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!
Whether you can't wait to show off your report card, or whether you'll be 'filing it' in the bin before mum and dad see it - find out which animals would be top of the class if they went to your school.
1. Japanese macaques. These monkeys would definitely snag the Home Economics prize, as they are known to wash sweet potatoes in river water before eating them. Not only that, they since learned that washing the taters in sea water infused them with a pleasant salty taste. MasterChef ... or MasterChimp?
2. Finches. Language class would be no problem for finches who "talk" to each other using proper grammar. A field study found that finches ignored remixed versions of their own songs, because the jumbled up versions made no sense to them. This suggests that humans aren't the only animals able to order sound logically. tbh, if it's super-early in the morning, I can barely order sounds logically myself. So, well done finches!
3. Ravens. Excellent problem-solvers, they would dominate at school. They have been known to use sticks to get insects out of logs and even drop walnuts in front of cars to crack them open. Check out how smart they are in this amazing test.
That awkward moment when ravens solve a problem quicker then you would have.
4. Pigs. They're naturally curious (so the teachers would like 'em), and they don't sweat (so the other kids would sit next to 'em). That's right - pigs don't sweat at all. That's why they wallow in mud - to keep themselves cool. (ADDED BONUS: unlike dogs and humans, pigs will stop eating when they're full, so they wouldn't eat all your chips if you shared at lunch-time.)
5. Dolphins. Have you ever been cramming for a test or pulling an all-nighter to get that project done - only to give in to the temptation of sleep? Dolphins don't need to worry about that, because they sleep with only half their brain! They can carry on their normal routines indefinitely, which means while you're snoozing ... they're studying.
So there you go, the five animals who would totally get straight A's if they went to your school. Good luck if you've got exams at the moment, or if you're coming up to end of year tests. Study hard, get through them ... then two months of party time!
Check out this online simulation that puts you into the shoes of a mother pig in a factory farm. This is what they experience for up to four straight months. How long can you handle it for?
How did you go?? How long before you wanted to bust outta there and free your fellow pig prisoners? I think my record is 22 seconds.
Pigs are renowned for their intelligence and curiosity (studies have recognised that they are as smart as 3 year old kids) - yet in factory farms across Australia it is seen as perfectly acceptable to keep mother pigs confined in sow stalls like you experience in the simulator.
Open the graph below to compare how a pig would spend her day if given freedom from a factory farm. (NOTE: "rooting" maybe isn't what you think it is, so stop being immature.)
While the intense and utter boredom may seem bad enough, it's hardly the only abuse pigs are subject to in factory farms. Not by a long shot...
If you've seen enough and want to see an end to this cruelty, then join with over 60,000 other Australians who have already taken the Make it Possible pledge. By promising to make kinder choices at meal times you can make factory farms -- and cruelty to pigs! -- a thing of the past. (And I guess you don't need to be a rocket surgeon to know that the kindest choice you can make is to not eat animals at all!)
Can I just say straight off the bat, that I am constantly being amazed by pigs? It seems like not a week goes by when I don't hear a story of how impressive these little oinkers are. The latest one that had me shaking my head in wonder is the footage that shows a pig saving a goat from drowning! Yes - you read that right. Watch the drama unfolding in the clip below!
(Weird coincidence alert: Check out the Unleashed sticker to the right which predicted that this would one day happen! Whooo, spooky.)
What an amazing story. That pig is a hero in my books. And can I just say - thank Goat the pig was there, because the guy filming hardly covered himself in glory. Would it have killed him to put the camera down and help out?? But I'll move on.
So, we can add "heroic" to the list of things we now know about pigs. Did you also know that they are playful and will wag their tails like a dog when they're happy? And that they've been found to be smarter than dogs, and even as smart as 3 year old children!
But did you know that pigs need some rescuing of their own? In factory farms, pregnant mother pigs can legally be confined between bars for four months straight, with no room to even turn around. Piglets can have their tails (and balls!) cut off with absolutely no pain relief. And the sad fact is, that for most factory farmed pigs in Australia, the day they are trucked to their deaths at an abattoir, their last day on earth - is the only day they will ever feel the sun on their back.
Pigs are amongst the most mistreated animals in the world. Their very intelligence and charm only makes the cruel treatment dished out to them in factory farms even worse. You're probably thinking that what is legal to do to pigs in the name of profit is pretty shocking. You'd be right. And when farmers break the rules, it can get even worse. You may remember the shocking conditions at Wally's Piggery in NSW last month, and the horrible deaths pigs faced at a Victorian abattoir in December last year.
Luckily, rescuing them from factory farms couldn't be easier -- simply choose not to eat them. Take the pledge to go veg, and save almost a hundred animals (not just pigs) every single year. With your kind choices at meal time, you can be the lifesaver that these animals so desperately need.
Sometimes you see or hear about something happening, and it changes your life forever. For many people, it might well be the footage and photos released last week of a piggery near Canberra. An investigation by Animal Liberation ACT and Animal Liberation NSW revealed some of the most appalling cruelty and neglect ever filmed on an Australian factory farm.
You can see footage and photos from the investigation here (WARNING: the content of the website is very distressing).
Just 20 mins drive from our nation's capital, workers were shown kicking piglets across the floor. In a room next to their mothers (within ear shot), young pigs screamed as they were beaten over the head with a sledgehammer and then slaughtered without any effective stunning. Footage shows some pigs apparently conscious and struggling for minutes after their throats had been cut. Buckets were filled with dead piglets, and various types of injuries and infections were left untreated. The footage is like some kind of sick horror movie.
Amidst the brutality and neglect, the scene I found perhaps most heartbreaking was a mother pig standing in a tiny crate, just being continuously pounded by a flood of water from a burst pipe. That these intelligent and sensitive animals could be treated so horribly is just devastating.
