Thursday, May 28, 2009

Katinka simonse and my dearest Tinkebell: animal abuse as art

Since I wrote my previous post about Katinka Simonse (Tinkebell), a lot has been written about her in foreign newspapers...and just about everything I read and all the comments and discussions about it are total rubbish...

So I'm going to refute them. For those of you who don't know who Tinkebell is: She is an 'artist' from holland who first became famous by strangling/necksnapping her own pet cat and making a purse from it as a work of 'art'. She then held workshops explaining people how to make purses from cats themselves and bragged about it on an internet board, she abused hamsters, used child pornography in art to protest child pornography (what's next?), she violates privacy laws by naming and shaming people in her book, ...and other disgusting crap. And now I see that she is being celebrated as some sort of deep thinker, by lunatics on internetboards, blogs,...

The world has gone nuts! My previous post about her - with more info - can be found here: Tinkebell: women kills cat for art

First things first...the german media simply didn't got it. I will prove it.

Take this article from the Suddeutsche Zeitung:

Handtaschen aus haustieren

translation of the title: handbag made from pet...

die niederländische Künstlerin Katinka Simonse, die sich "Tinkebell" nennt, Tausende anonyme Hass-Mails aus aller Welt bekommen, seit sie ihrem todkranken Kater Pinkeltje im Jahr 2004 den Hals umdrehte und eine Handtasche aus ihm machte.


Translation: In this quote they claim her cat was very sick and almost dying. And that this was the reason why she snapped its neck. Well, do your research!

Only recently - to my knowledge - has she been saying that the cat was sick. And the cat was supposedly 'depressed', not dying. So that's why she snuffed the life out of it, at least she claims. How can we trust her? How come this is something she just started saying since last year. How come, when she announced this on dutch television, she was laughing about it?

And I have my doubts that the animal's neck was broken (and even if: it isn't as painless as being put to sleep by a vet). And here is some proof of it:

This dutch blog has a quote of her mentioning the killing of her cat: telegravin

Quote:

“Pinkeltje was depressief en daarom heb ik hem eigenhandig gewurgd om hem uit zijn lijden te verlossen.”


Translation: Pinkeltje (her cat) was depressed, so I strangled him with my bare hands to release him from its suffering.

Strangled to death people! And for what: depression? And nobody does anything but applaud her and laugh about it? And she just happened to have the idea to make an art project of dead cat? That was a coincidence? Idiots!

More garbage:

Ihr erklärtes Ziel ist die Entlarvung einer "doppelten Moral": Die Liebe zum Kuscheltier auf der einen und die Ignoranz gegenüber den Qualen industriell verwerteter Tiere auf der anderen Seite.


Total nonsense...as far as I am concerned, she couldn't care less about animal suffering. I've done some research and published it all on my dutch blog dierenbevrijding (the dutch counterpart of this blog).

I found internet forum discussions of her annoucing the deed and making some advertisements for her art. She also defended it on that board and even mentioned that it would be ok for her to import chinese cat and dog fur, because the animals had been bred for it anyway. When asked about the horrendous animal suffering in china (google is your friend!) her only reply is: what about the cows in holland?

Well, we don't skin cows alive in Holland. But anyway, it is clear that anything is ok according to her. She doesn't protest animal suffering at all. She isn't an animal activist. She even has a recipe for a meat dish (rabbit) on one of her blogs:

rabbit with red wine

So, for all of you who think she is some sort of 'animal activist': you are gullible idiots!

On to the next quote of insanity, made by Katinka Simonse:

2008 schritt die Polizei ein, als sie in einer Amsterdamer Galerie 100 Hamster in Tretmühlen zeigte. "Gegen einen Hamster im Tretrad sagt niemand etwas, aber gegen 100 plötzlich doch", konstatierte sie.


Translation: In 2008 the dutch police (actually, the animal protection service was involved, but whatever...) intervened because of an exposition where she put 100 hamsters in hamsterballs for an 'art exhibit'. She claims: One hamster in a hamsterball is no problem, but 100 is.

Well, again she misleads everybody. As far as I remember a hamster is not supposed to spend more then 20 minutes in a hamster ball. She put 100 stress sensitive hamsters in an 'art hall' in 100 hamster balls for five hours straight with no food, no water,... This is why these animals were confiscated. But again, this isn't mentioned at all in the article, or similar ones (Der Spiegel,...take your pick)

Anyone who takes her stuff at face value and didn't think it true: Idiots! She didn't make a point with this at all. She misused a product and abused hamsters to prove a point that is no point at all and to get attention for it. It worked off course...typical

On top of it, she 'creates' a debate, that in essence isn't a debate at all. But that doesn't stop some idiots of celebrating it as a good initiative. Yes, a very good idea to violate peoples privacy and essentialy take 'revenge' on those that oppose you. Good idea! Lets applaud it. again: Idiots!

idiot2

If you don't know what I am talking about, read this article:

My dearest cat pinkeltje

important:

The artists has collected the thousands of threatening emails she received between 2004 and 2008, and published them in a yellow pages-size book titled Dearest Tinkebell.
The book has already stirred a controversy of its own because Simonse doesn't just publish the emails - almost a thousand of them - but also the names, ages, addresses of the people who sent them. She also provides links to people's YouTube videos and MySpace profiles, and any embarrassing information, photos or videos she found there.


further it says:

"It was shocking to see how much personal information these people throw on the internet," Vogelaar says. "It's striking that these people are often very exhibitionist, they've posted hundreds of photos of themselves on the web.


Anybody who accepts this without thinking about it: congrats. the picture I posted suits you perfectly! Notice the way she is talking: 'these people'. As if it was a coherent group of people. Off course, they forget to mention that just about anyone has a myspace page or a facebook...with friends, conversations and pictures on it. Tinkebell has one herself! Coralie Vogelaar and Tinkebell seem to be branding their opponents into one category. A category they invented themselves...nice. Again: nobody in the media gets the idea to ask critical questions...nor do any bloggers or people discussing this on internet boards.

Both in the german and dutch newspapers, this is often reported without question:

Judging by the photos in the book, most of the hate mail was indeed sent by bored teenagers, mostly American girls.

"Teenagers who think in black and white and react very impulsively," Vogelaar says. "They click 'send' before giving it a second thought. Most emails were full of spelling errors and were sent in the middle of the night.


Nobody seems to question the validity of this crap. How can we really know this? In their latest interview Coralie Vogelaar and Katinke Simonse said they only used a portion of the hatemail received.

How did they really select it? Did they sample it, to give a clear picture of the population? Or did they just pick whoever they liked to make fun of (even fellow artists it would appear, I will blog about this in the near future).

Its just nonsense! She violated privacy laws by publishing a book with and she used people material and personal information without permission. She even published pictures of other peoples homes and details about their love life. The worst part is: even children weren't spared. And people applaud this insanity?

Anyway: I'll continue blogging about this in the days to come, while all this nonsense unfolds...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Euthanizing animals: how change is coming

I was inspired to write this post by a few posts and discussions that I read on the vegansoapbox site. You can find these posts here:

the pound

euthanasia dogs and pigs

Now, in the US (just as everywhere else) there is a big problem: to many pets are being bred. To many dogs and cats are being 'mass-produced' into an uncaring world. Many of them end up on the streets, are maltreated, litters drowned (and those people are monsters), other animals wind up in pounds. Now, welfare of these animals isn't very good. Well, it sucks... This is especially true for the US, as far as I can see. And it is quite shocking. Especially the first link (the pound) made this quite clear to me.

In my country, things are - at least in some places - not much better. But, there is a glimmer of hope. It might also one day become reality in the US.

Two things are a good step forward to a better future, and they were both realized by animal rights group GAIA (Global Action in the Interests of Animals).

1. On the local level: in the city of Antwerp (antwerpen) they had their role in the creation of a euthanasia commission. Through this commission it becomes impossible to just kill healthy animals like they were nothing. I have two interesting newspaper articles on this. I will post the links for my dutch speaking readers.

euthanasiacommission

De euthanasiecommissie zal vooral over de moeilijke gevallen moeten adviseren: gevaarlijke of gedragsgestoorde dieren, dieren die geen adoptiefamilie vinden. Wanneer er geen discussie is en het dier duidelijk lijdt, zonder kans op herstel of een 'waardig bestaan', beslist de dierenarts zelf.


I will not translate everything, but in short it says: only in cases where the animal is clearly suffering, without chance of recovery, can the vet decide himself to put the animal to sleep. In other cases (such as disturbed behavoir, not finding a family that wants to adopt the animal,...) a special euthanasia commission will have to decide whether euthanasia can be justified.

