Modern Slavery: Animal Slavery

This is the third and final article in the series about modern slavery, here are the previous two posts

End Modern Slavery      Modern Day Slavery: Wage Slaves

“One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them.”
Martin Luther King, Jr

‘The reasons for legal intervention in favour of children apply not less strongly to the case of those unfortunate slaves and victims of the most brutal part of mankind – the animals.’ (In discussing the need for child labor laws)
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) (British philosopher, a founder of utilitarianism)

If you don’t have time to read the article below please at least take the following action to help elephants

BREAKING: Handler Seen Hitting Elephant’s Head 15 Times
https://campaigns.peta2.com/kings-cup-elephant-polo-abuse/?

When reading the article below consider the above petition which is an obvious example of animal slavery which is on-going right now.

Can animals be considered the victims of modern day slavery.

Here is a definition of slavery:

From the English Oxford Living Dictionaries: “Slave (especially in the past) a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey “

Note the “especially in the past” phrase in brackets which is in fact not true as “There Are More Slaves Today Than at Any Time in Human History   – 27 million to be exact. Yes the word slave brings to mind the exploitation of the past but slavery was never abolished as many people think.

The number of humans enslaved in the modern world is perhaps beyond our ability to comprehend. Likewise with animals, no doubt the numbers have increased, though there are no statistics it is a forgone conclusion as the rise in population would be accompanied of course by an increase in the use of animals for labour, entertainment and other exploitation.

“When I look at animals held captive by circuses, I think of slavery. Animals in circuses represent the domination and oppression we have fought against for so long. They wear the same chains and shackles.”
Dick Gregory

In the video below Activist Robbyne Kaamil reveals how the atrocities of slavery still exist today in the form of animal captivity.

It is suggested by many that there is no comparison, but consider for example the elephant in chains who provides rides in places like Thailand or who is forced to labour such as logging or the elephant consigned to spend all the days of his life until too old to perform in a circus, such as this poor baby being trained/tortured to perform. He has no choice does he, he would rather spend his days within his family group wandering the plains of Africa or Asian jungles not forced to perform silly ticks.

Elephants used in these ways fulfill the definition of slavery, in the example below this baby elephant is the legal property of the circus and is made to obey, in this case by means of so called training. He is not free to live his life according to his nature, his needs, his wants.

Consider also the animals used in warfare including the elephant who was exploited for war from 1100 years BC right up until World War II  when Japanese troops used elephants to cross the rugged terrain of Burma. We are all familiar with Hannibal’scrossing of the Alps in 218 BC with an estimated 40 elephants, one of the most celebrated achievements of any military force in ancient warfare.  In more recent times a number of animals were and are used in warfare including dolphins, when in 1967 the US Navy Marine Mammal Program developed a major project. The program, which is still ongoing, began training dolphins for mine-hunting and force-protection.  In addition dogs and even pigs have been used in our insane violent confrontations. In ancient times pigs where used to frighten War elephants who were reportedly terrified of the squealing and charging of pigs, so both the Romans and Alexander the Great made use of them in campaigns against enemies that fielded elephants.  

Read more about the animals used in warfare, including cats, bears, even bats “Developed by the US for use against Japan during World War II, the bat bomb was literally that. Each bomb would contain 26 trays that each held 40 hibernating bats. Each bat was meant to be outfitted with an individual incendiary device that was set to detonate after a specified amount of time.”
http://uk.businessinsider.com/unbelievable-instances-of-animals-in-military-2015-12/#bat-bombs-5

Did these animals have any real choice in the matter? All where property of humans, like human slaves, animals are bought and sold, all are forced to obey, all are slaves.

Surely animals imprisoned in factory farms exploited for their meat, skin and commodities such as milk and eggs are slaves, owned and exploited against their will with no say in the matter.

Look at these cows tethered in some shed in a factory farm, they are not able to roam freely in the sunshine, not able to live their lives has nature intended. Thinking feeling sentient beings, these animals suffer pain and fear, with keen maternal instinct like any animal including humans, they cry when their babies are taken from them.

 

Consider pigs in farrowing crates not able to move let alone stand, not able to interact with their babies. Highly intelligent creatures who go insane, trapped and imprisoned, surely these beings are slaves.

Look at this hideous contraption what kind of inhumane person devised such awful confinement, imprisoning sentient highly intelligent  beings – is this not slavery at its worse incorporating hideous abuse.

Here is the petition concerning this cruelty:
https://www.change.org/p/all-governments-ban-pig-cages?

Is this animal free?

Source of photo: https://emptyallcages.com/tag/torture/

Animals imprisoned and tortured (vivisection) are not only abused they are enslaved against their will and the misery of slavery is here again compounded by violent abuse by humans usually in the cause of profit.

You cannot say that a lab animal tortured everyday is not a slave, used and abused for the needs of humans, his life taken from him.

Are not these animals enslaved:
http://www.animalslavery.net/

Doesn’t this cattle auction remind you of the slavery of humans in times past

Pets as Slaves?

According to two Rutgers University professors it could even be considered that pets are animal slaves.

Rutgers law professors say pets are ‘animal slaves,’ argue domestication is form of torture

“Despite living with six rescue dogs, professors Gary Francione and Anna Charlton describe their pets as “non-human refugees,” according to an article they published on Aeon.co this month.

“Although we love them very much, we strongly believe that they should not have existed in the first place,” the couple wrote. “We oppose domestication and pet ownership because these violate the fundamental rights of animals.

“When we talk about animal rights, we are talking primarily about one right: the right not to be property,” they continued. “We all reject human chattel slavery. That is not to say that it doesn’t still exist. It does. But no one defends it.”

The professors argued that the way animals for food are treated would be considered torture if people endured the same treatment.”