Even though a lot of what was filmed showed illegal cruelty, the legal practices filmed will also shock you. Piglets have their tails and teeth cut off without painkillers. Pregnant sows are confined to tiny crates where they're not given enough room to even turn around. This is legal and standard practice in piggeries across Australia. As is the dank and dark conditions evident in the footage. For many factory farmed pigs the first time they will feel the sun on their backs is also their last as they are transported to slaughterhouses to be killed.
Unfortunately, the abuse at Wally's Piggery isn't the first time (even recently) that farmed animals in Australia have been subject to such mistreatment. Earlier this year, a review in NSW found animal welfare breaches at *every* single slaughterhouse in the state. And late last year, an abattoir in Victoria was permanently closed because of extreme cruelty.
Hopefully, anyone involved with Wally's Piggery will face the full force of the law for what they've done. This won't help pigs who continue to experience fear, distress and cruelty in Australian piggeries which aren't breaking any laws, though. If you want to make a real difference to them, then don't eat them. By going veg you'll single-handedly save 100 animals every year, and you won't be contributing to an industry that puts profits before the welfare of animals.
If you've already gone veg, what was it that helped make your decision?
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 ;)
And if that weren't enough reason to jump for joy, there's more...
The Tassie Minister for Agriculture has also announced that they are going to fast track the phase out of pregnant sow crates. You might remember a couple of years ago they committed to getting rid of these cruel crates by 2017... well now they are promising to have 'em gone for good by the middle of next year!
If you've ever written a letter, shared a campaign video or spoken out for battery hens and mother pigs, then give yourself a pat on the back. You've been a part of making history today!
That's one state down, and just a few more to go (don't worry, the first one's always the hardest)...
Across the rest of Australia mother pigs can still be locked in cramped crates, where they can't even turn around. And get this: an estimated one in every six battery hens lives in chronic pain with a broken bone.
Don't you think it's about time the egg industry voluntarily phased out battery cages?!
Here's the deal.. if you want to help hens and pigs around Australia, there are two important emails you can shoot off asap:
Tell Australian Egg Corporation Ltd (AECL) that the writing is on the wall! Tassie is phasing out battery cages, so it's about time they do the right thing and commit to a voluntary phase out of battery cages. Email AECL here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell Australia Pork Ltd (APL) to hurry up! If Tassie can get rid of pregnant sow crates by next year, why can't the rest of Australia? Email APL here: email@example.com
Once you've sent those off it's time to celebrate!
If you were hosting a party, which of the following things would you probably NOT organise? A guest list, food, music ... or severed pigs heads? It looks like Melbourne company NEUW Jeans decided, "what the heck ... let's get all of 'em!" If you don't believe me then just check out the photos.
I pretty much live in my jeans, but these hipsters have kinda put me off denim somewhat. The dead pigs, partygoers stressing out piglets - for once I'm actually HAPPY I didn't get invited to a party.
Well, the photos pretty much speak for themselves with this one but something just struck me. I wonder if the people at the party had seen the footage of just how terrible things can get at an abattoir. If they had, I doubt they would have been in the mood for much partying.
If you want to let NEUW Jeans know that cruelty is never in fashion -- then leave a comment on their facebook or twitter. **UPDATE** Since posting this blog, it seems that NEUW have not only removed disturbing pics of butchered pigs from facebook, they may also have turned off their public comment feed. So, if you're having trouble leaving them a message, never fear -- click here.
p.s. If you want to see pigs being treated the RIGHT way, then you might want to check out the farm sanctuaries at Edgar's Mission and Brightside. They're the REAL party animals. Har-har-har...
I'm always heartened when I hear other people discussing animal welfare issues in the street or on TV. So I was pretty chuffed to turn on my computer this morning and see that Voiceless launched an ad campaign today that will have everyone talking. Check this out…
Did you know that countries in Europe have already outlawed those awful sow stalls that the mother pigs are stuck in, unable to even turn around? And those adorable little pigs being used for 'pork belly' have probably had their teeth clipped and tails cut off without pain killers? Yep, this happens every day in Australia… But wait, there's more…
This could be a scene from NCIS! Describing in graphic detail how the victim suffered before they died always makes for riveting television -- but this victim is one of millions of chickens going through this every year right here in Australia. There won't be any murder investigations here, but who needs to watch NCIS when there's gruesome tales of broken bones or prisoners being locked up and never seeing the sun, right there in the meat section of the supermarket freezer?
These are stories that need to be told -- kudos to Voiceless for these awesome ads, and to Hugo Weaving and Abbie Cornish for using their fame to speak up for factory farmed animals.
Paul McCartney said "If slaughterhouses had glass walls everyone would be a vegetarian." Check out this recent footage from a Victorian slaugtherhouse and let me know if you agree:
I cringed every time one of those pigs was stabbed in the eye with the stunner... and when that desperate pig was beaten to death with a sledgehammer -- shocking! So shocking in fact that when Animals Australia gave this footage to the authorities, the slaughterhouse was shut down within 24hrs.
But what really haunted me was seeing the fear in the pigs' eyes, huddled together in the corner of their pen; and seeing them squeal in terror as their companions were killed in front of them. Because while that stabbing with the stunner may be illegal (and was part of the reason the slaugtherhouse was shut down), there are no laws that can protect animals from the fear those pigs suffered in their final moments.
The investigator who took this footage, 'Kate', also described something she couldn't capture on video: another pig who escaped and ran into the scalding tank (a pit of boiling hot water, used to remove hair from the dead pigs). What a terrible way to go :(
This is just one slaughterhouse -- one that also killed free-range animals and was regularly inspected by authorities. It certainly makes you wonder what might be going on behind closed doors in other slaughterhouses!
So what do you think? Is Paul McCartney right when he says "If slaugtherhouses had glass walls everyone would be vegetarian"?
Every now and then you see a clip that really makes you stop and think. This is undoubtedly one of them …
It's not every day that you'd get such a short vid that manages to get in so many shocking elements in such an effective way.
From the bacon slices to the roast chicken, the eggs, the milk and even the mayonnaise, this talented film maker has provided a voice for pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens and dairy cows in just 30 seconds. All the while flickering this important line "You may be blind to this but you're the only voice they've got".