The article further states that this will be enforced on all pounds and the commission itself will consist of a vet, an independent ethicist and an employee of the pound itself.

We are not there yet: but this is a big leap forward. The lives of the animals are no longer considered to be easily discarded and they are more looked at as human beings then things.

Another article I wanted to share: euthanasia

De beslissing tot euthanasie moet door de drie leden van de commissie gezamenlijk genomen worden en ze moet duidelijk gemotiveerd zijn.


Basically: the decision for euthanasia will have to be taken by the group and must be clearly motivated.

Also great is that Michel Vandenbosch (president of GAIA) defended the measure by refering to Ghandi and how he measured a nation. By the way they treated their animals Very fitting and important to mention!

Another good initiative of GAIA, was one directed at the selling of dogs and cats in stores. Because of a new law inacted and as of now in force. It is illegal to sell dogs and cats in stores in Belgium. They can only be bought from licensed breeders. This is to hinder impulse buying of animals and its dire effects. The only thing you are allowed to have in stores is catalogues to show people the animals (yeah, I know...but a big improvement for the animals themselves)

Gaia (dutch!)

It just shows that at least change is possible. If it can happen here, then why not in the United States? We can't give in: the animals depend on us.

For those of you who want to know more about GAIA, they also have an english section. Please visit Global Action in the Interests of Animals

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Are Peta activists terrorists? Part 1

This is the first part in a series I will be making on the animal rights group Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and all the fuss about their organization.

First I want to make clear that I am neither a supporter or an opponent of the organization.

The reason I will be making this series is simply because anti-animal right groups are trying to demonize the entire movement itself by using guilt by association smears, dirty campaign tactics, strawmen arguments and several other usual tactics commonly used to discredit your opponents (ad hominem attacks). This isn't just used against Peta, but also against the HSUS, celebs who help these organizations, grassroots campaigners...

Nobody is safe. And as far as I am concerned, we need to stand up together, as one movement and confront the disinformation and hatred towards us head on. Otherwise we will not make it. We cannot let anti-ARA's divide us in different camps. Divide and conquer (divida et impera) is still alive and kicking. It worked in the days of the roman empire, and it still does today. This is also one of the reasons why I disapprove of Gary Francione. If we fight amongst each other we will fracture and become even weaker. Which is off course a bad thing for the animals.

The first part of this blogseries, I will focus on the Center for Consumer Freedom. These guys have been the spearhead in the anti-animal rights campaign and have also played a crucial role opposing environmental organizations.

They also fight dieticians because there is off course no obesity epidemic in the US and the food police wants to control what is on your plate!

Since you should always check your sources, lets check the credibility of the CCF:

Sourcewatch on Center for Consumer Freedom

As part of its operations CCF runs a series of attack websites, including "consumerfreedom.com, activistcash.com, cspiscam.com, animal-scam.com, fishscam.com, obesitymyths.com, physiciansscam.com [and] PetaKillsAnimals.com. [2]


Guest Choice Network, the predecessor organization to CCF, was formed in such a way so as not to appear "owned" by Philip Morris, to address the lack of interest restaurant owners had in Philip Morris's "Accommodation Program," and to have a broader appeal to industry than just tobacco


CCF is one of the more active of several front groups created by Berman & Co., a public affairs firm owned by lobbyist Rick Berman. Based in Washington, D.C., Berman & Co. represents the tobacco industry as well as hotels, beer distributors, taverns, and restaurant chains. Hotels, motels, restaurants, bars and taverns together comprise the "hospitality industry," which has long been cultivated by the tobacco industry as a third party to help slow or stop the progression of smokefree laws.

CCF actively opposes smoking bans and lowering the legal blood-alcohol level, while targeting studies on the dangers of red meat consumption, overfishing and pesticides. Each year they give out the "nanny awards" to groups who, according to them, try to tell consumers how to live their lives.


Part of CCF's method is to direct attention away from the substantive issues and to keep the focus on the messenger rather than the message. For example, CCF has created a website known as CSPIscam, whose sole purpose is to discredit and defame the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). CCF dismisses CSPI's work as media driven and reliant on "junk science" to scare people into believing that the group is trying to take away their right to eat whatever they want


Note that this is exactly the same thing they are doing to Peta, HSUS and other animal rights and environmental groups. This fact is also mentioned on the sourcewatch website:

CCF is also accuses pro-vegetarian organizations like the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine of hiding behind an animal rights agenda, though these groups are visibly and vocally trying to protect animals, and readily acknowledge such


CCF claims to represent "more than 30,000 U.S. restaurants and tavern operators." However, the IRS Form 990 which it filed for the the six-month period from July to December 1999 (under the name of "Guest Choice Network") shows that almost all of its financial support came from a handful of anonymous sources. Its total income for that period was $111,642, of which $105,000 came from six unnamed donors. It received no income from membership dues. Some of its funding apparently came from one of Berman's other organizations, the American Beverage Institute, which "contributes monthly amounts to the Guest Choice Network to assist with media expenses." The Guest Choice Network did not report paying salaries to any of its employees, who were presumably paid by Berman & Co.


The Center for Consumer Freedom receives funds - apparently - from Coca Cola, Hathfield Quality meats (I guess they don't like vegetarians much!), Standard meat, National steak and poultry, Michigan turkey producers initiative, ...

If the funds that are used by the CCF stem from such companies, then it is no wonder that they are after animal right and environmental groups. So, why would the press releases of the CCF not be held to higher scrutiny? If Peta of the HSUS says something, the usual mindless rhetoric is used: they want to destroy or way of life, they are liars, Peta is a bunch of terrorist extremists and other such nonsense. But what is the real evidence of this? And where is the evidence that groups like the HSUS are conduction illicit acts.

It's usually not much more than rhetoric and guild by association smears. Not much better than what Sarah Palin used in her campaign against Barack Obama. This shows the level of stupidity involved!

And it's a good thing Sarah Palin lost the election: for humans, animals and the environment:

sarah-palin-turkey-regret

yeaahhhh *sick*

A good exposé on CFF antics can read here: lobbyists hide behind Non-profit fronts

Something typical of this organization and this has to be kept in mind before you believe anything they say:

David Martosko: "Government statistics and independent science confirms very clearly that the drunk driving problem in this country has been reduced to a small hard core of repeat offenders."

In fact, government statistics don't show that. The majority of arrests are first-timers, but the center runs ad campaigns against lowering the legal blood alcohol limit.


And these people then pretend to be giving sound advice and to correctly inform the public!

Martosko attacks Hightower for being an activist. But Martosko himself is no part scientist. He was a music major in college and then an AM radio talk show producer before becoming chief researcher for the Center for Consumer Freedom which is headquartered inside the lobbying offices of Richard Berman, a lobbyist for the restaurant and beverage industry.


The man behind it all is Rick Berman. And yes, I don't think this man is to be trusted. Do you? Read this:

Bermanexposed.org

Richard Berman is the longtime president of the Washington, D.C.-based lobbying and consulting firm, Berman & Company, Inc. ("BCI") which specializes in strategic research and communications. Throughout the years Berman has been a stalwart supporter of business and industry over consumer, safety and environmental groups. Berman has fought unions, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, PETA and other watchdog groups in their efforts to raise awareness about obesity, the dangers of smoking, mad cow disease, drunk driving, the minimum wage and other causes. He has been described in the press as a "notorious D.C. lobbyist."


The facts section of Berman exposed is very interesting. A must read!

In my next post I will be digging deeper and start researching the claims made against Peta, HSUS and animal welfare/animal rights. So add this blog to your feed or bookmark it, if you are interested.

And keep in mind. Guilt by association smears can be used against anyone. Even against CCF itself. Just read this:

Center for Consumer Freedom helps terrorists!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Francione: we are all michael vick... a critique

I just yesterday blogged about Tinkebell who strangled her own cat in the name of art, has made 100 hamsters suffer in an art exhibit,... well she did too much insanity to cover here. If you haven't read it yet: read the post now! Not that it is totally necessary to read this article to follow my train of thought in this post. But it will help.

Because op my post about tinkebell (the holland girl who has several screws loose) a post was brought to my attention made by Gary Francione. You can read it on abolitionistapproach: A note on Michael Vick

If you have been following my blogs for some time, you should have noticed that I am not very fond of Gary Francione or his ideas relating to animal rights. Again, he has proven me right in my conviction that his ideas are not an enrichment for the struggle for the animals.

Don't worry: I'll illustrate why I think this is the case!

Please let me be very clear: I think that dog fighting is a terrible thing.

