Home | Animal Writes | PETA.org.uk - Part 5

Animal Writes

  • 08
  • Jul

Living in Harmony With Snails

The ethical way to manage our garden without harming snailsDid you know that there are potentially more than 200,000 species of snails and molluscs currently crawling around on our planet?

The species that the majority of us are probably most familiar with are those found in the garden. If you haven’t yet come to see snails as the unique, fascinating individuals that they really are, the following are a few surprising facts that may open your eyes:

  • Some species of snail can live for up to 25 years in the wild!
  • Snails can crawl along the edge of a razorblade and not be hurt, thanks to the thick slime that they produce.
  • Snail ancestry dates back 600,000 years. The snails in your garden are descended from prehistoric sea snails!
  • Slow and steady wins the race. Snails can reach speeds of up to 50 yards per hour.
  • Snails sometimes travel in convoys, following their friends’ tracks to conserve energy.
  • Snails are strict vegetarians! Their favourite snacks include rotting leafy vegetables, fungi and algae.
  • The lifespan of snails is decreasing rapidly as humans destroy their habitats on land, sea and in fresh water.

Stock snail parkWhile keen gardeners may understandably prefer to keep their vegetable patch nibble-free, a recent study has confirmed that the best way to minimise damage to your plants is very simply (and gently) to remove snails to a safe distance.

We recommend gathering up our shell-dwelling friends and relocating them to a cool, moist area at least 20 metres from your garden, where they can roam free and avoid roads and any other danger zones. You could even pack a few lettuce leaves as a tasty snack for the road. Or even better, why not consider introducing more plants to your garden that aren’t on their menu, such as begonias and yellow irises, in order to deter them?

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  • 05
  • Jul

PHOTOS: 100 ‘Death Runners’ Take Over Pamplona

If many of the tourists who turn up in Pamplona, Spain, for the Running of the Bulls each year understood what the festival is really about – the torture and death of frightened animals – they’d probably run the other way.

To open festivalgoers’ eyes, 100 activists from all over the world took part in a powerful protest today in Pamplona’s main square, organised by PETA and the Spanish group AnimaNaturalis.

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With faces painted to look like the Grim Reaper, “blood” on their hands and signs reading, “You Run. Bulls Die”, the volunteers sent a sobering message to anyone in doubt about the cruelty that occurs at the annual San Fermín festival.

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Every single one of the 48 animals who are chased through the cobbled streets by drunken revellers will later be stabbed to death in the bullring, in front of a jeering crowd. As our hard-hitting video “Bullfighting in 60 Seconds” makes painfully clear, bulls endure prolonged agony as they are goaded by armed men, attacked again and again and collapse on the ground in a pool of their own blood.

As Morrissey eloquently put it earlier this week, “Whatever the results, whatever the motive, the bullfight is systematic torture”.

We’ve been taking part in iconic protests in Pamplona for more than a decade, and we won’t stop until this barbaric activity is relegated to the history books, where it belongs. We’ve also been hitting the bullfighting industry where it hurts – in the pocket. In addition to campaigning against the massive EU subsidies that prop up bullfighting (despite the fact that most Spanish people aren’t interested in it), we’ve also been persuading travel companies such as Thomas Cook and Brittany Ferries to stop promoting the blood sport.

What You Can Do

If you’re visiting Spain, never attend bullfights. And if you see a company advertising or promoting bullfighting in any way, please write to its customer service department to let staff know how disappointed you are. Finally, please share our video so that more people can learn exactly what happens in bullfights – and why the cruelty needs to stop.

 

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  • 04
  • Jul

Meet the Activists Who Are Taking a Stand Against Bullfighting in Pamplona

As the city of Pamplona in Spain gears up for the annual San Fermín festival this weekend – in which dozens of frightened animals will be forced by drunken revellers to run through the streets and then killed in bullfights – we’re preparing, yet again, to bear witness and speak out for these silent victims.

Activists from all over the world are making their way to Pamplona in order to join dozens of compassionate Spanish volunteers for a chilling protest against the cruelty and bloodshed. Meet some of the team, and learn why they’re taking a stand.

Daniela Romero Waldhorn

Daniela y Pancho

“I truly believe that no tradition justifies harming other beings that suffer.”

Spanish activist Daniela tirelessly speaks out for animals as a member of AnimaNaturalis.

Alistair Choat

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“I’m happy to do whatever I can to expose the cruelty of the Running of the Bulls and bullfighting.”

Fifty-one-year-old Alistair is a Londoner through and through and also the proud owner of the famed Norman’s Coach and Horses in Soho, London’s first and so far only entirely vegetarian-and-vegan pub!

Nana Bjørnlund

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“As a civilised person, I cannot know about this kind of cruelty without taking every step I can to prevent it. I will not be a bystander!”

