CONTENT WARNING: If you're too young to remember when Pokemon first went nuts, or if you're squeamish, you might want to tune out now.
Here's a blog to sink your teeth in to! Umm ... or not. A Serbian chef has released a cookbook/great-conversation-starter on how to cook testicles! Which I assume someone would then actually eat.
"Waiter - there's a hair in my testicle soup! Oh ... no."
I don't want to go into the gory details (because I just ate lunch), but the recipes include a Testicle Pizza, and the book also shows the correct way to "peel a testicle", to help beginner cooks get the balls rolling. Har-har-har.
If you think that's pretty wrong, then you probably don't want to know what goes into meat pies in Australia. (I'll give you a clue - it involves rind, connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels). And don't get me started on hamburgers.
The good news is that it's easy to avoid these mystery meats, and in the process improve your health, help the environment and save animals all at the same time! By going veg, you'll find yourself in the company of people like Leonardo da Vinci, Missy Higgins and the Incredible Hulk! Which would also make a pretty interesting dinner party. Bags sitting next to Missy!
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: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you've sent those off it's time to celebrate!
Remember, even if you're already rockin the cruelty-free lifestyle, you can extend the Veg Challenge (or any other Be Kind to Animals Week initiatives) to your friends and family, neighbours, workmates, teachers, etc. The more the merrier (and the better off animals will be for it)!
To get you in the mood for Be Kind to Animals Week, here's a gorgeous video of two amazing inhabitants from Edgar's Mission:
Leave a comment below - What will you be doing to be kind to animals next week?
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!
Ok, so I knew jumps racing was dangerous and often deadly for the horses, but I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw this footage from yesterday's 'Grand Annual Steeple' (more like Grand Disaster!) at Warrnambool Racing Carnival:
Seven people (including a toddler, an 80yr old woman and a 12yr old girl) were injured when Banna Strand jumped that 2m fence and plunged into the crowd.
With five horses already killed after falling during races across VIC and SA this year [Update 20/05/11: Another 2 horses have since died, bringing the total deaths to seven horses in seven weeks.], and now seven people injured, it's high time this recklessly dangerous and cruel sport was put down for good. Please take a moment today to click here and send a letter to the ministers of SA and VIC (the only 2 states foolish enough to allow this cruelty) calling for a ban on jumps racing (and yes, you can still send another letter, even if you have sent one before - maybe just change the letter content a little).
Please also take a moment to vote for a ban to jumps racing in these opinion polls:
This year's jumps racing season has barely started and five horses are already dead They're heading into week 6 now and the odds are stacked against the horses. Those racing in jumps races are at up to 20 time great risk of injury or death than horses in flat races.
The Warrnambool Racing Carnival started today. This 'spectacle' features a steeplechase that covers 5500 metres and includes 33 jumps. Can you imagine running that far with a person on your back and having to clear jumps at the same time? It's a tough ask, and tired, exhausted horses often fall suffering terrible injuries. No wonder there's already been one death today. Sadly, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the 'green screen' come out again in the next few days.
You can help stop this carnage! Here's a few simple ways how:
Click here to share this video on Facebook so the industry can't hide the body count.
I probably don't need to tell you Lea's onto a good thing. Adopting an animal from a shelter, rather than buying one from a pet store or breeder, is a great way to help animals ... For so many reasons!
For starters, you're giving a needy animal a home. Every year across Australia, over 200,000 dogs and cats are put down in shelters because a loving home could not be found for them. Every time a dog or cat is bought from a pet store, or a breeder, that's one less home for an animal in a shelter. And to add insult to injury it also creates the demand for even more dogs and cats to be bred :(
If that weren't reason enough, then puppy mills certainly are! Puppy mills are like factory farms for dogs. Imagine dozens or even hundreds of dogs kept as breeding machines - each dog confined to a small enclosure and given little exercise. These animals rarely get enough opportunity to socialise with other dogs or humans. Investigations of puppy mills have found dogs huddled in enclosures without proper shelter or bedding, and have found sick and weak dogs without proper vet care.
Many pet stores sell puppies from puppy mills. It's heart breaking to think that while the furry little bundle of joy that families buy at a pet store is on his way to his new home, his mum and dad are probably still suffering in a puppy mill.