But I must say that the Vick case is rather dramatically demonstrating what I call our “moral schizophrenia” about animals.


I've pulled out this quote first for one reason only: it is the only thing he said I can agree with. There is apparently a double standard, that we don't have in countries like South-Korea or countries such as China where they boil cats alive...but I'm not going to talk about that in this post. I just want to mention one thing: I don't think a double moral standard is logical, but at times I'm glad that we have this standard. Otherwise everything would be even worse.

The animals we eat—even those supposedly raised “humanely”—suffer as much as the dogs that are used in dog fighting.


With this I already take issue. Why? Because it is simply a gross oversymplification of reality. And that doesn't help the animals in the slightest. Yes, the animals raised for food suffer as well. This is surely true for factory farms. BUT! There is a big but.

Animals raised 'humanely' don't suffer as much as the animals in factory farms, or dogs that get tortured for fun or drowned and tortured to death if they don't perform well. It is easily illustrated. In one of my previous post I already wrote about the differences between animal activists like Peter Singer and Gary Francione. I also gave some links to a discussion between Gary Francione and Martin Balluch. Martin takes the position that animal welfare does make a difference, and I tend to agree. link: gary francione and peter singer

I think you have to be far out there to state that animals from free range farms suffer as much as dogs that get drowned by Michael Vick and his buddies. I am not saying that what is happening on farms isn't cruel. What I am saying is that some perspective, common sense and a decent reality check wouldn't hurt.

The dogs had a miserable life and the way they were killed was ten times worse then how a rabbit is killed on a 'humane farm'. They don't drown the rabbit in case you haven't noticed Gary!

Do I think that killing those rabbits is correct? Off course not. But I do think that blatant generalizations like this alienate the public. Nuance is important.

There is something positively bizarre about condemning Michael Vick for using dogs in a hideous form of entertainment when 99% of us also use animals that are every bit as sentient as dogs in another hideous form of entertainment that is no more justifiable than fighting dogs: eating animals and animal products.


Again, the same applies her. But look at this quote as if you were still a meat eater. Most meat eaters are convinced that eating meat or animal products are a 'necessary evil' of some kind. Actually Gary Francione said this several times during interviews (people think meat is needed to be healthy and the like). Do you think that a 'normal' meat eater will take his quote serious? In light of what I just said?

If you want to communicate, you have to do it in a way that will effectively reach people and make them think. This doesn't make people think. To be honest: I don't even consider the eating of animals as a sadistic form of entertainment. This is however exactly what Francione seems to be implying here. If you eat meat, you are a sadistic bastard who tortures animals. And this is not the way to have a dialogue and is - to me - rhetoric devout of any real meaning.

And it needs to be said that the majority of the world population can't/won't turn vegan from one day onto the next. That is not even possible. Animal agriculture is a bit more complex that drowning dogs and stopping illegal dog fighting rings. Society is a complex system. And this isn't helping to change or improve society. It fuels resentment towards us. At least: this is how I see it.

eating meat that has the Certified Humane Raised and Handled label endorsed by The Humane Society of the United States while HSUS tells us what a bad guy Michael Vick is.


[Sarcasm mode]Attacking other animal rights groups is also a favorite past time of Gary [/sarcasm mode]

I introduced Simon the Sadist, who derived pleasure from blowtorching dogs. We would all regard such conduct as monstrous because we all agree that it is wrong to inflict “unnecessary” suffering on animals and pleasure, amusement, and convenience cannot count as satisfying the “necessity” requirement. But then I asked the further question—how are those of us who eat animal flesh and animal products any different from Simon? He enjoys blowtorching dogs; we enjoy the taste of flesh and animal products.


Lets put this in perspective: you used to eat meat, so you are/were no different than someone who burned dogs alive? How am I even supposed to have a reasonable discussion like this? And what if people decide the other way around of what you had intended? I have seen more people say: you're right, dogs are just animals so I can't say it's wrong to kill or torture dogs. So go ahead! Then that I have seen people turn vegan because of such an argumentation. In the post about Tinkebell, people actually laughed and applauded while she told the world how she strangled her own cat. And the meat eaters that speak out against it are being called hypocrites: by both the artist (who has some screws loose), as her supporters and on top of it: certain animal activists. Just like is the case with Michael Vick in the US.

So, how is this helping animals? It is nothing more than rhetoric and I could easily argue that we are helping the opposition like this, by alienating people, oversymplifying and then giving people a 'choice'.

And that choice is the following:

1. One 'extreme': torture, kill and make any animal suffer

2. the other extreme: go vegan (I am not saying that veganism is extreme! But in the minds of most people that have never even heard of it, or have a different ethical system towards animals it is far fetched)

What does this achieve, this choice? except then for the fact that people won't speak out against cruelty. This isn't helping society evolve, this is helping it devolve. The fact of the matter is, even people who will never turn vegetarian (majority) are now taking animals more seriously. Not as serious as it should be according to us, but it should be applauded. Not demolished and attacked. I can still see logical differences between pure torture and sadism on one side, and animal testing and the eating of meat on the other.

I understand what Gary Francione was trying to say in his post, but on the other hand I cannot agree with it. This isn't helping at all!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tinkebell: woman kills her cat for an art project

UPDATE: I made a new post today, in response to media reports, blogs,... filled with nonsense about the actions of Katinka Simone. You can find it here: Katinka simonse and my dearest cat Pinkeltje

I will be blogging more about this in the future.


I am not shocked and pissed off often, but now I am. The news that I am about to discuss is from Holland and goes back several years, but this stuff is still going on. I will provide all links (many are in dutch) but translate everything you need to know.

So I recently read a few forum and blog posts about an artist from Holland named Tinkebell (real name: Katinka Simonse). This 29 year old artist apparently 'murdered' her own cat with her bare hands and made a hand bag out of it in the name of 'art'. (She actually called it murder herself once as far as I remember)

This is the girl in question holding up the fur of her own pet cat: Tinkebell killed cat


OK, your first reaction might be that she is a psycho. Well, that was and is still my reaction. And to show you why...look at this video: tinkebell

It is in dutch, but you don't need to understand what she is saying to know what is going on. At about 1.10 seconds into the video she explains that she snapped the neck of her own cat. She appears to be proud of it and even laughs about it several times. She also explains with great enthousiasm how to do it yourself and shows the handmovements used. At a certain point someone will even say that she actually practically strangled the cat and not just broke it's neck. And she even just about agrees with this person. If this isn't animal cruelty and if this isn't sick, well...then I don't know what is.

What is even more disturbing is that the audience even finds it funny. And why did she kill her cat? She claims she 'had to' because the cat was depressed. In another interview she reveals that she 'rescued' the cat from a family where is was supposedly maltreated and that the animal was depressed because of it. So she had to kill it, and she could just as well make a bag out of it, sell it online and become a famous 'artist' in the process I guess?

I don't take her story too serious for one moment. Especially not, because she even laughed about it in several interviews. This is a perfect example:

Tinkebell is applauded

In the first few minutes you see her holding up a bag made of her own cat. She claimed she hadn't seen the footage in a long time and laughs about it while the public applauds her for it! (this made me even more sick and makes me glad I am a belgian and not from Holland).

In this recent interview (14 of may) she also revealed a new book that she has written. But more about this later. First I want to bring up another cruelty that she has commited in the name of art in the last few years and look at her 'motivations' or lack of motivations, except for money and worldwide 'fame'.

This woman has a history of - what I perceive to be - animal cruelty. Here is another example to prove my point. Early 2008 she held an exhibit called 'save the pets'. In this exhibit she wanted to make everybody 'aware' of how people handle their pets (at least that is what she claimed). So she bought 100 hamsters (already a bad idea if you care about animals)and trapped all of them in plastic balls. Because of this art project the Holland animal protection service intervened and confiscated all the animals.

The 'party for the animals' tried to intervene politically to stop Katinka Simonse, but to no avail. Which just shows how screwed this world is and also demonstrates that the battle for animal rights is going to be a very long and hard one. I know: this is depressing, but that is reality!

Here defense is also very shady (goes without saying I guess):

1. She uses her art to show that people have double standards towards animals: so do animal activists, but we don't go around torturing hamsters, shredding chickens (she actually extorted a crowd into buying/adopting chickens, or otherwise she would shred them),...and we certainly are not going to strangle our own pet cat.

2. She defended the killing of her own cat in three ways:

- The cat was depressed: Yes, we are supposed to take this seriously. How can we even be sure that this was true?

