For many people, a visit to the circus is a welcome distraction from everyday life.
With the animals in the circus, on the other hand, it looks completely different.
They suffer from constant transport, inadequate and unsuitable husbandry conditions and from training that is based on violence and coercion.
Lifelong for your entertainment- Four Paws
Which animals are allowed in the circus?
In Germany in 2012, a total of more than 900 wild animals were kept in 141 of around 330 traveling circuses – camel-like animals are not even included here.
According to a recent EU-wide survey, Germany is the country with the most wildlife circuses, with an estimated 75 circus companies.
Nevertheless, there is so far no law in this country that fundamentally prohibits or even restricts the keeping of animals in the circus.
The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) presented a draft for a ban in autumn 2020, but it falls far short of the mark, as only the acquisition of certain species of wild animals in traveling circuses is to be banned.
Bad housing conditions and inadequate controls
In particular, a circus can never meet the demands of wild animals on their natural habitat.
Violent dressage, tiny cage wagons and constant transports characterize the life of animals in the circus.
Constant changes of location and stressful transports
Up to 50 changes of location per year and the associated transport are associated with great stress and physical strain for the animals – especially for large mammals such as elephants, rhinos or giraffes.
Animal-friendly keeping of wild animals is impossible in traveling circuses because the basic needs of these animals cannot be met.
Mendip Farmers Hunt, Ston Easton, 11th Sep 2021
Thanks to local tip offs we were able to catch the Mendip Farmers Hunt out illegally hunting foxes and terrorising wildlife.
We hot-footed it off to Ston Easton (a linear village and civil parish in the English county of Somerset) to start our day.
Our supporter funded drone again proved to be worth it’s weight in gold,we were able to safely watch and record the vile blood thirsty hunt.
The hunt move off after the vicious attack on sabs.
With the drone, we watched them unboxing near a field of solar panels then separating themselves out around a maize field, lying in wait to flush fox cubs back into the maize to the jaws of the waiting, ill fed hounds.
These are the people who pass you in the street, stand next to you in a queue in Toolstation….horrible thought isn’t it?
Our two foot sabs caught up with Huntsman Hickmott on horseback with hounds et al on Thickthorne Lane. They turned into a field adjacent to Burnt House Farm where almost instantly the hounds picked up the scent of a fox and went into cry.
Our two foot sabs quickly made their way up the field on the public footpath following the terrible, overlapping, dreadful, screaming cacophony of the hounds now in fully cry.
Our two remaining sabs quickly made their way up the farm track, desperately spraying citronella both sides of the hedgerow and rating the hounds. The hounds began to hesitate and back off of the line but the hunts’ blood thirst was too strong.
Some of the gang of thug terriermen laughing post-attack as Hickmott departs with his hounds in the background.
Huntsman, Matthew Hickmott encouraged the hounds with voice calls, brrrs and fast horn blows and the remaining hounds poured through the hedgerow, across the dusty farm track and ran into the yard. The sound of encouragement from the field riders and hunt supporters was sickening to the core.
As these two sabs rounded the corner of the barn the dreadful sight of a fox being ripped apart alive by a pack of writhing hounds faced them. The hounds were packed in a chaotic pile all over the structure where the fox had taken cover. The screaming mass of hounds trampled over each other, climbing through, over and into the structure in the yard. On their right Tim Pullen and the approaching farmer. Ahead near the hounds Kevin Stevens.
Stevens, surprised at the swift appearance of our witnesses began to shout “GET OUT! THIS IS PRIVATE PROPERTY! GET OUT!” Then from behind a farm building on the left Matthew Hickmott walked forward on his horse his eyes on the still squirming, screaming hounds.
His satisfied expression changed instantly when he saw our sabs.
How Many CO2 Emissions Does the Meat Industry Produce? (Hint: Way More Than You Think)
What we eat impacts our planet – but how destructive is the meat industry?
The effects of the climate crisis are becoming more obvious and more severe. As a result, researchers are eager to dissect the climate breakdown, not only to better understand it, but to find ways to intervene.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a leading driver of the issue. In fact, CO2 makes up the largest portion of anthropogenic (human caused) greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). IPCC is the world’s leading authority on climate science.
For decades, it’s been widely accepted that transportation is a huge part of the carbon problem, and it is. But another field’s carbon footprint is also problematic – the meat industry. But how many CO2 emissions does animal agriculture actually produce? And is it enough that we must curb our eating habits?
What is carbon dioxide?
Carbon dioxide is an acidic colorless gas that occurs naturally in the Earth’s atmosphere. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, making it integral to life on Earth.
CO2 is harmless in small amounts, but human activity causes levels of the gas to surge. Writing for Forbes, chemical engineer Robert Rapier highlighted that global carbon dioxide emissions have tripled in the last 55 years, sitting at 32.3 billion metric tons last year.
Why is carbon dioxide harmful?
CO2 is a greenhouse gas, meaning it creates a cover that traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. When concentrations are too high, the planet’s carbon cycle can’t process it efficiently enough. This causes global temperatures to increase, a phenomenon known as the greenhouse effect.
Global climate change has led to loss of sea ice, rising sea levels, and more frequent and severe heat waves and droughts, according to NASA. Climate breakdown is also linked to stronger hurricanes, flash flooding, increased wildfires, erosion in coastal areas, ocean acidification, and biodiversity loss, the government agency highlights.
“The effects of human-caused global warming are happening now, are irreversible on the timescale of people alive today, and will worsen in the decades to come,” NASA sums up.
