Saturday, April 30, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Saturday September 27, 2008
Two women MPs in the Netherlands are giving animals a voice in Parliament.
On Nov 22, 2006, the world was stunned when Party for the Animals won two seats in the Netherlands’ House of Representatives. The event made history as it was the first time animals had representation in Parliament.
Their two MPs - Marianne Thieme, 36, and Esther Ouwehand, 32, are a breath of fresh air, and no longer ridiculed for wanting to create a more humane world.
The ladies literally stand out in Parliament, not only for their noble cause but for what they wear. In contrast to other MPs who are dressed in suits, the women wear jeans and trendy jackets over short tops, accessorised by simple chains.
Thieme attributes their slim figures and stunning good looks to their vegetarian diet. But don’t be fooled, the ladies are no pushovers when it comes to parliamentary debates.
“I took it as a compliment when the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality who is responsible for the animals, nature and environment portfolio, had to take on two extra civil servants just so she can answer all our questions in Parliament,’’ says Thieme in an e-mail interview.
“In the past, no one paid any serious attention, even to the existing laws that protect animals. Today, we take to task any governmental body that doesn’t protect animals, and take legal action if necessary,” says Thieme, a lawyer by qualification, who lives with her seven-year-old daughter and two cats she adopted from a shelter.
Her autobiography, The Century Of The Animal, is as much about animal welfare as it is about her, she says. Few consumers realise they are supporting animal cruelty when they make certain purchases.”
Released in 2004 in the Dutch language, the book creates awareness about her party. Its English version is scheduled for release in the Netherlands next February.
Today, the party’s influence is growing at a tremendous pace. It won an additional nine seats in eight provinces in the Netherlands in 2007, and one of the 75 seats in the Dutch Senate.
Thieme adds that as part of her party’s campaign, it wants consumers to learn how to shop intelligently, and choose brands that are animal and environment friendly.
“The public hardly suspects that their purchase of cosmetics, pet food, toothpaste, eggs and other common items have, in all likelihood, caused some form of animal suffering. Is this morally justified when alternatives are easily available?
“A lot of animal experiments consider only commercial interests. We want to ban all animal experiments as soon as possible and we are seeking funding to find more alternatives for consumers.”
Thieme adds most people are not aware that almost all eggs come from battery hens, if there is no label to state they are from “free range” hens. These are hens confined in cages so small they can hardly move. The stress causes them to mutilate other hens. To prevent that, farmers cut off their beaks without anaesthetics (debeak). Billions of male hatchlings that are of no use to hen factories are thrown alive into a grinder.
“Politicians and corporations have always placed economic interests above moral interests. This is now hurting the entire planet,” Thieme recently told the International Press Association members in a speech at The Hague.
Meat for Truth, a documentary produced by Party for the Animals, shows us the livestock farming industry is affecting global warming as it accounts for some 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. That is more than the emissions contributed by all the cars, lorries, trains, boats and planes on earth, which amounts to only 13%.
“The documentary also shows that plant-based food is not only a healthy substitute for meat, but a means to end deforestation and world famine, because much of the grains produced in the world is going towards feeding livestock bred for slaughter,” says Thieme.
Small farmers who practise humane farming are being eradicated by huge conglomerates that treat animals like products and not creatures with feelings.
In her speech, Thieme criticised Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth for ignoring the greenhouse effect of livestock farming and the plight of animals which is intricately linked to man’s own well-being.
“I didn’t know why Gore didn’t address it. Perhaps it was too inconvenient,” she remarked to laughter from the international media.
Even the Netherlands’ Queen was not spared. Thieme wrote a letter to the Prime Minister objecting to the Queen serving foie gras to guests at a State dinner for international dignitaries.
Foie gras is derived from ducks that are force-fed until their livers, abdomens and oesophagus are damaged. Her complaint resulted in the Queen having the item removed from the palace menu.
The Party for the Animals is the only political party that has working groups set up at various locations throughout the Netherlands. They deal with animal welfare issues at a municipal or regional level, and work to influence animal welfare policy.
