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How to make a BAG difference for animals :)

How to make a BAG difference for animals :)

Posted 30 April 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: Activist Challenge, contest, winner, factory farming, live export, activism

"If we don't do something now, when will we?" – Jasmine Roney, age 16

Can you remember when you first learned about the terrible things that happen to animals? I remember feeling disbelief and wondering what I could do to help. When Jasmine learned about cruelty, she felt empowered to act.

In 2012 Jasmine started making calico bags with original designs on them to raise funds to help animals in factory farms and in the live animal export trade. These might seem like big issues for a 15 year old to tackle but as Jasmine quickly learned, we are not alone in wanting to help animals :)

Fast forward to now – here is a picture of Jasmine and Costa from ABC's Gardening Australia at the launch party for her Bags for Change project in Richmond :)

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Jasmine raised a whopping $1800 for animals by selling her fair-trade, reusable bags. (You can still purchase a bag for yourself at the Bags for Change Facebook page.)

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There was also a raffle with donated prizes from companies who supported Jasmine's cause AND an art competition with an awesome 60 entrants!

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It all started with the decision to make a difference. As Jasmine says, "for one second be bold enough to think that you can change the world because the ones who are brave enough to think that are the ones that do."

Is there an issue of cruelty that really gets to you? Do you have an idea to help change the world for animals? You can start your very own fundraising page by clicking here and filling out the details about your project. Or you can choose one of the challenges suggested :)

Jasmine wrote to us after her bag launch and said, "you all inspire me every day." Well Jasmine, I can speak for all of the Unleashed team when I say that you inspire us!

We were so moved by Jasmine's passion when we heard about her project. And we just can't get enough of hearing about the awesome things that people get up to to be a strong voice for animals. So if you're doing something awesome, get the credit for it you deserve by entering our Activist Challenge comp.

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P.S. If you'd like to leave a message of support for Jasmine, you can do so in the comments below :)

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Winning activist speaks up for horses

Winning activist speaks up for horses

Posted 5 February 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: Activist Challenge, contest, winner, horses, horse racing, activism

Seventeen year old Cianah (Unleashed member freehorses) has been a horse lover for as long as she can remember. When she discovered what happened to racehorses who aren't 'good enough' she had to make a stand. "I realised I couldn’t just sit back," says Cianah. "I want everyone to know what really happens." What she did next is why she is our latest Activist Challenge Winner. :)

If you're anything like me, the thought of speaking in front of a bunch of people in high school is enough to make you pull the doona up over your head and throw a sickie. Not Cianah! She recently got up in front of the WHOLE senior assembly on a mission to reveal the truth about the racing industry. "I realised that so many of my class mates and even family members liked horse racing," Cianah says, "so I became determined to do something about it."

Her speech included everything from excessive whipping to the premature training of young horses and concluded with the unnecessary slaughter of thousands of horses every year. :( You can see for yourself by watching the video below, but please be aware that the content is graphic:

The best news is that several students came up to Cianah after the speech and said that they never knew about the cruelty in the racing industry and pledged to never bet on horse races. (Click here to make the pledge yourself.)

Cianah is now looking to find some horse-loving, musically talented buddies to create a group dedicated to helping more horses. What a great idea!

Have you been getting up to something awesome to help animals? If so, we want to hear about it. Click here to read about our other Activist Challenge Winners and to enter for yourself. You could win an awesome prize pack like Cianah. :)

350-Cianah.jpg
Cianah and her horse Trillian.

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Puppies and cupcakes!

Puppies and cupcakes!

Posted 30 September 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: puppies, cupcakes, food, Make it Possible, factory farming, activism

What's the best way to raise awareness about factory farming? Sugar and cuteness of course! Check out the compassionate peeps from University of Sydney Animal Welfare Society (AWS) doing their thing to help Make it Possible:

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NEXT PHOTO >

Cruelty-free cupcakes, flyers and smiles all round at the AWS campus bake sale.

Want to do your bit for a kinder world? Click here to make the pledge to help end factory farming. And if you're at USYD, why not get in touch with the Animal Welfare Society and lend a hand at their next event? Or you can start taking action for animals right now by clicking here and joining the Action Team.

P.S. If you're in love with Togepi and Oddish just as much as I am, then you can enquire to adopt the little cuties at FetchingDogs.com.au.

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Factory farming beaten by teens!

Factory farming beaten by teens!

Posted 9 July 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: factory farming, activism, vote

A bill to abolish factory farming has been passed! Ok, ok, so I should mention that it’s not exactly Australian legislation. (Yet.) Remember the girls from Ivanhoe Girls Grammar School who decided to speak up for animals in Victorian Youth Parliament? Well, on Tuesday 2nd July at 3.30 pm, young representatives from schools all over Australia voted ‘YES’ to an end to factory farming. And now I’m even more convinced that teenagers are best equipped to run the country ;)

The bill, which aims to abolish factory farming by the year 2030, will now be passed on to state and federal ministers for consideration. More than 25 bills that have passed through Youth Parliament have gone on to become Victorian legislation. I've got all my fingers and toes crossed that one day this becomes number 26.

These six caring and compassionate individuals from Ivanhoe Girls have made a very clear statement to our politicians that young people care about the way animals are treated and want a better life for them in future. Here’s to a world where mother pigs are not confined to cages too small for them to even turn around and battery hens are not kept in darkness for their whole lives. Let’s hope our pollies listen up to the girls from Ivanhoe and the youth of Australia.

This just goes to show that every single person can make a difference and help to be the voice for animals. But did you know that more than half a million 18-24 year aren't enrolled to vote? That means half a million young people are missing out on the opportunity to be heard in Australian politics. 500,000 votes can make a BIG difference!

With a Federal election coming up before the end of the year, now is the time to make sure you can have your say about what matters to you and use your vote to help create a kinder world for animals. If you haven’t done so already, click on the image below to enrol:

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An Impulse rant.

An Impulse rant.

Posted 28 June 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: animal testing, cruelty free, Unilever, activism, rant

I am fed up with companies needlessly hurting animals for cosmetics and toiletries. Enough is enough. So, I wrote to Unilever and told them why I no longer use their products:

Dear Unilever,

When I think about my childhood, something very strange happens. When I remember my 12th birthday sleepover party, a sweet vanilla scent fills my nostrils. When I think about Friday afternoon P.E. class, the distinct smells of musk and raspberry come flooding back. And when I had my first date, I felt like a Goddess, and smelled like one too.

That’s right, I was an Impulse kid. Your body sprays were so popular when I was growing up that they operated as status symbols, with the person owning the largest collection of fragrances sitting at the top of the popularity ladder.