Read More:
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/sep/22/rutgers-law-professors-say-pets-are-animal-slaves-/

If an animal is considered someones property and their freedom and their life is taken from them against their will for the purpose of using them to produce such  products as meat, milk, eggs, wool or fur, it fits the definition of slavery.  Their enforced confinement and the exploitation of their lives and premature deaths is surely not of their choosing. An animal is enslaved when he or she is at the mercy of experimenters, his life is not his own, its obvious right. Also animals trained for military purposes or law enforcement often hailed as hero’s yet often killed rather than retired.  Yet despite the obvious comparisons it is by no means easy to get people to consider this treatment of helpless unwilling animals seriously for what it is, namely slavery.

Even less acceptable to many is the consideration of a much loved pet as an enslaved animal, but your companion, be he a cat, dog or rabbit  does not live a natural life, his will over ridden by human need, often confined even if it is for his own good – after all your pet rabbit or even your dog would soon come to grief if allowed to roam at will. Most certainly a bird in a cage, a fish or reptile in a tank is imprisoned and lives an even less satisfactory life than your cat or dog. This is a difficult area for most of us and it is now not possible to simply liberate pets but at the least effort should be made not to increase the problem. Do not buy from pet shops or breeders, instead buying from shelters rescued unwanted animals.  However no matter what we call this whether it’s rescue or sanctuary it is still a form of slavery – think about it your dog cannot even relieve himself until you his owner takes him for a walk. We prefer to ourselves as guardians rather than owners but in reality it is simply a play on words. I like to think I gave the best life I could to my three rabbits – see I automatically referred to them as my rabbits – but in reality they had little free will. I recall my rabbit Sooty sitting by the gate peering underneath, she knew there was more out there and she wanted her freedom. But we have to live in the real world and this is not an easy problem to rectify, as I say domestic animals can’t be liberated, but there are many abandoned animals who need good homes and we need to allow them as natural a life as is possible.

Some animal rights proponents believe that humans do not have the right to own or consider animals as property under any circumstance including as pets. Ideally many animal rights advocates would like an end to our keeping animals as pets. However in the main animal rights supporters consider that sharing our lives with our pets/companion animals is an entrenched and established practice at the present time and do not advocate the releasing of pets into the wild, but advise against certain companion animals, such as caged animals and recommend that dogs and cats be given as natural a life as is possible and are acquired from a pound or shelter rather than from a puppy mill or pet shop.

Here is PETA’s position on the matter:

https://www.peta.org/about-peta/why-peta/pets/

I conclude with another quote from Gary Francione and Anna Charlton

In a just world

“there would be no pets at all, no fields full of sheep, and no barns full of pigs, cows and egg-laying hens. There would be no aquaria and no zoos.”

“If animals matter morally, we must recalibrate all aspects of our relationship with them. The issue we must confront is not whether our exploitation of them is ‘humane’ — with all of the concomitant tinkering with the practices of animal-use industries — but rather whether we can justify using them at all,”

A controversial subject maybe and many people object to the comparison. In my opinion there are many similarities between human and animal slavery and why anyone should feel that such a comparison demeans the atrocities of enslaving human beings I cannot imagine as animals suffer in much the same way we do. An injustice such as the deprivation of life and liberty is a crime regardless of the species, intellect, gender or any other consideration. Animals like us experience pain and fear, they like us wish to live and just like us they desire their freedom. No creature should be deprived of their life under any circumstances. There are some differences as of course billions of human slaves were not slaughtered as animals are , yet for all intents and purposes millions of people lost their lives, lost the right to live as they so pleased – estimates vary from a few million to 100,000,000 people taken by European slave traders from Africa alone. 

Whether or not our use of animals amounts to slavery the fact remains causing suffering, pain and death to any sentient being is wrong in any civilized society regardless of species or any other consideration. Life is precious to all animals, human and nonhuman.

Albert Schweitzer once said:

“True philosophy must start from the most immediate and comprehensive fact of consciousness, and this may be formulated as follows: ‘I am life which wills to live, and I exist in the midst of life which wills to live’ ”

“Just as in my own will-to-live there is a yearning for more life, and for that mysterious exaltation of the will-to-live which is called pleasure, and terror in face of annihilation and that injury to the will-to-live which is called pain; so the same obtains in all the will-to-live around me, equally whether it can express itself to my comprehension or whether it remains unvoiced.

Ethics thus consists in this, that I experience the necessity of practising the same reverence for life toward all will-to-live, as toward my own. Therein I have already the needed fundamental principle of morality. It is good to maintain and cherish life; it is evil to destroy and to check life.

A man is really ethical only when he obeys the constraint laid on him to help all life which he is able to succour, and when he goes out of his way to avoid injuring anything living.”

The Ethic of Reverence for Life
by Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer developed a philosophy which he called a “Reverence for Life”, for which he received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize. Basically Schweitzer considered that all creatures possess what he called “a will to live ” for which we should empathize, and that this will to live should be respected in all animals without exception, and a person wishing to live in accordance with such an ethic should avoid whenever possible harming another creature. To take the life of any being human or non human whether in the literal sense or by enslavement is a grave injustice which should now no longer be a part of any modern society.

Actions to take

SPANA For the working animals of the world

https://spana.org/about-us/our-work/ourcorecountries/myanmar

Related Links

Slavery has been abolished … or has it? In a powerful new public service announcement (PSA), comedian, actor, advice columnist, and animal defender Robbyne Kaamil—whose great-great-grandmother was a slave—points out that for animals who are held captive in circuses, zoos, and marine parks, the slave trade is very much alive today. And if you buy a ticket to these places, you’re supporting it.
https://www.peta.org/blog/new-tv-ad-are-you-supporting-the-modern-day-slave-trade/

Animal Slavery and Other Comparisons: Who Should Be Offended?

https://freefromharm.org/animal-products-and-culture/animal-slavery-and-other-comparisons/

“Animal suffering similar to human slaves'” by UPC President Karen Davis is today’s featured letter in the 
Chicago Sun-Times
 :
https://www.upc-online.org/thinking/90605suntimes.htm

You can read more about Albert Schweitzer and his philosophy
http://think-differently-about-sheep.com/Animal_Rights_Albert_Schweitzer.htm

 

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Modern Day Slavery: Wage Slaves

This is part two of three posts about modern day slavery. Here is the first, End Modern Slavery: https://rantingsfromavirtualsoapbox.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/end-modern-slavery/

Unrecognised modern Slavery – “wage slaves.”

