This one simple (non-gory) image will change the way you think about animals who are born to be slaughtered in Australia. Prepare to have your mind blown.
Nearly every animal in Australia born to be eaten or have their eggs or milk taken, will not live their full natural life. This chart shows to scale how much of their life they experience before they are killed to be eaten, or because they are no longer 'productive' enough to be kept.
To give it some perspective: the average life expectancy for an Australian is almost 82 years. If you were a 'dairy cow', it would mean you shouldn't bother planning your 21st b'day. If you were a veal calf, you wouldn't even reach 2 years old.
That's a really grim way to look at it - but the sad truth is that most animals in Australia are killed as babies.
You don't have to rescue a pig and have her live in your backyard to be a lifesaver for these animals. All you have to do is decide not to eat them. It's such a simple change in your life, but it will make the world of difference to animals you no longer eat. Take the pledge to be veg, now!
Two mums in NZ proved recently just how far they were willing to go to protect their babies, pushing and even biting a man that threatened them. Oh, did I mention that these mums were cows?? Find out more...
To summarise: a farmer tried to separate calves from their mums ... but the mums fought back to protect their babies! It's a good thing those cows didn't know "MOO Thai"!! Man, I love puns.
Like most mums, cows form very strong bonds with their young. One study suggested that this bond is formed within 5 minutes of giving birth! After birth the mum licks her calf all over, in a process that helps her learn the sight and smell of her baby. If they are separated, the mum will bellow frantically, and the calves appear frightened and confused.
Unfortunately, the separation of mum and baby happens on dairy farms all the time. See what happens right here in Australia for yourself. WARNING: this isn't easy to watch.
A TV show in England recently caused an uproar by showing the horrible truth, too - right during prime-time.
WARNING: this clip is really sad too :(
In Australia every year, over 700,000 bobby calves are killed as "waste products" of the dairy industry. Some are shot, but the majority are taken from their mothers and put onto trucks with other calves, bound for the slaughterhouse. There they will be killed ... after being alive for less than a week. That's the secret the dairy industry would rather you didn't know.
If you want to take action for bobby calves and their grieving mums - it's easy. You can simply ditch dairy.Delicious alternatives are in supermarkets and delis everywhere - milks, chocolates, yoghurts and icecreams. Have fun exploring and finding your fave!
p.s. my pick for best non-dairy ice-cream: Coco Luscious. Prove me wrong by telling me your pick below!
Check these pics and clip out! People power in action...
On the weekend, countless numbers of people, young and old, took to the streets to call for an end to live exports. Simultaneous rallies were planned for capital cities across the country, speakers were confirmed, banners were made, and friends were invited. On the big day, a tidal wave of compassionate Aussies swept into the streets calling for an end to live exports.
You might already know that live export shipments from Australia have ended in a series of tragedies for animals over the last few weeks. Mother cows and calves have died from heat exhaustion and neglect in Qatar, and thousands of sheep have been stabbed, clubbed and buried alive in Pakistan.
The worst part is that these last few weeks haven't been some bizarre out-of-the-ordinary experience in the live export industry. Since the trade began, there has been no way that anyone can protect Australian animals once they leave our shores. This has seen them become victims of horrific treatment at their final destination.
Investigation after investigation by Animals Australia has shown the terrible fate that awaits Australian sheep and cows who have been exported. And with each investigation, opposition to the cruel trade grows among the Australian public. More and more people are calling for a ban on live exports, including members of the current government!
From east to west a collective voice was heard very clearly - Australians want an end to live exports. It really was an awesome day with a great atmosphere. How could it not have been though, when you get thousands of animal lovers together in one place :D
Important dates during the year: your birthday ... and this Saturday!! This Saturday is the Ban Live Exports National Rally - when people all across Australia will join together to show their opposition to the cruelty that is live exports. It's time to get your rally on!
The horror stories coming out of Pakistan even as you read this blog are just the latest in a long history of animal cruelty cases which can be pinned on the live exports industry. In case you don't know what's been happening in Pakistan lately - here's the basics.
After weeks stuck on a ship in sweltering heat ... and then being confined in mud-filled pits with hardly any access to water and food and barely enough room to lie down ... Australian sheep have been killed en masse in the most brutal way. Workers have been stabbing and clubbing the harmless sheep and even burying them alive in the same pits dug for the dead sheep.
Of the original 21,000 sheep who left Australia there are now just 10,000 survivors. They have endured heat, hunger and brutality while watching thousands upon thousands of their woolly friends die.
This type of pain and fear can never be justified. The steady stream of horror stories as a result of live exports proves that it can never be fixed. That the trade continues sends a message to the rest of the world that Australians accept animal cruelty. If that's not what you're about — this is your day to stand up to live export!
This Saturday thousands of people around Australia will be speaking up for the victims of live exports - because the victims can't speak up for themselves.
Tell your friends, tell your family ... tell your friends' families! This Saturday is going to be huge. Grab this opportunity to speak up for the animals, and demand an end to live exports. A kinder world is possible if you want it to be.
You may have heard a lot in the news recently about the live export of Australian sheep and cattle to overseas countries. The amount of animals involved and the amount of suffering they have to go through makes live exports one of the most serious cases of animal abuse in Australia. If you love animals, it's definitely an issue you'll want to know all about.
Live exports is in crisis at the moment, with tragedy after tragedy unfolding. It might be a bit confusing keeping a track of what is happening where, but hopefully this map will help make it clear for you. (Sorry North and South America - there just wasn't enough room for you! NZ, you missed out, too.)
BAHRAIN: 21,000 sheep were stranded aboard a ship in the middle of the Arabian Gulf, in soaring temperatures for 2 weeks(!!) after Bahrain refused to accept them. Every extra day stuck on a ship results in more animal suffering and more deaths.
The sheep on this ship were eventually offloaded in PAKISTAN. There they are being held in overcrowded mud-filled pens and their ability to lie down or reach food and water is severely restricted. Authorities there are supporting a plan for a mass kill and for their bodies to be thrown into large pits.
