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Archive for the ‘animal rights’ Category

Victorian Govt destroying Old Growth

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stump of a Brown Mt. tree logged in November 2008 and carbon dated at over 500 years old

stump of a Brown Mt. tree logged in November 2008 and carbon dated at over 500 years old

Great opinion piece in today’s copy of The Age out of Melbourne. Worthwhile reading for anybody interested in biodiversity in Australia, old growth forests, or climate politics.

In a Government report based on threatened species studies at Brown Mountain conducted earlier this year, it is stated that ”neither DSE or VicForests routinely undertake pre-logging coupe surveys”.

Most of their information on threatened species comes from reports dating back to the early ’80s. This was at a time when we only just started to learn about species such as the long-footed potoroo and when management plans for endangered species simply did not exist.

Experts in their field produced these older reports, but the research areas were so large, and resources so limited, that many forests were not even surveyed. Brown Mountain is one of the areas that fell through the cracks.

Along with other forests at Ada River, Yalmy River, the upper Bonang catchment and the Bungywarr forests, the ecological values of these old-growth forests have simply never been documented.

Environment East Gippsland are taking VicForests – the corporate arm of logging regulation in Victoria – to court to try to force protection, rather than mere ‘consideration’ for endangered species and unique forests on Brown Mountain threatened by unnecessary logging.

In a Government report based on threatened species studies at Brown Mountain conducted earlier this year, it is stated that ”neither DSE or VicForests routinely undertake pre-logging coupe surveys”.

Most of their information on threatened species comes from reports dating back to the early ’80s. This was at a time when we only just started to learn about species such as the long-footed potoroo and when management plans for endangered species simply did not exist.

Experts in their field produced these older reports, but the research areas were so large, and resources so limited, that many forests were not even surveyed. Brown Mountain is one of the areas that fell through the cracks.

Along with other forests at Ada River, Yalmy River, the upper Bonang catchment and the Bungywarr forests, the ecological values of these old-growth forests have simply never been documented.

Written by typingisnotactivism

September 30, 2009 at 11:19 am

Germaine Greer gets it wrong on deadly Aussie bushfires

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Got to admit that I quite enjoyed Germaine Greer’s overtly pragmatic epitaph for Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. As a virulent pissing contest engulfed Australian and global semi-celebria, with each successive politician and MTV host proclaiming greater and greater love and admiration for a bloke that many thought of as a bit of a dickhead, albeit a freshly dead one, Greer was the sole voice stating the obvious, namely

What Irwin never seemed to understand was that animals need space. The one lesson any conservationist must labour to drive home is that habitat loss is the principal cause of species loss. There was no habitat, no matter how fragile or finely balanced, that Irwin hesitated to barge into, trumpeting his wonder and amazement to the skies. There was not an animal he was not prepared to manhandle. Every creature he brandished at the camera was in distress.

Which is why it is baffling that she should now display a brilliant lack of intelligence, proclaiming that the highly fatal and destructive bushfires still tormenting Victoria were caused by authorities failing to burn off and a lack of bush clearing.

The simple fact is that the Victorian authority supposedly responsible for forest management, the ironically named Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), are all about support for unsustainable forest practices. They more or less prostitute their taxpayer-funded services to the woodchip industry, which does nothing but clear bush – old bush, new bush, sick bush, healthy bush.

The DSE are in fact such vigorous fans of the hazard reduction techniques known as back-burning that it is barely eight years since ‘controlled burns’ they were overseeing (supposedly) did what fires do in the face of 30-knot winds, destroying roughly a million hectares of native forest. As a result, logging lobbyists secured a commitment from the Victorian government, enabling them to access massive stands of ancient forest, to make up for the volume of wood no longer able to be cut down for the simple reason that it had been turned to charcoal.

Far from adding what is usually a dissenting and radical voice to this particular discussion, Greer is simply, and ignorantly, piping the same shrill chorus soon to be sung by all the usual idiot lobbyists like Barry Chipman and anybody from Timber Communities Australia, the Institute of Public Affairs, the Liberal and National Parties, etc. Namely – that this tragedy wouldn’t have happened if conservationists hadn’t interfered with sound forest management practices.

Obviously, bushfires wouldn’t happen if humans could fight back by cutting down every bloody tree and killing every bloody native animal – a far cry from Greer’s anti-Irwin argument. Bloody human-hating Greenies f%&$ed us all again, they proclaim.

But the simple fact is that nature and forests can quite perfectly manage themselves, if just left alone long enough to functionally exist. The remaining areas of Victoria’s old growth forest – concentrated in and arounf the Otways and East Gippsland – still retain enough moisture to function not only as massive biodiversity store-houses, but as difficult-to-ignite fire buffers. Less human intervention, through irresponsible land clearing and corporate logging, is the answer, not the problem.

Greer would do better to understand this before firing one off on such a mishandled issue. She has done herself, myriad species, and all natural environments, not to mention the dead and damaged, a massive disservice with this fresh strand of vomit.

Better she had shut her mouth rather than emit it.

Written by typingisnotactivism

February 13, 2009 at 10:17 am

Sea Shepherd catch whalers in Australian Antarctic waters.

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Sea Shepherd have just reported their first encounter of the “season”, locating a Japanese harpoon boat inside Australian waters off Antarctica. Obviously, some people will take the notion of ‘Australian waters’ off Antarctica to task. The economic exclusion zones off Antarctica are recognized by a relatively small number of nations, but they are also well established and well known to Japan, whose whaling fleet has been deemed to have a legal case to answer in Australia for killing whales there previously.

Will Peter Garrett break into his holidays (which began in November 2007) to register his official concern with the Japanese government, or, more strongly still, will he ask them to order their government-sponsored whaling fleet to stop breaking Australian law? Or, even strongerer (!? yeah, sure) will he go with the plan that he announced when he was simply trying to win votes and send Australian naval vessels to intercept returning whaling vessels and board them for the purpose of documenting evidence of their illegal whaling activities.