“whoever gives his labor for money sells himself and puts himself in the rank of slaves.”
Cicero

The capitalists owned everything in the world, and everyone else was their slave. They owned all the land, all the houses, all the factories, and all the money. If anyone disobeyed them they could throw them into prison, or they could take his job away and starve him to death.
Nineteen Eighty-four, by George Orwell

“In the same way that we today think that the slave trade and colonial exploitation were inhuman and inconceivably bestial ways of acquiring riches, there is no doubt that coming generations will think that our form of world trade and distribution of the world’s benefits were just as inconceivable and inhuman.” 
Erik Dammann

Is working for a wage a modern form of slavery

Though not quite in the same league as the examples of slavery in the first article there are many similarities, most people are in fact enslaved to some degree. The need for shelter, food and clothing, basic needs for every human being comes at a price – your freedom and autonomy. The reality is all employees are faced with the starkest choice and that is to work for an employer or face poverty or starvation. 

For low wages the vast majority of us slave away our precious existence for the sole purpose of making huge profits for big corporations, often having two or more jobs just to pay our rent or mortgage, to put food on the table and to provide warmth and clothing, all vital for our existence. In the modern world most of us hate our jobs, we have few rights at work, long hours with constant pressure to produce or achieve more, low wages and so on, all of which we have to accept in order to try and keep a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs.  We accept this exploitation, which is in my opinion a form of slavery not much different from that of a medieval surf, with the exception that while the serf/slave would literally be dragged back if he escaped and may even pay with his life. In many ways, more subtle maybe but almost as binding, similar slavery of the majority continues in modern times. Okay we may have more luxuries compared with the serfs of times past but don’t let this fool you, in reality most of us own very little even after working our entire life. You may be considered an home owner, but your home is not yours until you have paid your mortgage, that car you may have on credit likewise is not yours, nor any of the gizmos and gadgets, the latest furniture, your fitted kitchen or bathroom and the endless embellishments we deem vital to our quality of life, if these have been paid for by credit. In reality most people are but one pay cheque away from homelessness, poverty and destitution.  Even when you home is your own,  if you are lucky enough to keep a job with a decent wage throughout  the twenty to thirty years you make repayments, when you are too old or too ill to work you may not be able to maintain your property on the puny pension or benefits doled out by the state – if you are of course fortunate to receive such as governments both here and in the US do their utmost to destroy social security  – and you end your life sinking deeper and deeper into poverty or debt and your home can be taken from you if you do not pay.

Did you know that many people do not have savings over £100 even after working all their lives, 17 million UK citizens to be exact. Faced with an unexpected bill these people are likely to be forced into debt and further deprivation if they are not able to pay their debt, such as the loss of their home which they may have struggled to pay for their entire working lives or an inability to pay rent. We are all nowadays just one pay check from homelessness.

One in three families are a month’s pay from losing homes, says study

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/aug/09/england-one-in-three-families-one-months-pay-losing-homes-shelter-study

We therefore cannot walk off from our jobs even if our lives are made a misery, and we are overworked and underpaid and barely subsisting for we would lose what little we have. Those of us with families would not wish to abandon our children to homelessness and abject poverty would we. So we continue to slave away for big corporations who profit from our labour giving the minimum required in return.

It may be argued that people who work for a wage are not slaves because they have the legal right to leave a particular employer, though in reality this is often not an option in these times of job scarcity as the fear of  quitting your job and not finding another is prohibitive. So many workers would be extremely reluctant to exercise this right even when they are paid low wages and working long hours with few if any rights in the workplace.

The only right that a wage worker has is that he or she is not the slave of any particular employer, but he or she is still a slave of the capitalist system. You have the right to leave one employer but you have to soon find another and no matter how  awful your job is – long hours and low wages, pressure, even harassment in the workplace – with so few jobs and the likelihood of not getting employment benefits because you have made yourself unemployed few hesitate to change jobs. As you lack any means of sustaining your life you are bound to an employer and these days you have little freedom to pick and choose. In the past when jobs were plentiful employers did not have the power they have now and it was easier to change jobs and secure better wages and conditions, for example in the sixties or seventies you could walk out of a job one morning and find another by the afternoon, though of course this is still wage slavery people back than had more say about where they worked and the conditions they worked under.

Furthermore employers often conspire together to keep wages low, and in recent decades with the decline of trade union influence employers have the upper hand in conflicts between workers and themselves.

“…the elite maintain wage slavery by dividing the working class through their influence over the media and entertainment industry,]educational institutions, unjust laws, nationalist and corporate propaganda, pressures and incentives to internalize values serviceable to the power structure, state violence, fear of unemployment and a historical legacy of exploitation and profit accumulation/transfer under prior systems, which shaped the development of economic theory”:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wage_slavery

Yes in the rest of your life you have a certain amount of freedom but your time is very limited these days, work demands most of your waking life and the time you do have off you are probably too weary and tired both physically and emotionally to appreciate it. Moreover if on a low wage you may not have the freedom to participate fully in society, to enjoy entertainment, hobbies and other pass times, you may not even earn enough to eat or pay your rent or mortgage. Most people who use food banks are wage earners.

We are therefore slaves exploited for our labour.