KUWAIT: A similar situation to Bahrain unfolded in Kuwait, with Australian sheep left in limbo out at sea for a week, suffering through high temperatures and confined spaces. Eventually these animals were unloaded. But sadly, that wouldn't have been the end to their suffering. They then would have been killed fully conscious.
QATAR: Of 250 dairy cows sent to one property, over 60 of them died in one week from thirst, hunger and heat stress. One vet technician said that these gentle animals "were frying from the inside out". Of 10,000 sheep sent to the same property ... only 3000 are left. To make this tragedy even worse - the property owner is planning to import another shipment of dairy cows later this year. Lend your voice to help stop this plan immediately.
EGYPT: 2 shiploads of cattle face an uncertain future as the Egyptian govt is refusing to allow them to be slaughtered. These cows have been stuck in sweltering heat and cramped feedlots for weeks now.
INDONESIA: 11,000 cattle are stranded in Indonesian feedlots after the govt there "rejected" them. These cows cannot come back to Australia because of our quarantine laws, so they are stuck in limbo, some of them since May! This is despite the fact that 94% of them are pregnant or have given birth since arriving.
The cruelty of live exports cannot be denied. The misery for animals begins from the moment they step onto boats at the port. They have no idea what will happen to them - BUT YOU DO! You can help protect sheep and cows in Australia by demanding an end to live exports. Join Animals Australia's campaign to shut down this terrible trade. Take action now!
UPDATE 27th SEPTEMBER:
"Like a giant mass of wool, bloodied and filthy, they lay in trenches, slit open, stabbed or clubbed to death, while many still wriggled with some life left in them, soon to be buried alive."
This is the scene emerging from Pakistan, where stranded Australian sheep now face an unimaginably horrible death.
Footage from Pakistan shows confused and scared sheep being stabbed and clubbed and their bodies being dumped into trenches. Some of them are still visibly alive when they are pushed into the pit.
This is what the boss at an exporting company said of the scene."I have watched the video and let me tell you that ever since I have seen those gruesome visuals, I haven't eaten or slept." And that's coming from the guy who sent the sheep there in the first place!
Herbie the bull is living what I would say is my dream life. He gets to run around outside on the grass all day ... and play with a ball. If you thought dogs were the only animals that loved playing with toys, then check out the love affair Herbie is having with his new ball!
Just like cats and dogs, cows have their own individual personalities. Rosamund Young (author of The Secret Lives of Cows), points out that cows "can be highly intelligent, moderately so, or slow to understand; friendly, considerate, aggressive, docile, inventive, dull, proud, or shy." They form friendships with other cows, and mother cows form strong bonds with their calves.
You may be wondering, "Where do the calves go? Do they get a ball like Herbie?" As much as that would make my day, the reality couldn't be any more different. After separation, the mother and the calf will cry out for each other for days but their chances of a reunion are next to none. Most calves will be killed as a "waste-product" of the dairy industry at just 5 days old. This includes all male calves because they can't produce milk, and any young females not needed to restock the herd of milking cows. Every year in Australia, 700,000 calves are killed like this as part of the system that puts milk and cheese on supermarket shelves.
Not a "feel-good" kinda story is it? The good news for you and for cows though, is that there are alternatives to dairy available in supermarkets and delis across Australia. So Good ice-cream, Tofutti Cuties, oat milk, and Notzarella cheese are all items you can sub into the fridge to replace dairy products. And those are just my faves. Not only do they taste good, they also help save cows and their calves from suffering. That's win-win for everyone!
When it comes to milk, are you Team Oat or Team Soy (or even Team Rice)? And what about desserts - So Good or Tofutti? Tell all in the comments below!
Sportswear giant Puma have scored some big points on the 'animal friendly' score board with news that it's considering giving leather the boot!
In an interview on the weekend, Puma's chairman, Jochen Zeitz said that given the environmental damage caused by raising cattle, "I think eventually we'll have to look at alternative materials, there's no question about it. We should eat less meat, all of us, and we should use less leather, I mean that's reality."
This move would save millions of animals from being abused and killed in the leather industry, not to mention cutting down on greenhouse gases and the toxic chemicals used to preserve dead cow's skin. Hopefully the other big shoe companies will come to the party soon too!
Luckily, Puma isn't the only one in the sporting world that is kicking out cruelty. From sports companies to sports teams ... Last year, the English football team, Forest Green Rovers lived up to the 'green' in their name and went vegetarian! The club announced that "on nutritional advice, it was decided to no longer feed our team red meat for health and performance reasons". But they didn't stop there: "If red meat was not good enough to feed our players, then it wasn't good enough for our staff, fans and visitors too". And so meat pies and hot-dogs were shown the red card, substituted by mushroom pies, polenta chips and felafel wraps.
I don't know if the new menu at the club can take all the credit, but the Rovers improved from 20th in 2011 to finish 10th in the 2012 season (after meat had been cut)! Even if the new menu can't take credit for all the points on the pitch, the players and fans can take heart in knowing that vegetarians are less likely to be obese or have high levels of artery clogging cholesterol, and enjoy a range of other health benefits - simply by choosing not to eat animals.
Ever go to the footy? What do you think of the food on offer at the games? (Apart from the fact that it's overpriced, I mean). What do you think they should be serving?
ps. When you've got a sec, please send Puma a supportive message to let them know that you think getting rid of leather would be a slam dunk for animals and the environment: firstname.lastname@example.org
It was one year ago today that Four Corners aired footage from Animals Australia's first investigation in Indonesia, and shocked the Australian public with the brutal and undeniable cruelty of the live export industry. It's amazing to think just how far we've come in 12 months. Check out what's been achieved...
Hundreds of thousands putting the heat on pollies to stop the trade through emails, letters and phone calls.
A whopping 60,000 media stories about live exports (here and overseas!) in 2011.
Not to mention four historic proposals in Parliament to end live exports.
People power has brought us this far and has made live export an issue no politician can ignore! Together, we've shone a spotlight on this cruel trade! Not only have our efforts forced animal welfare improvements across numerous countries, sheep exports have also dropped to a ten year low, meaning that hundreds of thousands of sheep have been spared from a gruelling journey and brutal slaughter. (Want to see the full checklist of what's been achieved? Click here.)
