Day: July 26, 2021

Crocs goes vegan- the vegan industry is growing

The shoe brand Crocs has announced that it will be completely vegan by the end of 2021! 👏
We are happy about this animal-friendly decision. ❤
Do you also stand up for people, animals and the environment and choose vegan shoes in the future. 🙌

PETA Germany

And I mean…“Nowhere is the lack of sustainability in the shoe industry more evident than in leather production”.

This quote is from the book “Foot Work. What your shoes are doing to the world ” by Tansy E. Hoskins.

According to Hoskins, around 24.2 billion shoes – especially sneakers – are produced each year, the majority of which are made of leather.

One cannot imagine how many animals have their faces marked with a branding iron and the throats cut with a knife in the slaughterhouse.
In her book, Hoskins describes how many cattle are simply sold to the highest bidding slaughterhouse – no matter how far away it is.
We recommend this book.

For the production of leather, animals are transported from Brazil to Turkey, Iran or Lebanon and killed there – including animals from Germany and Austria. During transport, they stand in their own feces and urine for weeks without adequate food and water.
Weakened animals that can no longer stand or walk are forcibly dragged from transporters and, when unloading ships, are even lifted from board with cranes hanging on one leg.

The hides that are processed in the shoe and bag industry today come to a large extent from cattle, but not only. The hides of sheep, horses, goats, pigs and even cats and dogs (from China) are also used.

According to research by the animal welfare organization PETA, the growing leather industry in India is perhaps one of the cruellest in the world.
Here the spectrum ranges from beatings, chillies in the eyes to slaughter with full consciousness amidst dead animals.

Europe is one of the main importers of cheap Indian leather. Even the shoe made in Italy is very likely made from a non-European animal skin.

We are pleased with the decision of the shoe label Crocs, and we hope that many other companies will soon make the same decision.

Anyone who buys leather should be aware that they are supporting this unethical cycle.
Every purchase of leather goods promotes criminal factory farming and the meat industry. And since factory farming is one of the biggest causes of global warming, every leather shoe makes its contribution to climate change.

Animal-free leather alternatives based on apples, cork or polyurethane (PU) are a thorn in the side of the leather industry.
They are now an increasingly popular alternative to animal skins.
Vegan leather is significantly more ecological and, above all, is produced without animal suffering.

vegan eco-shoes NOAH

With the large and varied selection of vegan shoe and bag products that already exist on the market, the topic of previous leather shoe procurement has been shelved.

My best regards to all, Venus

EU: stop subsidizing bullfighting

As more and more people realize how cruel bullfights are, the interest in the sadistic events decreases and with it the income.
But the bullfighting industry is kept alive, among other things, by EU subsidies.

The EU continues to promote the breeding of “fighting bulls” – and with it the suffering and death of countless animals.

Millions of euros from Germany for the bullfighting industry

Agricultural businesses in Spain that breed “fighting bulls” receive around 130 million euros in agricultural subsidies for their land from the European Union.
These subsidies contain around 31 million euros in tax money from Germany, as it contributes 24 percent of the EU budget.

This means that German taxpayers – whether intentionally or unintentionally – help finance the cruel bullfights in Spain.
Austria also supports the horrendous subsidies.

Bullfights are against the European Convention

The European Convention for the Protection of Animals in Agriculture stipulates that animals must not be exposed to unnecessary or prolonged pain.
However, the breeding of “fighting bulls” means that the animals are slowly tortured to death with great pain and suffering.

In bullfights, the bulls are beaten to exhaustion with lances and wooden sticks with barbs.
In their agony, they are incited again and again and chased through the arena.

The supposedly redeeming stab in the back does not kill the animals immediately. Conscious, paralyzed in pain, they are dragged out of the arena by their horns with chains.

They are then hung upside down and their necks cut open so that they slowly bleed out.
Many thousands of bulls are tortured to death in arenas in Spain every year.

PETA hands over petition to MEPs

In October 2015 we from PETA Germany handed over a petition with over 11,000 signatures to the German and Austrian MEPs for an end to EU subsidies for the bullfighting industry.
At the end of October 2015, the EU Parliament voted on whether Spanish fighting bull breeders would continue to receive agricultural subsidies from the EU.

Unfortunately, the amendment intended to abolish subsidies for the bullfighting industry was rejected in November 2015.

Continue reading “EU: stop subsidizing bullfighting”

USA: Tyson Takes Animal Welfare To The Next Level With Its ‘Five Domains’ Platform.

WAV Comment – Sounds better than it has been, but we want more than words; like actions ! – we will be watching and reporting any issues that do not take animal welfare to ‘the next level’. Do things right – stay out of the news; do them wrong, make headlines for all the wrong reasons – simple really.