I am profoundly shocked concerning the exploitations of vulnerable people, such grave social injustice has no place in any ethical progressive society. I fail to understand the mindset of those who exploit others in the name of personal gain, or in other words rampant greed. Life is precious to all of us and should be lived as much as possible in the way we wish to live. While work of course has to be done it should be fairly distributed, necessary and compensated with a wage that allows not only the necessities of life, but to allow for a quality of life. It should be a basic human right to have the opportunities to fulfill our hopes and dreams, not forced into wasting our precious existence slaving away for some greedy corporation, our lives taken to make another person rich.

Look at what you do. For Many of us our lives and the world’s resources are wasted producing useless luxuries or we produce goods that are deliberately wasted to keep prices high – Have you ever considered what becomes of unsold clothing in stores at the end of the season. Most of it ends up in landfill,11.9 million tons of unwanted clothing a year     This is the labour of so many people, mostly in sweatshops in so called developing countries, wasted for profit. Even if some of it is recycled as required by the EU it is nonetheless wasteful to destroy perfectly good clothing which so many people need and all for the sake of profit for the few. Sadly for many your job has one purpose and that is to make your boss rich. The waste of resources to continue to produce huge accumulations of pointless items wastes our lives. Such is produced to make a small minority rich – ask yourself do we need an entire supermarket shelf just so we can have a huge choice of shampoo such as for greasy hair, dry hair, normal hair, dandruff, for bleached hair, colored hair, for thickening hair, for babies, shampoos with hints of tints. And there will be several brands of the same.  A shop in my town is filled with ridiculous plastic trinkets, hair ornaments, junk jewelry, endless handbags, shopping bags all shapes and sizes, each year the young and fashion conscious persuaded they need the latest bag, shoes, jewelry and endless junk produced at the expense of the worlds dwindling resources simply to increase profits.

“Capitalism is slavery in so many ways. Consumers become enslaved by so many choices, and by becoming the victims of corporate America, who have ingrained people to believe they need things they don’t need. Capitalism is a sad commentary on human nature, and only serves to entrench the have-nots for their entire lives.”

“Any educated person would agree…Yes, it is.
Understanding the difference between capitalism, socialism, and communism is a wise place to start. Capitalism operates as a guise under freedom by promising those that are less fortunate too have the possibility of becoming a capitalist themselves, however they will spend their entire lives toiling to never reach that promised ending.”

Comments included in an online debate
http://www.debate.org/opinions/is-capitalism-slavery

The second comment addresses the reason that despite all the misery that capitalism has caused since forever – but most particularly in recent times –  is the implied promise that one day workers may also be capitalists themselves, the fact that this is just a pipe dream and logically could never happen seems to elude most people.

Action to end modern day slavery

“We know all too well that many workers in Asia endure forced labor to bring us the garments, foods, electronics and other goods we enjoy.

The good news is Australia is taking steps towards creating new modern slavery laws that could improve protections for vulnerable workers worldwide and we need your help to make it happen.”

Read More and sign the petition:
https://www.freedomunited.org/advocate/urge-australia-help-end-slavery/

This petition concerns more conventional modern slavery and not slavery in the context discussed in the above article. The petition is worth signing as bringing about such changes globally will improve the lives of millions of exploited people worldwide.

Please also add your name to a letter to urge UK fashion brands to protect women who make our clothes.

ABUSE ISN’T IN ANY WOMAN’S JOB DESCRIPTION
https://act.careinternational.org.uk/node/238?utm_source=twshare&utm_campaign=GBVletter

Many people the world over suffer abuse at work in silence afraid that they will loose their livelihood, become homeless, destitute and poverty stricken. This is surely a form of slavery.

Related Links

Working: No More Than A Wage Slave
https://www.iww.org/history/library/AJMiller/Working_Wage_Slave

America’s Favorite Anarchist Thinks Most US Workers Are Wage Slaves
http://www.businessinsider.com/most-american-workers-are-slaves-2014-4?IR=T

Wage slavery
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wage_slavery

 

Battery Hens: If this Doesn’t Make You Go Vegan I don’t Know What Will

“One robin caged and Heaven’s mad! But when to just that one you add vast flocks of battered battery birds and half starved calves in crated herds and multitudes of tethered sows in narrow stalls – these horrors rouse all Heaven to a rage so wild it’s former rage seems a wonderous mild.”
Patrick Allen

Recently I came across the following heartbreaking video concerning the abandonment of 50,000 chickens, living sentient beings trapped in tiny wire floor cages abandoned and left to starve to death.

Watch the video of the rescue in 2012 of some of the birds – sadly out of 50,000 only about 4,000 were able to be rescued thanks to the determination of Animal Place volunteers.

About the film: “Go inside the largest rescue of farm animals in California history. Follow Animal Place rescuers as they negotiate the release of 4,460 hens from a battery cage egg farm, where the egg farmer had abandoned 50,000 hens without food for more than two weeks.”

While the dedication and determination of Animal Place and other volunteers is inspiring, the way in which these poor creatures where treated is appalling. Many of those who survived the horror of two weeks without water or food where systematically piled up, shoved into tin boxes and gassed. It brought to mind the comparison of factory farming with the evils of the holocaust. The rescuers had to contend  with Animal Services who would not at first allow the hens that were still alive to be rescued. Undaunted Animal Place volunteers went to the farm but were told to vacate the property while thousands of suffering birds were gassed to death and thousands more dead animals were scoop up in dump trucks like so much garbage ;

Read the following extract from

Turklock Rescue org

http://www.turlockrescue.org/rescue-timeline.html

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

4:00 pm – “Doing a last check of an event posting when I see the headline, ’50,000 hens starved in Turlock’.” – Marji Beach, Education Manager

4:05-5:30 pm – “Calls are put into the Stanislaus County Animal Control department and Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary, located an hour from the egg farm. We send two staff from Vacaville down immediately.” – Kim Sturla, Executive Director

7:00 pm – “I call the director at animal services. She is told by state veterinarians we can’t take any birds. I won’t take no for an answer. There are thousands still alive.”– Kim Sturla

8:00 pm – “We arrive at the farm, only to be told to get off the property. We watch dump truck after dump truck come to gather dead birds. We can see workers gas the suffering hens.” – David Phinney, Animal Care Coordinator

Read more from the rescue diaries

http://www.turlockrescue.org/rescue-timeline.html

Again back in 2012  half a million chickens died in a fire on an egg farm near Roggen, Colorado at Moark Hatcheries.