After the investigation aired, we heard from so many people who made the choice to take animals off their plates. It seems I wasn't the only one getting all choked up watching the heartbreaking story of Tommy the steer, shivering with fear as he awaited his death.
While some victories have been won, the larger campaign to end all live exports from Australia continues. And this is where you can do your part for the animals!
Share the campaign with your friends! It's so simple but so important. Facebook, Twitter, wherever - get the message out there that live exports need to be stopped.
If you're voting age: Tell the PM what you think! She's there to serve Australians, right? So tell her exactly what you want to see done.
Get published! The letters page in the paper is one of the most read sections. Your letter will speak for the millions of young Australians who want an end to live exports.
Gather signatures! Easier than you'd think. Print off a petition to end live exports. Take it to class or to a lecture; the canteen or the cafe and get other people involved.
Thanks to the amazing support of people like you, this campaign has already had a huge impact! With your continued help, the entire ugly trade can be banned for good. What's the next step you're going to take?
Here's another reason why people would rethink their dinner plans: The NSW Food Authority has just finished a review of all the domestic slaughterhouses in NSW. Guess how many of those places needed to be told to clean up their act?
a) none of them
b) some of them
c) most of them
d) ALL of them!
If you guessed "All of them" ... you were right! Animals were observed being mistreated in every domestic abattoir across the state. The review found that slaughtering staff didn't always know what they were doing (what the...??!) and that some animals were not being stunned properly before being killed. That means they may have still been conscious when their throats were cut :(
The review started after nightmarish footage was taken at Hawkesbury Valley Meat Processors by Animals Australia member society, Animal Liberation. But hey, this is hardly the first shocking footage to come out of a slaughterhouse recently ... remember the pigs being stabbed in the eyes at a Victorian slaughterhouse late last year? If you've already seen it then I'd say you probably do remember it.
The reality is that what goes on in slaughterhouses on a daily basis is ugly -- even when no laws are being broken. And it's so well hidden from public eyes that we can never really be sure how an individual animal on the supermarket shelf was treated. The only way to be certain that animals aren't suffering for our food is also the simplest way: take meat off the menu. The animals will thank you for it ;)
As Australians, we love the underdog. We cheer on the unlikely hero, hoping they'll overcome all odds, and get the happy ending they deserve. When I heard of the mass cow breakout in Broome earlier this week, there was part of me that couldn't help but cheer the heroes on.
Of course, I realise that when cows are on the loose their own welfare is at risk. But sadly, where they were headed before they escaped was likely to be much worse. And their dash for freedom was a little reminder that if animals had a choice, there would be no live exports and no slaughterhouses.
Broome is an absolutely beautiful place. Unfortunately it's also a loading port for Australian cattle being sent overseas. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that animals who are exported don't have much to look forward to. The journey is stressful enough, but even that doesn't compare to being slaughtered fully conscious in a country with no animal cruelty laws. (btw, you can help end the trade with just 30 seconds of your time).
Now, cows aren't dumb, so it's no big surprise that some of them made a daring moo-ve (awful pun, sorry) to escape. In a stirring moment, around 50 of the bovine rebels made a break for it! Some dashed inland, some headed to the coast.
This story of animals making a break for freedom is one that occurs many times throughout the year. Sometimes the lucky escapees even get to live full, contented lives on sanctuaries. This particular incident is tinged with sadness though. Of the cows that escaped, 16 headed out to sea, with only seven able to be rescued. The rest drowned.
On the flip side, around 20 of the "Friesian Fighters" (a nice pun for the cow fanciers out there) are still livin' large, roaming the scrublands around Broome! How long they'll be free for is anyone's guess, but I've got my fingers crossed that they never again see the inside of a truck, ship or slaughterhouse.
Maybe the Broome escapees had found inspiration in this song?
n.b. Of course, I'm not suggesting that cows be armed with rifles. That would be ridiculous -- like suggesting that 12 year olds be allowed to go hunting by themselves (or tbh ... at all!). That'd be nuts! Oh wait ...
So did you see the live export story on ABC last night? If not, let me fill you in...
They aired shocking footage from a new Animals Australia investigation in Indonesia. (btw, you can check out the story here) I don't know how many times pollies need to see animals being packed on ships, sent to countries with no laws to protect them, and brutally killed before they'll get it. It's pretty obvious to the rest of us: live exports = animal cruelty
Last year, the government introduced a new system and promised we wouldn't see these horrible images on TV again. Minister for Agriculture, Joe Ludwig has been saying today that "What this actually demonstrates is that the system does work." But I'd like to get a second opinion: Does this look like a system that's working to you?
P.S. If you want to pester your pollie about banning this bloody business, drop in here.
You know the dairy industry is on the defensive when they stop trying to sing the praises of their product and just scrape the bottom of the barrel for reasons not to drink dairy-free milk (like soy, oat or almond milk).
Check out this ad from the American dairy industry -- it's pretty funny in its desperation to sell milk.
Gosh, what a year it's been! Animal rights hit the mainstream in a big way in 2011. Check out this inspiring vid by Unleashed's big sister, Animals Australia for some of the highlights:
We just want to say a big 'thank you' to you for everything you've done to support our campaigns this year. If you attended a rally, wrote emails or letters, took action on our website, or did anythign else to support our work, then thank you for helping us have such a big impact for animals in 2011.
Sometimes "gross" is just not strong enough a word! Apparently this outfit, made entirely of cows' and yaks' nipples recently sparked outrage at Paris's fashion week.
If you ask me, it's udderly disgusting! (sorry couldn't help myself) I can completely understand why people would be outraged by a ridiculous dress made of cows' nipples. What I still struggle to understand is why people aren't equally outraged when coats are made out of the rest a cows' skin -- which she needs just as much as her nipples.
The designer has defended her work saying, "I create fashion using material that would otherwise end up on the scrap heap. What I am doing is recycling. The people criticising are clearly clueless about the amount of leather wasted on a daily basis."
