Category: Environmental

UK: Government Minister Says – “We Must Be the Last Generation To Industrialise Animals”, and He promotes Veganism.

Vegan Conservatives welcome Business Secretary’s comments on growth of veganism | Vegan Conservatives

Vegan Conservatives welcome Business Secretary’s comments on growth of veganism

We must be the last generation to industrialise animals

The Vegan Conservatives group has welcomed Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng’s call for more people to give up animal products in order to meet the UK’s target of cutting carbon emissions by 78% by 2035.

Speaking to Times Radio, Mr Kwarteng, the MP for Spelthorne, said, “There are challenges in terms of people changing their lifestyle, but that is happening already, without government legislation. The number of people who are vegans, who are reducing their meat intake, is going up all the time. I think that there is a lot of societal change that will actually help us and drive the progress to 2035, where hopefully we will hit the 78 per cent reduction target.”

It’s the strongest signal yet from the Government that it is impossible to address climate change without reducing meat and dairy consumption.

The industrialisation of meat and dairy contributes a triple whammy to the environment: the emissions and pollution created by the animals themselves, the destruction of forestry to feed and graze them, and the haulage and distribution involved. That’s not to mention the £6.1bn annual cost to the NHS, the loss of food sovereignty and the obvious welfare consequences of the industry.

Co-chairman of the Vegan Conservatives, Alison Knight says, “Kwasi Kwarteng is spot on with his call for more veganism in British society. Meat and dairy are environmentally-destructive and categorically not essential elements of a healthy diet and we should follow Canada’s lead in ignoring industry-sponsored “science” in formulating Government policy.

“The alternatives to cheap meat are better for health, better for the environment, better for growers, better for food security and better for the animals – not to mention reducing the risk of global pandemics.

So-called ‘clean meat’ and plant-based meats are on the rise and will be responsible for 35% and 25% of meat consumption respectively by 2040. The Vegan Conservatives are calling for the UK’s Industrial Strategy to include incubators, National Centres of Excellence and national prizes for discoveries and commercialisation, if Britain wants to lead in these areas.

Mrs Knight continues, “Veganism is not at all a political statement – it’s an ethical and pragmatic one. As Conservatives, we want to leave the world a better place than we found it.”

London Assembly Member Andrew Boff says, “Veganism is growing by itself, but were the Government to introduce incentives to drive it, set targets and nudge societal change, those climate targets start to look considerably easier.

“Switching to an electric car is an excellent step, but it’s much more effective to stop consuming animal products.”

Baroness Anne Jenkin says, “It needs to be really easy for people to make better choices. Anybody who has made the change already feels healthier and saves money, as well as knowing that they have cut carbon emissions, so it’s a win-win. As with tackling obesity, the Government needs to make sure that healthy choices become the default option.”

Co-chairman Graham Godwin-Pearson says, “Our grandchildren will look back and wonder why on earth people chose to consume animal products, knowing the cruelty and damage that these products caused.

“People still need to eat and so agricultural reorganisation and retraining is required but the Government can help by offering conversion grants for industrial animals farmers to switch to vertical farming, and for intensive fish farmers to switch to seaweed.

“We must be the last generation to industrialise animals.”

Regards Mark

for the day of the penguins

During our campaigns in the Southern Ocean, our crews often had nice encounters with penguins.
They are definitely one of our favorites among flightless birds.

But the idyllic images are often deceptive – unfortunately penguins don’t have it easy either: climate change, overfishing, and the destruction of their habitats are affecting penguin populations all over the world.

There are 18 species in the world and in the video you will meet some representatives who we have already run into during our missions.

(Text on the Video): there are 18 different species of penguins some are small and some are large
they cannot fly
but are very good swimmers
and very good at waddling
we fight to protect the penguins
and all marine life

 And I mean…Every year on April 25th is World Penguin Day.

It is therefore important to remember the day because it should draw attention to the fact that litter in the oceans and climate change are a threat to animals.
These sea birds are critically endangered.
Because the warming of the earth causes the sea ice to decline, the penguins find fewer and fewer krill, the small crustaceans that they mainly feed on.