- If you wear leather, what is so bad about killing your own cat: well, I don't wear leather or eat meat...but even if I were to eat meat. That doesn't mean that I have to agree with you or that this is a defense at all. How is it a defense to point out to other animal cruelty, in order to defend my own perpetrated animal cruelty? If someone else runs a red light, is it ok for me to do that too? And to go even further, I have heard people defend eating meat with a lot more sensible arguments than I have heard people defend the killing of their own pets or the torture of their own hamsters. There is no excuse for this. The world can't just go vegan from today onto tomorrow, that doesn't mean we can't stop abusing our own pets from today onto tomorrow. So I fail to see the logic. Perhaps because I am using my conscience.

- Specifically in relation to her cat: she didn't only proudly defended the necksnapping, but also explained others how to do it. And how does she defend this? well, she points the finger at the rest of the world and says that people put their cat to sleep by a vet for less. Regardless of whether this is true or not. How are her actions (that where applauded by a brain dead dutch audience) going to improve the lives of cats in our society? How will this increase awareness or concern for animal welfare. Because at times she seems to present herself as some sort of 'animal activist'.

To me it seems that she doesn't care. She got famous because of what she did and has probably made money because of her actions. Someone in a particular interview made a remark about her killing her own cat, the only answer he got was this: 'the cat made a fine bag'. So, anyone who actually believes that she is trying to 'help' animals or making people aware of something: she isn't. She is just perpertrating the use of animals as mere commodities and nothing more. This while she claimes that she is protesting this with her work.

What strikes me even more, since she at times seems to liken her to an animal activist: what about chocolate? You might say: what? But think about this. In Africa children are enslaved, suffer and even get killed because of the way chocolate is produced for the western world. Anyone here who eats chocolate is partly responsible for what is happening in Africa. So if I want to make an artistic work and 'protest' this, what am I going to do exactly? Am I going to whip a child or kill one to prove my point? Would people buy the explanation that everybody does this? Since we all eat chocolate? Will people be silenced out of fear of being considered a 'hypocrite' by someone who has in my personal opinion a few screws loose? I don't think so.

What is even more striking is the following: she published a book...well, just read follow the link and read it for yourself!

dearest tinkebell: in english

Just read the article. I will highlight several important points:

A Dutch artist famous for her bloody animal art has launched a new controversial project. In a book published on Saturday she exposes the people who sent her hate mail after they learnt she had killed her cat to make it into a purse.


In 2007, she rescued 61 chicks from a factory farm and threatened to dump them all in a shredder unless her audience adopted them.


My dearest cat Pinkeltje' in 2004: Tinkerbell personally twisted her pet's neck and skinned it with her own hands to make it into a purse.


The artists has collected the thousands of threatening emails she received between 2004 and 2008, and published them in a yellow pages-size book titled Dearest Tinkerbell. The book has already stirred a controversy of its own because Simonse doesn't just publish the emails - almost a thousand of them - but also the names, ages, addresses of the people who sent them. She also provides links to people's YouTube videos and MySpace profiles, and any embarrassing information, photos or videos she found there.


that's right. She received hate mail for killing animals and making them suffer in the name of art and for shock value. And now she is apparently flat out breaking privacy laws and nailing her opponents against the wall in a book.

I watched an interview where they actually aired personal information of people: such as age, pictures they found on the net,... In the interview they even disclosed information on a teenage girl (16 years of age), Katinka Simonse and her co author apperently did their research and even dugg up the love life of the people that wrote mails to her.

To me this is disgusting. I don't agree with death threats and so on, but then again: vegetarians don't strangle cats, but get threatening mails on youtube, blogger and so on all the time! This happens a lot on the internet. How many of you reading this haven't been told to die, commit suicide and so on. That doesn't mean that we are going to violate the privacy of others (apparently many of them children) I think the world has gone insane.

And if I read this quote from the article...yeah, the world has gone insane:

Judging by the photos in the book, most of the hate mail was indeed sent by bored adolescents, mostly American girls. "Teenagers who think in black and white and react very impulsively," Vogelaar says. "They click 'send' before giving it a second thought. Most emails were full of spelling errors and were sent in the middle of the night.


It is nice to see how serious they take the international objections to their form of 'art'. There are other ways to express yourself and make a point.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Belgian city goes meatless for one day!

The Belgian city of Ghent goes meatless for one day a week. This great initiative is the result of a campaign run by the Belgian vegetarian Union 'ethisch vegetarisch alternatief (translation: ethical vegetarian alternative).

Because of this campaign my homeland will be the first city in the world to adopt a meatless day in the entire world. And to me that is something to be proud of.

On the website of the international vegetarian union you can find several press release about this intitiave.

Belgian city plans veggie days

Starting this week there will be a regular weekly meatless day, in which civil servants and elected councillors will opt for vegetarian meals. Ghent means to recognise the impact of livestock on the environment.


weekly meatless day official in Belgium

Starting May 13, the Belgian city of Ghent, one of the 370 European climate cities, may very well become the first worldwide to officially promote a weekly meatless day.


The first Thursday Veggie Day will kick off on Wednesday May 13th with a festive ceremony for the public. Tom Balthazar, councilman for the city's health and environmental committee, will officially proclaim Thursdays to be vegetarian days.


Today this ceremony took place. On the website donderdagveggiedag.be (thursday vegetarian day) you can find info on this ceremony. This is off course only interesting for people who read dutch. So I will just extract the most important things from the text for the rest of you: Over 400 citizens swear veggie oath

Een publieksevenement met internationale weerklank, en donderdag wordt officieel gekroond tot veggiedag in Gent. Meer hoeft dat niet te zijn voor een vzw als EVA (Ethisch Vegetarisch Alternatief). Alhoewel, we zien het nog grootser. Andere steden zullen volgen, wie weet ook in meer Europese landen en zelfs aan de andere kant van de wereld. Meer dan vierhonderd mensen schreven zich gisteren plechtig in om voortaan minimum één dag per week geen vlees te eten. Een kleine stap voor de mens, maar een grote stap voor onze planeet.


summary: this campaign has an international impact and thursday is now official a vegetarian city in the Belgian city of Ghent. There might be a possibility that other cities throughout europe will join in in the future and perhaps even cities in other parts of the world (do I hear you say: meatless monday?)

Over 400 people have already vowed to eat vegetarian one day a week.

They further stress the detrimental environmental impact of the meat industry on the environment and how eating less meat goes a long way to reduce our carbon footprint.

This project has peaked the interest of international media outlets, and there is a lot out there about this. To my surprise, but it is off course very positive. Lets hope that this convinces other cities to adopt a similar initiative.

I'm just going to mention one newspaper article, because of some important information:

Ghent goes veggie to lose weight and save the planet

I want to highlight this article because of a very important quote...

"This is not a plan for everyone to be forced into vegetarianism," said Wim Coenen, a vegan who works as an importer of vegetarian pet food from Italy. "But it will reduce our carbon footprint. The basic premise is to introduce a way of lessening our meat consumption."


This is indeed not a plan to force anything on anyone. There are good reasons to eat less meat, yes there are also reasons why we ought to stop eating meat (ethics for example), but that is not what this campaign is about. It is about reducing the carbon footprint and improving healt by meat reduction. And it is on your own accord that you participate. Some belgian internet boards and newspaper comment sections had some pretty weird discussions about this topic and how 'the left is imposing its views' and other usual nonsense. They did make more noise, that's about it...And of course people started arguing again about how unhealthy it is supposed to be, to be a vegetarian (typical)... Which doesn't even matter in the first place. It is about meat reduction!

This just shows how twisted some people are in their opinions on vegetarianism and how biased they are. Some were acting as if the Red Army was about to march through their front door and declare the Soviet Republic of Belgium.

I'm just relieved that most people aren't like this. The initiative has been welcomed by dietitians and many people (including celebs) are participating. So all in all, there might be hope for a more eco-friendly world.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Peta watch editorial on Oprah Winfrey and KFC

When I visited the Peta Watch blog today I came across another fascinating piece of work on KFC and Oprah Winfrey. Several blogs with anti Peta sentiments have blogged about this the last couple of days, but this one peaked my curiosity. Read it here:
Winfrey owes Peta nothing

Something that absolutely struck me right of the batt:

US Talk-Show Queen Oprah Winfrey has come under fire in some quarters for partnering with Kentucky Fried Chicken to supply free grilled chicken for America. In a country gripped in recession and battling an obesity crises this is no stingy gesture and one you might think should be applauded.


Well, except for the questions that can be raised about the cruelty at KFC (kfc cruelty

How is giving fast food to people helping the battle against obesity? And has this got anything to do with the recession? So because of the recession people in the US are starving and that is why they are obese? The logic escapes me.