What is a real waste is the fact that animals have their lives cut short for the sake of leather at all -- especially with so many alternatives! And fortunately we're not alone in thinking this. While in Sydney recently, Toby Maguire (a vegan -- woo!) sent back his complimentary Mercedes (with leather interiors) because he didn't want to drive around, sitting on the skin of a dead animal during his stay in Australia.
They say cows have a great memory and can even hold a grudge for years. What a grudge they must hold for the way many of their bovine buddies are killed for their skin. For example, did you know that in India (where much leather comes from) poor families may sell their cows on the agreement that they be properly looked after, only for the animals to then be forced to march for huge distances -- their tails broken and chilli rubbed in their eyes to keep them moving -- to get to slaughterhouses where they can be killed.
This one's going on my 'un-wish list'. When you're deciding what to get me for Christmas, you can rule out anything made from cows' nipples, or any other part of a cow.
Have you seen any outfits that can match this cow nipple dress for being ridiculous and obscene?
I've met lots of smart people. At least, they are smarter than me! But it's amazing how even among some of the smartest people I know there are some really basic things that seem to slip through the cracks.
Like, here's where most people think milk comes from:
1) The fridge
2) The supermarket
3) Magical fairy cows that automatically lactate for our convenience
4) All of the above (this was me)
I think these options pretty much sum up the images that you see in ads for cows' milk. Well, next week Animals Australia is going to do some advertising of their own, only this time, they're letting people in on a little secret -- the dark side to dairy that they *won't* tell you about in their ads. Click here to download the new ad, or sit back and watch this video to discover the truth:
If you think animals shouldn't be treated like 'waste products' then please share this vid on your Facebook and Twitter. And if you're cashed up you can even make a donation to help get Animals Australia's new ad in the newspaper next week!
What's the most disturbing thing you've discovered about where food comes from? We wanna know -- leave a comment!
Who said cows don't have an ear for fine music?! An American jazz group put this theory to the test when they recently performed in front of a crowd of captivated, music-loving French cows. Check out the video below, very cute!
I especially like how all the cows stand to attention side-by-side, their ears honed in on the music, seemingly twitching in curiosity and pleasure! Adorable! Just a sunny afternoon of grass munching and jazz - what better way to pass the time?
If only dairy cows, who sing their own songs of sorrow, when their new born calves are taken from them only hours after birth and are trucked off to be killed as 'waste products' of the dairy industry; and steers, castrated, de-horned and branded without pain relief in the beef industry could all experience a little less human cruelty and a little more human kindness and creativity.
Cows are intelligent and inquisitive creatures that form strong social bonds with their bovine buddies, and according to scientists, even enjoy solving mental puzzles! This video just goes to show these amazing animals are every bit as intriguiing and deserving of our respect as dogs, cats or any other animal...
Have you got any cute or funny cow stories/videos to share?
Were you one of the thousands who came out to voice their opposition to live exports at the Ban Live Export National Rally on Sunday? What an amazing turn out and what an amazing atmosphere!
Thank you to everyone who helped send a strong message to politicians that Australians want this cruel trade stopped. If you made it along to the rally, leave a comment below. We'd love to hear about your experience of the day!
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:
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!
Tonight the campaign train visits the Australian Parliament with Independents Andrew Wilkie and Nick Xenophon and Greens' Adam Bandt introducing bills that, if passed, would finally see an end to live export.
We'll keep you posted on that news. In the meantime - Lights. Camera. Action to ban live export! We can't wait to see your video :)
It's amazing to think that since 4 Corners exposed those shocking images of Australian animals being brutalised in Indonesia, that hundreds of thousands of Australians have spoken out for the animals, and as a result the trade to Indonesia has been suspended. Who would've thought we could achieve that in just over a week!
This is a big win in the campaign to end all live animal export and just goes to show what we can achieve when we work together. But the campaign is not over yet! This suspension will do nothing to protect millions of Australian animals from having their throats slit whilst fully conscious in other countries that Australia exports animals to.
If ever we needed all hands on deck, then it's now! You might have heard... Just over a week from now (on 20th June), two bills will be submitted to Parliament, which if passed will end live animal export for good. Let me say that again... FOR GOOD!
Tbh, there has never been a better chance of stopping this trade than these bills. Which is why it's sooooo important that we keep up the pressure in this campaign and send the message loud and clear to the big wigs in govt that Aussies want an end to this cruelty.
Animals Australia has just launched a National Week of Action, to put pressure on pollies to support a ban on live export. So if you're old enough to vote, get your arse over to Animals Australia and get active ;)
And if you're not old enough to vote, then we've got another important project for you:
Send a message to Julia Gillard to tell her that you want to grow up in a country that cares about animals -- and doesn't send them to be brutalised in other countries. Click here to write a personal message to the PM on her webform.
This is fast becoming the biggest campaign for animals in Australia's history! And this is your chance to be a part of it!
This morning the campaign to Ban Live Export scored a massive win for the animals! The Gillard Government announced they have suspended the entire live trade to Indonesia.
For the moment, this means cattle like Bill, Dudley, Brian, Arthur and Tommy are safe from being shipped to brutal slaughterhouses in Indonesia,Â but this campaign ain't over yet!
Despite evidence of cruel treatment to Australian animals in other countries, such as throughout the Middle East, Julia Gillard's government has done nothing to prevent Australian animals from being sent to these destinations. The only solution to protect Australian animals from the cruelty of live export, is a total ban on the trade. And on 20th June, Tassie MP, Andrew Wilkie, and SA Senator, Nick Xenophon, will be submitting a bill that, if passed, will do just that -- ban live animal export!
Writer Margaret Mead once said "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Unleashed members and Animals Australia supporters have certainly proved this true in the last week!
Over 235,000 people have signed a petition to Ban Live Export, and Julia Gillard has received more than 100,000 emails in her inbox from shocked Aussies urging her to end the cruelty. People are continuing to donate to get television and radio ads to air. And the Animals Australia and Unleashed Facebook and Twitter pages have been running hot all week with posts, comments and tweets from caring people who have simply refused to let the government to turn a blind eye to animal cruelty.
