Finally, the summer issue of our newsletter is here! Again we will begin with a short story about a man who wrote a letter to a small hotel in a small town in the Middle West of the States he decided to visit on his journey. He wrote that he would like to bring his well-behaved dog along and he kindly asked if his dog could stay with him in the room overnight. The hotel owner answered him immediately that he ran this hotel for many years already and that no dog stole any towel, sheets, silver or a painting from the wall so far. Never he had to throw a “drunk” dog in the middle of the night out and never did a dog run away without paying his bill. “Therefore”, he said to the man, “your dog is most welcome here. And if he can guarantee for you, you are also welcome.”
It would be nice if tourist workers in Croatia would read this story. Then it wouldn’t be impossible to find a nice vacation spot where one could bring his dog along. The same goes for those who forbid dogs in Zagreb’s parks like this is the case with Zagreb’s biggest park Maksimir. Namely, in Maksimir there is almost no bench or the street lamp that isn’t damaged, or a square meter without trash or graffiti on it. In spite of that, people who are responsible for such image of Maksimir are allowed to enter the park whilst dogs are banished from it. Recently, in one district of Zagreb there was a case of older women signing a petition against dogs in a local park because “it was the park for their grandchildren”. As an organization, we support the idea of clean parks and we always insist that the owners should clean after their dogs so that frustrated citizens wouldn’t have one more reason to hate animals. But we cannot close our eyes in front of the fact that this park – for which the petition was signed – was devastated by these same kids who played there field hockey, who used its waste baskets for their hockey-sticks, and covered it with all kinds of junk. Also, none of those “ladies” carries an ashtray while taking her grandkids out, so the park is literally dotted with cigarette butts. Certainly, dogs didn’t bring all those beer and wine bottles in the park too and they certainly didn’t ruin the benches. Therefore, it seems that dogs’ waste and dogs in general are the smallest problem in the whole story.
Lettuce Ladies® in Croatia !
On July 22, we have finished our Lettuce Ladies® campaign organized together with the world biggest animal rights organization PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which has almost 800,000 members worldwide.
Wearing nothing but strategically placed lettuce leaves and holding a poster that reads, “Go Vegetarian”, PETA’s sexy blonde Lettuce Lady® Lisa Franzetta and a local leafy lovelie Petra from AFC passed out free samples of delicious healthy vegan fare from July 19 to July 22 to Zagreb’s, Karlovac’s, Krk’s, Rijeka’s, Opatija’s and Varazdin’s hungry lunchtime and dinnertime crowd, marking the Lettuce Ladies’® (www.LettuceLadies.com) first-ever trip to Croatia and promoting vegetarianism as the most compassionate, environmentally sustainable and healthy diet.
Lisa, who paints her nude body like a tiger to spotlight animal suffering in the circus and bares her “leopard” spots to protest fur has been the center of media attention in Croatia! Thanks to her, this campaign was a blast: ten TV crews, numerous radio stations, newspapers (both national and local), magazines and web sites covered Lettuce Ladies® Croatian demo tour. Thousands of leaflets Think Before You Eat were handed out, and seitan, tofu, soya medallions, and sandwiches with barbecued soya were a hit amongst Croatians these four days.
Indeed, it was a real success: seven demos in four days! Luckily, we managed to take some rest on Croatian beaches as well as on Lake Jarun in Zagreb and the river Kupa. We also have to give credits to our excellently organized branches in Karlovac, Rijeka and Varazdin who helped us out enormously. And thank you Lisa and PETA for giving us the opportunity to work with you. We are all looking forward to seeing you again!
The largest massacre of wild land animals the world has ever known !
Right now, the largest massacre of wild animals is taking place in Australia, where over 6 millions of kangaroos are being killed. Kangaroos are considered pests, and in order to “protect” crops, Australian government has allowed the killing of over 6 millions of these beautiful animals – a symbol of Australia. Though a four-year study by Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organization found that kangaroos never visited 95 per cent of wheat crops, farmers and Australian government still refer to kangaroos as pests. Commercial killing of kangaroos for meat continues in spite of boycott of Australians, and their meat and leather is therefore exported to other countries. Adidas is just one example of big companies that use kangaroo leather, so we are using this opportunity to ask you to boycott Adidas and rather buy products of non-animal, that is, animal friendly materials.
