It’s approaching That Time again The Glorious Twelfth

When I was twelve, I went hunting with my father and we shot a bird. He was laying there and something struck me. Why do we call this fun to kill this creature [who] was as happy as I was when I woke up this morning.
Marv Levy

If you don’t have time to read the information below but would like to bring an end to grouse shooting scroll down for action you can take, including two demonstrations on the 12th August.

It’s approaching that time again, the so called  Glorious Twelfth (August 12th), the beginning of the Grouse shooting season. I have written about this atrocity of barbarism several times in this blog here here and the latest here

From beasts we scorn as soulless,
In forest, field and den,
The cry goes up to witness
The soullessness of men.
M. Frida Hartley

As I have said time and time again I cannot understand the mentality, the cold indifference to taking the life of another sentient creature by hunting or shooting, but to get pleasure from doing so is even more baffling.

Moreover few people who participate in blood sports ever question that there is anything wrong with killing animals for fun. In the video below the shooter shoots from the sky a beautiful bird in full fight, ending the life of this defenseless unsuspecting creature simply for pleasure. It turns my stomach, makes me sick inside as it does most people. That is why the majority of people in the UK and worldwide would rather see an end to such wanton killing as a result of so called sport.

Grouse Shooting is the sport of kings says the shooter in this video.

The sport of kings indeed, is this saying meant to elevate this cruelty? Hunting and shooting is more like the sport of psychopaths! It is sickening that anyone can glorify such a vile act of cruelty against other feeling thinking sentient beings. It shames us as a nation that we allow this barbarity to continue.  To be fair there may be a few who simply fail to comprehend what they do and there are those who even give up blood sports  however for the majority it is a much anticipated pass time undertaken with disregard to the suffering caused.

Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow-creatures is amusing in itself.
James Anthony Froude,

The reality of grouse shooting

While for many people grouse shooting is deemed undesirable because of the harm it does to other creatures – including Hen Harriers and Peregrines as is emphasis of the video below – it has be said that grouse shooting is inhumane simply because it kills 700,000 grouse each year.   All animals to my mind are equal and for each individual animal his or her life is important. However if the concern over the killing of endangered species rather than the grouse itself brings about an end to grouse shooting all well and good. The important thing is that no animal is harmed or killed whether it is a grouse, a fox or a hen harrier.

A number of animals are killed deliberately because for one reason or another their existence interferes with the number of grouse available for shooters to use as living targets.

Published on Jul 7, 2017

“This film sets out the case for banning driven grouse shooting both on the grounds of its dependence on the illegal killing of birds of prey and for its wider impacts.”

So you see it is not only the unfortunate tiny grouse who are killed or harmed and left to die a slow painful death but other wild animals and even domestic animals become victims of this outdated cruelty of a bygone age.

Look carefully at the photo in the tweet below a  vehicle filled with beautiful mountain hares murdered –  yes I am going to say murdered what else is it – in order to protect grouse from hare-born disease. Basically killing one animal in order to have plenty of another animal to kill, simply for pleasure.

Humans also get maimed or killed participating in blood sports such as hunting and shooting. There are no statistics for the UK . However as far as I can ascertain there have been fatalities here.  A woman in Oxford back in March 2016 was left shaken after deer hunting accident when a bullet was shot through her window.  Whilst no one was injured things most certainly could have been quite different. There have also been significant and serious incidences of hikers killed during hunting in the USA and Canada,   Also in Italy during, a four month period 35 people were killed in hunting accidents. It can only be a matter of time before something like this happens here, in areas such as the Yorkshire and Durham Dales the Yorkshire Moors, anywhere where people have the right of way there is always that risk.

Concerning the UK and indeed world wide the licensing of guns to hunters and shooters puts a deadly weapon into the hands of people who have violent tendencies – there is surely no one who can argue that hunting and shooting is not an act of violence.  It is bizarre when you think about it but most licenses are issued to people to kill animals, though some licenses of course are issued to people for sports such as clay pigeon shooting. Here in the UK 567,015 people have a shotgun license ,  any one of them can use their weapon to kill not only helpless animals but people also, as was the case of Derrick Bird in Cumbria who shot twelve people with the gun he used to kill rabbits. Make no mistake these are deadly weapons which maim and kill helpless animals with the potential of killing defenseless humans also. The less weapons in public hands the less the chances of people being killed.

The following article includes a short video of the cruel and untimely death of animals killed by a gamekeeper in one of the UK’s National Parks. These animals are deemed to interfere with the numbers of grouse available for the shooters to kill.

Footage shows animals trapped and shot in a UK national park

Warning images which some people may find disturbing. 
http://www.aol.co.uk/travel/2017/07/11/footage-animals-trapped-shot-uk-peak-district-national-park/?ncid=webmail

I found the images upsetting, sickening as I find it disturbing that anyone can wantonly shoot helpless animals who have as much right to their lives as the person who shoots them, as do the grouse and every other being that lives.

Vast areas of our countryside are managed in this way to prepare for the massacre of these tiny helpless birds for no other reason than some disturbed sense of pleasure and enjoyment.

Why should a large percentage of our countryside be used and it’s inhabitants abused simply to satisfy the bloodlust of a very small group of over privileged people to kill helpless wild animals simply for enjoyment for four months of each year. Shooters are wealthy, some extraordinarily so as are the people who profit from organised shoots. A few years ago now while in a pub in the Yorkshire Dales my husband and I got into conversation with a former sheep farmer who was now retired. He told us that he had sold his land for the purpose of shooting as he was approached to do so and made an offer he could not refuse. A considerable amount I assume paid simply to have access to the land for four months of the year just to kill helpless birds, shoot them from the sky after driving them into the line of fire by terrifying them by a method referred to as grouse beating – hunting for grouse by trying to drive them towards the shooter by using flags, sticks, and other devices.

As long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other.
Pythagoras

Ten Reasons to oppose grouse shooting – note the petition is now closed
http://markavery.info/2014/06/05/ten-reasons-sign-epetition-ban-driven-grouse-shooting-england/     – The most important reason in my opinion is that the grouse are sentient beings and have the right to live as do all the other creature mained and killed during the preparation for grouse shooting.

While shooting and hunting are categorized differently they amount to the same thing and that is wanton violence and the massacre of defenseless sentient creatures for fun.

The article below from PETA focuses on reasons why hunting is cruel and nowadays unnecessary. The same is the case for grouse shooting

“Hunting accidents destroy property and injure or kill horses, cows, dogs, cats, hikers, and other hunters. In 2006, then–Vice President Dick Cheney famously shot a friend while hunting quail on a canned hunting preserve.16 According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, thousands of injuries are attributed to hunting in the U.S. every year—and that number only includes incidents involving humans.17″
https://www.peta.org/issues/wildlife/wildlife-factsheets/sport-hunting-cruel-unnecessary/

Actions you can take to end grouse shooting.

There is limited organised action and as far as I am aware no current petitions. The last petition resulted in a debate in parliament but despite 123,077 signatures failed to bring about a ban on grouse shooting

Here is what I have been able to find, please take action if you possibly can.

Join protest ramble August 12th

If you live near or are able to get to Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire there is a protest ramble on August 12th.

Protest Ramble: No New Grouse Shooting Licence for Ilkley Moor
https://www.facebook.com/events/1956927037862012/

Here is more information about about grouse shooting and the protest ramble on Ilkley moor:
https://stoptheshoot.com/

At least the Bradford District council warn people of shooting.

In the Yorkshire and Durham dales which my family visit frequently for walking and just enjoying the countryside there are no such warnings. You can suddenly came across a shooting party in proximity to a popular foot path. While it offers an opportunity to express your opposition this is distressing for many people and could be a safety hazard. On one occasion police ignored our reports of shooters worrying sheep chasing after them in an attempt to remove them from the area saying that there was nothing they could do.