Plastic garbage – the garbage from human animals – causes them – like all marine animals – great difficulties.

Humboldt penguins are among the most threatened species. Twice as many of them now live in zoos and animal parks as in the wild.

Humboldt penguins

By the way, not all penguins are the same.
Because of ice: not every penguin feels comfortable there, according to the WWF. Some species live in warmer regions, such as the little penguins in Australia.

penguins in Australia.

Penguins can withstand up to -70 degrees. Their water-repellent feathers and the layer of fat protect them from cooling down.

Penguins are considered monogamous and loyal.
We love these wonderful animals and want to continue fighting against the loss of their habitat.

My best regards to all, Venus

Belize: ‘Teeming with biodiversity’: green groups buy Belize forest to protect it ‘in perpetuity’.

‘Teeming with biodiversity’: green groups buy Belize forest to protect it ‘in perpetuity’

Conservation organisations purchase 950 sq km biodiversity hotspot, helping to secure a vital wildlife corrido

“These logs are historic,” says Elma Kay, standing in Belize Maya Forest, where she has been doing an inventory of felled trees. “These are the last logs that were cut here, for mahogany and other hardwoods, left behind by the previous logging company.”

Maya forest deforestation in Belize
The last felled trees in Belize Maya Forest. Photograph: Handout

“These logs are historic,” says Elma Kay, standing in Belize Maya Forest, where she has been doing an inventory of felled trees. “These are the last logs that were cut here, for mahogany and other hardwoods, left behind by the previous logging company.”

Trees will no longer be cut down in this 950 sq km (236,000-acre) area, after the land was bought by a coalition of conservation organisations to save one of the world’s last pristine rainforests from deforestation. “The forest will now be protected in perpetuity,” says Kay.

The news is timed to coincide with Earth Day, the annual event established in 1970 to mobilise action on environmental issues.

The newly named Belize Maya Forest is part of 150,000 sq km (38m acres) of tropical forest across Mexico, Belize and Guatemala known as the Selva Maya, a biodiversity hotspot and home to five species of wild cat (jaguars, margay, ocelot, jaguarundi and puma), spider monkeys, howler monkeys and hundreds of bird species.

This means we get to safeguard our biodiversity, from iconic jaguars to endangered tapirs

Elma Kay, Belize Maya Forest Trust

“The minute you start driving through the forest, it’s teeming with biodiversity,” says Kay, one of the directors of the locally run Belize Maya Forest Trust. “I can’t tell you how many ocellated turkeys we saw on the drive in – more than 50. For Belizeans, this forest means we get to safeguard our biodiversity – from iconic jaguars to critically endangered Central American river turtles to endangered tapirs – which is the lifeblood of our economy and our cultural heritage.”

Combined with the adjacent Rio Bravo Reserve, Belize Maya Forest creates a protected area that covers 9% of Belize’s landmass, a critical “puzzle piece” in the Selva Maya forest region, helping secure a vital wildlife corridor across northern Guatemala, southern Mexico and Belize.

Protecting large areas of pristine rainforests will help mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis. “Forests like these hold vast amounts of carbon,” says Julie Robinson, Belize programme director for the Nature Conservancy, one of the partners behind the acquisition. “We’re at a tipping point, so it’s really important to try to reverse the trend we’re on.”

The area was owned by the Forestland Group, a US company that had permits for sustainable logging. When it came up for sale, the Nature Conservancy and others, including Rainforest Trust, World Land Trust, University of Belize Environmental Research Institute and Wildlife Conservation Society, saw an opportunity to buy the land.

“If it wasn’t bought for conservation, the most likely buyers would be for large-scale, industrial, mechanised, monocrop agriculture,” Kay says. “That’s the threat to forests in Belize, especially central Belize, the country’s agricultural belt. What we saved this land from is full-scale deforestation and conversion.”

Since 2011, the Maya Forest corridor, which connects Belize’s Maya mountains and the northern Maya lowland forests shared by Belize, Mexico and Guatemala, has faced high rates of deforestation, driven by land clearances for industrial-scale agriculture. “For decades, the Belize government, Belizeans and conservation organisations wanted to see this area protected,” says Robinson.