Our coordinator, Sime, a returnee from Australia, organized the most stylish campaign in cooperation with British organization Viva! (Vegetarian International Voice for Animals) which has launched an international campaign against the killing of kangaroos. This campaign isn’t over yet, so you will have an opportunity to hear about its progress in the future as well. The first action took place in Zagreb and our protest march started in front of Dubrovnik Hotel in the center of the city and ended up in front of Australian Embassy in Kaptol Center where our request for stopping the kangaroo massacre was handed to their consul.
Those who are interested to take part in stopping the kangaroo massacre can write to AFC and obtain leaflets and postcards both in Croatian and in English in order to send them to Australian government with the demand of ending the biggest massacre of wild animals in the world.
The seaside for the family, the street for the dog?! – part II
It seems this story will have many sequels. Every year is the same thing: families are escaping to the sea while dogs are left to the streets. The cities are full of strays, many dogs get hurt in traffic, the others starve to death, or die from the heat, fatigue or from the hand of the sick members of human society.
This year also, Animal Friends Croatia, in collaboration with the City Department of Agriculture, organized a campaign against pets’ abandonment prior to going away on holiday. The goal of this campaign is to advise and to appeal to pet owners to think twice before they reach after drastic solutions and abandon their four-legged friends. Many calls we receive assure us that we are doing the right thing and that it is a necessity to educate people where to seek for help and how to get information and guidelines about what to do with their pet during holiday season.
Unfortunately, many abandoned, forgotten and lost dogs still wander the streets. Precisely from that reason, we will continue our campaign also in the months to come, especially during the winter when people tend to buy puppies for their children just to replace them with “other toys” six months later.
We are also asking our fellow-citizens to adopt as many strays as possible and to provide bowls with fresh water to animals because of the tropical heat.
AFC supports Ally Cat Allies National Feral Cat Day
Since the problem of stray dogs is not the isolated problem, we would like to point out the problem of feral cats as well and support Ally Cat Allies and their National Feral Cat Day (NFCD).
Alley Cat Allies established National Feral Cat Day to provide one special day each year on which thousands of compassionate, motivated people can rally support for nonlethal Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), the only effective way to reduce the numbers of feral cats.
The Third National Feral Cat Day will be celebrated on Thursday, October 16, 2003. The goal of NFCD can be summed up in one word: education. The only way to make TNR the preferred method of feral cat population control everywhere is to educate the people who develop and administer policies that affect the lives (and deaths) of feral cats. These people are animal control officers, environmental managers, veterinary professionals, health department officials, police, government officials, and the ordinary residents of every community.
To reach this end, Alley Cat Allies distributes NFCD Action Packs free to all groups and individuals who want to stage NFCD events. Action Packs are filled with information to help you conduct events of many types, from food drives to spay days. NFCD Action Packs also offer important tips on how to get vital publicity for your efforts.
Alley Cat Allies has also developed an array of National Feral Cat Day space ads promoting the mission of NFCD. To view the ads, go to www.alleycat.org. To request an ad file, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ads are available in PDF format.
Please join with ACA this year to spread the message of nonlethal population control. Every mind we change, every community we help to implement TNR, is a victory for feral cats and animals everywhere.
AnimaList and Zagreb Society for Animal Protection are finding a home for strays !
AFC and Zagreb Society decided to introduce to you several dogs that badly need a home. We urge AnimaList readers to give them their love and accept them as a member of their families. Look for their photos at www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr. All of you who have already adopted a stray probably knew how much love a stray could give you, how big is its devotion and gratitude.
A Murder in Karlovac !