Perhaps the most surprising result of the campaign so far, has been that the Meat Industry Council has reported a 10-15% DROP IN MEAT! Not only is the government rethinking it's support of this terrible industry, but the Australian public is questioning whether they can trust an industry that knew about the abuse in Indonesia more than a decade ago and yet was still willing to send animals to that terrible fate.
Thank you to everyone who has spoken out and been a part of this campaign so far!
With just over a week to go until the bill to ban live export is tabled in Parliament, it's time to ramp up the campaign! Don't let Julia Gillard and your local MP off the hook until they Ban Live Export for good!
Mark this date in your diary, because you won't want to miss this! Everyone is talking about the story that will air on Monday night (30th May) on Four Corners! The program will feature never-before seen footage from Animals Australia's recent investigation into the treatment of Aussie cattle exported live to Indonesia.
Every year, millions of animals born into Australian care are exported live, to be killed in countries where there are no laws to protect their welfare.
Over the past seven years, Animals Australia has carried out investigations into the treatment of animals exported live to the Middle East. Footage from past investigations has repeatedly shown the live export industry is happy to export animals to countries regardless of how badly they will be treated. When exposed on national TV, evidence provided by Animals Australia led to a ban on live sheep exports to Egypt, and created massive public opposition to the cruel trade.
This coming Monday night, ABC1's Four Corners will air exclusive footage of exported Australian cattle filmed by Animals Australia investigators in Indonesia.
So tune in and tell all your friends and family to watch this groundbreaking story! Four Corners airs at 8:30PM, Monday 30th May on ABC1.
There's a daring ice cream maker in London whose latest offering is made from human breast milk. Yep, you can now buy Baby Gaga icecream for £15 a scoop...
Eternal attention seeker, Lady Gaga (yes, she of the disgusting meat bikini) calls it "nausea-inducing". I can't quite see how she wasn't nauseous getting ready to attend the Grammys in a dress made of muscles from dead animals, but there you go!
I wonder if Lady Blah Blah has ever thought about how nausea-inducing drinking cows' milk really is. I know she's done some pretty crazy things but surely it's not natural to suckle from the udder of a cow who has recently given birth and is producing milk for her baby.
I'm sure dairy cows would agree -- because cows don't automatically produce milk. In fact in order to milk cows for the massive dairy market, the industry sends bewildered newborn baby calves to their deaths by the hundreds of thousands. Watch their story.
So call me crazy, but ice cream using breast milk from perfectly willing mothers who get to keep and nurture their children, who don't get killed, sounds a whole lot better to me!
So by now you've probably heard the good news: Last week Japan called an early end to their whaling season. Woot! Here's hoping this is the end to Japan's whaling program for good! (btw you can sign the petition to call for a permanent end to Japanese whaling here)
I'm glad to see Aussies so passionate about whales. They're amazing animals and harpooning them is just plain awful.. but also, it seems to me that people caring about whales is a sign of hope for other animals. I mean, if people can feel such a strong connection to whales then surely they could feel that same compassion for other animals, right? Sure not all animals weigh 40 tons, live in the ocean and eat krill, but really they're not so different. For example...
They say whales are smarter than your average bear (sorry, for the Yogi reference, I couldn't help myself)... not unlike pigs, who have proven themselves to be quite the clever creatures. In fact, pigs have even been trained to play computer games! Yup... with specially designed joysticks pigs can pick up on how to play intelligence testing games just as quickly as chimpanzees!
Whales are also well known for their strong bonds between mother and calf. Mother and calf... hmm... sounds just like another familiar furry, doesn't it? Mother cows also form a strong bond with their calf within hours of being born, and this bond only strengthens over time.
As for their songs...? Scientists suspect that some species of whales sing to their young - something mother pigs are also known for (not to mention hens clucking to their eggs). But perhaps even more surprisingly, the author Jeffrey Masson tells the story of a pig who liked to sing to the full moon. Now that's something I'd like to see!
But the thing that I think really captures people's imaginations with whales is their playfulness - the way they leap out of the water, often for what seems like the sheer joy of it. I'd like to think that if more people saw footage like this playful kid goat, then the Aussie public would be as concerned about the treatment of farm animals as they are about the hunting of whales. wdyt?
It'll come as a shock to most Aussies to learn that every year in Australia over 700,000 calves are killed as 'waste products' of the dairy industry. What may come as even more of a shock is that the dairy industry is now pushing for legislation that would allow calves to be starved of feed for the last 30 hours of their lives, before being killed at the slaughterhouse!
This proposed new standard is under 'public consultation' at the moment. Did you know you were being consulted? No? Neither do most people, because the government and industry conveniently neglected to let the public know!
But just because they don't want to tell the public the truth, doesn't mean we can't do that for them! After all, people have a right to know what they are buying into if they drink dairy.
So today Animals Australia is running the above ad in major newspapers across the country. Make sure you grab a copy of one of these papers and show the ad to all your family and friends:
Sydney Morning Herald
Want to make your voice heard too? Great! Click here to check out the video that exposes dairy's dark secret, and to get tips on how you can make a difference for calves - including the chance to win delicious dairy-free chocolates!
Have you already spotted our ad in your local paper? What did you think?
WOW! I just saw the video for P!nk's latest (sure to be) hit! And it's made me love her even more :) Never one to shy away from controversy she has hit the nail on the head with this film clip, tackling topics that really tick her off! (And me! And you!)
It starts with P!nk giving a bull fighter a taste of his own medicine, with a magnificent bull watching on. Good thing places like Catalonia in Spain are waking up to the disgusting cruelty of this 'tradition' …
But the scene that's going to expose a few home truths to millions of pop fans watching this video might seem a little absurd at first...
But it really does outline the crazy hypocrisy of a society that thinks it's ok to drink milk that cows are producing for their own babies. While P!nk lovingly bottle-feeds a beautiful newborn calf litres and litres of milk, we then see what the milking machine is hooked up to…
If you think that's strange, don't you also think how weird it is that humans drink the milk of another species? (Gross!) And in doing so, support an industry that considers newborn calves as 'waste products'; tearing one million innocent babies away from their grieving mothers to be slaughtered? I know I think that's strange …and unjustifiably cruel!