By the way: for those of you that don't know what the hell is going on or what the hell Peta Watch Australia is talking about. Read my previous posts about KFC here

According to Peta Wacth:


If the criticism relies upon the idea that meat-eaters are incapable of loving animals then this is provably false.


As far as I know that claim wasn't even made in relation to this whole animal rights drama starring KFC and Oprah Winfrey, but you could ask yourself the question whether killing animals and making animals suffer is compatible with 'loving animals'. There is no need to cut their throat, we don't need meat to survive. Not that this even matters at all to this discussion, but anyway...

Winfrey owes nothing to the lobby group: she is neither its spokesperson, a vegan or official supporter.


No, she only spoke out against cruelty at KFC, then turns her back on all of us and promotes the company and its products. I could call her a hypocrite without much problem.

: "How utterly two-faced", said one senior PETA board member from India.


A board member? you mean of the official board of Peta(with Bill Maher, Ingrid Newkirk,...NO. Of the official forum. Yes, they use quotes of an internet board to make a point. Very convincing. It's also fun to note that just a few days ago Peta critics such as Deceiver.com were bashing Peta for not attacking Oprah. I anticipated that if Peta would respond: the anti-Peta folk would be all up in arms and bash Peta for calling out Oprah. Eh voila! I was right. It doesn't matter what Peta does or does not do: they will be attacked and defamed regardless. This also goes for any other animal rights activist or group.

What is far more plausible is not that Winfrey is unaware of animal welfare concerns but that she is aware that instances of abuse are relatively isolated. What abuse may exist in any animal industry pales in comparison to the overall standards of adequate care that most major producers and suppliers adhere to.


Off course it is. All these instances are isolated. And while we are at it: off course others will be more than happy to 'prove' that it was not an isolated incident, but all a lie and a set-up using forged images (and other crap that usually finds its way into the media). And so on, and so on...

It is important to note that chickens are not covered by the 'Humane slaughter act' in the US. So it doesn't really matter what you do to them (legally). And lest I forget: the humane slaughter act is a joke anyway!

It is also implausible to believe any large animal supplier condones the wanton torture of animals en masse


Ask yourself this question: if 55 billion animals are being raised for slaughter every year worldwide, how can these animals be treated humane? There are to many, and they are cramped in small areas. Packed on each other. It is not only a welfare disaster, but also an environmental disaster and a public health risk (swine flu, avian flu,...)

Face it: what mankind does to animals is sick, immoral AND dangerous.

Update: Peta Watch has mentioned this blog in their editorial...as an update.

UPDATE: The empathy for animals blog is annoyed at Winfrey: '(Winfrey)...spoke out against cruelty at KFC then turns her back on all of us and promotes the company and its products. I could call her a hypocrite without much problem.'


link

Also read my previous posts about Oprah and KFC do understand my full position on this particalur topic.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Oprah: KFC giveaway total failure

It would appear that not only the animals are the victims of this debacle, contrary to what I had thought in my previous post:animal rights drama: KFC, Oprah and Peta

I just read great free chicken fiasco

The result? The perception of a massive customer-service failure at precisely the moment when KFC was going for good PR. Customers who did get their coupons and trudged to a Manhattan KFC reportedly staged some sort of protest when they weren't served.


Just read the entire article...I got a small grin on my face. I can't help it. The whole situation still sucks off course. Perhaps its bad karma taking its toll. Who knows?

animal rights drama: KFC, Oprah and Peta

The title is fitting I guess: there is some animal rights drama out there. Just days ago Ecorazzi reported that Oprah will give away free KFC meals to all american families. Read it here. In case you didn't know yet, Oprah spoke out in the past against KFC cruelty towards chickens, and now appears to have made a 180 degree turn and joined the 'dark side'. No need for me to delve into the cruelty of KFC itself. If you want to know more about that, just visit kentuckfriedcruelty.com

Two days Later Ecorazzi made another blogpost about the Oprah animal rights drama.

Ecorazzi:

While many shots have been fired from blogs and news organizations over Oprah’s decision to align herself with KFC and give away free chicken dinners, the loudest cannons of all from PETA have yet to fire. In fact, the animal rights organizations has been oddly silent on the issue — which is largely surprising considering their usual snappy media retaliations.


This post clearly had an effect on Peta and shortly thereafter Ecorazzi made another blogpost regarding a response from Peta on this issue.

Peta:

PETA was horrified and immediately wrote privately to Oprah to enquire as to whether KFC had deliberately misled her the way it has been misleading other consumers on its Web site. Seeing how strongly Oprah had publicly criticized cruelty to chickens in the food industry, PETA believes that Oprah was likely the victim of the very consumer deception practices that PETA cited in its recent complaint to the FTC about KFC


So, the question is: has she been deceived or not? That's what it comes down to. Is Oprah wittingly supporting KFC cruelty or does she really think the situation for the chickens has improved? I don't know at this time, I will keep an eye on this and blog more about this in the coming days.

I do know one thing: the true victim of this drama are the animals. And this comes down squarely on the shoulders of Oprah herself...at least this is how I see it for now.

And of course, critics are having the time of their life. Just check out the post on the Oprah KFC issue on deceiver.com: Peta too chicken

Deceiver.com:

Ah … I get it now. PETA’s not criticizing Ms. Vajayjay because she has the power to crush them. It’s the same reason you always hear about PETArds harassing old ladies in fur coats, but they never seem to have time to mess with Hell’s Angels bikers in their leather jackets.


Lame...have you watched gangwars? scary people. And fur is ten times worse then leather jackets. Period. Both animal welfare and animal rights groups are up in arms about fur. But I guess you people were just being sarcastic.

PETA is clearly calculating that Oprah can hurt them more than KFC can. And I agree: If KFC were capable of crushing PETA, I think they’d have found a way to do it by now.


How can Deceiver.com even know this? This is just speculation and rhetoric:period. What if she was deceived? It could be. With all this media frenzy going on it is hard to tell truth from fiction.

Maybe it isn't that bad to wait before responding. Perhaps it is better of Peta to stay silent for now and try to find out what exactly happened...instead of nuking Oprah and everybody else in a ten mile radius... Like this:



Lets not jump to overkill (would be spectacular!). By the way: If Peta did this, then the critics would probably be even more pleased. The more we all fight amongs each other, the better for them. And this brings me back to my original sentiment: the true victims are the animals...And thats sad.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

European Union bans seal fur!

I just blogged about the impending ban yesterday and how the sealers were 'stricking back' in their usual pathetic manner with their declaration of ethical seal harvest...and today it happened: seal fur is banned within the entire European Union (that is the entire block: 27 countries!). Things could not be better.

This is yet another nail in the coffin of the cruel international sealing industry AND the fur industry. Not too long ago the EU banned dog and cat fur, and now seal fur goes the way of the dinosaur. At least in the EU.

There is still lots of work to be done, but we can now say that the world is at least becoming more animal friendly. What we do is not in vein.

Thanks to the campaigns of animal rights and animal welfare groups, the EU and its citizens were able to cut through the rethoric and disinformation about the seal industry and made a true ethical decision.

The EU now joins the United States and Croatia by passing this bill. If you want more information, please visit HSUS: EU victory for seals

And lets end this post with some words of Rebecca Aldworth:

The Canadian government tried every trick in the book to try to derail the ban: sending massive delegations to lobby on behalf of the sealing industry, misinforming decision makers, and even threatening trade reprisals. But the EU acted on behalf of its citizens and, in doing so, has saved millions of defenseless seals from a horrible fate.

Whitworthian on vegetarian elitists

I found an interesting column today online: vegetarian elitists are bologna

Yep, vegetarian elitists. It comes down to the usual rethoric about vegetarians/vegans: to let animals suffer and kill...hey it is a personal choice and those that think it is immoral have a superiority complex. I've gotten sick and tired of hearing such nonsense. And off course, I can't resist to respond to it.

According to Elizabeth Johnson:

Making a blanket statement that everyone who isn’t a vegetarian has low morality is blatantly elitist and egotistic.


Now, I have heard this before. I don't say that I am morally superior, but that hasn't stopped people from attacking me and saying that I feel/think that I am superior. Why? Because I don't eat meat out of ethical reasons. I think eating meat is immoral. So, if I think that eating meat is immoral, then I must think that everyone who does eat meat is immoral.

This way we keep talking and arguing in circles, and what does that tell us? Nothing. Is blatant animal suffering now justified because of it? I don't think so. Are my moral standpoints refuted because of it? No... just rethoric and nothing more.

