24 April 2008

Learn to hate humankind

Trailer for Earthlings by Shaun Monson - Nation Earth.

Earthlings is a feature length documentary about humanity's absolute dependence on animals, and about our complete disrespect for these "non-human providers".

I know that the film is available online, don't ask me to link to it. The reason that the DVD is only subtitled in three languages is that they can't afford any more translations. A lot of the footage was difficult to obtain and it took them five years to make this film.

Support the project and buy the DVD. If 20 USD is too grand a sacrifice for you, then share the burden with some friends and buy it together.

If you bought the DVD but don't know how to obtain subtitles in a language you prefer, contact me and I will try to help you with it.

31 March 2008

Learn to hate pet-food manufacturers

Footage by peta-tv from one of Iams contract testing laboratories.

Animals used in pet-food studies are in constant pain. They live on slatted flooring that makes their paws swollen and inflamed. The steel slats doesn't ware down their toenails, which become so long that they can hardly walk without slipping. They get their legs caught between the bars of the cage floors and suffer severe injuries. They don't get veterinary treatment and they don't get pain relief.

These animals are only fed canned food, and they are not allowed to chew on anything hard, so tartar builds up on their teeth and their gums become inflamed. This ultimately renders them unable to eat due to the pain. The animals used in studies concerning dental defence diets are given harder foods of course, the studies on them involve inducing painful stages of periodontal disease by cutting and suturing their gums.

The dogs and cats in the pet-food industry live their lives in barren steel and concrete cages, and they suffer severe mental stress from this confinement. Their vocal cords are surgically removed so their cries won't disturb the staff. Their injuries are left unattended, and those in need of euthanasia wait for weeks before they are put out of their misery. They live in hell, for months and years.

This is how we treat the cats and dog of the pet-food industry, we do it so that we can be sure that we are buying high quality menus for our favourite cats and dogs.

Spread your hate, send some to Iams. Read all about what the undercover PETA investigator found at Iams, and if you have ha pet be sure to check out the lists of brands that do not test on animals.

12 January 2008

Learn to hate European live equine transports.

A European horse transport filmed by Viva and Animals' Angels. Journeys covering over 3 000 km and lasting for a week are common; this is the way equines are transported to slaughter in Europe. When you see the state of these horses at the end of the film, remember that they are only half way by then.

Every year about 140 000 horses and 7 000 donkeys are imported to the EU from Central and Eastern Europe. They are transported under horrific conditions, mainly to Italy, to be slaughtered on arrival. Once they are slaughtered the meat is labelled as Italian.

These animals are transported in overcrowded trucks unsuitable for the purpose. They are driven for thousands of miles on journeys lasting for many days in all weather conditions. They usually don’t get any food and not much water, since unsaturated meat is considered superior drivers are told not to water the horses. They don’t get the rest periods, since that would mean paying the drivers twice as much. They fall over, they trample each other, and they get caught in the metal sidebars. Many die on the way.

The swaying trucks make it difficult for the horses to remain upright and they often lose their balance and fall. Once down they are trampled and wounded by the others, if unable to rise again they will be trampled to death. This is not uncommon. These transports are extremely exhausting and some animals are already dead half way.

When they arrive at the slaughterhouse many are too exhausted and traumatised to walk out of the truck. Fallen horses are beaten and an electric prod is inserted into their rectum to induce them to stand, on broken limbs. Those who, in spite of this torment, are unable to get up are dragged off in chains.

The only action needed to end this suffering is to slaughter the animals where they are bred, and export the meat frozen. But that would be unacceptable to us, because we want our meat to be fresh (even if we can’t tell the difference) and we want it to be labelled Italian (even if it’s Polish). These animals are tormented for a week to satisfy our need for imaginary luxury.

The European authorities, including veterinarians, close their eyes to this. For nothing must stand in the way of making money, regardless of the cost. It would be cheaper to transport frozen meat; these transports exist because we are prepared to pay extra for meat from tortured animals.

Wallow in your hate. Read Viva's report on live export of equines from Poland.

10 January 2008

Learn to hate pig breeding factory farms.

The conditions for breeding pigs in the UK filmed by Viva. Britain has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world, pig breeding factory farms don’t get much better than this, so enjoy this film.

Mother pigs, or sows, live most of their lives in metal crates so small that they can’t move around. They never see daylight and they lie on faeces-covered concrete floors. They are in constant pain and they are under severe mental stress by these conditions.

Since the sows can’t move their muscles atrophy,they wouldn't be able to move much even if allowed. The only thing they can do is stare at the metal bars, or chew on the metal bars. This is their life for about six years, with the aid of extreme amounts of antibiotics to survive. Yes, they do go insane.

The sows are impregnated by insemination. During pregnancy they live in a gestation crate, this is a crate so small that the sow cannot turn or take a step. When it’s time for her to give birth she is moved to a farrowing crate, this is a crate that will hold her in place lying down so that the piglets kept in an adjacent crate can nurse. After one month the piglets are taken away, the sow is inseminated again and moved back to a gestation crate.

This is what your skin looks like if you lie down for a month,
it is called bedsores.

The vile conditions these animals live in turn them into injured, diseased and insane creatures. Here’s a HSUS Report on Gestation Crates for Pregnant Sows.

This is the way we produce piglets, we do it like this because it’s cheap. We do it like this because caring about the sows would be more expensive, and we don’t want to pay for their well being. We want to do something fun with our money instead.

Spread your hate. Visit Piggles and sign his petition. Save Babe is the Australian movement for those of you down under. Check out The Humane Society International for other locations.

08 January 2008

Learn to hate bullfighting.

Recorded by The League Against Cruel Sports and Libera in "top class" bullrings in Spain and Peru during 2006.