Time will tell, but don’t hold your breath. At most, it’s likely that he will aim to deliver 5% of a rebuff by 2020, with the possibility of demanding 15% of an apology if whales can be heard dying from marginal electorates.

From Sea Shepherd

Captain Paul Watson
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship Steve Irwin now has the entire Japanese whaling fleet on the run.

At 2345 G.M.T. the Steve Irwin intercepted the Japanese harpoon vessel Yusshin Maru #2 inside the Australian Antarctic Economic Exclusion Zone at 64°26 South and 132° 40’ East.

The encounter took place in dense fog and in dangerous ice conditions. The Steve Irwin launched a Delta boat with a crew to attack the Yusshin Maru #2 with rotten butter bombs. Unfortunately the wind increased to fifty knots with blizzard conditions. Captain Paul Watson called the small boat crew back for safety reasons when they were halfway to their target some three miles away.

The Yusshin Maru #2 then headed due North to lead the Steve Irwin away from the whaling fleet. The decoy did not work. The Steve Irwin is now in pursuit of the whaling fleet.

They have ceased whaling operations and they are now running from the Sea Shepherd crew.

The Yusshin Maru #2 was the same vessel that the Steve Irwin crew boarded in January 2007. This year the crew observed that the Yusshin Maru #2 has set up large netting to be run along the side of the ship to prevent boarding parties from going over the side. When the whalers realized that the Steve Irwin was onto them, they immediately ran on deck to deploy the netting.

“It looks like Whale Wars, season #2 is officially underway.” Said Captain Paul Watson. “We’ve got them on the run. They are not in the Ross Sea where they said they would be. They are in Australian waters. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is officially calling on Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith to order the Japanese fleet to comply with the orders of the Australian Federal Court and to cease and desist from killing to whales in Australian waters.”

Captain Paul Watson
Master – The Steve Irwin
Master – The Farley Mowat
Founder and President of the
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
http://www.Seashepherd.org

Written by typingisnotactivism

December 20, 2008 at 6:37 pm

News Ltd’s free-range war on accurate coverage.

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News.com.au, The Australian, and their regional subsidiaries are currently carrying – or miscarrying – a story about free-range eggs. They all seem keen to emphasize that free-range eggs are a stale rip-off on a grand scale, and that the survey which has concluded as much is objective. The survey by consumer group Choice may well be ‘objective’ (whatever one may think of the value or merits of its assessment criteria), but it certainly doesn’t reflect the conclusions being loudly proclaimed by big, clumsy media.

Free-range Eggs Not Fresh! &

CONSUMERS who fork out more for free-range eggs have been warned that over a third are officially stale on an international freshness scale.

proclaims The Australian. This assertion, by writer Tamara McLean, has of course been reprinted at News.com.au, Melbourne’s Herald-Sun, and likely the West Australian, Daily Telegraph, and other News Ltd (very) outlets across Australia. Even though it is uncredited, the article lifted from AAP and carried by Yahoo News! seems also to be McLean’s.

Strangely enough, Nathan Dukes at The Canberra Times and Daniella Miletic at Fairfax, when presented with the same survey by Choice, managed to get the story right. They focussed not only on the survey outcomes, but on the key issue relevant to the survey – that the definition of “free range” as it applies to Australian eggs, and consequently the hundreds of thousands of Australian chickens which produce them, is not only weak relative to European standards but cloudy in terms of Australian regulation and value to the consumer.

Choice clearly state that

We tested more than 650 eggs (all production systems) [ed: emphasis added], using an internationally recognised measure of egg freshness and quality called a Haugh unit (see How we tested, below).

There are no prescribed Australian standards but the US standard classifies eggs under 60 Haugh units as ‘weak and watery’ and we used this as our benchmark for freshness.

Of all the eggs we tested, 36 percent had Haugh units below 60…

This clearly states that looking at 650 samples of all types of eggs, 36% were found to be lacking in terms of freshness and quality. Tamara McLean, with the blessings of her editor, has managed to reinterpret this to mean:

A test of 650 free-range eggs by consumer group Choice returned a fail grade for 36 per cent of the products, branding them “weak and watery”.

Although she eventually states that regulation and standards are somewhat lacking or even voluntary in Australia, the News Ltd articles mainly feature cherry-picked quotes relating to the potential shortcomings of free-range eggs:

“Well over half the hens described as free-range are housed in huge sheds, may never go outside and their eggs may come off conveyor belts,” Mr Zinn [ed: Choice spokesman] said.

“If you’re buying free-range eggs because you believe in animal welfare, the brands in the big supermarkets may not be meeting your expectations.”

Ms McLean and Mr. Zinn aren’t trying to scare away your ethically spent dollar, but think it’s important for you to know that:

“[O]n average we found no significant differences between the freshness of barn-laid, cage and free-range eggs.”

Looking at the actual results, it would seem that Choice, if anything, has found that Pace Farms produce consistently mediocre eggs. Furthermore, only 7 of the 30 brands tested scored a 0-fail rate. 4 of these completely succesful brands –

  • BOOST VEGETARIAN Cage (Brisbane)
  • ESSENTIAL FOODS Free-Range (Melbourne)
  • FAMILY HOMESTEAD Free-Range (Melbourne)
  • FIELD FRESH Free-Range (Sydney)
  • GOLDEN EGGS Barn-Laid (Perth)
  • NATURE’S BEST Free-Range (Sydney)
  • SUNNY QUEEN FARMS Barn-Laid (Brisbane)

were produced by Free-range methodology. Which, if anything, should produce an article with, perhaps, a ringing endorsement for free-range production methods. Despite the definite need for more rigorous regulation, definition, and enforcement, the methodology could easily be framed as at least 4 times more reliable than caged egg production… if the journalist or their master was inclined to do so.