And the final sound of an innocent sheep crying really brings home the point that we must use our voices to help end the suffering of these exploited animals.
Thanks so much to Brett Ludeman from Storybottle for creating such a haunting vid for Unleashed, and for showing others the reality of their dinner or their cup of milky coffee.
What do you think of this ultra short film? Do you know anyone who would be blind to this? You could share the video and help them open up their eyes and their ears and use their voice to help animals.
You may not have heard of the artist, Miru Kim before. Even when you look at these photographs of her, you may have a hard time seeing her at first. It's almost like an overly artistic "Where's Wally?" and when you finally spot her, it may shock you as to how well she blended in …to a herd of pigs!
"Pig eyes are remarkable. They see right into the eyes of a human being. When they were looking at me, exposed before them, surrounded by them, I could not read their gazes, but they were somehow shockingly familiar. There was no language to bridge that disparity–the mysterious gap between the gaze of a pig and that of mine. But when I mingled with them with my skin, the gap momentarily closed in, as if I had forgotten my own language. My words were lost, and I felt the swinish grunts resonate inside me."
The close up images of the skin on skin are striking, aren't they? It's difficult to see where Miru ends and the mother pig begins. There are so many similarities between us and pigs – and not just in skin. Like us they each have unique personalities. Pigs are also considered one of the most intelligent animals outside the primate family - as smart as 3 year old children. And like us they can be affectionate and playful.
While there may be many similarities between humans and pigs, our lives could not be more different. In a couple of the photos you can see the barren single pens that mother pigs are often locked in during their pregnancy. In Australia, these clever pigs can be kept in those cruel sow stalls for as long as 16 weeks - their entire pregnancy! Imagine not even being able to turn around for 4 months!
Even the group pens for younger pigs are a crowded affair. Miru can barely fit in there! And those pigs have had to endure much more than just the stress of a crowded pen. At just a few days of age they would have had their teeth cut right back, their tails cut off and the boys may have been castrated - all without pain relief!
Sadly, unlike Miru, who left the farm after finishing her photo shoot, these pigs will only leave their life of confinement on their last day of life - in a cramped truck on the way to the slaughterhouse.
Thanks for being amazing! I appreciate everything you've ever done for me.
But above all else, thank you for showing me what compassion is; thank you for encouraging me to think for myself; and thank you for always supporting my decisions. If it weren't for these simple gifts that you've given me, I doubt I would be campaigning for animals today.
It fills my heart with sorrow to know that unlike you, many mothers won't feel loved and cared for this mother's day (or any other day of the year). For new mother pigs, pinned tightly between metal bars, unable to properly nurture their newborn babies - used as nothing more than milking machines - this Mother's Day will be just like any other day of their lives: miserable.
But you've taught me to be an optimist. And one day I hope they will be as happy and free, with their family, as you are. Thank you for giving me all the space I need and the voice to speak for them and work towards that hopeful day.
I promise to take what you've given me and do all that I can to make this world a better place for everyone.
Have you ever wondered what your dog or your cat would say if they could talk back to you? I'm certain my dog, Kia would tell me she doesn't care if she has her own chair, she'd rather sit in mine! I also have no doubt that as I type this, she is trying to say "Hurry up, let's go outside for a tug of war!"
And what would animals say to each other? I really hope this video is close to the truth ;)
A biologist from the Bahamas might be on her way to discovering what animals really have to say. Denise Herzing has been working with dolphins for years and has devised an amazing way for humans and dolphins to communicate. Using symbols, and a keyboard synthesizer that creates sounds similar to those naturally produced by dolphins, they can actually ask each other for particular objects, like a ball or a scarf. How incredible! And she thinks it's only a matter of time before more complex interactions get started.
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?
When it comes to Christmas, there's a few traditions you just can't go without. Decorating a tree, pulling bon bons, making the most of the colourful paper hats and lame dad jokes inside said bon bons, wrapping (and unwrapping) presents, wrapping your sisters in tinsel, wearing crazy reindeer antlers on your head before putting them on Grandpa and taking his photo as he snoozes in his chair, searching out the one CD your parents have that is full of Christmas songs to be played over and over again, eating so much great vegan food you have to undo the button on your jeans and have a nap ….I could go on!
And I will! Because there's a new tradition to add to the list, and it's going to catch on like wildfire!
In the United States, the president pardons a turkey each year at Thanks Giving (Lucky turkey! Too bad it's only one!). Here at Unleashed we invite every single Australian to Pardon A Pig for Christmas and leave them off the Chrissy menu!
Quite frankly, there's too many legs of ham sold at Christmas time for my liking, let alone for the liking of the millions of pigs who used to walk around on them!
The suffering of pigs confined in factory farms is immense. From mother pigs being confined to sow stalls and farrowing crates that severely restrict their movement, to piglets having their tails, teeth and testicles sliced off without pain killers, the festive spirit never quite finds it's way to factory farms.
So far thousands of Aussies and celebs have Pardoned A Pig, meaning there'll be a lot more room at the table for kindness and goodwill this year. (And here's some recipes to help fill that cruelty-free space!)
So join in the new tradition and get everyone you know to take part (wake Grandpa up too to make sure he doesn't miss out!). Let's help all animals to feel the kindess and giving spirit of the holiday season!
Oink! Ooh sorry, pardon me! (If I've missed any of the fabulous traditions that make up your Christmas day, list them below!)
This hard hitting radio campaign first hit airwaves 2 years ago and stirred up quite a response! Now, Lucy's back and urging shoppers to spread the Christmas spirit and help free animals from factory farms.
Most of us look forward to Christmas as a time to see family, give (and receive!) presents, and relax. But pigs, chickens and turkeys have little to look forward to at this time of year. The demand for ham, turkey and chicken at Christmas-time, makes the holiday season the peak time of year for animal suffering in Australia. Inside factory farms preparation for Christmas has begun, and that means even more families pulled apart, with piglets taken from their mothers, fattened up and killed; and even more chickens packed into sheds by the thousands and left to marinate in their own waste for their short and miserable 42 days of life. Animals in factory farms don't receive even the simplest gift of kindness, and in their unnatural cramped environment will likely never know what it is to relax.