Copenhagen-born Nana has lived in Barcelona for the last five years with her husband and FIVE rescued cats.

Ashishwangh Limki Auvray

Ashishwangh

“If I were not to stand up and act against this barbaric, sadistic, unacceptable suffering, I’d become – due to my indifference – the best ally of these torturers.”

French literature professor Ashishwangh hails from Bombay, India, and is a marathon runner as well as an animal activist in her spare time.

Christiane Schulze

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“The demonstration against the bull fighting is so important for me because I don’t just want to complain about what is wrong in the world but want to speak up!”

Christiane lives in Barcelona but is originally from a town near Hamburg, Germany.

Ella Clarke

Ella

“I adore this country for its spirit, landscapes and weather, but the atrocities that happen here with regards to animals are heart wrenching.”

Originally from Canada, 34-year-old Ella has been living in Pamplona for the last two years. She has a love of Spanish culture but is calling for one life-saving improvement.

Kate Laycy

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“Attending this demonstration is so so important to me because no animal deserves to be tortured and killed.”

Manchester actor Kate is determined to make her voice heard and help to bring an end to the suffering in Pamplona.

Yvonne Lemmen

Yvonne

“Participating in Pamplona is important to me because I want people to realise what they are actually supporting by taking part in the ‘running of the bulls’.”

PETA Netherlands team member Yvonne is now based in London but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to speak out in Spain.

Mathilde Sezille

Mathilde

“Bulls are sacred to me, they are both peaceful and powerful, it is very important for me to help them find peace again, they don’t deserve to be turned into monsters for public enjoyment or for some or for some bloodthirsty entertainment”.

Mathilde works as a nanny and is also an aspiring fire-fighter. She’s travelling from France to attend the demonstration.

Hayley Crick

Hayley Crick 2

“Tormenting and butchering animals can never be justified as entertainment.”

As a midwife, Aussie Hayley is all about celebrating the miracle of life … not the unnecessary death of innocent animals for entertainment.

Isabelle Guaran

Isabelle

“I have to admit that I initially looked into the San Fermin festival as a potential tourist, but I soon realised that the event is a mask for unacceptable cruel treatment of some beautiful animals.”

The second Aussie of the bunch, Isabelle wrote her honours thesis on animal law. She lives in Sydney, and this will be her first visit to Spain.

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We are so tremendously proud of and grateful for all our supporters, activists and volunteers from all over the world and all walks of life. Thanks to them, our bullfighting message is being heard louder and more clearly than ever before.

Anyone anywhere can be a voice for animals. If you’d like to appear in our next demo or just want to find out about other ways in which you can make a difference, please join our Action Team today!

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  • 03
  • Jul

Must-See Documentary ‘The Ghosts in Our Machine’ Comes to the UK and Ireland

The award-winning documentary The Ghosts in Our Machine is coming to the UK – and we have three pairs of tickets to give away!

The Ghosts in Our Machine tells the stories of the animals who suffer behind the scenes in some of the world’s most powerful industries. It takes an unflinching look at the fur trade, laboratories, modern farming and the use of animals in entertainment through the lens of empathy and compassion for the non-human animals at the heart of them all.

Even the trailer is enough to give you goose bumps:

The film features photography from award-winning photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur – whose spectacular and moving pictures you may already have seen featured on our website and elsewhere.

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Where to See It

We encourage everyone who can to seize the opportunity to see this important and eye-opening film! These are the screenings currently scheduled in Ireland and the UK – the director, Liz Marshall, will also be giving a Q&A session after the film at each of them:

We will let you know if more screenings are added. If you’re based outside the UK, you may be able to watch the film online.

Contest is now closed. Thanks for all the comments.

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  • 03
  • Jul

‘The Bullfighter Dies’: Exclusive Morrissey Song Hits Out at Cruel Sport Ahead of Pamplona

El_bull-a-dorMorrissey has always used his music as a way to express his beliefs – and this week, he continues the trend, with the release of a stirring new song, “The Bullfighter Dies”, to coincide with the annual Running of the Bulls in Pamplona.

In a sneak peak from a blog post written by the compassionate star, which will be posted in full later this month by PETA US, Morrissey says of bullfighting:

The contest is not equal, the animal is unable to protest or to walk away, and the bullfighter doesn’t even actually fight the bull at all! Whatever the results, whatever the motive, the bullfight is systematic torture, and the disgrace of it falls back on any society that allows it to continue.

He also explained the message of the song, which you can listen to here:

“The Bullfighter Dies” is a shout out for the total abolition of the living horror of bullfighting, and since those who control such barbarity have no interest in the welfare of the bull, then we can only approach the subject by stressing how the overwhelming majority do not have any sympathy when the bullfight does not go the bullfighters’ way. Why should we?

