AnimaList No. 2

At the beginning of the second issue of AnimaList, we are going to tell you a story about a wise man from an ancient city in the far East. After decades of learning ancient wisdom, the old man decided to pass his knowledge on the ordinary people of his town. So, he came to a conclusion that it would be best to sit on the street and tell everyone what they would like to know. People were coming and going, some of them asking questions, some of them listening, and the wise man replied to each of their questions. Then one rude man came and started yelling at the wise man, what could an old man teach him about wisdom. The old man looked at him and shouted: “Watch out: a house!” The man stopped suddenly in his tracks and carefully looked around. Seeing no house in front of him, he asked the wise man why had he tricked him. The wise man replied: “Each day, for the whole of your life, you are walking these streets and still you do not know what is around you. Then why do you think you know everything about what you see for the first time?”

We have to be honest and admit that this story was made up just for this newsletter because it perfectly reflects our society today. Most of the people have no idea about people who are closest to them and the things that surround them, but they always know everything about what they see for the first time. Thus, we are often criticized by those who didn’t spend two minutes of their life researching and asking questions about our work. Nonetheless, they have boldness to insist on what they do (not) know and doubt us. But it is especially sad when journalists do that, because it is their responsibility toward the public what kind of information they will present to them.

We hope that you will like the new issue of our electronic messenger, because we prepared for you quite a few interesting issues. We apologize to everyone for the length of this newsletter, but there were too many interesting things that we could not cut out and not inform you about.


Circus yes, animal acts no!

In the last issue of AnimaList, we were writing about the Dalmatian tour of Embell Riva circus. After Split and Zadar, where our branches protested in front of it, the circus continued its continental part of the tour. As an ‘overture’ to Zagreb, our branch office in Sisak welcomed it with the protest in Fulina graba, thus making their a-couple-of-days-long stay in Sisak more pleasant and exciting.

Prior to their coming to Zagreb, Animal Friends organized a video projection of “The Ugliest Show On Earth”, documentary about the heinous torturing of animals in circuses. The Croatian media phenomenally covered the whole event, and anti-circus atmosphere was created in Zagreb. Upon their final arrival to Zagreb, the group of thirty-odd activists greeted them in front of the circus entrance protesting and dissuading visitors from buying the ticket. Again we received great support of the media and public, but it also came to light that in one big daily newspaper – such as Zagreb’s Jutarnji list – work journalists who could write a positive article about the circus just to get two or three free tickets for a circus show.

At the same time, while protests were taking place, the petition against circuses with animal acts was being signed in Zagreb. Thousands of signatures were collected, which speaks enough for itself what Zagreb and Croatian public think. Not too many visitors attended the shows, and this is probably the reason why circus Embell Riva cut their visit to Croatia short and headed for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia in spite of their original plan to stay in Croatia a bit longer. However, it is a sad fact that there were any visitors at all. In spite of the great support we received, some people still do not understand that animals’ suffering is not entertaining. One of them is also Mr. Ivica Pancic, Minister of Croatian defenders, who is buying his votes by taking the children who were left without their parents during war to the circus. His intentions might be good, but he could have offered these children some other kind of entertainment instead of taking them to watch animals’ misery. We still haven’t got the reply from the Ministry to our demand that Minister Pancic should explain why he is supporting the violence on animals.


Big support of the public

Incredible is the support we have received from a big part of our public. People were stopping us in the streets and telling us about the scenes of the torturing of animals’ they watched on TV and read about in the newspapers, they joined us in our protests, and sounded their horns in support when seeing us protesting in front of the circus. Especially we would like to thank a lady and a sir who brought vegan ice-creams to all activists who were protesting in front of the parking lot of the Zagreb Fair, which was really a touching gesture.