Ever-reliable in such matters, The World Today has gone right past the fluff and got stuck into the heart of the matter:

JOHN STEWART: In the past animal welfare groups have waged successful campaigns, turning consumers against the tuna and pork industries. But it seems that chickens don’t have the same appeal as dolphins caught in fishing nets or images of bloated pigs and ham sandwiches.

But the signs are there that if free-range eggs do become cheaper, moral concerns for animal welfare may be less constrained by the hip pocket.

Written by typingisnotactivism

July 1, 2008 at 4:21 pm

Exxon crude oil $US45.45: US Supreme Court ruling

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In a landmark ruling, the US Supreme Court today slashed the damages bill against Exxon for the 11 million gallons of oil their drunken captain poured into a pristine Alaskan ecosystem just 20 years ago. Deciding that “the people” – as in of the, by the, and for the – of the original jury were brain damaged for originally awarding $5 billion in punitive damages against the company, Justice David Souter today pissed mightily in the faces of victimized communities, environments, and species for generations to come.

He found that Exxon should only have to pay $500 million in punitive damages, seeing as the company had already paid $507 million in damages to directly compensate communities of Prince William Sound for economic losses.

$500 million totals about $15 000 for each of the 33 000 claimants, and 4 days worth of Exxon’s profits last year, Read the rest of this entry »

Garrett’s Chile response to whaling claims by UK Independent

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Following the welcome trend of reversing previous intransigence, the Australian Government has successfully floated a measure intended to heavily reduce, if not eliminate, Japan’s exploitation of “scientific research” as a justification for trying to kill close to one thousand whales annually.

During an international meeting at Heathrow during the first week of March, Australia found “a strong chord of support” for new Australian proposals to eliminate lethal research, according to a spokesperson for Environment Minister, Peter Garrett.

She rejected claims by the UK’s Independent that the meeting had somehow been secret, pointing out that it had received significant media coverage during the last week. She also flatly rejected the central claim of the article – that nations are moving to formalize approval of Japanese whaling – as selective quoting, misrepresentation, and a media beat-up.

Far from some sort of sinister new phase in negotiations, the central substance of the Independent’s claims regarding the nature of the meeting come from mentions made at the recent Heathrow meeting of a paper by the Pew Environmental Consultancy first tabled at a Tokyo meeting of the IWC in January.

She characterized the support for Australian proposals, voiced both formally and “at the margins” during the meeting, as a very pleasing result for both the Australian delegation and ongoing efforts to protect whales. Australia’s reforming proposals have now been accepted as formal items on the agenda of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) conference due to take place in Chile in June.

The measures would see concrete recovery plans established under the IWC. Supposedly scientific research would be subject to the IWC as a whole, rather than the standards determined appropriate by individual nations, as is currently the case with Japan’s program, sanctioned under their self-regulated JARPA II regime.

Written by typingisnotactivism

March 10, 2008 at 5:32 pm

Monika’s Doggie Rescue: Paws for Thought

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foofoo20033.jpg

After more than a decade as a self-financed band of gypsies practicing random acts of canine survival, Monika’s Doggie Rescue became a fully registered charity in 2001. Now a network of over 300 volunteers, Doggie Rescue is reshaping its Sydney pawprint.

Speaking with Monika, she explained that their Drummoyne outlet, mainly used for weekend meetings between dogs and potential owners, has recently been dispensed with.

Increasingly, the refurbished Doggie Rescue website will play an important role for rescued dogs and their potential new families. People can look at online profiles of any of the hundred or more dogs housed at the Doggiewood compound at Ingleside. A half hour from the city, amidst scenic forests and the Northern Beaches, Doggiewood is already the main point of consolidation.

Fun, furry, pre-arranged happy petting sessions take place every Saturday at Pet Barn in Alexandria. This ongoing adoption program through Pet Barn provides an important physical gateway to potential inner city owners and foster homes.

Combined, these elements currently see Doggie Rescue place about a thousand dogs in new homes each year. But Monika’s real hope is for a change in the culture that produces abandoned animals.

Just last year, a small amendment to NSW law introduced a compulsory reporting mechanism for councils. As reported in late January, for the first time official figures confirmed that of close to 50 000 cats and dogs taken in by NSW pounds alone, nearly half were killed.

The Department of Local Government’s most recent figures also include the death rates from all other shelters, and indicate that over 60 000 cats and dogs were killed by the NSW system in 2007.

“We have an oversupply of animals because they get pumped out of impulse outlets,” said Monika. “And until people start thinking more about what they adopt when they take an animal – that it’s not just a disposable item – we’re just going to continue all these problems.”

In an effort to challenge this situation, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has been working to put the Animals (Regulation of Sale) Bill through state parliament. If she can build the necessary support, what began as a bumper sticker – ‘Say No to Animals in Pet Shops’ – could become law.

Clover’s Bill,” said Monika, “really is the most crucial thing in trying to stave this awful production line, this breeding without very much care or nurturing.”

Monika described ‘the rescue cycle’. Similar to the cycle of homelessness facing many streetSpoilt… kids, abandoned animals get dumped and re-dumped, usually ill-treated by more than just one home.

The proposed law, currently sidelined following a motion by Joe Tripodi, would end the sale of companion animals in pet stores. Sale would instead be restricted to breeders, shelters, vets, and pounds with a proviso that potential buyers are screened, educated, and matched to the needs of their new pet.

Monika’s Doggie Rescue already follows such a process. Perhaps uniquely, they also follow the progress of re-homed pets, requiring that mismatched pets be returned – an outcome that occurs in less than one per cent of cases according to Monika.

Doggie Rescue also provides a permanent backstop. In the event of an owner’s death, departure, or if it is at all needed, they offer permanent right of return for all dogs that come through their doors.