Adopting a new furry friend from a shelter can be an incredibly rewarding experience. And it is all the more rewarding when you know that you've given a needy animal a loving home. Fingers crossed Lea's stickers reach a lot of people (and I'm sure she'd be happy for you to print them out and help make that happen - click on either image to get a larger version).
Have you adopted an animal?
Got something you're doing to speak up for animals?
With amazing drawcards like flamenco dancing and the incredibly fun Tomatina Festival(basically just a massive food fight with tomatoes!) you'd think Spain wouldn't need any other crazy attractions to bring in the tourist dollars.
But unfortunately, the utterly cruel and outdated Running of the Bulls is taking place this week in Pamplona....
Each day of the week-long festival, 12 terrified animals are forced to run, slipping and sliding, often breaking limbs, down ancient cobble stoned streets and into a bullring. A hoard of taunting humans run ahead of the bulls, themselves risking serious injury or death.
Once in the bullring, the already exhausted animal faces a matador, who teases and taunts him before driving spears into his back and neck. As the bull loses blood he becomes weaker and finally collapses. Then the matador delivers the final blow, severing his spinal cord with a dagger. Sometimes the matador misses, leaving the bull conscious, paralysed and in sheer agony while being dragged off by the horns. Hardly a bull fight. This is a bull massacre!
Whether it's bull 'riding' in Australia, or bull 'fighting' in Spain, teasing and tormenting frightened animals has got to be one of the lowest excuses for 'entertainment' ever.
If you think Spain's Ministry of Tourism needs to be more creative in attracting tourists, send them a letter and tell them you will never visit a country that advertises bloodthirst and carnage as a 'fun' event!
Have you ever broken a bone? I have, I was 5 and I broke my collar bone at school - YEEEOUCH!! Lucky I'm not a horse, that's all I can say! Because if I was, I wouldn't be here to tell the tale...
We've all seen it far too often. Horse after horse breaking bones from falls in jumps races. These poor guys don't have the luxury of a loving family who'll nurse them back to health. But then, a loving family wouldn't force you to perform a death defying spectacle for their entertainment, now would they?
I wonder what was going through the mind of poor Sirrocean Storm (RIP), when he broke his hind leg in a jumps race at Warnambool, a few weeks ago. I wonder if he dreamt of doing something like this:
I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but another 2 horses were killed in a jumps race over the Easter break - this time in SA. And what was the Racing Minister's response? "Although it's extremely disappointing that we've had the loss that we've had, it doesn't mean that jumps racing should be banned as a result of one incident."
Gah! I don't even know where to begin...
But wait, I suppose he's got a point. We shouldn't just take this one incident into consideration when deciding the fate of jumps racing. We should probably also consider the fact that 11 horses died in jumps races across Victoria and South Australia last year.
Surely they should have worked it out by now: horse + jumps racing = bad idea. Is this so hard to get? You'd think the body count on the track would give it away. They've tried raising the jumps, lowering the jumps, hardening the jumps, softening the jumps. And still horses fall and die. So why not try banning the jumps? Something tells me that might work!
If you're as sick of seeing horses die for the sake of entertainment as I am, thenplease click here to send the Ministers for Racing in Vic and SA a letter to tell them to ban this cruel sport.
Hi! I'm Sim, I'm new to Unleashed and let me just say, the brutal killing of baby seals before they aren't even two weeks old really upsets me!
See, every year the Canadian government allows hundreds of thousands ofbaby seals to be killed by hunters on the ice floes of Canada. It's basically the largest mass killing of marine mammals anywhere in the world. But that's not the worst of it -- the way these seals are killed is absolutely horrific -- clubbed on the head or shot for their pelts -- and due to the carelessness of hunters, some are even skinned alive.
PHOTOS: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Last month Matt.Y had a great idea by suggesting we contact the Vancouver Olympic Committee and asking them to put pressure on the Canadian Government to stop the slaughter. But with the hunt about to start, and the Olympics now over, these seal pups still desperately need our help.
Here in Australia we can do something else to help end this killing. Please sign the petition to show Canada what Aussies think of this cruel slaughter -- and get as many of your friends as you can to also sign.
