Day: July 1, 2019

Canada: “What happens in the barn, stays in the barn” – That Is, Until Activists Get To The Pig Farm !

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With thanks to Stacey for keeping us informed about activities in Canada and the USA.


Source Sentient Media
By Matthew Zampa

A sign posted inside the farm read, “What happens in the barn, stays in the barn,” an explicit reminder of the industry’s aversion to transparency.

At 6 a.m. on Sunday, April 28, a group of 50 Meat the Victims animal rights activists entered Excelsior Hog Farm, owned and operated by a board member of the British Columbia Pork Producers Association in Canada. Once activists were inside, Meat the Victims organizers reported that the facility promptly went on lockdown. The activists didn’t budge. They stayed to bear witness, pleading with farmers to help the distressed animals, many of which were found pregnant and dehydrated.

Meat the Victims protests are part of the animal rights movement’s effort to create more transparency and accountability in the animal agriculture industry, not just in Canada, but the United States, Australia, Britain, and anywhere there are farm animals suffering. Check out footage of the unprecedented demonstration at Excelsior Hog Farm here.

Nearly 200 animal rights activists gathered outside of an industry-leading pig farm in an industry-leading country: to bring awareness to the crimes of animal agriculture. On the back of the shirts worn by the demonstrators, Meat the Victims adorned this simple truth, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”


In a sweeping act of defiance, activists can be seen sprinting past the “No Trespassing” signs and attempting to gain access to the pig farm. In doing so, they put themselves at certain risk of facing criminal trespassing and breaking and entering charges. “That’s okay,” said Amy Soranno, a spokesperson for the group of activists who made it inside the facility. “We’re challenging the law. That’s what we came here to do.”

Soranno was later taken into custody. The rest of the activists walked peacefully off the property, many with tears streaming down their faces, holding peace signs and white flowers in their hands.

Excelsior Hog Farm is located in Abbotsford, British Columbia, a community that earns a higher dollar per acre of agricultural land than any other city in Canada. More than 1,000 pigs are currently being held at the facility.



The following excerpt is from a statement released by Meat the Victims activists (May 4, 2019):

“Once we arrived at the farm and began filing out of buses, we could hear dogs barking and sirens blazing in the distance,” stated a Meat The Victims participant. The group jogged down a long path, heading for the back of the farm, stating what they saw when they arrived was just the beginning of a “horrific nightmare.” “The first thing we saw was dumpsters full of dead rotting pig carcasses, my heart was racing, and hands were shaking, I didn’t have any fear of being caught, but was so terrified of what we were about to witness inside.” Due to the secrecy of animal agriculture, many people have never seen inside an industrial animal farm. The group’s goal was to bring the truth to light.

Soon after the group arrived, around 140 activists formed a protest outside of the facility, and 65 activists (fully dressed in biosecurity suits, masks, and booties) attempted to go inside. Of the 65 activists, 50 successfully gained access into the farm. “As I stepped inside, at first all I saw was darkness, but as my eyes adjusted, I began to see hundreds of eyes curiously looking at me, my stomach sunk.”

The activists inside occupied a room full of gestation crates. “Gestation crates are used to immobilize pregnant pigs for weeks on end,” stated an activist, continuing “we occupied an entire row of crates and documented the animals’ heartbreaking existence. The air was nauseating, the concrete slatted floors were cold and filthy, many of the pigs could barely fit into the crates–with their legs, tails, and noses hanging out, pushed against the metal bars. All of these pigs had various cuts and sores, and were conducting unnatural repetitive behaviors, showing signs of insanity.” At least one pig appeared to be lying in a pool of her own blood, with a severely bruised face, and the group witnessed a pig having a miscarriage. “The hundreds of pregnant mothers had a variety of different markings spray painted on their bodies, one row of females in particular really struck me–the pigs were all facing the concrete wall, unable to turn around,” stated an activist.

“This just goes to show that there is no right way to do the wrong thing. This farm is as good as it gets.”

The activists refused to leave the facility until the owner of the farm agreed to allow accredited media inside, to which the farm eventually agreed. Based on information passed between the outside and inside groups, the media tour was delayed by three hours while the farm cleaned-up specific areas and decided who would be allowed in. Eventually, five out of the 11 news outlets were approved. The investigative outlet The Intercept and CTV News were of the group who were removed from the tour. We had full bio suits available for anyone entering the barn, but the farmers were not concerned about this. Therefore media, farmers, police, and even the vet went in without any protection.