She lists her husband as the group’s biggest supporter who, along with Double Bay Vet Clinic and a number of private donors and supporters, makes it all possible. On the feeding, cleaning, caring, and financing rollercoaster, Monika’s ride has elements of Zen, Old Yeller, and Superfriends.

It is this environment which seems to produce the many Monika’s stories – one particularly sweet one being of a family that adopted a needy little dog with heart problems to keep their father company as he struggled with heart problems of his own.

Drop by www.doggierescue.com, Pet Barn Alexandria, or call Monika’s on 02 9486 3133 to find out more, or even see how you can help.

Written by typingisnotactivism

March 4, 2008 at 2:34 pm

Tasmania – forest lies, lies, and more lies.

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Tasmania – where blokes are blokes, and trees are nervous.

A state where everything is above board, but Royal Commissions – the highest level of independent inquiry into allegedly corrupt use of authority – are practically banned. Oh Tassie – thank goodness for you, the one place on Earth where destroying forest ecosystems defies physics, biology and chemistry to fight global warming. How? Buggered if I know, but some big blokes with beetroot-blood pressure and friends running chainsaws seem to have worked it out.

Barely a week ago, Paul Lennon – the spectacularly inept Premier of Tasmania and occasional dinner-buddy of Gunns’ CEO John Gay – made a baffling announcement. In response to Professor Ross Garnaut’s analysis of the climate change issues and options facing Australia, Lennon declared that once and for all it was time to get the facts straight about Tasmania’s forests.

This was baffling for two reasons.

Firstly, Lennon and his colleagues in government, industry, and small-minded lobby groups have spent decades arguing that old growth grows on trees and should therefore be woodchipped as quickly as possible lest it get out of control. This argument shifted in the ’90s toward the need for human-led forest management for the good of forests, because without humans, forests are incapable of cutting themselves down. The latest model is two-pronged – logging prevents bushfires (just like abortions prevent cancer) and clearing forests makes room to plant more trees and therefore fight climate change (yes, they are that stupid). In essence, these people have deemed themselves the source of all forest facts. By calling for someone intelligent and with no connection to forestry cash to disseminate facts, Lennon risked undoing decades of half-assed but ubiquitous propaganda.

Secondly, for any non-Greens member of Tasmanian parliament, let alone the bug-eyed, frothing, rabidly pro-Gunns Premier to call for a setting aside of nonsensical argument and the genuinely independent presentation of clear, firm, scientifically credible facts about the environmental impacts of logging is simply unheard of.

But today everything is back to normal. Thanks to our good progressive friends at GetUp, we can see Lennon’s message for what it was. Thanks largely to his timing, it was just another hot, steaming, cow chip of media distraction from a sociopathic Tasmanian bureaucrat. GetUp has just circulated the following release:

You may have missed it, but the Tasmanian Government last week unbelievably signed an agreement handing over Tasmania’s forests to the Gunns pulp mill for the next 20 years – in the very same week Professor Garnaut warned them of the dire climate change consequences facing us.

If we don’t act now, bulldozers will start clearing land for the mill that will contribute 2% of Australia’s greenhouse emissions – at a time when we’re being told we need to drastically cut our emissions. But unfortunately Australia’s forests were largely left out of Garnaut’s recent interim report.

We have only one opportunity to put them in the picture. A proper assessment in his impending Climate Change Report of our native forests’ climate change value may just sink the mill project. Click here now to sign the petition asking Professor Garnaut to examine the full climate impact of this mill madness and the logging of Tasmania’s native forests:

http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/DontPulpOurClimate

There’s a real risk the Garnaut report won’t include a comprehensive assessment of native forests – despite new research finding the stopping of deforestation a “large, immediate and perishable opportunity”* to massively reduce emissions. Costing out the real value of native forests will not only prove Tasmania’s trees would be better left in the ground but make this teetering project financially unviable when Gunns realises they will have to pay for the carbon embedded in our forests.

Native forests are invaluable sources of carbon storage – and it costs nothing to leave them in the ground. But 80% of the 4.5 million tonnes of wood needed to supply the pulp mill each year will initially come from Tassie’s native forests – permanently destroying forests that can hold 10-20 times the amount of CO2 than plantations.

A proper assessment of their climate change value will undoubtedly make the arguments in favour of the mill, whose climate change impact has never even been assessed, untenable. Take action to protect nature’s lungs before the bulldozers move in:

http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/DontPulpOurClimate

Long story short, Lennon can dance naked down the main street of Hobart wearing wattle in his hair and singing about how he loves the freaky forest critters and their precious wooded homes because he has already pushed through the legislation guaranteeing that they will all be turned into dioxinated mulch.

What visionary leaders he, his state Labor Party, and their big-L small-minded ‘opposition’ are.

Many people may have missed it, but Kyoto in its current incarnation is the best hope for global climate action. Even supposedly progressive governments in supposedly first world countries still treat Kyoto as though it’s too hard, but it is riddled with perverse incentives.

For example, emissions from international shipping and air traffic are not included on anybody’s scorecard at the moment – even though these vapours are as damaging as those of any American cattle ranch or any Chinese coal plant. More directly, Kyoto rewards the cutting down of trees that were planted before the 1990s by recognizing the carbon uptake potential of new trees planted in their place – which means that governments have incentive to replace 600-year old eucalypts with water-intensive saplings.

Brilliant.

Add in the fact that Tasmania’s forest ecosystems are administered by people you wouldn’t trust to look after a goldfish, and all the big environmental research, studies, reports, and recommendations look less and less like progress, and more and more like good ways to feel proactive about doing less than nothing.

Written by typingisnotactivism

March 3, 2008 at 3:31 pm

RSPCA chickens out over allegations against industrial donor.