On June 19, a sickening murder of a dog happened in Karlovac. A shocking letter about the whole event arrived on our address and we would like to introduce you a shortened version of it:
“Somewhere between 9 and 9:40 am, I was taking the usual walk with my pet Dart, a two-year old American Stafford terrier in the woods in Karlovac. When we passed by a hunting cottage we met a man in civilian clothes carrying a shotgun on his shoulder, accompanied by two minor girls, that, I assumed, were his daughters. I put Dart on a leash and when I reached the man, he said that I wasn’t allowed to go to the woods with a dog because the area was a hunting district. I answered him that the reason we weren’t allowed there was because the dog would get killed like all the other innocent animals. When we went our separate ways, I let Dart off the leash and turned back and the person had already had a shotgun pointed at my dog, that was standing approximately 1 meter ahead of me, and shot him. First bullet hit Dart in his back legs which made him fall on the ground whimpering, and right after that, another bullet hit him in the head, and the person said, “There you have your innocent animal.” At that point, the children were starting to cry and ran away, and he went after them. I was trying to carry the dog on my hands, assuming that I might be able to save him, but, a few moments later, I was falling down with no more strength, and in pain. I was screaming, crying and after a while, a man came and lends me his cell-phone so that I could call my dad and brother. The man helped me pick up Dart once again, but I could no longer carry him. I was sitting on the path by my dog that then died. The pain I was going through at the moment was so strong that I felt as if my heart would break into pieces.
“The man went to my family to bring them to me and after that two game-keepers were coming, drawn by my screaming. They said that they hadn’t heard any shooting, which proved that the perpetrator was carrying a small-bore rifle that’s used for poaching because it’s very silent. After that my brother and dad were coming, and my brother ran away hoping to find the perpetrator. One of the game-keepers went to get a shovel and they send me to go wash myself because I had blood all over me. They buried my dog. When I came home, I called the police and told them the whole story, and even the witness came to confirm what he had seen. The police officer told me that the case was very serious because my life was put at risk, but now the real drama starts. All information on the perpetrator are known: his name is Dubravko Halovanic, he is a hunter, owns a rifle, and has kids the age of those I saw (one six-years-old and the other twelve) and he is a retired cardinal brigadier in Karlovac. He gave a statement to the police saying that he had killed the dog because he thought the dog would attack him, which was far from the truth. After my friend’s mum made a fuss, I was called up by the police and they asked me if I wanted to press charges against the perpetrator. My answer was – absolutely. The person who committed this crime has a lot of influence in Karlovac, is protected by law and nobody can do anything about it, but it is only a question of time when he will repeat a similar action or, God forbid, kill a human being just because of look askance. I am still shocked and have to take sedatives so that I could sleep.
“A lawyer I turned to for help has refused to take the case after hearing who the person I was pressing charges against was. Allegedly, the perpetrator has a cousin in the state attorney in The Court of Karlovac, so, most probably, the whole case will be dismissed, and the offender will continue to walk around freely and shoot whoever he feels like shooting. All I know is that if he had missed Dart, he would’ve shot me, which, at the moment, I would prefer more than having him killed. One more thing: when I went to the police station the second time and asked if the person was found and if anything was solved, I got a negative answer, which was a lie. Apparently, the policeman who wanted to solve everything in a legal way was threatened with a notice of dismissal from his job.”
Renata Potlacek, Karlovac
Animal Friends Croatia and Renata are seeking justice. We demand a punishment for the perpetrator of this crime. The world public will be informed about this case in order to see what the attitude towards animals in our country is like, how the victims are threatened, how the perpetrators of the crimes end up, and how they, due to their influence and power in the community, tend to elude punishment.
Animal Friends have decided to plead for this case and present it to the public through the media, as well as to take all actions necessary to investigate the case and punish the perpetrator of the crime adequately, regardless of their reputation and power. We have already contacted the state attorney so that this case wouldn’t end up forgotten.
AFC joined an international campaign “A Moment In Time”
Seems that these months are the months of AFC international activity. Apart from PETA visiting Croatia and our support to NFCD, AFC joins one other international campaign.
On August 4th, 2003, the Canadian Voice For Animals, in collaboration with Welfare for Animals in Greece (WAG-New York, a Lobby Group) has dedicated a specific day for the citizens of the world to devote a “Moment In Time” in contemplation, reflection and prayer for the homeless, the lost, the helpless, the suffering, the hungry and frightened … the abandoned and forgotten animals of this globe we call Earth. People throughout the world joined hearts, minds and energy with CVFA and WAG at 8:00 PM-Greenwich Mean Time for a moment of contemplation and prayer for those innocent souls with whom we share this planet. This milestone event will occur on August 4th of each and every year.