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I am writing to you today having out-grown my rollerblades with the purple shoelaces but having grown into a sense of compassion and ethics as a consumer. Even though I still want to smell like a Spice Girl as much as I ever did, I will not be buying any products made by your company. This is for one reason: your company funds animal testing.

Testing cosmetics and toiletries on animals is banned here in Australia. Don’t you think that’s probably because Australians care about the welfare of animals and realise these tests are cruel and unnecessary? And yet you choose to test your products on animals overseas. When I learned that companies such as yours STILL test on animals, I was floored. Why?

The majority of commonly used ingredients have been safety tested YEARS ago. Not to mention that even brand new ingredients can’t be guaranteed to be safe for human safety when they are tested on animals. And yet product testing still blinds, burns, poisons and kills millions of rabbits, dogs and other animals every year.

"Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals and the answer is: 'Because animals are like us."

"Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: 'Because the animals are not like us."

"Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction."

--Prof. Charles R. Magel

Now that I'm a little older and wiser, I choose to put my pocket money towards products that use alternatives to animal testing rather than needlessly harming animals. I have found that it is very much possible to smell like a goddess without contributing to animal cruelty and I intend to keep doing so.

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I hope that one day you will change your policy on animal testing and join me in the greener pastures where rabbits do not have chemicals rubbed in their eyes and dogs are free from being burned and poisoned.

No longer yours, sincerely,

Amy

Is there a product you used to love but have made the switch to a cruelty-free alternative? Why not drop the company a line and tell them why you no longer use their products? Click here to take action against animal testing.

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I-VAN-HOE! WAY-TO-GO!

I-VAN-HOE! WAY-TO-GO!

Posted 13 June 2013   by Amy         Permalink | Be the first to comment

Tags: factory farming, activism

What do Ivanhoe Girls Grammar School kids talk about when they hang out? Which of the Voice contestants is their favourite, how annoying little brothers are, how to bring down factory farming, .... wait, WHA???

Six students from Ivanhoe Girls Grammar School have decided that they aren't going to stand for factory farming anymore. So they're taking it to the government. "The current treatment of animals in factory farming is an injustice and unacceptable," says team leader Gloria Deng. She and her five team mates will debate for 'The Abolishment of Factory Farming' at the 27th Annual Victorian Youth Parliament this July. "We are fighting to ensure that no animal experiences the inhumane practices of factory farming."

Factory farming is one of the biggest causes of animal cruelty today. Can you believe that it's legal to cut bits and pieces off conscious animals in factory farms? Hopefully Ivanhoe Girls team will help the government to realise that this has got to stop.

Personally, I have never been more excited about Parliament. Did you know that more than 25 Bills have passed through Youth Parliament and gone on to become Victorian legislation? I smell number 26 ...

Sending all my luck to you girls! You have one hell of a cheer squad behind you – me plus the millions of pigs and chickens who need us to create a kinder world. Thank you for helping their plea to be heard!

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Lion cubs spared from the circus!
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Lion cubs spared from the circus!

Posted 23 February 2012   by         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: Circuses, lions, activism, exotic animals, entertainment

Right, it's confirmed - Animals Australia Unleashed members are the best ever!

Thanks to stacks of emails sent by you guys to Darling Downs Zoo, two innocent little lion cubs have been spared the cruelty of a life in a travelling circus!

When our big sis Animals Australia broke this story last month, you helped us make it spread like wildfire across Facebook and Twitter and eventually the owners of the cubs listened to the community's views and did the right thing.

Had the original plan gone through, adorable Spike and gorgeous Spot would have faced a life on the road in a small boring enclosure without any opportunity to act like lions.

I'm sure you're as thrilled as we are, and this really goes to show just what can be achieved through PEOPLE POWER!

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, two older lions have just been rescued from a French Circus and are settling in at a Wildlife Park in the UK. Brutus and Clarence are now learning how to be lions again - something that, thanks to you, Spike & Spot may never have to do.

Don't forget to take the pledge to help end circus cruelty by clicking here!

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Top 10 Movies For Your Summer Holidays

Top 10 Movies For Your Summer Holidays

Posted 11 January 2012   by Jesse         Permalink | 11 Comments

Tags: movies, holidays, activism

One of my favourite ways to spend holidays (along with speaking up for animals -- of course) is to catch up on some movies. When it's too hot even to hit the beach, there's nothing like kicking back and watching a great movie.
So to help you through the rest of your summer holidays (I know, it's tough work isn't it :P), I've put together a list of movies with animal themes for you to check out:

  1. Earthlings (doco)
    Many people call Earthlings THE animal rights movie. And if you haven't seen this hard hitting doco yet, then it's a must watch. You can watch the full film online for free, here.
  2. The Cove (doco)
    An awesome doco that is like a real life "Mission Impossible". This is the story of a film-making team attempting to document and expose the annual bloody dolphin slaughter in the Japanese town of Taiji. It's equal parts thrilling, saddening and inspiring, as you watch this team using high tech surveillance gear and evading local police to expose this shocking slaughter.
  3. Gorillas in the Mist (drama)
    Movies don't get much more incredible than this true story of Dian Fossey, a scientist who traveled to Africa to study endangered mountain gorillas in the wild, and ended up campaigning to protect them. They actually shot this film in Rwanda, where Dian had done her research, amongst wild gorillas. They were only allowed 6 crew members near the gorillas for one hour each day. The experience inspired star, Sigourney Weaver, to join the campaign to protect these amazing animals.
  4. Chicken Run (animation)
    The fact this was made by the same people who made Wallace and Gromit should be reason enough to check it out. Locked up on a gloomy farm, where hens have their heads chopped off if they don't produce enough eggs, Rocky the rooster and Ginger the hen lead the other chickens on a great escape.
  5. Princess Monoke (anime)
    This movie may be a few years old, but it's still one of the most beautifully animated movies ever. The mysterious Princess Mononoke fights to protect the forests from a local mining village. I have a feeling Avatar was inspired by this movie.
  6. Marley & Me (comedy)
    A newspaper columnist gets more than he bargained for when he brings home an over-enthusiastic puppy, Marley, for his wife. Anyone who's lived with dogs will have plenty of "Oh that happened to me." moments in this funny and adorable film.
  7. Babe (comedy)
    Who could go past the story of Babe, the piglet who doesn't want to be sent to the slaughterhouse and so hatches a plan to save himself from becoming dinner.
  8. Year of the Dog (comedy)
    Peggy's life is unexpectedly transformed after her dog dies. This quirky film is funny and uplifting. Peggy's relationship with her sister-in-law is particularly hilarious.
  9. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (sci-fi)
    When an experimental drug gives Caesar the lab chimp super-intelligence, he starts to question the way humans treat other animals. Seeing the world through his eyes: from animal experiments, to a dodgy ape park, you start to get the picture that animals can often get a raw deal when they're used by humans. What makes this movie particularly awesome is the fact they didn't use any real apes in the film. Instead human actors played the apes, and the CGI they used to transform these actors into apes is just incredible!
  10. Planet Earth
    We live on a pretty amazing planet, full of incredible creatures. No one does a better job of telling their stories than David Attenborough, and this has got to be one of his best docos. Exploring everything from deserts to jungles to ice worlds to the ocean deep and everything in between, this series is full of some of the most curious and unusual animals on the planet. Check it out, it's awesome stuff!