But enough with the doom and gloom, 'cause all of that can change. All it takes for Christmas to be a peaceful time of year for all is for people to take pigs (and our feathered friends) off their plates and celebrate the festive season with a cruelty-free feast instead. And with any luck, many people who hear Lucy's plea for help will do just that!
I know I’m not alone when I say that in my swimmers I sometimes feel …well, porky! But I know I’ll never look this porky in the ocean! We’ve discovered a whole family of pretty porkers on Big Major Spot Island who can put all my fears to rest.
These cute little pigs have nothing to do all day but sun themselves on the sand and swim in the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas. Nice work if you can get it! Have you ever seen more contented babes in your life?
Aside from doing wonders for my body image, these piggies lift my spirits because I know that these swimming swines will never have to endure the torture that millions of pigs on the other side of the world have to put up with in factory farms across Australia.
Piglets born in factory farms have their tails cut off through the bone without pain relief. They are then taken away from their mums and fattened up in crowded pens, only to be slaughtered -- but not before being gassed or electrically stunned first.
Are you stunned yet? I am, because it gets worse.
Mother pigs can spend their whole pregnancy in tiny metal crates, which are too small for them to even turn around in. Did you know that pigs are as smart as a three-year-old child? Imagine locking a toddler in a bathtub for 4 months! If only animals were given a choice...
It should be plainly obvious to anyone lucky enough to swim among these precious pigs in the Bahamas that pigs would rather be our friends than food. But you don't need to leave town to be an angel to pigs -- YOU can help make their dream come true by taking the pledge to be veg!
Ah, I’m dreaming of the day people and piggies all over the world can swim happily together ... and not look too porky in the process!! Now with the weather warming up, don’t you feel like taking a dip now?
Yesterday Australian Pork Limited announced that they were "pursuing a voluntary phase out" of sow stalls by 2017. Now we all know that 2017 really isn't soon enough - I mean Coles has committed to doing the same by 2014 - but this still marks a major victory and means ultimately millions of mother pigs will be spared a miserable life of solitary confinement.
But wait, there's more! This morning Coles added another to their recent streak of animal welfare improvements. They've announced they will be completely ditching their own brand of cage eggs by 2013. I don't think I need to tell you that this is good news for those who care about animals and bad news for animal abusers.
I'm gonna say it... this is the beginning of the end for factory farming! Supermarkets and industry (or at least the pig industry) are seeing the writing on the wall. Factory farming's days are numbered. Really, once the public realises that piglets have their tails cut off without pain relief, or that chickens raised for meat are crammed into sheds by the thousands only to marinate in their own waste for 42 days before slaughter, will they want to support those practices? I think not!
At this rate we'll be out of a job in no time (ok maybe that's wishful thinking). But really, if you want to help put us out of a job and give animals the ultimate protection they deserve then the answer's simple - don't eat 'em.
Tell me, what factory farming practice would you like to see put into the history books next?
This has been an AWESOME week for animal victories! And what makes these wins that much sweeter is that they wouldn't have happened without us! That is Unleashed members like YOU!
First we found out that the brutal plan to trap, transport and slaughter Tasmanian possums at a notoriously cruel abattoir has been rejected by the federal Environment Minister. Tony Burke couldn't ignore over 500 emails from us outlining that there would be no way to carry that out humanely. Now no possum has to face the shear terror of a slaughterhouse for the export market!
Next up, Coles announced that they will phase out any products from piggeries using sow stalls from their own range of pork, ham and bacon (side-note -- yuck!). This means that by 2014, Coles won't be supporting any pig farmer who, cruelly yet legally, confines mother pigs in cages barely bigger than their bodies while they are pregnant. Less pigs trapped in sow stalls means more pigs with space to do simple things like turn around. There's still a long way to go before Coles can call themselves cruelty-free, but these changes are coming about through pressure from consumers (and of course from gorgeous Lucy Pig!).
And finally, last night the Ku-Ring-Gai Council voted 7-3 to ban cruel exotic animal circuses! This ban was actually already in place until the circus industry applied enough pressure for the council to backflip in August and overturn the ban. This outraged the public, but one thing Unleashed members know how to do is make their voices heard. Thousands of signatures on the Animals Australia online petition -- or as I like to call it -- the deafening roar, convinced councillors that lions (and tigers, and monkeys...) don't belong in the circus!
I just have to say thank you, thank you, thank you to all of the incredible Unleashed members that have played a massive part in improving the lives of these beautiful, innocent animals.
We are their voice -- this shows how powerful we are when we speak up!
It is incredible to think that if I brought a little piglet home and named her (come on, we've all thought about it!) she would learn that name in no time and come running every time I called her…Ruby! Olive! Doris! (I can't choose). But studies have shown this to be true, meaning a pig could potentially be as wonderful a pet as a pooch!
But footage from a recent doco from Animal Equity in Spain proves beyond doubt that we still have a very long way to go in giving all pigs the quality of life we afford our gorgeous companion animals. This rare glimpse into their world is recommended viewing to anyone who still eats pork, bacon, ham, crackling … pigs basically! (Recommended viewing for those that don't eat pigs is here)
Pretty shocking stuff, right? What's more shocking is that this is happening all over the world – Australia included. Every year, in Australian factory farms, over 4 million scared piglets endure painful procedures like having their teeth cut, and tails sliced off -- all without pain relief.Those 'farrowing crates' that can be seen in the vid are used in piggeries across Australia too.
Did you know that pigs wag their tails when they're happy, just like dogs? Well, scientists believe that pigs are actually smarter than dogs. Now can you imagine if someone did these sorts of things to your dog (or your cat)? You'd make sure they saw the inside of a prison cell for a mighty long time right?