Image the horror, the terror the pain of these helpless animals trapped unable to escape.

500,000 Chickens Perish in Farm Fire
https://www.care2.com/greenliving/500000-chickens-perish-in-farm-fire.html

Both of the cases above and many others are shocking disasters which are often preventable. The first was claimed to be lack of communication about who was supposed to feed the birds, the second was a fire one of many that are experienced in factory farming in some cases by heating equipment malfunctions or placement too close to flammable material. However notwithstanding the truth of the matter concerning these tragedies the day-to-day suffering of these animals for the duration of their entire lives –  about two years for a hen who will be sent to slaughter when she is begins lay fewer eggs – is a tragedy itself . For the duration of these two years hens, having previously had their beaks painfully clipped, are cramped together in tiny cages with 8 or 9 others birds on wire floors stacked one on top of another, standing in their own feces, sometime with the decaying bodies of dead hens. They have never seen the light of day, the warmth of the sun. They have never felt a cool breeze ruffle their feathers, they have never walked on earth or took dust baths as is natural for chickens. Their entire life experience is a tiny cage like the one below where they will lay 200 eggs each year – normally a hen lays about forty to fifty eggs.

What of the male chicks ?

Shockingly male chicks are ground up alive, suffocated or gassed because they cannot lay eggs and they are not suitable for chicken-meat production.

“Along with defective and slow-hatching female chicks, they are trashed as soon as they hatch. Upon breaking out of their shells, instead of being sheltered by a mother’s wings, the newborns are ground up alive, electrocuted, or thrown into trashcans where they slowly suffocate on top of one another, peeping to death while a human foot stomps them down to make more room for more chicks.

Read more below about the cruelty of the egg industry
http://www.upc-online.org/chickens/chickensbro.html

While the article above focuses on the US the same applies worldwide. For example the last six years has seen an increase of 26%  in intensive factory farming here in the UK including chickens along with pigs and cattle, in fact “US-style intensive factory farming of poultry, pigs and cattle is sweeping across the British countryside – raising concerns over animal cruelty”

Here is what happens to male chicks here in the UK

https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/egg-industry

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/hatched-discarded-gassed-what-happens-to-male-chicks-in-the-uk-10088509.html

Please watch the video above. Consider if you consume eggs you are complicit in this appalling cruelty to thinking feeling creatures capable of experiencing pain and fear, capable of suffering every single day of their short miserable lives.

“I did not become a vegetarian for my health, I did it for the health of the chickens.”
Isaac Bashevis Singer

You can help stop this horrific cruelty by changing your diet and going vegan

Helpful Links

From the vegan society advice recipes and information. Take the pledge.
https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan

Sign up for PETA’s vegan starter kit
http://action.peta.org.uk/ea-

Other Actions to take

Petition

Will you help free her

Generations of gentle hens have been locked in cruel & unnatural battery cages. Right now, we have a chance to get them out.

https://secure.animalsaustralia.org/take_action/battery-cage/?ua_s=btbc.com

Further information and action to take such as dropping off leaflets
https://www.viva.org.uk/eggscampaignarea

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Edmund Burke

Related Links

Consider:

“The natural life span of a chicken is six or seven years.

The original ancestors of chickens produced as few as twelve to twenty eggs each year .

Domesticated chickens originated from red jungle fowl, forest dwelling birds of south east Asia. Modern chickens despite selective breeding retain many of the natural behaviours of their wild ancestors.

Chickens contrary to popular belief are intelligent, more so than your cat or dog, and are inquisitive creatures. Researchers have discovered that they are good at solving problems. Chickens it seems are more clever in some respects than small children when it comes to understanding that recently moved objects still exist, a concept that small children do not understand. In their natural environment chickens recognise one another, they form friendships and develop social hierarchies. Chickens enjoy dust baths, more about this later, and roost in trees. They love and care for their young. In the wild they make nests to tend their offspring. The maternal instinct is strong in the hen, she bonds with her chicks before they are born by turning her eggs five times each hour while clucking to the baby chicks inside, who reciprocate by chirping in return both to their mother and each other.”

Read more:  http://thinkdifferentlyaboutsheep.weebly.com/factory-farming-chickens.html      This article includes images which some people will find upsetting.

This treatment of sentient animals is evil, pure evil there can be no excuse, no justification. The motivation is profit of course, as is everything nowadays. Such barbarity has no place in any civilized society. If you eat eggs – and don’t forget in most biscuits, cakes, puddings and any baked product there are eggs – you are contributing to this cruelty and it will never end, if we do not make it end we are part of the problem and perpetuate this cruelty. For most of us the most effective way is for you to change your diet and go vegan, doing so not only helps the chickens and other animals but improves your health and the environment.

If you are still not convinced that changing to a plant-based diet to become vegan is the right thing to do for the sake of these gentle, helpless birds who are sentient beings like you or I, like your cat or dog, than look at the information below.

Scroll down for more information.

Warming! Graphic Images

I have kept this separate as the images and videos below are disturbing and may be traumatic for caring sensitive people who may have in any case  made the compassionate choice.