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The above picture comes from an excellent animal update by Maxine Firth here in today’s SMH. Amazingly, the RSPCA endorses the conditions in which these thousands upon thousands of birds at the Pace Farm facility in Buchanan, near Newcastle, are kept. More amazingly, their spokesperson, asked about these specific conditions and the ongoing commission-for-approval arrangement between Pace and RSPCA contributed to the following exchange:

Chief executive Heather Neil said: “RSPCA standards for accredited egg production ensure that hens are given the freedom to exhibit natural behaviours.

The program involves a process of stringent and regular inspections every eight to 12 weeks to ensure standards are being met.”

Ms Neil confirmed the RSPCA endorsed beak clipping of birds at the Buchanan facility.

“The RSPCA is aware of behavioural problems with this particular flock at Buchanan, specifically feather picking,” she said.

On the allegation that the birds were too cramped, she said RSPCA standards allowed for seven birds per square metre as opposed to the national code of practice standard of 12.

Animal Liberation said the RSPCA standard gives each bird an amount of space equivalent to a piece of A3 paper.

Ms Neil said the demand for eggs in Australia was about 200 million dozen eggs a year.

“Such a demand necessitates large-scale commercial production,” she said. “The RSPCA would prefer to be in there helping to improve the welfare of birds in commercial egg production rather than not being involved at all.”

Now, I may be wrong, but if birds are forced to live in such squalid and cramped conditions that they have to have their beaks burnt off so that they don’t peck each other to death… is that really a “behavioural problem”? Or is that a “human contempt for animal life problem”? And would the RSPCA have helped improve conditions for horses at race tracks or increase the size of steel pigpens if “large-scale commercial production” as opposed to “animal welfare” or “prevention of cruelty” was meant to be their priority.

Ha!! more like “eggs have the tick because it’s one less reason for you to give a shit about how these fucking trolls cash in on animal torture”

I have been pissed off at the way eggs are packaged, bought and sold for ages. Pace, for example, has a facility with close to a million chickens about 4 hours south west of Sydney, near Wyalong, in the appropriately named Bland Shire (seriously). These bastards have the nerve to produce a line of free range eggs, and people are either so busy or so ignorant that they buy them.

Here’s a simple question: If, for example, I keep a million chickens laying eggs in conditions similar to a concentration camp from the moment of their birth until their premature over-medicated death, but have another hundred thousand that run around in a nice field, should ANY self-respecting consumer be rewarding me with their cash?

Or to put it another way: If I run Auschwitz and I butcher 5 million people, turning them into soap, gold, and ashes, but I supply half a million with false papers and make sure they get across the Channel to England, am I a saint, am I halfway toward redemption, or am I so fucking evil that I should never be allowed to sell eggs again?

Basically – do not EVER buy ANY kind of egg from ANY company that runs ANY battery/cage hen facilities. Fuck PACE FARMS. Fuck INGHAM CHICKENS. FUCK KFC. Etc. LET YOUR SUPERMARKET KNOW –> tell them that you don’t want Pace Free Range eggs, tell them you want any other kind of remotely ethical free range eggs.

Buy organic if you’re really concerned about your own health. Buy free range if you’re concerned about the chicken whose period you’re eating.

And to make you feel all warm and fuzzy, as opposed to henpecked and cemented, here are photos from this page which allegedly details a 2002 investigation-of-sorts by local activists into the Pace facility near Wyalong.

These happy lookin’ fellas down the bottom have been in chook rehab. Not yet 100%, I’m guessing.

Written by typingisnotactivism

March 2, 2008 at 3:19 am

ur Cat, ai haz it. zmogwtf?!

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catfoundsml.jpg

so the obvious question is “which bit’s funniest?” – ‘not very friendly’, ‘not house broken’, ‘no collar’ or ‘might be scared’? O yeah, there’s also ‘CAT FOUND’!!

*Nelson sez* Haaa Haa

Written by typingisnotactivism

February 21, 2008 at 3:48 pm

the latest Whale Tale from Cpt. Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd

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grabbed from Counterpunch because I know that even the supposed greenies who are mostly huffy and pissed off about people ragging on Greenpeace still have at least some interest in adventure stories and animals.

The Art of Finding Whalers

By Captain PAUL WATSON

Back in the early days of Greenpeace under the leadership of the late great Robert Hunter we resorted to plenty of unorthodox methods of locating whaling ships on the high seas. Strangely many of these methods actually worked. Stranger indeed has been our record of finding whaling ships on vast oceans armed with little else but our intuition and pure luck.

Bob Hunter used to call this karma. Bob was a Buddhist and a mystic and most likely a saint. He believed in reincarnation. I used to believe in reincarnation also but that was in a previous life.

But in May of 1975 we set out in a small little fishing boat of only 85 feet looking for the Soviet whaling fleet. They were operating in the North Pacific somewhere between the northern end of the Queen Charlotte Islands down to somewhere off of San Diego. We knew that they were somewhere within 200 miles because this was before the 200 mile limit law was introduced and the Soviets delighted in killing whales off the coast of the United States. It also provided a great cover for espionage activities and judging from the incredible array of electronics displaying antennas they were certainly doing more than just whaling.

We started out from Vancouver and journeyed north to the Queen Charlottes. We swam with Orcas in the Straits of Bella Bella and visited an abandoned whaling station in Rose Harbour, on the Charlottes. We saw whales but not a sign of the whalers.

We then headed south and Bob began to throw the I-Ching and in what was probably a first in the history of navigation we began to navigate by the messages received from the I-Ching readings.

This divided the crew into two groups, the mechanics or non-believers under the leadership of Patrick Moore and the mystics under the leadership of Bob Hunter. As a sailor and navigator I kept one foot in the camp of practicality and as a person who had experienced a vision quest under the guidance of Wallace Black Elk during the occupation of Wounded Knee, I had my other foot firmly planted in Bob’s camp of merry mystics. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by typingisnotactivism

February 19, 2008 at 2:06 am

Tassie Devils trapped in forestry Hell.

