Archive for the ‘Animal Rights’ Category

Message from PETA

October 29, 2017 Leave a comment

Last week, some PETA members and representatives of two local animal rights groups who themselves came under attack asked us to help them respond to ads taken out against PETA.
The ads were created by a man who sits at a computer in his house and solicits funds, the overwhelming majority of which go to support him personally. He makes his living from spewing hate speech, launching vicious personal attacks, and using untruths and distortions to rile people up, all in the name of “no kill,” while he himself does not rescue, shelter, or care for any animals anywhere! He also falsely and most damagingly claims that animal overpopulation is a “myth” and “the lie at the heart of the killing.” His modus operandi is to demonize animal shelters and blame euthanasia on the employees who perform it.

PETA usually ignores such things, because vicious people are a fact of life—but because some people have asked us how to stop this trolling, I thought it would be helpful to address how we can come together instead. Obviously, none of us ever wants any healthy or adoptable animal’s life to end prematurely, but some suggestions concerning how to achieve that goal spell disaster for animals. This “no-kill” (also called “turn-away sheltering”) business is actually causing an increasing number of slow and terrible deaths—something it absolutely does not have to do—and it’s also causing more breeding. It is encouraging hoarders to stash dozens—if not sometimes hundreds—of dogs and cats in cages for life (over 100 cats burned to death in their cages when one home caught fire), closing shelter doors to animals who need help the most, and imposing shelter admission fees on people who, not willing or able to pay them, dump their dogs and cats on the street or in the woods, bludgeon them to death, or even bake them alive or run them over. And abandoned animals keep right on breeding! Obviously, this is causing tremendous suffering to animals with nowhere else to go.

Who doesn’t want a quick fix to a huge problem, like a pill that will allow you to live forever while eating anything you want? Similarly, the way to achieve our goal is not simply to hope that just demanding “no kill” will make the big problems facing animals somehow magically disappear. They won’t, unless we put our efforts into doing useful things—some of which you’ll see in this brief, compelling video—like cutting off the incoming supply of homeless animals at the source. I hope you’ll share this video with everyone you know, perhaps on your social media pages.


Canada and Whaling 

October 26, 2017 Leave a comment

There are fewer than 500 North Atlantic right whales left. We lost another ten this summer in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Some of the whales suffered blunt trauma from collisions of boats. Others got caught up in crab fishing nets.
We need the Canadian government to step in and stop these preventable deaths.

Right whales’ habitat is close to the shore, which made them a prime target during the peak of the whaling era. They were hunted nearly to extinction, and even though they’ve been protected for decades, there’s been little recovery. Today, the only whales left live along the Canadian and New England coast.

As the stewards of the last whales, Canadian officials have a duty to all of us to do everything they can to save the right whales we have left. This summer, they were alarmed enough to close a crab fishery off New Brunswick early, and after news broke of the 10th whale death, the federal Fisheries and Ocean Minister promised he’d implement new rules around commercial fishing gear before next year.

These are important and encouraging steps. But this summer’s death toll — three times higher than normal — illustrates just how quickly we could lose the entire species. We need to keep up the pressure on the Fisheries and Ocean Minister to ensure he enacts the strongest and most comprehensive rules with a goal of no preventable deaths in 2018.

September 21, 2017 Leave a comment

An unlicensed “veterinarian” has been performing crude surgeries to de-bark dogs on the streets of Chengdu, China. In a now-viral video, the man stretches the dogs’ jaws open with string, and uses bloodied pliers and a scalpel to slice through their vocal cords.

The tools are not sterilized between dogs, and the ground is littered with bloody cotton wads and hypodermic needles, used to administer a shot that knocks the dogs out cold before their cords are cut.

The procedure — performed in the open air at a flower and bird market — is not only unhygienic for humans and animals, but can cause blood loss and problems breathing and swallowing for the dogs. Still, dog owners have been lining up to pay 50 to 100 yuan (about 7 to 15 USD) to mute “bothersome” barking.

Since the video went viral, local officials have opened an investigation and ordered the man away from the market. Sign the petition to urge officials to file charges, and to stop this man and anyone else from performing cruel procedures like this again.

September 21, 2017 Leave a comment

The Verbist slaughterhouse in Izegem, Belgium was shut down by animal welfare minster Ben Weyts on Tuesday after video footage was released showing brutal abuse against cattle. The video was captured by the animal welfare group Animal Rights, who operate in both the Netherlands and Belgium.

The footage reveals haunting violations, including cattle being suspended and having their throats cut while conscious, being slaughtered in front of other, live cattle, causing panic and fear amongst them, and improper and illegal stunning methods. The slaughterhouse also failed to meet infrastructure standards.

ADI emergency appeal 

September 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Flood-Banner.jpgA state of emergency has been declared in many parts of Peru, where devastating flash floods have left thousands homeless and taken human lives. 

Animals are in danger and suffering too. We have an ADI crisis response team on the ground, tending to those caught in the deadly flood zones with veterinary care and food, donating their time to save animals. 

ADI is sending funds to help feed street animals impacted by the crisis. PLEASE DONATE TODAY

With further flooding predicted WE NEED YOUR HELP – so they can weather the storm.

ADI’s rescued animals are safe. The 50+ animals in ADI’s care in Peru, including bears Cholita, Dominga, Lucho and Sabina, Pepe, Zumba and the other monkeys are all safe. Their sanctuary homes are located in areas away from the flooding. 

Please help those in peril, with a donation today. We are stretching ourselves to the limits again, and hope you can stand with us. Thank you. 