That should keep you busy for a while! Once you've checked these out, let me know what you think. And if you've got any great animal films to recommend leave a comment.

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A Sweet Idea for This Friday!

A Sweet Idea for This Friday!

Posted 12 October 2011   by Jesse         Permalink | 13 Comments

Tags: eggs, vegan, dessert, cupcakes, chickens, chicks, activism

If you ask me, Friday's are pretty sweet... after all, it's almost the weekend. But this week we've got a plan to make Friday even sweeter.

This Friday (14th October) is World Egg Day... I know, I know... you're thinking "What could be sweet about a day celebrating an industry that locks 11 million hens in cages with less space per bird than an A4 sheet of paper, that kills hens who aren't producing enough eggs (usually at around 18months of age) and that kills about 12 million male chicks on their first day of life - simply because they weren't born female, and so can't produce eggs?" ... like this:

... but hold up a sec, and I'll tell you what we have in mind.

This Friday, we'd like to invite you to join us in protesting the egg industry's cruelty to chickens in just about the tastiest way we know how... by baking a delicious egg-free cake!

I know what I'll be baking - Maple Cupcakes with Sugared Walnuts from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. But if you're not quite as maple syrup obsessed as I am, you could always go for this heavenly chocolate cupcake recipe, or make a chocolate mudcake, or apple and almond tea cake, or banana date slice... the options are endless!

And by sharing your cruelty-free cake with friends (I know it's hard :P), you can show them just how sweet making a difference for chickens can be!

So, what are you going to bake this Friday for World Egg-Free Day?

P.S. You can also spread the word about World Egg-Free Day by making the image below your facebook profile pic in the lead up to Friday. (Right click on the image to download and save the file ('save image as'), upload it to Facebook and make it your new profile pic. Then tag all your friends, to grab their attention!)

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Countdown to Be Kind to Animals Week!
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Countdown to Be Kind to Animals Week!

Posted 29 September 2011   by         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: veg, edgar's mission, activism, video, take action

It's all happening next week! Not only is it World Veg Week, but the wonderful people from Edgar's Mission animal sanctuary have launched Be Kind To Animals Week -- a week for everyone to take simple steps to improve the lives of our furry (finned, feathered and scaley) friends!

There are plenty of great things you can do to get involved:

You can act at home, by taking your best friend for a stroll (more than once I hope!); or putting a nesting box for birds in a tree in your backyard.

You could act local, by volunteering at an animal shelter; picking up rubbish on the beach; or writing a letter to the editor of your local paper about an animal issue you are passionate about (live export maybe? Or jumps racing? Puppy farms?).

Or you can make a change in your own life (to have a big impact!), such as taking the Veg Week Challenge and saving two animals' lives by taking animals off your plate for the week (or longer!); or committing to buy products that aren't tested on animals.

Remember, even if you're already rockin the cruelty-free lifestyle, you can extend the Veg Challenge (or any other Be Kind to Animals Week initiatives) to your friends and family, neighbours, workmates, teachers, etc. The more the merrier (and the better off animals will be for it)!

To get you in the mood for Be Kind to Animals Week, here's a gorgeous video of two amazing inhabitants from Edgar's Mission:

Leave a comment below - What will you be doing to be kind to animals next week?

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Protesters stay loud for live export victims!
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Protesters stay loud for live export victims!

Posted 8 September 2011   by         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: live export, protest, activism, photos, Animals Australia, South Australia, Western Australia

In just over two weeks, hundreds of people travelled from far and wide to join Animals Australia campaigners in Port Adelaide for five protests, shining a spotlight on the cruelty of live export. What an amazing effort by South Australians! And now the people of Perth are stepping up to make their voice heard too.

This all began when an old car carrier, converted into a live export ship, carrying 67,000 sheep, broke down after one day at sea. The ship went back to Port Adelaide but the animals were not immediately unloaded. Instead, they remained stuck on board in cramped pens. Around 300 animals died on board the Al Messilah in just 10 days!

Sadly, these deaths are not unusual. In fact, on every ship that leaves our shores hundreds (sometimes even thousands) of animals die. But what was unusual is that it happened under our noses, for all Australians to see. And with every one of the protests making the nightly TV news, the protesters guaranteed that the animals suffering would not go unnoticed.

After suffering on board the broken down ship for 10 days, the animals were finally unloaded and sent to a feedlot, their fate uncertain. But these animals weren't safe for even two weeks before another boat, the Al Shuwaikh, arrived to load them for the trip to the Middle East -- to countries with no laws to protect them from cruelty.

Over three consecutive days, hundreds of people turned out at Port Adelaide to call for an end to the cruelty. On the final day, as the boat readied to set out, people laid flowers in a memorial to the victims of live export -- the thousands that die on board ships each year and the millions that are slaughtered fully conscious :(

On each of the last three days of protests, the exporters seemed to be trying to avoid the protesters (and media), first delaying the ships arrival, then delaying loading and then rushing to load animals through the night before the protesters returned. Does that sound to you like an industry with nothing to hide?

All thoughts today are with the sheep onboard the Al Shuwaikh, which has just arrived in Fremantle, and with the wonderful people of Western Australia who were out in force at Fremantle Port today, to again highlight just how cruel this industry is and show our politicians that Australians will not stay silent while animals continue to suffer in this trade.

If you want to hear of urgent actions near you, sign up to Animals Australia's SMS alert service here.

Were you at any of the protests in Port Adelaide or Freo? Share your experience in the comments.

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RADelaide rallies for sheep!
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RADelaide rallies for sheep!

Posted 22 August 2011   by         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: rally, activism, live export, sheep, Port Adelaide

On the wharves of Port Adelaide, an animal welfare crisis has been unfolding.

A run down live export ship (actually a 28 year old converted car carrier) hit mechanical trouble when it set out for the Middle East with 67,000 sheep on board and was forced to return to Adelaide after just one day at sea. Trapped on the ship and crammed into tiny pens for over a week, 300 sheep died on board.

After a last-minute protest last Wednesday by Animals Australia, Unleashed members and around 70 locals, the sheep were finally offloaded and sent to a feedlot north of Adelaide.

