Day: January 2, 2019

England: Yes, Lets Go – A Circus with Elephants, but NO Real Animals !


“The kids are full of delight when ‘Peanut’ the baby elephant arrives; full of mischief !”

A Circus with Elephants, but NO Real Animals !


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Real animals have been replaced by puppets in Circus 1903, a musical that sets to recapture the golden age of circus.

These extraordinary puppets were created by the talented team behind the play War Horse.

Puppet creator Mervin Millar explains in this video that the size of the performer is the first factor taken into consideration when creating the elephants. From there on out, all the designs come from the puppeteer. Although puppeteering is difficult work, the primary goal of the creators is to make something as easy to handle as possible.

Luke Chadwick-Jones, a puppeteer in the musical, describes just how hard the work is: “It’s a lot of pressure on the back, I’m in constant plank position. And the weight kind of sits just above the head, so it puts a lot of pressure on the lower back.”

All the hard work is worth it, however. When Peanut the baby elephant (played by Chadwick-Jones) appears, the kids in the audience are thrilled by his playful antics.

With its use of puppets instead of real elephants, Circus 1903 demonstrates one major lesson, above all: it is, indeed, possible for a circus to forego cruelty without sacrificing the quality of its entertainment!

Denmark: Dairy farmers refuse £6,000 to allow filming of milk production in Denmark.



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Dairy farmers refuse £6,000 to allow filming of milk production in Denmark

Dairy farmers in Denmark have refused an offer of nearly £6,000 to let animal-rights campaigners film the production of milk, butter and cheese.

The country’s farmers, who supply dairy products for the firm behind British brands Anchor and Lurpak, have not accepted the cash incentive to let cameras in to record how cows and calves are treated every day.

Animal-rights group Anima claims filming would reveal practices common in the UK and Denmark, such as how the young are taken away from their mothers within hours of being born, causing distress to both.

Milk 1

A video would also record how male calves are shot dead – with a bolt in the head – when they are around a day old because they are not used in dairy production, according to the activists, who say this is standard practice.

A new YouGov poll showed that less than half of the Danish public knew that cows must give birth to produce milk, and only about a third knew that calves are removed just a few hours after birth.

It’s believed about nine in 10 Danish farmers work for Arla Foods, one of the UK’s biggest dairy firms which owns the Lurpak and Anchor brands.

Anima, which is calling on Arla to be open about how milk is produced, initially asked the company to allow filming.

“We asked Arla to show us what the process of separation calf from mother was like and let us film, including when many of the calves are shot at birth. They refused, saying they couldn’t show us because they’re not the farmers,” said Kirsty Henderson, of Anima.

So the group took out full-page adverts in 11 national newspapers offering 50,000 Danish Kroner (£5,900) to any farmer who allows filming. A hotline was also set up for farmers.

Ms Henderson said about 10 so far had expressed interest but none had agreed. She said there was a report that Arla had asked farmers not to accept. 

“The fact that they are so unwilling to show the public what is going on sends a big message in my view,” she said. “Consumers have the right to know how their milk and butter are produced, and it is clear that when they are given the full story, the public don’t think such cruelty is acceptable.”

WAV Comment – Farmers refusing money ! – maybe this lack of unwillingness really shows that they don’t want to show the public what really happens on dairy farms.


Further reading:


The following videos ARE NOT related to the above article; but they do show the suffering of animals associated with dairy production:

Europe: Middle Ages – Rats were not to blame for the spread of plague during the Black Death.

“no copyright infringement is intended”


Rats were not to blame for the spread of plague during the Black Death, according to a study.

The rodents and their fleas were thought to have spread a series of outbreaks in 14th-19th Century Europe.

But a team from the universities of Oslo and Ferrara now says the first, the Black Death, can be “largely ascribed to human fleas and body lice”.

The study, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, uses records of its pattern and scale.

The Black Death claimed an estimated 25 million lives, more than a third of Europe’s population, between 1347 and 1351.

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More reading


Fish: the sentient beings


tote Fische

Was that fish feeling pain? Fear? If a sociopath is someone who disregards the pain of others, and if someone who ignores evidence is in denial, what does that make me?

Fish have honed their skills for hundreds of millions of years; humans are just making their acquaintance. Research has shown that various fish show long-term memory, social bonding, parenting, learned traditions, tool use, and even inter-species cooperation. Compared to those, pain and fear are primitive and basic.

Although aquatic farms in a handful of countries, including the UK and Norway, must follow humane slaughter guidelines, there are no standards for considering the tens of thousands of wild fish caught every second.


Fish were ancestors to all other vertebrates; their brains were the template for our own brains’ evolution. Lynne Sneddon, director of bioveterinary science at Liverpool University, was the first scientist to discover that fish possess nerves known to convey pain. In 2002, she identified in fish the same nerve types that, in humans, detect painful stimuli. We call such nerves “pain receptors”. Sneddon showed that pinching and pricking fish activates these nerve fibres. “My research has shown that fish have a strikingly similar neuronal system to mammals,” she told me, adding that until 2002, “it was generally believed fish did not have feelings”. Nerves are not proof that fish experience pain – but Sneddon showed that fish have the necessary hardware.

The software to match this comes in the form of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Mammals and fish share many identical neurotransmitters including dopamine and serotonin. In humans these are involved in pain, hunger, thirst and fear, and include opiate-like chemicals that reduce pain.

Fish anatomy, neurochemistry and behaviour all indicate that fish experience sensations including wellbeing and pain. And fear.

“How can you not feel?”, outraged the famous oceanographer Sylvia Earle!! “Fish have had a few hundred million years to figure things out. We’re newcomers. I find it astonishing that many people seem shocked at the idea that fish feel. The way I see it, some people have wondrous fish-like characteristics – they can think and feel!”

Ein Fisch hängt an einem Haken

When we ask if they can feel what a human feels, we imply that that is the best a fish might aspire to. But as Earle said, fish “have senses we humans can only dream about. Try to imagine having taste buds all along your body. Or the ability to sense the electricity of a hiding fish. Or eyes of a deep sea shark.” Many fish see four major colours; humans only see three. Some see polarised light, some see ultraviolet. Some, such as flounders, move their eyes independently, processing two image fields”!


Nerves, brain structure, brain chemistry and behaviour – all evidence indicates that, to varying degrees, fish can feel pain, fear and psychological stress. Must we insist on denying them even that paltry acknowledgment? If we do insist, let us be honest about why: it is too painful to contemplate!

My comment: Do we want to persuade ourselves that fish do not feel pain, so that we can bring them to the plate with a clear conscience? Is our food the only criterion for deciding on the death of others? Is this the kind of people we want to be?

Think about it

My best regards, Venus