Getting animals out of shops... or is it?

You may have seen Say No To Animals In Pet Shops info, pamphlets, or the website before - a campaign against the proliferation of puppy farms/mills and generally seeing "pet" animals as commodities to be bought and sold with little regard for their welfare.

Here's a new one: Lead The Way: The Animals (Regulation Of Sale) Bill - for animal welfare, against puppy farms (Australia):

We are a nation of Animal lovers, but we need to do more to ensure their well-being and eliminate animal cruelty. Regulating the sale of animals means a better beginning in life, and helps reduce the 60,000+ unnecessary deaths in NSW alone every year. This website has more information on the Bill, and makes it easy for you to support it. 'The principle here is about our responsibility as humans to the animal world'. Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP

It looks like a step in the right direction for cats and dogs... but

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The Malicious Cup

Yesterday the Melbourne Cup was held in Australia, as part of the Spring Racing Carnival. During this time, women stick dead birds in their hair, calling it fashionable and attractive, and everyone sits on their lazy asses to watch horses get flogged around a race track. Sound pleasant? A little bit of light-hearted fun?

If you open your eyes and look beyond the fluff presented on your idiotbox, you'll see that it's far from a "bit of fun." Having seen the trauma racing inflicts on horses first-hand when I was growing up, I know even the most well cared for horses suffer when they're forced into racing... Never mind the drugging that goes on behind the scenes. When there's money to be made off animals, exploitation and abuse isn't far behind.

This article from Animals Australia covers a heck of a lot:

Horse racing - the glitz, the glamour, the grim reality.

The Melbourne Cup: a celebration? Think again. The

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An ethical wardrobe: it's so hot right now

The UK media, from what I've seen, seems to be reasonably vegan-friendly. From pro-animal rights articles to health, they aren't quite so afraid as certain other western nations of throwing the v-word around. coughAustraliacough coughUnitedStatescoughcough*

The Guardian has been doing a series called The Ethical Wardrobe in their Life & Style section that's worth checking out. Recent articles include info about leather and silk.

Don't hide from the truth Many ethical consumers excuse their leather purchases on the grounds that skins are simply a byproduct of the meat industry. The reality is not so simple, as Kate Carter reveals

& More on vegan-friendly weddings!

A whiter-than-white wedding Wedding dressing can include a catalogue of ethical no-nos, from low-paid seamstresses to tortured silkworms - not to mention the sheer waste involved. Kate Carter explains how to keep a clear conscience on your big day

Thanks to Andrew Bartlett for pointing this out in his recent blog

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Psychological blind spots

People "prefer" the meat version of foods, even if... it tastes, looks, and feels exactly the darn same.

"An ingenious study just published in the Journal of Consumer Research has provided a striking demonstration that taste perceptions and product preferences are strongly influenced by our personal values - to the point where people who believe in the importance of social authority perceived a sausage roll labelled as vegetarian as far inferior to a 'meat' version, even though they ate the same sausage roll on both occasions. The same result appeared whether the participants actually ate meat or vegetarian sausage rolls, and the participants couldn't reliably distinguish the two in any condition."

Anti-veg prejudice is fascinating... if a little bit sad, given all the unnecessary animal suffering, environmental degradation, and health problems that result from people's alleged "preferences."

Read the whole article here!

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Veganism, animal rights

Abolish welfarism?

Veganism, animal rights

If you've read up on animal rights or ethics for more than a few minutes, you've no doubt stumbled across the very popular abolitionism vs. welfarism debate. Why do animal welfare groups fail to make a significant impact? Why is abolitionism - ie. activism against all forms of animal commodification rather than simply campaigning for "better" conditions for commodified/tortured/etc animals - more productive in the struggle against animal abuse?

The RSPCA Watchdog website helps to answer that question, exposing the significant failures and incompetence rife in the Australian organisation that continually thwarts the efforts of volunteers to relieve animal suffering.

And if you haven't heard of him, Professor Gary L. Francione also has plenty to say on the matter.

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Save the animals, save the world

If you like contributing to human rights groups, but are a little concerned when providing "aid" sometimes means animals for farming and slaughter, then Vegfam might be for you. It's like Oxfam without the ox/chicken/goat abuse. Vegfam promotes sustainable environmentally-friendly projects that "reduce the dependency on external food aid, decreasing the dependence on outside assistance." Neat, huh?

For over 40 years, VEGFAM has provided Overseas Famine Relief in more than 40 countries, helping millions of people who were suffering from hunger, thirst, malnutrition and starvation. We fund sustainable, self supporting projects which do not exploit animals or the environment. The Fragile Environment of Developing Countries cannot support TWO populations Humans and their Food Animals. Animal derived food, especially if it is intensively produced, squanders resources and damages the Earth's fragile environment. VEGFAM is one of only a few Charities in the UK which is trying to prevent Developing Countries copying our ecologically disastrous "Western" Lifestyle. If you are
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