According to our tradition we’re starting with a short story from the book Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm, written by C. David Coats.
Isn’t man an amazing animal? He kills wildlife – birds, kangaroos, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice, foxes, and dingoes – by the million in order to protect his domestic animals and their feed.
Then he kills domestic animals by the billion and eats them. This in turn kills man by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative – and fatal – health conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer.
So then man tortures and kills millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases.
Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.
Meanwhile, some are dying of sad laughter at the absurdity of man, who kills so easily and so violently, and once a year sends out cards praying for “Peace on Earth”.
Vets of the Round Table
In the middle of September, the City Department for Agriculture and Forestry organized a lecture about companion animals, which was obviously some kind of cost coverage or some kind of commitment. It was organized in a way that after just half an hour it became unbearably boring and quite clear that it was not organized “out of love”. It was a lecture about cats’ and dogs’ diseases, and the professors of Veterinary Faculty nagged with Latin names of specific diseases and, being boring, drove away everybody except the vet students who were obligated to stay. We were also among those who went away because we couldn’t hold out to wait for the “discussion”, but it seems that the organizers planned to make everybody leave before the time for discussion. If this was their goal, we can assume that the lecture was successful, because otherwise it was totally pointless.
Eurogroup for animal protection
From September 26 till 28, in Warsaw, a Eurogroup’s meeting for Eastern Europe was held. Eurogroup is the main organization for animal protection issues in the EU and it’s situated in Bruxelles. Countries of Eastern Europe will soon be joining European Union, so Eurogroup organized a meeting of their partners and organizations from that part of Europe. Croatian representative was also present at the meeting, even though Croatia, along with Bulgaria and Romania, isn’t one of the countries candidates for the EU.
The meeting was definitely useful! Well, the fact is that we’re not even close to the EU, but we have at least made contacts, experiences and got some positive energy in Poland. The thing that is hard to understand is that there were some people at the meeting who couldn’t restrain, not even for two days, from their nasty habit of eating dead animals, even though the very meeting was about the protection of animals. At the dinner were several vegans, the majority were vegetarians and there were three hunks who still don’t understand how hypocritical it is to protect and eat the animals at the same time.
Animal Friends Days
From October 1 till 4, Animal Friends Days were held in Zagreb and branch offices like Varazdin, Sisak, Karlovac, and Split.
On October 1, World Day of Vegetarianism officially started this year’s Animal Friends Days by setting an information stand on a well-known location – Starcevic Square. Besides information billboard Why Veg?, made in cooperation with American organization FARM (www.farmusa.org) and as a part of Sabina Fund project, leaflets were handed out, as well as other promotional materials about vegetarianism with plenty of information about advantages of vegetarian diet for human health, environment, and of course, the animals. At noon, we were giving away soy steaks and vegan recipes.
This year, among 64 worldwide grantees of Sabina Fund, founded in memory of Sabina, mother of FARM’s president Alex Hershaft, is our organization as well, and AFC’s project about promotion of vegetarianism/veganism is one of the ten chosen ones. Speaking of FARM, we come to the second day of Animal Friends Days, when we marked, for the very first time in Croatia, World Day of Farm Animals, which is, by the way, the birthday of one great animal protection supporter Mahatma Gandhi. We had billboards in Croatian and English about the ways that cows, pigs and birds are being killed for human consumption, and we handed out leaflets Life on a Farm, specially printed for this occasion. This way we have tried to present to our fellow townsmen the suffering of farm animals worldwide. For many, this was a good enough reason for switching to vegetarian diet, but for those who were more skeptic, at noon we organized a tasting of delicious vegan sandwiches.
October 3rd is World Laboratory Animals Protection Day, which we, as an organization that pays special attention to animals that are victims of non-scientific experiments of testing cosmetics and cleansers, didn’t want to miss. We handed out the ‘ethical list’ of companies which don’t test their products on animals, and samples of ‘animal friendly cosmetic products’ by Milla, Lush and Avon, our loyal partners and friendly firms. And you, our dear readers, look up for their products because: A- they are not tested on animals, B- you will be thrilled with their quality; and they produce everything, soaps, shampoos, bath foams, creams, make-up, deodorants, after-shaves, and other cosmetics.
Animal Friends Days officially ended on Saturday, October 4, on the World Day of Animals. Along with an information stand, which we again dedicated to farm animals, our program ended with a projection of a 30-minute documentary (K)ein herz für Lucie (translation: (N)one of the hearts for Lucie) made by Austrian organization VGT. Movie projection took place in club Mama in Zagreb, and it was followed by a 90- minute debate about vegetarianism and animal suffering caused by the meat industry. Various media made reports about our actions, and we want to point out TV- show Good morning, Croatia as a shining example, and Meridian 16 as extremely subjective and unprofessional, it managed to present a bunch of nonsense about this healthy and ethical diet, on the very World Vegetarianism Day.