Despite the name, Mayans, whose civilisation once stretched across Belize, Guatemala and parts of Mexico, have not lived in the area for many years. Today, their descendants in Belize mainly live in the south. According to Robinson, indigenous peoples were not displaced to make way for industry, as has happened elsewhere in Latin America, but the private land was closed off. “At the time of the Forestland Group’s purchase, there were no people living on the property,” says Robinson. “However, there are local communities all around the property. They didn’t have access to the land.”

Belizeans have an incredible connection to nature. We refer to our country as the ‘jewel’

Julie Robinson, the Nature Conservancy

“There are archaeological sites on the property that date back to AD800,” Robinson adds. “There are also more than 25 cenotes [fresh water sinkholes], the sacred pools of Cara Blanca, which hold incredible Mayan treasures. Very few Belizeans have ever been to these areas. Those cenotes were also being threatened by agriculture. Culturally, it’s important to preserve those elements to reconnect Mayan communities to sacred sites, and also find ways of generating income through them for the communities and the country.”

Now the land has been acquired, Kay is leading the Belize Maya Forest Trust’s consultation process with local communities. Collaborative plans are likely to include low-impact eco-tourism. There may also be some sustainable agriculture, as well as scientific research. The only thing not on the table is the extraction of natural resources, such as timber.

“What surrounds Belize Maya Forest is a multi-ethnic society, including people like me, of mixed Mayan and European descent, and people from neighbouring Central American countries, German Mennonites,” says Kay. “We’re engaging all the different communities to participate in a conservation action plan. Most livelihoods are based on agriculture. One objective will be making agricultural livelihoods more sustainable, so there will be more climate-smart agriculture, agroforestry systems, systems that are restorative for soils.

“We recognise people need to make a livelihood, but it’s about doing that with values that protect the Maya Forest and safeguard it for all Belizeans.”

An ocelot
The Belize Maya Forest is home to five species of wild cat, including endangered ocelots. Photograph: Sergi Reboredo/Sipa USA/PA

As the world’s climate and biodiversity crises worsen, philanthropic buying of land for protection could become more common. “It’s absolutely the way forward,” argues Robinson. “But it’s important to do it in collaboration with communities. It can’t be that we just buy a property, lock it up and say ‘this is now protected’. That’s not going to work.”

Belize has launched several initiatives in recent years to protect its natural resources. In 2018, oil drilling off its coast was banned to safeguard marine environments and the lucrative diving industry. Nearly 40% of the country’s land mass is also under some form of protection. “Belizeans have an incredible connection to nature,” says Robinson. “We refer to our country as the ‘jewel’.”

But the government’s environmental policies are also pragmatic, based on the value nature brings, from food and water supplies to tourism, one of the country’s largest generators of income. “People realise we need to have biodiversity and nature, but we need to use it in a sustainable way,” says Robinson. “Development is absolutely important. Belizeans support development and agriculture, but in a way that is in balance with nature”.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/22/teeming-with-biodiversity-activists-buy-up-belize-rainforest-to-stop-logging-in-perpetuity-aoe

Regards Mark

Vietnam: Lets Get Cam the Bear Out of His Bile Farm Cage Now – Please Donate If You Can.

As you read this, Cam is desperately waiting to get out of his tiny cage. He is trapped in a bile bear farm in Hai Phong province in Vietnam.  

When we visited him at the farm, he was pacing around in the cage, climbing up and down and biting the bars, trying everything to escape this sad and barren environment. 

We don’t know anything about his past but can see he is pretty young. He still has his whole life ahead of him. 

Without help, his life would consist of nothing but the bars of this cage.

Never getting the chance to feel the grass under his feet. Never climbing up a tree. Never playing with another bear. 

Together, we can rescue Cam 

Lets get Cam out:

Bear Cam needs our help! (four-paws.org)



Nothing would make us happier, than bringing him to our beautiful BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh. How excited would he be, when he discovers the huge outdoor enclosure for the first time? Experiencing all the lush vegetation, trees, climbing platforms and pools to swim in. Experiencing what a bear life can look like.