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Kind of strange that the “Save the Tassie Devil” website is posted by the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries and Water, also known as the Department of Slime and Industrial Slaughter. Funny that the website tries to make the devil out to be cuddly and pitch it to Japanese tourists, like this

when the reality, the utterly malignant and horrid reality, is that more and more Tasmanian Devils are being delivered unto an even crueler and more painful fate like this:

Some are tipping the Devil for extinction within a matter of decades. Even though the so-called Devil Tumour Facial Disease (DTFD) was first classified in 1996, fuck all has been done until now by the Tasmanian government. Why? Because it’s just the environment. It’s just an animal. It’s just a low-grade tourism attraction. Let’s not do anything until it’s at absolute crisis point because all that will be left to do by then will be to watch the last bunch die and say some nice sad words, then get back to the business of turnng Tasmania into one big toxic splintery carpark.

Which happens to be something that the DPIW is well into, when they aren’t throwing up token websites telling tourists that it’s okay to come and spend your yen in Tassie because nobody marries their sister there anymore. Of course there has been kerfuffle lately around the notion that chemicals from abandoned fridges are the main catalyst for this horrific condition that is decimating the devil population, but scientists close to the problem aren’t yet buying into that position.

My bet is that once it’s too late, someone with qualifications will work out that it was the accumulation of Tassie government-subsidised 1080, atrazine, and other hardcore chemicals used in the clearfelling processes that continue to destroy devil habitat, somehow interacting into a spiky and horrible cancer cocktail which is causing such suffering and doom for the devils. Still, an American scientist thinks that there may be an$wer$ for human cancer in treating the devils, so they may have more than a hope in hell.

If this is something you would like to know more about, there is a very proper treatment of the situation with a detailed background here and here in parts I & II of David Obendorf’s ‘Poison Island’. Thoroughly worthy reading about one more possibly irreversible tragedy in the making.

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February 18, 2008 at 2:10 am

Sea Shepherd v. Japanese whaling fleet: Valentine’s Day relaunch, the latest from Capt. Paul Watson

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ed: read this here if you like, but I would recommend this version. Celsias has grabbed a copy and done a beautiful job of the layout. It’s worth spending time there, is what I’m saying. Anyway…

Round Two for Sea Shepherd’s Operation Migaloo

By Captain Paul Watson

The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin is refueled, repaired, re-supplied, re-crewed and re-energized to depart from Melbourne on Valentine’s Day bound for the Southern Ocean to intervene against the on-going massacre of whales by the outlaw whaling fleet from Japan.

In January we discovered that we can stop the whalers by finding them, pursuing them, and harassing them. We initiated an international incident and we shut down the slaughter of the whales for more than three weeks. Most importantly for the first time ever this issue was dramatized in the Japanese media and it is escalating into a costly embarrassment for the Japanese government.

There is no question that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society pushes the envelope on this issue. Someone has to and we don’t mind the constant stream of abuse and name calling. If governments don’t have any respect for us, we have even less respect for governments. Read the rest of this entry »

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February 13, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Whaling: Peter Garrett’s most convenient problem looks like this…

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minke whale and her calf, less than a year old

The Australian government has just released these pictures of Japanese whaling in the waters of the Australian Whales Sanctuary off Antarctica. The federal opposition are opportunising the moment by proclaiming their intention to create a global whale utopia, through their Environmental Orifice, Greg Hunt. Of course, while in government the Liberals’ greatest contribution to whaling was to legally block all efforts to stop it, but that was weeks ago. Tossers.

Speaking of tossers, the land-loving chief of Japan’s Whale Kill Inc. has hit back by denying that the two whales in the picture aren’t related and that this is just Australian propaganda. Off course this is the same guy who claimed that Sea Shepherds‘ accusations that their crew members were tied to a pole aboard the Yushin Maru 2 were lies and Sea Shepherd propaganda… even as photos proving the accusations were fired around the world.

The Labor Party, and specifically the Attorney-General, have really moved in a (perhaps too) measured but dynamic manner on this issue. They removed legal blockages, allowing Humane Society International to test the matter of Japanese whaling in the Australian Antarctic Whale Sanctuary in Federal Court. Without this commitment from the government, HSI could not have succeeded, as they now have.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has forged ahead in discussions with Japan and under a siege of sorts from media as a result of the new paradigm, under which Australia is actively, rather than just conveniently, challenging and threatening Japan’s farcical, but vicious, ‘scientific whaling‘ program.

Of course, without the involvement of Sea Shepherd, and even Greenpeace, the government’s ‘effort’ in Antarctica would merely have meant three more weeks of photos like the one above, rather than whales actually having their endangered lives protected. Because the government’s greatest input at the moment seems to be all about getting out of everyone elses’ way. Read the rest of this entry »

Coca Cola to pay for refuelling of Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace anti-whaling vessels.

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In a dramatic move earlier this evening, Terry Davis, the boss of Coca Cola‘s Australian division, announced that the frequently maligned multinational would throw financial weight behind the battle for whale protection in the Australian seas off Antarctica.

Tasmanian brewer Bluetongue Beer was recently purchased by Coca Cola Amatil. During last year’s whaling season, the company donated $250 000 to Sea Shepherd, enabling the group to acquire and operate remote communications equipment, as well as airing the following commercial in Japan. Read the rest of this entry »

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January 24, 2008 at 3:43 am

Best & latest on the Antarctic situation, including overview from Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson.

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There was an excellent piece in the Guardian today, A Tale of Two Ships. It makes for a lengthy but captivating read, pitting the Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd philosophies against one another to enhance readers’ understanding. Read the rest of this entry »

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January 17, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Sea Shepherd – latest on hostage situation

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The following is the latest blog entry posted by Sea Shepherd on their MySpaz page.