“In the long term, these working groups may develop into party branches, which may participate in municipal elections. In this way, it is possible that we will eventually also be represented at a municipal level,” says Thieme, who gave up eating meat at 23.
In her book, she says when she realised how animals were tortured by her wrong choices as a consumer, she immediately vowed, “No more in my name!” and took the first step by turning vegetarian.
According to Thieme, her party has today forced other political parties in the Netherlands to adopt a position on animal issues. Since no one wants to appear cruel, politicians are suddenly falling all over each other to say how humane they are.
Party for the Animals also recently launched WorldLog, which is a blog-cum-diary that Thieme updates each week, to inform the international public of their work. It is now available in nine languages at the party’s website http://www.partyfortheanimals.nl/
Inspired by the success of Party for the Animals, political parties representing animals have now been created in Austria, Germany, Brazil, and Spain. Thieme will celebrate World Animal Day in Hollywood where Meat For Truth is being screened on Oct 5.
A 19-year-old man killed a kitten by throwing an empty beer bottle at it because he "didn't like cats".
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
HUNDREDS of dogs avoided becoming the main course after they were rescued by about 200 Chinese activists.
More than 400 dogs were crammed into a truck, which was forced to stop on a Beijing highway on April 15, after a motorist swerved his car into its path before alerting animal activists via his microblog.
About 200 activists reacted and gathered at the scene and surrounded the vehicle transporting the dogs, some of which had collars and name tags still on them.
The dogs were eventually rescued after a 15-hour standoff.
The motorist who sent the alert told China daily that he's known about trucks transporting dogs on the highway for a long time and happened to see a shipment that night.
China Daily reported that the truck was transporting the dogs to restaurants in Jilin province in the northeast.
The consumption of dog and cat meat, both of which are believed to promote bodily warmth and are thus popular in winter, remains widespread in China despite a surge in popularity as pets.
However, earlier press reports have said authorities were looking into drafting a law that could outlaw the practice.
SOURCES: AP, AFP, China Daily.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
"So here's the thing - this election season, let our elected representatives know how we feel. We are not second class citizens who matter less than complainants, many of whom are not even held accountable because they are anonymous. Caregivers are committed, concerned and ready to help - so why are they treated as if they don't matter? "
Friday, April 22, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
|Rescued Chihuahua, looks to be about 3 to 4 years old|
|Wally the Maltese, malnourished and extremely thin|
|Baxter, exhausted and resigned to his fate|
|Eyes of desperation and hopelessness|
|Sweet Ole Molly|
|No longer able to use her right hind leg|
|A botched up job; her stitches would have been left on for at least 4 months!|
|Molly's right hip and hind leg was so badly fractured, it can no longer be saved. An amputation is inevitable. I can't begin to imagine the emotional and physical pain and abuse she has gone through.|
|Some visible foetuses in Molly's abdomen|
How could the breeder have the heart to continue mating her despite her old age (imagine your grandmother giving birth time and time again!), broken right leg and raw Caesarian wound… I shudder at the thought of her puppies’ health, having been produced from such a frail, old mother dog plagued with issues of her own.
At such an age, dogs like Molly should not be giving birth as their bodies and legs are no longer able to take the weight of the full pregnancy. The decision by the vets and volunteers was to spare her the pain of yet another birth and one that would hopefully turn her life for the better. In other words, Molly would have to undergo:
1) An abortion of the puppies she was carrying because of her frail health, infected wound, badly fractured leg and hip; not to mention, old age.
2) Amputation of her right hind leg a month later as her leg can no longer be saved
With wicked breeders who treat dogs like Molly as puppy-churning machines, the onus really lies on the consumer to be discerning and alert when buying puppies from a pet store. Not only should breeders be subjected to regulations that encourage a certain humane breeding standard, proper medical living and quality of life for their dogs, consumers MUST do their homework and find out more about the puppy and its parents before committing to a lifetime of responsibility. Instead of creating more demand for such puppies and more suffering for dogs like Molly, why not adopt and save a life?