Then on Saturday, as sheep were still being offloaded, more than 300 people gathered again at the docks to demand these sheep be shown some mercy. They've been through so much already! It's unthinkable that the live exporters still want to ship them back to the Middle East where they will have their throats cut while fully conscious!

Adelaide really stepped up on ultra short notice and I'm pretty proud of my hometown right now. But we still don't know yet what the fate of these poor confused sheep will be. We will be keeping our voices loud for them and I hope you will too.

Make sure you keep an eye on our Facebook page for any new protests that will be coming up, and sign up to the Action Team here so we can alert you to any last minute rallies quick as a flash!

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The Black Spurs say Live Export Ain't Right!
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The Black Spurs say Live Export Ain't Right!

Posted 10 August 2011   by         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: The Black Spurs, It Ain't Right, live export, video, music, activism

I don't know about you guys, but I lurrrrve my Rock and Roll! It's no secret that I'm pretty fond of animals too so when I heard that The Black Spurs had written a song about banning live export, I was interested.

Nothing prepared me for how awesome the song is though! Check it out!

The footage that Animals Australia filmed in Indonesia of the cruel live animal export trade was enough to outrage guitarist GG Twang to pen the powerful lyrics. But then, he went one better, and donated the song to the Ban live Export campaign!

Yep, all the proceeds from this little pearler go to Animals Australia and for $1.69 on iTunes it's cheaper than a soy latte!

If you're in Sydney, you can see The Black Spurs perform "It Ain't Right" at the Sydney Ban Live Export National Rally this Sunday 14th August.

For everyone else, I reckon we should learn the words and sing them loud and clear at the rallies in all the other major cities this weekend.

Get your rock on guys, and let's rally together to Ban Live Export!

It Ain't Right - The Black Spurs

Herd them into ships, to sail the open seas
The lucky don't survive, the stress and disease
To feeding lots far and wide, on foreign sovereign ground
To take their final rest before the butcher's killing ground

Live ban, live ban, live ban, live, animal rights
Live ban, live ban, live ban, live, it ain't right!

Slaughter box is open, leg ropes tied and bound
A mighty slap as the Brahman's back, hits the concrete ground
One by one they follow, trembling in their stride
To face the blade of the butcher's trade, conscious and alive

Live ban, live ban, live ban, live, animal rights
Live ban, live ban, live ban, live, it ain't right!

The politicians argue, the experts disagree
Live export is no answer, let's end the suffering
Let's start to think it over, find a better way
Cause right is right and wrong is wrong stand up and voice a change

Live ban, live ban, live ban, live, animal rights
Live ban, live ban, live ban, live, it ain't right!

I can't say for you, but it's plain to me
It ain't right to mistreat life cause pain and misery
We need to feed the world, every family
But not forget to show respect for all that lives and breathes

Live ban, live ban, live ban, live, animal rights
Live ban, live ban, live ban, live, it ain't right!
Live ban, live ban, live ban, live, animal rights
Live ban, live ban, live ban, live, it ain't right!

GG Twang 2011

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Let's Get Ready to RAAAALLLYYYYYY!
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Let's Get Ready to RAAAALLLYYYYYY!

Posted 5 August 2011   by         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: Live export, activism, rally, cows, sheep

I'm so excited for the Ban Live Export National Rally I could burst!
Sunday 14th August is the day that legendary people all over the country can rally together to Ban Live Export.

The rallies in each state are shaping up to be huge, with stacks of people clicking "Attending" on the Facebook events. And if you're in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra or Hobartyou can help us make this even bigger!

And I know there's heaps of people everywhere that were horrified by the footage out of Indonesia that might not be able to make it to a rally but still want to get involved, and you can help too! Here's how:

Spread the word on Facebook. Post this rally page to your wall. Make sure you RSVP there and to your city's Facebook event page (click on your city above). Then invite everyone on your friend list! Get crafty and make some banners! Click here for some ideas on slogans and pictures to use. Be as creative as you want! (Just keep in mind that kids will be there, and that the focus of the rallies needs to stay on banning live export ;) Here are some our of faves:

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Last (but absolutely not least), know where to go! Click here for all the rally deets to make sure you've sussed out the location and how you're going to get there in time for all the action to start. (Parking might be limited so you may need to take a bus, train, tram, helicopter :-P)

Oh! And just to get you in the mood (or maybe this is just my excuse to rock out) check out this clip by The Black Spurs. All about the live export trade, I reckon "It Ain't Right" will be #1 before we know it. First person to learn all the words gets ... um, massive Unleashed cred!

See you on Sunday August 14! Don't be late!

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More Nations Stepping up to Save Sharks!
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More Nations Stepping up to Save Sharks!

Posted 14 July 2011   by         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: Sharks, shark fin soup, activism, fish, oceans

More good news for animals abroad! Hot on the heels of other nations stepping up to save the sharks of the world, this week Chile banned the finning of sharks. But wait, it gets better! Just last week the Bahamas banned the fishing of sharks completely!

Now before the Jaws theme pops into your head (oops! Too late!), some amazing divers are out to show sharks aren't the man eating monters of movies, but in fact are actually pretty shy. Like our canine companions, sharks also have an incredible sense of smell, and wait for it, the NZ Swell Shark even barks like a dog!

So what's the sad situation with sharks? Soup! Yep, you read that right - soup! The demand for an expensive dish known as Shark Fin Soup sees millions of sharks killed - all for their fins.

Considered so much of a delicacy in China that, in a fisherman's eyes, it renders every other part of a shark's body as worthless, one bowl of the bland broth can fetch up to $400!

So fishing boats head out and catch millions of sharks. In some cases, a shark is hauled up on deck, her fins are hacked off, before she is tossed back overboard, alive, in agony and slowly sinking to her death.

Not only is this insanely cruel, but the practice has seen some shark populations plummet by 90% - sharks are literally swimming on a knife's edge!

Thankfully more and more governments worldwide are recognising this cruelty too. Other island nations, like Honduras, Maldives and Palau have also declared their seas safe for sharks, and the US states, Hawaii and Washington, and the Canadian city, Brantford have banned the sale of shark fin.

But here in Australia, you can wander into any number of Chinese restaurants and order shark fin soup straight off the menu.

So here's how you can help! If you're out for dinner and see this cruel dish on the menu, you can send a strong message by politely explaining to the waiter or manager why you are leaving. Tell them if they stop selling shark fin soup you'll be back and you'll bring your friends!

If you know of any awesome Asian eateries that have already taken shark fin off the menu, let us know below!

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Carl Cages Himself for Chickens!
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Carl Cages Himself for Chickens!

Posted 5 April 2011   by         Permalink | 15 Comments

Tags: eggs, chickens, cage, activism, battery cage, news, new zealand

There's a new legend in town! New Zealander, Carl Scott is at this very moment, sitting alone in a tiny cage next to a highway, and he plans to stay there for a whole month!

