Past month was filled with all kinds of activities and can be best described with Gandhi’s words: ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’
Iams still tests on dogs?!
On November 6, during rush hour in Gajeva Street, we held a protest against Iams, producer of Iams and Eukanuba pet food (owned by Procter & Gamble), which tests its products on animals. Many activists holding banners and seven loud and happy dogs who carried www.IamsCruelty.com bandanas around their necks contributed to the attractiveness of the protest. They walked across Ban Jelacic Square and down Gajeva Street and tried to draw the attention on horrid Iams’ experiments that result in dreadful lives of dogs and cats and end with their horrible deaths. You can see it for yourself at IamsCruelty.com.
In great contrast to our own four legged friends, dogs in Iams labs spend their miserable lives captured in cold cages, with no social life, being force-fed food and vegetable oil through tubes inserted down their throats. While every responsible dog owner joyfully walks his dog, dogs in Iams’ labs are unsocialized and their daily walk is reduced to walking in circle in their tiny cages. The problem of desperate barking is solved in a way that dogs’ vocal chords are surgically cut out so that they can’t bark at all. Illnesses like ear infections or injured paws aren’t treated because, after being used in experiments, dogs are killed anyway. This campaign was organized in cooperation with PETA UK in order to stop Iams experiments on animals. After campaign against Iams held last year and despite Iams promises that they will abolish animal experiments, Iams still continues its cruel practice. We once again call for boycott of Iams and Eukanuba as an act of compassion with miserable dogs and cats. Any of them could be part of our own family.
Vlatka Pokos is a shame for Croatia!
During the campaign against Iams, Animal Friends Croatia announced its next campaign called Vlatka Pokos is a shame for Croatia!, which took place a week later, November 13, in front of the building where the pop singer and TV host lives. Fifty activists gathered despite bad weather and persistent rain. Firstly they stood under the roof and then walked across the square protesting against fur promotion by Vlatka Pokos. Chanting through a megaphone and carrying banners saying ”Smile on the face, blood in the closet”, ”Fur belongs to animals”, ”Getting status with the help of animal corpses”, and statements of Vlatka Pokos herself: ”I’m ABSOLUTELY against killing of wild animals, especially ones that die out”, ”When it comes to something so ABSTRACT, like the production of a fur coat is for me, than you DON’T THINK about it.”, ”I STRONGLY love animals.” and ”Won’t you ask me what it’s made of?”, activists attracted great attention of citizens and media to the extreme cruelty and unnecessary hunting, breeding and killing of animals for their fur. Wearing and promoting fur clothes nowadays is shameful.
Besides Green Action and Association for wild animals protection – AWAP, this campaign was supported by many citizens who condemned killing of animals for fur, as well as killing of endangered animal species (in this case endangered bird marabou and leopard, that is, lynx) and promotion of clothes that consists of suffering and death of animals and ecological damages.
We are sorry that Vlatka didn’t follow the example of pop singer Jasmin Stavros who, after being publicly condemned, apologized for wearing wolf fur coat, and even financially supported programs for protection of wolves in Croatia. Nevertheless, Vlatka showed no shame – furthermore, she wants to drag attention off her two coats made of endangered animals and off her aggressive promotion of fur, and she presents herself as a victim and even threats with pressing charges against Animal Friends Croatia, state and media. Public condemnation and right to protest against unethical acts and behavior is a part of the development of the civil society, so in the 21st century we can’t think of fur as a fashion item without relating it to our treatment of animals. That’s why it’s important to publicly condemn those who wear fur and therefore promote and justify torture and slaughter of animals for shallow reason of showing so called fashion sense and ‘beauty’. Everyone who wears fur wears cruelty to his own shame, but when a celebrity promotes fur and wears fur of endangered animals, what is condemned in the rest of the world, brings shame to the entire society.
We hope that Vlatka will no more promote animal fur, and that in the future when people talk about fur they’ll also talk about the animal to which it belongs. This public appeal for animal protection raised great interest in Croatia and showed that animal rights issues aren’t on the margins any more, even in Croatia.