Petition for banning of circuses handed to mayoress of Zagreb

Due to the tremendous support of our fellow-townsmen, we decided to contact the city authorities and tell them that Zagreb should also join the list of cities which banned circuses with animals acts already a long time ago. They include cities like Venice and Vienna, while some of the countries in Europe which do not allow circuses with animal acts are Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Israel, great part of Greece and over fifty percent of city councils in the U.K. Of course, in other parts of the world more and more cities are banning circuses with animal acts.

In order we would be heard ‘better’, we have organized a peaceful protest in front of the City Hall of Zagreb, where we requested to be accepted in the office of Mayoress. In the name of Mrs. Pavic, we were accepted by the head of the office for agriculture and forestry whom we petitioned and to whom we handed the shots of torturing of the animals in circuses together with the examples of numerous cities worldwide we adduce. All in all, we are still waiting for their reply, but in spite of that we are positively ‘pumped up’.

Though we have already organized protests in other towns they were supposed to stage a show in, after leaving Zagreb they decided to leave Croatia. We are pretty much surprised by that decision, but we are not hiding our joy, for that means their shows after all were not visited enough to give them the reason to stay here. We have notified our colleagues in Serbia about their coming, so we hope that protests, petitions and demands for their banning are waiting for them there as well. We hope that it was ‘goodbye’ to them and that their acts would be banned here in the future.


An egg a day, suffering for a hen!

How to draw attention of the public to the inhumane treatment of hens in the egg industry? Very simple – lock yourself in a cage for one day! In a one-by-one meter cage, to make things worse. Three of our brave activists locked themselves in a ‘battery’ cage for one whole day on the Starcevic Square in the center of Zagreb. “It was tough, the wire got into every inch of our skin. After thirty minutes being locked in the cage our limbs went to sleep, and after two hours we wanted to ‘peck’ each other out of frustration,” the activists were sincere. Reactions of the passers-by were as we expected them to be: from rather stupid sniggering of those who were not capable to comprehend what we were trying to achieve by locking ourselves in a cage, very uninventive remarks of some ‘jokers’, to the true support of others and their enthusiasm. One way or the other, our mission was completed – we have exposed the truth! No more idyllic farms where happy hens peck the grass and wander freely all day. Millions of eggs on our market come from farms where hens are packed in small battery cages, where they are debeaked with a hot iron and manipulated with through use of artificial light, where their lives are nothing else but suffering.

Weeks after this action people were talking about ‘those who locked themselves in a cage because of the raising of hens’. All TV stations and newspapers reported about it, which speaks enough about the seriousness of this issue. Although, according to the data about the number of eggs and hens that are eaten, it may seem this action had no effect, we like to believe that this is not the case. We have spread the word and, just like in the story from the beginning of this newsletter, we expect that there will be individuals who will see our point after giving it some thought. To some it will take a year for that, to some maybe less, but the fact is that after the April 12, the day we locked ourselves in the cage, people are thinking more about it.


From Guinea Pig to ComputerMouse

On April 23, 2003, on the eve of the International laboratory animals’ protection day, in the net culture club Mama, the promotion of the second edition of the book ‘From Guinea Pig to ComputerMouse’ by Nick Jukes and Minhe Chiu was held. The book was published by an international organization InterNICHE, which promotes humane education – the concept of teaching and learning which avoids killing and hurting animals and encourages critical thinking. Instead of practice on animals, InterNICHE offers a whole range of alternatives – humane aids and humane approaches. Aids are video recordings, models and stimulators, multimedia computer simulations, etc. Approaches consist of learning on real animals by using ethically obtained carcasses (animals that died by the cause of natural death, for instance somebody’s pet) or clinical work with animal patients.

The book is useful and extremely valuable because in one place it tells us about everything necessary that we need to know, decide, and then, eventually, to start the introduction of the alternative methods. Aside from theoretical pieces about the issue of humane education we can find in other literature, this book provides us with the original works of professors who were amongst the first to introduce alternative methods to their boards (in which they describe their own experiences), the catalogue with over 500 alternative products (with the detailed description, use, the name of the producer, and the price), and a wide list of Internet web sites, organizations, literature, and other resources where the information about humane education and alternative methods can be obtained.