Why? To shine the spotlight on the cruel treatment of chickens kept in battery cages for their eggs (yes, sadly the situation in NZ is not much different to Australia). Now that's commitment!

The space he's living in for the next month is less than two metres across, 130cm high (he can't even stand up!) and even includes his toilet. Yet Carl would be the first to tell you that despite these cramped conditions he's still got it way better than the average chook (let's call her Betty).

To start with, Betty doesn't have her own cage; she has to share it with up to 5 other birds, with less than the space of an A4 piece of paper for each to live in . She can't even flap her wings!

Betty's cage is one of thousands of cages, stacked in rows - up to four cages high. Living in the bottom row, she is showered with waste from hens locked in cages above hers.

Betty has lost many of the feathers that would keep her warm from constantly rubbing against the wire of the cage. If Betty isn't living in chronic pain from an untreated broken bone, then stats suggest that at least one of her cagemates is. [1]

For virtually her entire life, she has been locked in this tiny cage in a windowless shed. The short time before she was put in this cage was no more pleasant. During that time the tip of her beak was sliced off with a hot iron, without any pain relief.

Even if Betty survives life in this miserable cage, her only 'reward' for producing eggs will be death. When she no longer lays enough eggs to be 'profitable', she will be trucked off to slaughter with her cage-mates (before her second birthday), without ever knowing the simple joys of dustbathing, perching or building her own nest.

There is absolutely no doubt that chickens in battery cages endure a life of hell. None of us would want to trade places with them. Which makes Carl's demonstration all the more heroic. Carl, you're a legend!

If you don't think any person or animal should be forced to live this way, have your say for chickens in New Zealand here and chickens in Australia here.

Do you think you could spend a month in a cage for the cause?

Ref [1] Parkinson G (1993), "Osteoporosis and bone fractures in the laying hen", Progress report of work at the Victorian Institute of Animal Science, Attwood

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Help Pull Strings to Stop Circus Cruelty!
Posted By

Help Pull Strings to Stop Circus Cruelty!

Posted 16 March 2011   by         Permalink | 8 Comments

Tags: animal circuses, exotic animals, entertainment, posters, petition, activism

Roll up! Roll up! The circus is in town! Come along to stare at the bearded lady, marvel at the amazing acrobats on the highwire, laugh at the clowns and cry when you see the miserable performing monkeys, lions, tigers and bears ... oh my! Stop! The show mustn't go on!

tiger-animal-circus-ad-LAV.jpg

How great is this clever ad by Italian animal rights group, the LAV? Just like a puppet on a string, an animal in a circus is forced to perform whether he wants to or not. And I bet he'd rather not. I mean, who would want to sit in a tiny barren enclosure, only to be let out to perform ridiculously humiliating 'tricks' that he would never do in the wild?

Travelling between towns is no fun for him either - cooped up for days on end in the back of trains or trucks. It's no surprise that many animals kept this way develop worrying habits like pacing, swaying, or biting the cage bars.

We want to see cruel animal circuses go the way of the dinosaurs, and we're starting with New South Wales! Animals Australia, together with Animals Asia and RSPCA NSW want the whole state to get rid of this outdated practice (I refuse to use the word 'entertainment').

If you're in NSW, you can help! Print out this petition and get it chock full of signatures and send it back by May 1st. It's going straight to the top to be tabled in the NSW parliament by the Lord Mayor of Sydney!

Councils like Ku-Ring-Gai and Lismore in NSW and Ipswich and Gold Coast in QLD have already banned circuses with exotic animals so we know it can be done! Once you've done your part, click here to let us know!

Not in NSW? You can still help by taking the pledge to end circus cruelty. Ask your local council to ban animal circuses or write a letter to the editor of your local paper.

Animal cruelty is just not entertaining. What would you rather see in a circus?

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Let's Give Animals a Happy New Year!

Let's Give Animals a Happy New Year!

Posted 29 December 2010   by Jesse         Permalink | 22 Comments

Tags: New Year, veg, dairy, eggs, activism, earthlings

The new year is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf. So we hope that the animals have made it onto your resolution list! If not, then we've got a few suggestions for how you could make a world of difference for animals and the planet in the new year:

  1. Pledge to take animals off your plate. All animals - cats, dogs, pigs, lambs and even fish! - are individuals with feelings and their own desires and as the actor James Cromwell said, "I don't eat anyone who would run, swim, or fly away if he could."

    If you think animals rock, but need a little added incentive to take that next step, then this film should give you the extra motivation you're looking for:


  2. Already meat-free and lovin' it? Great! Then how about taking the next step and giving dairy and eggs the flick?

    Sadly, the milk and egg industries aren't without their body count - and it's the babies of these industries who are the first casualties. About 12 million day old male chicks and a million unwanted baby calves from the dairy industry are discarded and killed as 'waste products' each year. And even dairy cows and egg laying hens don't get to live a full life. When they are no longer productive enough to be profitable, they too find themselves on the way to be slaughtered.


  3. So you're meat-free, don't do dairy and set a good eggsample by not eating eggs? Awesome! Then next year make your voice heard, even louder, for the animals!

So that's our tips for the new year. Now... what are your new year's resolutions?

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Kendra Cooks Cupcakes with Compassion!
Posted By Jane

Kendra Cooks Cupcakes with Compassion!

Posted 30 August 2010   by         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: Pigs, factory farms, cupcakes, activism

Fantastic Animals Australia and Unleashed supporters continually amaze and delight me with the creative ways they speak up for animals. From leafleting and protests to simply talking to their friends about why they should consider animals, I'm proud to be part of such a wonderful community.

And last week was no different. We received an email from supporter, Kendra, to let us know that her workplace was now full of people who had recently taken the pro pig pledge after learning about the cruelty of sow stalls.
How did they find out? Check this out!

Kendra used her culinary skills to create these eye catching cupcakes highlighting the plight of mother pigs in factory farms across Australia.
It sounds a bit odd to say that seeing those sow stall cupcakes made my mouth water. I feel a bit better saying that the greener cupcakes look just that bit more appetizing!

Cupcakes were the order of the day all round Kendra's office, but none generated more buzz and discussion than her sympathetic sweets! And she no doubt changed a few workmates' buying habits at the same time.

Nice one Kendra! And thank you from the pigs!

Has this inspired you? What are you gonna spell out in the icing of your next batch of cupcakes?

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Top 5 Ways to Make Your Holidays Count!

Top 5 Ways to Make Your Holidays Count!

Posted 1 July 2010   by _Matt         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: guest blog, advocacy, activism, holidays, school

So it's holidays... Hol-lee-dayzzzz!  Alright, alright - enough celebrating for now.

