A man in black, hairless, without a hat, takes a bell and starts ringing. He’s getting the attention of passers-by. He made a few circles around a white fur coat that was lying down on the road, which was freezing several degrees Celsius below zero. He puts away the bell and takes an axe. He swings and pounds the coat, blood spills from it. The axe breaks but he keeps pounding the coat with its handle, which also breaks a few moments later. The concrete around the coat is colored blood red from fake blood. The hairless man takes off his black sweater, shoes and his socks, and barefooted, wearing only a T-shirt, walks around the coat and sprinkles salt, this way he marks the purification. His absent look disapears behind the walls of buildings on the other side of the street; he stays for a moment above the fur coat and ends his performance.
The preamble doesn’t describe a scene from a movie, but a performance that took place in Sisak, January 24, as a part of Animal Friends Croatia’s protest against fur and leather industries.
Rather go naked than wear fur – demonstrations against fur industry throughout Croatia!
Everything started off with the reaction of Animal Friends Croatia to an article Fur warms up best found in the daily newspaper Vecernji list. That article glorified fur and it set alarm bells ringing for all of us. Our branch office in Varazdin reacted first. On January 10, they portrayed fur industry as a fashion of cruelty and disgrace. Five days later, six of our activists from Zagreb stripped naked; the air was freezing cold around zero degrees Celsius as they walked across the main city square ”rather naked than wearing fur”. Four girls and two guys, wearing only underclothes, drew the attention of passers-by who made all kinds of remarks, but the activists sent a clear message that compassion warms up better than cruelty. This action attracted great attention of the media. So it’s no wonder that it was covered in prime time TV news. The day after, this event was reported in all newspapers, including the front-page of Croatian number-one daily newspaper!
The success of their colleagues encouraged our activists from Karlovac to express their disagreement with fur industry by making dignified funeral ceremony under the slogan My fur belongs to me. Silence and lit candles honored those who died as victims of cruel fashion. A week later, branch office Sisak organized a performance, described in preamble, performed by AFC activist, artist Robert Franciszty, and it drew reporters’ photo objectives to this action.
On Saturday, February 7, a simultaneous stream of demonstrations continued in Koprivnica, Rijeka, Split, and Osijek, under the slogan Reject primitivism! In spite of bad weather forecast, activists went to the streets carrying banners, they set info stands and handed out leaflets, and there were fur coats from which the streams of blood streamed. Determined to point out the cruelty of fur industry, activists asked the citizens to boycott primitive dressing style. We are happy to say that this time Croatia didn’t ignore animal suffering!
How do I understand animal protection came to an end
After four months, best essay competition officially ended on January 30. It was organized in cooperation of Animal Friends Croatia with Bulgarian organization Intimate With Nature Society, and was sponsored by Allavida. After reading of prize-winning essays, and projections of documentaries Animal Rights and (K)ein Herz für Lucie, extremely pleasant two-day visit of our Bulgarian colleagues, which was part of this project, was brought to an end.
This competition was marked by two culminations: the first took place in Virovitica, when five of our activists visited children with special needs and gave them symbolic awards outside of the competition. Our visit ended with a delicious vegan dinner. These 11 children – along with prizewinner Nina, who became our activists and even stripped for the Rather go naked than wear fur action – are the best prize the animals got from this competition. The second culmination took place while reading essays, because then some of our Bulgarian friends decided to go vegetarian!
New branch offices and new lectures
At the same day when we visited school children in Virovitica, the eleventh branch office of Animal Friends Croatia was founded. There was a projection of the documentary 1994 and the office officially started to work. AFC organization gained twenty more members. We want to use this opportunity to congratulate to all those who, after our visit, decided to go vegetarian!
As a part of a project Why veg? in cooperation with FARM Sabina Fund, AFC continues to hold lectures and documentaries projections in schools on the subject of farm animals abuse. It was also held at the House of Europe in Zagreb where the work of AFC organization was presented to the general public. Some other cities joined this initiative.
Along with mad cow disease, ‘mad human’ disease rages!
Our reporter Susan Cava from New York presents animal welfare issues in the US. Check out what Susan has to say this time!
Just as mad cow concerns flare up again, so does “mad human” disease as well. You see, on December 30, 2003, to quell mad cow concerns, the United States Department of Agriculture implemented a ban on the slaughter of cattle too stick to stand (downed animals). Then, “mad human” disease began, when American agribusiness and their government connections began to lobby for the ban to be lifted and for sick cows to resume to be slaughtered.
Please take a moment to let the USDA know how shocked and appalled you are that America would allow downed animals to be used for food. A quick email is all it takes! Send an email to: FSIS.Regulations@usda.gov.
🙁 The public was appalled at the killing of an extremely rare white doe that was shot down by a hunter in Zagreb’s surroundings. We hope that the public will start to condemn the killings of regular does and bucks, as well as all other animals.
🙁 The poisoning of companion animals in Dubrovnik takes its toll once again this year. By now over two hundred dogs and cats have been casualties of the poisonings. Our branch office in Dubrovnik does its best to finally stop the killers.
🙁 Avian flu still strikes throughout Asia, and it appeared in the US as well. This disease takes human lives and causes panic, but seems not big enough to make people start thinking about their diet.
🙁 Unfortunately, massacre of kangaroos in Australia continues. You can raise your voice against the kangaroo slaughter by signing a petition at: www.PetitionPetition.com/cgi/petition.cgi?id=6462
🙂 We recommend you visit www.veganoutreach.org/whyvegan and check out great new on-line edition of Why Vegan.
🙂 Rumor has it that the first Croatian vegan-sausage days will be organized soon, we are looking forward to a bunch of tasty food!
🙂 One-thousandth member joined our organization! We believe that he will enjoy the tasting of delicious tofu and seitan products, as well as the reading of Juliet Gellatley’s book The Livewire Guide to Going, Being and Staying Veggie!
🙂 Check out the news on our, and yours, web site. We are highlighting a new article Animal Rights on our home page.
On the very end of this issue of AnimaList we thank you as usual, and we ask you to stand by us, and by the animals. There’s graffiti for you as a little gift from us: Eat beans – not beings!