‘Would it not be more harmonious if we did not associate religious celebrations directly with ham and other non-spiritual symbols? Do really so many animals have to die when we celebrate higher consciousness and try to develop spiritually? The answer is clear: of course not.’ – Slovenian President Dr. Janez Drnovsek
Against the Seal Slaughter in Canada
Also this year Canada began the commercial seal hunt. So as to express its disagreement with this decision, Animal Friends Croatia (AFC) held a protest against the seal slaughter in front of the Embassy of Canada in Zagreb on March 15. On this occasion the Croatian model Fani Stipkovic handed a protest note with an appeal to end the seal hunt to the Canadian Ambassador. Last year Croatia banned the import of all seal products in Croatia.
We invite you to join the fastest growing community of seal activists in the world. The latest video footage and reports about the slaughter of the seals in Canada can be seen at http://hsus.typepad.com/seals/.
On the occasion of the global Meatout Day, Animals Friends Croatia announced the results of an independent official poll done by Spem Communication Group Zagreb with the result that 86,5% citizens of Croatia support vegetarianism. 28,9% of them have stated that they might become vegetarians themselves. There are as many as 3,7% vegetarians in Croatia and that their number is steadily growing, while 73,2% of citizens are of the opinion that the vegetarian offer in Croatia should be improved. However, regarding the fact that one in ten citizen of Germany is a vegetarian, Croatian citizens still need a little encouragement to adhere to a non-violent diet.
Therefore Animals Friends Croatia marked this Meatout Day on Saturday, March 24, tabling in Zagreb they invited fellow townsmen to taste various vegetarian specialties. This year, the Meatout Day placed a special accent on the huge impact of meat industry on global warming and the importance of switching to the vegetarian diet on account of this urgent problem.
Flipper’s Trainer in Croatia
On the invitation of Animal Friends Croatia, Richard O’Barry, the most esteemed expert for cetaceans in the world who trained dolphins that played the role of Flipper in the popular American TV-series, visited Croatia. The purpose of his arrival was to urge the Croatian public not to allow dolphins to be kept in captivity in a country which with pride can claim the first dolphin protectorate in the Mediterranean!
Mr. O’Barry held a press conference on March 21 in the National and University Library of Zagreb (NSK), whilst on the following day he met with the representatives of the Croatian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management and the mayor of Vodnjan, to whom he handed an open letter from Lori Marino, Ph.D., Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology Program from the U.S. The decision of the mayor is expected this week.
The day after, on March 23, Richard O’Barry also met with the representatives of the Department for Nature Conservation at the Ministry of Culture. At the end of the day, after numerous interviews, he held a lecture about dolphins in the Cultural Informative Center (KIC) in Zagreb.
Animal Friends Croatia thanks on this occasion to NSK, KIC and all groups that supported the arrival Mr. O’Barry in Croatia. Special thanks go to WSPA, which made it possible for AFC to invite Richard O’Barry to Croatia in the first place and to campaign against the construction of any dolphinarium in Croatia.
24 Hours in a Cage
In order to draw public attention to the horrible truth on the methods of breeding and treatment of hens and chicken, AFC president Luka Oman locked himself into a cage placed on Zagreb’s main square Ban Jelacic for 24 hours on noon April 5 until noon April 6. The aim of the action was to make people think about those hens that spend all their life in a cage that is no bigger than an A4 sheet of paper, inviting them to stop consuming meat and eggs. Next to the cage was an info stall where passers-by had the opportunity to 24 hours long watch video footage on hen breeding and obtain informative leaflets.
World Health Day
On the regular info stall, Animal Friends Croatia marked the World Health Day on April 7 by organizing the tasting of French salad made with Zvijezda’s new Omegol mayonnaise, a non-animal product, while handing out leaflets and free samples of the Omegol egg-free mayonnaise. There were also some vegan Easter cakes and scones. This action took place in Zagreb and Split.
More than 60% of Croatia’s citizens have understood the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. According to independent research of public opinion conducted by Spem Communication Group Zagreb, most people believe that vegetarianism is a healthy lifestyle. According to the same research, about 72% of people are aware that they should eat less meat and meat-based products.
For the Ban on Dolphin Capture
The Department for Nature Conservation of the Ministry of Culture has given a negative opinion to Aqua Adora on its request for the planned dolphinarium in Vodnjan. Because of the attempts of building dolphinaria in Croatia, Animal Friends Croatia has contacted the Ministry of Culture demanding that the Croatian law should unambiguously ban the husbandry of dolphins in captivity. By passing such an act, Croatia would deserve the reputation of a country that protects the dolphins, in other words it would be a ‘dolphin-friendly country’, as TV-Flipper’s trainer Ric O’Barry had suggested. For the sake of its sea and its free, rigorously protected dolphins in its dolphin reserve near Mali Losinj, Croatia should express its attitude against captivating dolphins clearly and unambiguously and build up its reputation on this in the world.
– In the framework of our campaign against captivating sea mammals in Croatia, Animal Friends Croatia thanked the district of Jasenice for promptly answering the appeal and stated that it would not support captivation of animals. Beside Animal Friends Croatia, the position of Jasenice and its mayor Martin Baricevic was highly praised by Mr. Richard O’Barry on behalf of Earth Island Institute.
– Animal Friends Croatia delegates participated in the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments meeting in Munich. On the meeting it was suggested that Croatia adapts the Humane Cosmetics Standard with Croatian producers of cosmetics and cleansers.
– On Split’s central market, Animal Friends Croatia protested against inhumane and cruel trade of chickens, ducklings and rabbits who after Easter end up in dumpsters or on the street, and invited fellow townsmen not to buy live animals.
– New companies have been added on the Croatian White List: Damjana, Farmaceutici Dottor Ciccarelli, JADRAN Galenski laboratorij, Kozmetika Afrodita, L’Occitane, Logona Naturkosmetik und Heilmittel, Meteor, Olivella, and Saxa. Animal Friends Croatia announces that special attention will be brought not only to testing of the final products but also to their ingredients, which will result in many changes on this list by the end of this month.
– In order to make their fellow townsmen familiar with a vegetarian diet which symbolizes vitality and compassion, the Varazdin branch of Animal Friends Croatia spring days of the awakening of nature on April 10 organized a vegan tasting and handing of the new Omegol egg-less mayonnaise.
– From the news on the web we pick out two books which we present after the visit of Richard O’Barry to Croatia – Behind the Dolphin Smile and To Free a Dolphin.
– Besides the regular Saturday tabling in Zagreb and Split, since recently people of Rijeka can visit Animal Friends Croatia tabling on Korzo and get information on animal rights, protection and vegetarianism as well as sign petitions.
– Animal Friends Croatia sends an appeal to the Croatian and international public to help the elephant Pregolja in a Russian zoo. More information on Pregolja can be found at www.FreePregolja.com.
We thank all of you who supported us in our activities in the past period, either by volunteering while tabling, helping us out with the office work or financially, and we invite you to stay with us in our future activities and public appearances.
Animal Friends Croatia