OK one more: HOLIDAYS!!!! 

Time to forget about school for 2 weeks (for most of us). No more 7am wake-ups, no more smelly canteens and smellier canteen men... and no more dissections (YES!).

I'm sure your schedule is already packed with movies to see, friends to visit, and shops to shop, food to eat... and maybe even a date? ;) But remember! The animals still need our help! And hey, is there a better time to be a hero for the animals than during the holidays? happy.gif

So let's get down to business... Here are 5 great ways to make your holidays count:

  1. Organise/join a leafleting session. (hit me up if this interests you!)
  2. Take your friends out for a great veggie lunch.
  3. Volunteer at a local animal shelter.
  4. Write a letter to someone (eg. PM, local member of parliament, editor of a newspaper, etc) about an issue that concerns you.
  5. Organise a movie night with your mates to watch Earthlings, or Meat the Truth.

So tell me, what are you doing for the animals these holidays? Don't forget to drop a line here and tell us all about it.

Stay loud!

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Who Hates Exams?
Posted By Jane

Who Hates Exams?

Posted 29 April 2010   by         Permalink | 15 Comments

Tags: animal testing, humane education, education, advocacy, activism, school, university, dissection

Hi, I'm Jane, and I've just joined the team, so this is my first ever blog!

So I have one exam to go before I receive my degree in Animal Science. While I'd normally be dreading any kind of exam, biting my nails, and overdosing on coffee while I'm cramming as much as I can get in the night before, I'm actually kind of looking forward to this one. I just heard your jaw drop on the keyboard, but hear me out!

This exam won't just be symbolic of me finally completing my studies. It's also the very last step in proving once and for all that it is entirely possible to attain not only a science degree, but an animal science degree, without having harmed any animals.

For three long years, I steadfastly refused to inject, kill or dissect any animal. Once I was even threatened with a fail, but I stayed true to my beliefs and said defiantly "Fail me then".

No one failed me. In fact, I have a Distinction grade point average and an Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, which further goes to show that I was actually better off not using animals.

A lot of people, students and teachers, think that it's impossible to study biology, physiology, genetics or medicine without using animals. This is really concerning, because the alternatives, text books, artificial models and computer simulations that are readily available make using actual animals in education completely redundant.

That's why this exam means a lot to me, and that's why I'm gonna blitz it!

Hopefully this can be a reference point whenever someone tells you that you have to use animals in science or at uni. Besides, the teachers HAVE to offer you an alternative if you ask for one, did you know that?

All too often, I was the only one to say anything, while my fellow students stayed quiet, did the practicals, and cried on the bus on the way home. We all know it's wrong to use animals this way, so if you're in school and don't want to hurt animals when the teacher tells you to, Speak Up! And encourage your friends to do the same.

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Speak Up for Lab Animals & WIN FREE LIP BALM!

Speak Up for Lab Animals & WIN FREE LIP BALM!

Posted 21 April 2010   by Karen         Permalink | 44 Comments

Tags: animal testing, giveaway, Perfect Potion, Colgate-Palmolive, Unilever, Procter and Gamble, activism

I was never a huge fan of science in school. The lab always smelled funny and those goggles and aprons were never as flattering as our science teacher made them out to be. But as torturous as that all was, I actually had it pretty easy...

Can you imagine having to spend your entire life in a science laboratory?

That's the reality for millions of rabbits, mice, cats, dogs and other animals. But there's no safety equipment for these little guys. To test consumer products such as hairspray, toilet cleaner and cosmetics, lab animals have nasty chemicals dripped directly into their eyes, and are given chemical burns to their skin. Others are forced to ingest harmful substances that cause painful poisoning and worse - death.

Sadly this isn't science fiction - it's a real-life horror story. But with your help we can give the animals a happy ending...

Not many people know that some of the most well-known companies like Colgate/Palmolive, Procter & Gamble (who own Braun, CoverGirl, Gillette, Pantene,Wella, Herbal Essences, Vidal Sassoon, Duracell and more) and Unilever (who own Dove, Rexona, Lynx, SunSilk, Impulse, Lux, Vaseline, Domestos and more) still fund deadly tests on animals overseas before sending their products down under for us to buy. If you have any of their products at home, you have a great opportunity to help end animal testing by calling their customer feedback number (usually on the pack), and politely letting them know that you won't buy their products again after learning that their company funds animal tests.

merchthumb.php?q=99&g=90&s=180&q=95

Now, we know that your lips might get a little chapped if you have to make a few calls, so to show our thanks, and to celebrate how amazing cruelty-free cosmetics are, we're giving away FREE Vanilla Bean Lip Balm from Perfect Potion to five courageous callers!

To be in the draw simply comment below and tell us who you called, and how it went :-)


UPDATE: Thank you so much to everyone who phoned, emailed or sent letters to companies telling them to leave the animals alone! Unleashed certainly has some outspoken members who should be very proud of themselves! In the end the lip-smacking winners of the Vanilla Bean Lip-Balm are brookeb, angelaartsstudent, AlanaRama, Tracy and Katie2. Thanks again and well done to all of you who entered, and don't forget to always speak up for animals!

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Sedgewick the Sheep Makes His Unleashed Debut!

Sedgewick the Sheep Makes His Unleashed Debut!

Posted 21 March 2010   by _Matt         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: Activism, Leafleting, Melbourne, Costume, Street Team, Guest Blog

So guys, how was your weekend? Good? Yeh, I thought so. I expected nothing less. :)

And mine? Mine was awesome too! Why? I got to meet Sedgewick the Sheep -- Unleashed's very own animal-cruelty fighting ram!

I, and another few Unleashed Street Team members, were scheduled to meet him on the corner of Bourke and Swanston Street, Melbourne. He promised us all the leafleting session of our lives, so we all waited in earnest -- the topic of conversation: how in the world would a sheep be getting itself into the centre of Melbourne?! But to be honest, I didn't know what to expect -- after all, it'd be pretty hard to get those Unleashed leaflets moving only with hooves, right?

Well, I was wrong! Sedgewick the Sheep is one top bloke ... and one very awesome leafleter! Not only did Sedgewick get lots of people thinking about the benefits of not eating animals, but got hugs all round for his trouble. Everyone, from 7 year olds to 70 year olds, wanted a piece of this fluffy fellow!

We got to the end of the session, and must have got out close to 1,000 leaflets! Now I thought this was something to be happy about, but Sedgewick -- while pumped that countless lives would now surely be saved -- was looking forward to next week, where he would be able to meet even more of Unleashed's finest. In fact, he made me promise one thing: to get home, write a blog, a get more people to next weekend's leafleting session!

So here we are guys: If you're interested in coming along, all your info is right here.