Join a protest to Make badger culling, fox hunting and driven grouse shooting history

For more information about the above protest:
https://www.facebook.com/events/239082489919954/

Also more information from the badger Trust

Thousands to descend on Downing Street

If you have a Twitter account you might post your protest and comments using hashtags such as the following:

#bangrouseshooting

#grouseshooting

Continue to write to your MP

http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

It may well be a challenge to say the least particularly if your MP is conservative as the Tories tend to support blood sports, this is probably because a good majority participate in them and they therefore continue to put their own pleasures first, however dubious or unethical, before those of the vast majority who wish to see an end to such barbarities as shooting and hunting. Nonetheless please be persistent keep in mind fox hunting was eventually banned as a result of public pressure. 

Related links

Chris Packham calls to end Ilkley Moor grouse shooting

“Wildlife presenter Chris Packham is campaigning for an end to grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor, calling it “moorland vandalism”.
He made his comments in a statement to moor owners Bradford Council ahead of the grouse shooting season next week. The council said it permits shooting for just eight days each year, under a contract to be reviewed in 2018.
Ilkley Moor is the last publicly owned place in the UK to allow grouse shooting during the season.”

Continue reading
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-40815624

Grouse

“According to industry statistics an estimated 700,000 grouse are shot every year in Britain for ‘sport’ all over the UK. In driven shooting, red grouse are frightened from their heather homes by a line of beaters shouting and stomping to drive them towards eagerly awaiting men with guns. The grouse don’t stand a chance, as it is basically a massacre. Many will not be killed outright, but will be shot and wounded before hurtling to the ground where they will lie maimed, suffering and terrified.”

Read more this article contains suggested actions you can take to end grouse shooting:
https://www.league.org.uk/grouse?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwJqPqfXG1QIV5xXTCh1jSwMpEAAYAiAAEgLxsfD_BwE

Whats Wrong with Grouse shooting

  1. Grouse shooting is a bloodsport People pay vast sums of money (1000-2000 a day) to blast a sentient creature out of the sky for enjoyment. A creature that has been driven towards them to make it easier. Whether or not money changes hands is not the issue though – shooting or hunting animals for amusement is something the Hunt Saboteurs Association is unequivocally opposed to. Grouse are known as the king of gamebirds because of their fast flight. This speed makes a clean kill difficult and results in birds being shot without instantly falling to the ground, and many fly on wounded.

Continue reading:
https://www.huntsabs.org.uk/restore/archive/features/wwwgs.html

Wildlife crash on Ilkley Moor prompts fresh calls to ban grouse shooting

CAMPAIGNERS have renewed calls for a ban on grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor as figures emerge which reveal a decline in over half of protected breeding bird species

Ban Blood Sport on Ilkley Moor (BBIM) has written to the leader of Bradford Council Susan Hinchcliffe noting that populations of breeding birds have fallen as a result of grouse shooting and related moorland management, and called on the local authority to end the blood sport on public land.

Read More:
http://www.ilkleygazette.co.uk/news/15422768.Wildlife_crash_on_Ilkley_Moor_prompts_fresh_calls_to_ban_grouse_shooting/

Videos

This video shows the shocking use of cruel traps. Note the petition referred to is closed.

Published on Sep 9, 2016

“Well done Terry Pickford for speaking the truth, exposing what gamekeepers would obviously prefer no-one to know. It is a terribly sad situation, but I for one must applaud your efforts over the last 4 decades, working to support and protect Hen Harriers and Peregrine Falcons in the Forest of Bowland, under such difficult circumstances. ” The petition referred to failed.

Please Take Action to Help Sheep

As anyone who has visited my website will know I am very fond of sheep, one of the most gentle of animals on the planet. The shocking cruelty below sickens me, it is one of the many atrocities inflicted upon these defenceless animals, it is brutal and unnecessary and it has to stop. I say unnecessary but frankly there can never ever be any situation where any cruelty to any animal is necessary.

Please read on and take as many of the suggested actions as possible to bring an end to this horrifying inhumane treatment of sheep

Warning! Disturbing images of cruelty to these defenceless gentle animals

“Two years ago, PETA exposed Patagonia’s wool supplier for skinning sheep who were still alive. Once word got out, the brand stopped buying wool from that supplier and made a list of “stringent” standards for its new suppliers.

Yet once again PETA has exposed disturbing abuse connected to a Patagonia-approved wool producer.

Please read the following and send a message to tell retailer Patagonia to stop selling wool

Patagonia says its mission is to “cause no unnecessary harm,” so why is a wool supplier associated with whipping and mutilating pregnant sheep and forcing them to give birth in a freezing desert on its approved list?

PETA has exposed horrific cruelty at dozens of shearing operations around the world, and our most recent exposé of a Patagonia-approved wool supplier is further proof that any “rigorous” standards or “strong supplier partnerships” are meaningless.”

Shearers pulled heavily pregnant sheep into a trailer and onto the hard floor

In April 2017, PETA observers went to Utah to visit a shearing operation associated with Red Pine Land & Livestock, LLC, which was listed on the company’s website as an approved supplier until the day it saw PETA’s expose. Here’s what that looked like:

Please continue reading and send a message to tell Patagonia to drop all wool immediately!

https://campaigns.peta2.com/pregnant-sheep-whipped-mutilated-for-patagonia-approved-wool-supplier/?utm_campaign=0717%20patagonia%20approved%20wool%20supplier%20expose%20EA&utm_source=peta2%20E-Mail&utm_medium=Alert

Further action

Please consider contacting Patagonia in the following ways:

Corporate Office and Headquarters – Contact by post, a letter is often very effective,  e-mail or telephone

Patagonia Corporate Office Address

Patagonia International, Inc.
259 W Santa Clara Street
Ventura, California 93001

Contact Patagonia

Phone Number: (805) 643-6074

Fax Number: (805) 648-8020

Website: http://www.patagonia.com

Email: Email Patagonia  :
customer_service@patagonia.com

http://corporateofficehq.com/patagonia-corporate-office/

Send a tweet
@patagonia

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/PATAGONIA/

Please also take action if you have not already done so concerning Chilean sheep farms:

More Proof the Wool Industry Is HEARTLESS – warning distressing images. How people can be so cruel is beyond my comprehension. Just heartbreaking.

“The cruelty documented on these Chilean sheep farms is not unique, and similar abuses have been documented in the United States, Argentina, and Australia—the world’s largest wool exporter. Please, don’t forget the gentle sheep who suffer in the wool industry all around the world, and choose clothing that doesn’t contain wool. It’s easy to check the label, and if it says “Italian wool”—or any kind of wool—just leave it on the shelf.

Sign our petition urging Chilean officials to prosecute workers who cut into the necks of fully conscious sheep—without doing anything to minimize their pain—in apparent violation of Chile’s animal protection law.
https://campaigns.peta2.com/chile-wool-industry/#pledge       The link takes you straight to the petition 
There is more information at the beginning of the petition however the images included are extremely distressing.

Even in the most ideal situation sheep suffer from exploitation when they are farmed for their wool. The most effective way to bring an end to this aspect of cruelty to sheep is to stop buying wool.

Sheep are sentient beings. Like us they are mammals and like us they feel pain and suffer fear. 

In the articles below you can read about sentience in sheep and about the exploitation of these gentle animals.

Sentient Sheep: http://www.think-differently-about-sheep.com/Sentient%20sheep.htm

Factory Farming: Sheep http://www.think-differently-about-sheep.com/Animal-Rights-Sheep.htm

Please take action, send the PETA messages to retailer Patagonia and to Chilean officials and share widely and take as many of the other suggested actions as you can. There is a template message, edit with your own words if possible but if for some reason you cannot do this send it as it is. 

If you do not have a lot of time at least please send the PETA messages.

Please stop eating meat and wearing wool the most effective way to bring an end to cruelty to sheep.