Unjustified because, like P!nk, soy milk rocks! And almond milk, rice milk, oat milk and all the other cruelty-free dairy alternatives on the supermarket shelves. Why would anyone even want cow's milk?
A friend of mine recently said "Milk is stealing from babies" …So true! And nice of P!nk to give a little of it back!
Three cheers for Catalonia, which today became the first major region in mainland Spain to ban bullfighting! Cheers broke out in the assembly as the vote was passed 68 to 55. Phew!
Thanks to the inspiring campaigning of Catalonian animal advocates and all those who supported the campaign, thousands of bulls in Catalonia will be spared a cruel and gruesome death in the name of 'entertainment'.
In the lead up to the vote, the Catalonian Parliament receieved thousands upon thousands of petition signatures, letters and emails from caring people in Spain and all across the world (including nearly a thousand Unleashed members) in support of a ban. If you signed a petition, wrote a letter, or helped in any way to achieve this historical victory, then thank you!
Did you know that June 1st is 'World Milk Day'? Or, as I think it should be called, WMD? I think this acronym is more than suitable because milk is a Weapon of Mass Destruction -- for cows, calves and the environment.
On WMD, let's remember the 1 million bobby calves who were taken from their grieving Mums, only to be slaughtered as 'waste products' of the dairy industry -- so that the milk nature intended for them could be fed to humans...
On WMD, let's spare a thought for the struggling Murray Darling Basin. It takes 200 litres of water to get one glass of milk. Not only is this the driest inhabited continent in the world -- our river systems are at record lows. But I'm taking shorter showers while the dairy industry is draining our waterways!
On WMD, let's think about how we can change things for the better. What better day than World Milk Day to mark the day you ditch dairy?
P.S. Did I mention, "Milk is for babies"? Check out our new WMD-inspired banner! Show you care by slapping it on your Myspace, or uploading it to Facebook :)
Click here to download the banner, or copy and paste this code to your Myspace:
<a href="http://www.unleashed.org.au?tr=1026"><img border="0" src="http://www.unleashed.org.au/images/banners/280_dairy.gif" alt="Milk is for babies! unleashed.org.au" title="Milk is for babies unleashed.org.au" height="250" width="280" /></a>
So I just went out and saw a great movie. I didn't feel much like eating the popcorn though (I'll tell you why in a sec). Believe me, you MUST see Food, Inc. SO it's lucky that we've got 5 double passes to give away!
I don't think I need to tell you how cruel factory farms are. In fact, I'm sure you tell other people about this all the time. And no doubt you've come across at least one person who seemed not to care. Well, maybe they'd care if they knew they might literally be eating sh!t!
I've had the misfortune of visiting a feedlot.I saw how they pile up the dung in the middle of each pen to provide – get this – "enrichment for the cows"! Many of the cows I've seen in feedlots were caked in each others faeces from nose to tail, so it's really no surprise that some of that finds its stinky way into the meat people eat. I know... YUCK! It sounds like I'm making this up, I wish I was. But this is actually a reality! In fact, Food, Inc. features a 2 year old, who died after eating a hamburger infected with E.coli from traces of cow dung in the meat.
Oh yeah, the popcorn. I learnt today that if the massive amount of corn grown isn't used for livestock, it's used for nearly everything else. As high-fructose corn syrup, you can find it in cakes, cheese, yoghurt, Coca-Cola, bread, orange juice, even in batteries and charcoal. They grow too much corn, because of government subsidies and so they end up putting it in charcoal?!? Don't they realise there are people starving in Africa!? And here we all are wondering why people make corny puns, we can't help it - there's an excess of corn to go round!
Even if you've already made the healthy switch to being veg or vegan, there is still so much to learn about the food you consume. There are moments in this film that will have you throwing that popcorn at the screen in frustration, but it's an excellent film and well worth checking out!
If you care about animals, people, the environment or yourself, this film is a must see. And here's how you could WIN a free double pass: Leave a comment below to tell us what makes you hungry for change and you could win! The competition ends next Monday (31/05/10), so be quick if you don't want to miss out!
UPDATE: Congrats to the winners who each get a double pass to see this amazing movie. Well done to sarahwithanh27, Carly, Sammy, Sabavana and Nikkikats. Enjoy watching Food, Inc. (with or without the popcorn)!
Every once in a while, I come across something online that just seems too ridiculous to be true (I'm sure you're no stranger to such discoveries either.). Sometimes I think "Whoa! That's awesome!" But today it wasn't one of those days. Today, all I could do was cringe...
And that's when I decided to start an un-wishlist. Just like many people keep a wish list for what they want for their birthday, Christmas, etc this will be the perfect guide for what not to get me! And "Why?" you might ask, would I want to start such a list? The answer is simple, because of a cow-hide covered bath!
I'm sorry, but who in their right mind would ever want to clean themselves in a bath covered by the skin of a slaughtered animal? To me that just seems like a sure-fire way to ensure you step out feeling dirtier than when you got in!
The last thing I want to be thinking about when I climb into the bath is the image of cows being forced to climb into trucks to be shipped off to slaughter. And as I rub in the shampoo, I definitely don't want to be thinking about cows in India having chilli rubbed into their eyes to stop them from collapsing during the long, gruelling walk to slaughter.
Don't get me wrong, I think cow patterns look great (when they're not taken from a skinned corpse). I just don't think that we need to kill cows to decorate bath tubs!
Now on the otherhand, I definitely wouldn't say 'No' to a Cowch! *hint* ;-) This one's just hilariously cool:
But Helga's Cowches win extra points for the fact that not only do proceeds go towards her cow sanctuary, but every one of the Cowches is modeled after a real cow in the sanctuary. Here's Beatrice Cowch and Beatrice cow:
Got any cool or cringe-worthy web-discoveries to share?
This week the 7:30 Reportran a story on the dangers of milk. According to the program, regular milk may be linked to a long list of diseases including: heart disease, diabetes, autism and even schizophrenia!