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Warning some people may find the following graphics and videos disturbing

Below

A dumpster behind a hatchery for laying hens is filled with dead and dying male chicks who are of no economic value to the
egg industry.

Photographs courtesy of Farm Animal sanctuary.  Farm Sanctuary | Watkins Glen, NY 2

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic

More graphics of battery hens from Farm Sanctuary:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/farmsanctuary1/albums/72157603620097482

Dead and dying male chicks behind an egg hatchery

 

This video is deeply disturbing and I could not watch it all. How these people can work day after day torturing and killing these tiny helpless creatures is beyond my comprehension. It is profoundly depressing to see such lack of compassion.  It is disturbing in the extreme to know people like this exist and live among us.

This is shocking beyond your wildest imagination

Her job was to lay eggs for Australia’s biggest egg company. But you won’t believe where this hen lives… Help end this cruelty: http://www.BanTheBatteryCage.com

“Video provided by Sandra Mohr Productions. Animal video clips at http://www.FreeAnimalVideo.org are FREE—to help animals—because most of them aren’t. Most eggs come from chickens in battery cages. These hens will never touch the ground or have room to stretch their wings. They will live above piles of their own excrement for their entire lives.”

“Our grandchildren will ask us one day: Where were you during the Holocaust of the animals? What did you do against these horrifying crimes? We won’t be able to offer the same excuse for the second time, that we didn’t know.”

Dr. Helmut Kaplan

End Modern Slavery

“Slavery was abolished 150 years ago, right? While it is true that slavery is illegal almost everywhere on earth, the fact is there are more slaves today than there ever were…”
Robert Alan Silverstein

Millions of our fellow human beings continue to live as contemporary slaves, victims of abominable practices like human trafficking, forced labour and sexual exploitation. Countless children are forced to become soldiers, work in sweat shops or are sold by desperate families. Women are brutalized and traded like commodities. Entire households and villages labour under debt bondage.
Ban Ki-moon

We all tend to think that slavery is a thing of the past, a grave social injustice consigned to history. Unfortunately slavery still thrives ruining the lives of those exploited for their labour.  Worldwide it  is estimated that there are 40.3 million people used as slave Labour including 10 million children – and not just overseas either, but right here in the UK , USA and other western countries.

In nearly every country worldwide millions of vulnerable people are forced into working for little or no pay, coerced to do so as a result of threats, debt, and violence.

Slavery in the modern world has many guises:

Agriculture, domestic work, factories and women forced into prostitution. Many of the goods we buy are produced by child slaves in  sweatshops.  15.4 million people are enslaved by forced marriage. Vulnerable people include the poverty stricken and people discriminated by race or gender. As you will read further down, slavery presents in prisons, particularly in the US where mostly non whites are exploited as slave or cheap labour.

You can read more about modern Slavery here:

What is modern day slavery?
https://www.antislavery.org/slavery-today/modern-slavery/  
      Click the take action button to support a number of campaigns to end slavery globally:
https://www.antislavery.org/take-action/

End Modern Day Slavery
https://www.freedomunited.org/

Please help support Freedom United’s campaigns such as the one below.

Help to stop slavery in prison?

What is most sickening about it is that under Trump as usual the unjust  situation is set to get worse as Increases of prisons and detainment centers by upwards of 450%, are planned perpetuating and embedding a system that exploits mostly non whites for private benefit.

It has come to light that the immigrants detained in a private facility, CoreCivic, are being coerced into forced labour, threatened with solitary confinement or restricted visitation rights if they do not comply. While some detainees are paid a very low wage of just $1.50 per day many get no pay at all for working a variety of jobs that really should be undertaken by an employee for a fair living wage, for example kitchen staff, janitors, barbers and various other positions. It is real profit spinner of course for this private facility who save a huge amount on its employee bill .

Housing 25 percent of the world’s prison population the USA has the largest prison system globally upon which it spends a huge $80 billion per year. During the past four decades the prison population has risen by 700 percent, however crime has decreased. Sixty percent of prisoners are non white with black men six times more likely to be imprisoned than whites.

Basically detainees are being exploited through forced labor in prisons and detention centers for corporate gain.

Please add your name to the following petition:

HELP STOP FORCED LABOR IN U.S. DETENTION

https://www.freedomunited.org/advocate/forced-labor-detention/?

Help get more signatures on this petition,  we need to speak out and end slavery in all its guises wherever it is found.

Click the following link for more Freedom United campaigns and actions you can take.
https://www.freedomunited.org/advocate/

Slavery UK

Firstly please sign this petition urging the UK government to support UK slavery victims:
https://www.freedomunited.org/advocate/uk-victim-support-bill/?

Even though most people think that slavery only exists overseas, modern slavery in the UK is thriving. The British Government estimates that tens of thousands of people are in exploited in modern slavery in the UK today.

10 things you didn’t know about slavery in the UK

  1. The UK Government estimates there are tens of thousands people in slavery in Britain today

  2. Only 1% of enslaved people in the UK have the chance of seeing their exploiter brought to justice

  3. In 2015, over 3,000 people, including nearly 1,000 children, were referred to British authorities as potential victims of slavery

  4. But nearly 40% of them were still awaiting a decision about their victim status at the end of the year

  5. From those who have received a final decision, only less than half were recognised as victims

  6. Victims of slavery are four times less likely to be acknowledged as victims if they are non-European

  7. Up to 34% of victims of slavery are estimated to be re-trafficked

  8. Children are often deliberately targeted for their vulnerability

  9. One in four victims of slavery in the UK is a child

  10. 2016 saw the first conviction and sentencing of a British businessman for human trafficking

Read more about the hidden crime of slavery right here in the UK
https://www.antislavery.org/slavery-today/slavery-uk/

Please click this link and take as many of the actions as you can.
https://www.antislavery.org/take-action/

More petitions to sign and share:

STOP MODERN DAY SLAVERY!