Elizabeth Johnson made a column because of something one of her friends said:

Her reply was, “I’m a compassionate human with higher brain function that chooses to not engage in carnivorous behaviors.”


I don't see anything wrong with the statement of her friend...Certainly not when you take into account the fact that somebody attacked her for becoming a vegan by stating that 'humans are omnivores (just read the column). Because that doesn't make any difference. It is because of compassion and our ability to make moral choices (higher brain functions) that we can ask ourselves if what society does to animals is ethical. So, her friend was called on her veganism and responded. Where did she state that she was superior? I have seen no evidence at all.

She further says:

Animals brutally slaughter each other for their own nutrition. This isn’t saying that human beings should brutally slaughter animals for nutrition, but I don’t see vegetarians all up in arms out on the Savannah in Africa picketing lions’ behaviors.


And my response to this is: so what? This doesn't tell us anything! The animals have to do it in order to survive, we don't. To argue that it is ok for humans to kill other animals and eat them (because we like hamburger), because animals in the wild do it too (for survival)...how does that make sense?

We can live without meat, the lion cannot. We can make moral judgements, the lion cannot. Should we just ignore reality whenever it suits us? That's very handy.

And to take this reasoning a step further: many people refer to nature to defend killing of animals for food. But why not defend animal suffering. Some snakes strangle their prey, so if snakes have that right. Why would it be wrong for human beings to strangle bunnies or chickens? Just to show you how ridiculous this train of thought is. Should we now be against 'humane slaughter'? Perhaps it is a personal choice to let the animal die quickly or not.

He told me his logic was that if he could go through the whole process of raising, slaughtering and cooking an animal, then he wouldn’t be a vegetarian. So he got a pig, a goat and a chicken and raised them, cooked them and then ate them. I found this to be a remarkably objective method of deciding whether or not to become vegetarian.


Is this an objective method to become a vegetarian? So, if you can kill chickens with your bare hands (so to speak) it becomes ethical, and if you don't than it is wrong? So, if I have it in me to kill another human with my bare hands, this means that it is ok and if not, than I have to be a supporter for human rights?

I am not even saying that the killing of a human being is the same as the killing of a bunny. What I am saying is: it doesn't make sense. It is not objective, it is subjective. And if you kill a few animals (or humans) you get used to it... But that doesn't change the fact that it is still WRONG.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Peta watch: Manila and deportation of half naked peta protesters

The anti animal rights blog Peta watch australia published a follow up on the peta protests against the Manila zoo: Peta zoo protesters in Manila may be deported

You can read my original post about the Manila zoo here: Peta watch australia on nude peta protest

According to Peta watch:

The demonstration featured the usual scantily-clad PETA females protesting in front of young children. A previous entry last week on this site mentioned the country maintains a tradition of staunch conservatism.


Yes, you read that right! It is quite usual for women to protest naked for peta and young children might see it (oh the horror!). According to Peta watch (see previous post), children were 'forced' to look at beautiful young girls in bikinis. Because, as we all well know: boys would never do something like that on purpose...

To give you all an idea of the protest in all its 'sinfulness', click on the link to see a picture of it: Bikine girls from peta

Terrible isn't it? Oh the horror, and all these people on the streets that watch everything in shock and horror: with cameras and a big smile on their face...

Anyway, they referred to an article were it is claimed that the Peta protesters could be deported from the country because they ran around in a bikini (their culture doesn't accept this apparently). The reaction of Peta watch? This:

The violent lobby was customarily unfazed.


First of all: rethoric alert, again it is claimed that Peta is a violent lobby group...Because we all know that these women are packing an uzi somewhere under their bikini. A very tiny one at that!

Second: let us look a bit closer at the article that they are referring too:

Bikini-clad protesters create stir in Philippines

The words of immigration commissioner Libanan:

"They cannot just protest here, especially if it violates the culture of Filipinos," he said. "Foreigners should have no business joining these mass actions because it is tantamount to meddling in our country's internal affairs."


Meddling in a countries internal affairs? I suppose China can say the same thing about protests against the international fur industry and the live skinning of cats, dogs and other animals...

They are citizens, not 'agents' or diplomats of another nation as far as I can see it.

The response of Peta:

Activist Ashley Furno of Canada called the warning a shock because there was nothing in their visas to prohibit protesting. She also contends that the bikinis were tame compared with what can be seen widely on television and in magazines in the Philippines.


Another interesting quote I felt was needed to bring to your attention:

The liberal alliance Bayan said a Japanese activist who took part in 2002 protests against U.S.-Philippine military exercises was put on a flight back to Japan


It has been done before, but was the japanese activist also jumping about in a bikini? Or is there something else going on? How knows? I guess you can be the judge of that.

EU to outlaw seal fur and the sealers strike back: declaration of ethical seal harvest

The animal rights and animal welfare movement has been campaigning against the cruel seal hunting industry (shall we say: international fur industry?) for over thirty years. One of the most important hallmarks of this struggle is very likely to be realized this week.

In the next couple of days the European Parliament will vote on a proposition that will outlaw seal fur and other seal products from being traded, sold and shipped throughout the entire union.

The seal hunt is dead

On Friday, the European ambassadors approved a European Union proposal to ban imports of furs and all seal products. This moves the 27-nation bloc much closer to the final decision to impose the ban and final approval now is really only a formality.


No, you aren't dreaming. It would appear that mankind is finally developing a conscience and is starting to reject the rampant cruelty that we as a society inflict upon the animals.

Since the ambassadors approve an EU proposal to ban seal furs and other seal products, it is now almost certain that the europian parliament will vote 'yes' on the proposition. This will be a heavy blow for the sealing industry...

Now, off course the fur/seal industry is still fighting back. They recently opened fire on the anti-sealing nations with another 'interesting' campaign...

You can visit their site here: universal decleration of the ethical harvest of seals

This reminds me of 1984 doublespeak: 'ethical HARVEST' of seals. But anyways, lets look at this a bit closer.

The most damning claim is this one:

Could the seal save human lives?
Yes. By encouraging scientific research on seal products, the Declaration gives researchers the opportunity to develop new bioprosthetic devices made from seal organs, such as heart valves or windpipes, which could benefit patients in the near future. This could be carried out according to sound ecosystem management principles.


So, to break it down: they want you to sign a 'declaration' in support of ethical harvest of seals, because beating animals to death for fur is not a moral problem after all, and we can 'save' human lives because of it.

So to take it a step further, they want you to believe that to be against sealing is to be against saving human lives. It looks that way, doesn't it?

Off course they have no evidence whatsoever that we can use seal organs on humans, it is all purely hypothetical and we need to do more research for it...the japanese do scientific research too, and off course sell all the 'tasty tasty' whale meat while they are at it. It all seems very familiar from where I am standing.

What about artificial heart valves? I'm just throwing it out there...you decide!

Another mind boggling piece of mental gymnastics:

Does the Universal Declaration protect human communities?
Yes. The Declaration’s clearly defined principles recognize that, as an integral part of the food chain, man can legitimately use natural resources for his subsistence and health and to maintain traditions and carry out trade, while respecting ecological balance.


To carry out trade, while respecting the ecological balance. When we mix commercial interests with environmental protection, things get bad really quick...for the ecosystem off course. The profiteers thrive as usual. There is no evidence that there is such a thing as sustainable commercial use. When you commercialize something, demand and supply play the crucial role. Not conservation. Just look at what happened to the spotted cats of central America because of the international fur trade, or what happened to the sperm whale and many other species!

And it would be nice for the fur traders and sealers to get their facts straight for a change. The food chain doens't exist (and since when do you eat fur?). The food chain is outdated, reality is much more complex than that. Read all about the food web here

Another nice quote:

If, despite all conservation efforts, scientists find the seal population decreasing to the point of near extinction, the Declaration’s principles require that sealing should be banned until the threat disappears.


To the point of near extinction? You mean, business as usual? Many animal species have been commercially hunted to almost extinction, then allowed to recover, just to repeat the process again... This is exactly what happened to the whales and will happen again and again if the japanese and norwegians get their way.

It is also quite interesting to note that on their own website they mention the United Kingdom as a nation that is involved with sealing. It is true that fishermen shoot about 3000 seals a year to protect their 'fishing stocks', but it isn't commercial hunting. They have tried to make it commercial several years ago, but we were lucky that there was no majority for this. Why? Because just a couple of years later, the population of seals has gravely diminished. It was so healthy that we could supposedly hunt (insert doublespeak: harvest) them, and just a few years later there are hardly any left. This shows how dangerous these estimates are that the canadians are using to defend the seal hunt...