Protests against Gärtner circus continue
After Krizevci, Dugo Selo and Sisak, protests against the circus with performing animals repeated in Velika Gorica and Samobor. We weren’t stopped by usual insults of circus workers and cold weather. When we were freezing, we thought about the animals set near by that weren’t used to such cold climate. Just a look at camels that were lying down on cold ground or a buffalo that went insane from captivity and ‘circus’ life, we got even more motivated to protest. Circuses with performing animals are banned in Austria, but Gärtner tries to deceive people of Croatia and sell expensive tickets in exchange for animal abuse. Besides involvement with homicide, circus Gärtner took part in a scandal over elephants from National Park Brijuni, when Anton Gärtner was convicted and financially punished for torturing and injuring an elephant. There’s no circus where animals do not constantly suffer, but it’s even much worse when it comes to Gärtner which brings along forty animal species. That’s why it is very important that we constantly protest and educate the public. Our goal is the legislative ban on circuses with performing animals in Croatia.
Eurogroup meeting in Bruxelles
For the second year in a row Animal Friends Croatia was guest to the Annual Meeting of Eurogroup for Animal Welfare (www.eurogroupanimalwelfare.org), which will mark its 25th anniversary next year. Our activist Nina Coric attended the meeting, which was held in Bruxelles, 19-20 November 2004. Subjects on the meeting were issues of vivisection, farm industry, transportation of animals, broiler chickens, alternatives in the international statute and plans for year 2005 related to legislative changes and problems regarding animal welfare. New European International Statute, accepted on 18 June 2004, will come into force on 1 November 2006, has an article on animal welfare according to which animals are sentient beings (until now they were classified as goods or products). One of the articles regards signing of petitions which allows people to put pressure on government in any country of the EU. When petition reaches 1 million signatures of people from all countries of the EU, European Commission is obliged to suggest change of the law.
Out of great lectures on alternative methods, we want to highlight the Seventh amendment which says that all testing of ingredients and final products (cosmetics and cleansers) on animals must end as soon as possible (until 2009) and be replaced with more humane methods. Concerning animal testing for scientific purposes, future doesn’t seem so bright. But, it’s a fact that stopping of all animal testing and new in-vitro methods are our future and we must fight for it.
Towards ban of kolinje
News on cases of Trichinellosis this year again announced a season of blood soaked backyards. Brutal slaughter of over one million pigs annually in Croatia, known as kolinje, was the theme of a photo gallery set on a two-meter panel in front of Dubrovnik Hotel last Saturday in November. Apart from the photo gallery, shocked passers-by could see video footage of kolinje on our info stand. This video took the smile off the faces to some who grinned. The photo gallery and video are available at our web pages.
With the campaign for the ban of kolinje we pointed out the problem of slaughter of animals in households where animals are killed with no control, in the most brutal ways, and without minimal hygienic conditions. Despite the fact there’s no such thing as humane way of slaughtering, we fight for, as we put it in the Animal Welfare Bill, legislative regulation of the act of slaughter in order to control it and decrease suffering of animals. Primitive custom of bloody backyards and Trichinellosis called kolinje must be banned, as it is for a very long time in all countries of the EU.
We also want to point out that custom of kolinje across Croatia is followed with celebrations and happiness, and we believe that torture and slaughter of sentient beings shouldn’t be an occasion for celebration, eating and drinking binge, and that people of Croatia should strive for ethical growth of our entire society.
Animals sold at markets
Along with actions presented in the public, Animal Friends Croatia also quietly work for the animals. Three months ago, on market Tresnjevka in Zagreb, our activist spotted salesmen selling animals and kept them in inappropriate and unhygienic conditions. Exotic birds, aquarium fish, bunnies, hamsters, mice and other animals were stuffed into tiny cages and fish tanks, exposed to direct sunlight, and one tiny puppy lied in a bird cage in his own waste. On the same day we reported the salesmen to veterinary inspection, called for immediate ban of such trade of animals and for imposing of appropriate sanctions. Veterinary inspection inspected the scene and confirmed our complaints. It also stated that it isn’t allowed to sell any animals on that market. Then we send reports to communal and trade inspection which imposed financial fines on the salesmen and forbid them to sell on that market in the future.