“Libyan’s are keeping black Africans captive and using them for human trafficking, this completely goes against any human rights. We are one race, the human race. Those involved with the dealing of people need to be scrutinised and stopped. First world countries need to intervene as soon as possible it is an URGENT AND SERIOUS ISSUE!!!! ”
https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-stop-modern-day-slavery

Slavery Libya

End Modern Slavery in Libya

“Earlier this year, the International Criminal Court (ICC) expressed interest in investigating crimes against immigrants in Libya, after the International Organization for Migration (IOM) warned about people being sold at slave markets in the country.

Slave markets are springing up across Libya trading impoverished African migrants who have arrived on the Mediterranean coast dreaming of a new life in Europe. A new investigation has revealed people are being sold as modern-day slaves for as little as £300 ($400).”

https://www.change.org/p/african-union-end-modern-slavery-in-libya

I am profoundly shocked concerning the exploitation of vulnerable people, such grave social injustice has no place in any ethical progressive society. I fail to understand the mindset of those who exploit others in the name of personal gain, or in other words rampant greed. Life is short, it is precious to all of us and should be lived as much as possible in the way we wish to live. No one should have the right to enslave another, an anachronism of a bygone age many assume which unfortunately is thriving.

“Slavery is a weed that grows on every soil.”
Edmund Burke

Like all weeds it must be uprooted.

 

 

 

Farewell, Nigel

Below is a guest post by the animal and human rights activist and supporter of free software Luis Leonel.

FAREWELL, NIGEL

“If there is such a thing as a tragic life for a bird, then the life of Nigel “no mates”, a New Zealand gannet, probably fits that bill.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/02/nigel-lonely-new-zealand-gannet-dies-concrete-replica-birds

“BUT SUDDENLY YOU ARE GONE”Friends of Mana Island posted an original poem on Facebook dedicated to Nigel, the beautiful gannet bird who lived on a desolate island off the coast of New Zealand, fell in love with one of the 80 concrete birds and died next to her.To Nigel
You stayed awhile on Mana Island,
Attracted by your concrete mates
You built a nest, you did your best
But only Norman dropped on by.We weeded, we painted, we sprayed guano around.
We hoped you’d find the real thing.
Three newbies arrived, a Christmas surprise,
But suddenly you are gone.RIP ‘no mates’ Nigel

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2018/02/02/nigel-the-worlds-loneliest-bird-dies-next-to-the-concrete-decoy-he-loved/?utm_term=.80a90a295bbd

Friends of Mana Island of Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/manaislandfriends/?hc_ref=ARSMgDdg4xkAGc1tooWwjwOj-F1_20U2EYyXOZL7X7-E3jkodUl0u20GbMyG-BDhGio&fref=nf

There are people unhappy with the scientists having lured Nigel. This comment is from one of those people:

“This is an excellent example of people taking actions without even a single thought of the consequences for those involved, in this case Nigel. People like this are dangerous people with great lack of empathy, I wouldn’t trust such people for a second while their own agenda and Godlike decisions come in first place. Shame on you!”

Sheep Cam

Want to watch well cared for sheep relaxing in a clean barn or grazing in pasture, cared for, respected and loved as all living creatures should be.

It is such a refreshing change to see animals so contented, well cared for.

Below you will find live streamed videos of animals at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen. NY   Further down you will find a series of videos concerning the sanctuary’s rescued animals and the work that Farm Sanctuary do to provide a safe environment for hundreds of ill treated and abused animal victims of agriculture, particularly factory farming.

Susie Coston In the Sheep Barn – Farm Sanctuary Live Chat 10/18/17

Join Susie Coston National Shelter Director  in the Farm Sanctuary sheep barn as she answers  viewers questions and shares with us her expert knowledge on farm animals.

I spent a few hours watching these videos and the ones further down which helped restore my faith in human nature, that there are people who care and are willing to help the abused and exploited victims of factory farming who are incarcerated, tortured and violently killed to satisfy the appetites of thoughtless or  ignorant, and maybe even uncaring people, for a food that is not natural and which they do not need.

While for the most part sheep here in the UK are not confined to windowless factory farms, tethered as are cows to a stall with hardly space to move or sit down, except on concrete, or encased in crates as are pigs, sheep nonetheless suffer.

I live in close proximity to the North Yorkshire Dales and moors and other areas of sheep farming having moved some years ago from the south east to the North. I once enjoyed our many trips to these scenic places designated as National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. However as time went by the reality of the cruelty and neglect that takes place in these so-called natural places has opened up a whole new perspective and while I continue to visit and to appreciate to some degree the remotesness and semi wildness –  though in reality this land is managed not only for sheep farming but also for the cruel pastime of shooting and hunting – this location does not seem to have the appeal it once did.

In contrast to the happy contented lively and interactive sheep in the videos above, here in the cold bleakness of the dales in winter and indeed all year round to some degree, there is much suffering. Unlike the sheep in the above videos most sheep in the dales and other places, including fields you pass by in your car without much thought, have their rear ends permanently covered with mud or feces which remains until they are sheared and go through the sheep dip once each year. Many sheep limp, the result of painful arthritis, no doubt untreated with medication. I have come across sheep with hoof rot simply left to get on with it. Sometimes there are sheep who cannot put their leg to the ground, it hangs limp by their side as they struggle to walk. I report as much as possible to the RSPCA who may take action themselves or they will contact the local council department  responsible for the welfare of so called livestock . I have contacted farmers if it is possible to locate them, who assured me they are aware of the situation or will look into it. Sometimes I can’t get any help at all. One recent incident was very upsetting when a ranger in the dales fobbed off my report of a sheep walking on three legs with her front leg hanging limp from her side. He rambled on about how common it is – apparently that makes it alright – and how the sheep would soon wander off into the hills and not be located. Incidentally this type of injury or disease where the leg remains hanging limp is not in any case that common and was obviously a severe injury or condition and needed attention.