Japanese Whaling Fleet On the Run With Two Sea Shepherd Hostages
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s ship Steve Irwin is in full pursuit of five vessels of the Japanese whaling fleet including the Japanese supply vessel Oriental Bluebird.The Japanese harpoon vessel Yushin Maru No. 2 has taken two Sea Shepherd volunteer crew members hostage. Benjamin Potts 28, an Australian citizen and Giles Lane, 35, a citizen of Great Britain are being held hostage onboard the whaling vessel. Both men were assaulted and then tied to the railings of the whaler. Read the rest of this entry »

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January 16, 2008 at 11:07 am

breaking: Japanese whalers take activists hostage

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Astounding! Last year around this time, things were really getting dramatic in the Sea Shepherd pursuit of the Japanese whaling fleet across Antarctica. Crew missing at sea, shipboard fires, the risk of a pristine environment being chemically decimated, and even one human death as an accompaniment to the slaughter of hundreds of mammoth sentient beings.

Not to be outdone, the 2007/08 season of resistance has just kicked into overdrive. Read the rest of this entry »

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January 15, 2008 at 10:02 pm

Forest campaign against Garrett may have teeth…

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Just pilfered this sassy new bulletin from the ever-lovely Tasmanian Times. It comes fresh from the keyboard of Karl Stevens:

Peter Garrett needs a comb as much as Tasmania needs a pulp mill’.

This is a new campaign targeting Environment Minister Peter Garrett …

PEOPLE are asked to send a plastic hair comb or a picture of a hair comb, with or without an anti-pulpmill message to Environment Minister Garrett.

Nothing abusive or insulting please.

The aim of this campaign is to draw attention to Garrett’s refusal to acknowledge the proposed pulp mill and the clearing of native forest in Tasmania as a critical environmental issue.

There are the 2 addresses for people to post to:
Peter Garrett
Suit MG40
Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Peter Garrett
PO Box 249
Maroubra NSW 2035

If you happen to be combing the internet from overseas, just stick ‘Australia’ in before the postcode.

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January 14, 2008 at 12:59 am

Puppy doused in petrol, left to die on 6-lane Freeway. Home needed.

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MEDIA RELEASE
12 December 2007

GIVE WAGS A HOME FOR CHRISTMAS

Wags is a brave five month old scruffy terrier pup who was left to die on a six lane highway doused in petrol. Having seizures and unable to stand, heavens knows how he is still alive. A good samaritan took him to a nearby vet clinic (Elizabeth Drive Animal Hospital) where he was treated, but still remains without a home.

waggs5394.jpgWags was put on a drip and anti-seizure medication and his burnt skin was treated with topical ointments. Despite all that he has endured, he is a happy, bright boy who continues to wag his tail! The vet clinic contacted Doggie Rescue where Wags is now eagerly waiting for a home with a happy and caring environment.

Founder Monika Biernacki said DoggieRescue is currently over-run with puppies who have been dumped in council pounds in the lead up to Christmas.

“In all the years of rescue work, I have never seen so many puppies dumped at one time and we still have two weeks to go until Christmas. DoggieRescue will have its doors open throughout Christmas and is looking for volunteers to help man their Doggiewood shelter.”

DoggieRescue is a no-kill charity dedicated to saving dogs on death row from the council pounds. It currently has more than 20 puppies, all under 5 months of age, waiting for homes. DoggieRescue is in urgent need of puppy dry food, puppy milk, tick prevention products and toys. The Doggiewood shelter is located at Ingleside in the northern beaches.

For photos and details of all puppies, visit www.DoggieRescue.com or call DoggieRescue on (02) 9486 3133 / international 61-2-9486 3133

———————————————–

This is a media release I received from Monika’s Doggie Rescue. The work they do is quite amazing, especially given that they get by in a more or less self-funded/ donation-dependent manner. At the moment they are looking after at least sixty dogs from ages of about 7 weeks to 10 or more years. It’s quite a thing to see, especially as they’re such lovely animals and would all now be dead without Doggie Rescue’s intervention. Whether you’re an international or local reader, if there’s anything you can do to help, however big or small, it would make a difference and it would definitely be appreciated.

Please check out their website and donate just a little time, food, or payola if you can. 🙂

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December 13, 2007 at 1:23 pm

The Eukanuba Diet – for dog lovers…

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I was buying a large bag of Eukanuba (Dog food) at Coles and  standing in line at the check out. A woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

On impulse, I told her that no, I was starting The Eukanuba Diet again, although I probably shouldn’t because I’d ended up in the hospital last time, but that I’d lost 22 kilos before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IV’s in both  arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pockets with Eukanuba nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry & that the food is nutritionally complete so I was going to try it again.

I have to mention here that practically everyone in the line was by now enthralled with my story, particularly a guy who was behind her. Horrified, she asked if I’d ended up in the hospital in that condition because I had been poisoned.

I told her no; it was because I’d been sitting in the street licking my balls and a car hit me.
I thought one guy was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard as he staggered out the door.

Stupid cow…why else would I buy dog food??

i got this email from a friend and thought it was too hysterical not to share.


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December 10, 2007 at 12:57 am

So you’ve just caught crabs for the first time….

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Escape claws

A TFF reader swears this is true. His son’s friend had just hauled up a mud crab from one of the canals at Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast last week, when he was approached by a Fisheries inspector.”You’re copped, mate,” the inspector said. “That is a female crab and it is a protected species. There is a hefty fine for catching one of those.”

“But I haven’t caught it, I have simply retrieved it.”

“What do you mean, you’ve retrieved it ?”