Mark, we can’t leave Cam behind, right? Will you help to free the young bear from his tiny cage?

Kind regards, 

The FOUR PAWS team

Lets get Cam out:

Bear Cam needs our help! (four-paws.org)

Regards Mark

C’est Assez! supports the European Citizens’ Initiative #StopFinningEU to end the European Union’s shark fin trade.

C’est Assez! supports the European Citizens’ Initiative #StopFinningEU to end the European Union’s shark fin trade

22 April 2021

C’est Assez

The EU exports approximately 3,500 tonnes of fins per year, with a total value of around 52 million euros. 73 million sharks are slaughtered each year for this purpose

While shark finning is prohibited on EU vessels and in EU waters, and sharks must be caught with fins  attached to their bodies, the EU is one of the world’s largest exporters of fins and a significant transit area for the global fin trade.

More than forty European NGOs, including our member C’est assez!, have pledged their support to compel the European institutions to ban all forms of finning and their transportation in EU countries. The European Citizens Initiative (ECI) has now received over 200,000 signatures in opposition to shark finning.

It is past time to stop this barbaric traffic and take action to protect sharks, which are critical to the health and balance of the oceans.

Read more at source

C’est Assez! soutient l’Initiative Citoyenne Européenne #StopFinningEU pour met…

Regards Mark

Shark Finning Kills 100 Million Sharks a Year,

Shark Finning Kills 100 Million Sharks a Year, International Commission Fails to Address Crisis

Don't be afraid of the shark...: BAN SHARK FINNING

Shark finning - Wikipedia

The rapid closing of dolphinariums poses a threat to dolphins.

How they should be – Dolphins swim free in the Oceans.

The rapid closing of dolphinariums poses a threat to dolphins

22 April 2021

Sea First Foundation

Public opinion around dolphins in dolphinariums is clearly changing.

But what happens to dolphins when the parks get closed? Talks with policymakers are underway and several dolphin rehabilitation programs are getting implemented in Europe, but none are yet operational. The very complex nature of such a pilot project may be to blame.

As long as no appropriate alternative is found, the dolphins are relocated to other marine parks. Unfortunately, this causes a great deal of animal distress, and is often fatal. For example, in 2016, three dolphins were moved from Finland’s Särkänniemi Zoo to Attica Zoo in Athens, where one of the animals died after a short period of time.

Dolphin attractions were also closed with immediate effect in France, Spain, and Switzerland as a result of government decisions made in response to pressure from protestors who probably just meant well.
 

Dolphins become ill from time to time and may not survive such abrupt changes or transportation. The animals’ extreme stress and anxiety can be fatal. 

Many who survive the transport are relocated to other parks in countries where public pressure is less severe. This results in ever-increasing dolphin numbers in Europe’s remaining dolphinariums, causing overpopulation and additional stress for the animals.

The marine parks in China are still developing, and it is likely that the next step will be to export European animals to China.

In conclusion, before we start putting more pressure on governments to close sea parks in Europe, it is important that we get our rehabilitation projects fully operational as soon as possible.

Read more at source

Sea First : Snelle sluiting van dolfinaria niet zonder risico voor de dolfijnen

Regards Mark

Beef production drives deforestation five times more than any other sector.

Amazon Destruction.

Beef production drives deforestation five times more than any other sector

22 April 2021

A research published in the World Resources Institute in March 2020 found that two of the main products responsible for deforestation are beef and soy, the latter being used for animal feed. The EU, as net importer of these products, should address the impact of such imports on the environment and on animals to ensure coherence between EU trade policy and the EU Green Deal.

According to a research by Global Forest Watch, the total loss of tropical forest increased by 12% overall between 2019 and 2020. Agriculture is the top source of worldwide deforestation (40%), and  among the top commodity-drivers of deforestation, beef holds the first place. 