We reported this case to economic inspection in order to completely ban sale of animals at the market which lasted for decades. We also asked for inspection of other market places in Zagreb. People who sell animals never provide adequate care to them, they disregard animal welfare, their lives and health, because their only interest in money.
News and announcements
🙂 On November 16, Animal Friends Croatia held a lecture in club Mama on the topic of clothing materials made of animals – fur, leather, wool, silk and feathers. We also showed Stella McCartney’s video on animal suffering in fur industry.
🙂 Robert Franciszty held another performance, ‘On justice or black and white world/list’, in theatre Mocvara in Zagreb, November 27. It was a part of the promotion of the Croatian edition of the book Performance: From Futurism Until Today by RoseLee Goldberg. Theme of his performance was radical animalism.
🙂 On Sunday, 5 December 2004, in the facilities of ensemble Lado in Zagreb dancing performances Orangecut and Private in vitro took place. All the money from sold tickets was donated to Animal Friends Croatia. We’ll use this donation for the campaign against slaughter of animals for their fur.
🙂 On Wednesday, 8 December 2004, Animal Friends Croatia will be guest in the City Library in Zagreb. There will also be a presentation of a book Look for Me Under the Rainbow by Bernard Jan.
🙂 Our branch in Varazdin continues to hold lectures in schools. In Medical School in Varazdin they held a lecture on a subject of endangerment and protection of animals, along with a workshop and projection of a film ‘1994’. Our recently found branch in Krizevci held its first info stand where people could sign a petition for the ban of breeding animals for their fur.
🙂 On Wednesday, December 8, again in multimedia club Mama a lecture Slaughter and Murder, Holidays and Compassion will take place. Do oncoming holidays really celebrate life? We’ll show absurdity and hypocrisy when we say one thing and do the opposite, and discuss about evolution of terms such as ‘compassion’ and ‘respecting life’.
🙂 A new protest against circus Gärtner will take place on Thursday, 9 December 2004, in front of the circus in Karlovac.
🙂 Number of Animal Friends Croatia’s members approaches the number 1,500. If you still haven’t joined us, hurry up, because we have a surprise for our 1,500th member!
🙂 New dolphin drive hunts have taken place in Futo, Japan in November 2004. Marine mammal protection organizations world wide condemn these hunts, but Japan is one of very few countries in the world where dolphin hunting still is legal. Please help to stop the hunts and support the dolphin watch tourism industry in Japan. You can help with only one e-mail, every voice can make a difference. Find out more details and see pictures from the recent events at: http://www.gjallarhorn.com/dolphin.
🙂 Canadian Voice For Animals in conjunction with ZAP (www.okinawazap.com)started up a campaign to secure a release of Kei the female wolf that has been captive the Okinawa Zoo for 16 years. The goal of this campaign is to release her and send her to Mission Wolf (www.missionwolf.com), a wonderful retirement sanctuary for wolves in the state of Colorado, USA. You can contribute to her liberation and sign a petition at: www.petitiononline.com/Earle2/petition.html. For more information please visit the especially created pages for Kei www.canadianvoiceforanimals.org/Free_Kei.html.
At the end, as always, we ask you to think about all animals and let compassion guide you through oncoming holidays. We hope you’ll like a simple recipe for delicious sarma.
Sarma with bean and lentil
Ingredients: head of sour cabbage, rice, bean, lentil, minced soy, onion, garlic and spices.
Preparing: Cook minced soy in salted water, drain, stir fry with chopped onion and garlic. Boil bean and lentil. Mix up rice with all other ingredients, add pepper, paprika and salt to taste. Fold the mixture in leaves of sour cabbage and put in pot. When you have put it all in the pot, add water spiced with soy sauce, pepper, paprika and some cut sour cabbage. When sarrna is cooked, serve hot with soy cream or with mashed potatoes.
Until next AnimaList in new year, we send you warm regards.
Your Animal Friends (Croatia) 🙂