Basically he could not give a damn and would do nothing. I rang the RSPCA who agreed with me that the sheep needed attention, they  contacted the local authority for animal welfare. I never knew the outcome. Since that time I do not enjoy our trips out as it is so depressing to see these poor creatures out in all weathers, many limping, dirty, cold and bedraggled knowing there is little I can do to help them.

In general many sheep and their lambs, often born unnaturally early, die of expose, from pneumonia or as a result of predators including  15,000 sheep who were killed by loose dogs in 2016.

Life for sheep is one filled with misery until they are slaughtered or die as a result of disease, injury and neglect.

The suffering of farmed Sheep:
https://www.animalaid.org.uk/the-issues/our-campaigns/animal-farming/suffering-farmed-sheep/

Note if you see an injured animal domestic or wild make a note of the location, provide as much detail as you can of the animals whereabouts and the problem with the animal, the more detail you provide the better. Take a photo if possible which you can send them if you cannot stay with the animal.

Here are the RSPCA’s details.

Reporting cruelty or an animal in distress
https://www.rspca.org.uk/utilities/contactus/reportcruelty

Usually if the problem is urgent and lies within the remit of the local authority the RSPCA will contact them for you.

Now enjoy more Farm Sanctuary videos of happy well cared for animals and work towards a time when this cruelty will be a thing of the past.

Keep meat and other animal products off your plate:
https://www.vegansociety.com/

Down on the Farm: With Farm Animal Whisperer Susie Coston

Reel Life at Farm Sanctuary – Ep. 1: Pasture Rotation  – This is one of a series which you should be able to access on the side bar if you watch the video in Youtube.

There are live cams for cows, pigs, turkeys and the Wisconsin pasture along with many other videos of life at Farm Sanctuary. Some of the live cams do not always show much as it all depends on the time of day and what the animals are doing and the weather, right now it is snowing.

Learn more about Farm Sanctuary and the work they do to make lives better for abused and exploited farm animals.
https://www.farmsanctuary.org/

The reality of where your meat, milk and eggs come from:

“Why Factory Farming Is The Largest Cause Of Animal Abuse In History
http://www.animalequality.net/node/844

Cruel Britannia:  Life and Death on UK Factory Farms
https://www.viva.org.uk/what-we-do/cruel-britannia-life-and-death-uk-factory-farms

Factory Farming: Misery for Animals
https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/

Help Free Child Prisoner Ahed Tamimi

These days there is just so much injustice that it is overwhelming and you wonder if anything will ever change.People lives ruined by the greedy and powerful, by fanatics trying to shape the world the way they want it for their own advantage in total disregard for the rights and the lives of others, even those whose lives have barely begun such a Palestinian children arrested and incarcerated by the Israeli military.

Please sign and share the following petition concerning Ahed Tamimi age only 16 who could face up to 10 years in prison. Please act quickly Ahed case goes to court February 6th

Free Ahed Tamimi

Please Sign the letter to world leaders:

“We demand the release of Ahed and all Palestinian children wrongly held in military prisons.

The international community must put an end to the detention and ill-treatment of children in these prisons. Enough is enough.

To Ahed and all the children in Israeli military jails: We stand by your side, and are holding you in our hearts. We will not give up until you are free. You are not alone. ”

More information:

Days ago soldiers stormed my house in the dead of night and dragged my 16 year old daughter to prison. Now my little girl is in a cold cell.

My name is Basim Tamimi. I have dedicated my life to civil resistance. That’s why the army is holding my baby — they want to crush my spirit. But I have been a member of Avaaz for eight years — I have seen the power of this community if we all stand together against injustice.

My little girl’s case goes to court on February 6 — but Israel’s military courts convict 99% of Palestinians, even if they are kids. Please join my urgent call — we’ll deliver it directly to global leaders.”

Please sign and continue reading:
https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/free_ahed_global_loc/?wMsmGdb    This is a quick sign petition which I hope you will share widely.

Here are some little known facts concerning the Palestinian conflict regarding children held as Prisoners by Israel

During the last five decades 45,000 Palestinian children have been detained by the military

“Since 2000, an estimated 12,000 Palestinian children have been
detained by Israeli forces from the occupied West Bank and held in the Israeli military detention
system — many of them are as young as 12 years old. In some cases, even 6 and 7 year olds
have been detained by the military as well. Israel prosecutes between 500 and 700 Palestinian
children in military courts each year, and hundreds more are arrested and released later without
prosecution.

An average of 200-300 children are held in Israeli detention on a monthly basis.”
More information
https://avaazpress.s3.amazonaws.com/Child+Detention+Fact+Sheet.pdf

Regardless of our stance on this conflict I am sure most of us will be appalled at this grave mistreatment of children.

More information and further action from Amnesty international.

“16-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi could face up to ten years in prison over an altercation with Israeli soldiers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

Ahed, charged with aggravated assault of soldiers and incitement, will also remain in custody until the end of her trial.”

According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Israel is a state party, the arrest, detention or imprisonment of children must be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.

Ahed’s detention does not meet this criteria. In fact, nothing the teen has done can justify her continued detention – it is outrageously excessive for such a comparatively small crime and entirely inappropriate for a child. The Israeli authorities must acknowledge this and release her immediately.

“Ahed’s lawyer says she has faced several long and aggressive interrogation sessions, sometimes during the night, and that interrogators have threatened the safety of her family.

Her family says she has also endured several physically-exhausting transfers from prison to court alongside other child detainees, without access to a toilet.

Continue reading and please take the suggested action
https://www.amnesty.org.uk/israel-release-ahed-tamimi

Military prisons are not the place for children under any circumstances.