Here is some light relief , enjoy a video showing lambs happy, well cared for and loved in a sanctuary

Related Links

The following link has more information about the exploitation of sheep and more actions you can take to being an end to their suffering and exploitation.

Help stop sheep cruelty
http://www.animalsaustralia.org/issues/stop-sheep-cruelty.php

Further information from PETA about the cruelty of shearing and the exploitation of sheep for their wool

What’s wrong with wearing wool?

“As with other industries where animals are raised for a profit, the interests of the animals used in the wool industry are rarely considered. “

Please continue reading
https://www.peta.org/about-peta/faq/whats-wrong-with-wearing-wool/

The following article shows that investigations by animal rights groups such as PETA are effective, however the best way to stop this cruelty is to STOP WEARING WOOL. Be aware that although this prosecution was successful many many similar cases of abuse go uninvestigated and unreported. As already mentioned even in ideal conditions of welfare sheep suffer, they suffer to provide you with a clothing material you now no longer need as synthetic materials are much better, more comfy, warmer and easier to care for.  Sheep also suffer to provide you with a food you do not need. At the end of the day most sheep are brutally slaughtered and most of your wool comes from slaughtered sheep.

Animal cruelty case against sheep shearers has changed industry forever, peak body says
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-03-01/sheep-shearers-plead-guilty-animal-cruelty-western-victoria/8314678

 

 

 

Hunting: Can People Change?

Soon it will be the so-called Glorious 12th here in the UK, this being August 12th which begins the shooting season, when men , usually men but increasingly women, go out onto the moorland armed to the teeth and use tiny birds as live targets, shooting them out of the sky after terrifying them into leaving the safe cover of their habitats by what is called grouse beating – a method to drive them towards the shooters using flags, sticks, and other devices. During 1st October to 1 February, this barbaric behaviour is further added to by the commencement of the pheasant shooting season.Add to this deer hunting/stalking in some way or another depending on the breed or gender of deer occurs throughout most of the year. Rabbits of course can be killed with little or no restrictions all year round. What a shocking state of affairs exists when people can legally kill members of another species simply for fun, wantonly and callously take the lives of other sentient beings who have as much right as we to live out their natural life spans.

You can read more about shooting in this blog here here and here

Hunting, shooting, deer stalking are all the same thing namely the killing or massacre of other living beings, the different classifications are irrelevant to the unfortunate animals who suffer pain and death as a result of this inhumane pastime.

What makes people wish to go out into wild places and with deliberate intention shoot helpless defenceless animals? More to the point can such people change?

Below you can read what Lady Florence Dixie back in the 19th century said about hunting and other blood sports:

“What is it but deliberate massacre when thousands and tens of thousand of tame, hand-reared creatures are literally drawn into the Jaws of death and mown down in a particular brutal manner? A perfect roar of guns fills the air, louder tap and yell the beaters, above the din can be heard the heart-rendering cries of wounded hares and rabbits, some of which can be seen dragging themselves away, with both hind legs broken, or turning round and round in their agony before they die. And the pheasants ! They are on every side, some rising, some dropping, some lying dead, but the greater majority fluttering on the ground wounded, some with both legs broken and a wing, some with both wings broken and a leg, others merely winged, running to hide, others mortally wounded gasping out their last breath of life amidst the fiendish sounds which surround them. And this is called sport!… Sport in every form and kind is horrible, from the rich man’s hare-coursing to the poor man’s rabbit-coursing.
Lady Florence Dixie The Horrors of Sport

From reading the above you may be surprised to learn that Florence Dixie, a Scottish traveller, war correspondent, writer and feminist, once participated in blood sports with great enthusiasm including big game hunting. However during the 1890s her views on what is often termed field sports changed quite dramatically, in her book The Horrors of Sport she condemned blood sports as cruel.

We owe much to animals, and their rights are still shamefully neglected, while wild animals are absolutely unprotected. Many women are heedlessly, and others ignorantly cruel in this particular. … Experience has taught me the cruelty and horror of much miscalled sport. Wide travel, much contact with the animal world , and a good deal of experience in a variety of sports have all combined to make me ashamed and deeply regretful for every life my hand has taken.
From an interview with Charles W. Forward,1894

During her early life and travels Dixie enjoyed hunting,  raging from fox hunting to hunting wild life in Patagonia as the following extracts describe.

Dixie was an enthusiastic fox hunting participant:

‘The merry blast of the huntsman’s horn resounds, the view-halloa rings out cheerily on the bright crisp air of a fine hunting morning; the fox is “gone away,” you have got a good start, and your friend has too. “Come on,” he shouts, “let us see this run together!” Side by side you fly the first fence, take your horse in hand, and settle down to ride over the broad grass country. How distinctly you remember that run, how easily you recall each fence you flew together, each timber-rail you topped, and that untempting bottom you both got so luckily and safely over, and above all, the old farm-yard, where the gallant fox yielded up his life.’

Across Patagonia Florence Dixie

During 1878-1879 Dixie travelled with her husband, two of her brothers and a friend in Patagonia in South America. There, she hunted big game. Below is an extract from Across Patagonia in which she describes with gusto the chase and killing of an ostrich.

Fortunately, beyond a shaking, I am unhurt, and remounting, endeavour to rejoin the now somewhat distant chase. The ostrich, Gregorio, and the dog have reached the plain, and as I gallop quickly down the hill I can see that the bird has begun doubling. This is a sure sign of fatigue, and shows that the ostrich’s strength is beginning to fail him. Nevertheless it is a matter of no small difficulty for one dog to secure his prey, even at this juncture, as he cannot turn and twist about as rapidly as the ostrich. At each double the bird shoots far ahead of his pursuer, and gains a considerable advantage. Away across the plain the two animals fly, whilst I and Gregorio press eagerly in their wake. The excitement grows every moment more intense, and I watch the close struggle going on with the keenest interest. Suddenly the stride of the bird grows slower, his doubles become more frequent, showers of feathers fly in every direction as Plata seizes him by the tail, which comes away in his mouth. In another moment the dog has him by the throat, and for a few minutes nothing can be distinguished but a gray struggling heap. Then Gregorio dashes forward and throws himself off his horse, breaks the bird’s neck, and when I arrive upon the scene the struggle is over. The run had lasted for twenty-five minutes.

So what changed:

Florence Dixie eventually became “haunted by a sad remorse” for the death of a beautiful golden deer of the Cordilleras, who was unusually tame and trusting.  After this time Dixie’s views on field sports changed dramatically, and in her book The Horrors of Sport  she condemned blood sports as cruel. She eventually became a vegetarian and an advocate for animals, she wrote “A Prayer for Dogs” to help people realise the necessity of the proper treatment of domestic animals and the “The Union of Mercy”to help teach children not to torment birds and adults not to wear fur.

In more recent times the next convert from hunting describes his reasons for doing so:

Changing Attitudes: Why I Quit Hunting
A Shooting Ourselves in the Foot: The Sanitizing of Violence in Our Society Article from All-Creatures.org

In November 1989, I was shot by a deer hunter, while on my own property. The irresponsible hunter left me for dead, and my twelve year old son loaded me in a truck and drove me 40 miles to a hospital. That didn’t dampen my enthusiasm, though, and is not the reason I quit, but it did give me a solid taste of what the animals endure.

I guess I just started to understand that the animal I was looking at through a scope was not just a target, but a living thing. A thing that suffered when shot, a thing that I had no right to kill, though I had the privilege to do so, by virtue of paying another person a fee for a license. Think about that. The animal is minding his own business when you go into a store, pay a fee and walk out with a license to kill the animal, what a deal.

I shot the last animal that will ever fall to my gun in November 1992. I hunted until January, 1997.

In five years, I discovered I could love the outdoors, and it’s experiences, which I still dearly enjoy, without killing. The guns stay at home when I take to the field now, though I keep the rust off them by frequent trips to the range to break clay targets or make little groups of holes in paper, and I have turned more to shooting competition for satisfaction and achievement.