Even though these awful practices are still legal in Australia, pigs are slowly, but surely gaining a stronger voice as more and more people (including big players like Coles) are beginning to wake up to the horrors of factory farming.
But what can you do to ease their suffering RIGHT NOW?Don't eat pigs! It really is the easiest and simplest way for every person to help pigs straight away. And if you've already taken piglets off your plate (I love you, you're ace!), try to speak up and make their voice louder every chance you get!
PS Click here for further info on the effects of your meat free diet!
In '98 two piglets in the UK, Butch and Sundance, did just that. They escaped from the back of a truck, squeezed through a fence, swam across a river and vanished into a nearby garden. The pair were on the run for a week before they were finally caught. By that time their story was on the international news and the public were so taken by these two escapees that they were rewarded by being given a home in a farm sanctuary.
So what goes through the mind of an escaped pig?
Illustrator extraordinaire, Donn Pattendon asked this question for his most recent artwork, 'Escapee'. If you've taken a stroll through the back catalogue of blogs on Unleashed, then you've probably come across some illustrations by Donn before. He won the People's Choice Award at last year's Illustrators Australia 9x5 Exhibition with a very clever take on battery hens. His entry for this year's 9x5 Exhibition is another great illustration shining the spotlight on factory farming. And the cherry on top, is that Donn has kindly offered to donate 20% on the sale of this artwork to Animals Australia!
If you live in Melbourne and want to check out the exhibition (and vote for Donn's piece for this year's People's Choice Award), then below are details. If you don't live in Melbourne, then you can check out the rest of the exhibition online by clicking here.
Illustrators Australia Annual 9x5 Exhibition Where: Space 39, Lvl 2, 39 Collins St, Melbourne Opening night: Friday 17th Sep 6pm, Silent Auction, drinks nibbles and a chance to purchase original illustration on 9x5 wood, prize giveaways for People's Choice Awards. Gallery open for one day only; Saturday 18th Sept 10am-4pm.
Right, so back to the question... What do you think would go through the mind of an animal escaping from a factory farm?
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?
What is it with people who are obsessed with bacon? I mean, I'm all for creativity with food... Seeing someone make a flute out of a carrot is very cool. But this obsession with putting bacon in everything is just plain disturbing. Take for example, bacon ice-cream... ICK!
Sure, I used to like bacon - before I realised the piglet on my plate had his tail cut off (cutting through bone), his testicles sliced off, and his teeth snapped down to the marrow (and nerves) inside - all without pain relief. It's hard to tell yourself "but it tastes good" when you know that BLT was an abused animal - especially when you could have a tasty FLT (facon, lettuce and tomato) without any casualty.
Now, I can't help but feel ill when I see some of the putrid products people produce from pigs. You roam the internet a little and you'll notice people have gone batty on bacon. A little while ago, I started a list of things I would never want as a present. Well today I want to add to my un-wishlist all those gastly bacon creations, and every bacon flavoured, scented or look-alike product out there. Here are just a few of those dreadful ideas:
Bacon Tuxedo: Apparently this suit not only looks like bacon, but it has been chemically treated to smell like bacon. So just like real bacon, it probably increases your risk of cancer.
Bacon Mints: If BK Flame was the perfect way to ruin your first date. Then this is guaranteed to ruin your first kiss.
Bacon Bra: I don't think I need to tell you how many ways this is wrong! *shudder*
I could keep going, but I think I've had enough of thinking about dead pigs.
What do you think of this obsession with bacon? Got another 'craze' that bugs you? Leave a comment.
Some days it is just so exciting to be a part of the Animals Australia Unleashed team I can't even tell you!
After years of campaigning against factory farming, we were excited to hear Coles announce today that they are committed to having a completely sow stall free homebrand pork range by the end of 2014. What does this mean..?
Locking mother pigs inside 'sow stalls' is one of the cruellest things ever done to animals in Australia. The stalls themselves are not much bigger than the pigs' bodies, meaning they are stuck in one spot and can't even turn around for up to months on end.
Pigs are smart, curious individuals – much like dogs! – and it's shocking to think that for the sake of pork, bacon and ham, this type of cruelty is still legal in Australia. Fortunately, Coles has started to use their power to help end some of the worst abuse suffered by pigs on factory farms.
What's even more fortunate is that you don't have to be a massive company like Coles to make a big difference for animals… You can be a friend to pigs (and other animals) simply by taking them off your plate. It's easy! And -- you'll be saving the lives of 100 innocent animals every year. Now THAT's something worth celebrating :)
Anyone feel like celebrating?! We have every reason to! For the very first time in history one of Australia’s state governments has recognised that mother pigs imprisoned in sow stalls for months on end, don’t deserve to suffer. Sow stalls will be banned in Tassie!
Sow stalls are a seriously cruel business! They are literally tiny metal cages that are so small that mother pigs trapped inside can’t even turn around or walk more than one step. Thousands of pigs in Australia are forced to stand in these cruel cages, with nothing to do all day, often for months at a time.
Imagine if we were forced to endure this? No wonder most of the pigs are depressed and stressed out! They are after all one of the most intelligent species on the planet!
Tassie will phase out sow stalls and totally ban them by 2017. This sets the rest of Australia a great example as well as applying pressure for them to do the same.
We all know that the quickets and simplest way to help pigs is simply not to eat them ... but whilst we're waiting for the rest of the country to catch up and go vegetarian, today's decision will help alleviate some of the worst animal suffering caused by cruel meat industries.
I don’t believe this could have happened without the support of thousands of Unleashed/Animals Australia supporters who care about animals. It's their support that’s made it possible for Factory Farming TV and Radio Ads to air and to make a big impact.
So it seems that we do have the power to make a difference when it counts! It feels so good to be involved in directly helping animals, who without us would continue to suffer in silence, day in and day out. Now let's get every other state to follow!
BK Flame: A body spray by Burger King, which as they describe it captures "the scent of seduction, with a hint of flame broiled meat.". Puke!