All of you who are interested to get a copy of the book or want to learn more about humane education and the work of InterNICHE, please visit their web site www.interniche.org/book.html.


We understand nature! Cows are not dairy machines!

Probably most of you had the opportunity to see the queen of all silly campaigns – Lura’s campaign in which they claim that they understand nature. (Lura is the biggest producer of milk and milk products in Croatia.) People who lock cows in factories, thus turning them into biological machines, who impregnate them artificially, kill their calves and force them to give ten times more milk than they would give normally, tried to convince us that THEY understand nature. This is not only silly, but also insulting a statement. Those cows suffer beyond comprehension, their children they are supposed to feed with their milk are separated from their mothers only after a couple of days so as to be turned into veal calves, whilst their milk is stolen from them and given to human adults and their children. Yes, this is indeed natural.

‘Natural’ is also that man is the only mammal who drinks milk of other species and who drinks it as an adult, and not the milk of his own species but he steals it from a calf. Cow’s milk is food for a calf, as woman’s milk is food for babies. The calf has a different bone structure and the milk he receives from his mother is not suitable for humans. Is that so hard to understand?! Is that so hard to grasp that there are big campaigns about ‘the understanding of nature’ in order to make people drink what was not intended for them?

But we were triggered most of all in these adds by the untrue takes and pictures of cows on big green pastures or sunny, spacey stables, especially since we know about the horrors of milk industry. Cows are crammed one next to another, with their udders attached to the machines sucking their milk, and they never see their calves except maybe on a meat market where beef can be found next to veal.

The conditions in which dairy cows spend their lives are terrible and it is obvious, while the dairy industry doesn’t want to show them. The only reason why they are telling us lies is because if people found out the real truth, they would probably be left without a job. More about ‘We Understand Nature’ campaign please find out at www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr.


Debate at Liberal Arts College

The students’ club of Liberal Arts College in Zagreb organized a debate about animal rights and also invited as a guest one of our representatives. The great attendance of over 50 and a spirited discussion showed us that there is a big interest for animal rights at this college. Unfortunately, this time again it was difficult not to be confronted by the usual arguments that ‘plants are also alive’ and that ‘lions (and even hens!) are eating people’, so at some points, the whole debate looked rather as a kids’ playground then a college. Nonetheless, it was an interesting experience. We are hoping for debates at other colleges as well, and we thank the team from LAC for inviting us and for organizing a debate about this issue.


The City of Zagreb pleasantly surprised us with the decision about pigeon sterilization

Doesn’t it sound shockingly to you that every resident in Zagreb has his pigeon, that is, there are 800,000 pigeons in Zagreb which equals the number of its residents? The problem lies in the fact that half of that number is infected with various diseases that can be carried onto humans. Precisely from that reason, the city government reached the decision that this number must be decreased. In other words, they are going to start with chemical sterilization of the pigeons. That way, they wouldn’t kill the birds but instead would stop their further reproduction and increasing of the population. Since 400,000 infected pigeons is really too much, it is logical that city government had to introduce some measures. And laudable is that they didn’t opt to hunt and kill them. As media asked for our opinion as well, once again we have to stress out that we are against all violent dealings with animal issues and we support this decision in hope that this good example of Zagreb will follow other cities that are brutally exterminating their animals.