Just to give you some facts, here is an article from the Guardian: seals

Salmon farmers could be expelled from one of the UK's leading animal welfare schemes if they continue shooting seals in large numbers, after scientists warned that common seals are suffering a catastrophic decline.


I wonder what sealers, fur traders and their ilk will come up with next. Well, I guess it is a clear sign that seal fur is on its way out...actually the entire fur industry is on its way out. Soon, another nail will be struck into the coffin of the sealing industry, when the EU outlaws seal fur.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Will Michael Vick become a spokesperson for Peta?

The answer to the question is no, in case you were wondering. You don't know what I am talking about? The blog deceiver.com published a blogpost two days ago titled PETA's newest spokesmanMichael Vick???

Deceiver.com claimed on the basis of an article that appeared in the 'Ad age' that Michael Vick (the guy serving time for abusing dogs, killing them, participating in dog fights,...) would become the new spokesperson for animal rights group Peta.

And off course, they couldn't leave out some of the usual rethoric:

Seems like a perfect match. But can pretending to be sorry, on behalf of a group that’s killed way more pets than he ever did, resurrect that career?


This is nothing more than a cheap shot. Everybody with half a brain should be able to figure that out. I already wrote about the website 'Peta kills animals.com' and the CCF here. So I won't go into it here too much. But just a quick recap: Peta euthanized animals, just like many pounds across the world have to do...and this is because of the tremendous amounts of animals that are being bred, while there are no homes for them. It is a sad fact. And the only true way to do anything about it, is to start adopting pets, instead of buying them!

Anyway, I read this Michael Vick story yesterday...When I visited the blog today they added one sentence to their original post:

Update: PETA says it’s not true. No word yet from the Vick camp.


Yes, Peta says it is not true. They responded to this on the Peta files blog

Now that he's about to get out of jail, it looks like Michael Vick is trying to revamp his image, according to Advertising Age. But it won't be with any help from us.


It is true, you can't believe everything you read...

Peta watch Australia on nude peta protests

The blog 'Peta watch Australia and New-Zeeland' really caught my attention I must say. I've continued to browse through its posts. I have to say, at some times it's almost as if I am reading a conservative christians website preaching chasity and the word of God, instead of a 'critical' website.

Just take a look at this post: conservative philippines now target of Peta Lewdness

Families at a Philippines Zoo have been confronted by semi-naked PETA protesters with tiny Filipino children forced to witness the publicity-seeking spectacle.


Oh My God! those bastards at Peta! What a bunch of terrorists! How dare they protest in bikinis against animal cruelty. And to force those innocent children to look at those girls, the nerve. Those children will be scared for life and burn an eternity in hell...

The Manila Zoo management responded that it has a team of experts that look after the animals’ welfare and that they are not doing anything illegal.


That is very reassuring, since this country has almost no real animal welfare laws. Just like many other asian countries where they skin animals alive, drown dogs or boil cats alive.

Just to give you people a little more background in an unbiased way: inquirer

With only 0.055 square kilometers of space, the Manila Zoo “has nothing to offer animals except a life of deprivation, misery, and loneliness,” they said.


There are many other organizations that support this campaign regarding the Manila zoo, such as 'animal foundation inc. (of the PHILIPPINES) or PAWS.

It seems it was to much for Peta watch Australia to mention this, so I did it for them. Now it is up to you to make up your own mind.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Edwin Locke on animal rights

I just stumbled upon an article in the daily news called animal rights terrorists take away our right to life and liberty, written by Edwin Locke.

The title leaves little to the imagination and it immediately sets the tone for this entire editorial. I can't say I'm shocked anymore, I've gotten pretty used to being attacked, ridiculed or demonized for being an animal advocate. But it still gets on my nerves and can be quite frustrating at times to read things like that in the media.

I'll just lift out some important 'points' that Edwin Locke made and try to put it in some perspective...

They have vandalized or fire-bombed meat companies, fur stores, fast-food restaurants, leather shops and medical research laboratories across North America. The animal "rights" movement is not about the humane treatment of animals. Its goal is the animalistic treatment of human beings.


I am an animal advocate, but I don't burn buildings to the ground and blow up stuff. I am not Osama Bin Laden. The majority of the animal rights movement has denounced this sort of activities. Even Ingrid Newkirk who claims that direct action is acceptable (such as rescuing chickens, but she herself doesn't do that) thinks that setting fires is cleary going too far.

Several years ago Peter Singer published this editorial: Humans are sentient too

In it he denounces violence in all forms. The animal rights group HSUS has spoke out against arson and other forms of property damage on several occasions (google is your friend), but that doesn't seem to bother Locke at all and he just puts all of us in the same category with Osama and his pals. The same strategy by the way that Sarah Palin used on Barack Obama.

The terrorists are unmoved by the indisputable fact that animal research saves human lives.


How is that indisputable? To claim it is so, doesn't make it so. What if there are other ways of doing research? In the European Union, it is now illegal to perform experiments on animals for cosmetics. There are more than enough alternatives out there for many tests, and most animals tests are not even meant to save human lives at all. How does testing an oven cleaner save anyone really?

And I am not a 'terrorist'. I hate such rethoric, since it makes any sensible conversation impossible.

man's rights do not depend on his ability to feel pain; they depend on his ability to think.

Rights are ethical principles applicable only to beings capable of reason and choice. There is only one fundamental right: a man's right to his own life. To live successfully, man must use his rational faculty - which is exercised by choice.


How is the ability to think, morally relevant. And why do you think, that animals don't think? Animals are more than just instinct. There is more than enough evidence to support that animals feel, experience pain, have problem solving capabilities, some animals have self-awareness (such as chimps), they have social interactions,...

There are by the way many different standpoint within the animal rights movement as to why animals have rights and to what extent. I am somewhat inspired by people such as James Rachels, Thomas Degrazia, Peter Singer and other...so the ability to feel pain plays a big role in my ethical framework. But it doesn't really in other ethical frameworks such as virtue ethics or Tom Regan's theory concerning 'subjects of a life'

To me it is simple, humans and other animals have the right to equal consideration of equal interests. This means that I have to take into account not only the selfish desire of some girl who wants a piece of fur trim, but also the suffering that an animals has to endure to produce it, the cost to the environment and the cost to society in the way that animals are regarded by the people if they are allowed to suffer so much for so little gain... (animals are not commodities!)

Predation is their natural and only means of survival; they do not have the capacity to learn any other.


This isn't relevant at all. You have the capacity to act morally and you CAN survive in another way. It is fascinating to see how people think: we are so moral and ethical,animals not. Therefore we can abandon all sense of morality that we have in our dealings with animals.

I'm sorry Edwin, but that doesn't compute... And the problem of predation has been adressed by Thomas Degrazia in the past...

Another interesting take on the problem of predation can be read on theanimal ethics blog

The animal "rights" terrorists are like the Unabomber or the World Trade Center terrorists or Oklahoma City bombers. They are not idealists seeking justice, but nihilists seeking destruction for the sake of destruction.


And how can I even respond to something like this? The Unabomber was anti-technology and society by the way, I hold no such views. And neither does the rest of the animal rights movement.

PETA kills animals

Everybody must have heard of it by now...the PETA kills animals campaign was kicked-off several years ago and has drawn attention the last couple of years. But how correct is this campaign and what does it tell us exactly? A recent press release by the 'Center for Consumer Freedom' (CCF) makes me frown (as usual):

PETA kills animals and the news is spreading like wildfire

If you read the article, the amount of rethoric and exaggerations is staggering.

The tone goes something like this:

Last week we published new government records showing that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) operates a dog and cat slaughterhouse at its Norfolk, Virginia headquarters. And the news started spreading – fast.


It reads more like some sort of political tract meant to incite people into a stampeding rampage, than anything else. Note that this organisation claims to 'inform' people and protect their 'freedoms'.

I wonder why the CCF actually objects the 'slaughter' of cats and dogs. The last time I checked cats and dogs were 'just' animals and animals don't have any rights. Everything is well, as long as they are humanely killed...Off course I don't think this way about animals. And this is what the CCF knows.

It has been known since the times of the romans: divida et impera. translation: divide and conquer. Animal rightists fighting amongst each other, members turning their back on this organization, and others such as the HSUS ,who they just happen to mention, while they have nothing at all to do with it. This way certain elements in society get what they want: to weaken the animal rights movement and eventually destroy it.

Now, is it all that strange that many stray cats and dogs get euthanized? I don't think so at all. I don't like it, but the same opponents of animal rights that will attack PETA for being a 'hypocrite', will just keep breeding 1000s and 1000s of cats and dogs. And there are no homes for these animals. This is the real problem. And millions of animals die in pounds across the country because of this. Not because of PETA. On top of all this, it needs to be said that this animal rights group will actually look for wounded or sick animals. No need to mention that many of these animals are beyond help and will die. But at least they will suffer less...