1) Molly’s vet bills
2) Boarding fees while they wait to be adopted
3) Adopting / fostering any of these four dogs who are looking for a good home
Thursday, April 21, 2011
The kindness of an old uncle who collects paper cartons for a living, and a community cat called Ah Kat
At a vet clinic on 20th April 2011
A lady wrote,
"Ah Kat - an old uncle saw him lying on his side brought him in to Pet Clinic. Urinary blockage, very dehydrated, Dr. Au drained urine n discharged... At the counter thhis uncle Ah Hwa only has 76 dollars to pay.... I told him ah kat got to keep indoor. He said he cannot bring home. I told him I will take over the cat. I dont think he can survive on the street. Esp today s weather. I hospitalised him."
"Ah Kat is already neutered."
"The uncle collects paper cartons for a living :-("
Ooi wrote, "I happen to b ther too. E uncle reali touch my heart.. He's a old uncle who collect paper carton(lik garang guni, 1kg of paper cartons @ abt 15¢ only) for living. Yet he brought e stray cat to e vet immediately when he realise e cat is not ...well. When payin, he dint had enuf & he empty every single cent he has in his wallet, $76.. Reali touch by his love for e animal~ T.T
So blessed tat SY happen to b ther. Reali nice of her to take over e badly dehydrated cat when e uncle cant bring home. If not, ther's no chance tis cat will survive at all.. Will pray for e cat to stay strong n get well soon! !"
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Woodlands Ring Primary School
Cat (an adult male) at the vet clinic; vet's assessment: few teeth chipped. Upper palate cracked. He kept sneezing because of saliva back-flow."
Read this ...
Mynah rescued from glue trap released!by ACRES: Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Singapore)
This is a well loved community cat in the mall of a heartland. A caregiver/feeder got her neutered a long time ago. The staff of a hair salon provides food and water for her. She is an icon of the mall.
SPCA will counsel the bakery staff who trapped the mynah on a board smeared with rat glue, but this was not the only case, said a spokesperson. Kittens were also seriously injured in the past.
This was in response to a blog post which detailed how bakery staff trapped a mynah with a board smeared with rat glue that left many STOMPers horrified.
Said the SPCA spokesperson in an email (Apr 20):
"We refer to the post about a mynah bird being stuck on a glue board trap outside a bakery at Tampines Blk. 826 yesterday.
"The SPCA responded to a call informing us of the bird’s plight. As in all emergency cases, the caller was advised over the telephone in advance that there would be no guarantee that the bird would survive –- this would depend on the creature’s condition following an examination by a veterinarian.
"Our top priority is always to ensure that injured animals are taken to a veterinarian without delay and we would do our best to save the animal.
"Our staff on arriving at the scene, was informed by the caller, that he would keep the bird and be taking it to a veterinarian for treatment, rather than risk it being euthanased, so our rescue officer took pictures as evidence for our investigation and proceeded back to the SPCA.
"This is not the first time that we have attended cases where various species have been trapped on glue board traps (commonly used for trapping rats). Kittens have been seriously injured in the past.
"For the record, the SPCA strongly objects to the use of glue board traps for any species and has previously written in to the authorities to ban them, but without success.
"There have been some positive results though: Following feedback from members of the public two years ago, we wrote to NTUC Fairprice informing them of the suffering caused to animals in the process of using this device, and they immediately removed the item from their stores.
"The SPCA recently received feedback from a Home-Fix DIY store customer that glue board traps were on sale there, but following our advice to the company that the use of this product inflicts pain and suffering to trapped animals, they pledged to remove this product from 21 stores as of 15 April. In order to address SPCA’s and the customer’s concerns, they have also informed their suppliers not to bring in any similar products to their stores in the future.
"There have also been other incidences reported to us over the years, in relation to glue board traps; we have followed up with advice to individuals/companies to refrain from using them.
"In this current case, we will be advising the staff of this bakery shop (and its head office) to stop employing this cruel method and to impress upon them that the suffering or abuse inflicted on a bird or any other species, is no laughing matter.
"We will be following up closely on this matter and would ask STOMPers to report any further sightings of glue traps at the location.
"We thank STOMPers who have voiced their concern for the injured mynah bird, and for helping to Stop Animal Abuse."