How much carbon dioxide does meat produce?
Awareness of the transportation and fossil fuel industries’ impact on the environment has been growing for decades. But a sector that often slips under the radar is animal agriculture.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), global livestock production makes up 14.5 percent of all anthropogenic (human caused) emissions – 7.1 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent per year.
There is some debate surrounding the widely accepted FAO figure of 14.5 percent. Research published this year claims that this figure is ‘now out of date’. The article argues that the minimum estimate for animal agriculture’s emissions should be updated to 16.5 percent.
“Some will contest the importance of a few percentage points. Yet even the difference between 14.5 and 16.5 percent is the difference between animal agriculture being responsible for close to one in seven, or one in six of all emissions,” the article reads.
Which foods have the lowest carbon footprint?
In 2019, researchers published the most comprehensive analysis to date of farming’s environmental impact. Looking at emissions per 100 grams of protein, beef emits just under 50kg of CO2 equivalents, according to the analysis. Lamb and mutton emit just under 20kg, while farmed prawns and pig meat emit 18.19kg and 7.61kg respectively.
For context, grains emit 2.71kg of CO2 equivalents per 100g of protein and soybeans emit 1.98kg. And peas – a common ingredient in plant-based meat (like Beyond Burgers) – emit just 0.44kg.
Comparing emissions per kilogram of food (rather than per 100g of protein), plant-based sources are still significantly lower than animal-based ones.
Producing a kilogram of beef emits 60kg of CO2 equivalents, the researchers concluded, while pea production emits just 1kg per kilogram of food.
Lamb, poultry, and pork generate 20kg, 6kg, and 7kg of CO2 equivalents respectively. Contrastingly, root vegetables and apples both produce 0.4kg. Rice (4kg), tomatoes (1.4kg), nuts (0.3kg) and bananas (0.7kg), to name a few, also carry a smaller carbon footprint.
“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” Joseph Poore, who led the study, said in a statement. He added that the impact of ditching animal products is ‘far bigger’ than flying less or opting for an electric car.
In early March 2020, Rob Wallace, an evolutionary biologist who had been adrift after an unceremonious exit from the University of Minnesota, flew to New Orleans and then got on a bus to Jackson, Miss., where he was scheduled to speak at an event on health and racial injustice. Wallace, who turned 50 this summer, has been studying and writing about infectious diseases and their origins for half his life. For almost as long, he’s been warning that the practices of industrial agriculture would lead to a deadly pandemic on the scale of Covid-19—or worse. “A pandemic may now be all but inevitable,” he wrote of the H5N1 avian influenza virus in 2007. ”In what would be a catastrophic failure on the part of governments and health ministries worldwide, millions may die.”
Before his trip to Jackson, Wallace had been closely monitoring the outbreak of a novel virus in Wuhan. Though he’d been spooked by a news report that showed a delivery driver in China practicing extreme social distancing, he went ahead with the trip. As an underpaid academic, he needed the money, and as an American, he didn’t expect anything to happen to him. “I too had been infused with a peculiarly American moment, wherein financial desperation meets imperial exceptionalism,” he wrote.
When Wallace returned from his trip, he threw himself back into writing and research with such fervor that he managed to ignore a pounding headache. When the shortness of breath started, his teenage son yelled at him through the computer screen to see a doctor. After he filled out an online questionnaire, Wallace was diagnosed with Covid-19 over the phone.
He’d been infected with something he’d been warning about for years, and like so many around the country and the world, all he could do was to hope to keep breathing. “No test. No antiviral. No masks and no gloves provided. No community health practitioner stopping by to check on me,” Wallace wrote.
“You can intellectually understand something but still not assimilate the oncoming damage,” he told me later, as he recalled the “sour vindication” of having his worst fears come true. “So there’s an aspect of rage, and an arrival at an understanding.”
I met Wallace for coffee on an afternoon in late June. We sat on benches under the shade on the campus of a liberal arts college near his home in St. Paul, Minn. He was dressed in a pale-red short-sleeve shirt, dark jeans, and sneakers. He wore rectangular black-rimmed glasses and a Minnesota Twins baseball hat and had a five o’clock shadow
Wallace looks more like a dad on the way to his kid’s Little League game than a lab-coat-wearing scientist who used to consult with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United Nations. That could be because he hasn’t had a job in academia for more than a decade, a circumstance he attributes to his decision to take the implications of his scholarship seriously.
That’s why the book Wallace published last October came with a provocative title—Dead Epidemiologists: On the Origins of Covid-19. Though there are many “brilliant, bright, amazing, and hardworking” epidemiologists whose work he cites, their impact is limited, Wallace said: “They are in the business of cleaning up the mess the system brought about, and that’s the extent to which they’re willing to go.” In his first essay on Covid, “Notes on a Novel Coronavirus,” published in January 2020, Wallace wrote that an epidemiologist is like a “stable boy with a shovel following around elephants at the circus.”
“As an epidemiologist, you’re supposed to want to put yourself out of business,” Wallace said. “Everyone has bills to pay; I understand that. But the extent to which your corruption might lead to a pathogen that could kill a billion people—that’s where my line is.” While he’s not the only Cassandra whose warnings of a pandemic like Covid-19 went unheeded, there are few as clear-eyed about where to direct the blame. “Agribusiness is at war with public health,” he wrote in the March 2020 essay “Covid-19 and the Circuits of Capital,” and if no serious action is taken, the interval before the next pandemic will be “far shorter…than the hundred-year lull since 1918.”