Tyson takes animal welfare to next level with its ‘Five Domains’ platform

SPRINGDALE, ARK. – After making the decision to take the next step in its animal welfare approach from the industrywide adoption of the “Five Freedoms” framework, Tyson Foods Inc.’s Office of Animal Welfare team is leading the company’s global transition to adopting the “Five Domains” science model, which focuses on assessing the mental state of animals to determine their needs and improve animal welfare practices.      

By implementing the Five Freedoms across the company’s global operations officials from Tyson’s Office of Animal Welfare said the company can realize its vision to lead the industry in animal welfare by combining compassion with science.   

“Part of being a leader means being open to creative thinking, innovation, and evolving knowledge and practices,” Tyson said.

While the Five Freedoms focused on avoiding the negative aspects of animal care, the Five Domains focus on how nutrition, physical environment, health and behavioral opportunities ultimately play a role in the mental state of animals.

“For decades, the Five Freedoms have provided an essential foundation for conceptualizing animals’ welfare needs,” said Candace Croney, PhD, professor of animal behavior and well-being and director of The Center for Animal Welfare Science at Purdue University. “As animal welfare science has advanced, however, the importance of promoting positive (physical, behavioral, and mental) states of welfare in addition to minimizing negative states is increasingly recognized. Incorporation of the Five Domains reflects the leadership mindset needed to facilitate thought processes, actions, and outcome measurements aligned with achieving these goals.”

According to Tyson, research-based learning and the evolution of ideas is part of continuous improvement, and the Five Domain program facilitates a better understanding of assessing how a range of factors effect animals’ mental state and how they influence anima welfare outcomes.

“Incorporating the Five Domains into our daily conversations and actions is essential for Tyson Foods to drive continuous improvement in our welfare program and culture throughout our global operations,” said Ken Opengart, DVM, vice president of global animal welfare at Tyson Foods.

The Five Domains spotlight positive opportunities versus the emphasis on the negative experiences of animals that have been the hallmark of the Five Freedoms for the past 25 years. The new approach focuses on the components effecting the mental welfare of the animal to assess its overall welfare and apply the knowledge-based science to each species’ behavior, biology and ecology.      

“Tyson’s adoption of the Five Domains represents an admirable commitment to embrace animal welfare improvements in a scientifically sound, evidence-based way,” said Dorothy McKeegan, PhD, senior lecturer in animal welfare and ethics at the University of Glasgow. “The Five Domains model represents the forefront of current efforts to conceptualize and assess animal welfare.”

For more information on Tyson Foods’ animal welfare and sustainability practices, please visit tysonsustainability.com.

Tyson takes animal welfare to next level with its ‘Five Domains’ platform | MEAT+POULTRY

Regards Mark

Spain: ‘They had a date to kill the cow. So I stole her’: how vegan activists are saving Spain’s farm animals.

Olivia Gómez de Zamora tries to tempt Pedro the bull at the Gaia animal sanctuary in Spain
Pedro the bull with Olivia Gómez de Zamora. Photograph: Ana Palacios

‘They had a date to kill the cow. So I stole her’: how vegan activists are saving Spain’s farm animals

Spain may be famous for its love of meat – but sanctuaries across the country are coming to the rescue of its doomed cows, bulls, pigs, sheep and geese

In the north-east Spanish region of Catalonia, an enormous bull called Pedro is poking his head over a barn door to look at some sheep. He’ll stay there for two hours if the sanctuary volunteers let him; he’ll have to be tempted away with treats so that the sheep can be let out to graze. Pedro knows the routine; he’s been here since he was a calf, when he was bottle-fed by volunteers. He lives a charmed life – he is fed, he roams, he watches sheep, he sleeps; and when he dies, it will be of natural causes.

“He’s enormous!” I say to Olivia Gómez de Zamora, a veterinary assistant from Madrid who spends a lot of time coaxing Pedro from the barn.

Gómez de Zamora tells me this type of cattle is bred for its milk. “The adult males are slaughtered for meat,” she says. “So we never see them.”

Fundación Santuario Gaia, where Pedro lives, and El Hogar are two of about 20 animal sanctuaries in Spain where vegan activists dedicate themselves to rescuing animals, creating a place where they can live without being put to work or slaughtered. The employees and volunteers spend a huge amount of time in each other’s company. Some might call it intense: they live and work together, cook and eat together, and there are leisure activities such as movie nights and debates. The sanctuaries are connected via WhatsApp, where they share veterinary information and coordinate animal rescues.