Continue reading:
http://www.all-creatures.org/sof/quithunt.html

Hunting/shooting – or plain and simply murder of the other living beings with whom we share our world –  is a pursuit of the past, at least it should be for it has no place in the modern world. As Isaac Bashevis Singer  once wrote: “There will be no justice as long as man will stand with a knife or with a gun and destroy those who are weaker than he is.”

Whether it is foxes, deer, grouse, pheasants or rabbits and hares it is time to end the killing. No country can claim to be ethically progressive while it allows and even encourages it citizens to kill animals simply to satisfy some abhorrent pleasure.

Ban all hunting. 

Hunters and others involved educate yourself about hunting. Consider a more humane pastime.

9 Things No One Told You About Hunting

Hunters make up many excuses to justify their pastime. However, cruel, unnecessary killing—which is what hunting is—has no justification.

Continue reading:
https://www.peta.org/features/things-no-one-told-you-about-hunting/

More and more people are opposed to hunting.

Bristol Hunt Saboteurs are ‘snowed under’ with new members hoping to stop fox hunting

“With hunting firmly back on the agenda, a Bristol group who make it their business to disrupt fox hunts say they are ‘snowed under’ with new requests to join.

Using dogs to hunt foxes was banned under in 2004. Despite this members of the hunt sabs claim foxes are still regularly hunted with packs of dogs in the South West.”

Continue reading:
http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-hunt-saboteurs-snowed-under-100127

Ways to help bring an end to hunting

Contact the League Against Cruel Sports
https://www.league.org.uk/

This next link includes suggestions about how you can help to stop hunting where you live. PETA USA but much of the information applies anywhere:

Why Sport Hunting Is Cruel and Unnecessary
https://www.peta.org/issues/wildlife/wildlife-factsheets/sport-hunting-cruel-unnecessary/

Sources of some of the information

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Florence_Dixie

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=q8Gg2sQEEsYC&dq=Than+I+like+to+see+a+trout,+Basking+in+a+shallow+pool+And+I+hate+to+see+the+lout+Drag+them+from+their+waters+cool&source=gbs_navlinks_s

New Film Shows The Unimaginable Cruelty of The Dairy Industry

This new film  iAnimal – The Dairy Industry in 360ºnarrated by Evanna Lynch, who starred as  Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter, shows unimaginable suffering of cows and their calves on dairy farms, where a cycle of cruelty affects entire families.

Warning: Contains graphic content which some people will find upsetting.

The latest virtual reality film by Animal Equality, is already helping expose the secretive dairy industry for what it is – a vicious cycle of cruelty.

“Evanna Lynch’s character in Harry Potter, Luna Lovegood, was praised for speaking uncomfortable truths when no one else would, and Evanna is no different.

In our new film, she guides you on a journey few will ever see in person.

iAnimal puts you inside the same tiny hutches that calves are trapped in for weeks or months at a time.

And, through the lens of the iAnimal headset, you stand helpless as a cow – who has spent years being exploited for her milk – faces a terrifying death in the slaughterhouse.

Though the reality these sensitive animals face is disturbing, it is crucial that people learn the story behind every glass of milk. And thanks to compassionate people like you and Evanna who help support iAnimal, we are changing – and saving thousands of lives every month!

Last month alone we reached more than 3,000 people in the UK through iAnimal stands at Glastonbury Festival, Birmingham Wildlife Festival, Natural Exhibition Glasgow and Compassionate Living in Exeter. Each and every one of them vowed to change their diet after witnessing the reality that the meat industry tries so hard to hide.”

The dairy industry is brutal and unnecessary. Cows milk is not a natural diet for human beings. Furthermore no animal drinks milk after weening and no animal drinks the milk of another species.

The use of milk in so many products is so widespread it occurs even in the most unlikely of food such as in some types of crisps. Yet we can manage without it and in fact be better in health – did you know that rather than be an ideal supplement for calcium it actually increases calcium loss from the bones and increases fracture risk.

Here is what milk does to your health:

7 Reasons Milk Is Bad For You
https://www.bustle.com/articles/137195-7-reasons-milk-is-bad-for-you

For the sake of cows and your health change to a plant based diet Go Vegan

I have been vegan now for about six years after being vegetarian for about eighteen and with few exceptions there is virtually nothing that cannot to adapted to a vegan diet by using plant based milk.

You can replace milk by using the many plant based milk products available such as those in the picture below.

You can drink them just like cow’s milk, pour on your breakfast cereals and into your coffee. You can use in baking just the same way as cow’s milk.

Here is some advice from One green Planet

Which Milk for What Recipe: A Non-Dairy Milk Guide for All Your Cooking and Baking Needs:
http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/non-dairy-milk-guide-for-all-your-cooking-and-baking-needs/

And PETA

A Vegan’s Guide to Non-Dairy Milks
http://www.peta.org.uk/blog/vegans-guide-non-dairy-milks/

Also the vegan society
https://www.vegansociety.com/

Animal Equality website
http://www.animalequality.net/

iAnimal at Glastonbury 2017
http://www.animalequality.net/node/1043

Sentient Animals: Pigs

This is one of a series of blog posts concerning animal sentience. Here is the first which includes an introduction:
https://rantingsfromavirtualsoapbox.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/sentient-animals-compassion/

The series includes true stories, information and accounts which show that animals are self aware sentient beings.

Each entry will focus on one aspect of animal sentience and or one particular animal.

This post focuses on the sentience of pigs. (The following was adapted from an article on my website)

Yorkshire pigs wallow in mud at the Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville, Maryland.

“Many times I’ve looked into a pig’s eye and convinced myself that inside that brain is a sentient being, who is looking back at me observing him wondering what he’s thinking about.
Dick King-Smith, the author of The Sheep-Pig upon which the film Babe was based.*1

Pigs like all animals are sentient, truly aware, they posses many of the abilities and indications of sentience described here:
Sentience in Farm Animals      

Note: The link to the video included in the above webpage is no longer working. You can watch the video below, this is the full documentary and lasts 52:21 minutes.

 

Here’s how pigs compare with children

Smart Pigs vs Kids – Extraordinary Animals – Series 2 – Earth

“Published on Feb 19, 2014

Understanding a reflection in a mirror takes a child years to grasp, this piglet tested got it in a few hours! Who will fair best in a series of tests between children and pigs?”

Pigs, along with chimps, dolphins and elephants, are in the top five most intelligent animals, according to experts.

Fact. Pigs are more intelligent than either your cat or dog, they are placed as the fourth most intelligent creature on earth. Yet few people know very much about these much maligned and misunderstood animals.

Pigs are clever creatures with an intelligence way beyond that of a three year old human child. Pigs have good memories, they can recognise and remember up to thirty other pigs.

Did you know that pigs have a good sense of direction and are able to find their way over long distances? They can remember where food is hidden and by watching each other they learn where food is located. Scientists at the University of Bristol found that showing one pig where food was hidden could benefit others in the group; instead of looking for their own food the other pigs having noticed that their companion had located food would follow his lead.

Pigs can respond to their own given name within 7 days of birth.

Most amazingly you may be surprised to know that pigs can learn to play, and indeed excel at using joystick video oriented games. Researchers conducting a study of farm animal cognition hope to quantify the cognitive level of pigs by encouraging them to play video games. They use their snouts to operate the joy stick and have over an 80 percent rate of accuracy. Candice Croney a doctrinal student in animal science involved in the research says:

“The computer screen has a series of different icons, or shapes, on one side and a single shape on the other. First, we try to get the pig to move the single shape across the screen to touch the one that matches it. Once the pig accomplishes that, we move on to more complex tasks. Pigs are known to be smart animals, and we expect them to do more than recognize symbols. Our tests are similar to many used in child cognitive psychology. They’ll give us an idea of how advanced pigs are in mental development.”

