Is anyone else feeling a little broken by all the tragic world affairs of late? I know I'm prone to getting a bit down and out about the stuff human beings can be capable of ...
So this is for you and me -- a reminder that kindness exists everywhere and is happening every day ...
Bring on the happy tears!
Feel good? Good :) But there's one more person who should've been in that video -- you! Every day, people like you are making the world a kinder place. Did you choose a meat-free meal today? Or cuddle your rescued companion animal? Or help spread the word about kindness to animals? If so, you are one of the everyday heroes making a world of difference. So here's a big high five from me to you.
P.S. Got another good rescue story? Share it in the comments below.
What's more, this investigation footage from PETA taken in 19 Australian shearing sheds, (aired on SBS), revealed more about the suffering of sheep in the wool industry than I ever needed to know :(
WARNING: This footage is bad. If graphic vision upsets you, skip the vid and take action now.
Sheep don't deserve this -- kicked, stomped on, punched, hit with shears, thrown ... one animal was even shown being beaten over the head with a hammer!
This horrific abuse has sparked an investigation by authorities and even the wool industry itself is calling for tough action. But here's the thing, even if the wool industry could stamp out those shearers who are hitting and throwing animals, there's at least 3 reasons I'm happy to leave wool out of my wardrobe:
First up shearing is stressful. Sheep can get stressed out just from being separated from the flock, let alone being pinned down and taken to with shears.
Secondly, even if a shearer is slow and careful, sheep can get cut. And with shearers getting paid per sheep, they're not going slow -- in fact, they're in a rush to shear as many sheep as quickly as possible.
And here's the clincher: If sheep are badly cut during shearing, they can have their gaping wounds sewn up using needle and thread, without any pain relief. *Shudder*. I can't even begin to imagine how painful that must be. And the wool industry accepts this practice :( Along with other painful procedures like mulesing and tail docking. (Again, with no pain killers!)
If you're thinking that this is an industry you'd rather not support, then I have some very good news for you. You can make the choice today to not buy into cruelty and give wool the flick. There are so many other things to make jumpers and scarves out of that don't involve any cruelty to animals at all that it's easy as to make the switch :) Make the pledge today.
I've heard about how poop can help your garden grow and how you can make paper out of it and even how it can be used as an energy source but THIS ... this is the coolest.
New research suggests that whale poo could be the answer to reversing the effects of climate change. Baleen and sperm whales, known as the 'great whales', feed on stuff deep down in the ocean. BUT they come up to the surface to take a dump. Their massive amounts of poop help feed loads of other organisms (bit gross, I know), including phytoplankton, and therefore help keep the ocean alive and healthy. The healthier the ocean, the more carbon it can absorb. The more man-made carbon the ocean absorbs -- the healthier the whole planet!
Researchers suggest that as whale populations recover from the terrible impact of whaling over the last 100 years, they could help us wind back the effects of climate change. How cool is that? What's more, these studies also show that whaling could have played a part in making climate change such a stinker of a problem. (Pardon the pun.) If we'd have left the ocean and the animals in it alone, maybe we wouldn't be in such deep ... trouble.
But as my favourite philosopher Rafiki would say ...
It's up to us to make sure that the mistakes of the past never happen again. Killing whales is cruel, unnecessary and seemingly has a negative impact on the global ecosystem. But there are three countries who still find excuses to hunt whales -- Japan, Iceland and Norway. You can help put a stop to this by contacting their representatives in Australia and asking them to cut out whaling for good. Click here to send a strong message for whales today.
Also, did you know that there is a single industry that emits more greenhouse gasses than all of the world's cars, trains and planes combined? If you give a crap about the planet you can choose not to support this industry, starting today! Click here to find out more.
Wouldn't it be great if animal abusers just brought themselves forward and owned up to what they'd done? Actually, since we're hypothesising, it would be better if animal abuse didn't happen at all! But unfortunately that's not the world we live in...yet (we’re working on it!). And in this world, the most horrific animal abuse happens behind closed doors, far away from the public eye.
Disturbingly, new laws are proposing to help keep it that way – hidden. They want to make it illegal for anyone to film and expose cruelty.
You've probably heard the word "ag-gag" thrown around. Laws to prevent whistle-blowers exposing animal cruelty have already been put in place in some states of the US. And the debate has begun in Australia.
US journalist Will Potter explains better than I can why ag-gag laws are so disturbing:
Cruelty investigations over the last few years have shocked the Australian public. You might have seen the recent footage supplied to Aussie Farms which exposed for the first time EVER what the term "humane" slaughter really means for pigs ... or the story of 'retired' racehorse Nature's Child who was shot and dragged, still alive, to the killing floor at Laverton Knackery ... or the distressing truth about pet shop puppies and the horrific places they are born into ...
If ag-gag laws were in place in Australia, none of this cruelty would have been brought to light. Worrying hey?
A bill to prevent abuse being documented and exposed is currently being debated in South Australia. And it's not just the animals who need to worry in that state! Old people, poor people, disabled people, you, me ... pretty much everyone would be vulnerable under these proposed laws.
Other states are watching closely, with NSW and Victoria also considering ag-gag type legislation. If, like me, you don't want to live in a country where laws protect the abusers rather than the abused, you can take action today by contacting your state MP.
Because of people like you speaking out in the US, many ag-gag bills have been voted down. (Yay!) Your voice will help make sure this disturbing legislation to keep cruelty hidden doesn't take hold here in Australia. Click here to get contact details for your state MP.
I've got some bad news cuzzie. The beached whale iz dead :( And what's worse, the whole ocean is getting dead too.
Poor seagull lost his mate to too much "plistuc". Did you know that at least a million sea birds, and a hundred thousand marine mammals die each year because of plastic pollution? That's no good.
But nineteen year old Boyan Slat has got a plan to make sure no more sea animals die from too much plastic. A few years ago, when diving in Greece, Boyan noticed that there were more plastic bags in the ocean than fish :( "Why don't we just clean it up?" he wondered. So, for a school assignment he came up with a plan to clean all the plastic out of the ocean without harming any animals. Check it out:
How amazing is that? Boyan says that the oceans could clean themselves of plastic in just five years! He's currently crowdfunding to get The Ocean Clean Up project up and running and has nearly reached half his target! You go Boyan.
Meanwhile, we can help protect our oceans and the animals in them by making sure no more plastic gets in the water. You can take action today by pledging to say NO to plastic bags. By choosing to carry reusable bagsyou'll help make the oceans a cleaner and safer place for animals.
Do you have any other good tips for looking after our sea life? Pop 'em in the comments.
When Mr. G was rescued from an animal hoarder and taken in by Animal Place sanctuary in California, it became clear to everyone that he was not a happy goat. Mr. G stopped eating and lay in the corner of his stall for days.
Watch Mr. G's amazing transformation when he is reunited with his best friend Jellybean the donkey:
Nawww. Do you have a best friend? I reckon I'd get pretty sulky if I didn't get to hang out with my bestie anymore, (she's not a donkey but she's still pretty cool). Many animals form strong bonds with others, just like humans. Cows too have best friends; pigs are excellent mothers and sheep make great teachers. Each and every animal has a unique personality and a desire to feel love and be happy :)
Do you have a favourite story about animal love and friendship? I'd love to hear about it :)
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.