We’re used to seeing dogs and cats saved from abuse or neglect, but at Gaia and El Hogar – around two hours’ drive apart on either side of Barcelona – most of the animals are pigs, cows, goats and chickens. Gaia co-founder Coque Fernández Abella, 43, an animal rights activist and vet, says: “We wanted it to be for so-called farm animals because they are the most forgotten. No one takes care of them because they’re seen as products.

“Growing up,” he adds, “it was typical to kill pigs to eat at home. Since I was small I had to help with it – it was horrible, because of the screams, but you had to do it. I remember when we rescued our first pig, the memories of the killings came back to me. After everything bad I’ve done in the past, it’s right that I should help animals now.”

The sanctuaries are havens for animals that, rather than being killed for meat or shackled for dairy production, live happily and freely. They are fed and exercised, given medicine if they’re sick, rehabilitated if they’re injured and – the main privilege denied to most farm animals – allowed to live long lives.

Veganism and such care for animals may seem surprising in Spain. Matador directly translates as “killer”. Surely animal-rescuing vegans are an oddity in the land of bullfighting and pata negra?

“It’s true we are very much into ham and bullfighting,” says photographer Ana Palacios, who stayed at both sanctuaries for two weeks, capturing their daily goings-on. “But in the UK, you guys hunt foxes!” While the carnivorous tradition is there, especially in the south, “it isn’t that popular among young people,” Palacios says. But veganism is increasing in popularity in many countries – even the ham capital of the world. Between 2017 and 2019, Spanish study the Green Revolution found a trend towards plant-based eating. In 2017, 0.2% of Spaniards identified as vegan; by 2019, it was 0.5%. Vegetarians account for 1.5% of Spain’s population. Animal welfare was the second most common reason cited for going vegetarian or vegan (23.8%) after health (67%).

Gaia employee Marta Sampaio, 24, says her parents were concerned when she made the decision to stop eating meat, aged 15. Now, any time she’s ill, her enthusiastically carnivorous father is convinced her diet is to blame. She travelled to Spain from Lisbon to find a place to work with animals. After training for a few months as a veterinary assistant, she Googled vegan sanctuaries in Spain, and started as a volunteer at Gaia. She found herself empathising, unexpectedly, with chickens. Her first was a chick called Angie, brought in by a girl who found her wandering alone in the road. Because chickens are bred to produce eggs every day, all year round (rather than in cycles of a week or so, two or three times a year), they’re frequently sick. Sampaio has gained a reputation as the “crazy chicken lady” for her habit of taking the sick ones home. “Angie was a baby and didn’t have any brothers or sisters, so she couldn’t be with the other chickens,” she says. “I kept her at home and she slept with me, in the crook of my shoulder.”

Gómez de Zamora left her veterinary assistant job in Madrid to work at Gaia, and stayed for two years. Now back in Madrid, she still collaborates with the sanctuary, but is filled with grief for one animal she cared for there. Her eyes well up and her voice cracks as she remembers Juana the goat, who had a mass on her spine that caused paralysis. “The time I spent with Juana was very beautiful and very painful, because we were aware of her complicated prognosis and that the moment was coming when we wouldn’t be able to do any more,” she says. “It was hard: you had to be OK for her, because her mind was still OK, even if her body wasn’t. You had to make sure she was still enjoying life, and going out in the sun in her wheelchair.”

It’s easy to imagine vegan animal sanctuaries as soft, emotional places, but there is a steely side. Animals aren’t just rescued from the sides of roads: sometimes they’re swiped from state execution. In 2017, the El Hogar sanctuary made headlines after rescuing a bullfighting cow called Margarita.

Margarita had an irresponsible owner. “When he got drunk with his friends, they would chase her on horseback,” says El Hogar founder Elena Tova. “She is still afraid of men.” The authorities discovered he hadn’t legally registered Margarita; under Spanish law, unregistered cows must be killed as without a vaccine record, there is a risk their meat could make people ill, or even cause a pandemic.

“They couldn’t be reasoned with,” says Tova, who explained again and again that she wanted to take Margarita to a vegan sanctuary to live out her natural life; they could guarantee she would never be used for meat. “They didn’t want to change the law or make exceptions. So we created a page on change.org calling for Margarita not to be killed. It got 190,000 signatures in less than a month.” She convinced the owner to let them take Margarita. “But it wasn’t enough: the vets still wanted to kill her. They made excuse after excuse and drowned us in red tape, until a judge who felt for us wrote to me to say, ‘They’re not going to give you the cow’ – they already had a date to kill her. So I went one night, under cover of darkness, and stole Margarita.”

Continued on Page 2