On the World Day of Animals – animals in cages, at the exhibition, and under butts!
Yes, on the World Day of Animals, our dear City Department for Agriculture and Forestry, and several other organizations, that have nothing to do with animal protection, organized a happening in Maksimir. Let’s say that as a part of this program there were stands with caged animals, that they organized an exhibition and “showing” of horses and dogs. And this was supposed to promote animal protection. If you think that this is just a bitter talk because we weren’t involved, we should tell you that we refused to be part of this at the beginning because we knew what will it turn into. We can just say that we are disappointed, because a great sum of money was spent on something that has absolutely nothing to do with animal protection.
Attention: Animal Friends on air …
We would like to use this opportunity to thank and congratulate to a team that pushed forward a movie Fur is Murder with Pamela Anderson to CCN, the team that pushes on Vegetarian Society documentary Devour The Earth with Paul McCartney on the national television, and especially our crew that made and pushed through our commercial A life at the end of the chain is not life which was broadcasted on HRT-Croatian National Television. This commercial, that we made ourselves, is shocking revelation of lives of dogs who are chained their entire lives. The reactions of the viewers were numerous and positive. So we hope that it will appear few more times, both on HRT, and other televisions.
… and in the press!
Beside usual articles in Croatian press that report about our actions and the column @animal Portal in Zarez magazine (www.zarez.hr), we have to point out two articles – one in the magazine Hrvatska ljevica and the other one in high-school magazine Spektar. We are very pleased that one left-wing magazine has allowed our guy Mladen to speak up about animal rights from the socialist perspective. It is about time that those who fight against all sorts of tirany, exploatation and unjustice make a stand against animal exploatation and discrimination as well. Also, we have to give our compliments to a high-school magazine Spektar, which can definitely compete for a best magazine in Croatia, and not only high-school magazines but magazines in general. The topic of the latest issue is animal rights, extremely professionaly written and designed. Though only high-school students, Spektar crew deserves admiration and our sincere congratulations. Well done, people!
All things move towards their end, but we’ll be there again the next year…
Animal Friends Days ended with the signing of petition for introduction of vegetarian meals to public institutions, such as hospitals, schools, kindergartens, military, police, prisons and alike. In February 2002, we managed to push vegetarian meals through to student canteens, and this year we started a similar petition trying to give our vegetarian fellow townsmen opportunity and right to an appropriate meal in public institutions. The petition was being signed during all four days, and it will continue as a part of a project ‘Why Veg?’.
Did your hamburger have a face? or World AntiMcDonald’s Day
This year October 16th was a very interesting day. There were 30 of us protesting in front of McD in Jurisiceva Street, and a bunch of reporters waited for us there because they all wanted to take pictures of a calf’s head and a banner with the sign Did Your hamburger have a face?. TV reporters said that a sight of a calf’s head on a plate “shocked” passers-by. That’s interesting because those shocked passers-by buy similar body parts in butcheries, cook and eat them. And that isn’t shocking or bizarre at all!?
The McD’s people gave their best trying to prevent and stop our demonstration. A day before our protest they asked and begged the police to prevent it, and during the protest they called the veterinary inspection that also couldn’t do nothing because we had a bill confirming where we got it from. But definitely the most pathetic move they made was a statement of their PR person who tried to insult us, which reveals more about her then about us. Even though this protest was covered in all media (you can find the photos of it on our web site), some of the reporters, on the very World AntiMcDonald’s Day, couldn’t grasp why we organized this protest in front of McDonalds restaurant!?
Radical or not, this protest made it clear to everyone that hamburgers don’t grow on trees, but that they are a result of the slaughter of millions of animals. We believe that this protest, along with those in Varazdin and Split, helped to realize, at least to some people, that by eating in McDonald’s restaurants they support killing and suffering of the animals, environment pollution, world hunger and child labor. And as regards the calf’s head, couple of days later our activists buried it decently.
The State of Animal Affairs in the US by Susan Cava
When it rains, it pours and right now it is raining tigers over the US where two tiger stories dominate American news. The first involves the Las Vegas show act Sigfried and Roy. These two men have a cabaret act that features rare Royal White tigers performing tricks. Recently one of the tigers attacked Roy Horn during the act, dragging him off stage with his teeth and resulting in Roy losing an inordinate amount of blood and sufferring a stroke. Roy is in stable condition and has pleaded with authorities not to kill the tiger. His partner, Sigfried, maintains that if the animal truly wanted to harm Roy, he would be dead. As Roy was near dead, it is not a strong point. Even though Sigfried and Roy seem to be the best of the worst, circuses and those who run them remain something we strongly oppose.