Moz is definitely not alone in being appalled by what happens in the bullring. This weekend, activists from all around the world will join PETA in Pamplona for an attention-grabbing protest against the barbaric San Fermín festival, in which bulls are chased through the streets by tourists before eventually being stabbed to death in the bullfighting arena. According to a recent survey, 76 per cent of Spanish people have no interest in bullfighting, and the dying industry is largely being propped up by tourists and huge EU subsidies.

Morrissey has a long and impressive history of speaking out for animals and has been joining forces with PETA and our international affiliates for more than 30 years. Later this month, he will be teaming up with PETA US to give fans the first listen of his much-anticipated 10th album, World Peace Is None of Your Business! Visit PETA.org on 15 July to tune in to the exclusive live stream.

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  • 01
  • Jul

Photos From Wool Trade Investigations

PETA US’ undercover exposé of the wool industry in Australia and the USA has revealed shocking and systematic abuse of sheep. These photos illustrate some of the findings. For more information, and to watch the videos from the investigations, visit PETAUK.org/woolexposed.

Slaughtered Sheep

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Unprofitable Australian sheep are often shipped to the Middle East to be slaughtered or are killed on farms. This animal’s butchered remains were left in full view of other sheep.

Sheep Whose Neck Was Broken

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A shearer repeatedly twisted and bent this sheep’s neck, breaking it. The shearer kicked the sheep headfirst down a chute. PETA US’ investigator found her dead.

Ram Left to Die Overnight in Trailer

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Workers hauled this ram into a trailer to be sheared and left him like this overnight. He was found dead in the morning, and a shearer cut the wool off his remains.

Sheep Who Died During Shearing

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This sheep died while her wool was being clipped off. A shearing crew boss said of sheep dying during shearing, “It happens … every year”.

Severely Crowded Ewes

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Sheep are deprived of food and water, sometimes overnight, in part so that they’ll put up less resistance when shearers are handling them.

Severely Crowded Sheep

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Sheep are kept in severely crowded pens.

Crudely Stitched Shearing Wound on Abdomen

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Workers didn’t give sheep any painkillers before pushing needles through their flesh to try to close gaping, bloody wounds caused by shearing.

Pieces of Sheep’s Skin

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Shearers cut off large swaths of sheep’s skin, like these, along with their wool and often wound the animals. The investigators never saw any cut sheep receive veterinary care.

Skin Attached to Wool

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Chunks of sheep’s skin – up to 4 inches long – were found so often that one farm had a box marked “Skin,” into which wool handlers tossed pieces of flesh.

Blood-Stained Wool

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PETA US’ investigator often found blood-soaked pieces of wool after shearers, who work quickly and roughly, severely cut sheep’s bodies – even cutting at least one sheep’s penis.

Rotted Lamb Testicles

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Farmers put rings around lambs’ scrotums without anaesthetics to castrate them. Wool handlers sometimes find testicles and scrotums that shearers have cut off on the floor.

Lamb Scrotum

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Another “ball bag” – the testicles and scrotum cut off by a shearer along with the wool – was found on the floor.

Sheep Pushed Down Ramp

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Shorn sheep are often thrown and kicked down chutes. This animal lay in danger of being trampled by the next sheep shoved out of the shearing area until the investigator helped her stand.

Lame Sheep After Shearing

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This sheep, who could not stand, was sheared and then dragged across the ground and outside a shed. She was left to lie like this, without water.

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  • 30
  • Jun

Top Scottish Restaurants Reject Foie Gras

Geese Lake StockThe Scots are earning quite the reputation for their compassion towards animals, with another award-winning Scottish eatery pledging to banish foie gras from its menu for good.

Appalled after hearing from us about the scale of the cruelty involved in foie gras production, Gordon’s Restaurant in Inverkeilor, Angus, said NO MORE.

Birds reared for foie gras endure the daily trauma of being force-fed via a metal tube which is rammed down their throats several times a day until their livers swell to up to 10 times their normal size, making it hard for them even to breathe. Investigations on foie gras farms have repeatedly uncovered sickening cruelty and suffering. It is already illegal to produce foie gras in the UK, as it contravenes basic principles of animal welfare, but opinion polls have revealed that two-thirds of the British public also support a total ban on its sale.

Gordon’s decision to dump foie gras puts the restaurant in good company. It is one of four Scottish frontrunners for the Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year Award 2015 that have all rejected foie gras.

You can take action against foie gras! Help us urge EU officials to crack down on the production of this vile product by adding your voice to our letter here.

Take Action Now

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  • 27
  • Jun

PHOTOS: Sunder’s New Life

In a story that shows you should never give up hope, earlier this month, in India – after epic campaigns by PETA and our international affiliates – Sunder the elephant was rescued from years of abuse.