Overall, beef is responsible for 36% of all agriculture-linked forest-replacement. The huge responsibility borne by the beef industry is due to the conversion of forests into cattle pasture, which amounted to 45.1 Millions hectares of lands deforested between 2001 and 2015 – a rate that is five times higher than for any other analysed products. 

Soy also ranks seventh in the study, as it is responsible for the destruction of 8.2 million hectares of forests between 2001 and 2015. Soy is widely produced to serve as animal feed, notably in the poultry (37%) and pigs sectors (20%). Therefore, the role played by the meat industry in global deforestation largely exceeds the role played by the beef sector itself.

The findings by Global Forest Watch are deeply alarming, as rampant deforestation has clear impacts on wildlife and their habitats and can lead to the extinction of species that only exist in one specific region. 80% of terrestrial species live in forests, and the world is currently undergoing the sixth great mass extinction of species, which is mainly due to agriculture, according to Global Forest Watch’s report. Deforestation is also a source of many welfare-related concerns. With the increase in wildfires, animals -wildlife, but also pets – are suffering and many do not manage to escape. For the surviving wild animals, many are displaced and will generally suffer from starvation and social disruption.

Whilst hot spots of deforestation vary by sector, the beef industry related deforestation is highly concentrated in the Amazon, which is home to millions of species. In Brazil alone, which hosts the largest part of the Amazon, over half of the deforestation came from pasture in the last twenty years. The responsibility borne by agriculture (including the beef sector) on the Amazon’s deforestation is much higher than in other parts of the world, reaching 56% in 2020 whereas agriculture is generally responsible for 40% of deforestation. 

Considering that agriculture-driven deforestation is permanent (whereas lands that suffer from deforestation caused by fires may regenerate), this adds a sense of urgency for the EU to uphold its sustainable agenda. Mercosur is already the  largest  supplier of  beef  to  the  EU,  accounting  for 73%  of total  EU  beef  imports. If the EU-Mercosur trade deal was implemented as it stands, imports of beef would increase between 30% and 64%. The Ambec report – the impact study commissioned by the French government – concluded that, as it stands, the EU-Mercosur agreement would generate an extra 25% of deforestation in the Amazon in the six years following its entry into force. 

As Eurogroup for Animals has been continuously advocating, the unconditional liberalisation of animal products foreseen in the EU-Mercosur trade deal would fuel intensification of animal farming, which not only is extremely detrimental to animal welfare, but would also highly contribute to fuel deforestation. We thus call on the EU to uphold the objectives of the Farm to Fork Strategy, which are to use trade policy “to obtain ambitious commitments” from partners in key areas such as animal welfare.

The EU must take the opportunity of the EU-Mercosur agreement to negotiate the adoption by Mercosur countries of EU-equivalent legal standards in key sectors (beef, but also broiler chicken and laying hens), as well as in terms of transport, or to agree on conditions to access tariff-rate quotas or liberalisation in animal products, including the respect of EU-equivalent animal welfare standards.

Regards Mark

Thursday 22/4 is the Official ‘Earth Day’.

Thursday 22/4 is the official ‘Earth Day’.

Official site –  https://www.earthday.org/

EARTHDAY.ORG’s mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day in 1970, EARTHDAY.ORG is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 75,000 partners in over 192 countries to drive positive action for our planet. 

Our world needs transformational change. It’s time for the world to hold sectors accountable for their role in our environmental crisis while also calling for bold, creative, and innovative solutions. This will require action at all levels, from business and investment to city and national government.

That’s where you come in: As an individual, you yield real power and influence as a consumer, a voter, and a member of a community that can unite for change.

Don’t underestimate your power. When your voice and your actions are united with thousands or millions of others around the world, we create a movement that is inclusive, impactful, and impossible to ignore.

Every Earth Day can drive a year of energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to create a new plan of action for our planet

Earth Day 2021: Five ways to help save the planet

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/earth-day-2021-activities-facts-ideas-b1834277.html

Earth Day quiz: How much do you know about climate change?