Throughout this delay, activists begged the farm to help the most distressed animals. “In exchange for immediate veterinary care, we agreed to leave the gestation room, but the vets who arrived only took a brief look at any animals,” stated an activist who was inside. The activists also pleaded with the farmers to give the pigs water, of which their trough was empty upon the activist’s arrival. “These pregnant pigs were so dehydrated, desperately nudging their trough and frothing at the mouth.” The farmers eventually agreed to give the pigs water.

The media tour went roughly as the Pork Producers Association wanted it to go, but nothing could hide the cruel reality of animal agriculture. Excelsior hog farm is owned and operated by a board member of the BC Pork Producers Association, and Excelsior is considered an industry leader. “This just goes to show that there is no right way to do the wrong thing,” stated an activist. “This farm is as good as it gets.”

A sign posted inside read, “What happens in the barn, stays in the barn,” an explicit reminder of the industry’s aversion to transparency.

Since the negotiations had been met, the group of activists inside agreed to leave. The police informed them that they were all under arrest for trespassing and breaking and entering and that they could possibly be charged eventually, but would otherwise be free to go.

“We celebrated our accomplishments,” stated one of the activists. “But none of us will forget those we left behind.”

Read Sentient Media’s breaking news coverage from Excelsior Hog Farm.


A different friendship and love


Animal have friends, just like us..

So what are their favorite ways to pass the time together? Walking side-by-side through their tiny, 25-person town of Strout, Minnesota, and sitting alongside the highway in their favorite patch of grass.
“…they eat together, they drink together, they go for walks together down the road,”  “Everything is together.”

And I would say… that’s a form of love
threatened with extinction among humans!

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Best regards, Venus

Japan: 5 Whaling Vessels Have Now Set Off For A Hunt.


We first covered the issue of the Japanese return to whaling a few days ago – see our post:


Well now the whaling fleet has set sail:


Japanese whalers set sail for commercial hunting


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Five Japanese whaling vessels have set sail for the country’s first commercial hunt in decades, in defiance of international criticism.

The whaling ships have a permit to catch 227 minke, Bryde’s and sei whales this year in Japanese waters.

Japan’s last commercial hunt was in 1986 but it has continued whaling for what it says was research purposes.

It has now withdrawn from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) so is no longer subject to its rules.

IWC members had agreed to an effective ban on whale hunting, but Japan has long argued it is possible to hunt whales in a sustainable way.


Enthusiasm among whalers

The fisheries ministry has set a kill cap for the season of 52 minke, 150 Bryde’s and 25 sei whales.

“The resumption of commercial whaling has been an ardent wish for whalers across the country,” the head of the agency, Shigeto Hase, said at a departure ceremony in northern Kushiro for the small fleet.

He said the resumption of whaling would ensure “the culture and way of life will be passed on to the next generation.”

“My heart is overflowing with happiness, and I’m deeply moved,” Yoshifumi Kai, head of the Japan Small-Type Whaling Association, said. “People have hunted whales for more than 400 years in my home town.”

“I’m a bit nervous but happy that we can start whaling,” one whaler told news agency AFP before setting sail.

“I don’t think young people know how to cook and eat whale meat any more. I want more people try to taste it at least once.”

Criticism by conservationists

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, minke and Bryde’s whale are not endangered. Sei whale are classified as endangered but their numbers are increasing.

Conservationist groups like Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd remain critical of Japan’s resumption of whaling but say there are no concrete plans for action against the country.

Japan “is out of step with the international community”, Sam Annesley, executive director at Greenpeace Japan, said in a statement when Tokyo announced its whaling plans last year.

Like other whaling nations, Japan argues hunting and eating whales are part of its culture.

A number of coastal communities in Japan have hunted whales for centuries but consumption only became widespread after World War Two when other food was scarce.

Didn’t Japan kill whales all along?

Whales were brought to the brink of extinction by hunting in the 19th and early 20th Century. In 1986, all IWC members agreed to a hunting moratorium to allow whale numbers to recover.

Whaling countries – like Japan, Norway and Iceland – assumed the moratorium would be temporary until everyone could agree on sustainable quotas. Instead it became a quasi-permanent ban.

Since 1987, Japan has killed between 200 and 1,200 whales each year under an exemption to the ban allowing scientific research.

Critics say this was just a cover so Japan could hunt whales for food, as the meat from the whales killed for research usually did end up for sale.

In 2018 Japan tried one last time to convince the IWC to allow whaling under sustainable quotas, but failed. So it left the body, effective July 2019.

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