World Animal Awareness – it’s not just about animals. It’s about people too. These are some of the stories highlighted on Facebook this week by World Animal Awareness Society – WA2S.Org, a dedicated non profit focused on filming human animal intersections worldwide.
The human/animal connection is readily apparent on a most basic level in a video called Women Want Change. This video comes from The Brook, an international charity relieving the suffering of horses & donkeys working for some of the world’s poorest communities. (Visit The Brook on Facebook.)
Women can play a powerful role in bringing about change and, through its training, The Brooke is equipping women in many rural communities with the skills, confidence, and knowledge to make improvements for the future wellbeing of their animals and their families. – The Brooke President, HRH the Duchess of Cornwall
Watch the shift toward better animal husbandry as illiterate women are educated about proper working animal nutrition, wound care and problems with overloading. They speak of a time when they didn’t know more than to use traditional – yet lacking – healing methods as compared with now healthy animals who benefit the survival of their families.
And in the good old, literate US of A, horrors exist for entertainment’s sake.
Indiana’s Snapperfest is an event in which contestants demonstrate their prowess by pulling the heads of live turtles far outside of their shells. Undercover footage from August 2011 Snapperfest provided by the World Animal Awareness Society – WA2S.Org reveals numerous acts of cruelty. As I watched seemingly fun-loving Americans enjoying what was clearly a violation no less offensive than rape by any law of nature I subscribe to, I was nearly sick.
According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund:
The DNR has condoned these actions by stating that Snapperfest participants are exempt from anti-cruelty law under an exception for activities including hunting and trapping, because, so they say, the turtles were trapped prior to their mistreatment at Snapperfest.
On January 19th, the national non-profits Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and Best Friends Animal Society submitted a petition for rulemaking to the Indiana Natural Resources Commission, arguing that the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) misinterpretation of state law has allowed for illegal cruelty at Ohio County’s annual “Snapperfest.”
Flying to Sevilla in 1985 with a pack of fellow 9th graders, the school system’s hope was to teach the Spanish language while immersing us in rich and colorful culture. We learned a new and colorful vocabulary all right, the locals were happy to give lessons, but it was not in the curriculum and we would not receive extra credit.
We also experienced a tradition that had young, rabble-rousing boys reveling in real-life bloody violence and girls upchucking their Chorizo. I’m not referring to our stealth acquisition of sangria. I’m referring to our first (and my last) bull fight.
Just before my birthday, I received a message that began:
Ellen DeGeneres Wants You to “Adopt” a Turkey This Thanksgiving
Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey project celebrates 25 years of changing the way America thinks about turkeys
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – October 19, 2011 – Who can resist the adorable faces of turkeys gobbling for compassion at Thanksgiving? Not Ellen DeGeneres. That’s why she’s back for the second year in a row to serve as Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project spokesperson, inviting everyone to save, not eat, a turkey this holiday season.
Says DeGeneres: “Did you know that every year between 250 and 300 million turkeys are bred for slaughter in the United States? More than 46 million for Thanksgiving alone. So, this Thanksgiving instead of eating a turkey, please join me in adopting one from Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project and you can give a turkey something to be thankful for.”
For 25 years, the Adopt-A-Turkey Project has put smiles on the faces of both carnivores and vegetarians alike, while providing support for the care of more than 1,000 rescued turkeys and inspiring people everywhere to make more compassionate choices. For a one-time donation of just $30, adopters or a recipient of their choice will receive a special Adopt-A-Turkey certificate complete with color photo of a rescued turkey who resides at one of Farm Sanctuary’s shelters and fun details about their adopted turkey.
THE BEST BIRTHDAY GIFT, EVER
Thanks to my husband, we didn’t just adopt one turkey. We adopted the whole flock! I actually teared up with gratitude. I had just met the kindest, most affection (yes, affectionate!) turkeys at a Thanksliving fundraising event at another farm sanctuary in Woodstock, NY. These birds are absolutely sentient beings with unique personalities and fondness for compassionate humans, not that I ever doubted. I know this is true of the pigs, chickens and cows too.
Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur says “Here at Farm Sanctuary, “we live with turkeys, so we know they are interesting and intelligent and have complex emotional lives like dogs, cats and other animals. Sadly, the meat industry subjects turkeys to intolerable cruelty and treats them like inanimate objects with no feelings or personalities. Fortunately, each one of us can choose not to support this cruelty by adopting a turkey at Thanksgiving instead of eating one.”
THE SAD REALITY
Thanksgiving is a grim time for turkeys with horrid housing, rough “milking” of males, artificially inseminating females, and living a miserable life … If you have a heart for these sweet birds, learn more about what your grocery dollars support.
The video below was shot under cover at a factory farm
MEET OUR FLOCK
Our flock now includes Skip, who advises prospective adopters “When preparing Thanksgiving dinner, skip the turkey!;” Antoinette, who declares ”Let them eat squash!;” Elizabeth, who demurs “This Thanksgiving, give a turkey the royal treatment;” Victoria, who proclaims ”A holiday feast that’s cruelty-free is one fit for a queen;” Payton, who counsels “In a ton of ways, compassion pays;” Amelinda, who reveals “I’ll be having a happy Thanksgiving, thanks to kind people like you;” and Raphael, who pleads “Picture a more compassionate world. Start with Thanksgiving.”
JOIN US IN SPONSORING COMPASSIONATE LIVING
To join Ellen DeGeneres – and me – in starting a new tradition by adopting a turkey instead of eating one and to view this year’s “adoptable” turkeys, visit adoptaturkey.org or call the Turkey Adoption Hotline at 1-888-SPONSOR.
25 rescued baby turkeys are now receiving care. When you give a special gift of $50 or more to the Adopt-A-Turkey Project in their honor, you will receive an e-certificate that features these rescued baby turkeys. Your gift helps provide care for innocent farm animals like these babies, and supports all of our work to protect all farm animals.
And now we’re off to wrangle our truly “guilt-free-range” Tofurkey, smashed and buttered potatoes, sweet cranberry sauce, herbed onion stuffing and pumpkin pie. Our thanksgiving won’t be lacking in the least. In fact, it’s so very satisfying to wish the turkeys a wonderful feast as well.
Happy Thanksgiving and Compassionate Living for All!
I have to share what just came in to Village Volunteers, the international humanitarian aid organization I work for. We don’t often get to work in animal welfare so this news is an extra special treat!
As we celebrate World Animal Day today, Africa Network for Animal Welfare together with Animal Welfare Action Kenya partners participated in a 7km walk in Nairobi. The walk attracted over 500 participants.
Africa Network for Animal Welfare
This Fall, take a stand (and walk) to end the cruel and horrific practices of factory farming!
WALK FOR ANIMALS!
Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animalsraises vital funds for Farm Sanctuary’s life-saving work and brings together thousands of people to promote kindness towards animals. When you walk, you give hope to billions of farm animals who are suffering right now on factory farms. The Walk for Farm Animals is a positive way to speak out on behalf of animals who cannot speak for themselves and to make a real difference in their lives.