That's what I'd call 'date-free deoderant' - for the man who likes to be alone. You know you've hit rock bottom when you stink so bad that smelling like a dead animal from a greasy fast food joint is an improvement! I've got to ask... Girls, do you want your boy to smell like 'flame broiled' animal flesh? I didn't think so!
Personally, the last thing I want is a constant reminder of Hungry Jack's (owned by Burger King), and the fact that the way they treat their animals stinks! Mother pigs in crates so small they can't turn around; piglets having their tales cut off without pain relief; hens in cages where they'll never be able to even stretch their wings... These are just a few of the things that come to mind when I think of Hungry Jack's and just a few of the things I don't want to be thinking about when I'm freshening up for a date.
If you agree that the way Hungry Jack's treats their animals stinks, then sign the petition calling on them to stop caging their animals. You can also print this petition out and get all your mates to sign too.
That might sound like a tall order, but every year Animals Australia finds a new way to spoil your Mum, whilst also helping out the thousands of mother animals who are locked up inside factory farms.
This year Animals Australia has hooked up with 'Growing Gifts' to create what I think is simply the most awesome Mother's Day gift anyone could buy ... a bundle of goodies that includes a real live lemon-scented tea tree! I just wish I was a Mum so someone would buy this for me! :-)
Looks preeeeetty swish, huh? The real value in this gift however is the bit you don't see in the picture. Each 'Growing Gift' helps to fund important campaigns to end factory farming, like this one, this one and this one.
Pigs are one of the smartest animals on the planet -- as smart as dogs and 3 year old children! Yet in factory farms mother pigs are locked up in tiny crates so small they can't even turn around. Pretty shocking, right? Well someone needs to stand up for these amazing animals. And that someone is us. So if you haven't worked out what to give Mum for Mother's Day yet, then maybe this is it!
You can order the small tree gift for $40, but if you don't have enough dough saved up for that then here are some other gorgeous gift ideas that aren't so expensive, but will also help out the animals:
If you don't have a credit card, and can't borrow one, then don't panic -- just call our office pixies on a weekday on (03) 9329 6333 and they'll help you out. And while you're planning the perfect day-off for Mum, here are a few winning breakfast-in-bed recipes that are sure to get you out of cleaning your room for at least a week:
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 ;)
Most of us grew up with songs and stories of idyllic farms where all the animals lived happy lives together. It's no wonder most people just assume that the pig on their plate or the chicken who laid the egg they're scrambling lived a happy life and was cared for before she died. But as you know, that's not how the story goes... and Animals Australia's new radio ad campaign is out to burst that bubble. So have a listen here.
We couldn't have been more thrilled with the impact of our recent TV ad campaign - Woolworths reported that sales of pig products dropped following the campaign. Finally people are realising that mother pigs in factory farms aren't 'cared for' - they're locked in barren crates where they can't turn around for months at a stretch. You could even call them battery pigs :-(
It's hard work, but some pig's got to do it. And really, I can't complain. Running endlessly from supermarket to supermarket might not sound like pig paradise, but it's a breeze compared to what Mum endures every day back in the factory farm – she's stuck in a sow stall just 1cm longer and wider than her body, where she's barely able to move and can't even turn around. She had her teeth broken and tail cut off when she was a baby – without pain relief! It's enough to make a grown pig cry.
The key to freeing her and other animals is in the hands of everyone who visits the supermarket and makes a choice whether to buy into cruelty, or kindness. That's why I've already visited dozens of Coles' and Wollies' in VIC and NSW and continue on my quest to reach caring consumers everywhere.
If you give a snort like I do about ending animal cruelty, then raise your snout high and join me on my campaign! It's easy – here's all you need to do:
I'm so thrilled! Just think, more than 1 million Aussies saw the truth about Australia's pig industry. Many will have never thought about where pork, bacon and ham come from before. And now they know that animal cruelty laws fail to protect animals raised for food, and that these profit driven animal industries aren't looking out for the wellbeing of their animals – they're looking out for their wallets.
After the show, our office was flooded with phone calls and emails from shocked viewers who had no idea of the routine cruelty of the pork industry. Many of these callers have sworn never to eat pigs again after seeing behind the closed doors of factory farms!
And now's your chance to see the behind the scenes footage of Animals Australia's investigators inside the piggery:
One of the saddest things about animal suffering is that all of the animals are completely voiceless – they don't vote, they can't speak our language and as such they cannot object to society's cruel treatment. But that's all about to change...
Animals Australia and Unleashed are about to embark on our biggest factory farming campaign ever – an Australian first – and we need your help to name the cute little pig who will be the face of this campaign. Everyone knows the cute little pig from the movie Babe, and Wilbur from Charlotte's Web. Well this pig is going to be next in line of pig fame. Though not a movie star, the work she'll be doing is so much more awesome – she'll literally be changing the lives of her brothers and sisters who are stuck on factory farms.
So get those neurons working and let's rename this Jane Doe to be the best ambassador for the biggest anti-factory farming campaign Australia has ever seen. This larger than life costume pig could haveyour name all over it, and when you see her at supermarkets or in the street (very very soon), you can tell your friends "I named that pig." What's even cooler is that she is the only one that exists in Australia (and the world) who is being made specifically to combat factory farming!
Comment your suggestions below. The winner will receive: 1) A free hug from this one of a kind pig 2) Kudos from Unleashed 3) Envy from all other Unleashed members
(The above illustration is our artist's impression, the "real" pig will be much more awesome and cute!)
UPDATE! It's official! "Lucy" has just made her debut and is presently on the campaign trail to end factory farming! Thanks for all the GREAT name suggestions everyone!!
Wow! There was some great news for animals coming out of the US last week. I just wish I could say the same for Australia :(
Last Monday (12 October) Michigan passed a bill that will see the phase out some of the cruelest confinement methods used in the farming industry.