Most importantly, seals, like all animals killed for their fur, need us to step up and refuse to buy any products with fur on them. If you're with me on this, take the pledge to wear your own skin -- and let the seals keep theirs!
It's one of those things you really hope we would have worked out by now... Whales and dolphins: better off frolicking about the ocean than being bludgeoned to death at the water's edge. Right?? Sadly, in some parts of the world this type of brutal end is still a very real threat for these intelligent marine mammals.
Earlier this week the world wept again for the dolphins killed in Taiji, Japan, thanks to the incredible documentary The Cove at its very deserving win at the Oscars. But there is a lesser-known but equally horrific slaughter of these amazing animals that also needs to stop. Every summer in the Faroe Islands, north of Europe, hundreds of pilot whales and other species of dolphin are rounded up and killed in a bloody event touted by locals as 'tradition'. Men drag the animals ashore by lodging a blunt hook in their blowholes and proceed to hack at their spines and vital blood vessels. It takes several minutes for the animals to die a traumatic and painful death while beached helplessly on the shore. Maybe killing these defenceless animals for food was once necessary in this remote part of the world, but nowadays there is no good reason for it.
Having come from Denmark myself, I find this particularly upsetting, since the Faroe Islands were once governed by Denmark. They are still officially part of the Kingdom of Denmark, but these days they pretty much govern themselves -- and the Danish people have very little power to intervene to help these animals. That's why we are petitioning the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands, to halt this barbaric and outdated 'cultural event'.
The Winter Olympic Games: It's an event scribbled in bold on every Australian's calendar, counted down to, day-by-day, from the closing ceremony 4 years ago. For 2 weeks straight, Australians sit glued to the television, with little on their mind other than the absolute excitement that is curling, being beamed from the other (and much colder) side of the world.
OK! So maybe it's not! But the location of The Games this year offers us, and more importantly animals, a potentially life saving opportunity.
Last year in Canada, over 60,000 baby harp seals were run-down by sealers and mercilessly bludgeoned to death on the ice, their parents watching on in terror and crying in horror. It's estimated that over 95% of the seals clubbed to death last year were less than 3 months old. These animals will never learn to swim and will never chew on their first solid meal.
PHOTOS: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
So what can we do about it?
Well, just like any major event, the organizers want it to run as smoothly as possible - and the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee is no different. One thing they don't want is for the good reputation of the Winter Olympic Games to be tarnished by this cruellest-of-the-cruel hunt, which already hangs over Canada's international reputation.
The Committee carries a lot of political clout, and with their pressure on the Canadian government, we'll be all the closer to having the seal fur industry right where we want them: off the ice for good!
Please write to the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee (email@example.com) and urge them to help bring an immediate end to the seal slaughter by pressuring the Canadian government to end this brutal slaughter for good.
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:
There are around 14 million egg-laying hens in Australia. That's a lot of birds! ... and all of them are female. So have you ever wondered what happened to all the males?
Male chicks can't produce eggs ... so the egg industry doesn't want them. They don't grow fast or large enough to be profitable to be raised for meat, so ... what then?
Well a new investigation by US based group, Mercy for Animals exposes the dirty little secret the egg industry doesn't want you to know. Brace yourself, cause the answer isn't pretty...
You might hope that Australian standards would be better. But sadly that's not the case. Every year, the Australian egg industrygrinds up alive or gasses to death an estimated 10 million male chicks. For these animals their first day in the world is also their last. They are picked up roughly by their fragile wings, tossed into disposal chutes and hauled off to their death.
Sounds more like a horror movie than reality, doesn't it. But sadly this is not only a reality, it's legal and is standard practice in Australia across all egg laying systems.
So what can you do about it? Well for starters you can cast your vote with your plate, simply don't eat eggs! And please join me in letting the Australian Egg Corporation know that you won't support their appalling disregard for animal welfare.
This just in! After receiving thousands and thousands of emails from outraged Animals Australia and Unleashed members, Broome Shire Council held an emergency meeting where they agreed to suspend their sister-city ties with the Japanese town of Taiji, where next month thousands of dolphins will be brutally butchered as part of an unspeakably cruel mass annual dolphin slaughter.