Within a week, another tiger story surfaced involving Antoine Yates who kept a rare Bengal tiger in his Harlem, NY apartment with an alligator. Mr. Yates went to the hospital with bite wounds, police were tipped off and the tiger was immediately moved to an animal sanctuary in Ohio. Mr. Yates has fervently asked for his tiger back, not understanding that no matter what love he might have for this tiger, it is a wild animal that requires more than a small apartment for an environment.
These two stories have prompted local papers to give more coverage to the unfortunate exotic and illegal animal trade that exists not only within America but worldwide. Just recently the NY Post purchased a nine day old cub for one thousand dollars via the Internet. The cub has been moved to an animal sanctuary and will survive but hopefully the exotic animal trade, with increased exposure, will not.
Speaking of tigers…
Whilst Sigfried and Roy are at the moment under scrutiny of PETA’s activists, one US soldier shot and killed a tiger in Baghdad zoo, after the tiger bit another soldier who was drunk and put his hands into the tiger’s cage trying to feed him, said the zookeeper. Soldiers were drinking beer before they entered the zoo, which was closed for visitors at that time. After the tiger bit a man, another American shot three bullets in tiger’s head and killed him. One more time, an animal that doesn’t belong to cage, paid the human stupidity with his life. These examples show best that zoos and ‘performances’ are NOT the places for animals!
Bears trapped within wildfires and human ignorance
Did you know that black bears are most of the time none-aggressive and if left alone, will go away? And if a bear comes close to your home, you can make them go away by making a big noise – pot lids are great.
Unusual appeal for the protection of (Canadian) black bears we received as a reaction to the last issue of our e-newsletter from British Columbia, Canada. Ellie Kohnert (aged 70) lives in a very small town (3000 inhabitants) and says, “I have been an Animal Advocate for most of my life and am still an animal rescue worker – mostly in small ways on my own.” Since wildfires destroyed many thousands of hectares of forest land in British Columbia – just like in Croatia too – we would like to use this opportunity to ask people not to over-react and have a hungry bear killed because due to the destruction of their food source, many Black Bears are coming into towns and into very close contact with people. They are hungry and search for food where ever it can be found, and that is often in backyards, orchards, and garbage dumps.
It would not be so difficult if people use their minds and act accordingly to lessen the threat of bear confrontations. For instance, never leave garbage outside buildings, pick all fruit off trees and pick up what has fallen down, or leave lights on in your yard – bears don’t like them much. And if you have that ‘privilage’ to meet a bear, walk away quietly. Truth is, humans are in most cases responsible for such ‘crisis’ while bears pay the price with their lives as the way out of such situations.
🙂 New on our web site: in cooperation with Vegan Outreach we published a translation of Why vegan? text. It gives few more reasons for switching from meat-based diet to animal products-free diet
🙂 On October 2nd, a promotion of Croatian translation of Vegan by Eric Marcus, took place. It’s an excellent book that provides many reasons for switching to vegan diet, describes the work of many scientists and presents true life stories. At the promotion several guests, our representative was one of them, gave speeches and it ended with an interesting discussion. You can find out more about this book on our web site, and on the web site of the author: www.ericmarkus.com.
🙂 In Split, there was a promotion of Lush new hair-line. Our Split’s representatives were there, and now they are getting attention of the entire heart of the city. It’s like that commercial where a guy jumps over the fence to ask the girl what did she wash her sweater with and why is it so soft. Our Split members tell similar stories. People stop them and touch their hair…
🙂 If you want to sign a very simple on-line petition that tries to encourage Australian government to stop cruel livestock export to other countries, visit: http://home.austarnet.com.au/onshu/.
🙂 Another easy-to-sign petition comes from our UK friend John O’Donnell who is trying with his Ban The Bang! campaign to stop the “firework” while it is still hot – so to speak. Please visit www.looking-glass.co.uk/banthebang/index.htm and give him your support!
🙂 Did you know that there are more than enough reasons for spaying/neutering of your pets? First of all: animal’s health, the future of new generations that mostly end up tragically, and safety and protection of people from animals that become dangerous for their surroundings.
🙂 Thought of this issue: “Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.” Albert Schweitzer
Well, we came to the “farewell” part of this issue of AnimaList. Considering that the weather is getting colder every day and that the furs of many animals will “roam” around on our streets, we ask everybody to tell the owners of “dead animals” how ugly they look and that they should wear compassion rather than fur. Because compassion is the fashion!
Animalistic greetings to everybody, and especially to those who supported our work by now. We expect your support in the future as well, because united we stand, divided we fall!