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/earth-day-quiz-climate-change-b1835097.html

Earth Day 2021 activities: How to get involved from school or home – and what the date marks

https://inews.co.uk/news/environment/earth-day-2021-activities-events-school-home-what-date-meaning-966774

Earth Day 2021: What is Earth Day? FIVE activities you can do

https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/life/1426197/Earth-Day-2021-what-is-earth-day-activities-evg

Start by going plant based food; and then move on to more.

Regards Mark

Maybe more on this very soon – have a great Earth Day.

WHO Calls for a Ban on Sale of Live Wild Mammals for Consumption.

WHO Calls for a Ban on Sale of Live Wild Mammals for Consumption (animalequality.org)

WHO Calls for a Ban on Sale of Live Wild Mammals for Consumption

To prevent the emergence of new diseases, the World Health Organization (WHO) has just called for a ban on the sale of live wild mammals in food markets worldwide.

THE RECOMMENDATION: The WHO published a guide in which they acknowledge the significant risks involved in allowing the sale and slaughter of live animals at food markets, a move that Animal Equality has been pushing for since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak over a year ago. The WHO is asking that each country’s government take action as an emergency measure to suspend the trade in live, wild, mammalian animals for consumption or breeding purposes. They’re also calling for the closure of shops within food markets that engage in such activity.

“Animals, particularly wild animals, are reported to be the source of more than 70% of all emerging infectious diseases in humans, many of which are caused by novel viruses,” the report says. “Traditional markets, where live animals are held, slaughtered and dressed, pose a particular risk for pathogen transmission to workers and customers alike.”

THE RESEARCH: The WHO’s recommendation comes after their research revealed that some of the earliest known cases of COVID-19 are linked to a wholesale traditional food market in Wuhan in China, with many of the initial COVID patients being stall owners, market employees, or regular visitors to the market.

ANIMAL EQUALITY’S CAMPAIGN TO BAN LIVE ANIMAL MARKETS: In April of 2020, Animal Equality launched a global campaign, which garnered more than half a million signatures, calling on the United Nations to recommend a ban on markets that sell and slaughter live animals. Our investigators documented live animal markets in China, Vietnam, and India, both before and during the pandemic, revealing not only extreme animal cruelty, but also unsanitary conditions that posed a threat to human health.

The markets, many of which continued operating despite orders to close, held captive animals such as deer, raccoons, crocodiles, and dogs. Our footage reveals animals languishing in cramped, filthy cages suffering from dehydration, hunger and disease. In many cases, the animals were slaughtered while fully conscious and in full view of each other.

WE NEED TO GO FARTHER: Since COVID-19 transformed the world, the risks associated with eating wild animals has been a topic of conversation, but little has been said in the mainstream media about the great risks to human health from the consumption of more “traditionally” farmed animals in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that three out of every four infectious diseases in humans came from animals. Diseases like swine flu (H1N1), bird flu (H5N1 and others), and mad cow disease (BSE) all evolved on factory farms, and scientists are warning that it’s only a matter of time before the animal agriculture industry produces the next major pandemic.

The WHO’s recommendation is a step in the right direction, but it needs to include all species, not just wild mammals, and should include recommendations about not only food markets, but industrial farming as well.

WHAT WE’RE SAYING: “Animal Equality welcomes the guidance of the WHO, OIE, and UNEP to suspend the sale of wild animals at food markets. However, this progress is just the beginning. To ensure another pandemic virus does not emerge again, we ask that these organizations also recommend a ban on the sale of all live animals at wet markets. Until that happens, both animals and people will remain at risk,” says Sharon Núñez, President of Animal Equality.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Animals raised for food, whether at markets or on farms, can experience pain and suffering in the same capacity as humans. We can spare them from a lifetime of misery and also help reduce the risk of future pandemics by simply avoiding animal-derived foods. And with all of the great alternatives available nowadays, going plant-based is easier than ever. By choosing a compassionate lifestyle, you can spare millions of animals from harm. You can also make a difference by signing our petition to end the atrocities that happen at wet markets. With your signature, we can tell the world that enough is enough.

Take Action:

The Danger and Cruelty of Wet Markets (animalequality.org)

Regards Mark