If you wish to learn more about this monumental effort, please contact CVFA at: email@example.com or visit the web site http://www.canadianvoiceforanimals.org/MomentInTime.html.
In Croatia alone, six cities where Animal Friends have their chapters joined this event with lit up candles and photos of abused animals. In the beautiful summer evening, at 9:00 PM, Zagreb, Rijeka, Osijek, Karlovac, Split and Koprivnica remembered their animals.
AnimaList correspondent Susan Cava writes about the state of the animals in the US !
If you think that we are done with the international news, you are wrong! For the first time, our New York City correspondent Susan Cava writes for AnimaList, so let’s see what she has to say!
The State of Animals in the U.S.A.
In America, we are woefully behind our European comrades in getting veal crates and sow gestation crates banned, but animal activists have not given up. The state of New Jersey could be the first state to ban barbaric veal crates and sow gestation crates (in 2002 Florida became the first state to legally prohibit sow gestation crates).
Neither crate allows for any movement from the said calves and pigs, it is a life of misery ending only with slaughter. This practice is a direct contradiction to the NJ Department of Health statement “Protecting the health and well-being of New Jersey’s livestock is a concern to all compassionate individuals who want to ensure farm animals are humanely treated.” Sadly, New Jersey’s farming standards are the result of pressure from large factory farms that compose the new face of “Agri-business.”
If you would like to encourage New Jersey to act on their promise to employ humane standards, please visit www.NJFarms.org or email Dr. Nancy Halpern at firstname.lastname@example.org to politely but passionately encourage her to practice humane farming by ridding NJ of veal and sow gestation crates.
Thank you from your friends in the U.S.A.
Flash news !!!
🙂 We can proudly announce that we have finally new leaflets in full color! It took us ages to make them, but it was worth it! We are so pleased with them that we cannot stop admiring them (we hope that our little vanity will be forgiven).
🙂 Also, we are working on a catalogue of our T-shirts and we truly hope that in the next millenium you will be able to see it on-line as well!
🙂 The first @nimal portal was published in the last issue of Zarez magazine. Its main purpose is to cover the animal rights issues and happenings related to them. We are especially glad that Zarez decided to give us some space, for it is one of the better magazines in Croatia, always open to new ideas and collaboration.
🙂 Recently, an international forum is also opened on our web sites so if you like to interact with activists from other countries as well as animal friends and vegetarians, feel free to join us at http://www.zamirnet.hr/prijatelji-zivotinja/.
🙂 Croatian vegetarian news group recently opened at hr.alt.vegetarijanstvo.
🙂 AFC together with auction web portal www.aukcije.biz launched various auctions for supporting our work. Anybody has something to put on an auction?? Please, contact us then.
🙂 A publishing house Vidi and Vidi Web Portal organized Croatian national selection of the best web sites for the year 2003. The AFC web site www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr was selected among 10 best web sites in the ‘Science, education and culture’ category. No doubt, credits for this acknowledgment mostly go to our terrific web designer!
🙂 At the begining of July we had a visit from four vegan activists – Anna, Asta, Ia and Anna – from Animal Rights Sweden to whom we would like to say hello. Thank you for visiting us on your “East European tour” and for exchanging your experiences with us! Tack, tack!
🙂 After the girls from Sweden, we had a visit from US, to be more precise Lydia Antoncic from Animal Advocacy was in Zagreb. We had a nice afternoon talking about animal rigths in Croatia, and about the situation in the world in general. We agreed to work more closely and to meet again. Thanks for everything, Lydia, hope to see you again. Vidimo se!
So, enough of us for this issue? We also think so! Until next time, @nimalistic greetings from your Croatian animal friends. And, please, accept our apologies for not being able to keep our promise and be shorter this time!
Oh, one other thing. If any of you Good Samaritans decides to become our sponsor or donator, you are most welcome!