During the slaughter, which every year kills 23,000 dolphins, authorities erect barricades and prohibit photography and videotaping of the brutal event. Not even the Japanese public are aware of the scale or cruelty that goes on in Taiji, or that dolphin meat is often mislabelled and consumed by unknowing Japanese citizens!
This move by Broome sends a strong message to Japan that the international community will not tolerate this dark, bloody secret. With more pressure, we hope that the Japanese government will soon wake up and realise that along with the dolphins, Japan's reputation and appeal as a tourist destination is being bludgeoned to death by callous Japanese fishermen!
Thanks to everyone who took action recently by writing Broome and asking them to sever ties with Taiji! Please also take a moment to write to the Ambassador of Japan to Australia and express your disgust at Japan's annual mass slaughter of dolphins. Let them know that you will not consider visiting Japan whilst this gruesome slaughter continues!
You learn something new every day... unfortunately!
So I thought by now I was pretty aware of international animal cruelty, but a new documentary I saw last week really shocked me. The Cove, which is being launched in Australia next week, exposes the mass slaughter of Dolphins in a little Japanese town called Taiji.
"Mass dolphin slaughter?? What the!!" Yes, that's right, each year, starting on the 1st of September a whopping 23,000 terrified dolphins are herded into a secret cove. They are netted in, unable to escape and are slowly speared or stabbed to death!
And why haven't we heard of this before? Because the Japanese Government has gone to painstaking efforts to keep the slaughter a secret, even from it's own people. Dolphin meat is being labelled and sold as other types of seafood and the vast majority of Japanese citizens have no idea this is happening, or that they are eating it!
International dolphin expert and former trainer Richard O'Barry has gone to incredible efforts to expose this terrible secret. In creating The Cove he took an elite team of scientists, filmmakers and free-divers to Taiji. He hopes the international outrage The Cove will create will put a stop to this barbaric practice... HOPEFULLY before this September's slaughter begins.
So what can you do? Fortunately, as Australians we're in a unique position to help! Taiji just so happens to be the Sister-City of Broome in WA. By putting pressure on Broome to sever it's ties with Taiji we will expose the slaughter and shame Japan. The good news is that most Japanese people see dolphins the same way westerners do – as intelligent, graceful animals who should never be hurt or eaten – but whilst the slaughter remains a secret sadly it will continue.
[UPDATE: Some great news! After a flood of letters, Broome Councilors met over the weekend and decided to sever their ties with the Japanese town of Taiji.
We still have a couple of 2-for-1 passes to giveaway to see The Cove (opening this week)! If you want to score yourself a pass then please write to Broome to thank them for taking a stand against the dolphin slaughter in Japan and severing their ties with Taiji. Then leave a comment below to let us know you've written.
Or rather eight seals — which is the number of seal pups that are killed to produce just onefur coat. And come 1st July this year, that's what is destined to happen to 91,000 seal pups on the coast of Namibia.
I only recently discovered just how brutal the annual Namibian seal cull is. People call it the 'cruellest in the world', and there's a good reason why. Most of the seals killed during this brutal slaughter are so young that they are still being nursed by their mothers. The defenceless pups are rounded up and separated from their mothers — and many vomit their mother's milk in fear — before being clubbed to death. Some seals who aren't completely knocked out are then stabbed and "bled out" while they are still fully conscious. Their mothers are left to watch on helplessly. It's one of the most disturbing sights you're likely to ever see (I don't recommend it, but you can find videos here of what has happened during previous 'hunts' if you think you can handle it).
You might be thinking — thank goodness we'd never support something so awful here in Australia! Well, it turns out that it's an Australian company that is directly linked to the annual Namibian slaughter. Last year, Sydney-based fur and skins company, Hatem Yavuz, purchased all of the dead seal pup skins from the cull. All of them!!
That's why we're publicly naming and shaming and demanding that Hatem Yavuz commits to never buying Namibian cape fur seal skins again. Never, ever again. If you think that a seal's fur coat is worth more to the seal than to Hatem Yavuz, then please take 1 minute to send this important message today. The seals need you!
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.