The fact is that the overpopulationproblem isn't going to be solved easily.

Furthermore it isn't true that PETA does nothing for cats and dogs at all, let alone the Humane Society of The United States of America (HSUS).

PETA does run public awareness campaigns on this particular problem. Just look at the 'be an angel for animals campaign'. Here is an example with Tricia Helfer from Battlestar Galactica:


Battlestar Galactica's Tricia Helfer's
'Angel for Animals' PETA Ad


If you visit the website helping animals.com we find statements such as these:

Millions of cats (and dogs) are killed in animal shelters every year because there simply aren't enough good homes for them. Please do your part to help end animal homelessness by refusing to buy animals from pet stores and breeders. And always spay and neuter your animal companions. If you haven't already done so, please sign PETA's pledge to end animal homelessness today!


And they are quite right. There are no more homes for all of them. And it is a sad fact of our society. The public needs to be made aware of this.

Now ask yourself the question: has the website 'PETA kills animals' or the CCF helped stray cats and dogs? Do they have shelters? Do they care about animals? I don't think so.

It would seem that the center for consumer freedom is doing the opposite. In the same press release the CCF made the following statement:

But we would add that PETA is by no means the only animal rights group who would rather put its donations towards advertising campaigns and political lobbying: Despite its misleading name, the Humane Society of the United States doesn’t run a single pet shelter or adoption facility in the U.S. either.


First of all: the HSUS hasn't got anything to do with all of this. And second of all, its not true!

For more than a half-century, The HSUS has stood as the nation's most important advocate for local humane societies. Additionally, The HSUS operates its own network of sanctuaries, providing care and homes to more animals than any other national animal protection organization in the United States.


Today, recognizing that local animal shelters cannot handle all animal needs by themselves, The HSUS and its partner, The Fund for Animals, provide sanctuary and direct care to thousands of creatures, big and small—making the duo among the largest and most diverse sanctuary operators in the United States. Together, we operate the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in east Texas—which is permanent home to more than 1,300 rescued animals—and Oregon's Duchess Sanctuary, a refuge for abused, abandoned, and homeless horses.


source: HSUS

And what does the center for consumer freedom do for the animals?

Friday, May 1, 2009

PETA watch Australia and New Zeeland


Animal rightsgroup PETA is making its entry into Australia and New Zeeland, and it would appear thet some people are not very happy about it. I just discovered the blog PETA watch australia

The site claims to be pro 'humane slaughter' (how humane is it to slit a pigs throat?), and keeps an eye on PETA. The true colours of the site are off course quickly revealed when we examine the links on that site: activist cash and the other usual anti PETA sites are all there. We all know them. I'm really fed up with all of this, so I'll be blogging about PETA and the 'peta kills animals' and terrorism topics real soon. If that interests you: subscribe! (I am so subtle...)

The way PETA is attacked is also quite common. Just take a look at this post: petawatch

They write the following:

Gloating vegan lobby People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been recently boasting that its membership numbers exceed the two million mark despite a cursory glance at the groups heavily moderated forum revealing a user quota of just 8,087 users.


And what does this tell us really? So PETA claims to have about two million members, and this isn't true because there are no two million members on PETA's forum? I know several members of PETA, and none of them are on that board, some of them are not even on any internetboard. Not everybody spends all his/her time blogging and discussing things online. It is just a moot argument...

And what added value has it anyway to say: heavily moderated forum? Is that a bad thing? I know many internet boards that are heavily moderated, because otherwise it would be spammed into the internet stone age. Especially when it deals with controversial subjects.

But despite the discrepancy even if the groups membership figures are correct the number is minuscule when compared to the current global population, which stands at around 6.7 billion people as at April 2009. That means there are 6.5 billion people worldwide who ostensibly could care less about the group's vegan agenda.


Again very 'intelligent' arguments. There is more to veganism/vegetarianism than PETA. Many animal activists are not a member of PETA, but of any one of thousands of other groups. But no need to mention those people, no... Some intelectual honesty would be nice.

In India alone there are about 300 up to 350 million vegetarians. Do you really think those people don't care what happens to animals. It is part of the ethical core of their religion. Not killing animals is part of their morality and I know asians that have been raised vegetarian and think it is the most normal thing in the world. What about the six million vegetarians and vegans that live in the UK?

The group has a history of misrepresenting the truth


PETA has been accused of much the last couple of years (decades?). The amount of nonsense that has been written and said about them, and about many other animal rights groups and ethicists is mind boggling. So I'll take this statement with a grain of salt.

I myself am not a member of PETA, but I don't have to be one in order to cut through the rethoric that is being put out against them left and right.

animal cruelty: animal snuff legal?

I found an article on the Huffington post that blew my socks of: Does the first amendment protect dog snuff films?

I wont summarize the entire post, but I these quotes are important:

The Supreme Court will hear the case of a man appealing his conviction for selling videos of pit bulls fighting. A federal appeals court had agreed with him that while the dogfighting is illegal, selling pictures of it is not.


Yes, you read it right, to sell images of animal cruelty to sick and perverted persons is legal! This is the world we live in and this makes me all the more desperate.

Congress has already outlawed at least some of this reprehensible trade. It passed a law 10 years ago -- a law sponsored by a California Republican congressman named Elton Gallegly -- to ban the sale of cruelty videos like the blood-porn ones showing women wearing spike heels impaling and crushing little animals to death with their stilettos.

So 10 years later, this is a free speech issue?


I did some research and to my horror this is indeed all legal. Even the selling of so-called crush films (women torturing animals to death with their feet) is legal. According to Wikipedia: link

In 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit invalidated the ban on the sale and possession of such films (if not otherwise obscene) under the Freedom of Speech Clause of First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


Thats right! It is 'free speech'. I don't call animal cruelty and perversion free speech and I doubt that this is what the founding fathers had in mind, but this is what America is turning into!

It is also quite clear that there are enough sickos out there to buy this crap, and I have noticed this first hand. I have a dutch blog on animal rights, and when I recently checked how visitors found my blog. I discovered that several visitors found some of my posts by googling pictures of 'women killing chickens' or 'cute girls killing chickens' or any one of several other sick search terms. It made my stomach turn to find this out.

So I did some research and found things that I didn't like at all!

And yes, there are even sites out there that sell videos of animal cruelty in the US. All of it 'legal'. This goes beyond dogfighting or crush.

I was even able to find a website were actresses butchered pigs, chickens, turkeys, rabbits and other animals while having sex or being naked. It just turned my stomach to see what this world in turning into. If you want to know what I am talking about you can easily find such things through google.

And they sell a lot of videos, to give you an idea: one of there recent ones pictured a women killing a chicken half naked, others portrayed women killing animals with bow and arrows, killing a pig with a knife,...

How perverted and deranged can you get? Who watches this stuff? And what kind of heartless and sadistic women do you have to be to perform such monstruous acts? There is no excuse for this! They have no conscience...

There are more than enough boards out there that have discussed this in the past, I won't post any links to this stuff. But I have read several, and what I found was astonishing...

it helped me understand the mindset of these people. Well, actually it didn't, it just made me feel worse, but anyhow...

Just look at these disgusting quotes:

Here in the US hunting is a legal sport and I am crossing new frontiers by combining it with sex.


Nothing is censored. Watch girls killing with a variety of weapons. We have kill footage where the huntress and prey are in the same frame at the moment of bullet impact.


These are just some of the quotes that I found while googling this...

And the worst of it is, this isn't even half as deranged as those crush films mentioned in the Huffington Post.

So, to summarize: selling, owning and filming animal crush films is legal apparently, just as it is very legal to sell pictures of cruel dogfights and to sell videos of women killing chickens with swords...And then people have the audacity to tell the animal rights community that we shouldn't care that much about animals and that animals have more rights than people these days? (and everyone who is a vegan has heard this at least once in his/her life)

To get back to the Huffington post: I cannot agree more with their closing statment:

This case isn't about the classic First Amendment conundrum of protecting hateful speech. It's about trying to pervert the First Amendment as a shield for murder, for a ''business'' built on the pain and terror and death of blameless and defenseless creatures.


The first amendment is being used as a shield. and not just the first amendment: every law out there can be used in one way or the other as it would seem. How else would 'sexy outdoor sports' be legal? And there is clearly a market for it too, even I get hits of people searching the net for this sort of stuff.

I wonder if mankind will ever have a conscience.