Within 3 years, dairy calves in Michigan will no longer be confined in tiny veal crates and starved of iron to make their flesh pale and soft. Battery cages , used to confine egg-laying hens, and gestation crates used to confine mother pigs, will also be phased out. With these significant improvements for animals Michigan has become the 7th state to ban gestation crates, the 5th to ban veal crates and the 2nd to ban battery cages.
And the good news just keeps coming! California - who have already banned veal crates, gestation crates and battery cages – have added to their list of ‘no-no’s’ tail docking of dairy cows. A good sign from one of the US's largest dairy states, and very good news for the 1.8million dairy cows in California!
While we're on the topic of changes for animals, the city council of Santa Monica (also in California) has voted in favour of drafting new legislation that will restrict animal 'declawing' – ie. the practice of painfully removing animals’ claws.
Meanwhile, over the other side of the world in a little place often known as 'the lucky country', farm animals aren't so lucky. Recently The Greens in ACT (and Tas for that matter) put forward a Bill that would ban battery cages from ACT (meaning only one business would be affected) and the Liberals and Labour teamed up to shoot it down (same story in Tasmania). With the many other parts of the world making huge advances for animals, it is disappointing that Australia is still dragging its feet.
It was only a matter of time – raising animals for food in filthy overcrowded sheds was bound to come and bite us in the backside, but when Swine Flu broke out in Mexico we didn't expect to see it in Australia any time soon. And before we knew it, we became one of the nations with the greatest swine flu count per capita. And now it's been found on a factory farm in NSW – the very place it originated (ie. a factory farm in Mexico).
Pork representatives are trying to convince us that it's still safe to eat pig products, but really, was it ever safe?!
If you ask the World Cancer Research Fund: "The scientific evidence linking processed meat [ie. ham, bacon, salami, etc] and bowel cancer shows that the best amount to eat is none at all."
Eating pigs is not only dangerous for our health, but the conditions they are raised in (confined in cages surrounded by their own waste products) is just a breeding ground for disease – a disaster waiting to happen.
Anyway, who's the one telling us it's safe? It's the Australian Pork Industry (surprise!) – the same people who make a buck off selling it. I kind of see it like a thief telling you it's safe to leave your bag with him.
Personally, I'm content to chow down on my FLT (facon, lettuce and tomato sandwich) and leave the pigs in peace.
Earlier this month I mentioned Jackie O's 'fat bet'. Australia's leading lady of the airwaves had been challenged on air: lose 4 kilos and Kyle Sandilands would donate $5K to her favourite charity, Animals Australia (or, don't – and the money goes to a factory farm!).
An absurd bet, you might think (particularly when we all knew Jackie was perfectly proportioned already! Sheesh!!) But absurdities aside, Jackie knuckled down for the animals' sake, worked hard, and held Kyle to his word… And the result? Well it was a verrrry close call, but I'm glad to report that despite being 200g short of her target weight, Kyle saw the light and wrote out one big phat cheque to Animals Australia – that will be used to expose the cruelty of factory farming!
If you've picked up a newspaper lately you may have noticed pigs have been getting a bit of attention (and I don't mean swine flu). Recent investigations in Australia and NZ have revealed just how bad factory farming can get (and as someone who's seen a lot, even I was shocked).
Mike King may be a new name to many Aussies but in NZ he's a familiar face. The NZ comedian and TV celebrity was until recently also the face of NZ Pork. That is, until he found out where NZ Pork came from – factory farms. With the help of undercover investigators King saw a factory farm first hand. The footage from this investigation was aired on the NZ current affairs program Sunday, to much public outrage.
And it's no wonder people were outraged. The NZ 'codes' for pig welfare (and the Australian 'codes' for that matter) effectively make it legal for farmers to be cruel to pigs. For example, they permit sows (mother pigs) to be locked in cages called 'sow stalls' which are little bigger than their own bodies.
Meanwhile back home, an investigation into one of Woolworths' major Tasmanian pork suppliers has exposed one of Australia's worst ever cases of commercial animal cruelty. Investigators found starving sows with legs so swollen they couldn't stand to reach food or water; one mother pig had been left to die in her own waste with a shoulder wound rotting and filled with maggots. It was some of the worst footage I've seen. And this supplier, Gary Oliver, supplies roughly 20% Woolworths' Tasmanian pork!
So the big question is how did Woolworths' react? Well, it seems they've given Mr Oliver a slap on the wrist; told him to clean up his act; and now it's back to business as usual. Bit if you ask me, anyone who can leave an animal to be eaten alive by maggots should not be paid to 'look after' animals.
But the story doesn't end there. Last week one of Woolworths' major Tasmanian egg producers was also convicted of animal cruelty. On at least 2 separate visits to Sun Valley Poultry a government inspector found hens crammed into tiny cages on top of the rotting corpses of their dead cage-mates, to the extent that they could not even stand properly. The inspector found another 27 dead birds left to rot in their cages; not to mention birds covered in manure; and one dead bird being cannibalised by a distressed cage-mate.
So it seems that the 'fresh food people' need a shake up. Rotting birds in tiny wire cages and dying, maggot-infested pigs is not what I'd call a 'high standard' of animal welfare! If this sort of cruelty and neglect on factory farms makes you sick, then let Woolworths know. And if you've already written once and weren't happy with their response (I certainly wasn't!) then here's a few tips for how you might respond to their letter.
If you're a 2DayFM listener you're probably aware by now of Kyle's "fat challenge". But if you're not, the self-admittedly rotund co-host of the Kyle and Jackie O show has accused the ever-gorgeous Jackie of being fat! (Yes, it's a topsy turvy world we live in).
It seems that Kyle is so concerned about Jackie's health and belt size that he's issued his vegetarian co-host a challenge: lose 4 Kg and he'll donate $5,000 to her favourite charity: Animals Australia! And if she fails...? Kyle says he'll give the $5,000 to a pig factory farm -- Jackie's worst nightmare!
Now, I don't know where this mic-slinging diva will even find 4 Kg to lose... but if anyone can do it for the pigs, I'm willing to bet that Jackie O can.