Having pigs play video games may sound frivolous at first, but we have a very serious goal. We have to know what an animal’s needs–including any behavioural needs–are in order to meet those needs. We do know that pigs can be trained to turn the lights off and on in their housing facility, but what kind of lighting do they prefer? If we can better understand how pigs see the world, maybe we can learn how they think and feel. These experiments may help us start to get the information we need to make better decisions and judgments about how to care for animals.”
In a Pig’s Eye Fall 1997 – Penn State Agriculture Magazine

During similar research it was found that pigs can respond to verbal communications.

Indeed they are remarkable creatures, insightful, curious , fastidious, inquisitive, social, companionable, compassionate, intelligent and ingenious.

Capable of considerable ingenuity they can problem solve better than your dog. Research has discovered that Pigs also have what psychologists call a theory of mind, Theory of mind –  they seem to have an understanding of what is going on in the mind of other pigs and make decisions and act accordingly. This type of thinking is usually thought only to exist in man and apes. Pigs it seems are masters of deceit and, according to researchers at Bristol University, pigs deliberately mislead other pigs so as to gain more food.

Referring to studies concerning the intelligence and emotions of farm animals Mark Townsend environment correspondent for the Guardian writes this about pigs:

“Scientists claim such findings are increasingly challenging the belief that farmyard animals have no ‘sense of self’, a notion that could have profound implications for the way Britain’s creatures are farmed. Pigs were similarly found to have a cerebral capacity beyond the popular preconception of a farm animal. Researchers at Bristol University found that pigs are masters of deceit, deliberately misleading other pigs if it would result in more food for themselves.”
Sheep might be dumb … but they’re not stupid | UK news | The Observer.

Pigs are highly social animals, they sleep together huddled in nests and while they sleep they love to cuddle up close to one another nose to nose. Pigs also greet other pigs whom they know by rubbing noses much in the way we would shake hands. Pigs are highly co-operative in social groups and show affection by grooming each other. Very much like us, and indeed other animals, they establish social groups and are capable of evaluating the behaviour of other members of the group understanding which of their number are more aggressive and dominant.

In the wild sows form stable family units led by a matriarch with her children and female relatives. Pigs are excellent mothers with a deep affection for their piglets, the bond of a mother and her offspring is as strong as that of any human. In her natural habitat, before she gives birth the mother pig builds a large nest to protect her young, she is very careful about both the quality of the nest and its location, in some instances she may walk for three to six miles to find a suitable place to construct her nest, taking as long as six hours to do so. Here in this carefully selected secluded place she will give birth to her piglets and protect them after they are born for about two weeks, after which time the new family leave the nest and return to the rest of the herd, over the following twelve weeks the piglets are gradually weaned and begin to eat solid food.

Pigs are very vocal creatures and have a wide range of communicative calls consisting of grunts, squeaks, snarls and snorts. These are not random noises with no meaning as many people are apt to think, although incomprehensible to us these noises communicate a variety of emotional states, intentions, warnings and other messages important to pigs and what is central to thier way of life. For instance a lactating sow has a special call which summons her piglets to suckle, piglets keep in contact with each other and their mother by grunts and squeals. Pigs are affectionate creatures if you observe closely you will see pigs greet each other, gently touching snouts sometimes accompanied by soft grunts of friendliness or fondness but sometimes more amorous.

Many consider that individuality is the prerogative of the human animal. In reality this is yet another erroneous misconception and one which many people have about other animals, particularly farm animals. It may surprise you that pigs, like humans, are unique individuals. Pigs like ourselves come in a whole range of emotions and characteristics, some are playful while others are more serious, some may be timid while others are more bold, some pigs are more resilient than others while sadly just like us some are highly sensitive and suffer with depression.

Generally though pigs are highly sensitive and emotional animals. Many pigs confined in the cramped spaces of factory farms become seriously depressed, because they are intelligent creatures they are aware of their awful plight: the cramped space in pens where they can do nothing and can barely sit down nor turn round with nothing to occupy their intelligent active minds.

As highly sensitive creatures pigs experience both positive as well as negative emotions and like us they are capable of feeling both happiness and sadness.

“As happy as a pig in mud” is a saying often used to express how much fun someone is having. Pigs wallow in mud to keep cool and to protect them from sunburn but they also seem to enjoy the experience.

Like all animals pigs experience pleasure and are playful. It is piglets in particular who love to play, in ways very similar to those of human children, such as frolicking, chasing one another, running in circles, squeaking and grunting in sheer delight, pretend fights and general rough and tumbles and exploring their environment. Play is for piglets as it is for children an important part of their development. Pigs also like “toys” such as an old blanket or cardboard boxes. Pigs will however soon tire of the same toy very quickly.

Contrary to popular misconception pigs are clean animals they prefer bathing in fresh water rather than mud. Yes, pigs do wallow in mud as has already been mentioned above but this is done because pigs do not sweat, so in order to cool they take mud baths. In the wild pigs defecate away from their nests. The fact that pigs are forced to live in filthy conditions in their own excrement is amongst the many reasons pigs suffer with depression, along with confinement and lack of mental stimulation, when they are forced to live in factory farms and other conditions that deny them their natural inclinations. So when you hear any of the derogatory remarks often made, such as you are a filthy pig or this place looks like a pig sty, know that this is a misconception, for pigs are very clean animals. In fact pigs are so clean that they can be kept indoors like your cat or dog and make good companion animals.

Furthermore the reference to pigs as a metaphor for gluttonous behaviour is also way of the mark. In fact given the opportunity pigs are very picky eaters, they dislike monotony, preferring variety they soon set aside food if the same food is offered to them each time. The idea that pigs eat anything without even savouring the flavour as is eluded to in the common expression “giving pigs cherries” is a misconception. Actually unlike a dog, pigs do not gobble up their food, rather they nibble, sniffing carefully to ascertain if they would like to eat the food or not.

In the wild pigs spend a lot of time foraging for food, rooting for food with their highly sensitive snouts they are able to obtain a huge variety of foods including fruits, mushrooms, roots, snakes worms and even rodents. Again very much like ourselves a pigs body is composed of one to two thirds of water and therefore water is an essential part of their diet.

Pigs are compassionate. This is an aspect of farm animals few ever know about, this is because we are now so removed from them.

In the book the The Pig who sang to the moon by Jeffery Masson There is a delightful story told to him by Gene Bauston from Farm Sanctuary, an animal sanctuary in California, that tells a tale of friendship, compassion and emotional relationship between two pigs, Hope and Johnny. Hope had a seriously injured leg, for which sadly nothing could be done, and as a consequence her mobility was severely restricted. She had been rescued from a stock yard. Johnny and Hope formed a close bond.

“Able to scoot round on the barn on her three good legs, she could not walk. Johnny, who was much younger than Hope, bonded closely with her . At night he would always sleep right next to her, keeping her warm on cold nights. In the morning Bauston would bring Hope bowls of food and water, Johnny would stay with her to keep the other pigs from interfering with her or taking her food. During the day Johnny would spend most of his time hanging out in the barn with Hope. When Hope died of old age, Johnny was still a young and healthy pig. Maybe he knew about death. The death of his closest friend seemed to devastate him; he died suddenly and unexpectedly within a couple of weeks after Hope, perhaps of broken heart.”

It may surprise you to know that pigs are not only compassionate but they are very forgiving, and even badly abused pigs rescued by farm animal sanctuaries appear not to hold a grudge and as you will see in the story below, are gentle caring sensitive creatures despite their mistreatment.

Judy Woods, Director, Pigs Peace Sanctuary writes this about a very special pig.

“As I sit and write this I gaze out the window and see Libby the pig in the pasture. Her nose is deep in the earth in search of a tender root. She walks off snacking on bites of sweet clover and having a care free day. From the moment she wakes up she is off deciding how her day will be spent. On hot days she is either close to the pond or in the early morning she makes the long walk through the meadow to the cool and lush woods to spend the day.