Should we really be surprised that a drink intended for baby calves isn't ideal for adult humans? As Dr. Michael Klapper said: "The human body has no more need for cows' milk than it does for dogs' milk, horses' milk or giraffes' milk."
So milk might make you sick. But what the report didn't mention is that it's also making the environment sick. It takes about 200 litres of water to produce just one glass of milk. That's almost as much water as many people use for all their household activities in a day!
But perhaps the darkest side of the dairy industry is what happens to the animals. Cows do not automatically produce milk – just like humans, first they need to have a baby. So what happens to the calf? Every year in Australia, 1 million baby calves are slaughtered as 'waste-products' of the dairy industry. Their flesh may be sold as pink veal, their bones may be crushed-up and made into designer dog biscuits, and the lining of their stomachs may be used in the process of making cheese.
Now that's enough to make anybody sick!
Fortunately, enjoying milk without such sickening side effects is a breeze! Next time you're at the shops, why not try one of these fantastic cruelty free milks?
Soy milk – My personal favourite. It's high in protein and fibre. My recommendation? Try out Sanitarium's So Good Lite if you like that milky taste. But then if you asked Karen, she'd tell you that Vitasoy's Soy Milky Lite is the way to go.
Rice milk – A favourite for some in cooking. If you've got a sweet tooth, this may be the option for you as it's known for its sweeter taste compared to other milks. Vic Unleashed Street Team Co-ordinator Rochelle's recommendation: go get yourself a carton of Vitasoy.
Almond milk, Oat milk, and the list goes on... If you're feeling really adventurous you can even make your own, for example this recipe for cashew milk.
The neat thing with all of these is that not all soy/rice/almond/oat milks taste alike. So there's one to suit everyone's taste. On the flip side, it might take you a little exploring to find the one that suits you. So if at first you don't succed, try another brand ;)
And don't forget to comment below and share which one's your fave?
So, you may have seen in the news that Australia is lifting its ban on beef imports from mad-cow countries. Let me tell you why this makes me mad:
Mad-cow disease is an illness affecting cattle - caused by feeding cows to cows. Nasty stuff!
But it gets even nastier! If humans eat this infected meat, it can cause the fatal disease, called Variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (you know with a name that long it's gotta be bad!). Sure, these countries claim to have the all clear from mad-cow disease now, but any country that used to feed cows to cows doesn't sound like a smart place to import beef from (not that killing cows sounds like a good idea to begin with). Anyway, while turning cows into cannibals before eating them sounds pretty mad, we've got some home-grown nastiness to worry about - a not-so-little thing called factory farming.
Packing animals into overcrowded sheds, where they may have to live in their own filth without fresh air, natural light or exercise is bound to make them sick. So animals in factory farms are often fed a diet of antibiotics just to keep them alive long enough to be killed. The problem with this? Viruses evolve and antibiotics don't. Factory farms are the perfect breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant super bugs. That's right; diseases not even modern medicine can cure - *cough* Bird Flu *cough* Swine Flu *cough*
And while it's gross - what goes in must come out. The major problem: The huge amount of waste produced by factory farms is not treated, like human waste is. In the case of pigs, it is channelled into massive, open-air cesspits. These "lagoons" (as the industry calls them) can pollute the soil and underground water supplies, and run-off can wreak havock on local waterways - not to mention the health risks to the local community!
But, no need to worry! Like a wizard, I have the perfect solution for you! And while you're at it, you'll be helping heaps of others in a big way. What is it, I hear you chanting? What do I have to do? What must I eat? No, no, no! It's much simpler than that! It's what you don't have to eat - animals!
Not eating animals reduces your risk of getting heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Don't eat animals - get a longer life expectancy - it's that easy! Your Mum's been telling you to eat your vegetables forever, so what better way to make her happy?
Sound good? Great! Then click here to take the pledge to be veg and give the cows one less reason to be mad ;)
I think Easter is a pretty sweet deal -- holidays and a chocolate supply big enough that I have some to spare after a whole week of stuffing my face. Sadly Easter isn't quite such a sweet deal for the cows who have to produce all that milk for dairy Easter eggs. Not only have they been selectively bred to produce a whopping 10 times the amount of milk their calves would naturally need, but to add insult to injury their calves (who are born just to keep the mums producing milk) are taken away from them within 24hours and most are trucked off to slaughter. Hmm... that's enough to kill that sugar high.
But once you know the dirt on dairy, the big question is how to be sweet to yourself and the cows at Easter...? Well let me tell you, this used to be a challenge! But these days there are so many amazing cruelty-free, dairy-free chocolates around that you probably don't need a blog to point them out. But since you're here...
Our top 5 Must-Have-Eat Vegan Easter Treats!
5. Lindt Dark Choc Bunny
Why? 'Cause these cute little guys are smooth, delicious and available pretty much everywhere (Note only the dark bunnies are vegan, but they're the best, anyway ;)).
4. Alpha Chocolate Eggs
Something to get eggxcited about (first and last egg pun, I swear)! Alpha have a range of fine dairy-free chocolates including large and small eggs. Look out for them at DJ's or TheCrueltyFreeShop.
3. Sweet William Chocolate Bunnies
All Sweet William do is make chocolate. And all Sweet William chocolates are vegan! This Easter they've brought out Easter bunny multi-packs available at Coles, Darrell Lea, Franklins, Independent Groceries and Health Food Stores.
2. Vegan Snickers, Bounty, Milky Way and Mars Bar Doppelgangers
These delights are new to Australia and are to die for. If you're lucky your local health/specialty store will stock them, or pick them up from TheCrueltyFreeShop.