This story is about the fair fight between matador and bull. The matador is the hero. He’s very brave. Actually 1 matador is killed for every 500 000 bulls that are killed.

One day prior to the fight food and water is taken away from the bull, and he is given salt. On the day of the fight sand bags are used to hit the bull's kidneys, to cause internal injuries. Often the horns are sawed off, aside from being very painful this also impairs the bull’s coordination. Petroleum jelly is rubbed into the eyes of the bull, to blur his vision. Drugs and laxatives are also common means to weaken him. The bull is kept in a dark space, so the sun will be blinding when he enters the arena.

Once in the arena the bull is approached by picadors (men on blindfolded horses) who drive lances into the bull’s back and neck muscles. The purpose is to impair the bull’s ability to lift his head, and to ensure a significant amount of blood loss.

Then the banderilleros enter on foot and proceed to plunge colourful harpoons into the bulls back. When the bull has become sufficiently weakened from blood loss, the banderilleros run him in circles until he becomes dizzy and stops chasing.

Now, the matador appears and tries to kill the bull with his sword. He is supposed to put the sword between the bull’s shoulders and through the heart, but usually the matador misses the heart and puts the sword through the lungs instead. The bull is then made to move again so that the sword will move inside him and cut up his lungs. This is usually when the bull drops to his knees, since he is drowning.

The execution is then made by a small dagger in the bull’s neck instead, it is supposed to cut the animal’s spinal cord. But often the bull remains conscious, though paralysed, for quite some time. If the crowd is happy with the matador, the bull’s ears and tail are cut off and presented as a trophy. The bull is then chained by his horns and dragged out of the arena, and at last he gets to die back stage.

The show usually lasts for about 15-20 minutes. This of course isn’t enough to satisfy our hunger for torture, so another five bulls will follow him to make our evening of amusement truly fulfilling.

Bulls aren’t the only victims in bullfights. Horses used in bullfights are blindfolded and have their ears stuffed, so they won’t be able to run away from the bull. The horses are often gored by the terrified bulls, their ribs are broken and they suffer great internal injuries.

Do something with your hate. La Tortura has a long list of organisations working to ban bullfighting. One of the main reasons bullfighting continues is because of bloodthirsty tourists. So tell bullfighting countries that you would’ve liked to go there and spend all your savings, but decided not to since they torture and kill for entertainment.

05 January 2008

Learn to hate foie gras.

Stop Gavage exposes the foie gras industry.

Fois gras is made by force-feeding geese and male ducks, the livers of female ducks have more veins so the girls are thrown in a macerator when they hatch. The birds are force-fed enormous amounts of food, with a pneumatic pump, to make them develop a painful decease which causes the liver to become ten times larger than normal size. This deceased liver is the luxury item we desire to eat.

To make the force-feeding effective the birds are held in place by a small wire cage, with their heads protruding through a hole in the front. This makes it is easy to pull their neck straight and push a metal feeding tube down to their stomach and releasing a kilo of food in just a couple of seconds. This extreme feeding means that the birds are in severe pain and have a permanent diarrhoea. It would of course be ineffective to let the birds out, so they actually live in these cages.

A kilo is about 20 percent of the birds' normal body weight. That means it would be equivalent to shoving 15 kilos of food down the throat of an average human in just 3 seconds. It causes enormous internal pressure, and pain, and some birds literally burst. Getting a metal feeding pipe thrusted down the throat two or three times a day causes severe throat problems. Some birds' esophagus is actually punctured, leaving the bird drowning in the blood that fills its' lungs.

Choking on their own vomit is also a common cause of premature death. And some become so weak that they are unable to fend off rats from eating them alive.

Use your hate. Read the manifesto of Stop Gavage and sign it here. Stop Gavage is a French organisation working to ban foie gras in Europe.

04 January 2008

Learn to hate circuses with elephants.

PETA tv shows circus elephant training, and its consequences. Download the video here. When I found this film I got a warning that it contains strong language... mmm... that's its most disturbing content...

The average life span of a captive elephant is 14 years (captivity-induced foot problems and arthritis are the most common reasons for euthanasia in captive elephants), they usually live longer in circuses since they are used in shows regardless of physical problems. In their natural habitat elephants live for more than 70 years.

The majority of elephants used in circuses were captured in the wild when they were young. The method is to shoot off the mothers and collect all elephants who are under the age of 3. The breeding done at circuses is by insemination and begins when the females are about 6 years old. In nature elephants begin mating at age 16-18. The females remain chained when they give birth and the baby is chained separated from the mother, since baby elephants are cute and draw a crowd. Training begins soon after and the elephants are performing in shows before they are a year old.

Circus elephants are trained through the use of an ankus, which is a rod with a sharp, pointed hook at the end. Electric prods, blowtorches and whips are also commonly used. The ankus is embedded into elephants' most sensitive areas, such as around the feet, behind and inside the ears, under the chin, inside the mouth, on the trunk and other locations around the face. Since this is done on a daily basis to control circus elephants there is also a need for "spot work", concealing wounds and stop the bleeding with powder so that the injuries are not visible during shows, some circuses have special spot work employees.

Circus elephants are chained by their front and back legs so that they can't take steps. They eat, sleep, and defecate in the same trailers and tents their entire lives. In their natural habitat elephants walk about 40 kilometres a day.

Lives of constant confinement and frustration of natural instincts will force animals into a state of neurosis. Elephants in circuses constantly sway back and forth in their chains, these repetitive behaviours are symptoms of deep psychological distress.

Let your hate sink in. Watch a film about Shirley who gave birth, Ricardo who broke his hind legs, Benjamin who drowned, Docs and Angelicas leg wounds and Kenny who died after doing three shows bleeding from his rectum and without eating. Then go to Circuses.com and read some statements from former circus employees about elephant training.