If you came here and met Libby you might notice how calm and gentle she is; you might gaze into her eyes and see the look of a special friend. You might find that particular spot behind her eyes she loves to have scratched and then you might see her smile.

Read the rest of this moving story about a lovely gentle pig rescued from a pig farm
Libby’s Story: Judy Woods, Director, Pigs Peace Sanctuary

Pigs are very much like us in so many way, they even dream and see in colours

When you really get to know pigs you will be pleasantly astounded at what remarkable animals they are. It may very well surprise you that Pigs like music

There is yet another remarkable story of a very sensitive pig told in the preface of The Pig who Sang to the Moon, where Jeffrey Masson gives account of a remarkable pig who lived on a beach in New Zealand. Piglet as she was called was immaculate, well mannered, sensitive and intelligent friendly to everyone. Famous in her locality she was popular amongst school children who liked to sit at her side and give her tummy a rub. She enjoyed music, in particular the violin, especially on the beach at night when there was a full moon.

“One of her guardians took a picture quite recently of her making the sweetest sounds during a night of the full moon, as if she were actually singing to the moon. The picture of Piglet singing is photographic evidence of her special affinity for music, water, night and moon.

It is another reason to believe that many animals — pigs foremost among them — may have access to feelings that humans have not yet known. Perhaps if we listen carefully enough to the songs that Piglet and her cousins sing at night to the moon, we may yet learn about emotions that could bring us a new and utterly undreamt-of delight. “

The above book is an excellent account of farm animal emotion, it includes information and anecdotes about pigs and other farm animals which after reading you are left with no doubt that pigs and other farm animals are truly sentient beings.

Here is a delightful poem:

Big Earl and Me

When the trailer pulled up and they dropped the gate
I knew his arrival was more than fate
One look in his eyes and I could plainly tell
His life with us would go very well
A special bond there soon would be
Between this pig, Big Earl, and me

He came as a companion for the big pig, Babe
But she don’t care for this big white knave
She chases him and runs him ragged
And bites his butt ’till his nerves are jagged
He’s a gentle old man as all can see
We’re the best of friends, Big Earl and me

He’s long and tall and very sweet
He’s a lot of things, but not petite
He’s as laid back as a pig can be
Like me he’s clumsy as can be
Can’t neither of us climb a tree
We’re two of a kind, Big Earl and me
To read the rest of this poem please click: http://www.all-creatures.org/poetry/ar-bigearl.html

Big Earl and Me: Richard Holye.
I hope you will agree that pigs are amazingly complex animals capable of a whole range of emotions, they are gentle intelligent creatures who deserve to live out their lives according to thier natures, in peace and in freedom from fear and pain.

References and Links :

Satya Oct 04: The Edgar Alan Pig Story by Pam Ahern.
http://www.satyamag.com/oct04/ahern.html

References
1.Quoted in The pig who sang to the Moon by Jeffery Massom

Related Links

Pigs are Intelligent, Emotional, and Cognitively Complex
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201506/pigs-are-intelligent-emotional-and-cognitively-complex

Credits

Photograph. Yorkshire pigs at animal sanctuary

Wikmedia:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yorkshire_pigs_at_animal_sanctuary.jpg

 

End Live Export

I’d be doing a surgery such as an eye removal on a bull, kneeling inches deep in shit and urine as the ship rolled, and wonder if in the future this trade would be abolished like slavery and the world would look back in wonder and shame that it was ever considered acceptable.
Dr Lynn Simpson

Firstly as a vegan I am opposed to what is referred to as “live stock” farming in any form be it organic, small holding or factory farming. There is now no need to kill any animal for his or her meat, meat is not a natural food for human beings, it never was and never will be.

In the exploitation of animals for their meat and other derivatives there are of course many degrees of cruelty and one of the worst is the live export of animals most often to countries where there are no animal welfare laws whatsoever and where these animals are treated with appalling cruelty after spending a grueling hellish journey by sea to their destination.

If you do not have time to read this article please at least sign the petition below and scroll down to take the other recommended actions. There are a lot of actions you can take please take as many as you can.

Immediate Action  – scroll down for more actions to take to ban live export

The Australian Government is being pressured to allow Australian ponies, horses and donkeys to be sent overseas for slaughter.

“On 24 May 2017 the Australian Government Department of Agriculture confirmed that it had received a number of enquiries about exporting horses, ponies and donkeys “in large numbers for slaughter” and that it was developing regulations to facilitate the trade.”

Let’s stop this before it starts. It is shocking enough as it is with the live export of sheep and cattle without the addition of other animals.

Please sign and share petition to the Australian Parliament calling upon the Senate to prohibit the live export of ponies, horses and donkeys, once and for all.
http://www.liveexport.org.au/

It is time for a complete ban on the live export of all animals

As you can see by the poem above by W.H Davis live export is not new – You can read more further down concerning Davis’s  experiences on a live export ship over a century ago.

In modern times the cruelty is even worse as you can read in the link below which also includes other cruelties during the exploitation of sheep. Warning graphic images of appalling cruelty which most people will find upsetting

Sheep and Lambs
An Animal Exploitation Photo Journal and Gallery Presentation from All-Creatures.org
http://www.all-creatures.org/anex/sheep.html

If you still need to ask what is wrong with live export please read the following 

Most animals who are exported live for slaughter have their throats cut while fully conscious. Millions have died at sea. Some 43 investigations have revealed that in destination countries, many animals endure routine abuse and brutal slaughter in places where laws do not protect them from cruelty

Click the link below to continue reading about the cruelty of live export and why it needs to be banned and actions you can take to help get  it stopped.

http://www.banliveexport.com/

Also check out Stop Live Exports Org
https://www.stopliveexports.org/about-stop-live-exports

Still not convinced, watch the following video Warning extremely shocking images that will break your heart

Please read the following from PETA:
Live Export: ‘Shipping’s Modern Slave Trade’

“More than 200 million animals have been crammed onto filthy cargo ships over the last 30 years, and more than 2.5 million of them have died. And of course, every single one was an individual who felt fear and pain.”
http://www.peta.org.au/issues/live-export-animal-cruelty/

End live export, in fact end all live stock farming. Millions of sentient beings slaughtered year in and year out while living miserable lives in factory farms.

Ways you can help to bring about the end of live export.

The most simple and most effective is to change to a vegan diet. Though of course this will not have an immediate effect therefore other actions must be taken to secure an out right ban now!

Petitions to end live export

There are many petitions on-line, here is a small selection

From  Animals Australia’s website Ban Live Export be sure to click the Take Action section and sign the following petition:

PETITION to end live export cruelty
http://www.animalsaustralia.org/take_action/petitions/ban-live-export/

Anyone from any county may sign – please share widely

A petition from Azaaz

Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (South Africa): BAN Live Animal Export. Please sign and share this petition:
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Dr_Tembile_Songabe_Director_of_Veterinary_Public_Health_DAFF_BAN_live_animal_export/?wQDIPhb

Help End the Hideously Cruel Live Export Industry by  sending a message to Australian High Commissioner asking him to put an end to this horrific practice today.
http://action.peta.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=5&ea.campaign.id=4690

Help the RSPCA Australia’s campaign to end live export and send an e-mail to australia’s government officials:
https://www.rspca.org.au/live-export

Below is a list of suggested actions you can take which I have pasted from the PETA link above Live Export: ‘Shipping’s Modern Slave Trade’ . Please take as many of these actions as you can:

WHAT YOU CAN DO

By taking the following actions, you can help prevent animals from suffering on live-export ships:

  • Sheep used for their fleeces are often shipped to the Middle East for slaughter once they’re no longer profitable to the cruel wool trade. Don’t subsidise the live-export industry: never buy wool, and encourage family and friends to avoid it, too.
  • Sign PETA’s petition asking Barnaby Joyce to end the live export of animals, and urge Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to take action immediately against this cruel trade.
  • Sign up for PETA Asia-Pacific’s Activist Networkso that you can stay informed about events and protests in your area.
  • Share information about the cruelty of the live-export industry on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites.
  • Write letters to your local newspaper or call in to radio stations to inform readers and listeners about what happens to animals who are shipped overseas. Check out this letter-writing guide to get started.
  • PETA can provide leaflets that explain the cruelty of live export. Post them on community message boards, include one with every bill payment, or hold your own leafleting event or protest. E-mail us to get a stash of leaflets or for more information.