We hope to see you guys soon,

Matt (with help from Sedgewick) ;)

Unleashed Flyer

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Top 5 Ways to Help Animals at School

Top 5 Ways to Help Animals at School

Posted 1 February 2010   by Jesse         Permalink | 17 Comments

Tags: school, activism, advocacy, dissection, stickers, leather

So it's that time of year again - time to pack your bags, dust off your uniform and head back to school. I know how you're feeling ... if only the holidays could've lasted a bit longer, right? But on the up side, a new year at school is full of great opportunities to help animals. So here are a few reasons to jump out of bed and embrace the new school year with enthusiasm!

Top 5 Tips for Helping Animals at School:

  1. Make Your Presentations Count
    What better chance to speak up for animals than when you've got a captive audience. Are you outraged that 10 million chicks are ground up alive or gassed to death by the egg industry each year? Or that rabbits have chemicals rubbed into their eyes to test everyday household products? Then make your class talks count and do them on issues your classmates should know about. Besides, when you're doing a presentation on something you know and care about, you'll get better grades!
  1. Ditch Dissection
    Just because an animal is small green and slimy, doesn't make it ok to kill her and cut her open. And as for our furry friends, rats - think of them as little dogs - these little guys are smart, playful and really, really cute. There's just no need for violence in science. So let your teacher know you don't want to dissect. Then prove there's no need for dissection by using animal friendly resources (eg. text books, videos and computer simulations) to stay ahead of the class.
  1. Make Your Uniform Animal Friendly
    I don't know about you, but there's no way I want to wear the skin of a dead cow on my feet. And seriously, with so many faux leather alternatives, there's just no need. If your school has a uniform policy with compulsory leather shoes, or woolen jumper, why not write a letter to your principal asking them to change their policy. Sometimes all it takes is one letter.
  1. Sticker Your Stuff
    What else are note pads, pencil cases and laptops for except to put stickers on? Grab yourself a sheet of the best stickers in town (or enter here to win some) and get stickering! Not only will you have the most stylish school gear around, you'll have all your classmates thinking about animal issues, asking questions, and of course wanting some flashy stickers of their own (so don't forget to tell them where they can score some for themselves).
  1. Veganise Your Tuckshop
    If your tuckshop is anything like mine was, then the menu is chock full of dead animals. Aside from the animal cruelty, it's not gonna do students' waistlines or the planet any favours either. Ask your tuckshop to offer more tasty vegetarian and vegan food. That won't just give you more to choose from for lunch, it'll give other students the chance to sample some cruelty free food.

So there you have it. That should keep you busy for a while. And that's just the beginning! There are heaps of other creative ways to help animals at school. We'd like to hear your ideas. Leave a comment below to share your tips for helping animals at school.

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It's Never Been Easier to Lose the Leather
Posted By Ward

It's Never Been Easier to Lose the Leather

Posted 27 January 2010   by         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: leather, clothing, activism

One thing I'm really looking forward to this year is commencing work as a paramedic (Don't worry, I'm not leaving Unleashed. Not while there are still animals to save!), although I'll be honest, I was a little wary that I may be forced to wear those leather boots you see them walking around in.

I don't know why, maybe it's the overwhelming feeling that you get when you're starting a new job, but I was hesitant to ask the recruitment lady whether an alternative to leather boots could be provided. So I nervously pondered on how I was going to word the email, and then it hit me: if I don't cause them any inconvenience, then it should be easy as pie. So I offered to find an alternative to leather boots at my own expense.

Later that day I received a call from the recruitment lady and thought "oh man, a phone call...this is serious." But the response took me by surprise. She said that many of their employees don't wear leather for religious or personal reasons and that they have an alternate supplier who can provide non-leather shoes. She even went on to say that if I wanted to find my own alternative they would even pay for it! Now that's a uniform policy that's definitely up to date with the age we live in.

After i received the great news, I pondered a little more and thought "you know what, maybe the world really is changing faster than I imagined, and for the better!" So the point of this ramble? Never be afraid to ask, especially if you're asking on behalf of animals. Just craft the way you go about it, make it as simple as possible for the person you're asking, and let them know how it will benefit them (eg. The local cafe offering soy milk, or the local restaurant adding more vegan options will bring them more customers.).

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Jumps Racing Put Down in Victoria!

Jumps Racing Put Down in Victoria!

Posted 27 November 2009   by Jesse         Permalink | 21 Comments

Tags: jumps racing, Victoria, Victory, horse racing, horses, Coalition for the Protection of Race Horses, activism, demonstration, entertainment, South Aust

Today marks the end of an 'era' in horse racing. Or should I say an error! Yes, definitely an error - forcing horses to jump over hurdles at full speed was always a bad idea. But the good news this morning is that Racing Victoria has announced they will cease to run jumps races at the end of the 2010 season! *sigh of relief*

This decision will spare horses the miserable fate of broken legs, broken necks, and other injuries from falls during jumps races. So after a brilliant campaign by the Coalition for the Protection of Race Horses, the racing industry has finally faced up to the fact that jumps racing is cruel (not that an industry that kills thousands of horses every year just for being too slow has much to be proud of!).

Hats off to the Coalition; hats off to all those who attended demonstrations; and hats off to you, if you're one of the nearly 8000 Animals Australia and Unleashed supporters who sent letters calling for an end to jumps racing!

If you've got a moment today, you might want to send Racing Victoria an email ([email protected]) congratulating them for getting rid of cruel jumps races. For Victoria to end jumps racing is a huge milestone! They were the largest of only 2 Aussie states that still permitted this cruel 'sport'. And so onward and upward! Now it's time for South Australia to step up and ditch jumps racing!

You might also like to let the Racing Minister for SA, Michael Wright ([email protected]), know that they're letting down the team and should ban jumps racing too!

And if you live in Adelaide, next Tuesday (1st December) is your chance to join a demonstration to put the heat on SA to end jumps racing! There will be a peaceful protest happening on the steps of Parliament House to coincide with the submission of a petition, signed by 4,000 SA residents, calling for an end to jumps racing. Here are the details:

Where: Steps of Parliament House North Terrace Adelaide
When: Tuesday December 1 from 12.30pm to 1.30pm
Wear: Smart/casual (preferably black/dark colour)

Hope you can make it along!

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Who Won the State Challenge?

Who Won the State Challenge?

Posted 5 November 2009   by Jesse         Permalink | 5 Comments

Tags: State Street Team Challenge, factory farming, activism, competition, leafleting

So the entries are in, the leaflets are out and the deadline has closed. But the question remains which State reigned supreme in the State Street Team Challenge?