“Well, this crab is my pet and every now and again I bring it down to the canal for a swim.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yes, I let it go, it swims around for a bit and then comes back to me and I take it home. Look, I’ll show you.” And with that, the guy picks up the crab, places it into the water and issues an instruction to take a short swim and hurry back. The officer watches, bewildered.

“When will it come back ?” he asks.

“When will what come back?” the guy responds.

had to pinch this from Peter FitzSimons’ page because it’s too good to not share.

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December 1, 2007 at 4:02 am

Drunken thugs brutalize whale

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Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd has just posted this horrific recounting of a recent tortuous death inflicted by wannabe customary warriors:

(excerpt) The unsuspecting whale had no reason to fear the approach of the boat. After all, the whale had been in these waters for years without threat. People and boats were harmless. So when Parker drove the first harpoon into the whale’s back, the whale screamed in pained surprise and jerked on the line causing Wayne Johnson to drop the .50 caliber gun into the sea. In desperation the shocked amateur whalers sank three more harpoons into the whale and then they opened fire with a .460 Magnum rifle shooting 16 bullets into the whale’s body and failing to hit a vital organ.

It’s a tale that’s as disgusting and disturbing as it is aggravating and clarifying, but definitely worth taking the time to read.

The New Yorker, the prestigious journal known best to some through the fim Capote recently did a deeply dug profile on Watson & Sea Shepherd which you can check out here.

The Shepherds are in Australia at the moment preparing for this summer’s Operation Migaloo. Named after a white humpback whale (Migaloo is one tribe’s word for “white fella”) who seasonally travels the east coast of Australia, this Sea Shepherd operation has particular significance.

Under authority from… well…. from themselves, Japan have not only approved the slaughter of 950 minke and fin whales, but have added for the first time since their hunting was stopped 50 humpbacks. Still an endangered species, humpbacks have perhaps a greater emotional attachment and significance for mainstream Australians than any other whale. Furthermore, Migaloo follows on from last summer’s operation which saw Sea Shepherd prevent the deaths of around 500 whales by the Japanese, but also saw Greenpeace deliberately withold information about the whaling fleet from Sea Shepherd.

The Japanese whaling fleet was inconvenienced by fire and one human death aboard its all-important factory ship, the Nisshin Maru. More importantly, however, the pristine Antarctic ecosystem was threatened by the possibility of a massive industrial toxic spill.

This time around, Greenpeace are tracking the Japanese whalers with updates posted constantly – removing the p.r. need for them to block Sea Shepherd. Furthermore, before election the new Australian government made a commitment to use air and naval vessels to, at best, stop the slaughter. At lamest, they will monitor it.

Here’s hoping for a complete shutdown of the Maru crew this Summer. May their boats rust and their captains, owners and government minister f%&$ing starve.

Written by typingisnotactivism

November 26, 2007 at 1:03 am

Sea Shepherd Australian tour 2007/08

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This Australian summer, the Japanese whaling fleet will once again be trying to kill up  to a thousand whales in the Antarctic. The difference this time is that Japan has added the endangered and iconic humpback to the menu.

Kevin Rudd and Peter Garrett have promised that Australian naval vessels shall be used to interfere with and board any Japanese vessels breaking international or Australian law. Attorney-General Phil Ruddock, on the other hand, has again sought to derail legal action by Humane Society International by more or less dismissing legal action against Japan as futile.

The one group that whales can count on is Sea Shepherd. The buccaneer NGO is currently in southern waters preparing Operation Migaloo.

Captain Paul Watson and his fleet helped to prevent the deaths of over 500 whales in Antarctic waters last summer. And they’re back, apparently with even faster intercept capabilities.

“We are obsessed with stopping the Cetacean Death Star, that viciously cruel killing machine otherwise known as the Nisshin Maru, and her ruthless fleet of hunter/killer boats armed with their explosive deadly blunt harpoons,” said Captain Watson.  “Because if we kill the whales, the sharks, the seals, and the sea turtles, we will destroy the very foundation of life in the oceans-and in so doing, we will destroy humankind.”

“I did not establish the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as a protest organization,” said Captain Watson. “I have not gone to sea over all these years to simply bear witness to the atrocities that whalers continue to inflict upon the most gentle and intelligent beings in the seas. We are sea cops-operating legally under the guidelines of the United Nation’s World Charter for Nature, which allow for the enforcement of international conservation law by non-governmental organizations in international jurisdictions.”

The Shepherds will again be enforcing international law this summer although there is a slim chance that they may receive commendation rather than criticism from the Australian government this time around.

 Supporters are welcome to donate food (vegan), equipment, and finance. There are also opportunities to volunteer as crew, with part of the fleet currently docked in Tasmania.

Visit seashepherd.org for information, or contact the Melbourne Sea Shepherd office.

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November 11, 2007 at 7:36 pm

Coming soon: Sean Penn & PETA….

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That’s right – it’s all been a bit dire and heavy here lately, what with Johnny Howard’s master plan grinding into effect and huge chunks of biodiversity literally due to be flushed down the toilet. BLAAAAARGH!!!!!!

So just letting you know – if you’re interested, of course – to check back in here in the next day or so.

You’ll find a review of the brand spanking new film Into The Wild. Personally, I don’t much care for hype like “oooh, Oscars” – BUT, as a way to easily convey meaning, this is an Oscar+ movie. Really mindblowing film of rich depth, insight atypical of American cinema, and a durability likely to ensure its status as a future classic. Do come back and read more Friday.

Also coming up – an interview with Dan Mathews, Vice President of PETA and author of the freshly released (and compulsively readable) Committed: a rabble-rouser’s memoir. For animal-lovers, activists, queens, readers, writers, popstars, supporters & all people easily pissed by perspectives that don’t fit their world view there’ll be plenty of juicy goodness in the 40-minute transcript when it goes online by early next week.

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October 18, 2007 at 6:31 pm