Live Export and its cruelty is not a new, in the early 1900s W.H Davis in this poems Sheep and A Child’s Pet describes the hardship of live exportation.

Sheep

When I was once in Baltimore
A man came up to me and cried,
“Come, I have eighteen hundred sheep,
And we will sail on Tuesday’s tide.

“If you will sail with me, young man,
I’ll pay you fifty shillings down;
These eighteen hundred sheep I take
From Baltimore to Glasgow town.”

He paid me fifty shillings down,
I sailed with eighteen hundred sheep;
We soon had cleared the harbour’s mouth,
We soon were in the salt sea deep.

The first night we were out at sea
Those sheep were quiet in their mind;
The second night they cried with fear —
They smelt no pastures in the wind.

They sniffed poor things for their green fields,
They cried so loud I could not sleep:
For fifty thousand shillings down
I would not sail again with sheep.

A Child’s Pet

When I sailed out of Baltimore,
With twice a thousand head of sheep,
They would not eat, they would not drink,
But bleated o’er the deep.

Inside the pens we crawled each day
To sort the living from the dead;
And when we reached the Mersey’s mouth
Had lost five hundred head.

Yet every night and day one sheep,
That had no fear of man or sea
Stuck through the bars its pleading face,
And it was stroked by me.

And to the sheep-men standing near,
‘You see,’ I said, ‘this one tame sheep?
It seems a child has lost her pet,
And cried herself to sleep.’

So every time we passed it by
Sailing to England’s slaughterhouse,
Eight ragged sheep-men — tramps and thieves —
Would stroke that sheep’s black nose.

The quotes below are from Davies autobiography

“We also had on this trip two thousand head of sheep, quartered on the hurricane deck. When we were six days out there came a heavy storm, and the starboard side was made clean, as far as pens and sheep were concerned, one wave bearing them all away. This happened at night, and on the following morning the sheep men were elated at having less work to do during the remainder of the voyage. The cattle, being protected on the main deck, and between decks, and their breath filling the air with warmth, make the cattleman’s lot far more comfortable than that of the sheep-men. The condition of the cattle can be seen without difficulty, but ten or fifteen sheep lying or standing in the front of a crowded pen, may be concealing the dead or dying that are lying in the background. For this reason it is every morning necessary to crawl through the pens, far back, in quest of the sick and the dead.”

Here is Davies’ account of the cattle pens during the voyage again from his autobiography

“I shall never forget the first night’s experience, when the cattle were brought to the ship in a train of cars. A large sloping gangway was erected to span the distance between ship and shore, and up this incline the poor beasts were unmercifully prodded with long poles, sharpened at the end, and used by the shore cattlemen. The terror-stricken animals were so new to the conditions, that they had no notion of what was expected of them, and almost overleaped one another in their anxiety to get away. What with the shout of savage triumph, and the curse of disappointment, and the slipping and falling of the over-goaded steers, I was strongly tempted to escape the scene. As the cattle were being driven aboard, we cattlemen, who had signed for their future charge, caught their ropes, which we were required to fasten to a strong stanchion board. Sometimes one would run up behind, and prevent himself from turning. On one of these occasions, I crossed the backs of others, that had been firmly secured, so as to force this animal to a proper position. The animal, whose back I was using for this purpose, began to heave and toss, and at last succeeding in throwing me across the back of the other, this one tossing and rearing until I was in danger of my life, only the pressure of the other beasts preventing him from crushing my limbs. Taking possession of his rope, I held it to a cattleman, who was standing waiting and ready in the alley, and he quickly fastened this refractory animal to the crossboards.”

“Up till the fourth night we had experienced no bad weather, and the cattle had been quiet and requiring little care. On this particular night my attention had been drawn several times to a big black steer, which, time after time, had persisted in lying down. At last, in pity for the poor beast, I let him rest, thinking to get him into a standing position at the last moment, when I went off duty, after calling the foreman and his men. But when that last moment came I failed in all my efforts to raise this animal, whose joints, I suppose, had become stiff after a prolonged rest. I was not therefore greatly surprised when the foreman came, after I had gone off duty, to the forecastle, with the complaint of having found a number of cattle lying down, and one, he said, in particular, which must have been lying down half of the night. ‘When I left the cattle,’ I said, ‘nothing seemed to be wrong.’ ‘Come up and see this one,’ he answered. I followed him on deck, and there I saw several cattlemen standing in front of a pen, in which I recognised the big black steer. He was now lying full length in the pen, the others having had to be removed for his convenience. ‘See this,’ said the foreman, ‘this creature should be standing. Twist his tail,’ he continued, to a cattleman, who at once obeyed. During this operation another cattleman fiercely prodded the poor creature’s side with a pitchfork, which must have gone an inch into the body. At the same time another beat the animal about the head with a wooden stake, dangerously near the eyes. The animal groaned, and its great body heaved, but it made no attempt to move its legs. ‘Wait,’ said the foreman then, ‘we will see what this will do.’ He then took out of his mouth a large chew of tobacco, and deliberately placed it on one of the animal’s eyes. My heart sickened within me, on seeing this, and I knew that I would have to be less gentle with these poor creatures to save them the worst of cruelty. In a second or two the poor beast, maddened by pain, made frantic efforts to rise, tried again and again, and after seeing its great sides panting, and hearing a number of pitiful groans, it succeeded in the attempt.”

“It was our duty to keep the cattle standing, and not to allow them to rest too long on their knees; and not [to] let them, on any account, stretch full length in the pens. One reason for this was that a kneeling steer would be overstepped by his nearest neighbour, and if the latter happened to rise, their ropes, which were so fastened as to give them very little freedom, would be tightened and crossed, bringing their heads together in such close proximity that they would make frantic efforts to escape each other’s presence. And another reason for not allowing them to lie down for any length of time was that their joints would become so stiff as to make them almost incapable of rising, though goaded by the most heartless cruelty. I used the most humane methods to attain this end, and sought to inspire terror in them by the use of a most ferocious war-cry, which often succeeded. If that failed to raise them, I struck them with a flat stick on the haunches, which they could scarcely feel, at the same time not forgetting to use my voice. Not succeeding in this, I resorted to the old remedy, which rarely fails, standing at their backs and twisting their tails. A bullock can kick in any direction. There is terrible power in his side kick, also his front kick, throwing his hind leg forward with a speed that is remarkable for such an unwieldly animal. But his back kick, when you stand back to back with him, has not the least power to cause hurt. The other watchman and myself had about an equal number of cattle under our charge, and when I was in difficulty he kindly came to my assistance, and I did likewise for him, although he seldom seemed to need other help than his own. We made our rounds about every half hour. Sometimes I found a steer in the alley; by some means or other he had cleared the head board and, still being a prisoner, stood-fastened outside the pen instead of inside. Another time we would find one standing with his tail to the head-board, instead of his head, owing to the rope getting loose, or being broken; after which he had turned himself around to see if there was any way of escape behind him. It required great care, in cases of this kind, to place them again in their original positions.”

The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp
https://archive.org/stream/autobiographyofs00davi/autobiographyofs00davi_djvu.txt

About HW Davis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._H._Davies

The situation is more dire nowadays and the cruelty and abuse more extreme and extensive.There are most likely few people such as Davis who made some attempt to avoid cruelty when possible. I cannot understand the mindset of any person who participates in such abuse of another living being.