1. DIY Vegan Chocolate Treats
My favourite 'cause there's nothing quite like getting your hands dirty and making your own chocolates! Grab a bar (or five) of your favourite dairy-free chocolate*, melt in a bowl sitting in a pot of shallow boiling water, then scoop the melted chocolate into chocolate moulds and place some roasted nuts (macadamias are my fave) in the centres. Cover with sprinkled nuts or desiccated coconut. You don't need to hold out for Easter -- these make great gifts at any time of year actually! *Here are a few of the brands to look out for:
Whittaker's Dark Chocolate Block (confectionary isle of supermarkets)
Tropical Source (fair trade, and lots of yummy varieties! At some supermarkets and heath food stores)
Bonvita Rice Milk Chocolate (also fair trade. Words can't express how amazing Bonvita is. Their white chocolate is incredible. At health food & specialty stores)
Sweet William (their range of chocolate bars are in most supermarkets. They now have vegan white chocolate bars too!)
So now you know what to get me for Easter :) If you have any favourites to add to the list please comment below!
Have you heard? Our Macbeth comp is in its last days... While we're all sitting back and wondering who is going to be one of the 4 lucky winners to nab a free pair of Macbeths — what are you doing?
a) Huh? Macbeth comp?
b) Wondering why I'm reading this blog instead of entering the comp already.
c) Going back to enter the comp again to increase my chances of winning!!
If you answered A, or B, then there's only one thing to do: click the fuzzy wuzzy cute widdle cow below and you'll be well on your way to scoring a sweet new pair of the Hunter Burgan Studio Project Shoes — vegan for "my footwear kicks ass". And if you're wondering why you need these awesome leather-free shoes...? Then just check this out.
Last Friday a man was killed during the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. The 27 year old man, Daniel Jimeno Romero, died after being gored in the stomach by a disoriented bull during the run.
As the annual festival wraps up today, the total death toll will near 49 at this year's brutal event. But unlike Mr Romero, the 48 bulls who are tormented and killed during the festival did not volunteer to take part.
While the people in this race may be running for their lives the bulls are litertally racing towards their deaths. After being poked with electric prods and sharp instruments and a terrifying and hazardous run through the slippery cobblestone streets, the bulls' run ends in a bullfighting arena.
Once the bulls are in the ring, the odds are heavily stacked against them. In bullfights, the bull may be drugged or even have the muscles on the back of his neck cut to prevent him lifting his head during the 'fight'. Men on horse back thrust barbed sticks into the bulls back until he is weak and drained of blood. Then the matador enters the ring to taunt the injured animal until he collapses. Finally the matador sticks a blade into the bulls heart to kill him.
Sometimes the matador misses the bulls heart and the animal doesn't die. When this happens, another person comes in to finish off the animal, usually with a knife. It can sometimes take as many as another 30 stabbings to finally kill the bull.
This is not my idea of a festive occasion, or a must see tourist event. I can understand the thrill of cheating death, but not at the expense of someone else's life! If people really want to face their fears and take on a challenge, perhaps they should take a few pointers from Steph Davis. Steph is a vegan free-solo climber (ie. she climbs cliffs without any safety gear and then base jumps off the top). Now that's a thrill without the carnage!
If you're disgusted by the running of the bulls, you might like to write to the Spanish Ministry of Tourism (email@example.com) to let them know you wouldn't consider visiting Spain whilst they continue to abuse and kill bulls.
I think I've just found my new favourite cartoon! This brilliant illustration was sent to us by the insightful and very talented Donn Pattenden (thanks Donn!).
This is one issue that really stirs me up. The meat and dairy industries are huge water guzzlers. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that one glass of milk takes roughly 200 litres of water to produce. That's almost 3 days worth of showers! But that's nothing compared to the 100,000 litres of water that David Pimentel, a water resource specialist, says is required to produce just 1 kilo of beef!
In a country as dry as Australia, this sort of squandering of water just doesn't make sense. I live in Brisbane, where water shortages are a real threat (just like many of our other cities). We've been told to keep our domestic water usage below 140L of water per person per day...
I'm all for water conservation at home. In fact, we've just installed a new rain water tank :-) ... but when 70% of global water usage is for agriculture, it seems like what we eat and drink would be a smart place for us to start looking at how we can save water.
So Easter is coming and I'm getting pretty excited about all the dairy-free easter eggs, hot-cross buns and faux fish I've stocked my pantry with. But one thing that does really get me worked up at Easter, as a
Sydney-sider, is the Sydney Royal Easter Show! (for those of you from interstate it's the equivalent of the Melbourne Show, Brisbane Ekka, etc...)
As a child I adored the Easter Show. My Dad used to even let me have the day off school so we could beat the weekend crowds. My absolute favourite part was visiting all the farm animals. Combine this with fairy floss, roller coasters and show bags and it was truly kid-heaven.
Despite being a sensitive, animal-loving child, all the cruelty surrounding the housing, transportation and ultimate slaughter of these animals never clicked. And why would it? The show is set up in a magical, fairytale way with all of the cute animals and none of the horrors that they must endure.
First you might go to the nursery stalls where you see happy piglets, chicks and ducklings playing and snuggling up to their mothers. Then in the dairy stalls they explain the "nutritious benefits" of dairy and make the whole milking process seem totally natural. Moving onto the adult pigs, cows and chickens you stop to pat them, make a connection with them and admire their ribbons. Everything is clean, there is lots of space and the animals look healthy and well groomed.
Then in the next room, there's a diagram explaining which cut of meat comes from which part of the animal. It is here that you might feel a moment's guilt at the fact animals are slaughtered, but you think "well, they obviously have happy lives up until the end, and this nutrition panel says I need meat to be healthy... gee, I think I'll go have a dagwood dog". You then walk off, feeling on top of the world, singing "Old McDonald" in your head ... thinking everythings ok.
What they forget to mention is that baby animals are taken from their mothers in factory farms and that they have painful surgical procedures performed without aesthetic in their first fragile days of life.
Nor do they tell us that a mother cow isn't just milk making machine—she is forced to give birth every year to continue lactating, only to have her baby taken away from her and slaughtered.
Oh and of course they don't mention the fact that these animals are a tiny few of the 500 million Animals in Australia who, back on factory farms, are kept in prison-like conditions, denied freedom of movement, that would be illegal if they were a cat or a dog!
No wonder we grow up with a warped and romanticised view of the animal farm, when even as kids we have the wool pulled over our eyes at shows like these!
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.