the first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was discovered in the Federal State of Washington. It takes at least 6 years for the symptoms of the Mad Cow Disease to manifest themselves, so the observers estimate that the case in question presents just a tip of the iceberg and that there will be more of them.
🙂 Did you know that a lack of vitamin B12 is very simple to handle in vegan diet? Did you know that this vitamin is not produced by animals nor plants, but by bacteria? About this and many other matters regarding the impact of vegan diet to our health, environment and animal survival, you can find out from a great book by Juliet Gellatley “The Livewire Guide to Going, Being and Staying Veggie!”.
🙂 Did you know that the count of Animal Friends Croatia’s members is nearing 1,000??? If you aren’t our member yet, hurry to join us because we have a surprise for our 1,000th member!
🙂 We are aware that many animals are bought as Christmas gifts, and we can only hope that they won’t end up in the streets next summer. If you, encouraged by the holiday spirit, want to provide for and help to unwanted and abandoned animals, please do not by animals but take those who are awaiting to meet their destiny in the city’s animal shelters and in the cold streets.
🙂 And for those who haven’t baked all the cakes yet, here is one simple recipe: Fig balls.
Ingredients: 1 kg of dried figs, 1 kg of walnuts, 1 kg of margarine, sugar, rum.
Grind dried figs and walnuts, add margarine and some rum. Make small balls, roll them in sugar, and serve.
We hope you don’t hold nothing against us by the end of this year. Indeed, the work we did in 2003 is enormous; we can take just a little break because the New Year brings us new challenges. If you are not pleased with our work, suggestions and advices, please give us your opinion and ideas so we could be better and more efficient in trying to create a world of equality for all living beings we share this planet with. If you agree with what we do, support our further actions, and, what is more important, become active! May your New Year’s resolutions, to start with, be tolerance, compassion, understanding, and helping.
Your Animal Friends