SeaWorld US has announced that it will stop breeding orcas as of right now, saying that "times have changed"!
It's a great day for animals and for people power! Thanks to the tireless campaigning of animal protection groups around the world, continued public pressure and dropping attendance rates, SeaWorld US has announced that this generation of captive orcas will be its last.
"The company will end all orca breeding as of today." -- SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment Inc.
Since the Blackfish documentary showed the world the sad story of Tilikum, a male orca at SeaWorld US, there has been a noticeable change in the public's perception of orcas in captivity. Orcas like Tilikum are highly intelligent and have needs that simply cannot be met in captivity. In the wild they form strong familial bonds and can travel hundreds of kilometres in a single day. A life in a tank, performing for visitors is no life at all -- and thankfully no more orcas will be born into this at SeaWorld US!
This incredible news shows what can be achieved when people make a choice based on their values. Caring individuals demanded more for orcas, and SeaWorld US has responded. There is no doubt that orcas suffer in captivity but they aren't the only ones. Whilst we don't have any captive orcas here in Australia, a tank is not a natural environment for a dolphin, seal, shark or penguin either. Find out what you need to know about marine parks and aquariums before planning your next trip.
Here's to a day when all orcas get to be like this:
It's the 21st Century -- a time for Netflix, virtual reality, tablets and cat cafes. In this day and age, condemning wild animals like lions and monkeys to a 'life' of constant travel and confinement and forcing them to perform demeaning 'tricks' for 'entertainment' is not only outdated -- it's straight up cruel.
But in Australia, it's still legal to keep exotic animals in circuses :/ If you agree that a circus is no place for a wild animal, here’s what you can do if you hear that an exotic animal circus is planning to visit your area.
Tell your family and friends about the cruelty behind the big top, and how life in a travelling circus is no life at all for an exotic animal. Here are some points to mention.
A growing number of Australian councils are taking a kind stance for animals by banning exotic animal circuses on council land, and you can encourage your council to do the same! If you find out that an exotic animal circus is coming your way, write or phone your council, and encourage all of your friends and family to do the same.
If you want to have your voice heard when an animal circus is coming to your town, you can consider writing a letter to the editor of your local paper, and speaking on talk-back radio about the cruelty involved in animal circuses and why they should be banned. You could also try finding an animal rights community group in your area and ask them to help you in taking action for circus animals. (They might already have something planned). The more people who speak up, the better!
Our animal circuses flyer is a helpful tool to raise awareness. Print out as many copies as you can for letterbox drops, notice boards, in waiting rooms, etc.
By speaking out against circus cruelty, you're joining a worldwide movement away from animal circuses -- and toward a kinder world. The most entertaining circuses rely on the skills of their talented human performers, proving that you don't need cruelty to make a circus. Make a stand by pledging to never support exotic animal circuses -- why not check out a great animal-free act when they tour to a town near you!
When a colleague of mine flew with TigerAir recently she was blown away to see this on the menu:
Are you seeing what I'm seeing?
No more peanuts and pretzels for in-flight dinners. Now I'll be having a cheesy, tomatoey toastie to hit the spot before (safely) hitting the tarmac.
And knowing me, I'll be hanging for something sweet after smashing that toastie. You too? Well guess what ... Tiger gets us.
Yep, you read that right -- vegan rocky road. I don't even know where to get vegan rocky road on the ground but now I can get it in the sky! What an exciting time to be alive :)
And Tiger Air isn't the only airline to now offer vegan options on their in-flight menu. Jetstar have a pumpkin and cous cous salad from Sumo Salad available and Virgin sell a felafel wrap on board their flights.
What this shows is that demand for vegan food is growing. Recent stats show that Australia is home to 480,000 vegans (and 2 million vegetarians). Some quick maths tells me that that's a WHOLE LOT of animals saved every year.
Together we are powerful. Thanks to compassionate people choosing animal-free food (and asking for it) we're going to continue to see vegan-friendly food popping up here, there and everywhere. After all, the sky's the limit and we're already getting vegan options there!
Every day it gets easier to cut animal products out of your life. If you're keen to know more about how you can eat to save animals and the planet, we've got a great kit to get you started.
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
Gandhi said that and he was one smart bloke. As someone who believes in a kinder world for animals, I know what it feels like to be at every one of those stages, and I'm sure you do too. But today, my friend, we are winning! Here's why ...
You might remember when Unilever, parent company of Hellman's mayonnaise, filed a lawsuit against Hampton Creek for their egg-free mayonnaise 'Just Mayo'. Unilever said that the name 'Just Mayo' was misleading because traditional mayonnaise should include eggs.
What was nicknamed the 'Mayo Wars' attracted massive media attention, with over 112,000 people signing a petition siding with Hampton Creek. In November 2014, Unilever dropped the lawsuit. At around the same time Hampton Creek secured $90 million in funding. Amongst the investors was Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of Facebook. Bill Gates also supports Hampton Creek.
Soon after, the FDA said that 'Just Mayo' could keep their name -- a victory for Hampton Creek, and for chickens everywhere. Because even 'free range' and 'organic' eggs can be bad news for layer hens and male chicks.
Before you start celebrating, it gets even better ... Hellman's has just launched an egg-free mayonnaise. I guess they figured if you can't beat them, join them :)
When asked whether the new eggless mayonnaise was in response to the 'Just Mayo' debacle, spokesperson for Hellman's said they were simply catering to customers tastes.
This win for people and animals is a good reminder of the power of asking for stuff. If companies can see that there's a market for cruelty-free stuff, they'll want to get in on it. Why not ask your favourite local cafe to do some more meat-free options next time you're there?
Oh, along with trying to stop a cruelty-free mayo from getting on shelves, there's something else you should know about Unilever -- they conduct cruel tests on animals. Along with Hellman's, Unilever owns Dove, Rexona, Lynx and more. It was people power who got Unilever to venture into egg-free mayo and my bet is it will be people power that gets them to stop testing on animals. Click here to ask Unilever to stop testing on animals.
We wanted to know what you loved most about eating vegan. So we asked. And here's what you said ...
For me, I know that animals have a desire to live, just like I do. And I don't think an animal should have to have their life cut short just for me to have a burger. Especially when I can have a delicious burger without hurting anyone.
If you're vegan too, I'd love to hear what you love most about it :) And if you've ever considered eating vegan, now is the perfect time to try it -- along with thousands of others – for Veganuary. What is it? For the month of January, you and me (and everyone else) eat vegan food and together we start 2016 off in a powerful way for animals and the planet.
We’re supposed to let you know that the ideas expressed here are the views of the individual authors, and may not necessarily reflect the views of Animals Australia or Animals Australia Unleashed. So now you know.