The barbarous cruelty of the live export trade needs to end now consigned to history where it belongs.

Related Links

Live Animal Export Australia’s Shame
http://www.liveexportshame.com/about.htm

RSPCA fears for Australian ponies, horses and donkeys facing live export for slaughter

Australia’s ponies, horses and donkeys are next on the Australian Government’s live export hit list, facing a perilous journey before being slaughtered overseas for their skin and meat.
https://www.rspca.org.au/media-centre/news/2017/rspca-fears-australian-ponies-horses-and-donkeys-facing-live-export-slaughter

Cadbury’s Dairy Farms: The Cruelty Behind Every Bar of Chocolate

The human body has no more need for cows’ milk than it does for dogs’ milk, horses’ milk, or giraffes’ milk.
Michael Klaper

Cadbury’s want you to adopt a cow!

The cruelty behind your Cadbury’s Dairy Milk

A CALF AND A HALF (VIVA!’S CADBURY FARMS INVESTIGATION)
https://www.viva.org.uk/why-you-dont-need-dairy-animal-welfare/calf-and-half-cadbury-investigation

White Lies
https://www.whitelies.org.uk/

Cadbury’s ludicrous promotion comes with a bizarre offer for families to adopt one of 20 cows and enter a draw to win a family farmyard weekend away to meet the animal. I say bizarre because the reality of the situation is nothing like the one they would like to have you believe.

The idea aimed at families is to submit an on-line a code number from packets of selected Cadbury’s chocolate and choosing the cow they would like to adopt “based on photos and qualities” provided on the site.

In the lead-up to the prize draw in late September, Cadbury will be interacting with families by providing families with “small moments of joy” through regular news and updates from the herd.

Cadbury brand manager David McDermott says: “This latest campaign will remind consumers that the great taste of Cadbury Dairy Milk is created using fresh ingredients from British and Irish farms while creating moments of joy over the summer with a moo­nique and engaging family campaign.”

McDermott adds: “For many people, Cadbury Dairy Milk was their first taste of chocolate thanks to the iconic glass and a half credentials but in research, we uncovered that one in five children do not know that milk comes from cows!”

They also do not know the terrible conditions of cows in factory farms where in reality Cabury’s milk is produced. The milk from the much promoted “Glass and half” does not come from cows grazing in some peaceful idyl in fields of buttercups, with the sun warming their backs and their calves by their sides, in most cases nothing could be further from the truth.

Here is the grim reality behind your, glass and a half milk.

Two or three times every day, dairy cows are hooked up to milk machines. They are commonly pushed to produce ten times more milk than is natural.”

Like other factory farmed animals the lot of a cow is a life filled with suffering and exploitation in dreadful conditions.

The dairy cow is kept constantly pregnant in a continuous and exhausting cycle of misery. Within two to three months of giving birth cows are impregnated again, mostly by artificial insemination. As lactation lasts around 10 months the cow is simultaneously pregnant and lactating for 6 to 8 months during each calving cycle. Cows have a 6 to 8 week period between lactation ceasing and their next calving.

In order to provide you with milk,  a food that we like every other mammal no longer needs after weaning, she is milked two or three times each day and often much more frequently. After giving birth her calf is taken away within twenty-four hours after the calf has taken the colostrum, which in all animals protects the young one from disease. However the calf is removed before he or she can have any of the milk which must all be kept for humans, a calf never has any of his or her mother’s milk. Cows are good mothers, they are severely traumatised when their calves are taken away from them, they can bellow for days. In his book, The Pig Who Sang to the Moon Jeffrey Mason tells of an account given him by an RSPCA officer concerning one particular cow, who was considerably distraught for a period of six weeks by the loss of her calf. When the calf was removed she was beside herself with grief, gazing into the empty pen bellowing for hour after hour, only moving when forced to do so. Even after six weeks she would stare into the pen, it was as though her spirit was broken as she gazed into the pen in the forlorn hope that she would find her calf there.

Because of man’s interference a cow will produce as much as 7,000 litres of milk each year, an enormous amount far in access of that required by her calf, and three times the amount produced a century ago. This drastic increase is the result of injecting the cow with growth hormones to produce more milk. An outrageous and inhumane abuse of another living being; treating a cow as though she is nothing more than a milk producing machine, spouting milk rather like a spring spouts water.

The atrocities of course do not stop there. What happens to her calf? If he is male he is considered an unwanted by product of the dairy industry and unless he is required for breeding he is shot after barely a week of life. Here is an eye witness account of what happens in an intensive factory farm:

‘When I got to the farm, I could see that a cow had just calved. The young calf was just a few hours old and was suckling. I stood watching and smiling. There is no more beautiful sight. The farmer came over and – I thought – tousled the calf’s ear. But there was a gun in his other hand and he put it to the calf’s head. When the shot fired, the mother jumped and ran. The calf went down kicking but he didn’t die outright. He was dragged away, still kicking as the milk spilled from his mouth.’ :
https://www.animalaid.org.uk/secret-filming-reveals-rise-collapse-battery-cow/

Cows are selectively bred, genetically manipulated, and fed with concentrated feeds and hormones, as a result they produce ten times more milk than their calf would have needed to suckle. The dire consequences of over milking result in the painful, distressing and potentially fatal condition of mastitis, an infection of the udder, the antibiotics forced up her udders do little to control the disease: antibiotics to treat mastitis are painfully injected up the teat canal. As a precaution many farmers inject their entire herd. And keep in mind such treatments are not to ease the cow’s suffering but rather to improve the cow’s continued viability as a milk producing machine. Her udders as a consequence of man’s interventions are oversized, as many as two thirds of cows become lame from foot and leg disorders that result from difficulties walking due to the huge size of her udders. Often she can barely walk, so heavy and cumbersome are her udders. The dairy cow is forced in the way described above to produce ten litres of milk per day, normally a cow’s udder will hold only 2 litres. The overload of milk causes the udder to become so heavy that it drags on the ground.

Furthermore she becomes exhausted and her muscles waste away as a result of the enormous expenditure of energy required to produce these unnatural amounts of milk. After three years of such misery cows are utterly spent, exhausted and many die well short of their life expectancy of 21 years or more. There is a case of a cow in Ireland living until she was 39, so who knows cows may live longer in the wild than we realise.  Those who somehow cope with the exhaustion, survive mastitis and other diseases are in any case slaughtered for their meat after giving birth to as many as eight calves, after between four to seven years of exploitation. Moreover as many as 25 percent of dairy cows are actually pregnant when they are killed.

Yes you will see cows in fields of course but most are in milking sheds, like you see in the Animal Aid video above, dark dank places with concrete floors – a major cause of lameness – tethered in a narrow stall unable to graze or follow their natural inclinations. Rather like battery hens many cows are kept in such conditions all year round, only a very few are put out to pasture. Grass and other feed consisting of high protein diet to increase milk yield is brought to them. This is called zero grazing and takes the cruelty of dairy farming to another level; grazing is a strong natural instinct as is the rearing of their young. In even more severe and inhumane scenarios cows are intensively milked day and night by computer automated machines, the old fashion farm where a cow is milked twice a day, twelve hours apart is becoming a thing of the past.

Any modicum of freedom is denied them, instead of standing in grass, in the warmth of the sun and the cool of the breeze they now stand on concrete floors in their own excrement, there is no mental stimulation, they suffer lameness and the misery of mastitis. Such intensive farming results in high levels of stress, disease and psychological damage.

Help to bring an end to this cruelty, please do not enter this promotion, eat chocolate or other dairy products

Cows are amongst the gentlest of breathing creatures
none show more passionate tenderness to their young when deprived of them and, in short, I am not ashamed to profess a deep love for these quiet creatures

Thomas de Quincey

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