Animal Friends kicked one hunter’s ass

Lately, Animal Friends Croatia is in media pretty exposed organization and we are often invited to various shows. One of them is also a television show in which we were about to ‘confront’ with the member of Hunter’s Association. Since the organizers asked us to bring our people for an audience, it turned out that the ratio was everyone in the studio (the host included) against one single hunter who, besides, had a communication problem so he fidgeted, avoided to answer the questions and attacked all the time. After a serious of nonsense that poured out of his mouth, we started to ask him even more questions and the atmosphere soon reached its climax. Instead of admitting his mistakes, he continued talking through his hat and provoked everyone in studio. Because of that and partly because of later cutting out, some of our young hearts turned out to be a bit too aggressive. But who could react differently on that that ‘kill’ (in other words, animals on the hit list) IS NOT killing and that people would become extinct should they become vegetarians. The special gem was that ‘techno parties’ is bigger violence on animals than shooting from the rifles! In spite of everything, this show was a complete argumentative defeat of the hunter and we are looking forward to the next opportunity to meet someone from the bloodthirsty lobby. Seems they are not too capable of ‘winning’ when left without their guns and out of the ambush. Regarding the show itself, it could be better without questions about sexual abuse of animals and the performance in which one ‘animal protector’ is buggering a cow. That aside, we are pretty much satisfied with it and we thank everyone for giving us this opportunity to promote the animal rights.


Promotion of vegetarianism in Rijeka

As a proof of activity of some of our branches, this time we have a report from Rijeka. In Spirit club were held movie projections about vegetarianism, printed materials were distributed on the streets and there was also a vegetarian food tasting both in the club and on the streets. On that occasion, residents of Rijeka had the opportunity to assure themselves of the rightness of the vegetarian way of life. Tasty recipes showed them that there is no need to make sacrifices while being a vegetarian and that being a vegetarian is rather an exploration of completely new dimensions of cooking and eating.


Actions and stands throughout Croatia

Rijeka is not the only example. Every day, our other branches are also active: from Dubrovnik to Pula on the Adriatic Coast, and from Osijek to Varazdin in the continental part of the country. Please, join our efforts no matter where you are. Help the animals with your contribution. And remember – animals cannot fight for themselves, but you can be their voice.

There are many ways one can help animals. From participating in actions and organizing them by yourself, to helping at street stands where you will be organizing petitions and providing passers-by with leaflets and information. You can also contact and correspond with the media, write texts, according to your fields of interests and areas which you are best at. Someone is good in fund raising, while others are good in working with people. And animals need EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US!

If you want to contribute to our work, you can help us with a donation. And believe us, even 10 kunas (1,5 $) means a lot to us. But money isn’t always what we need most; we also need other things such as paper, paint, sprays, linen, your knowledge, skills and everything there is in the world.


Our office, web, and the rest

You ought to now that also to us it is not so interesting to repeat that plenty of information can be found on our web site, but just the same we are doing this. We have English news on-line now, and the site is regularly updating with new texts and information, while on Croatian web site we have a new prize question. Since the beginning of its work, the number of visits on our web site has mounted to over 100,000. We are very proud of that, and only last month we had more than 15,000 visits. To make a long story short, why don’t you visit our web sites and see for yourself?


To everyone who gives a home to a dog – a package of Vegetarian Mix dog food

On our Croatian web site an action of rewarding everyone who adopts a dog from our Classified is under way. The reward is a package of vegetarian food for dogs Vegetarian Mix.


Click on the link – and help the animals!

The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of getting free food donated every day to abused and neglected animals. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on “feed an animal in need” for free. This doesn’t cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising. Here’s the web site! Pass it along to people you know: www.theanimalrescuesite.com, and if you want to feed the primates, please visit: primates.care2.com/welcome?w=994262401.


Here is the joke as well:

A fly says to a fly: “Look how these people are stupid! They are building houses with walls and ceilings, and then they are walking only on the floor!”


Final thoughts…

That would be all for this issue. We hope we weren’t too boring and that we managed to animate you on some thinking and activism. Every one of us can be an activist, depending on how much time and effort one is ready and willing to dedicate to helping the animals. We are here to help you out, to instruct you on how to become active and start helping animals. The rest is up to you!

So, we are at the very end of the second issue of AnimaList. We thank all the collaborators and media who publish AnimaList as a whole or just some of its excerpts. @nimalistic greetings!