The outspoken radio personality and former Big Brother host has already shown her commitment to helping animals by not eating them. She also posted information on her website to inform listeners about the miserable lives of animals trapped in factory farms in Australia. Go Jackie!
Who do you think will win the fat challenge? You can have your say and pass on your encouragement to Jackie on the 2day fm website. :-)
So over the past few weeks we have been warned of the deadly outbreak of "Swine Flu" in Mexico that is now spreading around the world. There has been much debate about whether we are treating the pandemic too seriously or not seriously enough, and more importantly whether it really came from pigs and if pork is safe to eat. The name was even officially changed from “Swine Flu” to “Influenza A (H1N1)” to try and re-assure consumers that eating pig products is safe. But if you are like me and countless others who have been writing to newspapers and reading up on the situation, I bet you've been remembering the panic when bird flu broke out and thinking "when will they get it, factory farming is a recipe for disaster!"
Where the Swine Flu outbreak started, in Mexico, is just 5 miles from an "industrial pig facility" which "processes" close to a million pigs a year and is jointly owned by the world's largest pig "processor", Smithfield Foods (Isn't it ridiculous that these places are referred to as "facilities" rather than "farms", why don't they just be totally honest and call them prisons?) (you can take a tour of this 'facility' with Sharon Churcher, here). Smithfield Foods says the outbreak was not a result of its facility and that none of its pigs have the virus. But Smithfield Foods have less than a splendid track record with hygiene and honesty.
Whether or not this particular facility was responsible for this outbreak, the question has to be asked, how can factory farms NOT inevitably spread disease?
There are hundreds of millions of pigs and chickens crammed in unnatural, stressful environments in these "facilities" all over the world. They are often fed antibiotics in their food to stop them from getting sick in these breading grounds for disease called factory farms. Frequent use of anti-biotics is KNOWN to result in super-bugs that become resistant to the drugs. The huge amounts of waste they produce is not treated the way human waste is, it is instead channeled into huge open-air ses-pits, or as the "facilities" like to refer to them, "lagoons". These lagoons attract large swarms of flies that feed off the untreated waste and then may fly to local communities. And of course, the health of communities living near factory farms can also be seriously affected (as a great report called the PEW Report discusses).
With all the warning signs - the hideous animal cruelty, the previous pandemic scares and the devastating environmental toll - we have every reason to be worried of a disease outbreak. And yet people are still encouraged to chow down on their pork chops and chicken nuggets. It seems we are too scared to face the awful predicament we have gotten ourselves (and the animals) into with factory farming.
"Swine flu is a result of the inhumanity practiced by pig farmers who prioritise profits over animal welfare. People who eat pork products ignore that the pig industry severely harms the environment and the pigs.
"How sadly ironic that as humans abuse animals, forcing thousands of pigs and poultry into squalid factory farms, their viruses combine and evolve into new strains that teach us a deadly lesson about the everyday abuse of animals to satisfy human greed."
So mother's day is just round the corner, and if you're like me, you're still umming and ahhing over what to get that special lady in your life (ie. mum)... ;-)
Well um and ah no more, 'cos we've got the thing for you - a gift that gives twice! Put a smile on mum's dial and help mothers in factory farms all at the same time with these delish gifts:
‘Sumptuous Scents’ Gift Contents:
1 x all-natural Ecoya 'wild frangipani' soy candle, 1 x Pure Gaisha 'White Tea & Ginger' solid perfume in a heart-shaped tin, 2 x Constant Craving dairy-free chocolate truffles, and a Mother's Day Gift Card, which highlights how the proceeds from this gift will help shine a light on the plight of mothers in factory farms in Australia.
‘Sweet Dream’ Gift Contents:
1 x Perfect Potion 'Vanilla Bean' lip balm, 5 x Constant Craving dairy-free chocolate truffles (Jaffa Delight, Coffee, Scorched Almond, Coconut, and Apricot Dream), and a Mother's Day Gift Card, which highlights how the proceeds from this gift will help shine a light on the plight of mothers in factory farms in Australia.
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!
Here's something different for a bit of fun. This is a good laugh…
So this video got me thinking. I wonder what other animals might show me up … for example, did you know that pigeons are better at visuo-spacial problems than humans (you know, like those problems where you have to rotate a 3D object in your mind)?
Or what about the fact that gorillas can lead their families over hundreds of kilometers back to the best feeding spots at just the right time of year for the food to be there. I know people who get lost on the way to the local shops!
And did you know that pigs perform better on memory games than many primates. I don't know how many times I've forgotten the pin for my bank card, and it's only 4 digits. Actually the studies that proved this were pretty cool. They used joystick controlled computer games to conduct the research. Apparently the pigs really dug playing computer games… who knows pigs might not just have a better memory than me, they might beat me at guitar hero … everyone else can!
Leave me a comment let me know what other animals you think are better than me … but be nice, I'm a gentle soul :-)
It's the voice of a little girl that has been holding a nation of radio listeners to attention over the past month. Thanks to Animals Australia's brilliant "Lucy Speaks" campaign, people all over the country are awakening to the awful truth about where over 90% of Australia's pork, bacon and ham comes from.
This has the Australian Pork Industry running scared. So scared, that their top exec's have called an emergency meeting in Canberra to draft a "media battle plan" to combat the campaign.
It would seem the truth hurts, APL. It hurts even more when the Sunday Age publishes a story about the success of the "Lucy Speaks" campaign on their FRONT PAGE!
While the pork industry is likely to recruit expensive media experts and spend buckets of money trying to convince the public that they 'care' about the millions of pigs they lock up in factory farms and surgically mutilate without pain relief every year, we have a much simpler solution: follow the lead of countries like Britain, Sweden and Switzerland, and stop confining intelligent animals in cages so small they can't even turn around. I mean—if the Pom's can do it—how hard can it be?
If you haven't yet heard the chilling radio ads that Animals Australia is still airing around the country (thanks to generous public donations that are still flooding in in support of keeping the campaign on air), click here to listen.
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.