Yours for the animals



September 17, 2017 Leave a comment

On Wednesday, 13th September, amazing campaigners in 33 countries held over 100 actions to raise awareness of the suffering of animals involved in long distance transport.Our flagship protest was held at Parliament Square, Westminster, London. Around 200 people attended the rally and speakers included Downton Abbey actor and animal welfare activist Peter Egan, and Members of Parliament Caroline Lucas, Theresa Villiers and Craig Mackinlay. Other MPs including Kerry McCarthy and Sir Roger Gale also attended to show their support.

Other highlights included candlelight vigils in Australia, billboards across the Czech Republic, a 40m banner on the bridge over the Seine River in France, and marches for animal rights in Israel. You can read more about the day here.

“Brexit gives us the opportunity to stop live transport. I encourage [Michael Gove] to support Compassion, to find the compassion in himself, and to stop the horrible transport of live animals.”

– Peter Egan

If you couldn’t be with us on the day, you can still join Peter Egan, by calling on Michael Gove to ban live exports:

Take Action

Environment Secretary, Michael Gove has suggested that Britain may end the cruel UK live export trade after Brexit. If you haven’t already done so, please email him today, welcoming this suggestion and urging him to act.

When we unite as a global movement who care about the fate of farm animals, we can do remarkable things.

Let’s make 13th September 2017 the date when the public stood against the cruel trade in live animals.


September 17, 2017 Leave a comment

This week, a California court uphold a ban on foie gras – news that makes the front page of today’s Los Angeles Times and Marin Independent Journal, and also page 2 of the Washington Post. I will share those stories below, but first, let me share something else with profound implications, the interview with Natalie Portman about the film she narrates, “Eating Animals.” The interview aired this week on “The Frame,” on KPCC, Southern California’s most widely listened to NPR station. 
I’m yet to see the film, “Eating Animals,” but enjoyed the interview immensely. Portman is upbeat, warm, soft-sell, while unabashedly vegan. 
This quote pretty well sums up her message:
“Well I’m a vegan and I love food, and so I think you can live really deliciously without consuming these animal products. Some people are like, I could never, I’m too used to having steak, I’m too used to having chicken, I’m too used to having cheese. You don’t have to give it up, but if you just choose one meal a week or one meal a day, any small step I think would be a huge step collectively.”
I am big fan of her approach because it warmly invites people, persuasively, to see a film they have been warned might be hard to watch, a film that might change their eating habits. I doubt her telling the huge, thoughtful, but mostly non vegetarian audience that they absolutely had to eat the way she loves to eat would have as much impact. But I bet many listeners will end up where she really wants them, after she has guided them, gently, to the beginning of the path.
Check out the interview at and see what you think. And please leave a comment on the page, so that “The Frame” knows that people find this subject matter interesting, always remembering that you are representing animals and the vegan community as you write.  
The good news about foie gras on the LA Times front page is titled, “9th Circuit panel upholds state’s ban on foie gras;” Sadly the articles subtitle has some bad news: “Restaurants can keep serving the delicacy while case is appealed.”
The article, by Maura Dolan, Jenn Harris, Geoffrey Mohan, includes important information:
“The typical method involves placing a 10- to 12-inch metal or plastic tube down a bird’s esophagus to deliver large amounts of concentrated food. When the birds are force fed, their livers grow to 10 times their normal size. The process is ‘so hard on the birds that they would die from the pathological damage it inflicts if they weren’t slaughtered first,’ California’s legislative analyst wrote when the bill banning foie gras was introduced….
“The court noted Friday that Italy, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, India, Luxembourg, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland, Israel, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and the United Kingdom have some form of a ban on forced feeding or on foie gras products”
Forgive my cynicism, but I chuckled at this quote from foie gras serving restaurateur Neal Fraser, having a hard time believing that the causes he mentions are where he focuses most of his energy in life:
“Don’t we have anything better to do than attack foie gras? Like ending childhood hunger, cleaning up Houston or getting a step up on homelessness.”
This one, from HSUS’s Paul Shapiro, was easier to swallow:
“If you can get Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former pope and the Israeli Supreme Court to agree that foie gras is inhumane, then there must be something to it.”
You’ll find the full article on line at . Letters can be sent to
The Marin Independent Journal carried the same story on its front page at . That paper takes letters at and advises, “Confine letters to 250 words. We don’t have room for all of the letters we receive; we give preference to shorter letters and to letters from people who live in Marin or Southern Sonoma counties. Letters are edited for length, grammar, spelling, clarity, style, libel and civility.

We do not publish form letters, ‘open’ letters, petitions, individual consumer complaints or letters published elsewhere.

Letters must include the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number so we can verify authorship (we publish only the writer’s name and hometown).”
The Saturday, September 16 Washington Post, page 2, shares the Associated Press version of the story under “Digest.” It would be great for folks in the DC area to respond to that one. You’ll find it online at Note, the online version is longer; the page two “Digest” version ends after Judge Nguyen’s quote as to why this court overturned an earlier ruling that dealt with a product’s ingredients: “It is not the livers that are force-fed, it is the birds.”
The Washington Post takes letters at
Yours and all animals,’

Karen Dawn 
The DawnWatch mission is to encourage positive coverage of animal issues in major media. DawnWatch news alerts share animal relevant media and facilitate one-click responses. You can learn more about DawnWatch, sign up for alerts, and support DawnWatch, a 501C3 nonprofit charity that relies on donations, at . All donations are tax deductable.  
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If you would like to know more about any issue covered by DawnWatch, please go to to check out Karen Dawn’s book, “Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way we Treat Animals.” It is a warm, friendly and comprehensive handbook of animal advocacy topics. The updated, eco-friendly e-edition came out in 2014.