Monday, October 26, 2009

hope for the future: but we ain't there yet

In Europe a battle is waging...the struggle between ethics and empathy on the one hand and profits, cruelty and indifference on the other. The last few years have been hard for animal activists, but not without result. Recently Ireland became yet another european nation that banned fur production: Ireland bans fur
Ireland now joined countries such as England, Scotland, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, ...

The struggle against fur is also mounting in traditionally pro fur countries such as Norway or Danmark. Recently Danmark outlawed the breeding of foxes for fur out of ethical concerns, and now the fur industry is again feeling threatened. Danish TV2 plans to air images taken of 32 different Danish fur breeders showing the deplorable conditions in which the animals live, newspaper Extra Bladet will also do an exposé. And just like in the US, the fur industry is going beserk. Norwegian Animal Rights group Nettverk for dyrs frihet (network for animal freedom) made a fitting post about it on their blog. (If you just happen to read norwegian, here it is: Danish minkbreeders panicking

Basically Danish fur breeders are trying everything to counter the truth about their bloody business. They issued a 'bounty'(crazy right?) for information about the people who took the images of the minkfarms,they linked the footage to illegal activities (releasing of minks in the area) ... and more of the same Shenanigans that also happen regulary in the US or Canada. But here comes the good part...Extra Bladet is actually defending the cause of the animals and is fighting back. Even better: journalist Miki Mistrati openly declared that the fur industry is just trying to divert attention from the terrible conditions in which the animals live.

Now why do I find this so exciting and important? Well, for starters this means that we are making progress and that opinions and views are shifting in our society. More so here in the EU then in the US (example: only +- 40% of US citizens are against fur). The climate is also quite different. I have never observed american/canadian reporters defend animal activists, causes or groups (or at least not as explicit as we get here).

What does all of this mean? For one thing: things are looking up for the animals. Now that fur is being tackled even in traditionally pro fur nations, vegetarianism/veganism is on the rise too. In Danmark alone the Danish vegetarian union doubled their memberships. In Ghent and other cities here in Belgium we know have one vegetarian day a week,... I can keep on going like this for quite some time. This tells me that there is hope for the future, and that a step by step approach is helping society evolve.

But what puzzles me is this: how come we don't see such results in Canada, Australia or the US? This is where you come in. I want to know. What do you think is the major difference between the animal activism and the 'climate' in Europe and the US/Canada or Australia. I often wonder about these things and I honestly find it staggering that with so much work and effort, there is so little result. What do you think: How come? Is a different strategy needed for certain countries? Are some countries just hopeless causes? Did something go wrong? Does the opposition (special interest groups) have more power or influence in certain countries and how do we stop them?

This post will be crossposted on the vegansoapbox.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Alannah Hill: intimidated till she ditched fur?

I just read a few blogposts on the Peta watch australia blog that caught my attention...(as usual not in a good way). You can read these posts here: Alannah Hill

Their 'balanced' form of communication made me think of a typical discussion concerning health care reform in the good old USA.

Peta watch blog:

A death threat has been sent to iconic Melbourne fashion designer Alannah Hill from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) or one of its rabid and unstable supporters.

Just one outtake from a hysterical bunch of posts... But how do they know it was done by a peta-supporter or *gosh* Peta itself? And what was in the mail?

contents of the mail:


So, we've got a typical bullshit mail in all caps sent by an anonymous idiot online. And what was the return adress?

According to peta watch:

The threat was sent via email from an address listed as: newsmanager@peta.

So, the newsmanager of Peta sent a mail in all caps threatening to kill somebody. Right...

Here is another theory: couldn't the return adress by forged and this whole thing be one of just a gazillion internet hoaxes performed every day? Anybody that knows at least something of computers, knows how easy it is to forge the mail adress to make it look like you are someone else. How about checking the IP adress instead of making wild claims?

Alannah Hill was of course also quick to blame Peta (if you make a living selling fur...). But I have yet to see real evidence.

It follows a recent demonstration outside the designers Chapel Street boutique where PETA followers dressed as Grim Reapers and stalked the designer and her clientele.

So this e-mail is now connected to a legal protest (freedom of expression). Interesting. You folks are following in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes I presume?

They even play Sherlock in the 24th century. oh joy

And concerning the 'Grim Reapers' who were stalking the customers. Well...Read this (and pay attention to the pics!): Grim Reapers versus Alannah Hill

very violent and intimidating blokes!

PETA says the fur was believed to come from China, where there were no laws to protect animals on fur farms and many are killed cruelly.

PETA said it had attempted to talk with the designer about the issue.

No one from Alannah Hill was available to comment on PETA’s claims.

Alannah Hill eventually stopped her use of fur, and apparently had this to say about it:

After 4500 intimidating and abusive emails, the decision not to use rabbit fur AS A TRIM was made for me by the one that threatened my seven-year-old son, Edward. They wanted him to burn in hell.

1. 4500 abusive and intimidating mails? Really? As far as I know this was just an e-mail campaign. just like it said on the peta blog: peta blog

This happens often and is done by: animal rights groups, environmental groups, ... well just about any action group. You do get a lot of e-mails yes. The idea is to show how much support or lack of support there regarding fur or cutting down a forest, ...

Here is another example of such an e-mail protest: end seal slaughter

Very abusive indeed.

2. Even if it was really a peta supporter that sent the e-mail (and there is no way know), that doesn't mean that other peta supporters want Alannah her son to 'burn in hell'... But making distinctions and putting things in context is indeed quite difficult in certain conservative nations like the US of Australia. And that is of course something that comes in handy when you want to bring progress for the animals or the environment to a halt.

And why am I responding to older blogposts in the peta watch blog? Well, because it's happening again:

Gaill Elliot bows to peta pressure

*sigh* I'll guess I'll keep an eye on this story as well. More to follow!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Peter Singer

An interesting video I found:

Peter Singer on eating meat, climate change and world poverty. This is the first part of a seven part lecture. You can find the rest (and other lectures) on this youtube channel: Macquarie University