With many superb efforts, picking a winning state was no easy feat! The creativity of lisa66's Halloween leafleting, gave VIC an extra boost. Matt.Y's regular leafleting at the Salamanca Markets gave TAS an edge. And the fact Naughty Angel got Cotton On, Diva and Jay Jays to stock leaflets bumped up NSW's ranking.

But the winning state was ... (drum roll please) ...

WA!

Rav3n's shopping centre outreach, Mikey's city leafleting, and Lea's efforts on trains, all added up to a convincing case that when it comes to leafleting WA can walk the walk!

But the entry that sealed the deal was Julezz's creativity and persistence. Not only did this gal recruit a whole crew of friends to assist her with leafleting, she also produced posters for the occasion. And then, before the dust had settled on her first effort, she was already planning a vegan bbq fundraiser. The thought of being able to grab a vegan sausage sanga outside a shopping center was just too good to resist. And for her stellar efforts, Julezz, is the winner of the oh-so-sought-after Unleashed Prize Pack.

Congrats to Julezz, to WA, and to everyone who entered. Thousands of leaflets were distributed across Australia exposing the cruelty of factory farming. The State Challenge may be over, but the animals still need us. If you'd like to hit the streets and speak up for animals, remember you can always order leaflets though the Unleashed store. Or if you've got some super plans stewing, drop us a line direct and let us know what you're scheming and we might be able to hook with some leaflets free of charge.

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A Sweet Way to Help Animals in School
Posted By Ward

A Sweet Way to Help Animals in School

Posted 3 November 2009   by         Permalink | 25 Comments

Tags: school, vegan cupcakes, advocacy, activism, veg

Dont you wish you had a captive audience to discuss cruelty free living with? I know I do! If youre still in shool, then youre lucky enough to have that captive audience every time you do a class presentation. (And I cant say Im not a little jealous!)

I recently had the pleasure of reminiscing on my school days when I was asked to do a talk at a school in Caroline Springs. Hayley Walker an awesome year 11 student organised to do a presentation to her class about the treatment of animals and why she is vegan. Not only did she have good props (like our Darren Cordeux video on factory farming and a battery cage), but Hayley and her mother spent the Sunday afternoon beforehand cooking up loads of vegan food that she could bring in to class.

I met Hayley a few years ago whilst tabling at the Taste of Chaos concert in Melbourne and I handed her a leaflet and wrote "Be cool, go veg." And she did! Two years later she is a star activist, who is talking to her class about the treatment of animals, and handing out lots of delicious vegan food (including felafels, chocolate mousse, jelly, cupcakes with oreo frosting, rice paper rolls, etc).

As someone who has to do a lot of public speaking, it's easy to forget how hard it is to take that first step. So you can see why Hayley deserves to be in my hero's section on myspace for bravely standing up in front of her whole class, and talking about society's treatment of animals.

If youre still in school, then make the most of class presentations and inform your classmates about something you care about. As school is a learning environment, its an ideal place to do such a talk, and like Hayley, show people how great the alternatives to eating animals are. Looking back on how great her presentation was, I wish that I had used my time at school more effectively to help animals. When I was walking out of the school, I asked Hayley "What's next on your agenda?" and she said "Veganising my canteen." Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.

If you're planning a talk at your school and have questions, send us an email. Were always happy to help! Or if you want it straight from the horse's mouth (so to speak), send Hayley a message and ask her a few questions about what she did to organise the talk. No doubt youll get good grades if youre speaking about something you know and care about and who knows you might even score some kudos on the Unleashed blog!

Have you done any school presentations on animal issues? How did it go? Have you got any tips for others? Leave a comment below

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Time to Put Down Jumps Racing
Posted By Ward

Time to Put Down Jumps Racing

Posted 26 August 2009   by         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: jumps racing, demo, victory, activism, Liv Nixon, entertainment, horses

Jumps racing is BIG news down here in Vic at the moment. It has been splashed across newspapers and evening news bulletins throughout the year, with some pro-jumps people threatening to cut off their horses' heads if the sport is banned! Talk about losing your cool, butchy.

Just a quick rundown on the issue:

  • 13 horses have already died in jumps racing this season, many more have fallen and been seriously injured.
  • Despite a review and yet more 'safety' measures, this jumps racing season has had the highest death rate on record.
  • 3 out of 4 horses that raced in 2008 have not reappeared in 2009 and are presumed dead.

So now for some good news: After writing to self-noted animal lover Livinia Nixon about owning a jumps horse, she has withdrawn her support of the controversial sport. The channel 9 weather presenter (who has also been the face of a host of programs such as Getaway and Temptation) relinquished her share in a jumps horse after I wrote a letter to her alerting her that the horse fell during a trial. Her withdrawal of support for this so-called 'sport' is yet more proof that jumps racing has no future and will send a strong message to those responsible. Good onya Liv!

So my message to you: Speak up! You just never know how much weight one letter can carry. Hell, you might even get a celebrity to withdraw their support from jumps racing ;)

And if you live in Vic and want to see jumps racing 'put down' as much as I do, then you will want to keep yourself free this Sunday (August 30th) for the biggest day in jumps racing for the whole year. It's the Grand National (ie. The 'Melbourne Cup' of jumps racing) and you can be sure we won't let this one go by quietly. A huge crowd of demonstrators will be outside the event to send a strong message that jumps racing must be banned - it's gonna be mammoth. If there is one rally you go to this year, this is it this will be a day you will look back to and tell your grandchildren about it! :P

Click here to get the full low down on the demo. And if you're not in Vic then please write to Minister Hulls to call on him to ban jumps racing.

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12 Great Books to Help Animals

12 Great Books to Help Animals

Posted 9 July 2009   by Jesse         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: books, activism, advocacy, Striking at the Roots

I don't know about you, but when I see the horrors that go on in profit-driven animal industries I feel like I cannot do enough to help stop it. So I'm always delighted when I come across some helpful tips on how to be a better advocate.

Last year I picked up a book called 'Striking at the Roots: A practical guide to animal activism'. The author, Mark Hawthorne, does a brilliant job of laying out simple 'how to' guides for some of the most successful strategies to help animals. I could barely put the book down!

So imagine my excitement when I stumbled across his blog! And better yet found an entry entitled: 'Activism Guides for Everyone'. Here Mark suggests a dozen great books on advocacy for animals. And he even suggests who the guides would be best suited to (from newbie to seasoned activist).

I'd highly recommend anyone eager to help animals to check out this suggested reading list. Mark sums up very well:

Bottom line: We owe it to the animals to be the most effective advocates we can. And with titles available for individual activists, those working or volunteering for grassroots organizations and even kids, there seems to be an activism book for everyone. Whether its through reading one of these books, attending an animal rights conference, taking a public-speaking class or getting involved with a local group, please commit yourself to improving your activist skills and knowledge.

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