A few weeks later, he’s now settling into his new home at Bannerghatta Biological Park wonderfully!

Sunder drinks water in his new home

Instead of being kept in chains and beaten, first in a temple and then in a shed, he’s now in a beautiful green sanctuary, where he can explore, splash around in ponds and get coconuts for treats.

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After years of isolation from other elephants, he is at last able to make friends with other members of his own species.

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And the massive wound on his leg, caused by heavy chains, is now healing, thanks to veterinary care.

His years of trauma won’t be easy to recover from, but experts from Animal Rahat who have been helping with Sunder’s transition report that he’s showing positive signs of progress. Soon, he will be free to spend the rest of his life roaming the forest, streams and ponds in the park with his new family.

Thank you to everyone who supported the campaign and helped change this animal’s life! There are many other animals like Sunder out there, still waiting to be rescued, so never stop fighting for what’s right.

Right now, please take action for Mali – the only elephant in the Manila Zoo in the Philippines, who is lonely, ill and imprisoned.

Take Action Now

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  • 25
  • Jun

8 of the Best Luxury Vegan Bags

If you’re on the fashion pulse, you may have already heard whispers of celebrity designer and PETA supporter Meg Mathews’ collaboration with high-end vegan accessories label Wilby this month.

Her collection is the latest in fabulous cruelty-free accessories, and to celebrate, here are eight super-stylish bags from companies that have signed up to be a part of the brand-new “PETA-Approved Vegan” scheme. Whether you’re after an oversized tote, a cutesy clutch or a non-nonsense shoulder bag, there’s something here for everyone!

  1. Wilby Yellow Citibag:
    Meg Mathews' Wilby collection - Yellow Citibag
    Our top pick from Meg’s collection, it’s crafted from sustainable cork.
  2. CoraLlei Peri Shopper:
    Peri(Tan)3
    Irish-designed and Italian-made, this shopper was made from high-quality vegan leather.
  3. Bo Carter Buba Bag:
    Bo Carter
    Up-and-coming talent Bo Carter walked away with the New Designer Award in our 2013 Vegan Fashion Awards and uses no animal products in her collections!
  4. Susie Faulks Wild Hare:
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    This adorable printed tote is made from a mix of linen and cotton oilcloth and is extremely durable.
  5. Gamberini Zòji Nuvola:
    Gamberini
    Delicate appliqué panels make the bags from this Italian designer really stand out from the crowd.
  6. Esprit Perforated Clutch in Vermillion Red:
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    We love the edgy texture and vibrant colour of this chic clutch.
  7. Cosi Cosi Fashion Tiziana:
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    Can you believe that the material for this bag is made from 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles?

All of these bags are 100 per cent PETA-approved, so you can shop with absolute confidence. These brands have made the commitment to fighting cruelty to animals, and we’re with them all the way!

Of course, no list of vegan bags would be complete without something from the legendary Stella McCartney, so last but certainly not least:

  1. Stella McCartney Beckett Mini Bag:
    Stella
    Chic and sustainable, this bag comes in classic grey or delightfully summery hot pink.

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If you’re looking for animal-friendly accessories closer to home or on a budget, there are also some great options available on the high street, thanks to Accessorize, ASOS, Topshop and others – just be sure to double-check the label before you buy. Happy cruelty-free shopping!

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  • 24
  • Jun

Andy Murray Disqualifies Cruel Hunting From His Hotel

CC Andy MurrayIn a champion move for animals, Wimbledon star Andy Murray has just banished promos for hunting from the website of his luxury Cromlix Hotel in Scotland!

The tennis gold medallist hadn’t realised that the inexcusable pastime of maiming and killing animals with high-powered weapons was being advertised on his hotel’s website. After hearing from PETA, his company’s management swiftly confirmed that “Andy has made sure all traces of hunting have been removed from the website”. Bravo!

A British studyStock pheasant of deer hunting found that 11 per cent of deer who’d been killed by hunters died only after being shot two or more times and that some wounded deer suffered for more than 15 minutes before dying. Unlike natural predators who help maintain wildlife populations by killing off only the sickest and weakest individuals, hunters kill any animal whose head they would like to hang over the fireplace – including large, healthy animals who are needed to keep the population strong.

As a professional athlete, Andy understands that true sports involve competition between two evenly matched consenting parties – whereas hunting involves an armed individual tormenting and killing a defenceless animal for a twisted notion of “fun”.

Last year, Andy’s hotel made another compassionate move for animals, by refusing to serve cruel foie gras – a pâté made from the diseased livers of force-fed ducks and geese – yet another reason to support him in this year’s Wimbledon Championship!

Image: “Andy Murray” by Carine06 / CC BY-SA 2.0

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